Discussion in 'Skeptiko Shows' started by alex.tsakiris, Sep 23, 2014.
Yes. Gabriel just doesn't understand that.
My goodness, that is a relief - I am trying to think what other courses might be necessary if we went down that path:
Physics, up to at least non-relativistic quantum mechanics.
Statistical interpretation of data
World mythology and comparative religion
The chemistry and mode of action of the entheogens
Normal and abnormal psychology (Irreducible Mind, etc)
Plus about 50 other courses that Sciborg-S-Patel and LoneShaman would suggest!
Then there would be the membership examinations..................
And add to that some practical courses such as (select one or more) :
dream logging - with various offshoots possible
meditation - various possibilities
out of body experiences
past life regression
others I've not thought of
I hardly ever post on comments although I listen intently to all the podcasts. I have a real wish to believe there is more than just this life as I lost my dear wife to Pancreatic cancer 4 years ago. Howard sounded very genuine but I always feel sceptical when people say they have spoken to Jesus. Why does he not have some insights learnt from Jesus that could convince us that his experience was truly real and transformative. I am a doubting Thomas but I do believe in the saying that extraordinary claims need extraordinary evidence.
Doug, I'm sorry for your loss. I wouldn't want to contribute to causing you further pain. Sometimes, rather than looking to so-called experts for confirmation, we may be able to find some of the answers ourself. Again, sorry if this is unhelpful, it is meant sincerely as I've lost several people, family and friends over the years and from time to time feel they are still close to me.
Doug, Skeptiko Podcast # 204 with Dr. Julie Beischel might be worth another listen. Maybe there's a way to get some answers. http://www.skeptiko.com/julie-beisc..._medium=referral&utm_campaign=ufologyprss.com
Thanks Typoz and Dmitch for your posts, I have been open to personal spiritual experience but have not been fortunate enough to have one and I did listen to Julie Beishel's episode and have since done some further research on her work and also Dr Gary Schwartz's work. I have also been to a medium myself and she was able to tell me the name of my wife and what she died from within a few minutes without any fishing around. However how can we be sure that this is not some form of mental telepathy rather than real contact with a departed soul. Coming from a scientific background and agnostic / materialistic worldview it is such a leap to believe this. It is so easy to remain skeptical. However Alex's podcasts have brought me a lot of comfort and opened my eyes to the possibility we do not cease at death, I am just not sure - yet.
At the very least, this is what we can say.
The dying experience doesn't appear to the person going through it, to actually be a dying experience. There is no doubt that people feel themselves leaving their body and that they look back and see their body. This is a fact, it's not an hallucination to them, or dreamlike, they actually see themselves, their physical body and move away from it, off into a tunnel with a light at the end. And the feeling is generally described as ecstatic.
So what the observer of someone dying sees is not what is really occurring and our previous thoughts about the event are wrong.
Funny thing is, I've always seen this as an advantage (though it may not appear so from reading many of the posts on this forum and elsewhere). My argument is, if you come from a scientific background, you should be skilled in reasoning things out for yourself. (I'm using "you" in the general sense here, not meaning any specific person). This gives a person the ability to figure things out for themselves, rather than depending upon experts to do it for them. For example, when I had various experiences of apparent telepathy, I asked myself, "am I fooling myself", "am I just deluded" and many questions of that type. But having a strong scientific background, I felt confident of my own ability to make my own judgements on these matters. Still, I'm rambling a bit now, feel free to ignore or take with a pinch of salt what I write.
That's the nugget for me Doug, although there's nothing to scientifically connect telepathy with deceased persons. It does require that consciousness has to be something more for telepathy to occur. On a philosophical level, telepathy implies another dimension to time-space, since they do not impose a barrier. Telepathy also presupposes a psychic factor exists in nature and implies a fundamental union between minds. Its not a far stretch from telepathy to consciousness existing outside the body.
I suggest you may want to go back to your medium (they sound like the real deal) and ask her a question that you do not know the answer. You may request your wife to tell you something about herself or a relative, that you can check out later.
I've never been to a medium, maybe someone here can make other suggestions.
Heh, I think picking apart assumptions made by people in materialist and immaterialist accounts is all you need.
-Can a mind-not-brain be deceived?
-How can materialists explain intentionality/rationality/subjectivity?
-Why do NDEs with visions of Hell and Heaven offer different, contradictory paths to salvation?
-How do time/causality work?
And so on...just a matter of seeking out good answers after that...
People can be genuine and simply wrong can't they? I find it difficult to reach a conclusion just based on the word of others. A good friend of mine who I consider to be truthful, rational and sensible has experienced the most amazing phenomena, which if I had shared them would be conclusive proof of survival for me. Nevertheless despite this, although I do not doubt their experiences, I cannot conclude we survive based on their testimony (though I would say for me it is proved on the balance of probabilities).
There is no substitute for a direct personal experience, which it would appear for most people is hard to obtain. In the meantime, there is a vast amount of research available that is worth reading even if only to understand the full range of mediumship types of which clairvoyance is but one (and by no means the most evidential type).
I don't think the claims of survival are exceptional. They are commonplace. They are present in enormous volumes across the whole world over many centuries. As to what would constitute sufficient proof for you, I think that's probably a personal matter. The search for conclusive evidence with an open mind will lead you to some very interesting areas.
As for whether or not the medium you consulted got the information from your wife, or from you I think you're correct that it is not possible to say. Even information that you did not know would not necessarily be conclusive as others (with us or who have gone on) may know that information. It is not at all clear to me what the full extent of telepathy or other psychic abilities might be, although in many cases communication from a deceased person is probably the simplest answer, if one assumes the reports are genuine.
You may be fortunate like my friend and come across a demonstration of survival that is unequivocal and for you irrefutable, however this may never happen or may take a long time. In the meantime there is a lot one can do to determine whether it is a goal worth pursuing.
I'm inclined to ignore this comment but... Could you please explain to me what that line of skeptical questioning and an ability for reason has to do with having a scientific background, in contrast to say, a background in philosophy or a background in dishwasher repair? How does one need to be trained for something that's an innate tendency of any human over six years old?
I'm the opposite. I believe everything everyone tells me, because what the hell difference does it make? I don't care.
Well none to me.
I wish I could go back to her but sadly she has since died. At the time I was convinced but the passage of time leads to doubts. I agree that some bit of information that I would not know But could confirm later would be a clincher. Regrettably at the time I did not think to ask such a thing.
Hi Doug - I don't think you quoted me there - I think it is DMitch's comment. I dunno how my name got attached to that.
sorry about that, you are right
It's not often I hear that.
I sort of see what Typoz was getting at - that part of being a scientist is shedding assumptions and training yourself to look at things from an objective view. I could see that in some cases but I think it would be very much dependent on the education and work environment as well as the person. Plenty of scientists who wouldn't think to ask "Do the laws of physics have coercive power, such that we can appeal to their existence in order to exclude phenomena we don't like?"
A theologian might be inclined to be open minded if they were a comparativist seeing truths and falsities in the varied religions. Kripal would, for example, be such a person. I think he gets to the heart of the NDE issue when he mentions the seeking of "liberating confusions":
"I begin with such questions not to pretend some knowledge that I do not possess (like the professional debunkers or true believers), but to provoke and perform our almost total ignorance of such things and, more positively, to call us out of our rationalist denials and naive assumptions into something more. I am not after easy rational solutions, much less beliefs in this or that cultural mythology. I am after liberating confusions.
I am after the Impossible"
-Authors of the Impossible
Separate names with a comma.