Posts Tagged ‘Hucksters’

Be Skeptic

August 13, 2008

To take a line from Charlotte’s Web (2006): “Just because you’re sheep, doesn’t mean you have to follow!” – Head Sheep (John Cleese). And it is true. For as long as there have been humans there has been an affliction of blindness on the human race. I used to call myself a cynic but I do not like the negative connotation there. Cynics are bitter people for the most part. I am a skeptic. Much more positive. I really want to believe in a lot of things but I have yet to see proof.

One of these things is the paranormal. There are some things I believe in (ghosts for example) but I’m not sure what ghosts are. I do not believe in psychic powers of any sort. I want to believe in them because of all the comics I want to read. One of the problems I have is the psychics in the public eye are mostly jerks. They all have this sort of mystic, motherly,/brotherly air to them but as soon as they are challenged they get pissy. They are also obviously lying through their teeth. At least it is to me. You can just see it in their eyes. Big ol’ signs that say “Don’t trust me!”

These people also give no proof. Ok, no real proof. They demonstrate their “skills” on television constantly but they never submit to scientific testing to determine the validity or accuracy of these abilities. When they do get caught out, they falter big time. An example is Uri Geller on the Tonight Show with Johnny Carson. Uri Geller did and still does claim to have special powers. He bends spoons and keys with his mind and he reads peoples minds. However, when Carson was tipped off and told to keep Geller away from the props ahead of time, Geller could not complete a single task. The thing of it is, I would respect Geller if he advertised himself as a magician. Penn and Teller and many other magicians do similar tricks but they do them as illusions not as “reality”.

However, so-called psychics and mediums are the worst. If done for “entertainment purposes” like a horoscope in the paper, that’s fine. However, when these psychics offer their services to police and parents in missing persons cases it is wrong. They have no abilities. They are wrong far more than they are right. They are preying on vulnerable, grieving people and taking their money. These people are vultures.

Be a skeptic. If somebody tells you the sky is blue, look at the sky and check. If somebody tells you there are nuclear weapons in the Middle East, ask them to prove it. If a psychic tells you they are talking to your dead Aunt, just don’t believe it on principle. We are not sheep. What I’m trying to say is believe in what you want but when it comes to money or personal risk, open your eyes and ears.

Do yourself a favor: Go to youtube.com and look up James Randi, Sylvia Brown and Uri Geller/Carson. You won’t be disappointed.

Also: Fellow skeptics should go to Randi.org (make sure it is .org as I’m not sure what .com would be and I don’t want to find out)

Steven


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