I couldn't agree more, and I suspect that you would agree that you don't consistently apply such methods yourself?
I assume on the balance of probability that I don't, but being aware of the possibility that I don't probably reduces the chance of it occurring. Should anyone point out that I haven't, I pride myself on taking a step back and reconsidering.
I know fine well what I've experienced in life. While my interpretation of such things might be brought into question you cannot contest the experiences themselves as you weren't there. Actually you also can't contest them, period, because I refuse to post them on a webboard.
I'm not sure how this relates to me pointing out that possessing the ability to think critically does not mean that it is employed in all situations.
I'll just take one of your examples and pick it apart. Communicating with the dead. You evidently haven't done this, but appear to preclude the possibility, notwithstanding the development of science which may eventually unlock such secrets if they are truly possible. I openly acknowledge the possibility that it may all be a crock, but it can currently be proven neither for nor against.
I'm sorry you are upset, please believe I wasn't making a personal attack on you, merely pointing out that the logic you employed did not imply (what I assumed was) the intended conclusion.
The experiences that Sir Arthur Conan Doyle considered evidence for communication with the dead were no different to the parlor tricks that Houdini knew were employed during seances. Sir Arthur Conan Doyle did not believe in communicating with the dead because of the evidence, because Houdini could explain all the evidence more simply, Sir Arthur believed in it because he wanted to.
When Houdini staged demonstrations for Sir Athur, he would not show him how the tricks were performed, but would inform him in no uncertain terms that what he was seeing was trickery and not paranormal. Sir Athur's response? He believed that all Houdini did not realise it himself, he must possess paranormal abilities. He refused to accept the confession of the person tricking him. Yet this is the person we know could at least simulate critical thinking in his character Sherlock Holmes.
When I discovered this I thought it an interesting point, which is why I mentioned it in my post to you.
This does not prove, and I did not say, that communicating with the dead is not possible. Just that what Sir Athur Conan Doyle considered evidence was nothing of the sort.
At best your example only highlights that Houdini had developed beyond mere superstitious belief. There's no evidence that Doyle hadn't also, other than you ahving adjudged him by a standard that places all the "supernatural" in the category of quackery.
The evidence is above.
I can't entirely blame ya. I've seen some shyte that I wouldn't have believed had I not experienced it first hand.
Do you mean to imply that seeing or experiencing something means that it must be real? I'm seen many things that are not real, that do not exist, seeing them does not make them exist, experiencing them does not make them real.
In my own case I interpret this using theological terminology, for personal reasons that are related to the whole experience. To another it might be interpreted differently.
I hope you have taken into account the fallibility of the mind in accurately perceiving reality in certain situations. Experiences and recall of events have been shown to be shaped by misperceptions, what a person wants to believe, the reconstructive nature of memory, etc.
Only two logical rules are needed to rescue us from these pitfalls: Occam's razor, and David Hume's "extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence".