Wilkes University Discussion about Holiday Displays

Constitution Day Announcement [Wilkes University]

Come celebrate the U.S. Constitution on Constitution Day, Friday, September 17! Join Dr. Kyle Kreider and local attorney Don Brobst as they discuss “The First Amendment, Religion, and Luzerne County: The Constitutionality of Holiday Displays on Courthouse Grounds.” Mr. Brobst will be speaking about the Establishment Clause and the recent First Amendment squabble over the nativity scene located on courthouse property. The talk will be from 1:00 pm to 1:50 pm in the Ballroom (Student Center). If you have any questions, please contact Dr. Kyle L. Kreider at kyle.kreider@wilkes.edu or by calling x4473.

Published On: 9/14/2010

http://www.wilkes.edu/pages/194.asp?item=59234&category=Today

Psychic LTE Published [Times Leader]

I’m not against people who present psychic services with the very clear purpose of entertainment.

I’m not against parents who want help to find their children.

I’m not against people who seek psychic services and who understand that the services aren’t “real.”

What I am against, though, is people who say that they have supernatural powers and don’t offer their services as entertainment. Self-proclaimed psychics offer false hope and can exploit people who often are in very desperate need of assurance, are very afraid and are desperate to find missing persons.

Pauline Bailey, a resident of Pittston, recently contacted psychic Carla Baron with sincere hopes of finding her missing daughter. According to Baron’s website, phone sessions range from $155 to $310. I’m not sure whether the Pittston resident was charged for the services of Baron, but there is little doubt that other individuals have been charged.

There is no compelling evidence that people have supernatural powers. If psychics such as Baron do have powers, they should submit themselves to experimental testing and prove their abilities. Until this is done, everyone should be very skeptical.

I have challenged Baron to a test of her psychic abilities and also have referred her to James Randi’s “The One Million Dollar Paranormal Challenge.” As of this writing, she has not responded to my message.

Religious Pluralism

When discussing the validity and truth value of various religions and religious claims, some people may affirm the idea that all religions are just ways of looking a one god differently or that one god is behind all religions, so everyone is right. Individual religions, from my experience and reading standard teaching, don’t affirm this idea but believe with a very high level of certainty that their holy books and teachings are correct. Preachers don’t approach pulpits saying, “Weighing all of the available information that we have learned, we’re quite sure that God exists, but we may be wrong. People of other religions may also be right and we could be totally incorrect, but I want you to continue going to our church because our way of looking at God is valid…but everyone else may also be correct.” To say that all religions are correct seems to be very evasive and intellectually dishonest. Possibly even saying that one is correct may also be very problematic, especially if there isn’t very good reason and evidence to establish truth value of the claim. Read More