I have previously written about the harm done to individuals and to society by pseudo-skeptics who don't believe in the evidence for psi and the afterlife. But there is a special kind of pseudo-skeptic who does believe in psi but who thinks that the evidence for the afterlife is caused by unconscious psi from living people. In essence, these para-pseudo-skeptics, as I call them, who are often parapsychologists (scientists who study paranormal phenomena), believe that people who have experienced afterlife phenomena are self-deluded fools who can't tell reality from fantasy. This prejudice against experiencers is an example of the arrogance of scientists who hold ordinary people in contempt because the scientists believe that scientists are the only people capable of discerning the truth. Some people may try to defend the para-pseudo-skeptics by saying that they don't have as much information about afterlife phenomena as the experiencers. However, ignorance is not an excuse for prejudice, it is a cause of prejudice. No persecuted minority has ever won the respect and rights they deserve without demanding them. Therefore, when para-pseudo-skeptics advance these disgraceful hypotheses about afterlife experiencers, they should be confronted with the truth. As I shall explain below, psi cannot explain the evidence for the afterlife and there are good reasons to believe it is the para-pseudo-skeptics themselves who have problems telling fantasy from reality because they would rather believe any number of absurdities than believe the evidence for the afterlife. And while the para-pseudo-skeptics assert that the experiencers have unconscious motivations to fabricate evidence for the afterlife, the para-pseudo-skeptics unconscious motives are, in fact, highly suspect and may lead them to biased interpretations of the evidence.
In fact, there are many, many reasons to doubt the para-pseudo-skeptics ability to tell fantasy from reality, and to question their unconscious motivations for denying the evidence for the afterlife. These reasons are the many, many independent lines of evidence which show that the afterlife is real, that it cannot be explained by psi, and that the para-pseudo-skeptics are wrong:
- ESP cannot explain the evidence for the afterlife. Spirits have initiative, they act for their own purposes independently of any living purpose, they retain specialized knowledge they had while embodied, and they have problem solving capabilities.
- Mrs Piper's mediumship shows that psi is not a good explanation for mediumship because the characteristics of the spirit communications she brought through varied with the spirit not the medium or the sitters.
- The best explanation for veridical NDEs is out-of-the-body consciousness. Veridical NDEs demonstrate consciousness is not produced by the brain and that memory can be stored outside the brain. The abnormal brain states before, during, and after, cardiac arrest that cause veridical NDEs are not capable of supporting memories or coherent lucid experiences that NDErs remember.
- Consciousness is not produced by the brain.
- ESP is not produced by the brain. The very existence of ESP is evidence that consciousness is not physical. No physical process, not even quantum entanglement, is capable of producing ESP.
- Philosopher Chris Carter's work shows that super-psi is pseudo-science.
- Joe McMoneagle and Eben Alexander both conclude NDEs represent proof of life after death. Joe McMoneagle is highly respected by parapsychologists, he helped develop the US military remote viewing program, he was a remote viewer for that program, and he had an NDE. Eben Alexander is a neurosurgeon who had an NDE. He says that because of the way the brain is wired, his NDE could not be produced by the brain.
- Guy Lyon Playfair, William Roll, and Ian Stevenson all concluded some poltergeist phenomena are caused by spirits. They knew about unconscious PK but they believed cases that were not dependent on the presence of any one individual were better explained as the action of spirits.
Afterlife experiencers know the evidence better than any para-pseudo-skeptic. Mediums live with afterlife phenomena every day and know all the fine details of it that don't get published in books and parapsychology papers. They often also experience psi and can tell the difference between psi and spirit communication. Mediums know the phenomena infinitely better than para-pseudo-skeptics who often know the phenomenon only from reading the reports of other people. Also, near-death experiencers say their experiencers are real. To the experiencer, a near-death experience seems realer-than-real, and their memories of the experience are more detailed than normal memories. The the para-pseudo-skeptics disregard the opinion of non-scientists experts, the experiencers, who know more about the phenomena than they do. This attitude of the para-pseudo-skeptics is caused by their absurdly arrogant false belief that they are the only people who have the ability to discern the truth.
Since para-pseudo-skeptics believe that people who have experienced afterlife phenomena are self-deluded fools who can't tell reality from fantasy, the para-pseudo-skeptics should understand that it is only fair for their own rationality to be disputed. For example, it is very likely that para-pseudo-skeptics themselves suffer from perceptual bias (which they are not shy about accusing mainstream scientists of suffering from). Because these para-pseudo-skeptics spend so much time studying psi, they see psi everywhere, even where it is not present. Because of this, para-pseudo-skeptics do not have the ability to make an objective assessment of the facts, this causes them to suspend logic in order to allow them to maintain their mistaken belief that the brain produces consciousness and ESP. The result is that they believe absurd things. For example, para-pseudo-skeptics may believe that quantum entanglement can be established between two human brains separated by miles in order to produce telepathy, and that the neuronal patterns in a human brain, the result of a lifetime of varied and unique experiences, and constantly changing due to neuroplasticity, can have meaning to the consciousness of another person. Or that consciousness which consists entirely of subjective experiences, which can never be measured objectively, can be the product of fundamentally different measurable objective phenomenon such as neuronal activity through some unexplainable means. Or that NDEs, where dead people have lucid conscious experiences that seem realer than real and which produce memories that are more detailed than normal memories, are produced by the brain when electrical activity in the brain is entirely absent or barely measurable which by all theories of brain function should not permit the brain to sustain consciousness or produce memories. Or that poltergeist phenomenon that does not depend on the presence of any one individual is caused by some unknown PK master who could be located anywhere and anytime in the universe. Or that multiple mediums unconsciously cooperate to produce characteristics of communication that depend on the spirit not the medium or sitter, and they unconsciously conspired to produce the cross correspondences. Or when poltergeist phenomena that cause multiple successive tenants to flee a home is stopped by the intercession of a psychic medium, that the medium used her PK abilities to produce the phenomenon even before she consciously knew the house was haunted. Or that fetuses are capable of unconscious PK that enables them to be born with birthmarks at the sites of injuries sustained by some random person they will later impersonate the reincarnation of. Etc, etc,
The para-pseudo-skeptics have no respect for the intelligence of many, many people who have experienced afterlife phenomena, such as near-death experiencers, people who have had contact with spirits including many evidential mediums, and people who remember past lives. However, the para-pseudo-skeptics should be willing to receive the same type of psychological analysis that they perform on afterlife experiencers. For example, one of the excuses the para-pseudo-skeptics give for their biased beliefs is that experiencers have unconscious motivations to simulate afterlife phenomenon and use psi unconsciously to fulfill that motive. If the para-pseudo-skeptics are going to bring up the subject of unconscious motives, the para-pseudo-skeptics should also consider the possibility that they have unconscious motives themselves that influence their beliefs. For example, It is possible that they have some type of unconscious motivation to discredit the evidence for the afterlife. There are probably as many motivations as there are para-pseudo-skeptics. In some cases the motive might be the desire to appear to be a serious philosopher so they can write books and papers. In some cases it might be to inflate the powers of psi so they can magnify the importance of studying it. In some cases it might be fear of punishment in the afterlife. In depressed individuals it might be the desire for the end of suffering that will come with extinction at death. In some parapsychologists it might be fear of attacks by pseudo-skeptics. Or, some para-pseudo-skeptics may be misanthropes who hate the fact that knowledge of the afterlife eases grief and reduces the incidence of suicide so they try to discredit the phenomenon of mediumship because they want people to suffer mental anguish over the loss of their loved ones. Or, para-pseudo-skeptics might feel so much envy for the power of pseudo-skeptics who publish nonsense about psi that the parapsychologists have to refute over and over, that the para-pseudo-skeptics want to exert a similar power over afterlife researchers.
The para-pseudo-skeptics rarely consider that those who experience afterlife phenomena are real people, and that the experiencers know the phenomena infinitely better than the para-pseudo-skeptics. By spreading their metaphysical faith disguised and scientific possibility, the para-pseudo-skeptics risk harming real people and making it harder for them to get accurate information that can help them make sense out of their experiences. For the para-pseudo-skeptics it is an academic question but there are real people going through real experiences and having real problems. People take immense comfort from mediumship when it eases their grief. People who experience spirit contact can go through real trauma, they may be ostracized at school or their family may think they are demonic or crazy and send them to a psychiatric facility. NDErs may keep their experiences to themselves if they are told the experiences are not real and it is much healthier for them if they feel they can talk about their experiences with others. The para-pseudo-skeptics should stop spreading their misinformation. They should recognize that they are prejudiced by their perceptual bias and unconscious motivations which causes them to believe all sorts of absurd things. Para-pseudo-skeptics think afterlife experiencers are self deluded fools who can't tell fantasy from reality but it is that para-pseudo-skeptics who are fooling themselves. Some people may try to defend the para-pseudo-skeptics by saying they don't have the same information as experiencers. But ignorance is not an excuse for prejudice, it is a cause of prejudice. No persecuted minority ever obtained the rights and respect they deserved without demanding it, and afterlife experiencers should speak out against the prejudiced, and deluded, misinformation being spread by para-pseudo-skeptics.