Asking The Right Questions

To conduct good critical thinking, it’s necessary to ask the right questions. Whether we are evaluating anecdotes of spontaneous events or scientifically studied phenomena, we should remove or at least recognize as many of our assumptions as possible, and a good way to do this is by questioning our interpretations of the evidence. The last thing I want to do in discussing these phenomena is convey the impression of a superstitious or reckless inductor grasping at straws to prove his point.

For example, with the video game incident, A and L‘s non-existent upstairs neighbor, Steve’s similar occurences in Los Angeles, the strange case of Ingo Swann, or my own precognitive experience,

1) Were the events being described observed by others such that they are objective, or is there possibility of a purely subjective influence?

2) Have we considered our sources? Are the people reporting the spontaneous events known to be braggarts, liars, or prone to the fabrication of tales for attention or other purposes? Can the scientists conducting the studies be safely described as credible, methodologically sound, and free from ulterior motive(s)?

3) Are there any exaggerated conclusions or unnecessary presuppositions of causality being drawn?

4) Can we safely exclude disassociative psychological phenomena (psychism or polypsychism)?

5) In events that were observed by witnesses, can we safely exclude group delusion or illusion?

6) Can there be such a thing as a haunted house? Or, are poltergeist and so-called “spook” phenomena somehow caused by the subjects experiencing them? Can there be such a thing as malicious psychic intent from another subject (e.g. voodoo, witching, etc.) Do any of these positions mutually exclude?

7) Do these and other anomalous phenomena tap into currently not understood but wholly neurobiological components (sCCH, animistic view), or are there genuine “intrusions” from currently not understood but external and not wholly¬†neurobiological components (wCCH, TMC, spiritual view)?

8) Can a person be physically, mentally or otherwise affected by powers or beings currently unknown to us? If so, what conditions might justify such as a tentative conclusion?

9) If we conclude that a subset of these events represent genuine phenomena, how must our currently accepted scientific models of consciousness and reality adapt?

10) Is there a supportable case for considering geomagnetism or solar activity as potential influence(s)?

11) In the cases that prove harmful to the subject, what is the safest and most effective means of relief? Do such things belong to the domain of psychology, parapsychology, or pastoral care? Or, does a subset of cases merit a combination of evaluations and methods?

12) Lastly – before introducing new events or evaluating previously reported events in light of these questions – does anyone think there are other important questions we should add to this list?

3 Comments

  1. karla says:

    Good list! Nice post.

  2. Steve Kang says:

    cl,
    Great post. I’ve done a little bit of research on my personal case. What I’ve found and to reasonably believe (closely) so far would be whats called “psychic attacks.” I found this from listening to Coast to Coast on KFI AM radio, they had a guest speaker Dr. Bruce Goldberg. He’s about hypnotherapy, past regressions and future lives, OBE, spirits and other things. Goto his site for more info: http://www.drbrucegoldberg.com
    Anyhow, I called Dr. Bruce and spoke to him and he explained what was happening, and he suggested that I was being attacked psychically. Information flowed out so fast from this man, it was difficult keeping up and trying to remember what he was saying while thinking about the big words that he was using to described what he is saying. Basically its either caused by someone (by negative thoughts towards me), or an existing force/entity, or I’m personally attracting “it”.
    * WHAT IS THE HISTORY OF THE AREA OF ACTIVITY?
    This will be my next step that I’ll want to look into. This house is old, 1930’s old. I’m curious to know the persons and events that happened to occupy this house.

  3. cl says:

    Steve Kang,

    WHAT IS THE HISTORY OF THE AREA OF ACTIVITY?

    That’s another excellent question to ask, in fact, one of the most important ones. Thanks for the reminder. It’s weird that I forgot, seeing as how we talked about that at length.
    As far as Goldberg goes, I’d be leery. He just shared his hunch with you. I would treat his “advice” with caution. He didn’t explain why he thinks you’re being psychically attacked; from what you’ve said here, it sounds like he barely asked any questions at all. Plus, the guy’s on a timed radio show. In those cases, the bottom line is time, not truth.
    Coincidentally, I saw an interview with the host of Coast to Coast a few days ago, just after you told me about the program.

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