Mod+ 270. ASU PROF. LAWRENCE KRAUSS CALLS FOR DALAI LAMA TO STEP DOWN OVER REINCARNATION CLAIM

It would seem like a pretty sick universe and reality to give us this sense of wonder and awe we feel when we look up at the night sky - even this sense of love we feel for ourselves and others - and even reality itself, just the amazing scope of reality and magnificence of it - for it all to be some kind of perverted delusion, some kind of fake trick manifested by undirected pieces and bits of random, purposeless matter.

That love itself is just a delusion in a purposeless universe. Frederic WH Myers used to say that one of the most important questions one could as is: "Is the Universe friendly?"

A deceptive, mechanical universe that only pays attention to universal laws, where we as individuals are simply mere victims in a huge mechanical machine - where the near infinity of stars we see when we look up at night, is just a mechanical nothingness of being, and love a mockery of our own hopes for a soul - for ourselves and our loved ones ... I find not one whit to be friendly.

The philosophy of nihilism isn't friendly. It is a black pit of nothingness that is hypothesized to turn the wheels of our universe. There is no solace of the human condition with nihilism. And there certainly is no ultimate meaning one can derive from materialistic nihilism.

My Best,
Bertha
You speak for yourself that is your right,but it's not for to project this condemnation on others that hold a different view. I for one am perfectly content to hold the view you despise with rabid zeal. I look at all the other human species that have lived now extinct and realize that I'm not special and with that realization have come to know Homo Sapien Sapien is not special either. If we don't leave this planet, we one day will all become extinct.

I like to state what I said above differently, concisely. You can say anything you want, just not your path to truth is the correct path.
 
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my friend recommended i check out this show

ive been researching the nature of consciousness in earnest for a couple years now after i had a really unusual experience that i couldn't explain according to pure materialism


this topic seemed to be on the money, i wish you guys had delved a bit more into the disagreements but i guess he didn't have time

anyway i would agree with bits and pieces of both sides

krauss said there is no evidence for a purpose/meaning to the universe, and that he finds his own

that totally answers the question you gave, what would be more meaningful to you, a meaning and purpose you decide for yourself? or one that is given to you by some other entity or thing?

i think his answer makes alot of sense and perfectly addresses your question. and i also think it is extremely plausible, maybe there is another higher meaning, but if we don't know it or there is no evidence for it, there is nothing wrong with also finding our own meaning for ourselves, i don't see what makes it illusionary

it could be that part of the purpose of the universe is for people to find and pursue their own purposes, it could be the ONLY purpose..

me personally i certainly think that the purpose of our lives is to find and pursue our own purposes, the purpose of the universe could be something different

as far as the reincarnation i have done alot of research into it and there is quite a bit of evidence for it, reincarnation is infact the simplest and most likely explanation for the evidence, any other explaination also still requires a means for information to pass from one body to another in a so far physically undetectable and so far scientifically unexplainable way


there are also multiple ways to explain how it could work with so many more people alive today
maybe not everyone is reincarnated? maybe some people are new souls, maybe they were a lower form of life in their last incarnation like a dog or a gorilla..
maybe souls can split?
maybe the same soul can re-experience the same timeframe from a new body (time/causaility doesn't factor the same way with souls)

there is certainly no reason why that fact disqualifies the possibility of reincarnation, and it is bad logic and bad science to dismiss it on that grounds

im just using the term soul as a general placeholder for whatever essence seems to sometimes allow people to have memories of past lives


i think he is right on alot of things, and on others he hasn't done enough research into them to have such a strong opinion. i don't think you should dismiss something as 'improbable' without knowing jack about it, which he obviously doesn't in some areas. but i guess that is his prerogative
 
You really don't get mind>brain. It is about valuing personal experiences. I don't see that in a physicalist mentality.
Because you don't see it, it can't be there?

I still don't really understand how introducing another layer resolves this problem for you.
 
That's the physicalist POV. You seem
If a physicalist is permitted to be as vague over "meaning" as the non pysicalist, then the POV is somewhat wider.

Some appear to appeal to novel, poorly unnderstood, exotic physics to invoke "meaning". This appears bold in the extreme.
 
If a physicalist is permitted to be as vague over "meaning" as the non pysicalist, then the POV is somewhat wider.
So now you are redefining what a physicalist is in the same manner as you redefined who you are as a skeptic in order to fool Alex into letting you troll outside the CD forum.

That's just as dishonest as pretending that Pim van Lommel interprets his data as mind=brain.
 
So now you are redefining what a physicalist is in the same manner as you redefined who you are as a skeptic in order to fool Alex into letting you troll outside the CD forum.

That's just as dishonest as pretending that Pim van Lommel interprets his data as mind=brain.
Leaving aside the predictable evasiveness, we are making essentially the same point over what one can justify if one uses fuzzy definitions.
 
I wasn't implying you were, but you didn't acknowledged Krauss also knows his physics.
I never implied he didn't. In any case Albert's review is a refreshing change from the sycophantic praise Krauss received from his mates. The little forward by Richard Dawkins is a key case in point, and is so obviously slanted in favour of Krauss. Concurrently, I feel the same way about reviews of parapsych books. Gushing praise onto their colleagues is as equally cringeworthy as seeing Dawkins friends give their buddy a good review that is then plastered all over the first few pages.
 
1. On reincarnation and scientific explanation: the question here is how we operationally define reincarnation as a scientific concept. Krauss' problem with the notion of reincarnation is that it is a concept that he thinks involves a further concept of soul and there is not scientific notion of a soul. I assume the scientific research in reincarnation that Alex is referring to involves studies that show that there are people who demonstrate knowledge of persons now deceased with no seemingly obvious causal explanation of how they come to possess this knowledge. if there is no obvious causal explanation then by definition it is a scientific anomaly. Scientific research will from time-to-time produce scientific anomalies. Part of scientific progress involves developing adequate theories to accommodate those anomalies. Unfortunately Alex came across as appearing to express the idea that reincarnation is an explanation of the anomaly when it may only be a first conceptual step to an adequate scientific explanation. Or perhaps it may be an entirely wrong step. Who knows?

2. How can a meaningless universe contain sentient beings who experience meaning? A similar questions comes up in philosophy of mind and the notion of whether meaning and knowledge is something that is derived within the mind or brain - Content Internalism - or whether meaning and knowledge involves the world external to the mind or brain - Content Externalism. Many contemporary scientists seem to hold that meaning is somehow produced by the brain and therefore fall on the side of Content Internalism. This leads to the reductionist view that meaning is just some kind of brain process or illusion of the brain. Interestingly, however, I think there are quite a few philosophers and scientists who starting to accept that in order to understand how sentient organisms create meaning they need to understand the organism as part of its environment. As the philosopher Hilary Putnam once said: "meaning ain't in the head."

3. The problem of reincarnation when there are more people alive today then ever before. This made me laugh. I assume that the argument is that human souls need to hop bodies so therefore, there is always required an equal number of past human bodies and new human bodies in order for the soul to catch a ride on the new human body. Maybe Krauss is confusing souls with kidney transplants. Anyway, from a philosophical point of view this whole business of reincarnation, minds and souls is a tricky business. I recommend anyone interested in trying to get there head around the philosophical conundrums it poses reads the philosopher C.D Broad's classic book: "The Mind and It's Place In Nature."
 
I assume the scientific research in reincarnation that Alex is referring to involves studies that show that there are people who demonstrate knowledge of persons now deceased with no seemingly obvious causal explanation of how they come to possess this knowledge.
Your responses seem fair and I don't wish to quibble too much. However I should say once more that in my view, reincarnation is not about possession of knowledge. It is about being.

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Three reasons why this distinction is important:

1. A child may make statements such as "when I used to be big" or a boy might say "when I was a girl". Such statements may not qualify as knowledge, and certainly may not be verifiable, but still may be important.

2. Even if verifiable information is given, it might be discounted as obtained through some other means, whether ordinary or anomalous.

3. Anyone, child or adult may have a feeling of familiarity or attachment to certain places, people, things or ideas which don't qualify as knowledge, but may reflect some inner state of being. It is this "beingness" which is the significant part of reincarnation. Scraps of information are superfluous - they may play a role in verification of some cases, but there may be vastly more cases where nothing can be verified.
 
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You speak for yourself that is your right,but it's not for to project this condemnation on others that hold a different view. I for one am perfectly content to hold the view you despise with rabid zeal. I look at all the other human species that have lived now extinct and realize that I'm not special and with that realization have come to know Homo Sapien Sapien is not special either.
I've seen many a materialist make this same exact claim...and frankly it's an utterly astonishing, as well as completely befudding, claim. We are likely the only intelligent technological species within 100,000,000+ light years, having created an immense number of accomplishments covering an almost unimaginable span of disciplines and arts (and yes a lot of suffering and cruelty in the process, to be sure), yet somehow that all adds up to "nothing special."

I can grok some of the materialist creed, even if I don't agree with it (anymore, yes another reformed one here). But something like the above--man, words cannot express my utter disbelief that any human being could make such an outlandish statement in the face of everything we as a species have devised.
 
I've seen many a materialist make this same exact claim...and frankly it's an utterly astonishing, as well as completely befudding, claim. We arelikely the only intelligent technological species within 100,000,000+ light years, having created an immense number of accomplishments covering an almost unimaginable span of disciplines and arts (and yes a lot of suffering and cruelty in the process, to be sure), yet somehow that all adds up to "nothing special."

I can grok some of the materialist creed, even if I don't agree with it (anymore, yes another reformed one here). But something like the above--man, words cannot express my utter disbelief that any human being could make such an outlandish statement in the face of everything we as a species have devised.
Nobody likely around within 100,000,000 LY ya got any facts to back that up or is that your opinion?
But like everyone you are entitled to your opinion.
 
Yeah. Speaking of stepping down, when's the good professor Krauss considering it? How is it even possible that the guy doesn't even seem to have heard about Prof. Stevenson's work?
 
I'm not special and with that realization have come to know Homo Sapien Sapien is not special either.
Perhaps this is just wishful thinking on your part; since you don't feel special, why should anyone else? So your philosophy requires dragging everyone down to the status of robots with no control over their fate. I suppose that's a lot less work than personal development, or trying to make the world a better place for everyone (why bother if our fate is sealed, right?) Not a philosophic world view I'd want to invite to parties, or have for a neighbor.
 
Yeah. Speaking of stepping down, when's the good professor Krauss considering it? How is it even possible that the guy doesn't even seem to have heard about Prof. Stevenson's work?
Most Skepics like Krauss have such a hardcore a priori bias against anything outside of their materialistic belief system, that they really do think it is a total waste of their time to look at any scientific investigations that don't coincide with their materialism. In fact, some have gone even a step further - they've begin to publicly humiliate and defame scientists by calling their work pseudo-science, and strongly propagandizing - often in a disingenuous and dishonest fashion, that scientific research into psi or nde's or even psychology - is something only cranks do.

And who knows? They may even succeed with their propaganda and missionary zealotry. This kind of fundamentalism has reared its ugly head before in human history under different doctrines: Maoism, or Catholicism, or Eugenetics, etc.

My Best,
Bertha
 
Nobody likely around within 100,000,000 LY ya got any facts to back that up or is that your opinion?
But like everyone you are entitled to your opinion.
Beside my point...

Elessar, your post reflects a perspective which surprises me and which I struggle a bit to understand.
What's not to understand? My point is very simple-we are an AMAZING species, likely one of a kind. Do you disagree with that, the first part at least? If so, why? In the face of all that we are, all that we have accomplished?
 
Hi All,

Very glad to have discovered the podcast. Regarding Dr. Krauss' comment on reincarnation, specifically how there are more people on the planet and "where did the souls come from?" My understanding of the general Buddhist teaching on reincarnation says that the ground of being (aka the soul) does not necessarily re-manifest in human form. Furthermore, I'm not sure the average person could ever wrap his/her mind around the teaching; it may be too big for us; certainly, one would have to come to terms with some base understanding of what or who we really are and how we interact with the universe(s) not to leave out the whole reality quandry. The biggest challenge may then be to put it all into some form of digestable language for the sake of discussion. What do we know? Thanks.
 
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