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 charon on February 13th, 2019, 7:15 pm 

David -

Just look at who is president.


There's hope for you yet! What the HELL are they going to about him? There's a bit of a hope with Pelosi. Whether he's impeached or not remains to be seen. Several of his lawsuits are coming up soon (I think).

Anyway, chances are he'll blunder on till election time and then we'll see.

As for the rest of it, you make a good point about the patient and the parents. I'd go with that, makes sense. Like I said, I'll try to find it. Or something similar.

Be nice, it costs nothing. It's only a forum for chrissakes.
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Re: I think I might know what the immortal soul is.

Postby davidm on February 13th, 2019, 7:29 pm 

charon » February 13th, 2019, 5:06 pm wrote:I'm not blaming the scientific method. There's nothing wrong with the scientific method as far as it goes. But in the light of many of the things we're talking about it hasn't been effective. That's indisputable.

The other version, of course, is that it's almost foolproof and all this paranormal spirit stuff is bunkum. As I keep saying, whoever thinks that is uniformed, misinformed, and needs to get out more. I really mean that too. It's compete and utter nonsense, it really is. It's woefully ignorant, in fact.


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

Postby davidm on February 13th, 2019, 7:36 pm 

charon » February 13th, 2019, 4:53 pm wrote:And now the swearing.



Sorry you are offended by the word "bullshit." OMG it's swearing!

Reminds me of the Kennedy/Nixon debates in which Nixon claimed that Ike (a notorious swearer) had restored "good language" to the White House, in contrast to Truman, a notorious potty mouth. Kennedy grinned and responded that he couldn't control Truman's language, but that maybe Mrs. Truman could. :-D Later, of course, we got Nixon's classic [expletive deleted].

Seriously, dude? You're offended by the word "bullshit"? Or are you just mad that you are losing the argument, and know it?

The rest of your post is bullshit, not worth responding to.
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Re: I think I might know what the immortal soul is.

Postby charon on February 13th, 2019, 7:52 pm 

Seriously, dude? You're offended by the word "bullshit"?


Oh, mortified :-)
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Re: I think I might know what the immortal soul is.

Postby TheVat on February 13th, 2019, 8:19 pm 

If you've just agreed with that last sentence you'd be wrong. There are plenty of people whose brain is damaged, like paraplegics and locked-in syndromes, who can think perfectly well. Hawking is a prime example.
- Charon

You surely know that neurological problems affect different areas and functions. Motor neuron disease, from which Dr. Hawking suffered, leaves cortical centers intact and allows normal cognition. Paras tend to have spinal injuries. The point was that when TBI or stroke or anoxia or encephalitis affects cortical areas effecting cognition and self awareness, those aspects of mind and selfhood are degraded. You neatly ignore the implications for the hypothetical intact and disembodied soul. Since you largely skated over my other points, as well as Paul's and David's, I will mostly skate over yours.

Also, respect forum rules and do not tell us that the scientific method is ineffective in studying this field and cap that statement with "it's indisputable." Of course it's disputable, and we have hundreds of threads here that demonstrate just how disputable it is. You can't pretend to win an argument by assuming what is at issue and declaring it beyond dispute. I'm getting complaints from other members about this. We could use some sign of your understanding what scientific methods are, and how they are brought to bear on the pertinent questions of neurology and anomalous experience.

Also bullshit is not a banned word here. It's not reasonable to allow sufficient freedom for bullshit to be posted, and then ban the correct label for it when it is.
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Re: I think I might know what the immortal soul is.

Postby charon on February 14th, 2019, 12:28 am 

respect forum rules and do not tell us that the scientific method is ineffective


I haven't said that at all. I said:

I'm not blaming the scientific method. There's nothing wrong with the scientific method as far as it goes. But in the light of many of the things we're talking about it hasn't been effective. That's indisputable.


My statement is only false if you already hold the belief that:

a) The paranormal is nonsense.
b) The scientific method is near-infallible.
c)The scientific method is the correct, if not the only, way to ascertain the truth about the paranormal.

If you hold that belief then that in itself is contrary to the scientific method because none of those three options have been proven to be true.

If you hold the belief that the paranormal has some reality and may actually exist then it is indisputable that the method has not been successful in proving it - a fact about which I have been constantly reminded.

That, after all,is why there is a dispute. I think the paranormal exists and the others, including yourself, say otherwise and quote the constant failure of science to verify it.

Your evidence depends on lab tests which follow the method (or should). Mine depends a great deal on the multitude of stories that people tell, many of which are supported by others and/or other evidence. They can't all be wrong, deluded, stupid, hallucinating, etc etc, and, frankly, it is insulting to suggest so. They are people like you and me.

It is scientism that says only the scientific method in lab tests counts as evidence. Psychic abilities may not happen, or happen sporadically, or not happen at all under those conditions. This is an obvious fact since it depends on the subject's sensitivity.

If that is understood then it becomes plain that:

a) the method is loaded against them.
b) the thing that is being tested is not understood by the testers.
c) The results are therefore untrustworthy.

This is not the same as testing machines. Also, and I have made this point several times, events most often happen by themselves, involuntarily.

Does the scientific method take that into account? You know it does not. Therefore it is almost certain that the scientific method may not be the right way to properly test the paranormal.

If you can find fault with this argument please show me where it is wrong. That is a fair request.

The problem is, even though this is the philosophy section, not the science section, science is being constantly introduced as an arbiter. I can hardly voice an opinion or any other view without being bombarded with requests for scientific lab test evidence, peer-reviewed, published by so-and-so, which, of course the askers know perfectly well doesn't exist. That's why I said it's the refuge of scoundrels. They know they can win the argument by demanding the impossible. I hope that's understood.

Personally, I think it would be better to amend the rules to forbid the constant requesting of evidence not strictly applicable to the subject under discussion.

The video I suggested (No.8 on that website) is an address to the United Nations by a qualified speaker. He says what there is to be said.

If this forum dismisses that address out of hand because it thinks it's 'not scientific' then this is a biased forum and repressive of coherent and cogent argument. And any moderation that does the same is no moderation at all.

Unless, of course, you admit this is a closed shop even though it's advertised as a public, open forum (which it is).
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Re: I think I might know what the immortal soul is.

Postby Reg_Prescott on February 14th, 2019, 12:44 am 

@ Charon

No offence intended, but you repeatedly affirm the existence of some nebulous beast named "The Scientific Method".

Personally I'd rate the evidence for the existence of The Scientific Method on a par with paranormal phenomena: exiguous at best.
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Re: I think I might know what the immortal soul is.

Postby TheVat on February 14th, 2019, 2:12 am 

Hi Reg. He's still making the same error, to wit: all these studies have failed to bring forth definitive evidence (see the articles I linked down-thread) of a soul separable from the brain, ergo their procedures are ineffective. What would he be saying if they had yielded definitive evidence for his favored theory? "Hoorah, science!" perhaps?

And the other error persists as well. "Millions of people can't all be misled by their hypoxia stressed brains! They can't all be hallucinating or dreaming!" Paul earlier rebutted that one. As did David. It fails a simple logic test.

And we can ask for evidence even in a philosophy forum, when the claim upon which a metaphysical assertion is made is one that has indeed been made by neuroscientists and rests upon their research.
How on earth else would anyone, in any discipline, test the conjecture of spiritualism which we've been discussing? The conjecture is a specific and testable one - can the soul float free of a body and gather information that could be accessed by no other means? (see the high OR shelf experiment, mentioned in the Atlantic article) That's why several scientists have conducted such trials. And why there is healthy debate over the results. That's why philosophers look to the results from a scientific study of the brain in addressing the question of the true relation between mind and brain. I defy anyone to name a reputable philosopher currently working in the philosophy of mind who is not following research in the cognitive sciences. Chalmers, Kim, Bedau, Stapp, Bishop, et al, follow the science closely. Understanding the nature of the mind is interdisciplinary, going back and forth between cognitive sciences and philosophy.

If a philosopher told you, "Santa Claus is quite real, and millions who believe in him and experienced his presence cannot all be wrong," what do you think would be the response from others? Would everyone line up with an ontological argument for Santa? Or perhaps they would ask to look at the evidence for visitations from jolly old St. Nick. Might there be an epistemological analysis of what sorts of things would constitute confirmation of a flying gift -bearing elf? One would hope so.

The problem is, even though this is the philosophy section, not the science section, science is being constantly introduced as an arbiter. I can hardly voice an opinion or any other view without being bombarded with requests for scientific lab test evidence, peer-reviewed, published by so-and-so, which, of course the askers know perfectly well doesn't exist. That's why I said it's the refuge of scoundrels.


A series of false representations, here. As covered in earlier posts. And peer-reviewed evidence perfectly well does exist. It just doesn't definitively support Charon's favored hypothesis, at least not so far.
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Re: I think I might know what the immortal soul is.

Postby BadgerJelly on February 14th, 2019, 3:14 am 

Charon -

If something can be shown by scientific method it isn’t paranormal. No argument there.

This is, at it’s heart, a science forum so you’ll get the kind if responses you’re getting. Scientific method is as good as useless in many areas of human activity, but it is partially useful even in those areas - I’m thinking ethics, aesthetics and art here.

If there is scientific evidence then we’re NOT talking about something paranormal (because I assume that “paranormal” means outside of science).

A great many instances of things in nature have been regarded as “supernatural” only for the application of scientific to later reveal purely nature phenomenon. Generally people assume that science can explain things reasonably well because it has - and there is evidence to suggest explanations for unique experiences (DMT is my best guess, yet we’re talking about the mechanism not the meaning; science doesn’t concern itself with meaning only the causal chain of events measurable).

Either science will refine its measurements or maybe these events are real yet so few and far between that science can only reasonably provide evidence over vast swathes of time (which is impractical).

Can we instead create a new methodology that provides concrete data from sparse/rare events? We’ll just have to wait and see adn in the mean time rely on mathematical modeling and “best guesses” in order to fumble around and chance upon something applicable and reliable enough to add to the weight of evidence one way or another.
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Re: I think I might know what the immortal soul is.

Postby charon on February 14th, 2019, 9:20 am 

I keep posting this and no one commented on it yet. The speaker is an eminent qualified scientist, an emeritus professor, not an amateur, not a philosopher. And it only lasts 15 mins.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J_qBIw7qyHU
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Re: I think I might know what the immortal soul is.

Postby BadgerJelly on February 14th, 2019, 10:27 am 

charon » February 14th, 2019, 9:20 pm wrote:I keep posting this and no one commented on it yet. The speaker is an eminent qualified scientist, an emeritus professor, not an amateur, not a philosopher. And it only lasts 15 mins.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J_qBIw7qyHU


I can relate to the clarity of thought in the experience I had. As for the rest of what he says I don’t see what we’re meant to comment on?
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Re: I think I might know what the immortal soul is.

Postby BadgerJelly on February 14th, 2019, 10:31 am 

Here’s something that might interest you:

The fascinating discovery has been dubbed the “Twilight of Death,” and refers to the time period between death and decomposition where not all of the body’s cells are yet dead. The study researchers noted that their findings suggest death is more like a slow shutdown process and not the simple off-switch many imagine it to be. What’s more, better understanding of what happens when the body dies could lead to medical interventions aimed at delaying this process.


https://www.medicaldaily.com/life-after-death-according-science-cells-fight-stay-alive-long-after-body-dies-409525
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Re: I think I might know what the immortal soul is.

Postby davidm on February 14th, 2019, 11:59 am 

My statement is only false if you already hold the belief that:

a) The paranormal is nonsense.
b) The scientific method is near-infallible.
c)The scientific method is the correct, if not the only, way to ascertain the truth about the paranormal.


a) I do not already hold any beliefs. I await evidence. There is no evidence for the paranormal.

b) I do not believe that the scientific method is near-infallible. For that matter, I don’t believe there is any such thing as the “scientific method.”

c) Scientific methodologies are the correct and only way to ascertain the truth about the alleged paranormal. Otherwise, what method or methods would you suggest? Never mind, we already know — you subscribe to anecdotes, hearsay, rumors, and urban legends to determine the truth of the paranormal! Funnily enough, the fact that the vast majority of people have never had paranormal experiences seems to cut no ice with you. (I know, you believe that the majority of people have had such experiences. This belief is false.)

Your evidence depends on lab tests which follow the method (or should). Mine depends a great deal on the multitude of stories that people tell …


Exactly! Anecdotes! Which, as PaulN pointed out, are garbage.

They can't all be wrong, deluded, stupid, hallucinating, etc etc, and, frankly, it is insulting to suggest so. They are people like you and me.


Oh yes, indeed, they can all be wrong, every single one of them. History is replete with millions and millions of people being wrong about all sorts of aspects of reality. Surely I don’t need to provide abundant examples of this?

If that is understood then it becomes plain that:

a) the method is loaded against them.
b) the thing that is being tested is not understood by the testers.
c) The results are therefore untrustworthy.

This is not the same as testing machines. Also, and I have made this point several times, events most often happen by themselves, involuntarily.

Does the scientific method take that into account? You know it does not. Therefore it is almost certain that the scientific method may not be the right way to properly test the paranormal.

If you can find fault with this argument please show me where it is wrong. That is a fair request.


Everything is wrong with it! You are simply stacking the deck. As Vat noted, if science showed evidence for the paranormal, you’d be going Yay, science! But since it does not, you go Boo, science.

The parsimonious explanation for science failing to find evidence of the paranormal, and moreover for being perfectly competent to explain phenomena like OBEs and NDEs in a fully naturalistic way, is that the paranormal simply does not exist. This is the Razor that you fail to acknowledge simply because you dislike the result. If science fails to find the paranormal, it is, according to you, science’s fault! This is simply special pleading — that the paranormal should be exempt from all else that science can and does successfully investigate and model.

Your argument boils down to this: since the paranormal does not show up for science, then it should be exempt from science. And why should it be exempt from science? Because it doesn’t show up for science! This, of course, is nothing but circular reasoning, a plain logical fallacy, and, I daresay, you would make no such special pleading for any other phenomena.

It is not we who presuppose that the paranormal does not exist — we simply point out that the evidence isn’t there. If the evidence became available, we would readily revise our views. It is you, on the other hand, who presupposes that the paranormal does exist — and will always remain unshaken in your belief no matter how untenable it is shown to be.
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Re: I think I might know what the immortal soul is.

Postby TheVat on February 14th, 2019, 12:50 pm 

When I saw David's post, and comments like this....

Oh yes, indeed, they can all be wrong, every single one of them. History is replete with millions and millions of people being wrong about all sorts of aspects of reality. Surely I don’t need to provide abundant examples of this?


...it struck me that this thread has started cycling, over and over. Multiple posts have made that same point. Members write long, thoughtful rebuttals and labor to dispel false caricatures of science (and philosophy). Charon cherry-picks a sentence or two, and doesn't respond to the rest, and simply repeats his previously rebutted argument.

As our guidelines (which David went so far as to link here) indicate, we don't do this here. Why is that? Because the collective decades of experience of our founders and admins tell us that this just leads to trolling and insults. The thread is locked and discussion closed. Due to lack of moderator staff, this will not get further attention in Feedback or elsewhere. Thank you all for your participation.
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