world-views and agendas

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I give credit to Alex in that he's stopped saying that there's a very close connection between materialism1 (mind=brain) and materialism2 (consumerism). He's obviously taken the criticisms on board, and he's improved his interviewing style a bit. But it's obvious that he has a very deep prejudice against atheism/materialism, and even on recent episodes he will make the odd comment here or there that gives the game away.
 
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I give credit to Alex in that he's stopped saying that there's a very close connection between materialism (mind=brain) and materialism (consumerism). He's obviously taken the criticisms on board, and he's improved his interviewing style a bit. But it's obvious that he has a very deep prejudice against atheism/materialism, and even on recent episodes he will make the odd comment here or there that gives the game away.
Have you ever personally asked alex whether or not he hates materialism?
 
He's also locked those of us suspected of materialism (or suspected of aiding and abetting materialism?) in this here free speech zone. :)
 
Have you ever personally asked alex whether or not he hates materialism?
We had a discussion about this on the other forum, and he said he does think there is a connection between materialism1 and materialism2, but he admitted that he couldn't quite say exactly what the connection is.

Anyway, a big part of prejudice is what psychologists call 'implicit bias', so I don't expect to learn a great deal by asking Alex, or William Lane Craig for that matter, whether or not he 'really really hates' materialism. A lot of this is obviously unconscious.
 
Hahahahahhahaha!

"I don't expect Alex to particularly KNOW how he feels about a certain subject. I'm just simply going to state that I feel that he feels that way because it fits into my view of things."

Oh man, this is getting to be too much. You guys seriously set yourself up for some of the easiest take downs on the planet. I suggest stepping back a little bit and paraphrasing the whole exchange from an outsiders perspective, it reads like this:

DB: Alex seems to hate materialism so we cannot expect him to judge its merits rationally.
Rational person: Well, alex never said he hated materialism, and he seems to reject it on intellectual grounds.
DB: William Lane Craig hates materialism, as well as most believers on this forum.
RP: Well, that's not really the case. There are many people who reject it intellectually, and no one here has really stepped forward to explain their hatred of materialism.
DB: But Alex hates materialism
RP: Has Alex come out and said he hates materialism?
DB: No, but on the other forum he said there was a connection between consumerism and materialism.
RP: Okay...? So he didn't say he hated materialism.
DB: I don't feel the need to ask him. His hatred of materialism is implicit bias. He's totally unconscious of his hate of materialism.

And that's when the rest of the forum facepalms by the sheer stupidity of such a notion. Put it this way, I trust that Alex knows his thoughts and feelings on a matter MUCH more in depth than you do. You've never even met the man in person, so how can you simply extrapolate something that he didn't say, and try to cover it with saying he's simply not aware of his own thoughts and feelings. Do you realize how entirely arrogant and utterly incoherent that sounds? Have you ever taken a thought to ponder whether or not you're the one who's blinded by agenda and bias? You seem hell-bent on proving that Alex, Sheldrake, and Radin hate materialism, even though they have never once stated this was the case.

Maybe the one who's blinded by irrational hate is the one accusing everyone else of it?
 

Paul C. Anagnostopoulos

Nap, interrupted.
Member
First -
I'm gonna give you fair warning - your intention is to poke holes in flawed theories and in so doing, convert Proponents into Skeptics. You assume that Your logic is superior and so the odds are in your favor. You also assume that the Proponents have not already considered - and rejected - your predictable criticisms. See, most of the people here know enough about conventional science as to be WELL AWARE that their ideas are outside the mainstream. "You must know the rules, before you bend them." They know enough about science, in fact, that they could literally write your objections for you, before the thoughts ever even crossed your mind.
In addition, many, if not most of them, are ex-atheists, ex-Christians, or ex-both. They've lived your "logic" to the bitter end, and then rejected it as incomplete. They moved on. . . . from where you still are.
So, friend, the "odds" are NOT in your favor. In fact, the longer you hang around here, the numbers alone make it much more probable - along with the intelligence, honesty, and articulate clarity of the Proponents - that you will leave your incomplete ideology far behind, before you can possibly 'convert' anyone here. End of warning.
Geez, relax with the ultimatums already.

Second-
Pretty sure you missed the message about Wegener's continental drift. His theory languished for many decades precisely because skeptics, skeptics like you, had a field day making fun of him. and thus reinforced the textbook model of a solid crust. So no money was invested, and no serious research was undertaken. The skeptics felt entirely justified, because all the "models" they had, "proved" that floating continental masses would huddle the equator due to centrifugal force. The point is : they refused to look for the delivery mechanism. They only saw what they wanted to see; and when you're a hammer, everything looks like a nail. Really, if it hadn't been for privately funded and unrelated oil exploration in the Atlantic - we might have waited several more decades for the truth to come out.
Apparently you believe that all scientists should jump on the bandwagon of a new hypothesis without hesitation. By what process do the incorrect hypotheses get weeded out?

~~ Paul
 
Hahahahahhahaha!

"I don't expect Alex to particularly KNOW how he feels about a certain subject. I'm just simply going to state that I feel that he feels that way because it fits into my view of things."

Oh man, this is getting to be too much. You guys seriously set yourself up for some of the easiest take downs on the planet. I suggest stepping back a little bit and paraphrasing the whole exchange from an outsiders perspective, it reads like this:

DB: Alex seems to hate materialism so we cannot expect him to judge its merits rationally.
Rational person: Well, alex never said he hated materialism, and he seems to reject it on intellectual grounds.
DB: William Lane Craig hates materialism, as well as most believers on this forum.
RP: Well, that's not really the case. There are many people who reject it intellectually, and no one here has really stepped forward to explain their hatred of materialism.
DB: But Alex hates materialism
RP: Has Alex come out and said he hates materialism?
DB: No, but on the other forum he said there was a connection between consumerism and materialism.
RP: Okay...? So he didn't say he hated materialism.
DB: I don't feel the need to ask him. His hatred of materialism is implicit bias. He's totally unconscious of his hate of materialism.

And that's when the rest of the forum facepalms by the sheer stupidity of such a notion. Put it this way, I trust that Alex knows his thoughts and feelings on a matter MUCH more in depth than you do. You've never even met the man in person, so how can you simply extrapolate something that he didn't say, and try to cover it with saying he's simply not aware of his own thoughts and feelings. Do you realize how entirely arrogant and utterly incoherent that sounds? Have you ever taken a thought to ponder whether or not you're the one who's blinded by agenda and bias? You seem hell-bent on proving that Alex, Sheldrake, and Radin hate materialism, even though they have never once stated this was the case.

Maybe the one who's blinded by irrational hate is the one accusing everyone else of it?
Neither William Lane Craig nor Alex would admit that they hate atheism/materialism or have a deep prejudice against it. Nonetheless, I suspect that they do.

I was probably wrong to use the word 'hate', though. My main point is that many paranormal believers give the impression that they have a prejudice against atheism/materialism, and this means that many people will be suspicious of them and their work. If they could reassure people that this is not the case, then maybe more people would be open to looking at the data, and maybe more people would come to agree with them that atheism/materialism is false.

These people supposedly want to get more academics to believe in ESP, remote viewing, the afterlife, and all the rest. They're not going to attract these people if they claim that atheism/materialism is closely connected with consumerism, capitalism and war. Any serious historian or sociologist, or anybody else who knows anything about the history of socialism, anarchism, marxism and environmentalism, will be appalled by some of these comments.

Why would a smart guy like Alex make so many stupid remarks about the connection between materialism 1 (mind=brain) and materialism 2 (consumerism/capitalism). It's certainly not because he has the historical/sociological data to back up what he's saying. The best explanation is that he, like religious fundamentalists, has a deep prejudice against the materialist world view.
 
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But it's obvious that he has a very deep prejudice against atheism/materialism, and even on recent episodes he will make the odd comment here or there that gives the game away.
Hmmm . . .that's a bit like me seeing that an atheist has a very strong prejudice against psi. Your own bias is what shows in your choice of words. Someone who is aware that materialism is a very limited subset of actuality isn't "prejudiced against it" They simply are interested in what is beyond that subset and don't want to spend their time rehashing the same-old tired things that many materialists spout whenever they see someone moving beyond their limited world-view. It's as if - on some level - they are threatened by the fact that some are seeing colors where they only see white.
 
Someone who is aware that materialism is a very limited subset of actuality isn't "prejudiced against it" They simply are interested in what is beyond that subset ...[edited]
Exactly.

I see these differing views of the world as being rather like different types of maps. For example a vehicle driver would be interested in a map showing the major roads, a pedestrian would prefer a map showing the names of individual streets. A hiker wants a map which shows the terrain, indicating whether there is a forest or an open field, a lake or a hillside, and indicating the altitude. A climatologist might want a map which indicates temperatures and rainfall ... and so on.

There are many ways of looking at things, and to feel a need to examine the world in one way rather than another does not mean a person is prejudiced or has hatred towards those other ways of seeing things. People can indeed have strong feelings on their choice of viewpoint but it is usually more out of a sense of frustration akin to the person who walks into a shop, asks to buy a particular map, and have the salesperson try to sell them something completely different and unsuitable for the purpose. In the end it is simply a matter of being practical, there are no ulterior or hostile motives involved.
 
Hmmm . . .that's a bit like me seeing that an atheist has a very strong prejudice against psi. Your own bias is what shows in your choice of words. Someone who is aware that materialism is a very limited subset of actuality isn't "prejudiced against it" They simply are interested in what is beyond that subset and don't want to spend their time rehashing the same-old tired things that many materialists spout whenever they see someone moving beyond their limited world-view. It's as if - on some level - they are threatened by the fact that some are seeing colors where they only see white.
It's no good pointing out the obvious fact that atheists and materialists are also biased and prejudiced in various ways.

I'm saying I suspect that many, perhaps most, paranormal believers have a prejudice against atheism/materialism, in that they think this world view is linked with all sorts of immorality and can't give us meaning and purpose in life. If this is true, then it's understandable that many outsiders will be suspicious of them and take what they say about the falsity of materialism with a grain of salt.

I just wish I could see more people in the paranormal community who didn't have an obvious prejudice against materialism. I'd love to hear someone say, "Yeah, those anarchists and marxists have a really nice ethical system that concentrates on this life and this world rather than all that pie in the sky bullshit, but by the way, the scientific evidence seems to show that consciousness continues after death, and it looks like remote viewing is real too." But sadly we don't see much of this.
 
I just wish I could see more people in the paranormal community who didn't have an obvious prejudice against materialism. I'd love to hear someone say, "Yeah, those anarchists and marxists have a really nice ethical system that concentrates on this life and this world rather than all that pie in the sky bullshit, but by the way, the scientific evidence seems to show that consciousness continues after death, and it looks like remote viewing is real too." But sadly we don't see much of this.
rofl. So . you'd like to see people acknowledge materialism (here styled as "scientific evidence") as the basis for all. And things beyond materialism are "pie in the sky bullshit." Gee what a novel approach. And you also continue to restate the silly contention of " obvious prejudice against materialism" because to your mindset -not adhering to the precepts of = prejudice against.
 
Neither William Lane Craig nor Alex would admit that they hate atheism/materialism or have a deep prejudice against it. Nonetheless, I suspect that they do.
Well, then your claim remains unsupported.

I was probably wrong to use the word 'hate', though. My main point is that many paranormal believers give the impression that they have a prejudice against atheism/materialism, and this means that many people will be suspicious of them and their work. If they could reassure people that this is not the case, then maybe more people would be open to looking at the data, and maybe more people would come to agree with them that atheism/materialism is false.
Wait, so you believe that if someone like Alex came out and said ' I DONT HATE ATHEISM! '. more people would think ' You know what? Time to read up on that psi research. '

These people supposedly want to get more academics to believe in ESP, remote viewing, the afterlife, and all the rest. They're not going to attract these people if they claim that atheism/materialism is closely connected with consumerism, capitalism and war. Any serious historian or sociologist, or anybody else who knows anything about the history of socialism, anarchism, marxism and environmentalism, will be appalled by some of these comments.
So you're telling me that he's not going to attract materialists because he bad mouths materialisms?

Why would a smart guy like Alex make so many stupid remarks about the connection between materialism 1 (mind=brain) and materialism 2 (consumerism/capitalism). It's certainly not because he has the historical/sociological data to back up what he's saying. The best explanation is that he, like religious fundamentalists, has a deep prejudice against the materialist world view.

But you have provided ANY data to back up what you're saying. The only think we know is that Alex disagrees with materialism and believes it leads to things like consumerism, etc. Everything else you've pulled out of thin are as speculation-turned-reality.
 
Geez, relax with the ultimatums already.~~ Paul
C'mon Paul. Isn't it true, when you spend time at the zoo, some of the doo, rubs off on you, too?

And isn't this YOU, embracing a little "woo"?:
"The meta-mind must be running a complete simulation of the universe in order to maintain consistency."
Apparently you believe that all scientists should jump on the bandwagon of a new hypothesis without hesitation. By what process do the incorrect hypotheses get weeded out?~~ Paul
I didn't say that. The problem, really, is the way we do research in a capitalist society. No funding for wild ideas, only things that increase the bottom line. It's interesting to note that the Yucatan crater which was the 'smoking gun' for the impact/extinction theory, was ALSO found as a result of oil exploration, just like the induction zones in the Atlantic.

p.s. Yeah, my Poetic License allowed me to take your quote from pg. 25 of the "Materialism is Baloney" thread, a little out of context. So we're even.
 
Back to the issue of Us and Them and of "hating" atheists and materialists, I'd like to offer a little tidbit of wisdom I've acquired over the past couple of weeks.

I'm here in New Zealand visiting family. My son and I tend to become involved in long debates about these very subjects. He is an atheist/materialist and I find it interesting and enlightening to see how he arrived at his conclusions. You can do this when it is a one-to-one discussion, with no antagonism and no "thread derailing" interjections.

It has become clear that he and I, in our respective formative years, followed a similar path. Both exposed to religion which we rejected, both interested in science (fiction and fact) which we like to read because there is some really exciting stuff to consider among those pages. However, it seems that I did not reject the spirituality behind religion - only the dogma fed to us by organised religion. My son, on the other hand, tossed out the whole shebang and started from that point. I can see why: I was tempted to do the same were it not for a few experiences I had in my youth that he didn't. I also find it interesting that he too can see evidence of dogma coming out of the mouths of scientists and academics.

So we agree on many things and differ only because our intuition and experience led us down different paths. I don't hate his views. I don't want to impose my conclusions upon him. It is his journey. And, by the way, it is certainly not a question of higher morality and those kind of arguments: I am far more proud of the way he has lived his life than I am of my own past.

Here's a video to show a more lighthearted aspect of the debate:

 
rofl. So . you'd like to see people acknowledge materialism (here styled as "scientific evidence") as the basis for all. And things beyond materialism are "pie in the sky bullshit." Gee what a novel approach. And you also continue to restate the silly contention of " obvious prejudice against materialism" because to your mindset -not adhering to the precepts of = prejudice against.
I suspect that many paranormal believers think of atheists/materialists as shallow, consumerist, short-termist and greedy people who can't possibly be living ethical or meaningful lives, and they think this explains why these people won't accept the evidence for paranormal phenomena. They just want to go on living their immoral lives, and they don't want anything to get in the way of this. This is the kind of stereotype or caricature that seems to be there in the background. Alex has made many comments that suggest he does have this kind of prejudice, and I've certainly heard similar comments from many other believers.

The key point is, paranormal believers find it very difficult to admit that there are good honest atheists/materialists out there who just don't believe in the paranormal, and so there is a tendency to demonize the other side and try to come up with all sorts of conspiracy theories to explain why these guys won't accept the evidence.
 
The key point is, paranormal believers find it very difficult to admit that there are good honest atheists/materialists out there who just don't believe in the paranormal, and so there is a tendency to demonize the other side and try to come up with all sorts of conspiracy theories to explain why these guys won't accept the evidence.
The key point is - there is no "other side". We're all in this together.

Many proponents were at some stage ardent sceptics. And among those who changed their views, how many did so as a result of argument or debate? I suspect very few (but I admit I don't know for sure). The thing which does change people's minds is real-life events and experiences. Not something learned second-hand from some other source, but direct first-hand experience.

I tend to regard many of the discussions on these forums as deeply interesting because of the topics covered. But I don't seriously expect to see anyone switch their viewpoint. These things happen in their own timescale, perhaps when the person is ready (but not necessarily when they think they are ready).
 
Religious fundamentalists typically think that if atheism/materialism is true then 1. Life is meaningless and valueless 2. Nobody will be held accountable and so we might as well just live however we like.

The question is, am I right in thinking that many paranormal believers basically agree with the religious fundamentalist on these points?

Alex is uncomfortably close to the religious fundamentalist here, and we can see this by the fact that even now he continues to bring up the Camus quote about atheism and suicide, but it could be that many other believers out there totally disagree with Alex about this. I hope they do.

Also, I would like to think that people who themselves used to be atheists/materialists will be far less likely to demonize this world view and throw around stereotypes and caricatures, but I'm not really sure about that.
 
F

Frank Matera

I suspect that many paranormal believers think of atheists/materialists as shallow, consumerist, short-termist and greedy people who can't possibly be living ethical or meaningful lives, and they think this explains why these people won't accept the evidence for paranormal phenomena. They just want to go on living their immoral lives, and they don't want anything to get in the way of this. This is the kind of stereotype or caricature that seems to be there in the background. Alex has made many comments that suggest he does have this kind of prejudice, and I've certainly heard similar comments from many other believers.

The key point is, paranormal believers find it very difficult to admit that there are good honest atheists/materialists out there who just don't believe in the paranormal, and so there is a tendency to demonize the other side and try to come up with all sorts of conspiracy theories to explain why these guys won't accept the evidence.
Wow. Is that what Materialists think? You think all the "woo merchant" believers think Materialists are these evil, nasty people that are shallow and greedy and lead meaningless lives... and that's why they can't see the light of evidence?

LOL!! I've never heard anything so ridiculous in my life. No what you have described is mirroring your own fears... maybe you should look within because if you think people are treating you a certain way, it may just be that you are looking at a reflection in the mirror. What you have just described is exactly what makes religious cults like the Westbro Baptist church tick.

Any of this look familiar?

Westbro Baptist Cult - Create website deliberately spreading misinformation so that they can attack gays, non god fearers, minority groups.... anyone who doesn't believe what they believe.
Materialists - Create and take over websites (Rationalwiki/Wikipedia/Youtube) deliberately spreading misinformation so that they can attack Psychics, Parapsychologists, Anyone interested in PSI... anyone who doesn't believe what they believe.

Westbro Baptist Cult - Attack and Ridicule famous people that they can discredit to use as pawns to push their beliefs.
Materialists - Attack and Ridicule well known Psychics and Parapscyhologists that they can discredit and use as pawns to push their beliefs.

Westbro Baptist Cult - Attend high profile events where they hold up placards aimed at angering those in attendance and telling them they are being conned by the Devil.
Materialists - Attend high profile events where they hold up placards aimed at angering those in attendance and telling them they are being conned by Psychics.

Westbro Baptist Cult - Spend their time trying to convince grieving people that their recently deceased loved one is burning in hell.
Materialists - Spend there time trying to convince grieving people that their recently deceased loved one is dead and you will never see them again so there is no use praying or going to a Medium because it's all fake.

Feel free to put in the name of any Psychic or Parapsychologist that does the same thing. Maybe this is why you believe everyone thinks there is no such thing as "good honest atheists/materialists out there"? Because it is a reflection of how a small but noisy part of the group acts?
 
Wow. Is that what Materialists think? You think all the "woo merchant" believers think Materialists are these evil, nasty people that are shallow and greedy and lead meaningless lives... and that's why they can't see the light of evidence?

LOL!! I've never heard anything so ridiculous in my life. No what you have described is mirroring your own fears... maybe you should look within because if you think people are treating you a certain way, it may just be that you are looking at a reflection in the mirror. What you have just described is exactly what makes religious cults like the Westbro Baptist church tick.

Any of this look familiar?

Westbro Baptist Cult - Create website deliberately spreading misinformation so that they can attack gays, non god fearers, minority groups.... anyone who doesn't believe what they believe.
Materialists - Create and take over websites (Rationalwiki/Wikipedia/Youtube) deliberately spreading misinformation so that they can attack Psychics, Parapsychologists, Anyone interested in PSI... anyone who doesn't believe what they believe.

Westbro Baptist Cult - Attack and Ridicule famous people that they can discredit to use as pawns to push their beliefs.
Materialists - Attack and Ridicule well known Psychics and Parapscyhologists that they can discredit and use as pawns to push their beliefs.

Westbro Baptist Cult - Attend high profile events where they hold up placards aimed at angering those in attendance and telling them they are being conned by the Devil.
Materialists - Attend high profile events where they hold up placards aimed at angering those in attendance and telling them they are being conned by Psychics.

Westbro Baptist Cult - Spend their time trying to convince grieving people that their recently deceased loved one is burning in hell.
Materialists - Spend there time trying to convince grieving people that their recently deceased loved one is dead and you will never see them again so there is no use praying or going to a Medium because it's all fake.

Feel free to put in the name of any Psychic or Parapsychologist that does the same thing. Maybe this is why you believe everyone thinks there is no such thing as "good honest atheists/materialists out there"? Because it is a reflection of how a small but noisy part of the group acts?
You're not quite getting my point here. I agree that mainstream skeptics and others also caricature people from other groups. We all do this. Tribalism is just part of human nature.

The point at issue here is whether paranormal believers have the PARTICULAR prejudice/agenda against atheism/materialism that I believe Alex has. If they do, then it's understandable that people should be suspicious about their work. If, for example, most people in the NDE research community believe that ultimate meaning and value in life are impossible unless there's an afterlife, then that will quite understandably make people suspicious of their work.
 
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