The Instigator
Pro (for)
0 Points
The Contender
Con (against)
0 Points

All Psychics are Frauds

Do you like this debate?NoYes+0
Add this debate to Google Add this debate to Delicious Add this debate to FaceBook Add this debate to Digg  
Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 0 votes the winner is...
It's a Tie!
Voting Style: Open with Elo Restrictions Point System: Select Winner
Started: 6/5/2014 Category: Science
Updated: 7 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 2,179 times Debate No: 56104
Debate Rounds (2)
Comments (3)
Votes (0)




A psychic is a person who claims to have an ability to perceive information hidden from the normal senses through extrasensory perception (ESP), or who is said by others to have such abilities.

In 1988, the U.S. National Academy of Sciences gave a report on the subject and concluded there is "no scientific justification from research conducted over a period of 130 years, for the existence of parapsychological phenomena."

There are several techniques used by self-described psychics to give the illusion that they do indeed, have psychic abilities. They include: prestidigitation, cold reading, and hot reading.

Prestidigitation is also known as "Sleight of hand" and is used by magicians to manipulate objects such as cards.

Cold Reading consists of analyzing a person's body language, age, clothing or fashion, hairstyle, gender, sexual orientation,
religion, race or ethnicity, level of education, manner of speech, place of origin, etc., in order to quickly obtain a great deal of
information about the person they are trying to convince. These techniques convince people that the reader knows
much more about them than they actually do.

Hot Reading is just getting personal information about a person before meeting them in person. This can be done on the internet
by use of collaborators who work for the "psychic".

By using these three techniques, it can become very easy for an experienced user of these techniques to convince somebody
that they are indeed "psychic".

Many psychics prey upon people who have recently lost loved ones and have a desire to communicate with them. Their desire
and emotional state of mind, makes them very susceptible to gullibility.

The scientific community does not have sufficiently verified evidence for scientific acceptance, and there exist
many non-paranormal alternative explanations for claimed instances of psychic events.

In conclusion, it would be fair to say that all psychics are frauds.


I thank nonprophet for starting this debate, and I accept.

1. The Issues:
(1.1) My opponent has to show that all psychics are frauds, which means he either has to debunk each psychic in history, or the very practice of being psychic, if I can show any reasonable doubt to parapsychology being a reasonable science I win.
(1.2) As my opponent has made the claim the onus rests upon him.
(1.3) Since my opponent has tried to show that the individual techniques psychics use are fraud, this puts him in a precarious position because he has not defunked all such phenomenon.

2. Not all forms of Parapsychology Defunked:
(2.1) While nonprophet has shown some techniques he no where proves that these people use these techniques. He provides no conclusive evidence that all psychics use only these techniques, in this he makes a positive claim, namely that these are the only techniques used.
(2.2) While his list covers most techniques it does not cover those people like Nostrodamus or Emmanuel Swedenborg who did not do this for money but wrote it in their journals. They saw visions and predicted the future to a high degree, especially Nostrodamus.
(2.3) This raises the third point that fraud is a person who "intentionally lies, or engages in deceitful or unfair behaviour". This means that those psychics who are actualy convinced of their powers are not psychics, thus leaving a loophole in the "all psychics are frauds" resolution

3. Not convinced:
(3.1) Nonprophet actually concedes when he says that the scientific community has not proved psychics because that means that the psychic community has not disproved psychics. While this means that we cannot say psychics are real (I am not saying this) we can just as rightly not say that psychics are frauds.


Debate Round No. 1


My opponent is trying to shift the burden of proof here.

There is no evidence that psychics are real. The burden of proof is on those who claim they are real psychics. Even if a person has convinced themselves that they are psychic, doesn't prove they really are.

People like Nostradamus wrote vague things down and others have interpreted them as a prediction coming true. If I predict that there will be a war in the future, odds are I'd be right. That doesn't mean I'm a psychic.

Anyone who claims to be a psychic, yet can't show scientific demonstrable evidence that back up that claim, is in fact, a fraud. Whether they use that claim for financial gains or not is irrelevant.

Thank you or the debate.


The latin rule goes as follows: Onus probandi incumbet ei qui dicit, non ei qui negat."
As the resolution is: "All psychics are Frauds" and my opponent is Proposition the onus rested upon him. He has, in my opinion, not fulfilled his onus and therefore I should win this debate.

As I pointed out his argument does not include a sizable percentage who a. do not charge money, b. are convinced of their own powers. A fraud is a person who enages in wrongful behaviour intentionally and who by doing so commits deciet. There is no evidence that people like Nostrodamus or Julian of Norwich should be included in those people.

Nostrodamus wrote fairly accurate predictions, he predicted Princess Diana's death and even named Princess Diana. How much more accurate could he get?

The fact is that science has a limited scope and cannot transcend that, humans certainly do not get all knowledge from empirical means, there is a priori and innate knowledge.

I thank nonprophet for this debate, it was a fun experience
Debate Round No. 2
3 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 3 records.
Posted by AngelofDeath 7 years ago
This again? *sigh*
Posted by Crescendo 7 years ago
That's wrong! Shawn Spencer is legit!
Posted by Ajab 7 years ago
Thanks for asking. :)
Its today night here so I will accept this tomorrow. :)
No votes have been placed for this debate.

By using this site, you agree to our Privacy Policy and our Terms of Use.