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Proving Things

To: alt.magick.tyagi,alt.magick,alt.paranormal.spells.hexes.magic,alt.pagan.magick,alt.paranet.skeptic,sci.skeptic
From: flufwikn 
Subject: Proving Things (E.G. Magic's Reality)
Date: Sat, 18 Oct 2003 22:48:47 GMT


noname in alt.magick.tyagi:
# I've read the postings 

via Googlegroups, that could take quite a while. it'd probably 
make you more aware of what these newsgroups are doing and who 
was and is in it than most regulars. you sure you haven't just 
sampled, put your toe in the water?

a more thorough preparation would probably be engaged
by a reading of the various FAQ documents, 


or any others that the interested see fit to post here (there
*is* a new FAQ based on the initial FAQ by Shava floating
about -- see that too for a Hermetic perspective on magic).

a bit of investigation of source materials recommended 
by newsgroup regulars which describe practical and 
theoretical aspects of magic would also be helpful.
this could even be done online, though terminological
barriers may be encountered in certain subcultures
(e.g. all the Crowleyan gobbledy-gook in Thelemics).

# and I just don't get it. I do not believe in this stuff. 

the first point the reader of your challenge will notice,
therefore, is that you are stating your unwillingness to
surrender to a belief in magic without what you accept 
as evidence demonstrating its reality. this is very 
reasonable, if preliminary.

# So here is everyone's chance to make me a beleiver 

a more vague Randian challenge, but without the $$.

# - go ahead and prove the whole "Magick" thing to me. 
# I dare you to prove that it is real to me.

you dare?! :>

it so happens that this is a good test-case for the
application of skepticism. in order to prove that
magic is real (I'll leave you with the funny spellings),
we'll have to determine

        a) what would constitute evidence, in your mind,
           that any particular thing, phenomenon, or
           person was "real"; clear examples, limitations,
           and base-level criteria should be expressed as
           regards magic as you're considering it, so that
           conformance will be easy to identify;

        b) how this evidence could be provided to you via
           the medium of a usenet newsgroup; whether others
           will be involved in the confirmation, if there
           is room for meatspace interaction, etc.;

        c) what its having been proven to you will mean
           to anyone else; whether you will thereafter
           become a spokesperson for the reality of the
           phenomenon of magic, whether you will write a
           book about the experience, turncoat to skeptics
           and expose the whole as a fraud, etc. :>
it's one thing to wow an audience with subtle deceptions.
go down to your local magic shop and you can get that. if
you're willing to hand over your money, they'll even be
willing to show you the secrets to some of the tricks.

it's another thing to specify what you think magic is and
how its reality would be confirmed by you. without that
initial, clear specification, you'll be operating with so
flexible a set of criteria and the variables of emotional
persuasion allowed so much influence that your skepticism
will never have a chance (nothing will be achieved). the 
result, absent this extension of your challenge, will be 
continued contrary-claims made by the same adherents who 
might futilely argue the matter from their preferred
perspectives indefinitely. 

progress in the area of proof only comes with the 
agreement on the criteria for proof. once you've 
established that, then we'll have a better idea 
of what you are asking to witness or be shown.


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