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Posted by: Warrior71783 ( )
Date: November 03, 2019 02:34PM

Doesn't sound right but i will entertain the thought. But where are thoughts and memories stored in the brain?

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Posted by: William Law ( )
Date: November 03, 2019 03:11PM

Science knows how memories are physically formed and how thinking works.

Immortal soul? No.

Personality and temporal soul? Yes.

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Posted by: Warrior71783 ( )
Date: November 03, 2019 05:45PM

I see

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Posted by: Henry Bemis ( )
Date: November 04, 2019 10:09AM

Science knows how memories are physically formed and how thinking works.

COMMENT: Science has a pretty good idea of the brain *mechanisms* that are *involved* in memory *formation*. However, they have essentially no clue as to what an "engram" (memory unit) is, or how or where such engrams are put together and stored in the brain.

Oh, and science has little understanding as to how mental "thinking" works. They know generally how brains function as information processors, but since they know nothing about consciousness, and since thinking requires consciousness, they know little about thinking. And it is well known that human beings do not think in the same way that brains "compute."

That is why Crick calls the correlations between the brain and the mind an astonishing *hypothesis,* rather than an astonishing fact! In reality, since it is not based upon any well-defined theory, it is an astonishing speculation, and not much more.

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Posted by: Warrior71783 ( )
Date: November 06, 2019 05:07PM

Thank you for this information.

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Posted by: Dave the Atheist ( )
Date: November 03, 2019 03:13PM

Souls fit shoes, not people.

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Posted by: stillanon ( )
Date: November 03, 2019 03:21PM

It fits James Brown.

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Posted by: summer ( )
Date: November 03, 2019 05:28PM

If by soul, you mean a part of ourselves that is an eternal identity, then maybe.

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Posted by: babyloncansuckit ( )
Date: November 03, 2019 08:30PM

Some people remember their out of body (OBE) experiences. That would be a neat trick for a meat machine.

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Posted by: Lot's Wife ( )
Date: November 04, 2019 03:01AM

No more than for the paranoid schizophrenic who hears the voice of God and decides to kill his son, or the psychotic person who sees non-existent events, or the alcoholic who experiences delirium tremens.

No more than for she who imbibes mescaline or other hallucinogens and then flies like an eagle to distant places and sees the face of God.

All sorts of people have out-of-body experiences. I'm not sure why one or two categories of such phenomena should be treated as real and the rest dismissed as the product of an addled mind.

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Posted by: Henry Bemis ( )
Date: November 04, 2019 09:55AM

No more than for the paranoid schizophrenic who hears the voice of God and decides to kill his son, or the psychotic person who sees non-existent events, or the alcoholic who experiences delirium tremens.

COMMENT: True.

No more than for she who imbibes mescaline or other hallucinogens and then flies like an eagle to distant places and sees the face of God.

COMMENT: True.

All sorts of people have out-of-body experiences. I'm not sure why one or two categories of such phenomena should be treated as real and the rest dismissed as the product of an addled mind.

COMMENT: Wait a minute. You don't see any distinction between an OBE that is known to have a physical, pathological origin, and one that does not? The distinction is huge. What this shows is that whatever is causing the OBE in the pathological case is not a necessary condition for the OBE experience. (note that it is not shown to be a sufficient condition, either) So, if that is the case, the ultimate cause of the OBE remains open. I am not saying that such ultimate cause must be non-physical, of course. I am only saying that there *is* an important distinction that you are casually dismissing. Why you cannot see this obvious point is startling. It can only mean that *for you* and your prejudices, it doesn't matter. But as a logical and scientific matter it most certainly does!

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Posted by: anonnonnonononon ( )
Date: November 06, 2019 12:14AM

Well...no. Because the ones that don't have a physical/psychological explanation for yet, we simply haven't figured out at this point scientifically.

We used to think seizures were demon possessions and PTSD from rape was a "wandering womb." 50 or 100 years from now, what we think of as the OBEs you're mentioning, we'll understand as something else.

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Posted by: Henry Bemis ( )
Date: November 06, 2019 09:43AM

"Well...no. Because the ones that don't have a physical/psychological explanation for yet, we simply haven't figured out at this point scientifically."

COMMENT: Well, again, the point is that OBE's are not explained by an appeal to schizophrenia and/or drugs. There must be another explanation, be it physical, psychological, or perhaps a "soul." In other words, even after considering the schizophrenic and drug examples, the "soul" hypothesis remains untouched.

Now, if you insist--as you do here--that we will some day find a physical or psychological cause, such that the soul explanation is refuted or unnecessary, such insistence, although it may turn out to be true, begs the question. Because this assumption of itself refutes the question of whether a soul is involved in an OBE, which is the issue at hand.

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Posted by: Anonnonnon ( )
Date: November 06, 2019 01:22PM

But there’s no proof of souls whatsoever, so it doesn’t actually “point” to that at all except from a religious/spiritual standpoint of belief. We don’t understand glioblastoma fully for example or what its origins are. That doesn’t mean its existence “points” to it being from Satan. You’d have to believe in Satan for it to “point” to that.

Psychosis and drug induced states are simply things we’ve come to understand across time and with inquiry. Mere decades ago there were hypotheses that psychosis and clinical depression were largely due to Satanic ritual abuse. That didn’t mean there was actual evidence, it meant some people believed in Satanic ritual abuse in the 70s and 80s and projected that belief onto things they saw happening.

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Posted by: Anonnonnon ( )
Date: November 06, 2019 01:28PM

The difference is, attributing seizures to electrical activity in the brain doesn’t require belief. It is a fact. Because there is zero evidence for a soul, you have to START with belief and then offer that belief up as a reason for something you claim to see happening, like what people describe as OBEs.

I have no problem with people choosing to believe in whatever. I’m not an atheist myself. But that is my belief and I admit there is zero evidence for it. If I choose to believe in a spiritual explanation for something, which I occasionally do, that is purely a personal thing and not at all the same as a “hypothesis.” A hypothesis refers to a step in the scientific method. The idea of a soul is a long held concept that is purely spiritual. It has precisely zero evidence.

I guess I don’t understand the desire to have the scientific and the spiritual cross over. By definition I don’t see how they can. If you were able to prove an innately spiritual belief like souls in a scientific way, wouldn’t it cease to be sacred/faith based anyway?

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Posted by: Henry Bemis ( )
Date: November 06, 2019 02:07PM

The idea of a soul is a long held concept that is purely spiritual. It has precisely zero evidence.

COMMENT: This is wrong on all counts. Surely, there is a long-standing, traditional "spiritual" component to the idea of a soul. But remember, Descartes' exposition was entirely scientific and philosophical. And a tradition involving the mind-body problem, and the concept of personal identity followed. So, the idea of the soul *is* a genuine philosophical problem that spills over into science, like it or not. I suggest you read: Martin and Barresi, The Rise and Fall of Soul and Self: An Intellectual History of Personal Identity.

Also, it is ridiculous to claim that "there is no evidence for a soul," if by evidence you include human experience generally, including OBEs, NDEs, Past Lives of Children (Reincarnation), coupled with the failure of neuroscience to explain consciousness, and the multiple varieties of human cognition that cannot be explained in materialist terms. (e.g. mental causation.)

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Posted by: Henry Bemis ( )
Date: November 06, 2019 01:58PM

But there’s no proof of souls whatsoever, so it doesn’t actually “point” to that at all except from a religious/spiritual standpoint of belief. We don’t understand glioblastoma fully for example or what its origins are. That doesn’t mean its existence “points” to it being from Satan. You’d have to believe in Satan for it to “point” to that.

COMMENT: Read this statement carefully. You are stating that because some OBEs do not provide "proof" of your disfavored interpretation (souls), such experiences cannot "point to" (or suggest) such an interpretation. That is quite wrong. There is no "proof" that consciousness arises from neuron firings in the brain, but that does not mean that the neural correlates of consciousness do not "point to" or suggest such an interpretation. In short, evidence (including the evidence in the form of human OBE experiences) can point to multiple interpretations. The question is which one is best. But, whatever one you favor, it better be able to explain all instances of the phenomena in question. Moreover, if your favored interpretation is based upon an assumption that the alternative is ruled out because it is non-material, or religious based, you are question-begging.
_____________________________________________

Psychosis and drug induced states are simply things we’ve come to understand across time and with inquiry. Mere decades ago there were hypotheses that psychosis and clinical depression were largely due to Satanic ritual abuse. That didn’t mean there was actual evidence, it meant some people believed in Satanic ritual abuse in the 70s and 80s and projected that belief onto things they saw happening.

COMMENT: It is, of course, fair to point out, as you have, that natural explanations tend to come forth eventually and the expense of "supernatural" or religious explanations. But, you cannot generalize that into an argument against a reasonable interpretation of the OBE experience. You have to address the experience on its own terms, given the nature of such experiences, their various contexts, and, yes, how science interfaces with such experiences.

My own understanding, based upon a fairly extensive review of the literature, is that OBEs in most cases are best explained by natural causes. But, there *are* troubling counter-examples to any general such explanation, not the least of which is the inability to pinpoint just what physiological or neurological state(s) trigger such experiences, as applicable to ALL cases.

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Posted by: Annonnonnon ( )
Date: November 06, 2019 08:40PM

general question: do you have any existing proof of souls’ existence?

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Posted by: Lot's Wife ( )
Date: November 06, 2019 01:23AM

> COMMENT: Wait a minute. You don't see any
> distinction between an OBE that is known to have a
> physical, pathological origin, and one that does
> not? The distinction is huge. What this shows is
> that whatever is causing the OBE in the
> pathological case is not a necessary condition for
> the OBE experience. (note that it is not shown to
> be a sufficient condition, either) So, if that is
> the case, the ultimate cause of the OBE remains
> open. I am not saying that such ultimate cause
> must be non-physical, of course. I am only saying
> that there *is* an important distinction that you
> are casually dismissing. Why you cannot see this
> obvious point is startling. It can only mean that
> *for you* and your prejudices, it doesn't matter.
> But as a logical and scientific matter it most
> certainly does!

So your argument is that the lack of evidence of causation as understood by contemporary science proves that the experience is transcendent? Do you have any evidence for that?

Of course you do not. By your standard OBE that are today understood as chemically or psychologically induced but were not perceived as such 200 years ago were, 200 years ago, proof of transcendence. Is that really a position you want to assume?

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Posted by: Henry Bemis ( )
Date: November 06, 2019 08:11AM

So your argument is that the lack of evidence of causation as understood by contemporary science proves that the experience is transcendent? Do you have any evidence for that?

COMMENT: Did I say that? No. In fact, I said just the opposite; i.e. that it does NOT prove it. So, once again, you apparently do not understand a simple logical point, which is that the mere fact that SOME OBE's have a pathological or drug induced connection does not imply that all do; particularly when there are multiple examples of OBEs in contexts that do not involve pathology or drugs, or other physical context.
_____________________________________

Of course you do not. By your standard OBE that are today understood as chemically or psychologically induced but were not perceived as such 200 years ago were, 200 years ago, proof of transcendence. Is that really a position you want to assume?

COMMENT: Look, I did not make any connection or make any claim that ANY OBE implied anything non-scientific, or transcendent. All I am saying is that schizophrenia and drugs do not explain these experiences.

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Posted by: Henry Bemis ( )
Date: November 06, 2019 08:20AM

Let me kindly press this point further. I said that your position is "logically and scientifically" flawed.

Considering logic first: Your position seems to be as follows:

Premise A: Schizophrenia (S) and drugs (D) induce OBEs;

Premise B: S and D involve physical causes;

Therefore, ALL OBE's must have physical causes. (No need to distinguish between such causes)

This statement of your position follows logically from your bias in refusing to consider reports of OBEs that do not seem to be explainable by S and D (or other physical) causes. But the fact that this argument is fallacious is obvious. It is sometimes called the fallacy of "hasty generalization." As stated by Irving Copi in his seminal book, Introduction to Logic: (now (2019) in its 15th Edition!):

"In seeking to understand and characterize all cases of a certain kind, one can usually pay attention to only some of them. But those examined should be typical rather than atypical. If one considers only unusual or atypical cases and hastily generalizes to a rule that fits them alone, the fallacy committed is that of converse accident. [Hasty generalization]" [p. 107]

Thus, in the present case, you (any many others) take the atypical cases of OBEs (i.e. the S and D cases) and generalize to all cases, thus committing the fallacy.

But what about science? It is well known and understood that theory generation legitimately occurs through the process of induction from individual confirming cases. If event (E) appears universally to be caused by a given cause (C), then a law may be proposed relating (C) to (E). Of course, this can be complicated, but the point here is that ANY disconfirming event TOTALLLY negates the proposed theory. This is a standard logical point emphasized by POPPER as the idea of "falsification." As Copi puts it:

"A single negative or disconfirming instance will overthrow an alleged causal law, whereas the method of simple enumeration takes no account of such exceptions. For an exception or negative instance is either one where (C) is present without (E), or where (E) is present without (C); but the only legitimate premises in an argument by simple enumeration are reports of instances in which both (C) and (E) are present. In other words, if we were to confine ourselves to simple enumeration arguments exclusively, we should look only for confirming instances that might otherwise be found. For this reason, despite their fruitfulness and value in suggesting causal laws, inductions by simple enumeration are not at all suitable for *testing* causal laws." [p.415]

In the present case, generalizing from S and D, that all OBE are necessarily physical (that there is no distinction) is fallacious; and very conspicuously so.

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Posted by: Lot's Wife ( )
Date: November 06, 2019 12:28PM

You have a way of accusing people of illogic even as you engage in it.

You and I agree that there is no evidence one way or the other between experiences whose causes we presently understand and those we don't. Where we disagree is over how to interpret the dearth of evidence for the latter.

Your stated position is that there is "a distinction between an OBE that is known to have a physical, pathological origin, and one that does not." That is false. The lack of evidence is not evidence.

You cannot adduce any reasonable argument that there is a substantial difference between phenomena that we understand and phenomena we don't.

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Posted by: anonnonnon ( )
Date: November 06, 2019 01:32PM

Exactly. The only distinction is our own lack of understanding of it. That’s not proof of a distinction at all between the actual phenomena. We understood bipolar disorder within psychology earlier than we understood OCD. That doesn’t make OCD not a mental disorder, it means we studied one before the other or studied one more effectively than the other first. A difference in human understanding of two things does not actually make the things different.

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Posted by: Human ( )
Date: November 06, 2019 01:54PM

Wrong. The mistake here is the old, persistent one: correlation/causation.

Not all Schizophrenics experience OBEs, nor do all drug induced states create OBEs.

Many heart attack patients report experiencing OBEs, but not all or even most. Same with surgery, etc.

Then there are the reported cases of religiously induced OBEs, but not all induced as such experience OBEs.

Etc.

Finally, there's the reported cases of otherwise healthy, normal people experiencing 'spontaneous' OBEs, which of course the vast majority of us do not experience.

There is no scientific "this causes that" case made for OBEs. What we have are a variety of correlations, and that is all.

And of course the physical body correlates at the tippy top highest, because everyone who has reported an OBE also has a body.

Science hasn't the first clue about consciousness, and so hasn't even that about consciousness experiencing an OBE.

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Posted by: Human ( )
Date: November 06, 2019 01:57PM

"...as segment of a larger whole."

Yes. Indeed.

(The speaker says things in a round about way. Some of the most important stuff is at the end. Try to see it through to hear his whole point. What I like most is his scientific attitude, which he displays throughout.)

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Posted by: Human ( )
Date: November 06, 2019 01:58PM

wrong place

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Posted by: Lot's Wife ( )
Date: November 06, 2019 02:04PM

Was that a reply to me?

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Posted by: Henry Bemis ( )
Date: November 06, 2019 02:28PM

EXACTLY! Are you and I the only ones on the Board that has taken Logic 101!

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Posted by: Henry Bemis ( )
Date: November 06, 2019 02:27PM

You have a way of accusing people of illogic even as you engage in it.

COMMENT: Isn't that interesting. Yet, while I specifically point out your logical errors, you can only provide rhetoric.
________________________________________

You and I agree that there is no evidence one way or the other between experiences whose causes we presently understand and those we don't. Where we disagree is over how to interpret the dearth of evidence for the latter.

COMMENT: Your wrong. OBE's *are* examples of human experiences that cry out for explanation. To the extent that they support some theory about the nature of human beings, they are evidence for that theory. We can have any number of theories about what OBEs mean, which may turn out to be right or wrong. Some theories may be better than others, agreed. But, most certainly, a theory that does not encompass all aspects of OBE's is of necessity false or incomplete. That appears to be what you don't get!
______________________________________

Your stated position is that there is "a distinction between an OBE that is known to have a physical, pathological origin, and one that does not." That is false. The lack of evidence is not evidence.

COMMENT: Well, in the first place the lack of evidence "is" evidence in some contexts. If I am a physicist and spend my career looking for a particular particle, with certain properties, does that not count as evidence (some reason to believe however inconclusive) that the particle does not exist? So, that "lack of evidence is not evidence" is BS nonsense. It depends upon the context.

But to your point. OBE's that do not have a pathological origin tell a scientist something very important; and that is that there is something about OBEs, i.e. some property, that pathology cannot fully explain. So, even if they reject the idea of a "soul" out-of-hand, they still have to face that distinction. They need a more complete naturalistic explanation. And if they cannot find one, and it appears at some point that there is no natural explanation, then they must expand their idea of "natural explanation" to perhaps include something about nature they do not understand.
_____________________________________________

You cannot adduce any reasonable argument that there is a substantial difference between phenomena that we understand and phenomena we don't.

COMMENT: How about this; By definition there is a "substantial difference" between OBEs that we understand and those we don't because in the one case, we understand it, and the other we don't. And presumably there are facts that underlie this distinction. There is your argument. Simple and entirely logical.

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Posted by: Lot's Wife ( )
Date: November 06, 2019 03:14PM

> COMMENT: Isn't that interesting. Yet, while I
> specifically point out your logical errors, you
> can only provide rhetoric.

Sure, Henry.


-----------------
> COMMENT: Your wrong. OBE's *are* examples of
> human experiences that cry out for explanation.

Is the fact that you hear them "crying out" a logical argument? It strikes me as more emotion than rational.


----------------
> But, most certainly, a theory that does
> not encompass all aspects of OBE's is of necessity
> false or incomplete. That appears to be what you
> don't get!

You state that a theory that does not encompass all aspects of a phenomenon is false or incomplete. There is a third possibility: that the evidence underlying the theory is incomplete. That is, and always has been, my position.

Your "logic," by contrast, consists of falsely constricting the range of possible answers so that others must follow you down your rabbit's hole. But it is not logically sound to ignore possible explanations.


-----------------
> COMMENT: Well, in the first place the lack of
> evidence "is" evidence in some contexts. If I am
> a physicist and spend my career looking for a
> particular particle, with certain properties, does
> that not count as evidence (some reason to believe
> however inconclusive) that the particle does not
> exist?

That is not a rational argument. Einstein could not find a Grand Unifying Theory. No scientist believes that that indicates the absence of such.

Moreover you are manifestly unwilling to apply this standard to your own thought. There is no evidence that OBEs stem from spiritual sources. That lack of evidence would, according to the standard you just adduced, be evidence that you are wrong.


--------------------
> So, that "lack of evidence is not evidence"
> is BS nonsense.

Apply that to your own argument.


--------------------
> But to your point. OBE's that do not have a
> pathological origin tell a scientist something
> very important; and that is that there is
> something about OBEs, i.e. some property, that
> pathology cannot fully explain.

False. The absence of evidence for some forms of OBEs merely indicates that we do not fully understand them AT OUR PRESENT LEVEL OF SCIENTIFIC KNOWLEDGE. That is all it says.


----------------

> So, even if they
> reject the idea of a "soul" out-of-hand, they
> still have to face that distinction. They need a
> more complete naturalistic explanation.

False. The absence of evidence proves that research to date has not found such evidence. That is all one can conclude.


-----------------
> And if
> they cannot find one, and it appears at some point
> that there is no natural explanation, then they
> must expand their idea of "natural explanation" to
> perhaps include something about nature they do not
> understand.

Yes. And the new theory will lack foundation until an evidentiary basis is developed. Meanwhile there are two contradictory hypotheses, neither of which has complete evidence. Your protests notwithstanding, that does not mean your unevidenced hypothesis is logically preferable.


------------------
> COMMENT: How about this; By definition there is a
> "substantial difference" between OBEs that we
> understand and those we don't because in the one
> case, we understand it, and the other we don't.
> And presumably there are facts that underlie this
> distinction. There is your argument. Simple and
> entirely logical.

That has been my argument from start to finish. There are facts that we don't understand. Where we differ is that you think that ignorance means your preferred solution is correct. I do not. I reckon our ignorance does not support any hypothesis.


---------------
All the absence of evidence "proves" is that we haven't found evidence yet. It assuredly doesn't mean we should follow you in embracing a hypothesis that is likewise lacking in evidence.

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Posted by: Henry Bemis ( )
Date: November 06, 2019 05:27PM

You state that a theory that does not encompass all aspects of a phenomenon is false or incomplete. There is a third possibility: that the evidence underlying the theory is incomplete. That is, and always has been, my position.

COMMENT: When a scientists says that "the evidence is incomplete" to support a given theory; like say String Theory, the scientist is holding out for some evidence that establishes an otherwise speculative theory. The theory may still be right, so the committed scientist continues to research the theory to see what happens. I accept this as a methodological point, but it is not helpful in evaluating what alternative theories might turn out to be true. It just means you have a scientist who is reluctant to give up on his or her theory.

The fact that a scientist hopes his theory is true, has no bearing whatsoever about the evidence in support of it, or against it. So, you are back to an evaluation of theories in themselves, regardless of hope. Now, it is true that some theories are "better" than others from an evidentiary prospective. But that was not your point. What you said was that a "soul" theory of OBEs was per se dismissible because a soul theory does not meet with your requirements of what "evidence" must require. And worse, you refused to distinguish between data that supported your theory, S and D, and data that didn't. That is as unscientific as it gets.

My point is that the very nature of OBEs suggests a soul theory as an alternative explanation as to what is going on. After all, the separation of mind from body is exactly what the experience is! Maybe such a theory will eventually be dismissible, but not because of a pre-judgment about what theories are possible and what theories are not, or because you swept contrary data under the rug.
________________________________________________

Your "logic," by contrast, consists of falsely constricting the range of possible answers so that others must follow you down your rabbit's hole. But it is not logically sound to ignore possible explanations.

COMMENT: What on earth are you talking about? Please provide me with a quote where I am "falsely constricting the range of possible answers." Did I say--ever--that a physicalist-neurological explanation was not possible? Of course not. I only asked readers to follow my logic, which showed in no uncertain terms that YOUR logic was fallacious, and transparently so.
_________________________________________________

-----------------
> COMMENT: Well, in the first place the lack of
> evidence "is" evidence in some contexts. If I am
> a physicist and spend my career looking for a
> particular particle, with certain properties, does
> that not count as evidence (some reason to believe
> however inconclusive) that the particle does not
> exist?

That is not a rational argument. Einstein could not find a Grand Unifying Theory. No scientist believes that that indicates the absence of such.

COMMENT: Oh, but your wrong, and inadvertently make my point. There is a distinct trend in theoretical physics now such that scientists are doubting whether a theory of everything is reasonable to expect, a large part because scientists have run into too many stumbling blocks in trying to fine it--including Einstein! (If you want quotes, I will provide them for you!)
_________________________________________________

Moreover you are manifestly unwilling to apply this standard to your own thought. There is no evidence that OBEs stem from spiritual sources. That lack of evidence would, according to the standard you just adduced, be evidence that you are wrong.

COMMENT: O.K. where did I advance the argument that OBEs stem from spiritual sources. WHERE? Where did I even suggest such a thing. A "soul" theory has nothing directly to do with spirituality or religion. It is just a theory that suggests some form of dualism, a mind-body distinction. And, again, there is a lot of evidence for it, including OBEs.
__________________________________________________

--------------------
> But to your point. OBE's that do not have a
> pathological origin tell a scientist something
> very important; and that is that there is
> something about OBEs, i.e. some property, that
> pathology cannot fully explain.

False. The absence of evidence for some forms of OBEs merely indicates that we do not fully understand them AT OUR PRESENT LEVEL OF SCIENTIFIC KNOWLEDGE. That is all it says.

COMMENT: Exactly. So, we cannot rule out theories that are offered to accommodate these exceptions, which is exactly what you are doing.
__________________________________________

> So, even if they
> reject the idea of a "soul" out-of-hand, they
> still have to face that distinction. They need a
> more complete naturalistic explanation.

False. The absence of evidence proves that research to date has not found such evidence. That is all one can conclude.

COMMENT: A scientist has to explain the data. That is what scientists do. In the present case, the data includes OBEs that do not involve pathology or drugs. So, their task is to explain all of the data, not just the data fits their preferred theory.
__________________________________________

> And if
> they cannot find one, and it appears at some point
> that there is no natural explanation, then they
> must expand their idea of "natural explanation" to
> perhaps include something about nature they do not
> understand.

Yes. And the new theory will lack foundation until an evidentiary basis is developed. Meanwhile there are two contradictory hypotheses, neither of which has complete evidence. Your protests notwithstanding, that does not mean your unevidenced hypothesis is logically preferable.

COMMENT: I did not ever say a "soul" theory was logically preferable. Why are always putting words in my mouth? But, I did insist that there was evidence for such a theory--because that is exactly what the data (the OBE itself) suggests!
_________________________________________

> COMMENT: How about this; By definition there is a
> "substantial difference" between OBEs that we
> understand and those we don't because in the one
> case, we understand it, and the other we don't.
> And presumably there are facts that underlie this
> distinction. There is your argument. Simple and
> entirely logical.

That has been my argument from start to finish. There are facts that we don't understand. Where we differ is that you think that ignorance means your preferred solution is correct. I do not. I reckon our ignorance does not support any hypothesis.

COMMENT: Again, you attribute a view I never, even stated; i.e. that ignorance allows one to adopt their preferred solution. That is ridiculous, and I never said it. You cannot address the points I make, so you manufacture stuff I didn't say and argue against that.

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Posted by: Lot's Wife ( )
Date: November 06, 2019 05:58PM

Three simple observations.


---------------
> COMMENT: What on earth are you talking about?
> Please provide me with a quote where I am "falsely
> constricting the range of possible answers."

Okay, here you go.

> But, most certainly, a theory that does
> not encompass all aspects of OBE's is of necessity
> false or incomplete.

You say that the lack of complete evidence for a materialistic interpretation means that the materialistic explanation is "false or incomplete." That denies the third possibility that further evidence exists but has not yet been found.


----------------
> COMMENT: O.K. where did I advance the argument
> that OBEs stem from spiritual sources. WHERE?
> Where did I even suggest such a thing. A "soul"
> theory has nothing directly to do with
> spirituality or religion. It is just a theory that
> suggests some form of dualism, a mind-body
> distinction. And, again, there is a lot of
> evidence for it, including OBEs.

Here you go.

> My point is that the very nature of OBEs suggests
> a soul theory as an alternative explanation as to
> what is going on. After all, the separation of
> mind from body is exactly what the experience is!

You are now insisting that a "soul theory" is different from a spiritual theory. The truth, however, is that soul and spirit are synonymous and "spiritual" is the normal adjective used to denote that concept. If you want to insist that a "soul" is not "spiritual," have at it. But a lot of us would find that distinction arbitrary and, in fact, fatuous.


-------------------
You are still arguing that absence of evidence is evidence of absence.

> OBE's that do not have a
> pathological origin tell a scientist something
> very important; and that is that there is
> something about OBEs, i.e. some property, that
> pathology cannot fully explain.

That is muddled. A materialistic explanation does not rely on "pathology." And the fact that present science cannot account materialistically or otherwise for some forms of OBE does not mean that such evidence will not be forthcoming.


--------------
Your logic is flawed. You may feel that OBEs "cry out" for a spiritual explanation, but that is emotional impulse and not rational analysis.



Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 11/06/2019 06:20PM by Lot's Wife.

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Posted by: Warrior71783 ( )
Date: November 06, 2019 05:26PM

I too think OBE are not all caused by drugs and mental illness, that is a very narrow-minded assumption and generalization on things we do not know or have experienced ourselves. How do you explain the sane and sober having OBE? You are more than just your brain and mind. You are not your brain or mind is what i am saying. Everyone has an individual identity with their own authenticity deep down somewhere. And have their own dreams and their own thoughts. Some people's personalities are similar but each individual has their own uniqueness. Not sure if this makes sense but it makes sense to me right now. Everyone has a self separate from the whole of the rest of the population. False ideas get put in our minds from outside influence throughout our lives but that unique self remains untouched within. I could be wrong but it makes sense to me right now.

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Posted by: commongentile ( )
Date: November 04, 2019 06:32AM

Link to an article about out-of-body experiences:

https://psi-encyclopedia.spr.ac.uk/articles/out-body-experience-obe

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Posted by: azsteve ( )
Date: November 04, 2019 12:16AM

I don't think we'll ever create a computer that is truly self-aware. We might create a computer that takes measures to protect itself based on programmed routines and it may even become capable of learning new information and methods on its own. But it won't be passionate about self-preservation or feel emotions. This difference between computers and most life, I believe is the difference in whether or not something is alive or not. People and animals have immortal souls. That is why I don't believe that a person will ever be able to transfer their consciousness in to a computer to cheat death. Even a computer with the adequate computing capacity could not host the soul and even if it could, we wouldn't have a clue about how to transfer the soul in to it. At best, we might make a computer that mimics the actions and mannerisms of someone's departed loved ones so well that the immitation appears to be real. That might comfort those the person left behind.



Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 11/04/2019 12:23AM by azsteve.

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Posted by: Warrior71783 ( )
Date: November 06, 2019 05:36PM

I think if there was a successful A.I. robot made it would be self-aware and think it has a conscious. That is the idea behind the idea of the A.I. So what would be the difference between a successful A.I. and a a biological human? Both self-aware and both believe they have a consciousness. There has to be more to that to make a complete human in my opinion. An identity connected within the body separates us from a successful A.I. In order to be a true A.I. it has to believe it is self aware and has its own conscious. So are we more than just what an A.I. believes itself to be? I think so.

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Posted by: donbagley ( )
Date: November 04, 2019 01:57AM

If you'd like to call our personalities souls, that's fine. But these die with the physical body. Death is cessation. Does an echo of those personalities persist somehow? Take your pick: wishful thinking, speculation, myth.

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Posted by: Warrior71783 ( )
Date: November 06, 2019 05:41PM

I don't think we become less than dirt after die. Dirt goes on but we don't? Come on. The energy of ourselves goes on but not like the fantasyland that everyone thinks. The the disney movie afterlife that everyone thinks or was taught about from a young age.

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Posted by: Done & Done ( )
Date: November 04, 2019 10:10AM

And yet they seem to be running things.

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Posted by: cl2 ( )
Date: November 04, 2019 10:29AM


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Posted by: Done & Done ( )
Date: November 04, 2019 10:37AM

Seems to be the number one requisite for gaining power.

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Posted by: Warrior71783 ( )
Date: November 06, 2019 05:43PM

Indeed. Most people in positions of power have lost any good soul they may have had as children. Corroded and corrupted by greed and power over others.

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Posted by: Done & Done ( )
Date: November 04, 2019 10:46AM

Souls, like Gods, are a claim that can't be proven. The default then is to make the claim and then expect people to prove you wrong so that their claim can stand as "absence of evidence is not evidence of absence," which is the go-to for those with a gaping lack of proof for their claims.

What can be proven is that some people have empathy. Humans are capable of empathy whether they have souls or not. That is enough. Empathy fuels reciprocity, cognizance and wisdom and makes life worth living.

The debate over Gods and souls seems to suck the empathy out of a being--with or without a soul as emphasis is placed on winning the prize at all costs--like Mormons forging a path to their CK.

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Posted by: Henry Bemis ( )
Date: November 06, 2019 10:05AM

Souls, like Gods, are a claim that can't be proven.

COMMENT: Well, it can't be proven yet; but are you saying that it can't be proven *in principle*? If that is your claim, what is your evidence for it? If you think that consciousness will eventually be explained by science, arguably such an explanation will involve a modern conception of matter as involving quantum fields and particles, perhaps currently unknown, along with novel principles related to the same. The point is that you cannot place "souls" in a metaphysical category untouchable in principle by science, unless you do the same with consciousness. And with consciousness there is no question about its existence.
________________________________________

The default then is to make the claim and then expect people to prove you wrong so that their claim can stand as "absence of evidence is not evidence of absence," which is the go-to for those with a gaping lack of proof for their claims.

COMMENT: Hogwash. This is so much materialist BS. Whether or not there is such a thing as a "soul," is an empirical issue that is currently unresolved. A knowledgeable theist arguing for souls would never frame the matter as you suggest.
__________________________________________

What can be proven is that some people have empathy. Humans are capable of empathy whether they have souls or not. That is enough. Empathy fuels reciprocity, cognizance and wisdom and makes life worth living.

COMMENT: But, if there are indeed no souls, and humans *do* have certain cognitive capacities, you have to be able to explain, at least in principle, how such capacities can be explained solely by the physical brain, including the consciousness that underlies such capacities. When you add to your list, free will, mental causation, and creativity, you have a problem; and your statement is exposed for what it is; i.e. an ill-informed prejudice.
_______________________________________

The debate over Gods and souls seems to suck the empathy out of a being--with or without a soul as emphasis is placed on winning the prize at all costs--like Mormons forging a path to their CK.

COMMENT: ?

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Posted by: Done & Done ( )
Date: November 06, 2019 12:59PM

1.Goes with out saying that no one has proved God YET and no one currently seems to have the means to prove it. Only the supposed Gods could do that for themselves. Same for souls. "Yet" is a wonderful word regarding slight possiblities YET to be proven but wishing to be taken seriously NOW..

2. You lost me at "Hogwash." Always quit reading or repsonding when I come across that type of response.

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Posted by: Henry Bemis ( )
Date: November 06, 2019 02:35PM

1.Goes with out saying that no one has proved God YET and no one currently seems to have the means to prove it. Only the supposed Gods could do that for themselves. Same for souls. "Yet" is a wonderful word regarding slight possiblities YET to be proven but wishing to be taken seriously NOW..

COMMENT: You need to explain to me how you assess "slight possibilities." Only then will we know whether in your mind a theory is worth thinking about. If you think consciousness, mind, and human cognition are trivial matters of "slight probability" then I have nothing to say to you. If you think the idea of "soul" is unrelated to the issues and problems related to consciousness, mind, and human cognition, then you are very ill-informed.
___________________________________

2. You lost me at "Hogwash." Always quit reading or repsonding when I come across that type of response.

COMMENT: Perhaps you should reconsider. When I resort to such verbiage it is because I am shocked that such a smart person could get something so wrong.

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Posted by: Warrior71783 ( )
Date: November 06, 2019 05:46PM

I don't connect a soul or identity with a God at all. The universe and souls(or individual identity) is not connected to a God at all in my mind.

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Posted by: Sagan ( )
Date: November 06, 2019 08:18AM

Carl Sagan wrote that three things deserved to be researched from paranormal claims:

The ability of some people to affect the output from random number generators.

The ability of some people to perceive images that others projected to them from isolation.

Neither of those interest me, but the third thing was Reincarnation. That interests me, because there is a lot of compelling evidence. I’m not saying I believe in it, but that I agree it should be researched, and the evidence is also fascinating.

Ian Stephenson impressed Sagan quite a bit with his research, even though Sagan called the evidence “dubious” at the time he was writing Demon Haunted World, he read some of Dr. Stephenson’s research and was impressed enough to mention the possibility. Chapter 17, Marriage of Skepticism and Wonder.

So then I checked out Stephenson (Sagan didn’t mention him by name, but I found out that’s who the scholars were following on the subject) and even though Stephenson died in 2007 his research is continuing.

https://www.scientificexploration.org/docs/22/jse_22_1_tucker.pdf

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Posted by: Done & Done ( )
Date: November 06, 2019 10:11AM

I'm down for exploring . . .well, everything.

Nothing should be off the table except one thing: preconceived notions accepted as truth as part of an agenda. Like Mormons do. For example, an excerpt from BKP's "The Mantle is Far, Far Greater than the Intellect.":

It is an easy thing for a man with extensive academic training to measure the Church using the principles he has been taught in his professional training as his standard. In my mind it ought to be the other way around. A member of the Church ought always, particularly if he is pursuing extensive academic studies, to judge the professions of man against the revealed word of the Lord. Many disciplines are subject to this danger."

So explore whether we have souls. Just don't draw conclusions before gaining substantial evidence. Evidence may have several explanations for its existence. Hmmmmnnn.

But a thick old book with a black leather cover needs to be proven itself before it can prove anything else.



And yes, without a doubt, as with all G.A.s, BKP's mantle, agenda, was far greater than his intellect, or, empathy, or wisdom. Some truths are indeed not useful to any of them.

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Posted by: Warrior71783 ( )
Date: November 06, 2019 05:50PM

This may sound weird but my self or identity feels that it lived or existed already. I've always felt like a stranger in this world or this time. No matter what i do i have never felt i belonged here and definitely didn't belong in religion. It was a strange land to be born in that is for sure. Never had a chance to figure out who the hell i am after being born in oppression.

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Posted by: Human ( )
Date: November 06, 2019 01:36PM

And maybe it's souls all the way down:

https://aeon.co/videos/its-impossible-to-see-the-world-as-it-is-argues-a-cognitive-neuroscientist

(In the above, I substitute "soul" for "consciousness".)

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Posted by: Done & Done ( )
Date: November 06, 2019 01:42PM

Very interesting, Human. I could only watch a little, and I will watch later when I have the time, but, the two theories are fascinating, and, perhaps it's just my quirky mind, but I don't see initially why these two supposedly opposing theories aren't both possible as segments of a larger whole.

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Posted by: Human ( )
Date: November 06, 2019 01:58PM

"...as segment of a larger whole."

Yes. Indeed.

(The speaker says things in a round about way. Some of the most important stuff is at the end. Try to see it through to hear his whole point. What I like most is his scientific attitude, which he displays throughout.)

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Posted by: Henry Bemis ( )
Date: November 06, 2019 02:39PM

Ah yes, Donald Hoffman.

You know ever since you introduced me to his theory of consciousness years ago, I have become more and more intrigued. Thanks for this reminder. I am going to review his work again, and take it more seriously this time.

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Posted by: Human ( )
Date: November 06, 2019 03:06PM

He's just up at Irvine from you.

You two would have a fascinating conversation. Seems like a good fella, too.

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Posted by: Warrior71783 ( )
Date: November 06, 2019 05:54PM

Could a consciousness be the soul or part of the soul. I guess i don't see a difference. Is the individual self or identity not the consciousness? I feel like a person in this body but is that limited to just a consciousness? Possibly. I am still learning i guess.

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Posted by: cl2 ( )
Date: November 06, 2019 05:41PM

and not read what anyone replies.

I had an OBE and I am as sure as I am of anything that happened in my life. I won't tell the exact details, but it was very difficult on me, but it saved the life of my brother that I had that happen. When I told my sister what we needed to do, she never questioned me. She would tell you she could tell something was happening to me. After we got our brother to a safe place, then I started coming back into my body.

I don't listen to anyone who tells me it didn't happen as it did. I was 16 years old and I'm now 62.



Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 11/06/2019 05:42PM by cl2.

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Posted by: Warrior71783 ( )
Date: November 06, 2019 05:55PM

I believe you 100%

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Posted by: Tevai ( )
Date: November 06, 2019 08:41PM

Warrior71783 Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> I believe you 100%

So do I.

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