Some would say I'm pretty brave for writing such a blog post. But, I've always been a big believer in having a balanced view when it comes to paranormal investigating.
Critical thinking is a dying art and I follow many skeptics around the world often agreeing with their comments and research (Hayley Stevens and Kenny Biddle to name a few).
So let's start with the obvious.
Ghosts don’t exist. It’s a fact. And as paranormal investigators, we need to respect and remember it.
Often scientific terms that investigators use are thrown around without the true knowledge of what they mean. Terms like “Stone Tape Theory”. A theory isn’t actually what it is. It’s more a conjecture or as some would say speculation. A scientific theory is a way to interpret facts so it’s not really the correct technical term. And not everyone who investigates knows that.
But guess what – that’s ok.
Why? Because the word theory is used in everyday language as a possible idea. Most people who start out as investigators don’t have scientific backgrounds (SHOCK! I know!) and know it's true correct meaning. Again. This is ok too. All it takes is a conversation explaining this. No one has to die in the process.
And I guess this is where I have my gripe with Cynical Skeptics.
People who investigate should know some basic terms but not everyone does at first. What cynical skeptics also fail to do is actually understand that there are many reasons why people choose to investigate the paranormal. And it’s not through studying any type of academic qualification.
They often point the finger and shout “you don’t know what you’re talking about” and “what you’re looking for is unfounded – you’re wasting your time!”. Rarely is there any constructive suggestions offered, but paragraphs and paragraphs of authoritarian proofs.
It’s no newsflash that we as humans haven’t found the answer to everything. This includes the universe and how our amazing brains work. There is also no evidence that there is an afterlife. But science also said not that long ago that the world was flat.
What does this mean? Things can change. Ok, when the afterlife is concerned it would have to be a pretty big breakthrough. But still. It’s a possibility.
Some things investigators do are based on what some would consider “flaky” conjecture. But people are and will try different things. I often encourage it.
I also find cynical skeptics brand a lot as “pseudoscience” and be done with it. It’s like a “believer” branding an experience as paranormal… being bias to the survival hypothesis. It’s one answer. It’s safe so you don’t have to try and open yourself up to the possibility that there might be more going or in some cases less.
So, cynical skeptics. You know you can't argue with a persons belief. Again, this goes both ways. It's knowing when to hit the ball or when to let it go to the keeper.
Maybe it might be better to not berate people for looking to learn more or being interested in this topic. It's still out of the normal boundaries of what science can explain (so far) and finger shaking at those who may just not be aware of common scientific terms - the unknown is the unknown.
Which means things can change and being encouraging and approachable might actually be the way forward.