Manifesto for a Post-Materialist Science...

#1
http://opensciences.org/about/manifesto-for-a-post-materialist-science
http://opensciences.org/about/manifesto-for-a-post-materialist-science



Manifesto for a Post-Materialist Science

We are a group of internationally known scientists, from a variety of scientific fields (biology, neuroscience, psychology, medicine, psychiatry), who participated in an international summit on post-materialist science, spirituality and society. The summit was co-organized by Gary E. Schwartz, PhD and Mario Beauregard, PhD, the University of Arizona, and Lisa Miller, PhD, Columbia University. This summit was held at Canyon Ranch in Tucson, Arizona, on February 7-9, 2014. Our purpose was to discuss the impact of the materialist ideology on science and the emergence of a post-materialist paradigm for science, spirituality, and society. We have come to the following conclusions:
...
15. According to the post-materialist paradigm:


a) Mind represents an aspect of reality as primordial as the physical world. Mind is fundamental in the universe, i.e. it cannot be derived from matter and reduced to anything more basic.

b) There is a deep interconnectedness between mind and the physical world.

c) Mind (will/intention) can influence the state of the physical world, and operate in a nonlocal (or extended) fashion, i.e. it is not confined to specific points in space, such as brains and bodies, nor to specific points in time, such as the present. Since the mind may nonlocally influence the physical world, the intentions, emotions, and desires of an experimenter may not be completely isolated from experimental outcomes, even in controlled and blinded experimental designs.

d) Minds are apparently unbounded, and may unite in ways suggesting a unitary, One Mind that includes all individual, single minds.

e) NDEs in cardiac arrest suggest that the brain acts as a transceiver of mental activity, i.e. the mind can work through the brain, but is not produced by it. NDEs occurring in cardiac arrest, coupled with evidence from research mediums, further suggest the survival of consciousness, following bodily death, and the existence of other levels of reality that are non-physical.

f) Scientists should not be afraid to investigate spirituality and spiritual experiences since they represent a central aspect of human existence.
.... Or (to channel Sheldrake) The Six Dogmas of Immaterialism? ;)
 
#3
I like the article. I'm glad to see that some scientists are coming to their senses.
Perhaps they are leaving themselves open to the accusation that issuing sacred tenets is entirely consistent with their aims... The very definition of 'dogma'?
 
#4
Perhaps they are leaving themselves open to the accusation that issuing sacred tenets is entirely consistent with their aims... The very definition of 'dogma'?
There are layers of reality that physics isn't going to be able to penetrate for a while. In the meantime, some dogma and sacred teachings can help ease people's minds until we can get scientific proof.
 
#6
As I suspected.
But you know how it is with quantum entanglement or quantum "correlations". There is a side to nature that is very mysterious and difficult to measure. If you think you had a psychic experience, then chances are, there was a quantum entanglement involved. :)
 
#7
But you know how it is with quantum entanglement or quantum "correlations". There is a side to nature that is very mysterious and difficult to measure. If you think you had a psychic experience, then chances are, there was a quantum entanglement involved. :)
As good as any explanation I've heard.
 
#9
It should be a rule that one can't appeal to the quantum unless you can do the math lol
Why should hope be denied by a bunch of math nerds?

Mathematics is irrelevant to metaphysics. But you wanted math, OK. Two flying spaghetti monsters plus two flying spaghetti monsters equals four flying spaghetti monsters. Are you happy now?
 
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#12
That's what I want. I want the afterlife to be assumed to exist or to be plausible. It's not my fault that they had to build an $8 billion dollar large hadron collider just to prove that the Higgs boson exists. It's not my fault that there are Higgs fields, dark matter, dark energy and deeper levels of physics that will not directly reveal that we have a soul. It's also not my fault that ghosts fundamentally could never prove their existence because they are not made of standard model particles or any known physics.
 
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Sciborg_S_Patel

#14
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Sciborg_S_Patel

#15
That's what I want. I want the afterlife to be assumed to exist or to be plausible. It's not my fault that they had to build an $8 billion dollar large hadron collider just to prove that the Higgs boson exists. It's not my fault that there are Higgs fields, dark matter, dark energy and deeper levels of physics that will not directly reveal that we have a soul. It's also not my fault that ghosts fundamentally could never prove their existence because they are not made of standard model particles or any known physics.
Ghost, you seem to be thinking about this the wrong way - the Laws of Nature are regularities extrapolated from observations. As Talbott notes, they don't make things happen if one assumes materialism. For them to have coercive power - which would validate their invocation in arguments against souls - some kind of Platonism would be true, in which case you might just look up Plato's arguments in Phaedo for the immortality of the soul.

Additionally, consider a few things the physicist Morhroff has said while keeping in mind Wigner's above essay on mathematics' uncanny efficacy:

'Usually they are not satisfied with evidence. They want extraordinary evidence for what they regard as extraordinary claims. I usually respond by pointing out just how extraordinary the claims of the materialist mainstream are. Certain regularities in our experience of the world are held (i) to describe all there really is and (ii) to account for the very experience from which the regularities are abstracted. How extraordinary that something can (i) exist by itself, out of relation to any consciousness or experience, and (ii) exist for someone! How can something that exists by itself be experienced? How can there be consciousness of what exists by itself? Even more extraordinary is the claim that what exists by itself is adequately described by mathematical symbols and equations. Isn’t mathematics a creation of the human mind? And is not this mind a creation of matter and evolution? How extraordinary, then, that matter should be governed by mathematical laws! And how extraordinary that mathematical laws describing certain regularities in our experience should be the very laws governing all that really exists! Where is the extraordinary evidence for all that?'
-Morhroff commenting on Entangled Minds
To be precise: every conceivable measurement outcome has a probability greater than zero unless it violates a conservation law. Physics therefore never explains how something is possible, let alone “how nature does it.” It only explains — via its conservation laws — why certain things won’t happen. But this is exactly what one would expect if the force at work in the world were an omnipotent force operating under self-imposed constraints. There would then be no reason to be surprised by the apparent impossibility of explaining the quantum-mechanical correlations laws — to account for them in terms of mechanisms or processes — for it would be self-contradictory to explain the working of an omnipotent force. What needs to be explained is why this force works under self-imposed constraints, and why under this particular set of constraints.

As we have seen, the purpose of this particular set of constraints is to allow for the existence of stable objects that “occupy space” even though they are made of finite numbers of objects that do not “occupy space.”

But why are objects that “occupy space” made of finite numbers of objects that do not “occupy space”? One possible answer is, to set the stage for the adventure of evolution. According to Sri Aurobindo, evolution presupposes involution, and the final outcome of the process of involution is the creation of a universe in which objects that “occupy space” are made of a finite number of formless objects and obey the well-established physical laws, at least initially.
-Spiritual Physics by Ulrich Mohrhoff
 
#19
Ghost, you seem to be thinking about this the wrong way - the Laws of Nature are regularities extrapolated from observations. As Talbott notes, they don't make things happen if one assumes materialism. For them to have coercive power - which would validate their invocation in arguments against souls - some kind of Platonism would be true, in which case you might just look up Plato's arguments in Phaedo for the immortality of the soul.

Additionally, consider a few things the physicist Morhroff has said while keeping in mind Wigner's above essay on mathematics' uncanny efficacy:
Mathematics does have uncanny efficacy if things are countable. There are conservation laws that inevitably mean that atoms, electrons, protons cannot just pop into existence and/or vanish in such a way that violates those conservation laws (conservation of mass-energy, charge, spin, isospin, etc.). So I do admit that sometimes I have anxiety that the materialists are right; but then I look at quantum mechanics, dark matter, virtual particles, wave-functions, quantum entanglement, dark energy and the big bang, and I realize that there are a bunch of hidden relationships they may or may not be deterministic, whimsical, wisely conceived or otherwise mysterious in some way that borders on the paranormal. If I didn't know any better, I would think that ghosts are like virtual phenomena that go "boo" in the night. Most people have enough sense not to talk about it, less they appear crazy; so most people forget their experiences. While it may take a certain state of mind, an overwhelming feeling of mystery and spookiness in order to witness a ghost, some of that could be a particular state of the brain in which quantum slits are open across the whole brain in such a way that a ghost can slip in and spook the more creative among us. Those who are skeptical, who disbelieve even the most impressive evidence, have somehow closed enough slits in their brain, in their mind, that no ghost can get through.
 
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Sciborg_S_Patel

#20
It's been a tough month.
Whatever I said before applies. To use the Laws of Nature as coercive argument against souls is to provide at least some credence to the Platonic argument for them. Under materialism the question 'What holds the laws of physics in place?' has to be answered, which leads to a meta-law regression problem.

You might also consider the arguments from neuroscientist-philosopher Tallis that memories can't be held in the brain, and that intentionality cannot be accounted for by the laws of physics.

Your mistake is to assume reality is enclosed by regularities of physics taken to be transcendent laws. This might be true, but it seems to me that there's enough reason to consider souls/ghosts as possible.

Also, IIRC the Thomist-Aristotelian argument for souls doesn't assume any alterations to known physics. More about that can be found here.
 
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