Cherylee Black, Can NDEs Lead to Psychokinesis? |548|

This is one of those methods of proving a siddhi that will always have flaws to be pointed out. You can't eliminate every possible confounding influence, like the observer effect.
I wish I'd written down the video link for a group that was experimenting w/ Egely Wheels. Only one man was having any results, but he had his wheel stirring even when he was in a hallway adjacent to the room w/ the table holding the participants' wheels under glass. I feel like it would never be enough of an astounding demonstration for some ppl even if they were around for Ted Owens' UFOs or his weather manipulations.

Hi Kim, good to see you! I think that we need to get beyond the need for "explanations." Have you noticed this in this "SCIENCE vs. the paranormal" paradigm? Isn't the need for an "explanation" just as ignorant as the need for a priest? Does anybody every ask, "What the fuck is an 'explanation'?"

Certainly, I don't need to see a piece of plastic to spin underneath a jar or otherwise, to tell people that science doesn't really explain shit. An explanation, an explicit, is just a loud proclamation of bullshit commonly accepted to be true. These are my favorite explanations: Fuck, Bullshit, Damn It, and HOLY! - The last being my favorite. If we dig a little bit deeper, then we will discover that people need "explanations" simply because they do not want to experiment, or even think freely.
 
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Okay — I'm jumping in on this one. First we need some sort of clear definition as to what we mean by "The Moral Imperative". Are we going with the Kantian Moral Philosophy – the idea that it's part of his set of categorical imperatives? If so, then we're taking the view that morality is bounded by Kant's view of pure reason — the idea that the moral principle in question is a law of nature and therefore universal. Then, if we can will ourselves to act in accordance with that law, we can be said to be acting morally. Or are we looking at it as some other concept? If so, what exactly?

I agree with you about the so called "moral imperative" as proposed by Kant, who wrote a world of bullshit and just lived a university life. I don't even like the phrase "moral imperative." However, I think this "do what though wilt should be the whole of the law" nonsense is way more damaging to happiness on earth. Granted, I have done a lot of "doing what though wilt" in life, and it made me kind of a fucking asshole in the past. I am sure I am doing a little bit of "doing the wilt dance" still to this day, but I am trying to rectify that atrocity; - slowly but surely.

I beat this drum a lot, but the smartest thing Nietzsche ever said was this(paraphrasing): do not trust system builders, as they lack integrity. Remember this, my friends, that guy was for sure right about that. Kant was a philosophical system builder.
 
I'm proposing that the moral imperative is individualistic. Meaning every individual is supposed to do based on who they are.
That Bad Doers are supposed to do bad.
I'm arguing that the mistake is for Good Doers to assume that the principles which govern both good and bad deeds are moral. They(Principles) might be universal, and moral, but maybe not universally-moral.

For instance: A president of a country or large corporation can make a moral judgement call which result in the immediate death of 1000's of innocent lives. If the moral principle is universal, then that would be 1000x more evil than me killing one single innocent person... So if I kill an innocent person today, am i morally justified to say, "well 999 to go before Im as evil as the president was today"?

Interesting, like evil is facilitated by a competition to be the worst of all?!? Certainly, this is a real phenomenon.
 
You have to realise that all science is inconclusive.

Every experiment might be wrong. Repeating an experiment lowers the chance that it is wrong, but there is still a chance that both experiments are wrong. As more people confirm an experiment, subsequent people repeating the experiment may think twice before reporting that they failed. Some may even decide to adjust their results to make it look as if they succeeded....

Real proofs are only possible in mathematics.

David

The only reason that people believe "real truths" to be rooted in mathematics: they have never worked in construction and are incubated in a purely theoretical environment. Granted, there are plenty of idiots in construction and every other field, but we never apply that "truth" to assholes running calculators for a living. If you measure a lot of shit, like I do, you see that measurement is flawed as well, but it is a lot better than theoretical mathematics. The distance between one and two is just as infinite as the distance between one and one million. However, we are physical beings, currently, and a toothpick is obviously not a redwood tree, so we need to start somewhere.
 
That's a good analogy.

Then again, it's kind of interesting that you're blowing right past the "could the moral imperative ever be more than a social construct" question? I mean, of course you're blowing past it because it's a stupid question... of course it's more... so how have we built and sustained a scientific / philosophical klunker that denies it.

Alex, there isn't a "moral imperative," that is the beginning of evil....imperatives, mandates, sanctions, policies, etc. God doesn't make rules, but rather rules justly. It isn't imperative, it just is the was things are and should be.
 
(Warning...Writing in the middle of my next Master's class but it's the only place I have at this time)

Listening to the latest guest has gotten me inspired again to engage with some "alternatives".
As a Canadian, who has been brought up in the "peace, order, and good government" and who had a lifetime of recognizing our good neighbour to the south with "life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness" I am once again reminded of Alex's bias into the way he's seeing the world and the extended consciousness world.
Not that I don't have my own bias, and I'm aware of that. We're all aware and unaware of our biases and I think only in recognizing that like the great immeasurable jigsaw puzzle of existence, we have portions and are missing great portions. Alex (and everyone here) has ways of seeing corner pieces and middle pieces, and obscure and obvious pieces that I can't see and vice versa. That's the benefit of Skeptiko for me. When it works, we can put aside ego and our insistence of WHAT THINGS ARE and imagine beyond what we see, think or experience for the truth- or our version of it.

Okay, preamble out of the way. Let me say that whenever Alex says, "Look there are only a few options here you are either a... "and the listing of various armed camps on a particular subject about the nature of reality comes up.
But, the reality is, that we're insects in the understanding of the main nature of the universe.
It's always baffling to me because we're insects that people can speak with such authority on such things.

Imagine a thought experiment of conscious ants. They would tell you that there are the mounders, the grasslanders, and the stone folk. The mounders stay close to the ant mount. For them life is about family, and structure. The anthill is everything, and existence is designed strictly to build the mount to encompass all things. Grasslanders are those who roam the endless lands It goes on forever. No one can see beyond the fronds of grass in front of them, but you can be sure that the grasses go on forever. You have faith that everything is in the grass- food, pockets of water, and each other. We are all connected in the vine. It doesn't matter how far you are from the mound. The anthill is part of the inter-web of grasses. The stone folk begin at the great slab and to the massive monument just up the ziggurat (steps) of the wise ones. The titans that walk past us are ignorant of who we are. If you are very quiet by the stone, you can learn the secrets of the universe. There are etchings in the stone and erected signposts that some of the luckiest drones feel they know. They obviously speak about how we are to be with each other, and how the universe operates. The stone folk are given the largest view once on the slab and can see as far as their sight can bring them. They understand how limited the ant hill folk and the grass folk are.

The thing in this metaphor is they all live on a single plot of land. If they were an ant hill in a desert, by a river, in the middle of a city, in a jungle, etc... they would be entirely different their beliefs. Everything they know is so local, so limited.

We are those ants. Any time, Alex says, "These are our options..." my thought is just... How is that possible?

I'm reminded of Tom Campbell and his "Big TOE" theories and wonder if maybe so much of what we see is so small compared to the experience of what the universe is. After all, Newtonian Physics is useful for one particular view. Great at analyzing cannonball trajectories but terrible at understanding Quantum string theory. Quantum physics works amazingly for the theoretical tiny particles but is lousy at describing the laws of motion.

Consider that there's truth in all these things, but not complete. Just as the materialists get glimmerings and the Gnostics, and the fundamentalists, and the atheists, etc...
Let me dogear this conversation with the understanding that my personal history is all about what we would say in Dungeons & Dragons circles as Neutral Good alignment. It wouldn't matter if it's through laws or through chaos, the ultimate good is part and parcel of my internal lodestone. I grew up loving King Arthur and the Round Table (I did my undergraduate thesis on this). My favourite superheroes growing up were Captain America (ironically he's the most Canadian superhero in my mind) and Superman (actually made by a Canadian surprisingly), Spider-man and Batman. Robin Hood and Captain Kirk.

Imagine if we step away from our ant metaphor but utilize it for a wider extended experience. Imagine if Tom Zinser (one of my favourite guests of Alex's) is right, the materialists are right, the Gnostics are right, Tom Campbell is right etc...
Zinser talks about darkness and the light. They are things without judgement. They simply are. But there is evil. Evil is certainly something that utilizes darkness or light for its own ends. Tom Campbell swears that it's all about growth or corruption.
What if what we consider "love" is just the emotional benefit of "growth". Just as pleasure is the by-product of sex which is from a biologist's perspective is for reproduction chiefly. Growth. Diversity.
The love we assume is what it's all about. But what if it's not that? What if love is what we feel in the process of "evolution" (that's our silly limited view of it) of understanding the greater spirit of which we are a part. An attempt in understanding the vagaries of experience of life in every possible iteration?
What if "evil" or the selfishness that it provides, the control, the demand for authoritarian and unitary thought is designed to draw energy away from the growth and therefore encourage entropy from the whole. The whole aspect that Alex talks about "do as thou wilt" from a Christian perspective is Lucifer's Fall. His desire to run things and be the authority.
All of these things and ideas and beliefs are hints of the whole. But the main focus is that what we "feel" could very well just be symptoms of what our ultimate purpose is. Maybe it has nothing to do with our definitions of "good" and "evil" but those are just very limited understandings of the grander plan of evolution as opposed to entropy.

Why are we stuck with very small options when we're just the ants?

I really like these thoughts, but you can reverse all of it, and than give the ants perspective on humans; or we can say that ants don't have a perspective at all. They are biological robots in a meaningless hole in the ground. I don't know if that is true, either. I love snakes, and have had them for pets for over thirty years. A lot of people like the podcast "The Confessionals," because that fucker is Christian and interviews people about their "haunting" stories. Nevertheless, this same guy says that he will kill a snake whenever he sees it. Moving forward, he still believes, in his own idiotic head, that this is perfectly OK. What a piece of shit! Doesn't this asshole understand that the Romans thought Jesus Christ is a Snake? I don't know why people think it is perfectly fine to hate snakes! Most people never had a single interaction with a snake, yet they still think it is perfectly OK to kill them, blame all sin on them, and fucking own a cat or a dog. Cat's kill more animals than any other pet, and dogs are hierarchical assholes. Fuck "The Confessionals"!
 
When a logical proof is not possible, then we rely on the concept of reasonable doubt to draw conclusions. The weasel word in there is "reasonable". What exactly do we mean by that? I suppose it can mean different things to different people. Personally, when it comes to the paranormal, if there is a plausible mundane explanation, then I tend to go with that rather than jumping to conclusions.
There lies the problem. I think you mean that if there is even the tiniest scintilla of doubt regarding the paranormal explanation (which there always is, as explained above) you will choose the materialist explanation even though that may be highly implausible. That I think is how science has got itself stuck.

David
 
Randall, have you ever thought of working for Joe Biden? You have a fantastic ability at taking horse shit and making it sound like diamonds!
I didn't think it could get any worse than Trump — Then came Biden. Would I work for him? Let me put it this way — He certainly needs all the help he can get. It seems like you may have misinterpreted my point on the rest.
 
So: nothing non-physical can affect anything physical. What about an intention? I can intend to reach out and pick up a cup and, lo and behold, I reach out and pick up a cup. So I guess intention must be physical. Only, I can't see how. Please explain.
You really do ask the key questions. If I could explain how consciousness interacts with the brain to produce a physiological response I'd probably win a Nobel prize. To my knowledge, the best minds are still working on this problem, and it's not strictly a matter of any one field. Nevertheless, the beauty of logic is that as you have deduced, on some level intention must be physical.

Researchers may never get to the bottom of the "how problem". By that, I mean that we can never get to the bottom of anything existential. There is always a point at which we cannot explain how something comes into being — it just does. The best we can do is plot the relationships between things and put them into their corresponding context.

For example we don't know how a conductive wire with a current running through it wrapped around a ferrite core produces a magnetic field. We just know that it does, and we've created all sorts of rules about the way the relationships between those things results in certain outcomes. But exactly why or how any of that happens on a fundamental level still boils down to the forces of nature, the existence of which remains unexplained — or at best theoretical.

So if I were to theorize on the answer to your question, I'd say that first of all, intention is a product of the brain. There's lots of evidence for this, the most convincing being that researchers have measured the neural activity of the brain when subjects are performing certain tasks, some of which are much like you describe ( simply acting to pick something up ), and the truth is that our brains start to formulate the action before we ever become aware that we are thinking it.

This is quite logical when you think about it. Fully formed thoughts ( like the intent to do something ) don't just appear suddenly in a flash fully formed. They start in a particular neuron, followed by other neurons, that follow pathways that link them all together, and at some point the result is enough connections to trigger our awareness and action. But quite literally, that decision is already made before we ever become aware of it.

The causality of intention is therefore somewhat illusory. But it's not quite that simple. The whole system involves a sort of feedback loop that takes place inside the brain in a structure known as the thalamocortical loop. I tend to favor the idea that the composition of our thoughts – what we typically think of as our conscious experience, is composed of EM fields created by the brain.

To get this across more clearly, I like to use an analogy. Suppose we have a house made entirely of bricks. Are the bricks the house? Or is the house the bricks? If the house is the bricks, why isn't a randomly arranged pile of bricks also a house? Now if we think of this house as where our thoughts reside, we can never look at a single brick and see the house, just like we can never look at single neurons and see consciousness.

But by organizing the parts in a certain way — and only in a certain way, we get the emergence of something that is greater than the sum of its parts. I hope this helps to some extent.

Oh, and while you're at it, please explain how physicalism equates with naturalism.[/QUOTE]

I made an attempt to relay the answer to that question a number of posts back. Suffice it to say, that there is no consensus among philosophers on this topic. I'm just in a particular tent in a particular camp. A good place to start looking for some related info is here - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy
 
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There lies the problem. I think you mean that if there is even the tiniest scintilla of doubt regarding the paranormal explanation (which there always is, as explained above) you will choose the materialist explanation even though that may be highly implausible. That I think is how science has got itself stuck.

David
You are misinterpreting my position. I don't have a "materialist" perspective. My tent is pitched on the philosophical ground where physicalism and naturalism overlap. I also believe in the existence of genuine paranormal phenomena. I'll also use words like "unexplained" or "mysterious" but avoid words like "supernatural" unless I'm talking about fiction.

Generally speaking, if I cannot see a reasonable mundane explanation, I tend to give most witnesses the benefit of the doubt. Over the years, I've talked in-person with many, and interacted with many more in places like this. That's on top of the many books, lecures, and papers I've waded through — not to mention my own experiences. You're not dealing with a neophyte here.
 
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You are misinterpreting my position. I don't have a "materialist" perspective. My tent is pitched on the philosophical ground where physicalism and naturalism overlap. I also believe in the existence of genuine paranormal phenomena. I'll also use words like "unexplained" or "mysterious" but avoid words like "supernatural" unless I'm talking about fiction.

Generally speaking, if I cannot see a reasonable mundane explanation, I tend to give most witnesses the benefit of the doubt. Over the years, I've talked in-person with many, and interacted with many more in places like this. That's on top of the many books, lecures, and papers I've waded through — not to mention my own experiences. You're not dealing with a neophyte here.
Well if that is the case, I suggest you take on board some of my thoughts - in particular, that science has degenerated a lot since the days when the well known QM scientists were working.

Some parts of science are particularly vulnerable - notably the concept of evolution by natural selection. I don't know if you have encountered the Discovery Institute (DI). Part of it is devoted to Christian teaching, but the other half is devoted to real biochemical research into aspects of the idea of evolution by natural selection. The upshot is that there is overwhelming evidence that life on earth developed as a result of some sort of controlled changes to the genome.

The real problem with natural selection is that it ignores the fact that the genes for most proteins only need to be slightly off, and the protein does not work, or even misfolds - which assures that it does not work. What Darwin did not know is that genes consist of long strings of DNA bases, and that mutations to the genome are overwhelmingly destructive. Moreover, as Michael Behe showed, evolution can only really proceed by destroying existing genetic mechanisms (which is sometimes of temporary value to the organism) and this makes the organisms ever more unable to resist changes to the environment.

https://www.skeptiko-forum.com/threads/behes-argument-in-darwin-devolved.4317/

The realisation that Darwin's Theory was a dead duck was an electric moment for me.

David
 
Well if that is the case, I suggest you take on board some of my thoughts - in particular, that science has degenerated a lot since the days when the well known QM scientists were working.

Some parts of science are particularly vulnerable - notably the concept of evolution by natural selection. I don't know if you have encountered the Discovery Institute (DI). Part of it is devoted to Christian teaching, but the other half is devoted to real biochemical research into aspects of the idea of evolution by natural selection. The upshot is that there is overwhelming evidence that life on earth developed as a result of some sort of controlled changes to the genome.

The real problem with natural selection is that it ignores the fact that the genes for most proteins only need to be slightly off, and the protein does not work, or even misfolds - which assures that it does not work. What Darwin did not know is that genes consist of long strings of DNA bases, and that mutations to the genome are overwhelmingly destructive. Moreover, as Michael Behe showed, evolution can only really proceed by destroying existing genetic mechanisms (which is sometimes of temporary value to the organism) and this makes the organisms ever more unable to resist changes to the environment.

https://www.skeptiko-forum.com/threads/behes-argument-in-darwin-devolved.4317/

The realisation that Darwin's Theory was a dead duck was an electric moment for me.

David
Ya — been through quite a bit of that. I don't deny that it's possible that there may be a universe creator, or intervention by some being(s) in the evolutionary development of some species — I just don't deify any of them. Any being worthy of deification wouldn't want that anyway. Although I suppose that God sized powers could come with a God sized ego — I don't know. But power ≠ goodness does it? Maybe the most good entity in the universe is some obscure being on some lonely planet that sacrifices of itself constantly in order to help those less fortunate.
 
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She is wrong about saying that you cannot have art without love. Art stems from many different emotions, certainly not just love. I think she was just quoting a guy on that one, but that guy is delusional. Hate creates a lot of beautiful art, and so does anger. It would be more correct to say that art dies in apathy.
Agreed, that being a level 3 description. The former is a layman description of the same.
 
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Ya — been through quite a bit of that. I don't deny that it's possible that there may be a universe creator, or intervention by some being(s) in the evolutionary development of some species — I just don't deify any of them. Any being worthy of deification wouldn't want that anyway. Although I suppose that God sized powers could come with a God sized ego — I don't know. But power ≠ goodness does it? Maybe the most good entity in the universe is some obscure being on some lonely planet that sacrifices of itself constantly in order to help those less fortunate.
If your willing for a moment, please imagine being outside of Time, sitting on a ethereal couch with a remote, and instead of "Netflix" the screen says "Randalls Lives" and there are all your lives and all the lives of everyone you know in Eternity. And let's just (for lack of appropriate scale) say it takes you approximately one Earth-second to watch a full eighty year long "movie"(of a human life).
The concept of "suffering" would mean something completely different. Such as maybe triumph, passion, exclamation, identification, education.
I assume the same goes for the concept of "deification", for which I think humans definition starts from a place of anthropomorphism at best, and at worst it's a fully humanized concept.

Anthropomorphism - Oxford:
"the attribution of human characteristics or behavior to a god, animal, or object. "
 
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Alex, there isn't a "moral imperative," that is the beginning of evil....imperatives, mandates, sanctions, policies, etc. God doesn't make rules, but rather rules justly. It isn't imperative, it just is the was things are and should be.

another drop the mic zinger!!!

But dang, now I have to come up with another pet phrase. you're going to be ringing in my head every time I say "moral imperative" :)
 
Ya — been through quite a bit of that. I don't deny that it's possible that there may be a universe creator, or intervention by some being(s) in the evolutionary development of some species — I just don't deify any of them. Any being worthy of deification wouldn't want that anyway. Although I suppose that God sized powers could come with a God sized ego — I don't know. But power ≠ goodness does it? Maybe the most good entity in the universe is some obscure being on some lonely planet that sacrifices of itself constantly in order to help those less fortunate.
Right - we are finally finding something to agree about!

I think the DI is useful because they have made it possible to access their science of what is or is not explainable by random mutation and selection (RM+NS), and it is clear that the explanatory power of Darwin's theory is much less than is claimed.

I'm not really interested in the God hypothesis, because if there is a God, He clearly didn't want that to be obvious to us while on earth, so I should feel no imperative to go and find Him! However, it wouldn't surprise me if a god such as is described in many NDE's turns up after I have died.

I think the collapse of Darwin's theory - and conventional biologists are doing nothing to prevent that collapse except stuff their heads in the sand - may be part of a greater re-think about the value of science. I mean the extraordinary thing is that institutional scientists on the whole were willing to turn a blind eye to the obvious problems with RM+NS, particularly after the structure of DNA had been determined and the fact that genes consist of a lengthy string of nucleotides that can only be accumulated a base at a time, but there is no NS to guide that process.

I say 'institutional scientists' because I think the rot probably started there. Doing science became less about getting to the real truth, and more about getting the next grant, not upturning the apple cart, burying experimental results that were hard to explain (i.e. interesting experimental results), and avoiding experiments that might produce results that would be really awkward to explain.

Rupert Sheldrake describes a variety of areas where science has backed off from exploring certain phenomena. For example, at one point the question arose as to whether mass and energy are conserved within living organisms - particularly human beings (they should be conserved separately because we are presumably in the realm of ordinary chemistry). He describes some studies using a whole body calorimeter in which energy was not conserved to within the accuracy expected from the technique. Some people generated more energy than could be explained, others produced less. In the end the discrepancies were hidden by averaging over a number of subjects so as to hide the problem! This is described in "The Science Delusion". He also describes extraordinary experiments with an Indian mystic. These were performed in a lab over a period of weeks, and the aim of the research was to debunk the mystic's claim to live without food or drink. They measured his weight, and blood chemistry while observing him on a 24 hour basis. He consumed nothing, and yet his breath still contained carbon dioxide!

Note that I don't think Sheldrake is trying to claim that mass or energy is definitely not conserved in biological systems, he is claiming that the issue is open and deserves careful study.

Do you read about this in physiology textbooks - of course you don't - it is just airbrushed out of science! As you read Sheldrake, you realise that this has happened repeatedly in all sorts of areas of science. This only makes sense when you think about how they cling to Darwin's theory - science has degenerated into a sociological phenomenon! If it ever escapes there will, I think, be a huge bonfire of ideas in an effort to get back to a bedrock of reasonably established facts.

David
 
another drop the mic zinger!!!

But dang, now I have to come up with another pet phrase. you're going to be ringing in my head every time I say "moral imperative" :)

Thanks my brother. I think that we are on the same journey and asking similar questions. A long time ago, I decided to be a philosopher, and everybody thought I was a joke. When I see you and your work, along with everybody else on this forum, then I realize the joke is on those lost ones.
 
Isn't the need for an "explanation" just as ignorant as the need for a priest?

I don't think "the need for an "explanation" is just as ignorant as the need for a priest" unless you cherry pick the issues in question to make it look that way. Explanations are based on our capacity to reason. A lot of real world problems get solved this way. We couldn't have built a civilization without our capacity for reason. If it weren't for our capacity to reason, we'd still be wandering around the jungle acting mostly on instinct.

Faith is another matter. Not all problems can be reasoned out, so some people turn to faith. If anything requires ignorance, it's faith. However, not all problems can be reasoned out, so sometimes faith is all we're left with. In a sense, faith is the thing that fills the void when all reason fails. Being non-religious, I tend to put my faith in other things than priests, but I guess that so long as it works, people can put their faith in whatever they want.
 
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