I think I might know what the immortal soul is.

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Re: I think I might know what the immortal soul is.

Postby davidm on February 8th, 2019, 8:48 pm 

PaulN » February 8th, 2019, 2:45 pm wrote:
... in order for an infinity to exist you would have to melt all of math, time, space, geometry, distance, fractions, the very context of existence into a single point, One.


Like several things you address in your posts, this seems to be an assertion unsupported by an argument that would have a foundation in math or physics, nor do I find the kind of logical analysis that philosophy requires.

Philosophy is not profound intuitions - rather, if someone has an intution, it is the job of philosophy to subject it to rigorous analysis and precise definitions and see how it fares.

Your postulate that a universe cannot be infinite because "like begets like," i.e. it can't be composed of finite elements (subatomic particles, for example) has no support at all. It seems to rely on a poetic association between prior assumptions. Nor do you really grapple with the thread problem - how does one demonstrate that a complex physical system like a neural network somehow have a nonphysical (i.e supernatural) aspect to it. Most of your posts are tangents and flights of personal fancy.


It has already been explained to him that the universe can, indeed, be infinite in spatial extent, infinite in time, and infinite in its constituent parts. He ignores these explanations, does not engage with them, and simply re-asserts his already rebutted falsehoods -- what I take to be a violation of the rules here.

As to the rest of his stuff, it's unreadable blather. Also, someone please tell him that the universe is not comprised of things; it comprises things. Such misuse of English makes me shudder. But then, so does everything that he writes.
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Re: I think I might know what the immortal soul is.

Postby charon on February 8th, 2019, 10:15 pm 

PaulN -

(Edit in) Sorry, I've written a book or something. I do beg your pardon, no one has to read it. As I was writing it I realised it was sounding like Buddhism, which is interesting. I'm not a Buddhist and I've never studied Buddhism. So there we are.

Nor do you really grapple with the thread problem - how does one demonstrate that a complex physical system like a neural network somehow have a nonphysical (i.e supernatural) aspect to it


That wasn't addressed to me but, as I'm in a phlosifical mood, I think I'll give it a go. I probably should have done it before.

First, of course, the statement assumes that the physical system does have a nonphysical aspect to it. Very simply, I'd say that it can't. Physical is physical and nonphysical is nonphysical.

That doesn't mean there's nothing nonphysical, of course. So what exactly does it mean? I'd put it negatively. That is, something which is not part of the physical body or brain. Something which is not the result of, or generated by, bio-electrical impulses and so on. Sorry for the simplistic description, I'm no expert.

So, if the nonphysical is not to do with the brain, which I don't think it can be, is it just something invented by said brain? Because that's a possibility. The brain, the imagination, can invent anything, gods included.

Unfortunately there's quite a lot of evidence that the nonphysical exists. Science hasn't been very good at tying it down because I suspect they're using physical means to discover something not of that ilk at all. I've heard many scientists say 'We know it exists, we just don't know how'.

So what is the nonphysical? There are probably lots of things but here the subject seems to be something called 'the immortal soul'. I hope Brent's reading this!

It could very well be argued that man has invented a part of him which is immortal because he fears his own mortality. I think that's rational. So one has to ask if the immortal soul is merely the product of fear. It could be.

But, more precisely, one could ask if there is any part of either the biological body or the 'body' of thought which has any degree of permanence. We could say our consciousness is not just the physical consciousness - as in being awake and aware - but the whole psychological existence of the self.

The self is all that we are psychologically, all our memories, thoughts, feelings, hopes, desires, conflicts, fears, knowledge, beliefs... everything. It's the sum total of all our experience, both personal and the result of human history. I think that's fair enough and probably most would agree to that.

Is there anything at all in that area which is permanent? Are any of those things not subject to decay and ending? Is any thought, feeling or memory everlasting? I would say not. Every day the memories fade and are replaced. Only conflicts seem to have some endurance but even they are not everlasting in any way. Life would be hell if they were.

So I'd say there is nothing within our make-up which is timeless or immortal. We might like to think there is but what we think is also ephemeral. One can cling to a belief all one's life but it's still a passing, temporal thing whether one likes it or not. It can easily be replaced by something else.

So does that mean there's nothing in life at all which is deathless? I think that's the question. And, if there is, can one ever call it 'mine' and make it personal? I don't think so. One can't possess something everlasting, deathless, imperishable, much as one might like to.

I think there is the deathless, no question about it. And there comes the problem. How does one discuss it? How does a physical mind try to grasp something not of itself, something it can never invent?

I think that thing is there when time ends. Not the physical time of the universe but the sense of continuity we live with. Our memories, indeed our consciousness, stretches like a chain from day to day, continuing on. When that continuity ends, which is itself a kind of death, then there's that other state of no time.

We'd like to hold that, keep it, pocket it, but that's not possible. Life is beyond all our petty efforts and endeavours, even the scientific ones. It's something immortal, everlasting, and therefore sacred. And what is sacred is alone, it has no second.

The materialistic mind will not like this, of course. It'll spit on it and call it a belief but it has nothing to do with belief. Beliefs we invent, truth we cannot.
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Re: I think I might know what the immortal soul is.

Postby DragonFly on February 8th, 2019, 10:47 pm 

I'm not Buddhist, either.

NOW AND ZEN

Everything that is part of us—
Our cells, tissues, organs and organ systems—
Has come about over billions of years
Because it proved successful
In the great survival stakes
During our perilous evolutionary
Descent (ascent) with modification.

The brain, being no exception,
Evolved in part
To allow a creature to learn
From what happens in its life,
To retain key elements that
Could influence future actions.

We are geared for self-preservation;
We will do anything to avoid facing the possibility
That who we are now cannot continue.

We ourselves are mainly the cause
That we are interested in.
The self is preoccupied with staying alive,
Which is why our species is still around today.

It is a prime biological function to be afraid of death,
And so the self as thus contrived
Is able to fully play its crucial survival role.

We want to equip our brain with a soul
That offers us an escape when the brain dies
Since the self cannot come to terms
With its own extinction.

From a subjective standpoint,
We are all born equal and undifferentiated
(Before that, ‘we’ were dead),
But as mature selves we make a distinction
Between the individual and the surroundings.

Still the brain keeps changing throughout life
In a pattern of the shifting flux of its neurons;
We gain and lose memories and feelings,
Essentially creating a new person over and over again.

The self is thus not so rock solid as it seems.
These moment-to-moment changes differ from death
Only in degree. In essence, they are identical,
Although at the opposite ends of the spectrum.

So we are not static things.
Other neural networks will come to be in other,
Future people, albeit with an “amnesia”
Of what went on before in
The brains of the previous others.

Why should we be happy about this?

We never can be because the ‘I’ cannot operate
Outside of its own boundaries.
The only viable alternative is to think of a way
In which it is possible to ever continue on.

What will it be like to be a part
Of someone else after we die,
With our own particular
Narrative of life cast aside?

That is the ‘zen’
Of now and then and when.
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Re: I think I might know what the immortal soul is.

Postby charon on February 8th, 2019, 11:50 pm 

Not bad :-)
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Re: I think I might know what the immortal soul is.

Postby DragonFly on February 9th, 2019, 12:53 am 

I'm still not Buddhist; however, I knew the Great Lama of the NorthEast and his entourage for a while. They assured me that all is transient and so as such there couldn't be anything like an unchanging soul. That was fine, for I didn't claim a soul, plus I'd noted that indeed everything continuously transforms. I also heard that life's events weren't real, so there was no need to sweat any disasters…

AN UNREAL EXPERIENCE

I climbed the Himalayas, long ago,
And complained to the wise Lama up there
That life could be hell.

He said “Get lost!
Go make a heaven of hell and then me tell.
The door is never shut on the prison cell,
So, why would you ever want to stay inside it
When the door is always so wide open?


A week passed, then a month, and then 30 years,
And I found myself at a Buddhist-run cafe,
And decided to sit there
Through most of the summer,
Having just retired from IBM
And becoming as free as a neutrino.

The cafe was in New Hamburg, NY,
And was run by the Buddha Girls
From the monastery on Shafe Road,
Home to one of only two Lamas
In the entire United States,
And the only one on the east coast.

The cafe was called
“Himalayas on the Hudson”,
And the Lama often came to dine there,
With his entourage of higher-ups and bodyguards.

Because I was there often,
I got to know the old Lama,
His bodyguards ever retreating,
And so I taught him how to do
High fives and low fives and such,

And we began to talk about
The connectedness that underlies all things,
The reaching of which meditative state
Through the removal of all thoughts
Being the very heart of Buddhism.

In addition, I always gave him the weather
For the rest of the day and for the next day,
Always saying that
It would become sunny if it was raining,
And that it would be still sunny
If it was already sunny,
And if it was really raining heavily,
That it was always sunny on the inside.

I remember,
Thinking upon first meeting him
That “here he is”, the great one,
And so I have a chance to ask
A deep question of him,
Without having to go back over to
Tibet or India and climb up a mountain,

So, I pointed to an article
In the newspaper that said,
“We may never know who won
The Presidential election, Bush or Gore”
And so I asked him for his wisdom on the matter.

Well, he thought for only a second or two and said,
Who cares!”, and such it sunk into me a bit later
That this was a great wisdom, indeed.

The Cafe workers didn’t wear the flowing gold
And reddish robes that the visiting Buddhists wore,
But wore regular clothes and even had long hair,
And so, many of the hectic type customers,
Unknowing of their servers’ Buddhism,
Wondered at the peace and joy that the workers radiated,
As if they were in some sort of serenity field,
Which I suppose the workers were,
Plus they being chosen for their outgoingness.

I talked with them about string theory,
The theory that the differing vibrations
Of really small ‘strings’ gives rise
To all of the elementary particles and forces,
And, so, we related this to all that is absolute
And fundamental beneath this projection
Of reality in which we live out life dreams,
Although that was more like Hinduism.

Buddhism is not a religion, but a way of life,
And they can still have friends,
Outside jobs, fun, and whatnot,
Although some of them spend a lot of time
On the inner world, which, like meditation,
Can only be known as “not what you think”.

Summer soon died in his sleep one night,
And so Time hurled its waves ever onward

Until even Old Autumn had passed on.

The cafe had been rented out
And had now become
An American-Korean restaurant
Run by Sin-Ha and Su-Nee,
Although still owned by the Buddhists.

Winter had snowed us in.

In late spring, the Cafe, still my ‘office’,
Announced that it was closing down,
Right away, for it could talk,
Although its Garden of Peace and Serenity,
Surrounded on three sides by 30-foot rocks,
The “Himalayas”, was still open,
And so I figured that it was time
To move my “office” outdoors,
Not that I would ever do any W-O-R-K there,
For that is a four-letter word to a retired person.

Then, miracles of miracles, that day,
After saying good-bye to the Koreans
And taking home 50 eggs
And many bags of chocolate chip cookies,
I went back to the Cafe garden
To sit under an umbrella table in the rain,
And there was the old Lama himself,
Sitting there all alone,
Having just shown the building
To someone who might lease it.

I hadn’t seen him in six months,
For he had been off to other continents.

He gave me a medium high five
And I told him that the sun would be out tomorrow,
And that it was always sunny on the inside.
He said, “Thanks, old friend.

“Re-leasing the building?”

Yes, probably, but we’d like sell it.
Perhaps Buddhists shouldn’t be in business.


“Well, it worked as a kind of outreach,
When you ran it,
And the Koreans liked it for a while.”

True.

“How’s the new golden temple going?”

It’s about half completed.
We need another three million dollars.


“Hmmm.”

Yes, I know.
Perhaps Buddhists shouldn’t be looking for money,
Nor building a golden temple that’s not really real.


“Yes, I’ve heard that this world isn’t really real,
That we shouldn’t worry about the rain
Or about life’s tribulations.”

That’s what we believe.
Tell me, does that work?


“Well, um, does not life’s existence
Look, seem, and act just the way it would,
In every detail, as if it were really real?”

Yes, indeed. Exactly.
That’s what they say makes for the illusion.


“I hate to say this,
But a ‘difference’
That makes no difference
Is no difference.”

I think you’re onto something.
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Re: I think I might know what the immortal soul is.

Postby charon on February 9th, 2019, 7:46 am 

I also heard that life's events weren't real


They do talk a lot of crap, don't they? :-)
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Re: I think I might know what the immortal soul is.

Postby TheVat on February 9th, 2019, 10:37 am 

Unfortunately there's quite a lot of evidence that the nonphysical exists. Science hasn't been very good at tying it down because I suspect they're using physical means to discover something not of that ilk at all. I've heard many scientists say 'We know it exists, we just don't know how'.
- Charon


What other means besides the physical would there be, to investigate any phenomenon? I think that's the tough question regarding any supernatural conjecture. As for your general quote of "many scientists" - who has said this? I can't imagine a reputable scientist asserting that they know anything exists without some evidence.

There is also the classic challenge to Cartesian dualism: how could a nonphysical entity interact with a physical one? I would invite you all to look up Cartesian dualism, objections to, on a search engine.
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Re: I think I might know what the immortal soul is.

Postby charon on February 9th, 2019, 1:19 pm 

Vat -

We have our own perception. As I said before, the human mind/brain is infinitely more subtle in many ways than the capacities of science with its theories, equations, formulas and instruments.

Don't misunderstand me for a moment, I'm NOT knocking science. Without science we'd be back in the stone age but the human being can, for example, love and feel great beauty. Science can measure things, that's what it does, but some things can't be so measured. Take the examples of, say, consciousness and/or intelligence. Science finds that sort of thing very difficult. Yet those things are what makes us human and life wouldn't exist or have any point without them.

I know all about the capacity of the brain to create illusion. We can fool the brain, that's fairly easy once we know how it works. But you'll notice that, with visual illusions (great fun, of course!) that the brain has to be tricked, provoked, into seeing things. In ordinary life it's really not so. We don't mistake a car for a tree or a telephone for an elephant. Or the fact that the boss is angry or that we owe the taxman money, etc. Illusion does not rule our lives.

But then there are the various illusions that we create ourselves. Millions believe in a god that has no actual existence at all because of our craving to be looked after, for safety in a mad world, and so on. Our capacity for denial and self-deception is legendary. But it's also totally possible for the mind to be completely free of any kind of illusion.

It's our thinking that creates illusion if that thinking isn't straight. Fear, hope, wishful thinking, the desire for self-aggrandisement and recognition - all these things are factors that can lead one to believe complete falsehoods. Yet it's also completely possible to be entirely free of all that sort of thing.

It's only when the mind IS free of all that that it's possible to see things as they are in reality. This is possible, not some pipe-dream. So we have our perception. That is the other means. And such perception can perceive much more subtly than established science will readily admit.

Regarding the 'many scientists', I've been looking for a definite link - and it's taking more time than I've got at the moment - but I assure you that scientists working in the parapsychology fields are quite sure various phenomena are real. The trouble is they can't prove them with current methods. If they didn't know this they wouldn't continue doing the work. These places aren't staffed by hardened cynics who are out to debunk what they see as nonsense, quite the contrary.

how could a nonphysical entity interact with a physical one?


Oh, because the brain has the most extraordinary capacities, as I said. It can pick up on things way beyond our normal sensory 'bandwidth'. I don't think it can get the BBC yet which is a bit annoying because the license fee is expensive. But can it see and hear things not normally accessible to ordinary eyes? Definitely. There's more to our senses than the daily norm. And it can certainly be done without falling prey to self-deception providing one is serious.

I'm sure you know all this!
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Re: I think I might know what the immortal soul is.

Postby Brent696 on February 9th, 2019, 2:18 pm 

Contrary to some opinions, I have not argued for an immortal soul, in fact quite the opposite.

I think of consciousness like a wave function of its own and carries its own set of probabilities. It provides the “life” and “animation” of such throughout the universe, depending on the degree of collapse the phenomenal expression of that consciousness ranges from simplistic life to the “I am” identity of the soul which is allowed expression through the complexity of the human brain.

Because Consciousness exists as such a wave function, so then this is why it interacts so directly with the other quantum fields. (Obvious then in this POV, the brain does not produce consciousness, rather it is the hardware through which it functions)

But like any particle (thing) in the universe, it has a finite life span.

As for the opinion I have been soundly refuted, and that the universe has been proven to be infinite in all aspects, an thus I am breaking a forum rule by repeating a satisfied falsity as if it is true, I offer Scientific American’s Views.

“”https://blogs.scientificamerican.com/degrees-of-freedom/httpblogsscientificamericancomdegrees-of-freedom20110725what-do-you-mean-the-universe-is-flat-part-i/””

“””What I do want to talk about here is what it is that is supposed to be flat.

When cosmologists say that the universe is flat they are referring to space—the nowverse and its parallel siblings of time past. Spacetime is not flat. It can’t be: Einstein’s general theory of relativity says that matter and energy curve spacetime, and there are enough matter and energy lying around to provide for curvature. Besides, if spacetime were flat I wouldn’t be sitting here because there would be no gravity to keep me on the chair. To put it succintly: space can be flat even if spacetime isn't.

Moreover, when they talk about the flatness of space cosmologists are referring to the large-scale appearance of the universe. When you “zoom in” and look at something of less-than-cosmic scale, such as the solar system, space—not just spacetime—is definitely not flat. Remarkable fresh evidence for this fact was obtained recently by the longest-running experiment in NASA history, Gravity Probe B, which took a direct measurement of the curvature of space around Earth. (And the most extreme case of non-flatness of space is thought to occur inside the event horizon of a black hole, but that’s another story.)””””

……………

“”””Finite or Infinite?

If everything in the nowverse has an x, a y and a z, it would be natural to assume that we can push these coordinates to take any value, no matter how large. A spaceship flying off “along the x axis” could then go on forever. After all, what could stop her? Space would need to have some kind of boundary; most cosmologists don’t think it does.

The fact that you can go on forever however does not mean that space is infinite. Think of the two-dimensional sphere on which we live, the surface of the Earth. If you board an airplane and fly over the equator, you can just keep flying—you’ll never run into the “end of the Earth.” But after a while (assuming you have enough fuel) you would come back to the same place. Something similar could, in principle, happen in our universe: a spaceship that flew off in one direction could, after a long time, reappear from the opposite direction.

Or perhaps it wouldn’t. Cosmologists seem to believe that the universe goes on forever without coming back—and in particular, that space has infinite extension. But when pressed, most cosmologists would also admit that, in fact, they have no clue whether it's finite or infinite.””””

(I "bolded" the last sentence)

The Falsity is in the assertion such as issue has been settled, especially as it applies to all dimensions.
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Re: I think I might know what the immortal soul is.

Postby TheVat on February 9th, 2019, 2:38 pm 




...how could a nonphysical entity interact with a physical one?



Oh, because the brain has the most extraordinary capacities, as I said. It can pick up on things way beyond our normal sensory 'bandwidth'. I don't think it can get the BBC yet which is a bit annoying because the license fee is expensive. But can it see and hear things not normally accessible to ordinary eyes?


This begs the question of how the "things" the brain "can pick up on" are then not also physical, given that they are interacting with physical structures like synapses and neurons and so on. Your BBC joke sort of makes my point - EM waves are physical, which enables them to interact with the parts of a receiving device. To a cave dweller, they might seem magical amd supernatural in their immaterial qualities, but we moderns understand that radio reception is entirely physical and governed by well established physical principles. Why should a perceptual event outside of the usual five senses be any different?
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Re: I think I might know what the immortal soul is.

Postby charon on February 9th, 2019, 3:29 pm 

Brent -
Contrary to some opinions, I have not argued for an immortal soul, in fact quite the opposite.


And at which point do you announce that? You must admit it doesn't sound as though the author doesn't believe in a soul!

This is just the first post. The same objections are reiterated in subsequent posts for the same reason.

Brent696 » January 29th, 2019, 10:06 pm wrote:In speaking of a soul we have to negate the body, to say we did not exist once is merely to say we do not remember existing beyond the programming of this physical machine as the soul has come to reside in it presently.

IN defining the soul, I would first posit the "mirror of self", many THINGS exist, but they do not KNOW they exist. They cannot contemplate their own existence, and this is also true of animals. A dog does what a dog does but does not think "why am I a dog", or "perhaps I could have been a bunny". The whole of the idea of "existence" escapes their consciousness and yet they are conscious.

Theologically it can be said that all dogs share in a single soul, or as it has been phrased, "each created after its kind". But with man each man would possess his own soul, his own sense of self, his own mirror. Consciousness provides the light, in this light the self is illuminated, and the "self" is the acknowledgement of our own individual "I am".

Try to consider whether in actuality a dog can think such a thought as "I am" despite the many human attributes we tend to attribute to them often.

Moving to "infinity", we make a mistake when we think of any "thing" as being eternal, infinity, eternality, these concepts really have no collusion with the finitude we experience here in this universe. To say time is eternal, as if time will continue forever, is to deny the very existence of Infinity, even potentially infinity can never be achieved within such a frame work.

Infinity exists apart from this finite universe, and as something "other than" since by definition it is without boundaries. It is a oneness beyond our comprehension as we think of "things that exist", it is timeless.

For the multiplicity of our existence though there are necessary factors, time and space. First create a 3d cube, then there is allowed a multitude of points, each point can be said to be s soul, a "location", more directly a "thing". The universe is like this cube, but to say the cube is eternal takes the attribute of time, that is internal to the cubes existence as it necessitates for consciousness, and forces or PROJECTS this attribute of Time as to be external to the universe or cube.

And so, to what exists as eternal and infinite, this cube does not exist with any actuality. And to what exists within and because of the cube, us, that which is finite, that which is whole, one, and infinite, expresses no Being. Oneness and multiplicity cannot share the same dimensions as it were.

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Re: I think I might know what the immortal soul is.

Postby Brent696 on February 9th, 2019, 5:54 pm 

charon » February 9th, 2019, 2:29 pm

Brent
And at which point do you announce that? You must admit it doesn't sound as though the author doesn't believe in a soul!


Infinity of 1- This transcends the universe entirely and would translate as the philosophical idea of God

Infinity of 0- This is the ocean of potentiality from which all particles, all "things" and multiplicity arise. One might consider it as a theoretical ocean of all wave functions, including consciousness. "Condensation" refers to the wave collapse as a particle appears, only to disappear after some time. The soul, as it is a "thing", an identity, likewise is condensed from the wave of consciousness.

So the universe arises from the nothingness, and attain balance as it is reabsorbed back into nothing.

Observation, all "things" in the universe, all "Identities" that is, bikes, cars stars, planets, bodies, appear, then are dissolved back into the elements.

But are the elements eternal, no, subatomic particles themselves are popping in and out of existence.

How does Something come out of Nothing

This can be seen with the contrast between sound and silence, silence stands for the nothingness, (Inherent in this is a medium), by compressing that medium from the silence comes a sound, every sound is born, endures, then is reabsorbed back into the silence. WHERE does the sound go???? Nowhere, it is simply gone, simply nothing anymore.

Every particle in the universe is born from vibration, they are vibrations, no vibration, no particle, no sound, no heat, no light, no definition.

The soul, a particle collapsed from the wave function of consciousness, as it were, integrates with the hardware
of the brain, even as it interacts with other wave functions.

Just because the identity of the "I am" is superior and "other than" the physical body itself, does not make it immortal. It is a part of the universe just as every other "thing" is. It has "boundaries" even as I am not you. It bears all the attributes of finitude just as every subatomic particle does.

The misperceptions of ancient people thinking the sun was eternal, simply because it has historically seemed so, or in centuries past that matter was composed of solid pieces, or even that the universe, because of its grandness, is therefore eternal or infinite, are all misperceptions based upon the limitation of the senses, our limitations in our ability to measure them.

On a religious note, likewise theologians of many religions, mistakenly assume the soul, as it is deemed superior to the body, is therefore immortal. Yet even if you possess a bit of knowledge about the Christian scriptures it should be clear, that even if I die today, and my soul and identity survives, it still faces destruction in the second death of the lake of fire. It can be noted that the deeper teachings of Christianity, Hinduism, Buddhism, and Zen, seek to draw one out of a misidentification with the body to understanding oneself, one origin, to be from a superior substance, even Descartes seems to get close when he said "I think, therefore I am" as he sought to recognize himself as consciousness. But that is all I will say about Religion on this thread as it is not the right folder.

Those who often contend with me, even as you have, MOST LIKELY, are contending with PRE-conceived notions they have, inherited from exposure to some faith of doctrine, I ASSUME this is why it is so hard for them to understand what I am actually saying, on the whole.

At least that is how I see it......
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Re: I think I might know what the immortal soul is.

Postby DragonFly on February 9th, 2019, 6:15 pm 

Darn "lake of fire" comes along and puts the kabash on everything!

(That lake must have really been polluted.)
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Re: I think I might know what the immortal soul is.

Postby davidm on February 9th, 2019, 6:16 pm 

Brent696 » February 9th, 2019, 12:18 pm wrote: Cosmologists seem to believe that the universe goes on forever without coming back—and in particular, that space has infinite extension. But when pressed, most cosmologists would also admit that, in fact, they have no clue whether it's finite or infinite.””””

(I "bolded" the last sentence)

The Falsity is in the assertion such as issue has been settled, especially as it applies to all dimensions.


Why didn’t you bold this part?

Or perhaps it wouldn’t. Cosmologists seem to believe that the universe goes on forever without coming back—and in particular, that space has infinite extension. But when pressed, most cosmologists would also admit that, in fact, they have no clue whether it's finite or infinite.


You have been arguing that the universe CANNOT be spatially (or temporally) infinite — yet your own source just explained that not only CAN it be spatially infinite, most cosmologists seem to believe that in fact it IS. So your own quoted source CONTRADICTS you — as I have repeatedly explained, whether the universe is globally flat and hence infinite, or finite but unbounded, is an EMPIRICAL matter. But the fact that the universe CAN be infinite (whether it is or not) flatly contradicts your repeated claim that it CANNOT be.

And yes, of course, if the universe was WHOLLY FLAT, there would be no gravity. But as is plain from the very article you quote, the universe can be LOCALLY CURVED while at the same time being GLOBALLY FLAT (i.e., infinite).

Incidentally, your quoted source is a journalist, not a scientist. So when he says, “in fact, they have no clue whether it's finite or infinite”, he's wrong.

A link that I have already given in this very thread — which you, naturally, have ignored.
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Re: I think I might know what the immortal soul is.

Postby charon on February 9th, 2019, 7:40 pm 

Brent -

Contrary to some opinions, I have not argued for an immortal soul, in fact quite the opposite.


That won't wash, will it? If you agreed the soul was not a concept you supported you'd have said so upfront and clearly. But you haven't, you state the soul positively. You posit it. You refer to it as though it were existent, not as something you are sceptical about.

The soul, a particle collapsed from the wave function of consciousness, as it were, integrates with the hardware
of the brain, even as it interacts with other wave functions.


Either stop dissembling or amend your English. If you want to play the 'I'm just misunderstood' card you'll have to a lot better than that.
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Re: I think I might know what the immortal soul is.

Postby charon on February 9th, 2019, 8:25 pm 

Vat -

Sorry for the delay, been busy, Saturday night, etc.

Now then...

This begs the question of how the "things" the brain "can pick up on" are then not also physical, given that they are interacting with physical structures like synapses and neurons and so on.


I'd say there were gradations of matter. I'd say we're only aware of a small part of it, a certain 'bandwidth', if you like. After all, there are plenty of things we can't hear or see, like X-rays, very high or low sounds, and, of course, the BBC.

The range of our instruments may also be thoroughly limited and there's no reason to suppose they're not. They can detect what we cannot but that's not to say they can detect everything, quite the contrary.

Why should a perceptual event outside of the usual five senses be any different?


Such an event may not be detectable by the senses as they function ordinarily. But the brain, as I said, is an extraordinary thing. Take savants like Kim Peek and Daniel Tammet. How does one explain that?

Also there are the (genuine, not phony) spirit mediums like John Edward. There are all the parapsychological phenomena like telepathy and all the rest of it. There are those who say they've left their bodies and have consciously existed outside them.

I'm sure you know about all this. Any cynic can sneer at it but it's not so easily dismissed if one knows anything about the subject. There are also the multitude of ordinary people - including children - who know full well they've experienced things that lie beyond the usual norms of daily experience. Nurses and care workers usually have some very interesting stories to tell.

Which all implies what? That the brain can pick up or see things beyond the normal bandwidth. They must be using some kind of sense and it must be within the bounds of the consciousness which is also our consciousness.

So consciousness is not so easily explained. It may survive death. It may not be restricted to the normal range most of us are used to. I don't say all the time, a door may suddenly open and then close again.

So I don't say these things are totally non-material. They may well still be of matter but of a far higher vibration than the ordinary. When I say 'vibration' I'm not being a hippy or doing woo-woo stuff. Life, reality, is all about vibration, as any physicist can tell us.
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Re: I think I might know what the immortal soul is.

Postby davidm on February 9th, 2019, 9:51 pm 

charon » February 9th, 2019, 6:25 pm wrote:
Also there are the (genuine, not phony) spirit mediums like John Edward.


Lol.

John Edward is a charlatan and a fraud and The Biggest Douche in the Universe.
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Re: I think I might know what the immortal soul is.

Postby charon on February 9th, 2019, 10:05 pm 

Forget him then, how do you explain the rest of it?
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Re: I think I might know what the immortal soul is.

Postby davidm on February 9th, 2019, 11:43 pm 

Explain the rest of what?
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Re: I think I might know what the immortal soul is.

Postby charon on February 10th, 2019, 5:06 am 

David -

Explain the rest of what?


John Edward was one example of things the brain may be capable of. Spirit mediums weren't the only thing on the list:

"Take savants like Kim Peek and Daniel Tammet. How does one explain that?

Also there are the (genuine, not phony) spirit mediums like John Edward. There are all the parapsychological phenomena like telepathy and all the rest of it. There are those who say they've left their bodies and have consciously existed outside them.

I'm sure you know about all this. Any cynic can sneer at it but it's not so easily dismissed if one knows anything about the subject. There are also the multitude of ordinary people - including children - who know full well they've experienced things that lie beyond the usual norms of daily experience. Nurses and care workers usually have some very interesting stories to tell".


You posted an article from RationalWiki in denunciation of John Edward. Does that mean you reject the whole idea of spirit mediumship? Or just John Edward?

I'm not very interested in these paranormal things personally; they're a part of life, that's all. I'd much rather explore the nature of reality and all that. But the idea was to cite examples of what the brain can do in reply to Vat.
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Re: I think I might know what the immortal soul is.

Postby TheVat on February 10th, 2019, 11:15 am 


1. Is it the best theory to fit the available data? It shouldn't be too hard to argue , for example, that the concept of a real exterior world is superior to both virtual reality and a brain-in-a-vat.



I am rather fond of the vat, myself.
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Re: I think I might know what the immortal soul is.

Postby TheVat on February 10th, 2019, 11:26 am 

Evidence for paranormal (in the sense of truly extra-sensory) is rather spotty. I am open-minded on the paranormal, but remain philosophically a physicalist, i.e. that the interactions would ultimately be uncovered as part of the natural world, perhaps arising from aspects of Bell's nonlocality as yet unexplored. As rebuttals to dualism stress, if something can interact with a physical system - a network of neurons, say - then there is no grounds to define it as anything other than physical. Exotic physics is still physics. Quarks are also invisible and elusive, but we don't take that as a cue to consider them supernatural spirit-stuff, do we?
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Re: I think I might know what the immortal soul is.

Postby charon on February 10th, 2019, 12:15 pm 

Vat -

As a matter of fact I agree with that. Anything that happens in life that we know, whether it can be proven scientifically or not, is on the same level. There's just ordinary life, then there's climbing Everest and going to the moon, there's all the other crazy things we know go on. And, in amongst all that, there are these things and events we call paranormal.

To my mind it's all the same thing. It's only for description's sake and want of clarity in discussion that we separate them. But they're really all the same movement of life, energy, matter, and everything else.

Basically, it's all known. We may not understand all of it but it's there nevertheless.

But there's also the unknown. Not everything can be called known. Life is both the known and the unknown. The paranormal isn't unknown. Quite the contrary, we hear about it all the time - books, stories, programmes, films, etc etc. So it's not unknown at all.

Which means: what is really the unknown? Of course one can then say 'the unknown' is an invention, that everything is known or can be known. Is that true?

Can anyone know what is actually happening now, in the present? Everything we know has already happened, by definition. The moment we say 'I know' it's a reference to something already gone, even if it's only a second ago.

So life is the unknown because life is always now, it's always happen-ing. We assume we know it because we can say it's all just energy/matter but the saying of it isn't the knowing of it.

Quite interesting, eh?
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Re: I think I might know what the immortal soul is.

Postby davidm on February 10th, 2019, 8:08 pm 

charon » February 10th, 2019, 3:06 am wrote:Does that mean you reject the whole idea of spirit mediumship?


You're seriously asking me this? Really?

I'm not very interested in these paranormal things personally; they're a part of life, that's all.


No, they are not.
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Re: I think I might know what the immortal soul is.

Postby charon on February 10th, 2019, 8:22 pm 

David -

Ah, cynicism rears it's head. I have no answer to cynicism. Sorry about that.

You need to get out more :-)
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Re: I think I might know what the immortal soul is.

Postby davidm on February 10th, 2019, 10:08 pm 

charon » February 10th, 2019, 6:22 pm wrote:David -

Ah, cynicism rears it's head.


That would be, rears ITS head, not "it's" head.

You need to get out more :-)


And why is that? Because I'm not so stupid as to believe in spirit mediums?

Are you nucking futs?
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Re: I think I might know what the immortal soul is.

Postby charon on February 10th, 2019, 10:22 pm 

David -

Because I'm not so stupid as to believe in spirit mediums?


No, not because you don't believe in something but because you're ignorant of your subject. There's no excuse for that.

rears ITS head, not "it's" head


About that you are correct, my mistake.
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Re: I think I might know what the immortal soul is.

Postby TheVat on February 11th, 2019, 11:04 am 

Before the thread flames out, let's take a breath and consider the possibility that David is taking an honest skeptical position regarding claims of the paranormal. There are many hoaxes and debunked flawed studies in the history of paranormal research, and there is little doubt that scientists can be conned by clever trickery (Uri Geller's performance at the Stanford Research Institute is a classic example). Harry Houdini, an expert at detecting fake mediumship, spent years looking into the matter and found not one authentic medium or psychic. Ditto James Randi. So, even if there are results that remain puzzling, the skeptical stance is not without grounds and deserves respect.

I used to correct apostrophe errors until i got an Android tablet that constantly puts them in when I don't want them. I reach a point, with thumb-typing, where I don't want to go back and correct everything.
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Re: I think I might know what the immortal soul is.

Postby charon on February 11th, 2019, 12:15 pm 

It won't flame out, I'm not interested in arguing or abuse. But I've not a lot of patience with blind scepticism either.

I know what you're saying, I've read it myself, and David (without the attitude that his view is unassailable and every other view is wrong) is entitled to his opinion. However, I'll say again that most sceptics know only so much.

The problem with cynicism is that it's a vicious circle. I've talked to dozens of cynics and they all have one thing in common: they don't really know their subject. They've decided something is nonsense so, obviously, it's not worth investigating, so they stay where they are... It's a vicious circle.

Personally I have no religious belief of the accepted kind and never have had. I'm fact-based, which includes science. But I've lived long and hard and met hundreds of people. I can guarantee that almost every single person has had some kind of other-worldly experience. Either yourself, or your family, or friends, or someone they know, will have some kind of story to tell.

I've known mediums and people who from childhood were psychic. Often they hid it and only spoke to people they trusted. They weren't crazy or weird, I'm talking about ordinary everyday people like you and I. They're serious people, intelligent, not given to delusion and fantasy at all.

There's absolutely no doubt in my mind that all these things exist. That's in everyday life. The famous people are a different kettle of fish. Of course there's fraud in this area just as there is in every other sphere of life - crime and all the rest of it. People aren't trustworthy. I mean, look at the internet or the papers! And obviously in this area of no real proof exploiters can have a massive field day, and they do.

But because there's fraud doesn't mean all of it is untrue or false. It isn't. When science starts testing these things it all seems to go wrong. I'm as aware of this as you are but there are reasons for it.

Most of this stuff isn't something you can turn on or off like a tap. It depends a great deal on atmosphere, quietude, motive. I'm NOT discussing frauds. Those with some kind of esp may not function properly, and it may never happen anyway, under the microscope and the pressure of a lab test. And probably they shouldn't volunteer for it in the first place.

Assume for a moment that the spirit world does exist. If they come through, with or without a medium, their motive is to comfort, to help, not to convince a sceptic of their existence. Just consider it a moment. They're not interested in tricks and proof and all that. Especially when, if there is a positive result, some other person will come along and promptly rubbish it. It's all a circus. This is so obvious.

I could go on and on because I know quite a lot about it. Good lord, there are perfectly normal families (quite often people who don't believe in any of this) who've been forced to leave their homes because things started flying around! It's undeniable, it's true, it's happened many a time.

So it's not a question of reading a Wiki article and having reactions of belief or disbelief, it's a question of experience, first or second hand. As I said, one has to know the subject - any subject - before one can pronounce on it. And most people who sneer at it do not know. It's as simple as that. They probably think they know, but they don't.
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Re: I think I might know what the immortal soul is.

Postby charon on February 11th, 2019, 12:16 pm 

As for the apostrophes, it's very small writing on here :-)
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