Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Third Post - "The Gift" - JR

My family has a large belief in ghosts and life after death. They would be the first to tell you that they had an aunt growing up who had “The Gift”. They claim she could communicate with ghosts and sense “things”. The things my family refers to is always unclear. Depending on the story being told her predictions may be impending doom or bad weather, neither of which are ever very clear. When looking at the videos from our lectures and after reading the course material it is clear to see some of the flaws in believing in this type of thinking. She often made ambiguous claims about what would happen and people would only focus on the parts she got correct and not the parts she got wrong. There was little evidence to support she was ever communicating with anyone at all. I think a person with a sound mind may believe she was mentally ill or that she could have been diagnosed with MPD which also may not be a real disorder. Although there seems to be limited proof that MPD is an actual disorder.
One topic we have discussed in class is when people search for evidence to prove hypothesis and not disprove. My family does not talk about all of the predictions or feelings my aunt had when she was wrong. They only mention the predictions which were significant to them. Examples include receiving calls about a death in the family when my aunt claimed she had a feeling something tragic would happen. She sometimes made positive claims as well. Once she maid a claim that good fortune was on its way and shortly after one of the six brothers and sisters got a job. If they analyzed what she had been saying they may have realized that she often made ambiguous claims and never made any real predictions. These type of predictions are similar to Nostradamus but on a much smaller scale and not done with such finesse. See below for a website dedicated to Nostradamus separate from course material.  
With that being said my aunt had six different lives she could have been predicting for in regards to the children (my aunts and uncles) which means she had six different chances of getting the prediction correct.
When referring to her “gift” which is her ability to communicate with the dead it follows with the class readings that it is easier to believe this over the opposite. We may want to believe that there is life after death or that people can communicate with our loved ones from the past simply because the alternative may be to hard to bare. In short I have never been a firm believer in the ability to predict events such as Brian’s Dreams predictions which can be found on YouTube or in the ability to communicate with ghosts. After watching the video from class lectures about the man who could heal people in the audience and how he had an ear piece to someone who fed him information about people in the crowd it is hard to not be a skeptic about all people in those fields. After taking this course I now know how to look for factual evidence, think more critically about the subject while not taking information for face value, and understand the difference between fancy wording and substantive proof

Justin R. 

1 comment:

  1. When you mentioned that people would only focus on the parts she got right and not on the things she got wrong, this is what we read in the text about the confirmation bias. People with this kind of bias simply search for information that confirms rather than dis-confirms beliefs.
    On the contrary, research is being done on the impact our pineal glands have on psychic abilities. They say trained psychics have exercised this gland which has given them the powers they claim to have. I am open to ideas and explanations, but it truly is hard to believe.

    Take a look at the video called "Activating Your Pineal Gland and Psychic Ability" on YouTube!