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Author Topic: Psychics? fortune tellers? Talismans? Ghosts?  (Read 6415 times)

TRVA123

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Psychics? fortune tellers? Talismans? Ghosts?
« on: 01 Oct 2013, 14:57 »

I'm not sure if this thread should be here, or in discuss or in chatter. So I put it here!

I'm a fairly rational person, I like solid evidence for things and I an inherently suspicious of anything labeled supernatural.
At the same time I know some people who believe that psychics, fortune tellers, ghosts, and universal energy flows are real.

Personally I think that a lot of it is the human brain making connections between unconnected things. I think that Psychics are just very good at reading people or at phrasing things so generally that what they say can apply to almost anyone.

What do you think? have you ever experienced anything that made you believe in the supernatural?
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Re: Psychics? fortune tellers? Talismans? Ghosts?
« Reply #1 on: 01 Oct 2013, 15:01 »

I consider it all hogwash, but it's hogwash that some people absolutely believe in and they're free to do so. Until some actual evidence can be shown, I'll continue to roll my eyes a bit though.
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Re: Psychics? fortune tellers? Talismans? Ghosts?
« Reply #2 on: 01 Oct 2013, 15:13 »

Sort of?

I'm very wary of people who are trying to make money and/or power off of such things, but... there are many, many things I do not know, or only dimly know. I do, as I think I have mentioned before, have views and ideas grounded in my religious beliefs that probably bleed over into this some.

Take for example the act of prayer for a suffering individual by others that one sees in many Christian circles (mine included). One can argue that it is an attempt to channel positive energy to the sufferer, and that there is no evidence that it works that way.

But...it can still be a comfort to the sufferer, to know that their friends are doing this thing for them. And that might have an element of the divine spark that I suspect is within us all nudging the body's energy towards less stressful neural pathways....or it might be just the body doing it on its own, the result of a wondrous and complex system of life that has developed over millions of years (whether nudged by a super-sentient cosmic force or not). Either way, the sufferer is eased, however slightly.

That's the sort of thing I tend to think about these things, if that makes any sense.

BeoPuppy

Re: Psychics? fortune tellers? Talismans? Ghosts?
« Reply #3 on: 01 Oct 2013, 15:30 »

Fraud, all of it. You can't talk to the dead ... Because they're dead. You can't tell the future. The stars don't care. There is no god. I realize that last one might be problematic to loads of people but I feel that trying to convert me is the same as trying to sell me on astrolgy and such.
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Re: Psychics? fortune tellers? Talismans? Ghosts?
« Reply #4 on: 01 Oct 2013, 15:34 »

Hey, if you don't think that there is one, then you don't. I don't think it's any more wrong to say that than it is for me to say that I do. You're fine.

BeoPuppy

Re: Psychics? fortune tellers? Talismans? Ghosts?
« Reply #5 on: 01 Oct 2013, 15:36 »

Oh good. I honestly didn't want to upset people but it was my honest response.
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Re: Psychics? fortune tellers? Talismans? Ghosts?
« Reply #6 on: 01 Oct 2013, 15:37 »

If you're going down the path of psychics and prayer, you'll find a lot more practices that get more suspect the more scientific they try to be. Things like acupuncture, magnetism and other things that ascribe undetectable physical properties to the human body may have no basis in reality, but because they are excellent at triggering the placebo effect (often solely due to providing a person with relaxation, attention and physical touch) their therapeutic benefits are real.

Where it becomes really despicable is when these supposed healers start asking extortionate prices for their product or services, which I believe is not uncommon with homeopathy. Occasionally I hear about someone actively discouraging their patient from using traditional medicine when suffering from cancer, which is tantamount to manslaughter. That sort of thing almost justifies banning alternative medicine entirely, but that would probably do more harm than good...

As for other supernatural phenomena, I know humans to be superbly capable of self-delusion, confabulation, fabrication and overinterpretation, so much that I have no doubt that the vast majority of these phenomena can be attributed to tricks of the mind. The brain is a far more powerful force than the soul.

Remember, just because you cannot explain something doesn't mean it's unexplainable.
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Re: Psychics? fortune tellers? Talismans? Ghosts?
« Reply #7 on: 01 Oct 2013, 15:42 »

As for other supernatural phenomena, I know humans to be superbly capable of self-delusion, confabulation, fabrication and overinterpretation, so much that I have no doubt that the vast majority of these phenomena can be attributed to tricks of the mind. The brain is a far more powerful force than the soul.

Brain's a crazy thing, can't disagree with you there.

The beginning of that second sentence (which is also something I can't disagree with you about) reminds me of a Cracked video. Let me go find it.

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Re: Psychics? fortune tellers? Talismans? Ghosts?
« Reply #8 on: 01 Oct 2013, 15:53 »

I like astrology, but I don't believe in horoscopes. Just in the personality traits and everything as they have proven accurate with 90% of the people I've met. Even when they're in denial or they don't believe in it, it usually does go with how they are. Which I find so damn odd. I'm not ashamed to say I like astrology, I feel it's become a taboo to say it and an accepted thing to ridicule.

I've had paranormal, or what seem like paranormal experiences, and I've always had a fascination for everything supernatural/paranormal. A lot of the times I know it's just my mind playing tricks on me, but I have had situations in which more than one person has seen/heard the exact same thing I have.

 
As for other supernatural phenomena, I know humans to be superbly capable of self-delusion, confabulation, fabrication and overinterpretation, so much that I have no doubt that the vast majority of these phenomena can be attributed to tricks of the mind. The brain is a far more powerful force than the soul.

I agree with this, though, and therefore I can't 100% say the things we've seen and heard are necessarily supernatural. I just don't have another word to explain them as of yet.

I don't believe in a god, I don't believe in psychics or fortune tellers, though. So I suppose I'm not completely delusional.  :laugh:
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Re: Psychics? fortune tellers? Talismans? Ghosts?
« Reply #9 on: 01 Oct 2013, 17:00 »

Astrology, physics and fortune tellers are a load of bunk. Talismans? Depends on you I suppose, if having an item makes you feel good/lucky/whatever I suppose it works for you doesn't it? As for ghosts, science has explained most haunting as being strongly related to low frequency sound waves. Hell CRACKED of all places did a well cited and written article on it. http://www.cracked.com/article_18828_the-creepy-scientific-explanation-behind-ghost-sightings.html


I don't really believe in ghosts but I have had two incidents that I cannot explain. Now I just posted what is most likely an explanation for 99.9% of "hauntings" and other ghost sightings above. My issue is for both of these incidents I was in open air, well away from buildings or anything that would really be generating low frequency noises. The second incident was in the middle of the Sonoran desert with no one around for a good hundred and fifty miles even.

Incident 1: 2008, Camp Pendleton California, Edson Range. AKA Marine Corps Recruit Depot Northern Campus. (It's an in joke don't worry about it) I was on the parade deck in broad daylight receiving my Eagle, Globe and Anchor, along with the title Marine. A parade deck is a large expanse of asphalt, similar to a parking lot, but parking on it will earn you a beat down. The parade deck has a berm running on one edge the long ways, that is where the road is. As soon as I return to parade rest from receiving my EGA, I see a flicker of motion on the berm. A man in WW2 era Marine Corps service greens looks me right in the eyes and salutes me, performs an about face, takes one step and vanishes. There is no where he could be hiding, no way for him to vanish from view from where I am to where he is, and the real bitch of it is he looked just like my grandfather, a WW2 Marine who passed away before I was born.

Incident 2 is a bit more personal... still really not sure I want to share it.

Also I'm a theist so there you go.
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Re: Psychics? fortune tellers? Talismans? Ghosts?
« Reply #10 on: 01 Oct 2013, 17:10 »

Oh yeah, got distracted. THanks for finding that article, and here's the video I was referencing, http://www.cracked.com/video_18458_the-scientific-explanation-people-who-believe-in-ghosts.html

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Re: Psychics? fortune tellers? Talismans? Ghosts?
« Reply #11 on: 01 Oct 2013, 17:22 »

Take for example the act of prayer for a suffering individual by others that one sees in many Christian circles (mine included). One can argue that it is an attempt to channel positive energy to the sufferer, and that there is no evidence that it works that way.

But...it can still be a comfort to the sufferer, ...

Its called a placebo.

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Re: Psychics? fortune tellers? Talismans? Ghosts?
« Reply #12 on: 01 Oct 2013, 17:36 »

Yeah.

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Re: Psychics? fortune tellers? Talismans? Ghosts?
« Reply #13 on: 01 Oct 2013, 17:53 »

Randall Munroe puts it wonderfully

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Re: Psychics? fortune tellers? Talismans? Ghosts?
« Reply #14 on: 01 Oct 2013, 18:26 »

Yeah, Munroe can usually be counted on to bring some insight to the table.

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Re: Psychics? fortune tellers? Talismans? Ghosts?
« Reply #15 on: 01 Oct 2013, 19:17 »

I agree that homeopathic products are complete bunk.

I do think there is something to be said for the power of the mind, specifically in view of the placebo affect.

I'm curious, has anyone visited a psychic or fortune teller and felt that they were too on the money? or were they completely wrong?
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Re: Psychics? fortune tellers? Talismans? Ghosts?
« Reply #16 on: 01 Oct 2013, 19:58 »

I got a fortune cookie that was 100% accurate once! It said "That wasn't chicken". Since I was eating Beef Lo Mein you can imagine my relief.
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Re: Psychics? fortune tellers? Talismans? Ghosts?
« Reply #17 on: 01 Oct 2013, 20:50 »

HA!

hmmm for my fortune cookies:
Best: Blessed are the children for they shall inherit the national debt.
Worst: You are a kind person.
Weirdest: Never smell a hat.

Although I don't feel like any of those were particularly tailored to me.
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Re: Psychics? fortune tellers? Talismans? Ghosts?
« Reply #18 on: 01 Oct 2013, 21:48 »

Quote
Personally I think that a lot of it is the human brain making connections between unconnected things.
The human brain is predisposed to seek patterns, and people often see them where none exist.
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Re: Psychics? fortune tellers? Talismans? Ghosts?
« Reply #19 on: 02 Oct 2013, 05:59 »

Lol TRVA those are great. I kinda want a fortune cookie thread now.

Best: You will succeed at everything you put your hands to. (I got this one right as I started doing art, so it has more sentimental value I think.....silly but true)
Worst: Gotta come back to this one.....there are so many doozies.
Weirdest: Maybe you should live on the moon in next century. (We got another one a few weeks later that said "Wish you good journey". They now live next to each other on the fridge)



I want to believe in supernatural things but it's incredibly hard for me to do so. I do find them fascinating and will read a horoscope if I come across them, but I don't seek them out. However, coincidences intrigue me. For example- I read a horoscope a few days ago that said something in regards to "getting your house in order- literally" and Nick and I have been house hunting for quite a while....we're ready to find The One now. Plus, it mentioned extra funds and I just had an interview for one job and a phone screening for another. I'm sure that whole Brain Making Connections thing is to blame for it, but if it gives me a slightly larger glimmer of hope, I don't see the harm.

I've been to a fortune teller- once. She made a bunch of vague statements that could apply to me if I tried to make connections to them. She also said something to the effect of me not knowing what I wanted romantically and the person I was with was not for me. He was incredibly displeased with that, but in the end- she was right!  :-P

I'm not sure where I stand on ghosts, but I will say this: We saw a house the other day that was not great, but not bad....we could have made it work if we wanted to, but neither of us was incredibly excited about it. Then we walked outside and saw the lovely view of a graveyard as our backyard neighbors. We both decided at that point it was time to move on.
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Re: Psychics? fortune tellers? Talismans? Ghosts?
« Reply #20 on: 02 Oct 2013, 06:28 »

Yeah, the human brain is absolutely amazing at pattern recognition. We need to be so that we can survive in the wild. A side effect of this is that we sometimes see patterns where they don't exist which leads us to superstitions eg: my team won the big game when I wore dirty socks so I must always wear dirty socks on the day of the big game - ignoring the times when your team won or lost when this condition was or wasn't met. This is called confirmation bias - you suppress the information that doesn't conform to your hypothesis.

In regards to prayer having an effect on sick people numerous studies have been performed and none have been able to reliably show that prayer has any effect on the course of an illness or recovery from an injury. One study in 2006 (The STEP Project) actually showed that people who were recovering from heart surgery had major post-surgery complications (including death) when they were prayed for without knowing it (52%), when they weren't prayed for (51%) and when they knew that they were prayed for (59%). It's been suggested that the experimental group who knew they were being prayed for might have suffered increased anxiety about their recovery, believing that they "needed" to be prayed for.

As for psychics, most of it is clever guess work and a spooky manner. You may have heard of a technique called Cold Reading. This is where a "psychic" (read: person with a lot of experience in deceiving people and reading subtle body language and micro-expressions) will make educated guesses based on nothing more than your physical presence. You can become quite skilled at this with the right training. The psychic will also lead you to confirm or deny what they're saying, giving their performance an air of legitimacy. "I see a man in your life" (how many people don't know a man?) "He has dark or light hair" (50/50 guess) "I'm getting the impression of the letter A" (Oh my god my brother is named Alex, he is a man with dark hair!) "Has Alex passed away recently?" (No, he lives in the next suburb over) "Oh but he's thinking about you!" (No one can confirm or deny this).
There's another technique a lot of TV psychics use called Warm Reading. This is where as an audience member, you have to provide your name and possibly address when you sign in at the studio/soundstage/whatever. Or maybe in the days prior to attending the show you've been visited by someone selling magazines or preaching door to door. The psychic wears an earpiece and a researcher feeds them information based on overheard conversations and prior observations that you don't know they know.
Another great technique that almost all psychics use is Outright Fraud. They plant someone, sometimes multiple people in the audience and lo and behold, they can miraculously tell everything about them based on messages from the spirit world.

Astrology uses the Forer (or Barnum) Effect to give vague personality traits that could be true of any and all people in the hopes that you'll get a hit on something. A lot of internet personality tests do the same thing (see the colour test thread in Relate). Great studies have been done to show that most people if presented with a properly worded but extremely general statement about themselves will identify very strongly with the picture of their character it presents, despite having nothing in common with each other. General statements like "When with your friends you can be lively and energetic but you can be quiet and nervous when in unfamiliar situations" tend to apply to both introverts and extroverts in equal measure.

And finally! Ghosts. People have already brought up the low-frequency sound factor. That's very important but there's also tolerance for ambiguity. Different people have different levels of tolerance for ambiguous information. Is that a branch of a tree scratching on a window in an old house or is it the ghost of a witch coming to get you? Is that the sound of slamming doors or just the sound of water in old pipes? Couple a low tolerance for ambiguity with a tendency to see patterns where they don't exist and you'll probably get someone who thinks that ghosts exist because a few times they got a cold chill while walking through their grandparents creepy old house. Or my mother who thinks that if she prays for the lights to change it's God doing her a solid when she's late when the lights inevitably turn green.

The world is solid and fixed, all the way through. There's no magic, there's no psychic powers, there's no luck (there is chance and probability), there's no ghosts. There is still wonder and beauty and all the good things that we want to see. There is nothing unexplainable. Only things we haven't explained yet.

EDIT: A graveyard makes for great neighbours! Quiet, trustworthy, unobtrusive and a constant reminder of your own inevitable demise to keep you motivated!
Depending on where you live you might occasionally have to put up with goths having sex in the graveyard though. Or more likely taking photographs of each other lounging by headstones at 7pm.
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Re: Psychics? fortune tellers? Talismans? Ghosts?
« Reply #21 on: 02 Oct 2013, 06:43 »

2 things......


there's no luck
You don't have to tell me twice. I went to Atlantic City last week and lost $40. :-(

a constant reminder of your own inevitable demise to keep you motivated!
But see....this is the problem. I am constantly thinking about death anyway. I have an anxiety disorder and tend to obsess. If I lived next to a cemetery, I'd be too freaked out to get anything done!
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Re: Psychics? fortune tellers? Talismans? Ghosts?
« Reply #22 on: 02 Oct 2013, 09:54 »

I am convinced there is more to life than what we can see. Aside from ridiculously obvious fakery like horoscopes, I do my best not to judge people who believe in ghosts, etc. because there is no more evidence for that than there is for a higher power or something that I sort of think exists but try not to think about too much.

I have seen... things happen, in those first 19 religious years of my life, that are difficult to explain.
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Re: Psychics? fortune tellers? Talismans? Ghosts?
« Reply #23 on: 02 Oct 2013, 10:21 »

was what you saw tied to being religious? Do you think that when you were a religious person you felt more of a connection to the supernatural?

I think of the supernatural mostly the way I think of religion, I don't understand it but parts of it fascinate me. I've never felt anything resembling faith or a connection to a higher power. However, a lot of people I know are deeply spiritual people, religious or otherwise. Could they just be people drawing comfort from connections their mind makes? maybe, but I choose to give them more credit than that.
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Re: Psychics? fortune tellers? Talismans? Ghosts?
« Reply #24 on: 02 Oct 2013, 11:32 »

Oh good. I honestly didn't want to upset people but it was my honest response.

I'm never upset by people honestly saying "I don't believe in God, sorry". What bothers me is when people get upset by me saying "I do believe in God". I can't produce scientific evidence for what caused the switch, but I felt something change and now I do believe as strongly as I used to not believe. I don't try and convert people because I feel it's as rude as people trying to unconvert me.
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Re: Psychics? fortune tellers? Talismans? Ghosts?
« Reply #25 on: 02 Oct 2013, 11:49 »

I might loose a bit of respect for a person because of their beliefs, but I won't call them out on it or cause an issue unless it's actually affecting me or my sisters (rest of my family can fend for themselves) in some way.

However I have very little tolerance for righteousness, no matter who it's coming from.
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Re: Psychics? fortune tellers? Talismans? Ghosts?
« Reply #26 on: 02 Oct 2013, 11:54 »

You'd lose respect because of someone's beliefs? That seems a little odd to me. I base my respect for people on their behaviour and attitudes, which of course are informed by their beliefs. Why does knowing the root of someone's behaviour make it less respectable than it was before you knew their motivations for acting as they do?
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Re: Psychics? fortune tellers? Talismans? Ghosts?
« Reply #27 on: 02 Oct 2013, 12:58 »

I wrote out several paragraphs. I deleted them. There's no worth in arguing my point here. If you believe in this stuff I'm not going to change your mind, and you're not going to understand me. It'll just turn into a yelling match and I'll get blamed, for being "instigatory"
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Re: Psychics? fortune tellers? Talismans? Ghosts?
« Reply #28 on: 02 Oct 2013, 13:03 »

I believe everyone who thinks their own view is the only "correct" view, and looks down on people with other views should probably think long and hard about what they're doing.
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Re: Psychics? fortune tellers? Talismans? Ghosts?
« Reply #29 on: 02 Oct 2013, 13:08 »

But do you think that that's the only correct view?
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Re: Psychics? fortune tellers? Talismans? Ghosts?
« Reply #30 on: 02 Oct 2013, 13:08 »

Yes. Everyone who disagrees is a nutjob, obviously.
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Re: Psychics? fortune tellers? Talismans? Ghosts?
« Reply #31 on: 02 Oct 2013, 13:10 »

People can believe whatever they want.  When they try to force their beliefs on other people (whether through peer pressure, threats of violence, politics, indoctrination, etc), then we have a problem.

Quote
As for psychics, most of it is clever guess work and a spooky manner. You may have heard of a technique called Cold Reading. This is where a "psychic" (read: person with a lot of experience in deceiving people and reading subtle body language and micro-expressions) will make educated guesses based on nothing more than your physical presence. You can become quite skilled at this with the right training. The psychic will also lead you to confirm or deny what they're saying, giving their performance an air of legitimacy. "I see a man in your life" (how many people don't know a man?) "He has dark or light hair" (50/50 guess) "I'm getting the impression of the letter A" (Oh my god my brother is named Alex, he is a man with dark hair!) "Has Alex passed away recently?" (No, he lives in the next suburb over) "Oh but he's thinking about you!" (No one can confirm or deny this).
My mother and I visited a street tarot card reader in New Orleans about 14 years ago and I got to see this first hand as he read mom's cards.  Got everything right except for one thing: He was pretty convinced that I was the middle child of a set of fraternal triplets (older brother, me, younger sister).

I've asked mom about this at various times over the years and she's said that I was the only one, and my birth certificate confirms that I was a single birth, but even so, I still wonder about it.  And then I learned some time ago that it's actually sort of common for one twin to "absorb" the other in the womb before development gets too far along, so now I occasionally wonder if I actually was part of a set of triplets and ended up consuming my siblings in the womb.
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mtmerrick

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Re: Psychics? fortune tellers? Talismans? Ghosts?
« Reply #32 on: 02 Oct 2013, 13:13 »

@metope's first post:

Well that's just the point. ANY superstitious belief (and that includes religion) can be looked at long and hard, and it just doesn't mesh with the real world. Science, on the other hand, works not just in this country, this civilization, this planet, but everywhere and for everything.

If you have very strong superstitious beliefs, YOU need to take a long hard look at what you're doing, not tell everyone else to change.

@ pilchard:
There are precisely two things where superstitious cannot be explicitly disproved - existence of a higher power, and what comes after death. And, in those two things, while I hold my own beliefs, I accept there are other possibilities.

Everyone can tell me if they wish hard enough there will be world peace, or if they throw enough salt over their shoulder they'll win millions in Vegas. My reaction will be the same.

@snorflake :
Same thing happened to me, apparently. As I'm told, there are two hearts on some of the early sonograms
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Metope

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Re: Psychics? fortune tellers? Talismans? Ghosts?
« Reply #33 on: 02 Oct 2013, 13:18 »

But can't you see what you're doing there? You're saying 'You need to change, don't tell other people to change.' Don't you think that's a little bit silly?

I'm atheist by the way, not that it matters really. I have a lot of Christian friends and none of them have ever told me I need to change or rolled their eyes at me, while my atheist friends roll their eyes at religious people a lot. I can't stand it.

EDIT: Sornflake said it well, I think. Believe whatever you want, just don't push it on other people. I'll add try not to judge people who view the world in a different way than yourself, and we're cool.
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Re: Psychics? fortune tellers? Talismans? Ghosts?
« Reply #34 on: 02 Oct 2013, 13:23 »

It's like an adult rolling their eyes at a kid talking about bubble-blowing space-unicorns. It's funny up until the point it starts actually affecting them or the people around them. It's clearly unrealistic, and the fact that you might have to explain that to someone is flabbergasting.

Edit: Saw your edit. WIll be abstaining from further responses in this topic.
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Metope

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Re: Psychics? fortune tellers? Talismans? Ghosts?
« Reply #35 on: 02 Oct 2013, 13:31 »

Well, what if it doesn't affect people around them? If you look at the core of most major religions, even as an atheist a lot of it actually makes perfect sense. Sure, you might not buy into the 'devine being' aspect of it, but religion is also about human values, and good values at that. The religious people who are basically trying to ban homosexuality and premarital sex etc etc aren't really preaching Christian/Muslim/Whatever values, they're preaching some weird misinterpretation of it. If you try reading the Bible, you'll find a lot of what it preaches is basically about leading a life where you treat other people with respect and kindness, I can totally get behind that.

When you say religious people need to change because they're not living up to your expectations of what the world looks like, it's exactly the same as when a religious person is telling a non-religious person to convert.

EDIT: Saw your edit after my post, I wasn't trying to be all 'No you listen to me here', sorry if it came across that way.
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Re: Psychics? fortune tellers? Talismans? Ghosts?
« Reply #36 on: 02 Oct 2013, 14:23 »

I wrote a long reply, I can't be bothered with it. Bye all.
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Re: Psychics? fortune tellers? Talismans? Ghosts?
« Reply #37 on: 02 Oct 2013, 15:12 »

No extended religious discussion outside Discuss!, please (rules!). 

I could move this thread there, but the main part of it didn't seem to me to deserve that.
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Re: Psychics? fortune tellers? Talismans? Ghosts?
« Reply #38 on: 02 Oct 2013, 15:21 »

I thought this forum was all-accepting and tolerant and shit, but it's quickly proving otherwise. A person does not lose worth, and should not lose respect for what they choose to believe. It's an essential part of who they are as a person, it could be something that they've carried with them all throughout their life. Making someone feel inferior or not as intelligent as you simply because you disagree with their views is fucked up, to be perfectly honest. I'm not Christian nor do I follow any set religion, but I have respect and compassion-- something some of you might be terribly lacking.  My boyfriend is a physics and chemistry major, he's going to medical school hopefully next year, and even he knows not to judge a person by their beliefs. He loves science, he believes in science (as so do I) and yet he doesn't feel the need to belittle others simply because they choose to believe there could be a "greater force" a sort of deity playing a role in our lives. Granted, we might disagree with some people at times, but we don't measure their worth on them agreeing with us or not. I do lose a bit of respect, however, towards people who feel superior to anyone else before even getting to know them. People who judge a book by it's cover and people who aren't accepting of others simply because their views differ. A good example, I think, is a person who is very poor, but is nice to the waiter and always willing to lend a helping hand  vs a very rich man who goes around with a pompous attitude, yelling at waiters and an "I got mine, screw you" attitude.
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Re: Psychics? fortune tellers? Talismans? Ghosts?
« Reply #39 on: 02 Oct 2013, 15:30 »

My mother and I visited a street tarot card reader in New Orleans about 14 years ago and I got to see this first hand as he read mom's cards.  Got everything right except for one thing: He was pretty convinced that I was the middle child of a set of fraternal triplets (older brother, me, younger sister).

I've asked mom about this at various times over the years and she's said that I was the only one, and my birth certificate confirms that I was a single birth, but even so, I still wonder about it.  And then I learned some time ago that it's actually sort of common for one twin to "absorb" the other in the womb before development gets too far along, so now I occasionally wonder if I actually was part of a set of triplets and ended up consuming my siblings in the womb.

Were the other things that the Tarot card reader said so accurate that you feel that this must be accurate too?

I'm just curious. It is a really random thing for a fortune teller to insist on, but it seems like you would have seen some evidence of... absorbed siblings... by now. Maybe not, I don't know that much about the medical stuff.

I thought this forum was all-accepting and tolerant and shit, but it's quickly proving otherwise.

Not so much the entire forum as specific members of the forum about this specific topic. It happens with all topics, it just means that those people might have to reexamine their attitudes. But I don't think it gives licence to condemn the entire forum.
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Re: Psychics? fortune tellers? Talismans? Ghosts?
« Reply #40 on: 02 Oct 2013, 15:32 »

Allie, you're a good addition to the forum. Don't judge it by some comments in one thread. The forum strives to be welcoming, accepting and inclusive, a safe place. It takes some work.
If you're going to judge by one thread, judge by the entirety of the discussion, including comments from the administrator.
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Re: Psychics? fortune tellers? Talismans? Ghosts?
« Reply #41 on: 02 Oct 2013, 15:32 »

I suppose you're right. There's always some "bad eggs" everywhere.
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Re: Psychics? fortune tellers? Talismans? Ghosts?
« Reply #42 on: 02 Oct 2013, 15:42 »

And not necessarily "bad eggs," just some eggs that haven't yet been entirely sensitized. You could see the sensitization process going on in the thread as you read it. At least I could. It is a problem sometimes that the numbers of things to be sensitized about can be a little bewildering, but those who read the most lively threads and get a feeling for who's who sort it out eventually.
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Metope

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Re: Psychics? fortune tellers? Talismans? Ghosts?
« Reply #43 on: 02 Oct 2013, 15:59 »

Yeah, when I joined this forum I had a lot of pretty stupid, ignorant opinions, and I still probably have a lot of stupid, ignorant opinions, but hopefully less than I did then. It's about not thinking things through properly, and when someone says something that makes you think, you actually let yourself think about it instead of taking it as a personal insult and refusing to change your opinion. That's a good thing about this place, most people are open minded enough to see that they're not all knowing. Of course, it also means realising that people with opinions you find stupid and ignorant aren't necessarily stupid or ignorant, they just haven't gotten to the point where some other people are yet.

I don't mean to sound condescending towards anyone, and I know age isn't always an indicator when it comes to knowledge and maturity, but I sometimes check people's ages on the forum and if they're younger I cut them some slack, since I remember how much of an idiot I was just a few years ago. With this forum I usually find people who are younger than me to be a lot more mature than I used to be at their age though.
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Re: Psychics? fortune tellers? Talismans? Ghosts?
« Reply #44 on: 02 Oct 2013, 18:32 »

My mother and I visited a street tarot card reader in New Orleans about 14 years ago and I got to see this first hand as he read mom's cards.  Got everything right except for one thing: He was pretty convinced that I was the middle child of a set of fraternal triplets (older brother, me, younger sister).

I've asked mom about this at various times over the years and she's said that I was the only one, and my birth certificate confirms that I was a single birth, but even so, I still wonder about it.  And then I learned some time ago that it's actually sort of common for one twin to "absorb" the other in the womb before development gets too far along, so now I occasionally wonder if I actually was part of a set of triplets and ended up consuming my siblings in the womb.

Were the other things that the Tarot card reader said so accurate that you feel that this must be accurate too?

I'm just curious. It is a really random thing for a fortune teller to insist on, but it seems like you would have seen some evidence of... absorbed siblings... by now. Maybe not, I don't know that much about the medical stuff.
The only info mom initially gave him was her name.  He then had her select which cards were drawn and he basically went off of what was drawn.  She specifically answered questions with Yes or No, except for those that required clarification.  Now I'm not saying there was anything mystical going on, but it was a little uncanny when he pretty much immediately extrapolated that my grandpa had died the previous year without digging for info when mom drew the Death card.

As for the sibling thing, I dunno.  AFAIK, one twin can reabsorb the other after the zygote splits, or one can die in vitro and is simply broken down by the mother's body (if it happens early enough in the pregnancy).  I dunno if it actually happened to me, and it'd be nearly impossible to find out now, I guess.  Tbh, I've even gone as far as giving my imaginary siblings personalities as to how I'd imagine them if they were real (brother seems to be dark, scheming, not exactly a good person even though he means well, whereas my sister is more of a strong-willed tomboy sweetheart). 

The thought of it has actually given me a few story ideas, but I haven't developed them beyond missing siblings or person with MPD because his fraternal twins live inside him (though one RL Stine Fear Street book explored exactly that topic...imagine having your evil twin living inside your mind :meh: ).
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Re: Psychics? fortune tellers? Talismans? Ghosts?
« Reply #45 on: 02 Oct 2013, 20:34 »

Eh I suppose I'll share my second unexplainable incident.

A few years back I went out into the desert to get some quiet time. I was in the Sonoran desert 100+ miles from jack and shit. I went OUT. The intent was to seek a balance in my life that I desperately needed at the time (I was about a hop, skip and a jump from suck starting my sidearm at that point, the abuse from my ex-wife was still fresh) now this retreat matches several Native American traditions commonly referred to as a "vision quest". I prefer the Lakota Sioux term Hembleciya (Crying for a dream). The final night before I returned to my base I slept under the stars (dangerous in the desert, never know what might crawl in your sleeping bag seeking heat, but I was stupid at that age) and received my dream. It was a very powerful dream, and I have never felt a similar one before or since. I was running with wolves, as one of them, across beautiful lands I have only ever dreamed of. Sometimes I was with the pack, other times just a single companion joined me, and for other parts of the run I was alone. Night turned into day, day into night again, as the run continued. When I awoke from the run to my immediate right were four canine paw prints. They were massive and in the shape characteristic of the North American Grey Wolf. There were four prints, perfectly preserved, as if the animal had been facing my bunk. Now some facts.

1. The prints were large enough that they could not possibly belong to a coyote.
2. No tracks lead to or from the tracks by my bed roll. Even if it had been the Arnold of coyotes there would have been more tracks.
3. I was not Dehydrated, nor had I imbibed any hallucinogens
4. The furthest South pack of wild North American Grey Wolves is in the northern reaches of Yellowstone National Park, a very significant distance from my location in the America South West.

I offer no explanation. I have none. I simply have what happened.
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Re: Psychics? fortune tellers? Talismans? Ghosts?
« Reply #46 on: 02 Oct 2013, 21:18 »

I'm glad you shared that, your descriptions are really vivid.
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Re: Psychics? fortune tellers? Talismans? Ghosts?
« Reply #47 on: 03 Oct 2013, 06:42 »

I'm also glad you shared it. It's not only interesting and thought provoking but descriptive enough that I could put myself in your shoes. Or..uhh..sleeping bag. But that doesn't quite sound right....  Ohh, you know what I mean  :-P



And Kris- I feel the same way! I am 100 times smarter about various things now than when I started posting. And I still have a long way to go!!
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Re: Psychics? fortune tellers? Talismans? Ghosts?
« Reply #48 on: 03 Oct 2013, 07:17 »

Am I going to be receiving an angry email/PM from big cheese? (which is what I shall hence forth be refering to little cheese's husband as. I just thought of that and am quite pleased with myself for being clever.)

But yeah between those two incidents which lack any form of ready explanation in the course of my investigations I have concluded that there are in fact some things I cannot explain. I am content with that I suppose, but don't have nearly enough data to progress on this train of thought.
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Re: Psychics? fortune tellers? Talismans? Ghosts?
« Reply #49 on: 03 Oct 2013, 08:16 »

My faith lies in Godel's theorems. 

Completeness; any logically valid statement made in a logical system can be proven within that system, and

Incompleteness; there are true statements within a logical system that cannot be proven within that system.  (they tend to be meta-statements)

Which is why I consider myself agnostic (literally "without knowledge") - what's commonly called "unknowable" isn't provable, and you really shouldn't worry about it one way or the other. 

I'm a humanist. 
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