A Lawyer Presents the Case for the Afterlife


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By Retired attorney Victor Zammit

After 22 years of dealing with all kinds of paranormal skeptics, I can relate to you there are at least seven reasons why materialists - who mistakenly call themselves 'skeptics' - tend to remain stubborn about their skeptical beliefs – and why some of them unreasonably attack those who scientifically and empirically investigate evidence for the paranormal .

Of course, the seven reasons below can apply to any materialist - andy any person who inflexibly holds strict subjective, personal beliefs. These reasons could equally apply to any orthodox Fundamentalist – religious or secular.

My experience with materialists (closed minded skeptics) is that they do not investigate the evidence. Basically, they completely reject any information which is not consistent with their own cherished skeptical beliefs - even if it is scientifically supported.

This is because these closed minded skeptics are in fact materialists who hijacked the term 'skeptic' - to give themselves some respectability. Why? Because skepticism refers to 'doubt' - which means it is possible for eventual validation once the paranormal issue is proven. But no materialist will allow any paranormal - not even concede to just 1% of the paranormal - even when there is repeatable evidence for validation of the paranormal - such as in telapathy. Accordingly, materialists really DENY not DOUBT.

My experience tells me that theses materialists (closed minded skeptics) do not have skills, competence and the ability to perceive the paranormal with true empirical equanimity - in an objective, scientific balanced way:

1. ‘RATIONALIZATION THROUGH COGNITIVE DISSONANCE’: ‘Cognitive dissonance’ is a term used by psychologists to describe the discomfort that arises when people are confronted with information fundamentally inconsistent with their beliefs. When a materialist is confronted with highly persuasive evidence for the paranormal-afterlife the materialist will deny it has any validity. This is because the evidence will elicit anxiety, increase his blood pressure, more sweat etc. Denial will follow. The materialist will become angry, hostile and even aggressive. He will try to reduce anxiety by rationalizing his beliefs and going into extreme DENIAL.

2. ‘CATHEXIS’: This is another term in psychology which explains that some people may have a very powerful – usually unconscious super-glue connection with an idea or a thing. Applied to the skeptics this is where a class of skeptics are ‘cathexed’ to closed minded skepticism. Because the connection is powerful and unconscious, they will attack their source of anxiety – the person who puts forward the evidence for the paranormal. So, one cannot use logic, science or repeatable and objective evidence to try to reverse their cathexis.

3. NEUROLINGUISTIC PROGRAMMING (NLP) states that when these skeptics are confronted with information which is fundamentally inconsistent with their own deeply cherished beliefs, the mind of the skeptic will DELETE that information. This is because the new information will give a great deal of anxiety to the skeptic. As with ‘cognitive dissonance’ above, the skeptic will experience anxiety, disturbance of his ‘comfort zone’. This accounts for the skeptic going into complete DENIAL. The more aggressive skeptics will even cheat, mislead and lie about the real situation.

4. ENVIRONMENTAL PROGRAMMING – ‘environment determines perception’: there is a saying that by and large, the environment you were born in will shape how you will see the world. If a Western skeptic from New York was born in India, more likely than not the skeptic would be a Hindu. If born to a radical, extremist Islamic family, the skeptic would be a Moslem. If born to an orthodox Jewish family, the skeptic would be an orthodox Jew. One needs to have skills to rise above environmental conditioning and programming.

5. BRAIN-EXPLANATION FOR 'CLOSED SKEPTICISM': Here is another explanation for the stubbornness of closed- minded skeptics. It's the biological argument for closed-skepticism. When you have a rigid belief system the neurons in the brain fire in a certain defined network. So if information (e.g. afterlife evidence) comes into the brain and contradicts the rigid belief system (skepticism) those neural pathways will fire in the same old way and will not de-code the new information. It’s just like a filter. It's only when the skeptic has a dramatic experience that a new neural pathway is established and the old one gradually falls into disuse. Belief systems are fundamental to filtering reality.

6. PRIMARY MOTIVATION: MONEY, POWER AND STATUS. There is also a very tiny minority who choose to be materialists calling themselves 'skeptics' for career advancement and/ or to make money, to attain influence and celebrity. For example, you may get a scientist who will reject the paranormal because he/she can get funding for opposing the paranormal. These people will never listen to logic, to science, to rational reasoning, to common sense. They can’t move from their position because they would lose money, power and status. To use a familar saying, they go from a rooster to a feather duster.

7. THE 'SMORGASBORD ARGUMENT': Professor Stephen Hawking the astronomer with Professor Richard Dawkins (and other closed minded skeptics) are most notorious for using this 'SMORGASBORD' argument - picking and using only the information that substantiates their own negative materialist prejudices. These closed -minded skeptical professors do not know that in a court-room situation their 'smorgasbord argument' would be torn to shreds. Why? Because they would be cross-examined on the critical, most vital evidence that they try to delete - that fundamentally contradicts their deeply entrenched negative prejudices. These closed-skeptical scientists make a huge error thinking that they are experts in law as well. Wrong! A litigation lawyer has exclusive technical knowledge of what is relevant, what is evidentiary, what is essential admissible evidence - certainly not an astronomer or a biologist! Read the cross examination of Prof. Stephan Hawking

Victor Zammit November 2011