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 Post subject: I apologize profusely
PostPosted: July 13th, 2004, 3:59 pm 
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I'm so sorry, John. Please accept my abject apology.

I had no intention whatsoever to hurt your feelings... (Even though you do not share my belief that "it is how the words make the person feel to whom they are being said" and not "the intention of the person saying them" -- I feel very badly that you felt that I was in any way being hurtful. But, in truth, such was not my intention.) And I shall endeavor to keep you, at all costs, from becoming "bored". :o)

To clarify, I DID study philosophy... As a matter of fact, I pulled an "A" out of my college philosophy course from a professor who was notorious for handing out "Cs" to magna cum laudes. ;o)

The point, John, in citing "authorities" in a list, which, by the way, you know if you had studied debate, (and I only said that because of what you said to me about philosophy...) is to lend creedence to the side of the argument that one is presenting. It is called a "table of authorities" and is one of the main tools used in the art of debate.

John, I was not attempting to downgrade Dr. Blackmore's point of view. I respect everyone's right to their opinion on any topic. I was attempting to understand and comment upon what she was saying in her own words.

Truly, it was she, and not I, who said that it was her OWN "assumptions" about the nature of what people term the "paranormal" -- and that concerning the habits of the "scientists" working in these areas -- that were wrong.

My impression is that Dr. Blackmore entered into the study and research of parapsychology with preconceived notions about it that were somewhat niave and, perhaps, even bordered on the paranoid.

Again, she said in her own words, that she felt as though "scientists" (in some collective grouping) were deliberately suppressing evidence which would have proved the existence of the paranormal. My honest, truthful, non-sarcastic assessment of a state of mind such as this is: paranoia. And, while it may not be "crippling" to the extent of interfering in one's everyday life, nonetheless, it IS paranoia.

And, in her own words, again, she appears to wrestle with her own views in the later quote that you presented to me -- much as Hamlet did when he questioned what "life was all about". We all have done that, John, each and every one of us.

It appears to me that Dr. Blackmore may have come from a family where the paranormal was accepted and taken as truth in its many different manifestations -- so much so, that, somehow, she felt as though she would encounter it "everywhere" when she was able to study it in more depth and she appears to have been very disappointed when the reality of the majority of the world's non-acceptance finally got through to her.

Every bit of what I was able to digest of her writings smacks of what I term "the wide-eyed 'Pollyanna' who went out into the cold, cruel world and had her optimism and enthusiasm crushed by its indifference" syndrome.

This is a very common syndrome that, in my opinion, happens to people with many different avocations. You see it in the social worker who had, in his/er mind, a notion to "elevate the social consciousness of the world" by "doing good deeds" and becoming "a beacon" by which "the real, true compassionate nature that lies hidden just below the surface of every human being" comes out and the world is made "a better place" -- only to find that "the world", in general, could give a hoot about the suffering of others... And it is a very traumatic and sad fact of life that young people go through this disillusionment every day.

But that traumatic disillusionment only comes to those who, consciously or unconsciously, attribute either entirely positive or entirely negative qualities to things in generalities -- where they view the world as "black or white" with very few "shades of grey". This is not their fault. For the most part, I believe it is the impression that they get from the way their parents (or the way THEY PERCEIVE that their parents) deal with different subjects/beliefs/philosophies/religions, etc.

However, when this happens, there is, I believe, an emotional and intellectual "backlash" which, in way or another, "colors" their subsequent opinions and philosophies, with respect to that area, to the point where they actually, in effect, cut themselves off from any further honest, objective examination of the topic involved.

This is what I feel happened to Dr. Blackmore. And it is very difficult for me, after that, to then take her opinions -- informed and educated though they may be -- with anything but a large "grain of salt" in deference to what I believe is a "kneejerk" response on her part as a result of the syndrome I mentioned.

Truly, no sarcasm involved, I did not glean from what she said that she was, in any way, convinced that these things do NOT exist. Only that she, as yet, had not been able to prove they do.

Had she been able to do so, one way or the other, we not be having this lovely discussion. (Oh dear. Now I feel as though I have to qualify all my "positive references" to our debate by saying that I was NOT being sarcastic -- I was NOT being so in my last statement. I very much am enjoying having this discourse with you. I really, really am. Hm. Now I feel as though I must qualify THAT... This could become quite complicated, I fear.)

As always,
Warmest regards, (NO SARCASM INVOLVED)
jean

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 Post subject: My side
PostPosted: July 14th, 2004, 5:21 am 
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John,

I have been discussing these topics with you on what I feel is an intelligent, even-keeled level. I have used logic, tables of authorities, my own experience and those of people I trust and believe to explain to you why it is that I believe that there are many phenomena in the universe that science has yet to explain.

There are a great MANY things that science cannot explain. There are so many MORE things that science CANNOT explain than what it CAN, the subjects alone could fill 10,000 encyclopedias and still need more room...

In addition, the universe (even the one we see, touch, taste, smell and hear) is NOT a static place. It is constantly being born, growing, changing, transmuting and dying...

One of the major impressions that I get from your argument sounds as though you believe that the collective "we" (of the sum total of the wisdom human race) already know everything there is to know. We do not.

We have only, perhaps in only the last 100 years, just started to peek out of our "caves" in a very rudimentary way in our attempts to explain how the known world works... and I submit to you that we have yet to begin to explain the part that is "unknown" to us -- and, as any scientist worth his/er salt will tell you, there's a whole heck of a lot of that "out there"...

It is my opinion (and I do not come to this opinion on a whim -- I have spent many decades intensly studying all manner of parapsychology) that our "science" has simply not "caught up" yet to the level where it can explain what "ghosts" are, what ESP is, and what all manner of other "paranormal phenomena" is yet...

(I'll give you a good laugh: My psychic sense tells me that it will not be long until we will be able to, using science and existing physical/chemical/elemental laws, finally explain why "hauntings" happen and exactly, physically, what they are and how they are created. And by "not long" I mean within the next 20 years... max. and probably within the next 10. This is what I "feel"...)

On top of that, logic tells me -- even if I had NEVER experienced one single "paranormal" thing in my life -- that the experiences of millions of people over thousands of years of both sexes, all countries, all socio-economic levels, all religions and all different intelligence levels and cultures, despite how you would seek to discount them, could not all simply be "crazy"... There's too many of them -- us -- to do that with a conscience.

Additionally, now that devices that measure electromagnetic levels, take infrared photographs, microphones that are sensitive enough to pick up the slightest sound, video cameras and digital cameras are priced within the reach of a large proportion of the population of the Earth, every single day, more and more physical, scientific evidence is being collected which is adding up to a bottom line that says: "Yes. There are things going on out there that we used call "supernatural" that have real, physical measurable parameters."

I did read your Dr. Blackmore's writings and I told you, honestly, logically, and sincerely what my impression was of what I read. I see a person whose disillusionment has "colored" their objective view. You do not. We disagree. This does not make either of us anything but in disagreement. Period.

The fact that she has "a university" behind her in her research means virtually nothing in my opinion... The research staff, the equipment, the money and the political influence necessary to, for example, find a cure for AIDS or cancer is astronomical. So much so that we (collectively) have not been able to accomplish it as yet.

We still haven't unraveled these problems, even after decades of work, millions and millions of dollars and persons of influence who have lent their "weight" in assistance...

And these are only single research subjects that are comparatively "narrow" in scope. The subject of "parapsychology" or "the paranormal" takes in dozens of different phenomena with hundreds of different manifestations. It would take hundreds -- perhaps thousands -- of universities, billions of dollars and, probably, several hundred years, working day and night to research them all -- especially with the comparitively "primitive" tools that "we" have right now... These "tools" are improving and becoming more sophisticated every minute -- but only a miniscule proportion of them are EVER dedicated toward this type of research... That is a fact.

Without emotion, and speaking honestly, logically and intelligently: If you truly wish to change MY mind about my beliefs in these areas -- to the point where I would be able to call my own self a liar, a nutcase, or, at the very least, a person subject to self delusions -- you will, in all honesty have to come up with more "expert testimony" than Dr. Blackmore to do it. I would not take any ONE person's word for ANYTHING -- much less for something that I KNOW in MY HEART AND MIND EXISTS.

Sincerely,
jean

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 Post subject: That one experience
PostPosted: July 14th, 2004, 12:58 pm 
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John,
Ultimately, what makes any of us lend creedence to any theory or set of truths cannot be (and should not be) the product of one incident/experience, no matter how profoundly any one incident/experience in our lives has affected us.

As I have tried to get across, I do not base my unwavering belief in certain aspects of particular areas of "the paranormal" upon ANY one experience, expert opinion, set of scientific results or piece of knowledge. Just as I would hope that I would not base my disbelief upon one single incident/experience, expert opinion, set of scientific results or piece of knowledge.

Further, I feel that anyone who would do so might well be labeled over-simplistic, naive, guillible, and ill-informed -- to say the least.

So, I regret that I cannot comply with your most recent request.

Let us go back, with your permission to some of your previous questions, my answers to which, because of intervening issues, I have not, as yet, supplied:

Question:
1. Does God (as you define it) have anything to do with the afterlife that you appear to believe in?

Answer: Ultimately, I would suppose that "God" (as I have defined it) would "have something to do with the afterlife in which [I] appear to believe" -- but only because EVERYTHING has something to do with the afterlife in which I appear to believe... And let me qualify "everything" as a function of my previous definition of "God" as "every spark of life on every level of every planet in every possible dimension or plane of existence."

I do not, as some do, believe in an "all-father" image of entity who is directing each and every thing that happens in the universe.

I worked with a young woman many years ago who was a "born-again" Christian... She had a 1950 Chevrolet sedan (which, by that time, even, was over 25 years old...). Every morning when she went to start her car (which, I gathered, didn't always do so like clockwork...), she would stop, bow her head and pray to Jesus that her car would start.

I found the notion ridiculous and even bordering on the egomaniacal. That this "superconsciousness" which she called "Jesus" would "take time out" from his/its eternal war against evil to start her '50 Chevy, said to me (and should to anybody) that she had missed the entire point of what a "godhead" was... But, I feel that it is to this point of insanity to which the human intellect will reach when it begins to approach the idea of a "god" who takes on "human" traits...

Question:
2. Where did I dismiss the possibility of such phenomena?

Answer: Perhaps you did not. But I believe that I was quite careful to qualify my assessment of your level of disbelief alternately as: "you appear to" or "it seems as though you" or "it appears to me as though you" or "I glean/detect/understand from your writings that you" or words to that effect...

Question:
3. If this convincing evidence is there - why hasn't (as Dawkins suggests) someone presented the findings to the scientific community and won, if not a Nobel Prize, at least substantial funding? After all, if such evidence exists, it points towards very fruitful areas of research. Successful researchers could rewrite the physics textbooks!

Answer:
There are a couple of main reasons why I believe this has not happened but, first, let me state that I do not believe that discovering/proving/presenting such findings WOULD "rewrite the physics textbooks".

I believe that what we are only beginning to understand about electrical impulses, magnetism, plasma, the inner workings of the human brain, the conductivity of various substrates with regard to the things I just mentioned, the "attraction/repulsion factors" of atoms and molecules, the inner workings of the nucleus of atoms, photons, protons, electrons, light (the infrared and the ultraviolet), microbiology and at least a dozen other areas of scientific study WILL SOMEDAY, OF THEMSELVES, PROVE BEYOND ANYONE'S DOUBT THE EXISTENCE OF AT LEAST SOME ASPECTS OF WHAT WE NOW CALL "THE PARANORMAL". That having been said, the reasons as I see them:

1) For hundreds of years -- I believe, in an effort to distance themselves from our superstitious and primative ancestors -- humans who wished to think of themselves as "civilized, educated, logical and progressive/modern in their approach to life" have made a concentrated effort to completely disavow any belief in any aspect of what we currently call "the paranormal". And it has produced what I call the "if you don't look for it, you will never find it" syndrome.

If I, as a person flatly refuse to acknowledge that any such phenomena exists, can exist, or has ever existed, and I ridicule anyone who attempts to show me any example of it, and, further, I distance myself, effectively cutting myself off from having anything to do with it -- how can it then be expected that I would be able to find any evidence of that existence?

Much as, I am certain, scientist in earlier times, who possessed knowledge borne out by evidence gleaned from clinical observation and experimentation, could not get the attention of any body of other scientists to even LOOK at the information they had produced concerning, for example, black holes, laser beams or avionics or any one of a thousand other "modern" areas of study -- and were held up to ridicule and degradation by their peers -- without even so much as a glance at the "proof" they held in their hands -- so do I believe pioneers in the investigation of what we now term "paranormal events" are now being scoffed at and dismissed by the larger body of the present-day scientific community who continues to hold onto the mechanism by which they have attempted -- over many, many years -- to distance themselves from this area of study in an effort to elevate and separate themselves from our ancestors.

This is completely different than saying that scientists (and that is a generality that I wince at using -- but for simplicity's sake, I use it here) are AWARE of all the scientific evidence in support of these areas of study, and are deliberately suppressing it.

I don't believe that at all... I don't think the majority of the scientific community would "lower themselves" to give even one glance at even one page of proof if they suspected, even for a moment, that such a page contained information that might shake up the neat, little "pidgeon holes" into which they have installed both their intellects and their beliefs and steeled themselves against such phenomena.

2) Wealth talks. Wealth gets things done. Wealth and where and with whom it lies, dictates the entire ebb and flow of what gets done in the world. And when I say "wealth", I'm not talking about a measely million dollars -- a million dollars in the world of serious, expensive, long-term scientific investigation is less than a proverbial drop in a proverbial bucket -- a "tempest in a teapot". And the people and organizations that control the wealth of the world (the 5% that own 95% of the wealth) are just as anxious to distance themselves from Alley-Oop the caveman as scientists are...

This is why I say that, now that comparatively sophisticated detection devices of all types are becoming more and more accessible to larger and larger portions of the population, the faster we, as a species, are coming to the day when at least SOME of the areas of what we have learned to call "the paranormal" will become explainable, understandable, quantifiable, measurable "science".

As ever,
jean

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 Post subject: I'll tell you what ...
PostPosted: July 15th, 2004, 5:38 pm 
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John,
I do not accept the dialogue you have presented, regardez:

"Let's say I believed I'd been abducted by aliens.

I tell you this has happened.

You say: 'Oh? What makes you believe that?'

I say: 'Well, it's possible, isn't it?' "<---- (STOP. That is not an answer to the question posed. One cannot, ethically, answer a question with a question.

And, if in this scenario, the "You" represents what you have been asking me... and the "I' represents what I have been replying to you in our discussion. I did not answer a similar question by you in that way at all...Instead, in answer to "what makes you believe":)

I say: "Oh... a great many things make me believe that..."

(Which makes the next 2 lines of the "scene" become non sequitar... this brings us to:)

"You say: 'OK - so tell me about it. Let's examine the event, analyse the evidence...'

I say: ' No.' " <----- (STOP. Not true. I do not and did not stonewall in the way you suggest here.

Beginning from one of our first posts on this subject, I have answered this same question many different ways, starting with:

"Because I cannot be in all places at all times, I cannot with logic and conviction discount any activity or so-called phenomena as 'ghosts, spirits, or souls of the dead'. The fact that many different and diverging human beings have witnessed or other experienced encounters which they describe as 'ghosts, spirits, or the souls of those who have departed this earth through death' lends more creedence to the existence of these entities than it does not... etc..."

Then, in regard to this same question, I further explained in another post:

"I do not base my belief in "spirits" (there are other areas, but I will speak for the moment about that phenomena which many people call "spirits", "ghosts", "hauntings", etc...) solely upon my own experiences (although psychological and physical examinations have never revealed any reason why I should doubt my own senses...) nor those of the many, many people that I have known who have experienced similar things...

Surrounding these phenomena, there is also other physical evidence which is measurable and "scientifically observable" (by anyone) which would suggest that some type of activity is going on that does not (at the moment) have a "scientific" explanation...

I speak, of course, of evidence in the forms of registers of high levels of electromagnetic waves (that seemingly have no point of origin in the "physical" sense), indeterminately caused light anomalies on digital photographs, mechanically recorded sounds and anomalous hot and cold areas in infrared photography -- all of which have been recorded in areas which we ("the misguided millions...") have claimed to have experienced "ghostly" phenomena... "

I even further clarified with:

"Even if you refused to trust your own five senses, you, like anyone else on the face of the planet, would turn to the experiences of others for confirmation of what you, yourself, have observed... And so would I."

And::

"Evidence, in scientifically controlled environments, which in some way or another supports the existence of ESP, psychokensis -- and, in some cases, even the possibility of ghosts -- have been carried out by Dr. J. B. Rhine of Duke University, Dr. Paul Bjerre, Sven Turck, Dr. Thelma Moss, Professor Torben Laurent of the Stockholm Technical High School, Professor Sune Stigsjoo, Professor Olle Holmberg, Professor Preben Plum, Berndt Hollsten, Dr. Eric Dingwall, Poul Thorsen, Dr. J. G. Pratt, Dr. Karlis Osis, David Techter, Dr. Ian Stevenson, Dr. Edward Cox, Dr. Genady Sergeyev at Novosti in Moscow, Dr. Motoyama at the Institute of Religious Psychology in Tokyo, the The Brain Pantheon in (former) Leningrad, Dr. Sergey V. Sperunksi of the Novosibirsk Medical Institute, Dr. Vladimir L. Raikov and the Psychoneurological Clinic in Moscow, Dr. W. H. C. Tenhaeff, Luke Salmon, Dr. Gertrude R. Schmeidler of the International Association of Neuropsychiatry, G. W. Fisk, the Edgar Cayce Institute, AND even the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (am I going too fast for you?) -- and that's not even scratching the surface! I could go on naming them for pages!

Thousands upon thousands of clinically-controlled experiments have been conducted in universities, laboratories, institutes, medical centers and private institutions all over the globe and you will find that the majority of the results of these cases support findings which, at minimum, claim that there are forces at work which science, at the moment, cannot fully explain using those "known physical laws" of which you seem to be so fond."

And:

"To me, the results obtained by Sergeyev clearly illustrate that it IS possible that the intense thoughts and emotions of a person experiencing a violent death, could permeate their surroundings with some sort of "imprint".

It's not difficult to imagine that an "imprint" such as this might actually fall within the human visible spectrum if atmospheric conditions were conducive and the emotions and thoughts of the individual were sufficiently strong. And I don't have to be "Madame Blavatsky" to further postulate, that such an "imprint", visible to the human eye, has the possibility of resulting in phenomena which we may have learned to call "ghosts" or "hauntings".

The electromagnetic impulses of the brain are well-documented.

This is not "fantasy" -- it is scientific fact.

Further, the experiments conducted by Sergeyev and others doing similar work would appear to suggest that these impulses can affect at least one type of molecule found within our atmosphere.

This is not "paranormal", either -- it is clinically documented "known" science.

Infrared photos taken in reportedly "haunted" places have, in many well-documented and controlled cases, clearly shown anomalies of heat and cold.

Infrared technology is not "extraordinary" -- it is quite commonplace.

So is electromagnetic energy and the detection devices used in measuring it. These devices, too, have repeatedly shown verifiable anomalies of such energy in "haunted houses" and other sites where "paranormal" activity has been observed taking place.

So, you see, John, I do not depend on a huge "leap of faith" in the formulation of my opinions in these matters, nor do I depend upon, simply, my own observations and those of others in whom I have confidence... I utilize a method which is accepted by just about every legal system on the planet: "A preponderance of the evidence".

A "scientist" starts by first observing some "thing" for which there is no current provable explanation. S/he then keeps observing and testing and documenting until s/he can postulate what s/he believes to be a plausible explanation based on what s/he knows to be true or has reason to believe is true.

That "scientist" then keeps testing and tabulating the results of their tests -- then, by logically interpreting those results, advances a theory that s/he believes best "explains" the "thing". Then, only by being able to obtain predictable results time after time, test after test, does s/he ultimately prove or disprove this theory.

I submit to you that -- with respect to what we now call "the paranormal" -- collectively, we are only one step away from that ultimate goal of proving or disproving its existence. If you are not aware of the bulk of provable scientific evidence which exists in support of what I have said, I suggest that you spend some more quality time on research... The proof is out there -- by the bucketloads... "

Further:

"... I have used logic, tables of authorities, my own experience and those of people I trust and believe to explain to you why it is that I believe that there are many phenomena in the universe that science has yet to explain.

There are a great MANY things that science cannot explain. There are so many MORE things that science CANNOT explain than what it CAN, the subjects alone could fill 10,000 encyclopedias and still need more room...

In addition, the universe (even the one we see, touch, taste, smell and hear) is NOT a static place. It is constantly being born, growing, changing, transmuting and dying..."

Again even further:

"We do not [know everything there is to know]. We have only, perhaps in only the last 100 years, just started to peek out of our "caves" in a very rudimentary way in our attempts to explain how the known world works... and I submit to you that we have yet to begin to explain the part that is "unknown" to us -- and, as any scientist worth his/er salt will tell you, there's a whole heck of a lot of that "out there"...

It is my opinion (and I do not come to this opinion on a whim -- I have spent many decades intensly studying all manner of parapsychology) that our "science" has simply not "caught up" yet to the level where it can explain what "ghosts" are, what ESP is, and what all manner of other "paranormal phenomena" is yet... "

And:

"On top of that, logic tells me -- even if I had NEVER experienced one single "paranormal" thing in my life -- that the experiences of millions of people over thousands of years of both sexes, all countries, all socio-economic levels, all religions and all different intelligence levels and cultures, despite how you would seek to discount them, could not all simply be "crazy"... There's too many of them -- us -- to do that with a conscience.

Additionally, now that devices that measure electromagnetic levels, take infrared photographs, microphones that are sensitive enough to pick up the slightest sound, video cameras and digital cameras are priced within the reach of a large proportion of the population of the Earth, every single day, more and more physical, scientific evidence is being collected which is adding up to a bottom line that says: "Yes. There are things going on out there that we used call "supernatural" that have real, physical measurable parameters."

And:

"We still haven't unraveled these problems, even after decades of work, millions and millions of dollars and persons of influence who have lent their "weight" in assistance...

And these are only single research subjects that are comparatively "narrow" in scope. The subject of "parapsychology" or "the paranormal" takes in dozens of different phenomena with hundreds of different manifestations. It would take hundreds -- perhaps thousands -- of universities, billions of dollars and, probably, several hundred years, working day and night to research them all -- especially with the comparitively "primitive" tools that "we" have right now... These "tools" are improving and becoming more sophisticated every minute -- but only a miniscule proportion of them are EVER dedicated toward this type of research... That is a fact.

Without emotion, and speaking honestly, logically and intelligently: If you truly wish to change MY mind about my beliefs in these areas -- to the point where I would be able to call my own self a liar, a nutcase, or, at the very least, a person subject to self delusions -- you will, in all honesty have to come up with more "expert testimony". I would not take any ONE person's word for ANYTHING -- much less for something that I KNOW in MY HEART AND MIND EXISTS."

And, finally:

"Ultimately, what makes any of us lend creedence to any theory or set of truths cannot be (and should not be) the product of one incident/experience, no matter how profoundly any one incident/experience in our lives has affected us.

As I have tried to get across, I do not base my unwavering belief in certain aspects of particular areas of "the paranormal" upon ANY one experience, expert opinion, set of scientific results or piece of knowledge. Just as I would hope that I would not base my disbelief upon one single incident/experience, expert opinion, set of scientific results or piece of knowledge.

Further, I feel that anyone who would do so might well be labeled over-simplistic, naive, guillible, and ill-informed -- to say the least. "

In point of fact, my answer -- which you wish to infer was a non-communicative, monosyllabic, "no" -- included, in actuality, all of the above paragraphs. This negates, I believe the next line of "You say: 'Why not?" and because the following line after that was included in the above, it is also negated. Which brings us to:)

You say: 'Oh... so we can't discuss a specific alien abduction event that happened to you personally?"

I say: 'Nope.' <--- (STOP. I would think about the last question before I would answer "nope" or anthing else, since you have not asked me the above question up until this very moment.

What you have asked me to supply, up until now, has been: "...to select the personal experience that, in your own view, gives you most faith in the paranormal ... Something that's happened to you that you feel provides clear, convincing proof that a paranormal event happened..." -- which is not even close to being the same question as this last one.

Having thought about it, my answer to this newest question is:

"Regarding which area? ESP, ghosts, life after death, what specific area of the paranormal? I would be more than happy to relate any one of the hundreds of my experiences in whichever one of these areas you'd prefer."

But, if you expect that I will be telling you "...something that's happened to [me] that feel gives [me] the most faith in the paranormal..." [i]that, it will NOT be.

I put it to you, John: If you believe that it is at all possible for anyone to be able to reduce the reasons they have in support of an entire belief system such as this down to only one incident in their life -- I would suggest that you start us off and begin by relating to me what one, single incident it was that made you doubt the existence of the paranormal?

As ever,
jean

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 Post subject: Time for a new thread!
PostPosted: July 15th, 2004, 6:34 pm 
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Guys,

Would one of you please start a new topic for the continuation of your debate? The size of this thread is getting unwieldy, and the title of it has nothing to do with what you're discussing.

Thanks much!

-- Nancy

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