Thursday, November 12, 2009

Resistance to Psi

Why is there so much resistance to psychic phenomena in some portions of society?

  • Genuine psychic phenomena have been produced by ordinary people throughout the history of humankind. However, these phenomena were rejected by science for "political" reasons, not empirical reasons, when the scientific revolution deposed religion as the ultimate source of knowledge. Besides being seen as allied with religion, psychic phenomena is a competitor of Science as a means of obtaining information about the universe. Therefore, some modern scientists have a lot of cultural baggage that prevent them from seeing the otherwise obvious evidence that some paranormal phenomena are real.

  • Some religious leaders reject psychic phenomena (see the comment at the top of the link) because those phenomena threaten the dogmatic teachings of their religion. It undermines their authority as the source of information on the afterlife, God, and other spiritual subjects. In some cases it also subverts their role as an intermediary between the individual and supernatural entities.

  • Some people hold a grudge against religion because they have been harmed psychologically by overly dogmatic upbringing, or because some religion condemns their lifestyle choices. They may choose to vilify anything that relates to the supernatural, including psychic phenomena.

  • Certain government agencies have spread disinformation about the reality of psychic phenomena to discourage other countries from developing psychic means for spying and sabotage, and to protect the secrecy of their own government's programs to develop those capabilities.

  • Some debunkers make a living disputing every paranormal claim and sometimes misrepresent the empirical evidence because real paranormal phenomena jeopardize their career and life's work. Their livelihood is based on media exposure to sell books, raise money, and generate more media exposure, and as a result their influence is far greater than their qualifications in the field should warrant.

  • Many people who, because of their education, accept the authority of scientists, suspend their critical thinking in order to embrace the debunkers' deceptive "logic" because it allows them to hold on to their world view in the face of empirical evidence, including scientific research, that demonstrate genuine psychic phenomena. People resist changing their world view because it requires admitting they were wrong or misled.

There are many unique social forces resisting the acceptance of psychic phenomena.

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