Friday, November 14, 2008

Crank call.

It occurs to me that investigators into the paranormal spend far too much time defending themselves from sceptics. I spent a lot of time arguing with one on this very blog, some time ago, and it ended as it always does. He didn't sway me and I didn't sway him. After all the words exchanged, neither of us changed our position at all. That particular sceptic was at least civil throughout the exchange. Most just sneer and call 'Crank', and that, as far as they are concerned, is that.

There are times when I'm sceptical. It's part of the deal. Investigating the paranormal does not mean accepting it all as unquestionable truth. If something is unquestionable then there's no point investigating.

I think all orb photos are dust and insects. On the other hand, corpse candles and the like have been seen for centuries, and digital cameras are only a decade or so old. So there are ghost lights but they are visible to the naked eye. If they're not, they're artefacts. That's my current stance on orbs. It can be changed if I'm convinced otherwise.

I think most, if not all, TV psychics are fakes. Again, it's just an opinion which I will revise if shown evidence to contradict it, but at the moment I don't believe any of them are real. Ghosts don't turn up on command, in sufficient numbers for a show and always related to those in the audience. It doesn't work like that. No TV psychic has ever had a show where no ghost showed up. That should happen once in a while. It never has. Never.

While I can agree that those who make a lot of money out of claimed abilities or claimed special knowledge should provide some proof that their claims are true (and that goes for the wealthy religious leaders out there too), there is no such obligation incumbent on me at the moment. I don't charge for investigations. They are for my own benefit more than anyone else's. The same goes for most investigative groups. If someone wants to donate, fine, some groups depend on donations, but I don't ask for money from anyone, ever. I have other sources of income. Not huge, but enough. The taxpayer does not pay my wages and nobody is entitled to tell me what I should or should not investigate. If I ever investigate for you, don't expect me to stay out of certain rooms or to have the decency to leave the attic, underfloor spaces or ventilation system alone. Anything denied my access becomes irresistible. I might not be the easiest to get along with but so far I've never been fooled by a fake ghost.

I know, for certain, that there are genuine ghosts. I've seen them. I can't show you one, I can't order one to appear to a sceptic to convince them. So I cannot prove what I have seen but that doesn't mean it didn't happen. Worse, I cannot tell you where a ghost will definitely make an appearance, I can't tell you whether they are definitely the souls of dead people or demons or something from another dimension or anything definite. I can't tell you what they are made of, why they appear to some but not others at any particular time, why they never tell us anything important. I don't know.

Not knowing does not, to me, mean I should give it all up and get a 'real job'. Not knowing, to me, means I have to find out. I have to know. Maybe I never will but it won't be for want of trying. Maybe, even if I do one day know what comprises a ghost's form, I still won't be able to prove it. That's not so bad. I'll know, I can pass the information to others and someone else might find the proof. I'll have answered a question that bugs me and that's a good start.

There is so much unknown out there. We really can't waste time arguing with those who think we are cranks because unless and until we have solid proof, there is no way to win that argument. Even presented with proof, there will be those who refuse to believe it. There are still those who believe the Earth is flat, you know. Belief is unassailable. Science can't fight it and should not try.

Ignore the sceptics. Let them be. There is no point in fighting weaponless. Spend the time finding answers instead of in arguments we can't win at the moment.

If they call you a crank, revel in it. You're looking where many don't care to look. The fact that some want you to stop because they don't think it's worthwhile is their problem, not yours.

Keep working and ignore the background noise.

1 comment:

Southern Writer said...

Well said, again. You're absolutely right. There's no convincing someone whose mind is shut to the possibility, and to try is an exercise in futility.

verificaion word: jectic

jerk skeptic?

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