Mod+ 245. PETER RUSSELL, SCIENCE IGNORES CONSCIOUSNESS

Discussion in 'Skeptiko Shows' started by alex.tsakiris, May 20, 2014.

  1. Michael Larkin

    Michael Larkin Member

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    Maybe we all agree and can't think of anything to add!
     
  2. buzzard

    buzzard New

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    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.
     
  3. malf

    malf Member

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    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).
     
  4. Bucky

    Bucky Member

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    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.
     
    Last edited: Jun 5, 2014
  5. Vortex

    Vortex Member

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    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.
     
  6. Michael Larkin

    Michael Larkin Member

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    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. ;)
     
  7. David Bailey

    David Bailey Administrator

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    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
     
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  8. Bucky

    Bucky Member

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    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:

     
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  9. 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?

     
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  10. malf

    malf Member

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    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.
     
  11. Silence

    Silence Member

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    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?
     
  12. malf

    malf Member

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    One would need to set aside the historical successes of scientific enquiry to conclude it has nothing to offer.
     
  13. tim

    tim New

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    Like science does all the time, doesn't it ?
     
  14. malf

    malf Member

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    I don't know what you mean?
     
  15. Silence

    Silence Member

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    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).
     
  16. LetsEat

    LetsEat Member

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    '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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