What is our soul?
Post Reply
 
Thread Rating:
  • 0 Votes - 0 Average
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
12-03-2016, 07:21 AM
RE: What is our soul?
(11-03-2016 10:16 PM)Babakazoo Wrote:  This is a very interesting read and I think he makes some reasonable points. I just see a few problems with his very reasonable points. Everything he said is chalked up to your willingness to believe his word.

He is a reputable source but I did not intend that to be anything more than an example of what gets found when the cases are actually investigated by people who are not primed to assume the claims are true. I picked that one because it clearly discussed the 'show on the ledge' claim. If you do some searching you will find many more careful debunkings of NDE claims by experts in medicine and psychology; did you watch the IQ2 debate?

Also, the irony in saying that willingness to believe is a problem is not lost.

Quote:All of his claims are based off of his comparison to the scrutiny within scientific community which is fine. But how he defines scrutiny is a fallacy in itself he says "So, I think I have a good idea of the kind of evidence needed to demonstrate the reality of any extraordinary claim. And surely, life after death is an extraordinary claim." How can we trust his thoughts on what good evidence is? How can we trust his definition of an extraordinary claim?

Because he has spent a lifetime studying those issues and his standards are laid out for review (not necessarily in that article but he has a huge body of work).

Quote:He makes multiple fatal fallacies throughout this paper. Like I said he makes good points but he has no grounds for his points and the grounds he does have are mostly fallacious.

Sorry, that's just not the case.

Quote:Secondly as opposed to my source which references "The Lancet" one of Britians most prestigious medical journals this link has literally no citations. I can't even verify his claims about a simple test of a card in the OR that has not once produced results. He could have made this up. I really wish you guys would review your own sources with the same scrutiny and skepticism that you approach my sources.

You are correct; that wasn't a scholarly article in itself. As I said when I linked it, it was an example of the kinds of things that are found when investigations are done. It was a short, easy read that addressed the specific example of the shoe.

(11-03-2016 11:19 PM)Babakazoo Wrote:  So I'm genuinely curious because I don't know. Isn't this special pleading though? Originally he said the burden of proof falls on the one with the belief. I'm curious as to why the statement "there is no soul" is not a belief?

In a way, I almost agree. I think it would be better to say "There is no evidence for a soul" or "There is no reason to believe that souls exists". The flat statement "There is no soul" has a burden of proof.... at least until the claimant follows up with the fact that years of many people investigating claims and trying to find anything that meets even the nebulous definition of what a soul might be the net result is exactly zero. At some point it becomes reasonable to accept that there is no soul even if that wasn't the null hypothesis in the first place.

I can't prove that there is no soul just like I can't prove that there is no god but we're way past the point on both claims where the complete lack of credible evidence makes it moot. There is no god and there are no souls.

Atheism: it's not just for communists any more!
America July 4 1776 - November 8 2016 RIP
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
[+] 2 users Like unfogged's post
12-03-2016, 07:41 AM
RE: What is our soul?
(12-03-2016 02:32 AM)Unbeliever Wrote:  
(12-03-2016 01:20 AM)Babakazoo Wrote:  I honestly imagine you could prove me wrong even if I were arguing a well known true fact and you were just attempting to make me wrong.

Well, no. Proof doesn't work that way. If what you were saying were true, I couldn't prove it to be false.

I could, however, make a damn convincing bullshit argument that might convince a number of people that I had. That has nothing to do with logic. That's all to do with writing, and, since I'm a literary history guy, I've got some experience there.

hey that sounds like fun. you should start a thread and try to make a convincing argument against something that is obviously true. im sure a lot of people here would have the skills to do it.
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
[+] 1 user Likes Dark Wanderer's post
12-03-2016, 09:36 PM
RE: What is our soul?
(10-03-2016 10:05 PM)Babakazoo Wrote:  Yes, seriously. My bio openly states my belief, where do you expect I spend the majority of my time online?

I wasn't questioning your beliefs, I was questioning the fact that you apparently wanted us to give the site that you linked any serious consideration. I starts with a two hour long video on creationism. That simply isn't the sort of company you want keep if you want to be taken seriously. It's like getting a PhD from clown college.

You are correct though, if we're going to be skeptical rather than simply closed-minded we need to give it a fair hearing. A quick review of the article reveals the following:

(1) It is not a scientific paper. It did not do any original research, was not subject to the peer-review process and was not authored by a scientist. It is a review of scientific papers authored by a Jesuit Priest. That is not, in and of itself, reason to reject it. Some very good scientific work has been published by laymen. It does mean that we need to apply more scrutiny than usual.

(2) The review is based largely on four other scientific papers. All four of these are favorable toward a supernatural explanation for NDEs. The review does mention papers that were unfavorable toward a supernatural explanation but only touches on them long enough to summarily dismiss them. Given that I was able to find a half-dozen such papers with a quick search on Google Scholar, this is clear evidence of bias with the intent of supporting a preconceived conclusion.

Given the context and obvious bias of the review I am not satisfied that it is trustworthy.

Now let's look at NDEs themselves. They have several features that mitigate against them having anything to do with the soul:

(1) As the review that you provided states, all NDEs are either neutral or positive experiences. A sense of inner peace, a meeting with deceased loved-ones or religious figures, etc. Nobody ever reports travelling down a tunnel of fire and brimstone, encountering a chap with cloven hooves and pitchfork or being chased around the astral plane by malevolent spirits. The lack of negative NDE experiences speaks to a psychological calming mechanism rather than a spiritual event.

(2) NDEs are not cross-cultural. (Appleby, 1989) Nobody ever wakes up having met a god from a different religion or spoken to some complete stranger. Christians who have NDEs simply never manage to connect with Brahma, some fellow ina saffron robe who chatters at them in Tibetan or a raven that speaks to them in Ojibwe. Quite simply, nobody ever gets anything out of an NDE that wasn't already in their head. This is fairly compelling evidence that we're dealing with a purely psychological phenomenon rather than a supernatural one.

(3) NDEs aren't related to whether or not you're dying, they're related to whether or not you think that you're dying. A 1990 study (Owens et al.) of 58 NDE experiences showed that 30 of them were reported by people who were not in danger of dying even though they thougth that they were. This demonstrates pretty convincingly that we aren't talking about the separation of the soul from the body but instead are looking at a psychological response to a traumatic event.

One study that I would like to see done is to have the people who have NDEs and have encountered Jesus to describe him in detail. My prediction is that all of the patients who can produce a clear description will describe this fellow:

[Image: jesus-09.jpg]

While this is certainly the popular depiction, this pasty white boy with the neatly trimmed beard has little to do with reality. Seriously, that guy's skin has never seen a full day in the sun, much less forty days in the desert.

[Image: jesus-reconstruction-670.jpg]

This dark-skinned, short, scruffy chap looks suspiciously like he has a lot of Middle-Eastern heritage as one might expect from a 1st century Hebrew. He's much more likely to show up on a no-fly list than a stained glass window but that's much closer to what the historical Jesus would have looked like. I'm betting that he doesn't show up in anybody's NDE any time soon though.

---
Flesh and blood of a dead star, slain in the apocalypse of supernova, resurrected by four billion years of continuous autocatalytic reaction and crowned with the emergent property of sentience in the dream that the universe might one day understand itself.
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
[+] 10 users Like Paleophyte's post
13-03-2016, 06:47 AM
RE: What is our soul?
(12-03-2016 09:36 PM)Paleophyte Wrote:  I'm betting that he doesn't show up in anybody's NDE any time soon though.

Now he will Tongue People adjust.

We'll love you just the way you are
If you're perfect -- Alanis Morissette
(06-02-2014 03:47 PM)Momsurroundedbyboys Wrote:  And I'm giving myself a conclusion again from all the facepalming.
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
[+] 1 user Likes morondog's post
13-03-2016, 12:01 PM
RE: What is our soul?



#sigh
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
14-03-2016, 04:28 PM
RE: What is our soul?
(09-03-2016 12:02 PM)doggers Wrote:  Thank you all for your comments. I posted this because me and a good friend were having a discussion about our beliefs last night. Just to clarify, much like 'true scotsman' and 'unfogged' I do not believe any part of us exists after death other than the physical body which will decompose and become something else.

My friend was surprised by this, and asked me what I believed happened to the none-physical attributes, my soul or spirit. He believes that our souls are an energy, but science doesn't yet have the equipment to measure this energy (much like x-rays were only discovered over a hundred years ago). And he argued that much like the molecules of our physical self will take another physical form after our death, perhaps the same thing would happen with the energy from our souls.

I definitely should have asked him to clarify exactly what he meant by a soul, but I told him that I didn't believe any part of me existed without my physical body - that I didn't believe there was another place for spirits. If the power is removed from a computer, it dies, and that was the best way I could explain my thoughts to him.

I know this topic is going to come up again with my friend so I wanted to hear some of your ideas to help me better explain my point of view and deal with some of his trickier questions.
Why not pick some book? I recommend "Soul and its mechanism" by Alice Bailey. It's a bit older, but it's right on topic and it's the best technical definition of soul I've ever seen. The technical side of the soul-world can be roughly summed up as the "electric universe" model hidden in dark matter and interacting with our visible world through living things.
This is better than being theologian of Christianity only, this is a compilation of related stuff from various religions and metaphysics. It compiles the views of ancient Greece, Egypt, Buddhism, Hinduism and western authors. With this book, you can know more about souls than any amateur or Christian, even if you don't believe in them.
http://www.bailey.it/images/testi-ingles...hanism.pdf

If that is too technical for you, read the Far Journeys series by Robert Allan Monroe and you will get a gist of it as well, in a bit dramatized form. RAM created a research center in Virginia for replicating his out-of-body experiences that he describes in the books. And it's completely independent from any tradition.
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
14-03-2016, 05:12 PM
RE: What is our soul?
(14-03-2016 04:28 PM)Luminon Wrote:  Why not pick some book? I recommend "Soul and its mechanism" by Alice Bailey. It's a bit older, but it's right on topic and it's the best technical definition of soul I've ever seen. The technical side of the soul-world can be roughly summed up as the "electric universe" model hidden in dark matter and interacting with our visible world through living things.
This is better than being theologian of Christianity only, this is a compilation of related stuff from various religions and metaphysics. It compiles the views of ancient Greece, Egypt, Buddhism, Hinduism and western authors. With this book, you can know more about souls than any amateur or Christian, even if you don't believe in them.

Alice Bailey was an idiot obsessed with "the wisdom of the Orient", and her views on the soul are remarkably incoherent even by the standards of other would-be theologians.

"The Soul and Its Mechanism" isn't so much a coherent dissertation on the soul as it is a collection of vaguely-related ramblings based on New Age idiocy. It offers no coherent definition of "soul" or explanation of its mechanism, even in the section explicitly titled "The Nature of the Soul and Its Location". It simply regurgitates quotes from various schools of philosophy en masse, fails to produce any sort of coherent definition, and generally wanders in circles being as silly as possible.

Reading it doesn't produce understanding of anything. That would require the author to have understood what they were talking about to begin with.

"Owl," said Rabbit shortly, "you and I have brains. The others have fluff. If there is any thinking to be done in this Forest - and when I say thinking I mean thinking - you and I must do it."
- A. A. Milne, The House at Pooh Corner
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
[+] 2 users Like Unbeliever's post
14-03-2016, 06:52 PM
RE: What is our soul?
(14-03-2016 05:12 PM)Unbeliever Wrote:  Alice Bailey was an idiot obsessed with "the wisdom of the Orient", and her views on the soul are remarkably incoherent even by the standards of other would-be theologians.

Don't keep it all bottled up, let us know how you really feel...





Tongue

Help for the living. Hope for the dead. ~ R.G. Ingersoll

Freedom offers opportunity. Opportunity confers responsibility. Responsibility to use the freedom we enjoy wisely, honestly and humanely. ~ Noam Chomsky
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
14-03-2016, 07:01 PM
RE: What is our soul?
(12-03-2016 09:36 PM)Paleophyte Wrote:  
(10-03-2016 10:05 PM)Babakazoo Wrote:  Yes, seriously. My bio openly states my belief, where do you expect I spend the majority of my time online?

I wasn't questioning your beliefs, I was questioning the fact that you apparently wanted us to give the site that you linked any serious consideration. I starts with a two hour long video on creationism. That simply isn't the sort of company you want keep if you want to be taken seriously. It's like getting a PhD from clown college.

You are correct though, if we're going to be skeptical rather than simply closed-minded we need to give it a fair hearing. A quick review of the article reveals the following:

(1) It is not a scientific paper. It did not do any original research, was not subject to the peer-review process and was not authored by a scientist. It is a review of scientific papers authored by a Jesuit Priest. That is not, in and of itself, reason to reject it. Some very good scientific work has been published by laymen. It does mean that we need to apply more scrutiny than usual.

(2) The review is based largely on four other scientific papers. All four of these are favorable toward a supernatural explanation for NDEs. The review does mention papers that were unfavorable toward a supernatural explanation but only touches on them long enough to summarily dismiss them. Given that I was able to find a half-dozen such papers with a quick search on Google Scholar, this is clear evidence of bias with the intent of supporting a preconceived conclusion.

Given the context and obvious bias of the review I am not satisfied that it is trustworthy.

Now let's look at NDEs themselves. They have several features that mitigate against them having anything to do with the soul:

(1) As the review that you provided states, all NDEs are either neutral or positive experiences. A sense of inner peace, a meeting with deceased loved-ones or religious figures, etc. Nobody ever reports travelling down a tunnel of fire and brimstone, encountering a chap with cloven hooves and pitchfork or being chased around the astral plane by malevolent spirits. The lack of negative NDE experiences speaks to a psychological calming mechanism rather than a spiritual event.

(2) NDEs are not cross-cultural. (Appleby, 1989) Nobody ever wakes up having met a god from a different religion or spoken to some complete stranger. Christians who have NDEs simply never manage to connect with Brahma, some fellow ina saffron robe who chatters at them in Tibetan or a raven that speaks to them in Ojibwe. Quite simply, nobody ever gets anything out of an NDE that wasn't already in their head. This is fairly compelling evidence that we're dealing with a purely psychological phenomenon rather than a supernatural one.

(3) NDEs aren't related to whether or not you're dying, they're related to whether or not you think that you're dying. A 1990 study (Owens et al.) of 58 NDE experiences showed that 30 of them were reported by people who were not in danger of dying even though they thougth that they were. This demonstrates pretty convincingly that we aren't talking about the separation of the soul from the body but instead are looking at a psychological response to a traumatic event.

One study that I would like to see done is to have the people who have NDEs and have encountered Jesus to describe him in detail. My prediction is that all of the patients who can produce a clear description will describe this fellow:

[Image: jesus-09.jpg]

While this is certainly the popular depiction, this pasty white boy with the neatly trimmed beard has little to do with reality. Seriously, that guy's skin has never seen a full day in the sun, much less forty days in the desert.

[Image: jesus-reconstruction-670.jpg]

This dark-skinned, short, scruffy chap looks suspiciously like he has a lot of Middle-Eastern heritage as one might expect from a 1st century Hebrew. He's much more likely to show up on a no-fly list than a stained glass window but that's much closer to what the historical Jesus would have looked like. I'm betting that he doesn't show up in anybody's NDE any time soon though.

Exactly. It's simple: You think you are dying. Doing it's normal work, your brain pulls up all the relevant files: People you know who died already and religious symbols you have been brainwashed to associate with death.

Nothing mysterious about it.

[Image: dobie.png]Science is the process we've designed to be responsible for generating our best guess as to what the fuck is going on. Girly Man
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
[+] 1 user Likes Dom's post
14-03-2016, 07:05 PM (This post was last modified: 14-03-2016 07:19 PM by Fatbaldhobbit.)
RE: What is our soul?
(14-03-2016 07:01 PM)Dom Wrote:  Exactly. It's simple: You think you are dying. Doing it's normal work, your brain pulls up all the relevant files: People you know who died already and religious symbols you have been brainwashed to associate with death.

Nothing mysterious about it.

Yeah, it's interesting that there are no revelations* only confirmations of what they expect to see. No christians seeing buddha or muslims seeing zeus.



If I ever have an NDE, I hope I see Cthuhlu...

[Image: vintage-cthulhu_zpskv6x3olf.gif]

* WTF? I just tried to spell that "relevations", three times...

Help for the living. Hope for the dead. ~ R.G. Ingersoll

Freedom offers opportunity. Opportunity confers responsibility. Responsibility to use the freedom we enjoy wisely, honestly and humanely. ~ Noam Chomsky
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
Post Reply
Forum Jump: