Why believe in the supernatural?
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14-04-2014, 11:54 PM
RE: Why believe in the supernatural?
Depends on your definition of "supernatural." If you define "natural" to be anything within the laws of physics, then "supernatural" must mean anything that exists outside of these laws. If we use these definitions, which i'm assuming you are, then the universe as we know it HAS to contain both the natural AND the supernatural, simply because:

1. The law of cause and effect. The law of physics dictate that there must be a cause for everything, yet SOMETHING in this universe had to have no cause. The big bang matter didn't spontaneously come from nothing.

2. Infinity. It HAS to exist in the natural universe (eg. edge of space). We can understand it as a concept, but we can't understand how it works within reality or within the laws of physics.

So the universe is in fact supernatural at its base since clearly our "natural" laws of physics don't apply to all of existence. What this supernatural phenomenon actually is is anyone's guess, but the origin of the universe, infinity, and life itself should belong in the same "supernatural" category as God and ghosts. Life itself is a paradox because there's both physical and metaphysical aspects to the universe. You can deny the existence of God but you can't deny the existence of a reality or truth that exists outside of our "natural" and physical laws.

So why believe in the supernatural? Because it EXISTS by DEFINITION. We just don't know what. The question you really should be asking is what exactly is the supernatural part of reality rather than whether or not it exists in the first place. Religious people believe this supernatural aspect is simply "God," which I find to be ridiculous as well, but at least they recognize that the supernatural exists.
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15-04-2014, 08:15 AM
RE: Why believe in the supernatural?
(14-04-2014 11:54 PM)Leefboy Wrote:  1. The law of cause and effect. The law of physics dictate that there must be a cause for everything, yet SOMETHING in this universe had to have no cause. The big bang matter didn't spontaneously come from nothing.

Facepalm

Look, that's a terribly flawed premise when theists use it, and it remains terribly flawed even if you scratch out the final "something equals GAWD" step.

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15-04-2014, 10:31 AM
RE: Why believe in the supernatural?
(14-04-2014 11:54 PM)Leefboy Wrote:  Depends on your definition of "supernatural." If you define "natural" to be anything within the laws of physics, then "supernatural" must mean anything that exists outside of these laws. If we use these definitions, which i'm assuming you are, then the universe as we know it HAS to contain both the natural AND the supernatural, simply because:

1. The law of cause and effect. The law of physics dictate that there must be a cause for everything, yet SOMETHING in this universe had to have no cause. The big bang matter didn't spontaneously come from nothing.

2. Infinity. It HAS to exist in the natural universe (eg. edge of space). We can understand it as a concept, but we can't understand how it works within reality or within the laws of physics.

So the universe is in fact supernatural at its base since clearly our "natural" laws of physics don't apply to all of existence. What this supernatural phenomenon actually is is anyone's guess, but the origin of the universe, infinity, and life itself should belong in the same "supernatural" category as God and ghosts. Life itself is a paradox because there's both physical and metaphysical aspects to the universe. You can deny the existence of God but you can't deny the existence of a reality or truth that exists outside of our "natural" and physical laws.

So why believe in the supernatural? Because it EXISTS by DEFINITION. We just don't know what. The question you really should be asking is what exactly is the supernatural part of reality rather than whether or not it exists in the first place. Religious people believe this supernatural aspect is simply "God," which I find to be ridiculous as well, but at least they recognize that the supernatural exists.

While the pre bigbang could be called a supernatural event, I agree with the OP, what benefit is there to "believe", it just distracts from the task of understanding it.

Religious people don't simply assign this unknown cause as GOD, they retreat to this deist position when their theistic jenga towers collapse under pre school logic.
The pre BB "cause" is beyond natural explanation, to extrapolate woo from this supernatural event and assign a human father figure as an intelligent agent shows the flaw of "believing" in the supernatural rather then just accepting the dictionary definition of the term.
"Supernatural" is as polluted a term as UFO is.

Theism is to believe what other people claim, Atheism is to ask "why should I".
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15-04-2014, 10:40 AM
RE: Why believe in the supernatural?
To be a little more substantive:

(14-04-2014 11:54 PM)Leefboy Wrote:  Depends on your definition of "supernatural." If you define "natural" to be anything within the laws of physics, then "supernatural" must mean anything that exists outside of these laws. If we use these definitions, which i'm assuming you are, then the universe as we know it HAS to contain both the natural AND the supernatural...

The problem with such a definition is that it changes. Scientific knowledge evolves. Two thousand years ago the seasons were "supernatural". Five hundred years ago the tides were "supernatural". Two hundred years ago a magnet was "supernatural". One hundred years ago the sun was "supernatural". Now we understand them - and they're not.

That definition likewise means nothing. It changes nothing about the phenomenon in question; applying it is no more useful than calling something unknown. This is very different from being unknowable.

It's the supernatural of the gaps.

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15-04-2014, 12:47 PM
RE: Why believe in the supernatural?
(14-04-2014 11:54 PM)Leefboy Wrote:  1. The law of cause and effect. The law of physics dictate that there must be a cause for everything, yet SOMETHING in this universe had to have no cause.

Facepalm

Um, moron, you are reifying natural "laws" as if they were some immutable command laid down by your fictional "higher power", rather than our own best, closest description for what we have observed so far.


Quote:The big bang matter didn't spontaneously come from nothing.

Demonstrating conclusively that you don't know fuck about Big Bang Theory.

Go the fuck away.

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24-04-2014, 02:47 AM
RE: Why believe in the supernatural?
(14-04-2014 01:04 PM)cjlr Wrote:  "Crazy" isn't a clinically valid term, so that's irrelevant. But it sure as hell colloquially means disconnected from consensus perceptions of reality, and that sure as hell describes you.
I am well-connected to the consensus perceptions of reality. I just have some extra reality on top of that. Few people do so, separated across continents, ages and traditions, but those who do, have good enough a consensus, considering language barriers, cultures, imagery and so on.

(14-04-2014 01:04 PM)cjlr Wrote:  Because everyone thinks their subjective personal experience is special and none of it is in any way compelling.
Nobody on this forum thinks that their subjective personal experience is special. That's because it isn't. If it was, they would know it. It's not easy to overlook.
Personal experience is highly compelling for personal purposes. Of course, it depends on quality of that experience. If it's something that can be doubted with reason, it's not very compelling.

(14-04-2014 01:04 PM)cjlr Wrote:  Fuck you.

I'd take you a lot more seriously if you weren't continuously denigrating the motives and integrity of all scientists in all fields as some sort of degenerate monolithic fantasy.

But since that's what your underlying confirmation bias requires, I won't hold my breath.
It is a matter of principle. People are in principle capable to perceive reality.
The first thing scientists try to do is to exclude human factor. However, I need you to admit that this is not because human perception is in principle unreliable. It is because the human factor is complex and difficult to study, however in principle it is good enough to read the values of various dials.

Will you stop denigrating human perception, especially when you use it to read my posts? All I need is the principle. I don't mean that we can see the microscopic magnitudes, not at all, but we can perceive reality reliably enough to read all the instruments and the general environment.
If so, then there may be modes of perception that allow us to perceive aspects of the general environment that most people's brains filter out. Only 1/7000th of information makes it into the consciousness. Chances are, what I perceive consciously, your brain censors it out. Less than one more additional percent of what actually exists would explain what I perceive.

(14-04-2014 01:04 PM)cjlr Wrote:  Repeat after me:
Subjective personal experience is not evidence.

Dowsers think they can actually find water. Psychics think they can actually read minds. Faith healers think they can actually mend limbs. Mediums think they can actually summon spirits. It's all horseshit until proven otherwise.

Can you prove otherwise?
OK, subjective personal experience is not evidence.

What is then the subjective interpersonal experience? I consider it a peculiar thing, a compelling evidence for one or a few persons only but nobody else, a gray zone of evidence. In areas such as ethics or philosophy we sometimes have these. The world is imperfect and evidence is not spreading in it as easily as light or sound waves. Thus some people may be exposed to evidence and some not.

Faith healers and mediums think they can... What the hell do I think? For most of my life, the only thing I thought was, "this is weird". Thanks to written sources and practice I investigated deeper and became convinced that certain traditions, such as Indian chakras or Chinese meridians are a physical reality. There are dozens, if not hundreds of people who know more about meridians and chakras medicine-wise than me. I don't understand them, I just use them. That doesn't tell me how to understand and test them by methods of the physical science. If I could do that, I might win Randi's prize. But I'd have to be a scientist. That is easy for you to say, because for you, nothing beyond science exists. You are a positivist, nothing exists unless proven otherwise. So how do we know what to search for? The truth is, scientists go on wild goose chases just as much as anyone else, they just place a lot of regulations on it. But in principle, it's not wrong to go out on a limb. Positivism is inherently flawed, reality exists regardless of science. We have to go on a wild goose chase, or we catch nothing.
However, there are realities so large, that they are whole worldviews, whole languages. We have no chance to know them, unless we learn them from scratch, learn their internal consistency. There is no easy way to break them down into sensible little stand-alone concepts, easy to integrate into science. It has a lot to do with ethnography, there were decades or centuries of armchair ethnography, until a scientist got stuck by accident among natives longer than he expected. Then he learned to see the world in a whole new way. Not a better overall way than western science, but hell a lot better than western ethnography could discover from external observations. If I wanted to blaspheme, I'd say that the science of physics still waits for this kind of revolution.


(14-04-2014 01:04 PM)cjlr Wrote:  And your perceiving that you're having a heart attack does not mean you are having a heart attack.

People are admitted to hospital on false alarms to the tune of thousands per year.
Does that make human perception in principle wrong? If not, then it's not an argument. It's like Not All Women Are Like That. Or... I Know A Chinese Guy Who Is Tall. It contributes nothing to the conversation.

(14-04-2014 01:04 PM)cjlr Wrote:  If an introductory text is not clearly accessible to an educated layman it is a bad text.

Sanskrit in place of Greek or Latin is a classic hallmark of quackery.
Well, where do you think how Orthodox saints got their halos? In the same way that Hindu saints got their Sahasrara chakras, by lots of meditation. I suppose they've got some texts about that and Catholics as well, in their bizarre theology and symbolic statues in Vatican. However, Indian sources are much less corrupted by Church politics, much more explicit.
For example, in this photo you see the pine cone symbolizing the pineal gland, with a crown or lotus-like structure on the top. The peacocks on both sides with their waved necks symbolize two major energy pathways in the etheric body, the ida and pingala, which are both necessary to get the pineal gland working and achieve some basics of sainthood. We can see similar symbolism in Egypt as well. Please note, that the two channels end in between the eyebrows. Here depicted as eagle and snake, due to their polar and opposite nature.
As far as my experiences go, it's pretty much a glorified electric wiring and vacuum tube mechanics, although it has a great psychological and health influence on the body.

(14-04-2014 01:04 PM)cjlr Wrote:  That isn't what I said. I didn't say only science was communicable; that's a straw man. I said science must be communicable.
Well, I got an impression that you think I claim to be a scientist. I'm not a scientist, I'm more of a research subject, a phenomenon. Strictly speaking, it is not a phenomenon's obligation to use the scientific method. Maybe I can't, if it requires external instruments and blinded protocols.

(14-04-2014 01:04 PM)cjlr Wrote:  I didn't say that, so I'm unclear as to where you draw offense.

If science has to make sense and be communicable, then it means that science does not represent all that is real. It only represents the common human denominator of what we can all use as real. There are more real things than make sense, which are not represented in science. Some are communicable, some not. Thus we must sometimes orient ourselves without the aid of science, using our own reason to tell what makes sense and what doesn't. That requires a general standard of intellect, which you don't seem to grant me.

(14-04-2014 01:04 PM)cjlr Wrote:  "I'm not biased because I don't think I am" is one of the stupidest excuses going.

So there's that.
Not like that. I'm not biased, because my perception works in the same way regardless of what I think. It's mostly a hard-wired, physiological thing. I can't even call it a belief.

(14-04-2014 01:04 PM)cjlr Wrote:  That was idiotic pseudoscience last time and it's idiotic pseudoscience this time.

Do you know how I know it's bullshit?
(one of many reasons?)

There are no schematics.

Science is open communication. This is buy our toy, suckers.
No schematics? That is a damn good objection. I really need to get some PDF with schematics. It will probably be some old version of the device, Reich's original model or the model after that, not this latest edition. This is going to take some e-mailing and explaining.

But tell me one thing, what the hell changes if I get the schematics or some other technical details of the field that the device is supposed to produce? For me, probably nothing. What's in it for you? I suppose this is an information you can understand and evaluate if that's something real. And I suppose you will tell me what do you think about it.

(14-04-2014 01:04 PM)cjlr Wrote:  
(13-04-2014 01:44 AM)Luminon Wrote:  As far as I understand it, it projects an electric field through an electrode and then measures its decrease in proximity of other objects. They say it does not prefer electric conductivity of things such as metals...
THEN WHY DOES IT HAVE METAL ELECTRODES?
Non sequitur. The device is supposed to emit an electric field of some frequency and intensity and measure its drop near objects. Whatever anomaly is there, it is measured indirectly, material of the electrodes does not matter and material of the measured object matters only indirectly, depending on how "vital" (whatever it means) it is.

"Neither Reich’s original OEFM or the newer LEM reacted to standard electrostatic charge or to other electromagnetic fields, as would a millivoltmeter or an EMF meter."
"One can also attach a metal plate to the positive pole of a
typical millivoltmeter, and show the reaction when you approach it with
your body, or just your hand. But in such a case, the readings will rise
as you approach the metal plate, and then quickly fall off to zero. If you
then move away from the metal plate, the voltmeter will again react, in
the opposing polarity, and again fall back to zero. These types of
readings with millivoltmeters have certain uses, and do also demonstrate
the existence of the life-energy field, but only when it is in motion.
Only the Reich-type of OEFM, as now reproduced by Marett of
Heliognosis, will show a constant sustained reading of the life-energy
field, showing it is not merely some kind of electrostatics."
http://www.orgonelab.org/cart/LEMexperiments.pdf

(14-04-2014 01:04 PM)cjlr Wrote:  What is framed unscientifically can be dismissed as unscientific.

Nothing is quantified. Nothing is made explicit - not the apparatus, not the methodology, not the results.

They don't even say what the god-damn units are.

Which they have to know. It produces a mechanical reading. Somebody wired that shit together - they know damn well what the output is. But they don't tell you.
Of course it is not quantified, there is no standard measurable physical phenomenon, to be used as a unit! We can measure a human vital field, but there is no standard human to serve as a unit. Instead there is a relative % scale with switching orders of sensitivity.

(14-04-2014 01:04 PM)cjlr Wrote:  
(13-04-2014 01:44 AM)Luminon Wrote:  No, but I know how does a responsive matter behave within a field.
That's incoherent. You can't not understand something but also understand how it works.
...
The behaviour of plasma in electromagnetic fields is exactly commensurate with the behaviour of everything else in electromagnetic fields.
See the contradiction? I can understand some aspects, if it's material and I understand general behavior of matter.
All matter reacts in the same way, but (bio)blasma is such a responsive state of matter, that it responds to a field so strongly, that ignores for example gravity.

(14-04-2014 01:04 PM)cjlr Wrote:  Except NO. The solar wind reacts in the upper atmosphere. Radiative exposure on the surface is precisely known. If the sun is a source, it cannot possibly be generated by biomass. Protip: the sun is not biomass.

Notwithstanding that all fields necessarily exhibit inverse dependence on distance. Other things on the Earth's surface are tens of metres away. The sun is 150000000000 metres away.
Protip: the sun is a mass of plasma with some huge and complex EM fields, some of which reach beyond all the planetary orbits.

We have a confusion of concepts here, you need to allow me to define some.
Objects have natural fields and inner structure. If they are "living" objects (the definition of living needs to be broadened), these fields and structure concentrate bioplasma. The anomalous "vital field" is nothing else but a concentrated deposit of bioplasma, in the same way that a living organism is a "concentrated deposit of biomass". Complex organisms have both complex ordered structure of their biomass and complex structure of their "bioplasma deposit". These two interact.
All the bioplasma of all terrestrial objects is taken from the bioplasma that our planet concentrates, but it reacts directly to some aspect of solar radiation. Some aspect that is not heat or visible light. The point is, our planet has a bioplasma "body", just like our bodies. I say "bioplasma body", because it has layers, streams or conduits, circuits, vortexes and of course two major poles. In that sense, our planet is a living thing, just like we are. This kind of bioplasma does not care about biochemistry, it cares about electric properties and structure of the object. The suns are "alive" in the same way, even more so.

(14-04-2014 01:04 PM)cjlr Wrote:  There are no electrostatics in nature.

An electrostatic system is a temporary configuration maintained only through continuous energy input.
Yes! That's right. We maintain our systems by continuous pumping of blood and nerve activity, powered by chemical energy, which of course originates from the sun. Planetary fields are partially sustained by induction of solar wind from the sun.

(14-04-2014 01:04 PM)cjlr Wrote:  What is an "organic" layer?
Plastic sheet.

(14-04-2014 01:04 PM)cjlr Wrote:  Fields can't concentrate.

An electric field represents force experienced by electrically charged particles. The electrically charged particles may be concentrated. There is a natural self-limiting factor to this concentration due to same-charge repulsion - overcoming it requires external energy input (this is what an applied field is).

Fields in a more fundamental sense represent a basis for excitations. What we observe as particles are excitations of fundamental quantum fields. This is a roundabout way of saying fields have carriers - electromagnetic interactions are mediated by exchange of photons. But I don't have time for a gauge theory lecture.

What are the carriers of your purported field?
"Field" is a wrong word. It looks like a field, behaves in some ways like a field, but it is actually a bioplasma deposit, held in place by mundanely known electric and magnetic fields of the living organism. This "bioplasma deposit" is so ordered and structured, that it is actually a semi-independent organism in itself, a double for the biologic body.

The point is, there is only one unknown here - the bioplasma itself. The forces and fields involved are all known and natural, somehow highly involved with electro-static fields, but the material nature of bioplasma is unknown. As I said, some think that what we call "dark matter" is a raw, dispersed material for the bioplasma deposit, stranded in the outer space, where it can not measurably interact with anything, such as fields of a living organism.

(14-04-2014 01:04 PM)cjlr Wrote:  Incommunicable is inadmissible.

There is furthermore absolutely no reason to suppose that different woo peddlers are consistent in terminology. Since the dialogue is completely unscientific, there is no way to know.
There is, because we all share the same equipment.

(14-04-2014 01:04 PM)cjlr Wrote:  Look. Stop using that word.

Do you know what "plasma" is?
Ionized matter, highly responsive to electric and magnetic fields. Makes up 99 % of the universe. Can be relatively cold and invisible, in vacuum.
The bioplasma has however a different material nature. As far as it is concerned, the room atmosphere around us IS vacuum. It treats most of matter as near-vacuum and responds only to electric fields of layered materials, such as living tissue.

(14-04-2014 01:04 PM)cjlr Wrote:  Conscious activity is electromagnetic activity.
Yes!

(14-04-2014 01:04 PM)cjlr Wrote:  Fine then.

Charge a battery with your mind. Pass go. Collect one million dollars.
I'll do that if you blow up a solid hunk of wood as a balloon. Don't you understand? There is a different order of matter involved. Yeah, there is some microscopic voltage involved, if the voltmeter electrodes are moved around the body, as said in the quotes above.
But what is controlled by the EM activity of the mind is not the voltage, it's the bioplasma deposit itself. It reacts to common bioelectric activity of our nerves, organs and skin.

Which means I could "charge" a living organism as a battery. However, you would of course need some device to measure the organism before and after. If you had such a device (which I believe to be the one I have no schematics for), then you wouldn't need to bother with me charging anything, you could begin with much simplier experiments.

(14-04-2014 01:04 PM)cjlr Wrote:  There is no situation in which skepticism is inapplicable. It is a state of mind.
That's right. Skepticism is a state of mind, but senses do not have any other state. Senses are manifested skepticism. Things that don't exist have little impact on senses.

(14-04-2014 01:04 PM)cjlr Wrote:  Mystery religions used psycoactive drugs. People on acid are not generally considered reliable eyewitnesses.

Since everything you've said is almost impossible to articulate, you once again have no grounds for assuming any other "references" in fact refer to the same things as whatever your personal subjective experience is.
It is possible to articulate, but not in the language of science. Language of science is updated precisely for that reason. But even these updates need to be justified from within the language of science, which is a problem. If the language of science does not already refer to the phenomena in some way, it has no way to even think about beginning a research in that direction.

However, the beginning already exist. Human body is not just a chemical machine, it is an electric machine. Its peculiar electric properties however attract the bioplasma deposit, which thereby becomes measurable.

(14-04-2014 01:04 PM)cjlr Wrote:  The above are not simple testable predictions.

I want you to give me a simple, testable prediction.

"Under circumstances X I experience sensation Y", remember?

Give me an example of X. Give me an example of Y. Anyone may then test circumstances X for experiencing sensation Y.

If all you have is inarticulate subjective personal experience then I will continue to conclude that you have no special knowledge of any verifiable external phenomenon and are misguided and/or self-deceiving.
How can I give you a simple prediction, if my equipment is not simple? My equipment is a bioplasma body, which is a very complex thing and each person utilizes their own in a different way, to a different degree, or hardly even at all. Or they do, quite a lot, but these sensations are below their threshold of consciousness.
If there is anything to the predictions, the bioplasma body is the thing which makes any subjective experience possible, because it keeps us alive and conscious, it underlies our nerve and endocrine system, it is inextricably tied with it. What you want is like asking if the LHC can light up a lightbulb.
If you want a lighted-up lightbulb, do the VACOR experiment, that lights up a vacuum tube in orgone accumulator, "yielding an anomalous
blue-glow, excited only by hand-stroking and without electrical
excitation, in violation of orthodox ionization theory." However, I can't verify that with my equipment.

(14-04-2014 01:04 PM)cjlr Wrote:  On the contrary. Delusion can be incredibly self-consistent. That's what happens when a machine built for pattern recognition starts misfiring.
Yeah, delusion must only be self-consistent. I must be consistent with sensory experience and do not contradict science, unless I'm making a hypothesis. I am also consistent with my written sources, not because I have to, but it turns out that way independently. I also use the written sources as guidelines for further subjective exercises and experiments.

(14-04-2014 01:04 PM)cjlr Wrote:  
(13-04-2014 01:44 AM)Luminon Wrote:  I hope I did already. There's a device that detects an anomalous "field" (or body template) of "élan vital" around living objects and it's nothing electro-magnetic.

The fuck it ain't. The "device" explicitly uses electric fields.
Sure. The same way that a sonar explicitly uses sound waves, but detects solid objects. No contradiction.
Of course we operate under the assumption that bioplasma or whatever it is interacts with electric fields, or there is something that does. We have to make assumptions, to have something to test. My assumptions were many years in the making, just like my sensory observations. No wonder they are too complicated to test right away. Scientists usually don't make such huge steps.

(14-04-2014 01:04 PM)cjlr Wrote:  Then please demonstrate.
We haven't even established a vocabulary yet! If your idea of experiment is me charging a battery manually, then there is a serious language barrier. Which is fatal when it comes to designing experiments.

(14-04-2014 01:04 PM)cjlr Wrote:  No, it fucking isn't.

Dark matter does not interact electromagnetically. You are talking about nothing but electromagnetic interaction.
You can't say that, unless we know what dark matter positively is. With regards to "my" hypothesis, we rather know that dark matter does not interact electro-magnetically in an active way with non-living objects.
Given right object with right structure or electric field of right frequency, we might perhaps measure some interaction - even if just passive, such as the supposed dampening effect on the electric field.

(14-04-2014 01:04 PM)cjlr Wrote:  
(13-04-2014 01:44 AM)Luminon Wrote:  The prediction also says the "field" consists of a mesh of many (about 70,000) filaments of streaming energy, a few large, some minor.
Using string theory to weave a cloak of legitimacy. Interesting.
Please, no! Strings are the things within quarks, so small that reputedly the atom is as great to them as the whole universe is to Earth, or something like that. The fact that you think I'd mix such a thing into the topic shows again how far are we from understanding.

What I mean are rather something like (bio)plasma filaments that form circuits all across the body. They are macroscopic and influence electric properties of the tissue. A.k.a. Nordenström's BCEC or Chinese meridians.

(14-04-2014 01:04 PM)cjlr Wrote:  Okay.

Make a testable prediction.

Then test it.

Then get credible people to test it as well.
You have surely noticed, that I am hardly competent to solve technical problems, such as making testable predictions and test them. There are much more competent people for that task, than me. People who actually understand their devices and perform such experiments every day, as a routine part of their practice. The question is, why don't they go for the million dollar prize? You gave me a part of the answer, it is very difficult to formulate the proposition, because the needed words do not exist yet in science. Or if they exist, they are from fields that seem unrelated. So using such words or the present jargon will be seen as vague, or quackery. When two groups speak different languages of science, but both use English, it sounds the worst way possible.
It sounds like when in the movies someone who doesn't know Chinese tries to speak Chinese, he tries to say "we surrender, please don't kill us" and the subtitles say something like... "we come to dishonor your widows by making them pick wood". (src: Futurama)

That's pretty much what happens. I don't understand the technical side, but I understand the semantics. The Randi prize is pretty secure, because science has no words for what it takes to claim it. If people try to use their own words, then it results in a complete misunderstanding in the design of a test.

(14-04-2014 01:04 PM)cjlr Wrote:  Bullshit. You said yourself than you experience sensations first and then attempted to explain them later. It is therefore not beyond an untrained person.

Nor do you have any basis for forming conclusions as to the subjective experiences of people in the past.
I am a natural born talent, further developed by training. To find a natural is even less likely than to find a trained person, so I didn't even mention it. It must have something to do with sensory integration disorder or something, normally people almost don't notice their second body, only some of the psychosomatic reactions. They call them for example, "fire in the belly", that's the solar plexus chakra, "put some fire up your spine" (holy crap, that sounds like Kundalini idiom!) - or some artists or intellectuals get a real buzz in the forehead when working, that's usually the ajna chakra. You see, they correspond to glands, like adrenals or hypophysis, always on their level.

(14-04-2014 01:04 PM)cjlr Wrote:  Hundreds of millions of people believe all kinds of historical magic. They disagree violently as to the source (we call that religion).

Why is your interpretation any more valid than "the ability/sensation came from God"?
Why do you ask about the origins? Sensations say nothing about their origins, supernatural or not.
I have come to a conclusion, that the "second body" behaves like plasma dynamics - the shape of field, the flow of bioplasma in filaments, circuits, vortexes and so on. I do not see a great difference between the human bioplasma body and an equivalent of thereof that Earth is supposed to have, you know, the network of veins of force, centers of force, and a few layers of fields all around that. Plus of course two magnetic poles to connect with the solar input. The solar system is basically a bigger, looser version of the same, where most planets present a center, a vortex of force. All within the same electric field, planets impact each other with flow of electric potential at light speed.
I see this as a pattern repeated on levels of magnitude in nature. Living things have fields, filaments of force, centers of force and participate in an active exchange of electric potential, as to their individual electric properties.

(14-04-2014 01:04 PM)cjlr Wrote:  Descartes was a pre-modern man with no medical or biochemical knowledge.
That's not the point. Why did he turn his attention to a tiny gland inside his head, which apparently does nothing? Because he felt an activity in that very spot! I'm not sure, but I think people are not supposed to feel any sensations inside their head, unless they got headache, or they caught some malaysian flesh-eating larva burrowing deep inside their skulls or inner ear. Otherwise, people don't feel as if anything moved in their head.

With me, that is quite different. My head is quite a busy place of radiating, pulsating and vibrating spots (especially the pineal gland nowadays), hissing streams and fluctuating pressures. Especially when I meditate. Sometimes I feel a warm glow around my skull, as if I had a halo like a saint. I feel a hole opening in my forehead, reaching like a vortex deep inside towards the pituitary gland. So I would not be surprised if Descartes had the same sensations, prompting him to visit morgue and look for that itchy spot in other people's skulls.

(14-04-2014 01:04 PM)cjlr Wrote:  Forgive me for disregarding a source which makes explicit reference to acupuncture, which is by the way not real.

So that's out.
Hey! What about my references to Nordenström's biologically closed electric circuits, as a physical basis for acupuncture?
Sorry, but I am obligated to take acupuncture as real. I have a lot of experience with it, I mean, both with technology and with my meridians. When I cleared parts of my energy system, I felt them in the right place, with the proper points and lines. Then I looked up the Chinese charts and there they were. I literally feel them as solid tattoo lines, embedded deep into my skin, tiny hoses of heat and pressure.

(14-04-2014 01:04 PM)cjlr Wrote:  A couple shitty context-free images on a deranged website are not convincing, bud.

I note you have not responded to my explanation of coronal discharge to you.
What explanation of coronal discharge? As far as I understand the effect, the discharge itself is not a mystery. However, its shape and intensity, perhaps also color should be influenced by the deposit of bioplasma around living organisms.
As for metallic objects, looks like a normal coronal discharge to me.

(14-04-2014 01:04 PM)cjlr Wrote:  Incoherent nonsense isn't worth my time. It's sad that you think it's worth yours.

Thanks again for slandering my character, by the way. That's always charming.
Thanks for your attention, but seriously, this is a job for a social scientist. If you aren't one, then I have to be. There's no way around that.

Worth my time or not, this is how I live. I live in two bodies at once, I can't not feel the bioplasma body. Manipulating the weird bioplasma effects inside or outside of my body is as natural for me, as breathing and blinking is for you. Some bioplasma effects are less or more pleasant and psychoactive, I find them very useful for meditation. It's the result of many years of practice and it gets better and better.
I have observed this triplicity of action - changes in bioplasma circuits result in changes in psychology (or vice versa) and these two lead to health changes. It's a life style.
I know, dabbling into science as a mere end-user of some phenomenon is foolish. I am foolish not because I do something wrong, but it's all premature. I am not in a life situation where I could work seriously on this topic, it requires too many people cooperating who don't want or can't cooperate.

I'm just curious why are the practitioners and scientists unable to talk together. If they could, there would be no work for me. I don't have the technical skills to tackle this question directly, but I can do a great deal in terms of understanding languages and alternate paradigms. That's basically my job, as a philosopher. I pick your brains for all the info, go to the other side and get their side of the story. I make some synthesis out of it, and see if any of the sides accept the synthesis as a translation vocabulary to start a successful cooperation.

Right now I do the same thing in the field of economy, politics, sociology, philosophy, that kind of stuff. My mind is flexible enough to take in two different worldviews at once, provided they are both self-consistent and grounded in some aspect of reality (empirical, rational or sensory, not essential here). Then I can look for parallels and seek communication, understanding, harmony, synthesis, or at least uncover the greatest misunderstandings. In ideal case, the knowledge is doubled and possibilities multiply.
I have found that very, very few people can work in this way, namely, perhaps one guy I know, in one case - but not in others. People are hard-wired to think in the ways on one worldview only, because they have to produce standard results. And standard results, just like cultural notion of sanity and normality that you use, can be defined only within a worldview. There is no cross-worldview argument or evidence. I have to be rooted in basic philosophical principles and very disciplined senses and introspection as my instruments above all worldviews, in order to do what I do. Few people believe this is possible, fewer believe it is useful and even fewer get paid for it Tongue

These problems are fascinating. There is a standard language of a scientific field, but how do we introduce concepts that have no equivalents in it? Worse, what about our attempts that produce revulsion, because the new concepts sound unfamiliar and the unfamiliarity sounds like woo? When scientists smell woo, they get defensive, they don't bother remembering details and they start underestimating the other party. What is unfamiliar to them, they fill automatically the part of message they did not learn yet, and they fill it in in the worst possible way. The experimental suggestions they make afterwards get really simplistic, likely to fail. (such as manual recharging of a battery)

I mean, this is not a unique situation. It is exactly the same as between any other groups that work with some concepts of reality (no religions then, etc). The language gives clear guidelines what to do in order to win your favor, but it also limits what we can do. We need to do more than the language presently allows, but we can't do that without your favor. It's an interesting problem.

(14-04-2014 01:04 PM)cjlr Wrote:  Crazy is as crazy does.

No, this is more like the prosecution in a civil suit arguing the accused must be guilty of property damage because he used a ray gun he bought from visiting aliens from Delta Vega to vaporize his neighbour's priceless antique hypercube, the defense is arguing for accident because the while the accused did fire the ray gun, the Vegans hadn't given him the manual for it and he thought it was on the light show setting, and by the way, there's also no external evidence that either the neighbour, the ray gun, the hypercube, or the aliens ever existed.
Well, that's why qualitative methods exist in social sciences. Sometimes people tell you the truth, but they don't tell it in your language. So far, all problems I saw were of semantics and trust, not science. Science too, but believe me, we won't even get anywhere near science, before we'd crash on the problem of semantics and mistrust.
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24-04-2014, 03:08 AM
RE: Why believe in the supernatural?
Question for you luminon, what's your thoughts on "sham accupuncture" and how its as effective as real accupuncture.

Theism is to believe what other people claim, Atheism is to ask "why should I".
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25-04-2014, 12:08 PM (This post was last modified: 25-04-2014 12:15 PM by Luminon.)
RE: Why believe in the supernatural?
(24-04-2014 03:08 AM)sporehux Wrote:  Question for you luminon, what's your thoughts on "sham accupuncture" and how its as effective as real accupuncture.
Effective for what? If you mean this popular acupuncture treatment of pain, you surely know that our body responds to pain (like getting pricked by a needle) by releasing endorphines. That may help the pain.
Frankly, I don't know what is acupuncture good for specifically, I'm not a doctor (you know what I mean). I got the needles in me a few times in my life as a kid, but probably as some kind of prevention - and as you know, prevention never tells you what it prevented. Except there are two uses I know of. One I'll describe next, the other is the method of diagnosis- Voll's electroacupuncture. I know skeptics say it doesn't work, but my repeated personal and family experience is, it does work.


random tangent rant:
Meridians as a part of our second (bioplasma) body are peculiar and counter-intuitive. They are like an electric wiring and they influence primarily the nerve and endocrine system, by proxy also the general quality of the tissue, its electric resistance and indirectly a resistance to disease and wearing out, I believe, perhaps through microscopic changes in acidity and/or resistance of tissue to free radical bonding, I'd guess as an amateur.

You also have to understand, that we influence our bioplasma body to some degree also by our thinking and moods - the old occult truism, that "energy follows thought". So there are some caveats, like short term placebo effects, which are nonetheless very predictable, but annoying if I want to see some real results. This is why I learned to expect nothing, only observe. The electric, bioplasma, psychological and physiological states are so inter-linked in the body, that it is one hell of a clusterfuck to observe how it works. The only way out of that is to become good at meditation and concentration. Not only it clears the mind, it also may involve some very powerful bioplasma currents, which surpass any self-caused ambiguous false positives that weaker currents might have. However, the most powerful bioplasma currents may be and are physically and neurologically dangerous. The most powerful and dangerous of them all is the well-known Kundalini phenomenon.

I'll tell you what do I mean by an effective acupuncture. My first encounter with the needles. When I was a kid, my mom took me to an alternative medicine doctor in the city (don't worry, he has a real MD degree). I had a strong allergy on pollen and there were some blossoming trees nearby. My eye got all swollen and itchy. When that happened, the eye swelling always lasted a few hours and I could even hardly open it, when it got bad. The doctor usually did various procedures like magnetic pillow, vacuum bulbs to the spine, laser acupuncture to hands and nose, prescribing homeopathics, an injection of B-12 vitamine (in later years), that's almost all of it, I think. I don't know, but mom always claimed we kids were never seriously sick that year if we went to the homeopath.
Anyway, when I arrived with my swollen eye, first thing the doctor did, he grabbed acupuncture needles. I hated the idea, he never used needles on me before and I didn't want him to start. Nonetheless, he pierced the needles lightly around my eye and forehead and a few into the ear. In a couple of minutes the swelling subsided! I could feel it go away! That was amazing. Even the itching was pretty much gone. AFAIK, severe allergic reactions don't just go away spontaneously, no such thing ever happened to me.
So that's how I imagine an effective acupuncture therapy. It works quickly, makes hell of a difference, and works even if it's an unfamiliar and unpleasant situation for me (no desire or pleasant expectations to trigger the placebo effect).
Fair enough?


I have a question too. Right now I have 26 reputation points, but I had 27 recently. I know Baruch was and is the last one who gave me rep and there are no negative reps yet, fortunately. (thanks to all of you) So I suppose I must have pissed off Cjlr who gave me +2 points originally but now changed it to +1 points. But Cjlr would probably never give me +2 points to begin with. So someone else must have done it, but why? Probably someone who liked Cjlr's posts, but the same objection applies, they'd have to give me +2 rep to begin with, which isn't likely Tongue
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25-04-2014, 07:32 PM
RE: Why believe in the supernatural?
(25-04-2014 12:08 PM)Luminon Wrote:  I have a question too. Right now I have 26 reputation points, but I had 27 recently. I know Baruch was and is the last one who gave me rep and there are no negative reps yet, fortunately. (thanks to all of you) So I suppose I must have pissed off Cjlr who gave me +2 points originally but now changed it to +1 points. But Cjlr would probably never give me +2 points to begin with. So someone else must have done it, but why? Probably someone who liked Cjlr's posts, but the same objection applies, they'd have to give me +2 rep to begin with, which isn't likely Tongue

If someone changed his/her rating of you, it would have the date of that change, e.g. today.

Someone must have deleted his/her rating.

Skepticism is not a position; it is an approach to claims.
Science is not a subject, but a method.
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28-04-2014, 09:54 AM
RE: Why believe in the supernatural?
(25-04-2014 12:08 PM)Luminon Wrote:  Sadcryface2
I have a question too. Right now I have 26 reputation points, but I had 27 recently. Sadcryface2 I know Baruch was and is the last one who gave me rep and there are no negative reps yet, fortunately. (thanks to all of you) So I suppose I must have pissed off Cjlr who gave me +2 points originally but now changed it to +1 points. Sadcryface2 But Cjlr would probably never give me +2 points to begin with. So someone else must have done it, but why? Sadcryface2 Probably someone who liked Cjlr's posts, but the same objection applies, they'd have to give me +2 rep to begin with, which isn't likely Sadcryface2

Whiny rep-whore much?

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