What divides Christians and non-believers|290|

#21
I simply was left with the question of wondering on what basis Joel still calls himself a Christian?
maybe it's a matter of semantics. I mean, how do you explain that you accept the deep truth and universality of Jesus' wisdom and the reality of Christ consciousness, but you don't believe in the Bible or most of the historical accounts of Jesus' life.
 
#23
I don’t agree Alex.
Even if the brain is not functioning, the mind clearly is, and to a heightened degree. You have often made this point yourself.

Something is being experienced. Whatever that something is, it is being interpreted by the NDEer.
The personal interpretation is significant for the experiencer, and can bring about life-changing alterations in the person's personality and outlook; but to get to the factuality of the something that is occurring we must bypass the personal overlays.

That’s how we found out about stuff like physics and science generally. We had to get past the cultural and personal overlays that obstructed the factuality.

I think we have to be very cautious about accepting the personal interpretations of the experiences as factual evidence.

You may recall that Moody makes this point in his first book. I agree with him.
While I agree with Alex concerning NDEs not be understandable using science or logic, I also agree with you that they're culturally influenced.

Check out Carol Zaleski's book Otherworld Journeys. She looks at medieval NDEs. They look different than modern day NDEs. This doesn't change the profundity of them for me, of course, but it does change the way I think about them.

http://www.amazon.com/Otherworld-Journeys-Accounts-Near-Death-Experience/dp/0195056655
 
#24
While I agree with Alex concerning NDEs not be understandable using science or logic, I also agree with you that they're culturally influenced.

Check out Carol Zaleski's book Otherworld Journeys. She looks at medieval NDEs. They look different than modern day NDEs. This doesn't change the profundity of them for me, of course, but it does change the way I think about them.

http://www.amazon.com/Otherworld-Journeys-Accounts-Near-Death-Experience/dp/0195056655
interesting. and the cross-cultural thing is important. this guy has studied it as much as anyone: http://www.skeptiko.com/265-dr-gregory-shushan-cross-cultural-comparison-near-death-experiences/

I just we have to be very careful in drawing too many conclusions from this data (as Shushan is). The most important take-away is that NDEs exist across cultures in a way that adds paradigm-busting reality of the phenomena.
 
#25
interesting. and the cross-cultural thing is important. this guy has studied it as much as anyone: http://www.skeptiko.com/265-dr-gregory-shushan-cross-cultural-comparison-near-death-experiences/

I just we have to be very careful in drawing too many conclusions from this data (as Shushan is). The most important take-away is that NDEs exist across cultures in a way that adds paradigm-busting reality of the phenomena.
I'll check it out. And I agree about the take-away.
 
#27
You should look up the May/James/Rashad case published by IANDS 15 years ago. In it, three different people encounter the BOL during a shared NDE and each one of them interprets it as something different... More intrigingly, they were aware of this fact during the experience.

Yes, that is exactly my point. They all interpreted the experience differently.
To access the raw data of the experience we have to strip away the personal interpretations. That is the ground floor methodology of how we do all science.
I disagree with the pessimistic belief that NDE experience is inaccessible to scientific human knowing. To me that belief is as irrational and obstructive as the reductive materialist belief that denies the reality of the experience.

Nothing we experience is beyond the scope of scientific human knowing.
 
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#28
maybe Moody said that 40 years ago, but today he's saying that NDE can't be understand scientificly/logicly. While I not fond of the way he frames the argument, but I get his point.
Thanks for that link Alex
I will have a listen and let you know what I think
David
 
#31
Isn't it possible that some things are irrational and therefore outside the scope of scientific exploration? Why should everything follow logic?
Logic is not science
Science is about reaching objective understanding of what actually is the case
Logic is just part of the epistemological tool kit used by the scientific method


Behind the multitudes of irrational primitive beliefs held by humans about the natural world and the stars and the universe etc.
there was always the objective facts of what is actually the case
But humanity did not begin to be able to access that understanding until the scientific method was developed
 
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#32
The data from NDEs are extremely varied and complex. There are similarities and differences between cultures and both similarities and differences tell us something about the phenomena. The cultural differences argue against physiological explanations, the similarities argue against the influence of expectations. Simple generalizations like "people see what they expect to see" just don't hold up. A Jew may see Jesus, a Muslim may see Buddha, children who have no expectations and atheists and people who attempt suicide who expect nothing still have the same type of NDEs.

I assume this is the Parnia quote:
http://www.bbc.com/future/story/20150303-what-its-really-like-to-die
“If the father of a child from the Midwest says, ‘When you die, you’ll see Jesus and he’ll be full of love and compassion,’ then of course he’ll see that,” Parnia says. “He’ll come back and say, ‘Oh dad, you’re right, I definitely saw Jesus!’ But would any of us actually recognise Jesus or God? You don’t know what God is. I don’t know what God is. Besides a man with a white beard, which is just a picture.

“All of these things – what’s the soul, what is heaven and hell – I have no idea what they mean, and there’s probably thousands and thousands of interpretations based on where you’re born and what your background is,” he continues. “It’s important to move this out of the realm of religious teaching and into objectivity.”
From the same post:

People don't always see what they expect to see.

http://www.near-death.com/experiences/research22.html

Dr. PMH Atwater, researched the identity of the initial greeters met in near-death states. She discovered that religious figures usually conform to the predominant religion the experiencer was exposed to, but not always. Jesus has appeared in near-death scenarios of Jewish people, for instance; a Muslim man once told her he was met by Buddha. (P.M.H. Atwater)
http://pmhatwater.blogspot.com/2007/09/are-there-ndes-in-which-buddhist.html

Q & A with PMH Atwater
...
Refer to "Beyond the Light" and the case of Jeanie Dicus. She was a Jew yet she was visited by Jesus. This so surprised her and confounded her that she promptly challenged Jesus, and continued to do so throughout her entire near-death episode, saying: "I don't believe in you. Why are you here?" Of note, atheists report the same type of visitations as do religious folk. In other words, you don't have to believe in anything to be surprised at what you find when you die or nearly die.
NDEs cannot be explained by religious or cultural expectations:
http://ncu9nc.blogspot.com/2013/07/materialist-explanations-of-ndes-fail.html#nde_explain_religion

Religious Expectations:
Hogan
The phenomenon is not a result of some religious expectations. If it were fulfilling the experiencer's expectations of what dying is like, we would expect that only people who believed in and expected a near-death experience would have one, not suicides who anticipate annihilation, fundamentalists who expect only to see God, or agnostics and atheists who would not believe in an NDE phenomenon at all. In fact, that is not the case. Carol Zaleski wrote in her book, Otherworld Journeys, describing NDEs, "Suicide victims seeking annihilation, fundamentalists who expect to see God on the operating table, atheists, agnostics and carpe diem advocates find equal representation in the ranks of the near-death experiencers."214


Long
A really interesting part of the study that I did was looking at children age 5 and under. In fact, their average age was 3-1/2 years old. These are children so young that to them, death is an abstraction. They don’t understand it. They can't conceptualize it. They’ve almost never heard about near-death experiences; have no preconceived notions about that. They certainly have far less cultural influence, both in terms of religion or anything else that could even potentially modify the near-death experience at that tender young age.

And yet looking at these same 33 elements of near-death experience that I did in other parts of this study, I found absolutely no statistical difference in their percentage of occurrence in very young children as compared to older children and adults. So no question about that.

That almost single-handedly shoots down the skeptical argument that near-death experiences are due to pre-existing beliefs or cultural influences. We’re not seeing a shred of evidence that corroborates that at all. In fact, that finding is actually corroborated with another major scholarly researcher who actually reviewed over 30 years of near-death experience research and came up with the same conclusion.

Cultural Expectations:
Hogan
Margot Grey's study of NDEs in England215; Paola Giovetti's study in Italy216; Dorothy Counts' study in Melanesia217; Satwant Pasricha and Ian Stevenson's study in India218. More studies are coming out from different countries on a regular basis, and historical examples show that the experience has been remarkably consistent over time (see Plato's example of Er's NDE in The Republic).219
Tymn: "Hogan cites research demonstrating that different cultures have produced remarkably similar findings, thus showing that they're not dependent on expectations in any culture."
.​



People might not be creating or interpreting what they see, the other side might try to come to them with the beings that will help them feel most at ease in a foreign situation. Maybe a Jew will be met by Jesus only if Moses is busy that day. Jesus was Jewish.
Cultural differences rule out physiological explanations:

these are good questions. I hope you consider emailing him. pls let us know if you hear back.
Dr. Gregory Shushan,

I read the transcript of your interview on skeptiko podcast. You
indicated that some aspects of NDEs challenge a metaphysical belief in
them, while the cultural differences contradict a physiological
explanation for NDEs. I am wondering what aspects of NDEs challenge a
metaphysical explanation, and why cultural differences contradict a
physiological explanation? Dreams and hallucinations have cultural
differences.

Here is the part of the interview I am referring to:

http://www.skeptiko.com/265-dr-gregory-shushan-cross-cultural-comparison-near-death-experiences/

"I will say that when someone starts discussing this question with me
from a perspective of total absolute belief, I will usually raise some
issues that might seem like a challenge to their whole metaphysical
[belief in] NDE…but if someone comes to me really, really skeptical
and says there’s no way, this is [all physical], then I will argue
even more vociferously that you just can’t say that. I will say that
as you indicated all these theories about dying brains, things like
hypoxia…or REM intrusion, or the awakening brain, or any of these
things, not a single one of them actually works. None of them really
addresses NDE in all their similarities and all their differences
across cultures. So the differences really challenge the physiological
theories. I think that’s where one of the ways my research can
contribute to the current debate on the question of whether these are
real or not, because scientists really need to address why there are
differences across cultures if this is a purely physiological,
[epiphenomenal] experience"


Thanks

Jim
Dear Jim,

Those are two complex questions which are difficult to address
off-the-cuff in an interview, or briefly in an email. They're also
not the focus of my research. My point was really that I'm not fully
convinced either way and that there are reasonable arguments on both
sides.

But briefly, to my way of thinking, differences challenge a
physiological explanation because if these experiences are entirely
"all in the brain" they should be more similar than they actually are
across cultures. For example, what's normally seen as a typical
element, the "being of light," is rare in indigenous societies. So
accounting for each element by reference to "epiphenomena of a dying
brain" seems premature. At the same time, NDEs across cultures do
share a set of basic thematic similarities (regardless of the cultural
interpretations and idiosyncratic elements), and they are almost
always seen in terms of life after death. In contrast, dreams and
hallucinations do not have such an objective set of similarities, nor
are they interpreted the same way across cultures as NDEs are. They
don't have the same basic meanings, and dream/hallucination content
varies wildly between individuals and indeed within individuals (we
rarely have the same dream or hallucination twice) let alone across
cultures. People who have more than one NDE, however, don't report an
entirely different experience the second time. They are simply not
comparable to dreams and hallucinations.

The NDE literature is full of arguments against a metaphysical
explanation, and obviously that is the mainstream scientific view.
One factor for me is that NDEs can happen spontaneously when a person
is not near death at all, and can be replicated with certain drugs and
shamanic practices. It's not limited to an actual near-death context.
This might suggest it actually *is* in the brain (unless we accept
that the drugs and spontaneous experiences are genuine afterlife
visits by people not near death at all). Also, as with consciousness,
it may be that we simply don't yet understand what will prove to have
a naturalistic explanation. I don't think that a current scientific
inability to account for the phenomenon means it must be metaphysical.
We also don't know enough about the interaction between culture and
experience. Sleep paralysis slightly contradicts what I wrote about
about similarities, because it has proven to be have
neurophysiological origins and culturally-variant similarities both in
content and interpretation. NDEs could conceivably be seen along
similar lines (though it's far more complex than sleep paralysis, and
the latter does not come with positive, transformative after-effects).

Hope this helps!

All the best,
Gregory
Here is the case where different people shared an NDE but had different interpretations. But how could a physiological explanation cause people to have a shared experience - to know what the others were experiencing?
We saw that the sparkling lights were tiny, transparent bubbles that drifted in the air and sparkled on the grass. We realized that each tiny sparkle was a soul. To me, the valley appeared to be Heaven, but at the same time I knew that James and Rashad were seeing it differently. James saw it as the Gulf of Souls. Rashad saw it as Nirvana, and somehow we knew all this without speaking. The light began gathering at the far end of the valley, and slowly, out of the mist, a pure white being began to materialize. I saw an angel with a strong, bright face, but not like you'd usually imagine. She was closer to a strong, Viking Valkyrie. I knew she was the special angel that watches over the women of my family, and I perceived her name to be Hellena. James saw this same being as his late father, a career Naval officer, in a white dress uniform. Rashad perceived the being to be the Enlightened One, or Buddha.
http://www.near-death.com/group.html
 
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#33
Logic is not science
Science is about reaching objective understanding of what actually is the case
Logic is just part of the epistemological tool kit used by the scientific method

Behind the multitudes of irrational primitive beliefs held by humans about the natural world and the stars and the universe etc.
there was always the objective facts of what is actually the case
But humanity did not begin to be able to access that understanding until the scientific method was developed
David, you seem a rather certain in your statements. You speak of "irrational primitive beliefs" as if all irrational beliefs are primitive and all primitive beliefs are irrational. "Irrational" isn't an absolute term--varying, as it does, according to what is currently accepted as "knowledge"--and nor is science.

To demonstrate the relativity of rationality and science, it was at one time deemed irrational/unscientific to think of continental drift or quasi-crystals. Now, they're accepted phenomena and deemed both rational and scientific. It's conceivable that in the not too distant future, the same might be said of what we currently think of as spiritual phenomena.

Science as we currently understand it is still quite young, and, contrary to what you seem to be saying, not entirely rational. It's as much subject to fashionable ideas as anything else; some ideas are in, and some are out regardless of their intrinsic merit. In time, things once thought irrational become widely accepted, and things thought scientific/rational become rejected.

In: Black holes, multiple universes, dark matter and energy, anthropogenic climate change, the HIV cause of AIDS, Darwinian evolution, linkage of brain with mind...

Out: the Electric universe, cold fusion, water memory, Intelligent Design, psychic phenomena...

Hang about for a few decades: then check what is currently in that becomes out, and what is currently out that becomes in. You say that logic is not science, meaning--I think--that it isn't the whole of science, merely one of its methodological tools. Which is true, but that doesn't mean to say that everything that exists can be explained logically, which as often as not relates to current theory rather than any absolute notion of logic. I mean, what is logical about gravity? Why should a massive body possess gravity, and what the hell is gravity, any way? We know something of what it does, but what actually is it? The same with electromagnetic radiation and a pile of other stuff.

Science is, as much as anything, a story about what we're pleased to think of as reality. It's a story that changes over time, and in that respect bears quite a lot of similarity to the different interpretations placed on phenomena such as NDEs by its experiencers. Viewed in that light, one begins to get an inkling if how insecure is our notion of reality, science, rationality, and even logic. Hell, in a couple of centuries, we may have moved on from "science" to some other way of investigating the universe and all be laughing our socks off at the current dark age.

Stay loose, man. Be ever open to the possibility of fundamental change in the way we view the universe.
 
#34
The scientific method does not guarantee truth. Most published research findings are false. And people had been determining truth for thousands of years before the scientific revolution. How could primitive people survive in the wilderness, the jungle, the desert, the arctic if they didn't have true knowledge needed to survive? How could prescientific people cross the globe in sailing ships, work metal, tan leather, grow crops and livestock, build pyramids, set broken bones, perform surgery? How could the Romans build aqueducts or the dome of the Pantheon?

The scientific method does not guarantee truth:

http://ncu9nc.blogspot.com/p/62014-...erlife.html#articles_by_subject_bogus_science
Most published research findings are false:
http://www.economist.com/news/scien...w-institute-has-you-its-sights-metaphysicians

Bad Science Muckrakers Question the Big Science Status Quo: "... inherent biases and the flawed statistical analyses built into most 'hypothesis driven' research, resulting in publications that largely represent 'accurate measures of the prevailing bias.'"
http://www.forbes.com/sites/billfre...ckrakers-question-the-big-science-status-quo/

Linus Pauling: "Everyone should know that most cancer research is largely a fraud and that the major cancer research organizations are derelict in their duties to the people who support them." -Linus Pauling PhD (Two-time Nobel Prize winner)."
http://nationalpress.org/images/uploads/programs/CAN2009_Marshall.pdf

"The Lancet": The case against science is straightforward: much of the scientific literature, perhaps half, may simply be untrue. Afflicted by studies with small sample sizes, tiny effects, invalid exploratory analyses, and flagrant conflicts of interest, together with an obsession for pursuing fashionable trends of dubious importance, science has taken a turn towards darkness."
http://www.thelancet.com/pdfs/journals/lancet/PIIS0140-6736(15)60696-1.pdf

"Nature": "Ridding science of shoddy statistics will require scrutiny of every step, not merely the last one, say Jeffrey T. Leek and Roger D. Peng."
http://www.nature.com/news/statistics-p-values-are-just-the-tip-of-the-iceberg-1.17412

Retraction Watch
http://retractionwatch.com/

I Fooled Millions Into Thinking Chocolate Helps Weight Loss. Here's How.
http://io9.com/i-fooled-millions-into-thinking-chocolate-helps-weight-1707251800

Publishers withdraw more than 120 gibberish papers: "The publishers Springer and IEEE are removing more than 120 papers from their subscription services after a French researcher discovered that the works were computer-generated nonsense."
http://www.nature.com/news/publishers-withdraw-more-than-120-gibberish-papers-1.14763

"Der Spiegel protested all of this discussion with the statement, that what they hear is that 'journalists want to earn money, whereas scientists are only seeking the truth.' This brought loud guffaws from all three [professors]. 'Scientists,' answered Dr. Fischer, 'want success; they want a wife, a hotel room, an invitation, or perhaps a car!'"
http://www.uncommondescent.com/intelligent-design/der-spiegel-discovers-the-truth-from-science/

The History of Important Scientific Discoveries Initially Rejected and Ridiculed.
http://ncu9nc.blogspot.com/2013/04/a-history-of-scientific-discoveries.html
People have been determining truth for thousands of years before the scientific revolution:

But people who think science is the only way to obtain information about the universe are believers in the religion of Scientism. They ignore all of history before the scientific revolution when people developed knowledge and technology without the use of randomized double blind experiments. The best example of this is to consider what would happen if a believer of Scientism became lost in the desert or in a jungle. He would be dead in a day or two unless prescientific aborigines found him and showed him how to survive.





http://news.nationalgeographic.com/...florence-brunelleschi-cathedral-architecture/
Nearly six centuries after it was completed, the dome of Santa Maria del Fiore cathedral in Florence—a cathedral known around the world simply as il Duomo—remains that city's icon and greatest pride. Built without flying buttresses or freestanding scaffolding, using experimental methods that many contemporaries believed would surely fail, the 150-foot-wide (46-meter-wide) dome effectively ignited the creative explosion known as the Renaissance.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Florence_Cathedral#Plan_and_structure
A modern understanding of physical laws and the mathematical tools for calculating stresses were centuries in the future. Brunelleschi, like all cathedral builders, had to rely on intuition and whatever he could learn from the large scale models he built. To lift 37,000 tons of material, including over 4 million bricks, he invented hoisting machines and lewissons for hoisting large stones. These specially designed machines and his structural innovations were Brunelleschi's chief contribution to architecture. Although he was executing an aesthetic plan made half a century earlier, it is his name, rather than Neri's, that is commonly associated with the dome.
More here:
http://ngm.nationalgeographic.com/2014/02/il-duomo/mueller-text

and here
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GOAVRcI6mFU


UPDATE: This video shows how the dome was built and explains why it is such a tough engineering problem:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kkBaxFuh40E
the worst jobs in history:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GMEVXuN8adw&list=PL63D956BC489378A5
 
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#35
The data from NDEs are extremely varied and complex. There are similarities and differences between cultures and both similarities and differences tell us something about the phenomena. The cultural differences argue against physiological explanations, the similarities argue against the influence of expectations. Simple generalizations like "people see what they expect to see" just don't hold up. A Jew may see Jesus, a Muslim may see Buddha, children who have no expectations and atheists and people who attempt suicide who expect nothing still have the same type of NDEs.



From the same post:

People don't always see what they expect to see.

http://www.near-death.com/experiences/research22.html

Dr. PMH Atwater, researched the identity of the initial greeters met in near-death states. She discovered that religious figures usually conform to the predominant religion the experiencer was exposed to, but not always. Jesus has appeared in near-death scenarios of Jewish people, for instance; a Muslim man once told her he was met by Buddha. (P.M.H. Atwater)
http://pmhatwater.blogspot.com/2007/09/are-there-ndes-in-which-buddhist.html

Q & A with PMH Atwater
...
Refer to "Beyond the Light" and the case of Jeanie Dicus. She was a Jew yet she was visited by Jesus. This so surprised her and confounded her that she promptly challenged Jesus, and continued to do so throughout her entire near-death episode, saying: "I don't believe in you. Why are you here?" Of note, atheists report the same type of visitations as do religious folk. In other words, you don't have to believe in anything to be surprised at what you find when you die or nearly die.
NDEs cannot be explained by religious or cultural expectations:
http://ncu9nc.blogspot.com/2013/07/materialist-explanations-of-ndes-fail.html#nde_explain_religion

Religious Expectations:
Hogan
The phenomenon is not a result of some religious expectations. If it were fulfilling the experiencer's expectations of what dying is like, we would expect that only people who believed in and expected a near-death experience would have one, not suicides who anticipate annihilation, fundamentalists who expect only to see God, or agnostics and atheists who would not believe in an NDE phenomenon at all. In fact, that is not the case. Carol Zaleski wrote in her book, Otherworld Journeys, describing NDEs, "Suicide victims seeking annihilation, fundamentalists who expect to see God on the operating table, atheists, agnostics and carpe diem advocates find equal representation in the ranks of the near-death experiencers."214


Long
A really interesting part of the study that I did was looking at children age 5 and under. In fact, their average age was 3-1/2 years old. These are children so young that to them, death is an abstraction. They don’t understand it. They can't conceptualize it. They’ve almost never heard about near-death experiences; have no preconceived notions about that. They certainly have far less cultural influence, both in terms of religion or anything else that could even potentially modify the near-death experience at that tender young age.

And yet looking at these same 33 elements of near-death experience that I did in other parts of this study, I found absolutely no statistical difference in their percentage of occurrence in very young children as compared to older children and adults. So no question about that.

That almost single-handedly shoots down the skeptical argument that near-death experiences are due to pre-existing beliefs or cultural influences. We’re not seeing a shred of evidence that corroborates that at all. In fact, that finding is actually corroborated with another major scholarly researcher who actually reviewed over 30 years of near-death experience research and came up with the same conclusion.

Cultural Expectations:
Hogan
Margot Grey's study of NDEs in England215; Paola Giovetti's study in Italy216; Dorothy Counts' study in Melanesia217; Satwant Pasricha and Ian Stevenson's study in India218. More studies are coming out from different countries on a regular basis, and historical examples show that the experience has been remarkably consistent over time (see Plato's example of Er's NDE in The Republic).219
Tymn: "Hogan cites research demonstrating that different cultures have produced remarkably similar findings, thus showing that they're not dependent on expectations in any culture."
.​





Cultural differences rule out physiological explanations:



Here is the case where different people shared an NDE but had different interpretations. But how could a physiological explanation cause people to have a shared experience - to know what the others were experiencing?
 
#37
Logic is not science
Science is about reaching objective understanding of what actually is the case
Logic is just part of the epistemological tool kit used by the scientific method


Behind the multitudes of irrational primitive beliefs held by humans about the natural world and the stars and the universe etc.
there was always the objective facts of what is actually the case
But humanity did not begin to be able to access that understanding until the scientific method was developed
If a phenomenon is not rational or logical, then it is not repeatable and testable, so as far as science is concerned, it doesn't exist. Isn't it possible there is an aspect of the universe that is fundamentally irrational? If so, the only way to know anything about it would be through direct experience.

I'm not saying NDEs are entirely irrational and illogical. I think aspects of NDEs do follow patterns and can therefore be explored scientifically. But I don't think NDEs are entirely rational logical phenomena, so to a certain extent, aspects of the NDE will always be untouchable to science.
 
#38
David, you seem a rather certain in your statements. You speak of "irrational primitive beliefs" as if all irrational beliefs are primitive and all primitive beliefs are irrational. "Irrational" isn't an absolute term--varying, as it does, according to what is currently accepted as "knowledge"--and nor is science.

To demonstrate the relativity of rationality and science, it was at one time deemed irrational/unscientific to think of continental drift or quasi-crystals. Now, they're accepted phenomena and deemed both rational and scientific. It's conceivable that in the not too distant future, the same might be said of what we currently think of as spiritual phenomena.

Science as we currently understand it is still quite young, and, contrary to what you seem to be saying, not entirely rational. It's as much subject to fashionable ideas as anything else; some ideas are in, and some are out regardless of their intrinsic merit. In time, things once thought irrational become widely accepted, and things thought scientific/rational become rejected.

In: Black holes, multiple universes, dark matter and energy, anthropogenic climate change, the HIV cause of AIDS, Darwinian evolution, linkage of brain with mind...

Out: the Electric universe, cold fusion, water memory, Intelligent Design, psychic phenomena...

Hang about for a few decades: then check what is currently in that becomes out, and what is currently out that becomes in. You say that logic is not science, meaning--I think--that it isn't the whole of science, merely one of its methodological tools. Which is true, but that doesn't mean to say that everything that exists can be explained logically, which as often as not relates to current theory rather than any absolute notion of logic. I mean, what is logical about gravity? Why should a massive body possess gravity, and what the hell is gravity, any way? We know something of what it does, but what actually is it? The same with electromagnetic radiation and a pile of other stuff.

Science is, as much as anything, a story about what we're pleased to think of as reality. It's a story that changes over time, and in that respect bears quite a lot of similarity to the different interpretations placed on phenomena such as NDEs by its experiencers. Viewed in that light, one begins to get an inkling if how insecure is our notion of reality, science, rationality, and even logic. Hell, in a couple of centuries, we may have moved on from "science" to some other way of investigating the universe and all be laughing our socks off at the current dark age.

Stay loose, man. Be ever open to the possibility of fundamental change in the way we view the universe.

Yes I am very sure about what I am saying. And, with respect, truly, I can tell from your reply, that you do not understand what I am saying.
I am not going to go through it all, because it really doesn’t matter.
I am quite sure that in future time many things which seem mysterious or irrational to us today, will be understood.
I am quite sure that NDEs can be, and I hope will be, part of that knowledge, and with it the scientific knowledge that human beings are not robots.
Of course we will never reach total knowledge, so there will never be a lack of the mysterious and the irrational. So don’t worry about that.
 
#39
Yes I am very sure about what I am saying. And, with respect, truly, I can tell from your reply, that you do not understand what I am saying.
I think you're on the proponent side, so am not taking issue with you about that. But I suspect you are using "understanding" and "scientific knowledge" more or less interchangeably. However, are the two the same thing? I also suspect you think that using current science methodologies, eventually we'll be able to understand everything--including NDEs, for example.

What I'm trying to say is that science is as much as anything a method of constructing an acceptable narrative about reality. People think they know what gravity and electromagnetism are. They think they know what logic and mathematics are. They think they know these things because, based on the narrative, we can engineer highly useful artefacts like computers, aeroplanes and satnavs. But that doesn't make the narrative true: it just makes it in part useful, at least for a time. In certain areas (cosmology etc.), the narrative is little more than speculation, and just because the other areas are useful, doesn't make them any the more true either.

Our ideas about NDEs are speculative too: we accept their reality in the sense that we accept that people experience them. However, as Moody points out in the video Alex posted, they talk about a realm of time- and place- lessness from here, where time and space are deemed to apply, which is literally nonsense: how can anyone speak of such things using human language, suited only to apparent reality? There'll always be a discontinuity between our narrative explaining reality (what we call science) and reality as it may be experienced--which, by the way, isn't necessarily the truth either.

Fact is, the more one thinks about it, the more one marvels that the narratives possess any usefulness at all. Our entire world view is based not on truth, but on metaphors or models that in some inexplicable way happen to be useful or to be found satisfactory explanatory narratives. We don't actually know anything at all, including the idea that science as currently understood is the be-all and end-all.
 
#40
When I refer to ‘science’ I am referring to what is called the scientific method; which is an epistemological methodology and discipline for getting beyond cultural and personal narratives and interpretations etc to the factuality of what is the case.

I am not referring to any particular technological form or technical means that science may take or use at any period in its development. Science, as I mean it, is a way of knowing; an epistemological methodology and discipline. The scientific method yields factual data from experience, with which we can develop and test theory and generate real knowledge and technologies.

Science is more than a narrative; reflect on that next time you are on an aircraft. The aircraft is not staying aloft because of a narrative or because of beliefs. The aircraft is possible because human science, or human knowing and understanding, has understood something real about the factual nature of this world – what we call physics; and that understanding has been used to create a reliable technology of civil aviation.

Of course there are cultural narratives about science that arise; but cultural narratives about science are not science. By science I mean the methodology that produces factual data and reliable knowledge and stuff that works; not the stories people might tell themselves about whatever they imagine science is or isn’t.

So for me science is a special way of dealing with experience that yields factual data….not personal narratives. The scientist endeavours to systematically exclude personal narratives and discipline their knowing and understanding to access facts. Obviously scientists do this imperfectly. Pure science is difficult to do because of our propensity for creating narratives and interpretations and beliefs.

My point all along has been to differentiate between the personal narratives aspects of NDEs and the raw data content of NDEs. I do not mean to belittle the personal narrative aspect of the NDE; not at all; I mean only to point out the scientific possibility of accessing the raw data; and the knowledge and understanding of human consciousness and the afterlife it could yield.

There is no reason why the data of paranormal experiences such as NDEs cannot yield to the scientific method of knowing; to the discipline of excluding personal narrative to access raw data. That data can give us valuable insight into the nature of human mind, and the nature of the other realms.

The main obstacles to a proper scientific study of NDEs come from deniers of NDEs, such as scientific materialists (which is a narrative, not science), and also from believers in NDEs, who insist they are beyond explanation and actually don’t want them investigated scientifically. There are many who will resist scientific investigation of NDEs and consciousness and spirituality etc. because they want to hold onto personal narratives and beliefs about these things.
 
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