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Clarifier
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05 Feb 2009, 12:24 am

Do you agree with the following premises?

  1. Objective truth and objective reality exist.
  2. Some objective truth is knowable.
  3. Some truth can be expressed in language.
  4. Some declarative statements are true.
  5. Logic is reliable for determining the consistency of any 2 declarative statements.
  6. If you deny that X exists, you have no business talking about the nature of X.
  7. Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence. (Carl Sagan)
  8. Justice is preferable to injustice.

If so, I want to talk to you about a non-dogmatic and non-religious possibility of a just afterlife.

Meet me in any of the following posts in this forum:
Existence of X - Thu Feb 05, 2009 1:01 am
Biblical Inspiration IRRELEVANT? - Sun Jan 25, 2009 4:06 am
What’s the RIGHT planet? - Mon Jan 26, 2009 9:39 am


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05 Feb 2009, 1:49 am

Most of those premises are fairly self-evident, but I don't see how they necessarily lead to the conclusion you seem to be endorsing.

Although I would argue that premise 8 is questionable simply because your terms have not been defined rigorously enough to be useful in this context. Obviously justice is considered superior to injustice by definition, but conceptions of justice can differ greatly.


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05 Feb 2009, 2:00 am

Clarifier wrote:
Do you agree with the following premises?
  1. Objective truth and objective reality exist.
  2. Some objective truth is knowable.
  3. Some truth can be expressed in language.
  4. Some declarative statements are true.
  5. Logic is reliable for determining the consistency of any 2 declarative statements.
  6. If you deny that X exists, you have no business talking about the nature of X.
  7. Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence. (Carl Sagan)
  8. Justice is preferable to injustice.
If so, I want to talk to you about a non-dogmatic and non-religious possibility of a just afterlife.



I see where you are going with item 7. Even so all instances of life that any human has ever experienced is embodied physically. When the body disintegrates where shall the life continue? There is no empirical basis to assume that we or any other living organism on this planet has a life external to a physical body. So all talk of after-life just or not is purely speculative. You can say anything you wish about it. From an evidential point of view what you say is neither right nor wrong.

If you think there is an after-life then say something about its nature and say how or why you think it could exist. The burden of proof is on you.

ruveyn



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05 Feb 2009, 4:28 am

Orwell wrote:
Most of those premises are fairly self-evident, but I don't see how they necessarily lead to the conclusion you seem to be endorsing.

It's not premises - therefore conclusion. I'm trying to narrow participants to those with whom I’ll most likely have a worthwhile discussion.

Orwell wrote:
Obviously justice is considered superior to injustice by definition, but conceptions of justice can differ greatly.

Actually some people don’t want justice. They want to be forgiven. Those are people I prefer to screen out. The definition issue will cause fewer problems with people who at least agree that they want justice.

ruveyn wrote:
If you think there is an after-life then say something about its nature and say how or why you think it could exist. The burden of proof is on you

If I claim to know there is an afterlife, the burden of proof is on me. If you claim to know there is no afterlife, the burden of proof is on you. X is possible until not-X is proven. If I assert the possibility of an afterlife, the burden of proof is on him who says it’s impossible. I’m going to assert only that an afterlife (of a particular nature, i.e. just) is a reasonable bet.
I wish to screen out all who say I must show evidence of an afterlife before asserting its possibility.


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05 Feb 2009, 4:38 am

I'm open to the idea of an afterlife. Of course there is no current evidence for it. That shouldn't even need to be brought up. If the living knew about the afterlife, this life would be worth a lot less. It would almost be a contradiction. I think to talk about the afterlife, you have to talk about this life with it. How are they related? Is this a precursor for the next? Is it evolution? Where does this life fit in?


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05 Feb 2009, 4:48 am

Listen to this guy's story.

He is a neuroscientist who first proved lucid dreaming.

"His technique of signalling to a collaborator monitoring his EEG with agreed-upon eye movements during REM became the first published, scientifically-verified signal from a dreamer's mind to the outside world."

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stephen_LaBerge

He was asked if any of his dreams gave him any insight into the age old questions like God, the afterlife, etc.. He isnt some quack either, he has written extensively on OBD and NDE's and says they are totally explained by biology and not supernatural at all.

Quote:
DJB: What do you think happens after biological death and has your experience with lucid dreaming influenced your thoughts in this area and about the nature of God?

Stephen: Let’s suppose I’m having a lucid dream. The first thing I think is, "Oh this is a dream, here I am." Now the "I" here is who I think Stephen is. Now what’s happening in fact is that Stephen is asleep in bed somewhere, not in this world at all, and he’s having a dream that he’s in this room talking to you. With a little bit of lucidity I’d say, "this is a dream, and you’re all in my dream." A little more lucidity and I’d know you’re a dream figure and this is a dream-table, and this must be a dream-shirt and a dream-watch and what’s this? It’s got to be a dream-hand and well, so what’s this? It’s a dream-Stephen! So a moment ago I thought this is who I am and now I know that it’s just a mental model of who I am. So reasoning along those lines, I thought, I’d like to have a sense of what my deepest identity is, what’s my highest potential, which level is the realest in a sense? With that in mind at the beginning of a lucid dream, I was driving in my sports car down through the green, Spring countryside. I see an attractive hitchhiker at the side of the road, thought of picking her up but said, "No, I’ve already had that dream, I want this to be a representation of my highest potential. So the moment I had that thought and decided to forgo the immediate pleasure, the car started to fly into the air and the car disappeared and my body, also. There were symbols of traditional religions in the clouds, the Star of David and the cross and the steeple and near-eastern symbols. As I passed through that realm, higher beyond the clouds, I entered into a vast emptiness of space that was infinite and it was filled with potential and love. And the feeling I had was-- this is home! This is where I’m from and I’d forgotten that it was here. I was overwhelmed with joy about the fact that this source of being was immediately present, that it was always here, and I had not been seeing it because of what was in my way. So I started singing for joy with a voice that spanned three or four octaves and resonated with the cosmos with words like, "I Praise Thee, O Lord!" There wasn’t any I, there was no thee, no Lord, no duality somehow but sort of, ‘Praise Be’ was the feeling of it. My belief is that the experience I had of this void, that’s what you get if you take away the brain. When I thought about the meaning of that, I recognized that the deepest identity I had there was the source of being, the all and nothing that was here right now, that was what I was too, in addition to being Stephen. So the analogy that I use for understanding this is that we have these separate snowflake identities. Every snowflake is different in the same sense that each one of us is, in fact, distinct. So here is death, and here’s the snowflake and we’re falling into the infinite ocean. So what do we fear? We fear that we’re going to lose our identity, we’ll be melted, dissolved in that ocean and we’ll be gone; but what may happen is that the snowflake hits the ocean and feels an infinite expansion of identity and realizes, what I was in essence, was water! So we’re each one of these little frozen droplets and we feel only our individuality, but not our substance, but our essential substance is common to everything in that sense, so now God is the ocean. So we’re each a little droplet of that ocean, identifying only with the form of the droplet and not with the majesty and the unity.


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05 Feb 2009, 5:22 am

It would help if you could 'link' those post references.

I think I see a problem with proposition 6. If that means god or satan, people hold lots of opinions while denying their existence. If one is influenced or bound by the ideology that X exists, it's likely people may have opinions on it, despite their own disbeleif or scepticism.



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05 Feb 2009, 6:00 am

Postperson wrote:
It would help if you could 'link' those post references.

I think I see a problem with proposition 6. If that means god or satan, people hold lots of opinions while denying their existence. If one is influenced or bound by the ideology that X exists, it's likely people may have opinions on it, despite their own disbeleif or scepticism.



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05 Feb 2009, 6:01 am

Postperson wrote:
It would help if you could 'link' those post references.

I think I see a problem with proposition 6. If that means god or satan, people hold lots of opinions while denying their existence. If one is influenced or bound by the ideology that X exists, it's likely people may have opinions on it, despite their own disbeleif or scepticism.


If there is no evidences whatever for the existence of X, then what can one say about X? Still more, if there is evidence that X does not exist (for example the aether) than anything said about X is nonsense and is better left unsaid.

ruveyn



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05 Feb 2009, 7:25 am

There was once no proof of the existence of bacteria. Louis Pasteur used his common sense and intuition to discover these invisible life forms that were causing illness. Before germs were discovered, people thought Pasteur was a quack for thinking that invisible little animals were causing all the problems.

In the case of the afterlife, I believe that energy continues to exist without a physical body.
Matter is all energy and can't be destroyed. Just because we can't perceive the spiritual realm through our normal senses doesn't automatically mean that it doesn't exist. If so many people have personal experiences that deal with the spiritual nature then there is probably something to it.


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05 Feb 2009, 7:31 am

ruveyn wrote:
Postperson wrote:
It would help if you could 'link' those post references.

I think I see a problem with proposition 6. If that means god or satan, people hold lots of opinions while denying their existence. If one is influenced or bound by the ideology that X exists, it's likely people may have opinions on it, despite their own disbeleif or scepticism.


If there is no evidences whatever for the existence of X, then what can one say about X? Still more, if there is evidence that X does not exist (for example the aether) than anything said about X is nonsense and is better left unsaid.

ruveyn


? you're just reinterating the OP. it's a bit meaningless, like a mantra. it ignores the reality of what people do regardless what is logically correct in a Spocky sense.



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05 Feb 2009, 8:06 am

Postperson wrote:

? you're just reinterating the OP. it's a bit meaningless, like a mantra. it ignores the reality of what people do regardless what is logically correct in a Spocky sense.



Not a mantra. It is a brief description of the methodology of physics which is a very successful science. Physics delivers, metaphysics dithers.

rueyn



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05 Feb 2009, 8:45 am

Clarifier wrote:
It's not premises - therefore conclusion. I'm trying to narrow participants to those with whom I’ll most likely have a worthwhile discussion.

Most of the premises seem, as I said, self-evident and you are unlikely to filter many people out.

Orwell wrote:
Actually some people don’t want justice. They want to be forgiven. Those are people I prefer to screen out. The definition issue will cause fewer problems with people who at least agree that they want justice.

I think the definition would matter quite a bit. Someone may have a conception of justice that includes a significant degree of forgiveness. Or two ideas of justice may be so contrasted that there is little common ground between them.


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05 Feb 2009, 8:59 am

blackelk wrote:
Listen to this guy's story.

He is a neuroscientist who first proved lucid dreaming.

"His technique of signalling to a collaborator monitoring his EEG with agreed-upon eye movements during REM became the first published, scientifically-verified signal from a dreamer's mind to the outside world."

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stephen_LaBerge

He was asked if any of his dreams gave him any insight into the age old questions like God, the afterlife, etc.. He isnt some quack either, he has written extensively on OBD and NDE's and says they are totally explained by biology and not supernatural at all.

Quote:
DJB: What do you think happens after biological death and has your experience with lucid dreaming influenced your thoughts in this area and about the nature of God?

Stephen: Let’s suppose I’m having a lucid dream. The first thing I think is, "Oh this is a dream, here I am." Now the "I" here is who I think Stephen is. Now what’s happening in fact is that Stephen is asleep in bed somewhere, not in this world at all, and he’s having a dream that he’s in this room talking to you. With a little bit of lucidity I’d say, "this is a dream, and you’re all in my dream." A little more lucidity and I’d know you’re a dream figure and this is a dream-table, and this must be a dream-shirt and a dream-watch and what’s this? It’s got to be a dream-hand and well, so what’s this? It’s a dream-Stephen! So a moment ago I thought this is who I am and now I know that it’s just a mental model of who I am. So reasoning along those lines, I thought, I’d like to have a sense of what my deepest identity is, what’s my highest potential, which level is the realest in a sense? With that in mind at the beginning of a lucid dream, I was driving in my sports car down through the green, Spring countryside. I see an attractive hitchhiker at the side of the road, thought of picking her up but said, "No, I’ve already had that dream, I want this to be a representation of my highest potential. So the moment I had that thought and decided to forgo the immediate pleasure, the car started to fly into the air and the car disappeared and my body, also. There were symbols of traditional religions in the clouds, the Star of David and the cross and the steeple and near-eastern symbols. As I passed through that realm, higher beyond the clouds, I entered into a vast emptiness of space that was infinite and it was filled with potential and love. And the feeling I had was-- this is home! This is where I’m from and I’d forgotten that it was here. I was overwhelmed with joy about the fact that this source of being was immediately present, that it was always here, and I had not been seeing it because of what was in my way. So I started singing for joy with a voice that spanned three or four octaves and resonated with the cosmos with words like, "I Praise Thee, O Lord!" There wasn’t any I, there was no thee, no Lord, no duality somehow but sort of, ‘Praise Be’ was the feeling of it. My belief is that the experience I had of this void, that’s what you get if you take away the brain. When I thought about the meaning of that, I recognized that the deepest identity I had there was the source of being, the all and nothing that was here right now, that was what I was too, in addition to being Stephen. So the analogy that I use for understanding this is that we have these separate snowflake identities. Every snowflake is different in the same sense that each one of us is, in fact, distinct. So here is death, and here’s the snowflake and we’re falling into the infinite ocean. So what do we fear? We fear that we’re going to lose our identity, we’ll be melted, dissolved in that ocean and we’ll be gone; but what may happen is that the snowflake hits the ocean and feels an infinite expansion of identity and realizes, what I was in essence, was water! So we’re each one of these little frozen droplets and we feel only our individuality, but not our substance, but our essential substance is common to everything in that sense, so now God is the ocean. So we’re each a little droplet of that ocean, identifying only with the form of the droplet and not with the majesty and the unity.


The guy you quote sums up reasonably well my own opinion on the nature of life, individuality and "the whole" or consciousness itself. I would not use the word God because it is overused and means too many different things to different people. Hindus refer to the state described as Satchitananda - existence, knowledge and bliss. The quy in the quote refers to "Praise be" but from his description it seems to be the same "thing". The state is familiar to "me" through meditation having once "been there" many years ago. Wrapping words around this is impossible.


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05 Feb 2009, 9:39 am

ruveyn wrote:
If there is no evidences whatever for the existence of X, then what can one say about X? Still more, if there is evidence that X does not exist (for example the aether) than anything said about X is nonsense and is better left unsaid.

ruveyn

Well, a lot could be said about X, even if X does not exist. One can be an atheist and talk about the nature of the god that seems to be in the Bible. One can disbelieve in free will and still talk about a plausible nature of free will. I mean, there is nothing wrong about a counter-factual, nor is talking about X necessarily nonsense, as it would be the same as talking about a counter-factual.

Quote:
Not a mantra. It is a brief description of the methodology of physics which is a very successful science. Physics delivers, metaphysics dithers.

Umm..... the methodology of physics is just *that*. It's the methodology of physics. Different intellectual endeavors have different natures, and thus different rules must govern them. Metaphysics, by it's very nature is more speculative than physics, and to pretend that the same methodology as physics would be particularly useful for it, well... seems to be at the height of stupidity to me. Heck, some people would argue that economics *suffers* because it tries to emulate physics too much, so I would not advocate naive scientism.



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05 Feb 2009, 9:50 am

Clarifier wrote:
Do you agree with the following premises?
  1. Objective truth and objective reality exist.
  2. Some objective truth is knowable.
  3. Some truth can be expressed in language.
  4. Some declarative statements are true.
  5. Logic is reliable for determining the consistency of any 2 declarative statements.
  6. If you deny that X exists, you have no business talking about the nature of X.
  7. Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence. (Carl Sagan)
  8. Justice is preferable to injustice.

1-5 are usually considered to be rules to some extent for most discussions.

6 is questionable because one can talk about the nature of x based upon readings or research about x. So, there is no reason why an atheist cannot talk meaningfully about theology, in fact, some atheists do so with reference to the Bible. And there is no reason why moral skeptics cannot criticize the moral theories of the people that they disagree with.

7 is very questionable, because if 7 is false, then there are about a thousand skeptical hypotheses that we cannot reject. Either no evidence of any sort should cause rejection of an idea, or all pursuits of knowledge are absurd, as even Christians have evidence for their claims of some form, even if it isn't the scientific sort.

In any case, I do not see why these 8 dictate being a "truth seeker" as 6-8 seem to be unrelated to truth, and I think that 6-8 are the ones that are are particularly searching for.