What would Oliver Sacks say about the afterlife now? |291|

Discussion in 'Skeptiko Shows' started by Alex, Oct 20, 2015.

  1. K9!

    K9! New

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    Doug, I was involved in a head-on collision a number of years ago. It was pretty bad. Broken bones, cut up face... I had to learn how to walk again. My marriage didn't survive the changes I went through. I guess I could say it wasn't a fair thing to happen to me. I was just a kid.

    But that experience has a lot to do with the person I am today. I met people who I'd never have met otherwise, and I wouldn't give up those relationships for a way to undo the accident. I learned so much because of that accident. I'm a better person. Given the choice, I wouldn't change what happened to me.
     
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  2. Doug

    Doug New

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    That is certainly most inspiring and a great credit to you.
     
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  3. K9!

    K9! New

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    Thanks, Doug. :)

    All of us get older and it isn't as terrible as we think it will be when we are young. While many of us might be happy to have our 20-year-old body again... would you give up everything you've learned over the years just for that? Would you want to be the person you were again at 20? Would you give up the kids you've had, the people you've loved?

    Many people don't find the aging process "fair", but it is what it is and makes us who we are. That's just a tiny bit of adversity, and we all go through it unless we die young. I think it's sad that age isn't celebrated in our culture. We become more interesting as we get older.
     
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  4. E.Flowers

    E.Flowers New

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    Pain and suffering, not evil and suffering...

    I prefer to be specific when referring to pain and suffering and only used the term "problem of evil" when disregarding an anthropomorphic concept of God due to the popularization of the name (in retrospect, it probably was a mistake). "Evil" is relative even when we all can agree that some acts are.

    For example, don't you perceive a perpetual "Garden of Eden" kind of world as something "evil"? Yeah, there would be no pain or suffering, but... That would also be a world of ignorance and stagnancy (some would also argue that it would also be one of obedience, with no real liberty). Now *that* would be truly pointless and meaningless. Just think about it.

    PD- Also, I did not say that the growth was exclusively collective. We learn a lot from it as individuals as well.
     
    Last edited: Oct 26, 2015
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  5. Obiwan

    Obiwan Member

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    I think we can learn and become more interesting as we get older. Of course some don't, and some can't due to certain illnesses. I wouldn't go back to being 20 again, I agree. We probably all have older friends who definitely aren't having a great time in old age.
     
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  6. Alex

    Alex New

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    not sure what you mean... science isn't in the prove business... they are in the best evidence suggests business.

    NDE science (like that in this show) keeps telling us that the best evidence suggest consciousness survives death.
     
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  7. K9!

    K9! New

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    Sometimes I think the lesson learned by such folks is that it's OK to ask for help when you need it. We get so caught up in being the strong ones, the ones who fix things for our kids and everyone else... we don't know how to let others help us. I think it's a gift to be allowed to help someone. Yet we are often stingy with that gift and refuse the help as we get older.
     
  8. Doug

    Doug New

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    True but I suspect the reason neuroscientists don't take the evidence seriously is that there is no current solid hypothesis (at least that I am aware of) of how an afterlife is possible. I think it is only speculation about how consciousness might be woven into the cosmos.
     
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  9. Then they are not just ignoring the evidence for the afterlife, they are ignoring the evidence that consciousness is woven into the cosmos i.e. evidence that consciousness is fundamental (such as the evidence from quantum mechanics) and evidence for God (such as the evidence of the design and creation of the cosmos by a transcendent intelligence).

    But not all scientists ignore this evidence. Many of the best scientists were convinced by it.

    https://sites.google.com/site/chs4o8pt/eminent_researchers
    Max Planck(Nobel Prize for Physics)
    As a man who has devoted his whole life to the most clear headed science, to the study of matter, I can tell you as a result of my research about atoms this much: There is no matter as such. All matter originates and exists only by virtue of a force which brings the particle of an atom to vibration and holds this most minute solar system of the atom together. We must assume behind this force the existence of a conscious and intelligent mind. This mind is the matrix of all matter.

    Erwin Schrödinger (Nobel Prize for Physics)
    "Consciousness cannot be accounted for in physical terms. For consciousness is absolutely fundamental. It cannot be accounted for in terms of anything else."

    William Phillips (Nobel Prize for Physics)
    I believe that the observations about the orderliness of the physical universe, and the apparently exceptional fine-tuning of the conditions of the universe for the development of life suggest that an intelligent Creator is responsible.

    Richard Smalley (Nobel Prize for Chemistry)
    God did create the universe about 13.7 billion years ago, and of necessity has involved Himself with His creation ever since. The purpose of this universe is something that only God knows for sure, but it is increasingly clear to modern science that the universe was exquisitely fine-tuned to enable human life.


    Ernst Chain (Nobel Prize for Physiology and Medicine)
    I have said for years that speculations about the origin of life lead to no useful purpose as even the simplest living system is far too complex to be understood in terms of the extremely primitive chemistry scientists have used in their attempts to explain the unexplainable that happened billions of years ago. God cannot be explained away by such naive thoughts.”

    Werner Heisenberg (Nobel Prize for Physics)
    The first gulp from the glass of natural sciences will turn you into an atheist, but at the bottom of the glass God is waiting for you.

    Albert Einstein(Nobel Prize for Physics)
    On the other hand, however, every one who is seriously engaged in the pursuit of science becomes convinced that the laws of nature manifest the existence of a spirit vastly superior to that of men, and one in the face of which we with our modest powers must feel humble.

    Guglielmo Marconi (Nobel Prize for Physics)
    The more I work with the powers of Nature, the more I feel God’s benevolence to man; the closer I am to the great truth that everything is dependent on the Eternal Creator and Sustainer; the more I feel that the so-called science, I am occupied with, is nothing but an expression of the Supreme Will, which aims at bringing people closer to each other in order to help them better understand and improve themselves.

    Eugene Wigner (Nobel Prize in Physics)
    In his collection of essays Symmetries and Reflections – Scientific Essays, he commented "It was not possible to formulate the laws (of quantum theory) in a fully consistent way without reference to consciousness."

    Wigner also conceived the Wigner's friend thought experiment in physics, which is an extension of the Schrödinger's cat thought experiment. The Wigner's friend experiment asks the question: "At what stage does a 'measurement' take place?" Wigner designed the experiment to highlight how he believed that consciousness is necessary to the quantum-mechanical measurement processes.

    Arno Penzias (Nobel Prize in Physics)
    Astronomy leads us to an unique event, a universe which was created out of nothing and delicately balanced to provide exactly the conditions required to support life. In the absence of an absurdly-improbable accident, the observations of modern science seem to suggest an underlying, one might say, supernatural plan.

    Charles Townes (Nobel Prize in Physics)
    In my view, the question of origin seems to be left unanswered if we explore from a scientific view alone. Thus, I believe there is a need for some religious or metaphysical explanation. I believe in the concept of God and in His existence.

    George Wald (Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine)
    ... mind, rather than being a late development in the evolution of organisms, had existed always: that this is a life-breeding universe because the constant presence of mind made it so.

    ...

    What we recognize as the material universe, the universe of space and time and elementary particles and energies, is then an avatar, the materialization of primal mind.

    Arthur Compton (Nobel Prize in Physics)
    It is not difficult for me to have this faith, for it is incontrovertible that where there is a plan there is intelligence - an orderly, unfolding universe testifies to the truth of the most majestic statement ever uttered - 'In the beginning, God.'

    Antony Hewish (Nobel Prize in Physics)
    I believe in God. It makes no sense to me to assume that the Universe and our existence is just a cosmic accident, that life emerged due to random physical processes in an environment which simply happened to have the right properties.

    Sir Fred Hoyle
    Would you not say to yourself, "Some super-calculating intellect must have designed the properties of the carbon atom, otherwise the chance of my finding such an atom through the blind forces of nature would be utterly minuscule. A common sense interpretation of the facts suggests that a superintellect has monkeyed with physics, as well as with chemistry and biology, and that there are no blind forces worth speaking about in nature. The numbers one calculates from the facts seem to me so overwhelming as to put this conclusion almost beyond question.

    John von Neumann
    In his treatise The Mathematical Foundations of Quantum Mechanics, John von Neumann deeply analyzed the so-called measurement problem. He concluded that the entire physical universe could be made subject to the Schrödinger equation (the universal wave function). Since something "outside the calculation" was needed to collapse the wave function, von Neumann concluded that the collapse was caused by the consciousness of the experimenter.

    Wernher von Braun
    For me, the idea of a creation is not conceivable without invoking the necessity of design. One cannot be exposed to the law and order of the universe without concluding that there must be design and purpose behind it all.

    David Bohm
    Bohm believed in panpsychicsm, in one interview he said, "Even the electron is informed with a certain level of mind.
     
    Last edited: Oct 26, 2015
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  10. Alex

    Alex New

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    why would they ever accept a paradigm that knocks them off of the top-dog perch?
     
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  11. And admit that religion was right and they were wrong. It will never happen.
     
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  12. E.Flowers

    E.Flowers New

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    Nothing, its part of the ongoing troll rampage that I mentioned in the first page of this thread. I guess that by posting this BS at this hour they think that their links gain visibility until a mod takes it down in the morning.
     
  13. Boo boo

    Boo boo New

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    Okay then.
     
  14. Arouet

    Arouet Member

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    These aren't trolls. They are spammers. It's a technique called Bayes Poisoning (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bayesian_poisoning) Their goal is to trick spam filters.
     
  15. Judith

    Judith New

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    Doug: sorry about your loss. I lost my husband to cancer over 4 years ago. Not an easy experience. However, since I have personally experienced one NDE and subsequent to that, several OBE's, I know what awaits us "over there" and I can assure you it is more "real" than you can even imagine. I was born into a scientific/medical family and had to work really hard to free myself from the constraints of the "scientific" view of reality. There's a lot of reading material out there....I started with Ian Stevenson's work on reincarnation.
     
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  16. Doug

    Doug New

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    Thanks Judith, that must be of great comfort to you. I have not had any 'spiritually transformative experiences' that you have had so I still have difficulty accepting that there is anything 'over there'. I do believe I have an open mind as I truly want there to be more but I struggle to be convinced. I do accept that there is a lot of compelling evidence but I guess I am a skeptic by my science background and it is hard to shift this view.
     
  17. malf

    malf Member

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    I think what Doug is saying is that there isn't really a clear paradigm to accept. (correct me if I'm wrong, Doug:)). To be clear, I am not saying that there aren't things that materialism doesn't neatly explain, but simply picking at those holes is only going to get us so far (and in the face of some of science's useful achievements, starts to look a little like posturing).

    In terms of what a "non-materialist movement" can achieve, without a pragmatic, scientifically literate alternative I'm not sure what the expectation levels should be?
     
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  18. Doug

    Doug New

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    Yes that is pretty much what I mean. I am impressed with the evidence of NDE research (and other areas suggesting Brain does not equal mind) but we only have vague speculations as to how consciousness might continue without a physical embodiment. I know Jim Smith listed in an earlier post a whole series of scientists who believe in different paradigms but I am not aware of any well formulated or accepted models of disembodied consciousness. This does not mean it might not be the case but I think we need to be cautious.
     
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  19. E.Flowers

    E.Flowers New

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    There are several arguing for a fundamental consciousness (if it is fundamental and matter is emergent, it would not depend on it, hence "disembodied" would be a misnomer), but in this section we mostly discuss the premises set forth by Alex. You should visit the "Critical Discussions" section and begin a thread about it, there you will get responses from a different crowd and POV. I generally keep the medical/physics technobabble down there as well, so we could discuss something besides morning coffee philosophy.
     
  20. Steve

    Steve Member

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    As a non-scientist and someone who thinks he's 'right-brained' but at the same time cynical by nature, I'm interested in how any change in 'paradigm view' happens. Do you cling to one until the other is accepted by a large enough number, keeping it in one camp until jumping to the other. Or can you say that you have evidence that there is something else going on (eg: NDE) which throws a lot of doubt on your current belief and just admit that you just don't know. I think a lot of 'Jim's' scientists found themselves in the latter category. Why the caution? In my non-scientific opinion fwiw fear is a huge drag on us being able to move forward. More 'out there' theories are what's needed - throw caution to the wind I say.
     
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