Mod+ 245. PETER RUSSELL, SCIENCE IGNORES CONSCIOUSNESS

#22
I'm here. I don't feel that I can contribute much of anything of value being such a neophyte. But I'm learning. Perhaps someday I'll land right in the middle of these very interesting discussions. I suspect that there are many others like me who haunt the nether regions of these important forays into mind/consciousness. I do know that my thinking has changed radically since I first dabbled in 'esoteric' subjects in the late '60s. You can teach an old dog new tricks- just don't make them so that I need to put on my knee brace first.
 
#23
I don't know - I listened to it twice, and I started to feel that while it made me feel good, there wasn't that much content :(

David
I'm not sure whether there is much "greater meaning" in Russell's message and that may leave some wanting more. With that in mind I'm surprised Alex didn't push him on NDEs/reincarnation etc (maybe that just didn't make the edit).
 
#24
Maybe we all agree and can't think of anything to add!
Indeed, it seems that's the case.
I have seen his famous YouTube talk several years ago and couldn't agree more. I don't think he's added anything particularly new in this interview that it wasn't there too. But I enjoyed it nonetheless.
 
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#25
Maybe we all agree and can't think of anything to add!
Well, if the podcast is about the main bunch of topics of Skeptiko - science and philosophy of consciousness, parapsychology, near-death studies, spirituality - there are often not a lot of posts indeed: we are all psi proponents here, after all (except for a few skeptics from CD forum section). We are well-informed about most facts and theories of (non-local) consciousness phenomena and have more-or-less similar view of them.

Situation is different if some controversial topic not directly related to the consciousness debate is taken - such as alleged anthropogenic global warming or historicity of Jesus. In such a case, it became obvious that psi proponents are a very diverse group, and may strongly disagree about many things. Debate quickly becomes pretty hot, and hundreds of posts appear at a great speed.

Well, I'm happy about that - it reminds me that we proponents are noticeably less inclined to group-think than skeptics! Skeptical groups are infamous for their toe-the-line politics, with a "duty" to attack, ridicule and denigrate anything and everything non-mainstream. Unlike them, proponents may have a great multitude of different views. However, there is one trait which is characteristic - even if not necessary - for psi proponents: a tendency towards social and cultural libertarianism, and dislike of authoritarianism.
 
#26
Well, I'm happy about that - it reminds me that we proponents are noticeably less inclined to group-think than skeptics! Skeptical groups are infamous for their toe-the-line politics, with a "duty" to attack, ridicule and denigrate anything and everything non-mainstream. Unlike them, proponents may have a great multitude of different views. However, there is one trait which is characteristic - even if not necessary - for psi proponents: a tendency towards social and cultural libertarianism, and dislike of authoritarianism.
Hard not to agree, Vortex. I'll just add that IMO, libertarians may be left, right or centre on the political spectrum, or, indeed, hold mixed political views (left, right or centre on different issues). Likewise, authoritarians can be of left, right or even, conceivably, centre. To my mind, the biggest authoritarian tendency in current Western democracies is political correctness. They don't shoot dissenters, preferring to demonise them in an attempt to make them toe the line. Take it far enough, though, and at some point they might start shooting them again. ;)
 
#27
Well, if the podcast is about the main bunch of topics of Skeptiko - science and philosophy of consciousness, parapsychology, near-death studies, spirituality - there are often not a lot of posts indeed: we are all psi proponents here, after all (except for a few skeptics from CD forum section). We are well-informed about most facts and theories of (non-local) consciousness phenomena and have more-or-less similar view of them.
This is a fair comment, and indeed, his message might have been full of content to people just starting to explore ψ and its relation with science.

David
 
#28
Steve just made me notice that I referred to famous YouTube talk by Russel as "infamous". I must have been distracted or very tired as that's not really how I wanted to qualify his presentation. I was meaning "popular" or "renowned".

Anyways, blunder fixed. :) And for the few (I hope) who might not be familiar with it, here you go:

 
#29
Alex's questions at the end of the podcast:

Do we need to rethink some of our basic assumptions about science, given what we now know about consciousness, which may be the elephant in the room? Can we measure anything in science if we can't measure consciousness? Do all of our measurements need to be asterisked to draw attention to the fact that consciousness hasn't been factored in?
Consciousness is non physical but science can only measure and describe things in physical terms so scientists don't have the tools or mental inclination to conceive of anything that is non-physical.

Scientists are so habituated to thinking in reductionist terms they can't cope with something like consciousness that is irreducible and can't be explained in terms of anything simpler.

Non-physical + irreducible = scientific fumble

Maybe science as we know it today can't study consciousnss. Maybe consciousness can only be understood through experience?
"Why do these guys fumble so badly on the NDE research?"

Every controversy in the history of science shows us that the best explanation for the data is a matter of opinion.
http://ncu9nc.blogspot.com/2013/04/a-history-of-scientific-discoveries.html

Doing science makes you narrow minded:
http://ncu9nc.blogspot.com/p/62014-contents-evidence-for-afterlife.html#articles_by_subject_science

They want recognition from mainstream science but their field is controversial so they try to keep as close to materialism and naturalism as possible and still push their empirical data.

There is prejudice against afterlife research in the parapsychological community.
http://ncu9nc.blogspot.com/2014/04/near-death-experiences-and-afterlife.html#facts_alternative

I have long suspected that within the parapsychological community there is some prejudice against afterlife phenomena. Parapsycholoigst Dr. Carlos Alvarado confirmed my suspicion in an interview published at aspsi.org. The interview does not seem to be on the internet currently, but the link was: http://www.aspsi.org/feat/life_after/tymn/a076mt-a-Dr_Carlos_S_Alvarado_interview.php

Dr. Alvarado said:

For many workers in the field, survival research is not a main interest. To some extent this is academics as usual. People specialize in some areas and develop interests due to personality traits, life experiences, training, and employment opportunities, and parapsychology is no exception. Then there are concerns such as getting tenure and the belief that the area has many methodological difficulties. However, I believe that in some cases there is more than this. In some circles it is more “respectable” to conduct ESP experiments than working with survival-related phenomena such as apparitions or mediumship. I still remember how the director of a parapsychology unit within an university, wanting to keep a conservative image, discouraged students from pursuing topics such as apparitions for dissertation research.​
Because consciousness is non physical but science can only measure and describe things in physical terms so scientists don't have the tools or mental inclination to conceive of anything that is non-physical.

Scientists are so habituated to thinking in reductionist terms they can't cope with something like consciousness that is irreducible and can't be explained in terms of anything simpler.

Non-physical + irreducible = scientific fumble

Alex has asked in the past if science can study consciousness. Maybe science as we know it today can't. Maybe consciousness can only be understood through experience?
 
#30
Consciousness is non physical but science can only measure and describe things in physical terms so scientists don't have the tools or mental inclination to conceive of anything that is non-physical.

Scientists are so habituated to thinking in reductionist terms they can't cope with something like consciousness that is irreducible and can't be explained in terms of anything simpler.

Non-physical + irreducible = scientific fumble

Maybe science as we know it today can't study consciousnss. Maybe consciousness can only be understood through experience?
It's a tricky line to walik though as proponents of a non-physical realm have to explain the impact of that realm on the physical: On physical genes in evolution, on physical brains in consciousness, etc. At that point explorers of the physical realm are justified in having some input.
 
#31
It's a tricky line to walik though as proponents of a non-physical realm have to explain the impact of that realm on the physical: On physical genes in evolution, on physical brains in consciousness, etc.
Interesting to me is to ask: Why? Why does it have to be explained in materialist/physical terms as we understand things today? Isn't it possible that our current understanding of reality isn't sophisticated enough to put forth such an explanation?

I get that's dangerously close to a quasi God of the Gaps position, but isn't demanding a demonstrable correlation somewhat similarly confounding?
 
#32
Interesting to me is to ask: Why? Why does it have to be explained in materialist/physical terms as we understand things today? Isn't it possible that our current understanding of reality isn't sophisticated enough to put forth such an explanation?

I get that's dangerously close to a quasi God of the Gaps position, but isn't demanding a demonstrable correlation somewhat similarly confounding?
One would need to set aside the historical successes of scientific enquiry to conclude it has nothing to offer.
 
#35
One would need to set aside the historical successes of scientific enquiry to conclude it has nothing to offer.
Fair point and I didn't mean to imply it has nothing to offer. That would be a pretty nonsensical stance, right?

I guess I'm just questioning if the science we're capability of practicing currently is broad enough to account for reality ("material" or otherwise).
 
#36
Hello Vortex

It is a shame you include Thelema in the Western tradition. Whatever about the baleful legacy of Crowley; The so-called law of Thelema is:
"Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law".

This is essentially identical to Kants categorical imperative:
"Act only according to that maxim whereby you can, at the same time, will that it should become a universal law".

Seems plusible enough on the surface...but this issuing of license to personal will carries a profound danger.
Hitler for instance would have wished that killing Jews and other undesirables were a universal law.

I agree with the general point about the importance of concentration and engagement; but not as opposed to detachment; rather as its complement; both are necessary.
'Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law' is only half of the actual law, the other half is 'Love is the law, love under will'
 
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