Existence after mortal death...
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25-01-2013, 10:08 PM
RE: Existence after mortal death...
(25-01-2013 08:00 PM)Luminon Wrote:  Nobody can convince me

Right there.

That's where you lose all credibility.

Not that anything I say can convince you, but every human alive has dubious senses. All of us. What's worse, our brains play tricks on us. We put a memory into our brain, something we saw or heard or did, and that's when our little Photoshop gremlins go to work on it, editing that memory, twisting it, changing it, sometimes until it barely even resembles the original memory at all. Even worse, we don't know we're doing this. Every one of us does it, and nobody does it deliberately or consciously, so it all happens behind the scenes - but sure enough, next time we call up that memory, it may very well be an edited, altered version of reality and we can't tell the difference.

Welcome to the human brain. We've all got one, and it fucks with our heads literally all the time.

But nothing I can say can convince you.

I would tell you to get Shermer's book (I gave the details earlier in the thread) but you won't let him convince you either.

Come to think of it, your choice to be too closed-minded for anybody to convince does kind of make this a useless discussion.

"Whores perform the same function as priests, but far more thoroughly." - Robert A. Heinlein
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26-01-2013, 04:20 AM
RE: Existence after mortal death...
Quote:20 years is 20 years. A hallucination is random. If it's non-random, then it's just another form of perception, beyond which is some kind of reality.
Where do you get the information on all hallucinations being random? I've read a lot about, for example, schizophrenics who have the same hallucinations repeatedly, such as talking colored numbers. If it happens to them more than once, does that make it objective reality for the rest of us? I think not.
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26-01-2013, 09:34 AM (This post was last modified: 26-01-2013 09:39 AM by Free Thought.)
RE: Existence after mortal death...
(25-01-2013 08:00 PM)Luminon Wrote:  
(25-01-2013 02:33 PM)Free Thought Wrote:  Leaves little room for misinterpretation; In effect, you stated: "I'm not interested in learning more about physics, I start at concepts I already have a leaning to, and don't really go far from that."

I want to make clear that I accept the facts of physics and my duty to follow the evidence.
However, I've made some bad career choices in my life and if I'm afraid of anything, it's another bad career choice or a failure to follow the current one. I need something that I can pursue all the way and I think I found it. No more things that looked interesting from a distance but turned out to be chores, take up years, present impossible demands and give no progress in return.

I have way too many ideas and interests, but I know I can't spend years on them. Maybe in the retirement or if my career gets underway and I'll look for another different project. But I believe in cooperation, division of labor and free sharing of ideas. One doesn't have to be an expert of the same area to be able to contribute ideas to another. Why not, when stakes are low and the internet is cheap? Ideas don't have to be precise, they must demonstrate the principle and inspire. Seth just had his inspirational podcast issue full of quotes. Well, I've got one too.
Nobody is too old to learn and nobody is too young to teach. Except in America apparently, where's an ongoing war for people's minds and nobody can fiddle around, one absolutely has to choose one of the sides and stay there. Me, I'm the middleman, ambassador, translator, permanent stranger, the halfway guy, loved and hated for that, never fitting in, always bringing to the table only what I see is missing whether welcome or not, seeking the unknown, losing interest in what is discovered. I'm interested in 'god of the gaps', not to preserve the gaps, but because the gaps are the only source of reality. Quite opposite, our knowledge is a small gap in the unknown reality, if we think otherwise, it's only for our comfort. What precautions can we take in such a situation? Our brains don't just lie to us. They steal from us. They set the sensory threshold and decide for us what is important perception and what isn't. We were given no choice in the matter, we consciously realize only a fraction of a percent of the actual data.

Nobody can convince me, because this is not a matter of opinion or belief. If I swore not to take my senses seriously, I'd break the oath very soon! I tell you outright, I'm not capable of denying my senses, no more than you could deny yours. Unless of course I find out an evidence that there is a random fabrication (fantasy) process involved, but I didn't notice any yet, so machines must determine that, not people and especially not strangers. Until then I'll appear "irrationally stubborn", but it's not stubbornness, it's the same relationship you have to your senses every day, the relationship of a permanently grown nerve conduit. You might admit in principle they're far from perfect, but you use them successfully and wouldn't stop using them, because you have no choice. Why would anyone hold that against me?
Your points being?

You don't exactly need to devote massive amounts of time or energy to a career or higher education to understand things like basic electromagnetism, as you seemed to be having issues with.

It's true that one can learn or teach, regardless of age, however, I think you might just have an inflated opinion of your position.

To my observation, you have not actually brought anything to the table but gaps, filled with your own unevidenced opinions. I disagree that the gaps are important, they will be filled in their turn, just as every other gap has been in the past; those that remain, can hardly do so forever, unless we give up attempting to understand the universe we live in, the relentless march of scientific progress and continual advancement of human knowledge will see to that. We are gradually winning the battle against our own ignorance, we already understand a significant portion of our universe, what it is made out of, the mechanisms and forces which drive it, etc.

And here is the final nail in the coffin it would seem. Nobody can convince me. With that statement you have essentially stripped all worth from your arguments, in my opinion. If you are not going to even consider what others have to say, and simply assume A Priori, that your beliefs are infallible and cannot be wrong, that is essentially the ultimate declaration of Confirmation Bias; I refuse everything but my own opinion, everything else is worthless.


This paragraph as a whole, makes little sense to me; You seem to be alluding to a belief in something, yet you seem to deliberately have it remain obscure...
By what do you mean by the relationship with my senses? You mean to say you are sceptical of your assumptions, as I am with my senses?
After all, all humans are extremely susceptible to being fooled by their brains, which are very prone to making mistakes; it will misremember, misinterpret most things that pass through it.

The people closely associated with the namesake of female canines are suffering from a nondescript form of lunacy.
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26-01-2013, 09:37 AM (This post was last modified: 26-01-2013 10:12 AM by Luminon.)
RE: Existence after mortal death...
(26-01-2013 09:34 AM)Free Thought Wrote:  And here is the final nail in the coffin it would seem. Nobody can convince me. With that statement you have essentially stripped all worth from your arguments, in my opinion. If you are not going to even consider what others have to say, and simply assume A Priori, that your beliefs are infallible and cannot be wrong, that is essentially the ultimate declaration of Confirmation Bias; I refuse everything but my own opinion, everything else is worthless.
Just yesterday I realized we had a great misunderstanding and I still struggle to put it into words. Try to understand what I mean, not what it seems to you I say.

I thought we have a hypothetical conversation on my grounds, everyone else thought we have an objective discussion on a common ground. I didn't really mean any objective worth (compelling) to my arguments, except their logical consistency, that's the only common grounds we have here.
As I said, it is not a matter of my opinion, merely of sensoric input, observation. I want, can and do change my opinions, but this is not an opinion, it is my sensoric brain input. My sensoric input is not open for objective discussion, because I can't control it and we did not yet manage to understand its scientific basis and determine its worth objectively, on common ground. So we basically don't know what it is, in such a situation I can't expect anyone to be convinced, I assumed everyone knew that.
It took some recent philosophy classes and Jacque Fresco talking about language and a couple of things for me to properly notice and pin down our misunderstanding.

(25-01-2013 10:08 PM)Aseptic Skeptic Wrote:  Right there.

That's where you lose all credibility.

Not that anything I say can convince you, but every human alive has dubious senses. All of us. What's worse, our brains play tricks on us. We put a memory into our brain, something we saw or heard or did, and that's when our little Photoshop gremlins go to work on it, editing that memory, twisting it, changing it, sometimes until it barely even resembles the original memory at all. Even worse, we don't know we're doing this. Every one of us does it, and nobody does it deliberately or consciously, so it all happens behind the scenes - but sure enough, next time we call up that memory, it may very well be an edited, altered version of reality and we can't tell the difference.

Welcome to the human brain. We've all got one, and it fucks with our heads literally all the time.

But nothing I can say can convince you.

I would tell you to get Shermer's book (I gave the details earlier in the thread) but you won't let him convince you either.

Come to think of it, your choice to be too closed-minded for anybody to convince does kind of make this a useless discussion.
Please, don't jump to conclusions. You can not change my mind, because there are no grounds for discussion! We need a common ground, open for discussion. It is a very uncommon situation, so you confuse it with me being stupid and irrational. Nope. We can have a conversation, but we can't have a discussion. You'd be either totally off the subject (it has nothing to do with memory) or you'd be totally dependent on what information I give you. You'd have no way to check what I say and you'd have to trust me that I checked it for you. It would be a very hypothetical conversation.
I change my mind quite often, for example when I learn at school. This is a common ground and I can change my mind and I can change someone else's mind.
But if I claimed you can change my mind and then I'd go on using my senses as I do for the last 20 years, I'd be a liar. I don't want to lie, so I tell you as it is. Only a brain scan can make my senses an objective ground, open for discussion. We can discuss the logic and consistency of my observations and assumptions, but you can't check what observations I did or did not have and if I really checked them properly.

(26-01-2013 04:20 AM)amyb Wrote:  Where do you get the information on all hallucinations being random? I've read a lot about, for example, schizophrenics who have the same hallucinations repeatedly, such as talking colored numbers. If it happens to them more than once, does that make it objective reality for the rest of us? I think not.
If that happens regularly enough, it indeed makes their schizophrenia an objective reality. A schizophreniac can observe his hallucinations and compare them to other factors like age of onset, moods, drugs, food, daytime and so on and based on that discover the fact of his schizophrenia. Or a doctor can do it for him. The more consistent the hallucinations are, the more we can deduce from them about the brain circuits and chemistry that are damaged. A totally consistent hallucination is for all practical purposes a form of perception.

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26-01-2013, 10:22 AM
RE: Existence after mortal death...
Life after death is irrelevant. What are you going to do if it's true? Be a dick to everyone? Run around doing as you please? If not, than you'll just be like everyone else who doesn't give a damn; trying to live life because it's there. Existence after this one doesn't matter right now because you're currently existing in this one.

When you are courting a nice girl an hour seems like a second. When you sit on a red-hot cinder a second seems like an hour. That's relativity.

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26-01-2013, 11:07 AM
RE: Existence after mortal death...
My views on this are fairly quick to explain.

When you die your dead. Your consciousness comes from the extreme complexity of the activities of your brain. When you die its over. Off...like a light switch. Drinking Beverage

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26-01-2013, 12:02 PM
RE: Existence after mortal death...
(26-01-2013 09:37 AM)Luminon Wrote:  We can have a conversation, but we can't have a discussion.

What's the difference?

(26-01-2013 09:37 AM)Luminon Wrote:  You'd be either totally off the subject (it has nothing to do with memory)

It has everything to do with memory. You throw around phrases like "in my experience" and "I had a nice series of mystical and occult experiences in recent weeks" - those are memories. Anything you are not experiencing, right here, right now, right this second, is a memory. And as I mentioned in my last post, our brain edits our memories. It edits them right at the moment we're 'storing' them in our brain, and re-edits them over time like an artist repeatedly playing with Photoshop.

We especially do this when we're creating or editing a memory to make it fit into our expectations. A classical example of this is the people who go to see a magic show where the magician gives the illusion that he reads minds. We all know he doesn't, it's just his act. But what we see him do and hear him say gets stored in our brains as an edited memory. Once it's in our brain, we Photoshop it even more. Later we tell our friends about it but what we tell them is the edited version. Even when we try to remember it ourselves, we only remember the edited version with no internal proof that it's edited and no way to restore the actual original event - but when we watch a video that was filmed during that same show, we find ourselves saying things like "wow, I don't remember that" or "Yeah, I remember that but I thought it happened a little differently".

(26-01-2013 09:37 AM)Luminon Wrote:  I'd go on using my senses as I do for the last 20 years, I'd be a liar.

You have the same senses as all of us. Nothing more, nothing less (unless you are blind or deaf or otherwise have some kind of impaired sense, then it might be somewhat less). Your senses work like ours. Your eyes, for instance, pick up light reflected off of objects around you. Photoreceptors in your eye turn that image into electricity which travels through your optic nerve to your brain. Your brain does not store this image, but it does store the electrical pattern in the synapses (kind of like how a computer disk doesn't store an image but instead it stores a magnetic impression of 1s and 0s that can be reformed into an image by Photoshop, etc.).

That stored electrical pattern is your brain's only impression of the image your eye saw, and it's already editing and modifying that electrical pattern from the moment it receives it. Your brain does this to better store it, with links and triggers to help remember it at the right times in the future - memory.

We have no choice but to rely on this. Even though I know my brain is playing tricks on me, I am unable to distinguish between the trick and the reality so I rely on the trick to be as real as possible because that's all I have. That's all you have. We have to rely on it.

But that doesn't mean that we must be ignorant of it. We can be aware of what our brain does. We can therefore apply this awareness skeptically to our own memories and admit that things might not have gone exactly the way we remember it.

And we can certainly stop saying things like "nobody can convince me". If we're honest.

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26-01-2013, 01:43 PM (This post was last modified: 26-01-2013 01:51 PM by Luminon.)
RE: Existence after mortal death...
(26-01-2013 12:02 PM)Aseptic Skeptic Wrote:  
(26-01-2013 09:37 AM)Luminon Wrote:  We can have a conversation, but we can't have a discussion.
What's the difference?
A discussion is a two-way match, if one wins, he gets to prove the other person wrong. And the need to be right is probably one of the greatest human needs, I think they said it in some RSA speech or something.
In conversation, nothing is at stake, nothing is a big deal, at most we just learn something about the other person.

(26-01-2013 12:02 PM)Aseptic Skeptic Wrote:  It has everything to do with memory. You throw around phrases like "in my experience" and "I had a nice series of mystical and occult experiences in recent weeks" - those are memories. Anything you are not experiencing, right here, right now, right this second, is a memory. And as I mentioned in my last post, our brain edits our memories. It edits them right at the moment we're 'storing' them in our brain, and re-edits them over time like an artist repeatedly playing with Photoshop.

We especially do this when we're creating or editing a memory to make it fit into our expectations. A classical example of this is the people who go to see a magic show where the magician gives the illusion that he reads minds. We all know he doesn't, it's just his act. But what we see him do and hear him say gets stored in our brains as an edited memory. Once it's in our brain, we Photoshop it even more. Later we tell our friends about it but what we tell them is the edited version. Even when we try to remember it ourselves, we only remember the edited version with no internal proof that it's edited and no way to restore the actual original event - but when we watch a video that was filmed during that same show, we find ourselves saying things like "wow, I don't remember that" or "Yeah, I remember that but I thought it happened a little differently".
If scientists say so, sure. But it can't be that bad all the time, otherwise we couldn't even drive a car or perform a brain surgery. So obviously there must be some other factors at play here. For example, an illusionist can deceive us, because he really tries hard to deceive us, he studied and trained his tricks for years. So if there are such factors, we can watch out for them and we can compensate for them.

That's not the point, anyway. I say it is perception, and a perception is *on* all the time. For making basic observations I don't need memory, because it constantly renews itself. Some greater experiences aren't that frequent, of course. But how far into the past is unreliable? What if
- I make an unusual observation
- I keep a memory of it
- Then the same thing it happens again and I see that my memory was accurate? What if such confirmation happens several times? At the very least, I get to know how my memory works and which details get preserved accurately and which don't. This allows me to compensate.
- Then even longer after, I might not remember the event exactly, but I remember that at the time I knew very well my memory was correct.
This is a very specific, very compressed information that is not likely be misinterpreted in retrospective. For example, if I remember I was 100% sure at the time, it's not likely I'd remember anything else later, the number 100 stays the same even if the memory it was based on already faded.

(26-01-2013 12:02 PM)Aseptic Skeptic Wrote:  You have the same senses as all of us. Nothing more, nothing less (unless you are blind or deaf or otherwise have some kind of impaired sense, then it might be somewhat less). Your senses work like ours. Your eyes, for instance, pick up light reflected off of objects around you. Photoreceptors in your eye turn that image into electricity which travels through your optic nerve to your brain. Your brain does not store this image, but it does store the electrical pattern in the synapses (kind of like how a computer disk doesn't store an image but instead it stores a magnetic impression of 1s and 0s that can be reformed into an image by Photoshop, etc.).

That stored electrical pattern is your brain's only impression of the image your eye saw, and it's already editing and modifying that electrical pattern from the moment it receives it. Your brain does this to better store it, with links and triggers to help remember it at the right times in the future - memory.
Not exactly, I don't have the same senses as all of us. I have an abnormality in the touch sense. You have to trust me on this. My other senses are rather normal, but in the touch sense I get something extra, a parallel signal alongside of the normal touch. It's not less, it's more. And this parallel signal is steady, "loud and clear". On a few rare occasions it even seemed to have an effect on the external world, people or vice versa.

(26-01-2013 12:02 PM)Aseptic Skeptic Wrote:  We have no choice but to rely on this. Even though I know my brain is playing tricks on me, I am unable to distinguish between the trick and the reality so I rely on the trick to be as real as possible because that's all I have. That's all you have. We have to rely on it.

But that doesn't mean that we must be ignorant of it. We can be aware of what our brain does. We can therefore apply this awareness skeptically to our own memories and admit that things might not have gone exactly the way we remember it.

And we can certainly stop saying things like "nobody can convince me". If we're honest.
Right, actually there is somebody who can convince me, and it's a fMRI machine. Or some neurologist who shows me the same case already scientifically studied. It's just nobody here and now.
I agree, I have to do the same reality checks. Only as I said, there is an abnormality at least in one of my senses, the touch sense. I managed to put it through some personal tests and the result was that it's most likely not a hallucination. I came to a conclusion that it's an aspect of reality that our brain routinely filters out together with 99+% of other data, because it's not necessary for our survival. Quite opposite, it might have been a bad trait for survival, because it diverts attention from the external, visible world. But that doesn't make it any less real.
Our brain didn't evolve to let us see an immaterial world, it evolved according to where the tigers were. So we have only the vaguest modern idea of the invisible world, thinking it is made of waves and particles. But if we had a look into it, maybe we'd see... I don't know, maybe a vision of "great energetic streams in the sky with large energetic jellyfish-like lifeforms made of these waves and particles, feeding off the solar wind and atmospheric charge". But there's no way we could get such a readings from an instrument. If we had such a vision, we'd develop the instruments as long as they could be at least as good as that, but as for now we have no motivation, our senses don't tell us there is anything beyond them. Our senses limit our imagination, our imagination limits the instruments, the instruments limit the science.

As I hope, we're having a conversation and not discussion, because you'd have to trust me on this. Trust me, that I report things consistently and already searched all possible and impossible sources for answers and logically compared their description. So I'm really curious what a doctor would say.

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27-01-2013, 12:15 AM
RE: Existence after mortal death...
(26-01-2013 09:37 AM)Luminon Wrote:  
(26-01-2013 04:20 AM)amyb Wrote:  Where do you get the information on all hallucinations being random? I've read a lot about, for example, schizophrenics who have the same hallucinations repeatedly, such as talking colored numbers. If it happens to them more than once, does that make it objective reality for the rest of us? I think not.
If that happens regularly enough, it indeed makes their schizophrenia an objective reality. A schizophreniac can observe his hallucinations and compare them to other factors like age of onset, moods, drugs, food, daytime and so on and based on that discover the fact of his schizophrenia. Or a doctor can do it for him. The more consistent the hallucinations are, the more we can deduce from them about the brain circuits and chemistry that are damaged. A totally consistent hallucination is for all practical purposes a form of perception.
What? I'm not questioning whether a schizophrenic is schizophrenic. I'm saying that I don't believe his hallucination of a talking number 8 is, in any sense, real to me or to anyone else.

Quote: A totally consistent hallucination is for all practical purposes a form of perception.
So you'd agree with me that your sensory whatevers are hallucinations, and of no use to anyone but you? I am arguing that a schizophrenic's hallucination of a potty-mouthed, 6 foot tall number "8" has no objective reality, it's the result of bad chemicals in the person's brain. The hallucinations are not real, no matter how many times he sees and interacts with them.

This is because you made the statement "hallucinations are random," implying they must ALWAYS be random, and you provided no evidence to back up this claim.
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27-01-2013, 05:20 AM
RE: Existence after mortal death...
(27-01-2013 12:15 AM)amyb Wrote:  What? I'm not questioning whether a schizophrenic is schizophrenic. I'm saying that I don't believe his hallucination of a talking number 8 is, in any sense, real to me or to anyone else.
OK.

(27-01-2013 12:15 AM)amyb Wrote:  
Quote: A totally consistent hallucination is for all practical purposes a form of perception.
So you'd agree with me that your sensory whatevers are hallucinations, and of no use to anyone but you? I am arguing that a schizophrenic's hallucination of a potty-mouthed, 6 foot tall number "8" has no objective reality, it's the result of bad chemicals in the person's brain. The hallucinations are not real, no matter how many times he sees and interacts with them.

This is because you made the statement "hallucinations are random," implying they must ALWAYS be random, and you provided no evidence to back up this claim.
It's the statistics.
If you line up 10 schizophrenics, their hallucinations will be all different. Let's say
- they will all see a different flying character and hear it saying different things.
- Probably, their hallucination will not be same for all the time, because the levels of chemicals in brain change.
- they weren't born with it, it manifested at random time somewhere around their adulthood. It's random.

My case is different, it's not random, it's permanent, inborn and there is too few objective data to tell what it is. For all practical purposes, it's an extension of the touch sense, it gives me reliable readings that don't change with my moods, etc. It seems useful to me, but nobody can tell yet if it's useful for someone else or the science as a whole. That remains to be seen.

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