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The big hurdle

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  • The big hurdle

    As a companion note to "the central problem of psi", I'd like to propose "the big hurdle" as well. When it comes to data, if witnesses aren't trusted, then the data can be ignored. On the subject of explanations, there is, I think, a major obstacle that gets in the way of proponents and skeptics alike. Psi is an outward sign of the activity of spirit. If the existence of spirits is not accepted or included as part of any explanation, then the explanation will fail. Taken a step further (and a step too far according to some), one could also attribute psi effects to the will of God.

    Attempts to explain the mechanisms behind psi must include spirit for the same reason that explanations for the existence of skyscrapers must include the existence of the people who built them. God is also a likely factor, if the rules that govern things come from that source. It may not seem scientific to accept the existence of spirit and God, but if those two are integral to an accurate definition of the mechanism of psi, then no explanation will suffice until they are accepted

    AP

  • #2
    Originally posted by paqart View Post
    As a companion note to "the central problem of psi", I'd like to propose "the big hurdle" as well. When it comes to data, if witnesses aren't trusted, then the data can be ignored. On the subject of explanations, there is, I think, a major obstacle that gets in the way of proponents and skeptics alike. Psi is an outward sign of the activity of spirit. If the existence of spirits is not accepted or included as part of any explanation, then the explanation will fail. Taken a step further (and a step too far according to some), one could also attribute psi effects to the will of God.

    Attempts to explain the mechanisms behind psi must include spirit for the same reason that explanations for the existence of skyscrapers must include the existence of the people who built them. God is also a likely factor, if the rules that govern things come from that source. It may not seem scientific to accept the existence of spirit and God, but if those two are integral to an accurate definition of the mechanism of psi, then no explanation will suffice until they are accepted

    AP
    Right. Super-psi is just another form of materialism. You see this among parapsychologists who know full well the evidence for the afterlife and may even accept it, but they always try to explain psi as a function of the brain rather than a function of the spirit. I think you see that in Bengston's interview too. Healing is an "autonomic response" ... that can occur over distances of 600 miles.
    Last edited by anonymous; September 18th, 2012, 03:45 AM.

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    • #3
      What, precisely, is 'spirit'?
      What, precisely, is 'God'?

      Without precise definitions, isn't any explanation where these two concepts are dropped in just a play of words?

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by Bernardo View Post
        What, precisely, is 'spirit'?
        What, precisely, is 'God'?

        Without precise definitions, isn't any explanation where these two concepts are dropped in just a play of words?
        I agree we don't know what God is (don't have a definition) and may not even be able to comprehend it while we are physical beings. My opinions about God are explained on my web site. I have more questions than answers.

        I would say spirit is what survives death. I think the NDErs have a pretty good grasp of it, and it seems to be consistent with what mediums have been saying too.

        Mediums and NDErs also agree that God exists.

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        • #5
          I've been reading about the nature of spirit/soul quite a lot, recently. I'm getting an idea of it but it is hard to describe. From what I understand, spirit is inaccessible - it isn't a thing, it just is. It makes itself known by the presenting an image of itself - of its nature. So, in effect, I am an image (an avatar, if you like) of my spirit. Spirit is inviolable: it cannot be destroyed but it can present as anything depending upon what it needs to manifest. The image (avatar) is "mortal", it can be destroyed.

          In a way, this might be the idea that is behind biblical phrases such as "God created man in his own image". Also, because spirit is not a "thing", it can be considered as One and Many at the same time.

          Of course, I can't present this as any kind of scientific hypothesis so perhaps this is the wrong place to air my speculations. On the other hand, it might be food for thought for someone.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Bernardo View Post
            What, precisely, is 'God'?
            "God is a metaphor for that which transcends all levels of intellectual thought." ~Joseph Campbell

            I think that's the main problem with including "God" into the scientific process. You're only going to be able to go so far with that.

            In its current form, is science even a tool that can even fully bridge that "hurdle" mentioned in the OP?

            I would say we can start with science, but to assume science is without limit in explaining reality, may be a mistaken assumption. We should be ready to hit a wall with it at some point, which would require either changing the way we conduct science, or supplementing it with another approach.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Bernardo View Post
              What, precisely, is 'spirit'?
              What, precisely, is 'God'?

              Without precise definitions, isn't any explanation where these two concepts are dropped in just a play of words?
              Thanks Bernardo, that is precisely my motivation for spending time as much time as I do here at Skeptiko, maybe some day I will be able to have some sort of definition for 'spirit' and 'God'.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by paqart View Post
                As a companion note to "the central problem of psi", I'd like to propose "the big hurdle" as well. When it comes to data, if witnesses aren't trusted, then the data can be ignored. On the subject of explanations, there is, I think, a major obstacle that gets in the way of proponents and skeptics alike. Psi is an outward sign of the activity of spirit. If the existence of spirits is not accepted or included as part of any explanation, then the explanation will fail. Taken a step further (and a step too far according to some), one could also attribute psi effects to the will of God.

                Attempts to explain the mechanisms behind psi must include spirit for the same reason that explanations for the existence of skyscrapers must include the existence of the people who built them. God is also a likely factor, if the rules that govern things come from that source. It may not seem scientific to accept the existence of spirit and God, but if those two are integral to an accurate definition of the mechanism of psi, then no explanation will suffice until they are accepted

                AP
                Then you have to back up the existence of spirits or god/s. Otherwise the explanations that require them are just god of the gaps arguments. Yes, you can say psi is the will of god. It does not help explain, describe, understand, or study psi though.

                This gets to the primary issue with Seth's episode. If you want to assume this link and connection between psi and god/s it needs more than some atheists believe in psi and then start to believe in a god/s. Some atheists eat Mexican food and then start to believe in a god/s. It does not link the two.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by EthanT View Post
                  "God is a metaphor for that which transcends all levels of intellectual thought." ~Joseph Campbell

                  I think that's the main problem with including "God" into the scientific process. You're only going to be able to go so far with that.

                  In its current form, is science even a tool that can even fully bridge that "hurdle" mentioned in the OP?

                  I would say we can start with science, but to assume science is without limit in explaining reality, may be a mistaken assumption. We should be ready to hit a wall with it at some point, which would require either changing the way we conduct science, or supplementing it with another approach.
                  As soon as you include god/s into the mix you leave Science and get into Philosophy. It is not that one is better than the other any more than is a saw better than a hammer. Different tools work for different types of questions/problems.
                  Where can you go when you try to take God into scientific process? What does it even mean? At what temperature does 7 melt?

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Bernardo View Post
                    What, precisely, is 'spirit'?
                    What, precisely, is 'God'?

                    Without precise definitions, isn't any explanation where these two concepts are dropped in just a play of words?
                    I think that for the purposes of discussion on this forum, it would be better to leave "god" out of it. For a definition of "spirit" I would propose something very close to the SELF defined by Watson's Theory of Enformed Systems.

                    Theory of Enformed Systems

                    Unless someone can propose something better.

                    Cheers,
                    Bill

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by billw View Post
                      I think that for the purposes of discussion on this forum, it would be better to leave "god" out of it. For a definition of "spirit" I would propose something very close to the SELF defined by Watson's Theory of Enformed Systems.

                      Theory of Enformed Systems

                      Unless someone can propose something better.

                      Cheers,
                      Bill
                      I got a lot of fuzzy and fluffy terms out of that. I feel god/s or spirits to be more clear and that is setting the bar low.

                      Could you give the nickel summary on that idea.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Scott View Post
                        Then you have to back up the existence of spirits or god/s. Otherwise the explanations that require them are just god of the gaps arguments. Yes, you can say psi is the will of god. It does not help explain, describe, understand, or study psi though.

                        This gets to the primary issue with Seth's episode. If you want to assume this link and connection between psi and god/s it needs more than some atheists believe in psi and then start to believe in a god/s. Some atheists eat Mexican food and then start to believe in a god/s. It does not link the two.
                        We clearly disagree on this. If the types of anomalous experience that are collectively described as "psi" is genuine, it is intimately connected to the natural function and abilities of what, for lack of a better word, is described as "spirit." For those who bother to look, the existence of spirits is adequately demonstrated in reincarnation research, NDE records, veridical mediumistic communications, and other types of after death communication, such as waking visitations. Everything else, such as telepathy, clairvoyance, psychokinesis, is connected to "spirit" as Spiritualists describe it, or "spirits" as others describe it. Either way, the mechanism is quite clear: spirit causes psi.

                        It is natural for spirit to communicate telepathically, it is natural for spirits to receive impressions from each other, even if one is no longer connected to a physical body and the other is, normal for a spirit to leave a dead body and enter a new one, etc. Add to that the undisputed fact that spirit communications consistently and explicitly claim the existence of a creator God, and the onus is on those who are uncomfortable with this to prove otherwise. Spirits, by any normal standard of evidence, are already proven. Their connection or association to psi is well known. All that is left is to ask whether spirit communications regarding God are credible.

                        AP
                        Last edited by paqart; September 18th, 2012, 02:59 PM.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Scott View Post
                          As soon as you include god/s into the mix you leave Science and get into Philosophy. It is not that one is better than the other any more than is a saw better than a hammer. Different tools work for different types of questions/problems.
                          Where can you go when you try to take God into scientific process? What does it even mean? At what temperature does 7 melt?
                          This only works if you assume there is no such thing as God or a supernatural creative intelligence. If that idea is set aside for the sake of argument, and one posits that the universe and everything in it are created things, created by God, and created out of non-material spirit, then science is a sub-set of a much larger whole. That would be like saying that a saw and hammer are not both tools, despite their different design and purpose.

                          AP

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Scott View Post
                            I got a lot of fuzzy and fluffy terms out of that. I feel god/s or spirits to be more clear and that is setting the bar low.

                            Could you give the nickel summary on that idea.
                            What gave you fuzzy and fluffy terms? Did you read the paper or just glance at it?

                            Cheers,
                            Bill

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by paqart View Post
                              For those who bother to look, the existence of spirits is adequately demonstrated in reincarnation research, NDE records, veridical mediumistic communications, and other types of after death communication, such as waking visitations. Everything else, such as telepathy, clairvoyance, psychokinesis, is connected to "spirit" as Spiritualists describe it, or "spirits" as others describe it.
                              You seem to be defining 'spirit' as some kind of discarnate but discrete personality. That is, for instance, very different from how others tried to define spirit earlier in this thread, which illustrates the problem with the use of the word.

                              To say that reincarnation, mediumnistic communications, etc., prove the existence of discrete discarnate personalities, in my view, is a long stretch. Reincarnation cases, if you grant their authenticity, are equally amenable to other explanations, like resonance with certain morphic fields in Sheldrake's worldview, or access to the 'Akashic records' in other worldviews, or non-local effects in consciousness, etc. None require 'ghost-like' discarnate entities still operating as egos. Mediumnistic communication is also amenable to psychoid ideas regarding autonomous psychic complexes, etc. Maybe you are jumping the gun here.

                              Originally posted by paqart View Post
                              Either way, the mechanism is quite clear: spirit causes psi.
                              This is a very strong but unsubstantiated statement. The onus is on you to put substance behind such a definite verdict.

                              Originally posted by paqart View Post
                              It is natural for spirit to communicate telepathically, it is natural for spirits to receive impressions from each other, even if one is no longer connected to a physical body and the other is, normal for a spirit to leave a dead body and enter a new one, etc.
                              On the basis of what do you claim this?

                              Originally posted by paqart View Post
                              Add to that the undisputed fact that spirit communications consistently and explicitly claim the existence of a creator God, and the onus on those who are uncomfortable with this to prove otherwise.
                              I feel this is a naive misapplication of the idea of burden of proof.

                              Originally posted by paqart View Post
                              Spirits, by any normal standard of evidence, are already proven.
                              I feel this is a naive misapprehension of what constitutes proof.

                              In general, you seem to make lots of definite statements, but offer little in the way of substantiation.

                              As people here know, I am mostly aligned with what is usually called a 'believer' position, in the sense that I am highly skeptical of materialism and believe in the permanence of consciousness beyond physical death. But to replace one set of reality cartoons with another, or one set of bad thinking with another, is not progress...
                              Last edited by Bernardo; September 18th, 2012, 02:53 PM. Reason: typos

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