The Ethics of Paranormal Investigation, Part 1 of 2

Today we end our first hiatus (which turned out to by much longer than we’d planned — apologies, dear readers!) with the first of a two-part video blog. It’s a discussion of the panel I moderated at TAM9 this year, titled “The Ethics of Paranormal Investigation.” Topics include: Is it acceptable to use deception in the course of unmasking someone else’s deception? What do you do when the person claiming paranormal powers is a child? How much do you feel obligated to ensure the confidentiality of the people you’re investigating? And do you have any responsibility, as a mentalist or magician, to make sure your audience understands what you’re doing isn’t real?

3 Responses to The Ethics of Paranormal Investigation, Part 1 of 2

  1. Cory Albrecht says:

    I made it there, coffee clutched in hand! šŸ™‚

    In any investigation ethics should always be in the front of one’s mind – paranormal investigations, police investigations, any kind.

    IMO, the more strongly convinced you are that you are “on the side of right” the more likely you are to use and ends justifies the means rationalization for any accidental misstep you make over the line.

    In the the interview by Jamy Ian Swiss with Randi, Banachek and Mark Edward about Project Alpha one of them touched upon how they had decided beforehand that there were certain key questions which they would answer truthfully and that they would only go so far in their portrayals of “psychic” young men. Concrete limitations like that are, I think, key, rather than just a vague commitment to “being ethical”.

  2. Pingback: Ethics of paranormal investigation, part 2 of 2 « Measure of Doubt

  3. MaximumWage says:

    Interesting stuff I’m a big fan of Mr Randi and his expose on supposed psychics…. Just a note on aesthetics of Vlogging/youtubing etc, As an actor/comedian/youtuber try using the other side of your face or switching during talking it was a little distracting only seeing one side of your face the whole video. When you started to square off on the camera towards the end briefly it was a nice break. just a little constructive criticism, Don’t mean to be a nitpicker.

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