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Ian Wardell
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I think you're going way *way* over the top. Most of the arguments on facebook stem from differing political views on various issues. Outside of politics I haven't noticed a great deal of acrimony. But with politics people have always disagreed vehemently with each other. If it's tearing society apart, what's the evidence for this? Has violent crime increased in the past 10-15 years since the advent of social media? Are people less civil to each other, I mean in real life not over the net? In the real world what negative effects has there been? Maybe it's different in the USA to the UK where I live? I love facebook, even though outside of politics I scarcely get any comments or likes. I like to give my thoughts on various issues. I like to make tongue in cheek remarks even though most people take such remarks seriously -- I just laugh inside to myself when they do. It's a convenient place to get all my links to interesting new webpages. I like the humourous videos. This notion we should ban facebook and other social media is preposterous.
Toggle Commented Sep 28, 2018 on Ban social media at Michael Prescott's Blog
Michael Prescott said: ||Years ago I read an argument by Antony Flew (who was, at the time, a staunchly atheistic philosopher), in which he said that life after death is a meaningless concept because "death," by definition, means "the absence of life."|| Raymond Moody, the guy who wrote "life after life" and who coined the acronym NDE, made the same "argument". This phrase "life after death" simply refers to the notion that in some form or another one's stream of consciousness will continue after the body stops functioning. Often it is referred to "the survival hypothesis" (as opposed to the "extinction hypothesis" which advocates people cease to exist when their body stops functioning). That is to say one does not literally mean there is *life* after death, but simply mean to convey there is a continuation of one's stream of consciousness after the death of one's body. So Dr Raymond Moody's and Antony Flew's (and many others) "argument" here is not in fact an argument at all, but purely playing with words. This is what you get with many professional philosophers and often scientists too; namely the most asinine ridiculous assertions imaginable eg one is not conscious unless one has learnt a language (hence no non-human animal is in fact conscious! Clearly none of them has ever owned a dog or cat). Or before we can say whether consciousness survives the death of our bodies, we must define it. But of course we all in the most immediate manner possible directly aware of our own consciousness, and hence in the most immediate manner know what it is.
Amos Oliver Doyle - || If I were asked to define my 'identity' how would I respond? Well first of all it needs to be made clear that my identity is not 'me'. It is not my I-thought, my awareness or soul. My identity is a construct, a garment so to speak dependant upon a physical existence. || Yeah I would disagree with this too. But I think they might be a lot of talking at cross-purposes. I mean my identity is *by definition* my self or soul or "I thought". On the other hand I wouldn't say what *I essentially am* is identical to my ego. I am not identical to my current pre-occupations, my current desires, my currents interests and what have you.
@Matt: "We don't transmit an external "soul" or "spirit" that contains our consciousness, memories, etc. Rather, the brain "accesses" the I-Thought to be conscious as well as our externally extant memories" Julie Baxter "Yes! That's entirely consonant with my mini-mystical experience - the one that I experienced when I was just nine-years-old and which, I believe, I've recounted here in the past". I'm afraid that I just find everything Matt says complete gobbledegook.
Seth says: "Your prime identity is a gestalt (soul) and is in constant contact with your whole self ( those many identity's you have been over time), of which your conscious self is unaware. However your inner consciousness is aware of its individuality and that it is part of a unity that survives eternally." Julie Baxter says: "That's just the kind of wishy-washy Seth, New Age bullsh*t that drives me potty. I really wish I didn't feel the need to say that, but, somehow, I do. My apologies to the offended, but please don't try to elaborate. I am, as of now, permanently ear-plugged with regard to the Seth Material". I don't like new age wishy washy stuff. However I disagree with you in what I think Seth is saying. What we are is our inner essence, the self as I call it (see my essay part 3). This self I describe seems to correspond to the "I thought". Now the self is unchanging, we are always the same "I thought" or stream of consciousness, but the properties of this self can vary widely. Obviously we can entertain different thoughts, be in different moods etc. But we can also vary in how intelligent we are, our interests, our pre-occupations etc at different times. Just compare your adult self to when you were a child. So in a sense we have many identities over time as Seth says. But we are still the same self which survives eternally.
For those who are interested the programme Duck soup mentioned shown last Sunday is now on youtube. I've only watched the first 10 mins.
Toggle Commented Jun 6, 2014 on Calling all minions! at Michael Prescott's Blog
Even if all the evidence for survival was found wanting, that wouldn't of course entail there's no survival. So obviously to question all the survival evidence, and indeed to conclude it constitutes no evidence whatsoever, needn't suggest that one doesn't personally subscribe to survival. We'd still have the problem of how the brain produces consciousness. And it seems to me that it's somewhat more surprising than to suppose the internal components of a TV set actually generate the storyline of the programmes being shown. I think though that Michael Sudduth should try to express himself in a more readily understandable manner. Not sure if I should buy his book or not. I need to be able to understand it! And not to keep re-reading sentences in order to glean its meaning. I always try to make my own blog entries as understandable as possible. (For those who might be interested here is the following link: )
Toggle Commented Jun 2, 2014 on Calling all minions! at Michael Prescott's Blog
Dr Michael Sudduth says: "Fifth, several of your readers are under the impression that disposing of materialist views of mind/reality somehow renders survival more plausible. But that’s too quick in point of logic. At best, disposing of materialism removes an objection to some hypotheses of survival, but removing an objection to a hypothesis is not the same thing as providing evidence for a hypothesis". If all flavours of materialism are shown to be false, this does not make the hypothesis that we survive more probable?* It seems to me there are no possible arguments that could be made to justify this stance. Either our bodies produce consciousness or they do not. If we can eliminate all the materialist hypotheses, then *necessarily* the probability of all the other hypotheses increases. Hence the only way it could *not* increase the probability of survival would be if this increase in probability only occurred for the other hypotheses where the body produces consiousness eg, property dualism, strong emergentism etc, and for there to be no increase at all in the probability for the various survival hypotheses. However it is clear all these relative probabilities would remain the same. This is just similar to the tactic that the materialists employ when they proclaim that the existence of NDEs gives *no evidence whatsoever* for a life after death. This entails that if we have 2 possible worlds -- one where everyone near death has an NDE, and the other where no-one does -- the likelihood there is a "life after death" is the same in both worlds. This of course is simply absurd. Given this one assertion being clearly transparently false this doesn't inspire me to dig into all his other claims. It would involve a hell of a lot of reading for a kick off! *(unless, as many scientists are prone to do, he's adopting some peculiar definition of the word "evidence" . But such a redefinition would be uninteresting and mere sophistry since what people are interested in is how *more probably* the existence of NDEs make a "life after death").
Toggle Commented May 31, 2014 on Calling all minions! at Michael Prescott's Blog
Number 3 sounds good (the facebook group).
Toggle Commented Mar 14, 2014 on Bored now at Michael Prescott's Blog
Matt P "If there's a logical possible natural explanation for a "paranormal" or psi experiment, by default (Occam's razor) the natural explanation is preferred. That is the way science works and it's why psi will never ever been accepted by the scientific community". A natural explanation in this context meaning an explanation consistent with the physicalist or materialist metaphysic. To suppose science works by presupposing such a metaphysic demonstrates a fundamental misunderstanding of the nature of science and how it works. It is not a legitimate use of Ockham's razor to prefer highly convoluted explanations; it is doubly not legitimate when such explanations are on the presupposition of the correctness of a metaphysic which is simply inconsistent with the existence of consciousness. Psi won't be accepted by the scientific community until such a time when we have a scientific theory of the world which doesn't leave out the existence of consciousness. And that will necessarily mean abandoning any materialist metaphysic. Then we can move on and discover what this consciousness is capable of doing and how it meshes in with our understanding of physical reality.
Matt Colborn said above: "As far as I can see, Suddoth is arguing that Survival and super psi are both a lot less likely candidates than they seem to account for the evidence because they rely on 'bundles' of a priori unfounded assumptions to account for the data. So, for example, if you assume survival, you also have to make other assumptions about the capacities of the dead and the world in general which are currently unfounded". Well we're not making any assumptions about the capacities of the dead when it comes to the evidence for reincarnation or the evidence supplied by NDEs or DBV's. With apparitions and mediumship we don't make an assumption about the capacity of dead people, rather if we assume these experiences are what they seem, then we infer it? That is to say that at least some people are susceptible, at least on occasions, to see or hear from deceased people. Hence in order for apparitions and mediumship not to count as evidence we would have to have reasons for supposing the deceased could never make themselves seen or heard by the living. Can you think of any such reasons? Matt Colburn is the notion that consciousness might exist after death more "disconnected with robust knowledge of the world" than the notion that consciousness exists before death? If so could you explain why? Thank you.
Toggle Commented Jan 23, 2014 on A Philosopher Tackles Survival at Paranormalia
I made some comments on facebook. I may as well paste them in here in case anyone is interested. Michael Sudduth "we have no good independent reason to suppose that some or all living persons would reincarnate on earth, much less as humans or with past life memories, congenital birth marks corresponding to the manner of their death in a former life, etc". I'm not sure about this. If brains do not produce consciousness, so that we exist before conception and after death, then the options are we don't get born into this physical reality at all, or some are born into this physical reality 0 times and some 1 times, or some 0 times, some 1 times, some >1 times etc. Surely the a priori likelihood that it will be 0 or 1 lives and no-one ever born into this physical reality more than once cannot be deemed more likely than being born twice or more into this reality? Whatever "cosmic mechanism" or principle which allows us to be born once would prima facie allow selves to be born into this physical life more than once. We need a priori reasons to suppose that whatever allows us to be born once, could not operate again. For example if being incarnated is some decision by some higher entity or even yourself, then one good reason for deciding to exist in this physical reality would be for lessons that could be learnt from ones experience of this reality. But many people die at a very young age, or even get aborted before we are born! In which case reincarnation might well then be a sensible choice. Or perhaps reincarnation is some impersonal "mechanism". But clearly we don't have independent reasons to think it can only operate once (or indeed 0 times). As for being reincarnated as human beings, we might hypothesise that the development of the soul might gravitate it towards less or more complex life forms. If we are here for some ultimate purpose then an appropriate life form (human beings for us) might best meet that need. He's right about congenital birth marks though. But data can be interesting and compelling even in the absence of independent reasons for supposing its existence. Michael Sudduth "It’s only the unwarranted assumption that death increases the potency of psi, or some such other speculative assumption, that allows survivalists to think that they are immune from this objection to super-psi". My own view is that the brain "filters" out our psi capacity and hence psi will be vastly greater in power and scope in any afterlife realm. Telepathy, remember, is only negatively defined as being no physical mechanism accounting for the communication between 2 or more selves. Thus it seems either that selves don't communicate with each other in the afterlife realm, or they employ telepathy. And we have accounts from NDErs that their communication is a direct knowing of what the other entity/person is saying i.e telepathy. Also the very existence of "superpsi" suggests to me that we are fairly likely to survive. Certainly I find superpsi, or indeed standard psi, hard to reconcile with some materialist based metaphysic. This is not to say I discount the possibility that superspi is sometimes or always operating in the context of psychics/mediumship. I have no idea. Don't know enough to give an informed opinion. "(Almeder) argues that if reincarnation is true, then we would expect to find people with past life memories, which Almeder says is confirmed by the fact that people claim to have past life memories. Setting aside that this is not a specific prediction, Almeder makes it clear that what sanctions the prediction here is the psychological criterion of personal identity. So here’s an admission of an auxiliary hypothesis, but clearly more needs to be assumed because we would have to account for a potentially disconfirming datum, to wit, many people appear to have no past life memories". Not the psychological criterion of personal identity surely? A person subscribing to survival would believe that we are persisting selves/souls. The fact we are persisting selves though will imply some persistence of psychological traits. The notion of the self and that it persists from 1 second to the next is a hypothesis, but one which can be shown to be extremely likely by philosophical argumentation. So it's not an auxiliary hypothesis in the sense it is hypothesised to make the main theory true, rather we have independent reasons for supposing it to be true apart from reincarnation. If the fact that the vast majority of us cannot recollect a previous life is a "disconfirming datum" that we had a previous life, then by parity of reasoning my failure to recollect most of my present life, and nothing before the age of about the age of 5, is equally a disconfirming datum that I existed at those times I cannot recollect. What we would expect should reincarnation occur is that either no-one at all recollects a previous life, or very few people do. We would *not* expect that everyone would recollect previous lives since that is contrary to our experience of memories of this life. "As for the objection that super-psi is pseudo-scientific, this is simply a category mistake. The super-psi hypothesis is no more a scientific hypothesis than deontologism in ethics, metaphysical idealism, or classical theism". Ha Ha! I agree. I hate it when clueless materialists bang on about something not being falsifiable or not being scientific or whatever. And the fact that they don't understand their materialism is equally not falsifiable and not scientific.
Toggle Commented Jan 23, 2014 on A Philosopher Tackles Survival at Paranormalia
Well I'm hard pressed to believe that hearing what seems to be a wind chime or footsteps constitutes a ghost story! But regardless of whether they are or not, they are clearly totally uninteresting. What are interesting is apparently encountering someone you know, conversing with them about completely mundane everything things, only to find out afterwards that the person you were talking to is dead. I think this happens far to frequently to be accounted for by normal explanations. But to what extent this gives evidence for a "life after death" I'm completely unsure about. It just seems utterly bizarre to suppose a dead person would talk about utterly mundane things. Also I think people experience such apparitions where the person being seen is still alive. Yet they were not aware they were appearing as an apparition to someone! So perhaps not very evidential for an afterlife, but nevertheless absolutely fascinating!
Toggle Commented Oct 2, 2013 on Unghostly Ghosts at Paranormalia
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Feb 6, 2013