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."
"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."
"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... "
"... 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... "
"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."
"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."
"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?
"Don't MAKE me get my flying monkeys!"