Are we here?

Discuss any topics related to metaphysics (the philosophical study of the principles of reality) or epistemology (the philosophical study of knowledge) in this forum.
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Greta
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Re: Are we here?

Post by Greta » February 27th, 2018, 5:39 pm

JamesOfSeattle wrote:
February 27th, 2018, 12:25 pm
Greta wrote:
February 26th, 2018, 8:31 pm
Brian Cox claimed that the LHC conclusive proved that ghosts do not exist because they would have been found at the machine's current power levels. He seemed too enthusiastic about it, in too much of a hurry, to me. I think he would need to first hypothesise what finding a ghost in an atom smasher might look like but he noted that there is no definition:

Theoretically the "bits" of reality can be far smaller than quantum wavicles, at the Planck scale. This remains theoretical and untestable at present because, if one was to use a collider to probe that scale, it's said that one would need an atom smasher the size of a galaxy (obviously other means will need to be found).
Greta, I think you are missing Brian Cox’s point. Sean Carroll makes the same point. There may be interesting new physics (particles?) at the really high energies, but knowledge of such physics will not change anything we know about what is going on at the human level. If there are ghosts at these higher energies, they will not be able to interact with a human in anyway that we would be able to detect. The new observations would not be able to explain our hearing or seeing ghosts.
You are right. Thanks James.

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Re: Are we here

Post by Karpel Tunnel » March 2nd, 2018, 8:59 am

JamesOfSeattle wrote:
February 26th, 2018, 8:01 pm
Karpel,

You said
Souls may well be something not yet detected.
My point is there is nothing that a soul explains that is not explained by what we know from physics. Was it Laplace who said “I have no need of that hypothesis”? If you can explain something with the materials you have, why hypothesize some new new material?
If you have enough experiences of something that does not seem to be covered by the materials currently accepted, then you may very well find it works to do this. Also, as I tried to make clear, it does not have to be a new substance in the sense of a dualism.
As evidenced by your final statement: ”I wish there was more agnosticism”, your purpose in this discussion seems to be to fortify a position that it is okay for people to hold on to beliefs which are counter to the bulk of evidence but cannot be logically proven false.
Well, sure. I gave a couple of examples where people were correct to trust their experiences and their interpretations of those experiences. Their beliefs were later held to be correct and it would have actually been irrational for them to not have believed their own experience.

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Re: Are we here?

Post by Karpel Tunnel » March 2nd, 2018, 9:04 am

JamesOfSeattle wrote:
February 27th, 2018, 12:25 pm
Greta, I think you are missing Brian Cox’s point. Sean Carroll makes the same point. There may be interesting new physics (particles?) at the really high energies, but knowledge of such physics will not change anything we know about what is going on at the human level. If there are ghosts at these higher energies, they will not be able to interact with a human in anyway that we would be able to detect. The new observations would not be able to explain our hearing or seeing ghosts.
If this came out of the points I was making, my point was that the word physical has an expanding meaning. If scientists determine something is real, it will be thought of as physical, even if it has nothing in common in terms of substance with what the word physical originally meant. Ghosts could fall under that category. As far as your dismissal of people being able to perceive ghosts, this is based on your assumptions of what these phenomena must be. But we do not know that. We don't know that it would be 'higher energies'. We do not, for example, if there were field like aspects to these phenomena so they affect the brain in some way, not going through the senses, though seeming to. I am not presenting these as explanations of what ghosts really are, just saying that you think you can rule out the phenomenon (as interpreted by believers) but I don't think you can. And my point that we are in the middle of determining what is real, not at the end point, seems to have been ignored by everyone.

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Re: Are we here?

Post by Karpel Tunnel » March 2nd, 2018, 9:06 am

Eduk wrote:
February 26th, 2018, 2:40 pm
Karpel what would convince you that belief that a soul exists is illogical?
To answer my own question I simply require evidence that a soul exists and then I would revise my position.
I put some work into explaining why I thought your ruling out the possibility was problematic. Now you are asking me to do more work without having responded to the points I made.

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Re: Are we here?

Post by Karpel Tunnel » March 2nd, 2018, 9:08 am

And since I can't find the edit function here - you and I both bear the onus to defend arguments we make. I have responded to your arguments or what I think they are. Instead of responding to my arguments, you are asking me to create a new argument or explain a set of experiences which would change my mind about my position. I think that would be more your job.

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Re: Are we here?

Post by Eduk » March 2nd, 2018, 10:06 am

Sorry Karpel let me try to address the meat (I think) of your point.

Bob: I believe there is a specific undefined thing behind Mars.
Dave: Why?
Bob: because I believe it.
Dave: What is this specific undefined thing?
Bob: It is undefined.
Dave: Surely you have some reasons? Some mechanisms? Some way of testing your beliefs? The undefined thing has some properties? You could tell one undefined thing apart from your specific undefined thing? You can make predictions, you can test those predictions?
Bob: No, I just believe there is a specific undefined thing behind Mars. I am experiencing a belief in this.
Dave: Ok, so now what?
Bob: You should believe in the specific undefined thing.
Dave: no

There is no proof that there isn't a specific undefined thing behind mars (because there can't be). Of course if mankind did ever find something undefined behind mars we would have no way of telling if Bob was right or not. After all he provides no information. No testable claims. Nothing with any prior logic, no predictions. In short nothing is provided, therefore logically there is no need to remain agnostic.

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Re: Are we here?

Post by Namelesss » March 2nd, 2018, 8:07 pm

Eduk wrote:
February 26th, 2018, 2:40 pm
Karpel what would convince you that belief that a soul exists is illogical?
To answer my own question I simply require evidence that a soul exists and then I would revise my position.
I suspect that I am wasting my time, but the logical evidence of everything (including Souls and unicorns) existing is;
do thoughts exist?
If you are willing to accept (however tentatively) that 'thought' exists, then you are going to have to accept that the 'content' of 'thought' exists.
Even if there were no Soul beyond the one sitting next to blue flying elephants and unicorns, as 'thought/imagination that exists, so do they!

I also see two examples of that existence in your own mind with the word twice in your post. So 'Soul' has now been demonstrated, logically, to exist in two obvious 'sightings'.
(Perhaps your mind doesn't exist?)
I could go on, but if you are intellectually honest, you are going to have to accept the logical existence of the Soul simply from what I offered. I need not go any deeper.
Unless you can find some magical 'logic' to refute it; for instance 'thought' does not exist, somehow...

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Re: Are we here?

Post by Eduk » March 2nd, 2018, 8:21 pm

Yes you are wasting your time. Look I don't know you but I suggest you would be happier if you focused your efforts on something more practical.
Anyway. I have a thought that a chair exists. The thought that the chair exists is real. But my thought is not a real chair. The chair exists independently of my thought. Therefore it is possible to think of things which do not exist.
To be honest I wonder how you get through life without constantly being amazed by the consistency of reality. I guess each time you drop a pen you are expecting this time to be the time that it doesn't fall.

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Re: Are we here?

Post by StayCurious » March 3rd, 2018, 11:21 pm

Bayez wrote:
February 27th, 2018, 4:10 pm
StayCurious wrote:
February 20th, 2018, 5:54 pm
Many people, under religious, spiritual, existential, or other similar regards consistently refer to a "soul." This is most often defined vaguely as a center of experience, somewhere inside the skin and for the most part experienced as tension between the ears and behind the eyes (though the location differs for many cultures).

Many religions believe our souls use the body as a vehicle and that upon birth our soul is "sent" to our body from some repituior of souls that reside outside of what can be referred to as, "material existence."

Is there any path of reasoning or logic that can be used to establish this or is it a reliance on faith? Is it merely the way our brains have happened to develop that allows the reverberation of thoughts and experience to build on themselves, similar to how a stringed instrument uses an empty space to reverberate sound and create further enhancement of tune? Is "self-aware" simply a term referring to our supposedly unique capability to create fundamentally unnessecary abstractions? Is awareness required for intelligence? Is a creatively shaped flower more intelligent than an insect because the insect uses its own effort whereas the flower uses the wind to get from place to place?

I would love to hear your own opinions, thank you for your time!
The intellect or the mind cannot understand this. The east use the idea of 'the tao' meaning 'the way' BUT in understanding what this means? It cannot be understood in any intellectual or psychological manner - or way.

For my money, we are indeed here. And there are rules to this game. What do you think those rules are?
I think any rules that can be thought of aren't necessarily anything but "ways of playing the game". I believe that all existence is a playful game, through all the death, suffering, and chaos, even. I very much think in terms of the Hindu philosophy of Vedanta, that existence can be metaphorically compared with a play, a piece of music, or more simply, a playful game.

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Re: Are we here?

Post by StayCurious » March 3rd, 2018, 11:44 pm

Eduk wrote:
March 2nd, 2018, 10:06 am
Sorry Karpel let me try to address the meat (I think) of your point.

Bob: I believe there is a specific undefined thing behind Mars.
Dave: Why?
Bob: because I believe it.
Dave: What is this specific undefined thing?
Bob: It is undefined.
Dave: Surely you have some reasons? Some mechanisms? Some way of testing your beliefs? The undefined thing has some properties? You could tell one undefined thing apart from your specific undefined thing? You can make predictions, you can test those predictions?
Bob: No, I just believe there is a specific undefined thing behind Mars. I am experiencing a belief in this.
Dave: Ok, so now what?
Bob: You should believe in the specific undefined thing.
Dave: no

There is no proof that there isn't a specific undefined thing behind mars (because there can't be). Of course if mankind did ever find something undefined behind mars we would have no way of telling if Bob was right or not. After all he provides no information. No testable claims. Nothing with any prior logic, no predictions. In short nothing is provided, therefore logically there is no need to remain agnostic.
Sorry Eduk, but I'm going to have to slightly disagree with your reasoning on this one ;)

In the West, it is of the average consciousness to perceive itself as separate from the external world, a result of 19th century discoveries (Namely, "oh darn it seems that were super small on a super small rock orbiting around a smaller than average star in a minor galaxy on the edge of the universe, it seems we don't matter after all").

This way of thinking is very embedded into the culture and way of thinking in the West these days, and coupled with the Modern Mythologization of God, I would say that it isn't the assumption that that we have souls that is illogical, but the Modern Mythologization of God that is.

There are three BIG perspectives that the world is seen in today.

First there is the Fully Automatic Model, wherein individuals perceive everything to be make up of "stupid" or "blind" energy, confronting the world as if it's "a hunk of junk", and every natural occurrence be it the growing of trees or butterflies of hummingbirds is just a living mechanical process.

Secondly there is the Chinese model, which in conjunction with Asia's past major affiliations with Confucianism, Daoism, and Buddhism have resulted in the perception of the world as an organism, something that just simply grows.

Thirdly, there is the dramatic perception. This is that the universe can accurately be metaphorically compared to the likes of a play. It's like you were God, before everything existed, and you were bored so you started playing games, and soon enough you realized how boring games are when you lack the surprise element, when you know what's around the corner, so you (God) devised a way to forget that you were God, so you pressed a button and BOOM, you turned into the universe as we know it, thinking so many different times at once that you're just little Suzy, or Mr. John, or a hummingbird or the flowers underneath it, all just so you can uniquely manifest and see how many ways you can forget just so you can remember again.

This is what Hindus mean when they say God, which they more often refer to as Self, because it's of their perception that they are the same thing.

This is also what enlightened individuals with Zen other Mystical backgrounds experience, knowing that them and everything else is God, and being in anything but a total state of bliss is silly, so they laugh themselves silly!

It seems I've gone on quite the tangent, but the main point behind all of this is that given the general "jist" of the way things are in the West, there's no currently devised religion or scientific explanation that really helps people experience themselves as anything but an egocentric, isolated, separate-from-everything-else something inside of a bag of skin, so because of the West's affiliation with Christianity, they call it a soul, which brings rise to many people thinking there is maybe some sort of higher power so they identify as an agnostic because they're not sure if they want to believe that everything is just a lump of rocks.

Love to all.

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Re: Are we here?

Post by Eduk » March 4th, 2018, 5:25 am

Stay. We seem to be slightly talking cross purposes. I did try to clarify my initial claim. I said there is no reason to believe a soul exists. Now that is slightly different from there being no reason to believe in a soul.
Your example seems to be saying that due to pessimistic interpretations people want to believe in a soul. I haven't for one second argued against that. But wanting something to be real surely has nothing to do with whether something is real?

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Greta
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Re: Are we here?

Post by Greta » March 4th, 2018, 5:39 am

Eduk wrote:
March 4th, 2018, 5:25 am
Stay. We seem to be slightly talking cross purposes. I did try to clarify my initial claim. I said there is no reason to believe a soul exists. Now that is slightly different from there being no reason to believe in a soul.
Your example seems to be saying that due to pessimistic interpretations people want to believe in a soul. I haven't for one second argued against that. But wanting something to be real surely has nothing to do with whether something is real?
Soul is your "vibe", the kind of entity you are. What happens after death is entirely another matter, but while we are here, baby, we got soul! ;)

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Re: Are we here?

Post by Eduk » March 4th, 2018, 5:49 am

Well Greta that is a usage of the term soul that I do agree with.

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Greta
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Re: Are we here?

Post by Greta » March 4th, 2018, 6:07 am

I'm only half joking too. Aside from playing in bands that have covered Smokey Robinson, Dusty Springfield, James Brown and Etta James, I've long felt that we, and other animals (and plants too, for that natter) were like spirits moving through reality - each spirit being a set of tendencies. When you snuff it, that set of tendencies seems to go away - certainly to the perspective of the living - but there's probably plenty of similar such sets around.

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Re: Are we here?

Post by Karpel Tunnel » March 5th, 2018, 4:41 am

If the assumption is that scientific methodology is THE route to knowledge, then the ruling out of certain phenomena because they seem illogical is unscientific. Or, at least, can be in many instances.
Yes, scientists choose lines of research based on current models, more than they would choose other lines of research. IOW they let current models prioritize which hypotheses to investigate. But this is different from using models to draw conclusions and to consider them scientifically demonstrated.
Within the history of science itself we have repeated instance where very well supported models would seem to indicate that something was illogical/impossible/not real/incorrectly interpreted by observers and then it turned out later to be the case. Something being both a particle and a wave was illogical, and then it was not. That quantum processes could be informing, via senses, the decisions/movements of large creatures like birds, would have been considered a scale category error, and then it wasn’t. That experiences of organisms could affect the genetic expression of the children of these organisms was considered illogical, since it did not fit with Darwinian models and derogatorily called Lamarkian, until it was considered the case. Elephants could not possibly be communicating over long distances, despite indigenous testimony and even some European testimony based on observation and in some cases, direct hearing. Take a look at Propps’ work with photons and intra-organismal communications, see how the scientific community reaction, based on their models, and then how this changed. Look at the way ether comes and goes and comes in astrophysics.
There is a rush to decide based on ‘we can logically rule that out given current models’ and that rush to decide is not scientific.
None of this means that skeptics here or elsewhere should accept the interpretations various believers have. There is always that third option.
Once you decide that everything that seems illogical, given current models and knowledge, cannot be the case, you are spitting in the face not only in the face of the history of science itself, but in the face of logic. Our models are incomplete, they are models, unless we are finished. We have a TOE that is not going to change in any way and is also correct. I see no reason to conclude that 2018 is that year. Nor do I think we can simply, now, just start using deduction from current models and give up experimentation, for example.
If two people or two groups of people have significantly different experiences, they may arrive at different conclusions rationally. Absolute certainty is problematic, in these kinds of situations, for both parties, but as working models, both can be rational to move forward from their conclusions. And which of them is right may not be determined in their lifetimes.
Most people assume, I would guess because it seems logical, that if two people are both being rational they must necessarily reach the same conclusions. I think that not only is this illogical, because we are creatures, in situ, with limited knowledge, but damaging and often rude. That believers of all kinds can also be rude is also absolutely the case, I certainly know that one.
It is generally considered that souls must mean there is a dualism. I don’t think this is the case. It could be a polarization, that we are referring to one of the same substance. Given my own experiences, I have no idea if it is a dualism or polarization. When I saw my aunt’s ghost, I did not know yet she was dead. I was staying in her house with family and I got her bed for the night. I was awakened in the middle of the night by a humanish, not clearly contoured ‘light’ that felt like my aunt. She seemed upset I was in her bed. I was at first scared, since it was weird, then I noticed this X, because confused. It seemed like it realized something was going on that it did not understand, then it withdrew. I put light in citation marks because it was not like light I am used to. I don’t really know what the seeing was. Two things made me take this experience as something other than a mere dream. We got a call in the morning and found out my aunt died in her sleep that night and two, that her reaction to me was not what I would have expected. That she was irritated someone was in her bed, well that fit somehow, that she would realize that something was off and that a ghost would become confused, surprised me in the extreme. Why does my surprise matter to me? It did not seem like my creation.
Would that be enough for me to believe in ghosts and souls? No, hardly. It is one of hundreds of experiences I have had that make the word ‘soul’ a good working concept for me. Anomalies, when looked at from current scientific models. Of course, this is not evidence for you. You don’t have these experiences, or yours were easily explained away. You have your models which do not support this. But I have so many experiences, just as animal trainers and pet owners had many experiences indicating things then considered irrational anthropomorphism by scientists were actually the case. The experiencers of rogue waves also had experiences different from those scientists who dismissed their estimates of wave size as irrational emotion distorted interpretations. Of course, what happened in those cases does not mean it will happen in mind. I am just saying that the argument from illogical is weak because it assumes one knows enough to list all the only possible reasons a phenomenon like this might exist and also know we can eliminate all these and rule it out AND because current models are just that.
That many believers think you should be convinced by their experiences is also illogical.
There’s a lot of rage on all sides in these kinds of debates, but not in all individuals, and fears of slippery slopes and memories of the damage caused, primarily by Abrahamic Monotheists ironically enough, lead to urges to rush to conclusion. I think there is also an urge to not have anything up in the air, to settle everything now. IOW to logically rule out rather than simply being skeptical or extremely skeptical. Close it off, no change, you are irrational, period, end of story.
If you cannot demonstrate it is true to me now, then it is irrational of you to believe it.
Nah.

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