WHAT DO SKEPTICS SAY ABOUT THE PSYCHIC READING?

Psychic Wit & Wisdom – Source: Selecting Your Psychic

Written by Victoria lynn Weston and Mark Woodhouse, Ph.D 

(victorialynnweston.com) It is impossible to answer all of the issues that skeptics raise in an introductory discussion.  We will focus on issues that are more likely to come up in casual discussions of ESP and psychic readings.

First, we will bring to your attention a group whose main purpose consists in examining and debunking all types of paranormal claims extending far beyond simple ESP.  The organization is called The Committee for the Scientific Investigation of Claims of the Paranormal or CSICOP for short.  It includes such thinkers as astronomer Carl Sagan, science fiction writer Isaac Asimov, psychologist, B.F. Skinner, and magician/sleuth James Randi.  Their journal, the “Skeptical Inquirer,” is in certain respects as biased against the paranormal as is the mind of the true believers in such phenomena.  Following are some of their assertions:

  • Science has not proven the existence of ESP.  While much has been made of early studies at Duke University, various doctorates have been granted for parapsychological dissertations, and the Parapsychological Association has been admitted to full standing in the American Academy of Sciences.  Even so, skeptics still respond that little, if anything, has been proven at all.  Most of the weight of their charge rests upon what one means by prove.  The simple fact is that, over the past hundred years, thousands of experiments have been performed in areas relating to the paranormal.  While there were outstanding results, there were naturally some negative results. But one can set the standards for proof so high that virtually nothing qualifies as proven.
  • Skeptics can demand 98 percent out of 100 calls be correct before they believe in telepathy, that a six pound rock be levitated before they believe in psychokinesis, that sight be given to a blind person as a condition for believing in psychic or spiritual healing, that experiments be repeated far more often than investigators have the time, energy, or money for, and so on.  Whenever you are confronted with this type of approach, ask your skeptic friend what he or she wou ld reasonably accept as solid evidence for psychic ability.  Then proceed from there.  For absolute proof is not possible in any field except mathematics.
  • Skeptics feel psychics have merely perfected the art of telling people what they want to hear and of dealing in such vague generalities that, no matter what happens, it can be claimed as a success.  If psychic readings were all of such generalities as, “I sense you are having some relationship problems,” or such platitudes as, “each of us has to deal with our own destiny,” then the circus is a proper place for such acting.  But this is simply not the case.

Discussions of evidence for and against ESP, or of hit/miss ratios, just miss the point according to this line of reasoning.

Possibly the best way to handle this charge is to introduce a model of a sliding scale of specificity to generality.  While one must take the overall purpose of a reading into account, an ideal reading actually encompasses the whole range.  Some of the claims are very specific, such as, “Within a year, you will discover that your trusted partner is a crook who will be convicted and sent to Ft. Leavenworth.”  Some are intermediate, such as, “I think you must be having some troublesome dreams recently.”  And some are general, such as, “I sense you are trying to make some difficult changes.”  It is simply not true that psychics deal in nothing be generalities.

But in the case of the more general claims, you can take the offensive.  Think about it for a minute.  Does the fact that a description applies to more than one person, even to many, mean that you should discount it?  Isn’t the pertinent question here, “Well, does it actually apply to me, in conjunction with other things said?”   It is the convergence of description that is critical.  Physicians routinely deal with symptoms that when considered individually, apply to millions of people, but when considered collectively, really narrow the field, e.g., headache, fever, vomiting, ingestion of tainted seafood or dizziness.  In other words, look to see if there is an internal coherence to the reading, or if the parts fit and reinforce each other.  Look at the reading as a whole.  That process will often give you a different picture of your psychic’s effectiveness than merely examining each part of the reading out of context.

Skeptics will say, psychics’ hits and misses will roughly cancel each other out – which is what the laws of chance would predict.

Speaking of convergence, why don’t more psychics agree in their readings about a particular client? It appears each psychic paints a different picture.  How can you believe in one over the others?  The distinction lies between merely saying different things about a client on the one hand, and saying inconsistent things about that client on the other hand.  Saying different things is not such a big problem. Given the sensitive nature of psychic communication, it should come as no surprise that one psychic would pick up an impending job change and another pick up marriage.  Some psychics even specialize in certain types of issues and, from the standpoint of their own sensitivity, they are less likely to pick up on others.  Such a situation is no different in principle from different physicians, particularly specialists, telling you different things about your health.

What about contradictions?  Again, this is not such a bad thing, although it does give cause for more attention.  All economists, psychologists, religious leaders your best friends, and scientists occasionally contradict each other.  The reason they give is, with additional information, the contradiction could be resolved.  This is applicable to the psychic scene.  Very few, if any, psychics would claim to have the whol picture in view.  The long-term record of a given psychic is a more significant factor than a short-term contradiction with another psychic.

If you like to play numbers, simply consult a number of the best psychics you can find and let the majority rule.

Contradictions, especially from two good readers whom you trust, also provide an important clue to the dynamic nature of your etheric plane projections and possibilities.  You may not have decided, either consciously or subconsciously, which direction you will take at a particular crossroads in your life.  Or the direction your Higher Self would urge you to take may not be the same as you are considering.  In other words, the contradiction may reside within you, not in your readers.  No reputable psychic wants to be put in the position of deciding for you.  Their job is to help you see the issue more clearly and to understand the implications of either course of action.

Skeptics will say, psychics’ hits and misses will roughly cancel each other out – which is what the laws of chance would predict.  If so, then who is truly psychic? When your skeptical friend presents this line of argument, get ready to establish some important distinctions and ground rules.

To begin, you will have to agree on what constitutes clear hits or misses or neutral zones.  Then you will have to decide how many weeks, months or years should be taken into account.  A couple of readings is not a fair test for either the skeptic or the believer.  Finally, your skeptic friend would have to be prepared to make significant qualitative distinctions within the hit or miss columns you have established.  A spectacular hit such as, “You will receive a check for $100,000 next month from an unknown person,” is hardly counterbalanced by an average miss such as, “You are going to have car trouble in the next two months.”

It should be evident that it would be almost impossible for the skeptic to make good on this claim in a reasonably objective manner, given the importance of many preliminary agreements that would have to be reached.  However, taking the matter this far misses an important point, namely, whether your reader did you any good.

Suppose your reader made one profound point that actually helped chart your life in a more positive direction, but blew the rest of the reading away with misses or insignificant material.  The important question is: “What did you receive in return for your money?” Suppose your reader had been correct with all the less significant material, but missed the big opportunity.  Which way would you prefer to have it?  These are matters that escape simple quantitative analysis.

One final matter regarding hit/miss ratios deserves attention.  Skeptics often point to the high number of spectacular misses registered by psychics who play to the readership of the “National Enquirer.” From what we can tell, there are indeed far more misses than hits with these public predictions.  If anything, it represents an inversion of the average 80 percent hit ratio claimed by most psychics.  For money, fame or other reasons, some psychics are willing to play the game of high stakes’ predictions, perhaps hoping to make one spectacular call (which they can then fall back on the rest of their lives).  Such forced calls at a distance are, by their very nature, more prone to error.  But even when there are a large number of spectacular misses, the hit/miss ratio needs to be determined in light, of the total number of calls, obth public and private, over a period of several months.  No one appears to have done such a detailed comprehensive study.

Earlier we discussed the charge that ESP and related phenomena h ad not, in fact, been scientifically proven.  Part of the rationale underlying that charge is the deep-seated believe that such phenomena just cannot exist because they violate established models and laws which we already know to be true.

Discussions of evidence for and against ESP, or of hit/miss ratios, just miss the point according to this line of reasoning.  How, it is asked, can we believe in phenomena that in various facets involve faster-than-light travel (which nothing can do), or seeing a future that does not exist, or healing at a distance (when the energy is all in our heads), or violating the inverse-square law that governs all electromagnetic radiation, or seeing out of one’s body with no physical eyes, and so forth? The problem is not that psychic phenomena have not been adequately explained.  It is that the shape of such explanations would necessarily violate other established laws.

This type of skeptical attitude is very difficult to counter, because it is very close to simply refusing to believe in advance.  There is no way to convince a person who really refuses to look into the matter. For some, it may be possible to enroll them directly in some project, such as a course in psychic healing, a scientific experiment in clairvoyance, or a reading with a psychic who is completely unknown to them.  Personal experience can soften things up.

If your skeptic friend remains at the level of just talking about whether such phenomena are possible, rather than directly experiencing them, it needs to be pointed out that the entire history of science is filled with defenders of established theories who have had to give up in the light of new data.  Isaac Newton would have rejected Albert Einstein’s views.  As the saying goes, “Today’s magic has a way of becoming tomorrow’s science.”

The challenge is to develop newer and broader conceptual frameworks that will accommodate not just paranormal phenomena, but also the events covered by today’s science.  The Holographic Paradigm discussed earlier is one such example, but it is by no means the only one.  In the end, it may be just the level of strangeness can subside.  After all, television, rockets and computers would probably be no stranger to the ancient Greeks than psychic phenomena are to many today.  My prediction in this regard is that, by the year 2,000 A.D., psychic phenomena and the psychic reading will be very much a part of our scientific, personal and practical outlook on the world.

Source: Selecting Your Psychic –  written by Victoria lynn Weston and Mark Woodhouse, Ph.D 

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Victoria lynn Weston is a valued intuitive consultant to dozens of business owners, executives and individuals. Victoria offers insights that help develop their company brands; expand business, higher the right employee for the job. She brings to the table, an open and positive attitude with a keen sense of acumen that will help propel you and your business.

Victoria has been a radio host of “Power Predictions” in Atlanta, Georgia and a featured guest on dozens of radio, television shows and print media including; the Atlanta PARADE magazine, The Atlanta Business Journal, ABC Talk Radio; CNBC; BUSINESS WEEK Online; INTERNATIONAL HERALD TRIBUNE, WIRED NEWS and THE NEW YORK TIMES. She has worked as a professional psychic/intuitive consultant also known as “the corporate psychic” for 15 years. Victoria is also the President and Founder of MediaQuire.com.