Re: Ad Hominem
Sep 21, 1996 04:46 PM
by Dr. A.M.Bain
In message <firstname.lastname@example.org>, RIhle@aol.com
>Might one not agree that at least some small consideration of a person's
>apart-from-fame, private life and developed abilities may be helpful when it
>comes to judging the validity of his or her esoteric ideas?
IMO the validity or otherwise of anyone's esoteric *ideas* is something
that can only be tested by considering the ideas on their own merit.
Now esoteric *claims* - that's another matter.
>As far as I'm concerned, anyway, if a person intimates that they have
>preternatural powers, I start the questioning by asking them how much they
>can bench press. . .
"Preternatural Powers!" Quite a mouthful! Personally, I worry about
*anyone* who tells me they have "powers". Like some others, I have
certain *abilities*. The fact that I have them depends, so far as I can
tell, upon *two* factors. The first, and probably the most important,
is an *inherited* disposition - it's in there somewhere among genes,
chromosomes, or whatever. Like it runs in the family. The second
factor is the development of what is already there in consequence of
having studied things "occult" and "psychic".
Without the inherent disposition, however, no amount of study will
enable those abilities and faculties. Concerning your "test" question,
I cannot bench press at all - arthritis prevents these days, but I was
lousy at it before. This is a disposition and an ability or faculty
which I possess in small measure.
Sooo - in approaching these matters, lifestyle is something which may be
important for the student to apply to self, but is of little value in
assessing the worth of those from whom I may learn more about esoteric
matters. My first lessons in astrology were received from a male
homosexual who suffered from such a severe curvature of the spine that
he was permanently doubled over. Astrology was the *only* thing I
learned from him - he was a very good astrologer. I liked him as a
person, but there was no way I would have wanted to share his lifestyle.
For one thing, he was permanently homeless, and had a fancy for 17-year
olds, which I was always amazed to note he had no trouble in making it
I have learned various things from people who subscibe to the list, and
of whose personal lifestyle and habits I know very little or nothing
whatever. I don't even believe everything Chuck tells us about himself
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