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  1. Dan_LastName

    Rev. Michael Dowd, Death-Cult Environmentalist? |435|

    I agree that Reality is a slippery notion. I also think Truth is a slippery idea. That is why I find it useful to evaluate an idea based on its usefulness instead of evaluating it in terms of whether or not it conforms to Reality. It is an experiment.
  2. Dan_LastName

    Dr. Donald Hoffman, Materialism’s Final Death Blow? |436|

    I enjoyed this interview a lot, as well. Hoffman has an enjoyable vibe to him; he always seems so passionate and excited and that is infectious. I don't quite grasp every last detail of his ideas--but it all sounds pretty cool. More power to him if over the next decade or two he can resolve the...
  3. Dan_LastName

    Rev. Michael Dowd, Death-Cult Environmentalist? |435|

    Yes, I have been reading quite a bit of Richard Rorty, and he is often labelled as a "neo-pragmatist". At the end of the day, I think the pragmatists, including Rorty in some instances, make the mistake of trying to position their ideas as "absolutist arguments" in competition with other...
  4. Dan_LastName

    Rev. Michael Dowd, Death-Cult Environmentalist? |435|

    I agree with you that the criteria for clarity probably wouldn't be extremely useful for ALL kinds of arts, especiallly as they seem to practiced today. Different arts seem to have developed all sorts of different criteria for evalution, etc. And it's a minor detail, but I just want to mention...
  5. Dan_LastName

    Rev. Michael Dowd, Death-Cult Environmentalist? |435|

    Hi Laird, I am honored that you would ask my opinion about your idea of clear semantic modelling. My first response is that several items from the bulleted lists are reminiscent of principles one may learn when learning to write in school. Specifically I am thinking of learning to write research...
  6. Dan_LastName

    Rev. Michael Dowd, Death-Cult Environmentalist? |435|

    Thanks, Laird. I appreciate your comment and your question here. I think this experiment of mine makes me feel less like I have to know all there is to know. It feels like I can just let the world and my life be whatever the hell they are and it is okay if I don't understand it. I have my ideas...
  7. Dan_LastName

    Rev. Michael Dowd, Death-Cult Environmentalist? |435|

    My interpretation of this piece is that here is a guy who has a deep history with Christianity---he's familiar with the theology and has a huge network of Christian churches, etc. So when he starts to move away from a more status quo belief system, he finds a way to weave his new perspective...
  8. Dan_LastName

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

    I think it is a great point that the interview or producers had a certain perspective they were aiming for and so the comments themselves should be interpreted through that lens. I think it is interesting, however to extend that type of thinking to ALL situations and contexts. So, in my view...
  9. Dan_LastName

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

    This is an insight that I appreciate a lot. I think it can be useful to consider beliefs themselves as driven by human needs. If we consider believing to be a behavior, like any other animal behavior, we can posit that it is a behavior that satisfies primal needs. Same with doing scientific...
  10. Dan_LastName

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

    I appreciate Parnia's measured perspective. I also acknowledge that I have certain perspectives I am experimenting with and trying to cultivate based on my own life experience, the goals I have for myself as a person, my personal psychology (such as it is), the structures of my body and my...
  11. Dan_LastName

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

    I appreciated this episode very much. For my own reasons, I'm basically sympathetic to much of what the guest had to say. Note, I am not a debunker of NDEs. For my own reasons--my own social reasons and my own psychological/emotional reasons, I prefer strongly agnostic interpretations and...
  12. Dan_LastName

    Upcoming interview with Dr. Donald Hoffman

    I appreciate the way Hoffman applies evolution by natural selection to the experience of consciousness. However, if I were in his shoes, I would not be comfortable insisting that this idea helps us know the nature of the universe or ourselves in any sort of absolute sense. If I recall...
  13. Dan_LastName

    Debra Diamond Brings Wall Street Smarts to NDEs, and Mediumship |424|

    I have been thinking lately of how different people with different spiritual worldviews, belief systems, religions, secular worldviews, etc can have "good lives" despite their not all having "correct" interpretations of life, the universe, and everything. For example, much of my family are...
  14. Dan_LastName

    Debra Diamond Brings Wall Street Smarts to NDEs, and Mediumship |424|

    It seems like there's a wide range of ideas around "spiritual beings." For example, it is my understanding that in some Buddhist traditions, different types of supernatural or psi-like experiences are called siddhis. It is acknowledged that they happen, but students are warned against focusing...
  15. Dan_LastName

    Debra Diamond Brings Wall Street Smarts to NDEs, and Mediumship |424|

    Thank you for the reply, Michael. These discussions are of great value to me. My primary goals in these discussions are to explore how the context of my life and the purposes and goals that arise in my life seem to color my judgments. I also want to share these perspectives with other folks out...
  16. Dan_LastName

    Debra Diamond Brings Wall Street Smarts to NDEs, and Mediumship |424|

    Alex's question at the end of the podcast: "I have one question to tee up from this interview and, you know, I’m reluctant because it’s really not the main focus of her terrific work, which I really want you to check out, but it’s the thing that keeps bugging me and that’s, how does this fit...
  17. Dan_LastName

    Debra Diamond Brings Wall Street Smarts to NDEs, and Mediumship |424|

    I agree that there's "usefulness" in considering that there is a hierarchy of spiritual beings with a degree of absoluteness. I tend to think that there is also usefulness to considering that the meaningfulness of such beliefs comes from the "correctness" of the beliefs rather than from the...
  18. Dan_LastName

    Debra Diamond Brings Wall Street Smarts to NDEs, and Mediumship |424|

    Thanks for the reply, garry. I appreciate the opportunity to talk about these interesting topics. Though I think we may have missed each other a bit. I mentioned in my post that I'm not trying to say that anything I'm writing is THE WAY IT IS in an absolute sense--I'm just wanting to explore...
  19. Dan_LastName

    Debra Diamond Brings Wall Street Smarts to NDEs, and Mediumship |424|

    I like your metaphor about the people in the North Pole and the people in Miami. Reminds me of this idea: It may be useful to consider that there is No Ultimate Truth. I don't know if there is Ultimate Truth or not. I'm saying that it seems useful in certain contexts to consider that there may...
  20. Dan_LastName

    Courtney Brown, The Future of Scientific Remote Viewing |421|

    I can't either, but I'm a glutton for punishment, so I'm going to try. For me, it feels like it may be useful to wonder about different senses of "real". Obviously, it's extremely useful in day-to-day life to have a normal, run-of-the-mill understanding of what is real and what is not real...
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