Phil Plait to Attendees of The Amazing Meeting 8: Don’t Be A Dick

Bad Astronomy’s Phil Plait offers this suggestion to attendees of the James Randi Educational Foundation’s The Amazing Meeting hoping to win people over to their cause: “Don’t be a dick!”

Talk about pulling a rabbit out of a hat. Oh wait – I think I’m being a dick, oops.

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  • Frater Isla

    Randi gets me so worked up. I’m all for healthy skepticism, but I’m also a fan of the scientific method.

    • echar

      What kind of person in their right mind would be against the scientific method? I can see the bias in this man, even though he is calling for militant skeptics not to be dicks. It’s like a pastor suggesting to keep from yelling “you’re going to burn in hell” to the people they want to save. Yet who the fuck asked them for saving?

      I mean, it’s a good move, and their heart’s may be in the right place, but…

      • Ittabena

        If I didn’t have to work tomorrow morning early after closing tonight…

        But maybe the Amazing Randi should take this man’s advice.

        Personally i am a skeptic when that is called for and a believer when that is called for, but to me anyone who has agreed or consented to become a part of a group that has a label is not a free thinker.

      • Frater Isla

        Right? My problem with the Skeptic movement is it’s basically a religious one. You start with the conclusion and work backwards, and when there IS a scientific result that goes against your preconceived belief system, then you say there must be a flaw in it somewhere.

        Oooo. Randi, I can’t stands ya!

        • echar

          I can’t measure this, so it, not me or my tool must be broken.

          • Frater Isla

            I wonder what they think of quantum physics, since there’s a good chunk of it that deals with matters that are unobservable, and can only be analyzed through math.

            ‘Quantum physics is unscientific!!’

          • echar

            I bet some don’t recognise quantum physics.

          • Monkey See Monkey Do

            They also exclude major sections of philosophy, psychology and social science from their quasi-fascist movement.

          • echar

            That’s pretty sad… It struck me the other day how backwards some are. They will take the word of a stage magician over a Research Fellow of the Royal Society.

          • mike_93

            Typical. I bet you guys don’t know shit about quantum physics. You can’t just say “well here’s some theoretical stuff” and act like it explains your theoretical stuff, just because they both seem equally inaccessible to the lay-person. They are not equivalent. There is nothing about being a yogi that qualifies someone to teach physics, and nothing that yogis generally do or talk about has anything to do with physics. It’s just some new age bull plop to try and act like one explains the other. Ask anyone who has sat through years of classes on the subject, likewise they will say nothing about physics explains or has anything to do with yoga. They are not the same.

          • echar

            More predictable self serving nonsense that I didn’t read. NEXT!

          • mike_93

            So you admit that you have no response? You are too much fun man… “Oh no, I’m not going to read those scary ideas! It’s heresy! Heresy to challenge me and my magic!” Blow me.

          • echar

            I didn’t read it. There’s nothing to read. You are speaking to something other than me, because you are assuming you know how I percieve the world. If you would get down off of your high horse we could see eye to eye. That will never happen though, you’d have to be re-educated to understand concepts that you appear to be convinced about. Not worth my time. Just know, people think you are funny, in a bad way.

          • Rhoid Rager

            He’s trying to troll us.

          • echar

            It’s cute isn’t it?

          • gustave courbet

            Hey Mike, While saying that some ancient metaphysical statement is ‘the same as’ a contemporary understanding brought about through scientific inquiry is a little intellectually lazy, I would suggest that there is sometimes consonance between these seemingly disparate worlds. They are not using the same language or constructs because they are separated by millennia and vast cultural differences. For instance, the Buddhist axiom “form is emptiness; emptiness is form” is a fair, if poetic, assessment of the vast space found in the atomic structures that make up our ‘solid’ world. I would suggest that some of these mystical teachers were alluding to a reality that they intuitively experienced but lacked the technology to scientifically explore or articulate.

          • mike_93

            It’s actually very simple to do away all this trash you believe in Echar. All I must do is invoke the almighty words of power “No Proof No Proof No Proof No Proof No Proof No Proof No Proof”. See? That was easy.

          • echar

            Did I read this one yet? Not sure… More predictable nonsense. I can walk you to the door.

        • mike_93

          Whatever Fr. Isla, your just saying that because…. YOU’RE RELIGIOUS! It’s common for you guys to cry and put down scientists but the FACT of the matter is that your “magick” hasn’t done a damn thing for the human race since the inception of the modern scientific method.

          • Rhoid Rager

            your — you’re
            ‘You’re’ is an abbreviation of ‘you are'; whereas, ‘your’ expresses possession.

          • mike_93

            yes, har har…. so you’ve never made a typo… ever? are you really going to pretend like that invalidates the point?

          • Rhoid Rager

            You seem to have quite a delicate ego. Does something trouble you?

          • mike_93

            says the guy who believes in magic powers, but doesn’t like evidence to the contrary.

      • Rhoid Rager

        This is a good point. If the Skeptical Movement(TM) has such good ideas, they wouldn’t have to sell them with such fucking fervor. Good ideas sell themselves with no effort.

        Anyways, good ideas are like orgasms, people spend their lives searching for the best ones from somewhere else when they always actually cum from themselves. Realize that, and we’re all one step closer to freedom.

        • echar

          I like that about ideas. That’s something to ponder… intellectual greener pastures. More like other’s ideas germinating in the ovum of the self’s mind. And other such branches.

          • Rhoid Rager

            All this sex talk is getting me riled up! Wife’s asleep tho. :(

          • echar

            Welp!

          • Calypso_1

            Sounds like a good time to break out the ski mask & duct tape.

        • mike_93

          Critical thinking is a good idea, you moron. It doesn’t require any marketing. You don’t like that it challenges your religious beliefs, just admit it and stop being such a poor sport. Science has brought you such good ideas as the internet, medicine, aviation, etc, etc.

          Your second paragraph is nonsense, and only serves to prove that magic and new age bull shit doesn’t do anything for anyone. There is nothing original about the idea or sentiment you have expressed. Magical thinking is a relic of a bygone age. Your living in the past, maaaaaan.

          • Cyprus Mulch

            “Critical thinking is a good idea, you moron.”

            So I guess you’re one Skeptic who isn’t going to act on Phil Plait’s suggestion to be civil and respectful toward those with whom you disagree?

            Good luck with your act of representing a rational and scientific point of view while behaving in a manner that makes you appear to be at the mercy of your own emotions.

            Your mantra seems to be “bullshit bullshit bullshit” — maybe the psychological sciences can offer some insights as to what constant use of scatological language might signify?

          • Rhoid Rager

            I wonder why you are so angry? I haven’t been called a ‘moron’ on the internet for a long time. Doesn’t ad hominem qualify as a logical fallacy?

          • mike_93

            I’ll tell you why. It’s because no matter where I go, no matter who I talk to, the only people I encounter are people like you who don’t give a shit about what’s true. You don’t give a shit about what’s real, or accurate, or historically known to fit with the facts. Christian, Muslim, Jewish, Hindu, New age. You’re all the damn same. You don’t care about what’s real or true, you only care about what fits your little perception of reality, what fits with your image of yourself and the way you see things…. as if your entire world would collapse without this.

          • Cyprus Mulch

            Maybe try looking for what you have in common with other people.

          • astrofrog

            *you’re.

  • satch

    I love when people refer to ‘Magic’ using pop culture examples, such as Disney, or say Harry Potter and poo poo it, how could you believe in such nonsense. is this not a huge misunderstanding of ‘Magick’?. Disney is one of many very powerful brands/sigils in the world, that have a very strong and defining grip on peoples lives, and desires.

    • Ittabena

      Very good point. Not only that but science we have not yet been able to understand has always been labeled magic, until we understood it.

      Perhaps if we had a more mature outlook, and looked at our history a little better, we would have figured this out by now.

      • Haystack

        Or to flip it around, magic is failed science.

        • Calypso_1

          Have you written a book?

          • Haystack

            No, why?

          • Ittabena

            Okay, it makes more sense this morning than it did last night. Sorry.

          • Calypso_1

            I’ve been enjoying Haystacks comments for a long time. I really don’t care about the state of mind – the output is what I hold in high regard.

          • Ittabena

            For some reason it does make more sense this morning than it did last night. I have edited/replaced the comment.

          • Haystack

            As I was replying to it. *laughs*

          • Ittabena

            One of the very few times I will use the edit button 7 hours later.

          • Haystack

            Sure. I wasn’t trying to be flippant, just succinct.

            Many scientific disciplines emerged out of what we would, today, think of as occult or mystical practices. Chemistry emerged from alchemy, astronomy diverged from astrology, and so on. The elements that turned out to be predictive, could be reproduced and built upon, became scientific disciplines, and advanced over time. The failed hypotheses, by contrast, remained static, and consist largely of what we know by terms like “occult,” “alt med,” and so on.

            Once magic works and becomes science, it becomes vulgar and mundane (for most people). You want your pain to be healed by a witch in a hut who gives you a potion she concocted from the bark of the willow tree, not from a bottle of Advil you got from the CVS. We look to unscientific to find the sacred, not because it works, but because it doesn’t (at least, not in a palpable way); if it did, it would just be another product on a store shelf, another “invention.”

            I know you won’t agree with this. My point is just that one can reasonably look at the issue both ways.

          • Ittabena

            Actually I have had this massive stye on my left eyelid for about three weeks now. During the last two nights it has reduced greatly.

            My demeanor and sense of humor should be returning to normal soon now.

            I actually do not disagree with this last. Working with the public “most people” are a thorn in my side, but on the other hand I must bear in mind that all of them contain a spark of God.

            Sometimes the two can be very hard to balance. I am overdue for another viewing of the old but great film Harvey. It always lightens the load and gives me a better perspective on folks.

            Very fond of rum pots, crack pots and how are you Mr. Wilson?

            And good morning!

          • Calypso_1

            I always appreciate the pithiness of your wit & wisdom.

          • Haystack

            Aww, thanks!

        • Cyprus Mulch

          That’s one way of looking at it, but it strikes me as similar to stating that, “Poetry is failed mathematics.”

      • Monkey See Monkey Do

        I’ll throw this into the ring. ‘Magick we haven’t been able to understand has always been labeled science, until we understood it.’

        • Ittabena

          Without an example you haven’t really added anything to the conversation, have you?

          • Monkey See Monkey Do

            In essence magick lies outside the province of natural science. But that doesn’t mean the two don’t integrate at certain junctures.

          • Ittabena

            Have to disagree. Although it may lie outside that province at the moment, once the way something works is understood, whatever way that is, the mystery and esoterica must diminish and evaporate. If for no other reason but by definition. Are you saying that science will never understand it? Or that they cannot ever?

            “Magick is the science and art of causing change to occur in conformity with will.” ~ Aleister Crowley, Magick in Theory and Practice

            and

            “Indubitably, magick is one of the subtlest and most difficult of the sciences and arts. There is more opportunity for errors of comprehension, judgment and practice than in any other branch of physics.” ~ Aleister Crowley

          • Monkey See Monkey Do

            The mystery and erotica doesn’t diminish once we understand how something works. If we look at ourselves for instance, intelligence examining intelligence. How we work is less important than why we work, what purpose do we serve and from which did we originate.

            If we wish to use rational discourse in explaining ultimate realities than we have to put natural sciences within the framework it was designed to explore.
            I agree with Crowley’s assessments too btw.

          • Ittabena

            >”I agree with Crowley’s assessments too btw.”

            So do I, but note that he classifies it as a science and an art. Indeed a form of physics. if you look at Hawking’s books as he explains Quantum Physics to the layman, I can see correlations between it and what we previously termed the unknowable.

            I think if magic teaches us anything it is to remove the restraints that we instead invest with belief. I also think we should finally take the lesson that we are still much more primitive than we care to believe, and do not really know enough yet to impose such limits on our future.

            Some of the work of the CIA in the 70s touched a bit on this realm, and we know they aren’t sharing the results of their research with anyone. Who knows what they have figured out by now, but guard as though a jealous child.

            Remember too that there has also been a long history of governments down through the ages who have employed those who practiced the dark arts.

            At any rate, that is my take on it.

  • Anarchy Pony

    BEHOLD! THE ONE COMMANDMENT!

  • HCE

    I forget who it was here who said it, but they summed it up beautifully: “Unless skepticism is all-inclusive and unrelenting it’s merely prejudice in disguise.”

    And James Randi was as Prejudiced as they come. I wish he weren’t dead yet, so he could die trapped in a burning car. That’s actually meant somewhat tongue in cheek…

    • echar

      He ain’t dead yet, unless you know something the rest of the world doesn’t know. In that case you may be psychic.

      • HCE

        Thought I’d heard he died. Never mind. I hope dies in a car fire.

        • echar

          Knowing is half the battle!

  • Darren Prosser

    Ironic, considering Randi is a giant dick who actually helps create doubt in science. Example…John Doe hears footsteps on his roof, sees orbs and apparitions , hears his name called and his animals are frightened in his apartment. Randi, Mr. Science, says it is all bunk…..individual then begins to doubt science and see it more as a tool for control of the dominant reality paradigm.

    • mike_93

      Um… how does this create a doubt in science? There has NEVER been any proof or evidence or reason to think ghosts or paranormal explanations for those things exists. Science saves the poor sap from believing in nonsense like this, by explaining that there is probably a rational explanation for the things the guys thinks he hears and sees. The truth is that SCIENCE casts DOUBT upon your RELIGIOUS beliefs in ghosts and magic and pixies and leprechauns and whatever other new ag garbage you can dream of.

      • echar

        I can show you to the door.

        • mike_93

          Cast a spell, we’ll see if it works.

          • echar

            So many assumptions.

          • astrofrog

            “Cast a spell” seems to be mike_93’s go-to insult. Is that, like, a thing for skeptics? Or is it just this one profoundly unimaginative troll? Maybe I’m being too hard on the kid? His handle implies he’s only 20, although his behaviour implies he may be significantly younger.

          • echar

            For all we know it may be someone’s sock puppet, and to stay in character they have to remain one demensional. Either way, there’s not much to mike_93.

          • echar

            For all we know it may be someone’s sock puppet, and to stay in character they have to remain one demensional. Either way, there’s not much to mike_93.

      • echar

        Others here and I have probably colored over lines that you are most likely oblivious of. This instance you are attempting to create is something we use on a daily basis. These concepts you appear to be so sure of, we shit out for breakfast. Do us all, and yourself a favor and fuck the fuck off with this act.

        • mike_93

          Hahaha! Seriously? “I shit out paranormal for breakfast bro, you don’t even know” You are ridiculous! That’s not even a response…

          Just because I’m not gullible enough to draw the same conclusions as you, does not mean that I have not had my share of “spooky” hallucinatory day dreams. I’ve had many a psychedelic experience. Still don’t believe in god.

          • echar

            Got any more assumptions?

      • Darren Prosser

        Yep, the millions of people over the centuries who have had paranormal experiences are all wrong. If you have had it you believe it. In reality, you and your skeptic brothers are the ones that are wrong, deluded and living in a fairy tale of your own making. If you have ever had a demonic/negative entity experience you know just how preposterous the skeptic debunker sounds as they say it all bunk and how it is just a manifestation of your desire to believe in fairies, pixies and leprechauns. Yeah, right …sure it is jackass.

        • Mike_418

          Your talking about cavemen who didn’t have anything close to a modern understanding of how the brain works. They were just making explanations up as they went along… they had no idea what causes a hallucination, or what the nature of a hallucination even is. Your talking about primitive people throughout time who have been mistaken about lots of stuff. The shape of the earth, the cause of weather and diseases, the nature of the sun, etc.. These are things they were all ignorant to, and had no possible way of knowing the truth of these things. I don’t give a shit if you think skeptics are bunch of meanies. Right is right, and wrong is wrong. Time will tell who is wrong.

        • Mike_418

          Your talking about cavemen who didn’t have anything close to a modern understanding of how the brain works. They were just making explanations up as they went along… they had no idea what causes a hallucination, or what the nature of a hallucination even is. Your talking about primitive people throughout time who have been mistaken about lots of stuff. The shape of the earth, the cause of weather and diseases, the nature of the sun, etc.. These are things they were all ignorant to, and had no possible way of knowing the truth of. I don’t give a shit if you think skeptics are bunch of meanies. Right is right, and wrong is wrong. Time will tell who is wrong.

  • echar

    Totally humble assuming everyone that doesn’t abide by the rules of your worldview as idiots.

  • Guest

    idiots who belief in magic and angels…

  • echar

    The very first video I saw of him, I knew right away that he was a total asshole, a liar, and an unworthy source for lessons. How did I know he was a liar? Not because he’s a stage magician (professional liar), but because his tone and choice of words appeal to the emotional. Also his nature is one of elitism.

    He doesn’t get me worked up, criticisizng him works up people like you. Who raise him up as something special. It’s the greatest con, and you can see it at work in his Ted Talk. That is if you can get past the hero worship and appended accolades attributed to him.

    He starts out by tricking people, but revealing that he did so. This is establishing that he knows stuff and that he’s honest. He then does his old and tired (like him) shctick of eating homepoathic pills. Awesome, revealing the snake oil salesmen, yet hiding the intellectual snakeoil salesman in plain sight (that’s Randi).

    After jacking his jaws for awhile, he drops in about his book. Blah blah blahs some more about this and that. He then drops in about his academy. Yackitty schmackitty some more, and another suggestion. Sales pitch complete, and everyone thought they were seeing a Ted Talk.

  • echar

    That’s truth, maaaaaaan… Not hate.

  • Ittabena

    You seldom write more than one paragraph, so…

    Just saying.

  • echar

    There are people who are limted in seeing outside the box, that’s for sure.

  • Rhoid Rager

    I think equivocation is in order when attempting to speak about other people’s views. To me, my own perspective is even difficult to get a hold of at times, as I find that it is often influenced heavily by my social environment. Sometimes I really have to step back into solitude to remember how I feel about things, and I consider myself quite a resolutely opinionated person. Perspective on the world is dynamic, and people are, by no means, ‘idiots’. I think it’s crass and foolish to label a mass of people one has never met as ‘idiots’. They are entrenched in social environments that are pleasurable to them, and pleasure produces a kind of mental inertia.

    There is, btw, not really any box. The box is an illusion.

  • Rhoid Rager

    Sold. You had me at ‘half’.

  • Ittabena

    Compound that with the success of the Public Education system, which is failure at real education, and the reason for this becomes pretty clear.

    They didn’t have to be “idiots” but the process was begun before they could really know or control what was happening to them. And since their parents had been through the same process, and were extremely busy trying to make ends meet and get the newest Escalade…

  • Rhoid Rager

    And how many apples does it take to get to the core of a bite?

  • Ittabena

    See above.

  • echar

    Dick-tion-ary? Why would I want to be like you? I can make up my own words. CUNTYdouchyPRICKlikeCreature… (CDPLC) that’s a new one I made up just now to express you.

  • Ittabena

    My sister says that there will be no progress until the comfort bubble on enough people is shattered. I think she is right

  • echar

    I agree, we all have something we are gifted at. Some choose to exercise that gift, others attempt to keep others from exercising at all. By box I mean a “normal” way of perception.

  • echar

    I think the box may be mental comfort.

  • Rhoid Rager

    I think so too.

  • Ittabena

    You should investigate Sigils. Try The Secret Teachings Of All Ages, by Manly P. Hall. It is sort of an encyclopedia on the murky (as in unknown) stuff.

    Satch is indeed correct on this, and there really is no better example I can think of offhand. And he was my favorite character on the Bowery Boys too.

  • Cyprus Mulch

    Crowley’s definition of magick: “the science and art of causing change to occur in conformity with will.” Dion Fortune’s definition: “the art of changing consciousness at will.” I think Disney’s successful use of symbols to affect the consciousness of their audience fits both these definitions of magick. It’s also worth noting that the appeal of Disney’s creations is non-rational — the films and shows and toys, when successful, engage the emotions, aesthetic receptivity, and imagination of the audience.

    Magickal tools may include the classic wand, a mantra, a scribbled sigil, or a series of images captured on celluloid. In a sense, all art is magick in that it causes a change of consciousness in its audience.

    Neurological and psychological explanations for this process are also valid: they’re just a way of mapping magick that conforms to a scientific paradigm.

  • mike_93

    Re the Disney comment: it’s not magic. it’s simple marketing and psychology. no mystery there. but don’t tell these nerds that. it’s all lost on them. leave the role playing to the wizards.

  • echar

    I will spell it out fore yoo, since you choose to be a little slow on the tayk. Singular view skeptics, narrow minded skepticks, etc. Can you sea anything beayond yore nose/measuring equipment/Apparati (I looked at a dick-tion-erry… it’s phun).

  • mike_93

    I don’t know about instafaggot, but I don’t personally control any armies. I have never attempted to commit genocide, or take my neighbors property, or force them to believe the same way I do…. I really wonder what is so “militaristic” about spreading the idea of critical thinking? What is so fascist about questioning religious nonsense? Calling someone a militant, when they aren’t really doing any of the things traditionally associated with militants sounds a little… paranoid? No… stupid? No… Retarded, that’s it!

  • Matt Staggs

    Love “Secret Teachings”. Hall was awesome.

  • mike_93

    It was also written by someone before the turn of the century, and is practically rubbish to todays society. An irrelevant tome of antiquated ideas.

  • echar

    Thanks, I thought of it all by myself.

  • Ittabena

    Some people write, some people snipe.

  • Ittabena

    If you say so…

  • mike_93

    Who cares about Crowley or Fortune? Almost nothing they say is relevant when compared to what we’ve learned since that time.

    Crowley for instance believed that he was in contact with other worldly voices. Dion Fortune believed in things just as absurd. These guys were your typical victorian age magicians. They believed in mediums and magic spells and the works. It’s funny that any today could still believe it.

    The neurological and psychological innovations you are talking about actually describe a very different picture of reality.

  • Ittabena

    Yin and Yang. Amazing that this simple lesson is still lost on so many.

    It seems as though those that believe in the Yin, study only that half. While those that believe in the Yang give credit to both sides.

    I won’t bother to point out which approach is the more mature, or even the more educated one.

    What a dry boring world it must be when you base everything on your faith in science alone.

  • mike_93

    What you mean is that Skeptics don’t accept subjective DAY DREAMS, and anecdotal HEARSAY as evidence… and that’s too bad because that’s all the evidence that magic has got.

    You’re a religious believer, but i’d guess you have no specific affiliation. Probably you are disaffected/turned off to organized religion in general, but you still haven’t gotten away from religious thinking. So you believe in magic or reincarnation or whatever bad explanation fits your fancy.

    You want to cry and disparage the scientist because they are challenging your religious beliefs. Plain and simple. In reality you owe science a lot. You are on a computer right now, you’ve likely benefitted from modern medicine at some point in your life.

    All this magic fluff is supposed to be about getting over the “ego”, and yet most of you new age guys are so wrapped up in your subjective delusions that you don’t understand anything about the real world we live in. Ironic.

  • mike_93

    You fucking hypocrite. Your magical superstitions and hokey religious beliefs are just as much a “comfort blanket” as nihilism and materialism. “The cognitive dissonance is strong with this one”.

  • Guest

    Being able to day dream about angels or maintain bronze age beliefs about the universe, is not a talent or a gift.

  • echar

    Being a naysayer is a gift, just not a very progressive one. So is the ability to be an oblivious eltitist dick.

  • echar


    Any questions, or have you convinced yourself of the results?

  • echar

    You assume way too much… Continue on with your arrogance, it may seriously catch you up one day. When it does, I want you to remember this moment. I will be smiling, not because you are a douche, but because you will have grown.

  • echar

    Yawn… next. I feel sorry for you. Ps… I didn’t even read everything you wrote, that’s how predicatable you are.

    Blah blah blah… I am better than you… blah blah blah… this that and blah blah blah.

  • mike_93

    Yes, I’ll write to you as soon as I start believing in fairies and such.

  • mike_93

    And there is nothing particularly special about the belief in ghosts and magic powers. You are a relic of the past! The only special ability you have is denying the facts.

  • echar

    You are so far off the mark, that you have made yourself a mark. It’s almost comical, and I am willing to bet that I am not the only laughing at your act. Not in a good way, but in a what an awkward dumb ass kind of way. Troll much?

  • mike_93

    How is it off the mark to say that a belief in magic/spirits is primitive at worst, and juvenile at best? How is it off the mark to point out the obvious, that no one has ever furnished one single piece of evidence to show that magic is a reality?

    Can you respond to that without saying “oh you skeptics are no fun, no fun! boohoo!”?

  • echar

    Like the faeries and such you are making up about me and others here? You are the delusional one here. I tell you this to be honest, and honestly to hurt your feelings as well. People are laughing at you, including me.

  • echar

    You can’t even begin to understand. Like I said elesewhere, people here have colored over lines that you are likely oblivious of. Besides, you’re not worth my time. I know a brick wall when I see one, I can show you the door though.

  • mike_93

    I’m pretty sure I know exactly who I’m talking to. Just answer these questions and we’ll see how we square up eye to eye.

    1) Do you believe in magic or psychic powers? Prayer, and wishful thinking? The law of attraction or the secret? Any of that crap?

    2) Do you believe in ghosts, gods, spirits, angels, trans-dimensional entities or other “beings” which we can’t empirically prove exist? (This is what I mean by fairies and leprechauns and if you ask me, any word is just as good as the next to describe these imaginary friends.)

    3) Do you believe in the afterlife, or in other dimensions, out of body experiences, near death experiences, astral planes?

    4) Do you believe that we have a soul, or that “mind” is separate from body? Do you think that there is some other place besides the material one, where our spirit wanders? (This is what I mean by hokey religious belief)

    5) Do you think this universe was created by some divine being, or that it is a dream in the mind of a divine being? Do you believe this universe has some sort of purpose, and that we are all divine beings? If no to any of the above, than what do you believe about the creation and purpose of the universe?

    As you can imagine, I have very different views of the universe.

  • astrofrog

    It’s true. I’m finding this thread (and other’s with mike_93’s inimitable presence) most amusing.

  • mike_93

    I can’t begin to understand? Bull shit. I’m not gullible, that’s all. You are gullible, and likely to believe in reincarnation and psychic powers and spirits, and I don’t because I’m not a sap like you… but no, your a rebel you “color over the lines”. Your so cool man, let me tell you.

  • echar

    Right… Cool assumptions bro. Maybe you can leave then, since you are convinced.

  • echar

    Why would I share with you? You have proven yourself to be an adversary, not someone who is worth the personal risk. This instance of You makes way too many assumptions revolving around concepts that you are convinced of.

    Here’s a coloring exercise young Mike. Please be a good little skeptic and color within the lines.

  • mike_93

    What assumptions did I make? You either do or don’t believe in magic, reincarnation, gods, spirits, etc… so which is it? are you saying you’re an atheist and that I was wrong, or am I right to say you are a believer!

  • mike_93

    Once again, you assert that there is something special or “badass” about your irrational belief in magic powers and imaginary friends. There isn’t. You are not a rebel. If you actually look at history, you will see that more people believe in ridiculous crap than don’t. This means that skepticism and critical thinking are actually the ‘unpopular’ opinions… imagine that!

    At least skeptics aren’t arrogant enough to think we know the answer. There is nothing new or particularly exciting about a “magical/godly” view of things.

  • echar

    Did you come up with these concepts, or did someone else? Any more scientism dogma to spew, to show how gullible you really are?

  • echar

    Am I? Am I not?

  • mike_93

    Scientism is a pejorative phrase, used by christians and people who deny evolution and climate change. You are at the end of your rope, so you use words like this. “Scientism” is actually a made up word. you won’t find it in oxford’s, that’s for sure.

    Is that really the best you’ve got? Scientism? I have a word for what you do too, it’s called idiocy.

  • Cyprus Mulch

    I don’t think there was anything particularly typical about Crowley or Fortune. Obviously, they were both products of their time, and magick has evolved in many ways since then. It may surprise you to know that much contemporary magick is informed by the innovations of neuroscience, psychology, quantum physics — and even Dawkins’ brainchild, Memetics.

    Your emphasis always seems to be on “belief.” Occultism is much more about methods and results, and certain ways of experiencing life. “Merely subjective,” right? Well, so is your apparent frustration of having to share the planet with so many people who are uninterested in being miserable rationalists.

    Neither Magick nor Science poses any threat to the other. Different vocabularies, different flavors, different styles of interpretation. It’s like the difference between Poetry and Mathematics — and, at times, the two different approaches reflect each other beautifully.

  • Ittabena

    >”Who cares about Crowley or Fortune?”

    MI6 and the CIA did, as did the founder of Nasa’s JPL Laboratory. Even the site administrator seems to disagree with you. But who cares what any of them think when a heavy weight like mike_93 says it’s rubbish, right?

    I’ll get right on the phone to London, Washington, and Houston and let them all know how stupid we/they all were/are. thanks for straightening us out with your profound and learned wisdom. Where have you been all this time? We all really needed you.

    You should greatly expand your reading list. You would be able make more carefully considered comments and you would have much more to say than merely “poo poo”. Your unfamiliarity with the subject matter would not be so glaringly obvious either.

    Oh, this is fun, but not much of a challenge. : )

  • echar

    This dialogue was at the end of it’s rope the moment you made your first comment here. I am just throwing barbs left and right. Yawn… I have grown tired of your predicatability. Run along now, that’s a chap.

  • Ittabena

    >”An irrelevant tome of antiquated ideas.”

    Perhaps to you it is. You obviously have not read it.

  • Ittabena

    Those who have eyes shall see, those who have ears shill hear.

    Perhaps one day you will catch up with the useless knowledge you think you have already passed by.

  • Ittabena

    Really? On what do you base this declaration?

    Careful, you might actually have to write a whole paragraph, or even two. I am breathless at the prospect of this last.

  • Ittabena

    >”Advertising isn’t magic; I thought that was obvious.”

    Until you learn what magic and advertising are and are about you are not even qualified to make such a statement. If you had investigated instead of merely dismissing the subject you would know how completely wrong that statement is.

  • Ittabena

    “Magick is the science and art of causing change to occur in conformity with will” ~ Aleister Crowley

    Sounds like advertising to me

    Combine that with the use of corporate logos, subliminal advertising, the widespread use of sex, and the flicker rate that was set by the CIA/Pentagon through it’s Texas University hand puppet, and it sounds even more like magick.

    If Magick teaches anything it is the expansion of viewpoint and perspective, not the limiting that you have tried to impose on it. Perhaps you should re-read.

    Faced with a choice of the above quote by an expert and your “familiar” view, I think I will have to go with the expert. Sorry!

    You have never seen me make a nasty remark. Believe me you would know the difference immediately. Those generally go for the jugular, which is why I don’t make them anymore. There is way too much Net-rage going on today as it is. All I did was respond to a dismissive post, with one of my own.

    My previous comment seems to be standing up so far.

  • Ittabena

    Oh, ouch. I am so hurt.

    I do not take anyone’s word for anything. Gotta do better than that.

    Meh!

  • Ittabena

    You get what you give, was my point.

    I only responded in kind to yours, as I said.

    Is English your second language? Because you’re not doing very well here. You seem overly proud as you make your drive by comments, and yet continue to prove me out with them.

  • Ittabena

    No, I am not through. I still walk and talk and breathe normally so I still await your joining in, in this “discussion” of yours.

    What you think is obvious only demonstrates your unfamiliarity with a subject which you claimed to be “familiar” with.

    >”I think it’s obvious that reality is reality and that magic is magic.”

    …also demonstrates your naivete. Or are you now saying that reality and magic are mutually exclusive.

    Can you debate, or merely whine about manners when you got the whole thing rolling in the first place?

    You came to this discussion completely unarmed with any real knowledge of the subject matter. That is the only thing that is obvious.

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