Alex Tsakiris and Tom Jump Debate Near Death Experience Sceicne |408|

They are not equal and opposite propositions. One is deductive and accountable in its inference and the other is only mildly inductive and unaccountable in its inference.

We have to be careful of Pseudo-Theory here. And as well, understand the difference between hypothesis which propositions a modus absens (something is non-extant), versus one which propositions a modus praesens (something is). Just expressing a modus absens denial in the form of a congruent counter-positive to a proposition is not automatically a correct framing. Such may not even constitute a hypothesis at all.

If the counter-positive bears no real structure of hypothesis and accountability - then it is actually a denial, simply posed in the form of a counter-positive. Such is the nature of pseudo-theory. The proposition that the mind is only the sum of its neural capacity and feedback dynamics, is pseudo-theory. It wallows in the luxury of unaccountability. It is the Kim Jong Un of mind theory. A tyrant, never having to produce anything nor be held to real scientific account. It can answer all four questions you posed, effortlessly so - and right now. It was able to answer these (and all) questions from the very first day the idea was proposed - but only from an ad hoc fallacious standpoint. This is not the same notion as an idea's possessing explanatory power.

The contention that NDE's are extra-physical is a testable, incremental, hypothesis = modus praesens. It places its set of incremental contentions at risk. By prosecuting that theory, we become more informed, deductively. By insisting on a non-testable modus absens pseudo-theory which does not bear any incremental accountability, we do not get any smarter - only inductively confirm what we already 'knew'. The idea that NDE's are 'not extra-physical' - given what little we know of the domain, is NOT a hypothesis - rather the null - and if 'believed' is only an opinion. In other words, the less we know, the stronger its gets as an idea. That is why you do not find its proponents too eager to test anything.

This does not mean that it is wrong, just that it is not really a hypothesis; and as an idea, is less scientific than we spin it to be. We can dress it up in fMRI color scans and neuro-speak, but it still remains only shallow inductive posturing with sciencey accoutrements.

Pseudo-Theory

1. Can be developed in full essence before any investigation even begins.​
2. Never improves in its depth, description nor falsifiable or inductive strength despite ongoing research and increases in observational data.​
3. Possesses no real method of falsification nor distinguishing predictive measure which is placed at risk, nor does it offer any other means of being held to account or measure..​
4. Employs non-Wittgenstein equivocal/colloquial terminology or underlying premises (possibly pseudo-theory itself) where the risk of conjecture is not acknowledged.​
5. Is employed primarily as a symbolic or fiat excuse to dismiss disliked or competing explanations. Is adorned with sciencey-like accoutrements.​
6. Filters out by method during the hypothesis formulation stages, high probative value testing, in favor of perceived high reliability confirmation or authorized information only (cherry sorting).​
7. Can quickly (but not elegantly) explain a multiplicity of observations or even every non-resolved question (Explanitude).​
8. Is artificially installed as the null hypothesis from the very start. Falsification is completed and then forgotten, and the theory self-revives - the Theory from the Black Lagoon. It never goes away, even after being falsified, just crawls back out of the mud and is suddenly back in the discussion forefront.​
9. Attains its strength through becoming a Verdrängung Mechanism. Is promoted through pluralistic ignorance and Lindy Effect or social intimidation.​
10. Considers the absence of observation or a data collection/detection failure as suitable to stand in as ‘evidence’ (argument from ignorance).​
11. Pseudo-theory can be identified in that, as less information is held or information is screened out (cherry sorted), pseudo-theory tends to appear to grow more plausible and more pervasively explanatory, and is able to be produced with less effort (armchair debunking for instance). Whereas valid theory and hypothesis tend to strengthen with research effort and an increase in information.​
12. Is panductive – an invalid form of inference which is spun in the form of pseudo-deductive study. Inference which seeks to falsify in one felled swoop ‘everything but what my club believes’ as constituting one group of bad people, who all believe the same wrong and correlated things – this is the warning flag of panductive pseudo-theory. No follow up series studies nor replication methodology can be derived from this type of ‘study’, which in essence serves to make it pseudo-science. This is a common ‘study’ format which is conducted by social skeptics masquerading as scientists, to pan people and subjects they dislike.​
Please point me to where I should start reading so I can explain myself so well. When I engage in dialouge my emotions interfere and I lose concentration. In my astrology I have gemini in chiron which means wounded speech. I get the big picture of things I just can't explain it to other people
 
I watched The Shack this weekend. it's a good movie, a little churchy, but pretty deep in parts. one of the main takeaways for me (and forgive me if this is incredibly obvious) is that any attempt at a deep understanding extended consciousness / god is going to be way, way beyond but we can understand. what is this little scene in the movie points out is what many atheists like to cry about, "how can god be so cruel?" from my human perspective all answers seem glib... but we've heard otherwise over and over again from those who have gained a deeper understanding:
This highlights the humanist error - that human intellect can interpret reality in a manner that is sufficient to address the scope of the questions proposed. Then classic atheist challenge - if there is a God why does he let children suffer - is pure sentimentalism intended to evoke emotions over suffering children and link them with some naive notion of justice - children are innocent and so should not suffer in a just reality. Not that materialists assert that in their world of random chance such suffering would not happen - just that it should not happen if there is a God.

But any examination of human belief in the divine does not imagine this idiotic formula. So its conception by atheists is not a goodwill effort to instigate a debate about the existence and nature of the divine. It scarcely rises to the standard of bad political advertising.

I am sure TES has a more erudite analysis of the error.

We can know only what is useful and meaningful to us - so our challenge is deepen our sense of usefulness and meaning. We do that by asking deep questions - like 'what is good?' The mystics tell use that as we ask those deep questions we become aware of the magnitude of unknowability. I recall that the Zen idea of satori (forgive me Zen fans, I have not read on Zen for decades) is that we surrender the lust for knowledge and instead enter into what I'd call a heart relationship with the divine. Intellectualising becomes futile endeavour.

Intellectualising has its place, but its a matter of scale. After all you do not try to lift a boulder with chop sticks. But that does not diminish the value of chop sticks in their proper domain of eating food.
 
I don't find Lanza as convincing as BK, but he's in the right ballpark.
I kinda agree. I think Lanza has become an industry in his own right, and while that is unpalatable at a purist level at least he is pumping out staff that is accessible at a popular level. That was my point in posting the link - Ideas is a great show and, in terms of public broadcasting, dares to challenge comfortable middle class (usually respectably materialistic) assumptions about what we know. I'd like to see them do a show on BK, but I think he might be still, more of a special diet for then moment.
 
His book seemed to deteriorate as it went on, I felt.
Is on my to read list. It would be a pity if that's the case, but I have read so many authors who have a great idea for 100 pages or so and then have to pad out another 150 of evident tortured expansion on the demand of a publisher. By the time you get to the end you are over the original great idea. I think we need canny brevity - 100 pages of punchy stuff and an optional extra of blah blah for those who need it.
 
I think David was referring to the link I gave in my post, which I referred to there. Here it is again:
Thanks Michael. Notification came through just as I was heading off to bed, but a very quick scan immediately focused my attention on;

"Each new discrepancy between observation and theory can of course in and of itself be considered an exciting promise of more research, a progressive refinement toward the truth. But when it adds up, it could also suggest a more confounding problem that is not resolved by tweaking parameters or adding new variables."

This is, in essence, materialistic science catching up to philosophy and mysticism. There is a fundamental problem about knowing stuff - the more closely we look the more we realise we don't actually know. The fact that theories provide useful data does not mean they provide answers that define the nature of reality, so presuming you can extrapolate the nature of reality from theories is naive. That is what happens to an intellectual culture so fascinated by the endless stream fo data it neglects to school the intellect in philosophy. The idea that the material cosmos is self-explanatory by drawing data from it works only if the cosmos is static body of data we will eventually collect. That is a stupendously stupid idea of such colossal magnitude it beggars belief.

If that data is expected to yield the meaning of life or being it will have no meaning for folk who are expected to wait millennia. The human spirit is holistic and has always aspired to know in advance of empirical data - ergo religion and philosophy. Materialism constantly writes IOUs while being perpetually broke in a metaphysical sense - give me your faith and belief now and I will deliver proof later.

Because the experience of human reality is psychical and physical humans have always looked to the psychical as a factor in finding the bases for narratives about the human reality. That is not going to change. The materialist do not have the business of narrrative building on their own, which is why materialism remains a deeply contested POV.

The 'confounding problem' is that when we look at any aspect of human experience there is always a transition into 'vagueness'. Just try interogating anything you think is true. There's a method called RCA (Root Cause Analysis) that is used to drill down to the cause of an adverse event - asking why 7 times. But ask why 21 times and you are in the realm of metaphysics (if not much sooner). Our notion of relatively concrete reality is embraced by fog and fuzziness in every direction. Its like being in the bush on a dark night with nothing more than a Zippo for illumination. We inhabit a domain of constricted utility. Scientists just have bigger Zippos - but not so big they make much of a difference on an existential level.
 
Please point me to where I should start reading so I can explain myself so well. When I engage in dialouge my emotions interfere and I lose concentration. In my astrology I have gemini in chiron which means wounded speech. I get the big picture of things I just can't explain it to other people
Thanks Baccarat, I come from a long line of preachers and lawyers. :)

Gosh, it is a bunch of posts. If the below alone were a book, this would constitute about about 120 pages of material, and 350-400 hours of research/writing. As I am constructing my book, I am trying to strike a balance between exhaustive adequacy, and publish-ability. Right now the book would be over 1500 pages long, with over 1200 references in the bibliography above and beyond that - and still not service the subject in the way it needs. So triaging that set into a series will be necessary.

But I will select the top ones (shown below). The blog posts I have placed, which pertain to 'skeptics' believing the null, and pretending that it constitutes an actual scientific hypothesis or represents consensus or the prevailing opinion of scientists, when it is really nothing but an oppressive opinion (denial), are:


 
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This is hardly proof of evolution, since the moths do not 'evolve' or even adapt. They remain static while the environment changes.That's not quite the same thing as the Galapagos finches. And, besides, we neglect the other side of Darwin's interests - intentional breeding for preferred attributes and characteristics (the bedrock of modern farming). Darwin had an atheistic bent, which denied him the opportunity to imagine a different way 'evolution' might work. Now that non-atheists are looking closely at evolution very closely, the mechanisms Darwin proposed are no longer seeming to be as definitive as he proposed - but you'd expect that to be the case after 160 years of the evolution of the means of scientific examination.
Yes I agree. How did the information get into the genome is the pertinent question. Natural selection as a mechanism has been ruled out in this case. Now, one might claim that natural selection was the process that allowed that information to exist, but it wasn't caused de novo by natural selection. It was either already there in noncoding regions or something else happened.
 
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Thanks Baccarat, I come from a long line of preachers and lawyers. :)

Gosh, it is a bunch of posts. If the below alone were a book, this would constitute about about 120 pages of material, and 350-400 hours of research/writing. As I am constructing my book, I am trying to strike a balance between exhaustive adequacy, and publish-ability. Right now the book would be over 1500 pages long, with over 1200 references in the bibliography above and beyond that - and still not service the subject in the way it needs. So triaging that set into a series will be necessary.

But I will select the top ones (shown below). The blog posts I have placed, which pertain to 'skeptics' believing the null, and pretending that it constitutes an actual scientific hypothesis or represents consensus or the prevailing opinion of scientists, when it is really nothing but an oppressive opinion (denial), are:


This would be fun to contrast with lesswrong.com, primarily yudkowsky's post on bayesian rationality. Thanks!
 
I rather think Superqualia was aware of that :)

David

The question for me is this: how did the information appear in the right context? That is truly strange because its not a fluke of chance. Perhaps the mechanism suggested is right. But how does one explain the correct information going into the correct location in the genome at the right time? Conscious intention of the moths? Or some other overseer? Random mutation, non random selection. Ok. Maybe.

omg...guess I am a believer in 'evolution plus' where something magical happens. Its attribution bias 101, yet here it is staring at me. I remember arguing with my sister that the non-coding regions were doing something. That they were not junk DNA. It was assumed 20 years ago it was accumulated error. Once a path has been stumbled down by evolution there is no going back.

Accept the moths did go back. Twice! And of course its part of a general ability across environments. We don't understand the mind or genetics.
 
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This highlights the humanist error - that human intellect can interpret reality in a manner that is sufficient to address the scope of the questions proposed.
we'll put. I've never really done a full show on the humanist perspective. do you (or does anyone else) have a guest suggestion for this? I think it's worth exploring since so many people still find comfort in something that, at its core, is just warmed over "biological robot meaningless universe" stuff.

- who would be a good skeptiko guest to talk about humanism?
 

The question for me is this: how did the information appear in the right context? That is truly strange because its not a fluke of chance. Perhaps the mechanism suggested is right. But how does one explain the correct information going into the correct location in the genome at the right time? Conscious intention of the moths? Or some other overseer? Random mutation, non random selection. Ok. Maybe.

omg...guess I am a believer in 'evolution plus' where something magical happens. Its attribution bias 101, yet here it is staring at me. I remember arguing with my sister that the non-coding regions were doing something. That they were not junk DNA. It was assumed 20 years ago it was accumulated error. Once a path has been stumbled down by evolution there is no going back.

Accept the moths did go back. Twice! And of course its part of a general ability across environments. We don't understand the mind or genetics.
Well I think if you read Behe, he leaves little doubt that evolution does not happen by RM+NS - so whatever does happen uses a mind of some sort!

David
 
we'll put. I've never really done a full show on the humanist perspective. do you (or does anyone else) have a guest suggestion for this? I think it's worth exploring since so many people still find comfort in something that, at its core, is just warmed over "biological robot meaningless universe" stuff.

- who would be a good skeptiko guest to talk about humanism?
I have been really interested in David Chapman's material on his meaningness.com website. I don't think he considers himself a humanist, per se. He's into a few very specific ideas that can be found in specific Buddhist traditions as well as in some Western thinkers. PhD from MIT, I believe, and a former AI researcher who realized at some point a few decades ago that hard AI wasn't going to pan out. He is not sympathetic to folks who pursue "eternalist" perspectives, which would include most spiritual folks. He has done podcasts. I would love for him to have a venue where he could really lay out his position that attempts to situate itself between nihilism and eternalism. He has yet to do a great job of really laying it out on his site.

This page kinda gives some hints as to what he's trying to say about meaningness. There's a lot of material on his various websites; I wish he would make a good effort to summarize his main points in one place:
https://meaningness.com/objective-subjective

His reading list is interesting and you can kinda get a sense of some his general ideas from this page:
https://meaningness.com/further-reading

Kind of a wild-card, but Sabio Lantz is another guy that I found through Chapman. Not sure if he does podcasts, but I believe he has advanced degrees in religion/philosophy and also now is a physician. I believe he is an atheist, though he talks about inexplicable spiritual experiences on his site. My sense is he would be much less combative than Chapman. He seems to be a gentle soul, but very smart, I think. I don't think he has the "professional" cred or big presence that Chapman does, and I don't read his site regularly, so take with grain of salt:
https://triangulations.wordpress.com/2011/09/03/6507/
There's an interesting illustration there -- the stuff in red is to be avoided: note "Grim Hyper-rationalism" as an approach to avoid. These guys understand the problem of "biological robot in a meaningless universe" though I'm not sure how convincing or satisfying their approaches to having meaning would be.

There are a couple guys over at the Spiritual Naturalism Society. This link shows several of humanists:
https://www.snsociety.org/sn-today/
Daniel Strain is the head of the SNS, I believe, and B. T. Newberg teaches a class. I interacted with them a bit several years ago. This is humanism through and through. For me, their perspectives just weren't powerful enough or weird enough; they seemed too close to nihilism for me. I would say they are much closer to "warmed over biological robots/meaningless universe" than Chapman or possibly Lantz.
 
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we'll put. I've never really done a full show on the humanist perspective. do you (or does anyone else) have a guest suggestion for this? I think it's worth exploring since so many people still find comfort in something that, at its core, is just warmed over "biological robot meaningless universe" stuff.

- who would be a good skeptiko guest to talk about humanism?
I am rather fond of John Carroll - an Australian sociologist - https://scholars.latrobe.edu.au/display/jbcarroll. I particularly like his The Wreck of Western Culture, Ego & Soul, and The Existential Jesus. The sociological perspective is refreshing compared to the laborious cogitations of philosophers. He's a Christian of acute and stimulating character so his take on humanism has a bite, but without the gummy sentimentality of theological angst or the fraught intellectualisation of already dyed in the wool materialists.
 
Well I think if you read Behe, he leaves little doubt that evolution does not happen by RM+NS - so whatever does happen uses a mind of some sort!
I haven't finished Behe, but I do really get his argument that the classic Darwinian rationale can't hold against the evidence of genetics. Its one thing to expose the limitations of a theory 160 years old in the light of contemporary methods of inquiry, and another to propose whites really no more than a contemporary theory predicated upon only a portion of what is knowable. These days we know better what is yet to be known.

The process for evolution seems to be more mind than mechanism. Invoking chance and randomness, as we learn more, simply creates eye-watering and mind-boggling levels of complexity that leaves us without anything that resembles an explanation that is coherent or expressible. Arguing that a 'mind of some sort' is engaged makes it possible to imagine comprehensibility.

It is evident that even if chance and randomness are proven to be the absolute bedrock of existence that stuff is organised and that organised stuff goes on to organise other stuff - and that there are orders of organisation. Perhaps Darwin needed the liberty of atheism to unshackle his imagination and begin to think differently. The early Greek philosopher, Thales, asserted that gods were in everything. So what is behind organised stuff is maybe some principle of organisation that we do not yet understand - beyond calling it god or mind or spirit.

It does seem that materialism is a brief flowering in the evolution of scientific thought between the abandonment of religion shackled to intellectually crippling theology and dogma, and confirmation that the 'authorship of God' can be finally discerned 'in his handiwork', because we now have to tools to break through the barriers of a methodological, technological and philosophical nature.
 
Was going to suggest massimo pigliucci, but that ship has sailed.

Thoughts on having a guest host for a new perspective from your guests? Stoicism makes a lot of sense if we are mortal imho.
 
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The question for me is this: how did the information appear in the right context? That is truly strange because its not a fluke of chance. Perhaps the mechanism suggested is right. But how does one explain the correct information going into the correct location in the genome at the right time? Conscious intention of the moths? Or some other overseer? Random mutation, non random selection. Ok. Maybe.

omg...guess I am a believer in 'evolution plus' where something magical happens. Its attribution bias 101, yet here it is staring at me. I remember arguing with my sister that the non-coding regions were doing something. That they were not junk DNA. It was assumed 20 years ago it was accumulated error. Once a path has been stumbled down by evolution there is no going back.

Accept the moths did go back. Twice! And of course its part of a general ability across environments. We don't understand the mind or genetics.
excellent radio lab. thx for posting.
 
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