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Thread: Blind faith

  1. #121
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    Quote Originally Posted by Katsuni View Post
    Psychics aren't really psychic for the most part. We may have some vague connection to one another, but it's not likely to be in the depth that is understood there.

    Instead, a great example is too look at David Blaine, who has performed seemingly miraculous 'psychic' effects of reading minds... except he himself explains it's not about being psychic at all, but rather, in learning to read body language. We all have subtle "tells", where we unconsciously do something very small and seemingly minor; a twitch of the mouth, a smile, a tremor of an eyebrow, the eyes looking a particular direction... this's a very complex science used by interrogators. Looking one direction while attempting to answer a question means the brain is attempting to access its' memory portions, looking another direction means it's using its' creative side, I forget which side is which, but this's readily used regularly in interrogating and questioning suspects for crimes.
    Lol, I also knew someone would mention magicians. The funny thing is a magician actually explained how magicians "read minds". Note how everytime they want to read someone's mind they always pick someone out, someone never picks them out? Also note how these are always done in crowded cities where a lot of people walk on the streets, use buses, trains, etc and never in places where 99.9% of the people have cars? I'll explain.

    This is what a fellow magician said, when people asked how they do the "mind reading" trick.
    It starts with the magicians crew observing a certain location for a while. They take note of poeple that constantly frequent that area. Like how many times a certain person walks down a certain street, rides a certain bus, or how many times a certain person goes to the library/starbucks/etc. This happens over the course of weeks. This is what they call, "Picking out the victim". Eventually they find someone that frequents a certain area regularly. Lets say every mon-wed-sat I walk to starbucks to get coffee, and I become the victim because of this my frequent routine.
    What happens next is that the crew members then try and get a taste of my personal life. The only way to get to starbucks would be to from the left or right side of melbourne street. So a female crew member decides to be the first to take a crack at me. She dresses up just like every other normal person on the street. On a monday morning, my regular time to got to starbucks, crew members survey both the left and right sides of melbourne street for my appearance. The female crew member who will approach me is on melbourne street with a commucation device that she uses to get her information on my position. BAM, the crew members see me and tell her i'm coming from the east side, right side of the street. She knows how I look and purposely walks at a pace to intercept me. Me being a gentlemen, I open the door for her into starbucks. She strikes up a conversation, and ask me a couple questions. I usually don't drink my coffee in starbucks, and they know it, so the questions are basically little introduction type questions you ask someone when you meet them for the first time. They decide to skip wednesday, and approach me on saturday. On saturday this time they might send in the same girl, or a different one, or a male. Each and every time these crew members meet me they strike up conversations, asking innocent/non-stalkerish like questions about me that no one can ever know unless I told them. Finally, after days/weeks of finding out enough, they approach me when they see me on my way to starbucks once again, but this time with the magician and the cameras, then they "attempt" to read my mind.
    That's why the magician said, "These mind reading tricks are always done in certain cities, and not others, because you have to observe multiple victims over a given period at different locales, and crowded cities provide you with these opportunites. They are also done at certain areas where people are more likely to open up, a bar, a popular hangout spot, shopping mall, library, etc. These observation can take weeks or months. Also, what you see on tv is ONE successful mind reading attempt out of multiple failed ones. They only show you the ones that succeeded."

    The funny about this is that before I read the magician's explanation on how they read minds, I had originally questioned one of David Blaines mind reading attempt. There's this really old episode of his, and in this he reads someone's mind. The thing is, the mind reading trick started out with him and his camera crew running down the street, in pursuit of a woman. They finally caught up to her and then did the "mind reading" thing. What puzzled me was, why was he running down the street, passing other people by, just for this ONE woman. I mean if he can really read minds then anyone is fair game, but he wanted only her? Back then I didn't know, so I just shrugged it off. After reading what that magician said, now I know. She was a victim, she had been studied, and out of the others, she was the successful one.

    The difference here is magicians go pick out people they want to read because those people have been studied. Psychics invite large numbers or random people from different parts of the world/country to a reading event, and do their readings.

    Also, reading and interpreting human behavior is different from saying something about someone that only they knew. Psychics don't interpret or read body language, they say something personal, that no one else but you and the deceased person knew. Hence why you never hear magicians claim to be pshycics, cause they their's is preplanned, whereas a real psychic's readings are not.

    This can be taken several steps farther with intense study and observation; in fact, there was an interesting show I saw awhile ago where they were putting magicians in a CAT scan because they understood aspects of how the brain worked that had previously not even been known to science.

    For example; if yeu make a horizontal motion, like a wide arc, yeur brain does NOT actually follow the hand making the motion, yeur eyes will jerk repeatedly to different stages along the way, and anything that happens in between does not actually exist to yeu, only the starting and end points, meaning yeu can hide an action in the middle of a sideways arcing motion, such as moving yeur hand from one side of yeur body to the other, and the brain won't recognize anything that happened in the middle, it just fills in the gaps with assumptions.

    Our brains are amazing computers, but they don't really process things like a TRUE computer... a true computer has to figure out every single thing 100% accurately and correct. The brain ditches 90% of the information and plays fill in the blanks afterwards if it's decided it needs that information that got ditched. This allows it to handle immense quantities of information quickly, such as sight, sound, and so on, but it ends up leaving out alot of stuff in the process.

    A clear understanding of how the brain processes such information is required for 'psychics', for animation, for street magic, and so on. Everything is based off of making use of the sections of the brain that fail to properly process certain types of information, or process it in a particular way.

    So, too, shows where most 'psychic' stuff comes from. The vast, vast, vast majority of it is not supernatural in any way shape or form, by our own standards. It's merely being capable of reading the other person's 'tells' with a high degree of accuracy.
    I answered this above, but I'll say it again. Reading someone's behavior and saying something personal, like the example I gave visaisahero in my reply to him, are 2 different things. Anyone can read and interpret behavior, saying multiple things that are personal with that accuracy is something completely different.

    They recently made a machine for use in interrogations which works in a very interesting way; it can literally read yeur mind.

    Not by normal brain reading means, but by subvocalizations.

    Any time yeu THINK of anything... such as an inner monologue, yeu actually are physically saying each and every word, but it's waaaaaay lower than even a whisper, just the mere thought of saying such causes yeur brain to automatically adjust yeur vocal chords to the correct position, but yeu aren't breathing any differently so it doesn't make any real sound difference; try whistling, then do so again when breathing normally... there's a very very very subtle difference in how yeu breathe without yeur lips pursed, not enough to create a true whistling sound, but it definitely changes the sound compared to just regular breathing without lips pursed.

    Furthermore, we have the issue of seeing faces in clouds; yeur brain is designed to see patterns that don't exist. There's obviously no faces in the clouds, but we still go OOH THAT ONE'S A COW! =D
    So pretty much the subvocalizing theory is when you ask a question with a tape recorder and subvocalize, the subvocalized "words", so to speak, will be the EVP responses to your questions, right? And when you play them back it's like a "ghost" responded to your questions.
    The problem with this is when someone ask the question, "Where are you from?", and they get the EVP "Canterberry Lake", and the person who asked the question never subvocalized canterberry lake, or even knew there was/heard of a place called canterberry lake, how do you explain that? Or when they ask, what is your name, and get "Kimberly Heyfield", and didn't subvocalize Kimberly Heyfield, how do you explain that? We are consiously aware of what we subvocalize, right? So how can we hear something we didn't subvocalize?

    We all see patterns in things that don't exist. The problem here is EVPs do exist, and although some are hard to understand, there are many in which you clearly and articulately hear someone respond to a question that was asked with the kind of response you would expect. This is not a "What is your name" question, and you get a "I lived in canada" response.

    Put these togeather, and yeu find that most of these "EVP" are actually not really there at all. The majority of them have to be amplified to an immensely strong level, which's likely just someone subvocalizing such, which can severely distort one's voice in the process. Another issue is listening to static over and over and over with the intent of hearing something in it... yeu have to keep in mind that these "EVP" sessions often last for HOURS on end, and they'll be asking hundreds of questions, and get maybe 1 response the whole time, which is scratchy and doesn't sound like much of anything unless yeu're actively looking for it with a clear idea of whot yeu WANT it to sound like from the start.
    EVP aren't amplified simply for the sake of amplification. They are amplified because we can't hear them. That's the whole point of the tape recorder. To tape what couldn't be heard by the ear, and amplify that which couldnt be heard so that it can be heard.

    EVPs don't last for hours on end. EVP's last for as long as you want them to last. You can get a ton of EVP responses by asking a series of questions for 3mins. You might get nothing at all by asking questions for 1 hour. The fact that they do happen, and where they come from is the mystery, and not the likelihood of the event happening, because no one knows exactly how to make the event happen. You just take a tape recorder, ask questions, and hope "something" responds.

    EVP responses are not static, there is a big difference from "I was a doctor", and "shhuosuohasojhgoagj".

    I'd almost be willing to guarantee yeu that if yeu merely shoved a microphone in virtually any home and left it on overnight when noone was home, yeu'd get SOMETHING eventually which would qualify as EVP.

    This doesn't mean that 100% of EVP cases are false, but like anything with ghosts, the vast majority of all evidence pointing towards them can be dismissed.
    I think the problem is that your assuming that anything that comes up on the tape recording is automatically called EVP. No. That's why they are called EVP, because there is nothing we know of that can explain how you could hear the voice of someone that wasn't there. We know what static is, we know what white noise is, we know what a radio signal interferance sounds like, etc, but none of these are EVP

  2. #122
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    Quote Originally Posted by visaisahero View Post
    What about hypothetical objects without any distinctly quantifiable values, where there is no comparison that can be feasibly made to existing objects? Even if there are supernatural beings, for example, how are we to identify their presence or absence if we cannot quantify the supposed effects that they have on their surroundings?
    I'd say a lot of deities are quantifiable, or will be in time. Especially Abrahamic ones.

    But yes, in the case of unquantified entities. To simplify, unmeasurable entities, it becomes a different issue.

    Anything from arguing that existence is observation (where observation does not equal perception), so an unobservable being does not exist unless it becomes observable, to stating that they may or may not exist and it's pointless to think about.

    The general idea though is that claims about such beings are difficult to make one way or the other.

  3. #123
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    I don't think an Abrahamic deity is quantifiable because even by it's own scripture texts, it's not clear just what his nature is. For example, the Torah is hypothesized to be the work of at least 4 authors (J, E, P, D). Most people are probably familiar with the theory. Anyways, J and E are the ones that are in true contrast with each other on how God is displayed. E is the Elohist. His God is metaphysical, transcendent, and mysterious. The random voice from above, the whisper in the ear.. the burning bush. He's also more inclined to use angels as his agents, instead of direct intervention. OTOH, there's the J author. The Jahwist (Yahwist). His God walked amongst Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden. He came down on earth in the form of a man to observe Sodom and Gommorah. Abraham literally plead with a man before his eyes when he asked that he not destroy Sodom and Gommorah. This same God got in a wrestling match with Jacob, and damaged Jacob's hip. He literally "buried Moses with his own hands" when Moses died. He was quite big on human affairs compared to the Elohist God too.. more involved with politics, and had an obsession with rituals of the flesh, like circumcision. You could very well quantify this god... at least according to the texts, he had some form of resemblance to a man. Much like the Greek gods. OTOH, just for the fact that he's so human like, usually very pissed off, and inclined to chop the penises of human infants, I would say this all makes him not god. Sounds like a crazy asshole. So it's pointless to look for him in the first place.

    [edit] I would also add that Jesus of Nazareth specifically seemed to be more inclined to the Elohist God. Combine that with Christianity's early fascination with Platonism, and you're dealing with a god strictly in the realm of metaphysics. Not quantifiable.

  4. #124
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    Well I'm impressed. We made it a good 10 pages into this thread before somebody rolled out the old "God is like, not even physical, man, so evidence can't be gathered!"

    Considering that theists and scientists alike gathered their most important premise (there is a universe, which came to exist somehow) on the basis of empirical evidence, I find it curious how theists believe casting doubt upon the veracity of the senses constitutes an instant win.
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  5. #125
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    And I'm impressed that you're not reading me correctly. I called one version of the Abrahamic god a crazy anthropomorphic asshole, and the other a transcendent entity. That's it. I'm just stating what they basically are, as they are presented in text.

    You seem to be assuming that I'm coming from some viewpoint where I'm excusing the latter, that I'm here to argue an "off limits" sort of nature to god as a means of defending him. When I myself have no personal investment in defending anything about it. I just happen to think that no matter what, you and I, and everyone who has existed, are completely inept at defining that kind of God in any tangible way. Also, I've already stated in this thread that I am an empiricist myself, so don't place me into an argument where I'm suddenly defending theism, please. I'm not sure I even care about whether God exists either way. The important question to me is WHY I should I care, first off. I haven't gotten past it yet. I kind of like the idea, but that's it.

  6. #126
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    Don't worry, I was addressing the ghost tapes guy; I think that you're largely correct. I would just add that any deity could only exist in one of two fashions:

    1. an adherent within reality
    2. reality itself

    In the case of 1., God adheres within reality and could not have created it. Ruling out the Abrahamic God. In the case of 2., we already have the word "reality", making "God" redundant.
    Dost thou love Life? Then do not squander Time; for that's the Stuff Life is made of.

    -- Benjamin Franklin, Poor Richard's Almanack, June 1746 --

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    [edit] lol, must resist addressing the subject further. It's not really my forte.

    Anyways, I didn't know you were addressing ghost tapes dude. My bad.

  8. #128
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    Quote Originally Posted by Soujiro View Post
    First off I don't believe in religion. I used to cause that was how I was raised, but not anymore. Now I believe in God, and I'm spiritual. Also, god/faith/spirituality are not dependent on religion, religion is dependent on god/faith/spirituality. God/faith/spirituality existed before religion came about. So we can toss religon out of this discussion, as those 3 are not dependent on it.
    No - it still relates. Just interchange the terminology. Instead of religion, use "God". If "God" were readily falsifiable, it's all but definite that the religious community would scientifically assert and defend the existence of God using the scientific method of analysis as a vehicle for additional credibility.

    Quote Originally Posted by Soujiro View Post
    What is bolded is the main problem. People ask for evidence of something that is not physical, and when you do "kinda" give evidence, hauntings/evps/come back from the dead experiences/etc, they say phenomena. They only way they'll believe is if god himself appeared to them.
    What does it mean for something to "not be physical"? Everything is physical. Even things as abstract and distant as the individual thoughts that populate your brain concerning the fundamental nature and application of a creator entity owe their origin to neurotransmitter interaction.

    Further, how are you intimately familiar with the nature of a god to sufficiently expect that he/she/it exists outside the context of evidence? What if God is certainly provable, and persists within the framework of the physical universe?

    Your reasoning is problematically circular on this matter. Also, as I'll show later, your knowledge base appears very incomplete.

    Quote Originally Posted by Soujiro View Post
    The problem is those same neurochemical releases happen when you do other things as well. But does that signify anything?
    Yes. It signifies the complex expression of physical thought.

    Quote Originally Posted by Soujiro View Post
    It's the individual expression that is subjective to the user, which is true. The same also applies to faith. People's faith differ as well. Not everyone shares the "same" faith, but the subjective individual expression was not what I was asking.
    Correct. Which should give you some insight into the ultimate verity of the subject matter itself.

    Quote Originally Posted by Soujiro View Post
    I was asking if you could prove that any emotion or feeling of any kind exist with physical evidence? Regardless of how subjective it is.
    As I stated, all human behavior owes its basic identity to the complex interaction of physical properties within our biological continuum.

    Quote Originally Posted by Soujiro View Post
    Cause if you can't then the whole judicial system is flawed.
    Lawyer: Her husband caused her so much emotional pain that she killed him
    -Emotional pain, that's vague. What physical data did you collect to show what emotional pain means?
    Lawyer: He always condescended her, shouted at her, never displayed his love for her.
    -That doesn't mean anything. My mother condescends and shouts at me all the time. I'm not feeling any emotional pain. I want physical data that can be replicated over and over again that will yield the same result. So where is the data showing what emotional pain is? Also, no love for her, show me data for what love is
    Lawyer: Well he was beating her to a bloody pulp
    -that's called self defense, not emotion pain.
    Your scenario upholds my sentiment that objective data is required before a definitive conclusion can be made.

    Quote Originally Posted by Soujiro View Post
    Lawyer: Billy was always made fun of. Because of all the anger built up inside he felt like the only way to escape the pain was to kill his bullies
    -anger? Show me evidence for anger. What is anger to billy might be laughter to someone else.
    Ibid. A very simplified, hyper-generalized instance, Soujiro. You're clearly not giving full expression to an incident like you describe.

    Even still - what was the subjective response? A physical confrontation.


    For quite a few different reasons, your example is invalid.

    Quote Originally Posted by Soujiro View Post
    These emotions and feelings are used in court cases all the time. Emotional pain, emotional stress, he made her so angry that her only way out, etc, and they pass in court cases all the time.
    There is no data to support any of that, and they are all so vague. So the "law" is flawed. Only data should reign supreme in the court.
    It's always the case that emotional abuse carries physical symptoms.

    Otherwise it wouldn't be emotional abuse...

    Stimulus-response.


    Your examples are destroying your premise.

    Quote Originally Posted by Soujiro View Post
    Once again the same question:
    Is there a way to prove with evidence/data that emotions/feelings exist?
    Yes. Absolutely there is. Emotion originates in the Amygdala, a physical part of the brain.

    Quote Originally Posted by Soujiro View Post
    It doesn't matter what someone attributes a chemical reaction in their body to, cause that same chemical reaction can be attributed to a million other things. Hence why i ask for concrete data that is 100% correct all the time.
    This is obviously never a possibility. It doesn't mean that we shouldn't rely on concrete data. You're skewing your argument with appeals to ignorance.

    Quote Originally Posted by Soujiro View Post
    You say "It's the individual expression that is subjective to the user, as each individual recreates past experience to fit what their particular rendition of each emotion "feels" like", which in itself is a flaw. Since everyone is different and can attribute any neurochemical release to any "feeling", (a vague word), and can interpret a "feeling" differently, (how we each interpret the neurochemical we each associate with "happiness" is different), or might have no "feeling" at all, and no conclusive data can be collected which has only ONE meaning, (which is what data/evidence is), then there is no such thing as an emotion.
    Incorrect.

    Quote Originally Posted by Soujiro View Post
    If there is no data, then there is no such thing as love/anger/hatred/emotional pain/happiness/etc. All we can say is "My body released a chemical", and that's it. Everything else after that cannot be proven with data. It doesn't matter what someone associates a chemical to or what emotion they believe they are feeling, there is no data to prove it so therefore it doesn't exist. Same case scenario as faith/god. There is no data so he and it don't exist. The same logic must be applied to all things. No data, conclusion: it doesn't exist.

    Emotions and feelings are a myth, and should be outdated.
    Again, incorrect. Your premise that emotion is not a physical state is inherently flawed.

    As such, your conclusions remain invalid.

  9. #129

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    Quote Originally Posted by Soujiro View Post
    Exactly, how we can collect evidence on something no one really understands. Where and how do you start? So when people ask for evidence of god? You have to ask them do you even know what god is? The belief in an omniponent being that transcends all. How do you start in even collecting evidence for that? How do you collect evidence for a being that is not of the physical realm? So you see the problem with the "evidence of god" question?
    We both agree that we can't collect evidence on something that nobody understands.

    We can both agree that it is not possible to have evidence that proves the existence of God.

    So the problem with the "evidence of God" question is that you can never have evidence of God. We both agree on that, too. The only difference then, seems to be the fact that some people choose to believe in things without reasonable evidence, and others do not.

    Logically, to me, if you don't have evidence to prove that something exists, you should not assume that it exists. After all, if I am to believe in the Abrahamic God without evidence, then I am also inclined to believe in the Hindu gods, and the Greeks', and the Romans'. If my little niece decides that the world was created by a fairy princess on a unicorn, there is no reason for me (if playing devil's advocate) not to believe him either.


    (Omnipotence, by the way, is a paradoxical concept that by definition cannot exist in reality. If I were omnipotent, for example, I should be able to create anything, and I should be able to lift anything. By that logic, however, it's not possible for me to create something that I would not be able to lift. If I could not create such an object, I am no longer omnipotent. If I could not lift such an object, I am no longer omnipotent either. It is therefore not possible to be 'omnipotent' per se.)


    Also, even when we have things that show hint at the possibility of an afterlife, evps/psychics/stories of near death experiences/hauntings/etc, they just get called phenomena, and no conclusion is ever reached, because we don't have devices that can collect the kind of physical evidence to reach the kind of answers people want. What this leaves me to believe is that the kind of evidence people want is for god himself to appear before them, before they believe. Even if a "ghost" were to appear before them, they would say, "well you're just a ghost, and not god, so i guess god still doesn't exist".
    You are completely right! If a ghost were to appear before me and say "Hi, I'm a ghost!" I would say "Very nice to meet you, Mr. Ghost! I had formerly believed that ghosts did not exist, but you have clearly proven me wrong." There is no reason why I should now believe that God exists simply because ghosts exist as well.

    Would you believe that flying, fire-breathing dragons exist? What about elves, or dwarves? If an elf were to appear before you, would it logically follow to you then that fire-breathing dragons must exist as well?

    So you see, once there is something that we cannot fully explain with physical evidence, they get deemed phenomena. So should we really be trying to explain something that is spiritual with physical evidence then?
    There is no reason why we shouldn't try! It's not like we can even remotely hope to claim to understand the physical world as it is right now, or anytime soon for that matter.


    hahaha, I knew you would say that. I'm not laughing at you, but rather at the fact that I knew someone would say that. Psychics actually don't "read" people. There are fake psychics out there, just like in many other things, so it depends on who you listen to. The kind of information they relay to people are things that can't be gotten from "trying" to read someone.
    How are you an authority on psychics? And why hasn't anybody taken a stab at the ridiculous amount of prize money offered to anybody who can demonstrate such abilities?

    As for the emotion-related can of worms, Night is doing a much better job than I could possibly hope to do!
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  10. #130
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    Hey there sorry guys, I've been really busy, but I'll try and respond to this thread as soon as i can, either today after my appointment, or latest tomorrow.
    Sorry to hold the discussion this long.

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