Dr. Jeffrey Long’s, God and the Afterlife, Science & Spirituality Have Collided |327|

I agree.

The irony of being lectured on agnosticism my a practicing Catholic is not lost on me however.
You're getting confused. Philosophically I'm an Idealist, the primacy of mind is an assumption based on evidence. My religious convictions are a belief system. The first informs the second but the second doesn't inform the first. Philosophical positions should go no further than that which can be known. Beliefs are nor reducible to such demands. They can deal with instinct and intuition about reality, and negotiate the symbolic which is beyond the purview of philosophy.
 
Perhaps a definition of what matter is would help us understand what "the material" actually is?

It is merely defined by its lack of mental properties?
Materialism should be superceded with physicalism, with the discovery of the weird quantum world we all know things can be real yet have no substance. Even Newtonian physics tells us this. Immaterialism refers to things without substance, yet, how many things are known that fit that definition and are real? The argument isn't about what matter is nor is it defined by mental property. This question always comes to mind as it did to me decades ago. If something is immaterial how is it able to interact with the classical world? In some sense the immaterial has to be material to do so.
 
Seems clear? That matter has no mental properties.

Outside of that it seems things get rather shaky, given it's not clear that matter at the bottom level has a set spatio-temporal location.

As Chomsky notes:

"There seems to be no coherent doctrine of materialism and metaphysical naturalism, no issue of eliminativism, no mind-body problem."
-Language and Problems of Knowledge
I will suggest that matter at the quantum level while having no substance is still material in a way we do not intuitively understand. In other words though matter is a probability wave at that scale does not make it any less real than a larger scales.
 
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Sciborg_S_Patel

Materialism should be superceded with physicalism, with the discovery of the weird quantum world we all know things can be real yet have no substance. Even Newtonian physics tells us this. Immaterialism refers to things without substance, yet, how many things are known that fit that definition and are real? The argument isn't about what matter is nor is it defined by mental property. This question always comes to mind as it did to me decades ago. If something is immaterial how is it able to interact with the classical world? In some sense the immaterial has to be material to do so.
You assume there is a "classical world".

But how do elements in the material world interact with each other? What ensures the regularities of these elements as they interact with each other?

I will suggest that matter at the quantum level while having no substance is still material in a way we do not intuitively understand. In other words though matter is a probability wave at that scale does not make it any less real than a larger scales.
If matter is a "probability wave" it doesn't seem to be matter at all?
 
I'll just say it again, I think the whole materialism vs. immaterialism thing is a false dichotomy. If Idealism is correct, which I believe it is, dualism is just an "appearance", in a similar fashion to how Quantum Physics informs us the Classical World is mere "appearance". Just like we don't debate Classical vs. Quantum, we probably shouldn't be talking materialism vs. immaterialism. Just as their is a continuum between the appearance of the classical world and the appearance of the quantum world (yeah, quantum theory is incomplete too), so there is likely a continuum between what we normally refer to as physical and spiritual.

It seems like many "Skeptics" love this false dichotomy, though. Perhaps, another way of dumbing down the whole psi/spirituality thing, making it easier to dismiss?
 
But how do elements in the material world interact with each other? What ensures the regularities of these elements as they interact with each other?
Just to add to what Sci said Steve, you seem to place your confidence in what's real and what's not, in objective physical laws, which (presumably) dictate the regular patterns we observe in nature. But, we have no idea where those laws come from, why they should even exist in the first place, or why they even take the form they do. It's one of the biggest mysteries in physics. Given that, perhaps it would be prudent to treat one's confidence in laws with some "skepticism"?
 
Just to add to what Sci said Steve, you seem to place your confidence in what's real and what's not, in objective physical laws, which (presumably) dictate the regular patterns we observe in nature. But, we have no idea where those laws come from, why they should even exist in the first place, or why they even take the form they do. It's one of the biggest mysteries in physics. Given that, perhaps it would be prudent to treat one's confidence in laws with some "skepticism"?
Where the laws come from is a whole nother topic.
I don't know anyone in the history of the world that cannot not live as if the world is only material. As we learn more how nature works we've yet to discover that immaterial world members seem certain is real. This begs the question: Should the immaterial world be revealed would that make it any less material than the one we all experience daily?
If it weren't for members pitting material against immaterial I would probably never speak either one. It's not the skeptics that created this false dichotomy here.

P.S. I find it peculiar how people identify themselves by a particular philosophy.
 
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You assume there is a "classical world".
As do people assume there's an immaterial world. There is far more extremely compelling everyday examples for the latter then there is for the former. Spiritual teachings have been saying so since recorded history yet have nothing to show.

But how do elements in the material world interact with each other? What ensures the regularities of these elements as they interact with each other?
Nobody knows why the laws are as they are. It is a mystery.



If matter is a "probability wave" it doesn't seem to be matter at all?
But it's still something. Your too caught up with a 19th century comprehension.
 
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Sciborg_S_Patel

As do people assume there's an immaterial world. There is far more extremely compelling everyday examples for the latter then there is for the former. Spiritual teachings have been saying so since recorded history yet have nothing to show.
No, I mean why do you use the term "classical world" as something apart from the underlying quantum level.

Nobody knows why the laws are as they are. It is a mystery.
Or whether there are laws at all.

But it's still something. Your too caught up with a 19th century comprehension.
I don't understand what you mean by "19th century comprehension".

As to what the "something" ultimately is, that's the very question under consideration. To give two examples from two physicists:

Richard Cohn Henry on a type of Idealism:

"The only reality is mind and observations, but observations are not of things. To see the Universe as it really is, we must abandon our tendency to conceptualize observations as things."

Zeilinger on a type of Informational Realism

Zeilinger and his group have only just begun to consider the grand implications of all their work for reality and our world. Like others in their field, they had focused on entanglement and decoherence to construct our future information technology, such as quantum computers, and not for understanding reality. But the group’s work on these kinds of applications pushed up against quantum mechanics’ foundations. To repeat a famous dictum, “All information is physical.” How we get information from our world depends on how it is encoded. Quantum mechanics encodes information, and how we obtain this through measurement is how we study and construct our world.

I asked Dr. Zeilinger about this as I was about to leave his office. “In the history of physics, we have learned that there are distinctions that we really should not make, such as between space and time… It could very well be that the distinction we make between information and reality is wrong. This is not saying that everything is just information. But it is saying that we need a new concept that encompasses or includes both.” Zeilinger smiled as he finished: “I throw this out as a challenge to our philosophy friends.”
 
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Sciborg_S_Patel

I'll just say it again, I think the whole materialism vs. immaterialism thing is a false dichotomy. If Idealism is correct, which I believe it is, dualism is just an "appearance", in a similar fashion to how Quantum Physics informs us the Classical World is mere "appearance". Just like we don't debate Classical vs. Quantum, we probably shouldn't be talking materialism vs. immaterialism. Just as their is a continuum between the appearance of the classical world and the appearance of the quantum world (yeah, quantum theory is incomplete too), so there is likely a continuum between what we normally refer to as physical and spiritual.

It seems like many "Skeptics" love this false dichotomy, though. Perhaps, another way of dumbing down the whole psi/spirituality thing, making it easier to dismiss?
I sorta see what you're saying, but like all the metaphysical "isms" it is an easy short hand used in discussion/debate about consciousness.

I mean outside of the 20 or less people who participate on these forums, and the 80 or so lurkers, the rest of the world will still use these terms? I guess I just kind of accept it?
 
I have a question, I hope it's relevant enough to be discussed in this thread. I have seen this mentioned on Dr.Long's nderf website, with NDE's reported there. It is something I am having trouble wrapping my mind around, so maybe some answers from members here could give me some clarity.

During NDE's, and this is just one of many aspects that make them such transcendent experiences to me. Is the disassociation with the physical body, not just consciousness being separated, but the way the physical body is perceived in that other state of consciousness. I remember listening to a radio interview with Pam Reynolds talking about her case. In her words, and I may not be reciting it verbatim, since it has been awhile since I listened to it. She said that she did not want anything to do with her body, and said she had more attachment to used cars in her past than her own physical body. She was only 35 at this time, so she was still young. It is something I find very hard to comprehend, and I am guessing it's because I am looking at it through my own human understanding. I feel attached to this body I am residing in. This again is one of those aspects, that suggests NDE's and the experience while it is occurring, seems to take place in some advanced plane of thinking or understanding.

So if anyone would like to give their thoughts on that, it would be fun to discuss.
 
So if anyone would like to give their thoughts on that, it would be fun to discuss.
Generally speaking NDErs contrast a physical attachment to their body, which is often one of pain, with the near death experience viewpoint, which is of comfortable disinterest. They are aware the body is themselves, but project ideas like "oh don't bother with it", or "yuk" and resist going back inside because the contrast between the comfortable, aware, expansive state is so markedly different from their physical one.

NDEs are frequently the result of trauma, whether that be accidental, deliberate or medically induced on the operating table, and the idea of going back inside the mess is naturally not a welcome prospect. Most NDEs are reported to be progressive in nature, and the early OBE stages exist within a similar topography albeit from a remote viewpoint. If you feel fine, or better than ever, I can see why you'd view your mortal body as a useful device that had served its purpose and cease to identify with it, especially if the general sensation was of coming home as so many attest.
 
I read a murder mystery novel. It that mysticism? ;)
Murder mysteries are a genre defined by qualities like restricted narration - the reader discovers as much and no more than the detective. Mysticism is the acknowledgement of the perceived but hidden or unknowable. Dean Radin might qualify as a mystic because he deals with phenomena that are measurable but have no known cause.
 
Murder mysteries are a genre defined by qualities like restricted narration - the reader discovers as much and no more than the detective. Mysticism is the acknowledgement of the perceived but hidden or unknowable. Dean Radin might qualify as a mystic because he deals with phenomena that are measurable but have no known cause.
I do think you are mixing mystery with mysticism. But it's not worth discussing.
 
It was interesting that you thought my post was aimed at you exclusively, rather than lifestyle scepticism as a tendency.
The post I was replying to? Yes, I thought it was aimed at me, especially as it repeated charges that I'm pretty sure you've aimed at me on more than one occasion, and then said "over to you, Arouet". But perhaps I misinterpreted. So maybe I should clarify. Do you apply any of the following to me:
  • Stonewalling.
  • Legalism.
  • Evidential high jumps.
  • Masquerading as a quest for mutual understanding.
Legalism is the application of doubt to a situation that doesn't warrant it, with the sole aim of muddying the water. It's about loopholes, not objective truth.
Ok, let's take that as the definition. What criteria are you applying to evaluate this?

The point is skeptics feel they inhabit the intellectual high ground, without stating what that ground is. In this way they negotiate an advantage which they are not required to support, and survive on prodding what they perceive as the opposition's soft parts without inviting an equivalent response.
Sorry Gabriel, I'm not sure what this is meant to mean, and upon what it is based Your example doesn't help either:

How often, for example, do this forum's resident skeptics come out as philosophical materialists? Never to my recollection. Instead they hide behind a philosophical wall of their own making and throw rocks. In this way all supposition is naivety, and any stance subject to ridicule. So what are your beliefs, Arouet, and if you're not certain, what gives you the philosophical insight to counter the sloppy thinking that routinely raises your ire?
Hold on. I'm a resident skeptic who has not come out as a philosophical materialist. In fact, I've quite explicitly stated that I'm not one. I'm not sure why you find that objectionable, or how it is an example of "inhabiting the intellectual high ground, without stating what that ground is" or "negotiating an advantage which I am not required to support" or "prodding what I feel is the oppositions soft parts without inviting an equivalent response."

For my part, I always try and establish the support for any position I advance, and often offer to supply further material if people want. When I reply to a post I don't cherry pick for soft part, I answer each an every part of a post, often indicating areas where I agree. And I regularly ask for - even beg for - critique of my position in response.

This is the problem with your stereotyping. Regardless of what I say, you treat anything I write as if they follow your stereotypical rules. That automatically makes any kind of real discourse impossible, because you aren't really responding to me. I'm using me as an example but it applies to the others as well.

Your rants, where you scoop a diverse group of people, each with pros and cons, into this amorphous blob of extreme positions distract from legitimate critiques of individual arguments and contribute to the breakdown of real communication, which is what you claim to support. You argue that you should try and figure out what a person believes. There's nothing wrong with that in principle. But not as a means to beat their arguments - that's tactics, gamesmanship and debate, not communication. You want to figure out what someone believes? Ask them questions and pay attention to the answers. . You want real communication? Respond to what they say, not what you think they should have said if they met your imagined stereotype. Explain your own positions as clearly as you can and then pay attention to the response.

As for my beliefs - that's a pretty broad question and this forum is filled with my expositions of them. If you have a specific question then ask. And there is very little of which I am certain, though I usually try and state roughly where I stand on a given issue, and provide my reasons in as much detail as I have time for. As for my ire - it's not sloppy thinking that raises it. It is personal attacks and treating people badly that does.

Erm- I guess back over to you?
 
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