Mod+ 251. PATRICIA PEARSON, MAINSTREAM MEDIA JOURNALIST TACKLES SURVIVAL OF CONSCIOUSNESS

Discussion in 'Skeptiko Shows' started by alex.tsakiris, Aug 12, 2014.

  1. Curious - Could you elaborate on the bold?
     
  2. Typoz

    Typoz Member

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    There are a couple of errors in the transcript, i don't think they've been mentioned.

    Notably,
    should read:
    Also,
    the word should be deprivation.
     
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  3. Bucky

    Bucky Member

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    Of course... with that nickname... :D
     
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  4. Mel Smith

    Mel Smith New

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    Patricia seems to feel bad that scientists/science journalists call her a 'journalist into wu-wu''. After listening to her interview I can see why.
    If she is impressed by a lady saying that she believes people re-incarnate to other planets and dimensions, and believes that is rational, then no wonder.
    I don't see any 'willful ignorance' either, but rather they, scientists, do indeed know that people do feel things, sense things, make-up things, experience all sorts of stuff. They know that humans are very imaginative, especially when bereaved, stressed-out, etc. But they don't just jump to irrational conclusions from all those people's anecdotes. And unlike the scientists, Patricia seems to feel that anecdotes are evidence, and they're not.
    She thinks it's significant that up to 50% of bereaved people have strange thoughts, but that wouldn't be surprising since we also know that up to 35 or 40% still believe in ghosts! That lots of people are irrational doesn't mean there's anything to it.
    Alex doubts that science can ''pull us out of this'. But I think he's looking at it the wrong way. The scientific enlightenment DID 'pull us out of irrationality', so they don't deal with all this mystical stuff Patricia talked about, as she mentioned with 'souls' and 'sacred', etc. You can't blame science for not studying things they don't claim to study. But if there were actual evidence that jesus or anybody else ever did come back from the dead, for example, they would acknowledge it; it just hasn't happened yet.
    Prestige? Yes, a lot of people do think there is prestige in being rational. And you can't expect to have it by being a 'journalist into wu-wu'.
     
  5. Typoz

    Typoz Member

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    Oh, come on. History is littered with accounts of people coming back from the dead. Even more so with the advent of modern resuscitation techniques, where it has become an everyday occurrence so commonplace that it barely raises an eyebrow. The argument that Jesus didn't arise from the dead based upon the proposition that there are no other such accounts is simply not supported by the facts.
     
    Last edited: Aug 16, 2014
  6. Mel Smith

    Mel Smith New

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    Sure, there are lots of 'anecdotes', what you're here calling 'accounts', but anecdotes are not evidence that anything really happened.
    Modern resuscitation? That just means that they weren't dead. We often see guys who have apparently drowned, etc. be resuscitated, but they're just coming back to consciousness. You don't see many examples of a guy who has had a death certificate issued to him coming back to life. In those few instances where it's happened, they just got it wrong.
    'Supported by the facts'? You have it the wrong way round; if you're claiming that jesus came back to life, the onus is on you to prove it, NOT for all those who don't believe that he did, to prove that he didn't.
    Only some religions believe that jesus came back to life, other don't. The muslims for example, accept jesus as a prophet, but NOT that he came back to life. How would you prove to them that he did so?
     
  7. Ian Gordon

    Ian Gordon Ninshub Member

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    Hi Mel, I'm thinking you probably didn't read the forum rules before starting to post on the Skeptiko Show threads.

    See here:
    WHAT IS [​IMG]

    Now that we've been at the Skeptiko forum thing for a while we've noticed there are some discussion that need special moderation. People who accept that scientific materialism isn't a workable idea generally will be a good fit for these threads as the discussions generally explore what lies beyond the assumption that "consciousness is an illusion created by biological robots" (for more on this see: http://www.skeptiko.com/229-5-things-about-skeptiko/).

    If you're not a good fit for these threads we may ask you to move over to The Believer Versus Skeptic Debates forum where we hash out debates about science and spirituality from a prove-it-all-from-the-ground-up perspective. If you're generally skeptical of the material presented in the Skeptiko podcast you're probably a good fit for this forum.

    http://www.skeptiko-forum.com/threads/forum-rules-please-read-before-posting.4/
     
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  8. Mel Smith

    Mel Smith New

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    ok
     
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  9. Well you can start a thread in CD for the podcast.

    That way you can perform your religious duty to evangelize materialism and save all the immaterialists.
     
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  10. David Bailey

    David Bailey Administrator

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    Mel,

    You are very new here, and as others have pointed out, this is not the right part of the forum to argue from a purely materialist perspective. However, let me point out a few things:

    1) Most of us are not arguing from any religious perspective. Like many others here, I have no faith.

    2) The point about NDE's is not that the people were not so utterly dead that they could not be revived! The main point about NDE's is that at a time when the brain would be hugely compromised for lack of oxygen, people have an extraordinary experiences. First they often see and hear aspects of the resuscitation process that they would not be aware of even if they were conscious and had their eyes open, because they see the scene from above! They also experience a lot of death related material - 'meeting' dead relatives, etc. This is even true of young children who probably don't understand death, or those who did not consider themselves to be in danger before the crisis began - e.g. people knocked out by a lightening strike.

    3) NDE's are very badly explained conventionally. For example, one theory is the dying brain hypothesis. This 'explained' the tunnel, which some people experience in an NDE as being due to oxygen starvation in the brain. The problem with that, is that most NDE's don't just contain tunnels, they also contain a lot of other elements that are vividly remembered - usually for the rest of the person's life. Oxygen starvation normally impairs memory formation.

    Let me be clear, Skeptiko does not impose these rules in order to discuss ideas in a warm bubble without the harsh criticisms of skeptics - far from it, we made the Believers vs Skeptics forum specifically in order to engage people like you in debate, but we discovered long ago that without some controls, every discussion would descend into a believers vs skeptics debate - which wasn't very productive!

    David
     
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  11. DominicBunnell

    DominicBunnell New

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    I had to laugh when Alex and Patricia agreed about the importance of getting clear about the meaning of our terms when Alex has been throwing the term 'materialism' around for 250 episodes without ever attempting to give a clear definition.

    I'd love to hear an episode of Skeptiko with a philosopher like Colin McGinn or David Chalmers where they discuss the meaning of terms like emergentism, reductionism, eliminativism, mysterianism, panpsychism, idealism, scientism, libertarian/compatibilist free will, and all the rest. The only problem is, this should have been episode number 1!
     
    Last edited: Aug 16, 2014
  12. David Bailey

    David Bailey Administrator

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    I am not sure that would have been anything like as useful as you think, because a lot of those terms have been created by philosophers that essentially accepted the idea that the brain produces consciousness, and then wrestled with the contradictions.

    I don't know if Newton knew all the details of the epicycles that were supposed to explain the solar system, but they wouldn't really have helped him produce his theory!

    David
     
  13. tim

    tim New

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    I emailed David Chalmers some time ago. I urged him to look at NDE's during cardiac arrest because it was crucially relevant in trying to understand consciousness and the brain. He responded saying he didn't know much about near death experience but best wishes.

    So there you go, he doesn't want to look because there is no point... as "THAT" >>(consciousness during CA) can't happen.
     
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  14. radicalpolitik

    radicalpolitik New

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    That's interesting. I imagined him as being fairly closed on the issue of NDEs. But seeing as he's gone for consciousness being fundamental, maybe he's changed a bit
     
  15. tim

    tim New

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    Thanks but I think he probably assumes there's nothing in them, maybe he's heard Sue Blackmore "explain" them .
     
  16. DominicBunnell

    DominicBunnell New

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    David, one of the reasons it's a good idea to get more philosophical and to use more precise definitions is that it will probably reduce the name-calling and stereotyping. If I say person X is a compatibilist about free will, an emergentist materialist in the philosophy of mind, a libertarian in politics and a utilitarian in ethics, then I can take a serious look at these philosophical views and see what's wrong and what's right about them. But if I just say person X is one of those mind=brain, emergent property, mind doesn't exist, biological robot skeptic atheist materialist types, we don't get anywhere. This is why philosophers spend so much time on definitions. Without this, we just end up taking past each other and we never make any progress.

    But as the comments here reveal, the distinction that matters most here is that between people who believe in psi, the afterlife, ghosts and UFOs, and those who don't. And yes, McGinn, Nagel, Chalmers and Strawson would almost certainly say that there's no good evidence for any of these things.
     
  17. Mel Smith

    Mel Smith New

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    You might be new here, because they recently scolded me, and said I must not print anything critical on these censored fourms. BTW, yours is one of the best messages I've seen here so far.
     
  18. DominicBunnell

    DominicBunnell New

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    What's the problem? Patricia thinks we can improve the quality of debate by using clear and precise definitions, and I agree with her.
     
  19. Ian Gordon

    Ian Gordon Ninshub Member

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    And they would say that on the basis of... not having looked at it?
     
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  20. DominicBunnell

    DominicBunnell New

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    Yes, we've already established the fact that most philosophers are ignorant about NDE research, but that's got nothing to do with the point I'm making here about the importance of clarity and precision in the terms we use.

    We don't get these philosophers on Skeptiko so they can tell us about psi and NDE research. That would be a waste of time since they don't know anything about these things. We get them on to talk about metaphysics. A great place to start would be the concept of 'freedom' or 'free will'.
     
    Last edited: Aug 17, 2014

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