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Okay I admit it.... I would have liked to be a fly on the wall to see the look of surprise on James Randi's face when he realized he was out of his body and that he was fixing to enter the Light.

And for the record I highly suspicion that belief is irrelevant. Belief or unbelief is just another way of experiencing more duality and separation. In the end we are all healed and enter that Light.

Several years ago, I would have had a smug smile at hearing about Mr. Randi's death. Nowadays, though, I don't harbor any ill feelings towards him because he was a reminder that critical thinking should not be discarded when you believe in the supernatural; people just starting on their spiritual path need to know that there are con men, charlatans, and frauds out there who will seek to take advantage of them, and - more importantly - that all channeled material shouldn't be accepted at face value, but looked at with a critical eye, and that one can find falsehoods, lies, and (very well hidden) malevolence there, too.

Still, assuming that the spiritual world does exist, I'd love to know what Mr. Randi's first reaction would have been upon realizing that fact.

Maybe Bruce is gently ribbing Randi right now, "Welcome! What's up? Told ya so"

Art wrote,

||I would have liked to be a fly on the wall to see the look of surprise on James Randi's face when he realized he was out of his body and that he was fixing to enter the Light.||

And Ian wrote,

||Still, assuming that the spiritual world does exist, I'd love to know what Mr. Randi's first reaction would have been upon realizing that fact.||

And Eric had a funny comment. :)

I suspect that for Randi and others who didn't believe while on Earth, that it's not so much a surprise but more like Roger Ebert's seeing through the "hoax." I.e., one doesn't learn something new but realizes that one had known of the existence of the beyond all along.

I don't have a huge amount of animosity toward Randi either. He did a palpable amount of good exposing actual frauds. I think he was something of a fraud himself with his Challenge. It gave Skeptics the ultimate talking point for decades: "If the paranormal were real, someone could just go win a million dollars--why don't they?"

Rather ingenious, as responding to this very simple talking point required a complete explication as to why the Challenge was unfair, disingenuous, and so on.

But in life there will always be such an opponent to one's cause, and Randi played the role of Master Skeptic as well anyone could have. I think he is owed some appreciation for that.

Requiescat in pace!

Worth reading this old Paranormalia post about Randi:

Not to speak ill of the deceased, but also we shouldn't avoid the issue of Randi's pseudo-skepticism.

//"Not to speak ill of the deceased, but also we shouldn't avoid the issue of Randi's pseudo-skepticism." - Saj//

Well I am very suspicious of free will anyway so I suspicion we are all just playing our parts and everything that happens here happens for a reason and so none of us are really evil but are more like actors playing our parts. Actors and teachers at the same time, teaching each other the things we came here to learn.

And I also believe we will all be healed when we enter the Light due to those overwhelming feelings of oneness and connectedness. What one knows we will all know and so we will realize why we all acted and did the things we do.

I am very skeptical that there is an afterlife and Randi made a lot of sense. I remember when I was in college, he was a guest speaker and it was fascinating. I wasn’t into this back then so I didn’t know who he was. Why couldn’t anyone win the $100? He called out frauds like Silvia brown and others who prey on the weak.

Bernardo, while there are many frauds who prey on the weak there are also many people who genuinely have such abilities. I would recommend that you check out Michael Woodley-of-Menie and Patrizio Tressoldi's mediumship study meta analysis.

Here is a critical look at Randi's impact on parapsychology labs and serious researchers. I could do without the gratuitous political swipes, and I think the piece perhaps overstates the value of laboratory research (as opposed to field studies and even the dreaded anecdotal account), but it provides a counterbalance to the many encomia lavished on Randi upon his passing.

Thanks Michael,

Your post was exactly what I was thinking of - The amount of praise lavished on Randi now that he has passed away should be balanced with the truth.

Art -

Having come from a culture that had a caste system in which everyone supposedly was playing a role for the Ur Mind...I feel morally obligated to disagree with your position.

Bernardo -

Look at the link I posted, maybe even read Will Storr's book The Heretics. If Randi was convinced truth was on his side why did he need to exaggerate and even lie?

I hadn't heard of Randi's death. Thank you for posting this.

I can't help but think of Kurt Vonnegut's hilarious comment to the Humanist Society upon Isaac Asimov's death: "Isaac's in heaven now."

I hope all three are having a marvelous time in the next world and continuing to learn and expand their abilities.

Frankly, I wonder what Randi's remarks were when he got TO THE OTHERSIDE? Something like, "Holy CRAP! This is impossible."

regarding the article you cited, I read half the comments of that article which was mostly hate so I didn't bother to read the other half but was there any comment that actually made a valid point against the article I would check myself but there is just so much hate that its hard for me to read them without letting it affect me.

Which article are you referring to, Ben?

I think Ben is referring to this article:

If you made the horrible mistake of reading the comments like Ben and I did, most them were spamming bogus claimss like "THiS mAn is UPseT BeCAusE RaNDI WaS MeAN to COn-ArTISts!!!" (which is not at all what he said, the argument was of course that Randi tended to lump con-artists with genuine people, but why address arguments when you can straw-man your opponent, right?)

I think Ben was wondering if you looked at the comments and find any actually valid counter-point.

But I do have an issue with that article, being that I think the legit good Randi has done was grossly downplayed (ironic considering the article was about not downplaying legit research just because there are greedy frauds a-plenty). I recently watched a video on the many frauds Randi exposed, some of whom were really huge for a time, and I don't think exposing those assholes is a small thing, since those guys were genuine parasites and exposing them probably saved a large number of people.

Yes, I did read the article Saj linked and I did read Michael's article on his treatment of Puthoff and Targ and those things are worthy of critique. But I can't say I agree he did more harm than good like Michael did a long time ago. For instance, if there is an afterlife, it'll exist regardless of what people think, right?

Man, I have a tendency to ramble....

Randi did some good, but I think exposing frauds and then using that reputation to try and ruin careers with lies leaves him morally in the red.

But hey, whatever Judgement he receives in the beyond is obviously not up to me.

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