22 October 2013

Video of the day -- if it looks unreal.....

.....then it probably isn't real.



Obviously it's rare that anyone would go to the trouble of setting up something this elaborate, but there's an important point here.  Psychics, religious groups, and other promoters of pre-scientific world views have been known to use deliberate trickery to stage fake miracles, convince people they have knowledge they could not have acquired normally, or otherwise present the appearance of supernatural forces at work.  Intentional deception is out there, and it's more common than you probably think.  Some of the perpetrators have significant money and/or power at stake.

A religious believer once told me, "Nothing could convince you religion was true -- if you saw a dead body get up and walk around, you would just assume you were hallucinating."  His point was that unbelievers are just as "dogmatic" and impervious to evidence as believers.  My response was that, in such a case, I would indeed seriously consider the possibility that I was hallucinating -- and this would be the rational response.  There are no confirmed, properly-documented cases on record of an unambiguously dead corpse being re-animated, and our knowledge of biology shows that such a thing would be impossible (barring the use of hypothetical advanced technology which does not exist yet), but there are many documented cases of people having hallucinations.  So which explanation would be more likely to be true?

The same applies to deliberate deception -- there are a wealth of cases on record of humans using deception, but there are no cases of magic being shown to actually work under controlled conditions that would make a valid assessment possible.  Before accepting that the re-animation was real, I'd want further evidence -- corroboration by other observers, examination of the scene by experts skilled at detecting trickery, etc.  Remember, just because you personally can't think of a prosaic explanation, that doesn't mean there isn't one.

3 Comments:

Blogger okjimm said...

whoa... neat video. nice post. truly. I used to be able to move people and objects,too. But then I started showering on a regular basis again.

/// and, lastly... a bit of humor you may enjoy..."The sermon this morning: 'Jesus Walks on the Water'. The sermon tonight:'Searching for Jesus'."'



23 October, 2013 10:00  
Blogger Shaw Kenawe said...

I'm shocked at the number of people who were frightened by this instead of laughing at it. As you point out, there is no evidence in existence of people who can defy the laws of gravity by magically rising in the air, but there are countless examples of people tricking other people with clever ruses.

This is more than depressing to contemplate.

24 October, 2013 18:56  
Blogger Infidel753 said...

Okjimm: Thanks. I'm sure Jesus would just turn the water into wine, to attract a larger search party.....

Shaw: I can understand that people would be startled or even scared at being suddenly confronted by something like this -- it's not the best circumstance for sober judgment. But I think if I were in their position, after a minute or two I'd start thinking about it and realize it must be trickery of some sort.

25 October, 2013 05:00  

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