The New Age Atheist
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10-12-2013, 01:24 AM
RE: The New Age Atheist
(08-12-2013 09:50 PM)cheapthrillseaker Wrote:  During your avenue into science, have you ever come across anything that may explain these energy fields you as you perceive? Your descriptions of these fields,as perceived since your youth, seem somewhat similar to what I went through, and find I still go through - synesthesia. It didn't grow on me, because I tried my best to suppress it as a child and also I didn't connect what I was going through to anything spiritual. Would you agree with the thought that there might be a chance that what you are experiencing, could in actuality be explained by science, with our current understanding and knowledge?

Apologies if my response to you seems choppy - I've been typing while watching Dr. Lawrence Krauss on a hangout.
Well, yes and no. No, synaesthesia is one of the first things to exclude, because I did not observe any correlation between one sense and another. It's mostly the touch sense and there never was any correlation with other sense.

Yes, because as I just learned, science is not monolithic. Science (natural) operates under one dominant paradigm, but every paradigm has exceptions and anomalies and there are basics of other paradigms, dissidents of science if you will. The dominant paradigm probably does not explain my experience, the latent, "dissident" paradigms probably do explain it.
Paradigms are a complex subject and I should deal with them in a separate topic. We'll have to discuss this Thomas Kuhn guy. In about 7 years of dealing with skepticism, I have never seen anyone mention the nature of paradigms. Yet this is something which restricts our scientific ability as much as it extends.

The current technical methods of detection deal mostly with electro-static charge and generating electric fields, they seem to react to the "energy" fields. Perhaps it's something that has an electric charge of its own. I suspect there is so little scientific interest, because the dominant paradigm doesn't allow that possibility. There are always anomalies, that is the usual business in science. Anomalies are never a reason to change the paradigm, only a reason to do more of the same.
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10-12-2013, 01:31 AM
RE: The New Age Atheist
(10-12-2013 01:24 AM)Luminon Wrote:  I suspect there is so little scientific interest, because the dominant paradigm doesn't allow that possibility.

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10-12-2013, 02:39 AM
RE: The New Age Atheist
(09-12-2013 01:13 AM)Gordon Wrote:  And yet, it exists, doesn't it? We have no explanation for mind. There isn't even a theory of mind that holds any water. You fire up a brain, and you see how it's all buzzing around and yet none of that gives us a clue as to why we "perceive" it buzzing around.

That doesn't warrant the abandonment of the pursuit of a scientific explanation and the adoption of a personal explanation, i.e. in terms of the intentions of a divine person. Your response to the hard problem of consciousness is essentially to give up and revert to an "explanation" in terms of personal agency. That is what superstition essentially is, i.e. everything is "explained" in terms of the agency of some person, e.g. god, angel, demon, spirit, sorcerer etc.

In Lakatosian terms what you are proposing is a degenerating research programme. It would kill neuroscience as a scientific enterprise. Aside from the degeneracy--which is sufficient grounds to reject your "theory of consciousness"--it is also sterile, it is incapable of generating testable hypotheses. It is a dead-end.

Quote:Mind may seem preplexing, but it may simply be what is. In fact it may require no explanation at all. It may be the only thing that doesn't require an explanation.

But we don't know that.

Quote:An eternal mind that has always been and never will not be, that is essentially creating all of the universe as a kind of dream, may simply be the way mind works.

But it may not be how the mind works. If we prematurely and without warrant decide that is how the mind works then we risk never actually learning how the mind actually works.

Quote:If we try to explain it, "we" being part of that mind, all we are doing is trying to explain ourself to ourself.

That is a question-begging argument.

Quote:Thus we find that the mind, being one thing that has always been, is where the end of explanation is. Everything else can be explained until you get to the mind that originally thought it up. Then there is no explanation. There can't be.

But the problem is that isn't a scientific explanation (e.g. a deductive-nomological explanation). It is a personal explanation, i.e. in terms of the intentions of a rational person, pretending to be a scientific explanation. An example may make this clearer.

If we ask, "Why is the water in the kettle boiling?" this can be answered in terms of personal intention ("Because Chippy filled it with water and switched it on") or scientifically ("The water is boiling because its vapor pressure is equal to that of the surrounding air because of the heat from the element"). Should our knowledge of why water boils have stayed at the level of personal explanation? Would we know more if we explained the boiling water not in terms of Chippy's actions but instead by referring to the intentions and actions of a divine person ("a deity causes the water to boil"). Both the Chippy explanation and the god explanation are personal explanations regardless. Neither is revealing the underlying mechanism by which water comes to boil. Your theory of consciousness is just a personal explanation. Furthermore it is an unsubstantiated personal explanation.
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10-12-2013, 02:44 AM
RE: The New Age Atheist
(10-12-2013 01:24 AM)Luminon Wrote:  Paradigms are a complex subject and I should deal with them in a separate topic. We'll have to discuss this Thomas Kuhn guy. In about 7 years of dealing with skepticism, I have never seen anyone mention the nature of paradigms. Yet this is something which restricts our scientific ability as much as it extends.

I'm familiar with Kuhn, Hempel, Popper and Lakatos and none of them can turn your subjective experiences into objective phenomena.
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10-12-2013, 05:09 AM
RE: The New Age Atheist
(10-12-2013 02:44 AM)Chippy Wrote:  I'm familiar with Kuhn, Hempel, Popper and Lakatos and none of them can turn your subjective experiences into objective phenomena.
I'm not sure how would you define these things. At one side, people divide the perception on subjective and objective, at the other side they say mind is a natural objective phenomenon. I think you're a bit influenced by dualism here. Not a supernatural dualism, but an annoying one nonetheless.
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10-12-2013, 06:15 AM
RE: The New Age Atheist
(10-12-2013 05:09 AM)Luminon Wrote:  I think you're a bit influenced by dualism here. Not a supernatural dualism, but an annoying one nonetheless.

Um, no. Merely because something can be conceived of as a binary opposition (e.g. up and down, front and back) does not signal the presence of some deep conceptual error. If you think that the distinction between subjective and objective is flawed then you need to supply an argument. Saying it is a "dualism" doesn't invalidate it, some things are actually "dualistic".
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10-12-2013, 06:19 AM
RE: The New Age Atheist
(10-12-2013 05:09 AM)Luminon Wrote:  I'm not sure how would you define these things. At one side, people divide the perception on subjective and objective, at the other side they say mind is a natural objective phenomenon.

That is just a bunch of your usual equivocation and sloppy thinking.
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10-12-2013, 02:26 PM (This post was last modified: 10-12-2013 02:46 PM by Luminon.)
RE: The New Age Atheist
(10-12-2013 06:19 AM)Chippy Wrote:  
(10-12-2013 05:09 AM)Luminon Wrote:  I'm not sure how would you define these things. At one side, people divide the perception on subjective and objective, at the other side they say mind is a natural objective phenomenon.

That is just a bunch of your usual equivocation and sloppy thinking.
We little realize how much of secular stuff we inherited from Protestantism. One is capitalistic working morale (Max Weber's classy topic), another is a deep distrust of the sinful human nature. Both of them got secularized. I think modern skepticism is the result, it's more like default denialism. The classical skepticism was nothing like it.

If you don't like my subjective experience (or my subjective claims of objective reference), all you need is just to respond, "ah, you made that up." "You wished for the result so you imagined it and it came true." "You wished for the result without consciously realizing it. You have a deep need to feel special, so you keep making stuff up." "Brain just makes things up for no reason."
Is that your argument? You can't dismiss something as subjective, just because you don't like it. Subjective doesn't mean unreal, non-causal, uncontrolled, unconnected to other objective phenomena, and so on. Subjective is just another method of detection. It's statistically, culturally and neurologically valid at the very least, and a legitimate subject of study.

I lived for all my life with my subjective perception as the only method of detection and I learned how it works, I learned its quirks, to compensate for any intrusions from the subjective and how to set a threshold of what I consider a good observation. A decade or two of this life taught me. I turned my subjectivity into an instrument of detection, by training and practice. There is of course no standardization, but I use methods like Heron's Beard. There are methods to study even the qualitative, subjective side of life and get comparable results out of it.
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10-12-2013, 02:29 PM
RE: The New Age Atheist
I'm Lakatose intolerant. Big Grin

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10-12-2013, 02:36 PM (This post was last modified: 10-12-2013 02:43 PM by Mr Woof.)
RE: The New Age Atheist
Speculations as to an ineffable God is often an attempt, by equivocation, to pre empt a god of standards suiting the creators of such.....
Existentially we cannot disprove cosmic critters of higher intelligence, and moral decency of a higher order than ours.

Essentially all Gordon is saying is(correct me if I'm wrong)....An eternal something is there, therefore it has to be there, based sententially on the primary assertion.This circular reasoning may be designed to argue,basically, that anything is possible, especially so in Cloud Cuckoo Land.Logic cannot deal with subject matter devoid of substance.
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