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Conspirologist

Theism and Atheism Vs Agnosticism

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Frank Merton
6 minutes ago, davros of skaro said:

I'm fighting back the spread of bad ideas, not unlike adding a bit of chlorine in a water supply.

You being the foil I come to understand your motivation. Everyone likes to be clever, but in turn being a refuge to what is not is unbecoming. 

Mark

Not all atheists are the same, and belief even though if personality changing is not proof of belief. 

Frank

I feel everyone has a touch of OCD. If I bump my one elbow, I'm compulsed to bump the other. This, and your own psychological make up is probably the root to your situation? 

First, I wish you were on more.

I don't think my schizophrenic tendencies has anything to do with my situation in life.  It's incidental and I probably wouldn't have mentioned it except to maybe help counter some extravagant claims that were being made.  I am by local standards comfortable and wealthy.   The only problems with my health even have been pretty much cured.  Last time my doctor took a good listen he said he could hear no difference between my heart and one of someone much younger who had never had problems.

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eight bits

davros

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I'm fighting back the spread of bad ideas, not unlike adding a bit of chlorine in a water supply.

Just doing God's work, eh?

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Frank Merton
35 minutes ago, eight bits said:

davros

Just doing God's work, eh?

If there were a God that would be accurate.  He doesn't like superstitions -- neither do I -- and religions tend to be just about the most evil superstitions out there.  So he is working for good against evil.

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eight bits

Frank

 

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So he is working for good against evil.

Or, in idiomatic American English, he's doing God's work.

 

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Stubbly_Dooright
4 hours ago, davros of skaro said:

I'm fighting back the spread of bad ideas, not unlike adding a bit of chlorine in a water supply.

I find this a bit, unsettling. When it comes to prosetylising, (which you probably already know is my pet peeve) I can understand wanting to put a stop to it. I'm not sure, if this is what you mean, though. :unsure: Now, if it's people simply living their lives believing something, but go on and just be people, I don't think there's harm in that. I wonder, if trying to stop people from believing what they feel strongly in believing is the thought here. 

I could be wrong. *shrugs*   ;) 

3 hours ago, eight bits said:

davros

Quote

I'm fighting back the spread of bad ideas, not unlike adding a bit of chlorine in a water supply.

Just doing God's work, eh?

Oh dear. :cry:   I'm going to hide be over here. :o

Somewhere. 

3 hours ago, Frank Merton said:

If there were a God that would be accurate.  He doesn't like superstitions -- neither do I -- and religions tend to be just about the most evil superstitions out there.  So he is working for good against evil.

I have often heard that from some. If there is a God and that's one of his hates, why hide from most so to let them think he could be a superstition? 

Just a thought. ;) 

 

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Liquid Gardens
11 hours ago, eight bits said:

LG

Maybe not. Don't shoot the messenger, kay?

Whoa whoa, I'm not shooting anyone now.  Who are you the messenger for, Mark?  The breakdown of the math of davros' question I really haven't seen in Mark's posts, but I admit I may have missed it.

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Yes. The two opposing hypotheses, if true, would explain what is observed (the report) equally well. That's probably objective, or nearly so. 

Agreed.  However if we let things like 'heaven' in then we have endless opposing hypotheses.  I'm able to argue why, if we put consistent boundaries concerning what answers we will allow, hallucination can be allowed in but heaven cannot; rightly or wrongly, we can put a boundary that only includes hallucination because of the vast difference in evidence.  No 'to me', 'to them', 'to you' qualifiers; objectively.  I can't consistently however let in 'heaven' and not also let in 'The Matrix' and zillions of other alternatives.  The Matrix and God perfectly explain every event, experience, and thought.

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Probably. Different problem, though.

Different problem in the sense that of what you specifically are referring to, or different problem than what davros asked/what his question inevitably must confront?

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Look, I read through your post. I'm not the one making the report, and I'm not the one interpreting the report as a trip to heaven.

Not disputed, but you seem to be the one who is pointing out an issue with, or maybe just making a side comment about, davros' question.

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Davros seemed interested in changing the other poster's mind. I'm not, because I know I can't.

I don't think that's in evidence at all, davros has written a lot here and I'm pretty sure I could find a quote from him indicating that he realizes he's not going to change his opponent's mind.  

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Of course, he lacks evidence that we haven't already considered while reaching conclusions opposite to his. That's an impasse; an embiggened one.

What evidence is that, what evidence is davros lacking?  (I may have lost who is 'he' and who is 'his' in the above)  It's an impasse in the same way that YE creationists and biologists are at an impasse; interesting again, but concerning the question, 'is it more likely that the diversity of life is a result of evolution or the result of God ex nihilo poofing all the different species into existence 6000 years ago', there isn't really an impasse.  

That's why I was a little lost on your reply.  You break down the nature of davros question in a certain way, you evaluate the two opposing hypotheses in this case, and then it just seems to stop and makes no mention of the pretty obvious difference between the two hypotheses, namely the evidence that hallucinations at least exist.  It just seems to me that you could type almost the exact same post on any debate, especially the typical targets of skepticism.  Including debates where one hypothesis (I guess I should add 'to me', whatever purpose that serves) has a lot more evidence so I wasn't sure what the relevance was.  I agree that Mark thinks that trips to heaven are more likely than davros does, but it doesn't then follow that Mark then thinks that trips to heaven are more likely than hallucinations; if only 1% of NDEs are trips to heaven, Mark's overall point is still made.

(and to be clear this is not a slam of Mark, who I consider to be a great poster and whom I admire for very consistently prioritizing propagating good vibes over any other considerations)

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Only_
12 hours ago, Mr Walker said:

And why do you assume that the pain  suffering and pestilence are either the product of such a god or its desire for us ?

A perfect, that is -omniscient, omnipotent and omnipresent creator - could prevent such pain, suffering and evilness that is plaguing the human condition. It does not. The world is flawed because it was created in a flawed manner. An imperfect emanation. Humans can work on improving it, but ultimately we are not responsible for it. We're entrapped here. Thus, I can only conclude that: ''God is wholly transcendent, that is, he is far removed from his creation. He did not create the material universe because it was instead created by an evil or lesser God, sometimes called a "demiurge". God is thus too perfect and pure to have much to do with the evilness of the material universe.''

 

Edited by TruthSeeker_

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XenoFish
13 minutes ago, TruthSeeker_ said:

A perfect that is -omniscient, omnipotent and omnipresent creator - could prevent such pain, suffering and evilness that is plaguing the human condition. It does not. The world is flawed because it was created in a flawed manner. Humans can work on improving it, but ultimately we are not responsible for it. We're entrapped here. Thus, I can only conclude that: ''God is wholly transcendent, that is, he is far removed from his creation. He did not create the material universe because it was instead created by an evil or lesser God, sometimes called a "demiurge". God is thus too perfect and pure to have much to do with the evilness of the material universe.''

 

What if such a being saw the futility of ending suffering and just decided to let the experiment run its course? If something of that omni level existed we still wouldn't be important as religions make us out to be. Nothing more than some bacteria on the petri dish called earth.

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Only_
1 hour ago, XenoFish said:

What if such a being saw the futility of ending suffering and just decided to let the experiment run its course? If something of that omni level existed we still wouldn't be important as religions make us out to be. Nothing more than some bacteria on the petri dish called earth.

There is a crack in the Universe. Abrahamic religions try to fill it with concepts such as 'free will' and 'original sin'. Buddhism is right with it's fundamental recognition that earthly life is filled with suffering. The Gnostics come to the obvious conclusion: the demiurge-creator is a lunatic.

Edited by TruthSeeker_

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eight bits

LG

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Who are you the messenger for, Mark?

And don't call me Mark... Sorry, couldn't resist.

Not at all. Mark doesn't need the likes of me as his messenger. We play on different teams anyway.

The message (a "what" not a "who") is the inevitable subjectivity in non-demonstrative reasoning under uncertainty. In some problems, the subjective component is more important to the outcome, in other problems, less important. In this problem, because the evidence "maxes out" under both contending hypotheses (it's just what you'd expect if one hypothesis were true, and equally just what you'd expect if the other were true instead), the outcome is the subjective component, each person's unchanged a priori belief, "What makes sense to them" in the first place.

To change those prior beliefs, you'd need bearing evidence, and "new" bearing evidence (new to the person whose beliefs you aspire to change, not necessarily "new" to everybody).

I really thought I'd explained all that already.

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The Matrix and God perfectly explain every event, experience, and thought.

That's why they aren't useful for explanation. Truth is diferent than usefulness. I personally don't hold a brief for either one of them being true, and I don't think I've ever met anybody who invests much belief in the Matrix as being true. God? That belief is pretty much why there is S v. S.

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Different problem ...

I think I could make a dent in designing objective tests for any specific instance of a gambler's inflated self-assessment, even gambling on things that don't use engineered gambling apparatus, like parimutuel horse race betting.

In the latter case, of course, I think we'd have to consider that it might be possible to know something that really would allow superior returns (but even so, more people probably think they have special skill at it than actually do).

Regardless, I am at a loss to design an objective test concerning  the existence of Heaven, or the availability of flights arriving there. Hence, a different problem.

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or maybe just making a side comment

Davros and I have been exchanging "side comments" for a very long time (or at least it seems very long to me). We've also done some things in coordination (like the street epistemology thread a while ago).

Speaking of which,

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I'm pretty sure I could find a quote from him indicating that he realizes he's not going to change his opponent's mind. 

I'm pretty sure if you looked back at what led to the SE thread, and some of his participation in it, you'd find a quote or two suggestive of belief change as at least sometimes one of his objectives.

Maybe it comes and goes?

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I may have lost who is 'he' and who is 'his' in the above

The intended reference was to Mark, sorry if that was unclear, but the symmetric point had just been made about davros. The point applies to both, and it takes two to impasse.

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YE creationists and biologists

Different problem. I think even I could muster evidence for a human species that's older than what some YE's propose for the age of the Earth itself.

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namely the evidence that hallucinations at least exist.

Do you suppose that Mark doesn't know that? That's what it would take for the evidence to change his mind - be something different from what he has already taken into account.

Edited by eight bits
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Mr Walker
15 hours ago, aka CAT said:
perfect, that is -omniscient, omnipotent and omnipresent creator - could prevent such pain, suffering and evilness that is plaguing the human condition. It does not. The world is flawed because it was created in a flawed manner. An imperfect emanation. Humans can work on improving it, but ultimately we are not responsible for it. We're entrapped here. Thus, I can only conclude that: ''God is wholly transcendent, that is, he is far removed from his creation. He did not create the material universe because it was instead created by an evil or lesser God, sometimes called a "demiurge". God is thus too perfect and pure to have much to do with the evilness of the material universe.''

First  I think this is proof that such a god does not exist ( and in my mind such a god is impossible)  The world and universe was not created, but evolved purely naturally, and the "flaws" we see are natural consequences of evolution Self aware beings can improve on nature, and this is the role of gods or advanced self aware beings .  (to improve on nature) 

You can imagine such a god, but to me it is only imagination. What is more, it could never be a god ( to me ) because, to qualify for godhood, an entity must not only be aware of my existence, but concerned about it, and prepared to negotiate improvements on it . There may well be some supreme being out there, but unless he takes an interest in humans, he or it is not a god to, or for, us.  

(He /it MIGHT be a god to other entities in which it takes some interest and with whom he /it communicates. 

 but i defer to your absolute right to believe in and have faith in any entity you  can imagine and would like to be a god. 

Belief and faith  is critical for human well being, whether or not the entity believed in is real or not. 

Ps if you were a being with omniscient power how would you create another self aware being with the ability to grow learn and improve  ? And suppose you created a being like yourself (already omniscient and omnipotent)  would it be  incapable of evil or compelled to do only good.  Good and evil are choices and only a free willed individual can BE good or evil A dog or a robot CANNOT e good or evil  

To create a self aware being with knowledge and awareness, and yet compel it to be good, would actually be a great evil.  

Edited by Mr Walker

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Frank Merton
11 hours ago, Stubbly_Dooright said:

I find this a bit, unsettling. When it comes to prosetylising, (which you probably already know is my pet peeve) I can understand wanting to put a stop to it. I'm not sure, if this is what you mean, though. :unsure: Now, if it's people simply living their lives believing something, but go on and just be people, I don't think there's harm in that. I wonder, if trying to stop people from believing what they feel strongly in believing is the thought here. 

I could be wrong. *shrugs*   ;) 

Oh dear. :cry:   I'm going to hide be over here. :o

Somewhere. 

I have often heard that from some. If there is a God and that's one of his hates, why hide from most so to let them think he could be a superstition? 

Just a thought. ;) 

 

I am a rather poor Buddhist, but in one way I think I'm a good Buddhist -- I don't preach Buddhism.  Yes often I find myself explaining some aspect of it -- often some aspect I am careful to say I don't think is necessarily so -- but that is because there is so much prejudicial misinformation out there, mostly preached by Christians.

Regarding religion in general, I think the world would be so much better off without it that it is hard for me to express.  It is the source of so much harm to all sorts of people that the little good it does in offering solace to some people who seem to need that sort of thing (we would probably be even better off without the "solace") is more than offset.  I think we would even have Bach without the religion, although it would be a different Bach.

Now that is my opinion.  I have the same view of ideology in general.  Why can't we just all get along?

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Liquid Gardens
2 hours ago, eight bits said:

And don't call me Mark... Sorry, couldn't resist.

Ha!  My bad, Shirley.

Quote

The message (a "what" not a "who") is the inevitable subjectivity in non-demonstrative reasoning under uncertainty. In some problems, the subjective component is more important to the outcome, in other problems, less important. In this problem, because the evidence "maxes out" under both contending hypotheses (it's just what you'd expect if one hypothesis were true, and equally just what you'd expect if the other were true instead), the outcome is the subjective component, each person's unchanged a priori belief, "What makes sense to them" in the first place.

To change those prior beliefs, you'd need bearing evidence, and "new" bearing evidence (new to the person whose beliefs you aspire to change, not necessarily "new" to everybody).

I really thought I'd explained all that already.

You did, I'm just not sure what the point of it is since it seems to me to be an incomplete breakdown of the question concerning the likelihood of hallucinations vs trips to heaven.  The existence of hallucinations is not subjective and can be demonstrated certainly, our uncertainty is not complete here.  In comparing likelihoods, how can that not be a factor, only one of the hypotheses can claim that?  I had been thinking about it and had wondered if you were arguing that we need to approach the problem differently because one side has no evidence for it, not sure.

What's more likely, the dog you saw on your walk was a dog or that the dog you saw was actually a shapeshifting dragon?  It's just what we'd expect if one hypothesis were true and equally just what we'd expect if the other were true instead.  What's the diff if there is one?  Since I've invoked 'dragon' this somehow can only be evaluated subjectively because the evidence maxes out?  What about the evidence for the billions of dogs that exist?

I'm not sure I'd put it as 'what we'd expect' though, it's more 'possibly consistent with' at best, and I don't know it's equal.  I have absolutely nothing to base any expectation about heaven and whether it can be reached in NDEs, those actually just may be entirely incompatible; did God not know you were going to ultimately die right now but let you have a visit anyway, is it just a natural law, I got no idea how this works. Hallucinations are expected in near-death situations; that is evidence that the heaven hypothesis has no equal counter to in its favor, thus the evidence maxes out only the hallucination hypothesis.

Is there some error in my reasoning here, or am I maybe making a different point than you?  Have I not cleared the subjectivity bar in my points, is there something wrong with my math, which seems to account for the correlation between abundance and likelihood?  It is entirely possible that NDEs are trips to heaven, but given the state of available evidence and knowledge we have, I don't see how it's more likely than the hallucination hypothesis.

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I'm pretty sure if you looked back at what led to the SE thread, and some of his participation in it, you'd find a quote or two suggestive of belief change as at least sometimes one of his objectives.

Maybe it comes and goes?

Good point, can't dispute it.  Dopamine is a hell of a drug.

Quote

Do you suppose that Mark doesn't know that? That's what it would take for the evidence to change his mind - be something different from what he has already taken into account

I'm sure he knows that, where are you seeing it being factored in or proportionally countered, it only favors one of the hypotheses?  I have no desire for Mark to change his mind, and how he is coming to conclusions is interesting but on its own, orthogonal at least to my point.  I'm evaluating the claim. (to be fair I'm not sure what specific claim that Mark made and am referring to it generally, I'm more dealing with the likelihood question).

Edited by Liquid Gardens
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Frank Merton
11 hours ago, Stubbly_Dooright said:

I find this a bit, unsettling. When it comes to prosetylising, (which you probably already know is my pet peeve) I can understand wanting to put a stop to it. I'm not sure, if this is what you mean, though. :unsure: Now, if it's people simply living their lives believing something, but go on and just be people, I don't think there's harm in that. I wonder, if trying to stop people from believing what they feel strongly in believing is the thought here. 

I could be wrong. *shrugs*   ;) 

Oh dear. :cry:   I'm going to hide be over here. :o

Somewhere. 

I have often heard that from some. If there is a God and that's one of his hates, why hide from most so to let them think he could be a superstition? 

Just a thought. ;) 

 

If there is a God I would doubt he hates anything.  That is human projection trying to gain some sort of revenge for what they hate.  The fact is the very idea of God is probably responsible for more hate in this world than any other single thing.

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Stubbly_Dooright
10 minutes ago, Frank Merton said:
11 hours ago, Stubbly_Dooright said:
Quote
 14 hours ago, Frank Merton said:

If there were a God that would be accurate.  He doesn't like superstitions -- neither do I -- and religions tend to be just about the most evil superstitions out there.  So he is working for good against evil.

I have often heard that from some. If there is a God and that's one of his hates, why hide from most so to let them think he could be a superstition? 

Just a thought. ;) 

 

If there is a God I would doubt he hates anything.  That is human projection trying to gain some sort of revenge for what they hate.  The fact is the very idea of God is probably responsible for more hate in this world than any other single thing.

I may need to apologize here. It's probably how I originally put it. My point was if God hates superstitions, why is he not preventing himself from being one? I kind of lump superstitions with wive's tales, and fables, and such that religion and belief, things that can't be proved. 

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jmccr8
34 minutes ago, Mr Walker said:

You can imagine such a god, but to me it is only imagination. What is more, it could never be a god ( to me ) because, to qualify for godhood, an entity must not only be aware of my existence, but concerned about it, and prepared to negotiate improvements on it . There may well be some supreme being out there, but unless he takes an interest in humans, he or it is not a god to, or for, us.

Hmm Walker, if this is your view now what happened to your god/alien/angel hybrid?

 

36 minutes ago, Mr Walker said:

but i defer to your absolute right to believe in and have faith in any entity you  can imagine and would like to be a god

That is mighty generous of you :lol: see above statement.

 

37 minutes ago, Mr Walker said:

Ps if you were a being with omniscient power how would you create another self aware being with the ability to grow learn and improve  ? And suppose you created a being like yourself (already omniscient and omnipotent)  would it be  incapable of evil or compelled to do only good.  Good and evil are choices and only a free willed individual can BE good or evil A dog or a robot CANNOT e good or evil

How do you see this with respect to the vicious dog and snakes that your imagination created and was the reason for teaching yourself not to visualize.

jmccr8

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Frank Merton
9 minutes ago, Stubbly_Dooright said:

I may need to apologize here. It's probably how I originally put it. My point was if God hates superstitions, why is he not preventing himself from being one? I kind of lump superstitions with wive's tales, and fables, and such that religion and belief, things that can't be proved. 

I don't know if this is a proper response or just my mental meanderings.  This is one of to me the best arguments against the idea of miracles -- God being a showman just hits me wrong -- and if you read the miracles in most holy books you will see that that is all it is.

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eight bits

LG

Maybe we're getting a little lost in the succession of problems, plural. If I recall correctly, mark put "belief change" in play by remarking that perhaps some atheists would change their minds about the QoG if they had one of these experiences.

By the time davros joined issue, the focus was moving off somebody analyzing their own experience (which might introduce many complications) and onto analyzing this or that report of somebody else's supposed experience.

Although there are many questions you might ask, the big one is to classify a given report as "really happened" or "didn't really happen." For short, we called the leading hypotheses for each classification "heaven" and "hallucination." Strictly speaking, one of the example reports wasn't a hallucination (the central nervous system had failed) but could have been a vivid false recollection (when the CNS came back on, it misremembered something in its recent past) instead.

(Original) Problem: classify some report of unusual experience

(Original) Evidence: what's in the report (including relevant clinical findings and so forth... the "full" report)

Hypotheses: heaven (was really visited in this case, which requires a visitable heaven to exist in the first place) and hallucination (or some natural cognitive malfunction actually occured in this case; the existence of such malfunctions never was challenged)

Method: compare what's in the report with what we'd expect assuming heaven is true versus what we'd expect assuming hallucination is true.

(Original problem) Outcome: the report is just what we'd expect under either assumption, no difference

(Original problem) Recommendation: classify the report according to prior belief in heaven or hallucination (noting that the report can't change those prior beliefs)

Then and only then do we worry about whether hallucination on a given occasion is more likely than heaven on that same occasion or vice versa.

The rub is that people differ in their estimates. If anybody wants to change that, then they need evidence - not the evidence for the original problem,  the report, which cannot change the prior estimate of belief in heaven and hallucination, but other evidence.

Warmer or colder?

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Frank Merton
5 minutes ago, eight bits said:

LG

Maybe we're getting a little lost in the succession of problems, plural. If I recall correctly, mark put "belief change" in play by remarking that perhaps some atheists would change their minds about the QoG if they had one of these experiences.

By the time davros joined issue, the focus was moving off somebody analyzing their own experience (which might introduce many complications) and onto analyzing this or that report of somebody else's supposed experience.

Although there are many questions you might ask, the big one is to classify a given report as "really happened" or "didn't really happen." For short, we called the leading hypotheses for each classification "heaven" and "hallucination." Strictly speaking, one of the example reports wasn't a hallucination (the central nervous system had failed) but could have been a vivid false recollection (when the CNS came back on, it misremembered something in its recent past) instead.

(Original) Problem: classify some report of unusual experience

(Original) Evidence: what's in the report (including relevant clinical findings and so forth... the "full" report)

Hypotheses: heaven (was really visited in this case, which requires a visitable heaven to exist in the first place) and hallucination (or some natural cognitive malfunction actually occured in this case; the existence of such malfunctions never was challenged)

Method: compare what's in the report with what we'd expect assuming heaven is true versus what we'd expect assuming hallucination is true.

(Original problem) Outcome: the report is just what we'd expect under either assumption, no difference

(Original problem) Recommendation: classify the report according to prior belief in heaven or hallucination (noting that the report can't change those prior beliefs)

Then and only then do we worry about whether hallucination on a given occasion is more likely than heaven on that same occasion or vice versa.

The rub is that people differ in their estimates. If anybody wants to change that, then they need evidence - not the evidence for the original problem,  the report, which cannot change the prior estimate of belief in heaven and hallucination, but other evidence.

Warmer or colder?

If Jesus were to appear in the clouds, surrounded by choirs of angels, I would figure someone was pulling a damn fancy trick.

Internal experiences seems to be the only hat theists have left, and it is so falsifiable in so many ways that it is not trustworthy.  My lamp every now and then (it's been awhile) tells me to trust the Buddha -- what that might mean I don't know, but it is a common slogan around here -- and many around here told me I was healed from my recent sickness, not by antibiotics but by by "the gods" because my goodness (if they only knew).  (Buddhism tends to atheism or at least to ignoring local superstitions but it doesn't preach against them and the monks just smile and not -- there is room in some forms of Buddhism for something kinda like gods -- more like angels -- the Bodhisattva.) 

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Only_
3 hours ago, Mr Walker said:

First  I think this is proof that such a god does not exist ( and in my mind such a god is impossible)  The world and universe was not created, but evolved purely naturally, and the "flaws" we see are natural consequences of evolution Self aware beings can improve on nature, and this is the role of gods or advanced self aware beings .  (to improve on nature) 

You can imagine such a god, but to me it is only imagination. What is more, it could never be a god ( to me ) because, to qualify for godhood, an entity must not only be aware of my existence, but concerned about it, and prepared to negotiate improvements on it . There may well be some supreme being out there, but unless he takes an interest in humans, he or it is not a god to, or for, us.  

(He /it MIGHT be a god to other entities in which it takes some interest and with whom he /it communicates. 

 but i defer to your absolute right to believe in and have faith in any entity you  can imagine and would like to be a god. 

Belief and faith  is critical for human well being, whether or not the entity believed in is real or not. 

Ps if you were a being with omniscient power how would you create another self aware being with the ability to grow learn and improve  ? And suppose you created a being like yourself (already omniscient and omnipotent)  would it be  incapable of evil or compelled to do only good.  Good and evil are choices and only a free willed individual can BE good or evil A dog or a robot CANNOT e good or evil  

To create a self aware being with knowledge and awareness, and yet compel it to be good, would actually be a great evil.  

"Bright and luminous as you are, O Soul, by your own nature, you went to the world of darkness, and engaged in combat with it; and the world of darkness obscured your light, and encompassed you with darkness, and blinded you, and made you lose sight of all that you had seen, and forget all that you had known; and in the end, you were captured and held prisoner.”

- Hermes Trismegistus / The Hermetica

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Liquid Gardens
41 minutes ago, eight bits said:

Warmer or colder?

Warmer in the sense that I think I understand why 'belief change' is being mentioned, I had missed that part of the previous flow, and I think warmer in that maybe I'm narrowing down to what I disagree with or don't understand, or maybe just do differently.

Quote

 

Hypotheses: heaven (was really visited in this case, which requires a visitable heaven to exist in the first place) and hallucination (or some natural cognitive malfunction actually occured in this case; the existence of such malfunctions never was challenged)

I do really like how you've laid the components out, definitely helps.  If you are demonstrating the process behind the point you are making, I think I understand where you're coming from.  I think you are saying that given your structure the one report won't change anybody's mind because it provides no weight to either hypothesis, or to both equally.  I'm not sure about the case of people coming in ignorant of NDEs, but I think you'd say they'd believe whatever was congruent with their beliefs coming in; someone like Mark may believe it was heaven and I may believe it was hallucination.  I think.  I just am not sure why we don't do a comparison of the not-entirely-subjective content and thinking supporting our beliefs before classification.  Does anything change if our original problem deals with 'reports' plural?  After all, the remarkability of NDEs is only that many people have similar experiences, not just a few, there's no big surprise that they are hallucinating something.  

Depending on what is meant by 'classify', I would structure it differently.  You have kinda glommed into the Hypotheses section, in mere parentheses no less, what I think is the most crucial part of the determination of a classification: evidence.  I'd add a Method, "compare hypotheses against reality" and I think 'hallucinations are unchallenged' and 'heaven's existence is unknown' are indeed good ways to sum up the 'Outcomes' to that.  I use that same method all the time, even when it doesn't get me to certain answers as in this case, and I almost always don't arrive at recommendations prior to evaluating likelihoods.  

Which doesn't mean of course that you can't do differently when you think it applies, I do try to tread reasonably carefully here as I obviously haven't studied uncertainty to the degree you have.  I tend to structure this overall question, rightly or wrongly, in more basic 'case for' and 'case against' categories.  Excluding things that we could list in a category favoring both hypotheses, I have the evidence concerning hallucinations in 'case for' them; the fact that we don't know if heaven even exists in 'case against' heaven; a very qualified 'case against' hallucinations as they are inconsistent with, if true, people finding out things they could only know if their soul was flying around; and the 'case for' is empty for heaven.  My weighing of that matrix leans towards hallucination, I think that weighing is not purely subjective, and of course I may well be missing something pertinent that belongs in one of those quadrants and changes the balance, but I don't think what I have in my quadrants is subjective.  I do agree my choice to evaluate it this way is subjective, but I don't think its success is.

Actually, do you think hallucinations are more likely explanations for NDEs compared to heaven trips?  

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Stubbly_Dooright
3 hours ago, Frank Merton said:

I don't know if this is a proper response or just my mental meanderings.  This is one of to me the best arguments against the idea of miracles -- God being a showman just hits me wrong -- and if you read the miracles in most holy books you will see that that is all it is.

I hear ya. You've been here in the states, right? You must have seen those tv dramatic evangelicals? Why all that drama? Isn't it the opposite of that? 

2 hours ago, Frank Merton said:
2 hours ago, eight bits said:

LG

Maybe we're getting a little lost in the succession of problems, plural. If I recall correctly, mark put "belief change" in play by remarking that perhaps some atheists would change their minds about the QoG if they had one of these experiences.

By the time davros joined issue, the focus was moving off somebody analyzing their own experience (which might introduce many complications) and onto analyzing this or that report of somebody else's supposed experience.

Although there are many questions you might ask, the big one is to classify a given report as "really happened" or "didn't really happen." For short, we called the leading hypotheses for each classification "heaven" and "hallucination." Strictly speaking, one of the example reports wasn't a hallucination (the central nervous system had failed) but could have been a vivid false recollection (when the CNS came back on, it misremembered something in its recent past) instead.

(Original) Problem: classify some report of unusual experience

(Original) Evidence: what's in the report (including relevant clinical findings and so forth... the "full" report)

Hypotheses: heaven (was really visited in this case, which requires a visitable heaven to exist in the first place) and hallucination (or some natural cognitive malfunction actually occured in this case; the existence of such malfunctions never was challenged)

Method: compare what's in the report with what we'd expect assuming heaven is true versus what we'd expect assuming hallucination is true.

(Original problem) Outcome: the report is just what we'd expect under either assumption, no difference

(Original problem) Recommendation: classify the report according to prior belief in heaven or hallucination (noting that the report can't change those prior beliefs)

Then and only then do we worry about whether hallucination on a given occasion is more likely than heaven on that same occasion or vice versa.

The rub is that people differ in their estimates. If anybody wants to change that, then they need evidence - not the evidence for the original problem,  the report, which cannot change the prior estimate of belief in heaven and hallucination, but other evidence.

Warmer or colder?

If Jesus were to appear in the clouds, surrounded by choirs of angels, I would figure someone was pulling a damn fancy trick.

Internal experiences seems to be the only hat theists have left, and it is so falsifiable in so many ways that it is not trustworthy.  My lamp every now and then (it's been awhile) tells me to trust the Buddha -- what that might mean I don't know, but it is a common slogan around here -- and many around here told me I was healed from my recent sickness, not by antibiotics but by by "the gods" because my goodness (if they only knew).  (Buddhism tends to atheism or at least to ignoring local superstitions but it doesn't preach against them and the monks just smile and not -- there is room in some forms of Buddhism for something kinda like gods -- more like angels -- the Bodhisattva.) 

You know, it seems as time goes by, it tends to go towards not believing in various religions and their 'works' and 'miracles' and such. There still seems to be that there are those who felt experienced with religion, and those who hadn't those experiences. As media and it's outlets seem to allow more people to come together to share experiences, or noticed nothing in their experiences, in the end, it's not definitely the proof for everyone. In the end, I feel, it's the right of the individual to believe or not. I think that is the best course, and more so the prosetylizer being a hindrance and with nothing for their cause. 

My bit, mind ya. ;)

 

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Dhurfjooydig
On 5/10/2017 at 3:52 PM, XenoFish said:

But what of the man who searched for the eternal and only found themselves?

Continue on to realize that there is no 'self' either. 

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Dhurfjooydig
5 hours ago, Frank Merton said:

If there is a God I would doubt he hates anything.  That is human projection trying to gain some sort of revenge for what they hate.

The concept of 'God' itself is human projection. 

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Frank Merton
59 minutes ago, No Solid Ground said:

The concept of 'God' itself is human projection. 

Well, yes, more than likely, if you specify which concept you have in mind.

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