07-17-2005, 05:09 PM #1
Plz read(NDE, materialism and spirituality)
I found this excelent article about materialism, the scientific community and its inability to even investigate near death experiences. This part of it struck me hard. The whole thing is a LONG read but well worth it.
One of my earliest encounters with this kind of academic irrationality occurred over twenty years ago. I was devouring everything on the Near Death Experience I could get my hands on, and eager to share what I was discovering with colleagues. It was unbelievable to me how dismissive they were of the evidence. "Drug induced hallucinations", "last gasp of a dying brain", "people see what they want to see" were some of the more commonly used phrases. One conversation in particular caused me to more clearly see the fundamental irrationality of academics with respect to evidence against materialism. I asked:
"What about people who accurately report the details of their operation?"
"Oh", came the reply, "they probably just subconsciously heard the conversation in the operating room, and their brain subconsciously transposed the audio information into a visual format".
"Well", I responded, 'what about cases where people report veridical perception of events remote from their body?"
"Oh, that's just a coincidence or a lucky guess."
Exasperated, I ask, "What will it take, short of having a Near Death Experience yourself, to convince you that it's real?"
Very non-chalantly, without batting an eye, the response was "even if I were to have a Near Death Experience myself, I would conclude that I was hallucinating, rather than believe that my mind can exist independently of my brain." He went on to add that Dualism (the philosophical thesis which asserts that mind and matter are independent substances, neither of which can be reduced to the other) is a false theory and that there cannot be evidence for something that's false.
This was a momentous experience for me, because here was an educated, intelligent man telling me that he will not give up materialism, no matter what. Even the evidence of his own experience would not cause him to give up materialism
07-17-2005, 05:12 PM #2
With respect to (a) materialism held as an empirical hypothesis about the world, the evidence against it is overwhelming. With respect to (b) materialism held as an ideology, evidence against it is logically impossible. A complicating factor is that the fundamaterialist typically holds the metabelief that his belief in materialism is not ideological, but empirical. That is, he misclassifies himself under (a), while his behavior clearly falls under (b). The debunker and skeptic believes that he is being "scientific" in ignoring and rejecting the evidence against materialism. He claims that the evidence is weak, that it is not compelling, that it can be easily explained away by the materialist paradigm. But when asked what kind of evidence it would take to convince him that materialism is empirically false, he is, like my colleague, usually at a loss for what to say. If he's not familiar with the data, he'll come up with a criterion of evidence which in fact has already been met. When it is pointed out to him that there exist many well-documented cases which satisfy his proposed criterion, he will simply make his criterion more stringent, and at some point he crosses the line between the reasonable demand for scientific evidence and the unreasonable (and unscientific) demand for logical proof.
07-17-2005, 05:16 PM #3
this is how I look at science
In the above paragraphs, I have been using the terms "science" and "scientific" in its epistemological sense. Science is a methodological process of discovering truths about reality. Insofar as science is an objective process of discovery, it is, and must be, metaphysically neutral. Insofar as science is not metaphysically neutral, but instead weds itself to a particular metaphysical theory, such as materialism, it cannot be an objective process for discovery. There is much confusion on this point, because many people equate science with materialist metaphysics, and phenomena which fall outside the scope of such metaphysics, and hence cannot be explained in physical terms, are called "unscientific". This is a most unfortunate usage of the term. For if souls and spirits are in fact a part of reality, and science is conceived epistemologically as a systematic investigation of reality, then there is no reason why science cannot devise appropriate methods to investigate souls and spirits. But if science is defined in terms of materialist metaphysics, then, if souls and spirits are real, science, thus defined, will not be able to deal with them. But this would be, not because souls and spirits are unreal, but rather because this definition of science (in terms of materialist metaphysics) has semantically excluded nonphysical realities from it scope.
07-17-2005, 05:24 PM #4Originally Posted by johan
Nobody has ever shown that "souls" exist, or that thoughts can exist without a nervous system. Of course, that doesn't necessarily prove that souls don't exist, but then again, there's no reason to assume that trees don't have souls also, either.
The issue is evidence. It would be nice to know that everyone has an immortal soul destined to go to some nice place after the human body dies, but there's no evidence. Only wishful thinking.
C'est domage . . .
07-17-2005, 05:27 PM #5
tock did you read the article I havent read through the whole thing but be mentiones some near death experiences that can not be shrugged of as mere chemical reactions in the brain while unconcious ect(will try to find references). Experiences that cant be explained by science if we narrow our perspective by assuming all perception can only be through the body.
07-17-2005, 05:29 PM #6
It sickens me to se the kind of mentality in science like the quotes above.
To refuse to even entertain a idea is not scientific. Its just as bad as the chatolic church refusing to belive anyting else then that the earth is the center of the universe.
07-17-2005, 05:31 PM #7
Like he wrote
But if science is defined in terms of materialist metaphysics, then, if souls and spirits are real, science, thus defined, will not be able to deal with them. But this would be, not because souls and spirits are unreal, but rather because this definition of science (in terms of materialist metaphysics) has semantically excluded nonphysical realities from it scope.
07-17-2005, 05:37 PM #8
another interesting quote
One conclusion I have come to over the years is that both the atheist and the believer, from the fundamaterialist to the fundamentalist, share something in common. In fact, from an epistemological perspective, what they have in common is much more significant than what they disagree about. What they agree about is this: beliefs pertaining to the possible existence of a transcendent reality -- God, soul, afterlife, etc. -- are based on faith, not fact. If this is true, then there can be no factual evidence which pertains to such beliefs. This metabelief -- that beliefs about a transcendent reality cannot be empirically based -- is so deeply entrenched in our culture that it has the status of a taboo. The taboo is very democratic in that it allows everyone to believe whatever they want to believe about such matters. This allows the fundamaterialist to feel comfortable in her conviction that reason is on her side, that there is no afterlife, and that those who believe otherwise have fallen prey to the forces of irrationality and wishful thinking. But it also allows the fundamentalist to feel comfortable in his conviction that he has God on his side, and that those who believe otherwise have fallen prey to the forces of satan and evil. Thus, although the fundamentalist and the fundamaterialist are on opposite extremes of the spectrum of possible attitudes towards an afterlife, the extreme positions they hold unites them as "strange bedfellows" in their battles against the possibility that there are matters of fact about the afterlife which empirical research might discover. The very suggestion that empirical research might be relevant to beliefs pertaining to a transcendent reality -- that such beliefs are subject to empirical constraint -- runs strongly against this taboo, and is hence very threatening to most elements of our culture.
07-17-2005, 05:48 PM #9
just finished reading it and damn this was the best thing I have read in a LONG time.
07-17-2005, 05:50 PM #10
An interesting question is, "How do we know that what we know is true?"
Sure, the Scientific Method has its limits. While it may well be presumptive to say that the only things that can exist are those demonstrated by the Scientific Method to exist, what else is there?
It's safe to say that people can and do hallucinate from chemicals and injuries. When it comes to Out-of-Body experiences, it seems that Christians generally see Jesus (or have other Christian-related visions), Muslims see Allah, Buddists see the Buddah, etc. So, there's probably a culture-related aspect to these OOB experiences. Seems to me that under the sort of stress that induces these OOB episodes, memory from the brain cells have at least some part in the vision. IMHO, it's probable that every part of the vision depends on the physical brain.
I might be mistaken, and it would be nice to be mistaken, but I don't think I am.
07-17-2005, 05:54 PM #11
doesnt most se the white light at the end of a tunnel kind of thing? Without any reference to any particular deity?
Im not at all well read on OBE or NDE to comment fully. He mentioned a woman that had NO brain activity what so ever and still had a NDE and that to me sounds like a impossibility if assuming the brain is the sole center of thoughts and perception. I will have to read more on this to find out if the author of that article is a nutcase or not.
What he is getting at is that the scientists refusing to entertain the idea isnt acting acording to the scientific method. They are just stubbornly clinging on to a materialistic point of view. Science can engrasp things that are not materialistic without it becoming unscientific.
07-17-2005, 06:04 PM #12
I have to admit thought that when it comes to this particular topic I am very biased since I go by the assumption that ghosts exists we just havent proven it yet.
Its a assumption made from my own and my familys experiences.
07-17-2005, 08:09 PM #13Originally Posted by johan
Check these links out . . .
I'm not gonna say that such things are bogus, but I will say that there are an awful lot of people who seem like nuts who are pushing the idea of Near Death Experiences. It does seem to be the sort of thing that can't be objectively and methodically analyzed and tested, and the human brain is awfully susceptable to all sorts of mind-tricks, so for now, I'm siding with the skeptics http://skepdic.com/nde.html on this issue -- at least until I find a persuasive reason to change my mind.
IMHO, the only bad guys in this controversy are the ones bilking the general public out of $$$ selling counseling sessions and books full of BS and worthless trinkets. Everyone else is just curious . . . JMHO . . .
07-17-2005, 08:16 PM #14
I have a friend who had a near death experience.......well educated......uncle is Buzz Aldrin of the space program.
Anyway she coded two or three times in her car after a wreck.....she could describe exactly what her husband(EMT) and the ambulance people were doing......why?.......because she was above the scene looking down at her body!!!!!
07-18-2005, 01:23 AM #15Originally Posted by Tock
07-18-2005, 02:54 AM #16Originally Posted by Tock
Il take a look at those links
The fact that so many uses this for personal advantage to me is a even bigger reason for science to look into it properly. But if the attitude the author of the article meets is the general attitude among scientists then I guess I shouldnt hold my breath.
Originally Posted by Badgerman
07-18-2005, 02:56 AM #17Originally Posted by max2extreme
Have you read anything about stuff like this max?
07-18-2005, 06:10 AM #18
no i have not. but i dont think it should be limited to those without strong religion background. we arent talking about those that say they go to a different place. we're talking about those who seem to be totally aware of their surroundings when like you said brain dead, totally unconscious, etc. the other group is in a totally different categorie that should be studied separately. even if the person wasnt brain dead, but as long as they were totally knocked out, unable to be aware of their surroundings. or perhaps even those 2 groups need to be separated if there is a medical reason that i of course would not know.
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