Open thread for episode 23.11: Tracie & Don


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  1. Wiggle Puppy says

    Once again I feel compelled to protest the “go talk to the experts” line of conversation that Tracie employs in what seems to be an increasing number of calls. It’s almost certainly unsatisfying to the caller, since they’re likely to believe that they weren’t given a chance to be heard, it opens up atheists to charges of committing an argument from authority fallacy, and it makes for incredibly boring viewing – Tracie’s used this now for the historicity of Jesus, the Kalam cosmological argument, and now the double slit experiment, and it’s so dull to hear “go talk to the experts” again and again. I think that just asking the caller to explain how you can get from the double slit experiment to “therefore, God exists” would be so much better. There’s certainly going to be some kind of non sequitur in there, which can be pointed out. And Tracie could even use her common “things that don’t exist can’t be the cause of other things line,” which works so much better – “you’re saying that the reason we have uncertain perceptions of waves and particles is because of God, but you have to establish that God exists before you can state that that thing is the cause of our uncertain perception of waves and particles.” It would make for much more compelling viewing and, hopefully, be more effective for people on the fence than “go talk to someone else about this.”

  2. Monocle Smile says

    @Wiggle Puppy

    I think that just asking the caller to explain how you can get from the double slit experiment to “therefore, God exists” would be so much better

    I agree with this part. I disagree with some of the rest.

    It’s almost certainly unsatisfying to the caller, since they’re likely to believe that they weren’t given a chance to be heard

    I really don’t care about the callers. You show me a theist who claims they believe in god because of the double-slit experiment and I’ll show you a rotten liar.

  3. says

    >Once again I feel compelled to protest the “go talk to the experts” line of conversation…

    When a caller asserts “physics proves god exists” it’s entirely valid to ask why it is physicists don’t agree. I invited them to post the article here, so anyone can look at the conclusion to see if they say the data implies what the caller is suggesting. I guarantee the paper does not say what the caller asserted. If a person is going to appeal to expert research and reject expert consensus, and even the opinions of the people who are responsible for the research they’re appealing to, that’s a conflict in their argument that they need to confront.

    Additionally, if they were honest, and they aren’t, they’d be talking to physicists about this, not an atheist call show. The fact they have ideas about physics, but aren’t asking physicists shows they aren’t interested in an honest assessment of the information or any valid criticism. Asking someone why they have not run their ideas by people who can give them the best assessment is a valid thing to ask. It demonstrates their motive is not honest dialog. They are dishonest apologists, not honest people who want to have a conversation, and I wasted too much time on that call as it was. No dishonest caller should be getting a second of air time in my view.

    My goal was expressed when I asked people listening (hopefully theists who are questioning) to go and look at the research themselves to see if the conclusion is what people like this caller are claiming. If they do that, they’ll see the caller, and anyone else they bother to fact check, are lying to them about the implications of the data. The caller himself had no idea that “conclusions” were even in research papers. That’s how ignorant he, and theists who think people like him are informed, are. And I hope that even a few now will stop and look at the actual papers in this manner. If they do, they’ll see how badly the caller was misrepresenting the findings.

    Best comment of the night was someone who, at dinner, asked “so does god not observe photons?”

  4. Honey Tone says

    Wiggle Puppy #2

    I think that just asking the caller to explain how you can get from the double slit experiment to “therefore, God exists” would be so much better.

    Maybe, but when the proponent starts spouting some technical, jargon-filled explanation, then the whole thing devolves into arguments over the technicalities – assuming Tracie or Don or anybody else has the knowledge and training necessary to address the issues. You’re expecting too much.

    I understand the frustration, but I applaud Tracie for not taking on the role of being a defender of sciences for which she is not qualified to so act. Frankly, when she gets a question that’s in her wheelhouse, she goes after it – as in the first part of that call regarding the caller’s wild theory about gay genes.

    Moreover, one of the first comments about the caller’s position was made by Don: What does this have to do with theism? What was Rao’s response? *Eventually,* he said that the double slit experiment is “an experiment about god” and asserted that the conclusions in the paper deliberately avoided the god implications.

    I think Tracie’s position is the most reasonable one to take unless she knows that research paper intimately and has the expertise to dissect it, namely: has any expert in the field seriously posited a god-implication for the experiment? No? Then go argue to the experts.

    BTW: there are “secular” responses to the assertion of a god-implication to this research. E.g., https://www.thoughtco.com/does-quantum-physics-prove-gods-existence-2699279.

    Unfortunately, I don’t have the expertise to know whether the assertion or the response have any validity.

  5. Honey Tone says

    Here’s one conclusion from the article I linked in my #5:

    However, if an omniscient God were observing things, then there would never be a “no observer” result to this experiment. The events would always unfold as if there were an observer. But instead we always get the results as we expect, so it seems that in this case, *the human observer is the only one that matters.*

    So, Tracie – “god” apparently does NOT observe photons!

  6. says

    One would think that if gods existed, wanted us to know that they existed, and were as indispensable to the behaviour of the Universe as is usually implied, they could do a bit better than dicking around in between photons.

    The caller should do the same with physics as about “gay genes”: acknowledge the limitations of his understanding and do more research – only this time, drop the presumptions that gods are there, necessary, or even plausible.

  7. Ronald Kyle says

    @#4 heicart says

    They are dishonest apologists, not honest people who want to have a conversation, and I wasted too much time on that call as it was. No dishonest caller should be getting a second of air time in my view.

    Hear hear!!!

  8. Ronald Kyle says

     
    The whole legerdemain of those apologists trying to hoodwink people with the “metaphysics” of quantum physics, is based on a sleight of mathematics which relies upon the fact that 99.9% of humanity will never hope to ever even fathom the mathematics that is used let alone understand reality so that they would perhaps begin to understand that mathematics is not a prescription for reality but rather is a description of reality when applied correctly.
     
    Apologists who try the magic trick of pseudo-quantum-physics on people remind me of this other contortion of mathematics
     
    Proof of 2+2 = 5
     
    2+2 = 4
    ==> 2+2 = 4 -9/2 + 9/2
    ==> 2+2 = sqrt((4-9/2)^2) + 9/2
    ==> 2+2 = sqrt(4^2 – 2*4*9/2 + (9/2)^2) + 9/2
    ==> 2+2 = sqrt(16 – 36 + (9/2)^2) + 9/2
    ==> 2+2 = sqrt(25 – 45 + (9/2)^2) + 9/2
    ==> 2+2 = sqrt(5^ – 2*5*9/2 + (9/2)^2) + 9/2
    ==> 2+2 = sqrt((5-9/2)^2) + 9/2
    ==> 2+2 = (5-9/2) +9/2
    ==> 2+2 = 5+0
    ==> 2+2 = 5 QED!!!!
     
    I think as complicated as it is for most people to show the error in the above magic trick… so it is also for most humans to show the magic trick that was used to misapply the mathematics of quantum physics to contort the crap of the “metaphysics of quantum physics”.

  9. Ronald Kyle says

    Oops … I mistyped step #7 it is not
    ==> 2+2 = sqrt(5^ – 2*5*9/2 + (9/2)^2) + 9/2
     
    it should be
    ==> 2+2 = sqrt(5^2 – 2*5*9/2 + (9/2)^2) + 9/2
     
    I forgot to also mention the binomial theorem which the above magic trick relies upon
    (a-b)^2 = a^2 -2*a*b + b^2

  10. Murat says

    @heicart
    I agree more with Wiggle Puppy than with you on this.

    When a caller asserts “physics proves god exists” it’s entirely valid to ask why it is physicists don’t agree. I invited them to post the article here, so anyone can look at the conclusion to see if they say the data implies what the caller is suggesting. I guarantee the paper does not say what the caller asserted.

    Just like Lawrence Krauss (among others) stated many times, the question of god is out of the field of observation for a physicist. Of course we can guarantee that no scientific paper will ever assert what the caller argues. That particular caller, honestly or not, was talking about what he drew as a conclusion from something he heard or read about. Obviously, people who have theistic inclinations tend to cherry-pick scientific data and lead them in the way their hearts desires. And yes, this brings with many fallacies that can be addressed to separately. However, people are allowed to draw their own conclusions from specific data they are presented. Even the physicist who wrote that paper (without a mention of god) can, outside of the paper, in a very legit way state that his/her beliefs were affected by the results.
    No court concludes that the tried cop was “a filthy racist”. We get to understand that was the case, based on what rules of conduct the cop had breached. The verdict never reads “…sentenced to a year for being a filthy racist”, it just addresses the solid outcome of arguments for and against the motion. Well, if the judge feels the need to deliver a no-holds-barred speech, that may be welcome, but still, there is grave difference between that and the paperwork.
    So, I think you took one step too many there when asking if what the caller got from the experiment was the same thing that the paper read in the conclusion. Of course not. No position within the framework of belief systems, not even that of atheism, can be part of the conclusion on a paper about a physics experiment.
    The reason a decent scientific paper lacks a mention of referrence to god(s) is not what you argued there.
    Otherwise, yes, “So, God does not observe photons?” is a good way of pointing out the irrelevance between the experiment and what the caller drew from it as a conclusion. He didn’t make sense.
    And it was okay to mock the way he laughed.

  11. Wiggle Puppy says

    @ Tracie and Honey Tone:

    Perhaps I can put it this way: it seems like a few years ago, creationists were super fond of running around and saying that “the second law of thermodynamics proves that evolution is impossible.” I’m neither an evolutionary biologist nor an engineer of any type, but I do know that the second law of thermodynamics has to do with entropy in closed systems and has nothing to do with biological evolution. So when someone makes this statement, I don’t feel compelled to refer them to scientists – all I feel compelled to does ask “Okay, why does a law about heat transfer within closed systems prove biological evolution false?” You’re going to get gibberish in response, with no peer review needed. So when someone says that the double slit experiment proves a god, it’s entirely appropriate to ask them how to make that connection.

    I think I’m most frustrated about this because of the conversation with the British guy a few weeks or months back about the resurrection of Christ. The guy was asserting that the Gospels provide good evidence for the resurrection (he was going down the route of the minimal facts approach, I think?), and Tracie referred him to the consensus of professional historians. I’m a professional historian with a PhD in History, and I’m happy to say that you don’t need me in order to tell people that a handful of ancient texts written by anonymous authors simply can’t establish the existence of miracles!

  12. says

    >Just like Lawrence Krauss (among others) stated many times, the question of god is out of the field of observation for a physicist.

    According to your own philosophy, anyone can simply reject this. In fact, the caller rejects this and says god is demonstrated in physics–who is Krauss or any other physicist to argue with a caller about whether their field demonstrates a god?

    Answer: They are expert physicists who get to determine consensus.

    If the caller wants to challenge the consensus of physics, there is a method to doing that and you and I–and most importantly the caller–all know to whom he needs to be making his arguments. And it’s not an atheist podcaster.

    > So, I think you took one step too many there when asking if what the caller got from the experiment was the same thing that the paper read in the conclusion.

    If someone is saying “Experiment A demonstrates X”–it is perfectly reasonable to say “I looked at the conclusions, and the researchers don’t say that’s an implication” (or any variant of that). I didn’t just leave it at that either. I said that peers to also sometime challenge and adjust conclusions outside of the researchers themselves. But a lay person claiming “physics proves X” needs to show me that experts in that field agree. If they don’t–then there is nothing of value in “expert consensus” in a field of study. Like Don said–the time to believe anything is when it’s sufficiently demonstrated. In fields of recognized expertise, that time is when most of the experts adopt the view as a consensus. If you can’t persuade the people who have the best and most valid grasp of the data and what it means–then why should an atheist podcaster believe “that’s what physics proves”? Just because some guy claims it? This is not a mere appeal to authority–expertise matters, and we should all be aware of why. But if we don’t, I offered up “would you let someone do surgery on you who is not a medical school graduate?” Certainly not on someone’s word that they know better than any surgeon what’s going on with human bodies.

    >Of course not. No position within the framework of belief systems, not even that of atheism, can be part of the conclusion on a paper about a physics experiment.

    Again–says a physicist? You’re arguing my own point with your whole philosophy. If you accept that physicists by and large say this is outside of physics, and the caller reacts with the same shit he gave me, “Well physicists are wrong about what is and isn’t in the arena of their field of expertise”–where do you go with that?

  13. says

    > Perhaps I can put it this way: it seems like a few years ago, creationists were super fond of running around and saying that “the second law of thermodynamics proves that evolution is impossible.” I’m neither an evolutionary biologist nor an engineer of any type, but I do know that the second law of thermodynamics has to do with entropy in closed systems and has nothing to do with biological evolution. So when someone makes this statement, I don’t feel compelled to refer them to scientists – all I feel compelled to does ask “Okay, why does a law about heat transfer within closed systems prove biological evolution false?” You’re going to get gibberish in response, with no peer review needed. So when someone says that the double slit experiment proves a god, it’s entirely appropriate to ask them how to make that connection.

    OK, so I brought up that according to a cited article online, that idea that an observer has to be conscious is not correct. The caller threw out some paper title saying it has debunked that. What do I do with that? Do I put him on hold while I consult the paper and look up the peer review to see if the encyclopedic entry is obsolete on that point? Do I do this with every paper he’s going to cite? Because he has papers to cite that in his mind demonstrate things I’m sure he’s confused about, but I lack the expertise to say “Uh, no, you’re misreading that paper”–or to actually know whether or not he is. So, he will simply end up citing and citing things I’m unfamiliar with, and look like he’s well read while I’m saying “Yeah no idea what’s in that paper” (but strongly suspecting he’s misreading the implications.) In such a case, i prefer to let him post his data at the blog–where anyone can see it and read it and look up how it’s actually interpreted. I find that vastly more useful than simply trying to do that on the fly. But he is the one impressed by physics proofs–and I am pointing out his view is an aberration and not what physicists are asserting.

    The shorthand is simply to ask: Do physicists accept your reading of the data?

    He admitted they do not. This means that even if I could come back paper after paper it would amount to the SAME result he admitted to, but with far less work. He would simply say “Sure *physicists* say that isn’t the implication of that paper–but it is, because that’s how *I* read it. He’s admitted that he doesn’t care what physicists have to say about the data–he knows what it means better than the experts, and he’s going to prove it by pretending he knows better on our show.

    If he really knows better, the he should be able to demonstrate to physicists the error in their understanding, change the consensus, and then get me to admit “physics does say a god is watching the universe.” That comports with Don’s comment that this is when it’s time to believe–because that will be sufficient evidence to have convinced experts in the field of the validity of that point.

    >I think I’m most frustrated about this because of the conversation with the British guy a few weeks or months back about the resurrection of Christ. The guy was asserting that the Gospels provide good evidence for the resurrection (he was going down the route of the minimal facts approach, I think?), and Tracie referred him to the consensus of professional historians. I’m a professional historian with a PhD in History, and I’m happy to say that you don’t need me in order to tell people that a handful of ancient texts written by anonymous authors simply can’t establish the existence of miracles!

    Again: When someone says “Field X proves my point”–the right response is to ask “Do the experts in field X accept your point as consensus?” If not–what does it mean to say that field supports your point? What is a field of study if not a body of experts who decide what is and is not consensus based on the best data they have available? What does it even mean to say “X proves Y in field ABC” when the vast majority of people in field ABC don’t back that comment?

  14. says

    Honey Tone: Yes, when I heard the guy ask that after the show, I thought “This is the guy who should be in the chair taking the calls.” I would love to be the person who can think on the fly at that level. I recall thinking “That’s brilliant.” And then I thought how self-serving that assessment was. In fact, it wasn’t brilliant. It was the obvious and simplest question to ask the caller. But I didn’t think of it. It’s not that the guy at dinner is brilliant–it’s that I missed an obvious question. And it makes me feel better to say he’s brilliant than that I overlooked something so simple.

  15. Murat says

    @heicart
    I think we’re a little off-track here.

    According to your own philosophy, anyone can simply reject this. In fact, the caller rejects this and says god is demonstrated in physics–who is Krauss or any other physicist to argue with a caller about whether their field demonstrates a god?

    I’m not sure what you mean by my philosophy, but I fully agree with the follow-up sentence: The caller would be wrong to think the field of physics could demonstrate a god. What I got from the dialogue was, he was informed on the results of an experiment, and he matched it to something which, in his mind, stood for the existence of a god. There’s a link there that he himself is producing. He is taking his understanding of the experiment and tying it to the perception of God that already had. In other words, he believed that the act of “observing” was a major feature of god, and he referred to one half of the experiment to back his point that there was a god. His way of deduction seems flawed to me as well. But he can use an objective scientific finding as a basis or proof for what his theological argument is.
    That much, even Krauss himself does:
    He works in the field without giving a damn whether there is a god or not, and when he reaches a conclusion about how the universe could have existed, he refers to it separately as a means of backing his position with regards to the question of god. He doesn’t merge the two. He steps outside the field of physics and creates a link there, one that connects his scientific findings to his position as a non-believer of God.

    Again–says a physicist? You’re arguing my own point with your whole philosophy. If you accept that physicists by and large say this is outside of physics, and the caller reacts with the same shit he gave me, “Well physicists are wrong about what is and isn’t in the arena of their field of expertise”–where do you go with that?

    Yes, we are in agreement on the understanding that the question of god is not possible to answer via directly experimenting in the field of physics, simply because it is, as theism has been forced to retailate to in today’s scientifically-advanced world, a matter of metaphysics. But, like all other fields of science, this is one tool for people to use, refer to, examine in any way. If we begin to chop down every such reference, comment, assertion etc. by cutting the chase so rapidly, then, no theist can find the platform to argue their position, the availability of which has always been a major dynamic for the show.
    I’m not saying your overall approach to the caller was unjustified or counter-productive. It was just that particular questioning of whether the conclusion of the paper itself carried the caller’s argument, which I found excessive and misleading.
    It was an enjoyable episode overall. Your efforts, input, reasoning and general way of conduct are much appreciated.

  16. jabbly says

    I’ve not watched the episode yet but I think the whole line of go and talk to the experts in this field then, is a perfectly valid one. If you’re going to go down the route of phoning into a show to prove your god exists, using a field of science you know the hosts don’t overly understand, then you’re one step away from the Ray Comfort tactic of evolution isn’t true because a random person you grabbed on the street isn’t an expert in it.

  17. billkw says

    Tracie,(#16) What question after the show? Sorry, looking through HT comments I couldn’t figure it out.

    RK,(#9) 2+2=5 usually divides by 0 somewhere in the middle of the mess, is that where you went?

    It seems logical proofs of god metaphorically do the same, it becomes a game of find the fallacy in a long string of eventually nonsense.

  18. RobertK says

    Any other podcast listeners surprised by the Deepak Chopra ad at the end of today’s ep?

  19. Kate Cobas says

    This is a bit anecdotal, but in regards to sleep paralysis, I’ve found that my sleep paralysis frequency seems to correlate with my caffeine intake for that day. The more caffeine I consume in the day and the closer to bedtime I consume it seems to increase the frequency of it happening.

    This was happening when I was in college and pulling frequent stressful all-nighters while consuming unhealthy amounts of caffeine. So as an experiment, I cut all caffeine from my diet for a week and I didn’t have a single instance of sleep paralysis.

    I’m not sure if cutting caffeine would help others avoid sleep paralysis, but I think it’s fair to say diet and general health play a significant role.

  20. Pony says

    @heicart

    I agree with billkw: Can you share the gist of the comment/question made after the show, to which you referred in comment #16?

    Thank you.

  21. Pony says

    To me, the double-slit caller illustrates what seems to me to be a growing problem: People deciding that they can rely on their own intuitions or interpretations and call that “truth,” over the objections of people who clearly have a better understanding of the given issue.

    Thus, flat-earth types yabble about how the space program is “fake,” and never mind the mounds of evidence from the thousands of people who have participated in it, and so on.

  22. Ronald Kyle says

    @#19 billkw says

    usually divides by 0 somewhere in the middle of the mess, is that where you went?

    In this case there is no division by 0… the trick is more subtle and it goes to illustrate the esoteric nature of the concepts that can trip the dabbler who does not have a good grasp on the subject.
     

    It seems logical illogical proofs of god metaphorically do the same, it becomes a game of find the fallacy in a long string of eventually nonsense.

    Exactly!!!
     
    The solution is in understanding that sqrt(X^2) = |X|… not X… and the manipulation plays fast and loose with negative and positive numbers converting a sqrt((-X)^2) to a sqrt((+X)^2) and that is why the trickery results in an absurdity.
     
    And that is exactly what is going on with the manipulation of the thought experiments and mathematical formulae of quantum physics which are descriptions of the physics so as to be able to describe results that exist in reality… NOT prescriptions that dictate results that are conjured up in the brain during thought experiments that have nothing to do with reality.

  23. Murat says

    @Pony #20
    It’s the one she mentions at the end of her first post on this page:

    Best comment of the night was someone who, at dinner, asked “so does god not observe photons?”

  24. Ronald Kyle says

    @#21 Pony says

    To me, the double-slit caller illustrates what seems to me to be a growing problem: People deciding that they can rely on their own intuitions or interpretations and call that “truth,” over the objections of people who clearly have a better understanding of the given issue.

    The problem is even worse… the caller and his ilk are not even relying on THEIR OWN claptrap… they are in fact just regurgitating the trickery of wily charlatans who devised all this new pseudo-science god which they prefer to reality since that way they can maintain their delusions while alleviating their cognitive dissonance in reaction to the realization that theirs is an ever shrinking god of the gaps.

  25. Cowboy_state_of_mine says

    Hi RAO, I’ve camped out in Thermopolis, WY. I’ve soaked in the mineral pools and hung out on the bridge. I have a friend who is an Attorney/Judge who is from Thermopolis and her family lives there
    now. She and her husband gave me tree that she brought from Thermopolis.
    So, I have all kinds of questions about the double slit experiment. I am also familiar with the pin-hole camera made out of a shoe box. I bring up the Pin-hole camera due to some of its seminaries to the double slit experiment.
    My questions begin with the slits, how tall are slits?
    How wide are the slits?
    How far are the slits spaced from each other?
    How far is the back wall from the slits in the front wall?
    How thick is the wall with the slits?
    What is this wall made out of?
    What about the wave/particle?
    What is the orientation of the wave?
    Is the wave vertical or horizontal or is it both vertical and horizontal as it propagates space?
    Can the wave/particle be observed from the side?
    What is causality and at what speed does causality travel through space?
    What is the wave length and is there a relationship with the wave length and the dimensions of the pattern on the back wall?
    Does changing the parameters of the slits and wall spacing change the dimensions of the pattern on the back wall?
    RAO do you have answers to any of these questions?
    Or is it that you are just mentally lazy and god is the excuse you use for not thinking and not even trying?

  26. Bruce Smith says

    So, Tracie – “god” apparently does NOT observe photons!

    I suppose if a god is supposed to be all knowing, he/she/it doesn’t need to actually observe anything. If I’m an all knowing god and I already know what is going to a happen, would I ever need to actually watch anything happen?

  27. Honey Tone says

    So…, the god you posit isn’t also always present everywhere? I think there are other god-ists who would object.

    You should work it out with them and get back to the rest of us. 😉

  28. paxoll says

    @wigglepuppy
    Sorry, but I don’t agree with you. Your argument sounds like, “Tracie should be more entertaining for me”. There are many ways to approach a flawed argument. The hosts can correct the flawed thinking of the caller in order to help the caller, they can demonstrate the flawed argument to the audience, they can attack the caller for entertainment purposes. You could claim, and argue with every single caller to the show that their argument “wasn’t why they believed” in their religion/god. That would have pretty much no value to anyone. Saying, Kalam doesn’t equal a god, or the double slit experiement doesn’t lead to a god, maybe great to an audience that never heard the argument, it might protect them if they get exposed to the argument, but it sure as hell doesn’t help the caller who is bringing up the argument specifically because it has (to use a christian term) “hardened” their belief. Saying the caller was not honest, is itself not honest. The caller cares about their faith/belief and are bringing this argument specifically to this show to demonstrate their faith has some kind of validity/evidence. Trying to change the focus of the issue into debunking the argument for the entertainment of the audience doesn’t really help the caller at all. While this way of pushing people to explore the science and what is valid for the experts to claim, is applicable to not JUST this one person and one false scientific belief, but to as you pointed out, the same thinking needed for lots and lots of other arguments. I think it was the right approach, anything else is going to either attacked for scientific validity (if Tracie tried to explain science beyond her knowledge) or attacked for manipulative debate tactics.

  29. twarren1111 says

    Re: Rao from Thermopolis, WY
    Wow…this caller was out there. First, I’d like to congratulate Tracie and Don for immediately pointing out Rao’s confusion about homosexuality and genetics. Furthermore, Tracie made some excellent, concise observations about possible roles for homosexuality in mammals (I’m a biologist). Recent data indeed suggests that a role for why homosexuality persists in mammals is that homosexual siblings of heterosexual siblings can indeed provide a positive survival advantage for the ‘community’ whether community is defined as the nuclear family, a neighborhood, a city, etc: the homosexual members appear to enhance the well being of the community Bc they can help with child rearing in an augmented way Bc they are not having to spend time rearing their own biological offspring. In effect, that favorite uncle or aunt who is gay stabilizes the community by assisting in child care and this can translate to increased fecundity by the heterosexual members of the community.

    Remember too to look all over the tree of life. Eg, why do drones of bees, who are sterile, exist? Similar concept. By helping they queen, the drone’s individual genes may not be passed along, but the community’s survival is enhanced.

    Second, oh sweet jeebus about quantum mechanics. Does Rao believe the moon ceases to exist if no one looks at it? Right now, I bet ‘no one’ is looking at Uranus…butt it’s still there (pun delightfully intended).

  30. Loctagge says

    32:02 – not sure I completely agree with the Holocaust argument against free speech. It’s true that speech was a major part of what led up to the Holocaust, and there is a chance that restricting speech may have prevented it. However, it is also true that the restriction of free speech was a large part of why Germany’s atrocities were able to grow and perpetuate. Speech censorship was a major component of the power structure in Germany, and speaking in defense of Jews / homosexuals / communists / etc was a good way to get yourself in serious trouble.

    Obviously there is no good way to test what Nazi Germany would have been like if free speech were allowed. But it is reasonable to say that it could not have been what it was. Restriction in expression was a key component in it, and is no less responsible for the Holocaust than free speech.

  31. CompulsoryAccount7746, Sky Captain says

    @twarren1111 #28:

    I’m a biologist
    […]
    oh sweet jeebus about quantum mechanics. Does Rao believe the moon ceases to exist if no one looks at it?

     
    Comment: Axp 23.03 – twarren1111 #11:

    While humans just happened, our brains were the goal
    […]
    Look at John Wheeler’s “it from bit” idea

     
    There were responses in that thread from myself and Mobius.
    Have your views changed since January?
     
    I would not expect a trained biologist to still hold a teleological interpretation of evolution. I would not expect a fan of Wheeler’s idea to be shocked and make that vanishing peek-a-boo moon caricature.
     
     
    Article: Discover – Does the Universe Exist if We’re Not Looking?
    http://discovermagazine.com/2002/jun/featuniverse

    John Wheeler says […] that human consciousness shapes not only the present but the past as well
    […]
    Wheeler conjectures we are part of a universe that is a work in progress; we are tiny patches of the universe looking at itself – and building itself. […] by peering back into time, even all the way back to the Big Bang, our present observations select one out of many possible quantum histories for the universe.
     
    While conscious observers certainly partake in the creation of the participatory universe envisioned by Wheeler, they are not the only, or even primary, way by which quantum potentials become real. Ordinary matter and radiation play the dominant roles. Wheeler likes to use the example of a high-energy particle […] traveling in every possible direction, not quite real and solid until it interacts with something
    […]
    Wheeler suspects that most of the universe consists of huge clouds of uncertainty that have not yet interacted […]. He sees the universe as a vast arena containing realms where the past is not yet fixed.
     
    Wheeler is the first to admit that this is a mind-stretching idea. It’s not even really a theory but more of an intuition
    […]
    [Andrei Linde says,] “You may ask whether the universe really existed before you start looking at it […] And my answer would be that the universe looks as if it existed before I started looking at it.[“]
    […]
    Linde believes that Wheeler’s intuition of the participatory nature of reality is probably right. But he differs with Wheeler on one crucial point. Linde believes that conscious observers are an essential component of the universe and cannot be replaced by inanimate objects.

  32. twarren1111 says

    @30 CA Skycaptain
    Nope, I haven’t changed my hypothesis bc the evidence has not only not changed, but accumulated.

    To wit: my ‘joke’ about the moon is exactly the ribbing Einstein gave to Bohr about the Copenhagen interpretation. Indeed, Einstein’s exact joke was about whether the moon existed when he looked away or could a mouse be looking at the moon in his stead and thus keep the moon existing.

    As for the further input you provide as to Wheeler and Linde, I’m not certain how conscious observers would be an essential component of the universe and not replaced by inanimate objects. That’s just too far in the woo direction. Specifically, whether the observer of schrodinger’s cat Is a person looking into the box vs the walls of the box being an observer, I’m not aware of any force that my mind can produce that can interact with anything. All I’ve got is the weak, strong forces, EM and gravity. The same as a box. So what does it matter if I’m the one to see with my eyes or a rock is one to ‘see’ with its eyes?

    When I get excited I can rush and choose words without additional support such that misinterpretation occurs. I am not unique, of course, when I say this. My point is when I wrote that the brain was the goal I did NOT mean a teleogical mechanism but rather a thermodynamic/information/entropic mechanism is what has driven the development of consciousness.

    Again, a perfect code relates to how spheres pack a space (non-overlapping) and this is why a 7,4 Hamming code is the smallest perfect code. Perfect codes will always detect one more error than it can correct. Hence, the shortest self detecting, self correcting code that can be made is one in which unit spheres are packed in a manner in the optimal manner which turns out to be 16 unit spheres (8 in each ‘cube’ of the tesseract) in which two errors can be detected and one corrected. This is only achieved in 4 dimensions. To wit: what makes this the smallest (8 bit) perfect code is that it is only in a tesseract that the center virtual space is also equal to the radius of each physical unit sphere.

    And it is this geometry that then determines the Shannon entropy (as represented by the physical 16 spheres) that determine the only fit for the algorithmic entropy as represented by the empty center space.

    This is just how the math and geometry work and is exactly how the IT comes from, and relates to, the BIT.

    This is why then how we determine new relationships. And when we determine a new relationship, which means we form a new perfect code with a new center space, we then are advancing our understanding of reality.

    This is why we have the symmetries we see that then relate to our conservation laws. This geometry is exactly how the smallest straight paths we have at the quantum level build up such that curvatures, lengths, and time then emerge as the complexity emerges.

    This is exactly why reductio absurdem only works when outcomes or choices are truly binary but we leave the binary world once what we are relating in our codes become self referential. Eg, flipping a coin is not a binary outcome. The outcome of flipping a coin is not 0 or 1. It is not heads or tails. Why? Bc a coin is self-referential. ‘Heads’ is a concept, a meaning, not a 0 or 1. Tails is a meaning. Flip a coin enough and eventually it will land on an edge. That is not binary. Further, what if one of the observers thinks a ‘heads’ is a ‘tail’? See? Flipping a coin is never binary. It is NOT true OR false. Nope. The binary of TRUE is NOT TRUE. The binary of FALSE is NOT FALSE. Thus, even when flipping a coin, because of self-referential issues, there is a QUATERNARY outcome: true, not true, false, not false. Or, in other words, heads, not heads, tails, not tails (where not tails IS NOT EQUAL TO not heads). And that’s when you need Baye’s.

    This is why psychopathy (Trump) is so destructive. He wastes time and energy.

    He is human. He is conscious. But his lack of empathy means he is not sentient. Empathy is required for sentience. He is, literally, a thinking reptile. He is the human knockout.

    This is all why Dunbar layers exist. This is why we can be confused by reflections in the mirrors of reality bc most reflections are irrational and only a few are rational.

    One thing to check out: 3Blue1Brown has a series of three videos he just posted that demonstrate from another angle (pun intended) exactly what I’m talking about. He shows how photon pathways relate to CPT symmetry and how pi and circles emerge from these concepts even though he will not use any of these terms in these videos. They are outstanding videos.

    Btw, recent data in birds show that they are capable of reaching each other how to use tools in profound ways. The lists of animals capable of responding to their mirror images is expanding. We now have evidence all the way to manta rays that they are conscious to a degree.

    The reason we communicate is that if we deal and interact with each other empathically, that we indeed can make 2 + 2 = 5. Why? Bc sharing IDEAS about our reality in a rational way means we can reach the moon. Or Uranus even! Or produce The Wall. Or build a department of excellence in some field.

    And that is why using faith based methods of determining reality is such a morass compared to the scientific method.

    So the purpose is not our brain. The purpose is geometry. And rational fits. Irrational doesn’t. Reality is like you standing in a mirror with a mirror behind you. An infinity of you are there. But, depending on what you want to relate, which image, which part of an image, that you want to manipulate in the context of all the other images and their parts matters as to how u relate them. This is why, fundamentally, the infinity of the irrational is so much larger than the rational.

    Bc, in the end, you can’t just make shit up. Unless you’re Trump.

  33. twarren1111 says

    The only perpetual motion machine is two entities sharing a center virtual space in which how they both see the center is the same. In other words, rational shared ideas are the only ‘free’ energy we have. Paul McCartney expends his calories, his energy. John does the same. But together, as if by magic, comes from their relation, if rational, amazing music.

    This is why trust exists. Why do you not trust kafei as much monocle smile?

    See?

  34. twarren1111 says

    I misspoke again: this is not why trust exists. What I am describing is what trust IS.

    All. You. Need. Is. Love!

    And that’s why psychopaths are incapable of love. Or guilt.

    NPD is what evil is.

  35. Cimmerius says

    Even if homosexuality was genetic his argument still doesn’t work. Even without artificial insemination gay people can still get pregnant. All the plumbing still works. There’s no shortage of stories of gay men who tried to be straight. They got married, had kids. How did he imagine that happened?

  36. twarren1111 says

    Just watched those videos again. 5th time. So elegant. He is showing how symmetries reflect conservation of energy and momentum and how using these symmetries and the geometry they relate leads to the emergence of mass and distance (aka length). It’s just exquisite! He shows how this geometry of how entities relate leads to the emergence of curvature and the transcendent number pi. And as if that were not enough!! he then relates this to the optics of mirror images (ie, chirality). And that leads to charge, parity and time symmetry.

    And here I just can’t resist. Matt Parker from numberphile has an excellent video demonstrating exactly why the 7,4 Hamming code is the shortest (ie, first to emerge) perfect code and how this relates to packing non-overlapping spheres:
    https://youtu.be/mceaM2_zQd8

    From here, numberphile also has three nice vids that explain concepts behind sphere packing (kissing number) and perfect codes:

  37. twarren1111 says

    Parenthetically, the pure beauty 3Blue1Brown achieves is breathtaking once you get to the end of the third video. Specifically, realize that he is also demonstrating the fundamental reason for the inverse square law via the square root of mass results in the inverse square phenomenon seen with all forces related to distance!!!

    This reminds of yet another excellent video he did demonstrating WHY planets form an elliptical path as derived from Feynman’s lost lecture on the same!!!: https://youtu.be/xdIjYBtnvZU

    You see, this all relates to the principle of least action which is where we get our geodesic concept from which is where both our hyperbolic and elliptical non-Euclidean geometry emerge which is why Einstein needed to learn Reimannian geometry: because SPACETIME is curved! So elegant. So gorgeous. And incidentally, why 4 dimensional I.e., quaternion, mathematics was needed and thus invented!

    We are getting there. Enough bricks in the wall will soon be filled. We will soon link the quantum to the relativistic and we will do so via the blackhole. And what it all relates to is the geometry of reality. And that is our purpose: to maximize our utilization of time and energy by developing rational relationships so that we can enjoy the ride.

    Or, we can continue to let religious based determination of reality continue which means continued wasting of time and energy. And the likely first casualty will be us via climate change.

  38. CompulsoryAccount7746, Sky Captain says

    @twarren1111 #31:

    My point is when I wrote that the brain was the goal I did NOT mean a teleogical mechanism but rather a thermodynamic/information/entropic mechanism is what has driven the development of consciousness.
    […]
    The lists of animals capable of responding to their mirror images is expanding. We now have evidence all the way to manta rays that they are conscious to a degree.

    To say evolution operates through basic physical principles playing out behind emergent phenomena is trivial. Principle of least action makes no mention of consciousness.
     
    Why do you posit that increasingly complicated social brains are uniquely universally favored over alternative features? It’s not enough to say there is a long list of self-aware species if the bias is supposed to be systemic in a process that affects ALL life.
     
    Why not pick some other trait, make a list, and say a thermodynamics mechanism makes it so?
     

    This is just how the math and geometry work

    Math and geometry involve step-by-step proofs. To get from physics to brains… I’m not familiar with any long-term predictive model of evolution. (Though cichlid pools have hinted at someday having short-term deterministic models. Some similar pools produced similar results.)
     

    the purpose is not our brain. The purpose is geometry.

    Math is a description of relations that allows rephrasing/abstraction with known (in)accuracy… sometimes in surprising ways. Geometry is not itself a purpose. Are you just impressed that nature is consistent, in a universe without a meddling god?
     
    Comic: SMBC – Polish Hand Magic
     
    The 3Blue1Brown videos were entertaining, but ultimately, you’re still staring at your hands, in awe at your own surprise.
     
     

    rational fits. Irrational doesn’t.

    I don’t understand what this means.
     
    Presumably you aren’t talking about irrational physics. On that level in a consistent universe, *everything* that occurs is a rational consequence, even Trump. No waste to condemn. Nature just is what it is.
     
    On the other hand, if you mean evolution prioritizes rational psychology…
     
    Article: Nature – Schizophrenia genes ‘favoured by evolution’

    The genes that underpin schizophrenia may have been favoured by natural selection, according to a survey of human and primate genetic sequences.
    […]
    the results might explain why schizophrenia – which can be inherited and commonly involves delusions, hallucinations and paranoia – has persisted without being stamped out by evolutionary forces. Although a severe psychotic illness, it is thought to affect as many as 1% of people at some point in their lives, worldwide.
     
    Some inherited diseases also benefit the person affected, which helps to explain why they have persisted. The mutation that causes cystic fibrosis, for example, is known to protect carriers from cholera. And people who carry the mutation behind sickle-cell disease also inherit an immunity to malaria.

  39. says

    I’ve heard Tracie say that she’d rather not do The Atheist Experience, she told Seth Andrews, that she feels more like a soldier who believes in the cause, but doesn’t really enjoy or like war, but they simply feel needs to be done. She’s even said on other The Atheist Experience episodes that she’d rather have her Sundays back so that she could tend her garden. If you can’t handle the heat of war, then maybe you’re better off tending your garden. Otherwise, why didn’t you address my question two posts ago? Or am I being shunned because you suspect I’m some sort of troll? All I’ve done is been sincere here, bring up the scientific topics relative to these discussions, and yet it’s ignored and denied. If you’re going to cherry-pick your arguments, you may as well be engaging in atheist televangelism.

  40. buddyward says

    @Kafei #45

    I’ve heard Tracie say that she’d rather not do The Atheist Experience, she told Seth Andrews, that she feels more like a soldier who believes in the cause, but doesn’t really enjoy or like war, but they simply feel needs to be done. She’s even said on other The Atheist Experience episodes that she’d rather have her Sundays back so that she could tend her garden. If you can’t handle the heat of war, then maybe you’re better off tending your garden. Otherwise, why didn’t you address my question two posts ago? Or am I being shunned because you suspect I’m some sort of troll? All I’ve done is been sincere here, bring up the scientific topics relative to these discussions, and yet it’s ignored and denied. If you’re going to cherry-pick your arguments, you may as well be engaging in atheist televangelism.

    The video you linked did not say that she would rather not do the Atheist Experience. Seth Andrews posited that Tracy must like debating if she is doing AXP and that is when she said no. You are grossly misrepresenting her position.

    Not liking war and not being able to stand the heat of war are two different things. There are many soldiers in the military that do not like war and yet they are still in it because they feel that it is their obligation to protect thier country. Many of them would much rather go and spend time with their families instead of going to war. They can stand the heat but they do not have to like it.

    Your attack on Tracy is unwarranted. She holds no obligation to answer any of your questions, you are not that special. You have already been exposed to be intellectually dishonest and the science that you claim to present have already been debunked. Many of us here have already muted you and I would not be surprised if Tracy have done so as well.

    I have never called to have you banned from this blog but if there is any reason why I would join those who calls for it then it would be because of this post. You are willing to attack a host of the show simply because you are not getting the attention that you so crave.

  41. says

    @buddyward I wasn’t simply referring to her interaction with Seth Andrews, but things she’s said in other episodes of The Atheist Experience. I even noted that in the post. So, now you’re here misrepresenting what I’ve said. Well done.

  42. buddyward says

    @Kafei #45

    You are the one that posted the link as a reference that represents your position. If you are referring to some other episodes then you would have have linked those episodes as well. You are not a stranger to posting multiple links as long as you think they support your position so I would not think that you would be shy about this one. Stop being such an attention whore and thinking that people owe you a response for your incoherent ramblings.

  43. Heretical Ryan says

    Kafei, I want to ask you a simple question.


    Why are you here?



    I’ve been reading the back and forth between you and the regular posters for the past month or so. No one here has found any of your arguments about complete mystical experiences convincing. Yet you keep coming back again and again.

    You think you’re being rational and sincere. But clearly, you’re the only one on this board who thinks that. And after reading post#45 it seems like you’re just trying “bait” us. One of the links can be traced back to an anti-atheist facebook page called atheismontheslide.

    I am perfectly happy to continue ignoring you after you give me an answer but I am extremely curious as to why you keep coming back to a board where you aren’t well liked and you clearly are not making any headway with any of the flimsy arguments you make or the questionable sources you cite.

    So again, my question is simply to ascertain just what it is you hope to accomplish here. I’m not interested in a yet another wall of text about mystical experiences or the like so PLEASE don’t do that.

    So again, the question is:
    ….
    ….
    ….
    Why are you here?

  44. paxoll says

    This is why psychopathy (Trump) is so destructive. He wastes time and energy.

    Pot calling the kettle black it seems.

  45. Wiggle Puppy says

    @ paxoll #27:

    “There are many ways to approach a flawed argument.”

    No disagreement there.

    “Saying, Kalam doesn’t equal a god, or the double slit experiement doesn’t lead to a god, maybe great to an audience that never heard the argument, it might protect them if they get exposed to the argument, but it sure as hell doesn’t help the caller who is bringing up the argument specifically because it has (to use a christian term) “hardened” their belief.”

    You don’t know this. Pointing out that the Kalam doesn’t have “god” in either the premises or the conclusion could be an epiphany for a theist who was theretofore parroting something they heard from an apologist but hadn’t really thought about critically.

    “Saying the caller was not honest, is itself not honest.”

    I didn’t say this.

    “Trying to change the focus of the issue into debunking the argument for the entertainment of the audience doesn’t really help the caller at all.”

    If you read carefully, this isn’t what I said. I did say that the “go talk to scientists” route doesn’t really make for great programming, but this is a separate and discrete (and much more minor) point than my assertion that it’s much more direct to just ask how “scientific observation x,” whether that be the double-slit experiment, the existence of human consciousness, the existence of the universe, or anything else, implies that a god exists.

    And, “debunking” the argument isn’t what I called for – rather, I called for putting the burden of proof back on the caller to demonstrate how their assertion logically leads to the conclusion that a god exists.

    “I think it was the right approach, anything else is going to either attacked for scientific validity (if Tracie tried to explain science beyond her knowledge) or attacked for manipulative debate tactics.”

    Asking callers to explain their argument in more detail isn’t a manipulative debate tactic. If somebody claims that the double-slit experiment necessitates an observer external to the universe, then it isn’t manipulative to ask them how they made that connection. Likewise, if somebody claims that the Gospels are good historical evidence for the resurrection of Jesus, then it isn’t manipulative to ask them to explain in more detail how a handful of ancient texts making some claims could possibly establish the existence of miracles, and also why other ancient texts making other miracle claims aren’t equally valid. I could refer them to professional historians, I guess, but why?

    @ colinb #44:

    It wasn’t a competition, as far as I’m aware. Tracie does an amazing job with endless amounts of callers. Her hour-long call with Dianna from Minnesota a few months (maybe over a year, at this point?) ago is one of my favorite AXP calls ever.

  46. says

    @buddyward

    You are the one that posted the link as a reference that represents your position. If you are referring to some other episodes then you would have have linked those episodes as well. You are not a stranger to posting multiple links as long as you think they support your position so I would not think that you would be shy about this one. Stop being such an attention whore and thinking that people owe you a response for your incoherent ramblings.

    If I had the links, I would’ve linked them. I don’t recall the particular episodes, and I’m definitely not going to sift through dozens of episodes to find them. And I’m not being an “attention whore” in the slightest. I wasn’t attacking Tracie (this is more misrepresentation on your behalf), more so just calling her out.

    @HereticalRyan

    I’ve been reading the back and forth between you and the regular posters for the past month or so. No one here has found any of your arguments about complete mystical experiences convincing. Yet you keep coming back again and again.

    I don’t believe it’s been properly addressed. Some participants here even go as far as to deny it as the science it is. So, I’d say to find an argument convincing, it’d help to understand what the argument entails first.

    You think you’re being rational and sincere. But clearly, you’re the only one on this board who thinks that. And after reading post#45 it seems like you’re just trying “bait” us. One of the links can be traced back to an anti-atheist facebook page called atheismontheslide.

    I am being rational and sincere. I’m not trying to bait anyone here. And who cares where the image traces back to? That’s missing the point.

    I am perfectly happy to continue ignoring you after you give me an answer but I am extremely curious as to why you keep coming back to a board where you aren’t well liked and you clearly are not making any headway with any of the flimsy arguments you make or the questionable sources you cite.

    Because the arguments I’m making are not flimsy, the sources I cite are not questionable, but rather quite legitimate, and in fact, this research continues today at Johns Hopkins. They’ve manage to produce a number of studies which have been peer-reviewed and published into the Scientific Journal of Psychopharmacology.

    So again, my question is simply to ascertain just what it is you hope to accomplish here. I’m not interested in a yet another wall of text about mystical experiences or the like so PLEASE don’t do that.

    Despite what you think, Tracie’s actually one of my favorite hosts. I’ve spoken to her a total of three times on The Atheist Experience, and often times when Matt would become frustrated, she acted as a mediator to kind of direct the discussion in a more fruitful direction. One encounter with Tracie in particular, I felt as though she sort of shoehorned my position, and I explain how so in the pinned comment below, if you do check that out.

    So again, the question is:
    ….
    ….
    ….
    Why are you here?

    Why are you here? Why is anyone here? I’m interested in these type of discussions. That’s why I participate. And I’ve pointed out before in the post I asked Tracie to address, if she wouldn’t mind, of course, that until the science relative to these transformations of consciousness associated with religious experience is properly addressed, these threads will continue to be haunted by posts like B’s who was the first commenter on that thread, and unfortunately did not post after that or calls like Nathan’s to Matt Dillahunty until the science I’ve referenced is properly addressed.

  47. EnlightenmentLiberal says

    Some participants here even go as far as to deny it as the science it is. So, I’d say to find an argument convincing, it’d help to understand what the argument entails first.

    And by your own words, the only way for us to understand the argument is to overdose on certain hallucinogens. None of us are going to do that. You are not going to convince us to do that. Please go away.

  48. says

    @EnlightenmentLiberal

    And by your own words, the only way for us to understand the argument is to overdose on certain hallucinogens. None of us are going to do that. You are not going to convince us to do that. Please go away.

    I’m definitely not telling people to take psychedelics, and you can’t overdose on psychedelics, by the way. The LD-50 for LSD has never been found in humans. It’s practically impossible, and this is precisely what I’m talking about. This ignorance that accompanies not addressing the science relative to these matters. You think Dr. Roland Griffiths has ever had a high dose of a psychedelic? No! He hasn’t, and yet he has an understanding of the research he’s involved with without having to take psychedelics. Weird, huh?

  49. Wiggle Puppy says

    @ Kafei #52

    “Because the arguments I’m making are not flimsy, the sources I cite are not questionable, but rather quite legitimate, and in fact, this research continues today at Johns Hopkins. They’ve manage to produce a number of studies which have been peer-reviewed and published into the Scientific Journal of Psychopharmacology.”

    The journals you cite can ONLY describes the experiences that individual people seem to be having and reporting; scientific research that studies (1) brain activity and (2) self-reported experiences CANNOT tell you anything about (a) the history of the development of world religions or (b) the supernatural.

    Please go away and stop spamming. Nobody cares.

  50. buddyward says

    @Kafei #52

    I’ve heard Tracie say that she’d rather not do The Atheist Experience, she told Seth Andrews

    The words “she told” is a link to a specific YouTube video. This is, as anyone here would accept, is the support to your argument that she would rather not do AXP. You are dishonestly trying to back track and deny the fact that you were using that video as support for your claim.

    Telling Tracy that if she cannot stand the heat of war she is better off tending to her garden is an attack. All because you did not get the attention you need because she did not answer your question. You call this calling her out where this is clearly you being butthurt because people are ignoring you. Don’t pretend that this is merely some intellectual endeavor. People have shut you out and now no one is engaging you in your bullshit pseudoscience claim.

  51. says

    @Wiggle Puppy

    The journals you cite can ONLY describes the experiences that individual people seem to be having and reporting; scientific research that studies (1) brain activity and (2) self-reported experiences CANNOT tell you anything about (a) the history of the development of world religions

    That’s a misrepresentation, because they have extensive exegetical work on the major religions, and have found that the psilocybin-induced mystical experiences appear virtually identical to mystical experiences reported by mystics throughout the ages. This is why it’s not simply reduced to the brain activity to the volunteers, and why these professionals consider the mystical experience evidence for the Perennial philosophy.

    or (b) the supernatural.

    Dr. Roland Griffiths has emphasized that these mystical experiences are a biologically normal phenomenon. There never was anything supernatural in the sense of defying the laws of physics about them, especially if you’re defining “supernatural” how Matt Dillahunty defines it as “that which is not natural.” So, the Theoria of the Christian mystics was a natural phenomenon, likewise the nirvana of the Buddhists or the samadhi of the Hindus, etc. That’s what this research implicates. So, to assume it’s “supernatural” in this sense that defies physics, precludes you from understanding how it’s addressed in this research.

    Please go away and stop spamming. Nobody cares.

    I’m not spamming, I’m merely correcting your misrepresentation.

  52. Wiggle Puppy says

    @ Kafei #57:

    Fine. People have experiences that might be labeled “mystical” that seem to correspond with narratives about the origins of major world religions.

    What does this have to do with theism or atheism?

    Or, as Heretical Ryan put it, why are you here?

  53. buddyward says

    And now it goes back to your usual script of discussing your bullshit.

    I would suggest to everyone to put Kafei back to being muted as I am about to do before he derails yet another thread with his bullshit.

  54. says

    @Wiggle Puppy

    What does this have to do with theism or atheism?

    When you have scientific research which has produced evidence which suggests that these type of experiences are essentially a conversion experience for atheists, then you might get a clue as to how it’s relevant. When it’s mentioned to a panel of professionals involved not just at the research at Hopkins, but relative research outside of Hopkins that this scientific research should be front-page news that this is the first time science has recognized the existence of God, to which these professionals agree, then how do you find that not relevant? If I were an atheist, that would prick up my ears, and I’d be hella curious as to what this experience involved to the point where I’d consider undergoing it for myself just to see what the hell these people are talking about. Even Matt Dillahunty mentioned that he’d participate as an atheist volunteer at Johns Hopkins, so has Richard Dawkins. However, to this date, none of these people can relate to such an experience. Richard Dawkins did put on the “God helmet,” but Michael Persinger, the professional leading the research, pointed out that his EEG was typical of the 20% of people who don’t get this experience. I’d go as far as to even wager the entire cast of The Atheist Experience are not familiar with these mystical states of consciousness by direct experience.

    Or, as Heretical Ryan put it, why are you here?

    And I answered his question, why are you repeating it?

    @buddyward

    And now it goes back to your usual script of discussing your bullshit.

    I would suggest to everyone to put Kafei back to being muted as I am about to do before he derails yet another thread with his bullshit.

    I was just responding to questions posed at me. I’m not trying to derail the thread, and I’m certainly not trying to discuss anything that is bullshit here.

  55. jacobfromlost says

    I’ve only kinda sorta skimmed the conversation, but I’ve had mystical experiences without drugs, without belief in god, and without supernatural beliefs. (shrugs)

  56. Wiggle Puppy says

    “this is the first time science has recognized the existence of God”

    No. Assuming that everything you say is true, then science has recognized that certain alterations in brain operation can induce conversion from atheism to theism.

    “I’m not trying to derail the thread”

    When you post the same thing week after week after week after week and it has nothing to do with (a) the show that week or (b) the current comments on the thread, you are derailing it.

    Goodbye.

  57. says

    @Wiggle Puppy

    “this is the first time science has recognized the existence of God”

    No. Assuming that everything you say is true, then science has recognized that certain alterations in brain operation can induce conversion from atheism to theism.

    Their conclusion wasn’t “brain alterations can induce conversion from atheism to theism.” This is the sort of misrepresentation I’m talking about, and that’s why I think it’s important to point out these distinctions, so that the science is not misconstrued.

    “I’m not trying to derail the thread”

    When you post the same thing week after week after week after week and it has nothing to do with (a) the show that week or (b) the current comments on the thread, you are derailing it.

    Goodbye.

    The topic actually does come up quite frequently, and it is relevant to the discussion. And I’ve not derailed anything here, I’ve been responding to the questions asked of me. Even Matt Dillahunty talks about how frequently he comes across it. If you’re uninterested in the science, then just should heed the advice buddyward left in his post above.

  58. EnlightenmentLiberal says

    I’m definitely not telling people to take psychedelics

    Fucking liar.

    Piss off already.

  59. Monocle Smile says

    Their conclusion wasn’t “brain alterations can induce conversion from atheism to theism.”

    Then what WAS the conclusion?

    When you have scientific research which has produced evidence which suggests that these type of experiences are essentially a conversion experience for atheists

    How is that different from what Wiggle Puppy said? Also, this is incredibly dishonest; loads of information is missing and you have not once posted an actual segment of the research paper here to back up your claims. Posting a link to a youtube clip that displays some words in a bullet list is not the same thing. Neither is spamming links and telling us to waste a shitload of time digging through stacks of papers; that just makes you look like a lying asshole.

    When it’s mentioned to a panel of professionals involved not just at the research at Hopkins, but relative research outside of Hopkins that this scientific research should be front-page news that this is the first time science has recognized the existence of God, to which these professionals agree, then how do you find that not relevant?

    This, as written, contains at least one blatant lie.
    Of course, we’re interacting with someone who professes to be 100% certain about everything on this topic, so there’s no point.

  60. buddyward says

    @Monocle Smile #68

    So far I have not seen a single peer reviewed published research paper that demonstrated atheists converting to theism. The subjects used in the published research papers were all theist. If I am mistaken then I would like to be corrected.

  61. RationalismRules says

    I keep seeing these little messages popping up in the thread:

    Comment by Kafei – blocked.

    Killfile is the greatest!

  62. AtheistNotAgnostic says

    @indianajones #70
    I don’t think you could’ve summed up Jimmy/Kafei any better than that comic.

  63. Lamont Cranston says

    RationalismRules says in #71:

    Killfile is the greatest!

    I’m with you on that one. 🙂

    I don’t refuse to listen to people when I disagree with them. However, once I have heard them out and find that they have nothing more to add, I see no problem with ignoring their repetitiveness.

    Lamont Cranston

  64. Curt Cameron says

    Regarding the double-slit/quantum eraser proving there has to be a god, one point that no one has brought up:

    First, the idea that consciousness is what “collapses” the wave function, as opposed to a simple observation that a particle detector can do, is wrong according to the vast majority of physicists. But let’s assume that consciousness IS required. Where does that get us? Not to god. The universe could have existed in a quantum superposition of states up until the point when the required level of consciousness finally evolved (by the way does it have to be human? Can a dog do it? An ant?). At that point, this conscious observer looked up and the entire universes’s wave function collapsed into its particle representation. No god required.

    At least, this is from my limited understand of QM, which included some formal courses as part of my EE degree way back before most of you were born.

  65. buddyward says

    People who call in to the show and hijacking a specific scientific fact in order to prove the existence of their god does not know how science works. If they did, they would instead be publishing a paper in a peer reviewed scientific journal where if their finding are accepted to be true will change everyone’s perception of reality in their favor. They seem to be adamant in just trying to convince a handful of people who does not have the scientific expertise to make educated arguments against their claim. Sounds pretty lame to me.

  66. says

    @Monocle Smile

    Then what WAS the conclusion?

    Well, it certainly wasn’t as Wiggle Puppy suggested, a kind of forced change through alteration of chemicals alone. Rather, what they’re concluding is that entheogenic substances can, in fact, elicit genuine spiritual experiences as had been known for thousands of years by indigenous people, and that’s what’s causing these atheists to lose identity with their atheism. Matt once said, “Maybe I’d understand the spiritual if I were to have a mystical experience.” He’s right. He would. It wouldn’t be a mystery for him anymore, he’d stop saying stuff like, “I don’t know what spiritual means.” If it happened to Michael Pollan, it could definitely happen to Matt Dillahunty.

    How is that different from what Wiggle Puppy said? Also, this is incredibly dishonest; loads of information is missing and you have not once posted an actual segment of the research paper here to back up your claims. Posting a link to a youtube clip that displays some words in a bullet list is not the same thing. Neither is spamming links and telling us to waste a shitload of time digging through stacks of papers; that just makes you look like a lying asshole.

    I’ve not lied a single time throughout any of these threads. I’ve been nothing but honest. The reason there’s nothing to post in regards to peer-reviewed material for that particular study is because it’s still in progress. It’s currently taking place right now, and I assure you, as soon as they published that study, I will be posting the final results here.

    This, as written, contains at least one blatant lie. Of course, we’re interacting with someone who professes to be 100% certain about everything on this topic, so there’s no point.

    There’s some gnostic atheists here. You act as though this is a big deal. Even Aron Ra is a self-professed gnostic atheist. Why do you have issue with a gnostic theist?

    @buddyward

    So far I have not seen a single peer reviewed published research paper that demonstrated atheists converting to theism. The subjects used in the published research papers were all theist. If I am mistaken then I would like to be corrected.

    The first study initiated at Johns Hopkins in ’99 and wasn’t published ’til 2006. Each of these studies takes time to complete, and so if you’re really interested in the peer-reviewed results of the study involving the atheists volunteers, then simply stay tuned to the scientific research happening at Johns Hopkins.

  67. EnlightenmentLiberal says

    I’ve not lied a single time throughout any of these threads.

    See:

    I’m definitely not telling people to take psychedelics

    This is a lie. This is indisputably a lie. Previously, you have urged people to have a CME for themselves repeatedly, and previously, you have also repeatedly said that the best way to do so is to take “heroic” (e.g. dangerous) amounts of certain hallucinations. I could dredge up dozens of quotes, but I don’t care enough, because it’s blindingly obvious.

    Piss off already.

  68. says

    @EnlightenmentLiberal Emphasizing that the CME is the greatest challenge for an atheist or asking Matt if he’d be interested to volunteer at Johns Hopkins is not the same as telling people to do psychedelics. People are free to do whatever they want, even if it’s their own choice to take psychedelics. Of course, if they’re curious, then as long you proceed with caution and pay attention to “set and setting,” then you could drastically reduce the risks. However, that’s certainly not the same as telling people to take psychedelics. That’s just some friendly advice from an annual psychonaut. I hope that’s clear.

  69. Heretical Ryan says

    Indianajones said

    Because Kafei is a Wondermark Terrible Sea Lion

    I had to google that, but yeah that’s very true!

    Thanks indy!

  70. EnlightenmentLiberal says

    Sorry, against my better judgment.

    https://freethoughtblogs.com/axp/2019/03/17/open-thread-for-episode-23-11-tracie-don/
    #57

    I’m definitely not telling people to take psychedelics,

    Again,fucking liar.

    See:

    https://freethoughtblogs.com/axp/2019/01/06/open-thread-for-episode-23-01-matt-phil/
    #106

    Why don’t you come back and say something after you’ve undergone such an experience.
    […]
    Graham Hancock once challenged Richard Dawkins to try ayahuasca, […]

    #142

    Trust me, if this actually happened to you, you wouldn’t be asking such a question.

    #184

    Well, I did ask Matt if he’d volunteer in one of these studies, and he said yes.

    #185

    The primary convincing and impressive factor here is the “complete” mystical experience in and of itself.

    #198

    If you really wanted to know what a mystical experience is all about, then undergoing one for yourself would certainly give you a leg up.

    #273

    Otherwise, if you truly wanted to challenge yourself, then a CME would simply do it.

    #276

    I’d go even further to add that if you would undergo a CME for yourself, then all argument would cease, because the experience in and of itself is the primary convincing factor.
    […]
    That’s why I told Matt, “Forget studying, why don’t you have one of these experiences for yourself?

    #281

    It’s more accurately that I’m speaking to a group of people, most of which I’m willing to wager have not had this experience, and so therefore have no way to relate. You see, no one has coined the perfect metaphor to describe precisely what goes on in these mystical states of consciousness. That’s it’s so difficult to speak or write on these type of experiences, […]

    #303

    McKinsey I’ve said over and over throughout this thread that the primary convincing factor is not reading some posts you read on a freethoughtblog or even something you overheard on The Atheist Experience, but rather the unitive “complete” mystical experience in and of itself.
    […]
    Well, the extraordinary evidence is none other than the “complete” mystical experience in and of itself, and for yourself.

    #330

    Again, drugs aren’t necessary for the experience, but I doubt you want to sit in an ashram for 30 years meditating when you can have this experience in a single night via entheogens.

    #394

    Of course, you’ll ever know precisely what you’d can gain from it, unless you actually do it, and that’s something ultimately up to you.

    #446

    Also, a direct experience of your own would convince you without an iota of doubt. At that point, you can review the science, but you essentially wouldn’t need to.

    #453

    Well, the experience is the entire point. If you had it, we wouldn’t be here elaborating this discussion over what it’s like.

    That’s enough, and I’m not even halfway through that other thread.

    Interestingly enough, you made the same nonsense “But I’m not telling anyone to do it” nonsense in the previous thread too:

    https://freethoughtblogs.com/axp/2019/01/06/open-thread-for-episode-23-01-matt-phil/
    #343

    Again you shouldn’t be encouraging and enticing people to use harmful drugs. This shows how desperate you theists are.

    I’m not enticing anyone to use this stuff. I’m merely pointing out the fact that it is the greatest challenge for the atheist.

    So, yes, you are trying to convince people to take unusually high amounts, e.g. probably dangerous amounts, of certain hallucinogens. (And something can be harmful even if it doesn’t kill it, so don’t give me the same shit by citing the LD-50.)

    For some examples where you tell people that they need unusually high amounts, see:

    https://freethoughtblogs.com/axp/2019/01/06/open-thread-for-episode-23-01-matt-phil/
    #71

    That it is very possible to have myriads of recreational psychedelic experiences, and never come close to what these professionals are calling a “complete” mystical experience. If you could do it so often, and not be deterred, then it’s quite likely that you’re probably not getting the full-spectrum experience. In other words, you’re taking many recreational doses. The doses they’re using in the Hopkins study are quite high, akin to what TerenceMcKenna called the “heroic dose,” but in pure psilocybin contained in a single pill.

    #343

    If you had psychedelics, I’d say you probably didn’t take enough. That’s all. They are using doses that are the equivalent of what Terence McKenna called the “heroic dose.”

    #414

    Everything around you seems to coalesce into Julia set fractals, and the higher the dose, the more vivid and apparent these fractals. At the very high-dose with closed eyelids, there is a mandalic, iridescent fractal pattern that forms behind closed eyelids. Of course, these online Google images pay no justice. That’s at the height of a full-spectrum dose, if you’ve had that, you’ve no doubt had a CME.

    No one here is going to be convinced by anything you say. You yourself are compelling proof that taking such extreme amounts of these drugs can permanently damage your brain and permanently damage critical thinking skills. Your discussions here now form the foundation of why I will never take these drugs and why I will never try to have a CME. I prefer keeping my critical thinking skills in one piece.

    Go peddle your drug god somewhere else.

    Piss off already.

  71. says

    @EnlightenmentLiberal And notice that in none of these instances you’ve mentioned do I specifically tell someone to take psychedelics. I merely suggest it as the one experience that would be the most convincing factor, I ask if the person would consider it, I don’t command it. That’s what you’re accusing me of, and that’s something I have not done. I’m not telling anyone here to take psychedelics. That’s ultimately going to be something they will decide for themselves.

    No one here is going to be convinced by anything you say. You yourself are compelling proof that taking such extreme amounts of these drugs can permanently damage your brain and permanently damage critical thinking skills.

    There’s absolutely no evidence that psychedelics are detrimental to your brain at any capacity. In fact, if you actually look up which drugs are most harmful to least harmful, you’ll find psychedelics are on the lower end of the spectrum on that list.

    Your discussions here now form the foundation of why I will never take these drugs and why I will never try to have a CME. I prefer keeping my critical thinking skills in one piece.

    Well, you’re simply precluding the one experience that could challenge your atheism. That’s all you’re doing. You’re like someone who says, “I don’t wish to understand the jungle, I’m content with just sailing back and forth in front of the shore.” Now, don’t construe that as though I’m telling you to do psychedelics. Psychedelics aren’t the only way to elicit a CME, it’s merely the most effortless route to it.

    Go peddle your drug god somewhere else.

    I’m not peddling anything. I just find the interesting that you’d ignore the science relative to these topics simply because you dislike someone on an internet thread. That’s really all that’s going on here.

    Piss off already.

    Comments like this make my previous point quite apparent.

  72. Monocle Smile says

    The reason there’s nothing to post in regards to peer-reviewed material for that particular study is because it’s still in progress. It’s currently taking place right now, and I assure you, as soon as they published that study, I will be posting the final results here.

    Wait, this assertion about CMEs converting atheists is from a fucking unpublished study? Are you fucking kidding me?
    You have no integrity whatosever. None.

    Well, it certainly wasn’t as Wiggle Puppy suggested, a kind of forced change through alteration of chemicals alone. Rather, what they’re concluding is that entheogenic substances can, in fact, elicit genuine spiritual experiences as had been known for thousands of years by indigenous people, and that’s what’s causing these atheists to lose identity with their atheism

    A distinction without an actual difference, and not only are you likely lying about what Wiggle Puppy meant, but this is pulled from a study that isn’t published, let alone verified.

    There’s some gnostic atheists here. You act as though this is a big deal. Even Aron Ra is a self-professed gnostic atheist. Why do you have issue with a gnostic theist?

    Yet again someone who fails epistemology 101. To any reasonable, sane person, “knowledge” and “100% certainty” are not synonyms. Also, you’re no more of a theist than someone who worships a coffee cup.
    Fuck off.

  73. says

    @Monocle Smile

    Wait, this assertion about CMEs converting atheists is from a fucking unpublished study? Are you fucking kidding me?
    You have no integrity whatosever. None.

    Why don’t you actually look into the research? It’s not an unpublished study. It’s an ongoing study (currently taking place). They’re running a survey study and a laboratory study, and in the lecture, the survey study (involving atheists) is complete, but they’re using data from that survey study to aid the laboratory study, and they haven’t completed the laboratory study yet. Once that’s done, I’m sure it will be published given their track record. They’ve managed to publish a number of studies at Johns Hopkins in the Scientific Journal of Psychopharmacology. If you followed this research or if you paid attention at all to my previous posts throughout these threads, you’d know this.

    A distinction without an actual difference, and not only are you likely lying about what Wiggle Puppy meant, but this is pulled from a study that isn’t published, let alone verified.

    Once again, it’s not published because it’s still in progress. And I’m pretty sure I was paraphrasing what Wiggle Puppy meant pretty accurately. If not, perhaps he can clarify.

    Yet again someone who fails epistemology 101. To any reasonable, sane person, “knowledge” and “100% certainty” are not synonyms. Also, you’re no more of a theist than someone who worships a coffee cup.
    Fuck off.

    My notion of God isn’t so silly as to be akin to Russell’s teapot or the “Sky Daddy” or the supernatural Santa Claus that punishes you or rewards you after you die. These are often how atheists depict God when they attempt to ridicule God or otherwise, they say they don’t know what God is like Matt does. The description of God entailed within the Perennial philosophy is panentheistic (not to be confused with pantheism) à la Spinoza.

  74. Monocle Smile says

    Why don’t you actually look into the research? It’s not an unpublished study. It’s an ongoing study

    SHUT
    THE
    FUCK
    UP

    The description of God entailed within the Perennial philosophy is panentheistic (not to be confused with pantheism) à la Spinoza.

    What is the difference between this god existing and this god not existing? How can you tell? How is this god falsifiable?
    These are questions that you have consistently avoided answering by posting irrelevant screeds, and I’m sure we’ll be treated to yet another one.

  75. says

    @Monocle Smile

    What is the difference between this god existing and this god not existing? How can you tell? How is this god falsifiable?

    What makes you think God has to be falsifiable?

    These are questions that you have consistently avoided answering by posting irrelevant screeds, and I’m sure we’ll be treated to yet another one.

    It’s because your question simply makes no sense. As Neil DeGrass Tyson once said, “Words that make questions may not be questions at all.”

  76. Monocle Smile says

    What makes you think God has to be falsifiable?

    You posted a link to some dweeb with a shit-eating grin and a punchable face who says:
    “God is not falsifiable because God is pure truth. And you can’t falsify that which is true.”

    Then you have the balls to say my question makes no sense.
    Fuck off, asshole.

  77. says

    @Monocle Smile He’s right, though. You cannot falsify that which is pure truth. Hence, why your question of falsifying God is nonsensical. Truth can only be verified, not falsified. And I’d appreciate it if you didn’t make fun of my friend, Leo. Your vitriolic attitude may be why you’re having a hard time grasping this stuff.

  78. EnlightenmentLiberal says

    And notice that in none of these instances you’ve mentioned do I specifically tell someone to take psychedelics.

    No, you just asked some people to do it, and strongly encouraged many others.

    Fuck you, dishonest dipshit.

  79. Honey Tone says

    Curt #70

    The article I linked in #5 above makes clear that folks have considered the god-consciousness issue on the QM wave-particle puzzle. Their conclusion is that a god doesn’t influence a wave collapse since we humans can make the stuff switch between the 2 states. If a god was always watching, there wouldn’t ever be a wave to collapse. At least that’s how I understand it.

  80. says

    @EnlightenmentLiberal

    No, you just asked some people to do it, and strongly encouraged many others.

    I’m not asking anyone to do this. People are going to do what they want regardless of what I say.

    Fuck you, dishonest dipshit.

    Why don’t you just do as other participants are doing here and just block me? Especially if all you’re going to do is falsely accuse me of being dishonest.

  81. indianajones says

    ‘Why don’t you just do as other participants are doing here and just block me?’

    Ooh ooh! I got this one! Because you are the outsider here and asking, nay insisting, that others take active measures to do, uh, ‘anything’ is the act of an arsehole! Do I win? Are you convinced?

    Fucking Hitler never said ‘Fuck those jews they suck and I hate ’em’ either. The dishonesty you display is not only not false but repeatedly demonstrated.

  82. Wiggle Puppy says

    @ Kafei #77:

    “Well, it certainly wasn’t as Wiggle Puppy suggested, a kind of forced change through alteration of chemicals alone. Rather, what they’re concluding is that entheogenic substances can, in fact, elicit genuine spiritual experiences as had been known for thousands of years by indigenous people, and that’s what’s causing these atheists to lose identity with their atheism.”

    The moment you can concretely define exactly what a “genuine spiritual experience” is, and how to distinguish it from a hallucination, is the moment I take you seriously. Whether or not this is, in fact, converting atheists en masse, is irrelevant to the underlying truth of the claim.

    @ Kafei #89:

    “He’s right, though. You cannot falsify that which is pure truth. Hence, why your question of falsifying God is nonsensical. Truth can only be verified, not falsified.”

    Okay, if you’re just going to declare by fiat that what you say is true, then I have nothing further.

  83. Murat says

    @Wiggle Puppy
    Considering the way science and medicine works…
    If a “magic potion” proves to be effective in converting atheists en masse…
    Does this not also mean that, via reverse engineering, an antidote making it possible to convert theists would also be on the way?
    🙃

  84. Wiggle Puppy says

    @ Kafei #85:

    “My notion of God isn’t so silly as to be akin to Russell’s teapot or the “Sky Daddy” or the supernatural Santa Claus that punishes you or rewards you after you die.”

    Yes, it’s far sillier: God pervades everything in the universe. How useless.

    “Why don’t you actually look into the research? It’s not an unpublished study. It’s an ongoing study (currently taking place).”

    Okay, how about this: when an article in a refereed scientific journal concludes that God exists, then you should come back here and we can discuss further. Sound good?

  85. AtheistNotAgnostic says

    @EL, MS, WP
    The last ~30 posts of this thread should be required reading for anyone who’s considering engaging with Jimmy/Kafei in the future. It’s just like when you get a presupper off their script, they malfunction, their defenses drop and you can see what’s behind the curtain. Jimmy/Kafei might be the most deluded and shameless evangelist I’ve ever seen. It takes a special someone to expect to be taken seriously after saying their god is unfalsifiable (and that it’s a good thing!) and that unpublished studies constitute acceptable evidence.

  86. says

    @indianajones

    Ooh ooh! I got this one! Because you are the outsider here and asking, nay insisting, that others take active measures to do, uh, ‘anything’ is the act of an arsehole! Do I win? Are you convinced?

    Fucking Hitler never said ‘Fuck those jews they suck and I hate ’em’ either. The dishonesty you display is not only not false but repeatedly demonstrated.

    Act of an arsehole? All EnlightenmentLiberal has done has tell me things like, “Fuck off! You’re a liar!” repeatedly. Hitler also didn’t wear a shirt that said, “Don’t hate the player, hate the game.” So, what? How is that input fruitful? If he’s nothing to say but to falsely accuse me of lying, then perhaps he’s better off simply blocking me. I don’t know how you don’t find that to be dishonest.

    @Wiggle Puppy

    The moment you can concretely define exactly what a “genuine spiritual experience” is, and how to distinguish it from a hallucination, is the moment I take you seriously. Whether or not this is, in fact, converting atheists en masse, is irrelevant to the underlying truth of the claim.

    Well, that’s what I’ve been trying to articulate for the past few threads of 2019. That they’ve, in fact, done this. The “genuine spiritual experience” that I’m talking about is equivalent to what they’re calling a CME. So, there’s a reason they call it a “complete” mystical experience and not merely a hallucination. That’s because they can, in fact, tease these phenomena apart. They can distinguish it from other unrelated phenomena, and isolate it as a spiritual/mystical experience.

    Yes, it’s far sillier: God pervades everything in the universe. How useless.

    I definitely wouldn’t define it this way. Not even Spinoza did. To clarify, more specifically, Spinoza wrote in a letter to Henry Oldenburg and stated, “as to the view of certain people that I identify God with Nature (taken as a kind of mass or corporeal matter), they are quite mistaken.” So, no, that’s definitely not what I’ve been attempting to articulate here.

    Okay, how about this: when an article in a refereed scientific journal concludes that God exists, then you should come back here and we can discuss further. Sound good?

    Why do you think I’m here? That was the conclusion, but it’s not necessarily phrased like that. I’ve said before, it’s only the atheist that thinks it’s going to be packaged so naïvely as though some scientific journal is literally going to crassly display a paper that’s titled “Scientists conclude God exists.” Rather since ‘God’ is not the only name for the divine, they emphasize the Perennial philosophy which addresses the divine in all of the major religions. I’ve said the professionals consider these mystical states of consciousness evidence for the Perennial philosophy, and so ‘God’ or the ‘divine’ is more properly understood in this context within the peer-reviewed material.

    @AtheistNotAgnostic

    The last ~30 posts of this thread should be required reading for anyone who’s considering engaging with Jimmy/Kafei in the future. It’s just like when you get a presupper off their script, they malfunction, their defenses drop and you can see what’s behind the curtain. Jimmy/Kafei might be the most deluded and shameless evangelist I’ve ever seen. It takes a special someone to expect to be taken seriously after saying their god is unfalsifiable (and that it’s a good thing!) and that unpublished studies constitute acceptable evidence.

    The interesting thing about the Perennial philosophy is that it has absolutely nothing to do with presuppositionalism or apologetics or anything of the sort. And you see, what you don’t seem to understand is God is pure truth, and pure truth by definition cannot be falsifiable. Anyone spiritually seeking or “searching for God” with the agenda to falsify it is pursuing a futile endeavor.

  87. says

    @indianajones Obviously, I meant to type, ” I don’t know how you find that to be dishonest.” (fixing a typo)

    @AtheistNotAgnostic

    that unpublished studies constitute acceptable evidence.

    That particular study involving the atheists is currently in progress. It’s not necessarily that it’s unpublished. Each study they’ve been able to complete at Johns Hopkins has been peer-reviewed and published in the Scientific Journal of Psychopharmacology. They’ve managed to publish a number of studies, and if you’re interested in the material published thus far, I recommend viewing this link here. I’m sure once that study is complete, it will also be peer-reviewed and published given their track record. However, Dr. Rolland Griffiths has given lectures upon what they’ve been able to find so far.

  88. Wiggle Puppy says

    “That they’ve, in fact, done this. The “genuine spiritual experience” that I’m talking about is equivalent to what they’re calling a CME. So, there’s a reason they call it a “complete” mystical experience and not merely a hallucination. That’s because they can, in fact, tease these phenomena apart. They can distinguish it from other unrelated phenomena, and isolate it as a spiritual/mystical experience.”

    I have friends who watch NFL football, but a Complete Football Experience (CFE) consists of (1) watching football all day on Sundays during the season, (2) playing in multiple fantasy leagues, (3) keeping up with trade rumors, (4) tracking college draft decisions, (5) knowing all the offensive and defensive coordinators on every team, along with the head coach, and (5) having at least two types of flavors of chicken wings at your Super Bowl party. This CFE is separate and distinct from your run-of-the-mill football experience and allows football fans to access a higher plane of football fandom. I know, because I’ve experienced both and know that a CFE is different and distinct from a mundane “football experience.”

    See, I just came up with a list of criteria and declared by fiat that adherence to that list means something special!

    “That was the conclusion, but it’s not necessarily phrased like that.”

    How convenient.

    “The interesting thing about the Perennial philosophy is that it has absolutely nothing to do with presuppositionalism or apologetics or anything of the sort.”

    ANA wasn’t saying that, you moron; they were saying that your *approach* is similar to that of presuppositionalists: simply assert something and then keep repeating it as if it’s established fact. While the presup declares that god provides the basis for reason, you declare that chemically-induced experiences are evidence for something that is actually divine.

    “And you see, what you don’t seem to understand is God is pure truth, and pure truth by definition cannot be falsifiable.”

    I wish you would have just stated earlier that you were going to fall back on empty tautologies, which would save us all a lot of trouble.

  89. says

    @Wiggle Puppy

    See, I just came up with a list of criteria and declared by fiat that adherence to that list means something special!

    I think soundofspeed tried to do something like this with his CBE (“complete” bug experience”), but I definitely wouldn’t equate a CFE or CBE, for that matter, to a CME. The “complete” mystical experience is defined by six primary characteristics that are definitive for this experience, one of which involves a perception that is described as transcendent of space and time or a timelessness. I doubt you can get that with a CFE. So, what is being emphasized here is a very particular temporary and full transformation of consciousness which can be invoked in anyone, including your dear self.

    “That was the conclusion, but it’s not necessarily phrased like that.”

    How convenient.

    Atheists seem to think “God” is the only name for the divine, and so, like I said, to address the divine in all of the major religions, they emphasize the Perennial philosophy.

    “The interesting thing about the Perennial philosophy is that it has absolutely nothing to do with presuppositionalism or apologetics or anything of the sort.”

    ANA wasn’t saying that, you moron; they were saying that your *approach* is similar to that of presuppositionalists: simply assert something and then keep repeating it as if it’s established fact. While the presup declares that god provides the basis for reason, you declare that chemically-induced experiences are evidence for something that is actually divine.

    I understood that the first time he said it. I know he was talking about the approach. What I was emphasizing that it was simply a bad comparison as Perennial philosophy has nothing to do with the approach of presuppositionalism or apologetics or anything to do with these two concepts in general.

    “And you see, what you don’t seem to understand is God is pure truth, and pure truth by definition cannot be falsifiable.”

    I wish you would have just stated earlier that you were going to fall back on empty tautologies, which would save us all a lot of trouble.

    It’s not an empty tautology. It is, in fact, the truth. It merely seems like a tautology to mention it, because it’s something more properly understood by direct experience where there are no words. To assume it’s an empty tautology would be to miss the point altogether.

  90. Wiggle Puppy says

    “I doubt you can get that with a CFE.”

    But I did.

    “What I was emphasizing that it was simply a bad comparison as Perennial philosophy has nothing to do with the approach of presuppositionalism or apologetics or anything to do with these two concepts in general.”

    He wasn’t talking about the similarity of perennial philosophy to presuppositional apologetics. He was talking about the similarity of *your approach* to that commonly employed by presuppositional apologists. Can you even read?

    “It’s not an empty tautology. It is, in fact, the truth.”

    Wow. Imagine that someone came up to you asserting something vague and borderline meaningless and then just declared it to be true. How might you perceive that person?

    On a completely unrelated note, my CFE (complete football experience) was amazing and real, and you simply won’t understand it until you have one yourself.

  91. says

    @Wiggle Puppy

    “I doubt you can get that with a CFE.”

    But I did.

    No, you didn’t. Watching football is necessarily something one does in an ordinary state of consciousness or while drinking some beer. It’s done in tensed time. Your reactions are in tensed time. At no point does anyone have a perception of “transcending space and time.” I’d argue that this phenomenon of having a sense of transcending space and time or a timelessness is intrinsically associated with the CME, and not necessarily any other aspect of consciousness, especially watching football. If you were undergoing this aspect of the CME, you wouldn’t even be able to watch a football game, because you’d be having an experience that was transcendent of your senses.

    “What I was emphasizing that it was simply a bad comparison as Perennial philosophy has nothing to do with the approach of presuppositionalism or apologetics or anything to do with these two concepts in general.”

    He wasn’t talking about the similarity of perennial philosophy to presuppositional apologetics. He was talking about the similarity of *your approach* to that commonly employed by presuppositional apologists. Can you even read?

    Yes, and once again, I understood this the first time around, but I consider it a bad comparison as the approach of a Perennialist in no way resembles that of a presupper or apologist. ANA seems to think that a Perennialist is similar to a presupper because they seem to presuppose something, and that’s not the case at all. That’s what I was trying to emphasize, and that’s the point you overlooked.

    “It’s not an empty tautology. It is, in fact, the truth.”

    Wow. Imagine that someone came up to you asserting something vague and borderline meaningless and then just declared it to be true. How might you perceive that person?

    Well, since you insist on comparing a CFE to a CME as though they’re somehow the same thing or similar in some way, I’d say you haven’t even looked into this research. Here’s a better break down of the characteristics involved in this experience.

    On a completely unrelated note, my CFE (complete football experience) was amazing and real, and you simply won’t understand it until you have one yourself.

    I still maintain a CFE in no way bears comparison to a CME. In fact, a CFE sounds quite mundane in comparison to a CME. You want to talk about dishonest tactics? Well, the CFE would be good example as it in no way could compared even remotely to the “complete” mystical experience.

  92. Wiggle Puppy says

    “No, you didn’t. Watching football is necessarily something one does in an ordinary state of consciousness or while drinking some beer. It’s done in tensed time. Your reactions are in tensed time. At no point does anyone have a perception of “transcending space and time.””

    I did. Prove that I didn’t.

    “I’d argue that this phenomenon of having a sense of transcending space and time or a timelessness is intrinsically associated with the CME, and not necessarily any other aspect of consciousness, especially watching football. If you were undergoing this aspect of the CME, you wouldn’t even be able to watch a football game, because you’d be having an experience that was transcendent of your senses.”

    You just don’t understand what it means to have a CFE. If you did, you would understand.

    “ANA seems to think that a Perennialist is similar to a presupper because they seem to presuppose something, and that’s not the case at all.”

    I think ANA meant that, just like a presup, you keep repeating the same fiat claims over and over and over and over and over and…

    “Well, since you insist on comparing a CFE to a CME as though they’re somehow the same thing or similar in some way, I’d say you haven’t even looked into this research.”

    Since you insist on contrasting CFEs to CMEs as though they’re somehow different in some way, I’d say you haven’t studied CFEs in enough detail.

    “I still maintain a CFE in no way bears comparison to a CME. In fact, a CFE sounds quite mundane in comparison to a CME.”

    They’re very similar. You just haven’t had a CFE to be able to compare. It’s dishonest to try to draw a distinction when you haven’t adequately studied CFEs.

    “Well, the CFE would be good example as it in no way could compared even remotely to the “complete” mystical experience.”

    They’re very similar. You just haven’t had a CFE to be able to compare. It’s dishonest to try to draw a distinction when you haven’t adequately studied CFEs.

  93. AtheistNotAgnostic says

    @WP
    Thanks for backing me up but he still just won’t get it.
    @Jimmy #103

    ANA seems to think that a Perennialist is similar to a presupper because they seem to presuppose something, and that’s not the case at all.

    This is not what I meant at all. The point I was trying to make to everyone is that you, like presuppers, use a set script when interacting and until we get you off it, you don’t say anything meaningful or answer questions. May as well be talking to one of those crappy support text boxes on a website. However, once you do get taken off the script we can see past your obfuscation, walls of text and links across the internet and get at your real position. I wasn’t saying that you necessarily presuppose things, that was a misunderstanding on your part. W.r.t. the pending paper, until it’s published you can’t use its findings as evidence. When it’s published, I’ll gladly give it a look as I have with the others.

  94. says

    @Wiggle Puppy

    I did. Prove that I didn’t.

    Because watching football is simply watching football, no matter how excited you may get over a touch down. It’s definitely not the same thing as a CME.

    You just don’t understand what it means to have a CFE. If you did, you would understand.

    I really don’t care for football.

    “ANA seems to think that a Perennialist is similar to a presupper because they seem to presuppose something, and that’s not the case at all.”

    I think ANA meant that, just like a presup, you keep repeating the same fiat claims over and over and over and over and over and…

    If I repeated anything, it was for clarification, not simply to repeat it as to emphasize a “CFE” is definitely not a “CME.” A CFE is something you pulled out of your ass. A CME is a tried-and-true universal phenomenon that is a potential in the consciousness of any one of us.

    “Well, since you insist on comparing a CFE to a CME as though they’re somehow the same thing or similar in some way, I’d say you haven’t even looked into this research.”

    Since you insist on contrasting CFEs to CMEs as though they’re somehow different in some way, I’d say you haven’t studied CFEs in enough detail.

    There’s no such thing as a CFE. Once again, it’s nonsense you made up on the spot. Why do you keep insist on using this example when it’s complete trash? Not only that, it’s dishonest. I mean, people want to accuse me of using “dishonest tactics.” Well, you’re doing precisely that.

    “I still maintain a CFE in no way bears comparison to a CME. In fact, a CFE sounds quite mundane in comparison to a CME.”

    They’re very similar. You just haven’t had a CFE to be able to compare. It’s dishonest to try to draw a distinction when you haven’t adequately studied CFEs.

    No, they’re not similar at all. A CFE is fiction that you conjured, a CME is well established by decades of scientific research.

    “Well, the CFE would be good example as it in no way could compared even remotely to the “complete” mystical experience.”

    They’re very similar. You just haven’t had a CFE to be able to compare. It’s dishonest to try to draw a distinction when you haven’t adequately studied CFEs.

    You’re dishonest if you keep using this made up acronym of yours.

    @AgnosticNotAtheist

    This is not what I meant at all. The point I was trying to make to everyone is that you, like presuppers, use a set script when interacting and until we get you off it, you don’t say anything meaningful or answer questions. May as well be talking to one of those crappy support text boxes on a website. However, once you do get taken off the script we can see past your obfuscation, walls of text and links across the internet and get at your real position. I wasn’t saying that you necessarily presuppose things, that was a misunderstanding on your part. W.r.t. the pending paper, until it’s published you can’t use its findings as evidence. When it’s published, I’ll gladly give it a look as I have with the others.

    I’m not using any sort of script. If it seems that way, it’s because I’ve had to reiterate points for people because they’re having issue grasping certain things or because I’m paraphrasing or in some cases using verbatim the words used in the research to describe these things. What sort of questions do you think I’ve not answered? I mean, if you think I’m on some sort of script, then why don’t you ask a question that you think might provoke an unscripted answer? I’m willing to respond.

    However, you’re correct that Perennial philosophy in no way presupposes anything, so in that sense it is definitely not some form of presuppositionalism. And for me, it’s no surprise that Johns Hopkins is showing these sort of experiences are conversion experiences for atheists. You see, they’re already done with most of that study when it comes to dosing volunteers, etc. What they do afterwards is they follow along these volunteers for months, even years in some of these studies to see how lasting these changes are, and they do follow-up interviews with not only the volunteers, but their friends, family members, close acquaintances, etc. However, there’s numerous examples of famous ex-atheists that have had a powerful psychedelic experience, and that was the catalyst that caused them to cease identification as an atheist; to give a few examples, Richard Alpert, Alex Grey, Terence McKenna, Rupert Sheldrake, etc. and myself.

    I’m actually eagerly waiting for them to finish that study to read the published results. However, simply because it’s pending doesn’t undermine what they’ve found thus far as per mentioned in the lecture given by Dr. Roland Griffiths. If you want to wait ’til it’s published, that’s fine. I will post it here as soon as it’s peer-reviewed and published most likely in the same journal most of these studies have been published in, the Scientific Journal of Psychopharmacology.

  95. Wiggle Puppy says

    “Because watching football is simply watching football, no matter how excited you may get over a touch down. It’s definitely not the same thing as a CME.”

    You just haven’t had a CFE to be able to compare. It’s dishonest to try to draw a distinction when you haven’t adequately studied CFEs.

    “I really don’t care for football.”

    Just an excuse to avoid discussing CFEs.

    “A CFE is something you pulled out of your ass.”

    Prove it.

    “A CME is a tried-and-true universal phenomenon that is a potential in the consciousness of any one of us.”

    Prove it.

    “There’s no such thing as a CFE. Once again, it’s nonsense you made up on the spot.”

    Prove it.

    “Why do you keep insist on using this example when it’s complete trash?”

    To show that your assertion that the self-reported subjective experience of a set of arbitrarily-defined criteria somehow constitutes evidence for something external to the human mind is nonsense.

    “You’re dishonest if you keep using this made up acronym of yours.”

    Right back at you.

    “I mean, if you think I’m on some sort of script, then why don’t you ask a question that you think might provoke an unscripted answer?”

    How does the self-reported subjective experience of a set of arbitrarily-defined criteria somehow constitute evidence for something external to the human mind?

    Prove it. Don’t send me a Youtube link to somebody saying that psychedelic experiences prove the existence of God. Explain for yourself how self-reported subjective experiences could possibly conclusively demonstrate the existence of something outside of human minds.

  96. says

    @Wiggle Puppy Prove that a CFE is something you pulled out of your ass? See post 100 on this thread. That pretty much proves it right there. I’ve also explained that if you were actually undergoing this aspect of transcending space and time, you wouldn’t be able to watch a football game in the first place. That should be another indicator of proof that the CFE is some BS you made up.

    How does the self-reported subjective experience of a set of arbitrarily-defined criteria somehow constitute evidence for something external to the human mind?

    Well, what this experience is, is a fundamental transformation of perception wherein which one’s ego dissolves temporarily, but completely, and what’s left is a sense of unity with the totality of nature. I don’t think you could have that perception if there were no external reality, it would be like recognizing the yin without the yang. This experience is more accurately a metanoia than something simply happening within one’s mind which would be more of a reductionist view on this experience.

    Prove it. Don’t send me a Youtube link to somebody saying that psychedelic experiences prove the existence of God. Explain for yourself how self-reported subjective experiences could possibly conclusively demonstrate the existence of something outside of human minds.

    I’ve explained this. The professionals involved consider these mystical states of consciousness evidence for the Perennial philosophy. That is to say the Theoria (vision of God) of Christianity is essentially what these professionals are calling a CME, likewise samadhi in Hinduism or nirvana in Buddhism or wu wei in Taoism, baqá wa faná in Islam, The One in Neoplatonism, it is the Gnosis of the Gnostics, and so forth. This is how God is understood within the context of the Perennial philosophy. And I have typed very elaborate descriptions in the past on all of this. Perhaps you’ve overlooked it, but if you’re really interested to understand it, I recommend post 173 on the first freethoughtblogs thread of the year for TAE which I’ll directly link to here.

  97. Wiggle Puppy says

    “Prove that a CFE is something you pulled out of your ass? See post 100 on this thread. That pretty much proves it right there.”

    I was relaying long-established wisdom in that post. You’re so narrow-minded.

    “I’ve also explained that if you were actually undergoing this aspect of transcending space and time, you wouldn’t be able to watch a football game in the first place.”

    Have you ever studied CFEs in detail? You’re making broad pronouncements about areas of study that you know nothing about. Ignorant and arrogant.

    “I don’t think you could have that perception if there were no external reality, it would be like recognizing the yin without the yang.”

    I didn’t mean ALL of external reality; I meant, “prove that this god you’re talking about exists in external reality in some other form than simply in people’s subjective experiences.”

    “I’ve explained this.”

    No, you haven’t. You’re made assertions that you can’t justify. The post 173 that you cite, among other things, says that these “mystical” experiences can connect people with the ground of all being, whatever that is. PROVE IT. Prove that experiences that people have on psychedelics are pointing to something real that exists outside of their own minds. Don’t just assert it, PROVE IT.

    I’m guessing I already know how this is gonna go.

  98. Chikoppi says

    “Well, what this experience is, is a fundamental transformation of perception wherein which one’s ego dissolves temporarily, but completely, and what’s left is a sense of unity with the totality of nature. I don’t think you could have that perception if there were no external reality, it would be like recognizing the yin without the yang.”
    .
    “I don’t think you could…” is an argument from incredulity.
    .
    One might dream vividly of eating a metal chair. Such a dream would not imply the chair, or the act of ingestion, is real. Internal and subjective impressions are not valid evidence of external reality, especially not when abnormal brain function is chemically induced. It is possible for such things to exist only in one’s mind.
    .
    It is also not surprising that multiple individuals report similar sensations when under the influence of a chemical substance. Humans share a common brain structure and if the neurological disruption caused by a chemical is consistent then subjects would very likely report similar sensations. Defining a set of criteria based on subjectively reported effects of a chemical is not evidence of anything outside the subjective experience itself.

  99. t90bb says

    110. Chik…..well said …. Kafei has been at this for hundreds and hundreds of posts over multiple threads. He works overtime to attempt to mold the “evidence” to meet his conclusion. His CME is framed much like near death experiences. Kafei has a raging hardon for his magic genie through the prism of perennial philosophy. Like most theists he will do the most extraordinary mental gymnastics to support the conclusion of choice!….

    What an amazing loveable and worthwhile magic genie that would leave a door to it open through major amounts of drugs lololol….

    Complete Orgasmic Mystical Experience……..we commonly feel the divine pleasure of GAWD upon climax…and that’s proof of gawdd right there! Its science!!!

  100. paxoll says

    Kafei links to lectures where the claims are not the actual scientific conclusions published in the papers, that he uses as evidence that this bullshit is scientifically sound. This is simply word games, the research shows nothing but hallucinations of other senses that they label “mystical” in order to try and give their woo some kind of scientific authority. The complete “hallucination” experience demonstrates precisely that reality is fixed and our mental perceptions are full of errors that have to be rigorously checked to makes sure they accurately represent reality.

  101. says

    @Chikoppi

    “I don’t think you could…” is an argument from incredulity.

    Matt tried to argue something like this in my call to him, but I believe it’s missing the point.
    .

    One might dream vividly of eating a metal chair. Such a dream would not imply the chair, or the act of ingestion, is real. Internal and subjective impressions are not valid evidence of external reality, especially not when abnormal brain function is chemically induced. It is possible for such things to exist only in one’s mind.

    Well, I would not equate a “complete” mystical experience to a dream or even a lucid dream at that. These are two very different phenomena, and I’d also add that if you’re saying that “subjective impressions” are not valid evidence of external reality, then you may as well add there in your own subjective experience while you’re in an ordinary state of consciousness, too. That, too, isn’t indicative of the external reality, it’s rather an internal model that is solely subjective.
    .

    It is also not surprising that multiple individuals report similar sensations when under the influence of a chemical substance. Humans share a common brain structure and if the neurological disruption caused by a chemical is consistent then subjects would very likely report similar sensations. Defining a set of criteria based on subjectively reported effects of a chemical is not evidence of anything outside the subjective experience itself.

    You seem to be under the impression that it’s solely chemical-induced, and that wasn’t necessarily the finding of the research. What they’ve found is that psilocybin can occasion at high probability rates mystical experiences that appear virtually identical to those naturally occurring mystical experiences reported by mystics throughout the ages.

    I’m not sure why this is met with so much resistance except for the fact that most people here, if not all the participants haven’t had such an experience, and so that’s why they’re having a hard time to grasp this stuff. However, if religious people were to accept what this scientific research has established, it would ultimately harmonize the major religions, and by extension humanity itself. Sure, seems like a tall order, but it’s no taller an order than what the Atheist Plus movement wants to do which is to rid religion from the face of the planet. That’s not feasible at all.

  102. says

    @paxoll

    Kafei links to lectures where the claims are not the actual scientific conclusions published in the papers, that he uses as evidence that this bullshit is scientifically sound. This is simply word games, the research shows nothing but hallucinations of other senses that they label “mystical” in order to try and give their woo some kind of scientific authority. The complete “hallucination” experience demonstrates precisely that reality is fixed and our mental perceptions are full of errors that have to be rigorously checked to makes sure they accurately represent reality.

    That’s not true at all. The lectures are expounding on the peer-reviewed material. I’ve emphasized that it’s these professionals which point out in the peer-reviewed material that these mystical states of consciousness are consistent with the Perennial philosophy. That’s why I recommend the lectures, because they help explain what the research is all about.

  103. Chikoppi says

    “Matt tried to argue something like this in my call to him, but I believe it’s missing the point.”

    It isn’t. “I don’t think you could…” is the argument from incredulity.

    “I would not equate a “complete” mystical experience to a dream or even a lucid dream at that.”

    I didn’t say it was a dream. Dreams are an illustration that the brain is capable of inventing wholly fictional subjective experiences.

    “I’d also add that if you’re saying that “subjective impressions” are not valid evidence of external reality, then you may as well add there in your own subjective experience while you’re in an ordinary state of consciousness, too.”

    Absolutely. Even when in normative function our brains can, and do, interpret stimuli incorrectly. Interupting normal brain function can, and reliably does under experimental conditions, produce pronounced hallucinatory sensations.

    “You seem to be under the impression that it’s solely chemical-induced, and that wasn’t necessarily the finding of the research. What they’ve found is that psilocybin can occasion at high probability rates mystical experiences that appear virtually identical to those naturally occurring mystical experiences reported by mystics throughout the ages.”

    That subjects report subjective “experiences that appear virtually identical” to other subjective “experiences reported by mystics” in no way contradicts chemical inducement. Humans share a common brain structure and if the neurological disruption caused by a chemical (or any other means) is consistent then subjects would very likely report similar sensations.

    “I’m not sure why this is met with so much resistance…”

    Because the conclusions you seek to draw are very clearly unwarranted and unsupported by evidence.

    “However, if religious people were to accept…”

    Argument from consequence.

  104. Wiggle Puppy says

    “These are two very different phenomena”

    Once again, you have merely asserted this, not demonstrated it.

    “and I’d also add that if you’re saying that “subjective impressions” are not valid evidence of external reality, then you may as well add there in your own subjective experience while you’re in an ordinary state of consciousness, too.”

    Nope, because I can verify my subjective experience in an ordinary state of consciousness with testability and repeatability, second-party verification, and the other tools that let us confirm that our subjective perception of the external world is accurate. I can do this neither for my own dreams nor this mystical experience you’re talking about. And if you’re just going to just assert that dreams and complete mystical experiences are different, then I’m going to assert that complete football experiences (CFEs) are a transcendent way to experience the game of football that is wholly different from simply watching the sport, based on the criteria I outlined earlier.

    “I’m not sure why this is met with so much resistance except for the fact that most people here, if not all the participants haven’t had such an experience, and so that’s why they’re having a hard time to grasp this stuff.”

    It’s because having an experience on mind-altering drugs doesn’t tell you anything about the ground of all being or the inter-connectedness of all things or anything like that. This really isn’t difficult.

    “However, if religious people were to accept what this scientific research has established, it would ultimately harmonize the major religions, and by extension humanity itself.”

    Can’t wait until you start telling Southern Baptists that their religion can be harmonized with every other on the planet. Good luck.

    “Sure, seems like a tall order, but it’s no taller an order than what the Atheist Plus movement wants to do which is to rid religion from the face of the planet. That’s not feasible at all.”

    This is a total non sequitur that borders on the tu quoque fallacy: “Sure, my goal seems unattainable, but random goal ‘x’ of other group ‘Y’ is too…”

    You know, it’s almost kind of fun engaging with your complete and utter failure to assemble a coherent argument! Thanks!

  105. EnlightenmentLiberal says

    I’m not asking anyone to do this.

    Well, I did ask Matt if he’d volunteer in one of these studies […]

  106. says

    @Chikoppi

    “Matt tried to argue something like this in my call to him, but I believe it’s missing the point.”

    It isn’t. “I don’t think you could…” is the argument from incredulity.

    Would you care to elaborate, then? I’ll point out another instance that’s similar that Matt brought up in my most recent call to him, he said, “If I have a perception of being outside of space and time, am I right?” However, you see, of course, of course these professionals are not talking about their volunteers literally transcending space and time. This is merely the universally imported phenomenality of the “complete” mystical experience, he’d be right in the sense that he’s reporting a particular characteristic of a phenomenon that is experienced by all people who have the “complete” mystical experience. This is something you also potentially could undergo yourself, and this is why the professionals emphasize the Perennial philosophy. God has always come through a revelation in consciousness, it was within Henosis that Plotinus realized what he called “The One,” or what Muhammad called the Tawhid, or Jesus whether you believe he was a real person or not, “The Father” was how early Christian mystics referred to this experience also known as Theoria or the Beatific vision, Gautama said “nirvana,” etc. The implication of this research is that all these terms are all metaphors for the experience of mystical enlightenment. But while mystical experience appears to have been the genesis of all the major religions, and their vital center or essence, mysticism, itself, is not a religion.

    “I would not equate a “complete” mystical experience to a dream or even a lucid dream at that.”

    I didn’t say it was a dream. Dreams are an illustration that the brain is capable of inventing wholly fictional subjective experiences.

    Sure, I agree with that, but that’s a false analogy as a “complete” mystical experience is not a dream. You’re overlooking the noetic quality that is intrinsic to the “complete” mystical experience.

    “I’d also add that if you’re saying that “subjective impressions” are not valid evidence of external reality, then you may as well add there in your own subjective experience while you’re in an ordinary state of consciousness, too.”

    Absolutely. Even when in normative function our brains can, and do, interpret stimuli incorrectly. Interupting normal brain function can, and reliably does under experimental conditions, produce pronounced hallucinatory sensations.

    Then, you’ve just pointed out how this criticism is irrelevant, then. Why even ask if it points to something “outside in the external reality”? In other words, God is not something you look for out there, something in the sky, all the great mystics, if you were to ask them “Where’s God?” They’ll point within you, not up in the clouds.

    “You seem to be under the impression that it’s solely chemical-induced, and that wasn’t necessarily the finding of the research. What they’ve found is that psilocybin can occasion at high probability rates mystical experiences that appear virtually identical to those naturally occurring mystical experiences reported by mystics throughout the ages.”

    That subjects report subjective “experiences that appear virtually identical” to other subjective “experiences reported by mystics” in no way contradicts chemical inducement. Humans share a common brain structure and if the neurological disruption caused by a chemical (or any other means) is consistent then subjects would very likely report similar sensations.

    Sure, but you’re still clinging to a reductionist explanation and ignoring the fact that the experience is not to be found within the drug, but the human mind itself.

    “I’m not sure why this is met with so much resistance…”

    Because the conclusions you seek to draw are very clearly unwarranted and unsupported by evidence.

    You do realize I’m reiterating what this scientific research has established over decades of research going back to the work of William James in the early 1900s, correct? I don’t think you realize that. These aren’t “my conclusions.” This is what’s been established over decades of scientific research into investigating these mystical states of consciousness.

    “However, if religious people were to accept…”

    Argument from consequence.

    You might want to explain how you’re using these fallacies, because you’re making baseless accusations without backing your criticism up.

  107. t90bb says

    kafei is attch’d to his belief….its part of his identity. It would be damn near impossible for him to recognize his conclusions are irrational unless he has a CRE…..A Complete Rational experience….

    you get one of these by sitting on a 10 by 8 toy…..if you never done it, then you cannot have one.

    Kafei….do you want to have a CRE???

  108. t90bb says

    that’s about 500 posts from kafei…..and I doubt he has moved the needle for a single member on the board……and of course like all delusional people…….HE IS CONVINCED WE DONT GET IT lol……..

    I am grateful I am not him…..I think ill put him back on block…..that is all

  109. says

    @EnlightenmentLiberal Allow me to rephrase, I’m not telling anyone to do this. I’m not commanding it. Sure, I asked Matt if he’d be interested, but asking is not the same as telling people to take psychedelics, and that was your original charge at me.

    @Wiggle Puppy

    Once again, you have merely asserted this, not demonstrated it.

    Well, if Chikoppi can assert criticisms without demonstrating them, then I could do the same with this assertion. No, I’m joking, man. XD Why aren’t CMEs dreams or lucid dreams? Do I really have to demonstrate that? These are definitely two different phenomena. If you were to ask Dr. Roland Griffiths, is a “complete” mystical experience anything like a dream? He’d respond with a resounding “no.” The content of a dream is usually quite personal, it’s related usually to the residue of what you’ve experienced throughout the day or sometimes it’s based on something you’ve experienced in the past, etc. The content of a “complete” mystical experience has absolutely nothing to do with your personal history. That’s one distinction there that would separate dreams from a “complete” mystical experience. Tracie actually asked this question to Mitchell Diamond of how do dreams relate to mystical experience? He couldn’t answer it. It’s definitely not an easy question to answer, but he did imply that they are definitely not the same thing.

    “and I’d also add that if you’re saying that “subjective impressions” are not valid evidence of external reality, then you may as well add there in your own subjective experience while you’re in an ordinary state of consciousness, too.”

    Nope, because I can verify my subjective experience in an ordinary state of consciousness with testability and repeatability, second-party verification, and the other tools that let us confirm that our subjective perception of the external world is accurate. I can do this neither for my own dreams nor this mystical experience you’re talking about. And if you’re just going to just assert that dreams and complete mystical experiences are different, then I’m going to assert that complete football experiences (CFEs) are a transcendent way to experience the game of football that is wholly different from simply watching the sport, based on the criteria I outlined earlier.

    Well, you say nope, Chikoppi agreed. Who’s right? You are Chikoppi. I actually agree with Chikoppi. Sure, you can repeatedly test things, but all you’re confirming is a consensus reality. We can repeatedly test CMEs, too, you know.

    “I’m not sure why this is met with so much resistance except for the fact that most people here, if not all the participants haven’t had such an experience, and so that’s why they’re having a hard time to grasp this stuff.”

    It’s because having an experience on mind-altering drugs doesn’t tell you anything about the ground of all being or the inter-connectedness of all things or anything like that. This really isn’t difficult.

    I disagree. What I’m at great pains to express to you here is that if you were to have this experience, Paul Tillich’s “Ground of Being” metaphor would then make perfect sense to you, because it’s a metaphor born out of the experience. I even heard Michael Pollan use it, perhaps not even aware of of Tillich’s usage, it just came out. Why? Because he had the experience.

    “However, if religious people were to accept what this scientific research has established, it would ultimately harmonize the major religions, and by extension humanity itself.”

    Can’t wait until you start telling Southern Baptists that their religion can be harmonized with every other on the planet. Good luck.

    Well, it’s better than what Matt suggests which is to completely rid of their religion. Good luck with that one.

    “Sure, seems like a tall order, but it’s no taller an order than what the Atheist Plus movement wants to do which is to rid religion from the face of the planet. That’s not feasible at all.”

    This is a total non sequitur that borders on the tu quoque fallacy: “Sure, my goal seems unattainable, but random goal ‘x’ of other group ‘Y’ is too…”

    I disagree. I believe harmonizing the world’s religion is much more attainable than ridding all religion from the face of the planet. I’d definitely argue with you on this point.

    You know, it’s almost kind of fun engaging with your complete and utter failure to assemble a coherent argument! Thanks!

    I could definitely say the same to you. You’re welcome.

  110. EnlightenmentLiberal says

    @EnlightenmentLiberal Allow me to rephrase, I’m not telling anyone to do this. I’m not commanding it. Sure, I asked Matt if he’d be interested, but asking is not the same as telling people to take psychedelics, and that was your original charge at me.

    Fuck you.

  111. t90bb says

    125….kafei……go cry to your magic genie of perennial philosophy…lol……EL has caught you in lie after lie…….time for you to dope up on psychedelics lol…

  112. Chikoppi says

    “Would you care to elaborate, then?”

    Context: ““Well, what this experience is, is a fundamental transformation of perception wherein which one’s ego dissolves temporarily, but completely, and what’s left is a sense of unity with the totality of nature. I don’t think you could have that perception if there were no external reality.

    Fallacy: https://rationalwiki.org/wiki/Argument_from_incredulity

    “However, you see, of course, of course these professionals are not talking about their volunteers literally transcending space and time. This is merely the universally imported phenomenality…”

    Correct. The fact that I might induce such a subjective experience does not provide evidence of anything outside the subjective experience itself. Full stop.

    “Sure, I agree with that, but that’s a false analogy as a “complete” mystical experience is not a dream. You’re overlooking the noetic quality that is intrinsic to the “complete” mystical experience.”

    It is not an analogy. Re-read the prior post.

    Describing an induced experience doesn’t exempt it from being merely a subjective impression of abnormal brain function. I’m not overlooking anything.

    “Why even ask if it points to something “outside in the external reality”?”

    Because claim you are making is about objective reality.

    “Sure, but you’re still clinging to a reductionist explanation and ignoring the fact that the experience is not to be found within the drug, but the human mind itself.”

    FFS – “drugs” don’t have experiences. The reported subjective experience is caused by the chemical interacting with the brain and altering normative function. The “experience” doesn’t “exist” anywhere, it is something the brain does under particular conditions.

    “You do realize I’m reiterating what this scientific research has established over decades of research going back to the work of William James in the early 1900s, correct?”

    As you noted yourself above, having 1) a subjective experience of a thing and 2) that thing experienced being objectively true, are two separate propositions – requiring two different standards of evidence.

    Each time you are asked for evidence of #2 you reiterate evidence for #1. The “research” does not support the claim you think it supports.

    “You might want to explain how you’re using these fallacies, because you’re making baseless accusations without backing your criticism up.”

    No, I’m telling you why I don’t find your particular arguments persuasive. I don’t owe you further explanation or conversation.

    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Appeal_to_consequences

    “Well, if Chikoppi can assert criticisms without demonstrating them, then I could do the same with this assertion.”

    You could, but as you are making the claim you have the burden of proof. So far your arguments have been devoid of meaningful substance, so you might as well resort to baseless assertions – it would be no less effective.

  113. says

    @EL You know there’s a block function, right? There’s no reason to go all Antonio Banderas on me now.

    @t90bb, EL claimed I was telling people to take psychedelics. I’ve done such thing. Even when EL went to grab what he thought were examples, no example of his showed that I was “telling people” to take psychedelics. Yes, I’ve suggested it as something that would challenge their atheism if they were to do it, however that’s not the same as telling people to go take psychedelics. I’d never do that, and I believe it would be irresponsible to do that. If someone came to me here and said, “Kafei, I’m interested.” I’d offer advice, but I would never tell anyone to go out and take a high dose of psychedelics. It’s something that someone really has to consider, these are life-changing experiences. Michael Pollan has been asked, “Should I try this?” by people who’ve read his book, and I’m in complete agreement with how he answers that question.

  114. says

    @Chikoppi

    “Why even ask if it points to something “outside in the external reality”?”

    Because claim you are making is about objective reality.

    Sure, but it’s not as though this experience reveals a God entity that’s out there in objective reality. The Hindus call this experience non-duality, it is a break between the subject-object dichotomy we experience in our everyday waking consciousness such that this boundary completely dissolves, and you cannot tell where you end and the rest of the universe begins. This is why it’s considered a pure perception of unity, there is no ego there that can distinguish its skin-encapsulated body from the rest of the universe. You see, the mystic perceives all things as one, all men as his brothers, all creatures as his fellows and all matter holy. Mystics who have the wisdom that God is 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.

    That’s the claim these researchers are making, that’s how they find these mystical states of consciousness consistent with the Perennial philosophy. They’re saying that all the great mystics of the past have pointed to a revelation in consciousness in which the divine is directly intuited.

    Each time you are asked for evidence of #2 you reiterate evidence for #1. The “research” does not support the claim you think it supports.

    Once again, I’m saying anything other than what’s been established in this research. What is it that you think that I’m saying that is different than what’s been explained in the research?

  115. Chikoppi says

    “Sure, but it’s not as though this experience reveals a God entity that’s out there in objective reality.”

    Followed directly by…

    “Mystics who have the wisdom that God is 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.”

    Which is it? Is you claim that this “God” is merely nomenclature attached to a particular subjective experience or that there is actually an entity, “God,” that exists independent of subjective experience?

    If “God” is intended merely transitive nomenclature then there is no revelation.

    If “God” is intended as an independent entity then there is no evidence.

    “What is it that you think that I’m saying that is different than what’s been explained in the research?”

    We’re about to find out…

  116. says

    @Chikoppi

    “Sure, but it’s not as though this experience reveals a God entity that’s out there in objective reality.”

    Followed directly by…

    “Mystics who have the wisdom that God is 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.”

    I’ll point out there that “God” and “God entity” are being used quite differently.

    Which is it? Is you claim that this “God” is merely nomenclature attached to a particular subjective experience or that there is actually an entity, “God,” that exists independent of subjective experience?

    This is actually a more complicated question that you might think. It’s even separated in religious vocabularies found in all the scriptures of the major religions. I’ll offer some examples. I’ve already spoken about non-duality of eastern philosophy, however this concept is also found in Greek and Christian mysticism. I want to make clear that I’m not calling the CME (“complete” mystical experience) itself God, rather the CME is a fundamental transformation of perception wherein which all is perceived as one, God is in all from that vantage point. So, the way the Christian mystics put it is in the Trinity where “The Son” is the conduit, basically every man and woman, who receives insight to “The Father” which is basically all that ever was, and can ever be via the “Holy Spirit” which is the Christian term for the “complete” mystical experience. The Hindus also have very similar terms to refer to this in that the Hindu who attains “samadhi” (the mystical experience) glimpses what they call Brahman. Brahman is quite synonymous to how Christians are using the term “The Father.” The Father doesn’t refer to some kind of paternalistic supernatural God entity as many naïve people seem to think, religious or otherwise, but rather refers to a philosophical Absolute, and all the major religions at their core have used these terms in this fashion. Plotinus called it “The One,” but make no mistake, “The One” is absolutely synonymous with how Hindus use the term “Brahman” or the panentheistic description of the divine à la Spinoza (not to be confused with pantheism) which even Albert Einstein himself accepted.

    If “God” is intended merely transitive nomenclature then there is no revelation.

    Of course, not. There is nothing that you know about God that is God. There is no idea of God that you can entertain that is God. There is no possible thought that you can have about God that is God. It makes no difference what your idea may be or what your concept may be, it remains an idea or a concept, and an idea or a concept is not God. And so every person must eventually realize that he has to rise above all his concepts of God before he can have an experience of God.

    If “God” is intended as an independent entity then there is no evidence.

    I agree, but this is not what God ever meant at the very core of these major religions, that’s why the Perennial philosophy emphasizes exegesis and hermeneutics to actually ascertain what the original vocabulary meant when it was coined.

    “What is it that you think that I’m saying that is different than what’s been explained in the research?”

    We’re about to find out…

    I still would have appreciated it an answer. Perhaps I should ask again. What is it that you think I’m saying that is different than what’s been explained in the research?

  117. EnlightenmentLiberal says

    I have been unfailingly polite, and you’ve been nothing but rude.

    I don’t care if you are polite while you repeatedly lie to my face about facts that are blindingly obvious and undeniable. It’s quite possible to be exceptionally rude while using the most polite of language, and that’s what you’re doing right now. I have no moral obligation to be polite to someone as rude as you.

    Also, I was exceptionally polite to you for hundreds of posts in prior threads. I even asked other people to more polite with you. I regret that now.

    Also, tone trolling.

    Even now, you’re doubling down on your incredibly obvious lies via obfuscation and semantic word games. No one here is going to care about your word games about whether you “enticed” or “asked” or “told” or “demanded” and the subtle variations. You started out with the claim that you never enticed. That’s a lie. You then moved to the word “ask”, and that’s still a lie. Now you’ve moved the goalposts just far enough, but I’m not having any of it. You are a fucking asshat, and you deserve no respect, and you will get no respect from me, until you admit that you made a great error when you said that you never asked or enticed, and you admit that you were extremely negligent in making that great error, and you apologize for your error and negligence, and you promise to work on not doing something like that again.

  118. Chikoppi says

    @Kafei #131

    No. The positions are mutually exclusive. If one is true the other is false.

    1) “God” is a name for a particular sensation that a person might experience and no separate entity exists. (No revelation.)

    2) “God” is a separate entity that exists apart from subjective experience of it (No evidence.)

  119. says

    @EnlightenmentLiberal

    Even now, you’re doubling down on your incredibly obvious lies via obfuscation and semantic word games. No one here is going to care about your word games about whether you “enticed” or “asked” or “told” or “demanded” and the subtle variations. You started out with the claim that you never enticed. That’s a lie. You then moved to the word “ask”, and that’s still a lie. Now you’ve moved the goalposts just far enough, but I’m not having any of it. You are a fucking asshat, and you deserve no respect, and you will get no respect from me, until you admit that you made a great error when you said that you never asked or enticed, and you admit that you were extremely negligent in making that great error, and you apologize for your error and negligence, and you promise to work on not doing something like that again.

    You implied that I was telling people to take psychedelics. I’m not telling anyone here to do that. Yes, I’ve asked Matt Dillahunty if he’d be interested in volunteers at Johns Hopkins, but that’s quite different from telling him to go take psychedelics. I’m not attempting to entice anyone to it by emphasizing that it’s the one experience that would challenge their atheism, I say that in the very same fashion Joe Rogan has mentioned that. That’s very different from going around and commanding people to use psychedelics. I would never do that, and have never done that. And I don’t even know why you’re getting so worked up over this, people are doing to do what they want regardless of what I say. I don’t know how think you deserve apology, especially when you’ve been cursing at me in a similar fashion to the way Monocle Smile has. Are you going to apologize for any of that? I doubt it.

    @Chikoppi

    No. The positions are mutually exclusive. If one is true the other is false.

    Okay, but you still haven’t answered my question. What do you think I’m saying that is different than what the research I’ve been citing is saying?

    1) “God” is a name for a particular sensation that a person might experience and no separate entity exists. (No revelation.)

    We’re not simply talking about a particular sensation or “grand emotions.” We’re talking about a fundamental alteration of one’s perception, a metanoia, that’s why it’s considered a revelation of the divine, because there’s intuitive knowledge that is gained within the experience. William James called it the “noetic quality” of the mystical experience.

    2) “God” is a separate entity that exists apart from subjective experience of it (No evidence.)

    Sure, but this is precisely what Albert Einstein called the “childish analogy of religion.” The idea that God is something separate somewhere out there in the universe or outside of it, either way, he considered this a naïve interpretation of God.

  120. Chikoppi says

    “Okay, but you still haven’t answered my question. What do you think I’m saying that is different than what the research I’ve been citing is saying?”

    That’s what we’re establishing. So far you’ve not been able to answer a simple question directly enough to commit to a position.

    You response to position 1:

    “We’re not simply talking about a particular sensation or “grand emotions.” We’re talking about a fundamental alteration of one’s perception, a metanoia, that’s why it’s considered a revelation of the divine, because there’s intuitive knowledge that is gained within the experience. William James called it the “noetic quality” of the mystical experience.”

    Your response to position 2:

    “Sure, but this is precisely what Albert Einstein called the “childish analogy of religion.” The idea that God is something separate somewhere out there in the universe or outside of it, either way, he considered this a naïve interpretation of God.”

    This is not an answer.

    It does not matter “what it is considered” or “what people call it.” You know quite well exactly which subjective experience is being referred to. It also does not matter what Einstein’s thoughts were. I am asking what YOUR thoughts are.

    I will restate the question, substituting the word “experience” for the word “sensation” to make it easier for you. Note that the second position does not stipulate a spatial dimension, so the reference is to ontological existence and Einstein need not be bothered.

    1) “God” is a name for a particular experience that a person might have and no separate entity exists. (No revelation.)

    2) “God” is a separate entity that exists apart from subjective experience of it (No evidence.)

  121. CompulsoryAccount7746, Sky Captain says

    Kafei #134:

    We’re talking about a fundamental alteration of one’s perception […] there’s intuitive knowledge that is gained within the experience.

     
    Kafei #98:

    God is pure truth, and pure truth by definition cannot be falsifiable.

     
    Comment: Axp 23.04 – Kafei #178

    I don’t think what’s going on is necessarily that the vision is giving the insight to the shaman of what’s happening
    […]
    It may be that these experience allow the shaman to be highly sensitive to empathy, and so can pick on certain cues

    Modifying perception to make supposedly more accurate guesses is not gaining knowledge or pure truth.

  122. says

    I think the overarching goal of Jimmy’s Patented Perennial Philosophy™️ is keep fucking talking, perenially, everywhere, regardless of the responses received and welcomes worn out, propagating throughout all comment threads until his mystical magic mushroom godspam is one with the Internet.

  123. AtheistNotAgnostic says

    @Hank #137
    You’re not wrong. This dude is EVERYWHERE. You can’t go to an atheist/skeptic channel’s live stream without him stopping by to sealion. Also, speaking of sealioning…
    @Jimmy #125
    Please tell me you intentionally copied the language from the Wondermark Sea Lion cartoon (google it) that indianajones brought up in #70 just to fuck with us. If that wasn’t intentional I might have a stroke from laughter.

  124. says

    @ANA
    Ubiquitous, like Markuze/Mabus used to be. I must say, the differences between his unhinged spam and Jimmy’s Cerebral Masturbation Experiences™️ are mostly stylistic. The volume’s about the same and the content isn’t any less desperate.

  125. buddyward says

    @ AtheistNotAgnostic #139

    You’re not wrong. This dude is EVERYWHERE. You can’t go to an atheist/skeptic channel’s live stream without him stopping by to sealion. Also, speaking of sealioning…

    Classic case of attention whoring. He does not get enough attention on any single site that he has to expand. It does not matter to Kafei whether he is lying, presenting fallacious arguments or demonstrating ignorance on basic logic, as long as he gets attention he will keep on talking and arguing.

  126. says

    My basic objection to Tripping Balls God: the inability to discern being fucked-up from actually experiencing the supernatural/mystical.

    Because if you’re really experiencing Grud while tripping balls, the fact that you’re tripping balls reduces your ability to accurately perceive and verify your experience. An insurmountable problem imho.

    And even if somehow you can verify it to yourself, your trip does nothing for anyone else, no matter how many thousand-word comments you spooge.

    Also, what happens if two ball-trippers have – sorry, *report* – completely different/contradictory experiences of Grud? It’s no different to a religious schism, with neither party having justification to claim their experience as true, real, reliable, etc.

    I’ve taken drugs by myself and with others. All the drugs. Nothing shows the problem of claiming a Truth Trip like seeing mushrooms dancing on the ceiling while lying next to someone who swears they’re lemons, then coming down several hours later and talking to someone who says the real action was on the carpet with the Lego circus.

  127. buddyward says

    @Hank #142

    Kafei’s response to that would be that you did not take enough dosage. You will need a “heroic” dose in order to achieve CME at the same time he is denying that he does not tell people to take drugs.

  128. says

    Jimmy’s response, in that case, would be like many of his others: missing the fucking point.

    Increasing the amount of hallucinogen increases the effect, and therefore decreases the reliability of your perception. There is literally no way to tell a “real” drug-induced mystical experience from a drug-induced hallucination of a mystical experience, and saying that it felt Really Fuckin’ Real only tells me that the drugs did their job.

    But even if an epic trip did get me to Happy Magic Land, I can’t convince anyone else I was there, and their skepticism would be justified.

    Finally, and this is important: show me a mystical experience without drugs. A real, verifiable, repeatable and definitely mystical experience (defining “mystical” beforehand) without interacting with substances which are known to cause hallucinations (that’s why people take them). Is it possible? How does one achieve it? And even without drugs, how do we know it’s legitimate?

    —-

    PS I can’t overstate this: insisting that taking loads of hallucinogens will give me a mystical experience undermines the claim that “mystical” experiences are real.

  129. buddyward says

    @ hank #144

    Finally, and this is important: show me a mystical experience without drugs. A real, verifiable, repeatable and definitely mystical experience (defining “mystical” beforehand) without interacting with substances which are known to cause hallucinations (that’s why people take them). Is it possible? How does one achieve it? And even without drugs, how do we know it’s legitimate?

    Be careful what you wish for. I see a future where you will be presented with a parade of YouTube links and document links that does not answer your question.

  130. CompulsoryAccount7746, Sky Captain says

    @Hank_Says #144:

    insisting that taking loads of hallucinogens will give me a mystical experience undermines the claim that “mystical” experiences are real

    The experiences are for sure real. *rolls eyes*
     
    Y’see, mystics everywhere throughout the ages *thought* they were getting viable information about reality via mind-altering practices. They founded a bunch of religions on the premise that that was truth. Mystics had lots of names for what they thought was happening to them. This is the one true theism. All other God models are dumb.
     

    how do we know it’s legitimate?

    No one can know. But those who dare (and do it in a way that gets this result) will feel really certain… about [something] they can’t even articulate. And that totally counts as knowing… whatever it was they thought they learned.
     
    A bunch of people in studies report feeling that way, just like the mystics did! (if you interpret scriptures in a way the fits) And that similarity proves the ancient origin hypotheses, ’cause they’re all [verbing] “God”.
     
    But whatever YOU think “God” means… is dumb. If you even attempt words, you’re doing it wrong. Is “God” a nickname for a mystic’s temporary state of mind? Wrong. Does “God” exist at times when no humans are gettin’ mystical? Wrong. Atheism is dumb because it’s a reaction to the dumb gods. This is called “God” and fits scriptures, so this is theism. And the major religions would be harmonized if they’d simply accept that they’ve got their gods wrong.
     
    But also (repeatedly referenced in passing but never spelled out):
    Cambridge Platonists and Perrenial Philosophy.

  131. jacobfromlost says

    Again, just skimming the discussion. One mystical experience I had without drugs or supernatural beliefs was when I was 12 or 13. In this context, no one hear will probably believe this, lol, but I was watching football. I must have been sitting for 3 or 4 hours. The house was getting a bit cold, so I got up and ran down the hall to turn up the thermostat. I started to see stars, so I just stood still to wait for my head to clear. Suddenly I was in this warm, loving place of white light where football was being played. I could hear announcers, plays, etc., and it was all transcendentally wonderful in a way I can’t describe…until I slowly realized it was audio from the tv. Why was there a tv in this place? No. The tv wasn’t THERE. The tv was HERE. It was the family tv. In the living room. I wasn’t in some different place, but still at home. I was laying face down in the hall, my cheek on carpeting. When I passed out, my glasses had flown off and were at the end of the hallway.

    I really felt stupid. But the experience was transcendent and mystical by any definition…just from a lack of oxygen to the brain.

  132. says

    Clearly you had a Complete Football Experience as a result of a lack of blood flow to the head, and anyone who’s skeptical is just closed-minded and dogmatic and not sufficiently perennial, or a cricketer.

  133. nemoeac says

    I just finished listening to this episode and I was so extremely frustrated by the way that Tracie shut down the double slit caller that I was shouting at the radio…

    Here’s what bothered me about it:
    Tracie cut him off before he could even make his assertion – so we don’t know what he was going to say – but that bothers me less than her reasoning that the physicists themselves are the only ones qualified of drawing conclusions from the results – and further – that anything important would be included in the conclusions. That is absolutely not true and not at all a valid assertion!!! Any halfway intelligent layperson could/should be easily able to take the results of the experiment as published by the physicists and apply that new knowledge to any number of scenarios that the scientists themselves don’t care about and didn’t feel the need to think about or even include in their write up. Her implication that the “conclusions” published by the Scientists and their peers are comprehensive and the only valid conclusions possible are simply ridiculous. It’s equally wrong to assume that the caller should have contacted the physicists regarding how he used their results. Tracie seems to assume that he is about to contradict the science – but I don’t think he was. He was going to apply the new knowledge gained by the results of this experiment – in an way/application that was outside the bounds of what the scientists were testing for or cared about.

    Consider Tracies car analogy. If physicists developed a new transmission or a new fuel that allowed cars to travel 20% faster than they do now – any one of us can take and use that knowledge to extrapolate that the drive between Toronto and Detroit could now take an hour less than before! We don’t have to understand how the fuel works or any of the details of the science that was performed to make it possible – and we also don’t need the scientists to include in their official conclusions that the trip between Toronto and Detroit will now be able to completed in less time.

    For all we know – this is the way that the caller was going to use the findings of the double-slit experiment. Maybe he was going to bring up a valid point that we could debate here – or maybe he was going to say something stupid and Tracie could have shut him down on the air – but her response and dressing down of this individual seemed unwarranted. It sounded like one big “rebuttal from authority fallacy” to me and I hope Tracie will understand in the future that new findings and results published by science represent new knowledge for the human race and that there are a LOT of people (who are non-scientists) who will be able to take those findings and apply them in new ways and new products (and possibly even new philosophies) that the scientists who performed the experiment couldn’t ever have conceived of… and it’s not impossible that one of those people with fresh new insights might choose to call this atheist show – especially if the new knowledge leads them to come up with a new argument for or against the existence of a god. Isn’t this what we’ve been asking for? So when someone finally calls with something new to say – let’s hear them out…at least to the point at which they’ve made a clear logical error or put forth a blatant lie.

  134. says

    Maybe Tracie was a bit short with the guy, and maybe the guy was as uninformed about physics as he was about sexuality.

    Both can be true simultaneously, because we’re humans, not photons.

    Also, I take Tracie’s point: if you, a layperson, infers from a physics experiment that some kind of supernatural entity does exist, you’re not going to convince me that’s true, because my layperson’s grasp of the physics simply isn’t sufficient to evaluate your claim. All I can do is point you to the researchers’ conclusions, which don’t even address the question of deities, so I’m frankly baffled how you gleaned a “yes,” and to the broader field of physics and the other sciences, whose results thus far are inconclusive about the supernatural.

  135. says

    And by “inconclusive” I mean “science hasn’t ruled the supernatural out absolutely, but there’s been absolutely fuckity fuck all to justify ruling it in. At all.”

    Not to mention the lack of any cohesive and consistent definition of the supernatural. If wooists and used-god salesmen could decide amongst themselves what all their fuff is supposed to look like when it’s discovered, that might be a good starting point.

  136. RationalismRules says

    @nemoeac
    Tracie has already responded to several posts on this subject earlier in the thread. Look for posts from “Heicart”.

  137. CompulsoryAccount7746, Sky Captain says

    @nemoeac #150:

    it’s not impossible that one of those people with fresh new insights might choose to call this atheist show

    Such people would in no way act like that caller… assuming listening to a PopSci lecture each from Neil deGrasse Tyson and Sagan amounted to competence in Quantum Mechanics rivaling the authors who perform the experiments. The impulsive Dunning-Kruger of that guy is galling, to think physics is so shallow a field.
     

    Any halfway intelligent layperson could/should be easily able to take the results of the experiment as published by the physicists and apply that new knowledge to any number of scenarios

    Video: Leonard Susskind – Quantum Mechanics Lecture 4 (1:47:22)
     
    * No need to watch it all. Skip around for a taste of what a primer of QM math looks like. Later lectures cover collapse and entanglement. This is the language one uses to form expectations of what a measurement of a given property in a given scenario will turn out to be. Even here, the formulas are heavily abstracted from the low-level arithmetic one would ultimately expand into for calculating specific numbers.
     

    It sounded like one big “rebuttal from authority fallacy”

    It’s not a fallacy to defer to relevant a authority.
    It’s not a fallacy for an authority to dismiss something in an exercise of relevant expertise.
    It’s only a fallacy when an irrelevant title is used to gainsay.
     
     
    @Hank_Says #151:

    maybe the guy was as uninformed about physics as he was about sexuality.

    Ha!

  138. Wiggle Puppy says

    @ jacobfromlost #148:

    And Kafei had rudely dismissed the CFE as something I had made up on the spot. And I was so unfailing polite in trying to explain it…

  139. says

    >For all we know – this is the way that the caller was going to use the findings of the double-slit experiment. Maybe he was going to bring up a valid point that we could debate here

    Christ on a cracker. He made his point: Since observation changes the particle, it means the universe is being observed by god.

    As I noted earlier, someone at dinner gutted that by asking how the particle would change if it’s always observed–since god is constantly watching?

    The guy made his point. It was shit.

  140. says

    @Hank_Says

    I think the overarching goal of Jimmy’s Patented Perennial Philosophy™️ is keep fucking talking, perenially, everywhere, regardless of the responses received and welcomes worn out, propagating throughout all comment threads until his mystical magic mushroom godspam is one with the Internet.

    Damn. This is funny. So, what’s going on here? You guys are having a party without me? I suppose when you frequent the forums talking about this stuff for years, you can inspire humor like this. Someone I met at the Google+ threads created this one. Maybe you’ll like it. I thought it was pretty good. I believe I also inspired him to do this one as well. However, this one of Terence McKenna at the height of a breakthrough DMT experience takes the cake.

  141. says

    I really liked Terr’s call from PA. She asked Tracie, “How do you know there’s not a higher power?” Tracie honestly answered that she doesn’t know. When you find yourself practicing spiritual disciplines like meditation, you often can invoke experiences like this. Hank asked:

    “Finally, and this is important: show me a mystical experience without drugs. A real, verifiable, repeatable and definitely mystical experience (defining “mystical” beforehand) without interacting with substances which are known to cause hallucinations (that’s why people take them). Is it possible? How does one achieve it? And even without drugs, how do we know it’s legitimate?”

    Yes, there’s many ways to facilitate this experience. Google “Causes of religious experience,” there’s a very interesting Wiki article that will pop up, click “Jump to causes of religious experience,” it should be one of the first links that populates your search. You’ll find numerous ways to induce such religious experience via spiritual disciplines. Or you can even search Google scholar for the studies done on the Tibetan monks with EEG or the Carmelite nuns that also practice these meditative techniques and were studied with fMRI.

    What you find invariably from all these techniques are simply ways to silence the chatter of the mind, to completely yet temporarily silence the ego, and if you can manage to do that, you can experience something far greater than yourself, and all the great mystics have pointed to this experience. I mean, there’s lots of great minds who’ve spoken to this, even contemporary ones like Alan Watts, Shunyamurti (Sat Yoga Institute), Adyashanti, Ramana Maharshi, but three I wanted to emphasize that could probably express it better than I are Sadhguru, Osho, and Ramesh Balsekar.

    @jacobfromlost

    Again, just skimming the discussion. One mystical experience I had without drugs or supernatural beliefs was when I was 12 or 13. In this context, no one hear will probably believe this, lol, but I was watching football. I must have been sitting for 3 or 4 hours. The house was getting a bit cold, so I got up and ran down the hall to turn up the thermostat. I started to see stars, so I just stood still to wait for my head to clear. Suddenly I was in this warm, loving place of white light where football was being played. I could hear announcers, plays, etc., and it was all transcendentally wonderful in a way I can’t describe…until I slowly realized it was audio from the tv. Why was there a tv in this place? No. The tv wasn’t THERE. The tv was HERE. It was the family tv. In the living room. I wasn’t in some different place, but still at home. I was laying face down in the hall, my cheek on carpeting. When I passed out, my glasses had flown off and were at the end of the hallway.

    I really felt stupid. But the experience was transcendent and mystical by any definition…just from a lack of oxygen to the brain.

    That’s very interesting, and you didn’t say much about it, but have you considered perhaps what you experienced was the phenomena that arises in hypnagogia or hypnopompia? After all, you said you found yourself lying on the carpet. You see, a CME has nothing to do with the personal history of an individual, it’s nothing to do with with anything you might know of, like football, hockey, whatever. The content of a CME has nothing to do with the personal history of a human being. That’s why I dissociate it with Wiggly Puppy’s acronym.

  142. Chikoppi says

    “What you find invariably from all these techniques are simply ways to silence the chatter of the mind, to completely yet temporarily silence the ego, and if you can manage to do that, you can experience something far greater than yourself, and all the great mystics have pointed to this experience.”

    “You can experience…someTHING far greater THAN yourSELF…”

    You are still equivocating.

    1) “THING” is a name for a particular experience that a person might have and no separate entity exists. (No revelation.)

    2) “THING” is a separate entity that exists apart from subjective experience of it (No evidence.)

    If your position is that an experience of selflessness can be induced (#1), then that position is wholly consistent with neuroscience. Experiencing this state of mind may provide a subject with a different perspective that allows mental concepts to be recontextualized and reconsidered. It is not, however, evidence of some external agency or entity (#2), but merely the subjective experience of abnormal brain function.

    Here is an article about the neurological underpinnings of the subjective experience of self, and the practical benefits of examining that experience, written in a style friendly to traditions such as Buddhism and mysticism.

    https://www.rickhanson.net/the-neurology-of-awareness-and-self-darwinian-and-nondual-perspectives-and-tools-for-transcendence-of-the-self/

    If you can’t commit to a position on this issue than you need to stop badgering others, because you are merely expounding on your own confusion.

  143. says

    @Chikoppi You may be too obsessive over the semantics. You see, even from the paper you cited, there’s the quote at the start of Part Two: Nondual Perspectives on Awareness which says, “Consciousness, or awareness, and its object are one.” – Stephen Bodian

    I’ve addressed this when I mentioned non-duality initially. I’ve mentioned that the core aspect of these type of experiences is a sense of unity, but we’re not just talking about some emotional connection to the universe, but rather a very literal impression in consciousness wherein which the subject-object dichotomy is completely dissolved. That is to say the subject of experience, and the objects being experienced, the boundary between these two is dissolve in such a fashion that all that’s left in awareness is a complete unicity. Dr. Bill Richards is fond of mentioning the metaphor of the Hindu drop of water into the ocean of Brahman. That is to say, the drop representing the individual’s ego merges with the ocean upon falling or dissolving into it, so that you can no longer tell the drop from the ocean.

    I’ve taken a couple of excerpts from Wilber’s “Up from Eden” that also elaborate on this:

    According to the perennial philosophy, then, one’s real self or Buddha Nature is not everlasting and death-defying; it is rather timeless and transcendent. Liberation does not mean going on forever and forever and forever in some sort of gold-embossed heaven. It means a direct and immediate apprehension of the spaceless and timeless Ground of Being. This apprehension does not show a person that he is immortal — which he plainly is not. Rather, it shows him that where his psyche touches and intersects the timeless Source, he ultimately is all of a piece with the universe — so intimately, in fact, that at that level he is the universe. When a person rediscovers that his deepest Nature is one with All, he is relieved of the burdens of time, of anxiety, of worry; he is released from the chains of alienation and separate-self existence. Seeing that self and other are one, he is released from the fear of life; seeing that being and non-being are one, he is delivered from fear of death.

    Thus, when one rediscovers the ultimate Wholeness, one transcends — but does not obliterate — every imaginable sort of boundary, and therefore transcends all types of battles. It is a conflict-free awareness, whole, blissful. But this does not mean that one loses all egoic consciousness, all temporal awareness, that one goes into blank trance, suspends all critical faculties and wallows in oceanic mush. It simply means that one rediscovers the background of egoic consciousness. One is aware of the integral Wholeness and of the explicit ego. Wholeness is not the opposite of egoic individuality, it is simply its Ground, and the discovery of the ground does not annihilate the figure of the ego. On the contrary, it simply reconnects it with the rest of nature, cosmos, and divinity. this is not an everlasting state, but a timeless state. With this realization, one does not gain everlasting life in time, but discovers that which is prior to time.

    In meditation, when you’re able to complete quiet the mind in mental silence, then consciousness sits there as a node not separate from the rest of the universe, but there’s a sense of temporarily merging with it in such a way that you cannot identify yourself from the rest of it, all of it seems to be yourself. And Hindus have called that the Self with a capital S. This is why all the talk of “oneness” and “harmony of the universe,” etc. Alan Watts would say of the experience that from that vantage point, there’s not a single spec of dust that’s out of place. That is what they refer to as the revelation or “enlightenment.”

    And so when someone returns from that colossal state of consciousness to this ordinary egoic state of consciousness, they often feel reborn, spiritually revitalized, as though they had just experienced a death, and humbly were given an opportunity to live once again.

    That’s why this experience is rare, because it requires a kind of death. I want to take one more excerpt from that same book of Wilber’s:

    Yet notice immediately that men and women are faced with a truly fundamental dilemma: above all else, each person wants true transcendence, Atman consciousness, and the ultimate Whole; but, above all else, each person fears the loss of the separate self, the “death” of the isolated ego. All a person wants is Wholeness, but all he does is fear and resist it (since that would entail the “death” of his separate self). And there is the dilemma, the double bind in the face of eternity.

    Because man wants real transcendence above all else, but because he will not accept the necessary death of his separate-self sense, he goes about seeking transcendence in ways that actually prevent it and force symbolic substitutes. And these substitutes come in all varieties: sex, food, money, fame, knowledge, power — are all ultimately substitute gratifications, simple substitutes for true release in Wholeness. This is why human desire is insatiable, why all joys yearn for infinity — all a person wants is Atman; all he finds are symbolic substitutes for it.

    The fear of dying is what keeps people from having this experience, because an ego death is a sort of temporary death of the egoic sense of yourself, and it can be quite scary. However, when it’s achieved, everyone at the core of their consciousness has this impression of being all that is, all that ever was, and all that will ever be. The totality of nature, not simply everything here now, but the entire gamut of permutations that could ever possibly manifest, and that perception throughout history has been given different names. The Hindus call it Brahman, the Buddhist call it nirvana, Christians call it Theoria or the Beatific vision, it’s called Fana or Tawhid in Islam, Plotinus referred to it as “the One,” etc., but these are all different ways of describing the fundamental nature of reality from the vantage point of these type of experiences.

    So, before you accuse me of confusion on these topics, you may want to consider that the two options you left may be loaded questions that are confused themselves. One of my favorite philosophers is Alan Watts, and he spoke of these things a great deal, and there’s definitely plenty of content of his talks online, but there’s these two clips in particular that you may find relevant.

  144. EnlightenmentLiberal says

    To CompulsoryAccount7746, Sky Captain
    Thanks for the links in 147. That explains Kafei’s likely position miles better than Kafei has managed to himself over thousands of posts. It was in the direction of what I thought – some peculiar form of idealism (the philosophy that the world is fundamentally composed of minds, to be contrasted with materialism and dualism).

  145. says

    So what I get when I ask you, Jimmy, how to confirm a genuine mystical experience is “google it” and “here is a list of names.”

    And you wonder why people just dismiss you. Thousand-word posts and all you do is fucking repeat yourself.

    I know that people have experiences that they call religious and mystical. I want to know if it is indeed the case that they do, and how that can be confirmed. I want to know if they’re really communing with something supernatural, or if it’s just psychology and biology. Saying “google it” and “here are some people” is a bullshit evasion of the question.

    – are the experiences people label religious genuine?
    – how do we know?

  146. Chikoppi says

    “You may be too obsessive over the semantics.”

    You may be too eager to abuse them.

    I have no use for copious paragraphs of mystical prose that serves to obscure linguistic meaning. Please learn to be succinct and stop referring me to other sources rather than answering directly.

    Case in point, the quoted phrase you bolded: “Rather, it shows him that where his psyche touches and intersects the timeless Source, he ultimately is all of a piece with the universe — so intimately, in fact, that at that level he is the universe.”

    How emotionally poetic…yet functionally useless.

    The “sense of self” is a subjective experience generated by processes occurring in the brain. Disrupting those processes can alter the experience of self in ways that are either discreet or profound. Losing awareness of the distinction of between internal and external experience or bodily boundaries is certainly an atypical experience.

    This is the uncontroversial first position (P1), articulated in my previous post.

    Yet again, when asked to clarify your position with respect to P2 you responded by reiterating evidence for P1.

    Given that you provided no evidence for P2, we are left with the conclusion that P1 is your position and that you do not claim some external revelation – rather, that the chemically induced subjective experience, though perhaps emotionally profound, is wholly attributable to altered brain function.

    “So, before you accuse me of confusion on these topics, you may want to consider that the two options you left may be loaded questions that are confused themselves.”

    Nope. I defined the terms clearly and didn’t obscure meaning behind an indulgence of needless poetic rhetoric. If you want to define terms in some other way you are free to do so, but you’ll need to provide evidence for any entity you attempt to define into existence – so far you’ve frantically danced around that task.

  147. Galaxy Pig says

    Hey, can Tracy or some of the oldschool folks help me out? I’m finding myself having to prove to some internet hippies that you have to be an Atheist to be an ACA member. I know I’ve heard you guys say it in multiple episodes, but I’m not about to dig through all those old episodes. Can someone at least confirm for me that it used to be tha case? I understand if things have changed, but you guys used to say it on air that ACA membership requires atheism.

    THANKS A LOT!

  148. Ronald Kyle says

    @#160 Kafei says

    The fear of dying is what keeps people…

    “A coward dies a thousand times before his death, but the valiant taste of death but once.” ― William Shakespeare
     

    The totality of nature, not simply everything here now, but the entire gamut of permutations that could ever possibly manifest….

    Gobbledygook and claptrap syntactic contortions and linguistic legerdemain.
     

    …The Hindus call it Brahman, the Buddhist call it nirvana, Christians call it Theoria or the Beatific vision, it’s called Fana or Tawhid in Islam, Plotinus referred to it as “the One,” etc., but these are all different ways of describing crap the fundamental nature of reality from the vantage point of these type of experiences>/del>

    “That which we call a piece of fetid crap by any other name would smell as mephitic.” ― William Shakespeare (slightly rephrased)

  149. Ronald Kyle says

    @Kafei
     
    Why you never answered my question @#60 in thread of episode 23.10

    And the more fascinating question is why would a flimflammer persist in repeatedly trying to swindle people on this forum when it is very evident that the marks he is trying to bamboozle are too skeptical to fall for his hucksterism???

    Why all this amazing effort that is clearly not getting you any results other than proving that you are a tenacious charlatan with no shame at all.
     

    “Pause awhile, And let my counsel sway you in regards to your much ado about nothing. Your foul words is but foul wind, and foul wind is but foul breath, and foul breath is noisome; hence I pray thee piss off. I beseech thee no more crap, sigh no more, thou art as men who are deceivers ever. I pray thee, cease thy claptrap, which falls into men’s ears as profitless as water in a sieve” ― William Shakespeare (slightly rephrased)

  150. says

    Interesting to see that Jimmy, with all the time to be clear and succinct that is afforded by a blog thread, dances around making an actual point or answering clear questions even more than when he’s on the phone annoying Matt.

    Perhaps Perennial Philosophy is simply the idea that if you artificially & indefinitely extend a discussion beyond the point of usefulness, you’ll never be proven wrong.

  151. AtheistNotAgnostic says

    Does anybody else here think Jimmy sounds a lot like the nut over at Spirit Science? This poetic woo is so goopy and without substance that it’s seeping through the floor.

    “Rather, it shows him that where his psyche touches and intersects the timeless Source, he ultimately is all of a piece with the universe — so intimately, in fact, that at that level he is the universe”

    Seriously dude, if you think this shit means anything you have no clue what nonsense is. I have no idea what any of this means, and I think that’s by design.

  152. says

    I realise that being less irritating than Sye is a low bar to vault, and that it doesn’t even qualify as a compliment, but partial credit where it’s due.

  153. EnlightenmentLiberal says

    I’d think I’d rather take Sye. IMHO, at least Sye can communicate clearly.

  154. says

    @Hank_says

    Interesting to see that Jimmy, with all the time to be clear and succinct that is afforded by a blog thread, dances around making an actual point or answering clear questions even more than when he’s on the phone annoying Matt.

    Perhaps Perennial Philosophy is simply the idea that if you artificially & indefinitely extend a discussion beyond the point of usefulness, you’ll never be proven wrong.

    Well, even the professionals point out the fact that these type of experiences are very difficult to speak on.

    So what I get when I ask you, Jimmy, how to confirm a genuine mystical experience is “google it” and “here is a list of names.”

    And you wonder why people just dismiss you. Thousand-word posts and all you do is fucking repeat yourself.

    I know that people have experiences that they call religious and mystical. I want to know if it is indeed the case that they do, and how that can be confirmed.

    Well, they’ve developed measures to gauge mystical experiences that were originally based in the work of William James, they have been further elaborated throughout the decades by the work of Walter T. Stace, Walter Pahnke, Ralph Hood, et al., and they’ve been most refined in the more modern research led by Dr. Roland Griffiths. If you’d like more details on how they gauge this experience, I recommend this lecture here. An important distinction to point out here is that no volunteer calls their experience a “mystical experience,” this is a misconception Matt Dillahunty held as well. Rather, to the degree the volunteer had a “complete” mystical experience will be assessed by professionals involved in this research.

    I want to know if they’re really communing with something supernatural, or if it’s just psychology and biology. Saying “google it” and “here are some people” is a bullshit evasion of the question.

    I’ve made this point before, but it’s important to repeat. It’s a flat-out mistake on behalf of the atheists I encounter to necessarily define God as something “supernatural.” 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.

    What these professionals emphasize is that these mystical experiences are biologically normal, that is to say we’re wired for such experiences, and they’ve been happening for millennia à la the Perennial philosophy.

  155. says

    @Hank_Says

    – are the experiences people label religious genuine?
    – how do we know?

    All of the great world religions have words that point toward this highly desired and valued state of spiritual awareness, such as samadhi in Hinduism, nirvana in Buddhism, sekhel mufla in Judaism, the beatific vision in Christianity, baqá wa faná in Islam, and wu wei in Taoism. It in religion, it’s regarded as “ultimate truth” or “ultimate reality.” William James emphasized the noetic quality that is intrinsic to this experience as the validating factor in this phenomenon in consciousness.

  156. Chikoppi says

    “Well, they’ve developed measures to gauge mystical experiences…

    Again, no one doubts people can have chemically induced subjective experiences. No one doubts that these subjective experiences might seem really super real for the subjects. No one doubts that that similar inducements can produce similar experiences among individuals.

    Do you have any substantive claim to make or are you merely stuck on repeating trivialities cloaked in a pall of laborious verbosity?

  157. says

    You are so fucking boring and repetitive it’s beyond a joke. I’m so over your mystical synonyms and your demands to read lists of fucking mystical muppets.

    And, no, I do not conjure my own conceptions of gods. I respond to those presented to me, and I ask for clarifications, and I ask for definitions so that I might understand. All you do – literally ALL YOU DO is scold others for not getting you after you refuse to clarify or define, instead preferring to post synonyms and lists of people that agree with you and repeat yourself.

    As an apologist, you’re worse than useless because at least an everyday apologist can tell me what they believe and WHY. All you do is
    make vague assertions and refuse to support them with anything more than more vague assertions. I have no more wish to engage. You are an intellectual black hole.

  158. CompulsoryAccount7746, Sky Captain says

    @Kafei #175:

    this experience as the validating factor

    Validation requires a transparent methodology. Otherwise, the process, and its results, are suspect. A black box that produces unshakable confidence in whatever it says is a non-starter.
     
    Faulty methodologies can produce results that are false or nonsense, accompanied by the feeling that the results are true.
     
    What are the steps involved in “validating” here?
     
    Producing the same result repeatedly is insufficient. (e.g., a consistently false or nonsense result that feels true)
     
    By what reasoning should anybody trust that methodology to produce accurate results?
     
    “The experience *makes* you trust it,” without elaboration of *how* is an inadequate response. If you want to use the word “noetic”, don’t. Instead, unpack what you *mean* by the word. If you cannot, your attempt to use the word would’ve been vacuous anyway. A “curious sense of authority” is inadequate. To say it IS truth, is begging the question.

  159. says

    Perennial Philosophy is about begging questions and never answering them, extending the discussion into the infinite. As long as the subject remains undefined and under discussion it can never be falsified. Great if you love the sound of your own voice or the sight of your keystrokes in a thread, fucking useless for anyone who’s interested in gaining information.

    I look forward to Jimmy derailing and ruining the next thread.

  160. says

    @Hank_Says

    You are so fucking boring and repetitive it’s beyond a joke. I’m so over your mystical synonyms and your demands to read lists of fucking mystical muppets.

    And, no, I do not conjure my own conceptions of gods. I respond to those presented to me, and I ask for clarifications, and I ask for definitions so that I might understand. All you do – literally ALL YOU DO is scold others for not getting you after you refuse to clarify or define, instead preferring to post synonyms and lists of people that agree with you and repeat yourself.

    What precisely do you need clarifying? If it’s the quality of the experience or the content, then I have attempted to describe that. If it’s coming across as “vague or misty,” I’d simply attribute that to the fact that you’ve not had this experience, and so there’s nowhere for you to draw upon to relate. That’s why it’s so difficult to explain it. You see, if you had, I wouldn’t have to explain the experience, and the only reason that becomes necessary is when someone hasn’t had that particular experience. These characteristics don’t say much, do they? I could offer you some of the volunteers’ descriptions, all of which don’t use the word “mystical” to describe it, but they’d probably be just as vague to you. “All time collapsing in the moment,” one of the six primary characteristics of this experience, is one thing to read on a screen, it’s quite something else to directly experience.

    As an apologist, you’re worse than useless because at least an everyday apologist can tell me what they believe and WHY. All you do is make vague assertions and refuse to support them with anything more than more vague assertions. I have no more wish to engage. You are an intellectual black hole.

    Fair enough. Although, I find it quite risible that you’d choose that metaphor. Terence McKenna said something like that once, that when you take psychedelics and you have this breakthrough experience, you become like a black hole in that information cannot escape you in the same way light cannot escape a black hole, and it certainly feels that way attempting to describe this stuff to a group of people who’ve never had any experience with this stuff. I mean, what I’m trying to say is that the reason all this is so confusing is because atheists have not had this experience, and don’t construe that as I’m telling you to go out and do this. That’s going to be on you. However, I will say that the research implicates that it is this phenomenon in consciousness which the major religions emphasize in scriptures found in all the world’s great faith traditions. What Perennial philosophy addresses is the root, the very core of these religions, the nascency, and that’s where you’ll find these spiritual disciplines practiced. It’s known as Theoria in Christianity that holds roots in the Greek discipline called Henosis. Of course, there’s many disciplines in eastern religions such as Hinduism, Buddhism, Taoism, etc. In Islam, the Sufi mystics have engaged in these practices, and back on and on to even shamanism where psychedelics were emphasized as in the Mayan and Aztec cultures or they utilized ordeal poisons (induced near-death experiences) or isolation in a jungle, etc. In some tribes in South America, it’s a rite of passage into puberty for males as young as 13-years-old, and this is socially accepted in those cultures. I believe this is why they call it Fana in Sufi mysticism, to “die before you die.” It’s to experience the Beatific vision not after death, but right now here in life. That’s what’s I’m at great pains to emphasize, that the major religions are pointing to a phenomenon in consciousness that most people, atheists and theists, have not experienced. That’s basically it in a nutshell, and I don’t know if you saw the encounter where I called Matt on Easter Sunday, 2017, I believe… but because he was unfamiliar with the research, he couldn’t really address any of it properly because he and Jen were convinced this research didn’t exist (at the time), and came to their own conclusions if they had to considered it did exist. Now that he’s encountered Jordan Peterson, I’m sure Matt has become a bit more familiar. I realize they got into some fiasco involved with the psilocybin study involving the smoking cessation in nicotine addicts, but you see, if we’re emphasizing the experience here, then the whole thing was underplayed because the point these researchers are making is that it’s not the drug that’s curing the volunteer, it’s more accurately the memory of the experience that’s curing the individual.

  161. says

    @Hank_Says

    Perennial Philosophy is about begging questions and never answering them, extending the discussion into the infinite. As long as the subject remains undefined and under discussion it can never be falsified. Great if you love the sound of your own voice or the sight of your keystrokes in a thread, fucking useless for anyone who’s interested in gaining information.

    I look forward to Jimmy derailing and ruining the next thread.

    Well, you said you were no longer interested in discussing it here, but if you change your mind, I’ll keep it on this thread since it’s already running on unless the topic actually comes up in the show this Sunday. I won’t be able to catch the show, unfortunately, but Tracie and Jen should make it interesting enough to catch later on. I will eventually check it out. I’m, after all, a fan of the show. I always wanted to drive out and meet the hosts personally since I live so close to them, maybe attend one of these dinners or something one of these days. They should record those dinner discussions, and make it a podcast or something. That’d be interesting. We need more topic starters like, “So, does god not observe photons?

  162. Chikoppi says

    “What precisely do you need clarifying? If it’s the quality of the experience or the content, then I have attempted to describe that. If it’s coming across as “vague or misty,” I’d simply attribute that to the fact that you’ve not had this experience, and so there’s nowhere for you to draw upon to relate. That’s why it’s so difficult to explain it. You see, if you had, I wouldn’t have to explain the experience, and the only reason that becomes necessary is when someone hasn’t had that particular experience. These characteristics don’t say much, do they? I could offer you some of the volunteers’ descriptions, all of which don’t use the word “mystical” to describe it, but they’d probably be just as vague to you. “All time collapsing in the moment,” one of the six primary characteristics of this experience, is one thing to read on a screen, it’s quite something else to directly experience.

    Without fail. Every time. When challenged to provide evidence of P2 you merely reiterate P1.

    There is no revelation here. Disrupting the neurological functions that produce awareness of self and/or awareness of time is sufficient to elicit this response.

  163. says

    @Chikoppi What’s P1 and P2? Have you considered that you may be interpreting these things through a specific framework your presupposing? Especially if you’re describing the experience as “disrupting the neurological functions.” You’re making the assumption there’s no revelation when many of these volunteers express insight and revelation with their experiences.

  164. jigglefresh says

    Kafei, you typed “atheists have not had this experience”. Bullshit. I have had an experience like you describe. I was an atheist before it and afterwards. How can you possibly say such a blanket statement? No atheist has ever tripped their fancy nuts off? El Oh El.

  165. jigglefresh says

    Chikoppi clearly defined what P1 and P2 are, in this discussion. Perhaps you should read what people type.

  166. says

    @jigglefresh

    Kafei, you typed “atheists have not had this experience”. Bullshit. I have had an experience like you describe. I was an atheist before it and afterwards. How can you possibly say such a blanket statement? No atheist has ever tripped their fancy nuts off? El Oh El.

    I’m speaking specifically of the “complete” mystical experience. That’s what I’m saying most people, atheists and theists alike, have not had. In order for a volunteer to be deemed to have had a “complete” mystical experience, they must meet all six of the phenomenological characteristics that are definitive for the so-called “complete” mystical experience. I’m definitely not talking about recreational psychedelic experiences, even Bill Richards has spoken that it’s possible to take LSD over 200 times, and as long as you’re taking recreational doses, it’s possible never approach what these professionals are calling a “complete” mystical experience.

    Chikoppi clearly defined what P1 and P2 are, in this discussion. Perhaps you should read what people type.

    Yeah, I read ’em. They’re irrelevant. They presuppose, as I said.

  167. Monocle Smile says

    Typical Kafei. Assume every issue in every discussion is someone else’s problem. Kafei is perfect and never lies, obfuscates, makes mistakes, or is wrong is general.

  168. says

    @Monocle Smile

    Typical Kafei. Assume every issue in every discussion is someone else’s problem. Kafei is perfect and never lies, obfuscates, makes mistakes, or is wrong is general.

    Well, this is certainly a typical response from you, to assume that I’ve not addressed Chikoppi, and somehow obfuscated Chikoppi’s argument somehow, and that’s simply not the case at all, and I can explain.

    1) “THING” is a name for a particular experience that a person might have and no separate entity exists. (No revelation.)

    This assumes there should be some kind of “separate entity” involved. Again, it’s presuming.

    2) “THING” is a separate entity that exists apart from subjective experience of it (No evidence.)

    This is presuming that the revelation in this experience should be of a “separate entity apart from the experience.” Hence, P1 and P2 are both irrelevant because they both presume these assumptions within the statements.

  169. jigglefresh says

    Inb4 kafei types something like “what have I lied about”, in an effort to start the discussion over again.

  170. jigglefresh says

    He’s pretty quick with the typing. Maybe this is all just an exercise to increase his proficiency on the keyboard. Maybe he’s in line for a promotion… to secretary.

  171. Monocle Smile says

    More typical bullshit. Dismiss chikoppi for pathetic, dishonest reasons. Assume jigglefresh is lying. The superiority complex is especially galling coming from a chronic underachiever.

  172. says

    @Monocle Smile

    More typical bullshit. Dismiss chikoppi for pathetic, dishonest reasons.

    I pointed out very obvious assumptions in the two statements he put forth. That’s not dishonest or pathetic, that’s actually addressing his points, and emphasizing why they’re irrelevant.

    Assume jigglefresh is lying. The superiority complex is especially galling coming from a chronic underachiever.

    I never assumed jigglefresh is lying. I was just making sure that jigglefresh was aware that I was speaking specifically of the “complete” mystical experience, and not simply taking psychedelics in general which many people do at recreational doses. The doses they’re using in Johns Hopkins study is the equivalent to what Terence McKenna called a “heroic dose.” Most people pale visibly at just the sight of that amount, let alone even would contemplate eating that amount. That’s why they call it the “heroic dose,” because it requires courage to do it. None of the Johns Hopkins volunteers come back saying, “More, please.” We’re talking about a life-changing experience here.

  173. jigglefresh says

    He’s describing something none of us understand. That’s why he’s special. It’s because only he understands it. None of us can understand. He can understand it. That’s why he’s special. That’s why he’s right: because none of us understand. If only we could understand… but we can’t. None of us can understand. Thankfully, he can. He can understand. That’s why he’s right… because he can understand. If you don’t believe him, it’s because you don’t understand. Also, here are some links.

  174. says

    @jigglefresh

    He’s describing something none of us understand. That’s why he’s special. It’s because only he understands it. None of us can understand. He can understand it. That’s why he’s special. That’s why he’s right: because none of us understand. If only we could understand… but we can’t. None of us can understand. Thankfully, he can. He can understand. That’s why he’s right… because he can understand. If you don’t believe him, it’s because you don’t understand. Also, here are some links.

    Except a CME is a potential also in everyone here. So, if they were to undergo the CME, then what I’m talking isn’t so special anymore, and then it’s realized that it’s not specific to me. It’s a universal potential in the consciousness of all of us. Therefore, it’s something that could be potentially understood by all.

  175. buddyward says

    It is only valid CME if you agree with Jimmy otherwise you never really had one. Just like someone is a Christian until they do something contrary to Christian belief and only then they were never a true Christian.

    Keep in mind that Jimmy never really participated in the study. He took what he would call “heroic” doses on his own and evaluated the experience on his own. Somehow that made him an expert to evaluate that someone else’s experience is not valid.

    As Mark Twain said: “Never argue with stupid people, they will drag you down to their level and then beat you with experience.”

  176. Monocle Smile says

    @kafei
    Chikoppi is trying to get a handle on your actual position in good faith, you fuckwit. You just read “presumptions” into his P1 and P2 to avoid answering. He presented a dichotomy to better understand your claims and you’re too busy being paranoid.

  177. says

    @jigglefresh

    Cool. Get a different hobby.

    I have a whole slew of hobbies. Studying comparative religion is just one of ’em. I was also thinking about starting an internet show titled “The Theist Experience” where I prioritize atheist callers, and address their arguments. What do you think? Would you call in? Maybe that could be a new hobby. However, the point I was getting at is that it’s one thing to attempt to describe an experience which people invariably describe as having a sense of being “outside of space and time” or a “timelessness,” and if you haven’t had that experience, and you’re trying to intellectual grope as to what all that means, then it’s going to be quite difficult indeed. However, if you had the experience, then there’s no need to read an explanation of it or a description of it, because it’s a universal phenomenon in consciousness that we all have the potential to experience.

  178. says

    @Galaxy Pig

    It’s on the ACA Web site at the page where you “join” as a member. One section, on the same page where you enter your info and pay to join, says this:

    “…I affirm that I am without belief in any god and that I have read and agree with the purpose of the Atheist Community of Austin as stated above.”

    Here is the link: https://atheist-community.org/join

  179. t90bb says

    this is simple….

    if you have had an acid trip and you do not agree with Kafei that it was a mystical experience leading to the conclusion that a universal magic genie exists a la perennial philosophy exists……then you did not have a “complete” CME! LOLOLOLOL///…..

    if you don’t agree with him or his conclusions you are simply wrong…because his acid trip and those of many others led them to believe they had a divine mystical experience that leads to the conclusion gawdddd is real.

    Its no different then say near death experiences that are the basis of belief in god. You don’t believe because you have not had one!!! When confronted with others that have had them and are not convinced they were anything other than a dying oxygen starved brain…..they tell you that you did not have a “real” or “true” NDE!!!!

    Jimmy….how are NDE and different than CME as “evidence” for anything. Both are symptoms of physically altered brain states. People have common thoughts/feelings in these altered brain states…because we have similar physical brains. Is the fact that we nearly universally feel pain when pinched also evidence for a universal consciousness or a magic genie???

    Kafies got layers of fallacies in his presentations including arguing from ignorance, begging the question, no true Scotsmen…..and I am only getting warmed up……

    Lets face it….Jimmy is desperate to suck the c**k of his magic genie…..hes clearly molding and interpreting the findings to meet his conclusions. He can repeat, scream, cry………but the fact that people have euphoric warm and fuzzies when high on acid…does not get you anywhere close to proof for gawdddd…..no matter what perennial bullshit wants to infer.

    This is why after hundreds and hundreds of posts poor Jimmy has yet to move the needle. Keep trying Jimmy. I continue to learn from you. You are a encyclopedia of confirmation bias.

    Now why not do an acid trip today. Enjoy yourself.

  180. t90bb says

    JIMMY….

    I BEG YOU to start your own show……..pleas please please…….Every episode, like your every post shows the weakness in your theist argumentation!!!! I will even donate to the show like for real.

  181. jigglefresh says

    I guess, if I was really bored… and I remembered that you existed, I might call in to your silly, fantasy broadcast. Let’s talk about shit that primitive humans made up… yay! Praise Allah. There are so many trees outside that I can look at, though. I doubt I’ll find the time to call.

  182. says

    @buddyward

    It is only valid CME if you agree with Jimmy otherwise you never really had one. Just like someone is a Christian until they do something contrary to Christian belief and only then they were never a true Christian.

    It’s valid if one meets the criteria developed over decades of scientific research.

    Keep in mind that Jimmy never really participated in the study. He took what he would call “heroic” doses on his own and evaluated the experience on his own. Somehow that made him an expert to evaluate that someone else’s experience is not valid.

    I tried to volunteer, but I didn’t meet the criteria for the “long-term meditator” study that they’re currently performing at Johns Hopkins. However, I have had Kilindi Iyi-style doses that I partake in annually which is actually higher doses than what they’re using at Johns Hopkins.

    @Monocle Smile

    Chikoppi is trying to get a handle on your actual position in good faith, you fuckwit. You just read “presumptions” into his P1 and P2 to avoid answering. He presented a dichotomy to better understand your claims and you’re too busy being paranoid.

    He brought up those points at #130, and I addressed them, but Chikoppi insisted on bringing them up. That doesn’t sound like trying to get a handle on my position, that sounds like Chikoppi is attempting to force these things into his framework. Especially if we’re at already 200+ posts now still talking about these irrelevant points.

  183. jigglefresh says

    More interesting than kafei’s nonsense, I think, is our willingness to indulge him. What does that say about us? What do we love, as we swat at the low hanging fruit he offers?

  184. Chikoppi says

    FIRST

    Position statements define (“presume”) positions. That is the purpose.

    SECOND

    Nothing prevented you from concisely defining terms and succinctly declaring your own position.

    THIRD

    You are now on record as stating that you are referring to no separate entity apart from the subject having the subjective experience.

    “This assumes there should be some kind of “separate entity” involved. Again, it’s presuming. […] This is presuming that the revelation in this experience should be of a “separate entity apart from the experience.”

    No one doubts people can have chemically induced subjective experiences that seem real or that similar inducement can elicit similar subjective experiences.

    You have nothing of interest to say.

  185. t90bb says

    BTW …… how is dummies claim that CMEs can be convincing evidence for his grand wizard……any different that a theist claiming “gawdd revealed himself to me”?

    Even if I were to agree that you CME is reasonable evidence for you (I don’t), it does nothing for me or others. And up to this point you have done a piss poor job convincing anyone. Maybe next time you go on an acid trip you can ask your grand wizard what might convince the rest of us so as not to waste part of your life.

    And ask the wizard what fucked up piece of shit would create a window to his existence in hallucinogenic drugs LOL….

  186. says

    @Chikoppi

    You are now on record as stating that you are referring to no separate entity apart from the subject having the subjective experience.

    Yes, there’s no separate entity, all is perceived as one entity. This is expressed as non-duality in eastern philosophy or what is also emphasized by the Tawhid in Islam.

    “This assumes there should be some kind of “separate entity” involved. Again, it’s presuming. […] This is presuming that the revelation in this experience should be of a “separate entity apart from the experience.”

    No one doubts people can have chemically induced subjective experiences that seem real or that similar inducement can elicit similar subjective experiences.

    You have nothing of interest to say.

    Sure, but that’s not all these researchers are saying. They’re not simply saying that the induced experience in their volunteers is virtually identical, where they go further than that is to recognize this experience is also virtually identical to those naturally occurring mystical experiences reported mystics throughout the ages. In other words, the implication of the research suggests that the “complete” mystical experience is a biologically normal phenomenon in consciousness that has been happening since perhaps time immemorial a la the Perennial philosophy.

  187. t90bb says

    209….Jiggle…..

    fair question. I will say this. The time I spend here is not in the hope I may convince DUMMEI that his assertions are unwarranted…..his pretty far down the rabbit hole. Hes as convinced he is right as some of my flat earther buddies……..

    The time I, and others spend here are twofold I think….

    1, DUMMEI provides an exercise in critical thinking
    2. It for the dozens and possibly hundreds of others that do not take the time to post but who enjoy and learn from the engagement.

    I have learned a shit ton here. Lessons on critical thinking, skepticism, fallacies, bias………guys like EL, RR. Buddy, Hank, jiggle, MS have taught me a lot. Some of the new blood here are also amazing…I love Chikoppi!!!

  188. jigglefresh says

    Yup. I enjoy chipokki’s contributions too. I’m with ya. I guess your explanation is as good as any to explain why I am here, commenting too.

  189. buddyward says

    The fact that Jimmy dismissed jigglefresh’s experience without even evaluating it is a demonstration that the criterias are irrelevant. All that matters to Jimmy is whether or not you agree with him.

  190. jigglefresh says

    Yeah. I didn’t even describe my several experiences. He just figured that since I’m still an atheist, I didn’t have the correct type. They must have been merely recreational. It’s impossible for me to have the same type of experiences as him and disagree with him about his conclusions.

  191. jigglefresh says

    At a very young age, a child is unable to draw a picture of what someone else sees. The perspective just isn’t there.

  192. Chikoppi says

    “Sure, but that’s not all these researchers are saying. They’re not simply saying that the induced experience in their volunteers is virtually identical, where they go further than that is to recognize this experience is also virtually identical to those naturally occurring mystical experiences reported mystics throughout the ages. In other words, the implication of the research suggests that the “complete” mystical experience is a biologically normal phenomenon in consciousness that has been happening since perhaps time immemorial a la the Perennial philosophy.”

    So fucking what? Taking a chemical today elicits a profound subjective experience that equates to historical reports of profound subjective experiences.

    That doesn’t imply that any of these reported incidents reveal anything other than the subject’s experience of a disruption in normative neurological processes.

  193. says

    @buddyward

    The fact that Jimmy dismissed jigglefresh’s experience without even evaluating it is a demonstration that the criterias are irrelevant. All that matters to Jimmy is whether or not you agree with him.

    Well, this is why I brought up the CME specifically at #196. Lots of people take psychedelics and often don’t have a CME. I never dismissed his experience, that’s why I said I was making sure we’re addressing the CME and not simply a recreational dose of psychedelics. Most people take recreational doses because you can still attend the concert, the party, etc. In other words, you can still roam about on a recreational dose. However, on the higher doses, hanging on to the ground is the major program to be executed.

  194. buddyward says

    Assuming that the person is mistaken or does not meet the criteria before making an evaluation is just stupid and clearly demonstrate that the criterias are irrelevant.

  195. says

    @Chikoppi

    So fucking what? Taking a chemical today elicits a profound subjective experience that equates to historical reports of profound subjective experiences.

    Well, this would explain why all the earliest descriptions of the divine are invariably henotheistic, monistic and panentheistic, because they’re descriptions that arise from this unitive-mystical state of consciousness.

    That doesn’t imply that any of these reported incidents reveal anything other than the subject’s experience of a disruption in normative neurological processes.

    Well, this is merely your own reductionist summation. The researchers involve do say it reveals greatly more than simply a “disruption in normative neurological processes.” How do you know that there’s not a reducing valve of consciousness going on or what Huxley called “Mind at Large,” and that you’re egoic interpretation of reality as you perceive right now is the hallucination, and when you have the “complete” mystical experience, this is a moment when you wake up from the hypnosis that your ego is in? After all, the volunteers do endorse that the experience is, “More real than everyday waking consciousness.” If it were the case that this was so easily reduced to “neurological disruption,” then it would be explained away as such, but it’s obviously not.

  196. says

    @Chikoppi

    So fucking what? Taking a chemical today elicits a profound subjective experience that equates to historical reports of profound subjective experiences.

    Well, this would explain why all the earliest descriptions of the divine are invariably henotheistic, monistic and panentheistic, because they’re descriptions that arise from this unitive-mystical state of consciousness.

    That doesn’t imply that any of these reported incidents reveal anything other than the subject’s experience of a disruption in normative neurological processes.

    Well, this is merely your own reductionist summation. The researchers involve do say it reveals greatly more than simply a “disruption in normative neurological processes.” How do you know that there’s not a reducing valve of consciousness going on or what Huxley called “Mind at Large,” and that you’re egoic interpretation of reality as you perceive right now is the hallucination, and when you have the “complete” mystical experience, this is a moment when you wake up from the hypnosis that your ego is in? After all, the volunteers do endorse that the experience is, “More real than everyday waking consciousness.” If it were the case that this was so easily reduced to “neurological disruption,” then it would be explained away as such, but it’s obviously not.

  197. Chikoppi says

    “Well, this would explain why all the earliest descriptions of the divine are invariably henotheistic, monistic and panentheistic, because they’re descriptions that arise from this unitive-mystical state of consciousness.”

    Again, so what? If we interrupt the ability of a subject’s brain to perceive the passage of time the ensuing subjective experience of timelessness does not imply that the objective passage of time is illusory. Closing your eyes also doesn’t make the Sun actually disappear or imply that it is an illusion.

    “Well, this is merely your own reductionist summation. The researchers involve do say it reveals greatly more than simply a “disruption in normative neurological processes.” How do you know that there’s not a reducing valve of consciousness going on or what Huxley called “Mind at Large,” and that you’re egoic interpretation of reality as you perceive right now is the hallucination, and when you have the “complete” mystical experience, this is a moment when you wake up from the hypnosis that your ego is in? After all, the volunteers do endorse that the experience is, “More real than everyday waking consciousness.” If it were the case that this was so easily reduced to “neurological disruption,” then it would be explained away as such, but it’s obviously not.”

    There is a mountain of observational and experimental literature to demonstrate that discreet interruption of neurological processes produces consistent and corresponding changes to subjective experience. The experiencing of a condition by people who subsequently report that it “seemed timeless” or “seemed hyper-real” can absolutely be attributable to neurological causes.

    The burden of proof for any other explanation you propose is on you. Until you can meet a standard of evidence sufficient to reject the null hypothesis you haven’t demonstrated anything. Insinuation, speculation, and anecdote is insufficient. Also, if you intentionally construct a proposition in such a manner that it is unfallisfiable then you cannot make a claim of knowledge, as affirmation of that claim would therefore be either impossible or irrelevant.

  198. says

    @Chikoppi

    Again, so what? If we interrupt the ability of a subject’s brain to perceive the passage of time the ensuing subjective experience of timelessness does not imply that the objective passage of time is illusory. Closing your eyes also doesn’t make the Sun actually disappear or imply that it is an illusion.

    Sure, but that’s a false analogy to compare a CME to closing your eyes and thinking the sun’s gone or the baby who’s parent is playing peek-a-boo with him. Carlo Rovelli, a modern physicist, was inspired to become a physicist by having one of these experiences of transcending time, and it’s helped immensely in his field of study.

    There is a mountain of observational and experimental literature to demonstrate that discreet interruption of neurological processes produces consistent and corresponding changes to subjective experience. The experiencing of a condition by people who subsequently report that it “seemed timeless” or “seemed hyper-real” can absolutely be attributable to neurological causes.

    That’s what I believe these researchers are attempting to understand within the CME. It’s not completely understood by science. Run a Google search for “neuroscience of religion,” and you’ll find that they are attempting to describe the neural correlates of such experiences. However, I wouldn’t necessarily and simply reduce it to a neurological explanation, because this experience alters how one perceives the world. As I’ve highlighted before, it’s a fundamental alteration of one’s perception, a metanoia, so that to merely recognize the inner processes completely ignores how this shapes the way way interact in what you might call the “external reality.” To solely reduce to a neurological cause is akin to recognizing the yin without the yang. Alan Watts would say that the relationship between the organism and the environment is transactional, and solely restricting your understanding of this experience to a neurological cause betrays that point.

    The burden of proof for any other explanation you propose is on you. Until you can meet a standard of evidence sufficient to reject the null hypothesis you haven’t demonstrated anything. Insinuation, speculation, and anecdote is insufficient. Also, if you intentionally construct a proposition in such a manner that it is unfallisfiable then you cannot make a claim of knowledge, as affirmation of that claim would therefore be either impossible or irrelevant.

    Well, there’s a reason why truth is considered unfalsifiable, and if you don’t understand that, you may be led astray. However, all I’m reiterating in a nutshell is that this research suggests evidence which demonstrates that these so-called “complete” mystical experiences are a biologically normal phenomenon that have been occurring for milennia à la the Perennial philosophy.

  199. AtheistNotAgnostic says

    @Jimmy #225

    Well, there’s a reason why truth is considered unfalsifiable

    This is completely antithetical to modern science and the philosophy of science an should make everyone’s bullshit detector go off the charts. The only people that will be so brazen as to say that their ideas don’t need to be falsifiable are people who know that their bullshit can’t be verified. So of course your link for this claim is to a 3hr long YouTube video by some New Age self-help guru with no credentials. Get off of YouTube and read some Karl Popper. You might make a dent in your cognitive dissonance armor.

  200. says

    @AtheistNotAgnostic

    This is completely antithetical to modern science and the philosophy of science an should make everyone’s bullshit detector go off the charts. The only people that will be so brazen as to say that their ideas don’t need to be falsifiable are people who know that their bullshit can’t be verified. So of course your link for this claim is to a 3hr long YouTube video by some New Age self-help guru with no credentials. Get off of YouTube and read some Karl Popper. You might make a dent in your cognitive dissonance armor.

    In an interview that Popper gave in 1969 with the condition that it should be kept secret until after his death, he summarised his position on God as follows: “I don’t know whether God exists or not. … Some forms of atheism are arrogant and ignorant and should be rejected, but agnosticism—to admit that we don’t know and to search—is all right. … When I look at what I call the gift of life, I feel a gratitude which is in tune with some religious ideas of God. However, the moment I even speak of it, I am embarrassed that I may do something wrong to God in talking about God.” He objected to organised religion, saying “it tends to use the name of God in vain”, noting the danger of fanaticism because of religious conflicts: “The whole thing goes back to myths which, though they may have a kernel of truth, are untrue.” – Karl Popper

    A myth as “untrue” is how 20th century scientists interpreted the word “myth,” so Karl as a philosopher perhaps was influenced by this type of thinking. However, I want to suggest a view on this word “myth” that Alan Watts emphasizes in comparing western religion to eastern religion, and if you’re not familiar with eastern religion, it’s also a very good introductory to it.

  201. AtheistNotAgnostic says

    @Jimmy #227
    I don’t care if Popper was an atheist or not, I was referring to his work on falsifiablilty.

  202. Chikoppi says

    Sure, but that’s a false analogy to compare a CME to closing your eyes and thinking the sun’s gone or the baby who’s parent is playing peek-a-boo with him.

    But the reference to neurological processes is a perfectly apt and relevant demonstration that disruption of those systems can and does occlude subjective experience of objective reality. Claiming that a paticular subjective experience is nonetheless exempt is the fallacy of special pleading.

    “That’s what I believe these researchers are attempting to understand…”

    There is your admission. If you don’t understand this this phenomena then you cannot assert a conclusion.

    “However, all I’m reiterating in a nutshell is that this research suggests evidence which demonstrates that these so-called “complete” mystical experiences are a biologically normal phenomenon that have been occurring for milennia à la the Perennial philosophy.

    That individuals have reported such subjective experiences is uncontroversial. If these experiences are induced through chemical intervention or as a result of a physiologically abnormal state they are not “biologically normal.” You also cannot assert X as a cause or justification of a claim, as you have admitted to not understanding the causes of the phenomena.

    Is it maybe a neat and atypical subjective experience? Sure. Could it seem emotionally profound? Sure. Does it reveal some objective truth? There is no evidence that it does.

  203. says

    If I went on record, endlessly, proclaiming that my personal experiences on drugs, and some *selected* similar experiences *reported* by others, were evidence of a divine entity or divine component to existence, I’d expect to be asked:

    How do you tell the difference between a drug-induced hallucination and a drug-induced mystic/divine/whatever experience?

    And if my answer, after thousands of words, boiled down to “LOTS OF OTHER PEOPLE THROUGHOUT HISTORY, ALSO SOME CALL IT BRAHMAN, AND ALAN WATTS SAID THINGS, ALSO YOU NEVER DID IT OR YOU DID IT WRONG,” I would expect people to dismiss me as a person who merely *wanted* my tripping-balls experiences to be real, and was grasping desperately at any straw that appeared to support my desired outcome, and would go to extraordinary lengths to avoid addressing any flaw in my hypothesis.

  204. AtheistNotAgnostic says

    @Hank #230
    You hit the nail on the head. Jimmy’s cognitive dissonance and naked desire to be right make him look absurd to anyone who has even a modicum of skepticism. My favorite way this manifests is him appealing to Watts/McKenna/Huxley/”ancient mystics” as if they knew shit about how the brain/reality works and expecting us to take him seriously.

  205. says

    @Chikoppi

    That individuals have reported such subjective experiences is uncontroversial. If these experiences are induced through chemical intervention or as a result of a physiologically abnormal state they are not “biologically normal.” You also cannot assert X as a cause or justification of a claim, as you have admitted to not understanding the causes of the phenomena.

    Is it maybe a neat and atypical subjective experience? Sure. Could it seem emotionally profound? Sure. Does it reveal some objective truth? There is no evidence that it does.

    I believe that’s what the researchers are saying that, there is an objective truth to these experiences or what Dr. Bill Richards calls “intuitive knowledge” which is basically the same as William James meant as the “noetic” quality of this experience. They’ve been investigating these experiences in the sciences for about a century now, so they’ve developed an understanding about it. However, they will say that although such experiences do exist, they don’t say why such experiences exist. That’s what I meant by science is still quite naïve about these experiences. However, religions like Hinduism had been studying them for thousands of years. Hinduism is considered the grandfather religion, it goes back over 10,000 B.C.

    @Hank_Says

    How do you tell the difference between a drug-induced hallucination and a drug-induced mystic/divine/whatever experience?

    And if my answer, after thousands of words, boiled down to “LOTS OF OTHER PEOPLE THROUGHOUT HISTORY, ALSO SOME CALL IT BRAHMAN, AND ALAN WATTS SAID THINGS, ALSO YOU NEVER DID IT OR YOU DID IT WRONG,” I would expect people to dismiss me as a person who merely *wanted* my tripping-balls experiences to be real, and was grasping desperately at any straw that appeared to support my desired outcome, and would go to extraordinary lengths to avoid addressing any flaw in my hypothesis.

    Here’s how it’s done. They’ve a very particular measures for this experience which have been elaborated over decades worth of scientific research to the point where they can distinguish such experiences from unrelated hallucinatory phenomena. This is why they call it a “complete” mystical experience, “complete” as in full-spectrum ranging from visionary/archetypal experiences (seeing an emissary that one might construe from God) to the unitive-mystical state of consciousness which involves the breakdown of the subject-object dichotomy where we have of an ego relating to something, experiencing something that is sacred or reverent, that subject-object dichotomy no longer exists, and what’s left is just a pure unity, there’s a conflict-free awareness in consciousness that is not obstructed with the ego, and experiences itself as not a “this” to compare to a “that,” it’s all just one. That’s why people describe as a sense of all time collapsing into a single moment or timelessness or “beyond dimensionality.” That’s the impression at the height of a “complete” mystical experience, and it’s one thing to type out, it’s quite another thing to experience.

  206. says

    @Chikoppi

    That individuals have reported such subjective experiences is uncontroversial. If these experiences are induced through chemical intervention or as a result of a physiologically abnormal state they are not “biologically normal.” You also cannot assert X as a cause or justification of a claim, as you have admitted to not understanding the causes of the phenomena.

    Is it maybe a neat and atypical subjective experience? Sure. Could it seem emotionally profound? Sure. Does it reveal some objective truth? There is no evidence that it does.

    I believe that’s what the researchers are saying that, there is an objective truth to these experiences or what Dr. Bill Richards calls “intuitive knowledge” which is basically the same as William James meant as the “noetic” quality of this experience. They’ve been investigating these experiences in the sciences for about a century now, so they’ve developed an understanding about it. However, they will say that although such experiences do exist, they don’t say why such experiences exist. That’s what I meant by science is still quite naïve about these experiences. However, religions like Hinduism had been studying them for thousands of years. Hinduism is considered the grandfather religion, it goes back over 10,000 B.C.

  207. says

    @AtheistNotAgnostic

    You hit the nail on the head. Jimmy’s cognitive dissonance and naked desire to be right make him look absurd to anyone who has even a modicum of skepticism. My favorite way this manifests is him appealing to Watts/McKenna/Huxley/”ancient mystics” as if they knew shit about how the brain/reality works and expecting us to take him seriously.

    I believe someone like Gautama Siddartha could give you insights about the nature of consciousness that might not be recognized by our modern science. Also, I don’t experience “cognitive dissonance” in my life whatsoever. That’s another benefit to these type of experiences. I don’t know if you’ve never heard Amber Lyon talk about her experience, but she claims to this day she experiences no anxiety in her life whatsoever. It’s completely gone. I can definitely relate to that.

    @Hank_Says

    How do you tell the difference between a drug-induced hallucination and a drug-induced mystic/divine/whatever experience?

    And if my answer, after thousands of words, boiled down to “LOTS OF OTHER PEOPLE THROUGHOUT HISTORY, ALSO SOME CALL IT BRAHMAN, AND ALAN WATTS SAID THINGS, ALSO YOU NEVER DID IT OR YOU DID IT WRONG,” I would expect people to dismiss me as a person who merely *wanted* my tripping-balls experiences to be real, and was grasping desperately at any straw that appeared to support my desired outcome, and would go to extraordinary lengths to avoid addressing any flaw in my hypothesis.

    Here’s how it’s done. They’ve a very particular measures for this experience which have been elaborated over decades worth of scientific research to the point where they can distinguish such experiences from unrelated hallucinatory phenomena. This is why they call it a “complete” mystical experience, “complete” as in full-spectrum ranging from visionary/archetypal experiences (seeing an emissary that one might construe from God) to the unitive-mystical state of consciousness which involves the breakdown of the subject-object dichotomy where we have of an ego relating to something, experiencing something that is sacred or reverent, that subject-object dichotomy no longer exists, and what’s left is just a pure unity, there’s a conflict-free awareness in consciousness that is not obstructed with the ego, and experiences itself as not a “this” to compare to a “that,” it’s all just one. That’s why people describe as a sense of all time collapsing into a single moment or timelessness or “beyond dimensionality.” That’s the impression at the height of a “complete” mystical experience, and it’s one thing to type out, it’s quite another thing to experience.

  208. buddyward says

    Intuitive Knowledge is bullshit. It is a subjective gut feeling that is not based on evidence. At best it is unreliable. Adding noetic to this word salad even makes it more bullshit as noetic means of the mind. Thus the statement translates to the objective truth is based on gut feeling which is the same as the mind quality experience. That is nothing more than incoherent ramblings.

  209. says

    @buddyward

    Intuitive Knowledge is bullshit. It is a subjective gut feeling that is not based on evidence. At best it is unreliable. Adding noetic to this word salad even makes it more bullshit as noetic means of the mind. Thus the statement translates to the objective truth is based on gut feeling which is the same as the mind quality experience. That is nothing more than incoherent ramblings.

    I wouldn’t compare this to your everyday intuitive gut feeling of, “Will I save time in traffic if I take the left lane instead of the right?” kind of thing, I’m using this term not in some kind of “word salad” sense, but how they’re drawn out from this particular experience. Intuitive would be more accurately defined as how Yogananda Paramahansa used it when he said, Yogananda taught his students the need for direct experience of truth, as opposed to blind belief. He said that “The true basis of religion is not belief, but intuitive experience. Intuition is the soul’s power of knowing God. To know what religion is really all about, one must know God.” He is speaking from the vantage point of the CME, not an everyday gut-feeling that people have that is quite mundane and run-of-the-mill. So, once again, what you perceive as “incoherent ramblings” is simply your own lack of familiarity with your own potential of the CME. That’s why you mentioned “gut feeling.” That’s definitely not what’s being emphasized in this research.

  210. jigglefresh says

    Snore. This guy doesn’t even understand the criteria, within which he could be wrong, let alone the fact that he is.

  211. says

    “Intuition is the soul’s power of knowing God.”

    Define and demonstrate the existence of a soul.
    Define and demonstrate the existence of a god.
    Demonstrate that intuition is indeed that which can link the two things.

    Maybe then we could have a conversation, instead of reading another one of your fucking brochures.

  212. Chikoppi says

    “I believe that’s what the researchers are saying that, there is an objective truth to these experiences or what Dr. Bill Richards calls “intuitive knowledge” which is basically the same as William James meant as the “noetic” quality of this experience.”

    No evidence of an objective truth has been presented. What you have done, and continue to do here, is:

    1) Restate various descriptions of the reported experience.
    2) Assert that only the subjective experiences that result in the desired outcome are legitimate (sharpshooter fallacy).
    3) Assert without evidence what the reported subjective experience is caused by.
    4) Assert without evidence that the reported subjective experience does not have a neurological basis.
    5) Assert without evidence that the subjective experience is a “true” representation of objective reality.

    I’m done. You had more than ample opportunity to make a case and I wasted far too much time chasing you in unnecessary circles.

    If he continues to disrupt future threads with this subject I support moderator intervention.

  213. buddyward says

    #236

    All of that is an assertion not evidence. No gives a shit what some religious person says because that would be an argument from authority fallacy. In the case where Einstein and Rogan are referenced that would be an argument from non-authority fallacy.

    Adding fallacious arguments to incoherent ramblings would still result to incoherent ramblings

  214. says

    Agreed. The intent to troll might not be there, but that’s the effect.

    We could also do our part, as commenters, to starve this particular trash fire of oxygen.

  215. says

    @jigglefresh

    Snore. This guy doesn’t even understand the criteria, within which he could be wrong, let alone the fact that he is.

    Or you’re making assumption there about the “criteria.” Let me try and put it another way, and you may not like the person used in this example, but Darth Dawkins sort of argues the same thing I’m talking about, but he’s doing it from a particular religious stance, Christianity, I believe, and what he’s referring to God could be described as this philosophical Absolute, to use analogy, if anyone plays chess, imagine all the possible permutations on the board that the pieces could possibly make, not just in a single game, but in every possible variation. That underlies the potential for the game. A piece cannot move where it cannot legally occupy, etc. So, by analogy, the underlying permutations that account for the material reality that we experience come from this source which contains all permutations, and so what this research is saying is that at the very core of these religions, this is what mystics were pointing to, this kind of panesthesia, if you will, of all those permutations experienced simultaneously; almost as though you’re undergoing all experience at once. You see, if your consciousness suddenly decided to show you every possible thing it could show at once, every possible experience, etc. inside that experience, you would have this sense of there being no time at all, because all experiences are occurring at once. That’s what the Hindus are pointing to when they say Brahman or the Buddhists with nirvana or “sunyata” which means “void,” but void in the sense of a kind of maxed out infinity, there’s nothing to add or take away. However, another important point to recognize is the Hindus also emphasized that this source they intuited directly doesn’t have a name. It’s truly nameless, because it is prior to concepts, thoughts, names, etc. I believe this is why the Great Taoist philosopher said, “The name that can be named is not the eternal name.” Even the Buddhists saw the universe as cyclical, that wherever sentient beings arise in the universe/multiverse, they will ultimately experience that void. That’s why it’s called the Perennial philosophy, the “eternal philosophy” or “recurring philosophy.”

    Now, I realize DarthDawkins doesn’t speak from that point-of-view, he’s not a mystic. He rather thinks of conceptually, and understands it only through his intellect, not by his intuition. But you see, that’s why he argues in the fashion that he argues in, because he only understands intellectually, and he expects atheists to understand it, and that’s why he’s a bitter person. He’s always speaking in this combative fashion, and resorting to insults, etc., because he only gets it intellectually, he doesn’t understand it by direct experience.

  216. says

    @Hank_Says My point is that you could replace that with Plotinus “The One” or “The Father” in Christianity which referred not to a paternalistic entity as often naïvely imagined about God, but rather as this thing I was attempting to explain in a metaphor above where God is defined as the philosophical Absolute. I may have had some typos up there, but perhaps you don’t play chess. The idea was every permutation in chess that the pieces could make not just in a single game, but in as many games it would take before you finally reached all possible permutations. If you don’t play chess, that’s probably not an easy metaphor to follow.

  217. says

    I know that chess, which I play, is real and can be very easily explained to people who don’t play.

    I also know that chess is wholly invented by humans, and exists only in the minds of people who have experienced it.

  218. says

    @Hank_Says It’s certainly something that’s parodied among atheists, too, but what I believe has been emphasized at the core of these religions is the experience itself, and not a conceptual grasp of it. This is the difference between esoteric and exoteric spiritual knowledge. Esoteric means the initiated, those who’ve had a direct experience, exoteric is attempting to understand via scripture, by logic or reason or someone else’s mystical experience, then coming to your own conclusions and making them indistinguishable from the the actual experienced knowledge.

    I know that chess, which I play, is real and can be very easily explained to people who don’t play.

    Sure, I’ve taught many people myself.

    I also know that chess is wholly invented by humans, and exists only in the minds of people who have experienced it.

    Well, no shit humans invented chess, but that wasn’t necessarily my point.

  219. says

    CMEs exist only in the minds of people who have them.

    The difference between them and chess is that, in your case, you’re fucking terrible at actually explaining them.

  220. RationalismRules says

    Completely O/T (not even tenuously related to atheism, but the thread isn’t exactly consumed with interesting discussion so I figure, why not?):
    Quick question for any Americans here, especially those who have studied Statistics (EL? MS?). In your experience, is Statistics (the discipline, not the plural) more commonly abbreviated to Stats or to Stat in the US? Or both?
     
    BTW, I’ve come up with what I consider to be a more useful definition of Perrenialism:
    Perrenialism: The belief that god dies out each fall/winter and grows back in spring.

  221. says

    RationalismRules, out of curiosity, do you intentionally misspell Perennialism as to mock it or was that an sincere typo? Just wonderin’, and I like your metaphor, it reminds me of something Alan Watts did on tape to attempt to introduce a western audience to eastern philosophy.

  222. AtheistNotAgnostic says

    @RR #253
    Native New Yorker here, and we always abbreviated it “Stats”. Idk if that’s the norm though. We do also call subs “wedges” so take my testimony with a grain of salt!

  223. buddyward says

    @RR #253

    I am from California and I have heard people say both. I think it is one of those things that does not really trigger much thought and I have never corrected anyone one way or another.

  224. jigglefresh says

    stars. A big ‘ol SNORE to Kafei’s most recent nonsense. I agree with the poster who said that even though he’s likely not a troll, the effect is the same. Sorry to not grab the name. I’m out and about and quickly typed this w/o looking.

  225. RationalismRules says

    @AtheistNotAgnostic, buddyward, jigglefresh
    Thanks folks! Good luck in your continuing struggles to get some sense into, or out of, Kavfefei.

  226. EnlightenmentLiberal says

    To RationalismRules
    I’ve heard “stats” in the US. However, I don’t know if that’s generalizable.

  227. speedofsound says

    @Hank_says

    Finally, and this is important: show me a mystical experience without drugs. A real, verifiable, repeatable and definitely mystical experience (defining “mystical” beforehand) without interacting with substances which are known to cause hallucinations (that’s why people take them). Is it possible? How does one achieve it? And even without drugs, how do we know it’s legitimate?

    I believe I have had one of these. Had another that was result of a near fatal overdose of meth but the effect lasted long after the drugs were out of my system. Now notice I did say ‘believe’. From what I have read what happened to me is the satori experience of some fame.

    Legitimate? Of course it was. It was a legitimate experience just like when you taste a strawberry. Here is where the word ‘mystical’ gets us all off the rails. Mystical means mysterious. It’s a real mysterious way to feel. You get the feeling that you don’t know much.

    Verifiable? That is one thing that Jimmy may have gotten right about the research. To verify that someone is having a prototypical experience relies on the skill of psychologists and interviewers. Imagine developing a test for a road rage experience. You could verify that the subject did have this kind of experience to some degree. Unless he is lying of course.

    Repeatable? No. Probably not. People spend their lives trying to repeat this shit, sometimes in monasteries. I did my share of trying to make it happen again.

    But what is it? Well I have some ideas about that. What it is not, is some glimpse of ultimate truth or god or meta-reality. It’s a god damned brain meltdown and what you get out of it hasn’t a thing to do with metaphysics or god or kumbaya.

    Well, that last thing maybe a little. It is a very peaceful state of mind and could be described as ego melting. Though if half of your brain is made to misfire your ego may well be in that half.

    Now from my personal experience I can tell you that the drug experience is not identical to the sober and straight ME. It has extensive similarity but it is not the same. For one thing duration of the non-drug ME is much greater. Another thing is you can pretty much function and not feel fucked up. You feel sober. You feel straight. You just think way differently.

    Anyway. Any questions?

  228. speedofsound says

    With all the Woo the really important part of the Johns Hopkins research is being missed by everyone. These experiences, in all their gradations, are the reason people give up reason and start to believe all sorts of bullshit from crystals to gods. These states of mind leave one vulnerable to a restructuring of belief. You become as imprinatable as a child or a newly hatched goose. Whatever is floating around in your head or in your social circle will attach to you like a fucking barnacle and become nearly impossible to shake off.

  229. speedofsound says

    @ Chikoppi

    I’m done. You had more than ample opportunity to make a case and I wasted far too much time chasing you in unnecessary circles.

    If he continues to disrupt future threads with this subject I support moderator intervention.

    I had an extensive private discussion with him and about a hundred posts here. Drives me nuts trying to get him to say out loud that he believes consciousness/god is the substrate of reality but that is the fact of the matter. Though if you state his position like i just did, or any other way, in the strongest iron-man version, he will deny it and spin off a few links and a few quoted paragraphs and then, rinse and repeat.

    He is scared to death to say clearly, out loud, what he is really hoping for as the answer to life the universe and shit. His snake oil would just be oil of the snake.

    Hmmm. This is kind of like a Hovind pattern but with eastern sophistication…. Can we monetize this?

    BTW. You did a hell of alot better job than I did. Thank you.

  230. dontpanicdent says

    I am reading the entirety of these threads now solely for the entertainment value of everyone bashing on Kafei instead of anything informative about atheism or other topics the shows produce. I’m sure that’s not what’s intended, but it’s been awfully entertaining month and a half reading all this bizarreness.

  231. speedofsound says

    Entertaining? I don’t know. I see any believer as a rich source of knowledge about how we go wrong. I like to dig into the structure a bit. Bashing is cruel. If I were studying Xenopus I would not bash them. Anesthetize and dissect yes but not bash!

  232. dontpanicdent says

    @ Chikoppi (#159)

    That link to that “Awareness” article was groovy. Thanks. It defined some things much better in a fast read.

    @ Kafei (#191)

    Actually, the differentiation Chikoppi was asking about with his two questions (P1 & P2) seems to be a genuine inquiry as to the experience of a CME, how it’s ultimately defined and how our conceptualizations of a god could be re-imagined. If, for example, the CME provides the discovery that there is a Oneness SuperBeing flowing through everything, connecting all of us, that might be useful information. If the CME establishes this entity as something separate from us, that could also be a useful stepping-off point for a discussion. Then, as it is entirely possible to think of this entity as something real, the discussion might then lead to whether or not it has any agency, intelligence or consciousness. Maybe, it’s just a self-less awareness or something inert or something basic to the structure of the universe– an undiscovered, undefined fifth force in nature. All of that could be interesting.

    Without defining this thing’s existence and where it lies in regards to us, though, makes it tough to get to those more interesting ideas.

  233. dontpanicdent says

    @ speedofsound (#265)

    ‘He is scared to death to say clearly, out loud, what he is really hoping for as the answer to life the universe and shit…’

    Yeah, I’d rather talk about “life, the universe and everything” more openly and have fun with the ideas, hoping for the discussions they might invoke, than have an agenda, try to score points or feel like I need to convince others of my view. I like to engage with others and keep the conversation going to new, undiscovered places, rather than get bogged down defending just one thing. It’s more fun to learn about new ideas from others and discuss new ideas that occur to me, rather than rehash one old one

    Kafei only wants to discuss one topic, it seems, and that’s not fun for anyone– especially, when folks have said they understand their viewpoint but disagree with it. If that were me, I’d’ve said to myself, ‘Okay. Fair enough. Let’s go on to something more interesting,’ you know?

    K’s reiterations are a little troubling to me and (at best) suggest either an excuse to field questions on a topic they obviously love or (at worst) a troubling obsessive disorder that doesn’t allow them to deviate from it. Their behavior seems to be compounded by a need to fulfill a particular agenda, by using obfuscation and politeness to win the day, which suggests the latter.

    The way they continually miss the point of responses suggests either an inability to recognize them (an under-educated person), a simple feeding off of buzzwords or a seriously megalomaniacal attempt to misdirect the conversation back to their topic, rather than to something new. This may also be a very good example of what actual close-mindedness is. Dunno.

    What I do know is there’s nothing more to learn from them at this point

  234. dontpanicdent says

    @ speedofsound (#267)

    I get your point about a believer being a source of interesting information. Normally. But, Kafei has obviously abused that notion by sticking to only one topic for the last month and a half, offering nothing new. Something else is going on here besides disseminating information and it’s lately turned the threads into Everything Kafei.

    I scroll down each thread now in anticipation of Kafei, knowing the responses they are going to generate, and just enjoy the show. It’s the only way I can get through them now.

  235. speedofsound says

    @ dontpanicdent (#270)
    He does seem stuck. I kind of recognize this as a symptom of the cult of consciousness and mysticism. Also drug use does not help after a while. It tends to bind you to a belief. It also leaves you in an odd state of having a little too much acceptance of fuzzy intuitions.

    Now he has mentioned that he wants a youtube channel. I have reviewed some of those Kafei linked. They are making money and getting some subscribers. If this is his goal it would be near impossible to give up the core of his belief. I feel bad for him.

    One of central plank of his platform is that atheists will give up atheism if they just have the proper CME. I had one and I was atheist before, during, and after. All my life in fact. So obviously he says I didn’t not Really have one.

    There is something interesting here though, if you really do want to move on a little. It is possible to have all of these mystical wonders and change your life for the better but without the belief part. In fact there is some eastern wisdom about the dangers of attaching to any belief at all. You just trade one ego for a more fuzzy intuitive bigger ego. You feel just a little bit holier than the mere tangible god believers or those with no belief. Of course one of these guys would never, ever admit that to even themselves. Not even in the dark and under the blanket. They cling to their new Samahdi ego like it’s life itself.

    What the experience did to me is set me on a course in my life where I made these changes and gleaned some significant benefits without any of the belief. I’m in a 12-step program where much god is tossed around and I have redefined all of this in a non-believer form and made it work for me. 12 years sober on April fools day. 8 years since I puffed a cigarette and I was a 6.2 pack a day chronic nutjob.

    Pretty much changed my entire outlook on life and a bit of my personality baggage. So the experience is a very real Experience and can be good for us. What I am interested in is how the average busy guy who does not want to go balls deep trippin’ in drugs or spend all his free time at the monastery could use some of this for his own good. In AA I act as the goto guy for new members who can’t do the god thing and we work some of this out.

    But then that makes me one of those spiritual-but-not-religious fuckers and I think that is not too popular around here. 🙂

  236. paxoll says

    @RR
    From my experience, STAT in the US is used primarily 2 ways, to refer to the term ‘immediately’ from medical usage, and to refer to a single statistical fact. E.g. what is the current stat on michaels rebounds.
     
    When referring to the field of statistics, it is referred to as Stats. E,g, I have to go to stats class at 12. Or it is a group of statistical facts. E.g. What are the stats on michaels?
     
    For that silly Maths term, I like to direct everyone to the numberphile video on the topic. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SbZCECvoaTA

  237. speedofsound says

    I’m sorry but it’s math and I have the arsenal to prove it. Just not an intellectual arsenal. If ya get my meaning limey.

  238. says

    Actually, the differentiation Chikoppi was asking about with his two questions (P1 & P2) seems to be a genuine inquiry as to the experience of a CME, how it’s ultimately defined and how our conceptualizations of a god could be re-imagined.

    I agree that it was a genuine inquiry, and I understood what it meant, my point was that it was irrelevant to what I was attempting emphasize, both inquiries were essentially loaded questions. I’ll explain. Here’s the two propositions once more.

    1) “THING” is a name for a particular experience that a person might have and no separate entity exists. (No revelation.)

    I want to emphasize “separate” here, as the proposition implies separateness. That’s not what is involved in a CME.

    2) “THING” is a separate entity that exists apart from subjective experience of it (No evidence.)

    Once again, you’ll notice the same dichotomy here. Both propositions imply a separateness, and the CME is a state of consciousness wherein which there is the complete annihilation of all conflicts, of separateness and as some psychologists might say a temporary “ego death.” I mean, if you’re going through full threads here, I may redirect your attention to the first thread this year, I left numerous material on on all of these topics, on various religions, mystics, terms they’ve used to refer to this phenomenon in consciousness, the scientific research relative to CMEs, etc.

    If, for example, the CME provides the discovery that there is a Oneness SuperBeing flowing through everything, connecting all of us, that might be useful information. If the CME establishes this entity as something separate from us, that could also be a useful stepping-off point for a discussion.

    I absolutely agree with you. However, I will point out something, there is a word I was emphasizing earlier, do you notice it again in your statement above? “Something ‘separate’ from us.” You see, at the height of a CME there is no dichotomy between what you might regard as “yourself” and the “external reality,” it’s perceived as a complete unicity. There’s no “this” to compare to a “that,” from the vantage point of a CME, everything is literally one in such a profound sense that no mystic or even volunteer at Johns Hopkins has ever coined the perfect metaphor for, it’s an experience that transcends what you might imagine as time and space, and that’s not very easily put into words.

    *Then, as it is entirely possible to think of this entity as something real, the discussion might then lead to whether or not it has any agency, intelligence or consciousness. Maybe, it’s just a self-less awareness or something inert or something basic to the structure of the universe– an undiscovered, undefined fifth force in nature. All of that could be interesting.*

    Well, these ideas aren’t really new. Hinduism is, in fact, a view that entails what is called panpsychism or panexperientialism, and Hinduism is considered the Grandfather religion dating back over 10,000 B.C. Panpsychism actually goes back further than that to animism, shamanism, etc. They were also central to the mystery religions. I agree, that they certainly are interesting. You sort of just chimed in late here, and supposedly to find entertainment in these posts, but are you familiar with this research I’ve been referring to at all? Some people here are just being introduced to it, and others like Matt Dillahunty have ignored it to the point where it took someone like Jordan Peterson to get him to finally attempt to address it, but even after his encounter with Jordan, if you view the first call, first episode this year, he still hasn’t even attempt to grasp it yet. No offense to Matt Dillahunty, but this is the truth. For instance, even in the research, they have this very interesting survey that they use to assess their volunteers, and you’ll find the responses to some of these questions which pertain to the very curiosity you’re expressing here.

    Without defining this thing’s existence and where it lies in regards to us, though, makes it tough to get to those more interesting ideas.

    Yes, this is why I really enjoy Steve McRae’s work, because if we can’t even come to terms with the very terms we use to discuss all of this, then we’re going to end up going in circles. I’ll give you an example, SpeedofSound typed, “Drives me nuts trying to get him to say out loud that he believes consciousness/god is the substrate of reality but that is the fact of the matter. Though if you state his position like i just did, or any other way, in the strongest iron-man version, he will deny it and spin off a few links and a few quoted paragraphs and then, rinse and repeat.” I can definitely see why my friend here would say such a thing, but allow me to explain… One of the most recent discoveries, in my humble opinion, was Mandlebrot’s discovery of fractals, and so if you’ve ever ran a Google search for “brain cell/universe,” you can get a glimpse of this notion.

    However, all the great religions have depicted God in this fashion within the symbolism, the analogies in scripture as The Holy Spirit proceeding from the Father to the Son, the Atman in Hinduism which is identical to Brahman which is the Totality of nature also depicted as Indra’s net in Buddhism. Plotinus called it “The One,” and I’d definitely like to elaborate on a discussion like this, I wasn’t backing out or “scared.” I was inviting people here from the other thread to discuss these things which I feel The Atheist Experience doesn’t really address. I’ve tried to bring up at the science on these topics up with the hosts in my calls with them, etc. Now, yes, there is this theme in religion where even the science has recognized that it seems that this is a way that consciousness is structured itself.

    I understand that’s hard for people to fathom, that the basic principle of reality is consciousness, because how does a rock experience consciousness? What people think of as “dead matter.” In the Hindu view, the consciousness of matter like a rock might be called “Turiya,” meaning a pure consciousness devoid of emotions and thought, because there’s no neuronal system, no release of serotonin, etc. Even no neuronal system for memory, so often you’ll find poetry in Zen which says of wild geese flying over a lake, ‘The wild geese do not intend to cast their reflection, and the water has no mind to retain their image.’ This is an articulation on the nature of Turiya or what in Zen is called Sunyata. Alan Watts would often say that the Self with a capital “S” has no reason to have a memory of itself which is the very trap we fall into with ego, so despite the fact that we have to abide in this illusion of ego, you don’t necessarily regard it the same way after such an experience.

    The alternative for this view is that consciousness is merely an emergence from complex matter. The issue that falls into is there’s no explanation for how that matter became complex enough to explain this emergent property. Christian de Quincey talks about this stuff, Robert Wright, Galen Strawson, Peter Sjöstedt, etc. Often religious views will see the material body as a kind of avatar, something which the divine flows through, so in this view consciousness never dies, it simply transforms because it’s all regarded ultimately as one entity. Alan Watts once spoke of in a talk he gave titled popularly on YouTube as “Zen Bones.” Watts said, “Once upon a time, there was a Zen student who quoted an old Buddhist poem to his teacher which says, “The voices of torrents are from one great tongue, the lines of the hills are the pure body of Buddha. Isn’t that right?” He said to the teacher. “It is,” said the teacher, “but it’s a pity to say so.” Well, I’ll leave it at that, but I do recommend searching that talk, he goes on to say in a talk he gave at a Zen center, “It would be, of course, much better if this occasion was celebrated with no talk at all, and I addressed you in the manner of the ancient teachers of Zen, I should hit the microphone with my fan and leave. But I somehow have the feeling that since you’re participating in a discussion like this, in an expectation of learning something about Zen, a few words should be said, even though I warn you, that by explaining these things to you, I’m subjecting you, I shall subject you to a very serious hoax, because if I allow you to leave here this evening under the impression that you’ve learned something about Zen, you have will missed the point entirely. Because Zen deals in a way of life, a state of being, an experience which is not possible to embrace in any concepts whatsoever.”

  239. says

  240. speedofsound says

    @Kafei old buddy

    Now, yes, there is this theme in religion where even the science has recognized that it seems that this is a way that consciousness is structured itself.

    THERE it is! You said it out loud. I have got you to do this a few times now but god damn it I have to work hard for this.

    The alternative for this view is that consciousness is merely an emergence from complex matter. The issue that falls into is there’s no explanation for how that matter became complex enough to explain this emergent property.

    I could namedrop about a dozen scientists that disagree with this but the most pertinent thing is that I disagree here. I am the one writing this. “how that matter became complex enough” ?? Did you know that the arrangement of that matter is pretty damned complicated? Did you know that that astronomical complexity is like the the goosey reflection of your natural environment across the time path of your life?

    But it is all just some matter curiously mattering in a mind-like way. Consciousness(C) is not some special greatness that the matter of the cosmos is shot through with. On careful analysis of what we really mean by C it disappears in gradations into that of the C-less rock. This is called eliminativism by some and is much misunderstood of course.

    ‘The Science’ of the mushroom researchers has found nothing, not a shred, not a spot, of actual science that says anything at all about the structure of the universe having something to do with C. You keep alluding to this little bit of research that would show me wrong about this but you can never quite point out the exact part of a scientific paper that actually says what you are saying. Instead you point to YouTube where the researchers have had a few drinks and went off the rails on stage, waxing poetically, saying nebulous Einstein type things and getting far too excited with their public spotlight. I would have had them fired for this.

    Why so harsh? Cuz guys like you, just like the quantum/mind guys, are vulnerable to sound bites.

    Now LISTEN to Watts when he tells you that this consciousness mind stuff and all the rest is simply missing the point. Quit shitting on ‘matter’ like you do and understand that it’s far more clever in it’s complexity than you are willing to give it credit for. It is in fact the god you seek and the fractal you love and anything that is said out loud should be said about it and what science knows of it. Nothing more.

    Atheists are the true spiritual critters who in their complete lack of belief have finally embraced Mr Watts’ point.

  241. says

    @speedofsound

    THERE it is! You said it out loud. I have got you to do this a few times now but god damn it I have to work hard for this.

    I’ve been saying this all along, so has Alan Watts, so have all the mystics representing the various faiths have been yammering about for millennia. Alan Watts has said that each one of us is the Brahman or God, whatever you’d like to call it, what he called “The Great Self.”

    The alternative for this view is that consciousness is merely an emergence from complex matter. The issue that falls into is there’s no explanation for how that matter became complex enough to explain this emergent property.

    I could namedrop about a dozen scientists that disagree with this but the most pertinent thing is that I disagree here. I am the one writing this. “how that matter became complex enough” ?? Did you know that the arrangement of that matter is pretty damned complicated? Did you know that that astronomical complexity is like the the goosey reflection of your natural environment across the time path of your life?

    Of course, I realize it’s complicated. I’ve mentioned in the Hindu view, matter is this infinite fractal that goes inward forever, and outward eternally throughout the Whole. Reality itself is considered divine for this very reason. Leo came back from his retreat, and he actually touches on this “infinite fractal.” Coincidentally, last night I was viewing one of these Mandlebrot/fractal zooms on YouTube that fractally spiral downwards forever. Have you seen one of those? YouTube: “fractal zoom”.

    But it is all just some matter curiously mattering in a mind-like way. Consciousness(C) is not some special greatness that the matter of the cosmos is shot through with. On careful analysis of what we really mean by C it disappears in gradations into that of the C-less rock. This is called eliminativism by some and is much misunderstood of course.

    Sure, these are modern theories. Even Terence McKenna joked in a talk I believed he titled “The Taxonomy of Illusion” that Daniel Dennett’s book “Consciousness Explained” should’ve been titled “Consciousness Explained Away,” because it was simply another one of these attempts to explain what neuroscience has not explained, and what is still quite a mystery to neuroscience and that is consciousness.

    ‘The Science’ of the mushroom researchers has found nothing, not a shred, not a spot, of actual science that says anything at all about the structure of the universe having something to do with C. You keep alluding to this little bit of research that would show me wrong about this but you can never quite point out the exact part of a scientific paper that actually says what you are saying. Instead you point to YouTube where the researchers have had a few drinks and went off the rails on stage, waxing poetically, saying nebulous Einstein type things and getting far too excited with their public spotlight. I would have had them fired for this.

    They say this about the CME itself, that it seems to be something that’s part of the very structure of consciousness itself. That’s not just some tidbit soundbite, that’s something these professionals really take quite seriously in regards to the CME.

    Why so harsh? Cuz guys like you, just like the quantum/mind guys, are vulnerable to sound bites.

    Now LISTEN to Watts when he tells you that this consciousness mind stuff and all the rest is simply missing the point. Quit shitting on ‘matter’ like you do and understand that it’s far more clever in it’s complexity than you are willing to give it credit for. It is in fact the god you seek and the fractal you love and anything that is said out loud should be said about it and what science knows of it. Nothing more.

    Atheists are the true spiritual critters who in their complete lack of belief have finally embraced Mr Watts’ point.

    I believe you missed Watt’s point. Watts says himself that “the atheist has missed the point.” What I’m trying to tell you is that matter is much more complex than what you’re giving it credit for. Alan Watts once said, “The atheist, you see, the man who advertises his disbelief in God is a very pious person. Nobody believes in God like an atheist.” Then, Watts goes on posing as an atheist and says, “There is no God, and I am his prophet.” When he said that, I immediately imagined Aron Ra, because Aron Ra is a prophet for atheist evangelism, essentially, he speaks like a preacher when he speaks, acts like one, hell, he even dresses like one. But he, you see, he was demonstrating how the atheist has missed the point. As I’ve been trying to repeatedly explain to you, of course, to no avail because you’re still grasping to this delusion that Alan Watts was an atheist when he clearly wasn’t yet you insist he was, that is your misconception, and perhaps when you can finally do away with it, you can finally attempt to grasp what Watts was saying all along.

  242. CompulsoryAccount7746, Sky Captain says

    @Kafei #277:

    last night I was viewing one of these Mandlebrot/fractal zooms on YouTube

     
    Article: Wikipedia – Mandelbrot set

    The Mandelbrot set has become popular outside mathematics both for its aesthetic appeal and as an example of a complex structure arising from the application of simple rules.

    Article: Wikipedia – Mandelbrot set (simple english)

  243. Monocle Smile says

    @Kafei

    Alan Watts once said, “The atheist, you see, the man who advertises his disbelief in God is a very pious person. Nobody believes in God like an atheist.” Then, Watts goes on posing as an atheist and says, “There is no God, and I am his prophet.” When he said that, I immediately imagined Aron Ra, because Aron Ra is a prophet for atheist evangelism, essentially, he speaks like a preacher when he speaks, acts like one, hell, he even dresses like one. But he, you see, he was demonstrating how the atheist has missed the point

    Watts and you are the ones who have missed the point. You’re not listening and probably won’t ever listen because you’re too busy lying your ass off about the history of religion. You are, quite simply, WRONG about all religions stemming from CMEs. Flatly wrong. You refuse to acknowledge this and the only fucking thing you do to back up your case is “some dudes said so.” That’s not compelling.
    We’re evidently meat bags. All the poetic bullshit in the world won’t change that.

  244. RationalismRules says

    @EL, Paxoll Thanks for responding.

    @Paxoll
    Yes, it’s ‘math/maths’ related. On a YouTube thread someone rejected the ‘stats’ comparison by saying they had never heard it abbreviated in the US, so I thought I’d check in with some Americans I know.

    I have no issue with either ‘math’ or ‘maths’, I just argue with people who try to tell me my preferred form isn’t ‘correct’.

    I’m a bit similar in my approach to atheist vs. agnostic, although in that case I do feel there’s a ‘more correct’ interpretation. But I don’t tend to argue about it unless someone tells me I’m ‘wrong’ in how I’m using the terms. Then, let battle commence!

  245. CompulsoryAccount7746, Sky Captain says

    Text may be a bit dry. Numberphile has a couple visual explanations.
     
    Video: Part 1, Mandelbrot Set (9:10)
     
    Video: Part 2, Filled Julia Set (6:47)
     
    @Kafei #277:

    What I’m trying to tell you is that matter is much more complex than what you’re giving it credit for.

    Fractals are an example against your argument that matter must be more complex than it appears.
     

    matter is this infinite fractal that goes inward forever, and outward eternally throughout the Whole. Reality itself is considered divine for this very reason.

    This is nonsense.

  246. speedofsound says

    @Kafei (#277)

    I believe you missed Watt’s point. Watts says himself that “the atheist has missed the point.” What I’m trying to tell you is that matter is much more complex than what you’re giving it credit for. Alan Watts once said, “The atheist, you see, the man who advertises his disbelief in God is a very pious person. Nobody believes in God like an atheist.” Then, Watts goes on posing as an atheist and says, “There is no God, and I am his prophet.” When he said that, I immediately imagined Aron Ra, because Aron Ra is a prophet for atheist evangelism, essentially, he speaks like a preacher when he speaks, acts like one, hell, he even dresses like one. But he, you see, he was demonstrating how the atheist has missed the point. As I’ve been trying to repeatedly explain to you, of course, to no avail because you’re still grasping to this delusion that Alan Watts was an atheist when he clearly wasn’t yet you insist he was, that is your misconception, and perhaps when you can finally do away with it, you can finally attempt to grasp what Watts was saying all along.

    – When you quote someone provide a reference or else I am going to call you a liar. Are you lying or do you have proper references?

    – The issue I have with you and I think most here is that you came in like the Music Man banging drums and blowing horns, insisting that the ‘atheist’ who has a CME suddenly is not an atheist. That right away tells us that you have some conception of god, because an atheist, today, not in Watts day, is someone who simply DOES NOT BELIEVE in some concept labeled ‘god’.

    – Now that last bit if read carefully has some problems. ‘some concept’ of god. Notice that Watts was referring to what is now a strawman, the atheist who has a firm concept of god and sort of defines himself foolishly by hating it. Without a reference to the Watts passage I have no idea what he was going on about if he in fact said such a thing. His books come without index.

    Now I, a very hardcore atheist, will often use the word god to point to a concept when I am talking to fellow drunks and addicts about a thing they need to acknowledge about human beings. Guys like you muddy that water and you will notice above That you got Monocle Smile to think that you and Watts are something like on the same page. We end up with a situation where the baby gets tossed with the bath. We can look into Watts a soon as you get honest and provide references. I insist that the atheist of the day when he spoke is not the atheist that you find here.

    – So you rail against atheism but you provide no firm conception fo god. Getting one from you is like skewering a marble with a dinner fork. I attribute that to drug induced brain damage but that’s just me.

    – To be an atheist one must be without belief ‘as conceptions of god present themselves’. An atheist without a theist around to argue with is not actually a thing at all. Just an organism going about it’s business with nothing notable happening at all. We are kind of like spiders in that we only show ourselves when some fucking theist comes along and vibrates the web.

    – You are vibrating the fucking web but slippery little devil you are in that we can never figure out what part of the web you are wiggling. If we show up to take you on you run off into link-quote-jargon clouds of indirection like a little girl. Then we hear you taunting us again from a new spot. Vexing.

    -Now I think I have been clear about my spirituality and my connection to mysticism as a strict naturalist. For me it could conceivably all be reduced to known laws of physics and chemistry. No new consciousness conscicles need be discovered by science to explain a mystical experience.

    -You insist that if I had had a true mystical experience, the two actual ME’s I had (excluding the numerous drug experiences), THAT I would have to abandon my position in the last bullet point. WHY? What would I have learned that runs counter to known laws of physics, biology, and chemistry? THIS IS THE ONE YOU HAVE TO ANSWER FOR!

    Oh! And you have to reference that Watts quote or you are lying.

  247. speedofsound says

    @CompulsoryAccount7746 (#281)

    Fractals are an example against your argument that matter must be more complex than it appears.

    Nice catch. Complexity is, if I needed a concept of god, It.

    All this spirit-mind bullshit about consciousness makes me cranky. “Science doesn’t understand C” pisses me off the most. Actually we have all the science we need right now to explain anything we want about mind and cognition. The problem lies in what the question actually is. We have all the answers. Just waiting for a sensible question.

    This is exactly like when humans through science could not explain the ‘life-force’. When you accuse these wankers of that though they have many lofty excuses to show that they are different from the old vitalism idiots. They have a Real Hard Problem.

    In fact they have nothing that amounts to much more than a really difficult bowel movement. Intellectually speaking of course.

    Complexity and fractals are at the heart of biology. Fathoms deep in math is where you end up. The math is the only thing I have ever found worthy of worship.

    (no s on any of those!)

  248. parkerren says

    I have many things I would like to discuss. I was hoping to discuss them with someone. I had hoped to talk about my doubts, about why I became a Christian and look at why would someone ever want to be out as an atheist. I may be an atheist but I don’t see any advantage to ever stating it publically.

  249. speedofsound says

    Apologies Kafei. I did not see the little red link to the Watts video. You should put the name of the doc in parens around or on your link so we know when you are linking and have an attribution. But I fucked up.

  250. speedofsound says

    So we have a pretty incoherent video of Watt’s where he led with a funny joke about the strawman atheist of the 60’s and 70’s. Then Watts went on, rambling, and pretty much described the position of lacking any fixed belief and therefore showing his agreement with the atheist of the twenty-teens.

  251. RationalismRules says

    @parkerren #284

    I have many things I would like to discuss. I was hoping to discuss them with someone. I had hoped to talk about my doubts, about why I became a Christian and look at why would someone ever want to be out as an atheist. I may be an atheist but I don’t see any advantage to ever stating it publically.

    I’m up for a discussion.

    If I’ve read your post right, you are/have been a Christian, and currently have doubts to the point where you’re no longer sure you believe in god, is that a fair assessment? It’s not critically important, but it’s helpful to know where you’re coming from.
     
    Why would someone want to be ‘out’ as an atheist? Two main personal reasons:

    – Living your life honestly. Pretending to be something you’re not is not a positive thing for most people. Many atheists have expressed feeling great relief after coming out, simply because they are no longer hiding their true selves.

    – Secondly, finding like-minded people to hang out with. Isolation is a horrible feeling, and it’s known to be damaging to mental health and general well-being. Humans are social creatures, and finding others like us is important to living a supported and happy life. Any community, however religious, is bound to contain a certain number of non-believers, but if they are all hiding their non-belief they have no way of finding each other. It takes at least one out atheist for others to connect to.

    Those are reasons to be out as an atheist. However, depending on your situation, there may be costs to being out, especially if you live in a highly religious society. You are the only one who can decide whether the costs outweigh the benefits in your situation.
     
    There’s also a societal benefit to atheists being out and open. The more out atheists there are, the more it becomes clear that religion is not required to live a good/happy life, and the more the power of religion gets eroded. I don’t think anyone would choose to come out for this reason, but it’s a flow-on effect.
     
    Happy to chat further about your reasons for believing and your doubts. Let’s hear them!

  252. speedofsound says

    @parkerren (#284)

    Reason is contagious. But only if one is exposed. My sister, my AA sponsor, and a few friends along the way have ‘become’ atheists as a result of my being very forward about it. I do the same thing with my being an addict. I put it out there in front and it starts a lot of conversations.

    I guess I have this compulsion to make a difference by being the sum of my experience, transparently. I want to engage the world and share experience and my thinking. Kind of big ego I suspect but I think it takes a little ego to want to do some good.

    RationalismRules mentioned honesty. That has been important in my life concerning my open atheism from age eight when I told my mom I was done with our church. It saved me from a lot of making excuses with my family. All of my mom’s life she would have these moments when just my being in the room had her asking questions. 🙂 I did lie to her the day she died though. She was always concerned about her social circles in heaven so I gave her that. She was never gonna figure this shit out anyway.

    But I had a good family that was not particularly religious in my early years. There were no lost relationships as a result of believing one way or the other. No one can guess your circumstances and give you specific advice. The Atheist Experience is chock full of clips about individuals making these choices.

    In the last decade my family has taken a turn. From my brother to my great-great nieces and nephews. young earth creationism and homeschooling has infested them. I am very concerned for the children. I do not give a shit if my popularity has fallen off with them. I am going to be vocal as hell with the hope that someday a little reason will vaccinate one of them.

    I am kind of a warrior for pure science and kids need to get exposed to good science. These YEC’s are shielding kids from good science through homeschooling. Unacceptable!

    I don’t know. Not everyone needs to be warrior. Circumstances vary.

  253. says

    @Monocle Smile

    Watts and you are the ones who have missed the point. You’re not listening and probably won’t ever listen because you’re too busy lying your ass off about the history of religion. You are, quite simply, WRONG about all religions stemming from CMEs. Flatly wrong. You refuse to acknowledge this and the only fucking thing you do to back up your case is “some dudes said so.” That’s not compelling.

    I’m not pointing to some guy that says so, but rather evidence produced by decades worth of scientific research into these mystical altered states, studies which have done deep exegetical work on the scriptures of the major religions which can recognized these states as being expressed in the scripture of all the world’s major religions, and the fact that all the major religions have various forms of mysticism from Christianity to Toaism.

    We’re evidently meat bags. All the poetic bullshit in the world won’t change that.

    Well, then you’ve missed the point, like what says, if you think you’re just poor lil’ ol’ me, what he called the “skin-encapsulated ego” or what you’re calling the “meat bag,” then you’ve defined yourself as a meat bag separate from the rest of nature instead of seeing each “meat bag” as deeply interconnected to the rest of nature such that you cannot have one without the other.

    @speedofsound

    So we have a pretty incoherent video of Watt’s where he led with a funny joke about the strawman atheist of the 60’s and 70’s. Then Watts went on, rambling, and pretty much described the position of lacking any fixed belief and therefore showing his agreement with the atheist of the twenty-teens.

    Wow, it’s amazing the mental gymnastics you go through to deny the fact that Watts spoke against atheism. Again, Alan Watts is not an atheist, and he’s not criticizing atheists of the 60s and 70s, but atheists in general. And of course, he wasn’t speaking about the New Atheists or Atheism Plus (the twenty-teens atheists), because he died in ’73. He’s criticizing the atheist position in general.

    @Sky Captain

    What I’m trying to tell you is that matter is much more complex than what you’re giving it credit for.

    Fractals are an example against your argument that matter must be more complex than it appears.

    Okay, how so? You atheists have a knack for offering criticism, but not explaining as to why you think your criticism is valid.

    matter is this infinite fractal that goes inward forever, and outward eternally throughout the Whole. Reality itself is considered divine for this very reason.

    This is nonsense.

    Okay, but you’re cherry-picking here. You left out the portion where I said, “In the Hindu view,” I was speaking specifically how the Hindus and Buddhists saw infinite in every direction. I’m not saying that atoms, in fact, go inward forever or that our universe is inside of an atom, and so on outward, that the atom in the universe that contains our universe is yet another universe inside of an atom of yet another grander universe which is also inside an atom of an even greater universe, and so on ad infinitum. Some physicists believe that matter cannot complexify below the Plank scale into more and more universes below the atom, then there’s other physicists who posit that there’s quantum mechanical black holes at the heart of every atom which could account for such complexity. However, I was speaking specifically of the Hindu and Buddhist views which see matter as infinite, as eternally renewable, that see the universe as a cyclical process, etc.

  254. CompulsoryAccount7746, Sky Captain says

    @Kafei #289:

    #277: “matter is this infinite fractal that goes inward forever, and outward eternally throughout the Whole”
    #281: “This is nonsense.”
    […]
    Okay
    […]
    I’m not saying that atoms, in fact, go inward forever […] and so on outward

    Then please refrain from writing nonsense and deflecting blame to 3rd parties when it’s called out. You are responsible for everything you bring to a discussion, regardless of whether you were first to say it. You chose what to include and how.
     
     

    explaining as to why you think your criticism is valid.

    {next z} = z^2 + c, iterate to generate a z sequence, plot a point (with color depending on that sequence’s trend)… repeat for another point… and so on until the desired region is painted at the plotted level of detail. Areas on the boundary of the set are sensitive to small variations, resulting in volatile results, complex features.
     
    See #278: “The Mandelbrot set has become popular […] as an example of a complex structure arising from the application of simple rules.”

  255. says

    @Sky Captain

    Then please refrain from writing nonsense and deflecting blame to 3rd parties when it’s called out. You are responsible for everything you bring to a discussion, regardless of whether you were first to say it. You chose what to include and how.

    You’re the one that ignored the fact that this is the view from eastern religions such as Hinduism and Buddhism by cherry-picking what I said. And I wouldn’t necessarily call it “nonsense.” No physicist can tell you what precisely happens below the Plank scale, likewise what goes on outside of the universe. They can posit a multiverse, we can posit micro black holes at the center of the atom, but we ultimately don’t know from a scientific standpoint.

    {next z} = z^2 + c, iterate to generate a z sequence, plot a point (with color depending on that sequence’s trend)… repeat for another point… and so on until the desired region is painted at the plotted level of detail. Areas on the boundary of the set are sensitive to small variations, resulting in volatile results, complex features.

    See #278: “The Mandelbrot set has become popular […] as an example of a complex structure arising from the application of simple rules.”

    This isn’t a criticism, you’re simply explaining what the Mandelbrot set entails. What I’m saying if the Hindu view is correct, then this implies that nature it very self is fractal, from the brain cell to the very structure of the universe itself as seen in a photo of a brain cell, and a model generated to represent the cluster of galaxies and how they form in our universe.

  256. CompulsoryAccount7746, Sky Captain says

    @Kafei #293:

    What I’m saying if the Hindu view is correct, then this implies that nature it very self is fractal […] the very structure of the universe itself as seen in a photo of a brain cell

    That’s not what you said you were saying before.
     
    Kafei #277: “What I’m trying to tell you is that matter is much more complex than what you’re giving it credit for.”
     
    @Kafei #274:

    the consciousness of matter like a rock might be called “Turiya,” meaning a pure consciousness devoid of emotions and thought, because there’s no neuronal system, no release of serotonin, etc. Even no neuronal system for memory

    Why *should* a rock be classified as conscious?

  257. says

    @Sky Captain

    That’s not what you said you were saying before.

    Kafei #277: “What I’m trying to tell you is that matter is much more complex than what you’re giving it credit for.”

    Well, yes, if you consider these things, then matter is more complex than what people give it credit for. You think matter’s unconscious, and so therefore you’re already subtracting qualities from matter that would otherwise be more complex, likewise this view of the atom going inward into infinity, etc. If you reject that, then you’re basically grasping to classical mechanics to explain away everything.

    @Kafei #274:

    the consciousness of matter like a rock might be called “Turiya,” meaning a pure consciousness devoid of emotions and thought, because there’s no neuronal system, no release of serotonin, etc. Even no neuronal system for memory

    Why *should* a rock be classified as conscious?

    Well, you have to be careful how you’re saying that. Panexperientialists aren’t saying that rocks are conscious in the same way that you and I are conscious. Rather, it’s saying that consciousness is a fundamental feature to matter, that it abides in a pure consciousness, what I’ve mentioned the Hindus have referred to as “Turiya” which matter ultimately conforms to in the Hindu view as Pralaya. However, this ever-present background consciousness of Turiya is what is represented in the “Om,” the very diamond at the top of the symbol which is also elaborated in the Diamond Sutra in Buddhism. The curve underneath the diamond represents Maya, that veils true awareness, the Absolute or the Brahman/Atman or the Bindu or pure consciousness, etc. The various pieces of the OM represent these various states of consciousness from waking to dreaming and dreamless sleep or unconsciousness. I mean, I don’t know if you’ve ever even considered this, but if you’d like a further elaboration, I’ll leave some suggestions below.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZCo9fJ9EP_k
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b-9s1x4tJ9M

  258. CompulsoryAccount7746, Sky Captain says

    @Kafei #295:
    I made no assumption about what you meant.
     
    Tell me. What are *your* criteria for classifying something as conscious? By what specific characteristics *should* a rock qualify? By what methodology have *you* determined rocks have these characteristics?
     
    Don’t tell me “it’s not this”… “it’s not like that”… I want positive characteristics that meet your criteria. Of the object itself, or of its relations to other detectable objects.
     

    if you consider these things, then
    […]
    Panexperientialists aren’t saying

    If you’re going to ventriloquize someone else’s hypothetical just to play “what if” and ramble about implications had it been true, I’m uninterested.

  259. says

    @Sky Captain

    Tell me. What are *your* criteria for classifying something as conscious? By what specific characteristics *should* a rock qualify? By what methodology have *you* determined rocks have these characteristics?

    I think you’re missing the point. I’m not saying that definitely that rocks are conscious in some sort of way that we don’t understand. I’m attempting to express that in the view of the eastern philosophies, the very foundation of matter is consciousness. What is referred to as “Turiya” in Hinduism but takes on many names throughout the eastern religions such as sunyata in Buddhism or wu wei in Taoism. You see, you ask by what methodology do they determine this, correct? Well, of course, as I’ve been emphasizing, by this involvement in mysticism, by a direct engagement with the mystical experience. This is what is intuited at the very height of the so-called “complete” mystical experience which is essentially synonymous with what Hindus are describing with “Turiya.” This is how they describe these states of samadhi which they articulate as a dissolution into the Brahman or the Absolute. It also happens to be how the noetic quality is described in the research, and that’s the ultimate epistemology that’s questioned by those who’ve not had this experience.

    So, if you are to consider this view, then consciousness is the background from which all manifestation proceeds forth, and even the early Church Fathers held this view. That all material reality comes forth from the Godhead, that the Holy Spirit proceeds from the Father, not the Son from the mystic’s point-of-view.

    The distinction is, since you probably didn’t bother clicking those links or maybe you glimpsed through them because you replied rather quickly, is that either you believe a non-conscious matter produced somehow consciousness as most atheists believe which is that consciousness is an emergent property of the brain. Most people think of it as a kind of Emergentism that’s dependent upon physicalism. Now, you see, if you consider the panpsychist view, that consciousness itself is a basic property of matter, a fundamental property, then the consciousness we have now is an inevitable result.

    Don’t tell me “it’s not this”… “it’s not like that”… I want positive characteristics that meet your criteria. Of the object itself, or of its relations to other detectable objects.

    if you consider these things, then
    […]
    Panexperientialists aren’t saying

    If you’re going to ventriloquize someone else’s hypothetical just to play “what if” and ramble about implications had it been true, I’m uninterested.

    That’s not what I’m doing at all. I’m trying to express to you a very old view expressed in the very early eastern religions of that originated in India and spread to the oriental countries as Zen Buddhism and Taoism. I offered those links to give you a better idea of what’s being expressed here. I would’ve said review ’em before responding, because some of your points were addressed in those clips.

  260. Monocle Smile says

    You see, you ask by what methodology do they determine this, correct? Well, of course, as I’ve been emphasizing, by this involvement in mysticism, by a direct engagement with the mystical experience

    There is absolutely zero evidence that a “mystical experience” provides any sort of knowledge about reality and it is singularly dishonest of you to claim otherwise.

    So, if you are to consider this view, then consciousness is the background from which all manifestation proceeds forth, and even the early Church Fathers held this view. That all material reality comes forth from the Godhead, that the Holy Spirit proceeds from the Father, not the Son from the mystic’s point-of-view.

    Why should we not dismiss this fact-free “point of view” as the nonsense it is?

    The distinction is, since you probably didn’t bother clicking those links or maybe you glimpsed through them because you replied rather quickly, is that either you believe a non-conscious matter produced somehow consciousness as most atheists believe which is that consciousness is an emergent property of the brain. Most people think of it as a kind of Emergentism that’s dependent upon physicalism

    I’ll ignore your uncharitable portrayal for now. What you describe here is indicated by every last bit of evidence ever produced by neuroscience and physiology. Every last bit.

    Now, you see, if you consider the panpsychist view, that consciousness itself is a basic property of matter, a fundamental property, then the consciousness we have now is an inevitable result.

    Oh my aching ass. You don’t get to find a single data point that is somehow consistent with a baggage-laden hypothesis, exclude absolutely everything else, and claim victory. This is more dishonesty. This is how conspiracy theorists think.

    I think you’re missing the point

    In all your time posting here, only one person has ever missed the point, and this post is addressed to him. If you flat-out reject falsifiability and repost bullshit like “god cannot be falsified because god is truth and truth can’t be falsified,” nobody here will ever give a fucking fuck what you have to say and you should take a hike and get banned on some other forum where nobody likes you.

  261. says

    @Monocle Smile

    There is absolutely zero evidence that a “mystical experience” provides any sort of knowledge about reality and it is singularly dishonest of you to claim otherwise.

    Well, it is the intuition inside the experience. Whether science can gauge that or not is out of the question. Of course, we can’t. However, I will attest it is the overwhelming intuition at the height of this experience. There are other insights that I believe are also important, as in this breakdown of subject-object duality we have in our ordinary consciousness, and even the physicist will accept that everything is ultimately a unity, and even Tracie has accepted that the physicists do claim this, not panpsychism, but the fact that the universe is one whole, manifest. It’s a block.

    Why should we not dismiss this fact-free “point of view” as the nonsense it is?

    Why would you think there would be facts on this? This is why people consider this, because science cannot dismiss this view. Do you have any evidence to the contrary?

    I’ll ignore your uncharitable portrayal for now.

    That’s funny coming from you. Have you read the backlog to your posts? You know, how you’ve pretty much insulted the entire roster here with the exception of maybe the hosts and buddyward.

    What you describe here is indicated by every last bit of evidence ever produced by neuroscience and physiology. Every last bit.

    Again, care to share your contrary evidence?

    Oh my aching ass. You don’t get to find a single data point that is somehow consistent with a baggage-laden hypothesis, exclude absolutely everything else, and claim victory. This is more dishonesty. This is how conspiracy theorists think.

    Again, I’ll be waiting for your non-existent evidence or another trivial insult as per usual and expected of you.

    I think you’re missing the point

    In all your time posting here, only one person has ever missed the point, and this post is addressed to him. If you flat-out reject falsifiability and repost bullshit like “god cannot be falsified because god is truth and truth can’t be falsified,” nobody here will ever give a fucking fuck what you have to say and you should take a hike and get banned on some other forum where nobody likes you.

    And yet here you are, after I said that threads ago, letting me know that you apparently don’t “give a fuck.” It’s like that George Carlin joke where he said the people who supposedly don’t give a shit desperately want you to know that they don’t give a shit. Well, Monocle Smile. If you don’t give a shit, then you should do the logical thing. I thought you, especially you, would’ve blocked me ages ago. Yet here you are ranting nonsense with nothing to back up your statement except, “I don’t like you! Therefore, my criticism is valid.” If you don’t like the fact that truth is by definition unfalsifiable, then the truth doesn’t give a fuck that you don’t like that, you know. It goes both ways. Yin and Yang, my curmudgeonous compadre.

  262. parkerren says

    @RationalismRules (#287)
    Thank you for willing to discuss this with me. I will try to explain where I am coming from.
    I grew up in a christian home, but I did not have much interest in christianity. I would not listen to the sermon and would avoid attending church on any other day. As a freshman in college, I struggled to make connections with other people. When I was 19, I walked down the aisle at a family church camp and “accepted Jesus.” but when I honestly examine why it was not to have a personal relationship with god but to have a personal relationship with other humans. When I return to school, I sought a chirstian organization who had been the only group to reach out to me when I was a freshman.

    Many moments of doubts occurred. An older gentleman was talking about how his experiences with the church when he was young involved so much worship and then quoted Matthew 4:9 not realizing the verse is attributed as the words of Satan tempting Jesus. A few days later I asked the pastor of the church why if the holy spirit is to guide us into all truth why did it fail to guide him. The pastor said it was due to man’s lack of education. That was not the answer I was expecting to hear.

    One time, the college christian group brought in a creationist to give a lecture. During the Q&A a philosophy professor asked the lecturer about a local glacier lake which would have existed long before the supposed creation of the universe It was a great question, but the lecturer’s response as if this was just some debate tactic and failed to address the professor’s question. I never wanted our group ever to bring in a creationist again. I continue participation for human contact.
    Family Guy, season 7, is when I first heard about Richard Dawkins’ book “The God Delusion” (episode “Love Blactually”)and in “Not All Dogs Go to Heaven” Brian’s answer to Meg’s Question “What is there to believe in without god? Where do the answers come from?” was one of the first positive statements about Atheism, I heard. It is why I purchased and read “The God Delusion.”

    I have been watching many atheist channels on youtube, prompted by the PragerU video “If There Is No God, Murder Isn’t Wrong.” I wanted to know how an atheist may respond to this. I saw Holy Kool-Aid’s video then saw a poorly done video by Jaclyn Glenn. Afterward, I continued to watch more atheists videos from Hugo and Jake, Seth Andrews, Matt Dillahunty, The Atheist Experience, Cosmic Skeptic, Genetically Modified Atheist, Rationality Rules and many others.
    So that is a bit of where I am coming from.

  263. CompulsoryAccount7746, Sky Captain says

    @Kafei #297:

    you ask by what methodology do they determine this, correct? Well, of course, as I’ve been emphasizing, by this involvement in mysticism, by a direct engagement with the mystical experience. […] the noetic quality is described in the research, and that’s the ultimate epistemology

    I’m not saying that definitely that rocks are conscious in some sort of way that we don’t understand. I’m attempting to express that in the view of the eastern philosophies

    So much for truth then.
     

    if you consider the panpsychist view, that consciousness [in some sort of way that we don’t understand] is a basic property of matter, a fundamental property, then the consciousness [in the same way that you and I are conscious] now is an inevitable result.

    Tell me the process you used to determine inevitabilities that must follow from *intuiting* that there’s a thing you don’t understand and can’t name any characteristics of?
     
    Lemme guess: you’re not saying it’s definitely inevitable either. Just expressing it’s what some other people assert.

  264. says

    @Sky Captain

    I’m not saying that definitely that rocks are conscious in some sort of way that we don’t understand. I’m attempting to express that in the view of the eastern philosophies

    So much for truth then.

    Well, it is definitely the overwhelming truth from the vantage point of the experience itself. Michael Pollan was asked about this in an interview. I’ve mentioned that Dr. Bill Richards has spoken about the impression inside the CME of the indestructibility of consciousness.

    Tell me the process you used to determine inevitabilities that must follow from *intuiting* that there’s a thing you don’t understand and can’t name any characteristics of?

    Well, I don’t think anyone has God’s truth on consciousness, definitely not science. The mystics felt that it’s only understood from the vantage point of samadhi for the Hindus or the “indestructible sunyata” of the Buddhists or Theoria in Christianity or the Jains call it Kevala jñāna which means complete understanding, it’s an intuitive omniscience or supreme wisdom. That as long as we’re speculating from the vantage point of the ego, we’ll never get to it. I feel if I had more of these type of experiences, perhaps I’d have more to say about it. I’ve only had a handful of these experiences, and one in particular that I would count as a CME.

    Lemme guess: you’re not saying it’s definitely inevitable either. Just expressing it’s what some other people assert.

    No, I definitely lean towards this eastern perspective that there really is only one consciousness experiencing itself subjectively through each one of us. This is how it’s viewed in Hinduism, that the Brahman, the one ultimate reality or consciousness plays that it’s all the individuals, all the creatures, the plants, every grain of sand, etc. simply to pass eternal time. This is why Alan Watts says the Brahman “plays the rock game, the star game, the tree game, the human game, the elephant game, etc.” I believe most people who’ve had this experience often do gain sympathy for this perspective on consciousness.

  265. CompulsoryAccount7746, Sky Captain says

    @Kafei #303:

    I don’t think anyone has God’s truth on consciousness
    […]
    I definitely lean towards this eastern perspective that there really is only one [completely undefined thing] experiencing itself subjectively through each one of us.

    You’ve not demonstrated you have *any* understanding *at all* of what that eastern perspective proposes. You have no idea where towards would be.

  266. RationalismRules says

    @parkerren #301
    It sounds like you told yourself that you believed because you needed to in order to fit in to your community, and as time passes you’re realizing that your ‘belief’ is really more about conformity than actual belief.

    You’re watching a lot of YouTubers! I don’t know all of those, but if I can add one suggestion, I’d recommend NonStampCollector. He has a very entertaining way of pointing out the many hypocrisies in Christianity and the bible.

    So, from your investigations, what do you now think about the “without a god, murder isn’t wrong” claim?

  267. says

    @Sky Captain

    You’ve not demonstrated you have *any* understanding *at all* of what that eastern perspective proposes. You have no idea where towards would be.

    As I’ve been emphasizing, it’s ultimately demonstrated by the CME, and *only* understood in that state alone as all religions point to at their very core. Our outward understanding of it is necessarily speculation, because that’s all it could ever be. Science is only a reflection of that which is, it’s necessarily a description of reality, an assimilation of what is, and not “what is,” you see. That’s why neuroscience can never explain precisely what consciousness is, and it forever remain a mystery to neuroscience. I believe what the religions are saying is that it’s *only* ever understood by the method of mysticism, by engaging the CME. That’s why it boggles my mind as to why atheists don’t consider engaging a state like this, because it is very much like the “God room” Joe Rogan describes in his podcast.

  268. speedofsound says

    @Kafei (#289)

    Wow, it’s amazing the mental gymnastics you go through to deny the fact that Watts spoke against atheism. Again, Alan Watts is not an atheist, and he’s not criticizing atheists of the 60s and 70s, but atheists in general. And of course, he wasn’t speaking about the New Atheists or Atheism Plus (the twenty-teens atheists), because he died in ’73. He’s criticizing the atheist position in general.

    My gymnastics pale in comparison to yours! You the Master.

    How could Watts not be talking about the atheist of the 60’s and 70’s when he wrote in the 60’s and died mid 70’s? Was he prescient? Didn’t know that about him.

    Look, it’s obvious from what he said that he spoke of the atheist that railed against god for the sake of railing. Then he spent about forty rambling minutes explaining to YOU that ANY belief was missing the point. But you missed that part.

    Find me a passage from one of his actual written books where it is clear that he believes that the basic principle of reality is consciousness. Not his drunken videos where he was paid to entertain the Hollywood buddhists. Title, format, and page please.

  269. speedofsound says

    @Kafei (#297)

    That’s not what I’m doing at all. I’m trying to express to you a very old view expressed in the very early eastern religions of that originated in India and spread to the oriental countries as Zen Buddhism and Taoism.

    Who gives a flying fuck about old religious views? You say you are not doing what Sky Captain accused you of and then you blatantly do it right after quoting him? WTF?

    You keep running off about what old religious dudes thought and when it comes time to actually take a solid position, say rocks being conscious, you waffle and give us more old dead fucks spouting nonsense. WTF?

    You OBVIOUSLY believe all this nonsense. Why are you so afraid to make a post where you tell us clearly what you believe. Come on. Say it out loud with links or quotes or deferrals.

    If you don’t do it soon a lot of us are going to mount an effort to get you tossed out of here.

  270. CompulsoryAccount7746, Sky Captain says

    @speedofsound #308:

    Why are you so afraid to make a post where you tell us clearly what you believe. Come on. Say it out loud [without] links or quotes or deferrals.

    He only “understands” while he’s drugged out of his gourd. Any time he’d be capable of communication with other humans, he has no understanding… He compensates for that by… dragging in speculations of other people whom be believes ALSO had no understanding at the time.
     
    Kafei #306:

    it’s ultimately demonstrated by the CME, and *only* understood in that state alone […] Our outward understanding of it is necessarily speculation
    […]
    I believe what the religions are saying is that it’s *only* ever understood by the method of mysticism, by engaging the CME.

    He’s forgone black box epistemology and pleads amnesia, of a period when he’d like to think there had been omniscience.

  271. speedofsound says

    Now remember I had these experiences on and off drugs. However, given the links Kafei has provided and his postings, even though I believe in psychedelics and ME’s as therapeutic, I am afraid that this shit causes brain damage. Believerism is a disease and this shit causes that disease.

    If this woo culture around psychedelics persists the whole project will need to be scrapped once again. Now that pisses me off. Kafei and the woo team piss me off.

    We need to stick with reason and naturalism and use this as a tool, and strongly advise the subjects that it ‘May Cause False Belief In Knowesisness’ as a side effect. But I think it’s too late. The Meme on the internet is strong with this one.

  272. CompulsoryAccount7746, Sky Captain says

    @speedofsound #310:

    Now remember I had these experiences on and off drugs.

    Right, right.
    He only “understands” while he’s drugged out of his gourd exhibiting encephalopathy.

  273. says

    @Sky Captain

    Right, right.
    He only “understands” while he’s drugged out of his gourd exhibiting encephalopathy.

    No, that’s not what I’m talking about at all. What I’m saying is that the major religions have pointed to this state in which there is a temporary and complete understanding and grasp of all that is, in all times, in all places. The Jains called this understanding that is at the very core of each of our consciousness Kevala Jnana. María Sabina famously called it, “The place where everything is known.” And it’s not about exhibiting encephalopathy or being drugged out of your gourd, but about engaging a CME through meditation or entheogenic means, etc.

  274. CompulsoryAccount7746, Sky Captain says

    @Kafei #313:

    this state in which there is a temporary and complete understanding and grasp of all that is, in all times, in all places

    Whilst incapacitated, unable to act on it or communicate, or to retain anything coherent afterword. It’s like the crappy superpower jokes.

  275. Monocle Smile says

    No, that’s not what I’m talking about at all. What I’m saying is that the major religions have pointed to this state in which there is a temporary and complete understanding and grasp of all that is, in all times, in all places

    A “feeling” of understanding and actual understanding are not equivalent. This likely soars over your head due to a stark lack of anything resembling an accomplishment.

    And it’s not about exhibiting encephalopathy or being drugged out of your gourd, but about engaging a CME through meditation or entheogenic means, etc.

    “I’m not short, I’m just vertically challenged.”

  276. says

    @Sky Captain

    Whilst incapacitated, unable to act on it or communicate, or to retain anything coherent afterword. It’s like the crappy superpower jokes.

    I don’t think that it’s that you’re necessarily “incapacitated” in the sense that people don’t retain anything coherent afterwards. In fact, what the studies have shown is that it is the very memory of the experience which aids people whether it’s with depression, drug addiction, existential anxiety arising from coming to terms with a terminal cancer diagnosis, etc. And that’s not to be undermined as it was with Matt’s encounter with Jordan Peterson, this point was downplayed. And it’s not that we don’t retain any of the content of the CME, it’s rather that it’s very hard to retain anything from the CME, but the insights that are drawn from it are the very thing that help people in their lives, it’s the insights of these experiences which are different for different people, and it’s the very memory of what was learned during the experience itself which is causing this quantum change in people’s lives.

  277. says

    @Monocle Smile

    A “feeling” of understanding and actual understanding are not equivalent. This likely soars over your head due to a stark lack of anything resembling an accomplishment.

    And I’ve tried to explain, we’re not merely talking about a “feeling of understanding” or “wonderful emotion,” but rather a “knowing.” This is how it’s expressed by all the mystics throughout history, likewise all the volunteers in the study who meet criteria for the CME.

    “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.” – Frithjof Schuon

  278. Monocle Smile says

    And I’ve tried to explain, we’re not merely talking about a “feeling of understanding” or “wonderful emotion,” but rather a “knowing.”

    This is an assertion. Knowledge is demonstrated. I don’t give a flying fuck if someone says “I feel I know” with no demonstration. Do you have any clue how many christians claim they “know” their particular god exists? Are they correct?

    And of course, yet another laughable argument from authority. Why do you post useless fucking quotes from useless fucking people when you ALREADY KNOW we don’t give a shit? See, this kind of crap is exactly what makes you such a dogshit communicator. You can’t fucking communicate because you don’t fucking listen. It’s the same reason bad writers are typically bad readers.

    Of course, I’m guilty here, too, because I have confused you with someone who has a clue.

  279. says

    @Monocle Smile And the whole reason I refer to Rogan’s analogy of the God room is because the ultimate demonstration, that which is repeatable, testable, and DEMONSTRABLE is none other than the CME which is a potential in your dear self. This has been the point all along, and yet you call me a “dogshit communicator.” The point’s quite clear, the difference in Frithjof Schuon’s quote between “erudite knowledge” is something intellectually learned, it’s something the ego understands bit by bit, but the understanding in the major religions is called wisdom as distinct from that which is intellectually grasped. It’s a sudden form of enlightenment, it’s something that is temporary, but complete and that address your capacity for intuition rather than your ability to intellectually comprehend.

    There’s an analogy in eastern philosophy of attempting to drink up the ocean with a spoon rather than simply merging with it and understanding it all at once.

  280. Monocle Smile says

    the ultimate demonstration, that which is repeatable, testable, and DEMONSTRABLE is none other than the CME which is a potential in your dear self

    So why have several other posters who HAVE had CMEs called you out on your bullshit? Are you going to pull your typical excuse and accuse them of lying? This isn’t a demonstration. Demonstration requires independent third-person confirmation. Fork in the electrical socket all over again. You object to the entire scientific enterprise, but that’s only because you can’t score points in this game and feel the need to move the hoop.

    It’s a sudden form of enlightenment, it’s something that is temporary, but complete and that address your capacity for intuition rather than your ability to intellectually comprehend.

    Facts not in evidence. Seriously, this is a wild claim that you can’t back up. Argumentum ad “Terrence McKenna made stuff up” is not compelling. As far as I’m concerned, there’s no “there” there. This is no different from the “sensus divinatus.”

    If test subjects could score better (at a statistically significant rate) on specific tests of this “intuition” after a “CME,” that would be a start. This still would have jack shit to do with atheism nor would it challenge the “atheist position” (which is something you concocted in your addled mind, not a real thing), but it would be a start. A small start.

  281. says

    @Monocle Smile

    So why have several other posters who HAVE had CMEs called you out on your bullshit? Are you going to pull your typical excuse and accuse them of lying? This isn’t a demonstration. Demonstration requires independent third-person confirmation. Fork in the electrical socket all over again. You object to the entire scientific enterprise, but that’s only because you can’t score points in this game and feel the need to move the hoop.

    Lying? Several? Like who? The only person who’s claimed to have experience here was speedofsound, and considering all the questions he had about CMEs, it’s not very convincing that he’s had a CME, but I don’t doubt he’s had psychedelics. Just because someone has had psychedelics, doesn’t necessarily mean they “hit the mark.” I’ve spoken about Bill Richards talking about the fact that someone can take LSD over 200 times and never approach this experience. I’ve also written a reddit thread on this very topic which you can still find at reddit with the title “Atheists who claim to have had spiritual/religious experience or encounter with divine/God.”

    Facts not in evidence. Seriously, this is a wild claim that you can’t back up. Argumentum ad “Terrence McKenna made stuff up” is not compelling. As far as I’m concerned, there’s no “there” there. This is no different from the “sensus divinatus.”

    Well, that’s why I make a distinction between people who identify with various forms of atheism, be it agnostic atheism or the so-called “positive atheism” promoted by the AXP (not to be confused with strong atheism) is not necessarily is what is being pushed by the advocates of New Atheism. For instance, Sam Harris would disagree with you, and say there is a “there” there.

    If test subjects could score better (at a statistically significant rate) on specific tests of this “intuition” after a “CME,” that would be a start. This still would have jack shit to do with atheism nor would it challenge the “atheist position” (which is something you concocted in your addled mind, not a real thing), but it would be a start. A small start.

    They’re way beyond this. They all show these ratings on these measures. It’s been the majority in every single one of these studies. Even Jordan Peterson discusses Dr. Roland Griffiths’ results in his own lectures.

  282. Monocle Smile says

    The only person who’s claimed to have experience here was speedofsound

    I guess jigglefresh doesn’t exist, and neither does StonedRanger or John David Balla.

    considering all the questions he had about CMEs, it’s not very convincing that he’s had a CME

    Like I said…excuses.

    Well, that’s why I make a distinction between people who identify with various forms of atheism, be it agnostic atheism or the so-called “positive atheism” promoted by the AXP (not to be confused with strong atheism) is not necessarily is what is being pushed by the advocates of New Atheism

    This is the first time you’ve mentioned this, and not only is “New Atheism” mostly a straw man generated by haughty religious apologists, but the positions you attached to “New Atheism” are not espoused by any AXP host and you have no reason to suspect they are held by any of the denizens of this blog. I think you’re just being completely disingenuous here and making shit up about atheists to make us easier to attack. Typical.

    They’re way beyond this. They all show these ratings on these measures. It’s been the majority in every single one of these studies

    Are you kidding me? I have yet to see a study demonstrating this, and I read a few of the ones you once linked. I don’t think you have any clue what is being asked. Post a definitive passage from a published study answering what you think I am asking. Protip: nothing in that Peterson lecture comes even close to approaching what is needed to meet my demand. It’s cool that a single experience can deliver the same effects as other treatments that require continuous use (exercise, etc.), but that’s not what I’m asking for.

  283. speedofsound says

    Kafei (#321)

    The only person who’s claimed to have experience here was speedofsound, and considering all the questions he had about CMEs, it’s not very convincing that he’s had a CME, but I don’t doubt he’s had psychedelics. Just because someone has had psychedelics,

    WTF? What ‘questions’ did I have you, you …. (censored) …..?
    I have questioned what great truth you seem to think you and everyone who had the True Experience found that has you telling us we would give up atheism, if we only Knew! what else did I ask YOU oh clueless wonder?

    But I love how someone criticises you for doing a thing, here you were charged with “Are you going to pull your typical excuse and accuse them of lying? ” by Monocle Smile, then you go ahead and do exactly that in your response. Or some wibbled down version of it.

    But you don’t even fucking listen to what I told you. I had the fucking experience WITHOUT FUCKING DRUGGING MY CORTEX INTO THE NEXT GALAXY!

    I had one other experience, longer lasting, as a result of a near fatal dose of amphetamine. 75*5 mg methamphetamine hydrochloride. Pharma-fucking-ceutical meth.

    I had many drug experiences and I noted the similarities but the drug wore off and so did the effect except for the insights and vague intuitions that linger as you mention here:

    Kafei (#316)

    but the insights that are drawn from it are the very thing that help people in their lives, it’s the insights of these experiences which are different for different people, and it’s the very memory of what was learned during the experience itself which is causing this quantum change in people’s lives.

    So Number One! The drug experience is not satori. Not the real thing. You have no fucking idea what you are talking about. See! I can do this game too. But really, the drug wears off and so does the pseudo-CME. Don’t bother to link the Watts video where he got confused about this.

    Nevertheless, the intuitions gained, and the knowledge what there is of it, are remembered and you can actually make deep wiring mods to your brain as a result. That is the benefit of this therapy which you are doing your level best to piss all over. That’s right. Just whip out your dick and piss on the actual research until the government steps in and stops the whole show again. Because of fucktarded religious believers.

    From YouTube: “ScribdChat Presents Michael Pollan” 40:50

    The camera being pulled back on the scene of their lives further than it ever has been before

    Yes. This is what happened to me on that night at the end of my fifteenth year. I could see sort of as if it were me seeing me from somewhere else that I had never been before. Now what actually really happened is that a seizure of sorts threw a wrench into the machinery of my brain that is responsible for placing a ‘me’ in a world as an operating organism. The part that keeps us alive day to day. You start to access all kinds of paradigm shifts in perspective that are normally impossible to access.

    But versions of this happen all of the time to everyone alive. You are looking at a thing then all of a sudden you figure out it’s not what you thought it was at all. Feels a little like someone slapped you in the head and in fact a good slap to the head sometimes does just this. You can see yourself as a smoker or an addict and suddenly pull up a brand new perspective on your whole life.

    You could just as well of suddenly realized that the algorithm you wrote in computer code is not the best one for the job and see a new algorithm. It’s a creative paradigm shift. It’s your brain transitioning from powered local minima to a more global state of operation. Same feeling you get when you try to remember something then suddenly get it by stopping the trying.

    Now not all of the things you come up with in this high creative state are true things. On psychedelics you are lucky to find one true thing that works in a hundred feelings of glorious all-knowingness. That all knowing ‘feeling’ is itself a function fo the brain and happens every day in some gradient measure or another. It’s made of more basic and global neurotransmitters involving your limbic(emotional) system. I call them lawn sprinklers because they project massively and coarsely over wide areas of the cortex.

    My experience in my teens allowed me to see my relationship with my alcoholic father in a new light. The meth overdose put me on a weeklong review of my relationship with my first wife. My later more common experiences when hitting an alcoholic bottom gave me perspective on my addictive life. My quitting a 6.2 pack a day smoking habit, cold turkey (never a puff again), was a one-off sudden realization that I was killing a guy that I wanted to be alive for awhile.

    Now on drugs, I had many close encounters with your god-like intuitive thingy. But being a sane individual I did some eval on coming down. I took the good parts out of the god-thingy and made use of them. I chucked the all-knowingness bullshit because, as I said, I am sane. I did not let the lawn sprinklers put down, in the concrete of my synapses, false beliefs consisting of contradictory bullshit eastern wisdom combined with poetry.

    You have to resist the urge to shut off your reasoning brain when you get these mass intuitions. If you want to talk about one of them I twice had this whole fractal universe realization that has something to do with how I now think about physics and even life. I could elaborate. I accessed a good bit of intuition but I could never pin it down to something solid. Still it is useful and I can apply it to creative work.

    But here is the really Important thing! I DID NOT get privileged access to some Truth about reality. I had a fucking brain hiccup followed by a Fucking Feeling of all is Rightness.

    Now Kafei, what you are pissing on here is the useful parts of all of this. The psychology of learning to use our brains in skillful and useful ways. Combine a little science and pure unsullied naturalism and you can learn to live a better life without becoming a cult member.

  284. parkerren says

    @RationalismRules #305
    Yes, an honest examination of why I became a christian is to find human connection in college for which I lack the social skills to develop. I still struggle with it today, but I am much better at it because of my involvement with a college christian group, which if I had been invited by a group who played D&D I would have jumped at the chance to play.
    I am watching some of the NonStampCollector videos, but I would argue depending how the person expresses their “NonStamp” collecting (studying stamp collecting and creating content in opposition to stamp collecting) it may be a hobby.
    The use of the term murder seems to be begging the question.
    Most people consider murder by definition to be wrong, and it is used to classify the wrongful death of a human caused by another person.
    Most people would first determine if the circumstances surrounding a person’s death were wrong., then people may place it in the category of murder. So to ask: “Is murder wrong and why?” is to start with the conclusion of the moral evaluation a person goes through.

    Mr. Atheist’s Jan 9, 2019 video “Dennis Prager (PragerU) Thinks You Can’t Justify Why You Shouldn’t Murder” addresses this subject well.

  285. says

    @Monocle Smile

    I guess jigglefresh doesn’t exist, and neither does StonedRanger or John David Balla.

    Once again, just because someone has claimed to have had psychedelics doesn’t mean they had a CME. I’ve heard Balla’s account, StonedRanger’s account, and I’m not sure if I recall jigglefresh, but the point is that we’re talking about the unitive mystical state of consciousness (the CME), not subthreshold psychedelic experiences. That’s what I always attempt to emphasize here.

    Like I said…excuses.

    These are not excuses, but the case. I can go back and give their accounts and show how they’re typical of recreational doses or the archetypal experiences that are outlined in this research.

    This is the first time you’ve mentioned this, and not only is “New Atheism” mostly a straw man generated by haughty religious apologists, but the positions you attached to “New Atheism” are not espoused by any AXP host and you have no reason to suspect they are held by any of the denizens of this blog. I think you’re just being completely disingenuous here and making shit up about atheists to make us easier to attack. Typical.

    I’m not making shit up. Dr. Malik’s points are typical to what Matt has expressed on the show. While it may not be the view shared by all the hosts, it’s definitely been expressed by Matt Dillahunty, and he’s perhaps one of the most popular hosts of the show. He has spoken about this tenet of New Atheism which is to rid of religion from the face of the planet. That’s the central theme of the ideology of the New Atheists in a nutshell. I’ve mentioned this in multiple threads by now.

    Are you kidding me? I have yet to see a study demonstrating this, and I read a few of the ones you once linked. I don’t think you have any clue what is being asked. Post a definitive passage from a published study answering what you think I am asking. Protip: nothing in that Peterson lecture comes even close to approaching what is needed to meet my demand. It’s cool that a single experience can deliver the same effects as other treatments that require continuous use (exercise, etc.), but that’s not what I’m asking for.

    I’m not kidding you. You’re looking for an intellectual satisfaction that you supposedly haven’t found. I’m telling you that’s the wrong place to look, and if you were truly curious about this stuff, then the place to look is a direct CME in itself and for yourself.

    @speedofsound

    So Number One! The drug experience is not satori. Not the real thing. You have no fucking idea what you are talking about. See! I can do this game too. But really, the drug wears off and so does the pseudo-CME. Don’t bother to link the Watts video where he got confused about this.

    Watts wasn’t confused about this, he like many others realize it’s possible to achieve these mystical states such as satori through psychedelics. Even Alan Watts once shared your skepticism, that is until he had over 200 gamma of LSD-25 and realized it was, indeed, possible. And this is after he had already tried acid, and because he initially didn’t have any type of spiritual experience, he at first dismissed it as you’re dismissing it now.

  286. CompulsoryAccount7746, Sky Captain says

    Kafei #316:

    whether it’s with depression, drug addiction, existential anxiety arising from coming to terms with a terminal cancer diagnosis, etc.

    We’re not asking about dispositions like mood, attitude, optimism, etc.
     
    Kafei #316:

    it’s not that we don’t retain any of the content of the CME, it’s rather that it’s very hard to retain anything from the CME

    Then there should be a *non-zero* percentage of the “complete understanding and grasp of all that is, in all times, in all places” that *has* been retained.
     
    Kafei #319:

    the understanding in the major religions is called wisdom as distinct from that which is intellectually grasped […] that address your capacity for intuition rather than your ability to intellectually comprehend.

     
    Kafei #317:

    all that transcends the physical world, in other words, everything that constitutes wisdom

    So it’s a “complete [uncomprehending] understanding and grasp of all that is, in all times, in all places”… *except* for all places and times in the physical world.
     
    Mystics striving throughout human history, around the globe, and all they have to show for it is a speculation, backed by a wisp of an inscrutable intuition, that “rocks are [redacted]”.

  287. speedofsound says

    @Kafei (#325)

    I’m not making shit up. Dr. Malik’s points are typical to what Matt has expressed on the show. While it may not be the view shared by all the hosts, it’s definitely been expressed by Matt Dillahunty, and he’s perhaps one of the most popular hosts of the show. He has spoken about this tenet of New Atheism which is to rid of religion from the face of the planet. That’s the central theme of the ideology of the New Atheists in a nutshell. I’ve mentioned this in multiple threads by now.

    Me Too! Religion as we know it has to go. It’s time to crawl up out of the dark drink from the sunlight.

    But that is not about atheism. That is not about the philosophy of atheism. It’s a personal opinion held by some of us and arrived at by different means and histories. The fact that you are confusing this with atheism does not speak highly of your skills in philosophy. Be better my friend!

  288. speedofsound says

    Kafei. That’s all you got out of my post? “Watts said it! He really did!”

    Watts is dead. He died of the disease I just got saved from 12 years ago on April fools day. I don’t think Watts EVER admitted to having a satori experience even though he knew a great deal about them. So if he never had the real thing how could he tell if the drug gave him a copy?

    Now what did happen to him and to me on drugs and off is what we call a brush with spirituality. Something that either comes suddenly as a gift of satori or you work at it. Or you drop some acid and you get a look at what it can be like.

    So Watts verified that you can have a spiritual feeling on dope. Very good.

  289. speedofsound says

    And you fucking posted the same fucking link I told you not to bother posting. God Damn. Just can’t help yourself.

    Just say NO to linking.

  290. RationalismRules says

    @parkerren #324

    Yes, an honest examination of why I became a christian is to find human connection in college for which I lack the social skills to develop. I still struggle with it today, but I am much better at it because of my involvement with a college christian group, which if I had been invited by a group who played D&D I would have jumped at the chance to play.

    I understand. Being part of a social group is beneficial even for people who are naturally skilled at social interaction.

    I gather from a previous post you don’t subscribe to young earth creationism, but I’m not sure where you’re at in terms of the rest of the biblical mythology Do you currently believe any of it?
     

    The use of the term murder seems to be begging the question.
    Most people consider murder by definition to be wrong, and it is used to classify the wrongful death of a human caused by another person.
    Most people would first determine if the circumstances surrounding a person’s death were wrong., then people may place it in the category of murder. So to ask: “Is murder wrong and why?” is to start with the conclusion of the moral evaluation a person goes through.

    Interesting point. I see the logical fallacy you’re referring to.
    However, I’d suggest Prager is using murder as a rhetorical representative of a larger issue. So the question is not so much intended to ask “is murder wrong?” but more “can there be ‘right’ and ‘wrong’ without a god?”. What are your thoughts on that question?

  291. says

    @Sky Captain

    We’re not asking about dispositions like mood, attitude, optimism, etc.

    That’s not what I’m talking about either. That’s a natural side effect of these experiences, it was even recognized by the early mystics long before the science found out about these benefits. Symeon the New Theologian felt that people not only could, but should experience Theoria (vision of God) which was highly beneficial to one’s mental and spiritual health, the Buddhist emphasize this in the Nirvana Sutra, that nirvana is a possibility in all sentient beings.

    Then there should be a *non-zero* percentage of the “complete understanding and grasp of all that is, in all times, in all places” that *has* been retained.

    There is a non-zero percentage, as it’s been emphasized in this research, that it’s the very memory of this experience that continues to benefit them throughout their lives. However, they also emphasize that these experiences are very difficult to recollect or even speak on when they’re asked to describe them.

    So it’s a “complete [uncomprehending] understanding and grasp of all that is, in all times, in all places”… *except* for all places and times in the physical world.

    No, it’s a complete intuitive comprehension of all that is, in all times, in all places that takes place during that moment, during the temporary state of the CME. However, when one returns with that timeless wisdom to the here and now, it’s but a memory that is enduring, but that is very difficult to put into words when we understand things in tensed time relative to the past, present, and future. That’s why it’s called the Perennial philosophy, the eternal of the truths that our always present and unaffected by time or place.

    Mystics striving throughout human history, around the globe, and all they have to show for it is a speculation, backed by a wisp of an inscrutable intuition, that “rocks are [redacted]”.

    I believe the mystics did believe that all things were various aspects of the one consciousness, call it God, Brahman, nirvana, ultimate reality, the Omega point, etc. However, I don’t think they got hung up on imagining precisely how the atom is conscious or the rock, rather they cultivated these mystical experiences as a part of their mysticism, and they used it as a moral compass to become moral paragons in society, they were often renowned for their probity, they were called upon in crisis by royal families and kings for guidance, etc. and their remnants continues to influence our culture today.

  292. says

    @speedofsound

    Me Too! Religion as we know it has to go. It’s time to crawl up out of the dark drink from the sunlight.

    Well, I think it’s not feasible at all to rid of it or to attempt to eradicate it. That’s just a gnostic atheist’s wet dream or something. What religion has to do is evolve, the priests are going to have to succumb to what the science is ultimately revealing about religion.

    But that is not about atheism. That is not about the philosophy of atheism. It’s a personal opinion held by some of us and arrived at by different means and histories. The fact that you are confusing this with atheism does not speak highly of your skills in philosophy. Be better my friend!

    Sure, I consider that, but the denizens here aren’t the only atheists on the planet. I’m considering this fact, too.

    That’s all you got out of my post? “Watts said it! He really did!”

    Watts is dead. He died of the disease I just got saved from 12 years ago on April fools day. I don’t think Watts EVER admitted to having a satori experience even though he knew a great deal about them. So if he never had the real thing how could he tell if the drug gave him a copy?

    I think you’re missing the point here. If you’ve had it through meditation, you’ve had the real thing. If you’ve had it through psychedelics, you’ve had the real thing. Both take you to the same place. Remember, paths are many, truth is one.

    Now what did happen to him and to me on drugs and off is what we call a brush with spirituality. Something that either comes suddenly as a gift of satori or you work at it. Or you drop some acid and you get a look at what it can be like.

    Well, if you can elaborate what you mean by “brush with spirituality,” then maybe I could respond to your statement here. Richard Alpert once said, “I didn’t have one whiff of God until I had LSD.” Are you speaking along those lines?

    So Watts verified that you can have a spiritual feeling on dope. Very good.

    I don’t think he verified. I think he was skeptical all the way through. Huxley was convinced on his first encounter with Humphrey Osmond, Watts hadn’t had a full dose until a psychologist who was a friend of Humphrey’s insisted that Watts revisit the experience once more.

    And you fucking posted the same fucking link I told you not to bother posting. God Damn. Just can’t help yourself.

    Just say NO to linking.

    Because you’re still in denial. You’re still convinced Watts is an atheist, that mysticism cannot be found in a pill, and that something like DMT, psilocybin or LSD cannot offer you something like satori on-demand.

  293. CompulsoryAccount7746, Sky Captain says

    @Kafei #331:

    this experience that continues to benefit them throughout their lives

    Irrelevant. We’re discussing the memory itself, its content, and the accuracy of its content compared to measurable properties for verification.
     

    I don’t think they got hung up on imagining precisely how the atom is conscious or the rock

    Cause when one has access to “complete understanding and grasp of all that is, in all times, in all places” why get hung up on even trying to accurately describe reality, amirite?

  294. says

    @Sky Captain

    Irrelevant. We’re discussing the memory itself, its content, and the accuracy of its content compared to measurable properties for verification.

    Whether you find it’s relevant or not, the point is that there’s a percentage, if there were a 0-percentage, then there’d be no benefit to these experiences. My point in emphasizing the benefits was to highlight the fact that we’re not talking about none other than non-zero percentages.

    I don’t think they got hung up on imagining precisely how the atom is conscious or the rock

    Cause when one has access to “complete understanding and grasp of all that is, in all times, in all places” why get hung up on even trying to accurately describe reality, amirite?

    Well, I believe that’s what religions have been doing for millennia, understanding reality based on what they can bring back from these type of experiences. You act as though it’s all going to be readily downloaded in a single experience, and you’re just going to be able to explain all these things away, and I don’t believe it works like that. Maybe if Michio Kaku took DMT, because they’re consciousness-expanding drugs. If you’ve no consciousness to expand, then you can’t expand it. Even Terence McKenna would say that psychedelics don’t work on stupid people.

  295. RationalismRules says

    @SkyCaptain #333

    Cause when one has access to “complete understanding and grasp of all that is, in all times, in all places” why get hung up on even trying to accurately describe reality, amirite?

    It’s odd, isn’t it, that those with ‘a complete understanding and grasp’ of a subject should be incapable of an accurate description of that subject. You’d think an accurate description would be fundamental to a complete understanding.

    It’s almost as if the claim of ‘complete understanding’ isn’t actually true. Could such a thing be, I wonder?

  296. CompulsoryAccount7746, Sky Captain says

    Kafei #334:

    I believe that’s what religions have been doing for millennia, understanding reality based on what they can bring back from these type of experiences.
    […]
    You act as though it’s all going to be readily downloaded in a single experience

     
    Kafei #331:

    “Mystics striving throughout human history, around the globe, and all they have to show for it is a speculation, backed by a wisp of an inscrutable intuition, that “rocks are [redacted]” “. -SkyCaptain
    […]
    I don’t think they got hung up on imagining precisely how the atom is conscious or the rock, rather they […] used it as a moral compass

    –__–
     
     

    If you’ve no consciousness to expand, then you can’t expand it. Even Terence McKenna would say that psychedelics don’t work on stupid people.

    Stupid people don’t have consciousness, but rocks do. Gotcha.
     

    you’re just going to be able to explain all these things away

    Fancy that.

  297. Monocle Smile says

    Kafei’s tone when speaking about the ability to explain things a la science is akin to how a normal person would discuss murder. His disgust for acquiring useful, pragmatic knowledge about reality is simply astounding. I believe he is addicted to “mystery,” meaning he’s addicted to ignorance. It’s not so much different than how creationists sneer at science and castigate institutions of learning.

  298. says

    @Sky Captain

    Stupid people don’t have consciousness, but rocks do. Gotcha.

    Risible, but no, here’s a more recent talk given by Roland relative to the atheist involved in the study. And no, I’m not making this distinction. Terence making that point as a hyperbole.

    You guys are taking these metaphors far too pedantically. I’ve noticed that’s commonplace among atheists. Here’s something more close to what I’ve been explaining here to obviously no avail.

  299. CompulsoryAccount7746, Sky Captain says

    @Kafei #338:

    here’s a more recent talk given by Roland

     
    (39:53)

    I’ll take this opportunity to share some data from a just recently concluded study. This was an internet survey in which we asked people “Have you had a personal encounter with God or higher power?” […] We targeted two separate groups: one group who’d had such experiences after taking a psychedelic [and another] who had endorsed having a god encounter experience but didn’t take a psychedelic and has never had [one] after taking a psychedelic.
    […]
    Among the psychedelic users, about 20% of them retrospectively would’ve said they would’ve identified as being atheists prior to this experience. […] The other group: 3% atheists.
     
    However, after the encounter, a majority of these atheists from the psilocybin experience no longer identify as atheists 57%/67% in the group. […] They no longer want to identify with the claim that there’s no possibility that God exists.

    bwahaha
     
    Surprise! A self-selected batch of internet randos, who went in already saying they’d had a god encounter, were no longer claiming there’s no possibility at all!
     
    Bonus: Despite the study’s contrivances that skew the result, these experiences were sooo convincing that 43% weren’t even swayed that far.

  300. speedofsound says

    Hmm. I think the science proved that not all atheists are the exactly alike! Also pretty clear that if you are not careful the brain damage resulting from drugs can cause you to join a cult.

    Damn. I thought just proclaiming atheism erected a magic shield that kept silly ideas out. Guess not.

  301. says

    @Sky Captain

    bwahaha

    Surprise! A self-selected batch of internet randos, who went in already saying they’d had a god encounter, were no longer claiming there’s no possibility at all!

    Bonus: Despite the study’s contrivances that skew the result, these experiences were sooo convincing that 43% weren’t even swayed that far.

    You can underestimate the study, by hashing up this automatic criticism, but what you may not realize if you volunteered at Johns Hopkins for their laboratory study (not the internet survey study), you would not come back identifying as an atheist. In fact, you wouldn’t identify as an atheist. When Dr. Roland Griffiths says that his research suggests that these type of experiences are conversion experiences for atheists, that wasn’t a joke.

    @speedofsound

    Hmm. I think the science proved that not all atheists are the exactly alike! Also pretty clear that if you are not careful the brain damage resulting from drugs can cause you to join a cult.

    Well, I’ve pointed out that there’s no evidence whatsoever that psychedelics cause brain damage. In fact, the studies done in Brazil on the Santo Daime people who’ve used ayahuasca their entire lives are more healthy than most Americans.

    Damn. I thought just proclaiming atheism erected a magic shield that kept silly ideas out. Guess not.

    Of course, not. There’s atheists out there that believe in all types of silly shit.

  302. speedofsound says

    @Kafei (#341)

    You can underestimate the study, by hashing up this automatic criticism, but what you may not realize if you volunteered at Johns Hopkins for their laboratory study (not the internet survey study), you would not come back identifying as an atheist.

    And my life experiences definitively proves this to be false. Been there. Had them. Still an atheist.

    There is no requirement to come away from these experiences believing in anything. In fact if you learned to read Watts and other clues from Eastern religion you would understand that that believing shit is exactly the opposite of a mystical experience.

    Let me try to explain. The ME blasts apart the very ground all of your conceiving rests upon. You can exist in this state for longer than the drug is in your body (though i have never pulled that off with drugs). When you start to pull in belief and put together some idealistic conception of what happened to you the experience goes POOF!. Your ‘believing’ is just a more devious kind of ego. Judging from your posts and plans for internet celebrity I would say a Big Devious Ego.

  303. Monocle Smile says

    but what you may not realize if you volunteered at Johns Hopkins for their laboratory study (not the internet survey study), you would not come back identifying as an atheist.

    This statement, as worded, is a blatant lie. We are missing tons of information because the study is unpublished, but even what little you have presented contradicts this statement. It’s amazing how you want us to ignore all the important details and just take you at your word.

    In fact, the studies done in Brazil on the Santo Daime people who’ve used ayahuasca their entire lives are more healthy than most Americans

    Oh my aching ass. This kind of shit gets to me, too. The state of health has nothing to do with Ayahuasca. Might as well say that nonsmokers who have cats are healthier than smokers.

  304. says

    @speedofsound

    And my life experiences definitively proves this to be false. Been there. Had them. Still an atheist.

    There is no requirement to come away from these experiences believing in anything. In fact if you learned to read Watts and other clues from Eastern religion you would understand that that believing shit is exactly the opposite of a mystical experience.

    That’s why I don’t use the word believe, but rather know. As this experience involves intuition, it’s a knowing, and it’s expressed as thus in this research by the volunteers. It has nothing to do with belief. And I don’t think you realize that once you claim this experience, then you’re already admitting you’ve had precisely what these researchers define in accordance with the Perennial philosophy. To attempt to say that you had a CME, but you remain atheist because you can’t understand how these experiences are consistent with the Perennial philosophy simply doesn’t follow. It’s a non sequitur, and I have addressed this in the reddit thread.

    Let me try to explain. The ME blasts apart the very ground all of your conceiving rests upon. You can exist in this state for longer than the drug is in your body (though i have never pulled that off with drugs). When you start to pull in belief and put together some idealistic conception of what happened to you the experience goes POOF!. Your ‘believing’ is just a more devious kind of ego. Judging from your posts and plans for internet celebrity I would say a Big Devious Ego.

    Well, I’m not talking about the ME, and I’m sure you’ve had spiritual experiences with psychedelics, but what I’m talking about is the CME which is the very point. And I don’t want to start an internet show for internet celebritydom, the motivation is to discuss these deep philosophical topics, the science, etc. because people aren’t aware of this phenomenon and how it plays out and precisely how these experiences relate to religion.

  305. says

    @Monocle Smile

    This statement, as worded, is a blatant lie. We are missing tons of information because the study is unpublished, but even what little you have presented contradicts this statement. It’s amazing how you want us to ignore all the important details and just take you at your word.

    Well, I understand the power of this experience, and so I don’t have to wait for the results of the study. It’s no surprise to me that they’ve shown thus far, as this study isn’t done and I’ve posted the most recent lecture on it (2019) above, but it’s absolutely no surprise that they’re showing thus far that atheists who undergo this experience no longer identify with atheism after this event. I mean, if you’re too impatient for the study, why don’t you just engage the CME for yourself? Then you’d have definitive proof for yourself, and you wouldn’t have to wait for the results.

    In fact, the studies done in Brazil on the Santo Daime people who’ve used ayahuasca their entire lives are more healthy than most Americans

    Oh my aching ass. This kind of shit gets to me, too. The state of health has nothing to do with Ayahuasca. Might as well say that nonsmokers who have cats are healthier than smokers.

    These are people who have used ayahuasca their entire lives that this study was done on, and they’re perfectly healthy. They’re mentally healthy, psychologically sound, and in fact, were found to be more healthy than most Americans. These type of experiences help people to become the greatest version of themselves, so they don’t waste away like the Americans which other countries stereotype as obese and which George Carlin has emphasized in his stand-up.

  306. Monocle Smile says

    Well, I understand the power of this experience, and so I don’t have to wait for the results of the study

    This is an open admission that every last bit of information you have posted on this topic has been in bad faith. You are admitting that the results of any studies now and in the future are utterly irrelevant to your conclusions. Your mind is made up and no amount of evidence will sway you. Fuck you, you lying fuck.

    These type of experiences help people to become the greatest version of themselves, so they don’t waste away like the Americans

    Another appallingly dishonest, yet entirely unsurprising fabrication.

  307. speedofsound says

    @Kafei (#332)

    Well, I think it’s not feasible at all to rid of it or to attempt to eradicate it. That’s just a gnostic atheist’s wet dream or something. What religion has to do is evolve, the priests are going to have to succumb to what the science is ultimately revealing about religion.

    The science that Exists! Not the pretend science you guys hope for that has the words ‘quantum’ and ‘consciousness’ in it. That is fantasy not science.

    Now religions as they stand have to go. You have to shovel out ALL the shit and hose down the corral. Then we can take the science of religion, which contains none of your Woo of course, and boil it down to a little good psychology. We will end up with some scraps. Good scraps but still they will not be too complicated or extensive.

  308. speedofsound says

    @Kafei (#344)

    I’ll boil down your post. I don’t agree with your Perennial shit wagon so I didn’t have a Truly Really Completely Mystical Experience. Blinkers much?

  309. says

    @Monocle Smile

    This is an open admission that every last bit of information you have posted on this topic has been in bad faith. You are admitting that the results of any studies now and in the future are utterly irrelevant to your conclusions. Your mind is made up and no amount of evidence will sway you. Fuck you, you lying fuck.

    Sure, produce the evidence that contradicts what I’ve been saying. You cannot. Why? Because there’s no contradiction in what I’ve been saying here.

    These type of experiences help people to become the greatest version of themselves, so they don’t waste away like the Americans

    Another appallingly dishonest, yet entirely unsurprising fabrication.

    Do you realize how many people are suffering from depression in the U.S. or how high the suicide rates are? I’m not merely spouting “fabrications,” there’s facts to back up these statements.

    @speedofsound

    The science that Exists! Not the pretend science you guys hope for that has the words ‘quantum’ and ‘consciousness’ in it. That is fantasy not science.

    What science have I talked about that said anything about “quantum”? I am talking about existing sciences.

    Now religions as they stand have to go. You have to shovel out ALL the shit and hose down the corral. Then we can take the science of religion, which contains none of your Woo of course, and boil it down to a little good psychology. We will end up with some scraps. Good scraps but still they will not be too complicated or extensive.

    What “woo”? Once again, I’m not saying anything other than what’s been demonstrated by this research. There’s no “woo” involved here. And religion is not going to go, it’s going to evolve. What you call “scraps” will be the very remnants from the major religions. Don Lattin wrote a book a year before Michael Pollan’s book which Lattin titled “Changing Our Minds: Psychedelic Sacraments and the New Psychotherapy” published in 2017. Michael Pollan’s book “How to Change Your Mind: What the New Science of Psychedelics Teaches Us About Consciousness, Dying, Addiction, Depression, and Transcendence.” Kimberly Winston, a journalist on atheism and religion, interviewed Don Lattin and asked, “Is there a role for organized religion to play in destigmatizing these drugs?” His reply:

    “There are actual churches in the U.S. that can legally have psychedelic communion with ayahuasca under a 2006 Supreme Court ruling, but they must be affiliated with one of the two Brazilian sects. Outside of those brands of “organized religion,” I don’t see much destigmatization. Religious leaders, like a lot of other people, have a very black-and-white attitude towards drugs. Roland Griffiths at Johns Hopkins is doing a study of religious professionals with clergy burnout to see if these substances could revive their interest in their calling through mystical experience that might hit the reset button for them. But he has found it very hard to find clergy who want to volunteer. That said, I think psychedelics are slowly being destigmatized by the universities and medical centers across the country that are sponsoring this research.” – Don Lattin

    I will whole-heartedly agree. The truth is not going to come out of the church or the atheist community or anything like that, but it will come from the science that’s being done.

  310. buddyward says

    Sure, produce the evidence that contradicts what I’ve been saying. You cannot. Why? Because there’s no contradiction in what I’ve been saying here.

    A demonstration that the burden of proof is not understood at all.

  311. says

    @Monocle Smile They’re actually getting ready at Johns Hopkins to publish that survey study involving the atheists. So, by the end of April or by the beginning of May, it should be published. So, it looks like you don’t have to wait too long to view those results. So, as soon as it’s published, I’ll be sure to post the results here.

  312. Monocle Smile says

    Do you realize how many people are suffering from depression in the U.S. or how high the suicide rates are?

    It is insanely obvious that this is not what I was referring to as a fabrication. Whether you’re lying or merely exhibiting your atrocious reading comprehension is irrelevant; I don’t care anymore. You’re not worth engaging.

  313. says

    @Monocle Smile

    It is insanely obvious that this is not what I was referring to as a fabrication.

    Well, if that’s not what you were referring to, then what you were referring to was irrelevant, because that’s precisely what I was referencing with that comment and link to the George Carlin clip.

    Whether you’re lying or merely exhibiting your atrocious reading comprehension is irrelevant; I don’t care anymore.

    I don’t think you cared to understand and grasp this stuff in the first place. That’s why you’re over here attempting to accuse my reading comprehension as “atrocious.” All you know is insults. You’re obviously not interested in attempting to grasp any of this.

    You’re not worth engaging.

    I could say the same to you.

  314. speedofsound says

    @Kafei (#349)

    What “woo”? Once again, I’m not saying anything other than what’s been demonstrated by this research. There’s no “woo” involved here.

    Pretty simple. If you claim the experience will yield some esoteric knowledge that will have atheists running down the halls screaming ‘divine presence’ then THIS is WOO. You have had woo tucked in your cheek the whole time here with your bullshit attack on atheism.

    What science have I talked about that said anything about “quantum”? I am talking about existing sciences.

    Wow! Thought you’d slip that one by us. You DID mention the other word, that C-word quite a few times. I’m sure you popped out the quantum shit somewhere in these threads as well. I’ll go look if I get the urge.

    You are all about this bullshit that ‘science doesn’t know’, yet, and science will find some magical thing that has us believing C is the fundamental fabric of reality. Woo! You have no proof of any of this. Only your feeling of noesis to go on.

    But look. You had a drug experience. Millions of us have had these. They have some of the same feelings associated with them as spiritual experiences but you have not had one of those. You wish you did but you have not. That variety of religious experience is far less common. You don’t really know what the fuck you are talking about when it comes to what the zen masters were talking about.

    Unfortunate for the posers that I do happen to know about these things. While they have some similarities they are not the same. How do I know that? Because I had an experience and you didn’t and I just knows things from my experience.

  315. says

    @speedofsound

    Pretty simple. If you claim the experience will yield some esoteric knowledge that will have atheists running down the halls screaming ‘divine presence’ then THIS is WOO. You have had woo tucked in your cheek the whole time here with your bullshit attack on atheism.

    Well, lots of people don’t know what esoteric means. It sort of popularly means to be intended for or likely to be understood by only a small number of people with a specialized knowledge or interest. However, this is why I’m always emphasizing the etymology, because if you go further back into its meaning, you’ll find it’s a term to refer to the initiated. Basically those who’ve had a CME or what Christians call Theoria or what Buddhists call nirvana. This is why there is the distinction in Buddhism of the Buddhist and the Buddha. The Buddhist is still seeking, they haven’t experienced enlightenment, then you have the Buddha, the man who woke up, where enlightenment has happened. That is the simple distinction between esoteric and exoteric knowledge.

    What science have I talked about that said anything about “quantum”? I am talking about existing sciences.

    Wow! Thought you’d slip that one by us. You DID mention the other word, that C-word quite a few times. I’m sure you popped out the quantum shit somewhere in these threads as well. I’ll go look if I get the urge.

    Well, you do that, because I’ve never tried to back some particular “quantum shit.”

    You are all about this bullshit that ‘science doesn’t know’, yet, and science will find some magical thing that has us believing C is the fundamental fabric of reality. Woo! You have no proof of any of this. Only your feeling of noesis to go on.

    Well, I hate to break it to you, but science doesn’t know when it comes to things like an explanation for consciousness. It’s certainly not going to be explained away with an R1/R2 explanation. Usually most atheists are content with saying “I don’t know.” That’s the whole momentum behind their atheism.

    But look. You had a drug experience. Millions of us have had these. They have some of the same feelings associated with them as spiritual experiences but you have not had one of those. You wish you did but you have not. That variety of religious experience is far less common. You don’t really know what the fuck you are talking about when it comes to what the zen masters were talking about.

    Are you kidding me? I resonate with the Zen scriptures, that’s something that happens after one of these experiences, suddenly the Bhagavad Gita makes perfect sense, likewise the Enneads of Plotinus, the writings of Shankara or the Christian mystics writings on Theoria, etc.

    Unfortunate for the posers that I do happen to know about these things. While they have some similarities they are not the same. How do I know that? Because I had an experience and you didn’t and I just knows things from my experience.

    And yet here you are, still confused, calling Alan Watts an atheist, and still insisting that’s so.

  316. parkerren says

    @RationalismRules #330
    It is disappointing to consider how much of the bible is not true, and even more disappointed with myself for not always questioning the authenticity of the stories. In exchange for human contact, I would be willing to ignore contradictions in the bible, and not question the authenticity of the various bible stories. It was not crucial for me that the stories be true. Having human contact was crucial.
    So currently I can’t say I believe.
    Yes, we can determine right and wrong without god. If a god exists, I hope it is a rational being and what is right and wrong could be determined through reason.
    But without a god, humans have been observing actions and the consequences of those actions. We can see the results of our actions and determine how they affect others. We consider actions causing harm to others to be wrong, while if it helps others we consider such actions as good.

  317. RationalismRules says

    @parkerren #356
    Don’t be too hard on yourself. Social contact is hugely important to our species, and if a church group is how you were able to fill that need then it’s not surprising you fell into acceptance of their beliefs.

    I think that when you start to really question the bible and begin to notice how many and obvious the contractions are, it’s tempting to chastise yourself for not seeing it earlier. But the reality is that there are really powerful mechanisms at work within religion to keep you from questioning. The message of “don’t try to understand it, just believe it” is very heavily reinforced. So again, don’t be hard on yourself for not getting there earlier.
     

    We consider actions causing harm to others to be wrong, while if it helps others we consider such actions as good.

    I think that’s a great way to put it. We can objectively assess whether or not our actions are harmful to others, regardless of whether any god exists. Of course the question that immediately follows is “why should we care about anyone else?”, which is a more complicated philosophical question.
     
    You mentioned in your first comment that there were lots of things you’d like to discuss. What else would you like to talk about?

  318. speedofsound says

    @Kafei (#355)

    And yet here you are, still confused, calling Alan Watts an atheist, and still insisting that’s so.

    Right here. You would not say these silly things if you had actually had a real non drug-induced satori episode. You think you know but you are sadly still in the ego box.

  319. speedofsound says

    @Kafei(#355)

    Well, I hate to break it to you, but science doesn’t know when it comes to things like an explanation for consciousness. It’s certainly not going to be explained away with an R1/R2 explanation. Usually most atheists are content with saying “I don’t know.” That’s the whole momentum behind their atheism.

    Pollan is your authority on C? Sad. I am amazed at how hard you try to hold on to the world’s last little gap for god. The contortions. The appeal to authority. Like watching a bug when he is first pinned.

    ” It’s certainly not going to be explained away with an R1/R2 explanation.” You know this for certain do ya? 🙂

    Actually you HOPE this for certain. Science knows everything it needs to know to explain C. Most of you are too damned religiously attached to the misconceptions to understand the explanation. The hard problem of consciousness is that few no what the question is, not that we have no answers.

    This happens to be my field. Do you feel threatened? Deep down?

  320. buddyward says

    Well, lots of people don’t know what esoteric means. It sort of popularly means to be intended for or likely to be understood by only a small number of people with a specialized knowledge or interest. However, this is why I’m always emphasizing the etymology, because if you go further back into its meaning, you’ll find it’s a term to refer to the initiated.

    Cite the source please.

  321. speedofsound says

    @Kafei (#349)

    What science have I talked about that said anything about “quantum”? I am talking about existing sciences.

    You did so appeal but it was in our private discussion. Don’t remember?

  322. says

    @speedofsound

    Right here. You would not say these silly things if you had actually had a real non drug-induced satori episode. You think you know but you are sadly still in the ego box.

    I believe it’s only yourself stuck in the ego box, for the natural non drug-induced satori episode is one and the same with the entheogen-induced mystical experience. They’re one and the same. To argue a difference would be an argument from ego or from ignorance.

    Pollan is your authority on C? Sad. I am amazed at how hard you try to hold on to the world’s last little gap for god. The contortions. The appeal to authority. Like watching a bug when he is first pinned.

    I’m not referring to Michael Pollan as an authority on consciousness, I was rather in that time-stamp referencing the point he makes there which is that there’s very little evidence that consciousness is produced by the brain. That notion is simply an interesting hypothesis, and that’s all it is. And that talk I linked to was done this year, 2019, however he has spoken that he’s encountered this attitude in earlier talks well before he even encountered psychedelics. You seem to be under the impression that science has it all explained away.

    ” It’s certainly not going to be explained away with an R1/R2 explanation.” You know this for certain do ya? 🙂

    Yes, you’re wasting your time with that. This I know for certain.

    Actually you HOPE this for certain. Science knows everything it needs to know to explain C. Most of you are too damned religiously attached to the misconceptions to understand the explanation. The hard problem of consciousness is that few no what the question is, not that we have no answers.

    There you go. Just as I said, you think science has consciousness figured out. I’ve news for you, it doesn’t.

    This happens to be my field. Do you feel threatened? Deep down?

    Not one iota.

    What science have I talked about that said anything about “quantum”? I am talking about existing sciences.

    You did so appeal but it was in our private discussion. Don’t remember?

    No, I don’t recall anything like that, that’s why I asked for specificity. Perhaps you’re referring to when I said you’re making an assumption that consciousness can be described in terms of classical mechanics without having to invoke quantum mechanical phenomena. Other than that, I’ve said a few things here, but I’m not necessarily defending those scientific hypotheses.

  323. dontpanicdent says

    Wow. I see this thread has continued long after I left it in late March.

    @paxoll (#272) Thanks for that Numberphile link on maths v. math usage. It was fun learning the “folk etymology” of the abbreviations and hear actual reasons for why they’re used in each way.

    @RR (#255/280) Just to confirm @paxoll’s post on your stats/stat inquiry, he’s said everything I wanted; “Stats” is universally used as an abbreviated form of Statistics (the discipline) in the U.S.

    I find it interesting, though, that we use “Stats” for Statistics and “Math” for Mathematics, though if we wanted to be consistent, we’d use Stat. And, as we’re using Stats in the States, that suggests that “Maths” could be correct. Very confusing. Maybe, it’s just an “ear” thing, though, logic and consistency be damned, and we just want it to sound right. Language is not a logical thing oftentimes, as Dr. Murphy in the video noted: “Math is fun. Maths is fun.” No one says “Maths are fun.” or “Stat is fun.” in the U.S (or in Britain, for that matter).

    @speedofsound, thanks for the input on alternate benefits of ME’s and CME’s, as well as a secular approach to AA. That hadn’t been discussed yet.

    @Hank_Says Your real-time posts with Kafei & their screeds (‘Jesus. Actual. Fuck.’ … ‘You’re typing one now aren’t you…’) were priceless and provided me a much-needed laugh while getting through this thread. Thanks for lightening the load.

  324. dontpanicdent says

    @Kafei (#274)

    I appreciate your response to my post. That was both informative and thoughtful. And, yes, I’ve been following these threads and all you’ve said since the first episode of TAE this year, though I’m not a convert.

    Most interestingly, I found the Bill Richards presentation enlightening. I watched from 33:35 to the end. Especially useful was an answer to the question, “What Good Are Transcendental Experiences,” highlighting awareness/interconnectedness, medical treatments for addictions/neuroses and changes in self-concept.

    The focus on ‘… the respectful and skillful use of psychedelic substances…’ (from the end of the description accompanying the video) was important for me, too, as it emphasized safety aspects discussed in the presentation, limiting potential psychological injury.

    It was good to hear the terms a respected scientist uses when discussing this fascinating topic and about the expected paradigm shift of understanding consciousness in the future. A potential fifth cosmological force– on par with gravity, electromagnetism and the strong/weak nuclear forces– indeed! Very exciting.

  325. dontpanicdent says

    @speedofsound (#276)

    I love it! ‘Atheists are the true spiritual critters who in their complete lack of belief have finally embraced Mr Watts’ point.’ Profound words, indeed.

    Of course, Kafei entirely missed the point yet again, going off on a wild tangent on AronRa and old assumptions of atheists.

  326. says

    @dontpanicdent

    I love it! ‘Atheists are the true spiritual critters who in their complete lack of belief have finally embraced Mr Watts’ point.’ Profound words, indeed.

    Of course, Kafei entirely missed the point yet again, going off on a wild tangent on AronRa and old assumptions of atheists.

    You do realize Watts was not an atheist, don’t you? I believe the two of you have missed the point, just as Alan Watts has said the atheist has missed the point.

  327. speedofsound says

    @Kafei (#362)

    You seem to be under the impression that science has it all explained away.

    Impression? This is my field of study. It has been explained. What is harder to explain is why so many people, you included hang on to the myth of point source spirit mind.

    Cling

  328. speedofsound says

    Kafei. Jimmy. Damn. I looked at all of your links and your reddit and much more. You are repeating the same shit over and over and over…

    I’m worried about your drug use man. I’m going to a meeting on thursday night. You want me to pick you up?

  329. says

    @speedofsound

    Impression? This is my field of study. It has been explained. What is harder to explain is why so many people, you included hang on to the myth of point source spirit mind.

    It doesn’t matter. It’s many people’s area. The fact remains that neuroscience cannot explain consciousness.

    Kafei. Jimmy. Damn. I looked at all of your links and your reddit and much more. You are repeating the same shit over and over and over…

    You apparently missed the point. That is that even if you claim that you’ve had a CME as Nikolai attempted to do at the beginning of Athena’s stream, and he elaborated later of the very characteristics of this experience, like the timelessness or as he said, “Time froze.” And he even said that he can see how it may make sense of the major religions, but he didn’t ultimately agree. However, you see, what he didn’t realize and what I attempted to explain to him was that he wasn’t aware of how the “complete” mystical experience was even being defined in the research, and it was for that reason and that reason only that he couldn’t consider what he had to be a “complete” mystical experience when it simply was, what he experienced is precisely what is described as the CME and what is found to be consistent with the Perennial philosophy whether Nikolai agrees or not is irrelevant, because once again, his disagreement was simply based on the fact that he wasn’t aware of how the CME was being defined in the research. He wasn’t even aware of the research, he thought that study he participated in, Dr. Rick Strassman’s work involving dosing volunteers with pure pharmacological N,N-DMT, were the last psychedelic studies to be legally conducted in the United States. Well, he was wrong about that.

    I’m worried about your drug use man. I’m going to a meeting on thursday night. You want me to pick you up?

    There’s nothing to worry about. Psychedelics aren’t drugs of abuse.

  330. dontpanicdent says

    @speedofsound (#323)

    Trivial question: You mentioned a ‘6.2 pack a day’ smoking habit. Is that 6 packs and 4 cigarettes a day (which seems over-specific– why not just say a 6 pack a day habit) or is it some abbreviated way I’m unfamiliar with of saying a 6-year, 2 pack a day habit? Never heard of it referred to in such a way and would like to make sure I understand.

    Btw, good effort in engaging Kafei and calling them on their reasoning and lack of supporting evidence, line by line. Can’t imagine the hassle that must’ve been. Your backstory was also enlightening (pun unintended).

  331. dontpanicdent says

    @Kafei (#366)

    Alan Watts’ faith or lack thereof is beside the point. The suspension of a belief in concepts is.

  332. dontpanicdent says

    @speedofsound (#354), @Kafei (#355)

    (#355) ‘…I’ve never tried to back some particular “quantum shit.” ‘

    (#316) ‘And it’s not that we don’t retain any of the content of the CME, … it’s the very memory of what was learned during the experience itself which is causing this quantum change in people’s lives.’

  333. speedofsound says

    @ dontpanicdent (#370)

    Yup. A little oddly specific. Before I quit I measured how long it took to go through ten cartons. I was buying them in bulk. I precisely recorded the time and did the math. I have no fucking idea how I managed to smoke that many cigarettes a day but the math doesn’t lie. Now granted I often had two burning in the ashtray at the same time and occasionally my son caught me with one in each hand. When I quit I turned my keyboard over and shook out a pile that was about an inch high.

    But I have always measured and calculated how much of any drug I used. I was a crazed and doomed addict but my scientist was always there somewhere in the haze doing dosage calculations. For instance in my second religious experience I know that I had 70 5mg pharmaceutical white-cross pills in my baggy, which I dumped in my mouth.

    I also did a standard dose of LSD way back and then did some experiments on multiples so I could estimate the strength of the street stuff. It is possible that the dealer lied to me about the standard but I still got a relatively good idea about dosage in my experiments on my life and brain. Science Motherfucker!

  334. speedofsound says

    @Kafei (#369)

    It doesn’t matter. It’s many people’s area. The fact remains that neuroscience cannot explain consciousness.

    Well maybe. But to convince me of the fact you have do two things for me.

    1. Site the peer reviewed paper where that fact has been established.
    2. Define consciousness for me.

  335. parkerren says

    @RationalismRules #357
    Well, first I would like to thank you for willing to engage in a discussion with me. Being able to discuss my history honestly has been very therapeutic.
    Here are some items I would be interested in is discussing.

    Deconversions
    . I would be curious to hear what started people down a path towards atheism. I wonder what may be common elements of peoples’ deconversion.
    An Atheist Movie.
    A lot of bad christian movies have been made. They’re not bad because it is about and promotes christianity, but just bad. If the people behind the movie were making a secular movie it would still be bad. Changing the subject matter would not improve the movie.
    It seems as if the time is now to make an atheist movie. I am not talking about making a secular movie. The movie could tell the actual story of a person’s deconversion, or it could create a film to combine many deconversion stories making a case for atheism. But a film exploring why a person would leave christianity or another religion becoming an atheist.

    I imagined this being a christian attempting to convert his atheist neighbor. It would reflect people’s deconversion story. Even a heartbreaking scene of the christian going to the altar to plead with god to prove his existence.

    Atheist Funerals
    I have heard mentioned a few times on various shows, about funerals for an atheist. I have been to a couple of funerals of atheists. One proceeded with the person having had been in the hospital at the time of his death. His funeral was presented as if the person had expressed belief during his stay at the hospital. I am not surprised the person, expecting to make a full recovery, would have done things that would give the impression of having expressed the belief to be polite and not disrupt family peace which may not have existed before his admission to the hospital.
    Another died unexpectedly in his home of a heart attack. His funeral was very religious. Had the person been alive to see his funeral, he would have stayed home.
    Considering how much the mother has gone through with loss of another son, then her husband, and now a second son, I don’t blame his mother for having such a service, It was not a celebration of his life, but comfort for his family. It seemed one would need to have a second service which may be a gathering of his friends to celebrate the person’s life.
    “…positive atheist culture.”
    In the opening of each program, it will mention ACA is to promote “…positive atheist culture.” Without any positive atheist culture, I would be thinking ‘so what.’ Without some positive aspect to atheism, I would be less inclined to leave religious belief when nothing positive would come out of embracing atheism. So what do you consider to be “…positive atheist culture?”

    Atheist Library
    What books on atheism would you recommend? As well as videos? (I am checking out the NonStampCollector videos you recomended, and I have read “the god delusion” by Dawkins)

    Community
    I have reached out to a former worker who is an atheist, but at this point, it will be difficult for us to meet up. When I looked for any other local groups, I am currently not finding any activity. Right now I would enjoy meeting someone from the area and talking about atheism, religion, life and more.
    So right now any community may be only online, what other sources of online community do you suggest?

  336. says

    @dontpanicdent

    @speedofsound (#354), @Kafei (#355)

    (#355) ‘…I’ve never tried to back some particular “quantum shit.” ‘

    (#316) ‘And it’s not that we don’t retain any of the content of the CME, … it’s the very memory of what was learned during the experience itself which is causing this quantum change in people’s lives.’

    You’re misrepresenting the quote here. When I said “quantum change” in people’s lives, I was referring to the psychological shift that often happens after this life-changing experience, and that’s the context I’m using quantum here. And yes, I maintain it’s the memory of the experience that is healing these individuals. That’s the big point that they’re trying to get out from Johns Hopkins that’s been established by this research.

    @speedofsound

    @Kafei (#369)It doesn’t matter. It’s many people’s area. The fact remains that neuroscience cannot explain consciousness.

    Well maybe. But to convince me of the fact you have do two things for me.

    1. Site the peer reviewed paper where that fact has been established.

    Well, I was emphasizing the fact that we cannot point to a single peer-reviewed paper that claims to have a complete understanding of consciousness. It doesn’t exist.

    2. Define consciousness for me.

    It’s the basically the biggest mystery to neuroscience in a very similar way that black holes are mysterious to astrophysicists. In religion, consciousness is the source. The Ground of Being is consciousness, it is The Father, the Brahman, etc. However, it’s also veiled by the our ego.

  337. speedofsound says

    @Kafei (#378)

    @Kafei (#369)It doesn’t matter. It’s many people’s area. The fact remains that neuroscience cannot explain consciousness.

    Sos: “Well maybe. But to convince me of the fact you have do two things for me.

    1. Site the peer reviewed paper where that fact has been established.”

    Well, I was emphasizing the fact that we cannot point to a single peer-reviewed paper that claims to have a complete understanding of consciousness. It doesn’t exist.

    SoS: “2. Define consciousness for me.”

    It’s the basically the biggest mystery to neuroscience in a very similar way that black holes are mysterious to astrophysicists. In religion, consciousness is the source. The Ground of Being is consciousness, it is The Father, the Brahman, etc. However, it’s also veiled by the our ego.

    Right. There is no paper where they say they have done that because you and everyone else fails at item number 2. All we get is muttering poems about the the special ‘beetle in my box’ that everyone knows about but no one can see. Science is asked to explain a thing that everyone believes in but no one can define or point to. Pure Bullshit is much better because we can actually point to a pile of bullshit and science then gets busy explaining it.

    In religion, consciousness is the source.

    Oh Fuck Yeah! You hit it right on the head. Without your special pet in your private box you got nothing. Now I have been engaging you all along because this is precisely the meta-point to be considered in your delusions. Same with all the believers who speak about faith, and personal experiences of god.

    With your drugs, or my satori, or all the god-experiences of the believers it’s tapping into the same perfectly explainable psychology. You can even scan this shit and you do not ever see anything that is not completely explained by contemporary neuroscience.

    Now before you run off tangentially I’ll give you one more shot.

    Define consciousness for me.

  338. buddyward says

    @speedofsound #379

    Haha Kafei just defined consciousness as a priest. Well science can very well investigate a priest and it is not a mystery at all. Priests are easily explained by science.

    Jimmy likes to makeup definitions of words that he does not understand so that it fits his narrative. Consciousness is one of them. Other examples are supernatural and esoteric.

  339. CompulsoryAccount7746, Sky Captain says

    @parkerren #377:

    I would be curious to hear what started people down a path towards atheism.

    Playlist: Evid3nc3 – Why I am no longer a Christian (~10:00 x21)
     

    It seems as if the time is now to make an atheist movie.

    Audio: Julia Sweeney – Letting Go of God, a monologue (2:05:58)
     
     

    Without some positive aspect to atheism, I would be less inclined to leave religious belief

    At the very least, an atheist culture promises not to dishonestly eulogize someone as religious.
     
    If you’re looking for bribes to change people’s minds… like vans luring kids with candy to take them to church for recruitment (as happened in my neighborhood)… you’ve got it backward. With atheism, belief erodes first, often slowly. Then affiliation with religion falls away. Getting out of a toxic sheltered environment is itself a positive thing.
     

    what do you consider to be “…positive atheist culture?”

    Skepticism, learning, and prosocial behavior in a secular environment, responding to negative religious effects on society, yes, but promoted as virtues in themselves.
     
    Article: ACA Position Statements
     
     

    What [media] on atheism would you recommend?

    There are counterapologetics and comedic read-alongs. More broadly, there are simply atheists each talking about whatever interests them.
     
    There’s studying religions from the outside. Retrospectives from deconverts that give a window into different sects. Anthropology and psychology, under the umbrella of “religious studies”. The history of religious movements and their doctrines/texts. Following modern religious influences on politics.
     
    Of course, there’s also secular stuff that happens to conflict with religious teachings: philosophy, archaeology, biology, feminist and queer perspectives. And there’s skeptic investigations into pseudoscience and woo.
     

    videos?

    QualiaSoup, ThereminTrees, 43alley, HamboneProductions (Skepticon lectures), Search YouTube for “FtbCon” and “OrbitCon” panels.
     
    For podcasts, there’s Godless Bitches, Reasonable Doubts, Atheists Talk, Polite Conversations, Oh No Ross and Carrie (e.g., their Scientology eps).

  340. Monocle Smile says

    Kafei thinks panpsychism is reality. In other words, he thinks everything is “made of consciousness” (lol) and we’re all dreams or some shit inside of a big mind and we can “commune” with this mind through a CME.

    All this “Perennial” bullshit is a distraction.

  341. says

    @speedofsound

    Right. There is no paper where they say they have done that because you and everyone else fails at item number 2. All we get is muttering poems about the the special ‘beetle in my box’ that everyone knows about but no one can see. Science is asked to explain a thing that everyone believes in but no one can define or point to. Pure Bullshit is much better because we can actually point to a pile of bullshit and science then gets busy explaining it.

    Well, you just said here yourself, everyone fails at item number 2. This is the very point of Ramana Maharshi’s self-inquiry, that no definition will ever satisfy the question, what consciousness is ultimately cannot be conveyed in concepts, it can only be intuited in an experience that transcends concepts.

    In religion, consciousness is the source.

    Oh Fuck Yeah! You hit it right on the head. Without your special pet in your private box you got nothing. Now I have been engaging you all along because this is precisely the meta-point to be considered in your delusions. Same with all the believers who speak about faith, and personal experiences of god.

    The only reason you call it a delusion is because you identify with atheism, it’s the foundation of your perspective. When this meta-point is what mystics have been talking about, it’s what the Perennial philosophy emphasizes at the core metaphysical truth shared by all the major religions, it’s what Alan Watts refers to when he says the function of the guru is the person that comes along and tells you, “Oh, come off it. I know who you are.” Of course, people don’t use that phrase very much anymore, “come off it,” but he means remove the mask, remove the ego, and find out who you really are.

    With your drugs, or my satori, or all the god-experiences of the believers it’s tapping into the same perfectly explainable psychology. You can even scan this shit and you do not ever see anything that is not completely explained by contemporary neuroscience.

    Now before you run off tangentially I’ll give you one more shot.
    Define consciousness for me.

    Well, if you say everyone fails at number 2, then why would you even expect an answer? Everyone includes yourself, myself, and everyone else. That’s why I linked you to that particular question of Michael Pollan asked to experienced pharmacologist.

  342. says

    @Monocle Smile

    Kafei thinks panpsychism is reality.

    Not necessarily. I never claimed that I adhere to panpsychism or panexperientialism. However, what I did claim is that these ideas are definitely no longer far-fetched after having such CMEs.

    In other words, he thinks everything is “made of consciousness” (lol) and we’re all dreams or some shit inside of a big mind and we can “commune” with this mind through a CME.

    This may be the case. I mean, you can ridicule it, if you’d like, but I can definitely see how I’d probably share your skepticism if I hadn’t had this experience for myself. I believe the fact that nature itself is fractal also holds implications towards these views. This is also the reason people obsess over the sacred geometry, and it’s no surprise that’s being mentioned in the Tracie Phil Ferguson thread.

    All this “Perennial” bullshit is a distraction.

    And yet it’s the most contemporary view arising out of the sciences. It’s the one thing that if people actually considered, would make sense of the major religions and why they exist.

  343. RationalismRules says

    @parkerren #377
    Wow! Lots to respond to.
    I’ll do my best to respond to everything. It may take a couple of posts.
     

    Well, first I would like to thank you for willing to engage in a discussion with me. Being able to discuss my history honestly has been very therapeutic.

    Happy to chat, and good to hear you’re getting some positive value out of it.
     

    I would be curious to hear what started people down a path towards atheism. I wonder what may be common elements of peoples’ deconversion.

    Personally, I’ve never believed, despite growing up in a fundamentalist family/community. It just never seemed real to me, despite everyone else around me believing.

    Some people credit actually reading the bible for starting them on the path to unbelief. Many believers don’t ever read beyond the ‘greatest hits’, and for those who actually set out to read the whole thing, sometimes they begin to realize just how much of the bible is barbaric, cruel and immoral.

    I think that a lot of people have a similar experience to you – just through questioning. There’s a lot in the bible that just doesn’t stand up to examination, which is why church leaders put so much effort into suppressing questioning. When you start to ask questions of your religion it’s a bit like when you learn that your parents don’t know everything – suddenly everything that you used to automatically accept now needs to be reassessed, because you no longer simply trust the authority figure that it came from.

    PZ Myers’ blog, Pharyngula, has a series called “why I am an atheist”. If you paste the following into Google you’ll get a bunch of personal accounts: site:freethoughtblogs.com/pharyngula/ "why i am an atheist"

    (I see SkyCaptain has responded too. In case you don’t already know, the red words in his post are links. I encourage you to follow them: SkyCaptain’s links are always worth a look…!)
     

    It seems as if the time is now to make an atheist movie.

    As you point out, first and foremost it would need to be a good movie. Otherwise it would just be on the propaganda level of those bad Xtian movies. What makes a good movie is a good story, and that needs a stronger emotional hook than just struggling with one’s belief, I think.

    I’ve seen several movies that question/challenge the authority of religion in the context of strong human conflict/drama, particularly the abuses of the Catholic church – “Philomena” and “Doubt” are two recent(ish) examples. I don’t really know of any movies that focus on belief itself, or the lack of belief.

    I Googled “movies about atheism”, and got a bunch of ‘Top-ten’ type lists, that I’m interested to look through. You might like to try the same.
    One I have seen is Ricky Gervais’ “The Invention of Lying”. Although religion is not the main subject, it is definitely touched on from an atheist perspective. It’s worth a look – I enjoyed it.
     
    I need to do some other stuff now, I’ll respond to the rest of your post later.

  344. speedofsound says

    The only reason you call it a delusion is because you identify with atheism, it’s the foundation of your perspective.

    Motherfuck. This tact again. I don’t identify with anything but the several hundred books I have on neuroscience and the philosophy of the mind. Do you have any idea how weak your arguments are? How offensive they are?

    I think if you say this shit one more time to anyone here you should get banned.

    You have three fallbacks. One is to overlink the same repetitive shit and say ‘The Science!’.

    Two comes out when you can’t respond to what was presented to you and it amounts to your fantasy of atheists sitting around caressing their atheist Identity Medallions.

    Three is that we haven’t had a true ME and if we did we would automatically think like you do. Believe what you believe.

    You have weak argument skills in philosophy. You should find a different gig. Maybe Woo librarian and linkifier?

    Your bit on conscious reveals much though. You have a pet illusion in your private box and you are relying on god of the gaps. You don’t want it defined or studied. Ohh, The Mystery of it All…

  345. parkerren says

    @CompulsoryAccount7746, Sky Captain #381
    Thank You.

    Thank You.
    The Deconversion playlist is done really well. Now as I write this I am still early in the playlist, but the books mentioned in the early videos I will be acquiring and reading. I need to do a lot of studying. For it is not enough to just accept that christianity is wrong but to understand WHY it is wrong.

    Thanks for the link to Julia Sweeney’s monologue “Letting Go of God” I look forward to listening to this.

    “At the very least, an atheist culture promises not to dishonestly eulogize someone as religious.”
    It was disappointing to attend a funeral of someone you know was out as an atheist, but the two people who eulogize him, danced around his atheism. Very little was celebrating his life.

    “With atheism, belief erodes first, often slowly. Then affiliation with religion falls away. Getting out of a toxic sheltered environment is itself a positive thing.”
    Yes, You’re right.
    What may be most toxic of religion is the person who believes but does not feel they could accept. The person who is made to feel like a horrible person by religion calling them ‘sinners’ who deserves to be sent to hell. The incredible amount of guilt they have.

    Thanks for all of the recommendations I will be checking them all out.

  346. dontpanicdent says

    @parkerren (#377, #387)

    If you haven’t already seen it, you might also give “Life of Brian” a watch just to take a breather. It’s irreverent and ridiculous and incredibly insightful about Christian themes. They’re not delicate with them. They (Monty Python) got in a lot of trouble for making it at the time, so right there you know it’s good!

  347. parkerren says

    @dontpanicdent #388
    Yes, I have been a fan of “Monty Python Flying Circus” for many years. Growing up we would watch it, and in college, I watched many of the films.
    The Life of Brian is one of my favorite movies, and I also love to play “Always Look On The Bright Side of Life” it is in many of my playlists (after funerals I play it as I drive home and it’s played at work quite a bit)

    I remember the first time viewing the movie while in college. I considered it more of criticism of Catholicism not of christianity.

    It seems to be a bit common for christians to take criticism and either say it is not a proper criticism of their faith, but it criticizes other religions or other sects within one’s faith, i.e., “Well that’s those Catholics it is not my denomination.”
    Or attempt to dismiss the criticism by changing the subject of the criticism. Instead of addressing the valid criticism, suggest the criticism is not relevant. So when people criticize religion, the response comes “christianity is not a religion but a personal relationship”

  348. parkerren says

    @RationalismRules #385

    “Personally, I’ve never believed, despite growing up in a fundamentalist family/community. It just never seemed real to me, despite everyone else around me believing.”

    So did you express your disbelief, did you go along to get along or did you?

    I would enjoy learning more about other peoples deconversion. In part, I want to know if others have been as foolish as me. I also hope others can see these videos, read the stories and learn not only is it okay not to believe but a good reason for not believing.

    Thanks for the various movies recommendation I will give them a watch. I would

  349. RationalismRules says

    @parkerren
    Sorry, I got distracted on the current thread and forgot to get back to you. (For some reason I’m unable to get notifications).

    #390

    So did you express your disbelief, did you go along to get along or did you?

    As a kid I went along, but it was just doing what others were doing without really thinking about any of it, I wasn’t hiding my doubts, if you see what I mean.
    I wrote about my situation in Ep 23.08 post #25, so I wont rewrite it here. Here’s a link to that post.

    I came out at 15. We had ‘family prayer meeting’ every Sunday, and the males (father, brother, me) were required to pray aloud. I hated being put on the spot (typical teenager !), and I found it utterly meaningless. TBH, the former was probably the stronger motive for my rebellion. Eventually I told my parents I wasn’t going to join in any more, because I just didn’t believe in it. It wasn’t really a risk for me as it is for many others – there was never any chance that I would be rejected or outcast by my family or friends. Ironically, had we not already been outcast from our church (see the earlier post), that risk would probably have been much greater.
     

    I would enjoy learning more about other peoples deconversion. In part, I want to know if others have been as foolish as me. I also hope others can see these videos, read the stories and learn not only is it okay not to believe but a good reason for not believing.

    I think it’s really important. It’s part of the antidote to the isolation I was talking about in my earlier post.
    I’ve enjoyed reading the deconversion stories on the Pharyngula thread that I mentioned in the previous post. Here’s a link.

    You aren’t foolish for having fallen into religious belief. Matt D has a good way of putting it: you don’t give up religion because you got smarter, you give it up because you got new information.

    Again, I’ve gotta run now. I haven’t forgotten there’s a bunch of stuff from your earlier post that I haven’t responded to yet. I’ll get onto it soon, I promise!

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