Analyst vs. Believer: The Harm of Unchecked Belief
I spend a lot of time criticizing the work, methods and mindset of prominent skeptics, and for a large part I think they deserve it. The skeptics I target label themselves as the voice of reason in the paranormal debate, but I find many significant flaws and indications of bias in their work. Today, however, I take on the believers.
Let me clarify that I have no problem with someone being a skeptic or a believer; what I do have a problem with is when skeptics and believers claim they are unbiased even when I can clearly see their prejudice bleeding into everything they say and write.
In fact in some areas I would qualify as a believer, in others, a skeptic. I had some significant personal experiences that lead me into the realm of the paranormal so in that sense I do believe that paranormal things can and do happen. I also see some pieces of evidence and phenomenon that make me immediately skeptical. But over time I have learned to recognize these biases. They can be useful at times, however they are extremely detrimental to investigations of the paranormal. I would even go so far to say in most cases, bias will make us incapable of judging the truth based on the evidence. In other words if we really want to get to the bottom of paranormal phenomenon we need to check our beliefs at the door.
There is nothing wrong with being a skeptic or a believer, but when it comes time to investigate, flip the switch. We all have to learn to spot our own bias, to follow the method and remain dedicated to the truth. These answers are bigger than us, they are bigger than our beliefs. Ya it can suck to get proved wrong, and even more to prove yourself wrong; but solving these paranormal issues are too important to let bias taint the work.