Greta wrote: ↑
January 9th, 2019, 10:16 pm
Count Lucanor wrote: ↑
January 9th, 2019, 9:28 pm
My view here is that there's no evidence of a disembodied consciousness and of an immaterial realm where the consciousness that is supposed to survive bodily death goes to. The lack of evidences supports my view.
You certainty echoes that of those who assumed too quickly down the ages.
If humanity worked out what actually constitutes reality it would be a big help in this question. Alas, we are utterly clueless. We are completely flummoxed by 95% of reality, so termed dark matter and dark energy as placeholders until we work out what the smeg they are. As for the other 5% aka matter/energy, we don't understand what it is either. What is energy? Work; a perturbation in the fabric of space. What is space? An arena consisting of endless perturbations. In a nutshell, that's where we are up to so far.
I see no reason why there would not be numerous possibilities regarding the nature of reality that no one has imagined in the slightest due to anthropomorphic (and -centric) perspective effects. We humans may simply be utterly ill-equipped to perceive most of reality, not least due to our biological computational limitations, our minds usually already stretched to the limit just keeping everyday life on track.
As you know, we humans evolved to perceive that which kept our ancestors alive and reproducing. That is it. Full stop. It worked for them so it was passed down. That leaves a fair gap between the ability to be a fecund organism and comprehending the ultimate nature of being, time and the cosmos. Hence we tend to find such subjects difficult.
Yet humans are attracted to difficult puzzles, aware that permanent gains through cultural transmission are possible with breakthroughs. We have made great progress yet our understanding of natural systems remains very basic. In fact, there's no evidence that we are even close to comprehending the fringes of reality, let alone deeper systemic qualities. My guess (which might be as wrong as anyone else's) is that our relationship with time significantly skews our perceptions of reality, and in ways we are ill-equipped to comprehend.
Epistemological agnosticism is nothing more than the old God of the Gaps, applied to the universe as the whole of reality. It's not true that we live in almost complete ignorance of what reality is all about, but that's the argument that epistemological agnosticism needs to advance, using the same God of the Gaps technique of constantly moving the goalpost. Religious certainties about supernatural powers ruling the universe arose from people's ignorance about the real natural causes of phenomena, but as scientific knowledge progressed, the old supernatural idealism kept regrouping in the remaining gaps, and trying to expand it. The problem with all of this, of course, as it happens with the God of the Gaps argument, is that those who stand for it, in theory should feel themselves obligated to affirm absolutely nothing, as nothing could be affirmed for which there could not appear a negation in the future, since "everything is possible", anything goes. But of course, we know that as in the God of the Gaps, epistemological agnosticism cares very little about holding back its affirmations, actually it just wants the space for the free non-restricted affirmation of anything. What hides behind it? The old supernatural idealism, religion in disguise.
A fire-breathing dragon lives in my garage
Suppose (I'm following a group therapy approach by the psychologist Richard Franklin) I seriously make such an assertion to you. Surely you'd want to check it out, see for yourself. There have been innumerable stories of dragons over the centuries, but no real evidence. What an opportunity!
"Show me," you say. I lead you to my garage. You look inside and see a ladder, empty paint cans, an old tricycle--but no dragon.
"Where's the dragon?" you ask.
"Oh, she's right here," I reply, waving vaguely. "I neglected to mention that she's an invisible dragon."
You propose spreading flour on the floor of the garage to capture the dragon's footprints.
"Good idea," I say, "but this dragon floats in the air."
Then you'll use an infrared sensor to detect the invisible fire.
"Good idea, but the invisible fire is also heatless."
You'll spray-paint the dragon and make her visible.
"Good idea, but she's an incorporeal dragon and the paint won't stick."
And so on. I counter every physical test you propose with a special explanation of why it won't work.
Now, what's the difference between an invisible, incorporeal, floating dragon who spits heatless fire and no dragon at all? If there's no way to disprove my contention, no conceivable experiment that would count against it, what does it mean to say that my dragon exists? Your inability to invalidate my hypothesis is not at all the same thing as proving it true. Claims that cannot be tested, assertions immune to disproof are veridically worthless, whatever value they may have in inspiring us or in exciting our sense of wonder. What I'm asking you to do comes down to believing, in the absence of evidence, on my say-so."
(Sagan, Carl. The Demon-Haunted World: Science as a Candle in the Dark, Ballantine: New York, 1996).