Does anyone here believe in psychics? And why?

I don’t have statistics but I have the feeling that not many atheists believe in psychic powers. Skepticism in things without clear proof is kind of an atheist thing. Also, if you don’t believe anything survives after physical dead it kind of precludes that talking to the dead thing.
My co-workers are tickled that a psychic is giving a show in town and a bunch of them are going. The thing is they are all professed christians. I really don’t get it. Unlike with a lot of things the bible is pretty clear on this one, it just plain says don’t do it, it makes you “unclean” etc. etc. My thought is that christian leaders didn’t want to lose any of their influence or money to these soothsayers.
I of course don’t want to get into this at work and just made it clear that conman will not be getting a cent of my money and they should be in jail :slight_smile: , but I am interested in why people believe this stuff. Both athiest and christians seem to have pretty good reason not to, or if you do believe in it not to participate. Maybe I should ask this in a christian forum to see their reasoning.

Why? Because I did when I was younger. Been there done that. I even spent long hours gazing at pencils, marbles and other objects and trying to move them with my mind. Because of my OBE ability I also tried remote viewing. I read all the shit about the US military remote viewers and bought into all the bullshit. I discovered that you can convince yourself of anything if you try hard enough, even invisible omnipotent flying creator sky beings that create universes. (Believing is seeing.) Be careful what you believe. It will come true.

Have them watch a few videos on “Cold Reading” before they go. Challenge them to see if they can catch the psychic doing this.

Next. When they go, make sure that they all use false names, addresses and family relations. Have them all invent problems, dying mothers and such, with anyone they talk to at the event. Just to see if their names get called.

If they do get called, say ‘Yes’ no matter what and see how wrong the psychic can be.

Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha … You are so wrong. When the religious do it, they don’t call it being psychic. They call it “PROPHECY” Ha ha ha ha ha … They call it "Answered Prayer, “Jesus told me…” Ha ha ha ha ha ha … You are sooooo wrong.

At least you got this part right. The only psychics you should listen to are the ones you meed every Sunday. Now give them your money and pray for the magic to happen to you.

Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha

Christian: It’s evil. It’s the work of the devil. Only my magic is real. Their magic is bad.

Atheist: Can you demonstrate any of this shit is real? Any at all? No? Then what the fuck are you doing?


Well, OF COURSE physics is real. Duh! :roll_eyes: How the hell else could we have designed and built airplanes and submarines and artillery guns and slinkies and slingshots an-… Oh, dang. You said “PSYCHICS”. Oops. My bad. Uh… Anyway…

Personally, I love psychics and stuff like that. Fascinates me. Not because I believe in the “supernatural” aspect of it, though. It’s primarily because I appreciate the skill involved in “reading” people and psychologically manipulating them the way most psychics do. Mind games are fun stuff for me, and (to be honest) I can sometimes be a bit jealous of those who are highly proficient in that field. I have a few little tricks I learned from my time on the streets, and I can mess with people’s brains in small ways whenever necessary. However, I thoroughly enjoy watching a “professional” at work.

On something of a side note, there are certainly folks out there with natural “empathic” abilities. My wife is one, as a matter of fact. I’ve been amazed more than a few times at how she can meet a total stranger and tell them many personal things about themselves just by observing and listening to them for a minute or two. And she really doesn’t even try. It’s simply “automatic” for her. So imagine, if you will, those who are out there for the sole purpose of making money off people who don’t know any better. Sure, most are complete amateurs. But you better believe the successful ones are absolute MASTERS of psychology. And most of them do not work alone.


The chances of them doing this are slim and none. They believe that some are fakes, but the one they’re going to see is real. The tickets aren’t cheap, and they can’t afford the seats up front where they might have interaction, but if by some chance she does pick them they won’t waste what they see as a chance to communicate with their dead loved ones.

That’s a good point, I really hadn’t thought about all the prophesying that goes on in christianity. The medium they’re going to see is all about talking to the dead though. Necromancy is very much forbidden.
There has been one bright spot, they’ve stopped their daily whining about how broke they are. You can’t spend a big chunk of change on some ticket then whine that you have no money, at least not with me sitting there :slight_smile: .

Oh, I agree, they are fascinating. I just feel they do a great deal of harm, and even to see one just for fun is supporting them. How many people will max out their credit cards or spend the rent money for a chance to talk to a dead loved one? My guess is lots. I’m wondering how cops feel about them when it comes to finding missing people or murderers? They must be a huge waste of time, not to mention their outright preying on victims families. One of the things mentioned by my co-workers in saying some psychics are real is how they help the police. I’ve never found any instance of psychics helping find dead bodies etc that weren’t very vague and/or something the odds favored, like a kidnap victim being dead after a couple of weeks.
I have met very empathic people too. That talent can be used for so many good things, it seems such a waste on con men.

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Heh, a part of my angioplasty account is relevant here.

I was waiting for the pre-operation angiogram, when I overheard a conversation in a nearby cubicle …

“What do you do for a living?”

“I’m a psychic reader”.

My VERY FIRST thought at the end of that reply was “I bet you didn’t foresee this coming, did you chum?” :smiley:

I’ve been meaning to keep an eye out and see if he ever shows up on any celebrity circuit. Only this will be a fun bomb to drop before the audience …


Atheism is the absence or lack of belief in any deity or deities, beyond that all assumptions are unevidenced.

As for “psychic powers” could you accurately define what you mean, and present what objective evidence supports it, otherwise there is nothing to examine.

Well I can’t speak for other atheists, but I’d say for me the exact opposite is true, what I mean is atheism is the result of scepticism, not the other way around. So they may be synonymous for some, (not all) the cause and effect order is often misunderstood.

Again I have not seen any objective evidence that we can survive our own physical deaths in any meaningful way, so this claim gets the same question all claims get.

Nothing in that assertion surprises me.

Given how often the bible contradicts itself, and how often it is vague and ambiguous, why would it surprise you that adherents cherry pick which bits they like, and when? I have seen no objective evidence that any deity created anything in its own image, but there is overwhelming objective evidence that humans create deities in their own image.

I suppose the point of claiming to worship an ultimate power is somewhat negated, if it can be usurped so easily, since these shysters use the same kind of chicanery that religions do, then yes I can see why religions would feel threatened.

Well it is a free market economy, in my experience the sheeple generally don’t appreciate it when their idiotic gullibility is exposed, do you generally appreciate it when someone makes it clear publicly that you’ve been fooled or duped?

People is dumb.

Atheism is only the lack or absence of belief in any deity or deities, and I have encountered atheists who range from bat shit crazy to dumber than a bucket of hair. Christians already indulge superstition, and cherry pick subjectively what they believe, so no I don’t see this belief in any way as mutually exclusive with irrational subjective bias.

Give it a try by all means, but they already hold subjective biased beliefs in unevidenced supersitoon, and are happy to rationalise their biased cherry picking of it, so I’m not sure what you’re looking for that you don’t already know.

Yeah, what you said. I just didn’t word it very well. Most of this is just speculation I’m yammering on about. I don’t know of any studies.

I’m trying to get an idea how wide spread believing in psychics and mediums is in the christian community. I’m wondering if going to psychics or mediums extends to all education levels. I’d be interested to know if the run of the mill clergy is known to preach against it. I think I first learned about the prohibitions against necromancy was when the televangelist Benny Hinn was criticized for saying he did such things.
A christian forum might have some of these answers. Considering I live in something of a bible belt I was kind of surprised that so many jumped on the idea of attending a chat with the dead and seem ardent believers. I guess it makes sense that they believe in the magical, but I thought they’d at least be more cautious where this magic comes from with all the talk of demons and being tricked by the devil.

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I have a master’s and a teaching credential… LOL.

Yes, I know. And it explains a lot… (snicker-snicker)… :grin:

(Edit to push a few buttons.)


Uh, about that…I have heard tell that you are rather accomplished at attaching organic attractants to fishing tackle…ergo the title of “master”

Edit (it’s all in the wrist)

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Reminds me of similar incident I had many years ago. Some here have already heard it, but it’s quite relevent to this thread. Besides, it’s also a bit humorous, sooooo… :grin:

Was with my task force team one evening when we stopped for our lunch break. Directly across the street from the restaurant we had chosen was a “Palm Reading Psychic” business. The place had been there for as long as I could remember. Very well established. Hell, it was practically a landmark for that area. Anyway, we were walking across the parking lot when one of the guys motioned toward the psychic shop and told us, “Hey, did you hear that the lady who owns the place recently died?” The rest of us were shaking our heads to indicate we had not. One of the other guys then asked what had happened. We were told, “She got killed in a car wreck a few days ago.” I was slightly ahead of everybody at that moment, and without turning around or breaking stride, I said, “She must not have been a very good psychic. You would think she would have seen it coming and avoided it.” Would you believe those sorry bastards actually started BOOING me and telling me how cold and fucked up that was? :grinning_face_with_smiling_eyes::grinning_face_with_smiling_eyes::grinning_face_with_smiling_eyes:


Not trying to be intrusive, but it sounds like you might be implying that Cog needs a good spanking? :innocent:

Yes yes, Headmaster… comes to mind… wait! That’s not what I meant to say… I mean loadmaster… No! That’s not any better… What I meant to say was drillmaster… ohhh! God! This is not sounding good at all… Bushmaster? Damn… I just don’t know what you mean. Oh, oh oh… Headmistress… That’s it !!! Isn’t it!!! No wait. That would be Master Mistress… Oh! I am so confused…

I seem to recall seeing a picture of a pug in leather gear. Mistress Whitefire?

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The simple answer is because they don’t know how it works.

Psychics, Omens, Fortunes and Prophecy are ancient gimmicks that are almost as old as prostitution. One thing they all have in common is a message or warning that has no date of arrival - keeping its believers guessing into eternity - and making it a prediction thats good until the end of time. When given enough time, an event with similar themes will eventually arise and the warning is then verbally massaged to make it appear true. Some prophecies have been perpetuated for so long, that dozens of events have been repeatedly attributed to them.

The psychics and mediums of today like the one your friends went to are just modern versions of ancient prophets. Their business models are different but they use the same trick. Recently, they have come up with even better tricks that actually use science to deceive people - the art of Cold Readings. Its based on psychological types can be classified into 16 different categories with 4 groups of 4 types:


E - Extrovert
I - Introvert
S - Sensing
N - Intuitive
T - Thinking
F - Feeling
j - Judging
p - Perceiving

Psychics combine these 16 type classifications into only four and use a system of general questions designed to probe the compressed groups quickly - mainly by body language and voice characteristics. The probe begins with a very general target of the entire audience such as “I’m seeing a name that starts with L” or “I see a significant date with the number 14”. The probes drill down the audience until they find a person who is gullible, vulnerable, or susceptible to suggestion - basically people who fall into the Introvert groups.

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It isn’t cold reading because they ask you questions before they give you the results. I guess it is hot reading?

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The MBTI may be a useful tool in cold readings. Even so, it would be a very minor tool. The art of cold reading lies in the disqualification of comments. Saying something without actually saying it and waiting for a response from the victim. The MBTI will not give a person anywhere near enoug information to perform a cold reading.

Cold reading is a set of techniques used by mentalists, psychics, fortune-tellers, and mediums.[1] Without prior knowledge, a practiced cold-reader can quickly obtain a great deal of information by analyzing the person’s body language, age, clothing or fashion, hairstyle, gender, sexual orientation, religion, ethnicity, level of education, manner of speech, place of origin, etc. during a line of questioning. Cold readings commonly employ high-probability guesses, quickly picking up on signals as to whether their guesses are in the right direction or not, then emphasizing and reinforcing chance connections and quickly moving on from missed guesses. Psychologists believe that this appears to work because of the Forer effect and due to confirmation biases within people.[2]

The Barnum effect, also called the Forer effect or, less commonly, the Barnum–Forer effect, is a common psychological phenomenon whereby individuals give high accuracy ratings to descriptions of their personality that supposedly are tailored specifically to them, yet which are in fact vague and general enough to apply to a wide range of people.[1] This effect can provide a partial explanation for the widespread acceptance of some paranormal beliefs and practices, such as astrology, fortune telling, aura reading, and some types of personality tests.[1]

I’m calling it… TROLL!

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Cold readings are for zero info on audience member. Hot readings are info gained prior to the show. Psychics will use both if possible. In the past, they sometimes used “plants” (actors posing as unrelated audience participants). Not sure if they still employ that method.

Correct. It is only used to fish out a target from the audience. Other tools are used afterwards to jostle out a past event from their memory that have some emotional meaning. The basic pattern is that the audience participant tells the details of the story while the psychic only peppers it with things that no one can verify (ie she wants you to know that shes ok…).

HAHA yes thats a better term for them.

Is this a classic cold reading technique? Oh yes, yes, yes, that’s what I said all along. Hmmmm? Does the post not seem highly suspicious? Or is it just my skeptical nature?