Since the beginning of time humans have always believed that the world they inhabited contained forces well beyond their control. This belief can affect reasoning under different conditions, it can alter emotion expressed in different situations, it can even affect how people perceive certain individuals within society. The existence of the paranormal has been embraced by some and have been completely rejected by others. Religion and culture are major factors in the belief of the paranormal.
A run through on the Paranormal…. The word paranormal, as you noticed, contains the words “para” and “normal”. in most definitions of the word paranormal, it is described as anything that is beyond or contrary to what is deemed scientifically possible. The definition implies that the scientific explanation of the world around us is the “normal” part of the word and “para” makes up thw aboeve, beyond, beside, contrary or against part of the meaning. The term ” Paranormal activity” is defined as a phenomenon or an experience that involves extra sensory perception, superstition, reincarnation, levitation, telekinesis, remote viewing, ghosts and the existence of aliens.
To what disciplines is this linked? Ways of knowing: perception(because all paranormal activities recoded to date deal with the senses), reason( what men of science believe such activities are in reality) and emotion(what people feel about such activities) Areas of knowledge: science (the scientific method is used to prove or disprove the existence of paranormal activities), history(used to show
The implications of the various points of view- A belief in the paranormal benefits many TV shows that are centred around the existence of such activities. The “ghost tracking market” is also benefitted as many believers buy goods(sance tables, tarot cards, EMF detectors) that supposedly let them find out if a spirit/ghost is nearby. Thus an increase in the belief of the paranormal can increase the profits of such organizations. There are some scientists who believe in the existence of paranormal activities and are trying to prove it through the use of certain devices. There are many cultures and religions in the world that have roots in the paranormal, and a staunch anti-paranormal belief can displease them.
Knowledge Claim 1- Area of Knowledge-History Agatha Rosen had disappeared during a morning walk with her friends. She had simply been walking and her body began to vanish. However, her foot steps could still be seen and people believed she might have walked into a different parallel dimension. Paranormal investigators were hired to investigate Ms. Rosen’s bizarre disappearance. The used a Geiger Counter device in order to check for the radiation levels around the place of her disappearance and they found that radiation levels were going off the charts on their device.
Knowledge Claim 2-Area of Knowledge-Science The Bermuda triangle, also known as the Devil’s triangle, is a place in the western part of the North Atlantic Ocean. It is a place where a number of planes and aircraft have been said to mysteriously disappear. The earliest allegation of unusual disappearances in the Bermuda area took place in Sep 16, 1950, which covered the loss of Flight 19, a group of 5 US Navy planes. The flight leader was said to have seen nothing out of the unusual in his last report. Over time, a number of unexplained reports started to surface, which included the disappearance of both aircraft and ships. Rumours involving the lost technology of Atlantis and even Extra terrestrials surfaced.
It was proven that the crashes and sinkings were not due to human error, piracy, equipment failure or natural disasters. Therefore, in the case of the Bermuda triangle, science could not be used to explain such disappearances for a time. Counter Claims: Compass problems have been said to cause some sailors to lose their way in the area. Scientists have theorized that local magnetic anomalies exist in the area(which take us back to the idea of ghosts, btw) The Gulf Stream is an ocean current that runs through the triangle. It might carry aircraft and water vessels from their reported position and ultimately wreck them.
Methane hydrates: lab experiments carried out shows that large amounts of methane hydrates decrease the density of water, thus destroying the buoyancy of ships and making them sink. A large amount of methane hydrates have been found in the waters of the Bermuda triangle. Ways of knowing-Perception Most of the perceptions we have of paranormal activity are gained from watching movies and redding books. All kinds of horror movies depict several supernatural entities and experiences which color the mind of the viewers. These perceptions make us question the existence of such phenomenon within our day to day activities. The audience is divided into believers and non believers.
Limitations- There are little ways to verify the existence of the paranormal using the scientific method, as such activities occur randomly. The many factors involved in such a phenomenon are also unpredictable…say you hear strange sounds, you have an EMF detector, but you can’t get a reading on it, and you don’t have a device to verify the source of the sound Bias-different groups will obviously have a different stance on the existence of the paranormal. Such bias can exist between scientists, who may or may not believe in the paranormal, and different cultures of the world, who may or may not believe in the existence of the paranormal as well.