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Featured Goodnight James Randi

Discussion in 'Religious Debates' started by blü 2, Oct 26, 2020.

  1. blü 2

    blü 2 Well-Known Member
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    James Randi (1928─2020) has left the building.

    One of the great skeptics, and a sworn enemy of frauds and deceivers.

    No one ever collected the prize he offered for a satisfactory demonstration of paranormal powers, contact with spirits, existence of ghosts, and so on (the terms of the test to be agreed in advance). Even when it rose to a million bucks, no one collected.

    Not a perfect human at times, but intelligent and fearless.

    More here and here.
     
    #1 blü 2, Oct 26, 2020
    Last edited: Oct 26, 2020
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  2. Daemon Sophic

    Daemon Sophic Avatar in flux

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    I remember him back in the 1970s shooting down some young guy who claimed to have real “magic”.
    J. Randi was always cool. He will be missed. :(
     
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  3. SeekerOnThePath

    SeekerOnThePath On a mountain between Nietzsche and Islam

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    I remember him when I was a kid.

    Just revisiting his career though, I notice a gaping void of him actually doing anything. It seems he just had a million dollars (how the hell did he get that much money?) and had an infamous challenge.
    Apart from that though, it's not like he was a scientist or anything.
    Would you consider him an entertainer? :confused:
     
  4. Shadow Wolf

    Shadow Wolf Rival's Wife

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    Truly we lost a very brilliant mind who helped shine lights into darkness.
     
  5. Shadow Wolf

    Shadow Wolf Rival's Wife

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    He began as a magician.
     
  6. SeekerOnThePath

    SeekerOnThePath On a mountain between Nietzsche and Islam

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    Abrahamism is anti-Anthropomorphic, that is why it exists in the first place.
    Interesting.

    For the record, I'm more interested in Pen & Teller personally, I think.
     
  7. Subduction Zone

    Subduction Zone Veteran Member

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    Who always pointed out that there was no "magic" in his act. He openly said that it was all illusion, but he did not give away his secrets.

    Meanwhile he as a magician recognized magic tricks when done by others. That was why he was able to debunk Uri Geller and others of his ilk. He was moderately well known, but it was his debunking of Geller that launched his late career. He saw the value of magic as entertainment, but he did not like to see that entertainment abused.
     
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  8. Subduction Zone

    Subduction Zone Veteran Member

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  9. blü 2

    blü 2 Well-Known Member
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    Yes, he was a stage magician, particularly during the first half. Then he had a series on TV where people made a monitored bid for the bucks on offer. Meanwhile he was a propagandist for skepicism about the paranormal and supernatural, with a special focus on folk who turned these ideas into con games.

    No, he wasn't a scientist. No, he wasn't an important author.

    Yes, he was a good stage magician. Yes, this armed him very well to deal with frauds including Yuri Geller. Yes he believed in what he was doing about conmen and peddlers of nonsense. Yes, he was a very effective champion of the causes he believed in. Yes, it was real money that was on offer in his challenge, though not all of it was from his personal earnings.
     
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  10. danieldemol

    danieldemol Well-Known Member
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  11. Mock Turtle

    Mock Turtle Silent Generation - so don't expect much
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    I think the entertainers were/are those who failed to take his money, but still go on to fool the gullible with their particular brand of 'magic'. :oops:
     
    #11 Mock Turtle, Oct 27, 2020
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  12. blü 2

    blü 2 Well-Known Member
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    Yes, two great performers and magicians.

    But not crusaders involved in a cause greater than magic ─ or at least, not as part of their public life.
     
  13. Twilight Hue

    Twilight Hue Twilight, not bright nor dark, good nor bad.

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    His crowning glory was the exposure of the televangelist fraudster Peter Popoff and his accomplice wife using earpieces to enable their con.

    Genius.

    Rip Randi. You left the world a bit brighter than before.
     
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  14. George-ananda

    George-ananda Advaita Vedanta, Theosophy, Spiritualism
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    My opinion on Randi is that he debunked when he could but would resort to lying/twisting/obfuscating when he couldn't. I saw his $1M Award as a publicity stunt as his organization was the final arbiter. He was a bad apple for serious skeptics.
     
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  15. Shadow Wolf

    Shadow Wolf Rival's Wife

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    No, that was showing confidence. That we can brazenly stand against claims of superstition and magical occurrences. That we need not be afraid of the ghosts that spook the believers. And he did it with a high-stakes wager to assert his confidence in his claim. And all he really did throw in some ingenious barriers for the would be psychic to overcome. And no matter if it was his staff doing a random set up so the psychic would not know where things are or tiny particles to detect someone blowing air to manipulate something, they could never perform outside of their own setup.
    And the excuses come flying in like a plague of locusts.
    My favorite is actually with Geller, but not so much the debunking but the fallout over debunking him and Geller making multiple attempts at suing Randi over the years. You'd think Geller just would have gave up his act after Randi showed a cereal box teaching you how to bend spoons. And Geller is such a con he kept up with the nonsense scams anyways and still attacked Randi.
     
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  16. George-ananda

    George-ananda Advaita Vedanta, Theosophy, Spiritualism
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    Randi showboated for the anti-paranormal crowd and his segment of society worshipped him. The bottom line is that the paranormal is real too and he attacked both the real and the hoaxes.

    By the way I believe Uri Geller had real abilities. SRI testing and metal bending under controlled conditions are some of my reasons. Randi tried to blow a smoke screen in front of serious stuff and the anti-paranormal segment ate it up with relish.
     
  17. Shadow Wolf

    Shadow Wolf Rival's Wife

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    He showed us though it isn't real. That was basically his life's work.
    And he wasn't showboating. He was smart, confident, assertive, and far more intelligent than what many charlatans and his doubters give him credit for. The ones showboating are the frauds who use simple deception and trickery to deceive people. All Randi did was say "demonstrate your abilities in a controlled environment."
    We can also look at the USA and USSR, who both extensively and studied the paranormal. They quit those programs because it was consistently and repeatedly found--just as Randi was showing us--there's nothing there.
     
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  18. Twilight Hue

    Twilight Hue Twilight, not bright nor dark, good nor bad.

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    Must be paranormal. Uri lost his powers everytime Randi was around.
     
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  19. George-ananda

    George-ananda Advaita Vedanta, Theosophy, Spiritualism
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    Another skeptic urban legend. They never really appeared together for a performance. Randi would dodge that.
     
  20. Twilight Hue

    Twilight Hue Twilight, not bright nor dark, good nor bad.

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    Actually its just the opposite.

    But your right. I had Uri confused with Hydrick.
     
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