I was just wondering how someone should address supernatural/spiritual claims. I've had people tell me all sorts of crazy stuff. For example, I had one person (someone quite close to me actually) tell me they had a book which taught them how to get in peoples heads, and that by using the book they were able to get in someones head and see through their eyes and things like this. Supposedly the person they did this to said he was creeped out by it because apparently they knew things about him that they couldn't have known without getting in his head. I've also had people claim other sort of supernatural and spiritual things and I really don't know how to address them. I can pretty well take on people who claim to have personal relationships, but outside of those types of claims I have no idea. Of course I could ask for proof, but there is no way for them to prove it, essentially I'd have to have been there seen everything myself, but anyway, how could I go about addressing this stuff? I know there is an explanation for it, and I don't want to just flat out say the person is lying because often times I think people are genuine and things really did happen which aren't explainable to them so they attach supertnatural explanations since they know no other way of explaining it, and then they exaggerate things to make sound more remarkable than it actually is.
People even confuse dreams, which do have meaning by the way. Dreams are not paranormal, but some may take them that way. My most recent dream was of being chased by silverback gorillas running on all fours, and they were as big as cars. The only safe place for me was at my now long dead grandfather's house. The meaning is simple really. I'm having some problems lately that seem bigger than life (really they are exaggerated) and the safest place for me in my lifetime was when I lived with my grandparents. The meaning is plain for those who can see it. Face your problems as an adult. You can make it all bigger than it really is.
*Have I seen strange objects in the sky? Yes. Does it mean these objects have intelligent design? No. Do I think beings are piloting any of these objects? No. Why do I think this way? At the turn of the century UFO's were seen as cigar shaped slow flying objects often with propellers, etc. In time they got faster and the design changed into rocket like craft, evolving into the "Star Trek" (and beyond) images seen today. Obviously the evolution that has taken place here is in the human mind.
*Spirits and ghosts are similar to the above. Have I had experiences? Yes. Does that make it real? No. IF you are asking for something to show itself, then you believe already. It is a mindset similar to the religious experience. All phenomena is likely to follow.
THE MIND creates all things whether in a dream state or in what we know as the real world. For some of us (depending on your upbringing) ideas are projected differently, or seem to cross over from mind to a real state. This becomes real only if you make it real.
A lot of us are annoyed by people pushing irrationality of some kind.
Around here it's irrationality of a medical nature - anti-vacc, naturopaths, NAET for allergies etc. etc. They can really get in your face!
But yes, how do you cope, can you possibly say anything that will make a difference to the believers, is an important issue.
James Randi's Million Dollar Challenge makes an effective point. He's telling the paranormal believers: Look, come here and pick up LOTS of money, if you really can prove you have paranormal powers!
I would just plainly tell them: For me, seeing is believing. Don't tell me, show me. Supernatural claims have it backwards, they claim believing is seeing. If they tell you that you have to accept it on faith in order to see it they are mistaken.
Well put Anthony. I like that response.