Open thread for episode 23.04: Matt, John, & guest Hector Garcia


Comments

  1. Kevin Como says

    I would urge against following what was asked by the caller Tim from San Diego, CA. His first question was if our esteemed hosts would agree that the threat of hell could be a good thing if it prevents someone from committing suicide. I personally have major depressive disorder and in my experience with this, people contemplate suicide for one (or both) of two reasons:

    They are experiencing a great deal of pain and cannot contemplate it lessening or going away.
    They have a mental illness that has convinced them that they are a detriment to their environment and therefore their friends, their family, and the world itself would be better if they were dead.

    Telling someone going through that that hell awaits them is immoral. I’m very grateful that Misters Dillahunty, Iacoletti, and Garcia ended with the push toward prescription medicines and mental health treatment. This is a far more helpful approach.

    For me personally, anti-depressants and atheism keep me from contemplating suicide. If I thought there was a life after this and and that there was a even a small chance all my cares and worries would be replaced by bliss and happiness, I’d be far more inclined toward ending my own life.

  2. Ronald Kyle says

    @Caller Frode from Norway
     
    And to all immoral apologists for the Bible.
     
    If you argue that the celestial slave monger of the Bible did not prohibit slavery because it was something common in society at the time…
     
    You fail abysmally… allegedly the laws of Moses were given to him to give to the purported Hebrews a few weeks after the celestial slave monger just freed them from slavery.
     
    So the Bible regulates, commands, ratifies and legitimizes slavery to a group of RUNAWAY SLAVES.
     
    But then this same celestial slave monger tells them they cannot eat rabbits… one of the most available animals that one can eat in the desert of the Sinai is rabbits.
     
    This insane disgusting celestial slave monger gives laws and regulations permitting, commanding, ratifying and coordinating slavery to people who were just a few weeks before freed from life-long slavery and while they are hungry and thirsty in the desert he prohibits them from eating the most readily available food.
     
    So this disgusting slave monger could not tell freed slaves to not own people like cattle because it was the norm those days… but telling them to stop eating the normal food they were used to eating was an urgent prohibition to do right then and there.
     
    Any apologist who tries to mitigate the commandments to buy people and to genocide entire cities and steal their children and make them slaves, is demonstrating the pernicious vitiating rotting effect of the bible on the human mind by showing how immoral they have become under the mind rotting effects of the bible.

  3. t90bb says

    2 ron k…

    its even worse than that…..forget about slavery and the genocide…..the book tells you to kill family members who openly worship any other god rather than the monster of the holey babble……look

    If your own full brother, or your son or daughter, or your beloved wife, or you intimate friend, entices you secretly to serve other gods, whom you and your fathers have not known, gods of any other nations, near at hand or far away, from one end of the earth to the other: do not yield to him or listen to him, nor look with pity upon him, to spare or shield him, but kill him. Your hand shall be the first raised to slay him; the rest of the people shall join in with you. You shall stone him to death, because he sought to lead you astray from the Lord, your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, that place of slavery. And all Israel, hearing of this, shall fear and never do such evil as this in your midst. (Deuteronomy 13:7-12 NAB)

  4. Ronald Kyle says

    @t90bb

    the monster of the holey babble

    Yes… indeed… the list of heinous atrocities commanded and committed by this celestial slave monger and fraudulent real estate huckster of the Buybull prove that the sky daddy delusions of the mythical Abraham are Devil worship cults.
     

    ⬛ Shall there be evil in a city, and the LORD hath not done it ― Amos 3:6
    ⬛ I … create darkness: I … create evil. I the LORD do all these things ― Isaiah 45:7

    The buybull is fairy tales about a mythical Sumerian illegal immigrant cowardly pimp who hallucinated that he is the chosen of his sky daddy and that the land in which he was an illegal immigrant will be ethnically cleansed of its indigenous inhabitants by his impossible mythical descendants at the behest and with the aid of this celestial racist.
     
    And the painful tragedy of it all is that 4 billion imbeciles of the 21st century think that this insanity is full out historical truths, and they accept without question that the maker of the universe preferred a lying cowardly pimp above all of humanity and wanted his descendants to continuously and incessantly slaughter animals by the droves to paint a particular miserable spot on Earth with blood and to burn massacred flesh by the oodles so that this celestial maniac can enjoy the smell of burning flesh and the sight of bloodshed on the spot he chose above all of the places in the universe.
     

    The whole religious complexion of the modern world is due to the absence from Jerusalem of a lunatic asylum ― Thomas Paine

  5. Thane McKinsey says

    DMT, Heroic amounts of magic mushrooms and Mystical, supernatural experiences.

    Waterloo, Waterloo
    where will you meet your
    Waterloo?
    Every puppy has its day.
    Everybody has to pay.
    Everybody has to meet their Waterloo.
    Now, old Adam was the first in
    history with an apple he was
    tempted and deceived Just for
    spite the devil made him take
    a bite And that’s where
    old Adam met his Waterloo.

    Where will you?

  6. speedofsound says

    Once again Matt went off on AA. Let’s correct. AA is not an organization that could keep track of recidivism. It’s not really an organization at all. There is no more such a thing as AA central as there is a big daddy in the sky. AA is a bunch of groups of individuals who have each by themselves taken it upon themselves to use a loose framework of literature to solve their own drug and alcohol problems. Each of us is as successful at that as we choose to be. No treatment is given. AA is not a fucking treatment center for alcoholism.

    We had some students studying us at one meeting. We reluctantly let them hang around and listen to us. They never actually did a sample or talked to us individually and then they were gone. As they should be. My recovery is my fucking business.

    Now I don’t give a rats ass how effective you think AA is. It is something I use in my life and I like it a lot. I like the result of what I have fashioned for myself out of it. Now if I were ‘trading one addiction for another’, then I would be attending 20 AA meetings a dya until my body and soul gave out and I collapsed in a heap on the floor. I would then be hauled off to emergency and put into a recovery from AA program. That’s not what happens with me. I have to forcefully drag my ass out of the Netflix viewing chair once a week and choke down another meeting. So addiction? No Matt. Treatment? No Matt. Not how it works. Cult? No Matt. There is no organizing body to be a cult. All you find is a mass of individuals.

    Now like the mass of ants or bees we often appear to be some kind of uber-intelligent AA-Entity but this is not how it works.

    Here is why I do not like uninformed people making blanket statements about AA. These meetings are everywhere in the world and happen every day in multiples. When I was dying these meetings were the easiest most palatable medicine I could find to save my fucking life. I am a strong atheist and many of my AA fellows are too. Most of them in fact though some do not know this. If I knew nothing about AA and listened to you, Matt, first, I may have rejected it out of hand. You may have been responsible for putting me in the ground. On this matter the position you should take is ‘I DONT KNOW’. Because you clearly don’t.

  7. DEGG says

    speedofsound

    Look up the Washingtonian Movement . A secular support group that pre-dated AA by decades. I think that some people who need AA can hold their nose if they are atheist. But the whole – you are not in control, but at he mercy of a higher power- part turns many addicts off. I have met total mess junkies who still had too much pride to act like they weren’t in control of their own lives, even if they were making terrible decisions,

  8. t90bb says

    6. Speed….

    As originally written “How it Works” and the 12 steps insist God exists and IS the solution. Sure, some of us twist and change the program to fit our lack of belief…and find it helped a shit ton. Like all things there are pros and cons of AA/NA and other 12 step fellowships. The mere fellowship is enough for many. One of the big issues with AA for me is that as a student of recovery I like to learn. I love to look at other programs as well as incorporate current research into my understanding. A substantial percentage of those in AA believe they know and understand most if not all there is to know about addiction after reading 164 pages of a 100 year old book. Go to many AA meetings and discuss your views on how recovery can be accomplished without a magical sky genie and you will often be ridiculed, mocked, and shamed. Perhaps that is why you dont self reveal your atheism. As a man in recovery with 13 years sobriety I credit AA and a lot of therapy for helping rediscover myself and identify the causes of my self destructive behavior. If you dont think there are some that simply trade alcoholism for a addiction/compulsion for meetings and recovery talk/behavior you have not been paying attention.

    All that said…..I remain convinced that being an active member of the fellowship provides a net positive for me so I remain an active member. I do see its many, many warts on display regularly however. So much so I have started several secular/freethinking/agnostic meetings in my area and they get decent support.

    AA certainly has its pros and cons. Many of us found ourselves on the brink of death. We have lost the tolerance and patience of virtually everyone. The fact that there is a place that allows us to gather and talk about common problems is a life saver to many. Clearly Matt has never been in that situation so its hard for him to identify. People like you and me have experienced the good it can do, and we become emotionally bonded to it for good reason. Without AA I was a dead man walking. Literally.

    But I am honest when someone asks me about it. When I am asked if AA is truly a religious program I tell them that it is as originally constructed but it can be altered to fit the needs of most anyone. Most in AA will deny this.

    All said, I am proud to call you a brother in recovery. You have overcome a lot, friend! Matt is less informed about the good that goes on in the fellowship and has been probably moved be many of the horror stories about runaway AAers. As long as people like you and I can discuss it from real experience we have a chance to encourage others that it can be helpful and potentially life saving.

  9. Monocle Smile says

    Now I don’t give a rats ass how effective you think AA is. It is something I use in my life and I like it a lot

    I guess you’re not so much different from Kafei, then.
    Also, AA has a Board of Trustees and has managed to be influential enough politically to be court-ordered for certain offenses, so most of your exposition about the structure is inaccurate.

  10. Ian Butler says

    A quick perusal of the 12 steps shows that 7 of them are blatantly religious, and an eighth, the first step, tells us we are powerless, hence the need for God.

    I know AA does a lot of good, and don’t want to discount that, but we shouldn’t be comparing AA with doing nothing, we should compare it with other programs, ones that are science based rather than religion based, and if we do so we see that many approaches are more effective.

    But AA has an established network that would be difficult to replicate, so it’s often easier to just use it and ignore or reinterpret the source material.

    In that way it is similar to non fundamentalist sects that have to ignore their problematic source material.

    The 12 steps and the 10 commandments could both use a rewrite, but to do so is to admit they weren’t handed down by a perfect deity, AA’s reluctance to do so demonstrates that they continue to be religious based, rather than science and evidence based. As atheists, this should concern us, regardless of our overall views of the program.

  11. speedofsound says

    @ Monocle Smile
    If I find out that this is the case, that AA is become politically active in the courts, I will start paying attention to that group representative bullshit and take them down a notch or two. There is a set of twelve traditions and staying out of this shit is represented in almost every one of them. So thanks for the heads up.

    On your Kafei reference. Hey Man. Nice Shot! Way to wound me. Fucking Ouch.

    @t90bb
    12 years here as well. I realized without the weekly meeting to touch my feet to the ground I am simply not to be trusted to stay straight. If nothing else it gets me mindful of my issue. I do mention my atheism very often at meetings. I sponsor others who can’t digest the god-shit as well. we have to change everything about our society, including Aa, if we want to get free of this religious yoke. AA will change from within. I actually got my sponsor to cross over to the rational side. All it takes is to show a path without religion and 90% of addicts will take that path.

    I disagree a little bit about AA being religious. I think Wilson struggled hard to get it more on a buddhist footing. He had one of these mystical experiences that Kafei is going on about. The ME can change your brain. Wilson wrote about the gradual mystical experience and what he means is a slow erosion of our beliefs about self to the point of being able to handle the ravages of addiction.

    My current meeting has gone a bit religious recently. An influx of powerful xtians has made the talk unpalatable for me. This allows me to work a bit on my acceptance but also gives me free reign to bring up my secular view. Tit for tat.

    Overall, other than the positive way in which I applied the 12 steps to my life, AA provides me with a touchstone, a reminder, a mindfulness, of my addictive nature.

    One other thing. I don’t think it’s a thing per se. It’s a very loose group that is defined by the individuals that go to the meetings. Each group has its own unique nature and that fluidly changes with varying membership. Kind of like alles in evolution this thing is.

  12. John David Balla says

    @speedofsound 6-10
    For the record, AA does have a central office (NYC) that does collect some data. I’ve looked at their Triennial Review data a few years ago and found that they are really measuring membership, not abstinence and sobriety, and tend to infer that those who leave AA have relapsed.

    Court-manded AA attendance has been around for decades but more recently compulsory AA attendance (without a secular alternative) has been ruled unconstitutional. For more info, check out… https://ffrf.org/legal/item/14012-court-ordered-participation-in-aa

    I’ve been to at least 1,500 AA meeting in my lifetime, have even brought AA meetings to prisons and was heavily involved with the inner-workings of AA for a while. And while local meetings do have some latitude, AA central has been very successful in its dissemination of AA dogma worldwide. As others have said, and courts have ruled, AA meets the criteria of being a religious organization although true, many members like to dispute that with “it’s spiritual, not religious” which I find tiring and ill-informed. AA doctrine and dogma is formidable. When committees form to discuss revisions to the Big Book, even changing a typo is highly contested as there is a strong belief that the words as originally written possess some supernatural power (although they wouldn’t put it that way.)

    But I do agree with Matt that I’d rather people see people in AA if they believe it is the only thing keeping them sober even though recent studies show otherwise, that group solidarity and abstinence (or sobriety) as stated goal are what’s producing success, not dogma. See… https://www.practicalrecovery.com/prblog/aa-smart-lifering-wfs-found-comparably-effective/

    Personally, I’m glad I no longer am compelled to be an AA apologist. A couple of years ago I discovered a secular, evidence-based recovery program that is filled with “AA refugees” for the reasons being discussed. I even got certified to be a facilitator and now facilitate two SMART (Self Management and Recovery Training) per week. To learn more, check out https://SmartRecovery.org or search Youtube for Albert Ellis. I especially am taken by REBT or what SMART calls the ABCs, a way in which to identify irrational beliefs, dispute them, and ultimately replace them with rational ones. Much of this aligns well with the general teachings of say Matt or Tracie in that evidence and reason are heralded as foundational values.

    I do agree that Matt’s naivete does show when he says “People in AA are just replacing one addiction with another.” It is indeed rare when I find Matt getting sloppy with his thinking, but this is one of those times. Granted there are problems, including cultish tendencies within AA, but to say that AA is an addiction fails to understand what addiction is. It’s not just a compulsive behavior and habit, it also is one that undermines personal values, relationships, and other life-affirming behaviors. As such, people hooked on AA may be many things, but to say that on balance their lives are not better is demonstrably false. (In fairness to Matt, he seems to realize on some level that his “addicted to AA” viewpoint is wrong when he then says, “If AA makes you better, by all means, go,” or words to that effect.

  13. Shiningone says

    I knew a person who attended AA. He said, “It’s great! After the meeting we all go down the pub and talk about it.”

  14. speedofsound says

    @John David Balla
    You compelled me to attend one of those meetings. Lots of struggling there. I was not impressed. Think it was in St Louis Park, MN. I really wanted to go back and help some people out though. Just hard to get time and the location was bad.

  15. speedofsound says

    @JDB

    But I do agree with Matt that I’d rather people see people in AA if they believe it is the only thing keeping them sober even though recent studies show otherwise

    About a million of us have found out how to use AA as a tool. Studies and stats on sobriety are bullshit. My personal history would break a good python program trying to analyze my ups and downs. AA had nothing to do with any of that except had it not existed I would have been dead at 26. It’s kind of like a safe zone for me. A goto when all else is lost.

    Those studies you rely on are deeply flawed. Read up on them. I think though that any attempt to study an addicts recovery as a recovery from a disease is going to be fucked anyway.

    On SMART. I wish they would get a little smarter and try to adapt the 12 steps for secular psychology. I did that and it works. It’s worked for a lot of people I know. When I went to that SMART meeting, these people were hurting bad. 14 people and I had more sobriety than the sum total. The facilitator had two days.

    I think it’s time to get the butt-hurt stinging bee out of our bonnets on AA and discover why the thing has been around for 70+ years and what it can tell us about this problem.

  16. Pony says

    I spent 11 years in NA, which I found less dogmatic and religious than AA (anyone who doubts that AA has religious features need only read the chapter in the Big Book titled, “To the Agnostic” — a seemingly open-minded chapter that actually makes clear that the founders of AA, at least, believed that you couldn’t *really* do it right unless you accepted that there is a god of some kind). I loved the community, and found the step process quite helpful.

    Interestingly, I credit NA with giving me the courage (if you will) to embrace what I suspect was a lifelong propensity toward atheism. I had always been nominally Christian, and tried mightily at times to “connect” with god and so on, but truly never felt any such connection. In NA, I was given the latitude to define my “higher power” any way I liked, and in doing so, I progressed through a series of more-or-less metaphorical definitions (i.e. god is like reading a book: you can read just for the plot, i.e. what happens in your life, or you can look deeper for the symbols, metaphors and connections that you can use to live better; and, “god is paying attention,” a rather Buddhist notion). And then, quite naturally, I realized one day that I simply did not believe in an exterior, extra-corporeal entity of any kind that impacted my life or the universe generally, and on that day (about 8 years in), I acknowledged to myself that I was an atheist.

    That said, I agree with comments above that while 12 Step groups may not be strictly religious or cults, they do frequently embody cultish aspects, in my experience. First and foremost, if you take the literature literally, there is a powerful implication that without the “program,” you will fail at abstinence, and even life. Like so many religious sects, this is reinforced by a groupthink and communication in meetings through which dedicated members insist that those who leave are doomed to terrible fates. Also like religions and cults, many in 12 Step programs, though not all, will shun those who have left; I know; I’ve experienced this silliness — these people seem to have almost magical thinking that in exposing themselves to an apostate, they might somehow become “infected.” It’s actually pretty funny, but also sad.

    Like religions and cults, the literature often implies that their way is the only *true* way to recovery.

    Another example of magical thinking: The (usually unstated) idea that one’s particular drug of choice is like an evil elixir. For example, one regular used to declare that he *knew*, with utter certainty, that if he had a sip of beer (not his drug of choice), it would inevitably curse him to a downward spiral that would literally lead him to prostituting himself to obtain his illegal drug of choice. Others came to meetings in a panic, because they had inadvertently consumed, say, a tiny bit of alcohol used in a food dish, or accidentally picked up the wrong glass and took a sip of alcohol. These kinds of silly freakouts indicated to me that they imbued the substance itself with power, more specifically, an “evil” power that could lead them astray.

    Also, I became extremely annoyed by the fellowship’s approach to one particular, extremely addictive substance: nicotine. For me, nicotine addiction was waaaaay more tenacious — i.e. harder to quit, and weirdly embodying all the classic addictive behaviors, sneaking, hiding, lying to myself, etc. — than my addition to my drug of choice (opiates). I did not have an issue with alcohol going in, and I knew that, but chose to adhere to NA’s rule of total abstinence from “mind or mood altering drugs” (I won’t get into concerns about how individuals address important medications, but that’s another huge problem; though technically, NA considers that an “outside issue,” but many, many members felt free to give utterly terrible advice, telling people with serious mental illness to stop taking meds, etc.) However, while the dogma was that if I were to drink, say, a glass of wine meant that I was no longer “clean” and if I did and didn’t confess it, I would be “lying,” there was literally no prohibition on nicotine. I used that as an excuse every time I failed to quit nicotine for years and years. When I finally did quit nicotine, the hypocrisy really got to me. Fortunately, I’m coming up on 10 years nicotine free … but had I stayed in NA, I suspect I would still be using it.

    Finally, several years after realizing that I was an atheist, some of these more “magical thinking” aspects of the group led me to become a bit disenchanted, and I decided to stop going to meetings to see what it felt like. It felt fine. I did fine. I did not lurch back into my addiction, and indeed, I was able to drink alcohol in moderation (it was never my drug of choice, but in NA complete abstinence from mind-altering substances is the rule) and simply, I didn’t miss it.

    I never went back. Many former “friends” in the fellowship shunned me and the few friends who stuck with me told amusing tales of people whispering and gossiping scare stories about me, how I’d gone off the deep end upon leaving, was “using” and miserable and gonna DIE etc. etc.

    I appreciated my time in NA. It was helpful to me in many ways. But 12 Step recovery is notoriously ineffective, and it’s a very “no true Scotsman” approach to claim (as AA does explicitly) that “those who do not work” the program, don’t really count.

    This was long. My apologies. Thanks for the opportunity to write it out.

  17. says

    If you want to listen to Darth Dawkins/A Guy get annihilated by some atheist youtubers you can listen at the link below, but fasten your seatbelt first:

  18. t90bb says

    I agree with most of what has been said about AA. There are pros and cons, and as Matt said..SOME definatly obsess over meetings and AA literature, hence trading one addiction for another. In the case of a chronic, progressed, late stage alcoholic its a wise trade off.
    AA can be worked from strictly secular humanist perspective though…and some of us do. We help and encourage and learn from each other. But certainly that is not the traditional approach. In fact…many will staunchly oppose it. Fuck them.

  19. John David Balla says

    @ SpeedofSound
    FYI. I did my own analysis of AA data and sifted through mountains of other data from a plethora of sources. I can’t say I ended up with any definitive conclusions. Yes. Much of the data is suspect. However, the effort did repudiate some of the more outlandish claims I have heard over the years. (I’ll leave it at that.)

    But to declare all the studies and stats to be bullshit would be very difficult to justify. Absolute statements tend to be irrational. Anyway, the data IS NOT bullshit but rather difficult to extrapolate because what is being measured is often inconsistent.

    I know quite a few people who go to both SMART and Atheist/Agnostic AA meetings. Their reasons for using both vary considerably. I’m glad AA works for you. AA definitely kept me sober for many years yet the doctrine kept eating at me over the years until I eventually drifted away. Like I said, I’m glad you don’t have that discomfort or have found a way to reconcile the two.

    However, I was surprised that you went to the ad populum fallacy as a basis for AA success in your last paragraph (#14). I don’t think you’re going to convince anyone in this discussion with that kind of argument.

    Like you, I know people who attend AA regularly, and as a result, their lives are better. I know churchgoers for which the same thing can be said. We also know that because something makes someone’s life better doesn’t mean its teachings are necessarily true or accurate. Can we agree on that?

    Your integration of the 12 steps with secular psychology sounds interesting. Have you thought about writing a book or article to share what you have learned so that others might benefit from it?

    Anyway, I hope to stay in touch with you periodically so that we can continue to share notes.

  20. Shiningone says

    @ t90bb

    You can’t help yourself can you? It’s not material, It was a real person that told me.

  21. John David Balla says

    @Pony #15. I identify with just about your every word.

    One very sinister aspect of the 12 steps you touched upon was what you called a “silly” crisis whereby someone shows up at a meeting all freaked out because they accidentally ingested a small amount of alcohol in some food dish. This demonstrates NA/AA’s power to create a crisis when there really isn’t one. Check out the nocebo effect. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nocebo

    This same nocebo effect is likely what’s behind those spreading rumors about you using because they can’t imagine someone remaining sober without the constant guiding hand of the program. I would actually go as so far to say that NA/AA indoctrination can actually cause individuals to relapse once they stop going to meetings because that’s what’s supposed to happen to them. Again, Nocebo effect. To learn how powerful nocebo effect can be, check out Voodoo Death… https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Voodoo_death

    And yes. I knew of one AA newcomer who was in bad shape and very frightened. Pretty common. After the meeting, he was smothered with phone numbers and lots of advice, one of which was to get a sponsor immediately. He did, and his sponsor told him to immediately quit all his meds, that “all you need is in the first 164 pages of the Big Book.” Three weeks later he committed suicide. This is what can happen when a layperson assumes the authority and wisdom of a professional. Such unsolicited advice-giving is not uncommon.

  22. leontiev says

    OMFG, I can’t believe I’m hearing this “exchanging one addiction for another one” argument again. This is as bad as the “look at the trees” argment of the theist. I don’t uderstand how anyone who claims any kind of critical thinking can propose this false fucking equvalancy argument.

    (As an aside, I don’t consider alcoholism to be an adddiction, I think it is a physical condition more akin to diabetes or substance alergies, but put that aside for the moment and lets call it a habit.) Which would you prefer, a habit where you go sit around with some friends a few times a week and talk about alcohol or a habit which causes tens of thousands of traffic deaths per year, destroys it’s victims bodies, causes people to beat and kill wives, family and innocent bystanders, and a myriad of other disastors? Hard choice to make right?

    I used to ridicule and laugh about AA too, when I was a drunk.

  23. t90bb says

    20. Shiningone…..if i could help myself I would not need AA…LOL….

    You and me are gonna be best buddies! I can feelz it!

  24. t90bb says

    22…..You describe the hardcore AAers as merely having a “habit of sitting around talking about alcohol” a few times a week. HAAAAA

    Sure some may practice that approach but there are a shit ton of people that go far off the deep end with AA. I have been told by many that as an alcoholic my only hope is to hit my knees twice a day (at least) and to make a meeting EVERYDAY for the rest of my life as it is “my medicine”. It has been insisted that without AA I am a dead man. Many people even with long term sobriety limit their contact with non alcoholics (referring to them as earth people). I have a bunch of buddies in which it is impossible to spend more than a few minutes with them without having them quote the big book or other AA literature. They continue to let alcohol dictate their lives. Many will become infuriated if you suggest any deviation from the original doctrine. New ideas and scientific research is ridiculed regularly. They openly admit they are not looking for truth…instead they proudly profess “they would rather be happy than right”.

    That said there are some that practice the program with moderation, like myself. But I am often ridiculed and mocked by the geniuses in the program.

    So do some exchange one addiction for another?? You bet. Is it a good exchange for many. You bet. But please don’t sound silly in describing the behavior of a solid percentage of AAers They are radical and hardcore to the point of being cultish at times. Thats a fact. I have been to thousands of meetings and dozens of groups.

  25. paxoll says

    I have to agree with Pony, and will say that I don’t think Matt meant addiction in an absolute literal sense, but in the sense of dependency.
     

    1. We admitted we were powerless over alcohol—that our lives had become unmanageable.

    Seems pretty equivalent to a churchh saying “all men fall short of the glory of god”, “we are all sinners”.

    2. Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to
    sanity.

    Seems pretty much the same as salvation through a messiah. It is quite literally saying you can’t save yourself, which is the exact opposite of the truth, that you are the ONLY one that can save yourself.

    3. Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood Him.

    Don’t think there is much to even say about this.
     
    Speedofsound, when you and others talk about

    AA is a bunch of groups of individuals who have each by themselves taken it upon themselves to use a loose framework of literature to solve their own drug and alcohol problems.

    or

    some of us twist and change the program to fit our lack of belief…and find it helped a shit ton.

    You sound exactly the same as a the “enlightened” christian who claims “that was the old testament” or “that was just a metaphor”. Everyone here (crossing my fingers) will admit that religion can be really helpful to people, it provides socialization, it provides necessities like food or clothing. That doesn’t mean there isn’t a bunch of things wrong with it either. The fact is that AA IS presented as a treatment, an organization to get people into a “remission” from their disease. It is why courts order people to attend and why secularists have had to fight against it in court. Everyone here is really happy you have survived with the help of AA, doesn’t mean we shouldn’t acknowledge everything wrong with it and develop evidence based programs that can do better.

  26. t90bb says

    26…pax…I appreciate your thoughts.

    Your comparison with christians and the old test is a bit bizarre. I make NO claims about the program being divine…and go as far as to say it was WRONG. I find some elements of the program (not exclusive to AA btw) to be helpful and I use those…

    A better equivalence would be a NON christian that thinks the bible is man made but says he can find some useful stories and metaphors in the book.

    And if you dont think I am HIGHLY critical of much of what AA insists you have not been paying attention. My value in AA is mainly as a humanistic support group.

    Here is a fact….there are thousands of late stage addicts that have run out of options or have given up. The fact that there is anything to assist them in finding shelter and a warm drink and maybe a few cookies is a good thing. I dont think you or I are willing to invite them to our place tonight, right? I am all for creating a fellowship that does not indoctrinate. However, keep in mind that when you have fallen so very low…..sometimes magic can create hope. The fucking placebo effect is real. Trying to balance brutal honesty with empathy is hard. Getting people to live again gives them the opportunity to learn and eventually ask questions and become skeptical eventually. That was pretty much my path. I was told that I was getting supernatural help. I am not sure I ever bought into it….but it was comforting on some level. Only after my mind and body had a chance to heal was I able to start to question what was being proposed. In a weird sense AA started me on my journey to skepticism only after it saved me life, Funny right? Life is funny. I know so little. And thats OK.

  27. paxoll says

    T90bb, I have nothing against what you have said, only that saying I’m in AA and we don’t believe that step 3 is really about “god”, is the same as christians who use whatever excuse they make for the failings of the bible. My post was more in reference of speeds knee jerk lashing out at criticism of AA.

  28. EnlightenmentLiberal says

    Everyone here (crossing my fingers) will admit that religion can be really helpful to people, it provides socialization, it provides necessities like food or clothing.

    The “possible, therefore probable” fallacy, aka the “appeal to possibility” fallacy. Yes, religion can do those things. Yes, sometimes religion does do those things. However, it doesn’t often do those things, and it’s not a replacement for government welfare programs, and sometimes people who make this argument will use this as a stepping stone to argue against the necessity fo government welfare programs. The reality is that religious charity is woefully insufficient to meet demand, and much of the money goes to people in the group instead of others outside the group who are in need.

    Then there’s all the religious “charities” that are not charities at all. For example, the abominable Mother Teresa. (For a full breakdown, see the book “The Missionary Position” by Chistopher Hitchens.

    I’m still convinced that most people would be better off if religion went away, even if we have nothing to “fill the void”. I’d prefer that we fill the void with humanism, and that’s one of my goals.

    The fact is that AA IS presented as a treatment, an organization to get people into a “remission” from their disease. It is why courts order people to attend and why secularists have had to fight against it in court. Everyone here is really happy you have survived with the help of AA, doesn’t mean we shouldn’t acknowledge everything wrong with it and develop evidence based programs that can do better.

    I have seen no evidence that AA is effective. I have seen evidence of a questionable character which says that AA is as good as no “treatment” at all. AA is not evidence-based. It’s a religious cult. I also find the entire AA approach to be incredibly demeaning to the human condition. AA teaches everyone that they’re powerless, and they have to trust in a higher power to fix things for them. It’s literally a religious cult. Teaching people that they’re powerless and they have to trust in something else to fix themselves is IMAO exactly the wrong way to go about things. You should be empowering people, not pushing them down even farther into a pit of despair and feelings of helplessness.

    For people who happened to attend AA at the same time that they quit drinking, I’d sooner attribute it to chance than any effectiveness whatsoever with AA. It’s just coincidence, and to assume otherwise without evidence and also against weak evidence that contradicts the position – that’s irrational.

    PS: Unfortunately, I am getting a lot of my information regarding AA from the Penn And Teller Bullshit episode on the topic.

  29. Pony says

    @EnlightenmentLiberal

    I do think AA works for some people, but *all* of that evidence is anecdotal. It is a sort of therapy, in a way, even though most 12 Step literature goes out of its way to say it isn’t. It’s based on supplication, community, confession, amends, and atonement. For some people, that works, so I personally think it’s more than coincidence in some cases.

    But yes, it is fundamentally religious in nature. To deny that, I think, is dishonest.

    From a former long-time NA member.

  30. t90bb says

    31…Pony….i agree…def not a coincidence….for the reasons you state which includes a very strong placebo

  31. John David Balla says

    @enlightenmentliberal #28
    There is evidence — not what I would call ‘robust,’ which is part of the problem — that suggests AA success rates (which is problematic right aways since success = AA membership) is no better than chance. There is also evidence that suggests that “spontaneous remission,” i.e., people quitting drinking on their own whereby the urge just mysteriously goes away, is just as successful as AA, i.e., about 1 percent success rate.

    Another claim that AA popularized is the whole “disease” model. The DMS recognizes no such disease. However, it does contain the entry “alcohol use disorder”. Last time I attempted to have the discussion, the disease notion was so ingrained that most everyone could not even imagine an alternative definition. That said, I do get uncomfortable when people use it to remove personal responsibility, i.e., “It’s not me. It’s my disease.” Well, try to tell that to the judge. Anyway, I’m still investigating this and have tentatively accepted the disorder designation as it appears to best represent what is happening physically, mentally, and cognitively to those who meet the criteria for alcohol use disorder. Now, try to do same with the disease model, and good luck! But until then, I’ll side with what the scientists say, which is AUD (alcohol use disorder).

  32. EnlightenmentLiberal says

    To John David Balla
    Yep.

    Regarding the use of the word “disease”, I’d have to ask the speaker “what do you mean”? Regarding addiction in general, some of the evidence that I’ve seen is that so-called chemical dependence is highly exaggerated. It’s not completely fictitious, but some ridiculous people would have you think that taking one dose of heroin or cocaine would make anyone an instant addict, guaranteed, and that’s just not how it works. Maybe for some portion of the people, maybe, but definitely not for everyone.

    Furthermore, based on my background knowledge of the real scientific evidence, the way that you treat alcoholism and other addictions is you hopefully have a support network of friends and family that care about you and help you (via peer pressure?), plus perhaps some drug treatments to lower desire for the addictive substance, and all based on the necessary change in the mind of the person themself to want to change. AA might be good for some people to delude themselves in just the right way that they change their behavior, but as you noted, the evidence seems to indicate that this sort of self-delusion is minimally helpful at best, and possibly not helpful at all. The unfortunate reality is that most people who turn to alcoholism, cocaine, etc., typically have other problems going on in their life, and the drugs are just an outlet to numb the pain away, and the reality is that nothing can change this except the willpower of the addict themself, which can be aided by stuff like peer pressure from family, friends, group talk therapy, and aided by drug replacements.

    /rant

  33. EnlightenmentLiberal says

    PS:
    “Peer pressure” is probably the wrong word. That encompasses part of it. However, just validation and emotional support is certainly great help too.

  34. paxoll says

    EL. No it was not a fallacy. It is a statement of fact. Anyone here who attended a church large enough to have its own church building can attest to providing socialization (duh), and some form of charity.

    it doesn’t often do those things

    Ah, yes they do.

    and it’s not a replacement for government welfare programs,

    No one said it was, and no one here is likely to make that claim. No one thinks these things necessarily come from religion, and no one is saying the help that AA gives, comes necessarily from the AA program.

    I have seen no evidence that AA is effective.

    well multiple people on this thread have given anecdotal evidence, and YES that is evidence. None of them claimed it was the best way to help, none of them claimed there wasn’t problems with the program. Psychological splitting is never a useful tool when dealing with any topic.

  35. Ian Butler says

    This is a good conversation with a lot of reasonable perpectives being represented.

    A more extreme example of unproved treatment with religious baggage is narconon, which is based on Scientology.

    Many of the same dynamics are at play, an outdated source material that cannot be changed, a pervasive religious subtext that technically is optional, but in practice not so much, and a record of legitimately helping a lot of people anyway.

    We all have to evaluate for ourselves whether the end justifies the means, and where we draw the line. I just know that statistically, the more secular a society or institution is, the more likely it will be equitable and logical, but if I’m starving I’m heading to the nearest soup kitchen, whether I have to listen to a sermon first or not!

    Remember that we have a long history of failed wars on drugs, ‘just say no’ and reefer madness, so a 70 year old institution is guaranteed to be doing it wrong if it’s unable to honestly adapt or even properly study it’s methods.

  36. John David Balla says

    @Ian Butler #36. Thanks for your perspective, especially the costs we are willing to pay in order to solve, even temporarily, a practical problem like putting food in our tummies. In many ways, almost all our choices and decisions are transactional in that we are willing to give away something we value for something of value we don’t currently possess. And as your soup kitchen example goes, the cost of principle sometimes is just too high.

  37. EnlightenmentLiberal says

    To Paxoll
    Yea, and you might get a date with the nurse when you’re in the hospital for cancer. Perspective.

  38. Raz Campbell says

    @ Ronald Kyle
    Your wonderful analysis of the bible, coupled with copious cuts of snide are far more entertaining that any religious text could ever be.
    You do realise, don’t you that (unfortunately) when a theist reads a comment such as yours, they DON’T think “Huh… I never thought of it that way before.” Instead, their knee-jerk reaction is “You’re not reading the bible properly!”

    (Nb: The following assertions come from the applied psychology behind direct sales)
    It doesn’t matter- oftentimes- how utterly we might demolish the rational reasons a person might proffer for their belief. The thing about people is; they make decisions emotionally, but they then justify them rationally. For people who have come to believe the christian mythology emotionally and then justified it rationally, demolishing their “rationale” doesn’t affect their core belief because they came to that belief emotionally. Such people are beyond the reach of reason.

    I suspect that the only way to change such a person as this is through salesmanship. You have to create a greater “want” for the truth than their “want” for emotional contentment. Such a “want” as this can only come from a love of learning and theists aren’t known for their love of learning. If you’ve watched enough episodes of TAE, then you’re already aware of how theists might pretend to care about the truth, but only so far as said truth confirms the beliefs they already hold. How you might get them to care about the truth, regardless of where it might lead, is beyond me.

    The best cure I know, however, for the insidious infection of religion, is education. If you’ve spent at least a year studying biology, chemistry and physics, all at university level (and understood these three subjects well enough to at least pass each one), then you have a good enough understanding of the physical sciences of our universe, so that you’re FAR less susceptible to magical thinking. It might not be enough to eradicate religion, but it’s certainly an effective innocculant against it.

    Raz

  39. Razar Cornell says

    re: AA
    Australia has a population where (depending on the source) between 30% and 48% of us claim No Religion. For such a nation as ours, AA and NA has had to alter their approach so that they don’t alienate up to half their potential adherents. While the steps (of the 12 steps fame) still include the word “God,” those running the meetings often go to great lengths to explain that “god” can just mean “your higher self/ the ‘you’ that you want to become.”

    Anyway, I dunno if that’s entirely relevant to what you guys were talking about, just thought I’d add it in there.

    Raz

  40. Razar Cornell says

    re # 33 Enlightenment Liberal
    Treatment of addiction (which is a recognised disorder in the DSM V), includes relapse as part of the process.
    As no one has yet mentioned this, I just thought I’d bring it up.

  41. Shiningone says

    @ t90bb

    “You and me are gonna be best buddies! I can feelz it!”

    Oh God! I hope not. 😉

  42. speedofsound says

    @JDB

    Anyway, I hope to stay in touch with you periodically so that we can continue to share notes.

    I will. I am really sick of the religious aspect of AA and the harm that it causes. I’m sticking to this change it from within idea but am also interested in a parallel group that gets it right from the start. One thing I noticed about ‘newcomers’ is that the mostly religious tend to go crazy with the program and god and then they disappear. I think I’m actually psychic. I can listen to one of them for five minutes and predict that they will see that 90 day medallion and be seen nevermore. 🙂

    On SMART. I think it needs work. But then I just went to this one meeting. There was so much pain in that meeting that it stung me.

  43. speedofsound says

    @paxoll

    T90bb, I have nothing against what you have said, only that saying I’m in AA and we don’t believe that step 3 is really about “god”, is the same as christians who use whatever excuse they make for the failings of the bible. My post was more in reference of speeds knee jerk lashing out at criticism of AA.

    First I think everyone should look into the deeper history of AA before coming to this judgment about it’s religiosity. In particular find out about how the word god got to be god as we understand him(should have been it).

    Kneejerk reaction? Yup. I do that. But I get a little tired of non-addicts spouting about addicts. When I hear the phrase ‘evidence based program’ I go red. Psychology of addiction is fucking witchcraft at it’s finest. I have been the subject of many well-intentioned evidence based psychologists who were actually trying to kill me and nearly succeeded. Though I will offer that they tried to kill me with the best of intentions.

    I don’t need no fucking treatment for my addiction. I do that for myself.

    Evidence is in neuroscience. Someday psychology will be just neuroscience. That is not the case today. Psychology is a religion that generates statistics to support its misconceptions.

    First step. Shit be out there that is more powerful than I am. Meth for instance. In general the universe is pretty much a thing for which I am nt match. Life and death is going to kill me. I need to consider that I may be wrong about anything or everything and listen a little. Think a lot. Believe not at all. This is called faith.

    Second step. I was fucked up for about half of 57 years and seemed to be going completely nuts. My solution was a .45 . I came to believe that if I shut the fuck up and listen a little i might find a better idea.

    Third step. There is a trick or two one gets from humbly accepting that we have a mind that is actually bio-goo with static electricity. When one looks over the whole religion/buddhist thing one can see that there are ways of being and ways of using that bio-goo to solve some problems for ourselves. When one turns over will and life, one is really humbly opening up to the possibility that one has been a silly believer all along and could be wr-wr-wrong about a few things. I rewrite this step as Shut the fuck up and listen.

    Tomorrow I could write something completely different for those three entries. Do you know why?

    Now AA has a big problem. Its primarily in the US where xtianity has infected us like ebola. AA consists of its individual members and if 80% of those members believe in sky-daddy then AA will take on the stink. AA is not going to be healed from this stink by atheists bailing out on it.

    What the fuck do you expect in america?

  44. Shiningone says

    I would be interested in hearing the opinions of you guys on an issue I’ve been thinking about recently. I don’t know how many of you are familiar with the work of Carl Jung? He wrote a book called, “Synchronicity: An Acausal Connecting Principle”
    To Jung, synchronicity is a meaningful coincidence in time, a psychic factor which is independent of space and time. Let me give you a couple of paragraphs from an article about it.

    In the 1920s, one of Carl Jung’s female patients proved particularly frustrating to him – notwithstanding her ‘excellent education’ and ‘highly polished Cartesian rationalism’. She was ‘psychologically inaccessible’, the Swiss psychiatrist later wrote in his Synchronicity: An Acausal Connecting Principle (1960), by which he meant that she wasn’t accepting his pseudo-scientific methods.

    To better understand her subconscious mind, Jung had her recount her recent dreams. She told him that, the night before, she had dreamed that she’d been given a golden scarab as a piece of jewellery. As she was describing the dream, there was a tapping on the window and Jung turned around. ‘I opened the window immediately and caught the insect in the air as it flew in,’ he wrote. ‘It was a scarabaeid beetle, or common rose-chafer (cetonia aurata), whose gold-green colour most nearly resembles that of a golden scarab.’ Jung knew this was just what his skeptical patient needed to see. ‘I handed the beetle to my patient with the words, “Here is your scarab.” This experience punctured the desired hole in her rationalism and broke the ice of her intellectual resistance. The treatment could now be continued with satisfactory results.’

    Now, regardless if this story is true or not, there are many stories by people describing synchronistic events. I’ve experienced many my self, as I’m sure lots of you have. Seemingly unconnected events with often more than just two incidences in the chain, that don’t conform to the law of cause and effect.
    Do we brush these off as mere coincidences with no value or, as some claim, give them meaning or value because of the benifical effects they may of had on our lives?

  45. t90bb says

    Not to beat the hell out of the AA topic but I want get something off my chest the bugs me……

    Its hilarious that pro AAers or those that dislike it talk about success rates…….Before anyone can argue the success or failure it needs to be determined how one would define “success in AA”.

    The implied goal for those that enter AA is total abstinence. Is that to say that anyone that joins AA that EVER takes another drink is a failure?? Well on that scale AAs “success” is quite low. I do know of some first time winners..but they are fairly rare.

    If someone comes to AA on deaths door. Gets great benefit, but suffers the occasional relapse…it could be argued that that person has succeeded (survived with a drastically improved quality of life).

    My point is, unless you define how you measure success, arguments about success and failure are meaningless.

    To put this in perspective…lets say I weigh 400 pounds and start a diet with the goal of never eating past 6pm. A year later i weigh 300 pounds but on a few occasions I slipped and ate past 6. Would one argue that this diet failed??

    All I am saying is success of AA….or even therapy is subjective and hard to measure.

    Hope that made sense!

  46. t90bb says

    43….Well I was taught in AA that there are no coincidences! Coincidences are gods way of keeping his anonymity.

    LOL……or……..That we plan and gawd laughs…….

    Coincidences occur everyday,,,,,if one was to ascribe meaning to them it would seem that they are implying agency to some grand genie. That would not even be a deistic concept of god, right?

    We like to feel special and important…..so some think coincidences is the almighty moving chess pieces around the board for them. They do this up until something non beneficial appears coincidental….then they dont attribute it to gawd, usually.

    To your point….I dont ascribe coincidences (or what appear to be) any particular value. I just dont. That is in the face of an evangelical upbringing and family who would vehemently disagree.

  47. John David Balla says

    @Shiningone #43

    I read all of Jung’s books and writings in the late 90s/early 00s. A decade previously, I did the same with Freud, so I am familiar with their relationship and its dramatic split. Jung was obsessed with synchronicities. He also believed in ghosts and went through a period that he described a more-or-less a complete mental breakdown which I believe lasted a year-and-a-half. He also believed that the number 4 had magical powers. Many sum up the difference between Freud and Jung as follows: Freud was obsessed with sex and Jung was obsessed with God. I find that to be a good starting point to understand where the two were coming from.

    As for experiencing coincidences, they can and do happen by chance alone. Second, we are pattern-seeking animals who are always looking to connect things that are not necessarily causal. Both Freud and Jung relied heavily on connecting dots as they perceived them. But for Jung, he was trying to make a connection between acausal behavior being observed in quantum physics to the psychological realm. At least, that’s the pattern I perceived. And to me, this supposed groundedness in quantum physics gave legitimacy to what Jung was doing. In fact, much if not all of the entire New Age movement, especially the pseudoscience being spewed by Deepak Chopra, is doing much of the same; connecting dots where there are none by making some slight-of-hand assumptions that sound scientific, especially to those who don’t know much about science, which included me not all that long ago.

    For reasons that should be apparent now, Jung also took tarot cards seriously. His archetypes seem to at least to befriend astrological symbolism.

    So to answer your question, there exists an entire pseudoscience industry that exists to more-or-less connect dots and find patterns where an empirical causal connection has not been established. In fact, if you look carefully at what these charlatans are doing you’ll see that they never demonstrate or prove what they are saying is true. They just imbue it in mysticism and of course faith, faith that they know what’s really going on with you, including your future. As someone who lived in Sedona, Arizona for 13 years, I know these types all too well. Bottom line for me: show your work. And if you can’t, there’s no good reason for me to believe it.

  48. Shiningone says

    Another one, sorry guys, I think a lot.
    I am fuzzy on what Matt and the other presenters consider ‘supernatural’? The dictionary version is, (of a manifestation or event) attributed to some force beyond scientific understanding or the laws of nature.
    Now, in the past, when our scientific understanding was not as developed as it is now, certain manifestations or events, WOULD of been considered ‘supernatural’. As our understanding increased we realised that those things WERE attributed to science as we know it, now. As Arthur C Clarke is quoted as saying, “Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.” So, what criteria is Matt and the others looking for? Where do they draw the line between what is explainable now by science or nature vs what may be explainable by science or nature in the future? For instance, someone may come along and give good evidence for telepathy. Is that considered supernatural or is it a phenomena that we are all capable of yet did not understand how and may be considered natural in the future?
    There are meditation adepts who can do extraordinary things with there bodies, utilising only their minds. Is that ‘supernatural’? There is an example of a savant who took a helicopter ride around the city of Mexico, got home, and proceeded to draw a huge stunningly accurate picture of it from memory. Is that ‘supernatural’?

  49. John David Balla says

    @Shiningone #47

    If the phenomenon can be measured or demonstrated empirically it would be considered natural. If it cannot, it would not. So if there is good evidence for telepathy that evidence would be detectable and measurable, and as such, it would be a natural phenomenon. But if it can’t be detected and measured, it would not for which many would label it supernatural, and some would label it nonexistent.

    Matt is a methodological naturalist as am I, which means we use the scientific method to determine existence. Others are philosophical naturalists who contend that nothing other than the natural world exists.

  50. Shiningone says

    @ John David Balla
    #46

    Thank you for your erudite response.
    I am familiar with the acausal behavior being observed in quantum physics. Do you not consider the findings of the double split experiment to have a psychological basis or connection?
    Also, I agree coincidences, can happen by chance. I would say the majority of them are. It may be a consequence of wishful thinking on my part or an aspect of pattern creation as you suggest, but I do think something deeper is a work here. Not, I should stress, in any divine sense, that concept repulses me, but in the sense that science itself is now suggesting, we, as observers have an influence on physical reality. Not to the degree that nut jobs like Deepak would have us believe, but in very subtle ways that may entail not only us having influence on reality but also a collective us, having an influence on us as individuals. Two way communication if you like.
    I am not saying this is the case, I am saying we should be open to new possibilities. If we ignore the findings of quantum science, and what that could possibly entail, in connection with are observation, we are being just as narrow minded as theists are.

  51. Shiningone says

    @ John David Balla
    #48

    It is by that definition then, impossible to prove the supernatural. Which was kind of what I was getting at. In which case, asking for proof of the supernatural, which the show is kind of doing, is a non starter.

  52. paxoll says

    @John
    I think Matt agrees with Shiningone which is why the word makes little sense and he challenges the logic of the word’s definition before moving onto the argument. I think the best description that seems to fit everyones definition would be along the lines of. “Our universe appears to have natural laws that define causation, supernatural is a force acting from outside our universe, that is able to have causal relationships with our universe contrary to the natural laws.” Now, you can say, well a cosmos including outside out universe can be completely natural, but that pretty much sums up virtually everyones understanding of the word. An alien from our universe could look magical teleporting one of our socks out of the drier, but would be natural, where an alien from beyond our universe poking a hole into our universe and taking our socks would be supernatural. It’s like trying to parse the differences between a known unknown, an unknown unknown, and an unknowable unknown. The superstitious person just lumps them all together and claims god.

    @Shiningone
    The quantum observer effect as you are describing it is not an accurate representation of science. PBSeons on youtube does a good job explaining, or the MIT lecture videos if you are good with math.

  53. speedofsound says

    Synchronicity is the low hanging fruit in the universe. It’s everywhere. Our brains work via this stuff. If you look for amazing connections you will find them. It’s because being a think with quadrillions of particles in a locale with sextillions is complicated. Your brain is kind of designed to find those patterns.

    Now I do not think they are ridiculous or useless. They are meaningful at the interface of you as an organism to the locale. We make meaning out of complexity and that does not mean that the meaning isn’t out there in some objective way.

    Nor does it mean that something spooky is going on. When you get a glimpse of actual naturalism you will find all of the meaning and rich complexity your heart desires. No woo need be applied. In fact the woo is kind of a failure of imagination. It’s pale and insipid in contrast to the complexity of our local universe.

  54. Shiningone says

    Ha, get this. Whether you believe this or not is immaterial to me. It’s been about 2 to 3 hours since my posts on coincidence and the supernatural. I have been viewing YT videos by this show. Just now I watched, “Jordan Peterson’s Mystical Experiences | Jimmy – San Antonio | Atheist Experience 23.01.
    I was reading a few comments and came across this one, by Lysergik Dubz posted 2 weeks ago.

    “is it just me or the concept of “supernatural” a paradox in and of itself? I mean, if something is really happening in real life, is it not by definition natural? in that case, the term supernatural is like saying outside of reality aka not real.”

    I just thought it was a funny coincidence. lol

  55. Ronald Kyle says

    @Shenanigans

    … I do think something deeper is a work here. Not, I should stress, in any divine sense, that concept repulses me, but in the sense that science itself is now suggesting, we, as observers have an influence on physical reality. Not to the degree that nut jobs like Deepak would have us believe, but in very subtle ways that may entail not only us having influence on reality but also a collective us, having an influence on us as individuals. Two way communication if you like.
    I am not saying this is the case, I am saying we should be open to new possibilities. If we ignore the findings of quantum science, and what that could possibly entail, in connection with are observation, we are being just as narrow minded as theists are.

    There you go… hahahaha… I suggest you stop having such an open mind that your brains fall out … although in your case it might be too late already
     
    So you are not a believer in divine intervention as much as the “repulsive” theists…. just a little though….You are not a believer in pseudoscience as much as Chopra “nuts” are… but just a little
     
    And anyone who is not open minded to your smidgeon of woo believing is being as narrow minded as theists….WOW… what a charlatan you are!!!
     
    @Shenanigans

    In which case, asking for proof of the supernatural, which the show is kind of doing, is a non starter

    There you go again….
     
    You obviously have no idea what the scientific method is… I suggest you go educate yourself on what it is.
     
    If you had any understanding of the scientific method you would have understand why your above statement is a very obvious underhanded attempt at what you think is a subtle dig.
     
    I know you will never willingly learn anything about the scientific method… but here watch this video that talks about people precisely using your fallacious claptrap…

    A look at some of the flawed thinking that prompts people who believe in certain non-scientific concepts to advise others who don’t to be more open-minded.

  56. leontiev says

    Shiningone

    Good catch that. If I could invoke Bill Clinton for a minute, I guess it all depends on what your definition of “is” is.

  57. John David Balla says

    @Shiningone #s 49 and 50

    I’m not sure what’s going on with the double-slit experiment. What’s interesting is that it’s the Woo crowd who jump to subatomic agency as an answer. Physicists generally are much more cautious. That alone is telling. My current and limited understanding which I take as a tentative explanation is that it’s basically randomness + very high probabilities, or a sort of soft determinism at play. That said, there are tons of scientists and students who can surely provide better explanations. But to establish a psychologic basis there would need to be a demonstration of that and I’m not aware of any such demonstration. In other words, yet another “God of the Gaps.”

  58. Shiningone says

    @ paxoll
    #51

    LMFAO paxoll, no offence, but I just watched that PBS version you prescribed. “The Quantum Experiment that Broke Reality | Space Time | PBS Digital Studios”
    I have to say, I have not heard anyone talk like that since I saw someone take too many acid tabs. This type of utterly patronising, word salad, mixed with “rubber duckies” ( ffs ) is totally fucking insane. The man had ZERO understanding of what he was talking about. He made a straight forward observational experiment into a fucked up psychopathic trip into a distorted version of Alice in wonderland. Just as, many of the comments suggested.
    If YOU really think that made any sense what so ever, I suggest you take medication.
    I don’t mean to be so mean. May I suggest if you want a layman’s understanding of the experiment you watch this one.

  59. Shiningone says

    @ John David Balla
    #56

    Hey, again. I completely understand your position. I am not surprised you have it considering your 13 years in Sedona. I am well aware of the community they have going there from all the pod casts they have on you tube. They are AWAY with the fairies! generally speaking.
    I have just posted a video of a simple version of the double spilt experiment for paxoll. It is a little childish, but the explanation is correct.

  60. Shiningone says

    @ leontiev
    #55

    Someone always has to bring in POLITICS. lol just kidding. ( but I do hate them all ).
    Is, is what it is, I guess. Unless it isn’t.

  61. twarren1111 says

    My concern about AA is this: for those for whom it works, the reason as to why it works is clouded.

    As of today, the claim regarding the existence of god(s) has no evidence supporting it. This means that by this time in the development of knowledge, the probability that the god hypothesis is not true is extremely high. Like 90% probability high. This, parenthetically is why the burden of proof is on the theist and not the atheist.

    This means that those who succeeded with the AA process did not most likely do so bc of god. And even if one then hypothesizes that it may have been the idea of god that accounts for their success then you are saying that a false belief accounted for the truth.

    But why does a false belief work? And aren’t both claims improbable?: AA works bc of a deity and AA works bc of the idea of a deity.

    It’s not that this type of faith based reasoning can lead to other bad outcomes when allowed to be used for other claims, Eg, the anti-vaxxers ideas, that bothers me most.

    This is what bothers me most about AA: there is no probable validity that god was active in the success. We know of only 4 forces: strong, weak, electromagnetism and gravity. And we only know of these 4 forces acting in an individual’s brain that accounts for their mind. And we are not aware of any external ability of these forces to account for the internal action of these forces. To wit: talking about a problem I have with a friend in which I benefit in several ways was only do to how these forces acted in my brain. It was my brain interpreting what my friend’s brain did with those same forces that I used my own brain to elicit change in my brain.

    This means that each person who succeeds in AA does so bc of their brain. They did it. Not a ‘higher power’. Not their sponsor. Not the meetings. None of that. It was what they did in their brain. They did it themselves.

    And claiming anything else, well, why? Just as the alcoholic’s brain got them in trouble with alcohol. Why is it so hard to accept the probability as high that it was their own brain that got them out of it?

    Lastly, Richard Carrier has some excellent thoughts recently about burden of prooof issues. It’s important to understand what he is talking about. Not just for discussions about atheism. Why? Bc just as allowing faith based use of evidence (called false negative and false positive for Bayesian reasoning) in one part of ones life can lead to the use of it in other aspects of the person’s life, being aware of how claims use evidence to determine probabilities in all aspects of ones life leads to faster and more robust seeing of the geometry of reality.

    https://www.richardcarrier.info/archives/15029

  62. Ronald Kyle says

    @Shenanigans

    The above video is a load of crap from minute 3:45 onwards.

    That observer experiment was not an actual experiment it was a THOUGHT experiment.

    There is no way of detecting which slit the electron went through without INTERFERING with the electron and thus stopping it from reaching the back screen and thus interfering with the whole thing.

    The video misrepresents the facts.

  63. John David Balla says

    @twarren1111 #60
    A recent study attempted to identify what is actually causing people with alcohol use disorder (AUD) to successfully abstain from the addiction looked at AA, SMART Recovery, and two other non-12-step recovery groups. And while I have serious issues with the obvious bias favoring AA in the report, the findings are worth noting, especially since there is actually some science behind it…finally (not to say that there isn’t a need for a great deal more.)

    The main findings: “An alcohol goal of lifetime total abstinence and higher group involvement at baseline were both strongly associated with better outcomes.” In other words, far from divine intervention, it’s group solidarity along with an explicit goal that appears to be driving success regardless of meeting philosophy. However, I think we would see greater deviations when measuring success rates after year 1 as it is usually during that time that philosophical underpinnings begin to weigh more on the individual. During the first year, not so much. Too preoccupied with just not drinking. That’s my experience and observation. Philosophical concerns come later and can be considered a luxury.

    At any rate, your conclusion that it’s all about the brain may be a bit reductionistic and thus overlook the complexity of the matter including the insights the study demonstrates. (As limited as it may be; it’s a start).

    https://www.recoveryanswers.org/research-post/skipping-steps-meeting-goals/

  64. CompulsoryAccount7746, Sky Captain says

    May I suggest if you want a layman’s understanding of the experiment you watch this one.

    YT description: This clip is from: “What The Bleep Do We Know!?: Down The Rabbit Hole”
     
    Article: Wikipedia – What the Bleep Do We Know!?

    While many of its interviewees and subjects are professional scientists in the fields of physics, chemistry, and engineering, several have noted that the film quotes them out of context.
    […]
    Scientists who have reviewed What the Bleep Do We Know!? have described distinct assertions made in the film as pseudoscience. Lisa Randall refers to the film as “the bane of scientists”. Amongst the assertions in the film that have been challenged are that water molecules can be influenced by thought, that meditation can reduce violent crime rates, and that quantum physics implies that “consciousness is the ground of all being.”
    […]
    “[…] the movie gradually moves to quantum ‘insights’ that lead a woman to toss away her antidepressant medication, to the quantum channeling of Ramtha, the 35,000-year-old Lemurian warrior, and on to even greater nonsense.”
    […]
    A BBC reviewer described it as “a documentary aimed at the totally gullible”.
    […]
    On August 1, 2006 What the Bleep! Down the Rabbit Hole – Quantum Edition multi-disc DVD set was released, containing two extended versions of What the Bleep Do We Know!?, with over 15 hours of material on three double-sided DVDs.

  65. paxoll says

    @Shiningone, ok I’m done with your dumbass. When you take a mythicist explanation over a physicist on physics, we really have no path forward.

  66. Ronald Kyle says

    @Shenanigans #64
     
    What you are mistakenly talking about and misunderstanding is a Quantum Mechanics principle called the Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle…. and it is indeed a mathematical effect in quantum mechanics but it has nothing to do with the pseudo-scientific claptrap that you trying to jam it into.
     
    And the double slit experiment has never resulted into just two bands by anyone LOOKING at the electrons… that video you posted was claptrap from minute 3:50 onwards.
     
    If you knew anything about electrons or atomic science you would know that there is no way one can affect the trajectory or anything to do with electrons by the mere act of LOOKING at them. What you are doing is just Deepak Chopra pseudo-science poppycock.

  67. John David Balla says

    @CompulsoryAccount7746 #64

    Now there is an entire channel dedicated to peddling every pseudoscience imaginable. https://www.gaia.com/. They keep running Facebook ads through my FB newsfeed.

  68. EnlightenmentLiberal says

    Re:
    Natural vs supernatural is a sideshow shitshow. I don’t care what it is, I can and will use science on it. The scientific method will work, and that does not change based on whether you slap the label “supernatural” onto it or not.

    As best as I can determine, “supernatural” Is commonly used to categorize things that don’t fit into a standard reductionist materialist paradigm, including magic, miracles, gods, ghosts, ghouls, etc.

  69. Monocle Smile says

    It is an absolute travesty that popsci articles use the term “observation” in headlines of quantum physics articles. The term is intentionally put there to generate clicks. Shiningone probably didn’t even understand the article at all or what “observation” means when it comes to subatomic particles, but this kind of shallow garbage seems to be par for the course with Shiningone.

  70. twarren1111 says

    #62 JDB

    I often find trouble in communicating what I’m trying to say. The study you cite is exactly what I’d expect to hear. That two variables most associated with one year success was 1. how the alcoholic decided to commit to the issue of alcohol with a goal of total abstinence and 2. surrounding themselves with other minds that wanted to help them achieve their goal.

    That’s what I was trying to say. It has nothing to do with god. Or a higher power. It was the alcoholic who did it. And, because of how our brains evolved and why (this is why looking at Robin Dunbar on Wikipedia is good to do) it matters who we have as our 5 primary minds that we interact with. Why? Bc it helps us, via empathy, to determine the geometry of reality (ie, the sphere packing of space as demonstrated by Hamming codes and how they work in 4 dimensions) in the most accurate way possible.

    This is why 5 people together can turn out to be The Beatles or the Manson family.

    It’s why the 1% of the population with no functioning paralimbic system (called psychopaths, Trump as excellent example) are human ‘knockouts’. They are the extreme. They are what happens if we take a reptile, make them warm blooded, give them a huge brain, give that brain the mammalian paralimbic development topped off by the enormous neocortex and then TURN OFF the paralimbic part what you get is trump. Why is ADD the most common and most inherited neurobiology in humans? EMPATHY. The neurobiology of ADD is the exact INVERSION of psychopathy. Thus, if this claim and evidence is probable, one would guess that a hyperempathic brain that is overwhelmed with sensory input from reality would be the best step. And what do we call that? Autism.

    The point is, our brains. And the point is to use empathy to abstract. Whereas evolution gave us only one plastic called latex from a rubber tree, Dupont took that example and developed plastics. See? Look at dogs. Evolution gave us the wolf. But humans then made the dog. Natural selection gave us latex and the wolf. Artificial selection gave us plastics and dogs. And the difference? TIME.And that’s why dogs and plastic cause the problems that wolves and rubber trees don’t.

    The point is that the only free energy we get is ideas. That’s the key. And if my claim is true I’d expect that ‘talk therapy’ works. And guess what? Whether you use cold turkey, Wellbutrin, Chantix, or nicotine replacement therapy, what has every phase 3 study in smoking cessation shown? That cognitive behavioral therapy doubles the success rate.

    And those successful non smokers needed two things:
    1. Desire to never smoke again
    2. Talk to people

    Sound familiar?

    See?

    That’s why we got our big brains. Remember, we have 100 billion neurons. Only 250,000 use dopamine. And where are those neurons? They hook up the ADD network. And what is totally non-functional in psychopaths? The newly evolved paralimbic system. Remember, the para is the frontal lobes.

    Anyway, it really is about why trust and love are so important. Those feelings help bind minds that interpret reality ‘in community’. That’s why psychopaths and primary anxiety disorders like OCPD are so destructive. Reality is just that. Real. Ratio. Rational. Spheres pack best in certain ways. It’s why talking over a problem with a trusted/loved/empathic colleague is so vital.

    It’s why trump can’t quite get that the movie Sicario isn’t really true about our southern border. Trump said over the weekend that prayer mats have been found around the border. He claimed women are abducted and gagged with blue tape and put in the trunks of cars. These things aren’t true. But they’re in the movie.

    This is why people like oreoman1987 are such time wasters.

    It’s about getting the geometry of reality correct. Bc if you do, then NEW ideas will fit in a best way. And this is bc of how spheres pack space. That’s why entropy is information.

    So, if a person is succeeding Bc they have a goal and then surround themselves with at least 5 people who support them with that goal why does god or some made up higher power have to be added. Adding just lowers the probability of reality.

    That’s what I’ve been trying to say since I started with this blog

  71. EnlightenmentLiberal says

    To Shiningone
    As CompulsoryAccount7746, Sky Captain already said, “What The Bleep Do We Know?” is pseudoscience woo bullshit film.

    Also, the youtube channel PBS Space Time is one of the best resources that a layperson is going on to find on this sort of topic. I just watched the same video again now,



    and it’s really good. I don’t know why you have any complaints about it.
    (Also, I spotted that unmarked d20 at the end. Excellent.)

    I watched that whole 5 minute clip from “What The Bleep Do We Know?”, and it was a tolerable explanation for the first 4 minutes or so. As Ronald Kyle already explained, the last bit of the explanation was just wrong. It communicated to the viewer that observation is some passive thing that doesn’t interfere with the electron. That’s just wrong. To observe the electron means bouncing other quantum particles off it, like other electrons, photons, etc., and that changes the experiment.

    In the standard Copenhagen terminology, without the measuring device, the wave function goes through both slits, and then a collapse happens at the far wall, but with the measuring device, the wave function collapses at the slits, and then a new wave function goes from the slits to the wall, and the second wave function doesn’t have a chance to go through both slits, and cannot interfere with itself, and that’s why you don’t get the interference pattern.

  72. Ronald Kyle says

    @EnlightenmentLiberal #77

    The video is not bad… I did not like the fact that the guy kept anthropomorphizing the particles with things like “it decided” and so on…. the other thing not good enough about the video is that it does not explain well the Probability Waves aspect of particles…. and not a single mention of the Schrödinger Equation etc.

    But that could be because it is trying to keep the whole thing a little simpler.

  73. CompulsoryAccount7746, Sky Captain says

    @Ronald Kyle #78:

    The video is not bad… I did not like […] that could be because it is trying to keep the whole thing a little simpler.

     
    Article: What the Bleep Do We Know!?

    Bleep was conceived and its production funded by William Arntz, who co-directed the film along with Betsy Chasse and Mark Vicente; all three were students of Ramtha’s School of Enlightenment.

     
    Article: Wikipedia – Ramtha’s School of Enlightenment

    The school was established in 1988 by J. Z. Knight, who claims to channel a 35,000-year-old being called Ramtha the Enlightened One. The school’s teachings are based on these channeling sessions.

  74. Ronald Kyle says

    @CompulsoryAccount7746

    I was not talking about the claptrap video that Shenanigans posted I was talking about the PBS one that Enlightenment Liberal posted.

    I already told Shenanigans in my post#67 that his video is claptrap from minute 3:45 onwards and not true…. I also saw your post#70… thanks for that it enforced my suspicions about it… but it was a load of false crap from minutes 3:45 onwards, regardless of who made it.

  75. CompulsoryAccount7746, Sky Captain says

    @Ronald Kyle #80:

    I was talking about the PBS one

    Ah. The PBS Space Time channel tends to spread out its content among its many videos, a weakness for a single clip, but conducive to marathons.

  76. Shiningone says

    I’ve looked into it a bit further. I was mistaken. Thanks for rectifying my misunderstanding guys.

  77. speedofsound says

    @twarren1111

    My concern about AA is this: for those for whom it works, the reason as to why it works is clouded.

    I’ve solidified some ideas around AA over my lifetime. I have a working model of sorts but I could be wrong.

    First on your two points; decision of lifelong abstinence and group. That decision is how I quit a 6.2 pack a day cig habit and alcohol and drugs. “I made a decision to…” . But it was a visceral hard-nosed commitment. That day at a time shit has its place but no. You have to look a little further down the road.
    I made some other decisions around my drug use. It had become clear to me in the bout I had from 2001-2007 that I could not quit no matter how many meetings I went to or how many doctors I visited. During one of my late stage suicidal crashes I talked to my son about how bad I wanted to stop and to live. He asked why I didn’t just do it. I told him with great desperation and power that I had no control over who I would be when I woke up the next day. My problem was not myself while I was using but myself while I was sober and feeling good. Two completely different personalities and I had no control over which one would take my brain and body. What I needed was a ‘tether’ to tie myself. I also had to kind of kill the son-of-a-bitch that was doing all those drugs and vodka. Fortunately that guy was really ready to die.

    The lifelong commitment came along with many more commitments. I swore when I walked the steps to that one AA meeting that made a difference that I would do anything these assholes told me to do. They told me to do 90 meetings in 90 days and to get a sponsor. I did both. By the time I walked out of that meeting and started my car I knew something significant had changed. I fucking knew it. Almost twelve years ago.

    So what had happened. An overall breakdown of ego for one. I was willing to do anything no matter how ridiculous it seemed. I think I would have taken communion if they told me to. I would’ve eaten the whole box of crackers and drank the whole bottle though. I doubt I would have given up a lifelong skepticism and atheism. Fortunately I had a lifelong prep for re-interpreting metaphors as science and psychology. That helped.

    But I went at those steps. In my own way cuz that is the only way anyone does anything like that. It took 3 years but I found the right sponsor to get me through step four. He’s the guy that was a believer when I met him and now isn’t. I also started praying. My sponsor used to ask who or what I prayed to. I told him that I did not ‘pray to’ I simple prayed. My prayer method is a little eastern and does not involve asking anyone other than some deep part of myself. Self-hypnosis is all it is. This became a tool in my toolbox. Every shiny little tool had to pass through the fire of naturalism and skepticism but I threw none of them away. If AA mentioned it I reworked the fucking thing until it passed muster.

    The other thing I committed to is what I came up with in analyzing my lifelong attempted AA membership. I would go to meetings until the stink wore off then I would soar in my field and in life then I would one day get the crazy idea that addiction was bullshit and I would pick up a line of coke or a drink. I noticed that that never happened while I was regularly going to meetings and talking to others. So I committed to never going a week without a meeting. More than that. I committed to listening and being open as well. I even listen carefully to religious nuts. I always pick up a nugget and forge a new tool.

    I think one meeting leads to the next just like one eight-ball does. Anyway. Next, Magic Happened. I fucking found a brand of sober that has made me so incredibly happy that sometimes I get sick of myself. No one like me deserves this last twelve years.

    Did I do this by myself? No fucking way. It got done when I got myself out of the way. Now my last month was spent composing a suicide note to my sons and working out the logistics of being too sick to leave the house and yet having to minimize brain spatter. Also spent some time on elaborate car exhaust ideas that amounted to me passing out on the way up to the car. So no that guy did nothing to sober me up. Had I not had all those meeting in all those places this guy would be dead.

    That is long but I do have some theories about all of this and I think an understanding fo ideas like secular spirituality and what addiction is.

    Now you can see here that it will elicit some emotion when people just hand waive at AA. It isn’t like I wasn’t committed to a dozen psych wards and treated with two dozen new-wave ‘science-based’, ‘medication-based’ wonder-cures and chalked up about a thousand hours on the couch of shiny well intentioned shrinks.

  78. twarren1111 says

    @speedofsound

    Thanks for sharing that.

    I’m wondering, can you put an order as to the difficulty to stop an agent? Eg, was nicotine the hardest, alcohol second, cocaine third, etc?

  79. speedofsound says

    Interesting thing about the AA third step and religious AA members. When i question the ones that have long term sobriety most tell me that they don’t really think about the god thing. They keep it nebulous. Not all of them but it seems the calmest most centered religious guys do not have a clear concept of god. OTOH the really religious jesus fanatics last about 1-3 months and start using again.

    I think the key here is giving up one’s self but not letting any dogma take over. The raccoons in my yard lead mostly sober productive lives with no dogmatic belief at all.

    In that recent thread with Kafei/Jimmy there is a lot about how certain drugs melt down the self. The self is a program that we develop through growing up and living and nothing more. Just a habit. If that habit becomes a bad or angry one then there are ways of melting it down and changing its structure. I think that is the key to believers. In some manner they have used this belief in something outside themselves to melt down self. They can always go to that nebulous position of not knowing, of having faith.

    There is something going on with our minds that when we go to the ‘i don’t quite know’ place we feel better. The problem with religion is that they replace ‘i don’t know’ with “I’m absolutely certain” and then it all goes to hell. When they are arguing with Matt they are in pain. When Matt wins they go to there safe place. They stop thinking and they become like my raccoons.

    This is why I am an ontological naturalist. It’s the one idea where your safe unthinking place is the same as the reasoned one.

  80. speedofsound says

    Consider the adoption of naturalism. It’s like you are standing at the foot of a massive, universe sized, body of ‘I don’t know’. Yet you can dig in anywhere and continue to find ‘I now know’ and it’s all consistent and cross-checked. If you want to understand salt you can go get some or make some and do a thousand tests on it and it all comes back consistent. If you want to understand mind and consciousness start reading the hundred foot stack of neuroscience texts and the mile high stack of papers. Somewhere along the journey a sufficient insight will arise and it’s still all consistent with what you learned about salt or any other part of it.

    i like to call that god.

  81. paxoll says

    @speedofsound
    Again, congratulations on being sober. What you wrote is utter nonsense and barely comprehensible, but if it helps you stay sober, keep believing it.

  82. t90bb says

    I think there are a shit ton of reasons that AA works for some people….not all are experienced by all who succeed. I do not believe any of those reasons regard a real deity (obviously)..

    It seems there is a serious relief that comes with being truly honest with yourself and others. Allowing yourself to be brutally honest with yourself about who you are and what you would like to become gives some a “fresh start” of sorts and calms the noise in our heads that clamors for the bliss drugs and booze provide. Importantly, honesty includes the admission that we dont know a lot of things. Becoming comfortable with the idea that we dont know everything was very difficult for a lot of us.

    A sense of community/support/purpose is also key.

    I never say I “do AA”….rather I do “recovery” and some of the AA stuff is part of that.

    I always find it ironic that one of the principles emphasized in the program is open mindedness. Try talking to the hardcore Big Book thumper….they are as narrow minded as they come.

    I just take the parts of AA that increase my appreciation for life and junk the rest. As I have said a million times here…..there is a lot of upsides and dangers in AA. I am still not entirely sure how it has helped me and others but it has. Finding ways to tease these results without a lot of the bullshit would be nice. Yet is is exactly what I consider bullshit that makes it beneficial to someone else. Have I mentioned today that life is complicated?? lol.

    Admitting how little I know gives each day a lot of potential upside in the knowledge department….and I find that exciting and fun.

  83. speedofsound says

    @paxoll

    Again, congratulations on being sober. What you wrote is utter nonsense and barely comprehensible, but if it helps you stay sober, keep believing it.

    Which part? Or rather pick a part. We’ll pick it apart. I’m interested in seeing where I’m wrong.

  84. paxoll says

    @speedofsound

    I think the key here is giving up one’s self but not letting any dogma take over. The raccoons in my yard lead mostly sober productive lives with no dogmatic belief at all.

    This is nonsense, how can anyone do anything without a sense of self? Do you think raccoons do not think of themselves?

    The self is a program that we develop through growing up and living and nothing more. Just a habit. If that habit becomes a bad or angry one then there are ways of melting it down and changing its structure.

    Again, how can you not be yourself? I’m guessing what you mean is being mentally rigorous in identifying prejudices and rejecting emotional reactions and making decisions on a intellectual level. This is the problem with metaphor and all that bullshit Kafei talked about. A metaphor is never perfect in every way, when you try to work through an issue dealing in metaphor you lose the ability to translate that back into reality. When you describe your prejudices and past experiences as your “self”, and then conflate self and mind, and then conflate mind and consciousness, and then suddenly a drug that scrambles your perceptions lets you “connect with the universal consciousness of the universe” or some other such bullshit.

    i like to call that god.

    Ok, and I like to call my penis god, but that does not help illuminate any truth about the universe. It just demonstrates the subjective prejudices and values of….my “self”.

  85. Shiningone says

    The Atheist Experience is a show that wants theists to call in and give evidence for the existence of a god. Or, give evidence for the supernatural in general. Now, the ONLY way they would except your evidence is by the scientific method, which is a method of procedure that characterizes natural science. It involves, systematic observation, measurement and testable experimentation. ANY, evidence you give, if it meets this criteria, AUTOMATICALLY becomes NATURAL by definition. So in other words, it is IMPOSSIBLE to prove, to them, the supernatural. This is a CON. A catch 22. I love this show, but call it what it is, ” The Rational Therapy Experience “

  86. Shiningone says

    The atheist position is irrational. To be rational, they would HAVE to say, NO god exists.

  87. paxoll says

    No, religious people choose to call in and give evidence, but on the show they ask what do you believe, and why do you believe. It doesn’t matter what they believe or what reason they believe. What they then do is explain why the “reason they believe” is not a rational or convincing argument for them to in turn believe. The standard answer to a religious person asking what kind of evidence they need is, “I don’t know”, but if the claim is an all powerful god, that god should know correct? Its not a con, its an intellectually honest position, where belief requires something to cause that belief and that cause can be evaluated. Does it even make sense that a supernatural or not real belief COULD be rational at all? Next, do you want people believing in irrational things? Yes you could theoretically invent an irrational belief that would only produce good outcomes for people, and could argue the utility of believing it, but that would not make it rational and God/religion sure as hell does not qualify as only producing good outcomes.

  88. CompulsoryAccount7746, Sky Captain says

    @Shiningone #91:

    it is IMPOSSIBLE to prove […] the supernatural […] This is a CON. A catch 22.

    *gasp* People promoting nonsense are by definition unable to make their case!?
     
    How dare AXP take their claims seriously.
    Intellectual rigor is a dirty trick to make people give up nonsense!

  89. buddyward says

    @shiningone

    The Atheist Experience is a show that wants theists to call in and give evidence for the existence of a god. Or, give evidence for the supernatural in general. Now, the ONLY way they would except your evidence is by the scientific method, which is a method of procedure that characterizes natural science. It involves, systematic observation, measurement and testable experimentation. ANY, evidence you give, if it meets this criteria, AUTOMATICALLY becomes NATURAL by definition. So in other words, it is IMPOSSIBLE to prove, to them, the supernatural. This is a CON. A catch 22. I love this show, but call it what it is, ” The Rational Therapy Experience “

    There was an episode where a caller asked why do we have to use science to investigate claims. Matt responded with “We do not.”. At the moment science is the most reliable method we have to investigate and understand the world around us. Is there another reliable method which we can use to investigate and understand the claims of the supernatural? Please inform us of a reliable way to investigate the supernatural. Is it impossible to use science to investigate the supernatural?

    The show is called “The Atheist Experience” because the theist callers of the show does demonstrate the experience atheists have when confronted by theists. The show demonstrates the fallacious arguments that theists use in order to unreasonably justify their belief that their specific god exists. Rationality is just one of the tools us skeptics use in order to determine whether or not a claim is true.

    Personally, I believe that the discussion begins and ends at showing evidence your god exists. If you cannot do that, everything else that follow in relation to god is no longer valid. Morality based on a deity is invalid because there would not be a deity to base it on. The validity of scriptures because those are the word of god? No god no valid scripture. Universe created by a god? You would have to show god exists first even before we talk about whether or not that god can and have created this universe.

  90. buddyward says

    @shiningone

    The atheist position is irrational. To be rational, they would HAVE to say, NO god exists.

    Why would the position of “I am not convinced there is a god.” be irrational?

    If I tell you that “I am not convinced that you are a troll.”, would I be irrational? At the moment I am not sure whether you are or are not. Can’t I hold a position which leaves me open to make a conclusion at a later time until sufficient and necessary evidence is presented? Wouldn’t that be a more honest position?

  91. speedofsound says

    I think the key here is giving up one’s self but not letting any dogma take over. The raccoons in my yard lead mostly sober productive lives with no dogmatic belief at all.

    This is nonsense, how can anyone do anything without a sense of self? Do you think raccoons do not think of themselves?

    Do you accept that there are different conceptual and biological levels of self? That raccoons do not sit and think about what they did yesterday or what their value is to raccoonhood or their status with their peers? Do you have a clear idea of what I mean by the difference between concept and biological?

  92. t90bb says

    92….Shiningone…..Grow a set and call the show and talk to your hero (or the one you are so fascinated by). You seem to have a plenty of bravado here……..stop being a chickenhawk. …… point out his foibles on public access if you can man up.

  93. EnlightenmentLiberal says

    The Atheist Experience is a show that wants theists to call in and give evidence for the existence of a god. Or, give evidence for the supernatural in general. Now, the ONLY way they would except your evidence is by the scientific method, which is a method of procedure that characterizes natural science. It involves, systematic observation, measurement and testable experimentation. ANY, evidence you give, if it meets this criteria, AUTOMATICALLY becomes NATURAL by definition. So in other words, it is IMPOSSIBLE to prove, to them, the supernatural. This is a CON. A catch 22. I love this show, but call it what it is, ” The Rational Therapy Experience “

    Note that not everyone uses this definition of “supernatural”.

    Having said this, yes, this is IMAO a failing of how Matt Dillahunty talks and also of many other atheists and science communicators. For the occasional intelligent and thoughtful theist, this should be an absolutely huge problem, an impossible demand, of the atheist skeptic. However, for atheist skeptics with this rhetorical position, if you actually brought solid evidence of a god, or of a person who could locate someone’s car keys via a magic spell ala Locate Object
    https://www.d20pfsrd.com/magic/all-spells/l/locate-object/
    then they’re not going to dismiss your evidence because someone may apply the label “supernatural” to gods and wizards. They’re going to critically examine your evidence according to the scientific method. So, while they have a flaw in their rhetoric, I’m convinced that it’s just a rhetorical flaw, and they would accept compelling evidence of a god if presented to them.

    The gap between “the evidence that we have” and “the evidence that we need” is truly massive, and some theists see the situation differently, and that’s the real problem.

  94. Monocle Smile says

    Is Shiningone a theist? I guess I didn’t really expect that, since they usually identify themselves. That last post was typical butthurt theist griping that focuses on exactly the wrong thing.

  95. iquilt6 says

    This “talking someone out of suicide with the threat of going to Hell” issue is interesting, but way too simplistic for me. I don’t think the point should be about some supposed soul going to the imaginary eternal suffering place because the imaginary ‘superior’ being will send one there just for killing oneself. If a thinking adult (note: ‘adult’) has thought out ending his/her life for rational reasons, I think suicide is acceptable alternative to living/suffering/etc. My exceptions: don’t take anyone else with you (murder-suicide), non-adults (children and teens) committing suicide.

  96. EnlightenmentLiberal says

    Is Shiningone a theist?

    Probably, considering his persistent opposition to abortion, and his IMO obvious dishonest conduct. It seems pretty likely to me that he’s just your run of the mill Christian who is lied about being an atheist, and lied some more by trying to make some “atheistic” objections to abortion when his real opposition to abortion is because of his Christian religion.

    He’s totally right though concerning his central critique of post 91. Whether or not that is additional circumstantial evidence that he’s just a Christian in disguise, I leave that determination to you.

  97. CompulsoryAccount7746, Sky Captain says

    @iquilt6 #103:

    This “talking someone out of suicide with the threat of going to Hell” issue is interesting, but way too simplistic for me.

    I quoted a couple articles about that in an earlier thread.
     
    Comment: Axp 22.19 – CA7746 #8

    “the link between religion and reduced risk of suicide is patchy at best. In South Africa, holding religious beliefs actually seems to increase the risk of suicide!”

  98. Wiggle Puppy says

    @ Shiningone #91 (and respondents):

    “The Atheist Experience is a show that wants theists to call in and give evidence for the existence of a god. Or, give evidence for the supernatural in general. Now, the ONLY way they would except your evidence is by the scientific method, which is a method of procedure that characterizes natural science. It involves, systematic observation, measurement and testable experimentation. ANY, evidence you give, if it meets this criteria, AUTOMATICALLY becomes NATURAL by definition.”

    Okay, there are a couple of reasons that the supernatural might be undetectable:

    1) The supernatural has no discernible effect on the natural world and therefore is indistinguishable from that which does not exist. If this is the case, I have no reason to care about the supernatural.

    2) The supernatural does not, in fact, exist. And again, I have no reason to care about the supernatural.

    “So in other words, it is IMPOSSIBLE to prove, to them, the supernatural. This is a CON. A catch 22.”

    I’m fairly sure that Matt (and others) have always said that they’ll consider any evidence put before them. But as soon as people start appealing to faith, or personal anecdotes, or unsound arguments, the conversation is pretty much over.

    If you have evidence that a god exists, then present it. If you don’t, then quit complaining that people won’t accept your unfounded assertions.

  99. says

    @ShingingOne

    The Atheist Experience is a show that wants theists to call in and give evidence for the existence of a god. Or, give evidence for the supernatural in general. Now, the ONLY way they would except your evidence is by the scientific method, which is a method of procedure that characterizes natural science. It involves, systematic observation, measurement and testable experimentation. ANY, evidence you give, if it meets this criteria, AUTOMATICALLY becomes NATURAL by definition. So in other words, it is IMPOSSIBLE to prove, to them, the supernatural. This is a CON. A catch 22. I love this show, but call it what it is, ” The Rational Therapy Experience “

    You mentioned that you had watched a call I participated in at #59. You make a good point here which I attempted to tell Matt in a previous call where I spoke to Matt and Phil, not the one you saw, but a call we had before that particular one. I told Matt this very thing, that if you’re going to define God as something that defies the laws of physics, then you’ve essentially defined God as something that can never be demonstrated by the laws of physics. So, yes, if that’s the case, then there’s no point to the show, is there? Of course, that’s not the case, and Matt even says in that more current call (the one you watched) that he doesn’t know how to define supernatural. He goes on to say, “It seems to be an assertion that something is not natural.” We’re not defining the “unnatural” here. The prefix is “super-” not “a-” as in atheist (not theist). The prefix Super- means to transcend, to place above, to go beyond, etc. Matt seems to have twisted to mean “that which is not natural.” The professionals who actually perform actual science relative to these topics would say to define it like that is actually irrelevant to the the spiritual experiences found at the very core of these religions, as well as authors like Michael Pollan who went out of his way to learn directly for himself just what a mystical experience is all about.

    There’s a paragraph I’ve reiterated on so many websites, but it’s an important point to make so it’s worth repeating. You see, it’s a flat-out mistake on behalf of the atheists I encounter to necessarily define God as something “supernatural” in the sense that is often bandied about these type of discussions. That is to say, to define the divine with the requirement that its description should be something that defies physics or is synonymous with magic, etc. Einstein rightly referred to this as the “childish analogy of religion,” and ironically it’s the one notion most atheists I meet have as for their very reason for their rejection of theism. You see, the atheist essentially conjures his/her own conception of God, makes it supernatural, omniscient, omnibenevolent, etc. from the influence of their, shall I say, eisegesis of what they understand about religion, then proceeds to reject the very thing which they themselves conjured. Seems quite silly, but this is, in fact, the case.

  100. RationalismRules says

    @EL
    Ha! I assumed you had had a failure, and it turns out the failure was mine. LMAOAMFILMAOASEPBNAF*

    *Laughing my ass off at my failure in laughing my ass off at someone else’s perceived, but not actual, failure.

  101. Monocle Smile says

    You see, the atheist essentially conjures his/her own conception of God, makes it supernatural, omniscient, omnibenevolent, etc. from the influence of their, shall I say, eisegesis of what they understand about religion

    No, you fucking fuck. This is libelious garbage. This conception is what theists tell us themselves what their god is like. We are responding honestly to the claims with which we are presented. Stop fucking lying your fucking ass off. This is a fiction you have assembled in your own addled mind.

  102. buddyward says

    @Kafei

    I told Matt this very thing, that if you’re going to define God as something that defies the laws of physics, then you’ve essentially defined God as something that can never be demonstrated by the laws of physics.

    Please be honest. You conveniently excluded Matt’s response where he says he is not defining god but he is responding to people’s definition of god. You were the one who told Matt “If you are defining god as something that defies the laws of physics.”. This is a position that Matt does not or have not held. You were dishonestly trying to make Matt defend a position he never claimed to hold.

    You are the one who is making up god definitions and saying that those are the definitions that atheists have where clearly those definitions is not what atheists have. Stop with the dishonest arguments.

  103. EnlightenmentLiberal says

    To Mods:
    Could we ban Kafei please?

    For the reasons for my request, please see thread for the previous episode,
    https://freethoughtblogs.com/axp/2019/01/06/open-thread-for-episode-23-01-matt-phil/#comment-654975

    In short:

    We’ve gone through everything that Kafei has to over. He has nothing new to offer. Also, he’s just going to shit up the place because of his insistent arguments that we use common terminology (i.e. “gods”, “divine”, etc.) according to some obscure definitions instead of their common definitions. Moreover, it appears to me that he speaks in a way that is purposefully calculated in order to be confusing and obscure, and when I suggested ways to make his arguments more clear to other people, I was repeatedly rebuffed.

    Longer:

    Kafei claims that the true root of all Earth’s human religion is some esoteric experience that can be had via hallucinogens, and the “true meaning” of the words “god”, “divine”, etc., relate to this esoteric understanding of religion, and he says that anyone who uses alternative definitions is strawmanning religion, even though 99.9%+ of people who self identify as religion disagree with him, and consequently he’s doing a No True Scotsman fallacy, in addition to making an extremely argument about word definitions.

    As far as I can tell, Kafei is a dualist, and maybe even an idealist (in the sense of someone who believes that the material world is sustained by the belief of the minds of the people in it, or some such), and he believes something like our current existence as separate minds is somehow not really true, and instead we’re part of some partially-shared universal consciousness, and one can discover the truth of all of these things by taking dangerous amounts of certain hallucinogens (Kafei uses the word “heroic” instead of “dangerous”).

    Furthermore, when I pressed him on these topics, it is quite apparent that Kafei has no falsifiable claims that can be derived from whatever he believes, and Kafei also says that his experience on hallucinogens gives him absolute, infallible confidence in his beliefs (whatever they are), and we should also feel the same way if we only took dangerous amounts of hallucinogens. I tried to explain that I’d rather keep the rational parts of my brain undamaged, and taking dangerous amounts of hallucinogens could possibly damage those parts of my brain, and so I’d rather not.

    Kafei also doesn’t understand the scientific model and how falsifiability is a basic requirement in order to be called “science”. Several of us tried to impress onto Kafei that whatever he’s doing, it’s not science, but Kafei just reports that it’s science because there’s a couple of people who call themselves scientists who are publishing in a journal that may well be a vanity journal, and the rest of us tried to explain those errors, but Kafei refuses to listen.

    Kafei may also be misreporting the results of those papers from those “scientists” in those “journals”. Several others in thread suggested this possibility. I haven’t bothered to read any of cited papers myself, having heard enough from Kafei himself.

  104. Ronald Kyle says

    @Shenanigans #91 & #92

    The Atheist Experience is a show that wants theists to call in and give evidence for the existence of a god. Or, give evidence for the supernatural in general. Now, the ONLY way they would except your evidence is by the scientific method, which is a method of procedure that characterizes natural science. It involves, systematic observation, measurement and testable experimentation. ANY, evidence you give, if it meets this criteria, AUTOMATICALLY becomes NATURAL by definition. So in other words, it is IMPOSSIBLE to prove, to them, the supernatural. This is a CON. A catch 22. I love this show, but call it what it is, ” The Rational Therapy Experience “.

    Woo either exists or not. If it is supernatural and thus beyond our natural world then whether or not woo exists is utterly immaterial since for all intents and purposes it does not exist since we can never know one way or another since it is outside our realm or reality.
     
    However, woo believers make CLAIMS about their woo which are according to them manifestations of their woo IN THIS NATURAL world of which they are denizens…. so it is not the supernatural that they claim that we want them to prove… it is the claims they make about the supernatural that we want them to prove… those claims are by definition within the realm of the natural because otherwise those claimants would not be able to make the claims.
     
    Do you understand… the claimants about the supernatural claim, effects and affects that they attribute to the supernatural. Those effects and affects… which are by definition being experienced by those claimants…. have to be within the realm of the natural…. and thus can be examined and tested and studied using the scientific method so as to be thoroughly vetted and challenged objectively and repeated reliably etc.
     
    If the effects and affects are not within the natural realm then those claimants could not have EXPERIENCED them… unless of course they claim they did so just in their brains, in which case they are either just delusional or fibbers.
     
    So when we apply the scientific method to the claims of the supernatural it is not the supernatural that we will be examining… we would be examining the PHYSICAL effects that the claimants allege they have EXPERIENCED and thus were convinced that experience was brought about by their preferred supernatural flavor in vogue.
     
    Claimants of the experience of the physical effects of something that they cannot attribute to natural effects and thus they then proceed to attribute those effects to supernatural agents could be one or more of these things
    (1) Delusional
    (2) Liars
    (3) Genuine but ignorant
    (4) Genuine but scammed and hoaxed
    (5) Genuine and their experience CAN be explained by science
    (6) Genuine and their experience cannot be explained by science
     
    In ALL cases we can examine and study their claims using the scientific method because that method is the best way to weed out the first 5 cases.
     
    Now in the situation that we encounter the 6th case scientists would be ELATED and start jumping up and down with joy for something new that they can use the scientific method to examine and study and see if they can explain.
     
    So far not a single person has managed to present a cases 6 that has not eventually been attributed to natural physical forces or confluences of physical forces.
     
    But the day someone does present a case 6 that cannot be explained by applying the scientific method to it then we would all be convinced that some other new FORCE FIELD that we yet have not encountered or understood.
     
    Would this FORCE FIELD be sentient agent applying this force field intentionally, would then be yet another avenue of research that needs to be conducted.
     
    I mean this force field could be just a supernatural dog farting and its fart had that force field effect… no???
     
    @Shenaingas #92

    The atheist position is irrational. To be rational, they would HAVE to say, NO god exists

    I hope that after having read the above you can now see why the above statement is utterly wrong.
     
    Normally I would also ask you to define what you actually mean by “god” when you say that atheists should say “NO god exists”… but as you can see, we as humans have not existed except for a glitch in the consideration of space-time, and our collective knowledge is not even a punctuation mark in the text of the space-time.
     
    So we cannot be so arrogant and irrational as to claim we can be sure NO XXXX exists… whatever that XXXX is… there could be an XXXX somewhere or somewhen … there is no way to know with the limited knowledge that is but a glitch in space-time.
     
    However, so far, not a single human has managed to pass case 6 let alone demonstrate that even if there is a case 6 that the situation was anything that even begins to resemble the INSANITIES invented by benighted minds and fabricated by wily charlatans and believed by gullible fools and claimed by wishful muggins.

  105. buddyward says

    @Kafei

    Of course, that’s not the case, and Matt even says in that more current call (the one you watched) that he doesn’t know how to define supernatural. He goes on to say, “It seems to be an assertion that something is not natural.” We’re not defining the “unnatural” here. The prefix is “super-” not “a-” as in atheist (not theist). The prefix Super- means to transcend, to place above, to go beyond, etc.

    Then give us a definition of supernatural that we can all agree to be accurate. If we define natural as existing and caused by nature what would be beyond that and how do we investigate the existence of something that is beyond nature?

  106. Ronald Kyle says

    @Shenaingas #92 “The atheist position is irrational. To be rational, they would HAVE to say, NO god exists”

    Please define what “god” is???

    However, THEISTS… get that… THEISTS …. Deny the existence of the gazillion gods that have so far been claimed by humanity.

    Ask the worshippers of the Sumerian Pimp’s desert delusions… they will tell you that ONLY their celestial slave monger is the real god that has ever existed.

    As an atheist I also include the Sumerian pimp’s ethnic cleansing god amongst the list of gods rejected by THEISTS.

    Get that… if and when you can define what “god” means we can then see if we can conclude whether it exist or not…. but all the definitions that have been offered so far by humanity are most definitely nonexistent … not just by the reckoning of atheists but also by the belief of the theists themselves.

  107. Ronald Kyle says

    @#99 EnlightenmentLiberal

    For the occasional intelligent and thoughtful theist, this should be an absolutely huge problem, an impossible demand, of the atheist skeptic

    It is not …. Please see my post #115
     
    @#104 EnlightenmentLiberal

    He’s totally right though concerning his central critique of post 91

    He is not… Please read my post #115
     
    @#102 Monocle Smile

    Is Shiningone a theist?

    If he is not then he is doing a darned good job of impersonating one.

  108. Ronald Kyle says

    @#109 Kafei

    if you’re going to define God as something that defies the laws of physics, then you’ve essentially defined God as something that can never be demonstrated by the laws of physics.

    Yes… so stop doing that… theists are the ones who define their gods and they are failing left right and center when they define them with any tangible definitions… so they then resort to the esoteric and ethereal so as to evade the failures of their more tangible attempts at a definition.
     

    the spiritual experiences found at the very core of these religions… mystical experience

    hahahaha… in other words DELUSIONS…
     
    “Spitirtual/mystical experiences” ARE NOT experiences resulting from anything other than brain neurons firing and giving the illusion of something… much like when you see stars after you sneeze too hard.
     

    atheists … define God as something supernatural

    WOW… you have just warped the facts so pathetically… atheists do not define gods… they ask theists to define theirs… and invariably you define your gods as supernatural to evade the burden of proof.
     
    You have to resort to hiding your god in the supernatural where you then can evade having to prove it because you would fail abysmally otherwise.
     
    Nonetheless, you still fail because you still need to make this god poke a finger through a porthole of illogic and sophistry into the natural world, otherwise this god would be tantamount to a useless nothing.
     

    to define the divine with the requirement that its description should be something that defies physics or is synonymous with magic, etc.

    Yes that is what theists define their gods as… have you even read the Bible or Quran or the Vedas etc.?
     
    What do you call a god that gets defeated in a wrestling match, but yet cannot be seen, but then it stops the sun and even reverses it, or can cure blindness with spittle mixed with dirt or can drink milk from a spoon through its statue’s trunk etc.
     
    It is not theists you nincompoop who define gods… it is those gods’ worshipers who do.
     

    and ironically it’s the one notion most atheists I meet have as for their very reason for their rejection of theism.

    Yes… when idiots define insane claptrap as their gods we reject that claptrap.
     
    Have you defined your god yet? Why not? Is it because you know that whatever crap you will conjure will fail?
     
    I BET YOU … you are too cowardly to define your version of the god delusion in any terms that are tangible. Define your god cogently or accept your failure.
     

    You see, the atheist essentially conjures his/her own conception of God, makes it supernatural, omniscient, omnibenevolent, etc. from the influence of their, shall I say, eisegesis of what they understand about religion, then proceeds to reject the very thing which they themselves conjured. Seems quite silly, but this is, in fact, the case.

    WOW… your self-projection is pathetic… you are the one who rejects the claptrap of your childhood inculcations and cannot accept the crap that you were indoctrinated into.
     
    But yet you are too much of a dimwit to accept the inevitable conclusion and therefore you have made for yourself AN UNDEFINED replacement which will help you alleviate your COGNITIVE DISSONANCE without having to forego your WISHFUL THINKING.

  109. EnlightenmentLiberal says

    To Ronald Kyle
    You’re using a very specific definition of the word “supernatural”, and this meaning is not shared by most religious persons. Under your proposed meanings of terms, I agree. However, I also noted this already. I already said basically the same thing in my previous post. I encourage you to read more carefully.

    The problem is a problem of bad communication. Matt Dillahunty often communicates in a way that most religious persons will interpret as the catch 22 mentioned above – asking for scientific evidence, but also rejecting up front the logical possibility of scientific evidence for their claims. That problem of miscommunication is the real problem. Matt Dillahunty should choose different words to better communicate his real position and to avoid this misapprehension in religious listeners. Also, this problem is not limited to Matt, but happens frequently in many other atheists, such as Aronra, and Eugenie Scott. This is a real problem, and it should be addressed so that it can be fixed.

  110. Ronald Kyle says

    @#120 EnlightenmentLiberal says

    You’re using a very specific definition of the word “supernatural”, and this meaning is not shared by most religious persons.

    I don’t see what other definitions there are
    (1) Totally off the realm of time-space… never poking any abendages through contortions and mental gymnastics to affect this time-space
    (2) Totally off the realm of time-space… frequently poking abendages through contortions and mental gymnastics to affect this time-space
    (3) Ethereal but pervasive through time-space
     
    What new theistic warping and wriggling of words do they use now to come up with ways to avoid REALITY and thus avoid the burden of proof?
     
    In days of old theists never even bothered with the supernatural… it was totally and utterly natural for their gods to come down and eat boiled lamb in tents and to wrestle with stinky nomads (and lose) and to appear to people as snakes or geese or bulls or monkeys or burning bushes etc. etc.
     
    All this new age “supernatural” flimflam is a result of Cognitive Dissonance alleviation techniques in the face of science debunking every single claim they have ever made about their woo.
     
    So please educate me as to what definitions of the “supernatural” do most theists use now that would not be utterly debunked by the scientific method investigating their claims about its effects and affects on reality???

  111. Monocle Smile says

    @Ronald Kyle

    So please educate me as to what definitions of the “supernatural” do most theists use now that would not be utterly debunked by the scientific method investigating their claims about its effects and affects on reality???

    No, that’s just it…the label doesn’t matter, only whether or not their claims can be falsified. And loads and loads of theist claims have indeed been falsified, some to an embarrassing degree. Theists don’t actually evade the problem. EL is just talking about how to approach the topic, which is basically just sticking to falsification. A theist can claim all day that something has a supernatural cause, but that doesn’t somehow escape falsification just because.

  112. EnlightenmentLiberal says

    To Ronald Kyle
    You are a pisspoor reader. Take that chip off your shoulder, simmer down a moment, and try to read what the other person is saying instead of just skimming for something to attack.

    I am not defending theists in general. I’m a strong atheist – I positively assert with confidence that there are no gods, no magic, no supernatural, no ghosts, ghouls, golins, demons, etc. I’m also a reductionistic materialist – I positively assert that all of (observable) reality can be completely described by appealing to simple uncaring rules that deal only with subatomic particles / fields, and everything else in the world is just a consequence of those simple particular particle / field physics.

    I also think that the word “supernatural” is not a useful word, and one of its most common usages is by theists as some sort of “I don’t have to follow the usual rules of science and skepticism”. I don’t care if you slap the label “supernatural” on something or not. If it is observable, if it has causal implications in our world, then it’s testable, and we can do science on it, and it doesn’t matter if some people want to call it “supernatural” or not.

    However, when some prominent atheist or science promoter says “science cannot work on the supernatural”, they reasonably interpret this as absurd hypocrisy or dogmatic close-minded-ness on the part of the atheist. They interpret it in context as meaning “they say that they want evidence, but they also say that they’ll reject any evidence for a god that I might find, which means that they’re just being close-minded and dogmatic in their atheism”, and that is a reasonble thing to conclude when someone says something as wrongheaded as “science cannot work on the supernatural”.

    I don’t have to give a clear alternative definition of “supernatural” in order to know and claim that this is how many religious people are going to interpret an atheist saying “science cannot work on the supernatural”. As I’ve been saying to Kafei repeatedly – do you want to be an effective communicator or not? Do you want to be understood, or are you going to use words without regard to how people might misunderstand you?

  113. Ronald Kyle says

    @#122 Monocle Smile says

    No, that’s just it…the label doesn’t matter, only whether or not their claims can be falsified. ….

    EXATLY!!! Thanks for understanding. That is what I am trying to say.
     
    Whatever their ruses might be to evade having to pin their versions of woo to reality they cannot escape that eventually they will have to create a portal of illogic and further woo to enable their supernatural woo to become somewhat natural to be able to effect and affect things in this natural reality.
     
    Therefore, no matter the definitions they might conjure, when they, out of necessity, have to finally materialize their woo and start claiming effects of it on this world we can start applying the scientific method to their claims… and they invariably and inevitably fail abysmally.
     
    Disingenuous charlatans can argue that it is a “catch 22” situation to require a scientific method evaluation of their woo… but they are just doing what they do best… using more fallacious casuistry and sophistry to try to pull the wool over lesser informed people’s heads. They deliberately and cunningly equivocate the requirement of evaluating their claims of woo with evaluating their woo itself.
     
    In fact the catch 22 pitfall is the one they have trapped themselves into. They try to avoid boxing their woo into reality but then find that they cannot escape making all sorts of illogic holes in the box of reality so that they can then be able to have their woo keep poking itself into the box so as to be in any way meaningful for their wishful thinking.
     
    It is precisely these illogic holes into reality that they create that can very readily be debunked by the scientific method regardless of how mercurial they have tried to define their woo to be.

  114. speedofsound says

    To Ronald Kyle

    Damn. You are a breath of fresh air here. Thanks.

    To Paxoll
    I did a shitty job of responding to you. Neural correlates of self would be a place to start. I used terms I hate and communicated poorly. But there is a far more interesting topic in the supernatural going on here. Let’s address someday in another thread.

  115. Ronald Kyle says

    @#123 EnlightenmentLiberal says

    You are a pisspoor reader. Take that chip off your shoulder, simmer down a moment, and try to read what the other person is saying instead of just skimming for something to attack.

    Please dismount your high horse and walk across to the building ahead and take the elevator to the penthouse and come join me for a smooth cup of Earl Grey with cream scones… that way we can both “simmer down” together while enjoying the view from up here in my ivory tower instead of from down there on your high horse … what?!
     
    You could have easily instead of saying

    @#120 EnlightenmentLiberal says… You’re using a very specific definition of the word “supernatural”, and this meaning is not shared by most religious persons. Under your proposed meanings of terms, I agree.

    Which I took to mean that my definition was narrow and that my argument in post #115 was not sufficient because it somehow misses some effective theistic claptrap arguments I am not aware of….
     
    You could have explained yourself better instead of saying

    @#120 EnlightenmentLiberal says…However, I also noted this already. I already said basically the same thing in my previous post. I encourage you to read more carefully.

    Which I took as snotty … you could have just explained straight away that you already said this
     

    #123 EnlightenmentLiberal says ..I don’t care if you slap the label “supernatural” on something or not. If it is observable, if it has causal implications in our world, then it’s testable, and we can do science on it, and it doesn’t matter if some people want to call it “supernatural” or not.

    Which is precisely my argument in post #115. I would have then understood that you agree with me instead of what I misunderstood you to say due to your high horse snooty claptrap.
     
    So I am glad that you and I would most likely agree as to this matter and you can now go back down to your high horse and mount it again and look up to the penthouse of my ivory tower, I’ll be waving you good day sir!!!
     
    P.S. I am kidding about the ivory tower stuff and the haughty tone… I was just retaliating in kind to your conceited superciliousness.

  116. Shiningone says

    God is Nothing

    Atheist: An irrational position.

    If we say, we do not believe the evidence given for the existence of a supernatural god, we are assuming the presupposition that the evidence can exist, but we have not yet been given it.

    The only rational evidence that we can accept for the existence of a supernatural god would have to be evaluated under the conditions of natural science. Observation, measurement and testable experimentation.

    Under those conditions, any evidence that would be accepted, is, by definition, natural. Not supernatural. Therefore, to expect natural evidence for the supernatural is irrational.

    The only rational position would be anti-theism.

    Nothing or no thing, can not be proven to exist in nature. We can not have evidence for it. Any evidence given would make it something. Therefore, In the same way nothing, cannot be proved to exist in nature, a supernatural god cannot be proved to exist in nature.

    The concept of god and nothing are the same. Both concepts are described by the same conditions.
    Therefore, god is nothing.

  117. Ronald Kyle says

    @#120 EnlightenmentLiberal says

    The problem is a problem of bad communication….That problem of miscommunication is the real problem. … This is a real problem, and it should be addressed so that it can be fixed.

    Actually it is not a problem of miscommunication at all. It is a problem of deliberate equivocation made by wily charlatan casuists.
     
    Let me explain….
     
    Being a rational skeptic and one who values honest debate, one will state the truthful and logical fact that what is supernatural cannot be scientifically examined since by definition it is outside of nature.
     
    Being a theistic casuist and apologist trying to use sophistry and trickery to win by hook or by crook any debate, one will try all sorts of illogic to lay a heavy dark pall over interlocutors’ heads with all sorts of hucksterism.
     
    So it is not really a problem of communication… it is a problem of rational educated people bringing erudition to a fight where their opponent brought a conjuror’s cloak lined with knives of illogic.
     
    Now, for theists who are just muggins instead of wily charlatans, the argument is not even there. Those honest theists will not even begin to understand the sophistry and shenanigans of arguing over the “supernatural” not coming under the purview of scientific examination, since they have no idea what scientific examination means in the first place nor what the word purview means anyway.
     
    So as you see Shenanigans and his ilk are not here to debate with honesty and they might have genuinely misunderstood the “supernatural is not examinable argument”… no… they are here to pull the wool over people’s eyes with their deliberate casuistry and fallacious legerdemain.
     
    In fact Shenanigans’ “catch 22” argument is just a REHASH of the old trite and hackneyed ruse used previously… the NOMA flimflam.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Non-overlapping_magisteria

  118. Ronald Kyle says

    @Shenanigans “God is Nothing… Atheist: An irrational position….”
     
    Hey liar… your jig is up… give up your hucksterism and skedaddle off … your trite casuistry is nothing but a failed attempt at a furtive rehash of the NOMA flimflam….
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Non-overlapping_magisteria
     
    I suggest you copy the above link and paste it into your browser and read how pathetic your rehashed old ruse is.

  119. speedofsound says

    @Shininggone/Shenanigans

    Under those conditions, any evidence that would be accepted, is, by definition, natural. Not supernatural. Therefore, to expect natural evidence for the supernatural is irrational.

    I don’t think this is quite right. The idea of the supernatural is that it impinges on the natural. That second part is testable.

    Consider brain-in-a-vat thought experiments. The only way the brain will catch on is if there is some break in the symmetry of natural laws that gives the mad scientist away.

    A supernatural event could be a hippo appearing out of thin air in your living room. There is no wind from displacement. He just pops into spacetime and displaces none. If it is a one-off event and you are the only witness then you are fucked I guess. But if it happens everytime the Big Bang runs a new episode we could test it. All sorts of instrumentation would find no cause because that stuff is somehow outside of space-time. Further, there is a trite nature to this event. If it were some subatomic particle appearing out of nowhere then it may well be within the realm of the unknown natural. But a hippo? That’s trite supernatural. Just like ghosts are unimaginative supernatural events.

    This would lead us to speculation that somehow god was hippo like and prefered fully former multi-trillion cell hippos and supernaturally placed them in our space for us to marvel at. That would lead us to the possibility that he cared about us seeing hippos before the Big Bang.

    This would all suggest that god watches tv from somewhere somehow. God somehow understands the tv show with his super-N-mind. God favors hippos. God cares about us having hippos in our living room right around the time his favorite show comes on.

    There’s a lot to work with here. I don’t see the issue in getting evidence.

  120. Ronald Kyle says

    @Shenaingans #127
     
    Had you not said this

    The only rational position would be anti-theism.

    I might have taken you seriously when you said this

    Therefore, god is nothing

    But the underhanded sleight of pen that you pulled there with the “anti-theism” claptrap betrays your blatant intent.
     
    If you were genuine in any way you would have said strong-atheism or gnostic-atheism, but no… you chose to use the very phrase that theistic charlatans of your ilk are wont to labeling atheists with… your jig is up old chump… scurry off, your pernicious nibbling will not succeed here.

  121. Ronald Kyle says

    @#130 speedofsound says

    A supernatural event could be a hippo appearing out of thin air in your living room.

    Hahaha… that reminds me of The Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy bit where a whale and a bowl of petunias materialized above a planet
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YCsfHVM5x_I
     
    I do not recommend watching the movie or TV series… either listen to the Audio book or read it… it is infinitely better and more enjoyable than the video stuff.

  122. rune1im says

    To Nick- I know how you feel but I turned 47 in November and just became an atheist in June of 2018. Glad you’re here.

  123. buddyward says

    @shiningone

    God is Nothing

    Atheist: An irrational position.

    If we say, we do not believe the evidence given for the existence of a supernatural god, we are assuming the presupposition that the evidence can exist, but we have not yet been given it.

    The only rational evidence that we can accept for the existence of a supernatural god would have to be evaluated under the conditions of natural science. Observation, measurement and testable experimentation.

    Under those conditions, any evidence that would be accepted, is, by definition, natural. Not supernatural. Therefore, to expect natural evidence for the supernatural is irrational.

    The only rational position would be anti-theism.

    Nothing or no thing, can not be proven to exist in nature. We can not have evidence for it. Any evidence given would make it something. Therefore, In the same way nothing, cannot be proved to exist in nature, a supernatural god cannot be proved to exist in nature.

    You are strawmanning the atheist position. Atheists do not assert that the evidence for the existence god has to be presented using science. If there is a reliable way to detect and examine the supernatural then we would use that method.

    Atheists are not the ones defining god, theists do. If theists defines god as supernatural then it is their burden to prove that the supernatural as well as god exists. If theists claim a supernatural god exists then they are claiming that they have a way to detect and examine the supernatural in the natural universe. However, it all falls apart when theists are pressed to present this method of detecting and examining the supernatural. Some points to scripture, some points to faith and some like William Lane Craig uses debunked arguments like the Kalam.

    The concept of god and nothing are the same. Both concepts are described by the same conditions.
    Therefore, god is nothing.

    Not according to theists. As intellectually honest skeptical atheists we have to listen to the theist’s arguments because we are stating that there have not been any sufficient and demonstrable evidence for the existence of god which leaves us open to new information. Closing the conversation is no different than having the religious dogma that you are arguing against.

  124. Shiningone says

    @ buddyward
    #134

    “Atheists do not assert that the evidence for the existence god has to be presented using science.”

    I’m sorry but they do. Unless you have some other way of determining reality?

  125. Monocle Smile says

    What’s so outlandish about demanding testable, falsifiable evidence for extraordinary claims?

  126. buddyward says

    @shiningone
    #135

    I’m sorry but they do. Unless you have some other way of determining reality?

    You are now shifting the burden of proof. It is not up to us to find another way of determining reality it is up to the theists to present a reliable method that includes the supernatural.

    I do not think that you have read all that I have written, specifically the part where we (atheists) are asking theists how they are able to detect and examine the supernatural. If they have a way to reliably detect and examine the supernatural then we will use it. Theists are also claiming to being able to detect and examine the supernatural while in the natural universe, we need to know what that is. If it happens in the natural universe then science can be applied.

  127. Shiningone says

    @ Monocle Smile
    #136

    “What’s so outlandish about demanding testable, falsifiable evidence for extraordinary claims?”

    Nothing. It is how we determine reality.

    However, if we ask people to prove the unprovable, then we are, ourselves being irrational.
    I guess what I’m saying here is, we need to change the definition of atheist, to something like, I do not accept your claim, or I do not believe what you are saying is rational, or, you can not prove the supernatural in any way at all. If we say, I do not believe your evidence, we are saying, there IS evidence out there, but you are not giving me it.

  128. Shiningone says

    @ buddyward
    #137

    I am not shifting the burden. I am stating, it is impossible to prove the unprovable. That is my position. It ends there. There is no further we can go. I am telling that person, they can not prove something exists that does not conform to the way I determine reality. They can TRY, but they can NEVER succeed in it.

  129. buddyward says

    @shiningone
    #138

    I do not accept your claim

    Is the position that atheists have.

    The theist proposition is “Some god exists.”. The atheist position on that proposition is “I do not accept your claim that some god exists.”.

  130. Ronald Kyle says

    @#136 Monocle Smile says

    What’s so outlandish about demanding testable, falsifiable evidence for extraordinary claims?

    In the old days they had the power to burn alive anyone who demanded evidence and that way they did not have any worries about their duped fleeced sheep seeing any opposition to their lies.
     
    Now they are impotent to stop the demands for evidence and thus they need to come up with all sorts of shenanigans to delegitimize the ones who demand the evidence as well as the instruments used to debunk their claims and any evidence… that way they can keep the pall of benightedness and lies over the minds of their fleeced sheep.
     
    That is why they attack science incessantly and insidiously with them trying to equate it to faith or to dogma or to irrational despotism etc. etc.
     
    And when they fail to discredit science they claim they are the ones who started it and nourished it in the first place hoping the duped flocks of sheep will not get wise to their utter distortions of history and reality.

  131. buddyward says

    @shiningone
    #139

    I am not shifting the burden. I am stating, it is impossible to prove the unprovable. That is my position. It ends there. There is no further we can go. I am telling that person, they can not prove something exists that does not conform to the way I determine reality. They can TRY, but they can NEVER succeed in it.

    You are asking the person who does not believe that the supernatural exist to present an alternate method of determining reality that includes the supernatural instead of the person that is asserting that the supernatural exist. That is shifting the burden of proof.

    How do you know that the supernatural is impossible to prove? It might be impossible using science but perhaps there are other ways that it can be done. How did you eliminate all other possibilities?

  132. Shiningone says

    @ buddyward
    #140

    Atheists say, they are open to the possibility if it can be proven. That is an irrational position. The anti-theist can also say, “I do not accept your claim” but they know, that claim can never be proven.
    You can be an atheist if you want to, but you must also recognise that it is an irrational position. I understand that many people left theism because they want to live their lives under the guidance of rationality. Atheism is not quite it.

  133. Shiningone says

    @ buddyward
    #142

    “You are asking the person who does not believe that the supernatural exist to present an alternate method of determining reality that includes the supernatural instead of the person that is asserting that the supernatural exist.”

    No, I was just responding to your specific statement.
    If ‘you’ really are someone “who does not believe that the supernatural exists” why, would you ask people to try and prove it to you?

  134. Shiningone says

    buddyward

    “How do you know that the supernatural is impossible to prove? It might be impossible using science but perhaps there are other ways that it can be done. How did you eliminate all other possibilities?”

    Now, who is sounding like a theist ?

  135. Monocle Smile says

    If ‘you’ really are someone “who does not believe that the supernatural exists” why, would you ask people to try and prove it to you?

    Because I’m open to having my mind changed? Do you really think this is a hard or interesting question? Moreover, do you have a point or are you just whining for no reason?

  136. Ronald Kyle says

    @#138 Shenanigans says

    If we say, I do not believe your evidence, we are saying, there IS evidence out there, but you are not giving me it.

    No you nincompoop… your miserable understanding of what “evidence” means is astounding.
     
    If some one accuses you of killing his son and you are innocent and have not done any such thing… and then your lawyer demands to see the evidence that supports the claim… but your accuser fails to show any evidence that passes muster… are courts saying that there is indeed evidence of you killing the son but the father is not giving it to the courts????
     
    I suggest you go learn some logic… you are sorely in need of some rationality.

  137. paxoll says

    @speedofsound
    Neural correlates of self would be the same thing I described,

    in identifying prejudices and rejecting emotional reactions and making decisions on a intellectual level

    The difference is not if you are not yourself, it is not referencing everything you encounter to your self.
     
    I see a cake, I identify and make predictions of that cake based on what I know of cakes, This is the unavoidable action of being oneself. Now, I don’t like cake very much, if I react to the cake by referencing my own preferences I would say “blech, i hope thats not the only dessert available”, I could also look at the cake and say, “I bet someone else would really enjoy that cake”. Both positions are based on the self, you are aware of your own preferences based on prior experience, the difference is in whether the driving force of your thoughts are selfish or not. Which goes back to the point about metaphor, if you call this

    giving up one’s self

    you are stripping the accuracy of reality away in favor of something you feel is easier to understand, which leads to ideas such as

    The self is a program that we develop through growing up and living and nothing more. Just a habit.

    which in turn leads to the slippery slope Kafei fell down and now thinks psychedelic experiments prove a divine cosmic consciousness.
     
    Selfcentered thinking, especially negative ones, is the foundation of most mental illnesses. Layer that with not having a realistic view of the world, and not having the mental tools to change either of them and you can pretty much describe any problem involving the mind. When you describe a more realistic perception and healthier way of thinking as

    i like to call that god.

    you are again using a metaphor that strips all the useful information about reality away and replacing it with something that feels easier to understand. Metaphor is what you use when all you care about is getting the right answer, it works some of the time but is always flawed in ways that will eventually fail when people treat it as reality and not just a useful metaphor.

  138. Shiningone says

    @Monocle Smile
    #146

    “Because I’m open to having my mind changed?”
    If that is the case, then how is someone going to change your mind? Or more importantly, by what method, are you going to use, to determine if that “mind changing evidence” is real?
    You can, only, use the natural scientific method! Which, by definition can not prove the supernatural.

  139. buddyward says

    @shiningone
    #143

    Atheists say, they are open to the possibility if it can be proven. That is an irrational position. The anti-theist can also say, “I do not accept your claim” but they know, that claim can never be proven.
    You can be an atheist if you want to, but you must also recognise that it is an irrational position. I understand that many people left theism because they want to live their lives under the guidance of rationality. Atheism is not quite it.

    So instead of making a rational argument, you are just going to assert that the atheist position is irrational and we either just do not recognize it or we are just denying it. You have already made a determination that your position is correct without room for change. You do not even have any reasonable argument as to why the atheist position is irrational. All you are doing right now is making an assertion. You are being dogmatic and you are no different from those theists that claims they are right because they are right.

  140. Ronald Kyle says

    @#143 Shenanigans says

    You can be an atheist if you want to, but you must also recognise that it is an irrational position. I understand that many people left theism because they want to live their lives under the guidance of rationality. Atheism is not quite it.

    BINGO!!! yet again …. you yet again reveal with your own words how much of a lying dissembling charlatan you are.
     
    Thanks… again… you dear chump are not very clever… earlier you were trying your best to pretend that you are indeed an atheist… I am glad that you have realized that your lies and dissimulations are not working and have now decided to reveal yourself for the charlatan huckster that you really are.
     
    By the way… the ruse of trying to equate atheism to an irrational position so as to then turn around and say it is on the same footing as irrationality of theism… proves that you are an imbecilic theist… but more importantly, it also proves that you are an abject lying theistic charlatan apologist to boot.

  141. Shiningone says

    @ buddyward
    #150

    I have already, made, the rational argument, you just don’t understand it. You can not prove the unprovable. Asking someone to do it, is irrational. The supernatural can not be proven by natural means, and we have no other way of determining reality.

  142. buddyward says

    @shiningone
    #144

    No, I was just responding to your specific statement.
    If ‘you’ really are someone “who does not believe that the supernatural exists” why, would you ask people to try and prove it to you?

    Because my belief can change based on new information. Everyone has the potential to believe false things. I would like to believe in true things, if I find that I believe in false things then I would change my belief. I would not change my belief just because someone says so, I would require convincing demonstrable evidence.

    To stay firm on your belief and not allow arguments against it is what theists do.

    #145

    Now, who is sounding like a theist ?

    No, I am sounding like a rational skeptic that is open to having his mind changed. Just because I am honest enough to admit that I do not know everything and am willing to give others a chance to possibly present evidence of their claim does not make me a theist. You on the other hand behave as if you are, since you are unwilling to listen to others simply because you think that your position is true and nothing else will change it.

  143. Ronald Kyle says

    @#152 Sheningans says

    You can not prove the unprovable. Asking someone to do it, is irrational.

    You nincompoop, no one is asking anyone to prove the unprovable… you are strawmanning again you pathetic apologist.
     
    You keep repeating your fallacies over and over hoping that they might trick someone… but that proves that you are a pathetic imbecilic casuist who does not know to quit when exposed over and over again for the lying huckstering charlatan that you are.
     
    Even the most abject snake-oil-peddler runs out of town when his snake oil is exposed… you are too much of a shameless clueless dunce to even realise that you are doing nothing but digging yourself in deeper and deeper with more and more pathetic transparent lies…. do yourself a favor and stop revealing how much of heinous buffoon you are.

  144. buddyward says

    @shiningone
    #152

    I have already, made, the rational argument, you just don’t understand it. You can not prove the unprovable. Asking someone to do it, is irrational. The supernatural can not be proven by natural means, and we have no other way of determining reality.

    No, you have made an assertion that the supernatural is impossible to prove using natural means. You have not demonstrated how you have eliminated every other possibilities. You are making an assertion and not a rational argument.

  145. Monocle Smile says

    You can, only, use the natural scientific method! Which, by definition can not prove the supernatural

    Bullshit. I don’t use these useless labels.
    Something either affects our reality or it doesn’t. If it does, then there should be testable, falsifiable evidence. If it does not, then there is no reason to believe that the something is real. This isn’t hard.
    This is just a typical case of the theist blaming the atheist for their own shortcomings.

  146. speedofsound says

    If the supernatural is undetectable by any means then I guess we can just say it doesn’t exist.

  147. Shiningone says

    buddyward

    “you have made an assertion that the supernatural is impossible to prove using natural means. You have not demonstrated how you have eliminated every other possibilities.”

    ffs, the supernatural is impossible to prove using natural means, because what EVER you TEST is NATURAL by definition.

    “You have not demonstrated how you have eliminated every other possibilities.” FFS you sound like a THEIST!

    I done with you.

  148. buddyward says

    @shiningone
    #158

    ffs, the supernatural is impossible to prove using natural means, because what EVER you TEST is NATURAL by definition.

    Even if I grant you that the supernatural is impossible to prove using natural means you have not demonstrated that it is impossible to prove outside of natural means therefore the proposition that the supernatural is unprovable is not demonstrated. To state that we can only prove things through natural means is a black swan fallacy. At this point in time we only know how to prove the existence of things through natural means we have no idea whether or not there will be other ways to prove existence without the use of natural means. Therefore, I am leaving room for the possibility that someone may be able to demonstrate that. Does that mean that I believe that the supernatural exist? No, it does not. It means that I am not dogmatic.

    You also keep ignoring the theist claims of detecting and examining the supernatural while they are in the natural world. If they are able to do this then that means that the effects of the supernatural can be investigated using natural means. I would like to know how they did this if this is indeed true. However, I will never find out if I were to follow your lead and shut the door on them with a bold face claim that it is impossible.

    FFS you sound like a THEIST!

    I done with you.

    I guess to you, anyone who is truly open minded is a theist and anyone who holds on to an unchanging belief is not. It is probably a good idea that you no longer engage with me as it seems like I continue to expose the fallacies in you arguments as well as your inability to understand skepticism and rationality for that matter.

  149. Ronald Kyle says

    Shiningone says January 22, 2019 at 3:50 pm Episode 23.03 post #140

    … I am an theist…

    Compare the above claim to the below statement.
     
    Shiningone says January 31, 2019 at 1:04 pm Episode 23.04 post #143

    You can be an atheist if you want to, but you must also recognise that it is an irrational position. I understand that many people left theism because they want to live their lives under the guidance of rationality. Atheism is not quite it.

     
    Hey charlatan… your jig is up… you are a lying huckstering pretender.

    ⬛ 1 Corinthians 9:20-23 To the Jews I became like a Jew, to win the Jews. To those under the law I became like one under the law (though I myself am not under the law), so as to win those under the law. To those not having the law I became like one not having the law (though I am not free from God’s law but am under Christ’s law), so as to win those not having the law. To the weak I became weak, to win the weak. I have become all things to all people so that by all possible means I might save some. I do all this for the sake of the gospel, that I may share in its blessings

  150. buddyward says

    @speedofsound
    #159

    If the supernatural is undetectable by any means then I guess we can just say it doesn’t exist.

    If by any means is defined as every possible means both currently existing and yet to be discovered, then I would agree. If it is defined as methods we only currently know now then I disagree.

  151. EnlightenmentLiberal says

    To Ronald Kyle

    #123 EnlightenmentLiberal says ..I don’t care if you slap the label “supernatural” on something or not. If it is observable, if it has causal implications in our world, then it’s testable, and we can do science on it, and it doesn’t matter if some people want to call it “supernatural” or not.

    Which is precisely my argument in post #115. I would have then understood that you agree with me […]

    Dipshit.

    Quoting me:
    74: “Natural vs supernatural is a sideshow shitshow. I don’t care what it is, I can and will use science on it. The scientific method will work, and that does not change based on whether you slap the label “supernatural” onto it or not.

    99: “However, for atheist skeptics with this rhetorical position, if you actually brought solid evidence of a god, or of a person who could locate someone’s car keys via a magic spell ala Locate Object
    https://www.d20pfsrd.com/magic/all-spells/l/locate-object/
    then they’re not going to dismiss your evidence because someone may apply the label “supernatural” to gods and wizards.

    Hell, in the exact post that you’re responding to, I said this:
    Under your proposed meanings of terms, I agree.
    I don’t know how to be any more clear that I agree with you.

    What was the fuller quote?
    Under your proposed meanings of terms, I agree. However, I also noted this already. I already said basically the same thing in my previous post. I encourage you to read more carefully.
    I again encourage you to read more carefully.

    @Ronald Kyle in 128
    God, you’re as bad as Kafei. You just get stuck in a loop where you start preaching and stop listening, just like Kafei.

    We sometimes ban persistent theists who only preach and who don’t properly respond to counter-arguments. The mods would probably do the same thing for you too. Your “job” here is not to preach for atheism by citing Bible verses, or calling the (probable) theist names. Please try to address their actual arguments, and please try to maintain some decorum when the theist is doing the same.

    Remember that you’re addressing not just this one person, but you’re also addressing everyone else who will read this in the future. That’s why you should give more thought to rebutting the argument – it’s for the benefit of everyone else who will read this in the future.

    PS:
    That NOMA flim-flam? Very few theists in my experience endorse NOMA. I have no idea why you would cite NOMA as a theist thing, when it’s clearly an atheist thing, a thing of many atheists (but not all).

    NOMA is promulgated by atheists like Eugenie Scott who was the former leader of the National Center for Science Education, which has been at the forefront of suing public schools to keep creationism and other sorts of religion out of the public classroom.

    It’s also promulgated by other organizations, such as the American National Academy Of The Sciences.
    https://www.asa3.org/ASA/education/origins/mn-cr.htm
    (Their endorsement of “methodological naturalism” is almost the same thing as NOMA. It’s promulgated for much the same reasons: As a compromise position with theists so that they can do their science without pissing off religious persons so that they can keep their funding.)

    Methodological naturalism as commonly endorsed is practically just another name for NOMA, and it’s the same wrong-headed bullshit that leads to the problem of the theist misunderstanding of the atheist position as “I will only believe in god when I’m shown scientific evidence for god, but that’s impossible because science doesn’t work on god”. This is a real and huge problem, and you’re contributing to it now. Every time that you saw without context “science cannot work on the supernatural”, you’re spreading this bullshit. Knock it off. Either always include a disclaimer, or just don’t say it at all. That is, assuming you actually care about effective communication instead of being misunderstood and spreading false information (i.e. NOMA).

  152. EnlightenmentLiberal says

    PPS:
    Whoops. I provided the wrong link for the National Academy of the Sciences. I know it exists, but I googled the wrong link. Sorry.

  153. EnlightenmentLiberal says

    Here’s a citation in a citation:
    https://sites.google.com/site/maartenboudry/teksten-1/methodological-naturalism

    The position of IMN is also endorsed by the National Academy of Sciences in their official booklet Teaching about Evolution and the Nature of Science:

    Because science is limited to explaining the natural world by means of natural processes, it cannot use supernatural causation in its explanations. Similarly, science is precluded from making statements about supernatural forces because these are outside its provenance. (National Academy of Sciences 1998, 124)

  154. says

    @Ronald Kyle

    Yes… so stop doing that… theists are the ones who define their gods and they are failing left right and center when they define them with any tangible definitions… so they then resort to the esoteric and ethereal so as to evade the failures of their more tangible attempts at a definition.

    I’ve heard atheists define it, too. Even Matt Dillahunty has spoken about this notion of God. I don’t know what type of theists you’ve talking to, but I wouldn’t generate a definition of God just because you spoke to a few naïve theists.

    the spiritual experiences found at the very core of these religions… mystical experience

    hahahaha… in other words DELUSIONS…

    No, I’m more accurately speaking of mystical states of consciousness which have been well established in the scientific literature, and have nothing to do with delusions.

    “Spitirtual/mystical experiences” ARE NOT experiences resulting from anything other than brain neurons firing and giving the illusion of something… much like when you see stars after you sneeze too hard.

    I definitely wouldn’t compare a mystical experience to the phenomenon of phosphenes.

    WOW… you have just warped the facts so pathetically… atheists do not define gods… they ask theists to define theirs… and invariably you define your gods as supernatural to evade the burden of proof.

    I don’t do any such thing. No sophisticated theologian I know of does any such thing. I adhere to the same descriptions of the divine that Albert Einstein or Spinoza used, and these men didn’t resort to such tactics you’re describing here.

    You have to resort to hiding your god in the supernatural where you then can evade having to prove it because you would fail abysmally otherwise.

    I absolutely would disagree. I’ll offer my own take on the next, I suppose.

    Nonetheless, you still fail because you still need to make this god poke a finger through a porthole of illogic and sophistry into the natural world, otherwise this god would be tantamount to a useless nothing.

    So, you think of God as something that has to perform a magic trick for you to believe it?

    to define the divine with the requirement that its description should be something that defies physics or is synonymous with magic, etc.

    Yes that is what theists define their gods as… have you even read the Bible or Quran or the Vedas etc.?

    Yes, I actually read all of these. I study comparative religion as a hobby. I still disagree that this is how theists define these things. Not any of the prominent theists, anyway, not the patristic theologians, not the Cappadocian Fathers, the original Church Fathers, not the Hesychast ascetics, etc., etc., etc.

    What do you call a god that gets defeated in a wrestling match, but yet cannot be seen, but then it stops the sun and even reverses it, or can cure blindness with spittle mixed with dirt or can drink milk from a spoon through its statue’s trunk etc.

    If God was defeated, we wouldn’t be here talking about God. For a mystic whom has had the unitive vision of the divine, there is nothing that is not God, all is but a part and parcel of the Totality which for the mystic is the divine, and so here we are… “God arguing with God about God.”

    It is not theists you nincompoop who define gods… it is those gods’ worshipers who do.

    It’s not theists who define God but God’s worshipers? Aren’t theists and God’s worshipers the same thing? Unless you meant to type “it’s not atheists who define Gods.” Perhaps that’s what you meant.

    Yes… when idiots define insane claptrap as their gods we reject that claptrap.

    I don’t see it that way. Atheists, in my experience, seem to go after the weakest arguments, they constantly straw man theists by attacking a God which the atheist has conjured. He/she may have been influenced by the theist to think of God in such a way, but it is ultimately the atheist who accepts such definitions which they then express as “invisible man in the sky,” “Sky Daddy,” “Sky Genie,” “Celestial Wizard,” etc. all of which are notions that are parodied by the Flying Spaghetti Monster or the invisible pink unicorn or even compared to such trivial things as in Russell’s teapot. All these concepts are what Einstein rightly referred to as the “childish analogy of religion.”

    Have you defined your god yet? Why not? Is it because you know that whatever crap you will conjure will fail?

    Yes, I have actually. I have left a very elaborate post on the “Open thread for episode 23.01: Matt & Phil” thread at #173 doing precisely this. If you’re interested, I suggest reading the post.

    I BET YOU … you are too cowardly to define your version of the god delusion in any terms that are tangible. Define your god cogently or accept your failure.

    I’ve done this. Please, refer to the reference.

    You see, the atheist essentially conjures his/her own conception of God, makes it supernatural, omniscient, omnibenevolent, etc. from the influence of their, shall I say, eisegesis of what they understand about religion, then proceeds to reject the very thing which they themselves conjured. Seems quite silly, but this is, in fact, the case.

    WOW… your self-projection is pathetic… you are the one who rejects the claptrap of your childhood inculcations and cannot accept the crap that you were indoctrinated into.

    I wasn’t ever indoctrinated into religion. In fact, I started agnostic/atheist.

    But yet you are too much of a dimwit to accept the inevitable conclusion and therefore you have made for yourself AN UNDEFINED replacement which will help you alleviate your COGNITIVE DISSONANCE without having to forego your WISHFUL THINKING.

    I experience no cognitive dissonance whatsoever, neither am I a wishful thinker, but if this is how you engage with people, it’s probably a safe bet you aren’t married.

  155. says

    @EnlightenmentLiberal

    Kafei may also be misreporting the results of those papers from those “scientists” in those “journals”. Several others in thread suggested this possibility. I haven’t bothered to read any of cited papers myself, having heard enough from Kafei himself.

    Well, perhaps if you had read ’em for yourself, you’d realize I am, indeed, not misrepresenting the science that’s been done. I’ve been following it quite diligently for about a decade now.

    @buddyward

    Then give us a definition of supernatural that we can all agree to be accurate. If we define natural as existing and caused by nature what would be beyond that and how do we investigate the existence of something that is beyond nature?

    I have offered you one, but you deny it. My entire point at post #109 is that if we don’t come to terms with what we mean by the “supernatural,” then this atheist/theist debate (if it even exists) is merely a semantic argument. As long as we cannot come to grip on a consensus on how these terms should be defined, we’ll remain quibbling over semantics. One definition that might be useful is instead of thinking of the supernatural as something which defies physics, there’s another popular definition that means not something which necessarily defies physics, but rather something that has yet to be explained by science. Consciousness itself is something that hasn’t been explained away by science, it is still quite a mystery to neuroscience, and the so-called “complete” mystical experience even more so, since it is a phenomenon in consciousness.

    There’s a very prominent writer on the Perennial philosophy which used the term “supernatural” in a very different context than it’s ordinarily conceived in these type of discussions, and this is an excerpt of his that is used in many other books outside the original work.

    It has been said more than once that total Truth is
    inscribed in an eternal script in the very substance of our spirit; what the different
    Revelations do is to “crystallize” and “actualize”, in different degrees according to the
    case, a nucleus of certitudes that not only abides forever in the divine Omniscience, but
    also sleeps by refraction in the “naturally supernatural” kernel of the individual, as well
    as in that of each ethnic or historical collectivity or the human species as a whole.

    This is precisely aligned with our modern science which investigates these mystical experiences. For instance, one thing Schuon emphasizes is that “Another point that moderns do not grasp is that there is no reason for having to seek the cause of a phenomenon on the same plane it is produced, and that on the contrary one has to consider the possibility of a non-material cause, above all when it is a question of a phenomenon whose beginning is unknown a priori, and unknowable materially, as is the origin of living beings.” So, according to Schuon, the Perennial wisdom is a recognition of an ultimate divine truth that is the essence of all the major religions, it is not something you seek with your senses. You don’t seek the origin within the same plane it is produced, you must transcend your senses, and this is precisely what goes on in a “complete” mystical experience. There is the unmistakable perception of having transcended space and time. That is the “naturally supernatural” kernel that is possible within the individual, and that is precisely what our modern science is waking up towards.

    It is my humble opinion that along the way as humanity lost touch with this transcendent experience of which inspired the very scriptures of all the major religions, and then misinterpreted the very attributes which were intrinsic to the mystical experience, such as this sense of transcending space and time, and then anthropomorphized and projected it onto a God that is a “supernatural deity” outside of space and outside of time instead of recognizing that this “outside of space and time” was actually a reference to a potential within the individual. And all the major religions have emphasized this, it is called Theoria (direct perception of God) in Christianity and was the main principle of Symeon the New Theologian whose principle teaching was that humans could and should have a direct experience of God (Theoria). The patristic theologians considered this experience vital for one’s mental and spiritual health. It is also emphasized in the Nirvana Sutra, the Buddhists believed that nirvana or what they call buddha-nature is a potential for all sentient beings, the Jains also recognized it as Kevala jñāna which they believed was intrinsic to all individuals, likewise, for the Hindus, atman is present in all, it’s simply for most people unrealized. So, I really believe when the science has this all sorted out, we’re going to find that the term “supernatural” never referred to anything that literally defied the laws of physics. It was always something that was part of our natural universe, but nevertheless refers to this perception that is found at the height of a “complete” mystical experience wherein one has the unmistakable perception of that which is beyond how nature is ordinarily perceived. To quote Schuon once more…

    One of the most pernicious abuses of language is to call erudite physicists “wise”; their intelligence—notwithstanding
    their genius—if they have any—is usually very ordinary
    and ignores all that transcends the physical world, in other
    words, everything that constitutes wisdom. Never has there
    been more talk of “intelligence” and “genius” than in our
    epoch of intellectual night, and never has it been more difficult to
    agree on the meaning of these words; what is certain
    is that men have probably never been so cunning and ingenious
    as in our day. There is plenty of “intelligence” to
    spare, but truth is something altogether different.

    Well, you asked, buddyward, and that’s basically my take, and if you examine it closely, you’ll find it is definitely compatible with the evidence produced by our modern science relative to these mystical states of consciousness.

    @EnlightenmentLiberal

    I don’t have to give a clear alternative definition of “supernatural” in order to know and claim that this is how many religious people are going to interpret an atheist saying “science cannot work on the supernatural”. As I’ve been saying to Kafei repeatedly – do you want to be an effective communicator or not? Do you want to be understood, or are you going to use words without regard to how people might misunderstand you?

    You keep telling others to be an “effective communicator,” when perhaps you should work on your own skills. I agree that we have to truly define what is meant by “supernatural” if we’re ever going to get anywhere with this discussion. I’ve offered my take, and I relate it to the science being done, and so I believe it’s a good place to start, but it’s interesting to hear others out. The goal in a discussion like this is to choke out as much ambiguity as possible, and I’m all for that.

    @paxoll

    which in turn leads to the slippery slope Kafei fell down and now thinks psychedelic experiments prove a divine cosmic consciousness.

    That’s what these professionals are claiming, they don’t necessarily call it a “divine cosmic consciousness,” but they do recognize that it has been emphasized in all of the major religions, and it certainly seems to be a universal phenomenon in consciousness that is innate potential in our species, and that this phenomenon in consciousness has been occurring for millennia. This finding arising out of the modern science is absolutely compatible with the view on the major religions historically known as the Perennial wisdom.

    @Ronald Kyle If you’re having trouble finding the thread to that particular stream, here’s the direct link. The post is #173.

  156. buddyward says

    @Kafei

    I have offered you one, but you deny it. My entire point at post #109 is that if we don’t come to terms with what we mean by the “supernatural,” then this atheist/theist debate (if it even exists) is merely a semantic argument. As long as we cannot come to grip on a consensus on how these terms should be defined, we’ll remain quibbling over semantics. One definition that might be useful is instead of thinking of the supernatural as something which defies physics, there’s another popular definition that means not something which necessarily defies physics, but rather something that has yet to be explained by science. Consciousness itself is something that hasn’t been explained away by science, it is still quite a mystery to neuroscience, and the so-called “complete” mystical experience even more so, since it is a phenomenon in consciousness.

    There’s a very prominent writer on the Perennial philosophy which used the term “supernatural” in a very different context than it’s ordinarily conceived in these type of discussions, and this is an excerpt of his that is used in many other books outside the original work.

    What you offered me is the etymology of the word supernatural which boiled down to “beyond natural”. I told you that I do not know what that means. It is a vague definition that can be interpreted to mean not natural or beyond the universe. I would agree that without an agreed upon definition of the supernatural we will only be talking past each other so please stop using it. If we cannot agree with the definition of supernatural then saying that philosophy uses that term in a very different context is nonsense as there are no agreed upon definition.

    This is precisely aligned with our modern science which investigates these mystical experiences.

    No it is not. That statement used the word supernatural, it did not define it.

    For instance, one thing Schuon emphasizes is that “Another point that moderns do not grasp is that there is no reason for having to seek the cause of a phenomenon on the same plane it is produced, and that on the contrary one has to consider the possibility of a non-material cause, above all when it is a question of a phenomenon whose beginning is unknown a priori, and unknowable materially, as is the origin of living beings.” So, according to Schuon, the Perennial wisdom is a recognition of an ultimate divine truth that is the essence of all the major religions, it is not something you seek with your senses. You don’t seek the origin within the same plane it is produced, you must transcend your senses, and this is precisely what goes on in a “complete” mystical experience. There is the unmistakable perception of having transcended space and time. That is the “naturally supernatural” kernel that is possible within the individual, and that is precisely what our modern science is waking up towards.

    It is my humble opinion that along the way as humanity lost touch with this transcendent experience of which inspired the very scriptures of all the major religions, and then misinterpreted the very attributes which were intrinsic to the mystical experience, such as this sense of transcending space and time, and then anthropomorphized and projected it onto a God that is a “supernatural deity” outside of space and outside of time instead of recognizing that this “outside of space and time” was actually a reference to a potential within the individual. And all the major religions have emphasized this, it is called Theoria (direct perception of God) in Christianity and was the main principle of Symeon the New Theologian whose principle teaching was that humans could and should have a direct experience of God (Theoria). The patristic theologians considered this experience vital for one’s mental and spiritual health. It is also emphasized in the Nirvana Sutra, the Buddhists believed that nirvana or what they call buddha-nature is a potential for all sentient beings, the Jains also recognized it as Kevala jñāna which they believed was intrinsic to all individuals, likewise, for the Hindus, atman is present in all, it’s simply for most people unrealized. So, I really believe when the science has this all sorted out, we’re going to find that the term “supernatural” never referred to anything that literally defied the laws of physics. It was always something that was part of our natural universe, but nevertheless refers to this perception that is found at the height of a “complete” mystical experience wherein one has the unmistakable perception of that which is beyond how nature is ordinarily perceived. To quote Schuon once more…

    Well, you asked, buddyward, and that’s basically my take, and if you examine it closely, you’ll find it is definitely compatible with the evidence produced by our modern science relative to these mystical states of consciousness.

    This is just one giant argument from authority fallacy which did not in anyway define supernatural. This is also just preaching about Perennial Philosophy which is not the topic of this discussion which is also known as a red herring fallacy.

    You continue to be dishonest with your arguments and as I have said before you can just go ahead and fade into irrelevance.

  157. Ronald Kyle says

    @BenightedIlleberal says “Dipshit
     
    Ok… I can now see that trying to mount your high jackass you have fallen and conked your noggin way too many times you vapid dimwit. You are a worthless tiresome wretch who doesn’t know what civility means.
     

    This is a real and huge problem, and you’re contributing to it now

    No you ignorant pissant… I mention it because it is a RUSE promulgated by religious people and by people trying to appease religious benefactors and their religion dominated cultures …
     
    I also mentioned it because it is an old ruse that was debunked by numerous atheists and scientists.
     

    … science and religion are incompatible in the same sense that the serious pursuit of knowledge about reality is incompatible with bullshit. —P.Z. Myers

     
    @BenightedIlleberal says

    Very few theists in my experience endorse NOMA. I have no idea why you would cite NOMA as a theist thing,

    Oh well, your experience must be the authority on all things then… if you were not an ignoramus you would have known that major religious organization utilize the ruse…
     
    From here https://rationalwiki.org/wiki/Non-Overlapping_Magisteria

    In practice, Gould’s NOMA is sometimes used as an excuse to try to make religious doctrines totally immune from examination. Religious individuals often feel that statements concerning empirical reality – such as the theory of evolution – that conflict with literal readings of religious work are overstepping the “bounds” proposed by NOMA. This is a little strange, because according to the doctrine, religion should never have made statements about reality that science could look at in the first place. Still, this often leads to NOMA being more of a “one-way street” in the sense that science is not allowed to examine miracles or prayer, but religion is still allowed to make claims about the material universe that would otherwise fall under the purview of science.
    Where science has looked at the specific claims made and adhered to by Biblical literalists, such as the views regarding the origin of life, cosmology and so on, it has easily disproved the versions seen in the Bible. When such research has been done, NOMA-like views have been used to justify ignoring evidence that doesn't fit the religious worldview - this is the basic stance taken by Answers in Genesis and Creation Ministries International when dismissing hard evidence.…. The system itself has met with some resistance and harsh criticisms from figures such as Richard Dawkins (who suggests that Gould was straining to be apologetic when he proposed it), PZ Myers, Jerry Coyne and numerous other from the new atheist movement. These critics propose that questions such as the existence of God can be tested just like any other material hypothesis and that, in principle, even things that are "outside our universe" are still within the grasp of human understanding and the scientific method.. This is because most proposed gods’ alleged effects on the material world are, of course, material, and can be studied much in the same way that all science really just detects real-world cause and effect relationships. In this sense, critics reject the “non-overlapping” aspect of the two magisteria and conclude that if the two genuinely didn't overlap, supernatural entities would have no effect on the real world and thus their existence, or not, is a moot point. Further archaeologists and historians are able to study the religious texts of Christianity and other religions and give findings about how reliable or unreliable these texts are….

  158. Ronald Kyle says

    @BenightedIlleberal “The mods would probably do the same thing for you too”…

    Señor Grand Inquisitor…your despotic screeches of excommunication for anyone who proves your ignorance are just an indication of your benighted closeminded arrogance and smallness of personality… you are a worthless knave.

  159. t90bb says

    I see Jimmy (kafei) is back…..he ran away from the other thread after I introduced the highest of all high of the mystical experience..the
    FAACMEE/////…

    thats….the Fuckin Awesome Absolute Complete Mystical Erectile Experience….

    he has not had one,,,yet. But does he want one?? After which he will realize that his CMEs are but a small link in the chain of the grandier trilateral psychic mechanism that threads all actual and ytue perennial philosophy….it is the alpha and the schmegma…of all experiences…..It is the highest of all known. He mocks what he has not experienced.

  160. t90bb says

    172…..So if there is a supreme deity that gives a fuck about humans…….it has left his existence an unknowable proposition up to speculation and guess???

    The fact that those that claim the supernatural exists do not seem to have a mechanism to demonstrate such…..IS NOT MY PROBLEM. Its their problem if they have any interest in convincing me/and or themselves!

    How laughable that a God that cares about us and has the ABILITY to make HIS EXISTENCE and Nature precisely known, prefers the game of hide and go seek. How pathetic is that?.

    I conclude it either:

    1, does not exist
    2. is not worth knowing or searching for

    take your pick.

    I much prefer exploring reality with all of you to the best or limits of our abilities!

  161. says

    @buddyward

    What you offered me is the etymology of the word supernatural which boiled down to “beyond natural”. I told you that I do not know what that means. It is a vague definition that can be interpreted to mean not natural or beyond the universe. I would agree that without an agreed upon definition of the supernatural we will only be talking past each other so please stop using it. If we cannot agree with the definition of supernatural then saying that philosophy uses that term in a very different context is nonsense as there are no agreed upon definition.

    The etymology is important to understanding any religious vocabulary, especially within the originally intended context. The issue with ‘supernatural’ is that it’s become so infused with other phenomena, especially those to be thought of as pure nonsense by Einstein such as the personal God and its interaction with the natural world as to offer such examples which are akin to magic. We even have a TV show entitled “Supernatural” in which the supernatural is depicted as in having powers, time traveling, etc. I’ve even read an article which described X-Men as “mutants with supernatural abilities.”

    This is precisely aligned with our modern science which investigates these mystical experiences.

    No it is not. That statement used the word supernatural, it did not define it.

    Yes, it used it within a particular context which is aligned with our modern science. That was my point. While, sure, we could say it didn’t definitively define it to everyone’s agreement, nevertheless the emphasis was rather that the term was used in a context in which its meaning doesn’t have to infer something which defies the very laws of nature. I’ve also addressed this at #109. This very point is also beautifully articulated in the discussion between Michael Pollan and Dr. Robin Carhart-Harris.

    Well, you asked, buddyward, and that’s basically my take, and if you examine it closely, you’ll find it is definitely compatible with the evidence produced by our modern science relative to these mystical states of consciousness.

    This is just one giant argument from authority fallacy which did not in anyway define supernatural. This is also just preaching about Perennial Philosophy which is not the topic of this discussion which is also known as a red herring fallacy.

    Well, recall, you did ask me. You said, “Then give us a definition of supernatural that we can all agree to be accurate. If we define natural as existing and caused by nature what would be beyond that and how do we investigate the existence of something that is beyond nature?” This definition I’ve offered is one that makes perfect sense, and could be agreed upon. I wasn’t attempting to preach or engage in any sort of red herring. The Perennial philosophy is definitely consistent with the evidence produced by the science relative to the research involving the investigation of these mystical states of consciousness. I don’t believe that to be controversial at all. Perhaps you do.

    You continue to be dishonest with your arguments and as I have said before you can just go ahead and fade into irrelevance.

    I’ve not been dishonest in the slightest. If anything, the science is becoming a more and more relevant topic to these discussions. That’s precisely why these related topics are even becoming more frequent on The Atheist Experience as per Nathan’s call this episode. And until The Atheist Experience properly addresses this science, they will continue to be haunted by e-mails about DMT and calls like Nathan’s. This is scientific research and as it continues to build, it will continue to shed more light on these type of experiences for which religions has alluded to for millennia.

  162. EnlightenmentLiberal says

    Oh well, your experience must be the authority on all things then… if you were not an ignoramus you would have known that major religious organization utilize the ruse…

    Again, so do most science organizations and many atheist organizations, including the National Academy Of Sciences, and also the anti-creationist organization National Center for Science Education which has been at the legal forefront of fighting teaching creationism in schools.

    If you think that NOMA is only promoted by religious persons, and is only rarely promoted by atheists and secular persons, then you are wrong. NOMA is promoted by many atheist and secular persons, which includes anyone who says the wrong-headed nonsense “science cannot investigate the supernatural” without context.

  163. Monocle Smile says

    This Schuon fuck can blather on about “non material causes” until the cows come home, but no such thing has ever been demonstrated to exist.

    For those new to this discussion, Kafei made a proxy claim that native shamans have been able to solve murders by having “mystical experiences,” and when pushed on this, he claimed the whole topic is entirely irrelevant. This should give away his entire spiel.

  164. Ronald Kyle says

    @BenightedIlleberal says

    If you think that NOMA is only promoted by religious persons

    Oh well Señor Torquemada I guess strawmanning is yet another of your ignorant traits…
     

    anyone who says the wrong-headed nonsense

    Ah well then those blasphemers must be drawn and quartered Señor Torquemada and any documents that mention NOMA must be gathered and burned on a faggot…. including any posts that I impudently made here… right?
     
    I must go confess my sins for having dared to blapsheme by mentioning the NOMA claptrap. I hope you will have it in your wretched heart to absolve me of my sins you pathetic dimwitted despot.

  165. Ian Butler says

    Ronald Kyle, please ask kafei if he could spare one of his magic chill pills, you could definitely use one.

  166. says

    @Monocle Smile

    This Schuon fuck can blather on about “non material causes” until the cows come home, but no such thing has ever been demonstrated to exist.

    In the view of the Perennial philosophy, this is precisely what is encountered at the height of the “complete” mystical experience, it is the source which is often expressed as timeless, immaterial, unchanging, etc. The Christians called it The Tabor light or “uncreated light” that is seen in the Beatific vision or Theoria (vision of God), but make no mistake, according to Perennialists, the Tabor light is absolutely synonymous with various other metaphors in all of the major religions that point to this same unitive mystical state of consciousness, it is described as Brahman in Hinduism, “The One” of Plotinus, the Tawhid or Fana in Islam, sekhel mufla in Judaism, etc., and its demonstration is the “complete” mystical experience (CME). In other words, these are all concepts born from the mystics engagement with the CME.

    For those new to this discussion, Kafei made a proxy claim that native shamans have been able to solve murders by having “mystical experiences,” and when pushed on this, he claimed the whole topic is entirely irrelevant. This should give away his entire spiel.

    That wasn’t a proxy claim of mine, that’s something I’ve read in Mircea Eliade’s study of shamanism as well as in the writings of Terence McKenna who also studied shamanism. And it is irrelevant to the science I’ve referenced relative to mystical states of consciousness. If it were the relevant claim, you’d think it’d be the focus of science, but it’s obviously not. And I don’t think what’s going on is necessarily that the vision is giving the insight to the shaman of what’s happening in the tribe. I’m not sure if that’s the way it works. It may be that these experience allow the shaman to be highly sensitive to empathy, and so can pick on certain cues and hints better so than others. However, I have heard other takes relative to these phenomena.

  167. buddyward says

    @Kafei

    The etymology is important to understanding any religious vocabulary, especially within the originally intended context.

    Here is our conversation with regards to the etymology of the word supernatural.

    BuddyWard: Please show me the “original etymology” of the word supernatural and not some interpretation from a vague passage in scripture. As far as I can determine the etymology of supernatural according to dictionary.com is it comes from the Latin word supernaturalis, meaning beyond nature.

    Kafei: Well, I’ve searched the etymology myself, and it’s not clear.

    The issue with ‘supernatural’ is that it’s become so infused with other phenomena, especially those to be thought of as pure nonsense by Einstein such as the personal God and its interaction with the natural world as to offer such examples which are akin to magic.

    Rational people do not automatically fall back into using supernatural when explaining a phenomena. Rational people are willing to say that they do not know what is going on and would look for a rational explanation.

    We even have a TV show entitled “Supernatural” in which the supernatural is depicted as in having powers, time traveling, etc. I’ve even read an article which described X-Men as “mutants with supernatural abilities.”

    Abilities of those people in the TV show are demonstrated in the reality that is within the concept of the show. You have not demonstrated any phenomenon which we may even consider as something beyond nature.

    Yes, it used it within a particular context which is aligned with our modern science. That was my point. While, sure, we could say it didn’t definitively define it to everyone’s agreement, nevertheless the emphasis was rather that the term was used in a context in which its meaning doesn’t have to infer something which defies the very laws of nature. I’ve also addressed this at #109. This very point is also beautifully articulated in the discussion between Michael Pollan and Dr. Robin Carhart-Harris.

    You cannot have a context of a word that is not defined.

    Truth is within Fergle bergle menirgle bergle that is present in every being. Tell me what is the definition of fergle bergle menirgle bergle.

    Well, recall, you did ask me. You said, “Then give us a definition of supernatural that we can all agree to be accurate. If we define natural as existing and caused by nature what would be beyond that and how do we investigate the existence of something that is beyond nature?” This definition I’ve offered is one that makes perfect sense, and could be agreed upon. I wasn’t attempting to preach or engage in any sort of red herring. The Perennial philosophy is definitely consistent with the evidence produced by the science relative to the research involving the investigation of these mystical states of consciousness. I don’t believe that to be controversial at all. Perhaps you do.

    Yes I asked for a definition that we can all agree and we do not agree with your definition because your reference to Schuon did not define it. It was all about you trying to smuggle in the ridiculous idea of Perennial Philosophy in a thread that is not discussing that topic.

    I’ve not been dishonest in the slightest. If anything, the science is becoming a more and more relevant topic to these discussions. That’s precisely why these related topics are even becoming more frequent on The Atheist Experience as per Nathan’s call this episode. And until The Atheist Experience properly addresses this science, they will continue to be haunted by e-mails about DMT and calls like Nathan’s. This is scientific research and as it continues to build, it will continue to shed more light on these type of experiences for which religions has alluded to for millennia.

    You have been dishonest with how you described your communication with Matt Dillahunty. You are dishonest on how you represented our conversation regarding the meaning of supernatural. You have been dishonest with providing the direct link to your references. You are dishonest on what you represent as the atheists position on god and the supernatural. EnlightenmentLiberal’s description of you at #114 is dead on accurate.

  168. says

    @t90bb

    172…..So if there is a supreme deity that gives a fuck about humans…….it has left his existence an unknowable proposition up to speculation and guess???

    The fact that those that claim the supernatural exists do not seem to have a mechanism to demonstrate such…..IS NOT MY PROBLEM. Its their problem if they have any interest in convincing me/and or themselves!

    Matt Dillahunty once asked Richard Dawkins, “What would change your mind?” and he phrased this very sentiment quite similarly. Matt said, “I have no idea what would change my mind, and I find it a bit arrogant to presume that I would have the capability of distinguishing a God from some amazingly advanced trickery (à la Arthur C. Clarke’s third law of prediction). I don’t know. But if you’re right and there is a God, that God should know exactly what it should take to change my mind. And the fact that this God has not done this means either this God doesn’t exist or does not want me to know that he exist, either way, not my problem.”

    How laughable that a God that cares about us and has the ABILITY to make HIS EXISTENCE and Nature precisely known, prefers the game of hide and go seek. How pathetic is that?.

    Alan Watts once did a very funny thing with his audience once, and I could only imagine that this perhaps happened on the ferry boat he owned in which he’d given these talks off the coast of Sausalito, California. He wanted the audience to participate in entertaining him as though he was a patient, and the audience the students and the doctors, and Alan Watts would play the role of patient that suffers from the delusion that he’s God. And therefore he suggests that the role played by the audience is that which might want to do something about him or with him, or humor him or ask him questions, and so he opens himself up to be perfectly willing to submit to their examination and their treatment, and invites the audience to help themselves, and what unfolds are some very interesting questions, and Alan responds with some very interesting answers. However, anyone familiar with Watts would recognize right away that he speaks of the divine from this very esoteric vantage point, of which is often emphasized in eastern philosophy. You could say he’s responding from the very perspective of Brahman. One interesting question is asked by a woman volunteer, she says, “God, why do you hide from the sight of so many?” Watts responds, “Why do you hide? It’s for the same reason you’re hiding.”

    You see, if the revelation of the divine is to occur at the height of these states of consciousness in which mystics have engaged, then avoiding that experience is “hiding from God” in a sense. The woman who asks the question obviously has not had this direct experience, otherwise such a question would be not posed in the first place. To the degree a person does not seek a direct spiritual experience, is to the same degree they “hide from God.” This may explain why this notion of the divine seems like a game of hide and seek, but as Alan Watts has also said that it seems that way because the basis of life is energy, vibration, “Now you see it, now you don’t.”

    I conclude it either:

    1, does not exist

    Do you conclude this without investigation into the possibility of your own mystical experience?

    2. is not worth knowing or searching for

    Well, that’d be prejudice to say about your own mystical experience, especially if you haven’t had one.

    take your pick.

    I don’t share this problem.

    I much prefer exploring reality with all of you to the best or limits of our abilities!

    Well, you shouldn’t limit your exploration and investigation to the ordinary consciousness you reside in. I believe these mystical experiences are tools that help us explore reality and investigate its fundamental nature, and have always has been throughout all the major religious traditions. It’s just that we’ve spoiled the dialogue between the two, we’ve severed the connection.

    To take an excerpt from a book I just became familiar with quite recently titled “Breaking the Spell of the New Atheism in the Light of Perennial Wisdom.”

    “The ambition to eliminate God from all social life.” This summarizes quite well the program of the New Atheists.

  169. says

    @buddyward

    Here is our conversation with regards to the etymology of the word supernatural.

    BuddyWard: Please show me the “original etymology” of the word supernatural and not some interpretation from a vague passage in scripture. As far as I can determine the etymology of supernatural according to dictionary.com is it comes from the Latin word supernaturalis, meaning beyond nature.

    Kafei: Well, I’ve searched the etymology myself, and it’s not clear.

    Rational people do not automatically fall back into using supernatural when explaining a phenomena. Rational people are willing to say that they do not know what is going on and would look for a rational explanation.

    Well, I have emphasized these mystical states of consciousness which I’ve been highlighting throughout my discourse here do possess these qualities that one might interpret as supernatural, in particular, this sense of transcending space and time or all time collapsing into the moment. This is a very real phenomenon in consciousness, and while rational people might not fall back and call that “supernatural,” they have used other terms like mystical consciousness or Cosmic consciousness after R. M. Bucke or peak experiences after Abraham Maslow, etc.

    We even have a TV show entitled “Supernatural” in which the supernatural is depicted as in having powers, time traveling, etc. I’ve even read an article which described X-Men as “mutants with supernatural abilities.”

    Abilities of those people in the TV show are demonstrated in the reality that is within the concept of the show. You have not demonstrated any phenomenon which we may even consider as something beyond nature.

    You missed the point once again. I’m saying that this term “supernatural” has developed baggage due to our culture, our media, etc. how these terms have also been used in these various other contexts. So, they’ve obviously lost whatever original meaning they once had. That’s why I find the etymology so important, the exegesis and hermeneutics, etc. ’cause then we can refer to a point in history in which these things were understood and used in a particular context, and smudged and smeared into complete ambiguity as what we’re dealing with now.

    Yes, it used it within a particular context which is aligned with our modern science. That was my point. While, sure, we could say it didn’t definitively define it to everyone’s agreement, nevertheless the emphasis was rather that the term was used in a context in which its meaning doesn’t have to infer something which defies the very laws of nature. I’ve also addressed this at #109. This very point is also beautifully articulated in the discussion between Michael Pollan and Dr. Robin Carhart-Harris.

    You cannot have a context of a word that is not defined.

    Once again, you missed the point. Did you even listen to the exchange they had? They do not use the word “supernatural,” they didn’t find it necessary relative to the science investigating these spiritual experiences.

    Truth is within Fergle bergle menirgle bergle that is present in every being. Tell me what is the definition of fergle bergle menirgle bergle.

    Is that supposed to be a reference to a previous encounter I’ve had with Matt? These mystical states of consciousness have been concretely defined, and so if you’re looking for a definition, I’d start there.

    Well, recall, you did ask me. You said, “Then give us a definition of supernatural that we can all agree to be accurate. If we define natural as existing and caused by nature what would be beyond that and how do we investigate the existence of something that is beyond nature?” This definition I’ve offered is one that makes perfect sense, and could be agreed upon. I wasn’t attempting to preach or engage in any sort of red herring. The Perennial philosophy is definitely consistent with the evidence produced by the science relative to the research involving the investigation of these mystical states of consciousness. I don’t believe that to be controversial at all. Perhaps you do.

    Yes I asked for a definition that we can all agree and we do not agree with your definition because your reference to Schuon did not define it. It was all about you trying to smuggle in the ridiculous idea of Perennial Philosophy in a thread that is not discussing that topic.

    If anything is going to shed light on these topics, it’s definitely the science being done. So that makes the Perennial philosophy a very valid topic in these type of discussions.

    You have been dishonest with how you described your communication with Matt Dillahunty. You are dishonest on how you represented our conversation regarding the meaning of supernatural. You have been dishonest with providing the direct link to your references. You are dishonest on what you represent as the atheists position on god and the supernatural. EnlightenmentLiberal’s description of you at #114 is dead on accurate.

    I maintain I’ve not been dishonest at all. I’ve been quite sincere here with my posts. EnlightenmentLiberal’s rant at #114 is reminiscient of the users at RatSkep who basically whined to MODs to have me removed. This is supposed to be a “free thoughts blog,” and people can’t tolerate the fact that other people do not share their particular perspective. That sort of intolerance should never even be expressed here, but there it is. I’ve not broken any rules of the forum, I’ve just expressed my thoughts sincerely and freely, and you’re welcome to think of them whatever you will, and in fact, please do.

  170. says

    @RationalismRules

    Why is anyone still interacting with Kafei?

    Because what I’m talking about is actually backed in science. Why else?

  171. says

    You missed the point once again. I’m saying that this term “supernatural” has developed baggage due to our culture, our media, etc. how these terms have also been used in these various other contexts. So, they’ve obviously lost whatever original meaning they once had. That’s why I find the etymology so important, the exegesis and hermeneutics, etc. ’cause then we can refer to a point in history in which these things were understood and used in a particular context, and smudged and smeared into complete ambiguity as what we’re dealing with now.

    not not smudged (fixing typo)

  172. buddyward says

    @Kafei

    Well, I have emphasized these mystical states of consciousness which I’ve been highlighting throughout my discourse here do possess these qualities that one might interpret as supernatural, in particular, this sense of transcending space and time or all time collapsing into the moment. This is a very real phenomenon in consciousness, and while rational people might not fall back and call that “supernatural,” they have used other terms like mystical consciousness or Cosmic consciousness after R. M. Bucke or peak experiences after Abraham Maslow, etc.

    We are not talking about mystical states of conciousness we are talking about the definition of supernatural. No one cares what alternative words people used to describe a phenomena if it is not supernatural then it is not what we are talking about.

    You missed the point once again. I’m saying that this term “supernatural” has developed baggage due to our culture, our media, etc. how these terms have also been used in these various other contexts. So, they’ve obviously lost whatever original meaning they once had. That’s why I find the etymology so important, the exegesis and hermeneutics, etc. ’cause then we can refer to a point in history in which these things were understood and used in a particular context, and smudged and smeared into complete ambiguity as what we’re dealing with now.

    Citing a TV show does not provide an actual definition of the word.

    Once again, you missed the point. Did you even listen to the exchange they had? They do not use the word “supernatural,” they didn’t find it necessary relative to the science investigating these spiritual experiences.

    The text you provided used the word supernatural without defining the word. If they did not use the word supernatural then it follows that they did not define it.

    Is that supposed to be a reference to a previous encounter I’ve had with Matt? These mystical states of consciousness have been concretely defined, and so if you’re looking for a definition, I’d start there.

    And yet you still have not said anything about the definition of the words Fergle bergle menirgle bergle. You expect us to derive the definition of the word supernatural from its context but when you are asked to derived another word from its context you dodge the question. This is yet another example of your dishonesty.

    If anything is going to shed light on these topics, it’s definitely the science being done. So that makes the Perennial philosophy a very valid topic in these type of discussions.

    You have not demonstrated anything to be science. You have not even demonstrated to know what science is.

    I maintain I’ve not been dishonest at all. I’ve been quite sincere here with my posts. EnlightenmentLiberal’s rant at #114 is reminiscient of the users at RatSkep who basically whined to MODs to have me removed. This is supposed to be a “free thoughts blog,” and people can’t tolerate the fact that other people do not share their particular perspective. That sort of intolerance should never even be expressed here, but there it is. I’ve not broken any rules of the forum, I’ve just expressed my thoughts sincerely and freely, and you’re welcome to think of them whatever you will, and in fact, please do.

    You can maintain all you want. You have no rebuttal against what you have been accused only a mere assertion which is telling that you absolutely have no defense. I have given you more than enough chances to demonstrate your claim but all we get back are dishonest responses. I will no longer continue to contribute in enabling your desire for attention as I have said before, I am not interested in having a conversation with a dishonest person.

  173. twarren1111 says

    #58 speedofsound

    This post of yours is an EXCELLENT example of where you are using very peculiar language but yet we have communicated enough via this blog that i understand to a great level (I think) what you are saying.

    I would replace the word ‘synchronicity’ that you use with one that is more appropriate with phsyics and biology: symmetry. In other words, I hear you saying “I see symmetries everywhere, and this is what our brain is designed to see: patterns based upon symmetries and how they are broken or not broken”

    I hear you talking about CPT symmetry. I hear you talking about mirror images. Empathy.

    And I don’t hear you talking about woo.

    See?

    Pretty cool.

    In #66 I posted about my thoughts as to AA

    In #68 JDB responded to my #66 post. What he posted augmented what I meant. I got the feeling, however, that he may have not fully seen what I was seeing: we were agreeing completely. Thus, in post #76, I attempted to explain to JDB further as to why we were agreeing. As is usual with my brain (i.e., my ADD) I got somewhat tangential but tried to bring it back to the point about AA and how our brains work.

    Then, in post #83, speedofsound responded to my interactions as above with a profoundly personal account of his story. What was so good for me, is that over the past few weeks I’ve heard enough from speedofsound to realize that all that he was saying ‘agreed’ or maybe in his words ‘synchronized’ with what he had said before. This is important. Why? Unlike, e.g., Oreoman 1987, a key aspect of sharing empathy is trust. In effect, this long, very personal post by speedofsound bonded me with this person because it showed me in a very deep way that i could TRUST him.

    Then, at least for me, what speedofsound posted in that long post really spoke to me. I understood it completely. Yes, his terminology is a bit different that I would use, but I felt that he was expressing in his own (i.e., idiosyncratic way) EXACTLY what I was trying to say as referenced in the above posts.

    At first, as I was reading his post I was fearful that he was trying to ‘re-but’ me in that he was trying to tell me where I had gotten the nuances of our discussion wrong. But, by the time I ended reading his post I felt that, no, he was saying in his words, his language, exactly what I was saying previously, In other words, his way of expressing his ideas via his personal journey was his way to validate and build upon all that I was saying.

    And here is what I want to respond to speedfosound post #83 about:
    Thank you! And I want you to understand that my interpretation of what you are communicating to me with your post is what exactly what I was trying to say in my previous posts about AA and addiction. What I hear in what you are saying is the same thing I am trying to say: you found the way and your support network helped you.

    That is what I heard: you did it your way by learning about yourself. And then you used those around you to help you. That is what I got from all that you said. And I was and am deeply appreciative of the WAY you said it. I loved hearing my (your) or is it your (my) ideas in a different language.

    Anyway, it was very appealing.

    What you are saying ‘felt’ right. It ‘synchronized’ with my mind. In other words, your ideas were symmetrical and complementary to my ideas. We meshed.

    Then in speedofsounds posts #85 and #86 he added some afterthoughts. They worked for me. I got it.

    And then the hilarity.

    PAXOLL!!!!! DUDE, that was so hilarious. You in post #87 then basically are the guy in the group where all the bonding that just occurred who says, “I still think you guys smell bad” or whatever.

    Paxoll, of course your congratulate speedofsound on his MULTIPLE sobrieties and then so totally trash the moment by saying his ‘synchronicity’ is utterly nonsense.

    And that is when I realized on another level how a blog like this becomes a group thing. How each of us express ourselves and while all the others accept us, they aren’t going to let us get to far before they call bullshit.

    And that is why people like Oreoman are so toxic. No trust. Paxoll has trust. Speedofsound has trust. EL has trust. I hope I have trust with you all.

    And I’m enjoying some vodka right now so I’m not meaning to leave anyone out.

    Anyway…

    I am then reading down the now over 180 posts. I see Kafei has returned!! Post #109.

    And then I am doing a spit take. Why? Monocle Smile in post #112 responding to Kafei. Seriously, MS, how do you do it? Just as speedofsound expresses my thoughts so well, so do you. It’s so odd. You are such different voices. But once I read that “No, you fucking fuck” I’m doing a spit take and glad I’m on my iMac and not my MacBook.

    I stopped reading about post 170 because I see Kafei got some of you riled up.

    I hope you all are safe. In my town, we had a young person, not drunk, used to the cold, die yesterday in a place he just shouldn’t have. So sad.

    And with that, I am out of here.

    Oh, speedofsound, I am curious as to how difficult it was to stop various agents. What I am fishing for is the claim from you that of all the substances you have encountered, it was nicotine that was the most difficult to stop.

  174. John David Balla says

    Kafei
    Because science may have studied psychotropics and attempted to explain the altered state as a mystical experience, even cataloging shared attributes of these experiences, excluding those that do not perfectly map for which I would imagine would be a substantial amount, is not stating affirmatively that:

    1) the supernatural has been discovered and measured
    2) we now have evidence of the existence of a phenomenon many would call god or spiritual or mystical (insert your preferred Woo here)

    If any of the above were true, or even something close, Kafei would just give the quote and we would all have to say “Wow. There it is!” Of course, that doesn’t happen which is why Kafei is spending countless hours and words rehashing the same wishful assertions over and over.

    Here’s the deal Kafei. Stop with your wishful interpretations already. Show the proof, the definitive scientific finding that confirms your grand assertions, not as a possibility or hedged in “could indicate…” or “may support…” but “Here it is. God hides no more! Scientists discover evidence of God in magic mushrooms.” Obviously, that’s not going to happen because if it did, we’d all know about it. And deep down you know that.

    And for what it’s worth, Kafei, I used to be like you, maybe even more so. I’ve done plenty of hallucinogens. Even went to the Amazon to take ayahuasca with jungle shamans and plenty other similar stories in search of what you are desperate to find and prove. The only difference was that despite everyone around me, all of whom were convincing each other that psychotropics were divine spirits that could cure cancer, bring about real shape-shifting and pretty much do anything humans can not, I just couldn’t convince myself to believe it, mainly because I didn’t. But believe me, I tried really really hard. In fact, one of my biggest regrets was my ability to convince others to believe. I really regret that.

    Kafei. You are in love with an idea. Well it’s worse than that. You are obsessed and have lost all objectivity. Yeah, it can feel pretty powerful to think you have found the secret portal into the supernatural (or whatever designation you prefer). And just you and a very special group of enlightened ones now must teach this wisdom to the rest of us. Guess what? Someday you’re going to discover how utterly unoriginal that idea is. There is absolutely nothing new here and certainly nothing remarkable either.

  175. t90bb says

    Kafei,,,,,,….people have drug induced states. Some are more sensitive to certain drugs than others. I fully understand you want to claim experiences that share common elements with some others as really, really SIGNIFICANT.

    1000 POSTS later you have convinced no one……..

    You are interpreting these altered states and presupposing their significance. AND you know what you know, thats why you are akin to a presuppositionalist. You, in your own mind have concluded they are more than simply an altered brain state. And like a child you will stomp your feet and hold your breath until someone agrees with you here. You have fallen in love with a story you have told yourself like most nuts.

    Thats why what you are doing is just another form of presuppositionalism. .,,, you presume to know there is special meaning to these altered intense brain states. And you know because you know. This has nothing to do with the commonality of these experiences but rather the explanation and significance you presuppose they have.

    No one fights this hard for this long without some real issues going on. I dont know what issues they are and maybe you dont either. Several times I have expressed literal and straight out concern for your mental state. Your need for validation is alarming. I thinks its safe to say that you have laid out your case to the best of your ability. Your wild hypothesis that your experiences are somehow linked to the divine has been rejected by all. You seem to not want to accept our conclusions and thats too bad. Perhaps go collect more evidence and we can re evaluate. It seems you are under a delusion that as long as you dont stop insisting you have a winning hand….we will capitulate. You dont need our approval. Go out, get fucked up hardcore, fellowship and experience that which you believe is the divine. Have fun with it in all seriousness. Just try and be safe if your not looking for an early exit..

  176. t90bb says

    183…kafei…..

    RR ASKED why anyone continues with you////…….and you responded because you are arguing actual science, why else?

    you clearly have not spent much time on the blog…..as a general rule the new idiots generally garner a ton of attention since they are new and usually propose a combination of novelty and low hanging fruit. Think of the attention they (and you) are getting akin to flies GIVE to a pile of shit.

  177. indianajones says

    5 minutes of Team America: World Police. Opening scene. Ronald Kyle, a question for you and you too t90bb. Who are the good guys, the bad guys, and why?

  178. Shiningone says

    I want to say to all of you now, Ronald Kyle is now be dishonest and lying about things I have said. Because I have refused to respond to any of his petty insults, he is now quoting lies about me. I have never stated I am a theist. I am not a theist.
    I was an atheist when I started here, I am now an anti-theist.

  179. Shiningone says

    Also, it seems to me this entire blog is about 4-5 idiots who post all the time. I came here looking for intellectuals to debate with. I don’t think I’m going to find it. If the situation does not change soon, I will go looking for other forums.

  180. speedofsound says

    @twarren1111
    Thanks for all that. Nice thoughtful post. Yeah. I do have a peculiar way of communicating. My mom tried to nip that in the bud and my dad tried to kill me but both of those fuckers failed.

    Oh, speedofsound, I am curious as to how difficult it was to stop various agents. What I am fishing for is the claim from you that of all the substances you have encountered, it was nicotine that was the most difficult to stop.

    Not sure if I said that. I did not quit nicotine. Only smoking. My doctor and my reading on nicotine has led me to a lifelong commitment to the gum and lozenges. I ingest enough nicotine daily to stone-kill a really big fucking dinosaur. I think the physical hold of nicotine is beyond my best tools. Besides it’s actually good for you if you don’t smoke it.

    But all other mind altering substances were stopped cold. Oddly stopping the smoking of nicotine, even though I failed at that for years, and stopping the coke/meth/vodka cocktail occurred with no effort at all. It seemed to come up out of some place I couldn’t identify. Something like being hypnotized.

    Maintaining that hypnotic power is the real trick though. Meth is the hardest in that regard. Watching those big blue crystals on Breaking Bad almost killed me.

    Each substance has it’s own set of idiosyncrasies. A combo of physical and psych effects.

  181. indianajones says

    @Shiningone I think you are wrong on your substantive points but have not engaged. Having said that, I hope ya stick around. RK is likes to spray all over (to cover up others spraying all over to be fair for some reason to him) the porcelain of this blog, tis true and has been taken to task over it. t90bb is an adolescent who likes just to see conflict for conflicts sake so it seems. And the mods suck at modding.

    I can only say that when the minds engage here they often do so well. Taking you at your word that you wish to find intellectual engagement, it can be found here. Usually. It is a shame that for the last month or 2 those arguments have been out volumed.and that you turned up just in time to see it.

    I would like you to stick around even whilst I dis-agree with you. Just know that along with the territory comes a lot of BS. RK, t90bb, oreoman, kafei are not the first. We have managed to carry on despite they and their ilk which I shall not mention for fear of summoning them. But believe me when I say that they are not the worst, the first or the last. There is gold to find amongst the filth. I am arrogant enough to think that I even contribute to it occassionally and also acknowlege that I am not at all the smartest person in this room.

  182. buddyward says

    @shiningone

    I for one think its a great idea for you to venture out there and test the ideas you have expressed here on other groups. If there are fewer atheist that agrees with your position on how irrational they are then perhaps it is time to reevaluate your position. If more agrees then you might be on the right track. I would also suggest considering getting the help of someone who is well versed in philosophy when dealing with philosophical arguments so that you do not fall into making logical fallacies.

    If you do decide to come back, I am willing to bet that there will be someone here willing to engage with you.

  183. Ronald Kyle says

    @indianajones
    With atheists like you who needs fundamentalist insane theists, you do their job here better than they will ever do.

    People of your caliber is why there will always be misery in this world.

    You call yourself after a character in a famous movie…. but the fact is that in this real world your character would be like the Nazi villains that are all too real and common in this world.

    Every time you come crawling from under your rock to come here to defend nasty pretending lying theists and extend a hand of welcoming apologetics to them for the debunking they were subjected to by real atheists you prove more and more your true nature as a pretending NAZI-like villain…. hence your chosen incognito name.

    Despite your pretend name here is what you have revealed time and again that you really are like

    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=YcR9k8o4I0w

  184. t90bb says

    190…I would need more info Indiana……and you would need to define how you are using the words “good” and “bad”. Sorry to hear you are not my biggest fan. I enjoy my time on the blog and have learned a ton from you guys collectively. Do I stir the pot more than occasionally?? Surely. Feel free to jump over my posts, I will not be at all insulted.

    Shiningone….so just a week or so you were an atheist…..and now you have become an anti-theist??? Wow that’s interesting. I hear you are heading out?? See ya, and good luck! RK and myself were not the only regulars that have flat out stated that they doubted your honesty here. Maybe you will grow a set and call the show one day!!???, since you are so intellectual and seem to want to point out Matt’s “foibles”. Thats what you called them in your opening post, right? That was right before you insulted the hosts and insinuated that their egos were too big to participate on the blog.

    Sorry you were disappointed by the forum. It must be lonely being as smart and intellectual as you are. Good luck in your future adventures! I thought you and I were gonna be tight!!! See ya.

  185. t90bb says

    I have a thought experiment to my fellow non believers…..

    Assume for a minute you were a THEIST and you were convinced you were justified in claiming knowledge of gods existence…..

    Lets also assume you believed in a hellfire eternal hell for those that lack belief…..

    Now lets say you deeply loved a non believer, and it would be possible to convince them of your view of reality by telling a white lie to them. This white lie IS ultimately sufficient to convince them of the existence and goodness of your god, and will thus save them from eternal torture you are sure awaits them if the don’t believe. Lets say this white lie has no major impact on anything else other than your loved ones belief.

    As the theist…and caring deeply for your friend/lover…..would you tell that white lie (that you believe to be false??) How tempted would you be??

  186. says

    @John David Balla

    Because science may have studied psychotropics and attempted to explain the altered state as a mystical experience, even cataloging shared attributes of these experiences, excluding those that do not perfectly map for which I would imagine would be a substantial amount, is not stating affirmatively that:

    I don’t think you grasp how far this science has gotten. Even twarren1111 hadn’t realized the science had gotten so far. They can, indeed, map one for one all the characteristics that constitute these mystical states of consciousness with so-called naturally occurring or spontaneously occurring mystical experiences reported by mystics throughout the ages.

    1) the supernatural has been discovered and measured

    If we’re going to relate supernatural experience to mystical experiences, sure, they’ve been discovered and measured. However, if we’re to define the supernatural as that which defies the laws of physics, then obviously that definition is irrelevant to how these researchers are defining these spiritual/mystical experiences.

    2) we now have evidence of the existence of a phenomenon many would call god or spiritual or mystical (insert your preferred Woo here)

    I agree, we have evidence for that which has had many names throughout the major religions, you know, samadhi in Hinduism, nirvana in Buddhism, sekhel mufla in Judaism, Theoria or the the Beatific vision in Christianity, wu wei in Taoism, baqá wa faná in Islam, The One in Neoplatonism, it is the Gnosis of the Gnostics and so on. These are all metaphors for one and the same phenomenon of mystical consciousness.

  187. says

    @John David Balla

    If any of the above were true, or even something close, Kafei would just give the quote and we would all have to say “Wow. There it is!” Of course, that doesn’t happen which is why Kafei is spending countless hours and words rehashing the same wishful assertions over and over.

    It is true, if anyone would simply pay attention to the science being done relative to these topics, which is largely ignored on The Atheist Experience, then they’d see quite clearly this is, indeed, the case.

    Here’s the deal Kafei. Stop with your wishful interpretations already. Show the proof, the definitive scientific finding that confirms your grand assertions, not as a possibility or hedged in “could indicate…” or “may support…” but “Here it is. God hides no more! Scientists discover evidence of God in magic mushrooms.” Obviously, that’s not going to happen because if it did, we’d all know about it. And deep down you know that.

    I believe that has happened, if you’ve been paying any attention to the science at all.

    And for what it’s worth, Kafei, I used to be like you, maybe even more so. I’ve done plenty of hallucinogens. Even went to the Amazon to take ayahuasca with jungle shamans and plenty other similar stories in search of what you are desperate to find and prove. The only difference was that despite everyone around me, all of whom were convincing each other that psychotropics were divine spirits that could cure cancer, bring about real shape-shifting and pretty much do anything humans can not, I just couldn’t convince myself to believe it, mainly because I didn’t. But believe me, I tried really really hard. In fact, one of my biggest regrets was my ability to convince others to believe. I really regret that.

    Well, the experiences you described are not unitive, and I believe the emphasis of the research is none other than the so-called “complete” mystical experience. Perhaps your ayahuasca admixture was weak. You do realize that they do make it weaker with ayahuasca tourists, don’t you?

    Kafei. You are in love with an idea. Well it’s worse than that. You are obsessed and have lost all objectivity. Yeah, it can feel pretty powerful to think you have found the secret portal into the supernatural (or whatever designation you prefer). And just you and a very special group of enlightened ones now must teach this wisdom to the rest of us. Guess what? Someday you’re going to discover how utterly unoriginal that idea is. There is absolutely nothing new here and certainly nothing remarkable either.

    Did I give you the impression it’s something new? No, entheogens have been used for thousands of years in a divinatory manner. Likewise, the Perennial philosophy holds roots in Neoplatonism, and it too is millennia old. So, no, I don’t think of any this stuff is “new,” and I wouldn’t even argue that. Rather what’s happening is the science is rediscovering a view on the major religions historically known as the Perennial wisdom.

  188. t90bb says

    Kafei…..yes you get heavily drugged and some of the experiences you have are similar to others……I guess the delirium tremons some have while withdrawing from alcohol must be mystical and revelations from your cosmic dad dad.

    Please consider help my friend!

  189. John David Balla says

    @twarren1111 #186 (and others)
    This old and antiquated thread makes following conversations and responding to them unnecessarily unwieldy. We are using early 1990s technology. Is it asking too much to just reach tech parity with the rest of the Internet?

    Anyway, at some point you mentioned CBT vis-a-vis addiction recovery. You may want to ckeck out the differences between CBT and REBT: https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/the-three-minute-therapist/201703/5-major-differences-between-rebt-cbt.
    In particular, you said, “And those successful non smokers needed two things:
    1. Desire to never smoke again
    2. Talk to people”

    REBT (as opposed to CBT) would say “desire” isn’t enough. We need to create and maintain “motivation.” The key here is “maintaining’ the motivation. And point 2 would translate into the group solidarity that is formed by sharing a common history and a common goal, and of course, being honest about it is of paramount importance.

    In short REBT is about identifying irrational beliefs (which includes but is not limited to addictions), replacing irrational beliefs with rational ones that produce better outcomes, the kind of outcomes we actually want. People who have deconverted from theism but still have fears about going to Hell could use REBT to get over that irrational fear.

  190. says

    @t90bb

    Kafei,,,,,,….people have drug induced states. Some are more sensitive to certain drugs than others. I fully understand you want to claim experiences that share common elements with some others as really, really SIGNIFICANT.

    1000 POSTS later you have convinced no one……..

    I’ve explained that it doesn’t matter if you read 10,000+ posts on this topic, nothing will convince you short of your own CME. That is the most convincing element in all of this, not words on a screen, not scientific research in which you doubt, etc. It is rather your own CME.

    You are interpreting these altered states and presupposing their significance. AND you know what you know, thats why you are akin to a presuppositionalist.

    This research has absolutely nothing to do with presuppositionalism.

    You, in your own mind have concluded they are more than simply an altered brain state. And like a child you will stomp your feet and hold your breath until someone agrees with you here. You have fallen in love with a story you have told yourself like most nuts.

    Once again, I’m merely reiterating the science that’s been done. That’s all. And one reason I participate in threads like these isn’t for validation or acceptance or to get people to agree, it’s rather to sharpen my own ability to write and speak on these topics. I couldn’t care less whether end up agreeing or not or find sense in the scientific research that has been accumulating now for decades, I might add. I find it rather hilarious that you think I’m having some Trump-like reaction to the comments here. The reason I participate is ’cause I’m planning to start a podcast. Possibly even an internet show titled “The Theist Experience” where I prioritize atheist callers and address all their arguments.

    Thats why what you are doing is just another form of presuppositionalism. .,,, you presume to know there is special meaning to these altered intense brain states. And you know because you know. This has nothing to do with the commonality of these experiences but rather the explanation and significance you presuppose they have.

    I don’t think anyone is presupposing anything. These are the very findings they’ve recognized through this research.

    No one fights this hard for this long without some real issues going on.

    You should visit RationalSkpeticism, I’ve been posting there for years. It’s a never-ending discussion. I’m not “fighting” anything nor do I have any issues going on. That’s simply a projection of yours.

    I dont know what issues they are and maybe you dont either. Several times I have expressed literal and straight out concern for your mental state.

    There’s absolutely nothing wrong with me. In fact, I’m probably in better mental health than yourself.

    Your need for validation is alarming.

    Again, I have no need for validation. Once again, I’ve nothing to sell, I’m not trying to convince anyone of anything, that’s what the CME is for. The CME does the convincing, nothing else. A person can intellectually grasp and see how all this makes sense or you can do as buddyward has and simply reject this research as “not science,” when it so obviously is. However, to truly understand what it’s all about, a CME definitely would give you a leg up.

    I thinks its safe to say that you have laid out your case to the best of your ability. Your wild hypothesis that your experiences are somehow linked to the divine has been rejected by all.

    I wouldn’t say “all,” just the doubtful atheists in this particular thread who’ve obviously never had a CME for themselves.

    You seem to not want to accept our conclusions and thats too bad.

    Well, none of you have had a CME. Why would I accept your conclusions? Your conclusion is based on pure prejudice. It’s based on not having any experience at all with a CME.

    Perhaps go collect more evidence and we can re evaluate.

    Perhaps you should start with evaluating the evidence that you haven’t evaluated in the first place.

    It seems you are under a delusion that as long as you dont stop insisting you have a winning hand….we will capitulate. You dont need our approval. Go out, get fucked up hardcore, fellowship and experience that which you believe is the divine. Have fun with it in all seriousness. Just try and be safe if your not looking for an early exit..

    You can’t OD off psychedelics, by the way.

    RR ASKED why anyone continues with you////…….and you responded because you are arguing actual science, why else?

    you clearly have not spent much time on the blog…..as a general rule the new idiots generally garner a ton of attention since they are new and usually propose a combination of novelty and low hanging fruit. Think of the attention they (and you) are getting akin to flies GIVE to a pile of shit.

    Interesting analogy, but once again, you’ll find that the reason others insist on responding is not because they’re trying to reveal that I’m speaking of the BS in your analogy, but rather because what I’m talking about makes sense. Why does it makes sense? Because it’s backed in science.

  191. t90bb says

    I think this recent exchange with Kafei really sums his position up…He said:

    “Well, you shouldn’t limit your exploration and investigation to the ordinary consciousness you reside in. I believe these mystical experiences are tools that help us explore reality and investigate its fundamental nature, and have always has been throughout all the major religious traditions. It’s just that we’ve spoiled the dialogue between the two, we’ve severed the connection.”

    AWWWW….you beweaves it??? Be very careful encouraging people to take large doses of hallucinogens….people die from some of these experiences dummy. On the other hand you should take as much as you want..if it makes you “feelz good”.

    IF a cme was to do to me what it seems to have done to you Kafei……IM GOOD thanks.

    Since you think its OK to tell us what we “should” do to investigate…..I will make my suggestion to you once again. Seek therapy.

  192. Ian Butler says

    I come here for intelligent debate but admittedly much of the discussion seems to be of the schoolyard variety, and much of my input consists of asking people to play nice.

    Let me make an important distinction, I would much prefer to talk to a theist that is respectful than an atheist that is a jerk. Being on the rational side of one issue doesn’t give one a free pass to behave in a way that would get you kicked out of a cocktail party in the real world.

    That doesn’t make me a God enabler, I just happen to think that atheists being pompous, whether online or in the real world, just reinforces the assumption that without the fear of God humans will do bad things.

    Like it or not, we are the Jackie Robinsons of religious bigotry, in that what we do and say will be judged through the lens of centuries of prejudice, and seen as a threat to the status quo.

    So while it may feel satisfying to win a battle of wits against a hapless opponent, if we spike the ball and insult them we run the risk of losing the war.

    Remember, we are outnumbered, it’s the theists we need to come over to our side, but calling someone a moron is a bad way to win them over. And if we start insulting other atheists as well, all hope is lost.

    And when several reasonable atheists ask you to please tone it down, try to resist the childish urge to double down, and instead take a deep breath and actually try taking such criticism to heart.

  193. Monocle Smile says

    Well, you shouldn’t limit your exploration and investigation to the ordinary consciousness you reside in. I believe these mystical experiences are tools that help us explore reality and investigate its fundamental nature

    Lol what a joke. This kind of crazy claim needs specific falsifiable tests to back it up, and the current state of psychedelic science doesn’t even address this. All it addresses are self reports of what people say they experienced. You’re a fucking modern day flower child. Grow the fuck up.

    You use yourself as an example of why we should take drugs over and over and over again. Why the FUCK would I want to become like you? Yeah, I want to lose my livelihood and my passion by taking illegal substances and be reduced to a babbling idiot incapable of discussing anything but a single topic. Real tempting.

  194. t90bb says

    203….Kafei….my deluded friend…..people engage you in many cases because they care about you. I genuinely think you are in need of help. People point out the flaws and outright exaggerations in your claims not just to be right. You are obviously devoting a great deal of your attention to these cmes…..you have convinced yourself that their basis is in the “divine” without a shred of evidence. THOUSANDS of posts…no evidence that they are related to the divine….just speculation.

    You have the vigor of all the common conspiracy theorists. The 9/11 truthers, the flat earthers……the problem is as crazy as they are….they have more evidence than your claims that these fucked up states of consciousness are rooted in god.

    BTW before you can relate these fucked up states to god…..how did you determine that god is even a possible source?? And how did you rule out all possible known and yet to be known natural explanations for these fucked up states?? Have you visited university and asked actual scientists, neuroscientists, psychologists how they might explain these common fucked up experiences??? Are they telling you they are convinced these fucked up states are related to god? Don’t you think before you attribute these fucked up states to god you should spend some time seeking other possibilities?

    It seems your approach here is to find some limited research that indicates some people have strong and bizzare experiences on acid. And these experiences seem to be bizarrely similar. Thats dandy! Now your adding on to them that these have a higher and divine purpose/aspect. When you get evidence of that THEN you will have something interesting.

    I hope you dont waste your life man. Go find some people you can actually help. You are not a dummy, but have an incredible blind spot on this issue it seems.

  195. t90bb says

    IAN….my approach to Kafei and a few others is not typical of how I engage most others here and in real life. Ordinary communication fails to work with them. I agree I am not sure ANY communication style will work, and I am almost certainly wasting my own time.

    BUT… I will say this. I disagree with Kafei’s conclusions regarding the fucked up states of consciousness be has fallen in love with, but my motivation is not primarily to embarrass him. I know hes an intelligent dude. It seems to me he has a lot to offer if he can move past this silliness. If he puts a fraction of his attention to something legit hes likely to make a small difference in the world…and we need that. Ten years ago I believed all sorts of bullshit. Few were as confused as I was. Fuck I am still confused, lol. Progress not perfection they say. I genuinely give a shit about Kafei. I cannot speak for everyone but I bet a lot of us share my feelings here. At the end of the day hes going to believe what he believes I suppose. I hope hes happy.

  196. Ronald Kyle says

    @t90bb

    Do not apologize to cockroaches… that guy reminds me of that nasty villainous SS Nazi guy with the black hat and coat in that iconic movie… he contributes nothing to this forum and the only time he comes crawling from under his rock is to malign atheists who debunk pretending lying theists while at the same time apologizing to the theists and expresses his wishes for the banning of the atheists and extends a warm welcome to theists and wishes that they linger around… and to sniff up the nether regions of his tribal alphas along with their butlers.

    The extend of his nasty character was exposed in last week’s thread when he fabricated claptrap “statistics” to support his lies.

    Nasty cockroaches like that character are common throughout human society… they are the bully cronies and the dictator enablers and the CEO butlers and the house slaves (uncle toms) and snitches to inquisitors and accusers of “witches” and double-dealers and Wall Street scammers…. except in this guy’s case he is only ASPIRING to rise up from his dwelling at the cesspool bottom to join those fully formed scum.

    Do not apologize to those nasty characters because it will only enforce their lowly wretched psyche and aspirations to vitiating everything.

  197. says

    @t90bb

    I think this recent exchange with Kafei really sums his position up…He said:

    “Well, you shouldn’t limit your exploration and investigation to the ordinary consciousness you reside in. I believe these mystical experiences are tools that help us explore reality and investigate its fundamental nature, and have always has been throughout all the major religious traditions. It’s just that we’ve spoiled the dialogue between the two, we’ve severed the connection.”

    AWWWW….you beweaves it???

    I don’t believe, I know.

    Be very careful encouraging people to take large doses of hallucinogens….people die from some of these experiences dummy. On the other hand you should take as much as you want..if it makes you “feelz good”.

    You can’t die from psychedelics, my friend. It’s practically impossible to physically OD on a psychedelic.

    IF a cme was to do to me what it seems to have done to you Kafei……IM GOOD thanks.

    All it’s done is awaken me to the truth about these things, so that I don’t have to carry on this unnecessary skepticism about it. I’ve become infinitely more patient, more empathetic, etc. I don’t have to resort to silly “FAACMEE” arguments. I mean, that’s precisely the kind of thing a person does who hasn’t had a CME. So, if the alternative is what you have, I’d say no thanks to that as well.

    Since you think its OK to tell us what we “should” do to investigate…..I will make my suggestion to you once again. Seek therapy.

    Yes, I maintain the CME is the greatest challenge to the atheist. It’s not going to be some Kalam cosmological argument, it’s not going to be 1,000+ posts on a forum, it’s not going to be some peer-reviewed paper your read, because you’d simply doubt that, too. No, God has always been a revelation in consciousness, that’s how it’s happened in all of the major religions. Even Matt Dillahunty cannot argue that. He must concede that a personal experience of God is essentially evidence for that particular person, and so that person is therefore justified in their position. I’ve pointed out that they’ve even had atheists as a part of this research, and I’m sure you can guess what happened to them.

  198. says

    @t90bb

    Kafei….my deluded friend…..people engage you in many cases because they care about you. I genuinely think you are in need of help. People point out the flaws and outright exaggerations in your claims not just to be right. You are obviously devoting a great deal of your attention to these cmes…..you have convinced yourself that their basis is in the “divine” without a shred of evidence. THOUSANDS of posts…no evidence that they are related to the divine….just speculation.

    The evidence is what essentially decades worth of scientific research has produced. It’s evidence you flat-out distort, deny, and ignore.

    You have the vigor of all the common conspiracy theorists. The 9/11 truthers, the flat earthers……the problem is as crazy as they are….they have more evidence than your claims that these fucked up states of consciousness are rooted in god.

    Except they don’t have science to back up their claims, I do. That’s the primary difference between what I speak about, and what they yammer on about.

    BTW before you can relate these fucked up states to god

    I’ve said over and over that these states are not “fucked up states,” that’s something you’re assuming there. They’ve been more accurately described as higher states of consciousness. They’re quite coherent states, they’re not blurry, vague or chaotic, they’re quite ordered, sharp, vivid, and very clear states of mind, “clearest of the clearest” some have put it.

    …..how did you determine that god is even a possible source?? And how did you rule out all possible known and yet to be known natural explanations for these fucked up states?? Have you visited university and asked actual scientists, neuroscientists, psychologists how they might explain these common fucked up experiences??? Are they telling you they are convinced these fucked up states are related to god? Don’t you think before you attribute these fucked up states to god you should spend some time seeking other possibilities?

    I’ve done all this, and yes, these professionals have come to this conclusion with the evidence produced by this research. That’s precisely what I’ve been trying to say all along here. These are actual neuroscientists, psychologists, etc. involved in this research. Have you not looked into the research at all?

    It seems your approach here is to find some limited research that indicates some people have strong and bizzare experiences on acid. And these experiences seem to be bizarrely similar. Thats dandy! Now your adding on to them that these have a higher and divine purpose/aspect. When you get evidence of that THEN you will have something interesting.

    We have got to that evidence. That’s my entire point of mentioning the science that’s been done. And I wasn’t talking about acid, by the way. The studies I’m referring to involve psilocybin, and again, these aren’t “bizarre experiences.” They’ve been concretely defined over decades of scientific research. Not only do they recognize that they’re virtually identical for the volunteers, but they’re virtually identical with those naturally occurring mystical experiences reported by mystics throughout the ages.

    I hope you dont waste your life man. Go find some people you can actually help. You are not a dummy, but have an incredible blind spot on this issue it seems.

    No, I don’t have any blindspot. Unlike you, I’ve actually had a “complete” mystical experience, that’s all. If you perceive that as some type of brain damage simply because I don’t share your atheistic perspective, then that’s not my fault. There’s absolutely no evidence whatsoever that psychedelics cause brain damage. Have you considered perhaps it’s not me that’s mentally ill, but it’s perhaps that you cannot fathom that there is scientific research out there that undermines the atheist position. Perhaps that’s the real issue at hand here.

    IAN….my approach to Kafei and a few others is not typical of how I engage most others here and in real life. Ordinary communication fails to work with them. I agree I am not sure ANY communication style will work, and I am almost certainly wasting my own time.

    BUT… I will say this. I disagree with Kafei’s conclusions regarding the fucked up states of consciousness be has fallen in love with, but my motivation is not primarily to embarrass him. I know hes an intelligent dude. It seems to me he has a lot to offer if he can move past this silliness. If he puts a fraction of his attention to something legit hes likely to make a small difference in the world…and we need that. Ten years ago I believed all sorts of bullshit. Few were as confused as I was. Fuck I am still confused, lol. Progress not perfection they say. I genuinely give a shit about Kafei. I cannot speak for everyone but I bet a lot of us share my feelings here. At the end of the day hes going to believe what he believes I suppose. I hope hes happy.

    I’m not only happy, I’m extremely content with this view, and it’s due to this mystical experience I’ve had. I think I’d be a bitter atheist if I hadn’t had it. I’d probably share your confusion, too, but I don’t, and of course, I’m going to continue to share this science. The whole reason The Atheist Experience still exists is because they haven’t properly addressed the science relative to these topics. Matt Dillahunty has never had a mystical experience.

    For instance, Matt talks about a God that would convince him in an evening, and that God would know what would convince him. Well, that’s what a CME is, that’s what it does. It presents the one thing you cannot deny. And Matt says he doesn’t know what would convince him, but he’s also said, “Perhaps if I had a mystical experience, maybe I’d understand then. But I haven’t, and until I do, all this is gobbledygook.” The one thing he hasn’t considered, the one thing he hasn’t experienced is none other than a “complete” mystical experience. For me, that’d be the most interesting thing, for Matt to undergo this experience, and then hear his take on it.

  199. says

    @Monocle Smile

    Lol what a joke. This kind of crazy claim needs specific falsifiable tests to back it up, and the current state of psychedelic science doesn’t even address this. All it addresses are self reports of what people say they experienced. You’re a fucking modern day flower child. Grow the fuck up.

    What’s testable, demonstrable, and repeatable is the “complete” mystical experience. We’re not simply speaking on “self-reports,” but rather a recognized phenomenon in consciousness which religions have been raving about for millennia à la the Perennial wisdom.

    You use yourself as an example of why we should take drugs over and over and over again. Why the FUCK would I want to become like you? Yeah, I want to lose my livelihood and my passion by taking illegal substances and be reduced to a babbling idiot incapable of discussing anything but a single topic. Real tempting.

    Haha! Well, I certainly wouldn’t to be like you. You come off as the most bitter atheist on these threads. If I may pull your quotes from the Open thread for episode 23.01: Matt & Phil, you have these bitter insults riddled throughout. I could only imagine what the other threads look like with your insipid comments. Is that the alternative to not having a mystical experience? Perhaps Timothy Leary was correct when he said, “LSD does cause psychosis… in the people who don’t take it.” If what you have to offer is the alternative, then I couldn’t be more glad that I had psychedelics in my life.

    #6

    For those who are fortunate enough to be unfamiliar, Jimmy/Kafei is a repeat caller who repeats the exact same script and makes wild ass assertions every single appearance. Do not engage if you don’t want to punch a wall.

    #41

    Shitloads of YouTube links, name-dropping of irrelevant people and exactly nothing of interest to the general topic of AXP.
    Same old crack pipe Kafei.

    #86

    This is straight from the ass of Kafei. Pure speculation. These are not evidenced facts. EnlightenmentLiberal clobbered you with the Mormonism example last time and you looked like a fucking idiot.

    #125

    Quantum changes and Jordan Peterson. Do you leave the house with your pants on your head?

    #144

    Cry me a river. I’ll piss in it.

    #217

    No wonder this fruitcake loves Jordan Peterson so much. Peterson was dumb enough to state that nobody can quit smoking without having a mystical experience. Must have given Kafei a raging boner.

    #234

    I think in #232 that Kafei has clearly shown his hand. We’ve gotten off his script and his buffoonery becomes more plain. What a laughably stupid heap of feces.

    #300

    What I mean to say is: “Go fuck yourself, you self-absorbed asshat.”

    #323

    Moses never existed and the Jesus character described in the Bible didn’t exist, either, you simpering monkey fuck. You’re just another new age woomeister obsessed with his navel.

    Must I go on? As I noted before, I’m quite sure you’re proud of this wall of ad hominem. I’m not sure how in-depth one could understand a psychedelic or mystical experience without having one.

  200. Monocle Smile says

    Kafei is essentially claiming it’s impossible to understand electricity without sticking a fork in an electrical socket. And also that doing so gives insight into the fundamental nature of electricity and nothing else can.

    Like I said, what a joke. Kafei misses the point yet again.

  201. John David Balla says

    Kafei,

    You just said, “I don’t believe, I know,” so clearly you are not here to debate, gain knowledge or perspective. What makes your repetitive rants (that go nowhere) really hard to listen to is that people have been claiming the divine in mind-altering substances since the first person got high. Even alcohol used to be commonly referred to as spirits. But for some reason you seem to feel like you have come onto something spectacularly different and new except there is nothing new or remarkable about the fact that people take drugs and get high, and that they often assign significance to their altered states.

    If you want, I can put you in touch with a bunch of people just like you in Peru. They believe everything you believe to the point where it has become a banality. What I can’t figure out is why your enthusiasm remains as if you had your first psychotropic experience yesterday. Yes. Even psychotropics get boring if you do them enough.

    BTW, it was extremely immature of you to insinuate that I wasn’t getting the proper dosage of ayahuasca because I was a tourist, and that the dosage is diluted for such types. Why did you do that? If I did that I would apologize because there is no way I could possibly know such a thing, let alone what a proper dose is, let alone who I was with, how often, and the circumstances. You’re just being a smug asshole at this point.

    BTW. You also mischaracterize my experiences with these substances since I have not shared them with you. I have only described the magical mystical claims of others. These plants can do anything. Just ask those who believe. Now, if you want to witness these things, good luck with that. I’ve been unable to verify any extraordinary claim to date despite the enormous social pressure to do so. However, since you are predisposed – what others have rightly characterized as presuppositional — you have already bought in, and bought in harder than the hundreds of young kids like you I’ve been with.

    That’s why you are so obsessed with perennial philosophy. You are not seeking truth or wisdom or knowledge. You already claim all three! Everything else is just backfill to what you already believe, —correction— already “know.” Your words.

    Like many in this forum, I am concerned about your mental health. (People were concerned about me for the same reasons a few decades ago, and of course, I laughed it off.) You have gone deeper into your psychotropic rabbit hole than anyone I’ve seen, and I’ve seen probably much more of this stuff than you have (debatable). If you think about it connecting the dots to a conclusion isn’t a noble effort. It’s intellectually dishonest. This is what you are doing Kafei. Life is much more interesting by asking what is true than it is to claim it by fiat.

    When you claim “to know” you lose credibility, and quite frankly, engaging with you quickly becomes pointless. But I do understand why you and so many others have found God through drugs. It’s easy. No work required. And that alone doesn’t mean there is no value or that what you claim isn’t true. However, if what you claim is true, we’d be able to see this knowledge and wisdom manifest in ways that would be measurable. People like you would be able to demonstrate a salient value that is indeed valuable, that everyone (or most everyone) would recognize and appreciate at the very least. Just remember, when you’re high and feel like everything is “one” there is a biochemical explanation for that which is wholly unremarkable. But what you are doing is even less remarkable. You are assigning TRUTH value to the experience without showing your work. And when asked how you know, you do what so many helpless presupps do. “I know.”

    So why should I talk to you any further? Your absolute certitude doesn’t interest me. I don’t know why it even interests you.

  202. speedofsound says

    Kafei is the most amazing case of believer block I have explored. I think I got him right down to the nub and no amount of reasoning works. Makes me sad.

  203. Monocle Smile says

    @John David Balla
    @speedofsound
    I, for one, am very glad you are both here and will continue to feel that way despite any disagreements we have had or may have in the future.

  204. says

    @John David Balla

    You just said, “I don’t believe, I know,” so clearly you are not here to debate, gain knowledge or perspective.

    I am here to gain knowledge and perspective in how to do deal with common misconceptions, common arguments, etc., because I ultimately want to start a podcast on these topics. However, just because “I know” doesn’t mean it’s invalid. I mean, AronRa and Matt Dillahunty have made the same claims, they they know a God does not exist. That’s gnostic atheism. If they know there is no God, then obviously The Atheist Experience is a form of televangelism for atheism.

    What makes your repetitive rants (that go nowhere) really hard to listen to is that people have been claiming the divine in mind-altering substances since the first person got high. Even alcohol used to be commonly referred to as spirits. But for some reason you seem to feel like you have come onto something spectacularly different and new except there is nothing new or remarkable about the fact that people take drugs and get high, and that they often assign significance to their altered states.

    Where these claims go beyond simply tales of “drug trips,” is that they’re able to recognize that this phenomenon in consciousness is not exclusive to psychedelics. That is to say, psychedelics aren’t necessary to elicit mystical states of consciousness. And they can recognize this phenomenon reported throughout the scriptures of the major religions.

    If you want, I can put you in touch with a bunch of people just like you in Peru. They believe everything you believe to the point where it has become a banality. What I can’t figure out is why your enthusiasm remains as if you had your first psychotropic experience yesterday. Yes. Even psychotropics get boring if you do them enough.

    I disagree, perhaps you haven’t taken enough. Have you considered this? I’m still pondering a psychedelic experience I had about 10 years ago of five dried grams of Psilocybe azurescens, a species very potent in psilocybin/pilocin.

  205. says

    @John David Balla

    BTW, it was extremely immature of you to insinuate that I wasn’t getting the proper dosage of ayahuasca because I was a tourist, and that the dosage is diluted for such types. Why did you do that? If I did that I would apologize because there is no way I could possibly know such a thing, let alone what a proper dose is, let alone who I was with, how often, and the circumstances. You’re just being a smug asshole at this point.

    It’s because the very experiences you described were those of the subthreshold dose, the visionary/archetypal experiences that many people describe with these substances. However, if you go beyond that, there is a phenomenon that occurs which these professionals refer to as the unitive mystical state of consciousness or “complete” mystical experience, and that’s definitely what did you not describe. So, pardon me if I suspect that you may have not had the full-spectrum psychedelic experience.

    BTW. You also mischaracterize my experiences with these substances since I have not shared them with you. I have only described the magical mystical claims of others. These plants can do anything. Just ask those who believe. Now, if you want to witness these things, good luck with that. I’ve been unable to verify any extraordinary claim to date despite the enormous social pressure to do so. However, since you are predisposed – what others have rightly characterized as presuppositional — you have already bought in, and bought in harder than the hundreds of young kids like you I’ve been with.

    I’d say they incorrectly criticized this as presuppositional. This research relative to these mystical states of consciousness has absolutely nothing to do with any form of presuppositionalism whatsoever. This is a very common misconception, and some of the participants here aren’t the first to assume such things. I’ve seen it on so many other threads, but make no mistake, this research simply has nothing to do with presuppositionalism.

    That’s why you are so obsessed with perennial philosophy. You are not seeking truth or wisdom or knowledge. You already claim all three! Everything else is just backfill to what you already believe, —correction— already “know.” Your words.

    No, I’m not the one to interject the Perennial philosophy into this research, that would be the professionals involved directly in this research. So, it’s merely you’re assumption that I’ve somehow attached the Perennial philosophy to this scientific research out of my interests. That’s not the case at all.

    Like many in this forum, I am concerned about your mental health. (People were concerned about me for the same reasons a few decades ago, and of course, I laughed it off.) You have gone deeper into your psychotropic rabbit hole than anyone I’ve seen, and I’ve seen probably much more of this stuff than you have (debatable). If you think about it connecting the dots to a conclusion isn’t a noble effort. It’s intellectually dishonest. This is what you are doing Kafei. Life is much more interesting by asking what is true than it is to claim it by fiat.

    Well, I appreciate your concern, but I’m in superb mental and physical health. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with me. I’m merely reiterating precisely what has been demonstrated by decades worth of scientific research that goes all the way back to the work of William James in the early 1900s. I don’t know why atheists seem to think anyone promoting this science has mental health issues, but it may be the case that it’s precisely the other way around. It may be that the atheist is so emotionally attached to atheism that they cannot fathom that there’s science out there that undermines their position. That is probably more accurately what’s going on.

    When you claim “to know” you lose credibility, and quite frankly, engaging with you quickly becomes pointless.

    If that’s your argument, then the entire show of “The Atheist Experience” is worthless because the hosts are gnostic atheists. So, if that’s your argument, it’s pretty lame, if you ask me.

    But I do understand why you and so many others have found God through drugs. It’s easy. No work required. And that alone doesn’t mean there is no value or that what you claim isn’t true.

    I wouldn’t necessarily describe the experience as “easy.” I mean, even you said you had ayahuasca, and if that experience was “easy” for you, then obviously didn’t take enough. I don’t think it’s supposed to be easy, especially with ayahuasca. Ayahuasca causes you to vomit, to diarrea (at the same time), and the visions aren’t easy to deal with. Some people can relive the death of a parent or child, etc. Even some of the participants who were involved in the pilot study as part of the initial research done at Johns Hopkins are to this day seeking psychiatric help because they had such a bad experience. So, I’m not too sure what you’re calling “easy.”

    However, if what you claim is true, we’d be able to see this knowledge and wisdom manifest in ways that would be measurable. People like you would be able to demonstrate a salient value that is indeed valuable, that everyone (or most everyone) would recognize and appreciate at the very least.

    That’s precisely what this research has been doing. They’ve shown definitively that these experiences are beneficial for the volunteers who meet criteria for the so-called “complete” mystical experience. It’s helped people quit smoking without recidivism, it’s helped terminally-ill cancer patients come to terms with their own death to enjoy the final days of their lives, it’s helped cure people of depression, anxiety, PTSD, etc.

    Just remember, when you’re high and feel like everything is “one” there is a biochemical explanation for that which is wholly unremarkable. But what you are doing is even less remarkable. You are assigning TRUTH value to the experience without showing your work. And when asked how you know, you do what so many helpless presupps do. “I know.”

    Sure, there’s a biochemical event happening that could be scientifically described, but I don’t believe these experiences are to be reduced to simply a biochemical function. That’s simply half the story.

    So why should I talk to you any further? Your absolute certitude doesn’t interest me. I don’t know why it even interests you.

    Well, I have had this experience, and I have been following this research for a little over decade. You don’t have to agree with anything I say, but I will point out the science will disagree with you.

  206. EnlightenmentLiberal says

    Do not apologize to cockroaches…

    Ever hear the saying “take the high road”?

  207. Monocle Smile says

    That’s precisely what this research has been doing. They’ve shown definitively that these experiences are beneficial for the volunteers who meet criteria for the so-called “complete” mystical experience

    With tiny sample sizes. These studies are not nearly thorough or extensive enough to make this claim.

    Sure, there’s a biochemical event happening that could be scientifically described, but I don’t believe these experiences are to be reduced to simply a biochemical function. That’s simply half the story

    What, we’re supposed to just accept this because you say so? Because none of the science points that way. ALL of the science indicates a biological phenomenon. Fucking prove this. I dare you.

  208. says

    @Monocle Smile

    Kafei is essentially claiming it’s impossible to understand electricity without sticking a fork in an electrical socket. And also that doing so gives insight into the fundamental nature of electricity and nothing else can.

    Like I said, what a joke. Kafei misses the point yet again.

    I don’t agree with that. This is a false analogy, and I’ll, of course, explain why. There are certain analogies we could to describe certain phenomena, such as one that Alan Watts has used to describe, coincidentally enough, electricity. He says, “Supposing for example you don’t understand the technicalities of electricity. And somebody wants to explain them to you, he wants to explain ‘the flow of currents.’ Well, to do that, he compares electricity with water, and because you understand water, you get some idea about the behavior of electricity.”

    Another example he uses is “If an astronomer wants to explain to you what he means by expanding space, he’ll use the metaphor of a balloon, a black balloon with white spots on it, the whit spots represent the galaxies. Then, if you blow up the balloon, they all get further away from each other at the same speed as the balloon blows up.”

    However, the point is that in neither case are we saying that electricity is water or that the universe is a balloon with white spots on it. We’re saying rather it’s something like it, but because they’re relatable to other common things people understand, these analogies are useful. However, when it comes to the CME, they are not very useful at all. What you have with the CME is more like attempting to describe an orgasm to someone who’s never experienced one. What would you say? They haven’t experienced anything relatable in their lives to compare the orgasm to, as Watts compared electricity with water. You can’t simply tell them, “Oh, well, it just feels like your genitals are sneezing.” You see, this pays no justice to the splendor of the experience. If what you were saying is true, then one could simply view an fMRI scan and understand completely what that particular brain is feeling, thinking, etc. Obviously, an fMRI pattern is incapable of granting such information.

    As I pointed out in thread for the first The Atheist Experience episode of the year, I’m definitely with William James in regards to this, he concluded that while the revelations of the mystic hold true, they hold true only for the mystic; for others, they are certainly ideas to be considered, but can hold no claim to truth without personal experience of such. In other words, nothing is going to convince anyone here of this stuff short of the individual’s own CME.

  209. t90bb says

    kafei…..for you limited and narrow research to conclude that these fucked up states allow for the experience of god…..then when exactly did science determine that god exists?? I must have missed that announcement.

    you have the cart before the horse……but of course as i stated before (and you denied) there is a shit ton of presupposition in your deluded tale and conclusions…….

    You really really need this to true dont you?? You said you are practicing here?? how many have you actually convinced of your tale of fucked up states leading you to fellowship with the divine??

    I am still hoping one day you have the courage to fairly evaluate what you have laid at our feet as evidence. This is not the conclusions of a rational mind. Perhaps your lonely?

  210. says

    @Monocle Smile

    With tiny sample sizes. These studies are not nearly thorough or extensive enough to make this claim.

    Yet this is invariably the case with every single study done. Each study done at Hopkins, and even the earlier ones back when psychedelics were legal, had shown this to be the case. There was over a thousand studies done with LSD back when it was legal. All that promising research got completely shut down in ’66 when all psychedelics became illegal even for scientific research. However, this research at Johns Hopkins has prompted research with psychedelics all over the world, and I don’t see their track record changing pace anytime soon. They will continue to show the benefits of these substances as more and more research takes place.

    Sure, there’s a biochemical event happening that could be scientifically described, but I don’t believe these experiences are to be reduced to simply a biochemical function. That’s simply half the story

    What, we’re supposed to just accept this because you say so? Because none of the science points that way. ALL of the science indicates a biological phenomenon. Fucking prove this. I dare you.

    Yes, that was the finding, that in most people studied, they were able to produce this “complete” mystical experience which they found to be a biologically normal phenomenon in consciousness. It was never anything supernatural in the sense of defying the laws of nature. Theoria in Christianity is a natural phenomenon in consciousness, likewise the nirvana of Buddhism or samadhi in Hinduism or wu wei in Taoism or sekhel mufla in Judaism or the Fana or Tawhid of Islam, the gnosis of the Gnostics, “The One” of Plotinus, etc., etc. These are all metaphors for a natural revelatory event in consciousness which neuroscientists today are calling a “complete” mystical experience.

  211. buddyward says

    @t90bb

    You really really need this to true dont you?? You said you are practicing here?? how many have you actually convinced of your tale of fucked up states leading you to fellowship with the divine??

    Oh i know the answer to this. He is not here to convince anyone because the convincing factor is the CME itself.

    He is here to practice how to become a better liar. So it does not matter if no one believes him, he will continue to make assertions until someone does believe him. Then he will take this on the road so that he can lie to a bigger audience and perhaps sell some magic mushrooms on the side in “heroic” doses. You see if you tell people that you will not understand what you are saying unless you take drugs then there is a better chance that they will buy the drug.

  212. t90bb says

    kafei….you said in 221….

    As I pointed out in thread for the first The Atheist Experience episode of the year, I’m definitely with William James in regards to this, he concluded that while the revelations of the mystic hold true, they hold true only for the mystic; for others, they are certainly ideas to be considered, but can hold no claim to truth without personal experience of such. In other words, nothing is going to convince anyone here of this stuff short of the individual’s own CME.

    AND THAT IS EXACTLY WHY YOU ARE A PRESUPPOSITIONALIST IN DISGUISE…..A presupp’r knows because they know because its been revealed to them. They presuppose this experience was a true revelation……and ground it as fact…..
    JUST like you and others do with your fucked up experiences while having your brain fucked up……..you have claimed some sort of knowledge was revealed…..and your presupposing its legitimacy as basis of your conclusions. You are claiming special revealed knowledge through your fucked up brain states……

    You really cant see that what you are doing kafei???,,,,,you are presupposing “special knowledge” has been achieved…LOL…and it is what you say it is because you experienced it!!!

    its one literal shit show

  213. t90bb says

    kafei…….and one more thing…..

    How has this CME changed your life?? If I had a literal contact with the divine I would hope it would leave me in a better position than spending hours a day begging others to pay attn to me. Next time you have a fucked up brain session with god see if you can get something useful. Maybe a cure for Alzheimer or my social security number at least. Get me something man! It seems these fucked up brain state revelations are pretty worthless overall. I mean here you are.

  214. says

    @t90bb

    kafei…..for you limited and narrow research to conclude that these fucked up states allow for the experience of god…..then when exactly did science determine that god exists?? I must have missed that announcement.

    Probably because no asinine paper would ever read “scientists discover God.” Atheists seem to think it’s going to come packaged like that, like if they’re going to read it in news headlines. It’s not that simple. You see, “God” isn’t the only term for the divine, so to address all the major religions they invoke the Perennial philosophy. And it has been in the peer-reviewed papers, the news papers, it’s just not as easy for atheists to follow. I suppose an atheist needs it simplified to the point where the headline just reads “Scientists prove God.” But you see, that’s just a way to phrase it for dummies. By invoking the Perennial philosophy, they address the divine in all of the major religions. The Perennial philosophy was even mentioned in an article which Michael Pollan wrote for New York Times on Christmas’ Eve of 2018.

    you have the cart before the horse……but of course as i stated before (and you denied) there is a shit ton of presupposition in your deluded tale and conclusions…….

    I maintain there is no presuppositions involved here at all.

    You really really need this to true dont you?? You said you are practicing here?? how many have you actually convinced of your tale of fucked up states leading you to fellowship with the divine??

    I don’t need it to be true. I know it’s true as I’ve had this experience for myself. I know you doubt it, but it’s precisely due to the fact you’ve not had it, and we’re definitely not talking about “fucked up states of mind.” I associate that with meth, alcohol, huffing spray paints, etc. Definitely not psychedelics. I’ve repeatedly emphasized the fact that these states are more associated with higher states of consciousness than anything else.

    I am still hoping one day you have the courage to fairly evaluate what you have laid at our feet as evidence. This is not the conclusions of a rational mind. Perhaps your lonely?

    I could say the same to you, perhaps one day you’ll properly examine the science and realize I’m not attempting to BS you here. I’m merely reiterating precisely what’s been established by the science that’s been done. And no, I’m not lonely. Not one bit. I actually have a very active social life and family that I spend time with as much as I can.

  215. t90bb says

    kafei…….yea you had a fucked up experience while your brain was fucked up….and you know you met and experienced god….and it was god because you tell us it is god….got it…..(presup much? lol) ….. YOU KNOW IT in fact!

    just like one person “knows its true” they were abducted by aliens many times! or the person that “knows” the horoscope is legit….or the person who “knows” their psychic has put them in touch with their deceased pet! They KNOW!

  216. Ian Butler says

    Ronald Kyle, I assume I am the cockroach you are referring to, but have no idea what “fabricated claptrap statistics” you say I used last week. Perhaps you can clarify.

    I see you again have chosen to double down on your anti-social behavior, so be it. If you think the problem with social media is not enough personal insults you are as far beyond reach as kafei or oreoman.

  217. John David Balla says

    @t90bb #228

    Kafei. You will do very well as a podcaster. Very well. You have all the fixings to be a cult leader for which there are many taking kids from the US to South America right now. It’s a big business selling spiritual enlightenment vis-a-vis ayahuasca to impressionable Americans. Hopefully, you will not use your position for sexual predation like so many do. This is a very dark partnership you and god are forming. Unfortunately, you will never run out of customers. I will, however, promise you this. I will do what I can to expose your sophistry. If it prevents one person from buying your snake oil, it’ll be worth it. The world does not need another cult leader or self-proclaimed enlightened one, but I guess it’s too late for that.

    You are a dangerous person.

  218. EnlightenmentLiberal says

    Ronald Kyle, I assume I am the cockroach you are referring to,

    No lol! I’m pretty sure that he is referring to Shiningone.

  219. RationalismRules says

    @iquilt6 #103
    I missed your post earlier, but I’m interested in the issue you raise, if you’re still around.

    As a teaser: I find it interesting that even people who understand the difference between potential life vs actual life in relation to abortion still frequently offer the “your life might get better” argument against suicide.

  220. RationalismRules says

    Despite having no desire to contribute to the enablement of Kafei’s ongoing public masturbation, sadly I lack the self-discipline to let the following pass without comment:
    #212

    We’re not simply speaking on “self-reports,” but rather a recognized phenomenon in consciousness which religions have been raving about for millennia à la the Perennial wisdom.

    Denying that he is simply appealing to ‘self-reports’, then immediately following this by claiming ‘a recognized phenomenon’ on the basis of self-reports…

    …IN THE SAME FUCKING SENTENCE…!

  221. Lamont Cranston says

    With all the talk about the supernatural versus reality, I believe something is often overlooked.

    People are constantly saying things like, “The supernatural is outside of reality.” However, the simple fact is that we actually don’t know what reality truly is and where the limits of reality are.

    For example, we may say things like, “Ghosts are part of the supernatural and the supernatural cannot be proven by science.” This statement is an over reach. The truth is that something like ghosts are really beyond our current understanding. They may be part of reality and they may not. Indeed, science could study ghosts and eventually identify and prove a completely reality based explanation for them that is thoroughly consistent with reality.

    When we make claims about the supernatural, it would be better to state that, “The supernatural is the label we put on anything that is beyond our present understanding of that which is within the current definitions of reality.”

    To believe that, at our present level of understanding, we can absolutely define the boundaries of reality is the height of arrogance.

    Another example would be whether God, a god, or gods would be supernatural in the sense of forever being completely outside of reality and beyond our ability to detect or prove. With our current speculations on the nature of reality, there appears to be the need for many more dimensions to reality than the 4 that we normally perceive (x, y, z and time). In fact, there are aspects of reality that appear to require as many as 11 dimensions or maybe even more. The nature of these dimensions is still subject to a lot of speculation in science. For now we are kind of stuck with the idea that they are somehow orthogonal to the 4 known dimensions as well as being somehow orthogonal to each other. That is, they are all somehow independent degrees of freedom.

    Could anything exist in a number of dimensions excluding our normal 4 but still project itself into 4 dimensional space-time under some circumstances (like a 2d picture of a 3d object)? While this is not known at present, there are some approaches to unified field theories that even depend on projections from higher dimension onto lower dimensions of space-time.

    I say all of this to make one simple point. One should always be careful of what you think you know. Not that long ago we knew the earth was flat, the sun circled the earth, and a god threw lightning bolts across the heavens. I agree we know much more today, but how much more do we still have yet to learn? I would wager we have more to learn than we can even imagine.

    Do I believe in a god? No. Why? I don’t believe because the existence of a god is not supported by the presently available evidence. Do I believe that it is impossible for a god to exist? No. Why? I don’t consider it impossible because I don’t know what it would require for a god to exist. Therefore I am presently an agnostic (don’t know whether a god exists) atheist (don’t believe a god exists because of insufficient evidence).

    Lamont Cranston

  222. speedofsound says

    @Kafei

    It’s because the very experiences you described were those of the subthreshold dose, the visionary/archetypal experiences that many people describe with these substances. However, if you go beyond that, there is a phenomenon that occurs which these professionals refer to as the unitive mystical state of consciousness or “complete” mystical experience, and that’s definitely what did you not describe. So, pardon me if I suspect that you may have not had the full-spectrum psychedelic experience.

    Jesus Christ! Your tick does not work. You had a god damned psychedelic experience. In the 60’s and 70’s thousands of us did this same thing and we all discussed it. I did over one hundred. I estimate possibly as much as 200 trips. I got hold of a 200 mcg standard candle and estimated that I took as much as 2000 mcg. I fucking most certainly took enough and I had all this experience you are talking about. What I did not do is apply any ‘worldview’ to it when I sobered up.

    And! I had a real fucking complete mystical experience at 15 before I ever took a drug. And I did that with a book by Watts, who I have read cover to cover multiple times. That is a REAL experience, not a drug induced loss of standard mental function like you are experiencing. Granted there are powerful similarities.

    Did I get wisdom. Yep! Three days of it the first time and then one week on the second near-death induced experience. Learned a fuck-ton about myself. Learned some self-psychology. The reason I did not learn about the nature of reality is that the experience did not come with any instruments like telescopes and shit.

    But don’t get this part wrong. I had a ‘feeling’ of great knowledge and perfection. The feeling that everything fit together perfectly and everything was just as it should be. Those CME questionnaires they have would have got me a A on this first experience. What I didn’t do is come to a belief after the fact that I had been given some privileged view into the internal engine of the cosmos. That would be dumb. Right?

  223. says

    @t90bb

    AND THAT IS EXACTLY WHY YOU ARE A PRESUPPOSITIONALIST IN DISGUISE…..A presupp’r knows because they know because its been revealed to them. They presuppose this experience was a true revelation……and ground it as fact…..

    The primary difference is that a presuppositionalist presupposes certain facts about reality. Nothing like that takes place with a CME. I started agnostic/atheist prior to my own CME. What you seem to be ignoring here is the noetic quality of this experience which is an intrinsic part of the CME. And to the degree you have that experience, the Perennial philosophy not only makes sense, but it begins to resonate with you. That’s why, while I admire and really appreciate the work Michael Pollan has done with his most recent book “How to Change Your Mind,” after having read the book, and actually listened to Michael speak about his experiences through all these talks he’s given, it’s very clear that Michael didn’t have what these researchers would call the “complete” mystical experience. He had it to a degree, but even he admits that he probably could’ve taken higher doses, and that lots of people in his experience have told him precisely that. That there’s an orbit which lots of people talk about, and he felt he was just perhaps at the brink, but not quite there.

    He admits that he didn’t feel he was a convert in the fashion of Huxley, but he doesn’t necessarily discount what Huxley has said. I feel Michael Pollan sort of just brushes Huxley’s Perennialist conclusion off as though it was just simply Huxley’s predilection from his earlier work prior to having had mescaline. I’ve listened to all of his accounts involving psilocybin mushrooms, 5-MeO-DMT (Sonoran Desert toad venom), and ayahuasca, and the only that sounded very close to a unitive mystical state of consciousness was his encounter with the toad venom, but that is also a very short-acting compound and not easy to get down, but I will say he has spoken about the possibility of trying it again, perhaps when it becomes legal. He even speaks about the possibility of having it annually on his birthday which is interesting, because that’s sort of how I do it. But to not digress, my point is that if he had a more powerful experience with psilocybin or the ayahuasca, he wouldn’t have been so skeptical of Aldous Huxley. Alan Watts thought the very same thing about Huxley, too, initially. This was prior to Watts’ own psychedelic experiences. And so he thought Huxley was just going off on a tangent and overestimating his mescaline experience, but since Alan Watts was a close friend of Huxley’s, it influenced Watts to want to try acid, and so he found an opportunity and was offered LSD-25. While he found the experience interesting and aesthetic, it confirmed for Watts during that time that Huxley was just taking the idea too far. That is, of course, because Watts, like most people, don’t always hit the marker the first time or even few times around. Bill Richards has spoken about meeting people who’ve claimed hundreds of experiences with LSD, but have never come anywhere near a mystical experience. So, naturally, he was approached by a psychiatrist that insisted to Alan Watts, “I don’t think you’ve gone into this deeply enough.” So, he asked Watts if he could dose him personally, and Watts agreed retaining his skepticism, and so this psychiatrist gave Watts a proper dose. It was then that he finally had a mystical experience, Watts had to admit what he didn’t want to admit, that there was such a thing as “drug-induced mysticism.” He had would he simply could not deny being an experience of what he then would call Cosmic consciousness, what these neuroscientists are calling a mystical experience, the sense of complete fundamental, total unity forever and ever with the whole universe, not only that, but what this thing was fundamentally, despite everything and every kind of appearance in ordinary life, to the contrary, that the energy behind the universe was ecstatic bliss and love.” Well, of course, he was very embarrassed by that. Because he thought, you “can’t mysticism out of the bottle, that would be degrading everything,” but he couldn’t deny that it happened. Of course, while Huxley and Watts were both writing about their experiences, they both admit they had no idea it would blow as the psychedelic counterculture of the 60s and 70s.

  224. says

    @t90bb

    JUST like you and others do with your fucked up experiences while having your brain fucked up……..you have claimed some sort of knowledge was revealed…..and your presupposing its legitimacy as basis of your conclusions. You are claiming special revealed knowledge through your fucked up brain states……

    No, I’ve repeatedly said no professional considers these states “fucked up states of mind.” That’s just the way you’ve been describing them thus far, when I’ve repeatedly highlighted evidence to the contrary. That’s fine if you want to characterize it that way, and I realize you say this precisely, as I pointed out before, due to the fact that you have not had this experience. However, I would agree with Pollan that it’s not an accident that this psychedelic research has happening now. These things do have a relevance which you may not realize.

    You really cant see that what you are doing kafei???,,,,,you are presupposing “special knowledge” has been achieved…LOL…and it is what you say it is because you experienced it!!!

    I don’t think so, if it were special it would be specifically my own insight, if this is what you mean by special, but the fact of the matter is that these experiences are a potential within us all. So there’s no reason to think I’m special just because I’ve had this experience, you have the potential for it, too. Everyone here does.

    kafei…….and one more thing…..

    How has this CME changed your life?? If I had a literal contact with the divine I would hope it would leave me in a better position than spending hours a day begging others to pay attn to me. Next time you have a fucked up brain session with god see if you can get something useful. Maybe a cure for Alzheimer or my social security number at least. Get me something man! It seems these fucked up brain state revelations are pretty worthless overall. I mean here you are.

    It’s changed my life dramatically. I’ve infinite patience, I rarely get agitated, I experience no anxiety, no dithering, no cognitive dissonance in my life whatsoever. You notice a lot of people here getting triggered? Over words on a screen? Well, I don’t experience that whatsoever. I also don’t see death the same way as I did prior to this experience in which I pretty much held the view most people probably have here, that once the brain dies. That’s it. Consciousness blinks out and you’re dead. I suppose you could say like those volunteers Michael Pollan interviewed for his book, particularly the cancer patients who said that their fear of death did not diminish, it was absolutely extinguished, and it’s been shown to help people in myriads of fashions.

  225. says

    @speedofsound

    Jesus Christ! Your tick does not work. You had a god damned psychedelic experience. In the 60’s and 70’s thousands of us did this same thing and we all discussed it. I did over one hundred. I estimate possibly as much as 200 trips. I got hold of a 200 mcg standard candle and estimated that I took as much as 2000 mcg. I fucking most certainly took enough and I had all this experience you are talking about. What I did not do is apply any ‘worldview’ to it when I sobered up.

    I didn’t apply any “world-view” to it either. What I realized is that these mystical states of consciousness are consistent with modern science. They were defined long before you and I even had this experience.

    And! I had a real fucking complete mystical experience at 15 before I ever took a drug. And I did that with a book by Watts, who I have read cover to cover multiple times. That is a REAL experience, not a drug induced loss of standard mental function like you are experiencing. Granted there are powerful similarities.

    Are you talking about through meditation? You’re not very clear here. I know Watts wrote many elucidating books on meditation. In fact, many of Watts’ works on meditation have been highly beneficial to my own meditation.

    Did I get wisdom. Yep! Three days of it the first time and then one week on the second near-death induced experience. Learned a fuck-ton about myself. Learned some self-psychology. The reason I did not learn about the nature of reality is that the experience did not come with any instruments like telescopes and shit.

    So, you had a near-death experience? You’re comparing a brain to a telescope? There’s a tool that you have that is the ultimate tool for ascertaining the fundamental nature of reality, and that is your very brain. To quote Terence McKenna in regards to this:

    I believe that more powerful than any atom smasher, more subtle than any space telescope is the human mind. The human mind is the most subtle and superb of all instruments for the study and measurement of nature, because, when we look into ourselves, we discover the same patterns that we discover in the birth or a death of a species, the flow of a river, the collapse of a corporation or the flowering of a love affair. The process is under a universal aegis of description. So it doesn’t matter whether it is the birth and death of your hope, the rise and fall of the Assyrian Empire, or the evolution of the Pacific Ocean, processes always occur in the same way. And this is why there is congruity between the mental world of human beings, the world of abstract mathematics and the world of nature.

    But don’t get this part wrong. I had a ‘feeling’ of great knowledge and perfection. The feeling that everything fit together perfectly and everything was just as it should be. Those CME questionnaires they have would have got me a A on this first experience. What I didn’t do is come to a belief after the fact that I had been given some privileged view into the internal engine of the cosmos. That would be dumb. Right?

    No, I disagree. I believe that’s how it’s always been perceived within the major religions. The very essence of the core of the major religions according to the Philosophia perennis is pure and timeless truth.

    @RationalismRules

    Denying that he is simply appealing to ‘self-reports’, then immediately following this by claiming ‘a recognized phenomenon’ on the basis of self-reports…

    …IN THE SAME FUCKING SENTENCE…!

    You don’t run a YouTube channel by RationalityRules, by any chance, do you? The reason I emphasized that point was because in my encounter with Matt, he denied that they were investigating a phenomenon in consciousness. Well, I suppose he didn’t deny, but was skeptical of it, and said “maybe they are investigating a phenomenon,” so that’s why I said that, but Matt admitted right off the bat that he wasn’t too familiar with the research. There’s another interesting aspect I wanted to throw in this post about these experiences, and that’s a point Joe Rogan has mentioned on his podcast, which Nathan mentions this episode.

    @John David Balla

    You will do very well as a podcaster. Very well. You have all the fixings to be a cult leader for which there are many taking kids from the US to South America right now. It’s a big business selling spiritual enlightenment vis-a-vis ayahuasca to impressionable Americans. Hopefully, you will not use your position for sexual predation like so many do. This is a very dark partnership you and god are forming. Unfortunately, you will never run out of customers. I will, however, promise you this.

    Well, shit. I guess I’ll just accept that as a compliment. So, thanks?

    I will do what I can to expose your sophistry. If it prevents one person from buying your snake oil, it’ll be worth it. The world does not need another cult leader or self-proclaimed enlightened one, but I guess it’s too late for that.

    Please, have at it. You’re welcome to be invited on the podcast, too, when I can get this thing going. Bring your A game, brother.

  226. paxoll says

    Jesus fn christ I’m tired of reading the same crap.
     
    Kafei when taking any of these drugs, people have hallucinations, visual, auditory. Matt had his super strawberry experience staring at a door while sitting on the shitter. Do these hallucinations mean anything at all about reality, or are they just a mental construct related to deranged brain chemistry in the person?

  227. Monocle Smile says

    Yeah, this is pointless. Kafei claims that a CME is not just a biological phenomenon. I demand that he prove this because all the science indicates it’s solely a biological phenomenon and then he fucking agrees with me.
    This twerp is either the worst communicator of all people who can form complete sentences or a persistent troll.

  228. t90bb says

    239/240….yes fellas! ..You Guys some up the issue well. No one is denying these experiences while fucked up occur.. Giving them some sort of agency and divinity is where Kafei goes off the rails. He, as well as the research provide nothing indicating these experiences are of or related to gawd or the divine..

    I have long suspected that religion is a form of addiction for some. Addictions are useful to avoid other areas of our life that are uncomfortable. I know this from personal experience. Perhaps Kafei needs to hold on to this at this time. The mind is powerful and will protect any and all threats to that which is bringing relief and comfort. Kafeis interpretations and claimed origins of these acid trips bring him comfort I suppose. His arguments are not that dissimilar to those who justify their religious notions as a result of near death experiences.

    I think he might be dealing with more than hes capable of understanding from a mental health perspective. Perhaps backing off this discussion may be an act of compassion. Thats what I think I am going to do. When I suggested that he consider seeking some help I was not fucking joking. I do admire his spunk and energy, misplaced as I believe it is.

    Night all.

  229. buddyward says

    You guys have to realize that Kafei does not care whether or not he can convince anybody nor does he care what your arguments are, he already made up his mind that he is correct. He is not here for a discussion. He is here to practice his narrative. Please let us stop feeding the troll.

  230. speedofsound says

    Back to the self thing with Paxoll. The real problem with the shit Kafei is peddling is that we are missing the importance of the psychology and psychological methodology being worked out in these studies. Just like back in the sixties these religious nutcakes are going to end up tipping over the research.

    Here is the thing to note. A PHYSICAL substance brings about a very good facsimile of these ME’s which have a long and powerful history. That ‘proves’ that it’s all fucking physics. That we and our prescious ‘mindses and conshus-es’ are just physics.

    Now the case is often made for sub-physical conscicles but mostly by people who are stoned off their asses on either drugs or starry-eyed Hollywood, tear evoking, wishfulness. I gotta admit I get choked up at the end of the movie when something spiri-chul appears in the heavenly plot. But I have found that a cold shower or just a sharp self-inflicted slap upside the head clears that shit up. In fact I think the whole thing with face-palm evolved from a natural instinct to slap yourself silly when the spirit overtakes you like that. Mirror neurons and shit.

  231. speedofsound says

    @Kafei

    Are you talking about through meditation? You’re not very clear here. I know Watts wrote many elucidating books on meditation. In fact, many of Watts’ works on meditation have been highly beneficial to my own meditation.

    No not meditation. I had spent my years from 13-15 getting into philosophy which ended in existentialism and skepticism. During that time puberty was not going so well for me to put it mildly. My teen-angst-death-wish was peaking and I was actually having serious visual hallucinations as a result i think of stress. My father was very good at being a drunk and torturing his oldest teen child. He was a fucking master of psychological abuse. So on December 24th 1966 I sat under the xmas tree and started to read Beyond Theology. Mom and dad were at the bar preparing another xmas disaster. A simple thought experiment in the book somehow induced what should have been a suicidal mental breakdown. Instead, inexplicably, I was launched into this three-day tour of white light and… acceptance? Peace? Fuck I don’t know. Something happened to me that changed EVERYTHING.

    Now having ME’s as a result of extreme stress is historically noted. That is what happened to me. I had a Complete Nervous Breakdown, CNB :), and combined with whatever fucked up neurochemical imbalance that was causing the hallucinations, plus a pubing teen aged brain the size of a fucking small planet, my temporo-parietal cortex had a seizure. A perfect storm.

    I think that that thing saved my life at the time. Though I did my best over the next forty years to reverse that salvation.

  232. says

    @paxoll

    Jesus fn christ I’m tired of reading the same crap.

    I get tired of the same ol’ misconceptions constantly brought up by atheists. This is precisely I want to start a podcast about this stuff.

    Kafei when taking any of these drugs, people have hallucinations, visual, auditory.

    Sure, I hope you’re not trying to tell me what a hallucination is simply because you read some description somewhere and have a vague understanding about it, and never actually experienced a hallucination for yourself.

    Matt had his super strawberry experience staring at a door while sitting on the shitter. Do these hallucinations mean anything at all about reality, or are they just a mental construct related to deranged brain chemistry in the person?

    Yes, I’ve heard Matt Dillahunty mention this, it’s an example so ridiculous, it’s even been parodied. He brought this up after the very last question during Matt and Jordan Peteron’s Q&A session, and personally think it was entirely made up. From people I’ve spoke to who’ve actually done psychedelics at these higher doses, none of ’em have ever described a hallucination in that fashion. I really believe this is something Matt just pulled out of his ass one the spot to criticize Jordan Peterson’s comment about psychedelic experiences. He was describing a pareidolia effect of wood grain on his door that he perceived as being in the shape of a strawberry, then a 3-dimensional strawberry came out of the wood grain with the Superman “S” on its chest, and it leaped and flew like Superman and did a lap around Matt’s head before returning to the door and becoming part of the wood grain again.

    I’ll offer my point, but to speculate, I really think this is something Matt got from the movies. I mean, this is the sort of nonsense psychedelic trip you find in Tenacious D: The Pick of Destiny starring Jack Black or The Anchor Man with Will Ferrell or Matt even sounded he was describing the shroom experience scene of Michael Cera in Youth in Revolt, where instead of strawberries, he sees fairies. These are parodies of the visionary/archetypal experience that can happen in these mystical states of consciousness, and sometimes that’s all you get, and then you return to the baseline, but quite often in these studies visionary/archetypal experiences will occur just right before or right after the unitive mystical state of consciousness or CME.

    Now, in the unitive mystical state of consciousness or “complete” mystical experience of which I’ve been emphasizing throughout is beyond the visionary/archetypal experience in that there is no longer the subject-object dichotomy that we even experience in our ordinary state of consciousness. You see, there was still an ego, a Matt Dillahunty, whether his experience was a complete lie or not, looking out at a something, whether it be a door, a pattern on the wood grain, or a strawberry. There is still this subject-object duality in that description. At the very height of a CME, there is a temporary yet complete dissolution of the ego such that if Matt were to truly describe a “complete” mystical experience, he wouldn’t have a vantage point to speak from to describe something on a door, there’s no “this” to look at a “that.” In eastern philosophy, this is referred to as a non-dual state of consciousness, this is where you have the collapse of all time into the moment, and all is one from that vantage point. Matt describes nothing of this sort. In fact, Matt’s description is a complete parody of the visionary/archetypal experience where people usually have profound experiences of if not seeing religious figures that may be important in their lives, they may see dead loves ones or in my own experience right before the CME occurred, I witnessed Bill Hicks. After the CME, I saw quite vividly Terence McKenna. I wasn’t necessarily a religious person, so I’m not surprised that I didn’t see Christ, but if I had that religious bent, I may have, because that’s what happens in these type of experiences. People usually don’t see trivial things like Matt’s strawberry example. If you can relax on a toilet and not be fearful that you may have taken too much psychedelics, and you’re gleefully hallucinating a strawberry, then it’s quite apparent that someone has taken a recreational dose, if that, and if not, has completely fabricated the experience itself.

    I once met a guy who attempted to lie about N,N-DMT, and try to say he experienced himself as a kind of Dragon Ball Z character and was able to blast off and fly in any direction, which is total BS. That’s not what happens when you take DMT, that’s someone lying their ass off. I could see that perhaps happening in a lucid dream, but that’s definitely not what happens with DMT.

  233. says

    @Monocle Smile

    Yeah, this is pointless. Kafei claims that a CME is not just a biological phenomenon. I demand that he prove this because all the science indicates it’s solely a biological phenomenon and then he fucking agrees with me.
    This twerp is either the worst communicator of all people who can form complete sentences or a persistent troll.

    Or you’re the worst interlocutor a communicator could have. I mean, you have be open-minded, reciprocal, and have patience in your own understanding, and you don’t exhibit any of these qualities. You’d rather criticize me, insult me, etc. You’re not trying to understand, and you call me the troll? Yes, I’ve maintained as these researchers have emphasized that these mystical states of consciousness are, indeed, a biologically normal phenomenon. That is to say we’re wired for such experiences. Where it goes beyond simply that is these type of experiences can also be recognized at the very root of the major religions, practiced by the very founders of the major religions themselves.

    @t90bb

    239/240….yes fellas! ..You Guys some up the issue well. No one is denying these experiences while fucked up occur.. Giving them some sort of agency and divinity is where Kafei goes off the rails. He, as well as the research provide nothing indicating these experiences are of or related to gawd or the divine..

    No one is giving these experiences “agency or divinity.” More accurately, divinity is the description of the experience. I’ll give an example I used in another thread, but I don’t think I’ve mentioned here. When a Hindu, for instance, finally achieves samadhi, they do not attribute their experience to agency, they do not give the experience divinity, rather and more accurately, Brahman which is highest concept of the divine in Hinduism, is the very description of the inner experiential state of samadhi. These mystics are relaying back precisely what they’re experiencing at the height of these mystical states of consciousness. Just like the volunteers at Hopkins when they give their descriptions which meet criteria for the CME. Brahman is described as unchanging, timeless, eternal, etc. These are precisely the attributes that are described in those volunteers who meet a priori criteria for the CME.

    I have long suspected that religion is a form of addiction for some. Addictions are useful to avoid other areas of our life that are uncomfortable. I know this from personal experience. Perhaps Kafei needs to hold on to this at this time. The mind is powerful and will protect any and all threats to that which is bringing relief and comfort. Kafeis interpretations and claimed origins of these acid trips bring him comfort I suppose. His arguments are not that dissimilar to those who justify their religious notions as a result of near death experiences.

    These aren’t my ideas. Your criticizing this as though it’s something I’m saying, personally. When in reality all I’ve done is merely reiterate the very science that’s been established relative to these topics. Science which you blatantly deny and ignore. You sound just like Christina Rad when she reduced her explanation of God as “that which early man made up because they didn’t have an explanation for lightning.” That might describe some Gods, sure. Zeus, perhaps, Poseidon, etc., but that doesn’t account for Brahman or what Plotinus called “the One.” You see, the ancient Greek philosophers of the time like Xenophanes, Plato, Aristotle, Socrates, etc. all criticized the mainstream religion of Zeus and his offspring, they regarded it as something born out of the human imagination, and therefore bearing human attributes as in the Mnemosyne, the Goddess of Memory or Lethe, the river of forgetfulness. The Greek philosophers instead emphasized what Plotinus would eventually call “The One.”

    I think he might be dealing with more than hes capable of understanding from a mental health perspective. Perhaps backing off this discussion may be an act of compassion. Thats what I think I am going to do. When I suggested that he consider seeking some help I was not fucking joking. I do admire his spunk and energy, misplaced as I believe it is.

    I believe your skepticism is misplaced. I’ve said it so many times, I don’t even want to repeat this, but there’s nothing wrong with my mental health. While I appreciate your concern, it’s definitely unnecessary. This is just another subtle insult you’re masking with the pretense that you’re supposedly concerned.

  234. speedofsound says

    Interesting to me is that the hallucinations I had when I was a teen were similar to psychedelics. But these are not true hallucinations. They are sensory distortion and a breakdown of attentional filters in sensation combined with further frontal cortex effects that take them to the realm of fantasy type movies. Now I had REAL hallucinations when I would frequently overdose on an early anti-depressant called Navane. Very different experience. These audial hallucinations were of the schizo variety where when you turned to visually scope the source they disappeared but they were real conversations had with people not there. I also went to work in the mines and one night, stoned out of my gourd, and I walked into a pickup truck that I did not see. That was odd. I swear I was looking right through the thing. It was invisible until I smacked into it. I saw very real peripheral people walking around and talking to me but then on full focus the apparition fell apart.

    Psychedelic hallucinations are not disturbing and the more fantastical parts are under your full control. These Navane hallucinations were terrifying. Also I got into a lot of trouble with my wife. As you can imagine.

  235. speedofsound says

    @Kafei
    What can you say about the experience and the knowledge had during and gained after the experience? What is the knowledge?

    Now this of course requires teasing it out and trying to contain it with words but you have already dipped your toe in that with saying ‘we will no longer be atheists’.

    why will we no longer be atheists? What is it that we will discover that will make that change in our beliefs? You do get ath theism always has as it’s god something with mind or consciousness and perhaps will and plan? That is the thing I am a- about.

  236. paxoll says

    @Kafei
    These are really simple statements they do not require 4 paragraphs to answer. You are gish galloping/preaching and I’m here for a fucken conversation not a lecture. You don’t get to fucken tell people they are not having a “real” hallucination because you haven’t had the same one. Visual and audio hallucinations are really common and happen for a variety of reasons, from mental illness, drugs, fevers, and other health issues that change the brain chemistry. I didn’t ask you about CME I asked you what are we supposed to take away from the scientific evidence that people have hallucination. Now, if you can’t have a fucken simple honest conversation I will call TAE and get some moderators attention and get you banned from here.

  237. t90bb says

    250. I certainly dont mean to insult you Kafei…..I will insult your belief and mental masturbation on this issue til the cows come home however.

    I love when you gave yourself a self appraisal earlier in the thread…it was hilarious. “I rarely practice cognitive dissonance”…..you dont actually think most people that do can or have the capacity to recognize it as such do you???

    I am going to meet up with an acquaintance in the critical care unit of the hospital later today. Hes a late stage alcoholic. Its the 3rd times hes been hospitalized this month alone. He swears “he does not have a drinking problem or issue”. Kinda reminds me of you. According to him hes perfectly mentally sound. HE KNOWS it. lol. I think I will nickname him Kafei Jr.

  238. EnlightenmentLiberal says

    To believe that, at our present level of understanding, we can absolutely define the boundaries of reality is the height of arrogance.
    […]
    I say all of this to make one simple point. One should always be careful of what you think you know. Not that long ago we knew the earth was flat, the sun circled the earth, and a god threw lightning bolts across the heavens. I agree we know much more today, but how much more do we still have yet to learn? I would wager we have more to learn than we can even imagine.

    I offer this article by Sean Carroll as a partial rebuttal.
    http://www.preposterousuniverse.com/blog/2011/05/23/physics-and-the-immortality-of-the-soul/

    Scientists have known for 2300 years at least that the Earth was round. Hell, circa 2000 years ago, scientists knew the radius of the Earth with about 10% uncertainty. It’s honestly not that hard either to figure it out – just measure the angles of some shadows at noon in two cities at different latitudes on the same day, and pay a guy to count his steps on the road between two cities or using an odometer from Archimedes, and then do some basic trig.

    I also caution against using the word “know” in that context. Classical Greeks and medieval Christians might have “known” that the Sun moved around the Earth, but they didn’t really use science to reach that conclusion. People who thought that lightning bolts are from the gods definitely didn’t use science to reach that conclusion. You’re equivocating, conflating, between a pre-science view of the world, and a modern scientific view of the world. While scientific conclusions are always tentative, and any particular scientific conclusion in principle could be completely wrong, in practice the basic stuff is basically never overturned, and instead only refined.

    For example, no one is going to prove evolution wrong. The best that the creationist can “hope” for is that the modern neo-Darwinian synthesis is in error in some small part, but we’re not going to say that natural selection and common ancestry of animal species is wrong.

    We do know some things, and you’re wrong to conflate our scientifically grounded knowledge with the historical faith-beliefs that gods are the cause of lightning bolts.

    More specifically, we do know enough about how our world works in order to discount the existence of ghouls, goblins, ghosts, wizards ala Hogwarts and D&D, gods, and even immaterial souls. For the particular argument for these conclusions that is grounded in modern quantum field theory, please again see the article that I linked to above by Sean Carroll.

    PS:

    Do I believe in a god? No. Why? I don’t believe because the existence of a god is not supported by the presently available evidence. Do I believe that it is impossible for a god to exist? No. Why? I don’t consider it impossible because I don’t know what it would require for a god to exist. Therefore I am presently an agnostic (don’t know whether a god exists) atheist (don’t believe a god exists because of insufficient evidence).

    I hate that terminology. “Agnostic atheist”. The word “agnostic” adds nothing of value here. By this annoying use of terms, you’re also agnostic about whether someone just sneaked an elephant in your back room, and you’re agnostic about whether tooth fairies exist. Yes, (practically) all of our beliefs should be treated as tentative, and open to revision, but it’s a disservice to pretend that the existence of gods is any more likely than the existence of tooth fairies, and it’s a disservice to others to use this language “agnostic atheist” because it’s practically a strawman – its usage implies that there exists this mythical creature, the mythical “gnostic atheist”, and as far as I can tell, no such thing exists. The strawman is implying that the “gnostic atheist” exists at all.

  239. John David Balla says

    @t90bb #250
    What does your acquaintance believe is the reason for being hospitalized for the 3rd time in a single month? I’m very curious.

    As far as anyone claiming to just know something, that is why opinions are so uninteresting and widespread. No effort required.

  240. Monocle Smile says

    Where it goes beyond simply that is these type of experiences can also be recognized at the very root of the major religions, practiced by the very founders of the major religions themselves.

    What? Even IF that were true, how in the fuck does that make a CME NOT just a biological phenomenon? Are you kidding me? Do you understand plain English?

  241. CompulsoryAccount7746, Sky Captain says

    @Monocle Smile #253:

    Even IF that were true, how in the fuck does [“practiced by the very founders of the major religions”] make a CME NOT just a biological phenomenon?

    Conspiracy theorist thinking: significant events must come from a grander cause.
    (As opposed to: For Want of a Nail)

  242. says

    @speedofsound

    What can you say about the experience and the knowledge had during and gained after the experience? What is the knowledge?

    Now this of course requires teasing it out and trying to contain it with words but you have already dipped your toe in that with saying ‘we will no longer be atheists’.

    why will we no longer be atheists? What is it that we will discover that will make that change in our beliefs? You do get ath theism always has as it’s god something with mind or consciousness and perhaps will and plan? That is the thing I am a- about.

    What’s the knowledge? Well, the intuitive knowledge has been echoed in all of the major religions. What is glimpsed at the height of a CME is absolutely synonymous with the description of Brahman in Hinduism, Plotinus’ “The One,” or “The Father” in Christianity as referent to the divine unity or philosophical Absolute, etc.

    @paxoll

    These are really simple statements they do not require 4 paragraphs to answer. You are gish galloping/preaching and I’m here for a fucken conversation not a lecture. You don’t get to fucken tell people they are not having a “real” hallucination because you haven’t had the same one. Visual and audio hallucinations are really common and happen for a variety of reasons, from mental illness, drugs, fevers, and other health issues that change the brain chemistry. I didn’t ask you about CME I asked you what are we supposed to take away from the scientific evidence that people have hallucination. Now, if you can’t have a fucken simple honest conversation I will call TAE and get some moderators attention and get you banned from here.

    I made this point in the Open thread for episode 23.01: Matt & Phil, but it’s worth repeating. There’s a reason they call this phenomenon a “complete” mystical experience rather than merely a hallucination. There’s hallucinations of all types that can occur in any sensory modality—visual, auditory, olfactory, gustatory, tactile, proprioceptive, equilibrioceptive, nociceptive, thermoceptive and chronoceptive. The hallucinatory phenomena that is associated with a CME is quite specific, and can be distinguished from other hallucinatory phenomena. Hallucination is an umbrella term that can describe many neurological phenomena, so to merely cast it off as “Oh, it’s just a hallucination” betrays the very fact that there is a very distinctive phenomenon in consciousness referred to as the mystical experience by these professionals. While yes, there are hallucinatory phenomena associated with the mystical experience, the experience in and of itself isn’t considered simply and merely a “hallucination” by any of the professionals involved in this scientific research.

    @EnlightenmentLiberal

    I hate that terminology. “Agnostic atheist”. The word “agnostic” adds nothing of value here. By this annoying use of terms, you’re also agnostic about whether someone just sneaked an elephant in your back room, and you’re agnostic about whether tooth fairies exist. Yes, (practically) all of our beliefs should be treated as tentative, and open to revision, but it’s a disservice to pretend that the existence of gods is any more likely than the existence of tooth fairies, and it’s a disservice to others to use this language “agnostic atheist” because it’s practically a strawman – its usage implies that there exists this mythical creature, the mythical “gnostic atheist”, and as far as I can tell, no such thing exists. The strawman is implying that the “gnostic atheist” exists at all.

    The agnostic atheist is a perfectly rational position, it’s one even Richard Dawkins takes, but I believe he uses the term De facto atheist. This is because the gnostic atheist position is untenable. Dawkins understands that you can never rule out the possibility of God, but he phrases it that you cannot rule out the possibility of Russell’s teapot. However, this teapot example I feel is a parody of monotheism, and completely ignores a panentheistic (not to be confused with pantheism) description of the divine.

  243. says

    @Monocle Smile

    What? Even IF that were true, how in the fuck does that make a CME NOT just a biological phenomenon? Are you kidding me? Do you understand plain English?

    It is a biologically phenomenon, but it’s not just reduced to simply that in that it’s a biologically phenomenon that’s been happening for millennia à la the Perennial wisdom. So, Siddhartha Gautama practicing extreme asceticism in combination with meditation to elicit his experience of nirvana or enlightenment was a natural event, Plotinus engagement with Henosis that gave him insight to what he called “The One” was a natural event, Muhammad shivering in a cave, undergoing a direct experience of Allah or the Tawhid was a natural event, Laotzu’s experience of the “flowing of the Tao” was a natural event, Symeon the New Theologian’s experience of Theoria (vision of God) was a natural event, etc., etc., etc.

    This revelation of God has been always occurring within a biologically normal phenomenon in consciousness. It’s never happened in any other way, it’s never been something that’s supernatural in the sense of defying the laws of physics, it’s never been something “unnatural,” it always has been a natural event in consciousness. It’s a metanoia, it’s a fundamental transformation of one’s perception. The CME is temporary and yet complete collapse of the subject-object duality that we experience even in our everyday waking, sober consciousness; it’s a temporary and complete dissolution of the ego. The mystic perceives all things as one, all men as his brothers, all creatures as his fellows and all matter holy. Mystics who perceive God as everywhere, but is invisible to us due to our ego-centered nature, will find it easy to believe that a drug that occasionally obliterates the ego can also make God more visible.

  244. Monocle Smile says

    It is a biologically phenomenon, but it’s not just reduced to simply that in that it’s a biologically phenomenon that’s been happening for millennia à la the Perennial wisdom

    Nothing about that makes it anything more than a biological phenomenon. So that’s a “no” on the plain English.

    This revelation of God has been always occurring within a biologically normal phenomenon in consciousness. It’s never happened in any other way, it’s never been something that’s supernatural in the sense of defying the laws of physics, it’s never been something “unnatural,” it always has been a natural event in consciousness

    Facts not in evidence. There are plenty of ancient religions that believed in real corporeal gods that acted as independent agents.
    Furthermore, your only response to being pressed on this wild ass claim is to drop a snide “you can use Google” like an asshole. YOU back up YOUR claims.

  245. John David Balla says

    I have had the CME as described in #256 and also reported by many in antiquity, including dissolution of ego and perception of all things as one. I recall thinking, “This is what all the religions mean by God. This is it!” It was a very powerful and profound experience.

  246. says

    @Monocle Smile

    Facts not in evidence. There are plenty of ancient religions that believed in real corporeal gods that acted as independent agents.
    Furthermore, your only response to being pressed on this wild ass claim is to drop a snide “you can use Google” like an asshole. YOU back up YOUR claims.

    These are the facts. What you don’t seem to grasp is I’m not making any claims of my own. I’m merely reiterating precisely what’s been established by the science that’s been done. I’ve linked to the studies, and I’ve highlighted the pertinent quotes taken from the peer-reviewed material that’s been published in the Scientific Journal of Psychopharmacology.

  247. says

    @John David Balla

    I have had the CME as described in #256 and also reported by many in antiquity, including dissolution of ego and perception of all things as one. I recall thinking, “This is what all the religions mean by God. This is it!” It was a very powerful and profound experience.

    Yes, that’s it! Often people who have this experience ponder this. Did you know that psychedelic mushrooms weren’t introduced into western culture until Gordon Wasson wrote that 15-page article in Life magazine in 1957 shortly after the Mazatec curandera by the name of María Sabina gave him a full dose of psilocybni-containing mushrooms in a visit he had with her in Mexico? To quote an excerpt of Wasson’s writings there:

    The visions were not blurred or uncertain. They were sharply focused, the lines and colors being so sharp that they seemed more real to me than anything I had ever seen with my own eyes. I felt that I was now seeing plain, whereas ordinary vision gives us an imperfect view; I was seeing the archetypes, the Platonic ideas, that underlie the imperfect images of everyday life. The thought crossed my mind: could the divine mushrooms be the secret that lay behind the ancient Mysteries?

  248. buddyward says

    @John David Balla

    I have had the CME as described in #256 and also reported by many in antiquity, including dissolution of ego and perception of all things as one. I recall thinking, “This is what all the religions mean by God. This is it!” It was a very powerful and profound experience.

    Were you an atheist before this experience and still remained an atheist or are you now a theist?

  249. Monocle Smile says

    ONE QUOTE FROM HUXLEY is not anywhere close to enough to make your case! And where the fuck does that image even come from? You don’t know the first thing about making a convincing case. Exactly nowhere in any scientific literature has the claim I quoted in my last post been conclusively demonstrated. Until that changes, stop fucking making that claim.

  250. CompulsoryAccount7746, Sky Captain says

    John David Balla #260:

    I have had the CME as described in #256 and also reported by many in antiquity, including dissolution of ego and perception of all things as one. I recall thinking, “This is what all the religions mean by God. This is it!” It was a very powerful and profound experience.

     
    Kafei #262:

    Yes, that’s it! Often people who have this experience ponder this.

    Wallowing in confirmation bias.
     
     
    John David Balla #187:

    Kafei is spending countless hours and words rehashing the same wishful assertions over and over.
     
    And for what it’s worth, Kafei, I used to be like you, maybe even more so. […] one of my biggest regrets was my ability to convince others to believe. I really regret that.
    […]
    Yeah, it can feel pretty powerful to think you have found the secret […]. And just you and a very special group of enlightened ones now must teach this wisdom to the rest of us. Guess what? Someday you’re going to discover how utterly unoriginal that idea is. […] certainly nothing remarkable

  251. paxoll says

    @Kafei
    You are wrong, a hallucination is a hallucination. We have lots of senses and when you limit “CME” to 5 or whatever specific senses because the derangement of them is consistent and not as variable as sound or visual doesn’t change the scientific fact of what they are. The fact that a certain dose of a drug gives a certain hallucination in areas they want to label “mystical experience” doesn’t change the fact that is is just a fucken hallucination. A more scientifically accurate description would be a “complete hallucination”. That is ALL that research demonstrates. You and people like you are the biggest problem with science because you take what is demonstrated and twist it with illogical conclusions. This creation of “mystical experience” to categorize the hallucination is the worst science I’ve ever fucken read. Its circular reasoning, scientifically significant changes happen with x,y,z hallucinations (phacking) therefore we will label these hallucinations as a mystical experience, and now we demonstrate that “CME” produces statistically significant changes. All the while abusing this metaphor of “mystical” in order to cultivate a damn cult of woo. Take your stupid hallucinations and go preach your cult of woo somewhere else, no one here is falling for your bullshit and I don’t think the TAE wants this to be a sharpening stone for your inane arguments.

  252. John David Balla says

    @buddyward #263
    I was a theist at the time which is why I colored my response the way I did. I encourage the reading of some of the studies cited by Kafei. I just read one and found no scientific corroboration of the spiritual or theistic claims made by the subjects, which is exactly what I would expect to see. They are simply reporting on what the subjects said. So if they said they felt like they witnessed god or had a life-altering experience, that’s what the study scribe wrote down.

    The paper I just read was simply an academic write-up as reported by a theist subject, someone who admitted to invoking various spirits before ingesting the psilocybin. Even this individual admitted that what they claimed is by no means scientific proof even though they insisted it to be true on a nebulas spiritual plain. Like me, it was self-declared as true, and that statement was simply parroted by the scientist doing the write-up. That’s all that’s going on folks. I would expect all the studies cited by Kafei would contain more examples of the one I just read.

  253. John David Balla says

    But like the person quoted in this study… https://files.csp.org/Psilocybin/SciAmHallucinogens201012-Maria.pdf , even when I was a theist I would have been honest about what I was claiming like here…

    “Even though it cannot be documented or proven, it is a one-hundred-percent convincing experience that so indelibly imprints the psyche that you declare, “Previously I knew it only intellectually, but now I am certain it is real.”

    SCIENTISTS ARE NOT CLAIMING THAT THEY HAVE DEFINED, CAPTURED, OR CONFIRMED THE EXISTENCE OF GOD, MYSTICISM, OR SPIRITUAL EXPERIENCE. THEY ARE SIMPLY REPORTING WHAT PEOPLE SAY AND BELIEVE ABOUT THESE SUBJECTS AFTER TAKING PSYCHOTROPIC DRUGS. Was this ever in dispute?

  254. buddyward says

    @John David Balla
    #267

    The reason I asked is that Kafei insist that atheist who experiences CME will no longer be atheist. Would it be accurate to state that you are a person who experienced CME and is now an atheist? If so, then Kafei’s claim would be debunked as he agreed that you did experienced CME.

    I have read some of the materials that Kafei cited and I came to the same conclusion as you have. Those experiences are reported which someone else labelled. By far I am only able to identify one actual research paper and it did not say anything about Perennial Philosophy. Only after the fact where non-research papers mentions Perennial Philosophy. Moreover the research paper, used a very small group of subjects.

    I am sure that he will come back and will try to back pedal claiming that he did not confirm your experience and will make up some excuse.

    Thank you for responding
    BuddyWard

  255. John David Balla says

    In the future, scientists should be much more careful with their terminology. A great deal of confusion could have been avoided by simply stipulating that terms such as “mystical” or “spiritual” are colloquialisms used by the subjects in the study, not scientific definitions. As such, we are neither validating or refuting these characterizations.

  256. speedofsound says

    @Kafei

    What’s the knowledge? Well, the intuitive knowledge has been echoed in all of the major religions. What is glimpsed at the height of a CME is absolutely synonymous with the description of Brahman in Hinduism, Plotinus’ “The One,” or “The Father” in Christianity as referent to the divine unity or philosophical Absolute, etc.

    Great. Very good. What’s that mean? How does this manifest in our lives? What do you mean by Father? The One? One in what way?

    What is divine unity? How does that manifest in my life?

    What is a philosophical Absolute used for?

    If you are going to start a proper channel (cult?) these questions are going to come up and I think I can help you flesh them out. But you gotta work with me here. Those are just clever phrases and words with Caps. Flesh this out for me a little bit and we’ll see if it ties in with what I experienced.

  257. says

    @Monocle Smile

    ONE QUOTE FROM HUXLEY is not anywhere close to enough to make your case! And where the fuck does that image even come from? You don’t know the first thing about making a convincing case. Exactly nowhere in any scientific literature has the claim I quoted in my last post been conclusively demonstrated. Until that changes, stop fucking making that claim.

    That image comes from the same paper I linked to highlighted as “peer-reviewed material.” I think you’re pouring emphasis too much on the fact that the quote came from Huxley. They actually could have chosen any prominent write on the Perennial philosophy. The point of the quote was to give an adequate description of the Perennial philosophy in which they have found these mystical states of consciousness to be in consistent with.

    @paxoll

    You are wrong, a hallucination is a hallucination. We have lots of senses and when you limit “CME” to 5 or whatever specific senses because the derangement of them is consistent and not as variable as sound or visual doesn’t change the scientific fact of what they are. The fact that a certain dose of a drug gives a certain hallucination in areas they want to label “mystical experience” doesn’t change the fact that is is just a fucken hallucination. A more scientifically accurate description would be a “complete hallucination”. That is ALL that research demonstrates. You and people like you are the biggest problem with science because you take what is demonstrated and twist it with illogical conclusions. This creation of “mystical experience” to categorize the hallucination is the worst science I’ve ever fucken read. Its circular reasoning, scientifically significant changes happen with x,y,z hallucinations (phacking) therefore we will label these hallucinations as a mystical experience, and now we demonstrate that “CME” produces statistically significant changes. All the while abusing this metaphor of “mystical” in order to cultivate a damn cult of woo. Take your stupid hallucinations and go preach your cult of woo somewhere else, no one here is falling for your bullshit and I don’t think the TAE wants this to be a sharpening stone for your inane arguments.

    I don’t think we crunch all hallucinatory phenomena into this umberalla term “hallucination.” There are myriads of types of hallucinations that occur in all types of sensory modalities, and the reason they emphasize this experience as a “complete” mystical experience is not because it’s a “full-spectrum hallucination,” but because it’s a very particular phenomenon in consciousness.

    @John David Balla

    I encourage the reading of some of the studies cited by Kafei.

    Yes, thank you for this. I feel lots of people here haven’t looked into the actual studies themselves, they’re trying to absorb what they can solely through me while ignoring the links I left that would pacify some of the questions being asked here.

    In the future, scientists should be much more careful with their terminology. A great deal of confusion could have been avoided by simply stipulating that terms such as “mystical” or “spiritual” are colloquialisms used by the subjects in the study, not scientific definitions. As such, we are neither validating or refuting these characterizations.

    This is a misconception about the research. I should point out that not a single volunteer used the word “mystical” to describe their experience. Dr. Roland Griffiths goes over a report of one of the individuals who met criteria for the “complete” mystical experience, and what they do is sift through their descriptions and look for these characteristics that constitute the CME. So, the volunteer never describes the experience as “mystical,” they rather use a more complex vocabulary to describe the experience. So, if they meet the criteria for the CME, then this term “complete” mystical experience is used by the professionals involved in this research to categorize this type of mystical state of consciousness expressed by the volunteer.

    @speedofsound

    Great. Very good. What’s that mean? How does this manifest in our lives? What do you mean by Father? The One? One in what way?

    What is divine unity? How does that manifest in my life?

    Well, one aspect experienced that I haven’t really discussed, aside from the unity, transcendence of time and space, etc. is this temporary aspect of unconditional love. It manifests through the individuals who cultivate this experience, the major religions, in a way, are examples of what could manifest in our reality via individuals engaging mystical states of consciousness.

    What is a philosophical Absolute used for?

    If you are going to start a proper channel (cult?) these questions are going to come up and I think I can help you flesh them out. But you gotta work with me here. Those are just clever phrases and words with Caps. Flesh this out for me a little bit and we’ll see if it ties in with what I experienced.

    I’m referring to a philosophical Absolute, this is what is meant by “The Father.” It’s a kind of Acosmist distinction, but I don’t want to call it necessarily an Acosmism, because Acsomist only recognize the Absolute as real, and deny the temporal or what they might call the relative. And I’m willing to work with you on these definitions, that’s one of the reasons why I’m here, to find ways to articulate transmit these concepts.

    So, to review how the patristic mystics defined The Holy Trinity; this is a metaphor for the process that is Theoria in Christianity. To start, the Son within the Trinity is the conduit or the male or female who receives insight to the Father by means of the Holy Spirit (Theoria or the CME). The Father in this view is monos aitios, the very source of the Son and the Holy Spirit. However, don’t confuse yourself, “The Father” is a term synonymous with the philosophical Absolute, it’s not referring to some paternalistic deity, it is rather a term used in contrast with mother nature (and mother nature not referring to some Gaian Goddess, but rather nature itself). So, The Father is a metaphor for all the possible permutations that could possibly manifest in mother nature, it is also synonymous with Paul Tillich’s the “Ground of All Being.” It is the underlying plenum that contains all the possibilities that can manifest in nature or what Acosmists call “the relative.”

    The Holy Trinity is very akin to the definitions surrounding samadhi, Atman, and Brahman in Hinduism. Brahman is essentially synonymous with “the Father,” the Holy spirit is synonymous with “samadhi” and The Son, the individual is quite akin to the Atman. Anyway, I suppose we can start here, and elaborate, but be sure to visit those links. They may help you grasp this a bit better.

  258. John David Balla says

    Looks like researcher Roland Griffins decided it a worthwhile undertaking to create criteria for CME and to code for it. Okay. Very common. What he is not doing. REPEAT. What he is not doing is CONCLUDING SCIENTIFICALLY that any of these experiences provide proof of God. The researchers make no such claim (although it’s pretty obvious that’s where Kafei wants to go), only that they are developing more rigorous and robust methods for further study. Cool. That’s how science works.

    Even Griffiths explains that the major contribution of his work is in the ability to study the mystical experience objectively. He is not claiming that mystical = god. (That’s where Kafei comes in.)

    Again, Griffiths is touting his objective criteria for measuring a mystical experience as his chief accomplishment. He even admits his concern of being portrayed as a paranormal researcher and bends over backward to make it abundantly clear that his research is making no supernatural claims. And perhaps that is what Kafei is so excited about. That God is really one very incredible acid trip. Not too many people, however, think of God as being a particular awesome brain state. Yet if Kafei had it his way, they would.

  259. speedofsound says

    @Kafei

    I’m referring to a philosophical Absolute, this is what is meant by “The Father.” It’s a kind of Acosmist distinction, but I don’t want to call it necessarily an Acosmism, because Acsomist only recognize the Absolute as real, and deny the temporal or what they might call the relative. And I’m willing to work with you on these definitions, that’s one of the reasons why I’m here, to find ways to articulate transmit these concepts.

    Fine. The ground of all being. I imagine the cosmos as such. Maya, the dream of my self. Old hat.I’m still not seeing where atheism has to go here or how all this manifests in my life. I think you need to get a bit more concrete here.

    Again. I am a-theist. I do not believe in, or even consider as a conjecture, any disembodied mind type of thing that has intention, will, plans, or the ability to act on the physical. Why is that ruled back in with what you wrote up there? Why is Watts not an a-theist in the respect that I have put forth?

  260. Monocle Smile says

    Still not seeing how this is fundamentally different from “my coffee cup is god. Checkmate, atheists!”

    The hubris on display is pretty extreme. Kafei is incredibly butthurt that we don’t all ignore 99%+ of all believers and instead use his bent definition of God merely because he says so (he simply doesn’t even attempt to make the case that mystical experience has always meant “good”) and drop the atheist label.

  261. says

    @John David Balla

    Looks like researcher Roland Griffins decided it a worthwhile undertaking to create criteria for CME and to code for it. Okay. Very common.

    Griffiths is actually building on earlier work which holds roots in the work William James, it James who laid down the original criteria for the mystical experience, it was further elaborated throughout the decades by Walter T. Stace, Walter Pahnke, Ralph Hood, et al. and it’s been most refined in this scientific research led by Dr. Roland Griffiths that’s been going for about a couple of decades now at Johns Hopkins

    What he is not doing. REPEAT. What he is not doing is CONCLUDING SCIENTIFICALLY that any of these experiences provide proof of God. The researchers make no such claim (although it’s pretty obvious that’s where Kafei wants to go), only that they are developing more rigorous and robust methods for further study. Cool. That’s how science works.

    You’re straw manning what I’ve said here. What do you mean by God? You’ve sort of just threw that word out there without providing a context. I think Bill Richards said it best in a paper he’s published in The Journal of Transpersonal Psychology. He writes, “Once again, we are aware that it is not in the purview of science to prove or to disprove the reality of God.” That’s correct. Science doesn’t go out with the mission to prove or disprove God. Science only can demonstrate what it can demonstrate, and what this science has demonstrated is evidence which suggests that these mystical states of consciousness are a biologically normal phenomenon that’s been happening for perhaps time immemorial à la the Perennial wisdom.

    Even Griffiths explains that the major contribution of his work is in the ability to study the mystical experience objectively. He is not claiming that mystical = god. (That’s where Kafei comes in.)

    Perhaps I should quote Griffiths directly.

    The finding that psilocybin can occasion, in most people studied, mystical-type experiences similar to those that occur naturally, suggests that such experiences are biologically normal, and that such experiences are now amenable to prospective scientific study. Further research with psilocybin can be expected to provide unique insights into the biology and psychology of mystical experience, and may hold promise as a paradigm-shifting treatment approach. Speculatively, a mediating mechanism (psychological or otherwise) for a transformative perceptual shift after an introvertive mystical experience is that the individual now knows that a portal to something of inestimable and ultimate value resides within — an access point to a sense of the transcendent, which is variously described in religious traditions as Soul, Holy Spirit, God, Brahman, or Buddha Nature.

    Now, what’s speculated here is how precisely these transformative experiences work, are they psychological, is there neurological change that occurs in neuronal pathways of the brain, etc.? That’s what “speculatively” refers to in that paragraph there, but the point is that whatever the mechanism may be, they have definitely shown that these “complete” mystical experiences cause very profound changes in personality, behavior, how one thinks, etc. But you see, what they’ve indeed recognized is a tried-and-true phenomenon in consciousness which has been referred within the major religions as the various names Griffiths lists there which is synonymous with which this research does refer to as a “complete” mystical experience.

    Again, Griffiths is touting his objective criteria for measuring a mystical experience as his chief accomplishment. He even admits his concern of being portrayed as a paranormal researcher and bends over backward to make it abundantly clear that his research is making no supernatural claims. And perhaps that is what Kafei is so excited about. That God is really one very incredible acid trip. Not too many people, however, think of God as being a particular awesome brain state. Yet if Kafei had it his way, they would.

    No, I don’t even think of “one very incredible acid trip” or “a particular awesome brain state” as God. At least I wouldn’t phrase it that way. You see, what Perennial philosophy emphasizes is the root etymology of these terms that reference the divine. So that, for instance, in Christianity, Theoria is construed as a direct perception of God or samadhi is the mind’s absorption into Brahman or the transformation brought about by Henosis for the Greeks led to a state of mind from which “The One” is the very description of this inner experiential vantage point.

    @speedofsound

    Fine. The ground of all being. I imagine the cosmos as such. Maya, the dream of my self. Old hat.I’m still not seeing where atheism has to go here or how all this manifests in my life. I think you need to get a bit more concrete here.

    Well, for the mystics who cultivated the mystical experience, and allowed the fruits of its insights to pervade their daily lives, they often were paragons of moral virtue, they were renowned for their probity, honesty and wisdom as they allowed this inner moral compass to flower and navigate them through their life. Of course, people don’t practice these things in that fashion anymore, and in fact, the patristic theologians, the Cappadocian Fathers, the Hesychast ascetics have largely been forgotten. I mean, people don’t go to church these days to engage in mystical experience, it’s been reduced to a much more mundane pastime. I mean, those are very old examples, but to offer a more modern one, they have shown that people who take psychedelics become more environmentally conscious. I’ve found in my own experience that I held a new appreciation for life, and I found myself instead of swatting flies, I’d instead direct them out the house. And it’s funny ’cause I’ve even heard Bill Richards joke about this, that he thought it would be an interesting study to see if people killed less bugs after such an experience, because he found that to be true with his engagement with the volunteers, but they never added to any of the questionnaires and measures used in the study. I mean, that’s a minor example, but of course, there’s more profound examples which, if you don’t mind, Bill Richards discusses in that link I left at “killed less bugs.” I really recommend at least watching a couple of minutes into it. I don’t post these links for my own benefit, you know. Anything you see me post, I’ve already read/views in its entirety. I’m posting these links for the benefit of the understanding of anyone among this thread who wishes to inform themselves on these topics.

    Again. I am a-theist. I do not believe in, or even consider as a conjecture, any disembodied mind type of thing that has intention, will, plans, or the ability to act on the physical. Why is that ruled back in with what you wrote up there? Why is Watts not an a-theist in the respect that I have put forth?

    Because Alan W. Watts was a Perennialist and in this view, the description of the divine is not a “disembodied mind” or “an entity that can act on the physical,” but rather is more accurately described as a panentheism (not to be confused with pantheism) quite akin to that expressed by Spinoza which is also the same description of the divine to which Albert Einstein adhered to as well.

  262. says

    @Monocle Smile

    Still not seeing how this is fundamentally different from “my coffee cup is god. Checkmate, atheists!”

    I honestly don’t even think you’re putting any effort at all to even grasp this stuff in the first place. It’s rather hypocritical that you accuse others of being “piss-poor communicators” when you, yourself, are not a very receptive interlocutor.

    The hubris on display is pretty extreme.

    I don’t even know how a view which advocates the complete dissolution of the ego could even be interpreted as an extreme display of hubris.

    Kafei is incredibly butthurt that we don’t all ignore 99%+ of all believers and instead use his bent definition of God merely because he says so

    If anyone here is butt-hurt, it may be only yourself since you keep projecting this term. If you want to continue the discussion, you’re going to have to sign this report, because I don’t know how you’re getting so worked up over just because others do not share your perspective. I thought this was a “free thoughts blog.” I mean, what I’m talking about is not based in any “woo” whatsoever, it’s backed by decades worth of scientific research which you’re quite welcome to ignore and deny all you’d like. I’m not here to convince you of what this research has validated. Everyone here is welcome to examine it and make their own conclusions about it.

    (he simply doesn’t even attempt to make the case that mystical experience has always meant “good”) and drop the atheist label.

    I don’t know how you’d not perceive an experience which unites fellow man with nature, that harmonizes the major religions, that is an experience of unconditional love for all people and things as something “bad.” Plato even called it the “form of the good.” The ancient mystics, the Greek philosophers, etc. considered it the very source of that which is good and an inner divine moral compass.

  263. John David Balla says

    @Kafei #277
    Let me attempt to steelman your position:
    1) The researchers do not claim that they have discovered god. You even state that science cannot do that. Therefore, the studies you referred to DO NOT PROVE GOD. With me so far?
    2) The research has coded for an experience it has termed CME and has collected data to this end.
    3) The researchers “believe” that the CMEs they identified “may be” linked to other CMEs reported in antiquity such as those reported by mystics, yogis and etc.
    4) No one, as far as I know, disputes the fact that people sometimes have profound experiences when they take certain drugs (or none at all), including what these researchers call CMEs.
    5) CMEs are naturally occurring phenomena.
    6) Since the scientific method cannot measure the supernatural, CME reporting and associated data is not supernatural
    7) As per the way in which the CME is defined into existence, it does measure certain qualities that many associates with a god, or the divine, i.e., universal oneness, unity, profound knowing (stuff like that). THE WHOLE POINT OF THE CME IS TO MANIFEST CERTAIN QUALITIES ATTRIBUTED TO GOD OR THE DIVINE IN THE NATURAL WORLD. AND VOILA! YOU NOW HAVE A NATURALISTIC EXPLANATION AND VERIFIABLE GATEWAY INTO THEISM OR THE DEVINE.
    8) Therefore, Kafei contends that he can demonstrate theism or the divine via the CME.

  264. Monocle Smile says

    I don’t even know how a view which advocates the complete dissolution of the ego could even be interpreted as an extreme display of hubris

    Lol “I don’t have an ego because I said so.” Classic stoner blather.

    I don’t know how you’d not perceive an experience which unites fellow man with nature, that harmonizes the major religions, that is an experience of unconditional love for all people and things as something “bad.”

    This case has not been made. Not even close. But we DO know that sometimes people jump off buildings after taking psychedelics.
    EL has gone over the unreliability of self reports several times now, but you just don’t get it. “Bill Richards says so” is not convincing. “I’m a better person now” is not convincing. Falling back on “you have to experience it yourself” is REALLY not convincing, because that’s a common trait of all woo. You are failing the outsider test horribly.

  265. says

    @John David Balla

    Let me attempt to steelman your position:
    1) The researchers do not claim that they have discovered god. You even state that science cannot do that. Therefore, the studies you referred to DO NOT PROVE GOD. With me so far?

    Well, you haven’t defined God. And no, you’ve misconstrued. More accurately, what I said is it’s not within the purview for science to go out with the mission to prove or disprove God. They can only demonstrate what they can demonstrate, and what they’ve demonstrated is, as I’ve said, evidence which suggests that these CMEs are a biologically normal phenomenon in consciousness which has been happening for millennia vis-à-vis the Perennial wisdom.

    2) The research has coded for an experience it has termed CME and has collected data to this end.

    Sure.

    3) The researchers “believe” that the CMEs they identified “may be” linked to other CMEs reported in antiquity such as those reported by mystics, yogis and etc.

    Yes, precisely, so when a Christian mystic has spoken on a “union with the divine” or “absorption into the Absolute,” they were speaking about none other but a description of their own CME.

    4) No one, as far as I know, disputes the fact that people sometimes have profound experiences when they take certain drugs (or none at all), including what these researchers call CMEs.

    Yes, especially those who’ve actually had this experience, unlike many people here in thread.

    5) CMEs are naturally occurring phenomena.

    That was the finding of this research.

    6) Since the scientific method cannot measure the supernatural, CME reporting and associated data is not supernatural.

    Supernatural in the sense of that which defies the laws of physics, sure. That is entirely irrelevant to a CME, and even the researchers have spoken about that they do not need to invoke that definition of the supernatural when discussing these mystical states of consciousness.

    7) As per the way in which the CME is defined into existence, it does measure certain qualities that many associates with a god, or the divine, i.e., universal oneness, unity, profound knowing (stuff like that). THE WHOLE POINT OF THE CME IS TO MANIFEST CERTAIN QUALITIES ATTRIBUTED TO GOD OR THE DIVINE IN THE NATURAL WORLD. AND VOILA! YOU NOW HAVE A NATURALISTIC EXPLANATION AND VERIFIABLE GATEWAY INTO THEISM OR THE DEVINE.

    Well, I wouldn’t necessarily say that they are attributing these things to God, rather God or the divine is the very description of the experience itself. I want you to listen to this portion of one of Roland Griffiths’ lectures where he speaks about a survey they’ve just recently introduced into this research, which has some very interesting questions to these volunteers, some of which were atheists prior to this experience.

    8) Therefore, Kafei contends that he can demonstrate theism or the divine via the CME.

    Again, I wouldn’t phrase it this way. I believe that’s what a CME has done throughout history, for Christians it was the Beatific vision or Theoria, for the Hindus, it was a demonstration of Brahman, for Muslims, it’s a demonstration of the Tawhid, Allah or Fana, for the Jewish mystic, it is the Shekhinah or sekhel mufla, etc. “God,” in other words, is the metaphor that has been used to describe the inner experiential phenomena that is encountered in the CME.

    @Monocle Smile

    Lol “I don’t have an ego because I said so.” Classic stoner blather.

    I never claimed that I didn’t have an ego.

    I don’t know how you’d not perceive an experience which unites fellow man with nature, that harmonizes the major religions, that is an experience of unconditional love for all people and things as something “bad.”

    This case has not been made. Not even close. But we DO know that sometimes people jump off buildings after taking psychedelics.

    The cases of this type of thing happening either were real cases of people using psychedelics irresponsibly, especially during the time of the 60s and 70s, as taking these things in a third-story building or rooftops or propaganda that was aimed at causing people to fear psychedelics.

    EL has gone over the unreliability of self reports several times now, but you just don’t get it.

    EL has done no such thing. He offered his opinions about self-reports, and I’ve countered that by emphasizing the importance of anecdotal data in a double-blind trial, and why the double-blind trial is has the scientific efficacy that it does.

    “Bill Richards says so” is not convincing.

    Bill Richards is merely referring the evidence produced by this research.

    “I’m a better person now” is not convincing.

    Which is what they’ve shown when a good set and setting is practiced, most people can benefit deeply from these experiences. That’s established by this scientific research.

    Falling back on “you have to experience it yourself” is REALLY not convincing, because that’s a common trait of all woo. You are failing the outsider test horribly.

    Only it’s not woo, because it is something that you could potentially experience for yourself, and if that was the “outside test,” I’d say you’re the one failing horribly.

  266. John David Balla says

    @281 Kafei
    Well, it took a very long time and effort to get to this point, which is not all that different from where I started with this thread, if at all. But for the life of me, I still don’t understand why you are so enamored with this, and why you see it as such a big deal. What you see as supporting evidence for a god in the natural world, I see is a researcher who defined god into (natural) existence.

    You do realize that you are using the experience to prove the experience?

    I feel I have fully exhausted this discussion at this point.

  267. t90bb says

    283…..kafei……

    I had a steak tonight. I referred to the experience as divine. Therefore the divine exists. When I ate that steak I was overwhelmed by unconditional love. HAD A COMPLETE STEAK EXPERIENCE,

    perhaps a podcast on cse?

  268. says

    @John David Balla

    Well, it took a very long time and effort to get to this point, which is not all that different from where I started with this thread, if at all. But for the life of me, I still don’t understand why you are so enamored with this, and why you see it as such a big deal. What you see as supporting evidence for a god in the natural world, I see is a researcher who defined god into (natural) existence.

    I don’t know what you mean by “define into god into (natural) existence.” Rather Perennial philosophy is not referencing a new vocabulary, where things are redefined, but rather emphasizes exegesis and hermeneutics that refers to an original etymology.

    You do realize that you are using the experience to prove the experience?

    I feel I have fully exhausted this discussion at this point.

    The experience to prove the experience? No, I don’t think that’s what these researchers are doing. I believe their findings were quite different than that.

  269. says

    Something that people who don’t understand confirmation bias should consider is that even if you somehow had an infinite set of observations consistent with some belief, that still doesn’t confirm it. It doesn’t even necessarily tell you that your belief is likely to be accurate. If all those observations are also consistent with other beliefs as well, and the observations don’t discriminate between the different beliefs, then they don’t help you determine what is more likely to be true.
     
    You can just sit around for all eternity gathering observations consistent with a belief without ever getting the information you need to actually warrant confidence in that belief to the exclusion of other beliefs. You need to go looking for observations that, if a belief you want to test is true, you should not observe. If you want to be accurate through more than just incredible luck, you need to find ways to exclude inaccurate beliefs, and narrow down the possibilities as much as possible.
     
    Not only is it not productive to just endlessly seek out observations consistent with a current belief, it’s also not productive to specifically seek out observations that are inconsistent with alternatives, while avoiding falsifying, or trying to explain away observations that contradict your current operating belief. You want to focus your investigations on your most highly-rated beliefs, not try to discredit everything else. To do otherwise is like test driving every car at the dealer except the one you’re thinking of purchasing.

  270. speedofsound says

    @Kafei

    Again. I am a-theist. I do not believe in, or even consider as a conjecture, any disembodied mind type of thing that has intention, will, plans, or the ability to act on the physical. Why is that ruled back in with what you wrote up there? Why is Watts not an a-theist in the respect that I have put forth?

    Because Alan W. Watts was a Perennialist and in this view, the description of the divine is not a “disembodied mind” or “an entity that can act on the physical,” but rather is more accurately described as a panentheism (not to be confused with pantheism) quite akin to that expressed by Spinoza which is also the same description of the divine to which Albert Einstein adhered to as well.

    So. It appears you are an atheist and so am I and so was Watts. In some post above (which paxoll jumped on) I called the ground of all being ‘god’. But you know what I meant right? I meant ‘all this’. You have offered nothing here but a change in words, as our friend Watts would caution, the finger is not the moon. You have not yet said anything that is incompatible with atheism yet you persist with the CHeckmate Atheists attitude.

    Now you are not being clear with me. You are seemingly dismissive. How come? Is it because you can’t get rid of me with this you haven’t had a CME so… method? If you want to run a podcast or a youtube series you need to get better at this stuff.

    Again. What is not compatible with atheism? An atheist can simple label the cosmos, life, and everything as ‘divine’ or ‘ground of all being’ and still be an atheist. The label doesn’t change him. If it did that would like magic right? A little incantation and then poof! Aron Ra goes to church. All we gotta get him to do is talk about evolution like it’s the Ground of All Being with caps.

  271. speedofsound says

    @Kafei One more thing. And this is where I clash with some atheists.

    I mean, people don’t go to church these days to engage in mystical experience, it’s been reduced to a much more mundane pastime.

    I disagree. Going to church and engaging in this semi-meditative ritual dows pipe in just a smudge of the mystical. As does getting naked and dancing around the fire throwing in herbs. These people do not cling to religion because it gives them nothing back. The whole of AA is a distilled version of this methodology of sefl-escape and the bringing about of personality change while in a peculiar selfless brain state.

    Patches and bits of mysticism are available to anyone and in fact we all experience a smidge many times daily. It’s how our brains work. This is what is behind the ideas of a gradual spiritual experience.

    Now a disclaimer. Xtianity and those other of the ilk are destructive, miss the fucking point, are burdened with believerism baggage and I fucking hate them and in fact, my idea is to put them all into Condensation Camps(legal has approved that terminology tentatively. They say they are looking into it.) Still. I understand that even these piece-of-shit religions tend to give back a little bit of the the zen. The born-again moment or experience is a classic example and I truly want to brainscan one of those things because they are very similar to ME’s.

    So you do not have an exclusive on mystical sauce is what I am saying.

  272. Ronald Kyle says

    @#231 BenightednessDespot says

    No lol! I’m pretty sure that he is referring to Shiningone.

    No you hypocritical twit… you rail at me for not giving your dribble more than the cursory glances that it deserves but you presume to speak for me what I meant without having bothered to even check what you are ass-u-ming.
     
    Had you read the posts properly you would have known that it is not Shenanigans I was calling a cockroach it was the piece of fetid fecal matter for brains the guy who names himself after the hero of a movie character when he is in fact of the same ilk as the antagonist villainous SS Nazi weasel in that film.
     
    The other house slave with a name to match who asked the question you wrongly answered is much more repugnant than any cockroaches… if I were to bother with his insignificant existence and liken him to a pest equally disgusting as his base personality I would call him a pinworm.
     
    Shenanigans is a lying pretending theist but being an obvious pretender he is infinitely less disgusting than the cockroach and the pinworm who are a well-entrenched infestation that is insidiously vitiating this forum from the core.

  273. says

    @speedofsound

    So. It appears you are an atheist and so am I and so was Watts. In some post above (which paxoll jumped on) I called the ground of all being ‘god’. But you know what I meant right? I meant ‘all this’. You have offered nothing here but a change in words, as our friend Watts would caution, the finger is not the moon.

    I don’t think that Buddhist metaphor means what you think it means. And no, Watts was a Perennialist, not an atheist. Perennialism is not atheism. It’s a view directly opposed to it.

    You have not yet said anything that is incompatible with atheism yet you persist with the CHeckmate Atheists attitude.

    I don’t have a “Checkmate, Atheist-attitude.” I believe this is merely your own projection. For you, the atheism and theism debate is like a chess game, that you must win, and I don’t play those egotistical games. I’m not trying to convert anyone here from their atheism. Atheists often say that they’d simply concede that their position is false if they’re ever shown evidence, and I’m not sure I believe any atheist who says this. Rather, what seems more likely is that they’re truly a gnostic atheist (convinced positively that there is, indeed, no God) posing as agnostic atheist whom is willing to consider evidence that might change their position, when actually they’ve already made up their mind, because they’re truly gnostic atheists.

    Now you are not being clear with me. You are seemingly dismissive. How come? Is it because you can’t get rid of me with this you haven’t had a CME so… method? If you want to run a podcast or a youtube series you need to get better at this stuff.

    Well, that’s why I participate in threads like this, to get better at this stuff, and no, you pose no issue. You seem quite confused among the semantics, and this is ever more obvious when you label Alan Watts an atheist when he clearly wasn’t. The very fact that you do that just goes to show how you’ve mangled the semantics so that you can satisfy what can clearly be recognized as your own biased atheistic perspective.

    Again. What is not compatible with atheism? An atheist can simple label the cosmos, life, and everything as ‘divine’ or ‘ground of all being’ and still be an atheist. The label doesn’t change him. If it did that would like magic right? A little incantation and then poof! Aron Ra goes to church. All we gotta get him to do is talk about evolution like it’s the Ground of All Being with caps.

    If you’re calling the sum of all existence as divine, then you’re not atheist. You’re a pantheist or as I would say, because the term is more accurate to the description of the divine of Spinoza which is also at the heart of the Perennial philosophy, a panentheist which is not necessarily the same as pantheism, but make no mistake, these are forms of theism, not atheism.

    As an aside, Matt Dillahunty has issue with people who identify as “spiritual but not religious,” but what he doesn’t realize is this is, in fact, the fastest growing demographic in western culture, growing even quicker than the so-called agnostics/atheist/”nones.” Another thing people don’t realize is the very backbone of this “spiritual but not religious” attitude is none other than the Perennial philosophy.

  274. speedofsound says

    @Kafei

    I don’t think that Buddhist metaphor means what you think it means. And no, Watts was a Perennialist, not an atheist. Perennialism is not atheism. It’s a view directly opposed to it.

    I don’t understand. What is atheism saying that directly opposes it? Also, what is incompatible here with naturalism? Please use YOUR words.

  275. speedofsound says

    How am I wrong about the buddhist metaphor? How is that incompatible with naturalism?

    BTW. Quick linking all over the fucking place to the same things over and over. Let’s have a conversation. You don’t see me linking all over hell and back do ya?

  276. speedofsound says

    @Kafei

    I don’t have a “Checkmate, Atheist-attitude.” I believe this is merely your own projection. For you, the atheism and theism debate is like a chess game, that you must win, and I don’t play those egotistical games. I’m not trying to convert anyone here from their atheism. Atheists often say that they’d simply concede that their position is false if they’re ever shown evidence, and I’m not sure I believe any atheist who says this. Rather, what seems more likely is that they’re truly a gnostic atheist (convinced positively that there is, indeed, no God) posing as agnostic atheist whom is willing to consider evidence that might change their position, when actually they’ve already made up their mind, because they’re truly gnostic atheists.

    You didn’t answer my question even a little. All you did was go off on theis projection tangent. Ya know what? People who bring up projection are often doing just that. How is this helping us? I have to fucking win? Win what? I would like to win an understanding of where you think all this is incompatible with naturalism. It is not I who set up the game here by saying ‘if you have this experience then you won’t be an X anymore”. That was you.

  277. Ronald Kyle says

    @#290 Kafei says

    the very backbone of this “spiritual but not religious” attitude is none other than the Perennial philosophy

    Taking drugs and as a result hallucinate gods is as old as humanity itself and probably even before when we were still homohabilis… This does not mean that it is anything other than hallucinations.
     
    Humans have also been eating and drinking and as a result defecating and urinating since before we were humans and all those bodily functions give us an AAAHHHH feeling that is no less of a “perennial spirituality”.
     
    Humans used to think that volcanos were spiritual entities and then when they developed a little more knowledge they understood what volcanos are so they thought that their ancestors’ spirits resided in such phenomena.
     
    Then when they understood things a little better they decided that the gods were not actually the sun or the moon or the volcanos but rather the makers of those.
     
    Then when they developed a little more knowledge they thought that the gods are really a hierarchy of gods much like human societies have kings and their cronies.
     
    Then when humans developed a little more and started having Emperors they started thinking that there is just one supreme god and all the cronies are not really gods but angels and demons.
     
    That is why animism and ancestor worship are found only amongst the most primitive of human societies, while more despotic societies have a single celestial slave monger.
     
    But humanity continues to learn more and more and people living and benefiting from the advantages of this ever increasing knowledge are now suffering chronic acute pangs of Cognitive Dissonance.
     
    And thus we now see efforts by some to alleviate their chronic agonies of Cognitive Dissonance resulting in the next stage of god’s evolution ===> “spiritual but not religious”.
     
    You are just one rung lower on the steps of human development towards REALIZING real REALITY… that is all. One day hopefully you will develop a little more knowledge and realize this… but given your drug abuse, I doubt that your poor tortured brain has enough grey cells left unscarred and untormented to be able to actually manage this next rise in awareness.

  278. says

    @speedofsound

    I don’t understand. What is atheism saying that directly opposes it? Also, what is incompatible here with naturalism? Please use YOUR words.

    Here’s a post a wrote a while back, these are MY words. This is the issue that may be involved here.

  279. says

    @Ronald Kyle

    Taking drugs and as a result hallucinate gods is as old as humanity itself and probably even before when we were still homohabilis… This does not mean that it is anything other than hallucinations.

    I don’t really see any criticism here, because you’re doing precisely the same thing that Paxoll attempted, which is to clump all hallucinatory phenomena as mere “hallucinations.” There’s a reason why they call this phenomenon a “complete” mystical experience, and why these professionals can recognize the report of this phenomenon riddled throughout the scriptures of the major religions.

    Humans have also been eating and drinking and as a result defecating and urinating since before we were humans and all those bodily functions give us an AAAHHHH feeling that is no less of a “perennial spirituality”.

    Actually, that “Ahh feeling” you’ve described has absolutely nothing to do with what the Perennial philosophy emphasizes which is the “complete” mystical experience which is also the emphasis of the scientific research.

    Humans used to think that volcanos were spiritual entities and then when they developed a little more knowledge they understood what volcanos are so they thought that their ancestors’ spirits resided in such phenomena.

    Sure, and as I’ve mentioned before, this reduction is similar to how Cristina Rad has reduced the Gods of the religions of the past, as an explanation for natural phenomena that primitive human beings not armed with science couldn’t understand. Sure, that might account for Zeus as the mainstream religious Greek might attribute the occurrence of lightning, too, or the example you gave of the Volcano, but these do not account for the Brahman of Hinduism or “The Father” in Christianity or “The One” of Plotinus, rather these are descriptions born out of the mystics engagement with mystical states of consciousness.

    Then when they understood things a little better they decided that the gods were not actually the sun or the moon or the volcanos but rather the makers of those.

    Again, I’m not speaking of those naïve conceptions of the divine. That’s why I have invoked Spinoza, which is precisely what Einstein would do when someone would corner him on his notion of God.

    Then when they developed a little more knowledge they thought that the gods are really a hierarchy of gods much like human societies have kings and their cronies.

    You’ve obviously never read Xenophanes or the Greek philosophers critique of the mainstream religion of Zeus and his offspring. The major philosophers of the time didn’t buy into that nonsense, they emphasized rather what Plotinus would eventually refer to as “The One.”

    Then when humans developed a little more and started having Emperors they started thinking that there is just one supreme god and all the cronies are not really gods but angels and demons.

    Okay, so you’ve your own personal interpretation of religion, and that’s fine. However, I’d call that out as pure eisegesis. What I’m referring to is extensive exegesis and hermeneutics as to ascertain the original intended meaning of the root etymology of terms in the major religions that reference the transcendent or the divine.

    That is why animism and ancestor worship are found only amongst the most primitive of human societies, while more despotic societies have a single celestial slave monger.

    The animistic societies were also tribal, there’s evidence many of them were aware of entheogens.

    But humanity continues to learn more and more and people living and benefiting from the advantages of this ever increasing knowledge are now suffering chronic acute pangs of Cognitive Dissonance.

    You might have acute pangs of cognitive dissonance once I’m done with this post.

    And thus we now see efforts by some to alleviate their chronic agonies of Cognitive Dissonance resulting in the next stage of god’s evolution ===> “spiritual but not religious”.

    Sure, we have things like psilocybin now… Well, rather soon to be legalized.

    You are just one rung lower on the steps of human development towards REALIZING real REALITY… that is all. One day hopefully you will develop a little more knowledge and realize this… but given your drug abuse, I doubt that your poor tortured brain has enough grey cells left unscarred and untormented to be able to actually manage this next rise in awareness.

    I don’t think anyone abuses psychedelics, especially if they’re taking high doses.

  280. Paul Money says

    Reading Ronald Kyle and Kafei talking to each other is like watching a tennis match with no balls.

  281. speedofsound says

    @Kafei
    I needed to respond to this before we move on.

    If you’re calling the sum of all existence as divine, then you’re not atheist. You’re a pantheist or…

    I call some candy bars divine too. So does that make me some kind of chocolate devil worshipper or can I still be an atheist and have a divine bite of Reese’s?

  282. Ronald Kyle says

    @#297 Kafei says

    There’s a reason why they call this phenomenon a “complete” mystical experience

    Who are “they” and why are “they” anything other than yet more misguided dupes.
     
    Giving claptrap gobbledygook pseudo-terms does not make “they” anything than yet more charlatans.
     

    Actually, that “Ahh feeling” you’ve described has absolutely nothing to do with

    Who says so? Why? What made you decide that? Did you conduct experiments? Where are the scientific data?
     

    the Perennial philosophy emphasizes which is the “complete” mystical experience

    What claptrap!!! Making up gobbledygook pseud-terms does not in any way validate any of the claptrap pseud-science hogwash you are peddling.
     

    …That’s why I have invoked Spinoza… Einstein …Xenophanes or the Greek philosophers … Plotinus…

    “Invoking” appeal to authority fallacies and using unqualified “authority” that is from benighted times and even geniuses from less benighted times but still benighted nevertheless, does not in any way validate your assertions and made up claptrap.
     

    Okay, so you’ve your own personal interpretation of religion, and that’s fine. However, I’d call that out as pure eisegesis. What I’m referring to is extensive exegesis and hermeneutics as to ascertain the original intended meaning of the root etymology of terms in the major religions that reference the transcendent or the divine.

    WOW… that almost sounded clever… until I actually read it…flimflam and poppycock!!
     

    You might have acute pangs of cognitive dissonance once I’m done with this post.

    Yes indeed… this the only correct sentence you made in this post… I am indeed suffering Cognitive Dissonance pangs after your post… the dissonance is caused by my inability to compute the realization that there are humans this amazingly and tenaciously entrenched in their benightedness while at the same time trying to appear as if they are informed.
     
    Your attempts at pretending to be informed indicate a level of ability to “think”. Yet your miserable and relentless clasp onto your benightedness is astonishing…. hence my cognitive dissonance … how can you be able to “think” yet be so irrational??? This is causing me to have to reevaluate my understanding of human imbecility.

  283. says

    @Paul Money

    Reading Ronald Kyle and Kafei talking to each other is like watching a tennis match with no balls.

    Well, he’s attacking straw mans, these naïve conceptions of the divine. That may be why it seems that way. I’m not talking about Zeus as primitive man’s explanation for lightning, even the ancient Greek philosophers like Xenophanes and Plato rejected and criticized all that. I’m rather referring to what Plato called “the Good” or what Plotinus would eventually call “the One” or what Albert Einstein would invoke as Spinoza’s God which is panentheistic (not to be confused with pantheism) in description, and not the run-of-the-mill monotheistic conceptions that make up the average theist/atheist today’s conception of God.

    @speedofsound

    I call some candy bars divine too. So does that make me some kind of chocolate devil worshipper or can I still be an atheist and have a divine bite of Reese’s?

    Well, of course, I’m not referring to the informal definition of the word. Isn’t that rather obvious?

  284. says

    @Ronald Kyle

    Who are “they” and why are “they” anything other than yet more misguided dupes.

    By “they,” I, of course, am referring to the professionals involved in this research.

    Giving claptrap gobbledygook pseudo-terms does not make “they” anything than yet more charlatans.

    These terms are actually quite well established in the scientific literature.

    Actually, that “Ahh feeling” you’ve described has absolutely nothing to do with

    Who says so? Why? What made you decide that? Did you conduct experiments? Where are the scientific data?

    I link to the research at #261.

    the Perennial philosophy emphasizes which is the “complete” mystical experience

    What claptrap!!! Making up gobbledygook pseud-terms does not in any way validate any of the claptrap pseud-science hogwash you are peddling.

    You obviously haven’t been paying attention to the science that’s been established over decades of research going back to the work of William James in the early 1900s.

    …That’s why I have invoked Spinoza… Einstein …Xenophanes or the Greek philosophers … Plotinus…

    “Invoking” appeal to authority fallacies and using unqualified “authority” that is from benighted times and even geniuses from less benighted times but still benighted nevertheless, does not in any way validate your assertions and made up claptrap.

    Incorrect. I wasn’t invoking as to appeal to an authority, but pointing out that the conception of God that you’re criticizing is not one I harbor. You’re essentially attacking a straw man.

    Okay, so you’ve your own personal interpretation of religion, and that’s fine. However, I’d call that out as pure eisegesis. What I’m referring to is extensive exegesis and hermeneutics as to ascertain the original intended meaning of the root etymology of terms in the major religions that reference the transcendent or the divine.

    WOW… that almost sounded clever… until I actually read it…flimflam and poppycock!!

    Well, that’s essentially what you’re guilty of: eisegesis. I avoid that in my study of comparative religion.

    You might have acute pangs of cognitive dissonance once I’m done with this post.

    Yes indeed… this the only correct sentence you made in this post… I am indeed suffering Cognitive Dissonance pangs after your post… the dissonance is caused by my inability to compute the realization that there are humans this amazingly and tenaciously entrenched in their benightedness while at the same time trying to appear as if they are informed.

    I thought you might end up with a bit of cognitive dissonance. I, fortunately, don’t deal with any of that.

    Your attempts at pretending to be informed indicate a level of ability to “think”. Yet your miserable and relentless clasp onto your benightedness is astonishing…. hence my cognitive dissonance … how can you be able to “think” yet be so irrational??? This is causing me to have to reevaluate my understanding of human imbecility.

    Haha! Okay, whatever you say. I’m actually quite informed on these topics. I study comparative religion as a hobby.

  285. Ronald Kyle says

    @#298 Paul Money says

    Reading Ronald Kyle and Kafei talking to each other is like watching a tennis match with no balls.

    Ah… here comes another pinworm poking its nasty pernicious “head” out of the tribal alpha-dogs’ nether regions…. pathetic scum!!

  286. Ronald Kyle says

    I am intrigued by this Pinworm Money suddenly out of the blue poking its mephitic being onto the scene here after 297 posts without a single contribution from its pernicious being… and the only thing it did was try to INFECT with its disgusting existence…. I wonder what is it that compelled this disgusting pest to poke out its parasitic being all of a sudden????
     
    Could it be a sock pinworm for some other pinworms or cockroaches or rats around here????

  287. Monocle Smile says

    @Kafei
    That book you linked by Polit opens poorly. It spends a few paragraphs gargling the balls of Christian theologians and then whines about “New Atheism.” It’s a polemic, not a serious academic work. It reminds me of the bullshit written by Ed Feser, the foremost Thomas Aquinas apologist of our day. Check this out:

    Aside from modern rationalist and naturalist philosophies,
    without mentioning the infra-rational existential philosophies,
    the West still possesses, and has possessed for centuries, the
    philosophical and theological doctrines of the classical Western heritage—from Plato, Aristotle, and the Neoplatonists,
    through the Church Fathers, to the Scholastics of the Middle Ages—which are completely at odds with the worldview
    of the New Atheists, and incomparably more profound.7 Unfortunately, however, such understanding in our time is not
    generally in the possession of even the more educated among
    the general population, but rather only of a small minority of
    unusually well-read and dedicated students and academic specialists.

    This is classic ivory-tower garbage from a pure academic. Is this supposed to be compelling?
    But wait, there’s more!

    In a general way, one may say that science-technology is
    modern secular man’s real religion, it is what he really believes
    in, what fuels his sense of being at the summit of humanity,
    what makes him recoil at the thought of “medievalism” or at
    the lack of material “development” of traditional civilizations,
    as if any of this contributed one iota to man’s true and final
    end, or as if they could help him in the slightest when he
    has only few seconds left to live. It is as if Christ had never
    mentioned “the one thing needful”, or that one cannot serve
    two masters, or spoke of gaining the world, but at the cost
    of losing one’s soul, or as if the inner life of the spirit were
    a luxury for narcissists; or, not to put too fine a point on it,
    as if Christ were deficient in his knowledge of human nature
    and its true purpose, and of the true nature of the Real, so
    that mankind instead would have to await, for a millennium
    and a half in the “dark”, the “light” furnished by Newton,
    Darwin and the rest of the scientific company, not forgetting
    the “contributions” of such philosophical “luminaries” as
    Descartes, Bacon, Locke, Hume, Kant, Voltaire, and Rousseau.
    As a result of the blinding glare of such “light”, the possibility
    of knowledge of an entirely different and superior order all
    but vanished from the consciousness of Western man after the
    Enlightenment.

    What the fuck is this shit? “Science is a religion, too!” Again, this is nothing new. This is the kind of polemic I’d expect from any number of dusty old white Christian apologists.
    Spoiler alert: the Emperor is naked. There are no clothes. This book, like the rest of its clones, are thousand-page Courtier’s Replies dressed up in fancy vernacular. Instead of bitching so hard about how science demands actual testable, demonstrable evidence to verify claims, why the FUCK doesn’t any religious apologist actually shut us up and provide something testable and demonstrable? As far as I’m concerned, these “mystical experiences” actually undermine loads of godbot testimonies, as they provide an alternative explanation to “god spoke to me.”

    I’m not really sure why Kafei linked that doorstop of a book, since he still misses the point by a mile. He whines about AronRa and Matt Dillahunty and Greta Christina, but doesn’t seem to understand why they exist. Or at the very least, he doesn’t give a shit about why they exist and is just butthurt that they call themselves atheists. Either way, the point is missed.

  288. says

    @Monocle Smile

    What the fuck is this shit? “Science is a religion, too!” Again, this is nothing new. This is the kind of polemic I’d expect from any number of dusty old white Christian apologists.
    Spoiler alert: the Emperor is naked. There are no clothes. This book, like the rest of its clones, are thousand-page Courtier’s Replies dressed up in fancy vernacular. Instead of bitching so hard about how science demands actual testable, demonstrable evidence to verify claims, why the FUCK doesn’t any religious apologist actually shut us up and provide something testable and demonstrable?

    Well, you have to remember that particular book isn’t referencing the science that would actually support a lot of their arguments, because it’s the mystical experience which is testable and demonstrable.

    As far as I’m concerned, these “mystical experiences” actually undermine loads of godbot testimonies, as they provide an alternative explanation to “god spoke to me.”

    Sure, if by godbots, you mean people who say, “I feel God in my heart,” to which Matt Dillahunty often retorts, “Maybe you should go see a doctor.” I absolutely agree. You don’t want to metaphysicize heartburn.

    I’m not really sure why Kafei linked that doorstop of a book, since he still misses the point by a mile. He whines about AronRa and Matt Dillahunty and Greta Christina, but doesn’t seem to understand why they exist. Or at the very least, he doesn’t give a shit about why they exist and is just butthurt that they call themselves atheists. Either way, the point is missed.

    Well, I believe you may have missed my point for even more than a mile. I understand Greta Christina’s frustration or AronRa’s or Matt Dillahunty, but completely eradicating religion is not what I agree with, and that’s what Matt Dillahunty and all the “New Atheists” ultimately aim for, and it is perfectly summed up in the excerpt from Polit’s book:

    “The ambition to eliminate God from all social life.” This
    summarizes quite well the program of the New Atheists.

  289. Monocle Smile says

    @Kafei

    “The ambition to eliminate God from all social life.” This
    summarizes quite well the program of the New Atheists.

    What’s so wrong with that? Especially when Polit opens defending fucking Christianity. Stop linking entire books for the sake of a tiny passage. Fuck, you’re bad at this.
    Contorting the term “god” like you do (and yes, asshole, using esoteric definitions, original or not, instead of modern usage IS a contortion) for the sole purpose of getting butthurt about “New Atheists” doesn’t make you clever nor sympathetic. Especially when we have to pull fucking teeth to finally get you to be honest about this.
    https://xkcd.com/169/

  290. says

    @Monocle Smile

    What’s so wrong with that?

    It’s just not feasible. That’s all.

    Especially when Polit opens defending fucking Christianity. Stop linking entire books for the sake of a tiny passage. Fuck, you’re bad at this. Contorting the term “god” like you do (and yes, asshole, using esoteric definitions, original or not, instead of modern usage IS a contortion) for the sole purpose of getting butthurt about “New Atheists” doesn’t make you clever nor sympathetic. Especially when we have to pull fucking teeth to finally get you to be honest about this.

    What he’s defending is not only Christianity, but all of the major religions.

  291. Ronald Kyle says

    @#302 Kafei says

    By “they,” I, of course, am referring to the professionals involved in this research.

    Can you point me to where these “professionals” have published their research on eating and drinking and defecating and urinating and whether or not the AAAAHHHH feelings they produce are “perennial spirituality” too??
     
    Where is the data so that I can have some research assistants try to replicate the experiments and then we can see if the data is fake or not.
     
    Also how did they decide that there is no possibility that those bodily functions are on par with “perennial spirituality” as ingesting mind smashing chemicals that produce an AAAHHH feeling???
     
    Do you have a link to the publication and the article?

  292. says

    @Ronald Kyle

    Can you point me to where these “professionals” have published their research on eating and drinking and defecating and urinating and whether or not the AAAAHHHH feelings they produce are “perennial spirituality” too??

    Where is the data so that I can have some research assistants try to replicate the experiments and then we can see if the data is fake or not.

    Also how did they decide that there is no possibility that those bodily functions are on par with “perennial spirituality” as ingesting mind smashing chemicals that produce an AAAHHH feeling???

    Do you have a link to the publication and the article?

    Studies linked at #261.

    @Monocle Smile

    Contorting the term “god” like you do (and yes, asshole, using esoteric definitions, original or not, instead of modern usage IS a contortion)

    Referring to a root etymology is not contortion. That’s the entire point of eisegesis/hermeneutics. Rather the modern usage is a contortion from the originally intended use of these terms.

  293. Ronald Kyle says

    @#310 Kafei says

    Studies linked at #261

    I looked at that and there is not a single mention of any study about the “perennial spirituality” or lack of it of the bodily function of eating and drinking and defecating and urinating let alone any consideration of whether or not they are comparable to ingesting chemicals of different kinds that smash the brains.
     
    can you maybe quote the bits from that link that I might have missed???

  294. speedofsound says

    SoS: I don’t understand. What is atheism saying that directly opposes it? Also, what is incompatible here with naturalism? Please use YOUR words.

    Kafei: Here’s a post a wrote a while back, these are MY words. This is the issue that may be involved here.

    That post explains nothing about what I asked. I don’t get why you are having so much trouble telling me simply, without linking my ass all over the internet, what it is about your experience and beliefs that rules out atheism.

    I get that many religions have been altered by mystical experiences. So let’s stop linking me to perrenial philosophy.

    What IS IT that you have discovered in these experiences that is in opposition to ontological naturalism and atheism?

  295. speedofsound says

    Jesus Fucking Christ!! I can try and paraphrase what I think Kafei thinks but I tried that and he keeps coming back with I’m strawmanning him no matter how much iron I put in it. Frustrating.

  296. Ronald Kyle says

    @Kafei
     
    Throughout you have tried to maintain that all your stuff is scientifically kosher and that “perennial spirituality” is something about which “real scientists” have done all due diligence researching and whatnot and it is all a very legitimate “science” stuff.
     
    BUT… I tried to alert you that all what you said becomes very obviously unscientific because
    @#295 Ronald Kyle says

    Humans have also been eating and drinking and as a result defecating and urinating since before we were humans and all those bodily functions give us an AAAHHHH feeling that is no less of a “perennial spirituality”.

    but you responded thusly
    @#297 Kafaei says

    Actually, that “Ahh feeling” you’ve described has absolutely nothing to do with what the Perennial philosophy emphasizes which is the “complete” mystical experience which is also the emphasis of the scientific research.

    I then asked you
    @#300 Ronald Kyle says

    Who says so? Why? What made you decide that? Did you conduct experiments? Where are the scientific data?

    You responded that
    @#302 Kafei says

    I link to the research at #261.

    I looked at that and there is not a single mention of any study about the “perennial spirituality” or lack of it of the bodily function of eating and drinking and defecating and urinating let alone any consideration of whether or not they are comparable to ingesting chemicals of different kinds that smash the brains.
     
    And I asked you to
    @#311 Ronald Kyle says

    can you maybe quote the bits from that link that I might have missed???

    So far you have not provided any quotes or specific link to any research or data or any SINGLE mention of any research regarding the “perennial spirituality” of the bodily functions I mentioned above.
     
    I went back and looked AGAIN at the sources you linked to in post #261 and STILL have not seen any mention of any research regarding comparing the “perennial spirituality” of the ingestion of drugs to defecating and so on.
     
    So you were either LYING when you said that the research is in the citations you gave or I may have utterly missed it. I am going to give you the benefit of the doubt and take it that that I am remiss in my reading and have missed the scientific research you are referring to.
     
    Can you please quote the specific stuff that you are referring to and give specific links so that I can go and read further.
     
    If you cannot prove that there was such a research and cannot quote it then you were lying.
     
    BUT… more importantly… if you cannot show that your “professionals” have done a proper peer reviewable research comparting the “perennial spirituality” of ingesting mind boggling drugs to the AAAHHHH “perennial spirituality” of the mere acts of defecating and urinating and so forth, then your “professionals” have not conducted their research diligently and have not considered all possibilities and variables and causalities and effects.
     
    This will make your “professionals” not very professional at all and their “research” and conclusions nothing but SHAM PSEUDO-SCIENCE.
     
    I am waiting for you to post quotes regarding how defecating is not as much of a “perennial spirituality” as smashing ones brains with chemical compounds.

  297. says

    @Monocle Smile *entire point of exegesis/hermeneutics (fixing typo)

    @speedofsound

    That post explains nothing about what I asked. I don’t get why you are having so much trouble telling me simply, without linking my ass all over the internet, what it is about your experience and beliefs that rules out atheism.

    I’ve explained. It’s quite simple, Perennialism is not atheism. I adhere to the Perennial philosophy, as did Watts, as did Huxley, Wilber, McKenna, and so forth. In fact, the man who coined the word “theism” was a Perennialist. I’m speaking of Ralph Cudworth, one of these famous Cambridge Platonists.

    I get that many religions have been altered by mystical experiences. So let’s stop linking me to perrenial philosophy.

    Now, you want to throw out the baby with the bath water. Yes, okay, you get “mystical experiences,” but then you throw out the fact that these same mystical experiences have been defined in accordance with the Perennial philosophy. That is with one “r” and two “n’s,” by the way.

    What IS IT that you have discovered in these experiences that is in opposition to ontological naturalism and atheism?

    That the Perennial philosophy is absolutely congruent within how these mystical states of consciousness have been defined within the context of this research. I mean, to put it more harshly, I suppose, is that you’ve contorted these definitions. You’ve called Watts an atheist, when he’s clearly not. If anyone is performing any contortion of the meaning of words, as Monocle attempted to accuse me of, it’s actually you. Notice that your fellow atheists don’t hold you much to a high esteem, I’m referring to Monocle’s comment at #9. You earlier conflated an informal definition of “divine” to a standard definition. I really believe you’ve just contorted the definitions of these words to suit the atheistic perspective you’ve become inured and accustom to, that’s all. I’ve pointed this out in my reddit thread and at RatSkep, too, among other atheists who do this very thing.

    Jesus Fucking Christ!! I can try and paraphrase what I think Kafei thinks but I tried that and he keeps coming back with I’m strawmanning him no matter how much iron I put in it. Frustrating.

    For someone who claims they’re a fan of Watts, you’re getting pretty worked up over a simple thread where people are merely sharing ideas. Perhaps you should really re-consider your entire approach, and I am working on my own, I assure you, but I will try and phrase this differently than what I’ve said so far, if I can. However, I have been perfectly calm. There’s no reason, as far as I can discern, to be frustrated in this discussion. The one reason I believe many people have a hard time grasping these things is because many of the religious language associated with these topics do contain so much baggage and loaded connotations, especially the word “God.” I believe Laotzu said it best, he said, “The name that can be named is not the eternal name.” The Hindus, too, recognized that what they referred to as Brahman is truly nameless. It’s a nameless origin or source that is glimpsed in the CME, and each of the various cultures and religious will express it in their own unique way. Because obviously, no one spoke English during the time of Hinduism or when Buddhism was beginning to sprout in India which spread to the oriental countries in the form of Taoism and Zen Buddhism. Or the Greek mysticism which influenced Christian mysticism, and then on to Islamic and Jewish mysticism, etc. All the religions referred to the totality or sum of nature as the divine, and this is glimpsed in the CME, an experience in which one recognizes themselves of part and parcel of a complete totality that is so intimately interconnected, we cannot fathom it intellectually. If we could, then M-theory would be solved, we’d have ToE’s, etc. And this is the universal vision at the height of these experiences which seem to be a potential in every human being. So, to recognize all that, and say that you feel that it’s compatible with your atheism simply means you’ve contorted the religious vocabulary as to be compatible with your particular atheist view. Which, by the way, I don’t think some of your fellow atheists would agree with. I really believe you’re mangling the semantics here, and this is precisely what I attempt to make abundantly clear with my post at RatSkep by pointing to other examples like this with various atheists who make these similar claims.

  298. says

    @Ronald Kyle

    Can you please quote the specific stuff that you are referring to and give specific links so that I can go and read further.

    Well, sure, I suppose I can post them once more. Please, pay attention. I never said “Perennial spirituality.” The view on the major religions which I’m referring to is known as the Perennial philosophy (Latin: Philosophia Perennis or Sophia perennis) also known as Perennial wisdom or Perennialism. I have linked to a screenshot of the particular quote emphasized, I’ve linked to the paper (search document for “common core” to find the particular quote), and I’ve linked to the rest of the studies at #261 that have been published to date. If you’d like to hear a lecture on this published material given by one of the professionals involved, so that you don’t have to absorb this solely through reading black and white letters on a peer-reviewed paper, then I recommend this link here. It’ll definitely aid in your grasp of this research, especially if you’re just being introduced to this stuff.

  299. Ronald Kyle says

    @Kafei
     
    You have totally failed to provide the evidence that you earlier claimed is there… go back read my post #314 carefully… I stated very clearly what I asked and what you said and what I requested and you have thus far failed abysmally to provide proof for your statements as listed in post #314.
     
    Your post #316 is an admittance that your whole claim is not science nor is it supported by any research and thus your entire stance is nothing but pseudo-science claptrap the same as any of the myriad hoaxes and benighted mistakes throughout the wretched existence of humanity.
     
    Until you provide me the evidence that supports your statements as laid out in my post #314 you are proving nothing other than that you are either a total dupe duped by yet more hoaxes and claptrap…. or that you are one of the charlatans who are peddling the hoaxes and claptrap.

  300. says

    @Ronald Kyle
    I did redirect your attention to the published evidence. Did you examine it at all? I also link to it at #208 in this thread with simple direction that points to the specific paper in reference.

  301. t90bb says

    317….he does not have it…….hes got papers that basically state these experiences seem powerful to the participant and there are similarities in their experiences…….what more could you possibly want to conclude god is involved!

  302. CompulsoryAccount7746, Sky Captain says

    Kafei #315:

    There’s no reason, as far as I can discern, to be frustrated in this discussion.

    … he says after over a thousand comments.
     

    I’ve explained. It’s quite simple, Perennialism is not atheism.

    Denial is not explanation. And speedofsound did not ask if they were synonyms.
     
    They said, “what it is about your experience and beliefs that rules out atheism”.
     
     

    the man who coined the word “theism” was a Perennialist. I’m speaking of Ralph Cudworth

     
    Article: Wikipedia – Plastic Principle

    an idea introduced into Western thought by the English philosopher Ralph Cudworth
    […]
    All of the atheistic approaches posted nature as unconscious, which for Cudworth was ontologically unsupportable, as a principle that was supposed to be the ultimate source of life and meaning could only be itself self-conscious and knowledgeable, that is, rational, otherwise creation or nature degenerates into inert matter set in motion by random external forces (Coleridge’s ‘chance whirlings of unproductive particles’). Cudworth saw nature as a vegetative power endowed with plastic (forming) and spermatic (generative) forces, but one with Mind, or a self-conscious knowledge.
    […]
    The essence of atheism for Cudworth was the view that matter was self-active and self-sufficient, whereas for Cudworth the plastic power was unsentient and under the direct control of the universal Mind or Logos.

  303. CompulsoryAccount7746, Sky Captain says

     
    Article: Wikipedia – Cambridge Platonists

    The Cambridge Platonists used the framework of the philosophia perennis of Agostino Steuco
    […]
    To the Cambridge Platonists, […] reality was known not by physical sensation alone, but by intuition of the intelligible forms that exist behind the material world of everyday perception. Universal, ideal forms inform matter, and the physical senses are unreliable guides to their reality.

     
    Article: Wikipedia – Plastic Principle

    Cudworth’s plastic principle also involves a theory of mind that is active, that is, God or the Supreme Mind is “the spermatic reason” which gives rise to individual mind and reason. Human mind can also create, and has access to spiritual or super-sensible ‘Ideas’ in the Platonic sense.
    […]
    arguing that will is […] a power to act that is internal, and therefore, the voluntary will function involves self-determination, not external compulsion, though we have the power to act either in accordance with God’s will or not.

     
    Article: Wikipedia – Agostino Steuco

    In 1540 he published a major work entitled De perenni philosophia, which attempted to show that many of the ideas expounded by the sages, poets, and philosophers from classical antiquity were in essential harmony with Christianity. […] Steuco believed that Roman Catholicism, centred on the Gospels, is the true hidden core of pagan beliefs

  304. Paul Money says

    @ 303 and 304.
    Ronald goes for a forehand ad hominem smash, misses and plays another after the ball has bounced, but it flies off into the crowd. Possibly.
    “New balls please”.

  305. speedofsound says

    @CompulsoryAccount7746, Sky Captain #320
    Wikipedia – Plastic Principle

    Thanks. That paragraph is what I would have liked to extract, in his own words from Kafei. He seems incapable of simply stating his core beliefs. I wonder about people like this. There seems to be a belief wall constructed of phraseology (and in this case many links) that serves as a kind of shield against reasonable discourse. This spiritualism field is certainly filled with that crap.

    I found Watts entertaining in that he exposed the metaphors of religion in a gentle and comedic way. When it came right down to stating clearly that human mind and consciousness had special ontological status Watts made no firm claim. What he did instead was to describe naturalism in all it’s complex glory in such a way as to recover all of the awe and ‘oooh’ of religion for an naturalistic worldview. I appreciated that from him. His curse is that he used enough spirit-speak and poetry that he will be misinterpreted for the next six centuries as having said something he didn’t. Mankind will once again miss the fucking point. Oh well.

    “that human mind and consciousness had special ontological status”

    This is it concisely. This is at the base of all religious doctrine. God in man’s image.

    I tried to get Kafei to say that out loud. Odd that he can’t write the words.

  306. indianajones says

    @Paul Money I think you dignify overly much with ‘Ad Hominem’. It’s just frothing at the mouth insult at this point. Fascinating in a ‘what the hell happened to get a person to this point’ sort of way, sure. But an injured and angry lion is still worth avoiding no matter why it is angry. Until it can be humanely cured or put out of it’s misery in whatever way by a competent vet perhaps, but still. I reckon anyway.

    Otherwise I heartily agree with your 298! 😀

  307. speedofsound says

    For someone who claims they’re a fan of Watts, you’re getting pretty worked up over a simple thread where people are merely sharing ideas. Perhaps you should really re-consider your entire approach,

    Lay off the dope and get a little yin in your yang.

  308. speedofsound says

    I call some candy bars divine too. So does that make me some kind of chocolate devil worshipper or can I still be an atheist and have a divine bite of Reese’s?

    Well, of course, I’m not referring to the informal definition of the word. Isn’t that rather obvious?

    Really? I wrote the word so don’t you think you should consider how I use it when you are responding to where I wrote it? Just sayin.

    I think my god is the math that happens when we take all the cosmos into our little heads and consider complexity and patterned synchronicity. Matter gets such a bad rap. People just do not see how crazy that shit can get. Especially when you sandwich it into a temperature band like here on this planet. Proteins man. You want to see god? Go read about protein folding. No drugs required.

    So the complexity is the divine. I squiggle in this thermodynamic band of plastic goo and my squiggles synch up with the other squiggles and then we have some good ole synchronicity and that makes me kind of high.

  309. speedofsound says

    Kafei

    Yes, I’ve heard Matt Dillahunty mention this, it’s an example so ridiculous, it’s even been parodied. He brought this up after the very last question during Matt and Jordan Peteron’s Q&A session, and personally think it was entirely made up. From people I’ve spoke to who’ve actually done psychedelics at these higher doses, none of ’em have ever described a hallucination in that fashion. I really believe this is something Matt just pulled out of his ass one the spot to criticize Jordan Peterson’s comment about psychedelic experiences. He was describing a pareidolia effect of wood grain on his door that he perceived as being in the shape of a strawberry, then a 3-dimensional strawberry came out of the wood grain with the Superman “S” on its chest, and it leaped and flew like Superman and did a lap around Matt’s head before returning to the door and becoming part of the wood grain again.

    Holy fuck. I think I will call you Super Blinkersman. Wood grain hallucinations on acid are my personal favorite. I knew right away that this had actually happened to Matt when he said woodgrain. In fact! I can still do this stuff with my woodgrain door in the bathroom today, thirty some years after my 200 acid trips. You obviously have not had a true woodgrain experience. Woodgrain is right up there with dim-room-phosphene-wallpaper.

    Notice a trend here Kafei? Maybe do a little personal evaluation while up on that holy high-horse?

  310. Ronald Kyle says

     
    If anyone is not aware of the cockroach and pinworm infestations that are trying to vitiate this forum from its core, here are some facts that are fascinatingly indicative of that
     
    ==================================================================================
     
    Pinworm Money contributed a sum total of 2 posts in the threads of the last three weeks both of them were attempts at infesting this thread with his pinworm eggs.
     
    Week 23.02_____ 0 posts
     
    Week 23.03_____ 0 posts
     
    Week 23.04_____ #298… pinworm poking its head to try to infest
    _______________ #322… more attempts by a pinworm to infest
     
    ==================================================================================
     
    The Cockroach SS Nazi enemy of Indiana Jones posted 11 posts in the last three weeks 8 of which were cockroach infestation attempts and 3 totally irrelevant to the threads’ topics
     
    Week 23.02_____ #3…… talking about dick jokes
    _______________ #63…. talking about banning people
    _______________ #188… talking about crayons and dancing
    _______________ #300… cockroach infestation attempts
    _______________ #302… more cockroach infestation attempts
    _______________ #305… fabricated fake statistics to support his lies in the style of Faux “news” propaganda department productions
    _______________ #305… more cockroach infestations
     
    Week 23.03_____ 0 posts
     
    Week 23.04_____ #190… cockroach infestations
    _______________ #194… apologizing to shenanigans and begging him to stick around while promising him that he will eventually ban people who debunk him and maligning the mods for not jumping at his commands and helping him to ban debunkers of his beloved theists.
    _______________ #273… juvenile inanity
    _______________ #324… pretending to respond to his sock pinworm most likely, or could be just a real pinworm living up his arsehole that he lets loose on this forum to help him further smear it with his filth.
     
    ====================================================================================
     
    The house slave Butler contributed 12 posts in the last three week, only 4 of which were not pinworm infestation attempts. 5 were house slave butler ORDERS telling atheists that they should be more respectful to theists or else be flogged and how he wishes this forum to be a love fest between theists and atheists and how atheists should respect theists.
     
    Week 23.02_____ #11….. sniffing up the arse of the hosts
    _______________ #296… calling for banning people and lamenting the fact that the mods are not jumping to his commands and making the forum what HE WANTS it to be … i.e. nice lovey dovey to theists forum where atheists who aggressively debunk theists should be BANNED.
     
    Week 23.03_____ #167… relevant + some sniffing up the arse of an alpha of the tribe apparently
    _______________ #226… his opinions on how atheists should behave so that the forum would become what HE wants it to be… i.e. an insipid love fest between atheists and theists, where atheists must respect the theists.
    _______________ #229… more opinionated DEMANDS for how atheists should behave to make the forum the way HE wants it… i.e. an insipid love fest between atheists and theists.
    _______________ #230… an inferior and incomplete rephrasing of an earlier post I made trying to appear as if he is clever but arrantly failing
    _______________ #238… responding to a post that he does not understand was in fact talking about people of his ilk who plagiarize other people’s arguments but mangle them. He also had to assure all that he is indeed an atheist just in case people were starting to doubt it based on his numerous declaration for how he prefers theists and how he wants atheists to be polite and lovey dovey to theists.
     
    Week 23.04_____ #10…. relevant coherent post
    _______________ #39…. relevant coherent post
    _______________ #177… pinworm infestation attempts
    _______________ #205… begging theists to excuse the rudeness of the atheists debunking them and commanding atheists that HE wants them to behave nicely while debating theists and telling all that HE prefers theists a lot more than atheists.
    _______________ #229… asking if he has reached the level of a cockroach instead of just a pinworm up the arsehole of one

  311. says

    @speedofsound

    Holy fuck. I think I will call you Super Blinkersman. Wood grain hallucinations on acid are my personal favorite. I knew right away that this had actually happened to Matt when he said woodgrain. In fact! I can still do this stuff with my woodgrain door in the bathroom today, thirty some years after my 200 acid trips. You obviously have not had a true woodgrain experience. Woodgrain is right up there with dim-room-phosphene-wallpaper.

    Notice a trend here Kafei? Maybe do a little personal evaluation while up on that holy high-horse?

    I’ve had the visual distortions and pareidolia effect occur in wood grain, too. However, my point is that whenever this was happening, it was typical of the more recreational to mid-range dose, this is an effect that is not associated with the higher doses of psychedelics. In a CME, there is no “you” to look at a “that,” be it wood grain or any “object” or “surface” out there in an external reality to what you consider to be your ego. At the height of the CME, there is a temporary, but yet complete dissolution of the ego, and that’s what I’ve been at great pains to emphasize here. Obviously, a CME is not what Matt explained, he explained something more akin to the visionary/archetypal experiences which are also commonly reported, but definitely not the CME. Often, the visionary/archetypal experiences can occur just right before or right after a CME. While I find the visionary/archetypal experiences interesting, they are definitely not what I’m emphasizing or what this research is emphasizing as the “complete” mystical experience wherein which the subject-object dichotomy absolutely and temporarily vanishes.

  312. Ronald Kyle says

    @#324 SS Nazi weasel says

    what the hell happened to get a person to this point

    The existence of nasty scum and vile cockroaches like you with pinworms living up your nether regions.
     

    an injured and angry lion is still worth avoiding … Until it can be humanely cured

    The only way to quench the ire of lion-like humans is for the veterinarians to humanely extirpate the infestations of cockroaches and all pestilent parasites pretending to be humans.

  313. speedofsound says

    I’ve had the visual distortions and pareidolia effect occur in wood grain, too. However, my point is that whenever this was happening, it was typical of the more recreational to mid-range dose,…

    That wasn’t your point at all. Your point was that Matt made it up. You might get away with that with someone who hasn’t ingested a fuckton of these drugs but for anyone who has, Matt’s description was spot-on real.

    At the height of the CME, there is a temporary, but yet complete dissolution of the ego, and that’s what I’ve been at great pains to emphasize here. Obviously, a CME is not what Matt explained, he explained something more akin to the visionary/archetypal experiences which are also commonly reported

    Matt’s point was that something happened to his brain giving him a brand new way of looking at bathroom doors and he points out that one should not believe in everything you see on drugs.

    the “complete” mystical experience wherein which the subject-object dichotomy absolutely and temporarily vanishes.

    That thing temporarily vanishes a hundred times a day in normal humans. Having it vanish from within your brain is a remarkable experience and it does give you the opportunity to see what you are in a different light and do a little rewiring. But there is nothing surprising about it vanishing on high doses of drugs or any number of other catastrophic brain events that throw a wrench into the somewhat static generation of subject/object model. We all have this and it develops in the brain from the moment the neurons migrate into the cortical husk. Normal brains work off this model. You are doing it right now. Thankfully the drug doesn’t do permanent damage to the system.

    Science ‘knows’ how these systems construct. And where. Details of self and other delusions like mind and consciousness are being worked out. Slowly but it’s coming along. The psychology of what happens after one of these experiences is somewhat in the dark yet but guys like you with the woo are not helping the effort.

    I have said that I believe that AA and similar methods of self-change play on some of these things. It’s all tied together. Religion too. I am excited about all of this because it offers us hope of stomping out the woo and coming up with a secular approach to positive self-therapy in our lives. That will be ALL science in the end and ultimately will involve detailed connectome mapping of these functions.

    So it is no surprise at all that you lose this dichotomy model when you take drugs. Do you get that? Nothing to write home about there. The surprise is, and I’m guessing the first guys that did a lobotomy or electro-shock were surprised too, that there are positive constructive after-effects.

    You aren’t helping any of that with the cosmic consciousness woo.

    Nor are you helping to squeeze the actual truth from the woo. Because there is actual juice in that lemon. For social monkeys in a civilization with cell-phones there is much needed reassessment of what we actually are. Now here is the odd thing about your brand of woo and the trad religions. You get these feelings and experience and you get on the path to a true understanding of your predicament in the universe. Then you drag back in all the shit. You lose the dichotomy only to reconstruct it in a more poetic and less understandable way that simple CONSTRUCTS A NEW EGO AT A HIGHER LEVEL OF CONCEPTION. That new ego still holds that man and his prescious fucking conscicles are somehow at the core of reality. Same old god shit in a new robe.

    Grasshopper. Wake the fuck up!

  314. paxoll says

    Lets reword this to be more concise, precise and scientifically accurate.

    I’ve had the visual distortions and pareidolia effect occur in wood grain, too. However, my point is that whenever this was happening, it was typical of the more recreational to mid-range dose, this is an effect that is not associated with the higher doses of psychedelics. In a CME, there is no “you” to look at a “that,” be it wood grain or any “object” or “surface” out there in an external reality to what you consider to be your ego. At the height of the CME, there is a temporary, but yet complete dissolution of the ego, and that’s what I’ve been at great pains to emphasize here. Obviously, a CME is not what Matt explained, he explained something more akin to the visionary/archetypal experiences which are also commonly reported, but definitely not the CME. Often, the visionary/archetypal experiences can occur just right before or right after a CME. While I find the visionary/archetypal experiences interesting, they are definitely not what I’m emphasizing or what this research is emphasizing as the “complete” mystical experience wherein which the subject-object dichotomy absolutely and temporarily vanishes.

     
    “I’ve had visual hallucinations while tripping too, but this happens only at low doses of hallucinogen that partially effect your senses and is what people aim for when taking drugs for fun. When you take shit tons of hallucinogen, it will affect all your senses into what scientists call a complete hallucination. Matt didn’t achieve a complete hallucination because he was trying to have fun. A complete hallucination reduces your mind to the level of an infant that can’t grasp the perception of self, or object permanence. “

  315. Monocle Smile says

    It’s just not feasible. That’s all.

    What? That’s it? So what’s with the publishing of entire novels and all the thread-jacking? You could have just said that and fucked off. This doesn’t explain your presence here, nor your lines of argumentation. This feels like a cop-out to hide your actual motives.

    What he’s defending is not only Christianity, but all of the major religions.

    This makes Polit’s case better how? His style of polemic is exceptionally weak and unoriginal. These baseless appeals to “other ways of knowing” are just as worthless today as they were centuries ago.

    Of course, I’m talking to a crank with “ultimate confidence,” so of course you don’t think you could possibly be wrong about anything. There’s no point in engaging at all except to humiliate you in front of a crowd. That’s it. That’s all the value you provide. Pathetic.

  316. says

    @speedofsound

    That wasn’t your point at all. Your point was that Matt made it up. You might get away with that with someone who hasn’t ingested a fuckton of these drugs but for anyone who has, Matt’s description was spot-on real.

    Yes, I’m still not convinced that Matt actually had this experience. I believe it’s something he picked up off what he sees in media how hallucinations are portrayed in movies. It seems like he fabricated a description based on that influence rather than an actual experience.

    You aren’t helping any of that with the cosmic consciousness woo.

    Cosmic consciousness was simply a term used by Richard M. Bucke and Alan Watts to describe the CME. There’s no woo involved in this at all.

    @paxoll

    “I’ve had visual hallucinations while tripping too, but this happens only at low doses of hallucinogen that partially effect your senses and is what people aim for when taking drugs for fun. When you take shit tons of hallucinogen, it will affect all your senses into what scientists call a complete hallucination. Matt didn’t achieve a complete hallucination because he was trying to have fun.

    The visionary/archetypcal experiences aren’t approached in such a lax manner that Matt has described. I don’t believe he even had psychedelics. Yes, people who are trying to have fun intentionally take low doses, not mid-range to high doses. And this will cause colours to brighten, visual distortions, but the visionary/archetypal experiences that occur approaching a CME aren’t so gleefully entertaining as Matt described. Often, since the archetypcal/visionary experiences can occur just prior to a CME, one can have the impression that their ego is dying, because that is what happens at the height of a CME. So, the visionary hallucinatory phenomena associated with the archetypal experience usually are reflections of more important images to the individual, for instance, if they’re religious, they may see religious figures that a part of their particular religion or if they’re agnostic or atheist, they may see dead loved ones or even other figures that may seem important in their lives. What Matt described was nothing of the sort, he claimed to be sitting calmly in the restroom, not even concerned if he was about to die, and that description doesn’t sound like anything people report when they actually undergo this experience, even on recreational doses. And by the way, no professional calls the CME a “complete hallucination.” If you’re looking to have fun, then sure, take recreational doses. However, if you’re looking for God, take a “heroic dose.” Matt has never done that.

    A complete hallucination reduces your mind to the level of an infant that can’t grasp the perception of self, or object permanence. “

    I think that’s the assumptions that psychologists made when they initially found out about the phenomenon, and so they referred to it as the “oceanic feeling,” that the baby cannot make the distinction between itself and its surroundings, and so they thought this type of experience was a regression to that sort of mindset, but not quite. Alan Watts emphasized there is the adult “oceanic feeling,” and that’s more accurately what this experience is about, but as Watts points out, psychoanalysts don’t discuss that, because according to them all “oceanic feelings” are regressive, but there is a mature “oceanic feeling” as contrasted with the immature “oceanic feeling” of the baby, which is as different as the oak tree is from the acorn.

  317. paxoll says

    I didn’t say any professional calls the CME a “complete hallucination”, I said “scientifically accurate”. From all the evidence you have presented, I don’t consider those “professionals” good scientists. Physicists sometimes use the term “god particle” but don’t when they are being scientifically accurate. The fact that this group of nutters decided to use the metaphor “mystical” to describe the hallucinations they were measuring doesn’t change the scientific fact of what it was.

  318. says

    @paxoll

    I didn’t say any professional calls the CME a “complete hallucination”, I said “scientifically accurate”.

    It’s note even accurate from a scientific standpoint to call it a “complete hallucination.”

    From all the evidence you have presented, I don’t consider those “professionals” good scientists.

    Well, they’re quite esteemed professionals despite your opinion. They’ve the credentials to certainly back this up.

    Physicists sometimes use the term “god particle” but don’t when they are being scientifically accurate.

    No physicist would confuse the “God particle” or Higgs Boson with God just as no neuroscientists would confuse the God molecule or N,N-DMT with God. These titles have been used for quite different reasons.

    The fact that this group of nutters decided to use the metaphor “mystical” to describe the hallucinations they were measuring doesn’t change the scientific fact of what it was.

    Yes, and there’s good reason to use this term as opposed to a term like “complete hallucination,” and that is to make a distinction between these things. You wouldn’t call a dream a “complete hallucination.” Of course, not, because a dream better describes this very particular phenomena that occurs in a mind that is asleep or unconscious. However, an important point to emphasize here is that whether you call it a ‘hallucination‘ or a ‘direct perception of God,’ you’re talking about the exact same experience. The only reason you attempt to reduce to mere “hallucination” is precisely because you’ve not had this experience, and so you ignore these very important distinctions being made here.

  319. Monocle Smile says

    The visionary/archetypcal experiences aren’t approached in such a lax manner that Matt has described. I don’t believe he even had psychedelics

    Cool, so now Matt’s lying because Kafei said so.

    Alan Watts emphasized there is the adult “oceanic feeling,” and that’s more accurately what this experience is about, but as Watts points out, psychoanalysts don’t discuss that, because according to them all “oceanic feelings” are regressive, but there is a mature “oceanic feeling” as contrasted with the immature “oceanic feeling” of the baby, which is as different as the oak tree is from the acorn.

    And Watts’ evidence for this is…?
    Argumentum ad YouTube is not convincing. I think you’d have a hard time convincing a thief to take your money.

    If you’re looking to have fun, then sure, take recreational doses. However, if you’re looking for God, take a “heroic dose.” Matt has never done that.

    I mean, if you’re looking for god, just examine some Michelangelo frescoes. It’s only superficially different from tripping balls…they’re both biological experiences completely consistent with materialism.
    *cue butthurt ranting about how a CME is SO SPECIAL and grants ULTIMATE KNOWLEDGE and shit*

  320. Monocle Smile says

    You wouldn’t call a dream a “complete hallucination.” Of course, not, because a dream better describes this very particular phenomena that occurs in a mind that is asleep or unconscious.

    Oh, so is this an admission that a CME is an entirely biological phenomenon that occurs wholly within one’s own mind? Because you keep flip flopping here even when asked easy, direct questions.

  321. says

    @Monocle Smile

    Cool, so now Matt’s lying because Kafei said so.

    Lots of people lie about having psychedelic experience for various reasons. Whether you’re trying to be cool or in Matt’s case, I think he just pulled it out his ass in order to criticize Jordan Peterson’s last comment during that discussion they had. Whether he lied or not, it’s still a typical description of a recreational experience. It has nothing to do with what I’m talking about here.

    Alan Watts emphasized there is the adult “oceanic feeling,” and that’s more accurately what this experience is about, but as Watts points out, psychoanalysts don’t discuss that, because according to them all “oceanic feelings” are regressive, but there is a mature “oceanic feeling” as contrasted with the immature “oceanic feeling” of the baby, which is as different as the oak tree is from the acorn.

    And Watts’ evidence for this is…?

    The evidence is what this scientific research has produced relative to the CME.

    Argumentum ad YouTube is not convincing. I think you’d have a hard time convincing a thief to take your money.

    Then, pay attention to the actual science being done, because it does address what you’re questioning here.

    If you’re looking to have fun, then sure, take recreational doses. However, if you’re looking for God, take a “heroic dose.” Matt has never done that.

    I mean, if you’re looking for god, just examine some Michelangelo frescoes. It’s only superficially different from tripping balls…they’re both biological experiences completely consistent with materialism.
    *cue butthurt ranting about how a CME is SO SPECIAL and grants ULTIMATE KNOWLEDGE and shit*

    You don’t have to even be looking for God, even if you’re atheist and you take a high dose, and you’re not even intending to encounter God, it will happen. It’s an unbidden experience even for atheists.

  322. Monocle Smile says

    I forgot about the panpsychism bullshit upthread.
    If the best you can say about a claim is “it hasn’t been debunked,” then you have a worthless claim. Find a way to test panpsychism and shut the fucking fuck up until that happens.

  323. says

    @Monocle Smile If a technology existed that could detect consciousness, then it’d be easily done to prove or disprove panpsychism or what’s also called panexperientialism. However, much like M-theory, there’s no technology to date that would solve it. It’s definitely an intuition in the CME, but as Michio Kaku has said, it’s very difficult to perform experiments in cosmology, you’d have to be able to create a “baby universe,” likewise no technology exists that would verify/falsify panexperientialism. That’s why it remains an unchallenged concept.

  324. Monocle Smile says

    Whether he lied or not, it’s still a typical description of a recreational experience. It has nothing to do with what I’m talking about here.

    “Please ignore where I accused someone of lying because it makes me look bad.”

    The evidence is what this scientific research has produced relative to the CME.

    No, it fucking isn’t. Can you even read? CME research has fucking fuck all to do with whether or not the “oceanic feeling” is different from that of a child. You’re just making this shit up as you go, aren’t you?

    You don’t have to even be looking for God, even if you’re atheist and you take a high dose, and you’re not even intending to encounter God, it will happen. It’s an unbidden experience even for atheists.

    How is this in any way a response to my post? Are you STILL on drugs?
    The claims about a CME “curing” atheism appear to be blatant lies. Not only is the sample size FAR too small to draw any conclusions, but we don’t know nearly enough about either the experiment or the people involved. Thus, the actual claim as you have phrased it is a lie.

  325. speedofsound says

    The arrogance of #334 is amazing. I’m starting to doubt you have actually had a mystical experience. Feel your ego dying? Hallucinate religious figures? Nah uh! Not quite. Matt OTOH described something very familiar and I have no doubt he had 200-300 mcg.

    My friend Mac and I were in my mom’s kitchen where the white linoleum had wear marks on each tile that formed a pattern. Pink Floyd, I think it was Animals was blaring from the other room. I played with the pattern and got these big land crabs to rise up out of the each tile and like a big army dance to Floyd. THEN! I told Mac about it and he did it too. Powerful shit. Laughing our asses off. If you do a lot of acid you get good at controlling these additive hallucinations. You need a pattern to kick it off though.

    But who gives a Rats Ass if Matt had a recreational dose that one time that he saw strawberry man? Maybe he did it 200 times and had 30 heroic doses and had 5 CME’s but wasn’t impressed because he knew it was the drug. How and the fuck are you Kafei, telling other people what kinds of drug experiences they’ve had in their lives? See what’s happening here? No True and other shit where you think you are some kind of an authority on mysticism and psychedelics. And a Matt authority?

    Go do the meditative work at a monastery or wherever and have one of these things without melting down the parts of your brain that map space and time, then come tell us some shit.

  326. says

    @Monocle Smile

    “Please ignore where I accused someone of lying because it makes me look bad.”

    I’m not saying ignore it. I don’t believe Matt, and if I recall correctly, he’s done this nonsense in the past. He once said on an episode of The Atheist Experience that he had taken some psychedelic, and he was on top of a table, and this same nonsense of “the wood grain made an M.C. Escher lizard that came off the table, then returned into the wood grain.” I really believe this is just Matt’s general idea of what he thinks psychedelics do influenced by movies, tv, etc. because he has no clue as to what they actually do.

    The evidence is what this scientific research has produced relative to the CME.

    No, it fucking isn’t. Can you even read? CME research has fucking fuck all to do with whether or not the “oceanic feeling” is different from that of a child. You’re just making this shit up as you go, aren’t you?

    I’m not making up anything. One doesn’t fall into a regression during these states, these mystical states of consciousness are not occurring in a baby’s mind, but an adult’s mind, and has particular effects that continuously alter the thoughts, personality, and behavior of the individual ever after the experience.

    You don’t have to even be looking for God, even if you’re atheist and you take a high dose, and you’re not even intending to encounter God, it will happen. It’s an unbidden experience even for atheists.

    How is this in any way a response to my post? Are you STILL on drugs?
    The claims about a CME “curing” atheism appear to be blatant lies. Not only is the sample size FAR too small to draw any conclusions, but we don’t know nearly enough about either the experiment or the people involved. Thus, the actual claim as you have phrased it is a lie.

    I’m not simply referring to the sample sizes found in these studies, but also the anecdotes found riddled throughout the history of the major religions which have been happening since perhaps time immemorial. There’s hundreds of reports of mystical experience within each of the major religions.

    @speedofsound

    The arrogance of #334 is amazing. I’m starting to doubt you have actually had a mystical experience. Feel your ego dying? Hallucinate religious figures? Nah uh! Not quite. Matt OTOH described something very familiar and I have no doubt he had 200-300 mcg.

    Yes, that’s what happens in the height of the CME, an ego death, it is a kind of death that occurs. Then, you have the ego reborn reset after such an experience.

    My friend Mac and I were in my mom’s kitchen where the white linoleum had wear marks on each tile that formed a pattern. Pink Floyd, I think it was Animals was blaring from the other room. I played with the pattern and got these big land crabs to rise up out of the each tile and like a big army dance to Floyd. THEN! I told Mac about it and he did it too. Powerful shit. Laughing our asses off. If you do a lot of acid you get good at controlling these additive hallucinations. You need a pattern to kick it off though.

    When you raise the dose, it’s not about looking at visual distortions on the patterns of surface of things.

    But who gives a Rats Ass if Matt had a recreational dose that one time that he saw strawberry man? Maybe he did it 200 times and had 30 heroic doses and had 5 CME’s but wasn’t impressed because he knew it was the drug. How and the fuck are you Kafei, telling other people what kinds of drug experiences they’ve had in their lives? See what’s happening here? No True and other shit where you think you are some kind of an authority on mysticism and psychedelics. And a Matt authority?

    Matt’s not an authority. I believe it’s quite clear and apparently so that Matt has not had this experience, he’s even admitted it himself. What more proof do you need?

    Go do the meditative work at a monastery or wherever and have one of these things without melting down the parts of your brain that map space and time, then come tell us some shit.

    I believe that’s the entire point, if time and space do not completely melt down, then you’ve not approached the CME.

  327. Monocle Smile says

    I’m not making up anything. One doesn’t fall into a regression during these states, these mystical states of consciousness are not occurring in a baby’s mind, but an adult’s mind, and has particular effects that continuously alter the thoughts, personality, and behavior of the individual ever after the experience.

    Says the person with ZERO expertise in any of these matters. Do you even fucking know what “regressive” means in psychology? Just because a CME occurs in an adult’s mind doesn’t mean the “oceanic feeling” isn’t regressive. You really are making this up as you go. Furthermore, Watts predates all of the science on this, so how the fuck are you using him as an authority on this matter?

    I’m not simply referring to the sample sizes found in these studies, but also the anecdotes found riddled throughout the history of the major religions which have been happening since perhaps time immemorial. There’s hundreds of reports of mystical experience within each of the major religions.

    You’re either drunk or fucked in the head, because this is very, VERY obviously not a response to my post. HERE is my post:

    The claims about a CME “curing” atheism appear to be blatant lies. Not only is the sample size FAR too small to draw any conclusions, but we don’t know nearly enough about either the experiment or the people involved. Thus, the actual claim as you have phrased it is a lie.

    This is extremely clear and I have no clue how you fucked this up so badly.

  328. paxoll says

    The only reason you attempt to reduce to mere “hallucination” is precisely because you’ve not had this experience, and so you ignore these very important distinctions being made here.

    See you have no idea how science works, and its a wonder why we have been hearing the same bullshit for so long. The only reason to attempt to make it anything OTHER than a mere “hallucination” is because you want to claim more than is scientifically reasonable. Whats the difference between timeless sensation, and time dilation? The degree. What is the difference between feeling feeling at one with everything in the universe and “complete loss of ego”? The degree. A “complete hallucination” is a 100% more scientifically accurate description of a CME and does not rely on outcome bias, or phacking to legitimize.

  329. speedofsound says

    Go do the meditative work at a monastery or wherever and have one of these things without melting down the parts of your brain that map space and time, then come tell us some shit.

    I believe that’s the entire point, if time and space do not completely melt down, then you’ve not approached the CME.

    Now you are contradicting yourself. That’s probably the drugs. Ever heard of Varieties of Religious Experience? What’s the first word there in that thing?

    Dose does not matter. You have said a hundred times that no dose at all has these mystical experiences as a possibility. So what’s with this heroic dose shit?

    Also. WTF? I took incredible doses and still managed to have fun and dance with crustaceans and shit. You are acting like the expert here and in your mind the only expert. How old are you? You a kid?

  330. says

    @Monocle Smile

    Says the person with ZERO expertise in any of these matters. Do you even fucking know what “regressive” means in psychology? Just because a CME occurs in an adult’s mind doesn’t mean the “oceanic feeling” isn’t regressive. You really are making this up as you go.

    I’m not making any of this stuff up, this was, in fact, Freud’s explanation.

    Furthermore, Watts predates all of the science on this, so how the fuck are you using him as an authority on this matter?

    Because Watts had these experiences for himself, and studied it very deeply. He also held a degree in theology. I’d point out that the science that’s been done, that was being done during even his time, and continues today is only confirming the perspective he held all along.

    I’m not simply referring to the sample sizes found in these studies, but also the anecdotes found riddled throughout the history of the major religions which have been happening since perhaps time immemorial. There’s hundreds of reports of mystical experience within each of the major religions.

    You’re either drunk or fucked in the head, because this is very, VERY obviously not a response to my post. HERE is my post:

    The claims about a CME “curing” atheism appear to be blatant lies. Not only is the sample size FAR too small to draw any conclusions, but we don’t know nearly enough about either the experiment or the people involved. Thus, the actual claim as you have phrased it is a lie.

    I never said it “cures atheism,” at least I wouldn’t phrase it that way. What is the point of your criticism here if you weren’t trying to say the science doesn’t know enough about this phenomenon to make any conclusions, isn’t that what you were attempting to imply? If not, please elaborate.

    This is extremely clear and I have no clue how you fucked this up so badly.

    Then, be more specific, why don’t you, instead of complaining that someone has misconstrued this paragraph.

    @paxoll

    See you have no idea how science works, and its a wonder why we have been hearing the same bullshit for so long. The only reason to attempt to make it anything OTHER than a mere “hallucination” is because you want to claim more than is scientifically reasonable. Whats the difference between timeless sensation, and time dilation?

    In a timeless sensation, time doesn’t exist. In time dilation, there is still a sense of duration, of time passing, no matter how dilated in its relativity. That’s the primary distinction between these two.

    What is the difference between feeling feeling at one with everything in the universe and “complete loss of ego”? The degree.

    There is no distinction here, the complete loss of ego, and the sensation of complete unity with all that could ever be are two ways of describing the same phenomenon.

    A “complete hallucination” is a 100% more scientifically accurate description of a CME and does not rely on outcome bias, or phacking to legitimize.

    And yet no professional, no scientific paper would refer to a CME as a “complete hallucination.” This is merely your own bias, this is what you’d like to reduce it to in order to dismiss it. And yet you don’t realize you’re the only one that has managed to construe it in such a manner. It’s conveniently biased for you to do that, because it suits your atheistic perspective. It’s quite like dismissing it as a mere “subjective experience.” This is useless, all experience is subjective.

  331. says

    @speedofsound

    Now you are contradicting yourself. That’s probably the drugs. Ever heard of Varieties of Religious Experience? What’s the first word there in that thing?

    Of course, that’s the book in which James originally laid down the very basis for the definition of these mystical experiences. It’s the book that Matt confused for “Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds.”

    Dose does not matter. You have said a hundred times that no dose at all has these mystical experiences as a possibility. So what’s with this heroic dose shit?

    No, that’s not quite what I said. Let me be clear. Dose is very important, and they’ve, indeed, recognized that a certain threshold must be met in order to elicit the transcendental experiences, and of course, not everyone’s the same. Everyone may have a different threshold, heavier set people may require more. However, I believe what also may facilitate a transcendental experience is the individual’s ability to let go of one’s ego. If you can try to cling, you can have a very psychologically exhausting experience or what is more often called a “bad trip.”

  332. says

    @speedofsound

    Also. WTF? I took incredible doses and still managed to have fun and dance with crustaceans and shit. You are acting like the expert here and in your mind the only expert. How old are you? You a kid?

    You’re talking about with LSD, right? Let me see if I can find a video of what a high dose LSD experience looks like from the outside. Here’s a recreational dose used in an experiment on British soldiers back in ‘ 64.

    Okay, scratch that, never mind. I spent long enough trying to find those videos, I suppose they’ve been removed. Which I’m not surprised, that often happens whenever someone uploads a video of themselves taking illegal substances. There used to be a video on YouTube of this one girl in a tent who was put there, because she was clearly going through a bad trip on LSD. There’s another of this guy who took three very powerful tokes of DMT, and when someone just falls back non-responsive and into REM, that’s it. That’s one good sign they got it.

    If you’re having fun, and you’re still able to walk, it’s a pretty good sign you didn’t take very much of a high dose at all. In the climb of my own experience, I felt myself getting heavier, and heavier. It was as though my entire skeleton became magnetized to the ground. I mean, I believe this is precisely why Terence McKenna says at this point, “Walking is out of the question. I mean, hanging on to the ground is the major program to be executed.”

    So, I couldn’t really find anything, lots of the videos I’ve had have been deleted, and I can’t find them on any other sources outside of YouTube, but here’s a couple I’ve managed to find, and I guarantee these won’t be up for long either.

  333. speedofsound says

    You have a hell of a lot to learn about psychedelics. I suggest you do so after dropping all religious bias.

  334. speedofsound says

    @Kafei Let’s get back to you admitting things out loud about what you believe.

    Say you take a dose that is sufficient for your space-time melt. You are an organism ingesting some molecules. What does this particular type of molecule do to the organism that is not compatible with strict naturalism?

    After the experience you claim to know something?

    What is it that you know?

    Use your own words or I am going to stop being as polite as I have been. No youtube! No wikilink. WORDS! You know how to use them.

  335. speedofsound says

    @Kafei

    How would you define an anthropomorphic divinity?

    Do you consider the god you believe in anthropomorphic.

    If not why?

    No Linking Allowed, if you want to have a conversation with me about philosophy.

  336. says

    @speedofsound

    You have a hell of a lot to learn about psychedelics. I suggest you do so after dropping all religious bias.

    It was my psychedelic experiences that sparked my interest in religion, and we all have a lot to learn about psychedelics, including our modern science.

    @Kafei Let’s get back to you admitting things out loud about what you believe.

    Say you take a dose that is sufficient for your space-time melt. You are an organism ingesting some molecules. What does this particular type of molecule do to the organism that is not compatible with strict naturalism?

    After the experience you claim to know something?

    What is it that you know?

    Use your own words or I am going to stop being as polite as I have been. No youtube! No wikilink. WORDS! You know how to use them.

    I am going to use my own words, but I want to use an example related to that metaphor you keep bringing up that was one time used on The Atheist Experience when Tracie wanted to do an episode on Taoism. It is the quote of “the finger pointing to the moon.” The moon represents “ultimate reality” or what Alan Watts has called “ultimate consciousness” which is essentially the CME. The finger in the metaphor are the pointers, all symbolic references to this “ultimate consciousness” in all of the various major religions, once again, it is expressed as Theoria in Christianity, nirvana in Buddhism, samadhi in Hinduism, sekhel mufla in Judaism, Fana in Islam, and so forth. All these are various fingers pointing to that same moon.

    How would you define an anthropomorphic divinity?

    I’ve defined it as Einstein did, as the “childish analogy of religion.”

    Do you consider the god you believe in anthropomorphic.

    No, not at all.

    If not why?

    If you look into the root etymology of these terms that reference the divine, you will invariably find descriptions that are henotheistic, monistic, and panentheistic, and that is because they derive from the vantage point of these unitive mystical states of consciousness. If a mystic is writing from his recollection of a vantage point in which all things are one, then his description of the divine will resemble that, and that’s precisely what you find at the core of all the major religions. I believe as religions lost touch with the unitive mystical state of consciousness, when that connection was severed, then God was interpreted by those theologians who were attempting to decipher the writings of mystics without the experienced knowledge of the mystical experience, and so instead of recognizing terms for a complete unity, a panentheistic divine, they instead took the attributes which the mystic described as part of the mystical consciousness, and then applied them to an anthropomorphic God, so that the intuitive omniscience of the CME was construed to be the omniscience of the supernatural anthropomorphic deity, instead of a potential within the universal CME, you see. Likewise, this sense of unconditional love that is felt in a mystical experience was also applied to an anthropomorphic abstract deity. These attributes that are experienced in the CME were misplaced because the latter misconstrued such Greek terms as ousia, hypostasis, theosis, and theoria. So, instead of considering these the very attributes as part of a potential in consciousness (CME) that is accessible to all of us, they instead misplaced them to an abstract deity that is outside space and time, instead of realizing that there is a perception of God that one could undergo in which one transcends within that mystical perception space and time.

    No Linking Allowed, if you want to have a conversation with me about philosophy.

    Some of these links are actually quite useful, if you’re paying attention to them at all. However, I am willing to continue a discussion without them.

  337. speedofsound says

    And you still have not answered the question above. What about the experience is incompatible with strict naturalism?

  338. speedofsound says

    Some of these links are actually quite useful, if you’re paying attention to them at all. However, I am willing to continue a discussion without them.

    Young man, son, my child, young whippersnapper, I have been reading about this shit for 53 years.

  339. says

    @speedofsound

    And you still have not answered the question above. What about the experience is incompatible with strict naturalism?

    Strict naturalism which is also the philosophical basis of the secular humanist view that so many atheist identify with ultimately rejects theistic claims, spirituality, etc. as the basis for morality or any rational thought. That book I’ve mentioned earlier emphasized that, “The ambition to eliminate God from all social life.” This summarizes quite well the program of the New Atheists, and even Matt has expressed this in his own view. The Perennialist view does no such thing, and rather accepts and interprets the religions and their vocabularies in a very particular way.

    Some of these links are actually quite useful, if you’re paying attention to them at all. However, I am willing to continue a discussion without them.

    Young man, son, my child, young whippersnapper, I have been reading about this shit for 53 years.

    Your RatSkep profile says 68. When you’re that old, I guess everyone around you is a whippersnapper. Well, I’ve not only read this stuff, but I’ve had a direct experience for myself. Here’s another talk relative to Watts’ and his views. Perhaps you’ve heard it, but it is relevant, and maybe worth listening again.

  340. Monocle Smile says

    Strict naturalism which is also the philosophical basis of the secular humanist view that so many atheist identify with ultimately rejects theistic claims, spirituality, etc. as the basis for morality or any rational thought

    No. This is incorrect. See, THIS is deserving of a “you can use Google” quip, as this is something easy to get correct.

    That book I’ve mentioned earlier emphasized that, “The ambition to eliminate God from all social life.”

    This is a bit of a slur, and it also has little to do with strict naturalism. If you want to properly address someone’s position, why would you ever use a version of that position described by a polemic? Polemicists have little motivation to be honest, especially if they are also religious apologists. Why not ask people what position they hold? I think I know the answer, but let’s see if you’re forthcoming.

    The Perennialist view does no such thing, and rather accepts and interprets the religions and their vocabularies in a very particular way.

    Also has nothing to do with strict naturalism.
    Why can’t you respond to what people actually ask rather than the conjurings of your addled mind?

  341. speedofsound says

    @Kafei

    Strict naturalism which is also the philosophical basis of the secular humanist view that so many atheist identify with ultimately rejects theistic claims, spirituality, etc. as the basis for morality or any rational thought. That book I’ve mentioned earlier emphasized that, “The ambition to eliminate God from all social life.” This summarizes quite well the program of the New Atheists, and even Matt has expressed this in his own view. The Perennialist view does no such thing, and rather accepts and interprets the religions and their vocabularies in a very particular way.

    New atheist? Not sure if I identify. I’m an ontological naturalist. Spirituality is something I practice and strive for. Morality has a biological basis, not rational, hence is attained in a spiritual manner. Rationality has a world-physical basis and is grounds for all that we know. Seeing has how I define spirituality as relying on an unthinking, pre-language bio-world interface then I could say that reason too is based on spirituality.

    I still don’t see what you mean here. What is incompatible with my strict ontological naturalism and scientism and your world-view?

    Now don’t go crazy on me here. By spirituality I mean something along the lines of blood and guts biology, not some pie in the sky spiritous mind phenomenon. In fact I mean quite the opposite of stereotypical mind and consciousness in this grounding of reason and morality.

    For instance. If a child runs past me out into the busy street, without any thought at all my arm goes out to catch the child. That’s not reason, it’s biophysical. If I want to settle myself and alleviate some bit of suffering I simply shut off all inner dialog and let any stray thought slip through and away. I am living as an organism that does not have to ‘think’.

    So I look at my raccoons and these guys are in a near perfect spiritual condition. Yet, had I the time, the microtomes and microscopes and other more fanciful instruments I could go out and slab one of these little fuckers up and discover everything that could be known about them. In principle. Ultimately they are just particles and space in space time coordinates. That is strict ontological naturalism and scientism.

    Same with my so called mind. Ultimately it’s particles in space time coordinates and nothing more.

    How does your psilo-world view differ? Concentrate on mind and morality and tell me what you think these things are?

    One more thing. I would eliminate the conception of god and the supernatural from all aspects of humanity as well. Then I would take back these words and give them a new naturalistic treatment. Having never been a believer I’m not afraid of the words themselves and in fact have rewritten them for myself all my life. They express certain broad naturalistic concepts with good color and depth.

  342. speedofsound says

    Alan Watts – Why a belief in God Reflects a Lack of Faith

    Kafei. WTF? This is classic Watts telling you that your god belief is packaging. Look at the title a little while. How can you get something so entirely different from this guys words?

    Curious.

  343. says

    @speedofsound

    New atheist? Not sure if I identify. I’m an ontological naturalist. Spirituality is something I practice and strive for. Morality has a biological basis, not rational, hence is attained in a spiritual manner. Rationality has a world-physical basis and is grounds for all that we know. Seeing has how I define spirituality as relying on an unthinking, pre-language bio-world interface then I could say that reason too is based on spirituality.

    Then, you’re not a strict naturalist, as ontological naturalism is more associated with spiritual or religious naturalism or even a naturalistic pantheism. A strict naturalist rejects anything supernatural or spiritually based.

    I still don’t see what you mean here. What is incompatible with my strict ontological naturalism and scientism and your world-view?

    The scientism as practiced by the New Atheists rejects anything spiritual/supernatural, while your view allows you to accept spirituality, for instance, and use it in your own defined way.

    Now don’t go crazy on me here. By spirituality I mean something along the lines of blood and guts biology, not some pie in the sky spiritous mind phenomenon. In fact I mean quite the opposite of stereotypical mind and consciousness in this grounding of reason and morality.

    That “spiritous mind phenomenon” is just as valid as the blood and guts biology, they’re two facets of the same coin. The “mind phenomenon” is the experience which is grounded in the biology.

    For instance. If a child runs past me out into the busy street, without any thought at all my arm goes out to catch the child. That’s not reason, it’s biophysical. If I want to settle myself and alleviate some bit of suffering I simply shut off all inner dialog and let any stray thought slip through and away. I am living as an organism that does not have to ‘think’.

    Okay, but you’re speaking for simply yourself. Not everyone would react so quickly to a child running in the middle of the street as you. So, you associate quieting the mind with spirituality. Well, that’s all meditation has ever been about, it involves the cessation of volition.

    So I look at my raccoons and these guys are in a near perfect spiritual condition. Yet, had I the time, the microtomes and microscopes and other more fanciful instruments I could go out and slab one of these little fuckers up and discover everything that could be known about them. In principle. Ultimately they are just particles and space in space time coordinates. That is strict ontological naturalism and scientism.

    Yes, a wave of particles in space and time is what we appear to be, and this wave of energy flows eternal into our descendents. However, what you at root is the entire display or what Alan Watts called “The Works.”

    Same with my so called mind. Ultimately it’s particles in space time coordinates and nothing more.

    How does your psilo-world view differ? Concentrate on mind and morality and tell me what you think these things are?

    I don’t think we know what mind is, that’s why consciousness is so mysterious. However, concerning morality, the way the mystics would cultivate their morality was by cultivating these mystical states of consciousness, they allowed the memory from which they resided in a mind that was filled with unconditional love, and the memory of that experience of unconditional love is what they used to direct their moral compass. I believe that’s why you have these core moral tenets of compassion, of universal and unconditional love for all people and things at the basis of all the major religions. In fact, by studying these mystical states of consciousness, we may begin to unravel just how morality works in the mind of a human being.

    One more thing. I would eliminate the conception of god and the supernatural from all aspects of humanity as well. Then I would take back these words and give them a new naturalistic treatment. Having never been a believer I’m not afraid of the words themselves and in fact have rewritten them for myself all my life. They express certain broad naturalistic concepts with good color and depth.

    So, you accept the spiritual, but you cannot accept the supernatural, and you want to rid of all religion and religious vocabulary. Well, I suppose that is not too much different from the secular humanist view of the New Atheists. I don’t think that’s ever going to happen nor is that even feasible.

    Kafei. WTF? This is classic Watts telling you that your god belief is packaging. Look at the title a little while. How can you get something so entirely different from this guys words?

    Curious.

    How can you get something so entirely different? That’s the question. I saw the title, did you listen to what he said? A belief in God means one lacks faith. Alan Watts is defining faith as what is required in meditation, a faith to complete let go, and in fact, this is also emphasized as something useful in the psilocybin studies. You see, because it doesn’t matter necessarily which faith you believe, but the act of faith alone in and of itself can allow the ego to trust and let go to the experience. Without that faith, then the ego is more likely to cling.

  344. speedofsound says

    @Kafei

    New atheist? Not sure if I identify. I’m an ontological naturalist. Spirituality is something I practice and strive for. Morality has a biological basis, not rational, hence is attained in a spiritual manner. Rationality has a world-physical basis and is grounds for all that we know. Seeing has how I define spirituality as relying on an unthinking, pre-language bio-world interface then I could say that reason too is based on spirituality.

    Then, you’re not a strict naturalist, as ontological naturalism is more associated with spiritual or religious naturalism or even a naturalistic pantheism. A strict naturalist rejects anything supernatural or spiritually based.

    I reject anything supernatural or spiritual if you want to define spiritual as supernatural. If you want to claim anything about mind and consciousness extending out of the locality where the organism exists then I reject that. Moreover I reject that mind and consciousness are anything more concrete than my delusion of self. I also reject that these delusions are somehow something to do with the universe outside this locality. Exception made for other creatures that might have popped up on some other planet, that would be like us.

    I define spirituality as living like my raccoons do. Without belief or too much useless thinking. Do you think my raccoons are theists? I can’t get them to answer me though I sometimes find doing philosophy with them a little easier than you.

  345. speedofsound says

    @Kafei

    I don’t think we know what mind is, that’s why consciousness is so mysterious.

    I don’t find it mysterious at all. I have four eight foot shelves of books on it and therein all mystery is resolved. You might get away with that ‘science knows nothing about consciousness” shit with other atheists but not me. I have a very good grasp of what it is and how it works.

    Now I may have to go through about a quarter of these books to explain to you what it is that I do know. Barring that we could exchange a few hundred posts on the topic and maybe give you a grasp of the intuition.

  346. speedofsound says

    @Kafei Yes. I have the aggravating habit of breaking up long posts into individual threads. I know. People hate me.

    On morality and unconditional love. Yes it helps to take away from the ME some of the feeling and then it helps even more to do a little reasoning about the delusion of self. But morality is not a problem for most humans. There is variability in the species but even that tends to define our morality more carefully. We need our psychopaths as much as we need our saints. Morality flows easily from ‘our nature’. What we are as humans. It’s such a powerful force in our biological makeup that it’s easy to see why some people think a supernatural power is working through them. We are 90+ percent driven by feeling, by neurotransmitter lawn sprinklers squirting all over our cortex. All those feelings are within you. You simply need to get out of the way.

    How can you get something so entirely different? That’s the question. I saw the title, did you listen to what he said? A belief in God means one lacks faith. Alan Watts is defining faith as what is required in meditation, a faith to complete let go, and in fact, this is also emphasized as something useful in the psilocybin studies. You see, because it doesn’t matter necessarily which faith you believe, but the act of faith alone in and of itself can allow the ego to trust and let go to the experience. Without that faith, then the ego is more likely to cling.

    According to Watts the new atheist, the one that has no belief in god is the one that is closer to true faith.

    Watts defines faith as the opposite of belief. Belif is clinging and faith is letting go and accepting the truth no matter what it turns out to be.

  347. speedofsound says

    @KAfei
    I’m interested in what you think living spiritually is that is incompatible with naturalism. I still don’t get what your issue with atheism is.

  348. speedofsound says

    Let’s discuss the word ‘spiritual’. Soul, vigor, breath, animating force. All things that organisms have. No atheist has a problem saying ‘team spirit’. But ‘spiritual but not religious’ brings down the house. I do understand. If you are around the woofully inclined and you say the word the whole conversation goes sideways and you can never get it back on track.

    I could switch to saying that I try to live in accord with my bio-essence. I am a bioessentual being. Problem is that may not cover it quite right. How about bio-morally-essentual?

  349. says

    @speedofsound

    I’m interested in what you think living spiritually is that is incompatible with naturalism. I still don’t get what your issue with atheism is.

    Let’s discuss the word ‘spiritual’. Soul, vigor, breath, animating force. All things that organisms have. No atheist has a problem saying ‘team spirit’. But ‘spiritual but not religious’ brings down the house. I do understand. If you are around the woofully inclined and you say the word the whole conversation goes sideways and you can never get it back on track.

    I could switch to saying that I try to live in accord with my bio-essence. I am a bioessentual being. Problem is that may not cover it quite right. How about bio-morally-essentual?

    Well, for starters, if you accept the term “spiritual,” then you’re simply not a strict naturalist as a strict naturalist would do away with anything spiritual or supernatural. You said yourself in an earlier comment:

    One more thing. I would eliminate the conception of god and the supernatural from all aspects of humanity as well. Then I would take back these words and give them a new naturalistic treatment.

    Why eliminate it? You see, this is something even Alan Watts would’ve been opposed to, since he held a Perennialist view. I don’t believe any of these terms in the major religions, at their etymological root, ever meant anything whatsoever supernatural in this fashion that’s been bandied about by atheists as that which “defies the laws of physics” or that which is “unnatural,” and when I explained that to Matt, he retorted that was a fundamental disagreement in our understanding of the major religions, and I really doubt Matt studies the major religions all that much. What Matt deals with is what I would call naïve theist arguments such as God as the deity, as what Einstein called the “childish analogy of religion” which in the more sophisticated form are apologist arguments, then also arguments from people who claim to “solely” identify with agnosticism, people like Steve McRae, etc.

    The vocabulary of the major religions is a natural vocabulary about these phenomena which has been elaborated over millennia. While there may not be many words in English to attempt to verbalize or wordify into concepts what a CME is like, the Sanskrit languages had been doing precisely since perhaps even before 10,000 B.C. on through to Pali, etc.

    Having never been a believer I’m not afraid of the words themselves and in fact have rewritten them for myself all my life. They express certain broad naturalistic concepts with good color and depth.

    Have you considered that perhaps you weren’t really necessarily re-writing them, but rather returning the words to their original meanings? For you see, if you want to completely re-write and reclaim what you think the religious language has sullied, and do away with religion as though it was some unnecessary baggage of the past, then there lies the difference in our views. You see, it would be, to use a metaphor Watts once used, an architect who tears down an entire hill and flattens out to then build something entirely new on top of it rather than the more skilled architect who knows how to create a building which contours and compliments the hill. The view arising out of the sciences is consistent with the Perennial wisdom. It is complimentary.

    That is to say that science has the potential to unite the major religions, rather than completely abandon and replace them. Alex Grey is putting an effort to constructing a building which he is referring to as “Entheogen,” and various points across the exterior of the building, there is the symbols that represent all the major religions. While that direction may not be easy, and of course, in uniting the major religions, and by extension, all of humanity, it is nevertheless, I believe, is the direction our culture is going in. To abandon the major religions is simply not feasible, that’s just the wishful thinking of a minority of atheists that do not come anywhere near the numbers which the major religions hold, especially when combined. I’ve also spoken about this faction of people who refer to themselves as “spiritual but not religions,” that is the bigger demographic than the “nones,” and it’s that sort of attitude, and people may not realize it, which backbone is Perennialism. People who are “spiritual but not religions” have no issue accepting the Perennialist view. It’s also why people can’t fathom Jordan Peterson, and can’t pinned down what he is.

    The reason people can’t down pin down Jordan Peterson is because he’s a Perennialist who never says so. So, people are left wondering, “Is he Christian? Is he Agnostic theist? What the hell is he?” Or some atheists just assume he’s a word salad-spewing con-man. Perhaps he’s a bit of all these things, but whatever he is, one of the most important thing I believe most people, fans or not, believe he’s doing is facilitating this melding of where science meets the divine.

    Another thing I’d to add, I didn’t want to end particularly on that note, but the fact that you never identified with theism throughout your life, as to your own admittance of never having been a “believer” yourself, you’re a kind of exception to the rule, and I that may be why some of your views on so-called “spirituality” clash with your fellow atheists here. Because you’re sort of advocating a very unique form of atheism which is more inclined not with strict naturalism, but rather as you’ve even admitted yourself, metaphysical naturalism which invokes notions of the spirit which strict naturalist would otherwise completely deny and dismiss.

  350. speedofsound says

    Well, for starters, if you accept the term “spiritual,” then you’re simply not a strict naturalist as a strict naturalist would do away with anything spiritual or supernatural. You said yourself in an earlier comment:

    Spiritual has nothing to do with supernatural. You almost seem to agree with that. What you wrote here is basically that I can’t hold a certain world-view because I use a word? Scratching my head here.

    Because you’re sort of advocating a very unique form of atheism which is more inclined not with strict naturalism, but rather as you’ve even admitted yourself, metaphysical naturalism which invokes notions of the spirit which strict naturalist would otherwise completely deny and dismiss.

    Plainly I do not dismiss the psychology of religion as quickly as some of my peers in atheism. That is due to having cut my teenage teeth on the likes of Watts and Huxley. My friend Mac and I discovered LSD on a tv show and then in books when we were 13. We didn’t get our tongues on it until 19 so we had a lot of prep prior to use.

    So yes. I find much in the more thinking theists that I encountered in literature. (I met a Catholic priest who was also an atheist.)

    Religion did not just pop up as a fantasy to soothe the masses. Still your rather naive view of it having been entirely bred by mysticism is problematic. I think like Matt said it’s a hell of lot more complicated.

    So. I am going to speak for you. There is NOTHING about your CME’s or your worldview that in any way would surprise us naturalists about how the cosmos works. Right? I’ve asked you a dozen times to be specific and I have gotten nothing from you that isn’t strictly naturalism. The mind, consciousness, and all that is just biology. Now we are in agreement.

  351. says

    @speedofsound

    Spiritual has nothing to do with supernatural. You almost seem to agree with that. What you wrote here is basically that I can’t hold a certain world-view because I use a word? Scratching my head here.

    No, you’re welcome to hold any worldview you’d like, but when it starts to skew your perception of reality, then you should, indeed, question it, because thus far you’ve been adamant about labeling Alan Watts (due to your worldview) an atheist when he was clearly not.

    Plainly I do not dismiss the psychology of religion as quickly as some of my peers in atheism. That is due to having cut my teenage teeth on the likes of Watts and Huxley. My friend Mac and I discovered LSD on a tv show and then in books when we were 13. We didn’t get our tongues on it until 19 so we had a lot of prep prior to use.

    So yes. I find much in the more thinking theists that I encountered in literature. (I met a Catholic priest who was also an atheist.)

    Religion did not just pop up as a fantasy to soothe the masses. Still your rather naive view of it having been entirely bred by mysticism is problematic. I think like Matt said it’s a hell of lot more complicated.

    It is complicated, I never said entirely bred by mysticism, but rather that all major religions hold roots in mysticism. Each of the major religions either kept it alive in various sects or it completely was absent in latter developed sects, especially in Western religion after the Great Schism of 1054.

    So. I am going to speak for you. There is NOTHING about your CME’s or your worldview that in any way would surprise us naturalists about how the cosmos works. Right?

    Except perhaps the CME itself, since it is a kind of surprised revelation.

    I’ve asked you a dozen times to be specific and I have gotten nothing from you that isn’t strictly naturalism. The mind, consciousness, and all that is just biology. Now we are in agreement.

    Sure, but as Alan Watts once said, “God is that which everyone truly is, but no one will admit.” This perception of God is at the fundamental core of everyone’s consciousness, and this process of coming to know that intuition has always been a natural process, and described so in the major religions. The text of the major religions do not have to be “re-defined” to interpret them as natural, they’ve always been natural.

  352. speedofsound says

    Except perhaps the CME itself, since it is a kind of surprised revelation.

    What was the surprise for science and naturalism? What is incompatible with naturalism in the having of this experience?

    This perception of God is at the fundamental core of everyone’s consciousness, and this process of coming to know that intuition has always been a natural process, and described so in the major religions.

    How is a perception of god fundamental to everyone’s consciousness? I would think that neurons and sodium and shit like that are fundamental. Tell me how that works? Tell me how you knows this?

  353. says

    @speedofsound

    What was the surprise for science and naturalism? What is incompatible with naturalism in the having of this experience?

    Well, this is a scientific frontier where, to quote Bill Richards, “science and the sacred are meeting.” This is also what Alex Grey tells to a panel of professionals whom do not disagree with his statement of “This is the first time science has recognized the existence of God, and nobody is saying it, and I don’t expect any of you to say it,” then you can hear one of the professionals of the panels retort, “I will say it.” They recognize it. Other people are slowly awakening to this.

    How is a perception of god fundamental to everyone’s consciousness? I would think that neurons and sodium and shit like that are fundamental. Tell me how that works? Tell me how you knows this?

    Sure, the neurons and other chemicals are involved in the process of perception, but they are not what is being perceived, and so we’re not simply calling a chemical state “God,” but rather what is perceived out of that chemical state is what which is God, the perception of the Whole or Totality of nature. And this has been true in all of the major religions, I’ve pointed to Jains awareness of this inner omniscient source as Kevala jñāna, in Christianity, it is called Theoria (vision of God), and it was a principle teaching of Symeon the New Theologian, that people could and should have a direct perception of the divine, because it was necessary for their mental balance and spiritual healthy, and the Buddhists taught the very same thing in the Nirvana sutra, that nirvana or Buddha-hood is the possible attainment for all sentient beings.

  354. says

    *mental balance and spiritual health (fixing a typo)

    Here’s also the Bill Richards talk I mentioned, but I didn’t link. Well, here’s the link. I recommend the entire lecture, it’s well worth it.

  355. says

    @speedofsound

    Alex Grey? Quite the scientist that one. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alex_Grey

    Don’t know about you other clueless atheeits but I’m gonna get all my facts from this dude here on out.

    I was more referring to the group of professionals he was addressing who had no issues with his comments, and in fact, agreed with him.

  356. says

    Lurker here. Watched TAE since about 2007, read lotsa threads.

    Admins: unless you have a “screw it, all traffic is good traffic” policy, I’d really like some peace. There are a handful of keyboard warriors around at the moment who do nothing but dominate and derail AXP threads with massive blocks of text, double & triple posts, and endless & needless personal attacks (not to mention talking right the fork past each other) – ie all the things that traditionally get you banhammered. It’s lately been like those unmoderated free-for-alls that PZ used to host: nasty, repetitive, and ultimately so frickin dull that it dissuades me from reading past about 100 comments (not to mention being a huge disincentive to engage). Do us a favour.

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