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Discussion in 'Philosophy and Religion' started by Skarekrow, Nov 16, 2013.
Random things... New shadow box for my autographed Neil Gaiman book. Hall monitors...
Great to see you here and, you're welcome ... many have missed you Looking forward to more stories and sending happy vibes your way that you continue to stay on the mend.
I'm alright, I'm sorry to hear about all your pains and such it sounds really rough my friend.
You were very missed! I was wondering what is going on in your life and figured you must have a lot on your plate lately. Good that @Sandie33 checked in! It’s really great to see you, but not so much reading through the pain you had to endure. It‘s amazing what the body seems to soak up over the time and then just decides to go tough love on oneself in order for it to ..get some care and attention, I guess? It reads that you made the best of it, especially with the meditation and dreaming! Looking forward to hearing more about it.
You've been going through lots of pain and yet you open up with "I wasn't sure I'd be good at replying to everyone" - can I say I'm super glad to see you chiming in here even though I don't follow the forum much either nowadays? It is good to hear that you are finding some relief and focusing on the good in life... seeing your son grow and learn to drive - the other stuff... yeah, it's hard to not pay attention but will come to pass eventually. I am hoping for an easier time for you going forward though and happy to see @Sandie33 popping in here too I saw gravitational waves from a black hole collapse get measured a few days ago only to realize they were seen yesterday so... what did I see several days ago?! but these coincidences are cool like that! btw since you have your hall monitors here - Elvis would like to join the club
Aww, what a beautiful kitty I think it's fun that many of us have orange kitties ... Here's Luna
Awww she's a looker too This guy was a gift but he has grown into quite the orange bundle of cat fire over time (he was about 6 weeks when I picked him up)
YAAAAYYYYYYY! It's wonderful to hear from you!!!! I missed your sarcasm and big loving Heart.
Anyone burned at the stake for heresy is worth investigating! If the church wanted them gone....then you know their ideas are based upon truth. Great site. Thanks for the share.
Thanks Sandie! I appreciate you very much. I know you have been going through your own painful and frustrating issues...sending all my positive vibes to you! Definitely need to catch up! No worries! We all have our own trying times. Glad to see you and know you are doing okay. Can't wait to talk more. That's very kind. I missed you and everyone else here a lot. Yeah, I was just about at the point where I couldn't do much other than exist, haha. Yes, lots of dreaming and meditation...I'm still finding strange coincidences with my dreams...it seems a bit too coincidental if you know what I mean. Much love to you! Glad to see you too! Yes...my son is driving and looking for a job, has his girlfriend going on two years now...crazy. I'm very relieved that the pain dissipated after those injections...it was a sorry state to be in when added to the back pain that was already there, lol. And yeah, I wanted to make sure I could actually carry on some semblance of a conversation with folks here before popping back in. Didn't want to leave people hanging if they expected a response. Going much better now. I saw the articles about the black holes colliding...amazing stuff! That's awesome that you seemed to have visualized something in regards to it! Very handsome cat! How're things with you besides the forum? Lots of love Beautiful! She looks just like DandyLion almost! Thanks Ruji! Nice to see you too! That's a great looking site with lots of fantastic links, much appreciated. Hope you are doing alright as well? Much love to you good sir! Heya! I missed talking to you on here as well. Though we talk occasionally elsewhere Happy to be here with all the good people! Lots of love and hugs! Thanks all! I'll be sure and catch up and catch you all up more in the coming days. Speaking of precognitive dreams... So I had one the other night that I was playing this big electronic lottery scratch off machine...and in the slot below I was winning just some smallish things. I got a hoodie...a free shaved ice...some plastic beads...hahaha. Anyhow, this big dirty disheveled and animal-urine smelling bald eagle tried to steal some beads or something out of the slot below...we chased it off and it dropped the beads. The next day or the following one I got a letter from the IRS in the mail (fuckers) telling me I owe a couple hundred dollars from 2011, hahahaha. If that isn't precognitive and representative of the IRS I'm just not sure what is. Not worried about it tbh...pretty sure I could either ignore it until the end of the year at which point it would fall off the IRS radar...or I could call and get it excused since I am on disability for my spine...either way...I would be able to chase the nasty eagle away just as predicted. Strange.
Spoiler: Because it's been a while...
Twoferone there, very happy you're feeling better and getting to see see some good things worth seeing/being around for So that dream.. well you have the stinky eagle and the IRS in the same spot so it's obvious what this one is all about from the context - but I have to say the fear that they'll send you something randomly asking for a document from 25 years ago is a rather real one, I've been afraid of them doing the same thing although thankfully they didn't. I am doing better than last year, thank you for asking. If anything biggest worry is the times affecting other people I know and giving them a hard time. Haven't lost my job yet though had calculated it would probably happen about 2 months ago, so that's something too. Been off forum though so I'm way way out of sync with things happening around here, can relate to what you said about it.
Kicking the US government's eagle ass and keeping them from stealing from you is an AWESOME premonition!!! May it translate to all of us here in the land of debt slavery!
Thanks! Well, according to the IRS site...after 10 years most unpaid taxes are written off if not collected (except for debts over $50,000). So I could try to wait them out for 3 months and see what happens. It wasn't a letter of levy or garnishment...only a reminder...technically, they have to send a formal letter stating their intent to collect in such a manner before it takes place. IDK...I'll probably call them...after 2015 the IRS has stopped systematically collecting on anyone confirmed to be on disability...though it doesn't mean they don't ever try. So I wouldn't worry about your 25 year old debts with them...they have 10 years...after that, you're good. The other dream I had was of a barn that I found along side our house...as if it were always there. Outside was a tiller...the type you drag behind a tractor...inside was a jukebox with an oscilloscope screen on the front...and you could tune it to all the world stations. The next day we were headed to Costco when we passed a sign that said "Giant barn sale!" So we stopped. Right outside the doors was the exact tiller I saw in my dream...in the back left corner inside the barn was a jukebox that was nearly similar to the one in my dream as well...minus the oscilloscope...but it did have a screen of some sort on it...it wasn't for sale and behind a roped off area so I couldn't check it out thoroughly - but it blew my mind!!! The next night I dreamt of the Nick Cave song Red Right Hand...only to wake up and have Sensiko show me a video of an automaton playing the song!We'll see if this works...https://www.facebook.com/video.php?v=306079190704882 (Guess you'll have to watch on FB) Anyhow...I cannot explain all the recent premonitions...and why they are about such trivial things lol. Glad this year is better than the last...you're probably the only person who can claim that in 2020 ahahah! Hope to see you around more! Much love!
I know right! lolol It was interesting that the eagle was dirty, fat, disheveled with feathers askew, and smelled of animal urine...quite representative I should say hahaha. I'm not worried about it...it was a bit of a downer to get in the mail at first but Uncle Sam can suck it. Lots of love!
Any time Haha, you actually set my mind at ease (seems to a be a theme as of late) with the IRS - they really had me freaked out to the Nth degree some years ago although it turned out mostly they were just pissed I didn't confirm some things - and funny thing, get this, I was also trying to get on disability at the time (but apart from this being denied they dragged me into jury duty under the threat of jail time instead.) Funny how they work... I get the feeling they won't be too interested in you if they've looked at the med records at all in recent years since there are much juicier sources for them to pursue. The thing about that barn dream.. is the tiller, you know bring stuff to the surface out of the ground, the barn relating to the earth and our bedrock or foundation - that is an awesomely positive dream to my Ni as it seems to indicate some synchronistic revelation shaping up. The premonitions being clustered around something are just a clue we are to notice something is of significant important in my experience. And since your dream was positive... I am wishing you do end up learning of something positive transpiring here. The dreams are amazing btw, you seem to have some really interesting ones and rather frequently. But I would like to say the same about others as well (and well can for one person which is super significant for me) but it is a tough year for most and I'm not liking it much despite being relatively unaffected. Oh I'll be sure to keep watching your space, no worries.
One would think that the IRS would have a few offshore tax havens to go after rather than a sucker like me for a few hundred bucks. Their priorities are all screwy. That's an interesting and thought provoking interpretation of the dream...I was quite shocked to see both the barn, the tiller, and the jukebox irl. I'll keep my eyes and Ni peeled! lol Thanks again for being a good friend!
Thanks again for YOU being a good friend I won't bore you with where I got that interpretation but it was just as thought provoking for me when I stumbled upon it so I feel good about it. Yeah.. you think they would focus on the right priorities. Well, we wait, we see.
It's been quite a while since I've posted up any articles in this thread...it's about time to catch up. Most of you know where I stand on the proposed topic of the existence of Psi phenomena...I still find the subject fascinating and frankly very possible even though it's still scoffed at by a good portion of materialist science. They are still hung up on the "how" and concluding that something must have a working model to exist at all...otherwise the data must be wrong somehow. I certainly understand such a stance, but I also find it silly to ignore the replicable evidence even if you cannot explain how it is teased forth from the fabric of reality as we understand it. To say we even slightly understand how this universe and reality works is a very arrogant idea imho. Of course...seeing things fly through the air and move on their own firsthand is quite convincing once experienced! I hope you all enjoy! Thoughts? Do Psi Phenomena Exist? A Debate (Part One) Part 1 of 2: Mainstream scientific materialism versus parapsychology. Posted May 29, 2020 https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/...202005/do-psi-phenomena-exist-debate-part-one In a May 4, 2020 Psychology Today post titled “Life Is Short and the World Will End, Can It Have Meaning?” psychiatrist Dr. Ralph Lewis reflected the view of most mainstream scientists that consciousness is entirely the product of individual physical brains. My view is that consciousness may be a fundamental property of the universe that transcends our individual brains. I also hold the view that psi phenomena such as telepathy and precognition are real. Dr. Lewis argues that if the assumptions of parapsychology were true, then practically all of science would have to be wrong. I argue that psi is actually compatible with science. The following debate between myself and Dr. Lewis is adapted from the Comments section of Dr. Lewis’s May 4 post, by mutual agreement. STEVE: A good example of fundamentalist materialism To paraphrase Hamlet, there is certainly 'much more in heaven and earth' than suggested by this post [referring to the May 4 post]. The post is based on the assumption that the materialist view of reality is correct, i.e., that matter is the only or primary reality and that all seemingly non-material things (like mind or consciousness) can be explained in terms of the interactions of material particles. There is also an assumption that the reality perceived by human beings is objective and provides us a fairly complete picture of the world. However, every animal has a limited awareness of reality and so do human beings. We cannot afford to 'close our accounts with reality’, as William James pointed out. There must be a massive range of phenomena and forces that we are presently unaware of. Indeed, higher states of consciousness suggest that our normal awareness is limited and does not give us a reliable picture of the world. They reveal a more expansive reality which suggests that materialism is a very partial view, created by the limitations of our awareness. (I refer to higher states of consciousness as ‘awakening experiences’ when our awareness expands and intensifies and have done a great deal of research on them.) In actuality, materialism does not work as a way of explaining the world. (See the book Irreducible Mind and my own book Spiritual Science). There are a vast range of 'anomalous' phenomena which materialism disregards or denies because it cannot explain them. RALPH: Dualism Thank you Steve for your thoughtful comments. In another post "Is There Life After Death? The Mind-Body Problem," I explained why the dualistic view—that consciousness exists independent of the physical brain, is fundamentally incompatible with the scientific view that mind is the product of the physical brain and nothing but the brain. As I said in that post: 'Either science is right or there is a spiritual realm. They can't both be true.' I explained there: Dualism so fundamentally contradicts the foundations and entire accumulated evidence of modern science that in order for it to be true, we would have to start rebuilding modern science from the ground up. If dualism turned out to be true, it would also be a complete mystery or fluke as to how most of our advanced technologies (including all of our electronics) work at all, since their design and engineering are based on the very principles that would necessarily be entirely invalidated if dualism were true. My book Finding Purpose in a Godless World goes into more detail on the mind-body or mind-brain problem, as well as addressing in depth the mistaken assumption that the scientific worldview is nihilistic. Steve, the amount of independently replicated evidence for the kind of paranormal phenomena described in the book Irreducible Mind that you refer to, and in the other similar parapsychology literature, is precisely zero. See my post "What Is the Allure of the Paranormal in Our Scientific Age?" The view that you articulate, Steve, is indeed a thoughtful one, and one that feels intuitively correct, which is why so many intelligent people hold it. It is not an intellectually weak argument. It is simply misinformed—or to be more exact, under-informed. Dig deeper. The mainstream scientific evidence is far deeper and more complex than most people think. STEVE: Significant evidence for Psi Thanks for your comments, Ralph. I agree that there is a sense of wonder in the materialist worldview and that we can all feel grateful to be born into this glorious world and enjoy exploring it. This is one aspect of Richard Dawkins’ writings that I admire. But there is still a strong element of nihilism. If we are all just biological machines, then there is no reason why we can't just base our lives on hedonism and gratification and put our own self-centered desires before other people's needs. In fact, the adoption of the materialist worldview by our culture underpins our rampant consumerism. Materialism as a worldview has led to materialism as a lifestyle. To say the world is glorious and beautiful (which it is) is simply like telling a prisoner to enjoy himself because his cell is painted in beautiful colours. It doesn’t change the fundamental meaninglessness of our predicament. A point about the relationship between the mind and brain: dualism is not the only alternative to the idea that consciousness is produced by the brain. Many contemporary scientists and philosophers (e.g. Thomas Nagel, David Chalmers, Philip Goff to name but a few) reject the idea that consciousness is entirely produced by the brain and believe that consciousness is in some sense fundamental to the universe and to matter. Some possible alternative approaches are panpsychism, dual-aspect monism, and varieties of idealism. My own preference is ‘panspiritism’ (as explained in Spiritual Science) which assumes that there is a ‘fundamental consciousness’ which pervades all matter and space, and from which matter emerges. It mystifies me that you say that there is no replicable evidence of psi phenomena. In fact, there is a great amount of such evidence. Rates of replication in psi are higher than in other areas of science. There is also nothing in psi phenomena such as telepathy and precognition which is incompatible with the theories and findings of modern physics. Take a look at the recent paper 'The Experimental Evidence for Parapsychological Phenomena' in American Psychologist by Etzel Cardeña. Cardeña shows clearly that the evidence for phenomena like telepathy, precognition, and clairvoyance has proven so significant and consistent over a massive range of different experiments over many decades that it cannot simply be explained away in terms of fraud, the “file drawer” effect or poor methodology. Many hardline materialists have simply adopted a prejudicial view that such phenomena cannot possibly exist, as a kind of fundamentalist position. In my view, any open-minded person would think that the evidence is strikingly strong. There are theoretical reasons why psi phenomena could (and should) exist. In physics, linear time appears to be an illusion. Time is more like space, spread out like a panorama. We also know at the quantum level time behaves very strangely. In some instances, cause and effect appear to be reversed. (Here I can refer you to the concept of retrocausation and the transactional theory of quantum physics.) All of this perfectly compatible with precognition. Please tell me why it isn’t! Then when you look at the experimental evidence (e.g. from Daryl Bem's experiments, which have been replicated many times) I think we have a very plausible case. (For a summary of the reasons why I’m open to the existence of psi see my article here.) You often use the word 'science' but I believe what you're really talking about is 'scientism'—a materialist worldview that is derived from some of the findings of science. What we really need is the kind of 'post-materialist' science that many theorists have been arguing for. The Debate Continues Part 2 of 2: Should science take seriously the study of paranormal phenomena? RALPH: Parapsychology, and the assumption that science is nihilistic Steve, there are so many fatal flaws in parapsychology research claims that one is at a loss to know where to begin in trying to point out their deficiencies. It's exhausting for scientists and science-educators to have to keep distracting themselves from serious research to have to debunk these claims over and over again, having thought that the issue was laid to rest a long time ago. Since you mention Daryl Bem, I refer you to just one of the many occasions when the problems of parapsychology claims have been exposed. See the short article "Daryl Bem and psi in the ganzfeld" by Dr. Susan Blackmore. (For our readers: Sue Blackmore was once was a believer in parapsychology but was persuaded by the evidence that none of it holds any water. The Ganzfeld refers to a type of experiment widely regarded by parapsychologists as the strongest evidence in the field.) She had caught the parapsychology researcher Carl Sargent red-handed in what was hard to explain as anything other than cheating (she describes this in very specific detail elsewhere), and yet his research involving the Ganzfeld was included in Honorton’s, and later Bem’s, analysis. She concludes in the article, "It matters because Bem’s continued claims mislead a willing public into believing that there is reputable scientific evidence for ESP in the Ganzfeld when there is not." But aside from the fraudulent claims that form part of the bedrock of the field and upon which later claims were built, the more common problem among the many honest and earnest parapsychology researchers is simply that they assume that departures from randomness are caused by psychic phenomena, when in fact statistical deviations from chance give no information at all about what caused them and have many other more mundane, and far more likely, explanations. Until neutral scientists can replicate the work there is really nothing to talk about. (Skarekrow - Blackmore is hardly a neutral scientist...she has always been a materialist critic, quick to explain away such phenomena as hallucinatory or a trick of the mind - said "neutral scientists" are the first to say they don't wish to bother (and will not bother) replicating highly statistically successful experiments due to their preconceived scientific religiosity!) As to quantum effects and nonlinearity or for that matter nonlocality in physics being a basis for how putative paranormal phenomena might occur, this argument amounts to nothing more than saying that quantum mechanics is mysterious and not fully explained and consciousness is mysterious and not fully explained, therefore they must be related. Far simpler, evidence-based explanations for perception of paranormal phenomena are: random statistical fluctuations or methodological flaws, the unreliability of subjective perception, cognitive bias, and frankly, wishful thinking. (Skarekrow - Wishful thinking still doesn't explain how objects can be moved with force from a stationary spot with witnesses! It seem more wishful to make excuses like subjective perception when multiple people experience the same phenomena...because it's difficult to reproduce on command or in a lab doesn't make something nonexistent or a creation of the imagination.) With regard to the assumption that the purely naturalistic (materialistic) scientific view of mind and of the world is stark and nihilistic, you've hit on the crux of the matter, identifying one of the main reasons why so many people are prone to the wishful thinking that there "must be something more." This is why I devoted a book-length response to that question in Finding Purpose in a Godless World. Your assumption that scientific materialism is nihilistic is completely understandable Steve, coming from an intelligent and highly educated person as you clearly are, but in my view it is mistaken. If you would prefer a summarized response in lieu of reading my book, I refer you to this 45-minute video. Thank you again Steve for your thought-provoking contribution to this important debate, here and in your own blog series. The diversity of opinion that you represent, and the depth of your arguments, is what makes Psychology Today such a stimulating and lively forum. STEVE: The importance of open-mindedness Ralph, there have been flaws in parapsychological research just as there are flaws in research in every area. But I don’t believe that the findings can be wholly dismissed or explained away in terms of the factors you suggest. Contemporary psi research is conducted in an extremely rigorous way. As Cardena’s article states, the evidence is at least ‘comparable to that for established phenomena in psychology and other disciplines.’ Many materialists simply refuse to engage with such evidence because it contradicts their worldview. As the statistician Jessica Utts has stated, “Using the standards applied to any other area of science, it is concluded that psychic functioning has been well-established.” Daryl Bem’s experiments have also been replicated successfully many times. See this link. About quantum physics, I never said that psi can be explained in quantum terms, only that is compatible with many of the findings of psi—which it certainly is. (As a result of which many quantum physicists have been open to the existence of telepathy and psi.) What dogmatic skeptics like Susan Blackmore and Richard Wiseman tend to do is to find any possible means of refuting evidence from psi studies. For example, although experiments such as Bem’s have been successfully replicated many times, skeptics would highlight an unsuccessful replication and claim that an isolated failure invalidates a whole series of successful replications. But no other area of science has such a ‘one strike and you’re out’ policy. In fact, as you will know, there is a’ crisis of replication’ throughout science in general, and in comparison, the replication of psi experiments looks pretty good. All best wishes, Steve. RALPH: Cardeña's paper Steve, I read Cardeña's paper. Thank you for drawing my attention to it. I would refer you in turn to Reber and Alcock's response to it published just last month (April 2020) in American Psychologist: "Searching for the Impossible: Parapsychology's Elusive Quest" (summarized here). And yes, I've read “The Data Are Irrelevant”: Response to Reber and Alcock (2019), which was Cardeña's rebuttal to an advance online publication of Reber and Alcock's arguments. Psychologists and other critics have spent vast quantities of time over the years examining, analysing, and ultimately finding fault with parapsychological research. It is a very time-intensive endeavour. Even more of a problem, often those reviewers do not have access to key information that sometimes takes years to emerge with regard to methodological shortcomings. And after all that labour, parapsychologists have always rejected whatever criticism has been offered; they do not respond by correcting methodological faults or problems with analyses. That being said, the most important thing is that all the statistical analysis in the world has absolutely nothing to say about the causes of any statistical deviations from chance. Parapsychologists don't want to hear this; their whole case these days rests on automatically interpreting statistical deviations from chance, in the context of a parapsychological experiment, as evidence of the paranormal. Statistical deviations are not evidence of anything except a non-random process. To argue that the nonrandomness is due to something paranormal is completely unfounded. Based on the many laborious detailed reviews of past parapsychological studies, if I were a betting man I would bet a large sum of money that methodological flaws are the cause. The statistical deviations on their own cannot support the particular preferred explanation of parapsychologists—an explanation which they have typically already arrived at a priori and are highly motivated to confirm. (On the subject of large sums of money being bet, it is worth noting that for many years the James Randi Educational Foundation's million-dollar challenge for proof of paranormal claims under independently controlled and observed experimental conditions was not once successfully won, despite numerous earnest attempts and mutually agreed-upon experimental conditions). And here's the thing: Parapsychological claims are so fundamentally incompatible with the entire body of scientific knowledge that in order for them to be true would require not just a major paradigm shift in science of the kind that certainly has occurred periodically in modern history. No, the problem is orders of magnitude more radical than that: It would actually invalidate science itself. Which, to grossly understate the point, would beg the question as to how any piece of engineering, any technology, any scientifically developed medical treatment, etc. could ever have been successfully designed at all. STEVE: Mainstream science ought to take parapsychological findings seriously The interesting thing about the reply to Cardeña's paper by Reber and Alcock is that they explicitly say that they won't look at the statistical evidence, because the phenomena in question cannot possibly exist. That is just dogmatic thinking, more akin to religious fundamentalism than science, strikingly reminiscent of the contemporaries of Galileo who refused to look through his telescope. Every scientist would agree that science should be based on evidence rather than assumptions. And we have to be prepared to change our assumptions, if that is what the evidence suggests. Psi are not incompatible with science, since they don’t contradict it. As I said earlier, precognition is completely compatible with many of the findings and theories of physics, as is telepathy (with the concepts of superposition and entanglement, for instance.) Note again that I’m not saying that quantum physics can explain the phenomena. I’m not sure that (like many other phenomena such as dark energy or consciousness) psi phenomena can be explained at present. We should also remember that science is open-ended. There is no final word on how the universe works. You mention Randi's prize, which is actually a con—the whole thing is so rigged and biased against participants that no sane person would ever agree to take part. The whole thing is set up for failure. (There is an excellent book on this by Robert McLuhan called Randi's Prize.) I'm not a parapsychologist, but a psychologist, and I find the fundamentalism of many scientists towards psi interesting—really the same phenomenon of dogmatic certainty which affects religious fundamentalists, conferring a sense of belonging, identity and control. All best wishes nevertheless—I do appreciate the calmness and civility of our discussion!