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Offline wheels5894

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Re: Questions for theists about souls
« Reply #29 on: December 27, 2012, 01:33:16 PM »
Wow! i hope Catholics who read this stuff are well educated - that was a hard read! however, I think it comes down to

"the soul is what we (the Catholic Church) say it is so don't argue and just believe!"

That would have been a much better entry and saved me some minutes of pointless reading as it is clear the Catholics cannot, really, manage to come up with anything that makes any sense without losing the spirit world connections hang on to the argument as to morals -

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Such is the Catholic doctrine on the nature, unity, substantiality, spirituality, and origin of the soul. It is the only system consistent with Christian faith, and, we may add, morals, for both Materialism and Monism logically cut away the foundations of these.

Sad they can't see that nothing other than people are needed to generate morals!
No testimony is sufficient to establish a miracle, unless the testimony be of such that its falshood would be more miraculous than the facts it endeavours to establish. (David Hume)

Offline stuffin

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Re: Questions for theists about souls
« Reply #30 on: December 27, 2012, 03:40:02 PM »
I felt sure that, if anyone had an idea of what the soul is then the Catholic Encyclopedia http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/14153a.htm would have if not an answer, then an explanation of where thought is going.

I therefore read the article in the hopes of finding a conclusion - there is none. It is a wall of text that says nothing - each theory is diligently expounded and then criticised as an impractical solution.

Actually, it does say one thing of interest:

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If there be a life after death, clearly the agent or subject of our vital activities must be capable of an existence separate from the body.

Note that, "if there be..."

I honestly feel that the Catholics would just like the question of the soul to go away.

Back in the 60s during my catechism classes on Sundays, I can recall without any doubt a nun telling the class our souls start out as a pure white circle, like the eucharist. And every time we sinned (cursed, lied. stole, et al) a little black dot was formed on our soul which god could see. The bigger the sin, the more black your soul got. How black our souls were when we died would determine our entrance into heaven. These are images a 10 year old doesn't easily forget.

There were classes later on about how to scrub our souls and make the shiny and new again, but that is a different thread.
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Offline Dominic

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Re: Questions for theists about souls
« Reply #31 on: December 28, 2012, 04:23:05 AM »
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Questions presented within one paradigm may not make sense in the other paradigm.  So for instance 'where is the soul' is a question that only makes sense in the physical paradigm.
I disagree to the extent that religious people assert that the spiritual version of the soul is present here, on this planet, is somehow connected to our consciousness, but it no dependent on it, even though this soul does not seem to exist prior to our consciousness. These are claims about what is happening in this world, the natural world. It is attempting to explain something by offering an explanation that doesn't actually EXPLAIN anything! If the spiritual paradigm and physical paradigm are contradictory, then why does the spiritual paradigm insist that this soul is somehow present within us? You can't say that something exists without providing evidence for it. And again, every usable, meaningful explanation we have of the universe we live in is BECAUSE of the investigation of the physical paradigm by science, and IN SPITE OF the conclusions reached by those who insist that the spiritual realms is the more fundamental version of reality, all while failing to even demonstrate that it is in fact real!


Thanks for your response, Kaziglu

By evidence, I assume that you mean physical evidence.  ie you assume that the physical paradigm is the fundamental reality and then ask for evidence of the spiritual paradigm.  However the physical paradigm has no more right to be assumed fundamental than is the spiritual paradigm.   

An aspect of the alternative can be seen here -

A. I am a body that manifests as having will, spirit or consciousness (known by some as 'soul').

or

B. I am a soul (will, spirit, consciousness) that manifests as having a body and living in a world.

On a larger scale -

A. Physical/material reality is fundamental.  Any non physical phenomenon is simply a manifestation of some of these physical processes.

or

B. Consciousness (experience, will, spirit, soul) is fundamental.  Any physical phenomenon is simply a manifestation within consciousness.

When you talk about evidence you are assuming paradigm A correct and are then asking that paradigm B be verified by use of the rules of A - which simply begs the question (assumes what you are trying to prove).

Ultimately, we choose a paradigm.  The paradigm is the set of underlying assumptions.  So for example before science can begin, a set of underlying assumptions must be set down (chosen).  The assumptions cannot be verified within the paradigm itself.

So, how should we choose a paradigm ?  (remembering that science cannot be used before paradigm A has been chosen)


Offline Anfauglir

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Re: Questions for theists about souls
« Reply #32 on: December 28, 2012, 04:37:16 AM »
By evidence, I assume that you mean physical evidence.  ie you assume that the physical paradigm is the fundamental reality and then ask for evidence of the spiritual paradigm.  However the physical paradigm has no more right to be assumed fundamental than is the spiritual paradigm.  .....Ultimately, we choose a paradigm.  The paradigm is the set of underlying assumptions.  So for example before science can begin, a set of underlying assumptions must be set down (chosen).  The assumptions cannot be verified within the paradigm itself.

So, how should we choose a paradigm ?  (remembering that science cannot be used before paradigm A has been chosen)

How did you communicate those thoughts, Dominic?  How did you perceive you communicated your thoughts?

The answer to the first question will be a variant of "I typed them on a keyboard".  The answer to the second, I'm betting, is more likely to be "I perceived myself typing them on a keyboard" than "I transmitted them through the spiritual realm to those who were ready to perceive them".  And I'll hazard a guess that - if you elect to respond - you will be it via a physical medium, believing yourself to be using a physical medium.

None of which, of course, "proves" that the physical medium is in any way "real".  But it certainly is strong reasoning for choosing the physical paradigm as a starting point - and the fact that everything that happens within that paradigm can be realistically tested and verified gives (I believe) adequate reason to assume that the physical paradigm is the "real" one.

You could also work from the basis that the physical paradigm is enormously heavily documented and coherent and experienced by everyone in the same way.  If you want to propose a spiritual paradigm as the "real" one, then your first step should be to define that paradigm coherently, and propose how we can test for it.

Give us a realistic alternative to the physical paradigm, and we can begin to consider it.
Just because you've always done it that way doesn't mean it's not incredibly stupid.
Why is it so hard for believers to answer a direct question?

Offline Dominic

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Re: Questions for theists about souls
« Reply #33 on: December 28, 2012, 06:07:44 AM »

You could also work from the basis that the physical paradigm is enormously heavily documented and coherent and experienced by everyone in the same way.  If you want to propose a spiritual paradigm as the "real" one, then your first step should be to define that paradigm coherently, and propose how we can test for it.

Give us a realistic alternative to the physical paradigm, and we can begin to consider it.

Anfauglir

Just to clarify, Paradigm B does not say that the physical world is not real.  It says that the physical world is secondary and subject to the non-material world (consciousness).  So in this 'worldview' the physical world is a subset of reality.  The physical world is still definitely a real experience, and the rules of science apply within it.  However it should not be mistaken for the greater reality within which it exists (consciousness). 

I'm using the word 'consciousness' here for the fuller reality.  Other names for it can obviously be used.  Personally, I also regard this as spiritual reality because it is intangible.

Regarding 'testing for' the spiritual reality, since I am claiming that this and consciousness are much the same thing, I don't think that you and I will be disagreeing on its existence.

I'll mention 3 reasons why I recommend Paradigm B ie the primacy of (non physical) consciousness (which I equate with the spiritual 'world') -

1. Any testing, observation or even discussion of the physical world is impossible without consciousness.  So consciousness is  fundamental.

2. Consciousness on the other hand, does not require a material world (eg the material world may be a dream) 

3. Consciousness is proved (absolutely) by doubting it.  If I doubt that I am experiencing (consciousness) then who is doubting ?  I am.  So I must be conscious in order to doubt.  This is true of no other claim as far as I can detect.  I think this is the essence of Descartes' great realisation 'Cogito Ergo Sum'.

« Last Edit: December 28, 2012, 06:15:52 AM by Dominic »

Offline Anfauglir

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Re: Questions for theists about souls
« Reply #34 on: December 28, 2012, 08:25:31 AM »
Regarding 'testing for' the spiritual reality, since I am claiming that this and consciousness are much the same thing, I don't think that you and I will be disagreeing on its existence.

Indeed not.  I agree with an awful lot of your points, including the 3 reasons given.

However.....I am not postulating that there is such a thing as a "soul" - in essence, a continuity of consciousness following physical death, and/or something that is NOT entirely explainable by biochemical reaction and connection within the brain.

That's the point, as far as I am concerned.  "Consciousness" is an indisputable sensation that we all share.  In some sense, it exists.  But there are religious/spiritual groups that add additional factors to consciousness, and label that aggregate the "soul".  Its those additional aspects that we are asking to be defined, and (once defined) to enable tests to be run on to determine their existence.

In the absence of a falsifiable test for "soul" (as opposed to consciousness), I see no reason to entertain the possibility at all.  a3dtot, for example, concurs with the first few questions that soul=consciousness.....but then goes all vague when asked how the soul outlives the body. 

Frankly, its a cop-out: its belief in something without being able to offer any substance to the belief or not - as valid as me saying "I believe all cats are pretty inscrutable when they look at you (demonstrably true)......and this is because they are all reincarnations of dead Chinese people".  Which apart from being horrifically racist and stereotyping, is a belief that has no evidence to back it up, nor is it falsifiable.....and thus no more - and no less - ridiculous or sensible as claiming there are "souls".

That, I think, is where we are trying to get to with the questions.  To find one single shred of evidence for "soul" over "consciousness".
Just because you've always done it that way doesn't mean it's not incredibly stupid.
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Offline kaziglu bey

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Re: Questions for theists about souls
« Reply #35 on: December 30, 2012, 07:38:57 PM »

Thanks for your response, Kaziglu
You are welcome, and thanks for participating.

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By evidence, I assume that you mean physical evidence.  ie you assume that the physical paradigm is the fundamental reality and then ask for evidence of the spiritual paradigm.
I assume the physical paradigm because when it is tested, it works. It provides answers, advances technology, civilization, and knowledge. I have yet to see a single example of religion actually doing anything.
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However the physical paradigm has no more right to be assumed fundamental than is the spiritual paradigm.
Why not? The physical paradigm works exactly the way it says it will. It makes predictions and tests them. If the predictions are true, they can be use to make other predictions, so on and so on, and our knowledge base of the world is built upon this process.

What exactly is the spiritual realm? What assumptions are made when the spiritual realm is assumed? In what way is this stuff useful? What ARE the rules for the spiritual paradigm as opposed to the physical paradigm, how can you demonstrate their efficacy, what is their purpose, how do we recognize them, why do they only seem to work for people who believe in them as opposed to the physical paradigm which works REGARDLESS of whether one believes in it?

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An aspect of the alternative can be seen here -

A. I am a body that manifests as having will, spirit or consciousness (known by some as 'soul').
plenty of reason to believe this is true.

Quote
or

B. I am a soul (will, spirit, consciousness) that manifests as having a body and living in a world.
plenty of reason to believe that this is not true.

Quote
On a larger scale -

A. Physical/material reality is fundamental.  Any non physical phenomenon is simply a manifestation of some of these physical processes.
Same as above.

Quote
or

B. Consciousness (experience, will, spirit, soul) is fundamental.  Any physical phenomenon is simply a manifestation within consciousness.
same as above. You have yet to actually tell us how we could even KNOW that the spiritual paradigm is a correct, or at the very least, a useful one. We can obviously demonstrate the usefulness of the physical paradigm, because we wouldn't be having this discussion on an internet forum without it.

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When you talk about evidence you are assuming paradigm A correct and are then asking that paradigm B be verified by use of the rules of A - which simply begs the question (assumes what you are trying to prove).
Then again, I ask, what ARE the rules of your paradigm? How can you even imply we should consider this paradigm valid if you can't even really explain WHAT IT IS?

Quote
Ultimately, we choose a paradigm. 
I'll go with the one that WORKS, thanks.
Quote
The paradigm is the set of underlying assumptions.  So for example before science can begin, a set of underlying assumptions must be set down (chosen).  The assumptions cannot be verified within the paradigm itself.
You're very stubborn. If you make a prediction based upon a set of assumptions, and time and time again the prediction works, and allows you to make even better predictions, the assumptions are no longer assumed BECAUSE they have been demonstrated to work! It's not like the assumptions for the physical paradigm are all false, but it somehow works anyways, while the assumptions for the spiritual paradigm are true, while it doesn't work at all. That would be utterly fatuous, and it really seems to be an underlying assumption of yours.

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So, how should we choose a paradigm ?  (remembering that science cannot be used before paradigm A has been chosen)
I would respond with why SHOULD I choose the spiritual paradigm? I know the argument for the physical one, I'm waiting for you to give me the argument for the spiritual one. What are the rules in this paradigm?
Seriously though... What would happen if the Great Green Arkleseizure didn't fram up the rammastam before the hermite curve achieved maximum nurdfurdle velocity? Now THAT would be something. AmIrite?

Offline dloubet

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Re: Questions for theists about souls
« Reply #36 on: December 31, 2012, 12:08:09 AM »
How about these questions:

1. If NDEs are the spirit leaving the body, what is the spirit seeing and hearing with?

2. If the answer to #1 is "it's spiritual eyes and ears" then why do we need our crude physical eyes and ears?

3. Why can we not use our spiritual eyes and ears to supplement or replace our physical eyes and ears?

4. If the brain is like a radio to the soul, and so a damaged brain scrambles the signal, why do people report the soul leaving the body upon death? Isn't the soul supposed to be somewhere else hunched over its dualistic shortwave radio?
Denis Loubet

Offline wheels5894

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Re: Questions for theists about souls
« Reply #37 on: December 31, 2012, 04:53:47 AM »
I'd say this all comes done to the 'Spiritual Paradigm' mentioned by Dominic. I'd like to look at it for a moment.

Now, we all understand the 'physical paradigm' Its about objects of all sizes and we manage to measure them and predict their behaviour and we generally have a pretty good understanding of the matter that makes up the universe (well, except the dark matter but that's on its way.) On the way to this understanding we have to tackle some hard questions - what are radio waves?, what are matter's fundamental building blocks? These are questions relating to the things we cannot see at all and have to infer, yet we have managed to work the building blocks of matter out and have even found the last one, the Higgs.

Now I mention the above as it directly relates to the concept of a spiritual dimension. This, it is claimed is an invisible dimension yet, it seems to me, it might be something that could be investigated and might be something we could infer to exist even though invisible. Moreover, many people, (those with religion and also spiritualists) claim that the 'spirit world' can manifest in the material world and even interact with it. Poltergeists can ,apparently, thrown furniture around the room whilst some claim a god can heal them. It is in these interactions that a spirit world might show itself to exist. The sad fact is that those with the most to gain from showing a spirit world to exist, religions, have failed to even consider doing any research. It is as though they know they will fail.....

In any event, there have been decades of research into ghosts and the like with nothing found that cannot be explained by the usual, material science. Not a scrap of evidence of anything other than the material.

So, Dominic, given the failure to demonstrate anything that might show an invisible, spiritual world why should anyone look with anything other than a 'physical paradigm'? Why would be make the assumption that everything is actually spiritual and the material only secondary?
No testimony is sufficient to establish a miracle, unless the testimony be of such that its falshood would be more miraculous than the facts it endeavours to establish. (David Hume)

Offline Dominic

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Re: Questions for theists about souls
« Reply #38 on: December 31, 2012, 05:55:16 AM »

So, Dominic, given the failure to demonstrate anything that might show an invisible, spiritual world why should anyone look with anything other than a 'physical paradigm'? Why would be make the assumption that everything is actually spiritual and the material only secondary?

1.  One thing you need to realise is that any physical verification which is called on as evidence only exists in the physical paradigm.  So this evidence does not relate to choosing a paradigm itself which must come before any physical testing. 

2.  The choice of paradigm requires something else completely - not physical tests.  We need to seriously consider what can be used other than physical tests.

3.  I've been using a few terms interchangeably in this thread for the alternative pardigm eg 'spiritual paradigm', 'consciousness', 'soul'.  I think these concepts are closely related but may not be identical.

4.  One of the best ways to see the weakness of the physical paradigm is to compare it to a dream.  How can we distinguish the physical world from a dream ?  Now whether or not it is a dream is not the point.  The point is how to distinguish ?  If we can't distinguish then we must always be uncertain and cannot claim truth.

5.  One approach we can take is a pragmatic one ie the best we can do is accept what our senses report so bad luck if its wrong.  Can't be helped.  Yes we can take that approach but we cannot then claim that we have adopted truth or that we have made a better choice of belief.

6.  Now, as an argument for the spiritual paradigm, near death experiences are worthy of consideration.  Obviously these are personal experiences so they don't fit into the 'shared observation' realm of science however they are widely reported to be more real and more certain than waking experience.  Someone who believes only in the physical paradigm will need to dismiss NDEs in order to protect his worldview and to do this they claim brain electrical errors or something along those lines.  That then becomes simply a stand-off between two belief systems.

7.  It appears that you are asking for the spiritual world to somehow impinge upon the physical world with physical evidence.  What you seem to be missing is that the physical world is like a particular dream scenario within the spiritual paradigm.  A dream scenario which has particular rules.  Those rules are basically the rules of science.  The spiritual paradigm as a whole is the consciousness within which this scenario is possible.  Hence the use of the term sub-sets.  The question being whether consciousness is a sub-set of the physical world or whether the physical world is a sub-set of consciousness.  Obviously there is a massive difference between the two outlooks.

« Last Edit: December 31, 2012, 06:25:50 AM by Dominic »

Offline Anfauglir

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Re: Questions for theists about souls
« Reply #39 on: December 31, 2012, 06:48:38 AM »
2.  The choice of paradigm requires something else completely - not physical tests.  We need to seriously consider what can be used other than physical tests.

Fine.  Describe one non-physical test that can be used to verify the spiritual paradigm. 

I think this is where we are struggling with the "other paradigm" concept.  Within the physical world, we can test any hypothesis put forward.  Identical situations will yield identical results, and hence we can make predictions: if I drop this glass on concrete, it will smash.

The problem with the spiritual hypothesis is that there are NO tests that have been put forward as a means of describing the paradigm.  NO set of rules put forward.  Its a vague idea that - frankly - changes from one believer to another, as wheels points out.  Some say "yeah, ghosts exist", others say they do not - or they will differ over whether a "ghost" is a recording that always replays, or a intelligent and reactive entity, or what?

I think the point is that we COULD, if pressed, sit down and generate a huge pile of text that describes "how the physical paradigm works" - indeed, they tend to be called "reference libraries".....  ;D   The question is whether there is something similar for the spiritual paradigm - and the answer, I think, is that there is not.  Even within a single religion there is huge difference of opinion over whether demons are real, for example, let alone the differering conceptions of spiritual realms that the different belief systems have put forward.

So that's my starter, if you like - asking you to define this spiritual paradigm.

4.  One of the best ways to see the weakness of the physical paradigm is to compare it to a dream.  How can we distinguish the physical world from a dream ?  Now whether or not it is a dream is not the point.  The point is how to distinguish ?  If we can't distinguish then we must always be uncertain and cannot claim truth......

An interesting start, perhaps - but which goes back to the conception of testing.  When I am awake, I am quite clear on whether I am dreaming or not, it is only when I am asleep that I cannot tell.  Now that may very well be the case that I cannot use a physical test to determine the status of the spiritual happenings - but if that's the case, then fine: what ARE the spiritual tests one can carry out?

While I've got some sympathy with the philosophical side of your argument, on the practical side - so far - it seems to be nothing more than "hey, what if there's a spiritual world?", with nothing testable to back it up.
Just because you've always done it that way doesn't mean it's not incredibly stupid.
Why is it so hard for believers to answer a direct question?

Online natlegend

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Re: Questions for theists about souls
« Reply #40 on: December 31, 2012, 06:50:03 AM »
Quote
Consciousness is proved (absolutely) by doubting it burping.  If I doubt that I am experiencing (consciousness) burp then who is doubting burping ?  I am.  So I must be conscious in order to doubt burp.  This is true of no other claim as far as I can detect.

lol sorry, couldn't help myself. "I burp, therefore you are"
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You keep using that word. I do not think it means

Offline Dominic

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Re: Questions for theists about souls
« Reply #41 on: December 31, 2012, 07:13:07 AM »
Quote
Consciousness is proved (absolutely) by doubting it burping.  If I doubt that I am experiencing (consciousness) burp then who is doubting burping ?  I am.  So I must be conscious in order to doubt burp.  This is true of no other claim as far as I can detect.

lol sorry, couldn't help myself. "I burp, therefore you are"

The thing about burping (or any other physical manifestation) is that it could be dreamt.  It may not have been a real burp.  What cannot be doubted however is the dreamer/experiencer (consciousness itself).  That is the key realisation.


Offline Anfauglir

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Re: Questions for theists about souls
« Reply #42 on: December 31, 2012, 07:38:08 AM »
Quote
Consciousness is proved (absolutely) by doubting it burping.  If I doubt that I am experiencing (consciousness) burp then who is doubting burping ?  I am.  So I must be conscious in order to doubt burp.  This is true of no other claim as far as I can detect.

lol sorry, couldn't help myself. "I burp, therefore you are"

The thing about burping (or any other physical manifestation) is that it could be dreamt.  It may not have been a real burp.  What cannot be doubted however is the dreamer/experiencer (consciousness itself).  That is the key realisation.

One way or another, there is always a burper.....that may be my new sig!   :D

Still, a useful example.  If I burp in the physical world, we can tell it happened.  CCTV footage, measurements of air density and movement, other people waving their hands and going "pee-yew, garlic".....!

If I burp in the spiritual world.....how do I know I have burped?  How do YOU know I have burped? 

If a burp is burped, and there is no-one there to observe it, was there a smell?   ;)
Just because you've always done it that way doesn't mean it's not incredibly stupid.
Why is it so hard for believers to answer a direct question?

Offline shnozzola

Re: Questions for theists about souls
« Reply #43 on: December 31, 2012, 09:27:52 AM »
1. Any testing, observation or even discussion of the physical world is impossible without consciousness.  So consciousness is  fundamental.

To me, this becomes like the sound of a tree falling in the forest.  It still happens without an ear to manufacture the sound.  Mars may be a good example.  Boulders roll down a hill with no consciousness to take it in, although this little volkswagon sized droid is filming it while scooping up more soil.  :)

This brain in a jar, spiritual existence mumbo jumbo gets to be repetitive and tiring.  If you are a brain in a jar, decide once and for all that you are refusing to ever make even the tiniest move again, and if you are lucky, the EMT's will be saving you with an IV on the way to the hospital while you scream - "But I'm a brain in a jar."
« Last Edit: December 31, 2012, 09:34:08 AM by shnozzola »
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Offline dloubet

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Re: Questions for theists about souls
« Reply #44 on: December 31, 2012, 12:44:33 PM »
Dominic wrote:
Quote
1.  One thing you need to realise is that any physical verification which is called on as evidence only exists in the physical paradigm.  So this evidence does not relate to choosing a paradigm itself which must come before any physical testing. 

Are you suggesting that the spiritual realm does not affect the physical realm in any way?

If you are suggesting that, then by what means do you claim to know anything about the spiritual realm? Why even posit such a thing? Clearly no one could know anything about the spiritual realm if there can be no communication from it.

If you aren't suggesting that, then the effects of the spiritual realm upon the physical realm can be measured and examined by science. If the evidence of the spiritual realm leads inescapably to the spiritual paradigm, then physical verification has led to the spiritual paradigm.
Denis Loubet

Offline 3sigma

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Re: Questions for theists about souls
« Reply #45 on: December 31, 2012, 04:26:58 PM »
It appears that you are asking for the spiritual world to somehow impinge upon the physical world with physical evidence.

Of course we are, Dominic, because until it does, it is nothing more than make-believe. Until you can give us some solid evidence that the spiritual world, souls, an afterlife or your god exist, they remain as they have always been: childish nonsense imagined long ago by ignorant, insecure and gullible people to explain what they saw as frightening and confusing aspects of nature. It dismays me that people today still need to cling to those ancient beliefs to give themselves emotional comfort. It dismays me even more that many of them still kill people over this childish nonsense. I do wish they would just grow up.
A wise man proportions his belief to the evidence. – David Hume 1711–1776

Offline Graybeard

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Re: Questions for theists about souls
« Reply #46 on: December 31, 2012, 06:21:17 PM »
4.  One of the best ways to see the weakness of the physical paradigm is to compare it to a dream.  How can we distinguish the physical world from a dream ?  Now whether or not it is a dream is not the point.  The point is how to distinguish ?  If we can't distinguish then we must always be uncertain and cannot claim truth.
OK, say the world that I believe to be reality, is, in fact a dream… what is a dream?

We can distinguish a dream from consciousness because we can will ourselves to recognise when we are dreaming. We cannot will ourselves and have the reality change.

Our dreams contain constant non-sequiturs, amongst which are locations that change without notice or cause, and people and things that turn out to be several other things during the course of the dream.

We (and every life-form) live in a world where a wall is solid and we can’t put our hand through it. We can’t do this because the wall and hand obey the laws of science for everyone on us without regard to who or what we are – an imagined world, that of dreams would not have this consistency.

The idea that we are figments of someone’s imagination or that we are sitting on some asteroid in the Oort Cloud imagining all this is absolute garbage pulled out of the arse of some mystic snake-oil salesman.

If we perceive reality then we have to have some physical means of doing this.

If we have some physical means of doing this then it has to be alive and to keep it alive will require a digestive system and a fuel supply, etc.

I dismiss the idea that we are experiencing anything other than reality as limited by our ability to perceive 3 dimensions. I dismiss it as it is unfalsifiable – the same as all gods.

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6.  Now, as an argument for the spiritual paradigm, near death experiences are worthy of consideration.
No they are not – there is a sticky post on this subject. Read it.

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Someone who believes only in the physical paradigm will need to dismiss NDEs in order to protect his worldview

That statement is simply wrong. Even if it were right, could there not be other reasons too? NDE have been investigated – the results are uniform. Ask yourself – “Why in NDEs do Christians see Jesus and Hindus see Vishnu (or whoever) and Jews see Yahweh?” Subjective or what.


RELIGION, n. A daughter of Hope and Fear, explaining to Ignorance the nature of the Unknowable. Ambrose Bierce