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Posted by: beyondashadow ( )
Date: July 27, 2015 05:44PM

There seems to be a widespread misconception that the only place to find a venue supporting a 'life after death' belief is Religion.

That's not true at all .... and very fortunately so. All religions are man-made entities and unavoidably develop an institutional self-preservation instinct compelling the leadership to seek money, power and control ... to perpetuate the money and power. It's not good or bad; it's human nature.

The natural human is kinda greedy and self-serving. Just look at how toddlers and kids behave naturally ... unfortunately also including most adults.

Having said that, however, many humans are happy to give up some of their money, and similarly happy to relinquish some control over their own lives in exchange for 'hope' dispensed by organized leadership who generally don't actually know any more than their faithful customers do about the non-physical reality.

Fortunately, the numbers of us who turn to Religion for Hope seems to be on the decline lately. I think that's a sure sign of progress.

For [what I think is a genuinely] refreshing alternative to Religion, search this RfM board for 'Michael Newton' and read some posts from a few months ago. Or just google (or as some posters prefer, goggle) 'Michael Newton' and watch some online video (goggles optional).

He presents what I think is compelling, albeit soft 'evidence' with a detailed view of the Spirit Realm and what our relationship as Spirit Souls is to Life on Earth and to each other and to Life in the Universe. I read and enjoyed all four of his books and have shared his first two ('Journey of Souls' and 'Destiny of Souls') with friends and family.

Those who require nonexistent, hard, 'scientific' evidence usually scoff at MN and his writings, and that's totally OK. Not everything Real can be explained by modern science, which is limited to 3D physical reality so far ... which is a self-imposed box that lots of us like to live in. Science will catch up eventually. We are technology infants in the larger scheme of Universal Technology aka Nature with a capital N.

Don't think so? Our Earthling technology is at best, only a few hundred years old. I guess that at least 95% of our technology is less than 100 years old. Imagine the technology of an exo-Earth civilization who is just a thousand years ahead of us? Ten thousand years ahead? A million years down the road? One hundred million years? These are all totally realistic time frames within the Universe we already know about and can view with our own eyeballs on any clear night. Technology-wise, we are about like babies who have just discovered their own toes.

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Posted by: ificouldhietokolob ( )
Date: July 27, 2015 06:19PM

beyondashadow Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Those who require nonexistent, hard, 'scientific'
> evidence usually scoff at MN and his writings, and
> that's totally OK.

There really isn't "hard" or "soft" evidence. There's just evidence or not evidence. What's sometimes referred to as some as "soft" evidence isn't evidence because it is, in some way, problematic as evidence.

> Not everything Real can be
> explained by modern science, which is limited to
> 3D physical reality so far...

Well, actually 4D :) However, not being to explain something doesn't mean stuff we make up as an explanation is "plausible."

> ... which is a
> self-imposed box that lots of us like to live in.

I cringe at the description of a rational approach to claims as a "self-imposed box." As if there's something outside of the "box" that's being ignored. If there were evidence to support things other than reality, they would be IN the box -- the box is big enough to hold the entire universe, and even multiple universes (if such things exist). It's also not usually an issue of "this is what I'd like..." It's just the box is what can be shown to be real. Heck, I'd like it if there was a magical afterlife where I could live forever in some way, and continue to learn about how everything works. I'd really like that. It's just there's no evidence of any kind to show that's the case, no matter how much I'd like that to be the case. :)

> Science will catch up eventually. We are
> technology infants in the larger scheme of
> Universal Technology aka Nature with a capital N.

Well, yeah, sure. But what is there to "catch up" with? I don't know of any other beings that are further along than us, and neither do you, to "catch up" with.

> Don't think so? Our Earthling technology is at
> best, only a few hundred years old. I guess that
> at least 95% of our technology is less than 100
> years old. Imagine the technology of an exo-Earth
> civilization who is just a thousand years ahead of
> us? Ten thousand years ahead? A million years down
> the road?

I can imagine lots of things -- there's no evidence such civilizations or beings exist. It might be cool if they did, but I can imagine lots of things that aren't real...it seems reasonable to wait for evidence they DO exist, don't you think?

If imagining and making up fanciful stories that aren't plausible or have no evidence brings one "comfort," they're free to do so. Doing that doesn't bring me, or billions of other people, any "comfort." We know we're just imagining and making stuff up, and there's no reason to pretend what we imagine or make up is real. If and when there's evidence, THEN it will be "comforting." Until then, not so much. :)

p.s. I've read Newton's stuff. I don't find it compelling, well-reasoned, plausible, or "comforting." If you do -- great. Enjoy.

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Posted by: beyondashadow ( )
Date: July 27, 2015 09:36PM

ificouldhietokolob Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
>
> There really isn't "hard" or "soft" evidence.
> There's just evidence or not evidence. What's
> sometimes referred to as some as "soft" evidence
> isn't evidence because it is, in some way,
> problematic as evidence.
>

You are presuming that your personal definition of 'evidence' is the only valid definition. You should qualify your statement with 'According to the only definition of evidence I am willing to accept ...'


> > Not everything Real can be
> > explained by modern science, which is limited to
> > 3D physical reality so far...
>
> Well, actually 4D :) However, not being [able] to
> explain something doesn't mean stuff we make up as
> an explanation is "plausible."
>

By accepting ONLY your own definition of 'evidence', you leap to the conclusion that explanations based on anyone else's concept of 'evidence' are just made up from nothing and therefore beyond 'plausible'. You are invalidating opinions of others from your self-appointed throne as "Master Keeper of the Dictionary". By defining the words of others differently than how those words are intended, you get to invalidate all conclusions that do not coincide with your own. It is your right to disagree, but I see your rationale for disagreement as fundamentally flawed.

> > ... which is a self-imposed box that lots of us like to live in.
>
> I cringe at the description of a rational approach
> to claims as a "self-imposed box." As if there's
> something outside of the "box" that's being
> ignored. If there were evidence to support things
> other than reality, they would be IN the box --
> the box is big enough to hold the entire universe,
> and even multiple universes (if such things
> exist). It's also not usually an issue of "this
> is what I'd like..." It's just the box is what can
> be shown to be real.

Once again, you are defining opinions different than your own as 'irrational' by implying that any opinions based on soft evidence are not rational. You definition of 'evidence of any kind' excludes soft evidence.

You are presuming that we are so advanced that our box now contains everything that exists, that is real. I claim that you have 'found your toes', and that's a good start.

What would you rate as your own Humility Index ... 0-100? In other words, what inverse percentage of everything there is to know do you consider that you now already know? And are you willing to concede that there may be some things that you don't even know you don't know?

> Heck, I'd like it if there
> was a magical afterlife where I could live forever
> in some way, and continue to learn about how
> everything works. I'd really like that. It's
> just there's no evidence of any kind to show
> that's the case, no matter how much I'd like that
> to be the case. :)
>

If you would 'like it' if we survive death as non-physical entities, then why don't you consider that the evidence for such a concept might also be non-physical aka soft?

> > Science will catch up eventually. We are
> > technology infants in the larger scheme of
> > Universal Technology aka Nature with a capital N.
>
> Well, yeah, sure. But what is there to "catch up"
> with? I don't know of any other beings that are
> further along than us, and neither do you, to
> "catch up" with.
>

I have not met any ET beings personally, but if you look with a sincere heart, with real intent, having a desire to find whatever you find, there are lots of other humans out there who claim to have had contact with ETs. You are free throw out all of the bathwater without even checking. Sure, there are lots of frauds and hoaxes out there, and genuine videos of weird shit in the sky. You get to decide whether to take a serious look, or presume your foregone conclusion is correct and not investigate.

> > Don't think so? Our Earthling technology is at
> > best, only a few hundred years old. I guess that
> > at least 95% of our technology is less than 100
> > years old. Imagine the technology of an exo-Earth
> > civilization who is just a thousand years ahead of
> > us? Ten thousand years ahead? A million years down
> > the road?
>
> I can imagine lots of things -- there's no
> evidence such civilizations or beings exist. It
> might be cool if they did, but I can imagine lots
> of things that aren't real...it seems reasonable
> to wait for evidence they DO exist, don't you
> think?
>

Just google 'UFO videos' and spent a half hour watching with a mind that's not welded shut. Lots of it is BS. You get to decide that ALL of it is BS.

If you've seen the Kepler Telescope data on the number of Earth-zone planets recently discovered, and factor that by the numbers of stars per galaxy, number of galaxies, etc., the numbers get ridiculous on how many Earth-like planets that could support life as we know it are out there. To seriously believe that we are the only 'intelligent' planet feels like mathematical illiteracy to me.


> If imagining and making up fanciful stories that
> aren't plausible or have no evidence brings one
> "comfort," they're free to do so. Doing that
> doesn't bring me, or billions of other people, any
> "comfort." We know we're just imagining and
> making stuff up, and there's no reason to pretend
> what we imagine or make up is real. If and when
> there's evidence, THEN it will be "comforting."
> Until then, not so much. :)
>

I won't play my 'your definition of evidence determines your conclusions' broken record again.

> p.s. I've read Newton's stuff. I don't find it
> compelling, well-reasoned, plausible, or
> "comforting." If you do -- great. Enjoy.

So do you believe MN does not believe what he wrote? That he is an intentional deceiver? Or do you believe that MN is honest, but that his 7,000+ subjects were making stuff up and deceived MN? Or that MN 'lead the witness' and contaminated the data?

With your definition of 'evidence' you get to ignore all reports of subjective experience as BS. I respect your right to do that. What I am trying to point out is that you are rigging your own investigation by pre-determining what limited data you will allow to be admitted as evidence - and it includes only data that agrees with your foregone conclusion.

You do not require that you personally verify all accepted data with your own experiments and your own senses. You decide which second hand witnesses you will believe are not lying or deceiving, and which second hand witnesses you dismiss without further consideration.

That is also your right, however your inference that you stand on some kind of 'solid rock of absolute reality' is self-deception in my opinion. Your Humility Index appears to be hovering near zero ... with lots of black and white thinking.

Confirmation Bias is natural for all of us humans, and it's a tall challenge to detect and neutralize one's very own, dearly cherished 'my-favorite-color colored glasses'.

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Posted by: spiritist ( )
Date: July 27, 2015 10:12PM

Excellent and well thought out response ------ but good luck!

Atheists "the Sgt. Schultzs" of the world sure seem to
'claim to know' but just rely on well you can't prove it to their satisfaction.

I just wish they would admit that and be done ------ but no!

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Posted by: beyondashadow ( )
Date: July 28, 2015 01:26AM

We humans with our overblown egos are in love with the concept of BEING RIGHT. Defending the rightness of our opinion can often seem to calcify our refusal to be affected by alternative data.

We exmos deal with this regularly with family members and other TBMs who 'know' the Church is troo and simply plug their ears to block any and all information suggesting otherwise.

It might be easy and natural for us exmos to transfer similar 'defend my testimony' behaviors to some of our post-Mormon opinions that appeal to us enough that we 'make it our own' once again, and then proceed to defend with the same kind of energy once marshalled to protect our LDS testimony.

I personally have a penchant to perpetuate the 'every member a missionary' programming. Whenever I discover something new I think is very cool, I immediately want to share it enthusiastically with others. Kind of embarrassing when I do that literally for many years and then discover that I was promoting BS.

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Posted by: ificouldhietokolob ( )
Date: July 28, 2015 02:08PM

spiritist Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Atheists "the Sgt. Schultzs" of the world sure
> seem to
> 'claim to know' but just rely on well you can't
> prove it to their satisfaction.

That's completely false. Atheism is a lack of belief, not a claim of knowledge.
Science is an admission of ignorance, and a set of standards that let us have knowledge instead of "faith."

In fact, it's the "believers" who are "claiming to know," but don't. You have it exactly backwards.


>
> I just wish they would admit that and be done
> ------ but no!

There's no reason to admit that which is false.

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Posted by: ificouldhietokolob ( )
Date: July 27, 2015 11:39PM

beyondashadow Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> You are presuming that your personal definition of
> 'evidence' is the only valid definition. You
> should qualify your statement with 'According to
> the only definition of evidence I am willing to
> accept ...'

I make no such presumption. Claimed "evidence" that has problems (such as being based on fallacy) isn't evidence. It's pretty simple. It's only when people who WANT such things to be evidence won't admit the problems with them that there's any issue.

> By accepting ONLY your own definition of
> 'evidence', you leap to the conclusion that
> explanations based on anyone else's concept of
> 'evidence' are just made up from nothing and
> therefore beyond 'plausible'.

Your premise is false, and your conclusion doesn't follow from it anyway.

> You are invalidating
> opinions of others from your self-appointed throne
> as "Master Keeper of the Dictionary".

Now you're adding ad-hominem fallacies -- it's going downhill fast.
I'll point out that opinions aren't facts, anybody can have any opinion they want to. I *can't* "invalidate" them.

> By defining
> the words of others differently than how those
> words are intended, you get to invalidate all
> conclusions that do not coincide with your own.

Yes, the typical response when someone points out that outrageous claims without any evidence to support them are just that -- get angry, call names, act insulted. And don't address the claimed evidence or any of its problems.

> It
> is your right to disagree, but I see your
> rationale for disagreement as fundamentally
> flawed.

You can see whatever you want -- you've used nothing but fallacious arguments. So what basis do you have for "seeing" that?

> Once again, you are defining opinions different
> than your own as 'irrational' by implying that any
> opinions based on soft evidence are not rational.
> You definition of 'evidence of any kind' excludes
> soft evidence.

And yet, in case you didn't notice, I never said "irrational." I pointed out there isn't "soft evidence," a made-up term for people who want things that aren't evidence to be evidence. Never said anything about opinions, either. Nice straw-man -- the fallacy fest continues.

> You are presuming that we are so advanced that our
> box now contains everything that exists, that is
> real.

Read it again. It says no such thing.

> I claim that you have 'found your toes', and
> that's a good start.

If "the box" is my body, and I've found my toes, "the box" still includes my body even if I haven't found the rest of it yet. Get the point?
You, on the other hand, claimed that "the box" is tight and confining and unable to hold the universe. A claim which, of course, you have no evidence for.

> What would you rate as your own Humility Index ...
> 0-100? In other words, what inverse percentage of
> everything there is to know do you consider that
> you now already know?

I have no way of knowing how much of everything there is to know I already know, since nobody knows how much of everything there is to know. Making up a number, lacking knowledge, would be worthless and rather silly. I know what can be demonstrated, I don't know what can't (and neither does anyone else), and none of us know how much there is to know. Surely it's a lot. Incidentally, it's not at all "humble" to PRETEND to know things that aren't known -- in fact, it's dishonestly arrogant. Which is what people like Newton do. I honestly say, I don't know, I don't pretend fallacies are evidence, make up "comforting" stuff, and con people out of money to read about it.


> If you would 'like it' if we survive death as
> non-physical entities, then why don't you consider
> that the evidence for such a concept might also be
> non-physical aka soft?

Why should I pretend fallacious made-up stuff is evidence just because I might "like" it? That's not honest. And it doesn't lead to knowledge -- it leads to believing stuff that isn't known and doesn't have any evidence for it.


> I have not met any ET beings personally, but if
> you look with a sincere heart...

Hearts are organs that pump blood. The long-help ignorant superstition that they are the source of thoughts, knowledge, and even feelings was proven false a very long time ago.

>, with real intent,
> having a desire to find whatever you find, there
> are lots of other humans out there who claim to
> have had contact with ETs.

Have you noticed how your intro to that sounded almost *exactly* like the "book of mormon challenge?" Seriously.

Yes, there are people who claim to have had contact with ETs. Is there any evidence to back up their claims? No. Are their claims consistent with what is known, by evidence, about the universe? No. So there's no reason to "believe" them. And since their claims have at least (if not more) likelihood of being hallucinations, mistaken perception, imagination, or outright fraud as being "true," they're not "evidence" of visits from ETs.

> You are free throw out
> all of the bathwater without even checking. Sure,
> there are lots of frauds and hoaxes out there, and
> genuine videos of weird shit in the sky.

You've pointed out the biggest, most fundamental fallacy of all such (in your words) "soft" evidence.
And that is that even IF it's "genuine" and not fraudulent, it always comes down to "I can't personally explain this." If it stopped there, it would be an honest statement. It doesn't stop there -- it goes on to, "So it must be ETs." No, it mustn't. That's an argument from ignorance.
Have an "experience" during surgery while unconscious you can't explain? It must be "the afterlife" (no, it mustn't). See what you perceive as a ghost? It must be a disembodied spirit (no, it mustn't). And on and on. Replacing "I don't know what this is" with "it's this." That's why your "soft evidence" isn't evidence at all -- it's fallacy.

> You get
> to decide whether to take a serious look, or
> presume your foregone conclusion is correct and
> not investigate.

It's arrogant to presume I *haven't* "taken a serious look." I have -- the claims are unsupportable. Many of them are demonstrably fraudulent. The few that aren't are simply "unexplainable" -- which means they're unexplained, not aliens.

> Just google 'UFO videos' and spent a half hour
> watching with a mind that's not welded shut. Lots
> of it is BS. You get to decide that ALL of it is
> BS.

See above.
It's not having a mind "welded shut" to think reasonably and rationally, and discard fallacious nonsense. I'm open to ANY actual evidence. There just isn't any. That doesn't mean there AREN'T aliens out there, or visiting earth -- it does mean there's no evidence of either.

>
> If you've seen the Kepler Telescope data on the
> number of Earth-zone planets recently discovered,
> and factor that by the numbers of stars per
> galaxy, number of galaxies, etc., the numbers get
> ridiculous on how many Earth-like planets that
> could support life as we know it are out there. To
> seriously believe that we are the only
> 'intelligent' planet feels like mathematical
> illiteracy to me.

There no "belief." We do not as yet have any evidence that there is life of any kind on any of those planets. So to "believe" there is, is not supportable. Once again, you're taking "we don't know" and turning it into, "yes, we do, and it's this." That's worthless fallacy. You don't know there's life out there. Neither do I. Neither does anyone else. When and if we have evidence there is, then we can say there is. Until then, we can't -- at least not honestly.

> I won't play my 'your definition of evidence
> determines your conclusions' broken record again.

Good thing, because you blew it the first time.

> So do you believe MN does not believe what he
> wrote?

I don't care what he does or doesn't "believe." Evidence doesn't back it up. His stuff is full of "comforting" fallacy, not facts or evidence.


> That he is an intentional deceiver? Or do
> you believe that MN is honest, but that his 7,000+
> subjects were making stuff up and deceived MN?

I don't know or care if he's intentionally deceiving or not. I don't care if his subjects are intentionally deceiving or not. Those are irrelevant to facts. Facts aren't decided by, "Gee, do I trust what this guy says or not?"
They're decided by evidence. None supporting his conclusions is available. If YOU will bother to read some of the honest criticism of his "subjects" and his "studies," you can learn why his claimed evidence isn't evidence.

> With your definition of 'evidence' you get to
> ignore all reports of subjective experience as BS.

You're making another common mistake: pointing out that evidence doesn't support a claim doesn't mean you're calling the claim false.
But "subjective experiences" aren't evidence. Evidence can be verified, tested, repeated. If not that, at least it should be conclusive. Is a "subjective experience" a (for example) real supernatural "vision" of an afterlife, is it a dream, is it an hallucination, is it mistaken perception, is it chemical imbalance in the brain, or any number of other possible things? We don't know. Not even the person who has the "experience" knows. It's another case of "I can't explain this," yet then giving only one explanation. "I don't know" is honest. Try it.

> I respect your right to do that. What I am trying
> to point out is that you are rigging your own
> investigation by pre-determining what limited data
> you will allow to be admitted as evidence - and it
> includes only data that agrees with your foregone
> conclusion.

You've done a poor job of it. And by the way, I have no "foregone conclusions." In fact, it's the ones who "believe" claims without evidence that have "foregone conclusions," without evidence to support them. Provide some evidence of aliens and afterlives, and I'll accept them. Gladly. I just won't accept them without evidence, as you do.

> That is also your right, however your inference
> that you stand on some kind of 'solid rock of
> absolute reality'

Another straw-man. Sigh.

> Confirmation Bias is natural for all of us humans,
> and it's a tall challenge to detect and neutralize
> one's very own, dearly cherished
> 'my-favorite-color colored glasses'.

Yes, it is. Which is why the scientific method and how it uses evidence are so useful, because it has methods to overcome human biases of many kinds. You should try it sometime.

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Posted by: beyondashadow ( )
Date: July 28, 2015 01:48AM

Thanks for taking time for a thoughtful reply, ificouldhietokolob.

Lemme see if I can boil down our differences to a summary statement:

One of us believes that subjective human experience can sometimes (certainly not all of the time) be a source of potentially useful insight into the existence and nature of a nonphysical reality.

The other of us believes that subjective human experience is intrinsically unreliable and unreproducible and unverifiable and therefore of no value to humans desiring to more fully understand the Universe in which we live.

How close does that resonate with you, ificouldhietokolob. I'm honestly trying to get it right.

(This does not cover ET visits to Earth.)



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 07/28/2015 02:05AM by beyondashadow.

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Posted by: ificouldhietokolob ( )
Date: July 28, 2015 11:29AM

beyondashadow Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Thanks for taking time for a thoughtful reply,
> ificouldhietokolob.
>
> Lemme see if I can boil down our differences to a
> summary statement:
>
> One of us believes that subjective human
> experience can sometimes (certainly not all of the
> time) be a source of potentially useful insight
> into the existence and nature of a nonphysical
> reality.
>
> The other of us believes that subjective human
> experience is intrinsically unreliable and
> unreproducible and unverifiable and therefore of
> no value to humans desiring to more fully
> understand the Universe in which we live.
>
> How close does that resonate with you,
> ificouldhietokolob. I'm honestly trying to get it
> right.
>
> (This does not cover ET visits to Earth.)

Close. And thanks for this post, much more open to discussion than the previous one :)

There's no question that subjective human experience is intrinsically unreliable.
That doesn't mean, though, that it is of NO value.

Let me take "NDEs" as an example.
A person claims to have an NDE -- a subjective, unverifiable human experience.
"Believers" in an afterlife all too often gravitate towards saying an NDE is "evidence" of an afterlife. But it's not.
It's a claim, not evidence.
We might be able to say an NDE is evidence that some humans have "NDE" types of experiences, but even that *assumes* honesty. I'll go that far, though -- NDEs are evidence that humans have NDE types of experiences.
Having an NDE isn't, however, evidence of the *cause* of the experience, the "reality" of the experience, the reliability of what the human relates about the experience, or that it's supernatural (or NOT supernatural). That's using a claim as evidence the claim is true, circular and useless reasoning.
If we collect the data of LOTS of NDEs, and see if and where they have commonalities, we can use that information to see if we can find evidence of their "cause." But they are not, themselves, evidence of anything other than that humans have such experiences -- and even that requires an assumption.

The standards of evidence weren't invented to deprive believers of their beliefs, or to "limit" inquiry to the physical, or any other such thing. They're the acquired experience of millions to billions of human beings trying to figure out their universe, and exist because we've identified where we make mistakes. We use them to avoid our own biases, blind spots, and weaknesses. We use them to reliably -- at least as reliably as possible -- reach conclusions based on knowledge, conclusions that can stand up to challenge.

They're the difference between high confidence in conclusions and uninformed "belief." That's why they're useful, because we have learned the hard way through lots of experience that NOT using such standards, we make mistakes in reasoning and conclusions.

Whether you already "believe" something or not, wouldn't you rather KNOW? Wouldn't you want to be able to reliably conclude that something is true, using facts and evidence that can stand up to scrutiny, criticism, and challenge? Were I a "believer" in an afterlife, for example, I'd be frustrated by those who ignore the standards of evidence, and use fallacy, to make claims, even if they align with my beliefs -- because they're not doing any good towards KNOWING if the belief is true or not, they're harming that cause. I don't do the "belief" ahead of time, but I still want to KNOW. I don't want to "believe," because that's unreliable, unsupportable, and won't stand up to challenge.

Thanks again for the above.

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Posted by: beyondashadow ( )
Date: July 28, 2015 01:25PM

Thank you again for a thoughtful, well-reasoned post, ificouldhietokolob.

Feels like we are arriving at agreement on what to disagree on.

Here's another cut at it:

One of us places a higher value on belief than the other, with belief being defined as conjectures on the nature of an unseen, nonphysical reality based upon subjective human experience, which cannot be proven in the same sense as physical reality.

The other places virtually no value on belief as defined above, because beliefs based on subjective human experience have a high likelihood of being fallacious or otherwise BS.

Proof of a nonphysical reality is unattainable within the constraints of physical reality. Perhaps after we die on this physical plane, we will get to decide if some sense of individual beingness continues existing as a sentient, nonphysical entity. Even then, reality is in the eye of the beholder. If one chooses to deny what one beholds by ascribing it to illusion or artifact, then so be it. Life (and death?) is full of choices.

I am reminded of a story that Ramtha aka JZ Knight told a couple decades ago. A new arrival in the Spirit Realm was being given a tour. Various groups of soul entities were observed mingling and relating with each other. Then they happened upon a bunch of people lying on the ground motionless with eyes closed. The newby asked what's that about. The tour guide said, "Oh. Those are the souls who believe there is no life after death."

Yeah, I realize that goofy story is a cheap shot and accomplishes nothing, but there it is anyway ... for entertainment purposes.

In fact, one could make an argument that belief is just entertainment for wishful thinkers. I think you might sign up for that statement, ificouldhietokolob. It certainly is a choice whether or not to indulge in wishful thinking.

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Posted by: ificouldhietokolob ( )
Date: July 28, 2015 02:18PM

beyondashadow Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> One of us places a higher value on belief than the
> other, with belief being defined as conjectures on
> the nature of an unseen, nonphysical reality based
> upon subjective human experience, which cannot be
> proven in the same sense as physical reality.
>
> The other places virtually no value on belief as
> defined above, because beliefs based on subjective
> human experience have a high likelihood of being
> fallacious or otherwise BS.

That's pretty darn close :)

>
> Proof of a nonphysical reality is unattainable
> within the constraints of physical reality.

Here's where we disagree. That's a bare assertion, not a statement of fact. That some "nonphysical reality," if it exists, wouldn't have evidence of its existence in a "physical reality" is far from established. In fact, the not-so-useful claims of evidence for "non-physical reality" proffered are exactly that -- claims of this alleged non-physical reality leaving evidence of itself in a physical reality. You can't have it both ways -- claim you can't have proof of it in a physical reality, and then claim you do have proof of it in a physical reality.

Me, I don't see any reason that a supposed "non-phyiscal reality" wouldn't leave evidence of its supposed interaction with physical reality. That was my "the box is big enough" comment in the post above. It's big enough to account for everything that can be demonstrated, "physical" or not.

> Perhaps after we die on this physical plane, we
> will get to decide if some sense of individual
> beingness continues existing as a sentient,
> nonphysical entity. Even then, reality is in the
> eye of the beholder. If one chooses to deny what
> one beholds by ascribing it to illusion or
> artifact, then so be it. Life (and death?) is full
> of choices.

And perhaps not. How can we know which "perhapses" have merit? By what we want to be true? Nope. By valid evidence.

> I am reminded of a story that Ramtha aka JZ Knight
> told a couple decades ago. A new arrival in the
> Spirit Realm was being given a tour. Various
> groups of soul entities were observed mingling and
> relating with each other. Then they happened upon
> a bunch of people lying on the ground motionless
> with eyes closed. The newby asked what's that
> about. The tour guide said, "Oh. Those are the
> souls who believe there is no life after death."
>
> Yeah, I realize that goofy story is a cheap shot
> and accomplishes nothing, but there it is anyway
> ... for entertainment purposes.
>
> In fact, one could make an argument that belief is
> just entertainment for wishful thinkers. I think
> you might sign up for that statement,
> ificouldhietokolob. It certainly is a choice
> whether or not to indulge in wishful thinking.

Actually, I wouldn't sign up for that statement. There are a huge variety of reasons people "believe" things, and I don't go in for broad generalizations. Ultimately, though, a quick glance around the world and through human history should clearly show that "belief" isn't a reliable way to determine facts. Not reliable at all. If what a person wants is "comfort," and they don't care if what "comforts" them is real or not, they can use "belief." If they want facts and knowledge, they can't. I don't demand everyone want facts and knowledge...life is hard, whatever gets YOU through and works for you is just fine with me as long as it doesn't harm others. That doesn't keep me from being critical of unsupportable claims of "belief" being "real," though :)



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 07/28/2015 02:19PM by ificouldhietokolob.

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Posted by: Book of Mordor ( )
Date: July 28, 2015 02:07AM

Reading your exchanges over two or three threads seemed to remind me of something else, but it took a while to figure out exactly what. At last it came to me.

MEGAMIND: Over here, old friend! In case you've noticed, you've fallen right into my trap.
METRO MAN: You can't trap justice. It's an idea, a belief!
MEGAMIND: But even the most heartfelt belief can be corroded over time.
METRO MAN: Justice is a non-corrosive metal.
MEGAMIND: But metals can be melted by the heat of revange!
METRO MAN: It's 'revenge,' and it's best served cold!
MEGAMIND: But it can be easily reheated in the microwave of evil!
METRO MAN: Well, I think your warranty's about to expire!
MEGAMIND: Maybe I got an extended warranty!
METRO MAN: Warranties are invalid if you don't use the card for its intended purpose!
ROXANNE: [exasperated] Uuhh! Girls, girls, you're both pretty! Can I go home now!

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Posted by: beyondashadow ( )
Date: July 28, 2015 02:17AM

Well deserved!

I resemble that remark.

I'm not sure if we're both pretty, but no doubt we're both sweet spirits.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 07/28/2015 02:19AM by beyondashadow.

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Posted by: Heretic 2 ( )
Date: July 27, 2015 06:49PM

What is so bad about the idea of non-existence? I look forward to no longer existing after I die. I have lived a long life full of trouble and care. When I cease to exist, there will be no more trouble, no more care, no more toil, and no more boredom. I think I deserve a rest after my life is over, and non-existence sounds like the perfect thing. I do not fear death.

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Posted by: beyondashadow ( )
Date: July 27, 2015 09:46PM

Heretic 2, there is nothing intrinsically wrong with the idea of non-existence after death. The potential thing wrong with that idea is if you die and then realize that you are still conscious and that only your body died, and that the real YOU is still ticking.

The 'lights out' theory is appealing for many reasons. Not all appealing theories represent Reality, however.

My opinion is that we have LOTS of data points strongly suggesting that we are more than our bodies, and that when we die we are merely shedding a vehicle that wore out or quit running.

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Posted by: Heretic 2 ( )
Date: July 28, 2015 11:00PM

beyondashadow, there is nothing intrinsically wrong with the idea of life after death. The potential thing wrong with that idea is if you die and you abruptly cease to exist. It will turn out that you have lived your life wrong and made decisions differently than you would if you had lived life as if it was the only life you would get.

The 'life after death' theory is appealing for many reasons. Not all appealing theories represent reality, however.

My opinion is that we have LOTS of data points strongly suggesting that our minds are just a result of the functioning of our brains, and that when we die, the mind vanishes into oblivion just like the "thoughts" a computer "thinks" in RAM vanish when the computer is turned off.

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Posted by: Gone girl ( )
Date: July 27, 2015 06:49PM

I read both books 'journey of souls' 'destiny of souls' because of the recommendations I found on rfm. I am not sure if it was you or not.
These books have given me much to ponder. I found them interesting. I don't know the author, dr. Newton, and have no idea if he is credible, but his information was very comforting after the loss of someone close to me.
I cannot accept this existence doesn't have some sort of guiding influence. The souls energy must go somewhere after this life. I looked at atheism after leaving the church. I have looked at everything. Michael Newton has been the best scenario that rings true to me. It could all be bunk. But as for now I sure hope it isn't.
Thank you for the recommendation.

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Posted by: beyondashadow ( )
Date: July 27, 2015 09:42PM

Gone girl, I feel heartened that you invested time and energy to read Michael Newton. I experienced him (through his writing) as an honest reporter of remarkable information. The picture he painted of the Spirit Realm between lives is not based on onsey twosey NDE reports, but on 7,000+ reports of people who mostly did not know know each other. Sure, some had read MN's books, but zero had read his books before the first book was published.

Thanks very much for the feedback on how MN's information was useful for you personally.

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Posted by: Amyjo ( )
Date: July 27, 2015 07:04PM

Thanks, too. I'll check out his posts here and look for him on YouTube.

I'm open to new ideas about existence.

I also believe in life before, and life after life.

Someone else mentioned here they aren't afraid of dying. That's commendable I must say, whether you believe we exist or not after death. Most people fear death to some degree. I know I do.

The older I become the more I am forced to deal with issues of mortality as those around me including peers and family are dying off. Death is a part of life, and maybe even more real what happens after than what we experience here.

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Posted by: beyondashadow ( )
Date: July 27, 2015 09:52PM

Amyjo, if you are open to new-to-you ideas about us and the Nature of our existence, I think you will find Michael Newton to offer a beyond-exciting adventure into a Spirit Realm never before described in so much detail.

I'd be interested to hear again from you after your MN experience.

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Posted by: spiritist ( )
Date: July 27, 2015 10:07PM

I believe in God, after life, spirit guides, past lives, etc. based on my personal experiences (with past lives and spirits), without belonging to a religion.

Has it helped? I believe it has taken the fear of death away and provided me an improved path to try to follow or pursue in life.

Being a member of a 'church' is ok to learn some good moral teachings but none are totally true so go if you want some social group but don't get taken in by the 'fear' they preach or let your kids get brainwashed to that type of thinking. I believe the risk is much greater than the reward for most.

Spiritual in my life amounts to: meditating more for quality and how I feel/and view life and myself after: studying new techniques I learn that work for me to get information: reading more about others techniques and experiences, trying new meditations that seem to advance my experiences, and increasing the amount of interaction I have in my daily life by being receptive.

Just to be clear I do not get earthshaking personal information (haven't really asked for that) on a daily basis from (spirit or my unconscious/universal conscious) however, routinely asking and getting even minor information is very comforting to me. It gives me the belief that I will get help when I really need it ------ just like I did on at least 3 potentially serious occasions in the past.

MY greatest fear is not about God sending me to Hell or some other terrible place but I fear not being able to receive frequent information because I am not open.

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Posted by: celeste ( )
Date: July 27, 2015 10:21PM

Lord knows I would like to try. By happenstance, I found the movie Finding Joe just today. It is a sort of commentary on the life of Joseph Campbell, famous mythology expert. I already knew Campbell's work, the Heroes Journey and more, but I like the reminder. One speaker (I forget who) talked about that maybe if we could look past the mythology and stop working for a possible afterlife, we could actually live fully here. I so agree. That's my quest anyway. And in my case, it's trying to let go of the fear associated with not believing in a something because I fear repercussions. I don't have answers, but just thought I'd share this.

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Posted by: elderolddog ( )
Date: July 27, 2015 10:25PM

I play golf. I'm in love. If there's still 'light' when my body switches off, I'll check it out.

Why the rush to know ahead of time?

Back in my school days, there was no junior high. I went to elementary school K thru 8, and then to four years of high school.

I distinctly remember our states of mind as my 8th grade cohort discussed High School. I think it's an apt analogy. We wondered about it and speculated... (Yes, I know, many of us had older brothers and sisters in high school...) Mostly it was just to be talking, but there was a genuine sense of the Unknown.

But then came the fall of 1958 and I was in high school. Didn't take much to figure it out. what if the 'hereafter' is much the same? Why try to prep for it? So what if your learning curve is steeper than those who took High School Prep classes? You'll have eternity to figure it out!

Jim Jefferies does a bit about Eternity and how mind numbingly boring it will eventually become...

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Posted by: SusieQ#1 ( )
Date: July 28, 2015 02:22AM

elderolddog Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------

>
> Back in my school days, there was no junior high.
> I went to elementary school K thru 8, and then to
> four years of high school.
>
> I distinctly remember our states of mind as my 8th
> grade cohort discussed High School. I think it's
> an apt analogy. We wondered about it and
> speculated... (Yes, I know, many of us had older
> brothers and sisters in high school...) Mostly it
> was just to be talking, but there was a genuine
> sense of the Unknown.
>
>
I can relate ! My experience is much the same. The "unknown" was discussed at length!

My view of life after death has gone through several perspectives and positions. The latest is new in some ways. I was raised with the idea that the person transitioned from one form of energy (with a body) to another form of energy (without a body.) Then I changed my mind several times about what kind of life could continue after the physical death.

Then my husband died in Jan 13 and my brother died in Feb 14. Then my experiences showed me that there is some kind of energy that is not destroyed. I'm a receptive person so what I experienced are very personal to me and not explained by the known laws of physics. My husband was an electrical engineer. The messages I receive defy anything I can explain by any known method. I am, at this point, willing to accept that there is energy that is used to let me know I am not alone, and that is very comforting. And yes, filled with hope. I have physical evidence of one of several of these experiences! (I won't go into the specifics, my family know what they are.)



Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 07/28/2015 02:23AM by SusieQ#1.

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Posted by: beyondashadow ( )
Date: July 28, 2015 02:49AM

I'm sorry for your losses, SusieQ#1 ... so close together. I can't imagine dealing with that ... I am so glad you received some comforting communication you cannot deny.

Michael Newton included a couple of LBL sessions in his books where he received detailed reports of the creativity that a newly departed entity can go through to make contact with a surviving loved one and give them a sense of comfort that the departed is not really dead. In some cases, the deep grief felt by the survivor can tend to block communication efforts from the departed.

One of my brothers died a couple days before Christmas. Later one of his sons reported to me that two acquaintances separately told him his Dad had communicated to relay a message that he is OK. And my niece reported her Dad appearing in a dream and answering a couple of questions. Are you in pain? (No.) Don't recall other questions.

I happen to also be an electrical engineer ... semi-retired.



Edited 5 time(s). Last edit at 07/28/2015 02:55AM by beyondashadow.

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Posted by: brandywine ( )
Date: July 28, 2015 01:32PM

SuzieQ#1,
I am so sorry for your losses. Also, thank you for sharing your thoughts and experiences.

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Posted by: Happy Hare Krishna ( )
Date: July 29, 2015 12:45PM

beyondashadow Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------

> All religions are man-made entities and
> unavoidably develop an institutional
> self-preservation instinct compelling the
> leadership to seek money, power and control ... to
> perpetuate the money and power. It's not good or
> bad; it's human nature.
>
> The natural human is kinda greedy and
> self-serving. Just look at how toddlers and kids
> behave naturally ... unfortunately also including
> most adults.
>
> Having said that, however, many humans are happy
> to give up some of their money, and similarly
> happy to relinquish some control over their own
> lives in exchange for 'hope' dispensed by
> organized leadership who generally don't actually
> know any more than their faithful customers do
> about the non-physical reality

Not necessarily true. There have been many, many instances of young children seemingly instinctively acting the rift way, generously, unselfishly. And it is not hard to find many, many religious organizations who haven't fallen into the money, power, and control grab traps. It is more than just unconfirmed hope that people seek to gain from religion; there is a lot more that a genuine bona fide religion offers.

That said, non-religious alternatives to hope for those who don't believe in an afterlife and even for those who do include keeping a gratitude journal, tracking achievements and recording planned improvements, attentively noting service to others and living the Golden Rule, and taking note of what good you see in the world.

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Posted by: beyondashadow ( )
Date: July 29, 2015 02:04PM

Happy Hare Krishna, thanks for making some good points about the up side of religion.

Somehow, somewhere I managed to develop a bad taste in my mouth for religion. Can't quite put my finger on it, but I think it's spelled b.i.c.

Sure, it's not impossible for a religion to remain uncorrupted by human avarice, and religion can actually add more value than it subtracts from people's lives and times.

Please explain your use of 'rift' in 'acting the rift way'. Was that a typo? Right way? My guess. Harder to reconstruct when the letter count is off.

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