Initial Post Responds RULES When you submit a forum posting, be sure to use the “CAPCON SYSTEM,” described below Your forum grades depend on how well yo

Initial Post Responds RULES

When you submit a forum posting, be sure to use the “CAPCON SYSTEM,” described below

Your forum grades depend on how well you learn and show you’ve learned CONCEPTS introduced in your textbook. To do this you must use the CAPCON system for all assignments. Whenever you are applying a TEXTBOOK CONCEPT, type it in ALL CAPS. Also, whenever you apply a TEXTBOOK CONCEPT, don’t just “name drop” it. That is, don’t just state the concept. You have to explain what the concept is and how it applies. Be sure to note the video you are discussing.


I saw the video on an astrologer reading someone’s personality. It was so fake I could tell he was making it up!


VIDEO VIEWED: This is a review of Jon Smith’s video on Astrology. Mr. Smith, the astrologer, claimed to use his client’s horoscope to predict that “something good will happen in the future” and that the client “recently had an accident.” In term of the textbook, the astrologer’s reading use using two tricks: VAGUE READINGS that can be interpreted in any way, and UNIVERSAL FACTS that apply to nearly everyone (nearly everyone has had a recent accident, even a small one.”


Some consider James Randi to be one of the “fathers of the critical thinking movement.” Every student of critical thinking and the paranormal needs to know about him. We will encounter “The Amazing Randi” many times throughout this course, bending spoons, reading minds, removing organs from someone’s body using his “psychic powers,” and so on. After viewing his documentary, “An Honest Liar,” what do you think are the three most useful messages it presents for students of critical thinking? Also, what struck you as most interesting and important about this documentary? Remember that you get additional points for discussing what others have posted!

St1. I think the 3 most useful messages it presented for me are:

1. People will believe what they want to believe (INTUITIVE THINKING), even when presented with evidence to the contrary (not wanting to admit they were mistaken).

2. The truth is relative.

3. The quest to find facts and uncover the truth (or expose a magicians secrets) should still be ethical.

I found it interesting that Randi and his partner were living secret lives and in Jose’s case even being dishonest about his own identity, yet they touted the virtues of honesty. I also found it interesting that Randi made exposing magicians his life’s work, when he himself was one. The televangelist was sadistic and harmful to people’s well-being. I can understand that, but the “psychics” and spoon benders weren’t harming anyone. It was entertainment. In the case of the scientific studies, yes, you would think a critical thinker should have been able to spot the scam. Unfortunately, their desire to prove the unprovable, and the idea of fame and fortune likely clouded their judgment. I’m torn. Psychologically speaking, I think people need something to believe in. I’m not religious, but I’m a parent and have invoked the magic of Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny and the tooth fairy. I’m not even sure why, but my children are in the “magical thinking” stage and it seems to add some excitement to the mundane. As a child, I never believed in anything, and it was kind of a bummer. Sometimes belief and hope require a leap of faith and as long as you aren’t forgoing your doctors advice in search of a miracle, what does it hurt to believe?

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