The Importance Of Being Earnestly Sceptical
By Denham Crow
Before I begin my little talk on why I believe that any one who is interested in elements of the paranormal should also be a sceptic, I want to clear up a few misconceptions which some people have with the word `sceptic'.
Definition of sceptic according to Oxford English Dictionary:-
Some people think that a sceptic automatically dismisses anything outside the realms of known science. Whilst there may be sceptics who do work in this fashion, a good sceptic does not dismiss an idea or suggestion without further thought or investigation.
Here at LightOfSirus, we believe that it is very important to investigate all claims of phenomena, as thoroughly as possible. Simply put, we believe that energy is wasted on believing in something which may not be real.
Although there are some things which cannot be proven or disproved such as the existence of God. We'll leave that subject for now, suffice it to say that many scientists are seriously considering the theory of Intelligent Design.
So how do you work out what is fact and what is fiction - at least in the media?
You cannot blame a nation for its naivety during a time when the radio or newspapers were the only source of information available. If such a thing happened today, we would waste no time in turning on the TV or radio, logging into Facebook, Twitter, Google, etc. and would soon, with a little common sense, be able to work out whether it was real or not.
But even then, it's not easy..
The Camera Never Lies
Oh but it does! Just the other year, using Photoshop, I created a photo of my brother holding a world record fish. I had superimposed his head to replace the original fisherman's head. My brother had the picture on the wall of his office and it fooled most people.
Similarly, I created this photo of a ghost in five minutes using an app for my phone:-
And yet still, I see newspaper reports on ghosts and suchlike, where if the journalist had researched the claims in more detail, online, someone will have given the game away somewhere, and they would have seen that the photo had been created with an app or in graphic manipulation programs such as Photoshop.
We are in search of the real but we are hindered by the proliferation of fakes, which only serves to muddy the waters. On the other hand, we cannot hate the fakes. After all, they often bring us relief from worrying current affairs.
The Cottingley Fairies
So, my final words on scepticism:-
It has become a bit of a cliche now but I can't resist it...
Keep an open mind but don't leave it so open that your brain falls out. :-)
Or more original, as I may have made it up (or heard it somewhere)...
Think outside the box - but don't lock yourself out of the box.