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  1. #71
    Senior Member Anja's Avatar
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    Eric's point touches on a question about Near Death Experience that I raised in the thread of the same name. Does something not exist just because we have not learned yet how to quantify it? There's where scientists who reject the possibility of spirit are in error, I think.

    And the light bulb would have never been invented with that kind of dismissive thinking.
    "No ray of sunshine is ever lost, but the green which it awakes into existence needs time to sprout, and it is not always granted to the sower to see the harvest. All work that is worth anything is done in faith." - Albert Schweitzer

  2. #72
    @.~*virinaĉo*~.@ Totenkindly's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Anja View Post
    Eric's point touches on a question about Near Death Experience that I raised in the thread of the same name. Does something not exist just because we have not learned yet how to quantify it? There's where scientists who reject the possibility of spirit are in error, I think. And the light bulb would have never been invented with that kind of dismissive thinking.
    All that is true.

    However, it doesn't do scientists much good to speculate about options that cannot be tested or measured -- they can't bring anything to bear on the question that will provide any sort of clarification, other than continuing to explore options that DO allow for some possibility of verification.

    That's why it's usually more the realm of the theologian or artist.

    Quote Originally Posted by LostInNerSpace View Post
    There is a point at which we are unable to explain with current science our existance. That unknown is a form of god, I suppose. We know a whole lot more now than we did a few thousand years ago.
    I find the whole idea of computers interesting, in reference to Eric B's comments about the development of a self-conscious entity.

    Computer tech has radically leaped ahead in the last 50 years... all operating on a principle that is essentially just an extremely long, extremely insane flipping of gate bits (1's and 0's). Even the DNA strand is an incredibly long list of just 4 compounds (basically), with the pairs already predefined, arranged in various orders. And that seemingly simple setup generates all the complexity we see in the world.

    We cannot create "sentinent" beings at this point, but definitely we can generate things that operate on complex levels and we just don't know whether we'll ever be able to create things that are as "self-conscious" as humans seem to be.

    (Although I'm still not sure how "self-conscious" we truly are -- I mean, philosophers cannot even agree on whether humans have free will or whether every behavior is determined based on the multitude of data from the past moment.)
    "Hey Capa -- We're only stardust." ~ "Sunshine"

    “Pleasure to me is wonder—the unexplored, the unexpected, the thing that is hidden and the changeless thing that lurks behind superficial mutability. To trace the remote in the immediate; the eternal in the ephemeral; the past in the present; the infinite in the finite; these are to me the springs of delight and beauty.” ~ H.P. Lovecraft

  3. #73
    Senior Member ptgatsby's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Anja View Post
    Eric's point touches on a question about Near Death Experience that I raised in the thread of the same name. Does something not exist just because we have not learned yet how to quantify it? There's where scientists who reject the possibility of spirit are in error, I think.
    You can either have a wide margin of belief, which will include very many things that aren't true, or you can have a narrow margin of belief, which will exclude many thing that are true.

    You can't have it both ways, unfortunately. (I think I made a reference to I to the Type I and Type II statistical errors before, this is essentially what it comes down to). The normal resolution is to express knowledge in terms of confidence.

    So, to turn it around, what's your degree of confidence - how sure are you - that life after death exists because of these examples? Mine is very small, for example, for the reasons I mentioned above.

    And the light bulb would have never been invented with that kind of dismissive thinking.
    I don't think that's the case - it would of been invented eventually, simply because of the way things work. And the same applies to this issue. So long as knowledge grows, then the truth will emerge.

  4. #74
    Senior Member Anja's Avatar
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    Well, you know that I am at a disadvantage dealing in a debate thread. Very difficult, if not impossible, for me to do it the way you guys can. I'm trying here.

    But I am certain of this: Keeping my mind open is the best way to discover my truth.

    I find it ironic that there are those who, using the fact that we have not completely been able to figure out when someone is dead, can be convinced that that is evidence for no existence after death. But alternately cannot include the possibilty that it may be evidence for life after "death."

    This is nit-picking in return, pt, but what I was saying about the light bulb? I'm saying that anyone who believed that it was impossible for man to create light wouldn't have been the man who worked to create a light bulb. His mind, that it wasn't possible, was already made up. An open-minded person would have been the one who pursued it.

    A man who states categorically that there is no spirit because he can't quantify it, is inconsistent when he then says a person isn't really dead - we just can't quantify it yet.

    Does that help clarify myself?

    (I continue to be amazed at the amount of misunderstanding that can occur for me between TP and FP!)
    "No ray of sunshine is ever lost, but the green which it awakes into existence needs time to sprout, and it is not always granted to the sower to see the harvest. All work that is worth anything is done in faith." - Albert Schweitzer

  5. #75
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    Quote Originally Posted by nightning View Post
    Why have them?

    I don't get it... seems like a waste of time.

    It's unanswerable. Neither side wins, yet people are still interested?

    An issue of defending their believes (or there lack of)? Or something else?
    I'll take a quote from one of my favorite movies Thank you for Smoking:
    Nick Naylor: I didn't have to. I proved that you're wrong, and if you're wrong I'm right.
    Joey Naylor: But you still didn't convince me
    Nick Naylor: It's that I'm not after you. I'm after them.
    [points into the crowd]

  6. #76
    Senior Member ptgatsby's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Anja View Post
    I find it ironic that there are those who, using the fact that we have not completely been able to figure out when someone is dead, can be convinced that that is evidence for no existence after death. But alternately cannot include the possibilty that it may be evidence for life after "death."
    I don't think this is the case, or at least it isn't with me.

    From my perspective, the two here are the one and the same. Once we define death, then the evidence you have is much more compelling. If a person is truly unable to sense anything (dead or otherwise), and are able to tell you what they could not of sensed, then there is something very exciting there.

    The start of it, however, is to make sure that the evidence actually supports that. I'm not convinced that it does. The standard of evidence needs to be very high (that is, we need a narrow mindset if our conclusions are likely to be correct). If it wasn't, a low standard of evidence means that we need to accept a huge amount of things that are unlikely to be true, just because it's possible.

    This is nit-picking in return, pt, but what I was saying about the light bulb? I'm saying that anyone who believed that it was impossible for man to create light wouldn't have been the man who worked to create a light bulb. His mind, that it wasn't possible, was already made up. An open-minded person would have been the one who pursued it.
    Well... point taken.

    (But I wouldn't use the lightbulb as an example of this. Proof of concept for the lightbulb came almost a century before the lightbulb was invented, and was part of working with electricity in general. No one needed to be terribly open minded when it was already invented, so to speak, and especially not since the actual lightbulb design was stolen.)

    At the end, I give my stance, and how I think being open minded fits into this.

    A man who states categorically that there is no spirit because he can't quantify it, is inconsistent when he then says a person isn't really dead - we just can't quantify it yet.
    I have to disagree here - consistency isn't the issue. Using a definition of death that gives evidence of a spirit is consistant, but not necessarily valid. The opposite, however, is to conclude what death is (and in this case, the definition needs to show that they are able to sense something beyond their body's ability to sense it) and then see if there is something beyond it that shows out-of-body possibilities.

    But I am certain of this: Keeping my mind open is the best way to discover my truth.
    To highlight my concern:

    If you believe in everything, then you will have discovered all truths, so why not do that? (And the opposite: If you believe in nothing, then you will never have believed in something untrue.)

    It's a question of where you draw a line between these two.

    (This is to explain my stance and why I'm critical of the evidence - but I can tell you what I need to see in order to solidify the evidence. To me, that is being open minded. Belief in a conclusion is not open-minded to me... quite the opposite. To accept the challenge of evidence, to test to see if it is valid and to accept the results - that's open minded, to me.)

    I think the evidence is sufficient for you, here, but it isn't for me. It's similar with the God argument.

  7. #77
    ish red no longer *sad* nightning's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Neo Genesis View Post
    I'll take a quote from one of my favorite movies Thank you for Smoking:

    "Nick Naylor: I didn't have to. I proved that you're wrong, and if you're wrong I'm right.
    Joey Naylor: But you still didn't convince me
    Nick Naylor: It's that I'm not after you. I'm after them.
    [points into the crowd]"
    Ah right... the onlookers. Thank you.

    It was kind of funny seeing as how I mentioned such a few days ago in explaining why I bothered with my lengthy argument on the astrology thread, and not see that it applies here.

    I guess both sides, atheists and religious folks are looking for the off-chance for converting the agnostic individuals. Perhaps the more noise you make, the more likely people will take notice.

  8. #78
    Senior Member Anja's Avatar
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    pt, I'm reading you with interest.

    Will you please check out my last post on the NDE thread and respond?
    "No ray of sunshine is ever lost, but the green which it awakes into existence needs time to sprout, and it is not always granted to the sower to see the harvest. All work that is worth anything is done in faith." - Albert Schweitzer

  9. #79
    Glowy Goopy Goodness The_Liquid_Laser's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mycroft View Post
    Then by what faculty do you propose scientists determine what data to collect, by what method to collect it, and, subsequently, how to interpret it, if not ration?

    (It should also be pointed out that data only becomes evidence when a thinking human being has applied the faculty of ration, making your assertion that evidence is separate from and superior to ration nonsensical.)
    Well a person can build a house with a hammer, but that doesn't mean the hammer is the same thing as the house. One might say that a house is wood and nails, but they wouldn't say that it's a hammer. Reason is certainly used to establish scientific ideas, but it is not reason alone. It really depends more on data.

    The biggest problem with your definition is that it's too vague. People use reason for all sorts of things that shouldn't be classified as science if you want your definition to actually reflect "that thing that scientists do". For example Law is also applied reason. It is reason applied to legislation and past court cases. When you apply reason to legislation you get a different outcome than when you apply it to data. That is why data is a fundamental part of science, but data is not a fundamental part of reason.
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  10. #80
    The elder Holmes Mycroft's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by The_Liquid_Laser View Post
    Well a person can build a house with a hammer, but that doesn't mean the hammer is the same thing as the house. One might say that a house is wood and nails, but they wouldn't say that it's a hammer.
    This doesn't even make sense.

    Reason is certainly used to establish scientific ideas, but it is not reason alone. It really depends more on data.
    Incorrect. It is the application of the faculty of ration that determines what data would be required to root out the truth sought, how to go about procuring that data, and how to interpret it subsequently.

    You seem to have some notion of a bunch of people in lab coats collecting data for shits and giggles and then getting around to applying the faculty of ration to it should they see fit. Again, you place the cart before the horse. (And, to use MBTI terminology, you also seem to be convinced that "introverted thinking" and "ration" are synonymous.)

    The biggest problem with your definition is that it's too vague. People use reason for all sorts of things that shouldn't be classified as science if you want your definition to actually reflect "that thing that scientists do". For example Law is also applied reason. It is reason applied to legislation and past court cases. When you apply reason to legislation you get a different outcome than when you apply it to data. That is why data is a fundamental part of science, but data is not a fundamental part of reason.
    Very well, I will update my definition, even though I should think the idea represented in this addendum would be self-evident:

    Science is applied ration in the pursuit of the understanding of how the universe or specific parts of it function.
    Dost thou love Life? Then do not squander Time; for that's the Stuff Life is made of.

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