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Lance Payette
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I have a friend, very well-known in the UFO field, who was among the first to suggest we live in a simulation. He has a strange but internally consistent belief system that, as I have pointed out on occasion, is a near-perfect match for Christian theology. Every essential doctrine of Christian theology has its simulation counterpart. Yet my friend utterly rejects Christianity and does not seem to see the similarities. Indeed, I have pointed out that there is really nothing in Christian theology that would preclude our reality from being a simulated one. It seems to me that the boundary between those who are willing to accept an elaborate Alien Creator hypothesis and a God Creator hypothesis is simply the boundary between naturalism and religion. Either you accept it as axiomatic that everything must have a naturalistic explanation or you don't. But once you start talking about an Alien Creator of a simulated reality, I really see no difference between this and religion. In either case, you are talking about a mysterious intelligence at a different level of reality than our own.
Toggle Commented Jan 23, 2017 on The Science-Religion Continuum at Paranormalia
If one reads something like Emma Hardinge Britten's "Modern American Spiritualism," we well as the most reliable reports on Home, it seems beyond question that some sort of "macro" physical mediumship was occurring between roughly 1850 and 1900 that simply doesn't occur today. If the phenomena reported by someone of the caliber of Crookes could have been video-recorded or otherwise documented the way they could be today, they would be extremely difficult to dismiss. Alas, the "macro" phenomena dovetailed nicely with the era of "macro" fraud and thus are difficult for most people to take seriously. As always, it seems the Trickster is in charge - plenty of evidence to convince those with a predisposition to believe, plenty of toeholds for debunkers. Across the full spectrum of anomalous phenomena, the "always just on the threshold of believability" aspect is to me as interesting as the phenomena themselves.
Toggle Commented Dec 18, 2016 on Indridi Indridason at Paranormalia
Odd that NDE accounts are full of veridical details - until studies are established for the very purpose of having experiencers observe and report such details, whereupon the success rate is approximately zero. I'm reminded of early researcher Robert Crookall, who was absolutely convinced of the reality of his OBEs. He carefully noted the position of shadows in the room during one OBE, then compared the position of the actual shadows at precisely the same time the next night. There was no relationship. This is not to say that NDEs and OBEs are not genuine experiences of a different reality. I believe that NDEs in particular are - mostly because the vast majority of people encountered during an NDE are, in fact, dead. But they cannot be taken at face value, and it is probably the less-startling aspects that are the real clues.
Toggle Commented Dec 5, 2016 on NDEs in the ICU at Michael Prescott's Blog
I have never heard of Susanne Wilson, but I am a past member of the SPR and ASPR and am not exactly uninformed about the topic of mediumship. One look at Susanne's website sent up red flags of the sort that would have me running in the opposite direction before parting with my $400 for a 50-minute session. Cyrus is clearly a True Believer to the nth degree. Put together a "celebrity medium" with a True Believer, and the result is somewhat predictable. If anything whatsoever of a paranormal nature occurs in a sitting with a published True Believer like Cyrus, certainly telepathy seems a far more likely explanation. I find reports of sittings with mediums (I've had two, both uneventful) to be somewhat like NDE accounts - the more elaborate and content-laden they are (teams of faeries - really?), the less likely they are to be of any real value.
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Nov 9, 2015