Mod+ 249. TIM FREKE ON SOUL CRUSHING SCIENCE

Discussion in 'Skeptiko Shows' started by alex.tsakiris, Jul 15, 2014.

  1. If one is willing to accept spiritual entities (including ghosts) and alien abductions - admittedly a big leap that I'm not sure I'm 100% ready for - the Gnostic narrative makes a lot of sense. The oddness of abduction phenomenon, the difficulty of communication with the spiritual realm(s?), and the rarity of both make it seem reality is either a game or a prison.

    Thirded. :)
     
  2. perandre

    perandre Member

    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2013
    Messages:
    88
    Edit: I posted too soon.

    You do well in establishing the link between Jesus & early Christianity with Judaism. Unless we appreciate that Christianity was a Jewish revival/sect/phenomenon, it's impossible to read NT in a meaningful way.

    Jesus was a Jew, Paul was a Jew; they went to the synagogue, they prayed Jewish prayers, sang the same psalms, memorized the same scriptures. It took decades before the Christians were expelled from their local synagogues!

    Now, if it was all craziness ...I don't think so. But I find it a lot easier to start with Jesus, and then go back to explore the Jewish roots. The problem with OT texts portraying God as a wiping out people, is real. Or laws about sacrificing animals. It's simply very hard to reconcile with the NT message of God = Love.
     
    Last edited: Jul 20, 2014
  3. perandre

    perandre Member

    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2013
    Messages:
    88
    One way of viewing OT texts differently (to make sense of the "craziness"), is to look at God of the scriptures as a "missionary" to the world. He communicates to the world through their culture, practices and even their ("pagan") religious practices.

    I love Greg Boyd's take on this:

    and

    Read his post here: http://reknew.org/2014/06/why-did-god-require-animal-sacrifice-in-the-old-testament/
     
  4. Doug

    Doug New

    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2013
    Messages:
    45
    I thought this was a great show. One of the best I have heard. I identify with the concept of seeing consciousness as both individual and universal, like particle and wave. It is the only paradigm that actually makes sense to me.
    Thanks for the show Alex, it was a good one. I'd love to hear more about NDE's too.
    Doug, Australia
     
    Matt² likes this.
  5. Doug

    Doug New

    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2013
    Messages:
    45
    Excellent comment, sums up how I feel too, Doug
     
  6. Vortex

    Vortex Member

    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2013
    Messages:
    637
    The so-called "Cold War" between USA and USSR (and their respective allies) was quite hot for the "Third World" countries. While USA did invaded and destabilised a lot of coutries for the sake of democracy, USSR repeatedly did the very same thing for the sake of communism - with the same lack of success. Instead of democracy/communism, a surge of civil wars, with the suffering and destruction they bring, was the result.

    After the fall of USSR, USA continued the same course, now without the fear of Soviet couter-action... Until recently, Russia has suddenly recalled its "Imperial" past and now want to re-enter the "Global Massacre for the Noble Ideals" game. I would wish it to bring humane life to the Russian people first, and to help peacefully and humanistically the other people of the world second.

    But, unfortunately, the desire of the Russian authorities is to counter global American imperialism with regional Russian imperialism - which will lead to a lot of blood-lettting and life-crushing to the small coutries and nations again (and to the deprivation of the freedom for the citizens of both USA and Russia). I, personally, classify any form of imperialism, whether global, regional and local, as reactionary, cruel and shockingly stupid. We won't reach anything until we learn the equal dialogue - and imperialism is essentially the forceful monologue.
     
  7. DominicBunnell

    DominicBunnell New

    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2013
    Messages:
    236
    This was a great episode. Listening to it got me thinking about the book Metaphysics by Peter Van Inwagen. In that book he argues that anti-realism of the 'there is no way the world is' variety is incoherent and self-refuting, and then suggests that we basically have to choose between realism and idealism. For various reasons, he ends up arguing that realism is more plausible, while admitting that there are no knock-down arguments here. What really interests me, though, is Van Inwagen's claim that an idealist has to be a theist, whereas a realist may or may not be a theist. Here's the passage:

    There does not seem to be any other way for an idealist to account for the order in which our sensations come to us than to follow Berkeley's lead and ascribe this order to the activity of God. A person who accepts the existence of an external world can (at least as far as anything we have said so far goes) be a theist or an atheist or an agnostic. But someone who rejects the existence of the external world has no real option but belief in a Supreme Mind.
     
  8. Sharon Rawlette

    Sharon Rawlette New

    Joined:
    May 8, 2014
    Messages:
    22
    Home Page:
    I have never understood this argument. While I do believe in a "Higher Power," I don't see why idealism would require that belief any more than materialism would. Why do we assume an exclusively mental world needs someone to order it while a purely material world doesn't? What the world is "made of" doesn't seem to make any difference. In either case, you have the problem of explaining why the laws of the universe operate uniformly everywhere, and why one object (whether material or mental) is able to affect another. Why does Van Inwagen think this is so much less mysterious on a materialist view of things?
     
  9. DominicBunnell

    DominicBunnell New

    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2013
    Messages:
    236
    Yeah, that's a good point, and I'm not sure what he would say about it.

    But maybe by 'the order in which our sensations come to us' he means the whole consistent 'common world' we have, including crucially the existence of unobserved objects. The idea is that the existence of objects that continue to exist even when nobody is observing them requires either a super mind that's always observing everything (Berkeley's idealism) or else a mind-independent external world (realism).
     
  10. DominicBunnell

    DominicBunnell New

    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2013
    Messages:
    236
    But then we also have the Matrix, the universe as computer simulation theory, and panpsychism. Do these count as realism or idealism? Do they count as theism or atheism? My own view, as I've said before, is that this whole metaphysical debate is pretty much irrelevant to our politics and ethics anyway. I reckon 90% of professional philosophers would agree with me on this, but 90% of people on this forum would disagree with me!
     
  11. Formal Dining Room Set

    Formal Dining Room Set New

    Joined:
    May 3, 2014
    Messages:
    631
    I think I'm with you on the politics, maybe the ethics, but then again everything is related... Bernardo (Kastrup) makes a pretty good argument that philosophical materialism is linked to cultural materialism/consumerism. Would you agree?

    I think he has a good blog piece specifically regarding this. I'll try and dig that up.
     
  12. DominicBunnell

    DominicBunnell New

    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2013
    Messages:
    236
    Yeah, please do. I'd like to read it.

    In both the Freke and the Kastrup interviews, there's a suggestion that materialism is actually just a very negative and 'soul-crushing' philosophical interpretation of the scientific data, and that other much more positive non-materialist philosophies are available and fit the data equally well.

    One problem with this is that even within the mainstream materialist community, there are hundreds of different interpretations of the data. Some will say that we're 'clever monkeys hurtling through space ... going nowhere' and that love is just chemicals. Others, like Sagan and Tyson, will really emphasize the wow factor and incredible majesty of it all. Others will go in an environmentalist or animal rights direction. Others will say that having a finite lifespan gives our life an urgency and seriousness that it would otherwise lack, and that if we were immortal nothing would really have any value. Others will say we should just party and have fun while we're here. Others will say that evolution shows that we're all connected and that racism and nationalism have no basis and should be resisted. And on and on and on.

    People are trying to make out that materialism is just one thing, and that deep down materialists are all the same. I don't buy it.
     
    brooke, Sharon Rawlette and malf like this.
  13. Formal Dining Room Set

    Formal Dining Room Set New

    Joined:
    May 3, 2014
    Messages:
    631
    Hey Dominic, I think this is the piece by Bernardo I had in mind... I'd be curious to know what you think.

    Also, this quote from this interview --
     
    Last edited: Jul 23, 2014
    Sciborg_S_Patel and Ian Gordon like this.
  14. Ian Gordon

    Ian Gordon Ninshub Member

    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2013
    Messages:
    1,676
    This is surprisingly similar to a passage in a book by Spiritism-founder Allan Kardec, Heaven and Hell (1865), that I just happened to open for a minute last night:
     
  15. Following up on your post Ian, here's a new one from Prescott. I've no real idea about quality of post-life evidence but it is a good argument for continuing research suggesting mind != brain:

    Overthinking it

     
  16. Ian Gordon

    Ian Gordon Ninshub Member

    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2013
    Messages:
    1,676
    That's great, Sciborg. Love that quote.
     
    Sciborg_S_Patel likes this.
  17. Formal Dining Room Set

    Formal Dining Room Set New

    Joined:
    May 3, 2014
    Messages:
    631
    I don't think malf should be allowed to like comments in skeptic restricted sections of the forum. Can something be done about this?
     
    malf likes this.
  18. Formal Dining Room Set

    Formal Dining Room Set New

    Joined:
    May 3, 2014
    Messages:
    631
    What about that quote from maverick philosopher along these lines? You got that one handy? It was also good stuff.
     
  19. I honestly can't remember it - do you recall the gist of how it goes?
     
  20. Formal Dining Room Set

    Formal Dining Room Set New

    Joined:
    May 3, 2014
    Messages:
    631
    Thanks, I figured it out. I guess it's not entirely related, but I thought you had posted an excerpt from MavPhil's piece on Eben Alexander.
     
    Sciborg_S_Patel likes this.

Share This Page