Leslie Kean, Investigative Journalist Tackles Survival After Death |342|

Discussion in 'Skeptiko Shows' started by Alex, Mar 14, 2017.

  1. David Bailey

    David Bailey Administrator

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    I wouldn't put it quite like that, because we are all like that about most subjects - we can only focus on one or two issues that interest us. I mean, for all I know there may be a huge paradigm shift in soil mechanics - and if there is, it has totally passed me by!

    David
     
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  2. Paradigm shifters tend to have a new theory, not just more data: For example, Charles Darwin (Origin of the Species), Watson & Crick, Gregor Mendel, Isaac Newton (Principia Mathematica), Albert Einstein, Galileo Galilee, Robert Hooke.

    In parapsychology I would say J. B. Rhine.

    Many "shifters" were ridiculed first:
    http://ncu9nc.blogspot.com/2013/04/a-history-of-scientific-discoveries.html

    Barbara McClintlock: Mobile Genetic Elements

    Jacobus Henricus van't Hoff: Theory of 3D Molecules

    Peyton Rous: Viruses Transmit Cancer

    Hans Krebs: The Krebs Cycle, Metabolic Energy Production

    Svante Arrhenius: The Properties of Electrolytes are Caused by Charged Atoms

    Hannes Alfvén: Magnetohydrodynamics

    Alfred Wegener: Contintental Drift

    J Harlen Bretz: Catistrophism in Geology
     
    Last edited: Mar 15, 2017
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  3. Nelson

    Nelson Member

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    To be an "expert" in a field that would be true. The time when someone could have mastered the known body of information in dozens of different fields ended around the time of Goethe. Since then there has been too much of an increase in information to keep up.

    However, if you want to have a paradigm shift in say NDEs, without having to read dozens of books, etc., then one can listen to a few podcasts with Alex at skeptiko: a few back and forths between critics and proponents of NDE research and their "best evidence" vs "best critiques". I did just this. My view of NDEs at the beginning was very unclear, but having listened to a critic of NDEs I was quite convinced, but then listening to a proponent of NDE research it just blew what the NDE critic said completely out of the water.

    So that was a paradigm shift by an interested layman, after only a few hours of listening to back and forth from both sides showing "best evidence" and "best critique", with an incisive and knowledgeable interviewer.
     
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  4. David Bailey

    David Bailey Administrator

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    Well that is true, but if you listened to those same sceptics on their own turf, it wouldn't be as obvious they were talking BS unless you were already well primed in the subject.

    For example, it never occurred to me to question the idea that salt and saturated fat were bad for you and increased your chances of a heart attack, or indeed the notion that high levels of blood cholesterol were a bad thing - I just took it all for granted. It wasn't until I had had a nasty experience with statins, that I really read into this subject. I guess a lot of people are exactly like this about consciousness - they accept what the 'boffins' say until they have some extraordinary experience.
    Likewise - I joined Skeptiko far more uncertain than I am now. I was amazed how all the sceptics seemed to come off badly with Alex. OK he can be a bit aggressive, but on the whole that is about not letting his guests waffle. However, don't forget that most people have never even heard of Skeptiko, nor listened to a single podcast!

    David
     
  5. tim

    tim New

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    I'm not surprised, Nelson. The so called 'sceptics' (they are not real sceptics at all, they are ideologically driven phoneys) will resort to any tactics to discredit NDE research. They will smear the evidence, try to discredit the researchers and tell bare faced lies. The best example of this is the Pam Reynolds case. All kinds of erroneous nonsense have been written about this case. Even now when it's been cleared up, The 'Keith Augustines' of this world refuse to acknowledge the new facts.
     
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  6. Brian_the_bard

    Brian_the_bard Lost Pilgrim Member

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    You need to study E-Prime.

    http://www.rawilson.com/quantum.html
     
  7. Nelson

    Nelson Member

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    This tends to reinforce the point that most people (for whatever reason/s) lack the drive to find truth, no matter where it leads. Regardless if it is uncomfortable or not. From what I've seen, most people don't seek truth until it is in their immediate self-interest.

    [Edit: not saying you're necessarily in that category, David; there is of course a difference between simply being unaware of something and ignoring uncomfortable evidence.]

    I was going to bring up precisely this point as evidence that most people (for whatever reason/s) lack the drive to find truth. With the Internet, incl. comment forums, etc., the "simply unaware" people are dwindling. People hear alternative views + evidence often these days. In my experience, the reason why Skeptiko is not as popular as some pseudo-skeptic websites is mainly this: It is a reflection of most people/the masses/what makes things popular. For these people, what Alex delves into is too much a back and forth, too much "wrestling an issue to the ground". From what I've observed, and for whatever reason/s, most people are satisfied with quick, comfortable pseudo-truths.
     
    Last edited: Mar 16, 2017
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  8. Nelson

    Nelson Member

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  9. Silence

    Silence Member

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    This gets dangerously self-aggrandizing.

    I have a good friend who is one of the most intelligent and curious people I have ever met. He is a practicing Buddhist and leads a retreat center for his order. He would view much of what is discussed here as interesting, but not so much as to command any serious investment of his time. Accusing him of being comfortable with "quick, comfortable pseudo-truths" would be absurd.

    I think the vast majority of people go through their lives not interested in exploring what is discussed here. Is that somehow lesser? Somehow indicative of a lack of drive? Etc. Who knows; we may find out this has been a gigantic waste of time. ;)
     
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  10. Brian_the_bard

    Brian_the_bard Lost Pilgrim Member

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    Precisely! ;;/?
     
  11. Nelson

    Nelson Member

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    It can do. I find it a tragic situation though. I'll try to explain via something else you wrote:

    That's what I've been saying. They lack the drive to find out how the universe functions or question the purpose of life.

    And this isn't without consequences. As I was saying previously, people who don't question things more deeply tend to have "belief systems": i.e. pre-packaged worldviews, no-thinking-required...

    Maybe the most damaging one of these is Xianity. As I was saying in the other thread:
    http://www.skeptiko-forum.com/threa...materialism-slams-dean-radin-341.3647/page-17
    ...there are a billion plus people who have a "belief system" in which they are explicitly referred to as sheep; and their god and their priests are referred to as shepherds ("pastor" in Latin means shepherd)...

    They also have a belief system in which Jesus' only actions to non-humans is to curse and kill them.

    There is also compelling evidence that Xianity was a psy-op. Namely, that in order for a priest-class to take over, it was necessary to destroy the primordial tradition of loyalty to family and tribe.

    As the Jesus character himself says:
    "If anyone comes to me and does not hate father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters—yes, even their own life—such a person cannot be my disciple."

    It is because of such "belief systems" that there may not be life on this planet within the next few decades. So yes, I think these issues are important.
     
    Last edited: Mar 16, 2017
  12. Nelson

    Nelson Member

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    For those incredulous of that claim, I wanted to add: The above isn't just my observation; others have come to the same conclusion. There has also been a lot of formal research done on this too, and it is the basis of much advertising and PR.

    For those interested, a revealing place to look into this is about Edward Bernays, "the father of Public Relations" and nephew of Sigmund Freud. Bernays was in the thick of this and bragged about how predictable most people were to change their views. (Unfortunately this very effective persuasion has nothing to do with "back and forth" or “wrestling an issue to the ground”......)
     
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  13. Silence

    Silence Member

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    I would distinguish between the two.

    On the question of how the universe functions, I feel quite safe in stating this to be an unanswerable question at present. I don't know if or when we will be able to satisfactorily provide an answer. We understand much, but it seems a mechanistic understanding perspective at best. Our current understanding certainly falls short of providing insight into purpose (or if purpose even exists).

    As to the "purpose of life", its incredibly arrogant to claim that most people lack the drive to answer this question. Quite to the contrary, I find most people have a strong sense of purpose. Whether it be their faith, their family, their passions, their work, etc. Perhaps you find their basis for purpose lacking, but that is simply your projection and not a defendable high ground.

    The rest of your post focuses on your interpretation of how billions of people practice Christianity/Xianity. Cherry picking biblical quotes seems such a tired practice (from both the dogmatic believer and the critical skeptic).

    I agree that any form of institutional culture has the potential to be dangerous with the history of religion making it a prime offender. However, I do not think it is unique to religion but rather inherent in people.

    Again, I think anyone espousing a position that reeks of "I'm right; you're wrong" on non-empirical questions is dangerous and... arrogant.
     
  14. Michael Larkin

    Michael Larkin Member

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    An article I found fascinating, Brian, and one that led me to investigate Russell's two-head paradox (note I've tried to be careful in using E-prime myself here). It occurs to me that many of the contributions here don't use E-prime and should be more circumspect, including, I suppose, some of my own. I do try, by remembering to insert "IMO" and to say "I think" or "it's possible" and so forth, just to remind myself that I'm not omniscient, but I feel sure that now and then I've relapsed into hubris and expressed certainty. Thank you for the reminder!:)
     
  15. NateC

    NateC Member

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    And yet, both Jesus and the Apostle Paul are on record in the canonical Gospels and Letters as saying that 'the dead' have nonphysical bodies, which seems more consistent with the NDE reports than the idea of a physical resurrection. From the Transfiguration on the Mount to the Resurrection to Paul's letters, there's a strong sense of 'metamorphosis', not just returning to a physical realm:

    1 Corinthians 15 (New International Version) http://biblehub.com/niv/1_corinthians/15.htm

    35But someone will ask, “How are the dead raised? With what kind of body will they come?” 36How foolish! What you sow does not come to life unless it dies. 37When you sow, you do not plant the body that will be, but just a seed, perhaps of wheat or of something else. 38But God gives it a body as he has determined, and to each kind of seed he gives its own body. 39Not all flesh is the same: People have one kind of flesh, animals have another, birds another and fish another. 40There are also heavenly bodies and there are earthly bodies; but the splendor of the heavenly bodies is one kind, and the splendor of the earthly bodies is another. 41The sun has one kind of splendor, the moon another and the stars another; and star differs from star in splendor.

    42So will it be with the resurrection of the dead. The body that is sown is perishable, it is raised imperishable; 43it is sown in dishonor, it is raised in glory; it is sown in weakness, it is raised in power; 44it is sown a natural body, it is raised a spiritual body.

    If there is a natural body, there is also a spiritual body. 45So it is written: “The first man Adam became a living being”f ; the last Adam, a life-giving spirit. 46The spiritual did not come first, but the natural, and after that the spiritual. 47The first man was of the dust of the earth; the second man is of heaven. 48As was the earthly man, so are those who are of the earth; and as is the heavenly man, so also are those who are of heaven. 49And just as we have borne the image of the earthly man, so shall weg bear the image of the heavenly man.

    50I declare to you, brothers and sisters, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God, nor does the perishable inherit the imperishable. 51Listen, I tell you a mystery: We will not all sleep, but we will all be changed— 52in a flash, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed. 53For the perishable must clothe itself with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality.​


    'We will be changed'. 'The first man was of the dust of the earth; the second man is of heaven'. This feels to me like someone trying to find words/images to describe an experience they've witnessed.

    Admittedly I've always read passages like this through the eye of my mother's NDE experience(s), where she once described the experience of transition as feeling like 'being a water lily, rising up out of a murky pool into the sunlight', and that the 'new body' she inhabited in that other realm was able to communicate telepathically 'like little thought bubbles' and travel instantly or fly 'as if I had no weight'. Also I think there was 'light coming from everywhere'.

    Took me a few years to realise that a water lily is a lotus flower which is the symbol of spirit emerging from / uncorrupted by matter in Eastern philosophy, in almost exactly the same sense she described her experience. Yet my mother was a staunch Evangelical Christian and lotus symbology isn't really a part of that community. So how did both my mother and Eastern mystics happen on that same image unless there's some shared reality behind it?

    Regards, Nate
     
  16. Nelson

    Nelson Member

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    That's not what I'm saying. What I've stated is about the drive to find out how the universe functions or question the purpose of life, and this is backed up by evidence:
    1. that "belief systems" are substitutes for independent thinking;
    2. that over a billion people have a "belief system" in which they are repeatedly and explicitly called sheep;
    3. that most people are predictably swayed by advertising and PR.

    There is nothing new about this either and the evidence is there. So rather than attack the messenger, just think about what I've written and look at the evidence.
     
  17. Nelson

    Nelson Member

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    PS: Note to those interested in looking into this. I don't know why the three points I wrote above are true -- to what degree spiritual, genetic, environmental, etc., I don't know. But the three points are correct. I've provided links and sources for people to look into these points. I'm going to let go of this now though, to let people think through in peace.
     
  18. Brian_the_bard

    Brian_the_bard Lost Pilgrim Member

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    At this moment in time I feel that you are very welcome and I also feel that I would like to thank you for the link you have given. I believe that I will be able to read it in due course. (it sounds wonky when you overdo it!):)

    Edit: Hey - its Wilson again - If you are interested, you can get Quantum Psychology through this thread http://www.skeptiko-forum.com/threads/robert-anton-wilson-resources.3659/
     
    Last edited: Mar 16, 2017
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  19. Silence

    Silence Member

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    But I don't see it as backed up by evidence.

    I believe (no pun intended) that the overwhelming majority of people, super intelligent or otherwise, rely upon and use belief systems. Billions of people believed the expansion of the universe was slowing until recently. (Well, probably not billions but likely a large portion of those you might deem truth seekers/purpose of life seekers.) They relied upon their belief system in the science of that time. Turns out they were sheep following misinformed shepherds. Its likely that folks you might deem "independent thinkers" have drawn conclusions about the how the universe functions and purpose of life based on current information that will ultimately prove to be false/flawed.

    Why are the religious singled out and demeaned for this? It seems, ultimately, arbitrary.

    In a similar vein, isn't there somewhat of a shepherd/sheep relationship between any authority and those who recognize it? Priests, rulers, celebrities, patriarchs/matriarchs, scientists? Likewise, is religion the only place where those who choose to follow.. follow? What does it mean to be an independent thinker in the final analysis? Similarly, is there a "right way" and a "wrong way" to derive one's sense of purpose? Who's the arbiter?

    I think you can eliminate the term "most" when talking about advertising and PR. I know I have yet to meet someone so evolved as to be immune to manipulation, foolery, etc.
     
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  20. Nelson

    Nelson Member

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    That's fine, I welcome debate about the evidence, so here are some retorts:

    These people you were talking about obviously weren't thinking much for themselves then. Speaking for myself, even as a child I questioned how on earth scientists can make such secure-sounding claims about a so-called "Big Bang", and claims about how old the universe is, and how they "know" the universe is expanding, etc. When I heard that their "best evidence" for the latter was the red shift of light from the heavens, my immediate reaction was: "well maybe the red shift is caused by something else"... Turns out I was probably right (btw, I had nobody guiding me to these questions either). It's independent thinking.

    I think the word "religious" is a misnomer. Xianity would be better called a psy-op. It exacerbates people's sheep-like tendencies, by telling them straight-up, repeatedly and explicitly, that they are sheep.

    Those who are (for whatever reason) predisposed to sheep-like behavior often remain that way. For example, there are many high-profile pseudo-skeptics who have gone from fundamentalist Christianity to fundamentalist atheism. Alex has interviewed many of them. These people are every bit sheep as they once were as Christians.

    I can answer these questions in the negative. 1. An independent thinker is someone who doesn't need a shepherd. 2. A "wrong way" to derive one's sense of purpose is to simply trust a shepherd. 3. The shepherd is not the arbiter.
     

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