Dr. John Fischer, Another Philosopher Tries to Debunk NDEs |431|

The 'skeptic' (these are not skeptics) belief is based solely in predicate from a preferred religious belief. They should have started from a position of suspension if they were a skeptic - but most do not.

Given that none of the neurological or chemical evidence can involve deductive inference, and even in the case of inductive inference the risk horizon on the inference is extraordinarily large and the inference is linear affirmation only - please explain how you can frame such basis as strong.

Remember as well to address the ethical difference between a modus praesens (something is plausible) and a modus absens (something has been falsified or likely falsified) under a petition for plurality. The standard/rigor of evidence is vastly different between those two modes of inferential sponsorship.

Your third contention does not apply to immediate and fresh recounts, which most of these are... This is a canned talking point used by amateur skeptics. Memory 'malleability' applies to remote-in-time recollection or those memories recalled through hypnosis - by the Loftus studies on immediate recollection cases, does not apply to the schema (plot) of the memory, only to secondary details. Please read those studies and know how to apply them before attempting to use them as a weapon.

I thought you said that you were 'not this type of skeptic'? :)
Okay. Got it - I think. You can't progress to assertions or conclusions from statements that don't actually contain the basis for valid progressions. We must take statements to mean what they actually say, and not what we want them to say, or think they could say. I know the whole business is more complex than that - but I am a man of simple tastes.

The problem with psuedo-skepticism is that is selective about what is doubted, and what appears as doubt is mostly denial. If one wishes to be skeptical about the spiritual then one must also be skeptical about the non-spiritual. A materialist cannot be a skeptic about the spiritual.

It is possible to be a fair minded doubter. I elected to believe the spiritual as a 'metaphysical guess', but I subject my claims and other's counter claims to as fair a process of evaluation as I can muster. I have a bias, freely admitted, but it is the foundation of inquiry, not belief. There is always the opportunity of self-critical reflection. The psuedo-skeptic pretends to be self-critical but is not. He has established a ground of certainty [like Martin Luther] and engages not in intellectual inquiry, but secular theology.
 
Which means? Google don't know.
EVG - epoché vanguards gnosis - means that disciplined suspension of judgement, is the first practice on the path to establishing wisdom.

There is a principle which is a bar against all information, which is proof against all arguments and which cannot fail to keep a man in everlasting ignorance – that principle is contempt prior to investigation. ~ English Philosopher, Herbert Spencer
 
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Okay. Got it - I think. You can't progress to assertions or conclusions from statements that don't actually contain the basis for valid progressions. We must take statements to mean what they actually say, and not what we want them to say, or think they could say. I know the whole business is more complex than that - but I am a man of simple tastes.

The problem with psuedo-skepticism is that is selective about what is doubted, and what appears as doubt is mostly denial. If one wishes to be skeptical about the spiritual then one must also be skeptical about the non-spiritual.
Skepticism, to me, is spiritual - in fact may reside at the very core of spirituality. A skeptic must adopt epoché and look - not doubt. Decartes was wrong (actually he did not define doubt the way in which we do). Otherwise they are playing a game.

Yes, the progression of relevant query, in proper sequence, is called a critical path. Each step along that path is called a hypothetical increment (or in lab testing, a Series-Test Element XX-XXXX for example). And the ability to take that step is called an inference (which is derived hopefully from a Series-Test)

Inference can be, in increasing order of probative strength:
diagnostic - abductive - look it up in a book or use the simplest explanation which makes sense​
suggestive - inductive - conjecture a reason which is 5 steps removed from the observation​
multifaceted - consilient - observe one hypothetical increment from multiple angles of evidence and see if anything agrees​
elemental - reductive - reduce the argument down to its basic components and prepare to test them all​
convergent - deductive - eliminate candidate explanations and irrelevancies​
conclusive - falsifying - observe a white crow​
The pseudo-skeptic

1. regards weaker evidence in this order to be conclusive, when it is not (usually flagged by habitual abuse of the term 'facts').

2. casts doubt on the stronger evidence (Nelsonian inference), by raising 'questions' to which they never want to lift a finger to help answer, nor do they even want an answer. So called 'doubt' is their only move (they rarely 'go look') only applying this canned snake oil, through blocking higher orders of inferential merit and probativeness - never questioning their lesser power inferences at all.

3. finally conduct long-winded appeals to authority...

They attempt to take reliable evidence and make it probative, when the task of the skeptic is to take probative evidence and increase the reliability of incremental conjecture which can explain it.

You will see people (even and especially PhD's when one is brought into a discovery lab to help 'turn it around') conducting 1 thru 3 above. You know and I know that they are dishonest, but the important thing is that THEY do not know that they are dishonest. This is what makes them dangerous as a spiritual being - they are open to agency (akin to being possessed). This is why I appear to be inordinately hard on people who use these tools of darkness.

Disagreement is actually wonderful. It is rather method, which is the lens into one's soul.

This is analogous to entering a higher spiritual realm. If you do not know your own evil, you will be a danger to all therein. Therefore the barrier one cannot cross. It is not that they do not love you - rather that you are not prepared to love them.

The way to counter this faking form of skeptic is to rarely answer their question with a direct recitation or single answer. Unless that addresses the issue 100% (which should have never been an issue in the first place then). Most answers do not come this easily, and they are pretending that they do. This neutralizes their single trick pony act, the 'doubt' move. Force them out of their passivity and make them go look, do the analysis for themselves - suffer the knowledge that conclusions do not come as easily as they might seem - that an answer requires hard work, not simply recitation.

That the answer itself may not always be convergent, but the change is one's self is always the goal.

In fact - with regard to our role spiritually - is this not what we too observe regarding ourselves and those of a higher spiritual nature?
 
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It is possible to be a fair minded doubter. I elected to believe the spiritual as a 'metaphysical guess', but I subject my claims and other's counter claims to as fair a process of evaluation as I can muster. I have a bias, freely admitted, but it is the foundation of inquiry, not belief.
It is possible to be a fair minded doubter... 'Descartes said at the outset that his doubt is to destroy the doubt' The Philosophy.com

Methodical Doubt – doubt employed as a skulptur mechanism, to slice away disliked observations until one is left with the data set they favored before coming to an argument. The first is the questionable method of denying that something exists or is true simply because it defies a certain a priori stacked provisional knowledge. This is nothing but a belief expressed in the negative, packaged in such a fashion as to exploit the knowledge that claims to denial are afforded immediate acceptance over claims to the affirmative. This is a religious game of manipulating the process of knowledge development into a whipsaw effect supporting a given conclusion set.
Deontological Doubt (epoché) – if however one defines ‘doubt’ – as the refusal to assign an answer (within reason, no matter how 'likely') for a specific question – in absence of assessing question sequence, risk and dependency (reduction), preferring instead the value of leaving the question unanswered (null) over a state of being ‘sorta answered inside a mutually reinforcing set of sorta answereds’ (provisional knowledge) – then this is the superior nature of deontological ethics.

The problem is that we use the same word 'doubt' for both types.

It is like defining love as

1. caring for a person
2. desiring to murder a person.

When someone says they love you... you have to reside in a perpetual state of terror.

So when someone says to me that they 'doubt' - it is like they are flashing a police badge in a country where 70% of the police are corrupt. It is not the badge of honor which they pretend that it is.
 
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Because sceptics will always find some way to defuse any argument, however strong. Dean Radin calls this the "Dirty test tubes" argument. It goes like this:

Suppose someone posts a chemistry paper to show that A plus B react to produce C.

Normally that would be accepted as scientific evidence and only be reconsidered if a lot of people failed to reproduce the work - maybe because they wanted some C!

However, if someone REALLY REALLY wanted to object, they might start by doubting that all the glassware used for the experiment was adequately cleaned.

Perhaps the original authors would then explain that they cleaned the class-ware in chromic acid, then distilled water.

So the next objection would be that maybe the distilled water was impure.

Etc Etc.

The point is that normal science is robust against that sort of tedious 'scepticism', and the burden of proof would fall on the objector to prove that they were right by actual experimentation. It is only in areas where there is an overwhelming assumption that something cannot be true, that this sort of discussion is considered reasonable.

David
In light of this post, and as a lesson in self awareness, it might be useful to read through your contributions in the global warming thread.
 
I am not quite sure if there are heuristics to quickly judge knowledge claims. Other than possibly my phrase epoché vanguards gnosis - that is actually a heuristic. But it does not capture truth, rather it allows one to avoid being captured by other-than-truth.

Our 1972 Shermer/Sagan Skeptics claim to have cornered the truth-heuristic market - one can observe people using their canned shtick all the time. Teaching an entire two generations of insecure mid-level acumens how to avoid given ideas and observations.

What I used in organizations where we were tasked with discovery research - was a table of mode and type of inference - The Map of Inference. What this did, was allow me to assemble a confidence around the evidence which is presented to the pro or con - whether or not the possessing of a 'fact' really bore any gravitas at all. There are observations and then there are critical path observations. The two are not even remotely close in import.

But I would not impart to 'The Map' any form of convergent horsepower as might be attributable to a heuristic.

The heuristic if you will, is a set of philosophical principles which allow one to, not discern correct knowledge, but rather discern when someone is pushing cultivated or Nelsonian ignorance (two different things). It is more of a heuristic of discerning bad method than it is a method of discerning what is truth.

Truth may not be as discrete as we assume it to be... however, anti-truth is a very discrete object and can be identified by certain traits and sponsor habits.
I think your use of heuristic is spot on. I take an outsiders view as a non-expert. There are clear disagreements in many areas of science.

If science is self correcting how do we know the current disagreements are currently headed in the right direction. That for me is the point of desiring a quick heuristic.

So surely we would doubt many areas of science then. But, of course, its too easy to find a knowledgeable disagreer as a non-expert.

Evolution?
Vacccines?
Global warming?
public policy?

I don't hope for an answer but instead a question here. You might contend that experts are constantly underminded or ignored, but the truth at times is that they ignore each other! Expert disagreement is straightforward evidence that someone is confused. As a non-expert, I choose everyone who disagrees and claims to have the same knowledge is overconfident. Science updates, but when does it do it right? How can I tell?

That's what that chart is for -- or will you bite the bullet here. We really are fairly ignorant when relevant experts disagree.
 
Skepticism, to me, is spiritual - in fact may reside at the very core of spirituality. A skeptic must adopt epoché and look - not doubt. Decartes was wrong (actually he did not define doubt the way in which we do). Otherwise they are playing a game.
You prompted me to look up doubt on my Oxford dictionary app - it has a root meaning of 'to hesitate'. So its a sense of self-reflective modesty - stepping back from the arrogance of the presumption of knowledge. Its a gentle path, and, yes, spiritual.
 
So when someone says to me that they 'doubt' - it is like they are flashing a police badge in a country where 70% of the police are corrupt. It is not the badge of honor which they pretend that it is.
It is interesting how 'doubt' comes tagged with moral adhesions. You are right, we don't tend to use the term to denote a genuine absence of presumption, rather that what we 'doubt' offends against what we assume to be so.

We are certain in ourselves and we doubt others. And self-doubt is considered a weakness. We are expected to have confidence, rather than modesty and curiosity.

A few years ago i was listening to 2 quite smart atheists bitching about somebody they both knew describing himself as an agnostic. Their objection was that "He should have had the balls" to be one thing or the other.
 
I think your use of heuristic is spot on. I take an outsiders view as a non-expert. There are clear disagreements in many areas of science.

If science is self correcting how do we know the current disagreements are currently headed in the right direction. That for me is the point of desiring a quick heuristic.

So surely we would doubt many areas of science then. But, of course, its too easy to find a knowledgeable disagreer as a non-expert.

Evolution?
Vacccines?
Global warming?
public policy?

I don't hope for an answer but instead a question here. You might contend that experts are constantly underminded or ignored, but the truth at times is that they ignore each other! Expert disagreement is straightforward evidence that someone is confused. As a non-expert, I choose everyone who disagrees and claims to have the same knowledge is overconfident. Science updates, but when does it do it right? How can I tell?

That's what that chart is for -- or will you bite the bullet here. We really are fairly ignorant when relevant experts disagree.
Agreed. And yes, I have developed charts & methods to allow one to detect fakers along each of the points below. We are rather ignorant. I cannot hope to fathom the depths of all the evidence by myself. So the canned response to this is...

1. We must trust scientists, who have studied the issue.​
But this is Pollyanna, and an appeal to authority when stand-alone. There are several modifiers to this semantic, but not logical, truth. Modifiers which are not merely informal, but rather bear critical merit. These foibles offer the double-edged sword of affording ways to differentiate science which is merely a lab-coated agenda. This is a bit like detecting a toxic employee in your company, they will put on the show of correctness, but in reality have little aside from animus in their heart. Catching these people and getting them out of your organization is key to having happy and long-tenured associates.

a. Scientists are people first, and prone to all the same foibles as is everyone else in humanity. Two thirds of humans are dishonest by my best measures - and I do not anticipate scientists to be too far off that mark, maybe slightly better.​
See The Tree of Knowledge Obfuscation - over 2,600 fallacies, errors and methods of corrupted thinking commonly employed to obfuscate and deceive​
b. Science consists of varying degrees of confidence on study and inference - as well, some 'results' or 'facts' are weak compared to others. Most people, to include PhD's, cannot discern the difference between a weak inferential basis and a strong one. And two thirds of the ones who can, use it to ply Nelsonian knowledge instead of alleviating suffering.​
c. Science is influenced by money, corporate profits and desires for power/publishing visibility/celebrity/tenure. This is a 100% pervasive factor. They will do anything, up to and including murder and/or genocide, in order to protect this​
d. Science operates around most issues by means of two points of vulnerability, the Indigo or Inflection Point and the Tau or Tipping Point. Both points result in large whipsawed momentum, yet both points can be tampered with in subtle ways by small groups of people. Another way to express this inside skepticism is under the definition of a Cabal (as distinct from a Mafia or Cartel).​
Indigo - tampering subtly with the terminology and rules of the philosophy of science​
Tau - tampering with the social factors, means of communication, intimidation and public message​
points indigo and tau smaller.png
e. Science itself does not speak - there are groups of non-scientists who craft their message and speak on their behalf. This group​
i. critically alters the message of science, in order to slightly shift its meaning in the right direction, and​
ii. crafts completely new messages and bundles them in with science, thereafter promulgating those imposter messages as accepted science​
iii. intimidates scientists into not speaking in dissent on any issue which the Cabal has authorized, from i and ii above.​
So, yes - agreed Super Q - the whole purpose of my site is the life-long mastery of the ability to work the martial art of discernment. You master this, then you die and take it with you... leaving the world in the same hell-hole state it was in originally, for a whole new crop of people to learn this all over again.

Our gadgets and technology stacks do not serve to make us happier, nor better as people. They are a deception in part.

This is part of the reason why I do not think that the spirit realm is as into 'correcting the world', as they are into correcting us. :)

This is why, to me, skepticism is spiritual.
 
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But isn't he also right? I don't mind this level of caution, because it is a faithful rendering of the evidence.
there's a history here (at least for me):

Interview with NDE researcher and AWARE Project leader explores limits of experiments on near-death experience.
Join Skeptiko host Alex Tsakiris for an interview with the NDE expert and author of, What Happens When We Die?, Dr. Sam Parnia. During the interview Dr. Parnia is asked why he suspects NDE is an “illusion”, and a “trick of the mind”. When pressed, Dr Parnia stated, “…It may well be. You’re pushing and I’m giving you honest answers. I don’t know. If I knew the answers then I don’t think I would have engaged and spent 12 years of my life and so much of my medical reputation to try to do this. Because to appreciate people like me, I risk a lot by doing this sort of experiment. So I’m interested in the answers and I don’t know. Like I said, if I was to base everything on the knowledge that I have currently of neuroscience, then the easiest explanation is that this is probably an illusion.”

-- so, I'm glad he's changed his position, but...
 
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I find it impossible to reconcile Dr. Fischer’s position that veridical perception of procedures during resuscitation occurs after the events, during waking.

Dr. Pim van Lommel speaking on veridical OBE during NDE:

"This out-of-body experience is scientifically important, because doctors, nurses and relatives can verify reported perceptions. They can also corroborate the precise moment the NDE with OBE occurred during the period of CPR.

In a recent review of about 100 corroborated reports of potentially verifiable out-of-body perceptions during NDE, Jan Holden has found that about 90% were completely accurate, 8% contained only some minor error, and 2% was completely false.”

As I said previously, it seems clear to me that scientific documentation of veridical evidence of events during resuscitation attempts like this study is the single most powerful argument against Dr. Fischer’s position that these recollections occurred during the waking period.

Of course, in the face of evidence contradicting one’s beliefs, one can always argue that it must somehow be misinterpreted. But one can’t take such an argument seriously without evidence or reasoning. It is perhaps a measure of Dr. Fischer’s desperation to hold to his position in the face of such clear contrary evidence, that he resorts to just such an argument.

 
EVG - epoché vanguards gnosis - means that disciplined suspension of judgement, is the first practice on the path to establishing wisdom.

There is a principle which is a bar against all information, which is proof against all arguments and which cannot fail to keep a man in everlasting ignorance – that principle is contempt prior to investigation. ~ English Philosopher, Herbert Spencer
Ta. That makes a wheelbarrow full of sense.
 
I don't hope for an answer but instead a question here. You might contend that experts are constantly underminded or ignored, but the truth at times is that they ignore each other! Expert disagreement is straightforward evidence that someone is confused. As a non-expert, I choose everyone who disagrees and claims to have the same knowledge is overconfident. Science updates, but when does it do it right? How can I tell?
And we can get into the difference between real and faux experts. There are genuine experts, and then there are those who pose as such, and even sincerely believe they are such, but whose 'expertise' is subject to legitimate doubt and even incredulity.

We presume an expert must be right - except when experts disagree passionately.

But I take TES's point that [real] experts are often ignored or undermined - usually by those who are motivated to believe an alternative explanation. The possessor of an inconvenient truth is rarely a match for those with convenient power and abundant motive to disagree on grounds that their interests are assailed by that truth [which must, therefore, be untrue].

However I fear the term may cease to have any value as the media hyped faux experts are trotted out routinely to opine or rant on the theme de jour - especially on rabidly conservative or progressive platforms.

Knowledge isn't power any more. Opinion is. Putting lipstick on a fatuous POV and concealing the natural stench with insanely aromatic propaganda seems to be the order of business now.

Its a good time to be Skeptic - trust no expert on his face, and believe no data you can't understand or check. Never believe anything that is 'obvious' or 'just common sense'. There's a good reason why the ancients favoured wisdom and virtue over knowledge and power. We have to choose whether we want to be moral or right as a primary attribute. These days so many 'experts' claim to be the latter [but are not] - and they are certainly not the former.
 
FULL STOP. this is a story. how can such nonsense persist... hold a prestigious faculty position... get grants (big ones)... and write books?
But Alex, it persists because because it is reinforced as an 'intellectual' discourse by people who write those books - all self-justifying and reinforcing - like sandbagging against a rising tide. This folk have deftly dignified denialism as Skepticism - and while that's a category error it is also self-comforting. It is futile in the long run but it will get incumbents through to their pensions.

Kuhn is right that intellectual evolution expresses itself via generational change rather than some kind of rational osmosis. Fischer is peeling his wares as an imperative of his function and that has nothing to do with tapping the spirit of the times and everything to do with him responding to who matters to him - those who protect him.

In a way this is self-defence that is inelegant and inauthentic - but all there is to those who need to survive until their pensions become available.

What I found interesting about the program was that the defence has not evolved at all. The counter argument has evolved tremendously. I am reading [listening to] a book called 'In the Closet in the Vatican' and I was struck by a comment - stiffness means you have something to hide. The authentic are relaxed. The inauthentic are stiff, dogmatic and unimaginative.
 
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