Open thread for episode 23.14: Tracie & Phil Ferguson


Tracie hosts special guest, Phil Ferguson, host of The Phil Ferguson Show, where he combines Skepticism, Atheism, Investment philosophies, Economics, Politics under one roof.

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  1. James ONeil says

    For the caller who asked the question about biological evolution, I recommend the YouTube videos of Aron Ra. They’ve helped me.

  2. moldred says

    ON PRAYER
    Mal-2 was once asked by one of his Disciples if he often prayed to Eris. He replied with these words:
    No, we Erisians seldom pray, it is much too dangerous. Charles Fort has listed many factual incidences of ignorant people confronted with, say, a drought, and then praying fervently — and then getting the entire village wiped out in a torrential flood.

  3. moldred says

    Last week, the Joseph Smith Papers published the records of Joseph Smith’s legal trials. Today, it added the printer’s manuscript of the Book of Mormon and pictures of the seer stone Joseph used during the translation. The two are not unrelated.

    A common anti-Mormon accusation is that Joseph was convicted of fraud for glass-looking in his first, 1826 trial. (That is, three years after his first vision of the Angel Moroni, and one year before Moroni gave him the Golden Plates.)

    The first account of this trial, by Emily Pearsall, the niece of the trial judge, was published in 1873 in Frazer’s Magazine. A separate account was published in 1877 by William Purple, who was scribe for the trial.

    Mormon apologists contended for years that these accounts were fictional: that there was no 1826 trial, and if the Pearsall and Purple accounts had any basis in fact it must have been Smith’s 1830 trial for vagrancy. But in 1971 the original bills were discovered for the fees charged by the judge and constable in the trial, corroborating the date and substance of the trial. Scans and transcriptions of these bills are what were recently made available from the Joseph Smith Papers.

    The JSP does not include the Pearsall and Purple accounts, but Russell Anderson’s FairMormon article includes both, arranged by content. There is broad agreement on the main point: Smith was charged with defrauding Josiah Stowell by charging him money for “glass looking,” or using his stone to find treasure in a vision.

    The description of the stone in the Purple account matches the pictures that were published this week for the first time:

  4. StonedRanger says

    Tracie- My mother was a catholic when she married my father, a non catholic. How does that work? Its easy, she was excommunicated by the church. She still considers herself catholic although she hasnt been to church in decades.

  5. twarren1111 says

    Joel
    1. Mutations are random
    2. Natural selection is not
    3. Irreducible complexity is BS. Every step of bacterial flagellum evolution has been demonstrated. Same with eyes. There is no debate.
    4. The ruling on Dover vs kitzmiller can be downloaded and answers all joel’s Questions

  6. uglygeek says

    About Saad…

    What was that, a reparation call because Matt had been too direct (harsh) last week?
    There was really a lot of eggshell walking! Islam encourages generosity! Islam does not really force women to cover, and even in Western countries you cannot go around naked, can you? Egypt was more liberal in the past. Yes, even Iran was liberal, before Khomeini took the power. It was liberal indeed because that religion had less power then! Egypt has become less liberal when Islamists took the power with Morsi, and has not really moved back even after the El Sisi coup because the new dictator does not want to alienate the fundamentalists even more.
    So, ideas have consequences, religious ideas have very big consequences and when a country becomes more religious it also becomes very liberal. But nothing of that sort was replied to Saad in this very sad call.

    What this call really just to apologise to Saad?

  7. uglygeek says

    I meant, “…when a country becomes more religious it also becomes LESS liberal.”

  8. RationalismRules says

    @mods
    Moldred is spamming.

    Post #2 is a direct cut & paste without attribution from a book called Principia Discordia:
    Here’s a link to the page in Google books.
    He posted the exact same copypasta, also without attribution, on Ep 21:45 post #3

    [Also on Ep 21:45, his post #1 is also copypasta. Couldn’t find the original source, as it’s been posted a lot…]

    Post #3 is copypasta from an article on Medium.com, called
    Fact-checking Mormon History: was Joseph Smith a Convicted Con Man?
    The entire post is simply a cut & paste, without attribution, and the “last week” that the post refers to was 4 years ago.

  9. David Angel says

    This episode was all about apologising to saad who does not really understand his own religion and by sounds of it just wants to belong somewhere,anywhere!
    Let’s give him some facts about his horrible homophobic book for a start.
    Also the Mormon guy was a waste of time .Half the call was just based on a argument about walking down a alley. How about calling out his religion based on a con man . Tracii even did not call him out when he called atheism a religion.Not good enough guys . Seems like this was a atheist apologetic episode. Where was the fire in your bellys?

  10. abumber says

    Tracie – You went really easy on Saad when he tried excusing and promoting his religion as progressive with a few positive cultural examples. It seemed to me that you were more concerned with demonstrating your desire to not be perceived as offensive then address his claims or position. Why?

  11. Paul Stevens says

    For Tracie
    You expressed surprise that a Catholic and a non- Catholic could be married. My wife is Catholic and I was non-religious when we married in 1981. I did not have to convert. We were even married in a Catholic Church in a full wedding mass. I did not participate in the eucharist (bread and wine), never have. Our priest was her Uncle. We had to make promises that we would bring children freely into the world and into the church. They are all adults now and to the best of my knowledge none are practising Catholics. They don’t believe or care about religion, I have no influenced them other than my clear lack of interest in the church or any it’s teaching. Today I am not sure what my wife’s position is – she doesn’t talk about it but she doesn’t attend mass except occasionally with her (aged) parents.
    Perhaps the church is more liberal here than elsewhere. Australia is not a religious nation and we don’t like people, especially politicians, prattling on about religious stuff.

    Also, regarding Fibonacci number sequence. It is the foundation of a technical analyst (stock market) method know as the Elliott wave theory which he originally termed Nature’s Law. It implies the number sequence is a foundation to natural things. It is NOT a religious theory. It’s simply mathematics. 01123581321345589144 …. successive numbers become approximately 0.618 of the next higher number or 1.618 of the previous lower prior number.

  12. defydelusions says

    I always had a general idea about evolution, and have always been non-religious (not counting a non-traditional but common secular Buddhism for a while)… and Jerry Coyne’s “Why Evolution Is True” was the most enlightening work that I read on the subject and made it much easier to understand; especially just how *overwhelming* the evidence actually is. It’s hard to hear Creationist critiques of Evolution, which they mischaracterize and seem simply not able to understand as it is actually described, when they could easily Google it and get a better picture than they apparently adopt from their ministers.

  13. says

    RE: Caller Saad:

    Reminder that his topic was finding areas of common ground between Islam and the secular/atheist community. This was his topic, and it drove the conversation. I was “easy” on him, because he wasn’t calling to defend Islam and admitted he couldn’t. His topic was common ground, and I am honest enough to admit there are some things in Islam (and any religion) that promote positive social interactions.

    Generosity – Common Ground
    Modesty – I disagreed, but I disagree with a lot of folks on this who aren’t Muslim. And Saad disagrees with a lot of folks who *are* Muslim, even though we’re not on the same page, and I told him that.

    It’s my understanding that last week he called for different reasons and it didn’t go well, ending in a hang up. If he had called to defend child rape to me, then the call would not have gone like it did this week.

    Please remember, the callers choose their own topics, and their ideas are what drives the conversations and the show.

    Another reminder: I have had many, many similar conversations with Christians where I have admitted there are good aspects to their religion that help people and communities. Is that also a problem?

  14. says

    @ Paul: “You expressed surprise that a Catholic and a non- Catholic could be married. My wife is Catholic and I was non-religious when we married in 1981. I did not have to convert. We were even married in a Catholic Church in a full wedding mass. I did not participate in the eucharist (bread and wine), never have. Our priest was her Uncle. We had to make promises that we would bring children freely into the world and into the church.”

    Thanks for that reminder. Ironically my parents were also married, although my mother was Catholic and my dad basically told them to piss off. I do not believe they had a church wedding, but I don’t know. Had my mother not been pregnant at the time, the marriage probably would not have happened.

    There is a lot of opposition to it, but you’re right–it happens.

  15. says

    @David, “Where was the fire in your bellys?”

    If you want to see fire, then watch when Matt hosts. You aren’t likely to like the shows I host.

  16. says

    @UG: “There was really a lot of eggshell walking! Islam encourages generosity! Islam does not really force women to cover, and even in Western countries you cannot go around naked, can you?”

    Yes. In the West we suffer from hypocrisy. We call out modesty issues when they go farther than our own, but then defend ours as somehow more justified and reasonable. Modesty isn’t reasonable, and just because someone has *worse* restrictions doesn’t get us off the hook for our own unreasonable restrictions. “It’s fine I slap my kid’s face, because my neighbor set their kid on fire.”

    Saad gave his view of the religion–Islam, like all religions, is not monolithic. We seem able to grasp this with Christianity, but somehow with Islam we don’t like to admit there are liberal branches and adherents–exactly as there are in Christianity.

  17. Wiggle Puppy says

    @ Tracie 15:

    “Another reminder: I have had many, many similar conversations with Christians where I have admitted there are good aspects to their religion that help people and communities. Is that also a problem?”

    I think the reason that people are reacting negatively is that, oftentimes, behind this search for “common ground” (from Christians and Muslims and others) is a desire for validation from atheists – “I believe what I believe, and you believe what you believe, and we both think generosity and kindness are good things, so we’re pretty similar, right?” My answer to that is not “yes” – instead, it’s “sure, but the religion that you think is inspiring you to be generous and kind also comes with a lot of baggage, both in terms of (1) supernatural claims you can’t justify and (2) a long history of people also doing horrific things in the name of your religion, many times directly inspired by passages in your holy book that you’re conveniently overlooking, so we’re not standing on equal footing here.” Put another way, the questions I would have asked Saad (or any Christian saying the same thing) would have been, “Okay, so you say that your religion inspires you to be generous and kind – why do you need the religion at all? Why not just be generous and kind because it helps build a better world for all of us to live in? Why add all of the extra baggage?”

  18. roog says

    Regarding miracles:

    Check out potholer54’s video “It’s a miracle…or is it?” on YouTube. He shows clearly why four Jesuit priests survived the Hiroshima atomic bomb blast was not a miracle. It was “relatively” easy to provide a reasonable explanation for what happened because the event was not in the distant past and many eyewitness reports were available. It also shows how a story can deviate from the actual facts in only a short period of time.

    Regarding Saad:

    He’s a dawah man. Tell the non-believer all the great things about Islam (lying, if necessary) and get them to join. Then when the unsuspecting convert learns the truth: “Oops, sorry, we’ll kill you if you leave.” Saad is a proselytizing Muslim. You don’t let Christians do that, so why make an exception for him.

  19. favog says

    Hi Tracie!
    Okay, this has nothing to do with the episode, haven’t even watched it yet. But I saw a music video the other day, and the singer did a little preamble to her song which included a comment about Southern Baptists and the Church of Christ that made me think of you and Matt, and I thought you two might appreciate it (as well as a few other posters here, of course!) so here’s a link for ya. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NtiX_dCgQ9A

  20. AtheistNotAgnostic says

    Just finished Joel’s call and holy crap that was frustrating. Phil hit the nail on the head when he asked “do you want to know the answer?” because this guy wasn’t looking for an answer. He saw some ID bullshit online, thought it was a “gotcha!” and decided to call the show and catch them off guard instead of researching the claims. The second I hear ID propaganda I automatically shut the conversation down because trotting out that junk means the person is almost always either willfully ignorant or being completely dishonest. I’ll always link them to talk origins or another resource on the off chance that they truly have no idea how awful their points are but I’m of the opinion that nobody should have to put up with this crap anymore. This shit was settled all the way back in 2005, time to move on.

  21. MisteRee says

    Hi Tracie and Phil,

    I don’t know if this may help but i put Youtube links to a very simple and fun explanation why Fibonacci sequences appear in nature not and even needing an Omni-agency. It also in directly shows how Natural Selection works as most things that don’t adapt will die off and how we only see the ones that do(survivor bias).

    I hope it helps.

    Vi-harts: Fibonacci numbers in plants:
    https://youtu.be/ahXIMUkSXX0 (part 1)
    https://youtu.be/lOIP_Z_-0Hs (part 2)
    https://youtu.be/14-NdQwKz9w (part 3)

  22. Nathan Watters says

    Hi TAE, i’ve just discovered your show and am busily trying to consume as much as possible, there seems to be a lot of discussion/contention around “where is the evidence for God” im not sure if I am posting in the right place, please point me to the right place if required, but I guess my question would be, what evidence would an atheist require to convince them that there was a God? many thanks.

  23. Gem says

    I am a new viewer who was originally an atheist and would like to relate my experience in coming to realize that God does really exist. I would love to explain what I have come to understand and why.

    I also fee that I can answer some of the questions posed by Tracy and Phil to the Mormon caller. I am not a member of any religion myself and never really have been, although I was brought up as a Catholic and attended church until I was 9, after which I rejected the teaching completely.

    Thanks,

    Gem

  24. says

    @WP:

    >I think the reason that people are reacting negatively is that, oftentimes, behind this search for “common ground” (from Christians and Muslims and others) is a desire for validation from atheists

    You’re far more generous than I am. But thank you for the alternate perspective. I don’t disagree this can be viewed in the way you describe it.

    From where I was sitting, Saad called in and:

    1. Seems to have put some thought into his conversation last week where he was hung up on and told off. One of the early things he wanted to do was apologize to viewers and Matt. People can attribute it to whatever they like but he clearly put thought into that conversation. He could have dropped it and moved into this new call with no mention of it. He was already on the show again.

    2. He volunteered, without any prompting from me, that Muslim oppression is very often at the hands of other extremist Muslims. So he called out the worst of those in his religion and acknowledged that problem. It’s something we call out on the show that theists don’t do often enough–they prefer to disavow those extreme conservatives as something that doesn’t require acknowledgment or ownership. If we want to see more of that–then “Hey, thanks for doing that” is a good way to let folks know we wish they’d do more of it.

    3. He admitted that he knows it’s not even worth it to try and demonstrate a god–because he can’t. Again, more honest than many. And yes, we could go down the path of “but then why do you believe”–like we’ve done 1000 times with folks, but he seemed to be doing pretty well on his own.

    4. He seems to see modesty as far less of a concern than many Muslims–and is willing to say he thinks what’s happening there in Islam isn’t right. I agree. And, again, I’m glad he’s willing to admit it happens and that it shouldn’t. I did not agree with him that modesty is actually a good value–and pointed out I condemn it in my own culture–because it’s all around not a healthy value. It’s completely dehumanizing and toxic.

    He said he wanted to call and discuss common ground, and he did. And he was willing to admit to flaws and short comings within his own religion–to say “I see these problems, too. I don’t like them, either. And I think it’s wrong when Muslims do XYZ.”

    Some of the folks commenting made me think of that line in Shrek where Donkey asks why he didn’t try to intimidate, frighten, and whoop ass on some people. Shrek replies, “Oh, I know. Maybe I could have decapitated an entire village, put their heads on a pike, gotten a knife, cut open their spleens and drink their fluids. Does that sound good to you?”

    Later in the show, on the call with the ex-Hindu, I talked about an article I’d shared publicly on Godless Bitches–and on my FB wall–about an Arabic lawyer who was found guilty of basically some violation of social decency, for defending women in Muslim cultures for uncovering their heads. I said that no society should accept anything like what was done there–in that Islamic country. I know that was outside the call with Saad. But it’s hard for me to imagine how much more a person could condemn something than to say it should never happen anywhere in the world, and humans should not allow it.

    I’m fine saying when I disagree strongly with something. But with Saad, I agreed a lot with many of the criticisms he was issuing toward his own religion. Could I have piled on? Sure–I always could add more to anything–but based on the topic he chose and what he was saying–I was fine letting him talk and voicing my agreement or disagreement when I thought it was relevant.

  25. says

    @David:
    “Half the call was just based on a argument about walking down a alley.”

    Agreed. I’ve used that example so many times I can’t count. I’ve never had anyone fail to grasp the point.

    If it helps, I am planning to use a different version of it in the future, in order to mitigate the “But you should keep safe” issue, which seemed to really derail the caller. It sounds odd, but in the past I used “fairies” (in a different analogy) and was finally told by someone that it was EXTREMELY relevant that fairies don’t have current causal claims surrounding them. Literally that was the hang up the caller had. So, I changed the analogy to Gremlins–which are socially understood to be tied to machine malfunctions as causal.

    Some folks have problems with analogies. It caught me off guard. But I fully admit I needed to resolve it more quickly than I did. I also was frustrated with the back and forth, and should have realized it required intervention. Kudos to Phil to trying to fix the problem.

  26. AtheistNotAgnostic says

    @Nathan and Gem
    Welcome to the blog!
    @Nathan
    For me, it depends on the god claim. If the person you’re dealing with is claiming that “god is love” or “god is the universe” then congrats, I believe your god exists already! For a less concretely defined concept like the Christian god, I’d need to hear a non-contradictory definition first.
    @Gem

    [I] would like to relate my experience in coming to realize that God does really exist. I would love to explain what I have come to understand and why.

    Fire away.

  27. Gem says

    I would like to share part of Charles Darwin’s autobiography where he talks about his belief in God…

    https://www.ummah.com/forum/forum/misc/comparative-religion/337483-i-deserve-to-be-called-a-theist-charles-darwin

    Hopefully you guys may find his view interesting if you have not come across this before .

    As for myself, I do not believe in the existence of a personal God of the type taught in most religions, and do not believe such a God is possible even, but I do regard myself as a theist and can say with absolute certainty that there is a higher aspect of my own mentality which transcends the intellect and which appears to operate in the higher subconscious levels of mind, and that by practicing what I would refer to as scientific prayer I am able to influence future circumstances in my life, often in uncanny and amazing ways. I do believe that this higher aspect of mind is what Darwin is referring to when he speaks of a “First Cause having an intelligent mind in some degree analogous to that of man”.

    Perhaps the terms “individual subconscious mind” and “universal subconscious mind” would be the best way to describe the interaction that takes place with scientific prayer, and by scientific prayer I mean the individual’s absolute certainty that what he or she is praying for, or something even better or more appropriate, will come to pass without fail. It must of course also be something that the individual can conceive of as happening though, of course! It gets better and better with practice in my own experience.

  28. StonedRanger says

    Gem- Went to your link and read what was there. Apparently you didnt read the next post. If you did, then you took the first paragraph completely out of context and just ignored the rest of what he wrote. Same thing theists do when they talk about what Darwin wrote about the eye. Please pray that I get ten thousand dollars american in cash by next week would you? Scientific prayer my ass.

  29. AtheistNotAgnostic says

    @Gem #31

    [I] can say with absolute certainty that there is a higher aspect of my own mentality which transcends the intellect and which appears to operate in the higher subconscious levels of mind.

    I have no clue what you mean here. “higher levels of the mind” and “transcends the intellect” sound like woo to be, but I have no formal education in psychology so I’ll give you the benefit of the doubt. Is there any way you could state this more clearly or expand on it so I can have a better idea of what you’re trying to express? Also, we can’t really be “absolutely certain” of anything besides our own existence as a thinking agent because of solipsism/external world skepticism so be careful with your language here.

    by practicing what I would refer to as scientific prayer I am able to influence future circumstances in my life, often in uncanny and amazing ways.

    Do you have evidence of this besides your own personal testimony? Tons of people claim to be clairvoyant, and none so far have been able to prove it so I’m pretty skeptical of this claim.

  30. Gem says

    @StonedRanger

    If you read the entire debate posted there you will find that most readers/posters favor theism or agnosticism at the very least, not atheism. Charles Darwin in his latter years regarded himself as a Deist but felt that the whole subject of God was beyond the intellect and too perplexing for us it the present stage of our understanding.

    For me the model of the Deist God is one that does not know of the existence of the material world in the way that we perceive it at all but only knows it in its completed state, i.e. in its absolute, eternal state, which I gather is often referred to as its spiritual state. This material existence that we experience is in my view spiritual (ie mental) existence in a state of becoming,therefore.

    This is perhaps a difficult concept for many to understand, and we cannot hope to solve or understand it by appealing only the the material/physical – we must learn to transcend it.

    “Whatever the mind can conceive man can achieve” (or words to that effect) was above the entrance of the Epcot Center in Florida last time I visited there and I believe there is great truth in it. Do you? If you do not then money is not the problem for you, belief is, in my opinion.

  31. Gem says

    @AtheistNotAgnostic

    I have many examples of answered prayer I could relate to you that have occurred in my own experience , but it is likely that your own doubts about the veracity of what I say would prevent you from ever putting what I am referring to as scientific prayer to the test yourself. I suspect that you would rather someone else does it for you, which I believe is not possible.

    Personally speaking I am a very self-reliant person and will generally do my very best to solve any problems I may encounter in life by myself first, and in most cases I succeed. There have, however, been occasions when I have prayed for a specific outcome in situations that are beyond my own control, and on every occasion the result has been what I prayed for, or better than what I could have imagined at the time when I prayed. It has never failed and I do not believe it can fail. The key thing is that in order to pray successfully you must believe that what you are praying for is achievable for you to begin with, and you must be sincere as you cannot fool your higher self. For example, if I prayed to be the next Whitney Houston then I would fail because I do not believe it is possible, and if you heard me sing neither would you!

  32. buddyward says

    @Gem

    I often see this argument wherein Darwin say XYZ or Einstein says ABC with regard to gods. I often wonder, why does it matter who says them? Has Darwin and\or Einstein ever proved that god exists?

    From your description of god it appears that god is some state of your mentality, is that correct?

  33. AtheistNotAgnostic says

    @Gem #34

    For me the model of the Deist God is one that does not know of the existence of the material world in the way that we perceive it at all but only knows it in its completed state, i.e. in its absolute, eternal state, which I gather is often referred to as its spiritual state. This material existence that we experience is in my view spiritual (ie mental) existence in a state of becoming,therefore.

    Again, I have no idea what this means. Sounds like complete nonsense to me. Do you watch Spirit Science on YouTube? This sounds like something that would pop up there.

    we cannot hope to solve or understand it by appealing only the the material/physical

    Shocker. Guy peddling woo says it can’t be demonstrated in a way that would convince a skeptic.

  34. AtheistNotAgnostic says

    @Gem #35
    Sorry for the double comment, I was writing my other one and forgot to update the page.

    it is likely that your own doubts about the veracity of what I say would prevent you from ever putting what I am referring to as scientific prayer to the test yourself.

    Of course I have doubts, you’re only the millionth person that’s claimed they get clairvoyance through prayer, and the first 999,999 were bullshitting. Care to define “scientific prayer” concretely so I can evaluate what you’re claiming?

  35. Gem says

    @buddyward

    God is certainly a state of my own mentality and is a state of your own mentality also by the way. It is what I believe to be the universal subconscious level that we all share. If this was not so and was purely our own individual mind then it would be merely wishful thinking on our part and we could not hope to consistently affect outer circumstances involving others that our beyond our personal control.

  36. Gem says

    “whatever you ask in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.” is a saying of Jesus I believe,.

    How can you believe you have received it already is the question? Seems impossible to do you may think.
    My solution to this is to make clear mental pictures of myself having already achieved or received that for which I am praying and then being consistent after praying by acting as if I believe my prayer is answered.

    By removing all doubts and negative self-talk an individual can learn to do this effectively and consistently..

  37. Gem says

    @AtheistNotAgnostic #37

    Look around you for a moment and you will see that most everything around you began as a thought in the mind of a designer. We are living in a world of thoughts made manifest as physical realities

    When a designer designs something new his or her imagination conceives of the thing in its completed state and then draws a plan or design and then eventually sets the wheels in motion for this design to become a reality. He/she conceives of this thing in the absolute, so to speak, ie in the mind before it becomes a reality.

    The mind is the realm of causation and the physical world is the realm of effects therefore.

    Can you imagine anything at all worthwhile coming into existence in our world without it first being conceived of in the imagination of someone I wonder?

    It’s doubtful that you can, Neither could Darwin conceive of this world/universe coming into existence without an intelligent, mental first cause, for the same reason.

  38. Gem says

    Before Henry Ford launched the V4 engine he described to his engineers what he envisaged and they told him it was impossible. Henry said OK, but I want you to design and create it anyway! A year or two went by and same thing, his engineers said it is not possible Henry, we have tried and tried but it cannot work. Henry said fine – keep trying until you succeed. This kept on for years. Eventually they were successful and the V4 became the most popular engine ever produced.

    How did Henry Ford know it was possible?

    Because he knew whatever the mind can conceive and believe man can achieve. I believe it was American philosopher Ralph Trine who convinced Henry of this great truth and later they wrote a book together about the subject of mind power.

  39. AtheistNotAgnostic says

    @Gem #41

    Look around you for a moment and you will see that most everything around you began as a thought in the mind of a designer.

    This is just flatly false. There are trees outside my window that occur naturally and haven’t been planted or groomed by humans.

    He/she conceives of this thing in the absolute, so to speak, ie in the mind before it becomes a reality.

    This is also flatly false. Most (if not all) human inventions you see go through many stages of design, prototype and refinement before they’re declared “finished”, and that finished products often barely resembles the initial concept. Your Henry Ford example in #42 is an example of this. In my industry (software) there are no “finished” products; they’re always changing with new features being added and old ones retired.

    Can you imagine anything at all worthwhile coming into existence in our world without it first being conceived of in the imagination of someone I wonder?

    Yes, and it’s not particularly hard to do so.

    Neither could Darwin conceive of this world/universe coming into existence without an intelligent, mental first cause, for the same reason.

    The “argument from design” is trash that has been debunked a thousand times. Check out its page on RationalWiki (https://rationalwiki.org/wiki/Argument_from_design), I won’t be wasting my time repeating it.

  40. buddyward says

    @Gem #39

    God is certainly a state of my own mentality and is a state of your own mentality also by the way. It is what I believe to be the universal subconscious level that we all share.

    Please demonstrate that the universal subconscious level exists.

    If this was not so and was purely our own individual mind then it would be merely wishful thinking on our part and we could not hope to consistently affect outer circumstances involving others that our beyond our personal control.

    This is no different from the argument that if there is no god then there will be no objective source of morality which is a backwards way of trying to prove the existence of god. One must first prove that a god exist before you can appeal to it.

  41. CompulsoryAccount7746, Sky Captain says

    @Gem #41:

    Can you imagine anything at all worthwhile coming into existence in our world without it first being conceived of in the imagination of someone I wonder?

    Video: Two Minute Papers – How Do Genetic Algorithms Work? (3:14)

  42. indianajones says

    @Gem ‘Many examples of answered prayer’ that you ‘have never seen fail’ but you can’t do it for anyone else?

    I’ll just go ahead and assume that you think that a cancer cure can be successfully prayed for. If, per your claims, you consider this to be not only possible but absolutely reliable then why not try this: Give yourself cancer, pray for a cure, share it around. If you absolutely believe this to be true and are not doing this, well, describing you is left as an exercise for the reader. If I could cure cancer with touch, say, I would expect to spend the rest of my life chained up in the oncology ward of a childrens’ hospital though.

    Also, define ‘began’. When does the chair become a chair? When the atoms were scattered from some super nova? When the wood grows? When the parts are assembled? When someone sits on it successfully?

    @Nathan AFAICT there are 2 things that would convince atheists that are generally put forward. One is it turning up in person and doing something amazing. Time travel, star rearranging, mind reading. That sort of thing. The other, and this may be a spectrum, is doing something small but detectable and reliable. If all churches from sect x were immune to lightning strikes. Or whose members were immune to the dreaded lurgy of whatever sort for no other good reason.

    Other than those 2 things, there is also merely redefining the word. If you call your totem pole, or love, or whatever god, then we all already believe in it’s existence.

  43. Gem says

    @AtheistNotAgnostic

    You missed the words “most everything” in my post! Read it again.

    The only things you can apparently conceive of as not having a mental cause are those that are a part of Nature. What basis do you have for believing that intelligence could have come into the world purely by random forces of Nature I wonder?

    The arguments for and against intelligent design are flawed as they do not take into account the possibility that the world we perceive with our 5 corporeal senses is not the ultimate reality but merely a state of becoming. As I have already said, I believe this world to be a perfect world in a state of becoming, and Darwin apparently shared this view.

    If you planted an oak tree seed knowing that it would become a huge oak tree one day and then asked an ignorant person to dig it up before it had sprouted he or she would believe it impossible for a house to ever be built from what that collection of roots presently looks like – because it is merely a oak tree in a state of becoming that he or she is seeing. Likewise, attributing this present world as we perceive it at the moment as being intelligently designed is equally impossible for most.

  44. Gem says

    @buddyward

    “Please demonstrate that the universal subconscious level exists.”

    Please demonstrate that your own individual subconscious mind exists.

    Do you believe you have a subconscious mind because of personal experience or because you read it somewhere I wonder?

  45. Jhon_doe says

    SCIENTIFIC EVIDENCE FOR NO GOD:
    Lets assume God is most knowledgeable and sees/observe and measure all that is going on as per most religions. In double slit experiment, the act of “observation” or “measurement” changes the wave/particle properties of sub atomic particles. When a measurement is not taken the particles go through two slits and forms an intereferrence wave like pattern in the back. But when a measurement is taken, to know through which slit a particle passed, it resulted in the collapse of wave function and you see two distinct lines in the back screen instead of an interference pattern.
    EVIDENCE: If God is measuring and observing this universe than wave function of a particle should always collapse and interference pattern couldn’t have been observed ever.

    The result of wave like pattern from double slit experiment shows that no one is watching from above or no one is able to measure all the properties of a particle at any instant without damaging the particle or changing it’s properties.

    I know some theist would say God is outside this universe and cannot influence it or influence the physics of it blah blah but they should keep in mind that Jesus or other gods lived amongst mankind and pretty much was a subject to all physical laws like you and me. God has interacted with this universe and earth, as per Bible/other religious books and their stories, which should be taken as observation/ measurement and medeling.

  46. AtheistNotAgnostic says

    @Gem #47
    Read comment #22 in this thread. If you’re seriously going into the admitted con of ID, I’m done here. Comment #24 from twarren links to the 2005 Kitzmiller v. Dover ruling. Read that and the Wedge Document (and check out talk origins when you have time, link in the original post) and come back. If you’re still going to argue ID, I can be sure you’re a bullshit artist and safely ignore you.

    the world we perceive with our 5 corporeal senses is not the ultimate reality but merely a state of becoming.

    More complete nonsense, and after 2 requests by me and one by buddyward to define your terms you keep doing this.

  47. buddyward says

    @Gem #48

    Please demonstrate that your own individual subconscious mind exists.

    Do you believe you have a subconscious mind because of personal experience or because you read it somewhere I wonder?

    So, you are not going to demonstrate that your claim is true. You are going to turn this around and have me try and demonstrate it for you. Have you ever heard of the term “burden of proof”? What you are doing right now is an informal logical fallacy of shifting the burden of proof.

    Out of courtesy I will answer your question. Yes, I do believe that I have a subconscious mind but I do not believe that there is such a thing as a UNIVERSAL subconscious level that we all share. You need to demonstrate that.

  48. Gem says

    @AtheistNotAgnostic

    Sorry, I have no clue what the ID thing you are referring to is and what it has to do with anything. I don’t have time to read lots of stuff online to find out at this moment either as I am nursing my newborn.

    BTW I asked you…
    What basis do you have for believing that intelligence could have come into the world purely by random forces of Nature I wonder?

    If you don’t want to answer any questions from me it’s fine. I am only here to share my views with intelligent people afterall.

  49. RationalismRules says

    @Gem #41

    Can you imagine anything at all worthwhile coming into existence in our world without it first being conceived of in the imagination of someone I wonder?

    Of course I can. Let’s start with fire. Definitely worthwhile, in fact, it’s arguably the single most consequential contributor to the development of humanity. No-one ‘designed’ it. No-one ‘imagined’ it prior to bringing it into existence.

    How about people? Millions of people are the result of unplanned pregnancies. I happen to be one of them. Whether or not I am ‘worthwhile’ is debatable, but I’m sure at least some of the others are.

    Also, do you not have any concept of how many scientific discoveries have been made by accident? X-rays, microwave cooking, saccharin, velcro, penicillin. All of these were discovered by accident. All of them seem ‘worthwhile’ to me. None of them started out in the imagination of a designer.
     
    This is not a good place to present rhetorical puffery as argument.

  50. Gem says

    @buddyward

    If you have studied the workings of the subconscious mind you will know that it is entirely amenable to suggestion. It is perfectly possible for a hypnotherapist for example to impress the idea that cigarettes taste awful and repulsive on the subconscious mind of an individual and they will accept this suggestion often and stop smoking. Can me or anyone else provide you proof of this other than personal testimonies? I don’t see how.

    The higher levels of subconscious mind can only be demonstrated by the individual or the healer/therapist. Neither can provide you personally with evidence for obvious reasons.

  51. AtheistNotAgnostic says

    @Gem
    In #47 you said:

    The arguments for and against intelligent design are flawed

    I took this to mean the arguments made by the intelligent design movement in the US. That’s why I abbreviated it ID (which is common) and linked you to stuff related specifically to those arguments. If you weren’t referring to this than my bad.

    What basis do you have for believing that intelligence could have come into the world purely by random forces of Nature

    Evolution. If you reject evolution, go to talk origins and they’ll teach it to you. I’m not a biology expert do I’ll leave the lessons to them. Now, are you going to finally going to define your terms? I still haven’t have no clue what you mean by “scientific prayer”.

  52. buddyward says

    @Gem #53

    If you have studied the workings of the subconscious mind you will know that it is entirely amenable to suggestion. It is perfectly possible for a hypnotherapist for example to impress the idea that cigarettes taste awful and repulsive on the subconscious mind of an individual and they will accept this suggestion often and stop smoking. Can me or anyone else provide you proof of this other than personal testimonies? I don’t see how.

    The higher levels of subconscious mind can only be demonstrated by the individual or the healer/therapist. Neither can provide you personally with evidence for obvious reasons.

    In short you do not have evidence that what you are saying is true. What you are presenting as evidence is your personal testimony much like any other theist that tries to convince everyone else that their god is real because they have personal experience. Have I got that right or do you have any good, convincing evidence that your god is real? If you do, then please present it, if not then please say so.

  53. Gem says

    @RationalismRules

    Fire and child birth are occurrences of Nature. Natural things come into existence continually regardless of human imagination.

    My point was that none of the FINISHED products could exist without a designer imagining them as you now see them.. Look around you in the room you are presently in and try and find one item that was never designed by anyone but just came into existence. Look at the cooker or tv or computer or cellphone or whatever – all were designed in thought before they manifested in reality.

  54. indianajones says

    @Gem ID = Intelligent Design. It is Goddidit

    The basis for for believing that intelligence from random forces exists is that indeed it does exist at all for starters. It has proven to be evolutionarily advantageous for humans to develop intelligence. From using fire, to being able to make it it, all the way up to inter-planetary probes can be traced in a straight line. Our brains getting bigger and better, with a few bump along the way, similarly.

    A key thing here to realise that random forces doesn’t have to imply random outcomes. If I half fill a bottle with sand and give it a shake, the end result for a particular grain is pretty random. But that the whole thing ends up half bottle shaped is not. If I pour the sand out, it will form a cone, even if I still cannot predict where my favourite grain will end up. How or why a particular brain box is as intelligent as it is is fairly random. That there are intelligent brain boxes getting around in general is entirely expected.

  55. Gem says

    @AtheistNotAgnostic

    I firmly believe in Darwin’s theory of evolution.

    Charles Darwin did not teach that the process of evolution could have began without an intelligent first cause though, which is why he regarded himself as a deist.

    It is impossible for a rational and reasonable human being to even conceive of the idea that intelligent life could come into existence with no underlying intelligent first cause at all, i.e. from absolutely nothing – non-existence.

    If you believe it did then you assume a burden of proof, particularly in view of the fact that Darwin himself was a believer in an underlying intelligence.

    If you want to learn about evolutionary theory I suggest you read Darwin’s famous book Origin of Species. No need to visit any websites for other people’s opinions I feel. If you find Darwin convincing on this subject and he was a believer in God as I do, then that is all that is needed in order to hold a rational worldview in my opinion.

  56. Monocle Smile says

    Look around you in the room you are presently in and try and find one item that was never designed by anyone but just came into existence

    How about the plant on my desk?

    It is perfectly possible for a hypnotherapist for example to impress the idea that cigarettes taste awful and repulsive on the subconscious mind of an individual and they will accept this suggestion often and stop smoking. Can me or anyone else provide you proof of this other than personal testimonies? I don’t see how.

    Really? Really? So double-blind trials aren’t a thing? So all of modern medicine is impossible? I have a hard time believing you’re serious.

    I don’t have time to read lots of stuff online to find out at this moment either as I am nursing my newborn.

    This sounds like an excuse to avoid answering questions or even attempting to educate yourself in order to post identical nonsense repeatedly as this thread extends.

  57. Monocle Smile says

    If you want to learn about evolutionary theory I suggest you read Darwin’s famous book Origin of Species. No need to visit any websites for other people’s opinions I feel.

    You’d be wrong. Darwin got a whole lot of stuff totally wrong. Today’s high school biology students are taught more than Darwin ever knew. You’re showing your ignorance.

    If you find Darwin convincing on this subject and he was a believer in God as I do, then that is all that is needed in order to hold a rational worldview in my opinion.

    I’m getting the feeling that you’re not a real poster. This doesn’t sound like someone an honest, serious person would say.

  58. AtheistNotAgnostic says

    @Gem #58

    Charles Darwin did not teach that the process of evolution could have began without an intelligent first cause though, which is why he regarded himself as a deist.

    Who gives a fuck? Evolution has moved well past Darwin.

    It is impossible for a rational and reasonable human being to even conceive of the idea that intelligent life could come into existence with no underlying intelligent first cause at all, i.e. from absolutely nothing – non-existence.

    Bullshit strawman. Nobody claims that life came from “absolutely nothing”. What you’re talking about is abiogenesis, not evolution. Evolution explains the diversity of life, not origins.

    If you want to learn about evolutionary theory I suggest you read Darwin’s famous book Origin of Species. No need to visit any websites for other people’s opinions I feel. If you find Darwin convincing on this subject and he was a believer in God as I do, then that is all that is needed in order to hold a rational worldview in my opinion.

    Again, the modern theory of evolution has moved past Darwin. We have more fossil evidence, the entire field of genetics, etc. If you want to learn about evolution, read a modern book or website about it. I have no idea where you’re getting this idea that Darwin is the ultimate authority on evolution and everything he says goes. He’s not our god.

  59. Gem says

    @indianajones

    I tend to agree with most of what you said. In common with Darwin, however, I do not see how any of the natural forces that developed intelligence could have proceeded from non-existence of anything at all in the first place, and if we agree that something must have existed in some way, purely mentally or otherwise, prior to big bang and to the first lifeforms, then I have no argument at all with you!

    I think an intelligent first cause is reasonable to assume – much more reasonable than one of intelligence proceeding from the non-existence of anything at all, don’t you?

    Practically speaking none of this really matters though. It’s interesting to ponder, but what difference does it make to you on a personal level? Very little if any I would imagine.

    However, you have it within you to demonstrate in your own experience that your mind is in some way connected to seemingly unlimited power of achievement existing in the subconscious region of mind.
    This is knowledge of practical use and is all I am interested in really. If I cannot put it to good work in my own life for my benefit and the benefit of my loved ones I don’t care what others believe or believe not!

  60. Gem says

    @Monocle Smile

    If you read my previous posts you will see that I already made a distinction between Nature and designs of human beings, so when I was asking the poster to look around the room I think they were already aware that I was referring to human designs and not Nature.

    Perhaps it is you who are unnecessarily extended the amount of posts by not reading what was already said by me in prior posts.

    Anyway, the point I was making is that we cannot conceive of anything worthwhile coming into existence without the manifestation of it in the physical world being proceeded by thought. And once again, I was not referring to Nature at all.

  61. says

    @Gem

    What basis do you have for believing that intelligence could have come into the world purely by random forces of Nature I wonder? If you don’t want to answer any questions from me it’s fine. I am only here to share my views with intelligent people after all.

    Are you familiar with panpsychism, by any chance? I find this view rather interesting. Albert Hofmann said he would microdose with LSD in his garden, and saw the hand of God there within the beauty of the garden. He said, “If anyone thinks the atoms can do it all by themselves, then they just don’t know what they’re talking about.”

    @Paul Stevens

    Also, regarding Fibonacci number sequence. It is the foundation of a technical analyst (stock market) method know as the Elliott wave theory which he originally termed Nature’s Law. It implies the number sequence is a foundation to natural things. It is NOT a religious theory. It’s simply mathematics. 01123581321345589144 …. successive numbers become approximately 0.618 of the next higher number or 1.618 of the previous lower prior number.

    Yes, that’s how I’ve heard of it, but it does have a relevance with religious and philosophical history. It’s known popularly in our culture as Sacred Geometry (not to be confused with Spirit Science, although that guy also goes over these topics as well).

    @MisteRee

    I don’t know if this may help but i put Youtube links to a very simple and fun explanation why Fibonacci sequences appear in nature not and even needing an Omni-agency. It also in directly shows how Natural Selection works as most things that don’t adapt will die off and how we only see the ones that do(survivor bias).

    These fractal examples in nature, including the Fibonacci sequence, are absolutely beautiful. My favorite is probably the Julia set fractal.seen in form constants. Out of curiosity, what got you interested in the Fibonacci sequence? Had you heard about it before you participated in this thread or did you YouTube it by influence from something you’ve heard from R-A-O’s call?

  62. Gem says

    @AtheistNotAgnostic

    I do not believe that evolutionary theory has moved on to the extent that it now demonstrates intelligent life proceeding from a non-intelligent first cause or from complete non-existence,and as neither of these views are of any practical importance anyway I do not find them worthwhile even.

  63. Gem says

    @AtheistNotAgnostic

    “Bullshit strawman. Nobody claims that life came from “absolutely nothing”. What you’re talking about is abiogenesis, not evolution. Evolution explains the diversity of life, not origins. ”

    Nobody? Are you sure? So leading atheist Lawrence Krauss never wrote a book entitled “A Universe From Nothing”? hmmm…

  64. Evil God of the Fiery Cloud says

    So leading atheist Lawrence Krauss never wrote a book entitled “A Universe From Nothing”? hmmm…

    Depends what ye mean by “nothing.” IIRC Krauss is discussing a different concept than the general definition.

  65. AtheistNotAgnostic says

    @Gem

    I do not believe that evolutionary theory has moved on to the extent that it now demonstrates intelligent life proceeding from a non-intelligent first cause or from complete non-existence

    Evolution doesn’t attempt to answer this question, as I said in my last post. This is abiogenesis.

    Nobody? Are you sure? So leading atheist Lawrence Krauss never wrote a book entitled “A Universe From Nothing”? hmmm…

    Ok, now I know you’re not serious.
    @MS
    I think you’re right, this guy’s pulling our leg. I should have known after him pretending to know what the intelligent design movement is despite using the term “intelligent design”.

  66. buddyward says

    @Gem #66

    Nobody? Are you sure? So leading atheist Lawrence Krauss never wrote a book entitled “A Universe From Nothing”?

    Looks like someone just read the front cover of the book and not the contents.

  67. says

    @Gem

    “Bullshit strawman. Nobody claims that life came from “absolutely nothing”. What you’re talking about is abiogenesis, not evolution. Evolution explains the diversity of life, not origins. ”

    Nobody? Are you sure? So leading atheist Lawrence Krauss never wrote a book entitled “A Universe From Nothing”? hmmm…

    I agree with most of what you’ve said, and you’re going to have a real hard time convincing anyone here as you’ll find that most people here identify as atheist/agnostic, etc. However, your accusation is a bit of a straw man. There may be a confusion regarding the semantics involving, when Lawrence Krauss says “nothing,” I don’t believe he’s speaking of literally “nothing.” He’s equating the term with how it’s viewed in cosmology, perhaps his own cosmology, but that’s up for the rest to decide.

  68. buddyward says

    I agree with most of what you’ve said, and you’re going to have a real hard time convincing anyone here as you’ll find that most people here identify as atheist/agnostic, etc

    Oh the horror!!! People identify as atheists in an atheist blog. I guess in a blog for Christians most people identify as Muslims, is that the norm?

  69. Gem says

    @Evil God of the Fiery Cloud

    In this context Nothing is the absence of anything at all. i.e. the negation of the word something. I do not see how it can be defined in any other way. For example, light is something because it has a cause. Dark is nothing because it lacks a cause – it is merely the absence of light.

  70. says

    @buddyward Well, I wouldn’t necessarily say the blog is for “atheists,” if that’s what you’re implying when you say a “blog for Christians.” I think it’s rather fitting that the show chose FreeThoughtsBlog as the platform to discuss topics that are addressed in each episode. I’m sure TAE welcomes everyone of all views. Otherwise, why bother claiming we’re expressing our thoughts here freely as long as we follow the rules of the thread? All I’m saying is “look around, everything is a product of God” is not a very convincing observation to people who see matter as the unintelligent, inert, unconscious substance of reality that simply obeys physical laws from which by mere accident resulted in a world of trivial meat bags, is one way to put it.

  71. t90bb says

    good to see we have a new stooge this week…..aka gem…..

    the goalpost shifting is staggering,,,,,,he shows up anxious to tell us how he knows god exists lol….brings up answered prayer but admits it wont be convincing….then jumps to a combo of the cosmological argument and then ID.

    I guess gem thinks all these arguments will be new for us. These are all old and tired arguments…except that most are way better at arguing them then gem.

    hes got a bunch of logical fallacies goin on but at the root is just one big argument from ignorance. Gem looks around, assumes everything is designed (which begs the question, btw)….and asserts there must be an intelligent designer….

    heres one for ya…..what intelligence created the intelligent designer, what intelligence created that designer, what intelligence created that designer…………………………………its turtles all the way down.

    maybe believing a god exits makes gem feel good,,,,but he is piss poor at justifying his belief.

  72. Evil God of the Fiery Cloud says

    In this context Nothing is the absence of anything at all. i.e. the negation of the word something. I do not see how it can be defined in any other way. For example, light is something because it has a cause. Dark is nothing because it lacks a cause – it is merely the absence of light.

    Well THERE’S yer problem…

    Seriously, that’s not the nothing Krauss and physicists are talking about because it’s functionally incoherent.

    Besides, Supernatural teaches us that the Darkness is something (God’s big sister) and that before that there was the Empty, and it’s where Angels go when they die.

    P.S. I apologize to the greater blog. That’s probably the last time I will purposely bring down the level of conversation here but in my defense it’s late where I am and I was really bored.

  73. Gem says

    @Kafei

    I thought that the point of AX show and this blog was for non-atheist to share what they believe with others?

    My view is that it is reasonable to assume that the primary cause of life, big bang, etc. has intelligence as a primary quality or attribute. I suggest that Pure Light is another primary quality or attribute. I also believe that prior to bigbang whatever caused it must of necessity be eternal also. If it was a temporary causation then the question of who or what caused it would arise but if it is eternal causation then this question does not arise.

    How is this in any way a strawman argument?

  74. buddyward says

    @Kafei #73

    Well, I wouldn’t necessarily say the blog is for “atheists,” if that’s what you’re implying when you say a “blog for Christians.” I think it’s rather fitting that the show chose FreeThoughtsBlog as the platform to discuss topics that are addressed in each episode. I’m sure TAE welcomes everyone of all views. Otherwise, why bother claiming we’re expressing our thoughts here freely as long as we follow the rules of the thread? All I’m saying is “look around, everything is a product of God” is not a very convincing observation to people who see matter as the unintelligent, inert, unconscious substance of reality that simply obeys physical laws from which by mere accident resulted in a world of trivial meat bags, is one way to put it.

    So now you are redefining this blog despite the fact that there is a gigantic “The Atheist Experience” logo on top of every page in https://freethoughtblogs.com/axp. The fact that the host of that show recommends people to this blog. A Christian blog/forum does not exclude non-Christians from their blog. They are there to discuss their faith with others whether or not they are believers of other faiths or non-believers. Most people that are in the Christian blogs\forums identify themselves as Christian that is no surprise just like most people in an atheist blog identifies themselves as atheist. Stating the obvious adds nothing to the conversation much like all of your dishonest posts.

    Who here says that matter is unintelligent? It all depends on which matter one is referring to. Einstein, Hawkins, Krauss, are matter and they are intelligent.

    You are the one that proposed the a rock is conscious and failed to justify it. So please, go away and come back when you have scientific evidence that a rock is conscious.

  75. indianajones says

    @Gem How do you define ‘intelligence’? I think I can safely say that a termite is not very intelligent. And yet, if you get a few hundred thousand of them together they can build very complicated mounds with ventilation and agriculture and all sorts of other things in them. What caused that then? Intelligence (and I am going with a general definition, but could probably sub yours in here) can be and often is an emergent property. You get simple things, get them to follow simple rules, and get complicated things.

    As for before the big bang, I am no physicist. But I’ve read and known a few. The consensus answer seems to be that ‘before the big bang’ is about the same as ‘north of the north pole’. Asking about time before the big bang is, as far as I poorly understand it, nonsense because time itself was a result of the big bang. And all of that is before you get to the glaring ‘Well where did that god/cause/group of universe creating pixies come from. Stock answer from theists seems to always be ‘They have always been there’. Which is a rather silly answer in my opinion. I much prefer,the ‘Working on it, we’ll get back to you. answer’ of the physicists.

  76. t90bb says

    When it comes to the issue of how this universe came to be, how the cosmos came to be, how what we recognize as life came to be……..we honestly don’t know. We may never know….

    That’s why gems argumentation is an argument from ignorance. A magic genie that creates stuff wins with gem because he cant think of ay other way it could have happened. Just like lightening was god before we learned more. Lightening was unexplainable so some called it god

    Pretending to know is a total cop out. drop the foolishness and hop in the wagon with us as we courageously search and ask questions. If its too scary for you then by all means pretend, I do understand,

  77. Gem says

    @t90bb

    I do not believe in a designer at all in the sense of the Universe as we perceive it at present. I believe that the life principle itself, i.e. that thing we refer to as life which includes ourselves, is the designer and we as individuals are self-created to an extent.

    This world that we know is the result of the combined thoughts of everyone who has ever lived and who is presently living, combined with Natural evolutionary forces, as explained in Richard Dawkins “Selfish Gene”, all working together towards the development of stronger more resilient species.

    I do not believe there is any limit at all to what mankind can achieve in the future, therefore.

  78. t90bb says

    GEM…….YOU WENT from “realizing god does exist” to “its reasonable to assume god exists” pretty quick……so you are not claiming knowledge as in absolute certainty???

  79. Gem says

    @indianajones

    I think that lifeforms with a brain express intelligence to one degree or another. There are many levels of intelligence no doubt, and it is most likely infinite as a whole. Can you imagine your brain being so full of ideas that you can not possibly think another thought? Of course not. In this sense I believe mind and intelligence is infinite.

  80. buddyward says

    @Gem

    You are proposing a first cause that you defined as intelligent. That is a classic argument for a designer. The fact that you cannot imagine that everything came into existence without this first cause is an argument from ignorance. For us to accept this, you will first need to demonstrate that this intelligent first cause exists.

  81. t90bb says

    81 gem…..nice. cool story. I assume it makes you feel good. you have not given a scintilla of evidence for your assertions just arguments that are fallacious as previously discussed. .

    you say….

    I do not believe there is any limit at all to what mankind can achieve in the future, therefore.

    that’s nice….

    so life is the designer…..and you refer to the life principal…lol……….this is becoming woo on steroids. I suggest you get back to nursing…and maybe read a book or two. And not just the title this time,

  82. Gem says

    @t90bb

    Usually I prefer not to use the word God at all as it carries too much baggage for my liking. I use it here for simplicity sake. GOD=GOOD DEVIL=EVIL….these are just evolved english words afterall, so to speak.

    I believe that infinite intelligence or infinite mind is the reality of our being though, and to discover this is the main purpose of life and our key to eventual freedom and liberty as a race.

    There is no point in religious people expecting God to turn up and sort everything out for us. God has never done anything for anyone and never will. All that has been achieved for mankind upto this point is the result of infinite intelligence working THROUGH as as us. There is not a separate being called God or Allah or Yahweh or whatever that does stuff independently of us. I think this is just immature religious teaching.

  83. t90bb says

    84 buddy….

    its all so simple…life,. due to the life principal, is the designer. but there is no designer…..what don’t you understand??

  84. Gem says

    @ buddyward

    What I actually said is “My view is that it is reasonable to assume that the primary cause of life, big bang, etc. has intelligence as a primary quality or attribute.”

    I do not believe that in and of itself it has a physical brain but rather that it expresses itself as lifeforms which have physical brains.

  85. t90bb says

    86…gem you say

    I believe that infinite intelligence or infinite mind is the reality of our being though, and to discover this is the main purpose of life and our key to eventual freedom and liberty as a race.

    and now allow me to tell you what I believe. I think your nuts. don’t feel bad, people like you show up here all the time. no one can take your nonsensical, unsubstantiated woo away from you. If it brings you comfort and you don’t care whether you have good reasons to believe it…….then live in the foolishness. I got rather bored of you quickly. Be sure and call the show soon.

  86. says

    @Gem

    I thought that the point of AX show and this blog was for non-atheist to share what they believe with others?

    Not necessarily. They do prioritize theists callers for the sake of debate, because it’s more interesting for the show, and they want to suppose “reach out” to theists. I often get the sense from Tracie sometimes that she’s waiting for that one theist to call and finally open her eyes, like almost challenging them, saying, “Why does God hide from the sight of so many?!” Then, you have Matt who says he wants to rid of religion or AronRa saying that he knows there is no God which at that point, in my opinion, only amounts to a kind of Atheist Gospel. So, I do like Tracie’s approach better, and prefer her episodes.

    My view is that it is reasonable to assume that the primary cause of life, big bang, etc. has intelligence as a primary quality or attribute.

    That is what panpsychism or panexperienentialism also says, that’s why I had asked if you were familiar with those views. This also came up in the debate that just happened live maybe about an hour ago on Modern Day Debates between NephilimFree and Braden.

    I suggest that Pure Light is another primary quality or attribute. I also believe that prior to bigbang whatever caused it must of necessity be eternal also. If it was a temporary causation then the question of who or what caused it would arise but if it is eternal causation then this question does not arise.

    I absolutely agree. I find all this very interesting. Are you familiar at all with pantheism? The ancient mystics would also argue this, that what in Christian mysticism is referred to as the Tabor light or uncreated light, perhaps synonymous with what you’re referring to as the “Pure Light” is what’s glimpsed in Theoria or the Beatific vision. And it’s funny, because the Father is often described as a philosophical Absolute, precisely how Tracie has described God in a particular episode, as everything, but she stopped and called it the universe. For the mystic, his direct experience of God is an experience of that everything, call it Pure Light, call it God, Brahman, etc. For the mystic, “one with everything” is not simply some metaphor vaguely understood by the atheist. It’s a vivified and real experience and it would often lead to a pantheistic or panentheistic interpretation of God. And perhaps you’ve experience with that, if so, please share. I’d like to get your perspective on all of this.

    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Essence%E2%80%93energies_distinction#Distinction_between_essence_and_energy

    How is this in any way a strawman argument?

    Perhaps I was vague there. I meant specifically your charge against Lawrence Krauss, he certainly doesn’t mean “nothing” in the sense that perhaps you’re using it. He’s sort of twisted that term to mean something else which he claims is commonplace in his field of study, but I tend to disagree. Did you, by chance, catch the link in that post? It was a clip where Krauss sort of goes over this with Stephen Colbert.

  87. says

    @Gem

    I thought that the point of AX show and this blog was for non-atheist to share what they believe with others?

    Not necessarily. They do prioritize theists callers for the sake of debate, because it’s more interesting for the show, and they want to suppose “reach out” to theists. I often get the sense from Tracie sometimes that she’s waiting for that one theist to call and finally open her eyes, like almost challenging them, saying, “Why does God hide from the sight of so many?!” Then, you have Matt who says he wants to rid of religion or AronRa saying that he knows there is no God which at that point, in my opinion, only amounts to a kind of Atheist Gospel. So, I do like Tracie’s approach better, and prefer her episodes.

    My view is that it is reasonable to assume that the primary cause of life, big bang, etc. has intelligence as a primary quality or attribute.

    That is what panpsychism or panexperienentialism also says, that’s why I had asked if you were familiar with those views. This also came up in the debate that just happened live maybe about an hour ago on Modern Day Debates between NephilimFree and Braden.

    I suggest that Pure Light is another primary quality or attribute. I also believe that prior to bigbang whatever caused it must of necessity be eternal also. If it was a temporary causation then the question of who or what caused it would arise but if it is eternal causation then this question does not arise.

    I absolutely agree. I find all this very interesting. Are you familiar at all with pantheism? The ancient mystics would also argue this, that what in Christian mysticism is referred to as the Tabor light or uncreated light, perhaps synonymous with what you’re referring to as the “Pure Light” is what’s glimpsed in Theoria or the Beatific vision. And it’s funny, because the Father is often described as a philosophical Absolute, precisely how Tracie has described God in a particular episode, as everything, but she stopped and called it the universe. For the mystic, his or her direct experience of God is an experience of that everything, call it Pure Light, call it God, Brahman, etc. For the mystic, “one with everything” is not simply some metaphor vaguely understood by the atheist. It’s a vivified and real experience and it would often lead to a pantheistic or panentheistic interpretation of God. And perhaps you’ve experience with that, if so, please share. I’d like to get your perspective on all of this.

    How is this in any way a strawman argument?

    Perhaps I was vague there. I meant specifically your charge against Lawrence Krauss, he certainly doesn’t mean “nothing” in the sense that perhaps you’re using it. He’s sort of twisted that term to mean something else which he claims is commonplace in his field of study, but I tend to disagree. Did you, by chance, catch the link in that post? It was a clip where Krauss sort of goes over this with Stephen Colbert.

  88. RationalismRules says

    @Gem #56

    Fire and child birth are occurrences of Nature. Natural things come into existence continually regardless of human imagination … My point was that none of the FINISHED products could exist without a designer imagining them as you now see them.

    You are making a clear demarcation between naturally-occurring things vs human-made things. I agree with that. Naturally-occurring is fundamentally different from human-made.

    But you are attempting to argue that because human-made things are the product of intelligent thought, then so must be naturally-occurring things.

    That makes no sense. When you have two fundamentally different things, you cannot draw inference from one to the other simply because they are both ‘things’. The way to establish a shared property is by observation, not just by assumption.

    What you are saying, in effect, is “all things must be the product of an intelligence, because we know that some things are the product of an intelligence”. That’s equivalent to saying “all mushrooms must be edible, because we know that some varieties of mushroom are edible”.

    It’s nonsense.

  89. says

    @RationalismRules

    You are making a clear demarcation between naturally-occurring things vs human-made things. I agree with that. Naturally-occurring is fundamentally different from human-made.

    But you are attempting to argue that because human-made things are the product of intelligent thought, then so must be naturally-occurring things.

    That makes no sense. When you have two fundamentally different things, you cannot draw inference from one to the other simply because they are both ‘things’. The way to establish a shared property is by observation, not just by assumption.

    What you are saying, in effect, is “all things must be the product of an intelligence, because we know that some things are the product of an intelligence”. That’s equivalent to saying “all mushrooms must be edible, because we know that some varieties of mushroom are edible”.

    It’s nonsense.

    I believe as to more what Gem might mean, and she can correct me if I’m mistaken, but I believe she’s saying that there’s nothing on Earth which is truly man-made. That is to say, there’s nothing that man created in the sense of materializing it. Sure, there’s been creation here, we look around, and we see so much “creation,” trees, plants, mountains, animals, etc., but to have the cities and towns of modern days, we’ve merely mucked with that which had always been here. We’ve mucked with nature to produce smartphones, cars, planes, our homes, buildings, etc. we’ve at no point created it. And even when we muck with these things, in order to produce the best results, we have to apply them to the laws of physics which we also didn’t create nor can seem to violate even with all our technology today.

  90. buddyward says

    @Gem #88

    What I actually said is “My view is that it is reasonable to assume that the primary cause of life, big bang, etc. has intelligence as a primary quality or attribute.”

    I do not believe that in and of itself it has a physical brain but rather that it expresses itself as lifeforms which have physical brains.

    I never said it has to have a physical brain. Whatever it is that you are assuming to be the cause of the universe and life needs to be demonstrated before we can continue to describe its attributes and what it can and cannot do. If this first cause does not exists then whatever arguments that you have based on this first cause would be moot.

  91. buddyward says

    @t90bb 87
    So…. life created the universe but did not design it even though life is the designer. Lol, I think I will need to be tripping ballz in order to process that. Do you know where I can get some?

  92. Gem says

    @RationalismRules

    I am not saying that there is a separate intelligence which people call God on another plane or wherever, which imagines things into existence, but rather I am saying that intelligence is infinite and that we are part of the same primary intelligence which caused the Universe to be. This one infinite intelligence works through countless individual minds/brains throughout this Universe and always has, even before this Universe came into being, but in and of itself it is universal intelligence, not individual intelligence. It is not a person or individual at all itself in other words, but rather is the law of our being operating through Natural Laws of the Universe.

    Imagine the same electricity flowing through every computer in the world. There are not two electricities, there is just electricity. So it is with intelligence.

    To come into realization of this fact is what empowers an individual to achieve far beyond what an average human being may ever achieve in life. Instead of thinking of yourself as little you with limited knowledge and brain power begin to view yourself as part of infinite intelligence and therefore without any limits at all, other than those you impose on yourself. You will soon find that your awareness and abilities begin to expand rapidly.

  93. Monocle Smile says

    Here’s how these interactions go:
    Some sort of theist: “Here’s what I believe”
    Skeptic: “What evidence do you have to justify those beliefs?”
    Creationists: long list of blatant lies
    Kafei: “I don’t need evidence because I’m 100% certain. That science stuff means nothing.”
    Gem: non sequitur

    For some reason we’re supposed to be impressed by these answers.

  94. Monocle Smile says

    @Gem
    Do you have evidence for your wild claims?
    Because it looks like you’re just blathering on for no reason. Evidence or get lost.

  95. says

    @Monocle Smile

    Do you have evidence for your wild claims?
    Because it looks like you’re just blathering on for no reason. Evidence or get lost.

    I find her take rather intriguing. I’m really interested if she’s had any spiritual or so-called mystical experiences for herself.

  96. Gem says

    @t90bb

    You are part of the same intelligence that designed the Universe, but at the moment you are only viewing this world and the planets from a very limited perspective. Eventually your understanding will expand and grow as you seek to come more and more in tune with the infinite. Limitation, greed, poverty, selfishness are the result of ignorance of the infinite source of our being.

  97. Monocle Smile says

    Kafei apparently thinks we’re all unbelievably stupid with the way he drops more youtube links and pretends we’re not all sick to fucking death of his endless prattle. Coming from the guy who believes any old thing that tickles his fancy, evidence be damned, this is rather insulting.

  98. Gem says

    @ Kafei

    I had an NDE in 1990 just after my mother passed on. During this ND experience, the subconscious mind, which records every event of your life in graphic detail, hits the replay button, and this can be very enlightening, or very disturbing to the individual, depending on what type of life they have led upto then. For myself it was like waking up out of a dream that I had been living since I can first remember, into reality, and especially to the realization that we each create our own realities by our habitual thinking. Individually and collectively we are the creators of this confusing world we live in, believe it or not!

  99. indianajones says

    @Gem @ 35 you have answered prayers as a thing you absolutely believe exists. @ 31 you sorta kinda define god as a universal subconscious. And then @ 86 you have a god that has never done anything and never will.

    Which means that you have a universal subconscious, aka a relabelling of something that is yet to have been demonstrated to exist and calling it god. This Uni Sub Con goes on to answer prayers in a limited fashion only whilst simultaneously never doing anything. Oh, and it created the universe (@ 96). Is that a fair characterisation of your current position?

    Gem, that sounded mean, I know. I’m very sorry, but I don’t know how to tell you what I think of your conclusion making process without making it obvious how terrible I think it is. Whatever got you to that point lead you ta an absurdity. I hope you can see it in the spirit it is given.

    I hope you are here to clear away a few cobwebs in your conclusion coming to process. I really do, you seem genuine and sincere in your engagement and I would applaud that effort. I hope that my stating of your position above is at least accurate enough to demonstrate an absurdity and to therefore give you a place to start cleaning your process up.

  100. Gem says

    @Monocle Smile

    My purpose is to help readers understand that they are an integral part of the one infinite intelligence that formed the universe, and by the practise of scientific prayer they can learn to demonstrate this in their own experience, bit by bit.

    Asking me to demonstrate this to you personally is similar to asking me to demonstrate that you could speak japanese if you really wanted to. No one can do that for you, you must prove it (or disprove it) to yourself as it this ability is part of your own mental constitution.

  101. says

    @Monocle Smile

    Kafei apparently thinks we’re all unbelievably stupid with the way he drops more youtube links and pretends we’re not all sick to fucking death of his endless prattle. Coming from the guy who believes any old thing that tickles his fancy, evidence be damned, this is rather insulting.

    The majority of links I’ve offered here have been on topics like Sacred Geometry related to the Fibonacci sequence, I’ve spoken about the evidence produced by the research at Johns Hopkins, etc. However, science has definitely not explained everything, and cannot explain some of these deeper topics discussed in religion such as panpsychism. Of course, I’m concerned with evidence, but at the same time I humbly know that science cannot explain everything. I’ve often said you want to be open-minded, but not so open-minded that the wind whistles between your ears. You, on the other hand, instead of exploring these topics, you say, “Proof or Gtfo!” as though someone’s actually going to give you peer-reviewed evidence of panexperientialism when science cannot even debunk that. And then insult people when they don’t adhere to your commands. I follow evidence, and I don’t post these YouTube videos to insult anyone’s intelligence, but for anyone’s curiosity and genuine inquiries upon these topics.

  102. Honey Tone says

    Gem @ 77& 88:

    … it is reasonable to assume that the primary cause of life, big bang, etc. has intelligence as a primary quality or attribute.

    Why is that reasonable?

  103. Monocle Smile says

    The majority of links I’ve offered here have been on topics like Sacred Geometry related to the Fibonacci sequence

    AKA nonsense

    However, science has definitely not explained everything, and cannot explain some of these deeper topics discussed in religion such as panpsychism

    Science is not in the business of explaining bald-ass claims. Science can’t explain alchemy either, because alchemy is nonsense.

    You, on the other hand, instead of exploring these topics, you say, “Proof or Gtfo!” as though someone’s actually going to give you peer-reviewed evidence of panexperientialism when science cannot even debunk that

    Falsifiability is a feature, not a bug. Claiming otherwise means you deserve ridicule and nothing but ridicule.

  104. Gem says

    @indianajones

    Prior to my NDE in 1990 I was certainly confused by life. Not anymore, thankfully 🙂

    I feel I have already answered your questions regarding my beliefs fully in posts to you and others in this thread, so I don’t feel need to repeat myself. If there is something you specifically do not understand relating to my beliefs I would be happy to explain further though 🙂

  105. Monocle Smile says

    @Gem

    Asking me to demonstrate this to you personally is similar to asking me to demonstrate that you could speak japanese if you really wanted to. No one can do that for you, you must prove it (or disprove it) to yourself as it this ability is part of your own mental constitution.

    Another know-nothing who blames others for their own shortcomings. This is Kafei all over again.
    If everyone thought this way, we’d still be banging together rocks unable to create fire.

  106. Gem says

    @Honey Tone

    It is reasonable because intelligent lifeforms have never proceeded from non-intelligent life forms, experimentally or otherwise. Like begets like, in other words.

  107. indianajones says

    @104 If that’s your purpose, prepare for some hostility. It is fun to bat around a few ideas and examine them, that’s why I come here mostly. We have just done that for 70 odd posts. But explaining things at us when we disagree with your premises? We get that a lot and I have never seen it go well, put it that way.

  108. indianajones says

    @108 Alright, can you explain to me how a Uni Sub Con that existed before the universe and created the universe answers prayers while doing nothing then?

  109. indianajones says

    Oh, and @110, (And apologies for triple posting), yes they absolutely have. It is why I brought up the termite mound example.

  110. Gem says

    @Monocle Smile

    I would no more blame you for your own shortcomings than I would blame any student at school for theirs. We are all here to learn afterall, are we not? What I am saying is that whatever your own shortcoming seem to you to be you have undreamt of power within you to overcome and become master of them, if you put your mind to it.

    Do you think of your mind as limited? Then so it shall remain to you until you decide to change it. When the late Earl Nightingale said “We Become What We Think About” he was uttering a great truth of life that everyone needs to be mindful of.

  111. says

    @Gem

    I had an NDE in 1990 just after my mother passed on. During this ND experience, the subconscious mind, which records every event of your life in graphic detail, hits the replay button, and this can be very enlightening, or very disturbing to the individual, depending on what type of life they have led upto then. For myself it was like waking up out of a dream that I had been living since I can first remember, into reality, and especially to the realization that we each create our own realities by our habitual thinking. Individually and collectively we are the creators of this confusing world we live in, believe it or not!

    Here, here… Yes, I agree that depending on the life you’ve led up to that point, you may interpret that experience as a heaven or a hell. You know, the Sufi mystics say in Islam this term “Fana” which means to die before you die. Undergo that experience now in life, so that when you finally approach it prior to the moment of your actual death, you seamlessly merge into it, it gives you a complete trust or faith to let go or dissolve into that unity or God-consciousness or that Pure Light. In other words, because you’ve had this experience, then when you encounter it again, you will know and understand how to have that experience and not interpret it as a hell. Would you agree with that or is there anything you’d add to that? Terence McKenna also speaks of it in this tone as well. Are you familiar with the research happening at Johns Hopkins relative to what professionals are referring to as a “complete” mystical experience, by any chance? Just curious.

  112. Gem says

    @indianajones

    Infinite intelligence proceeded this universe and the countless other universes that no doubt exist.

    It is part of your own mentality and answers prayer in exact accordance with your belief about its nature. If you do not belief it exists then life will present you with seemingly chance or random circumstances in accordance with your own habitual thinking. If, on the other hand, you begin to experiment with prayer you will soon begin to experience uncanny synchronicity and eventually will awaken to a entirely different outlook on life. Far from seeing it as random situations constantly occurring in your life like before you will come to realize that an intelligence much greater than your own is now at work in your life, and that your main experiences in life are happening for a reason, in accordance with your prayers.

    As the same infinite intelligence exists throughout Nature, expressing itself as Nature, it should not be that difficult to understand how it can answer your prayers as it can draw resources from the ends of the earth to do so.

  113. Monocle Smile says

    This shit sounds like “the secret,” which we already know is nonsense.

  114. buddyward says

    @Gem #104

    My purpose is to help readers understand that they are an integral part of the one infinite intelligence that formed the universe, and by the practise of scientific prayer they can learn to demonstrate this in their own experience, bit by bit.

    Asking me to demonstrate this to you personally is similar to asking me to demonstrate that you could speak japanese if you really wanted to. No one can do that for you, you must prove it (or disprove it) to yourself as it this ability is part of your own mental constitution.

    The flaw in this analogy is that you did not include the part where you are claiming that we can speak Japanese. Even after we have told you that we cannot speak Japanese you insist that we can. When we ask you to please show us evidence that we spoke Japanese you then tell us that we are the only ones that can prove it to ourselves. You are the one making the claim, you therefore have the burden of proof.

    If you want to help people understand your position then you will need to present evidence that what you are saying is true. You can do this by presenting evidence. You claim that we are all part of one infinite intelligence that formed the universe. Please demonstrate that such a thing exists. Please remember that many of us here are not only atheist but skeptics as well. Simply making assertions is not enough to convince us.

  115. Monocle Smile says

    Gem, why do children get cancer? Do you think they could cure themselves of cancer if they merely did what you claim?

  116. buddyward says

    @MS #119

    Why stop there? How come amputees cannot grow back their limbs no matter how hard they believe or pray that it will grow back?

  117. Gem says

    @Kafei
    Yes, I would agree, and would add that any visions an individual may experience during a NDE are entirely in accordance with his or her own beliefs. It is the subconscious mind of the individual producing them afterall.

    I did read some of William James “Varietes of Religious Experience” some years ago which cover the subject well, but that’s about all. This was AFTER my experience though, I should add!

  118. says

    @Gem *Hear, Hear… I apologize, it’s late. I wanted to ask you one more question. Lots of people after a powerful psychedelic experience often keep that experience alive through meditative practices. Some people have even compared the psychedelic experience to the near-death experience. Do you practice any forms of meditation in your life to try and re-explore what you experienced in the NDE?

    @buddyward

    Why stop there? How come amputees cannot grow back their limbs no matter how hard they believe or pray that it will grow back?

    If Gem is asking you to expand your consciousness, to reach a higher potential, perhaps then you can reach your inner God and explore how to much with something like stem cell research and splice the genes for regeneration for the limbs of a species with such capabilities, and have that work on human beings. Perhaps this is how it works, have you considered that? Even Matt Dillahunty often talks about how an interpretation of evolution from a theist may be how God operates in the material world. Evolution didn’t end with our thumbs, you know.

  119. RationalismRules says

    Gem #96
    What form the intelligence takes is an entirely separate issue from the point we are discussing.

    You are attempting to take an observed property of ‘made’ things – that some level of intelligence is involved in their genesis – and transfer it onto ‘naturally-occurring’ things, which, by definition, are not ‘made’. That would be flawed logic regardless of the property, but in this case the claimed property (intelligence) is specifically tied to the factor that differentiates the two groups (making).

    Regardless of what form of intelligence you are proposing there is simply no basis from which to claim that intelligence is required for the genesis of naturally-occurring things. At best it’s flawed logic, at worst it’s just straight-up bullshit.
     
    BTW, can you please explain to me what differentiates Pure Light from just plain ordinary light?

  120. says

    @RationalismRules

    BTW, can you please explain to me what differentiates Pure Light from just plain ordinary light?

    One distinction I would point out, I had mentioned the Tabor light or Uncreated light in Christian mysticism. This is also referred to as the Cloud of Unknowing by an anonymous Christian monk dated back to the 14th century. The visions are of light seen behind closed eyelids within these altered states of consciousness, even referred to as form constants in the scientific literature. This is different from ordinary light seen with the eyes, this is more of a kind of light seen with the mind’s eye, through consciousness in these deep meditative states or within these high-dose psychedelic experiences and, yes, within the near-death experience. The Christians emphasize the Beatific vision, the Buddhists call it nirvana or the Hindus call it moksha or Brahman, but in general it is referred to in eastern philosophy as enlightenment. One point I may differ between Gem is that she said the experiences are very personal. I agree, but even the researchers make a distinction among these experiences because they do happen on a spectrum. She’s referring to the visionary states that people report in NDEs or in meditation or with psychedelics, and usually your upbringing can influence the imagery seen in these experiences so that if you’re a Hindu, you might see Shiva or if you’re a Christian, you might see Christ, etc. In my own experience, I saw Bill Hicks, because I wasn’t necessarily a religious person. I started out agnostic atheist. However, beyond the visionary experiences, there is what the professionals in the research call a unitive mystical state of consciousness which is beyond all the detritus of the ego, and is universal, it is a merging with that Pure Light such that there is no dichotomy, there’s no ego to relate to something that is majestic, sacred, etc. That which was doing the relating is now one with that which it was relating to, the non-duality, a sense of complete unity is what’s reported at the very heights of these type of experiences. The Hindu surpasses the vision of Shiva, and merges with Brahman.

  121. buddyward says

    @Kafei 122

    If Gem is asking you to expand your consciousness, to reach a higher potential, perhaps then you can reach your inner God and explore how to much with something like stem cell research and splice the genes for regeneration for the limbs of a species with such capabilities, and have that work on human beings. Perhaps this is how it works, have you considered that? Even Matt Dillahunty often talks about how an interpretation of evolution from a theist may be how God operates in the material world. Evolution didn’t end with our thumbs, you know.

    Have you considered reading and understanding what Gem said in #35? Perhaps you should familiarize yourself with the context of the discussion before posting. The only reason why one’s prayer does not work is that the person praying does not believe it is achievable. So if an amputee does believe that through prayer their limbs would grow back, then they would grow back. Your sorry apologetic attempt to try and work around this scenario fails because you did not bother reading what was said.

  122. indianajones says

    @Gem Ok One last, I suspect, question. What would it take to convince you you are wrong?

  123. Gem says

    @buddyward

    You can speak Japanese by learning to speak Japanese if you have a mind to. You may persuade yourself that you are too old or incapable of learning another language perhaps, but other people have learned to speak Japanese, even in their advancing years, and you could also, if you chose. I’m pretty sure that if someone offered to you a very large sum of money to learn japanese you would learn it!

    You can learn to pray scientifically also and the rewards would be much greater than merely learning a language I’m sure. You probably will never even try though, I suspect – not in this lifetime anyway!

  124. buddyward says

    @Kafei 125

    One distinction I would point out, I had mentioned the Tabor light or Uncreated light in Christian mysticism.

    Provide evidence that this exist.

  125. Gem says

    @indianajones

    What would convince a person who has achieved great success in life through adopting a continual positive mental attitude that success or failure are purely a matter of chance and habitual thinking has nothing to do with the matter?. Nothing of course.

  126. says

    @buddyward

    Have you considered reading and understanding what Gem said in #35? Perhaps you should familiarize yourself with the context of the discussion before posting. The only reason why one’s prayer does not work is that the person praying does not believe it is achievable. So if an amputee does believe that through prayer their limbs would grow back, then they would grow back. Your sorry apologetic attempt to try and work around this scenario fails because you did not bother reading what was said.

    Well, have you considered that prayer is also a form of meditation, of looking within, of seeking this divine potential?

    Provide evidence that this exist.

    I’ve done that. What do you think happens during a CME? Precisely this effect of what mystics have called “The Tabor light.” Of course, when I mention that fact, you reject it every time, and it’s no surprise. It’s usually the sort of level of open-mindedness that’s met with this research by some of the atheists I’ve encountered. The Tabor light is synonymous with the Beatific vision, by the way, and that’s precisely how these experiences being described within this research.

  127. buddyward says

    @Gem 128

    You can speak Japanese by learning to speak Japanese if you have a mind to. You may persuade yourself that you are too old or incapable of learning another language perhaps, but other people have learned to speak Japanese, even in their advancing years, and you could also, if you chose. I’m pretty sure that if someone offered to you a very large sum of money to learn japanese you would learn it!

    You can learn to pray scientifically also and the rewards would be much greater than merely learning a language I’m sure. You probably will never even try though, I suspect – not in this lifetime anyway!

    Your claim is not that I am capable of learning the Japanese language, it is that I already have the knowledge. If you are going to tell me that I can speak Japanese and I know that I have not learned how, then I am going to ask you how do you know that I can speak Japanese. Please show me evidence that lead you to believe that I already am able to speak Japanese now.

  128. Gem says

    @RationalismRules

    The primary difference between A.I. and human intelligence is the ability to bring into being that which never existed before through forming mental pictures of the desired end result. Whether on the macrocosm (universal) or microcosm (individual) level the mental process of forming pictures remains the same, thus everything in Nature existed (as a spiritual idea and ideal or prototype) prior to the first signs of life on this planet.

    This by no means means that the lifeforms we presently see on earth are identical to the spiritual prototypes – the are instead in a process of becoming which is why they all live and die at present. I use the term spiritual to emphasize that this is to do with the universal thought processes of infinite intelligence (sometimes referred to as the Great Spirit of Life). In the english language the word “spirit” often denotes the fuel behind cars, genearators, and such like, i.e. petroleum spirit.

  129. Monocle Smile says

    It’s usually the sort of level of open-mindedness that’s met with this research by some of the atheists I’ve encountered

    We accept the research, by and large.
    We don’t accept your conclusions even though you lie about them being the conclusions of the research.
    Learn the fucking difference.

    @Gem
    That last post is crack pipe nonsense. NONE of that is true in any non-poetic sense (and in the poetic sense, it’s awful poetry).
    I’m still not convinced you’re a real person. You’ve been dishonest from the get-go. Despite repeated requests for evidence, you act as if our demands are outrageous and you’ve avoided the most important questions asked so far.

  130. Gem says

    @buddyward

    I said that you could speak japanese if you wanted to. Obviously, like everything else, you would have to learn to do so, but you would not be able to learn it very easily if you did not believe you could, in fact you probably would never try. Same with scientific prayer – that was my point.

  131. buddyward says

    @Kafei 131

    Well, have you considered that prayer is also a form of meditation, of looking within, of seeking this divine potential?

    So what? Neither prayer nor meditation is able to grow back limbs. You did not even read my response because you are too eager to redirect the discussion towards the woo that you are trying to peddle. This is yet another example of how dishonest you are.

    I’ve done that. What do you think happens during a CME? Precisely this effect of what mystics have called “The Tabor light.” Of course, when I mention that fact, you reject it every time, and it’s no surprise. It’s usually the sort of level of open-mindedness that’s met with this research by some of the atheists I’ve encountered. The Tabor light is synonymous with the Beatific vision, by the way, and that’s precisely how these experiences being described within this research.

    You’ve made a whole bunch of assertions and no demonstration. You are now making a claim which we cannot investigate because you are making a proposition that cannot be falsified. This further prove that you do not know what evidence is.

  132. Gem says

    “You are attempting to take an observed property of ‘made’ things – that some level of intelligence is involved in their genesis – and transfer it onto ‘naturally-occurring’ things, which, by definition, are not ‘made’.”

    It is obviously a circular argument to say that natural occuring life forms by diffinition cannot have a designer, because no such designer (ie God) actually exists.

    Certainly I would say that the Natural, temporal life forms we observe at the moment on this planet are not identical to the eternal, designed ones by any means ….. yet. This is because they are in a state of becoming. For instance I believe that eternal flowers and trees exist that are 100 times more vivid and beautiful than the ones we presently observe on this evolving planet.

  133. indianajones says

    And there I thought we were discussing the existence of a Uni Sub Con. However, your response @130 had such a massive and nauseating side serving of smug that I am no longer interested.

    ‘Nothing, of course.’ tells me all I need to know.

  134. buddyward says

    @Gem 135

    I said that you could speak japanese if you wanted to. Obviously, like everything else, you would have to learn to do so, but you would not be able to learn it very easily if you did not believe you could, in fact you probably would never try. Same with scientific prayer – that was my point.

    Let us get away from the analogies. Your claim is that we are part of this infinite intelligence and when asked to provide evidence for this infinite intelligence you are saying that we can only prove it to ourselves.

    You have yet to demonstrate any claims that you have made. You expect us to believe, infinite intelligence, Universal subconcious level that we all share, that scientific prayer is effective and yet you cannot provide evidence for these claims.

    Scientific prayer is no different than any other prayers which have been tested many times and resulted in no better result than chance and in some instances fared worst than chance.

    From your description, in order for me to believe that Scientific prayer to be effective I would first have to believe that it is effective. Sounds a lot like in order for God to reveal himself to me I would first have to believe that he exists. Yeah, that kind of argument have been around for years.

  135. says

    @buddyward

    So what? Neither prayer nor meditation is able to grow back limbs. You did not even read my response because you are too eager to redirect the discussion towards the woo that you are trying to peddle. This is yet another example of how dishonest you are.

    You apparently did not read my response, and you’ve missed the point I was making. The fact that you’ve totally missed what I meant might explain why you’re accusing me of dishonesty. If you don’t even understand where I’m coming from, then it’s quite disingenuous of yourself to accuse me of dishonesty.

    You’ve made a whole bunch of assertions and no demonstration. You are now making a claim which we cannot investigate because you are making a proposition that cannot be falsified. This further prove that you do not know what evidence is.

    Guess what? When Matt Dillahunty was asked what he would consider evidence, he said that he doesn’t know, and I really doubt you’ve got a better answer than he does when it comes to so-called “evidence.”

  136. Honey Tone says

    Gem @ 110:

    It is reasonable because intelligent lifeforms have never proceeded from non-intelligent life forms, experimentally or otherwise.

    Never?

    Please explain how you can know this, especially since the term “otherwise” might involve as much as almost 14 billion years. Or are you only asserting it?

    Is your statement meant to imply that the intelligent primary cause (IPC) to which you refer is a “life form” of some kind (to rephrase your statement: intelligent life forms only proceed from intelligent life forms)?

    Like begets like, in other words.

    “Like” is somewhat ambiguous, wouldn’t you agree?
    Is it reasonable to assume that intelligence might evolve/devolve/alter over time? If not, did the IPC create the intelligence levels in the various lifeforms we experience around us on this planet presently?

  137. buddyward says

    @Gem 137

    Certainly I would say that the Natural, temporal life forms we observe at the moment on this planet are not identical to the eternal, designed ones by any means ….. yet. This is because they are in a state of becoming. For instance I believe that eternal flowers and trees exist that are 100 times more vivid and beautiful than the ones we presently observe on this evolving planet.

    Please provide evidence for the existence of the eternal, designed life. Please provide evidence for the existence to eternal flowers and trees that are 100 times more vivid and beautiful than the ones we presently observe on this evolving planet.

    I think that with all of the request to provide evidence for your claims would keep you busy for awhile. I am going to bed to let my universal subconscious traverse the infinite intelligence.

  138. says

    @Monocle Smile

    We accept the research, by and large.
    We don’t accept your conclusions even though you lie about them being the conclusions of the research.
    Learn the fucking difference.

    I don’t have any “conclusions” of my own. I’ve repeatedly emphasize a point you’ve yet to grasp, and that is I’m only reiterating what has been demonstrated by this research, what’s been established. I’m not saying anything, intrinsically, other than what the research has shown. This is further evidenced by the fact that when I ask people, such as yourself, what you think I’m saying is different from the conclusions of the research, you cannot say. You merely make this accusation, but never back it up.

  139. Gem says

    @Monocle Smile

    Sorry, I’m not sure which poetry you refer to.

    Neither am I sure which demands you are referring to that I am acting as if are outrageous.

    What I am saying is that you and everyone else reading has innate, unlimited possibilities of achievement within, and by learning to ask the higher realms of subconscious mind to help when you have exhausted all possibilities yourself you can achieve what others could never achieve no matter how hard they tried, that’s all.

  140. Gem says

    @Honey Tone

    It is reasonable because intelligent lifeforms have never proceeded from non-intelligent life forms, experimentally or otherwise.

    Never?
    Please explain how you can know this, especially since the term “otherwise” might involve as much as almost 14 billion years. Or are you only asserting it?

    There is no evidence of intelligent lifeforms emanating from a non intelligent source. Those who do not believe in an IPC may convince themselves it is possible though of course, but have nothing to back that belief up and no good reason to believe it even.

    Is your statement meant to imply that the intelligent primary cause (IPC) to which you refer is a “life form” of some kind (to rephrase your statement: intelligent life forms only proceed from intelligent life forms)?

    The IPC is not of itself a single life form. It expresses itself as an infinite variety of intelligent life forms though. I say infinite variety because, as stated in an earlier post, I believe the first cause to be eternal.

    Like begets like, in other words.

    “Like” is somewhat ambiguous, wouldn’t you agree?
    Is it reasonable to assume that intelligence might evolve/devolve/alter over time? If not, did the IPC create the intelligence levels in the various lifeforms we experience around us on this planet presently?

    No, I don’t believe it did – it formed the mental picture of the physical reality of the lifeform in its eternal perfection. I believe Natural forces combined with human belief and thinking had a big hand in creating the intelligence levels we experience..

  141. buddyward says

    @Kafei 140

    You apparently did not read my response, and you’ve missed the point I was making. The fact that you’ve totally missed what I meant might explain why you’re accusing me of dishonesty. If you don’t even understand where I’m coming from, then it’s quite disingenuous of yourself to accuse me of dishonesty.

    Oh yeah I read it. We were discussing how prayer does not heal amputees and you responded with considering that prayer is a form of meditation which really has nothing to do with proving that prayers can grow limbs. Your response above did not even rebut what I said, you just made accusations with no justifications at all. You are definitely dishonest and the fact that you all you can do is accuse me of missing the point with no good reason behind it is enough evidence.

    Guess what? When Matt Dillahunty was asked what he would consider evidence, he said that he doesn’t know, and I really doubt you’ve got a better answer than he does when it comes to so-called “evidence.”

    We are not talking about god here. That response from Matt is about evidence for god. We are talking about you providing evidence that uncreated, or Tabor light actually exists. You are trying to hide behind Matt’s answer for what would convince him so that you do not have to provide evidence. After all if I tell you that I do not know what would convince me that Tabor light exist then you can just give up because you have no absolute parameters. Just because someone does not know what evidence would convince them does not mean that there are no evidence that would. Even though he does not know, he is still open to be convinced he is still willing to look at evidence. If god does exist and is omniscient then god would know what would convince Matt. You do not want to provide evidence because all you have are assertions and no demonstrations. This is again a very dishonest tactic.

  142. Gem says

    @buddyward

    Evidence that something eternal that does not presently exist on this planet in its fullness and glory does exist on this planet do you mean?

    The beautiful life forms we encounter point to the spiritual prototypes of these things, but are only in a state of becoming at present. Time and eternity only can reveal them to us in all their glory. This is the work of evolution and the Selfish Gene.

  143. buddyward says

    @Gem 147

    Evidence that something eternal that does not presently exist on this planet in its fullness and glory does exist on this planet do you mean?

    How does something exist and not exist at the same time? Are you familiar with the logical absolutes?

    The beautiful life forms we encounter point to the spiritual prototypes of these things, but are only in a state of becoming at present. Time and eternity only can reveal them to us in all their glory. This is the work of evolution and the Selfish Gene.

    What is the spiritual prototype? Please demonstrate it exists.

    Please enough with bold assertions. If you do not know what it takes to demonstrate the existence of something then please say so else we are wasting time.

  144. jabbly says

    @AnA #22 I actually don’t mind the intelligent design school of thought that goes along the lines of I can’t believe the universe/life just came about by ‘accident’ so there someone must have caused it. It may not show a great deal of thought on the subject but humans don’t seem to like the idea of things just happening.

    Where I do agree is when you have hard core ID people that must have done at least some research into the topic and that really requires them to pretty much ignore the counter explanations. Where it gets even worse is when it’s used as a cover for not a god exists but instead my version of god exists. That is dishonest.

  145. Gem says

    @buddyward

    I need to know whether you understand what is meant by eternal and whether you believe it is possible for there to be eternal realities that exist?

    Asking for evidence of that which is eternal while dwelling on a temporal plane of existence doesn’t really make any sense does it?

    In any event, what difference does it make to you at present whether there are eternal realities or not?

    Without an eternal first cause the Universe would have had to come into existence from temporary causation would it not?

    If that is your viewpoint then how do you deal with the problem of infinite regress I wonder?

    I believe in an eternal first cause because it is logical to assume that one exists.

    This universe was obviously not self created and we have no good reason to think it is eternal.

    Pre existing Pure Light (energy) brought it into existence in my view. Light is the energizing power of this world after all isn’t it?

    I do not believe this to be an unreasonable viewpoint…do you, honestly?

  146. Gem says

    @ buddyward

    How does something exist and not exist at the same time? Are you familiar with the logical absolutes?

    If you were the future designer of the next new super nuclear-propelled vehicle you would know how something can exist and not exist at the same time. It could exist as thought forms in your mind long before any part of it was actually manufactured could it not? Without prior thought forms nothing can come into existence in my view.

  147. buddyward says

    @Gem 150

    I need to know whether you understand what is meant by eternal and whether you believe it is possible for there to be eternal realities that exist?

    Eternal mean something that have always existed. Without an end or a beginning.
    I do not know whether or not it is possible that something have always existed. I have seen no evidence to support that claim.

    Asking for evidence of that which is eternal while dwelling on a temporal plane of existence doesn’t really make any sense does it?

    How do you ( a temporal being ) is able to determine that something have existed forever?

    In any event, what difference does it make to you at present whether there are eternal realities or not?

    Because you are making a knowledge claim about some eternal life form and I want to know if it is true.

    Without an eternal first cause the Universe would have had to come into existence from temporary causation would it not?

    I don’t know because you have not demonstrated that an eternal first cause actually exist.

    If that is your viewpoint then how do you deal with the problem of infinite regress I wonder?

    I don’t because I do not make up things I cannot justify to exist.

    I believe in an eternal first cause because it is logical to assume that one exists.

    You actually think it is logical to believe in something that you cannot prove to exist? I do not think that you know logic.

    This universe was obviously not self created and we have no good reason to think it is eternal.

    No one said it was. By the way, if you are going to argue that then that would be a strawman.

    Pre existing Pure Light (energy) brought it into existence in my view. Light is the energizing power of this world after all isn’t it?

    Provide evidence that Pure light brought the universe into existence. As far as I can tell scientist is not yet able to determine what brought the universe into existence and yet you are making a claim that you know.

    I do not believe this to be an unreasonable viewpoint…do you, honestly?

    If you cannot provide evidence for your claims then your viewpoint is unreasonable.

  148. indianajones says

    @Buddyward. Best of luck with the chew toy, but remember: This is someone who claims her god does nothing at the same time as reliably answering prayers.

  149. buddyward says

    @Gem 151

    If you were the future designer of the next new super nuclear-propelled vehicle you would know how something can exist and not exist at the same time. It could exist as thought forms in your mind long before any part of it was actually manufactured could it not? Without prior thought forms nothing can come into existence in my view.

    The idea of a vehicle is not the same as the actual vehicle. You are falsely equivocating an idea with the physical object. I see no evidence that the tree in my backyard came into existence because someone or something thought about it.

    You really do not know about logic, do you? If you do, you would not have made that statement with regards to something existing and not existing at the same time.

  150. buddyward says

    @indianajones 153

    Thanks, I think I am better off going to bed. I just figured out that I am talking to someone that does not have a grasp of logic. I know it took a while but I guess I am a bit slow today.

  151. Gem says

    For obvious reasons it is impossible to demonstrate that which is eternal while you and I exist on a temporal plane of existence so it is pointless asking.

    If you are just going to continually ask for evidence of the eternal while dwelling on a temporal plane then don’t bother posting to me again as you are wasting mine and other readers time. There is no logic to the question at all.

    Instead, let us deal with what is logical….

    Can you explain how the universe can have come into existence by anything other than an eternal first cause and at the same time avoid the problem of endless regress in your answer?

    If you do not understand the question then please do a little research before answering rather than merely repeating parrot-fashion what you have seen other atheists on here or on AXP say or post, as we will get nowhere that way..

    Thanks.

  152. buddyward says

    @gem 156

    For obvious reasons it is impossible to demonstrate that which is eternal while you and I exist on a temporal plane of existence so it is pointless asking.

    Oh it is impossible to demonstrate yet you claim to know it exist. So when you started to believe that something is eternal, you believed it without evidence?

    If you are just going to continually ask for evidence of the eternal while dwelling on a temporal plane then don’t bother posting to me again as you are wasting mine and other readers time. There is no logic to the question at all.

    So, you just want us to believe what you say simply because you say so. I do not think that I am wasting other reader’s time. Those who value the truth would see how you are not able to justify your claim.

    Instead, let us deal with what is logical….

    I do not think you know what that logical means.

    Can you explain how the universe can have come into existence by anything other than an eternal first cause and at the same time avoid the problem of endless regress in your answer?

    If you do not understand the question then please do a little research before answering rather than merely repeating parrot-fashion what you have seen other atheists on here or on AXP say or post, as we will get nowhere that way..

    I cannot explain how the universe came into existence because I have no expertise in that field. Scientists currently have no explanation for that as well. I am honest enough to admit that I do not know instead of making some shit up that I cannot demonstrate to exist. I do not have a problem with infinite regress because once the data becomes insufficient to make a conclusion, I do not make shit up.

    You on the other hand claim to know and yet have no evidence to support your claim. You expect us to believe your claim simply because you say so. I agree that we are getting nowhere here because you do not understand logic and epistemology.

  153. RationalismRules says

    @Gem #133

    The primary difference between A.I. and human intelligence is the ability to bring into being that which never existed before through forming mental pictures of the desired end result.

    Assuming that this is true (which I will do for now in order to not get sidetracked), all you have shown is that human intelligence is able to create from imagination, and A.I. is not. That tells us nothing at all about whether intelligence is required for naturally-occurring things to occur naturally.

    Specifically, it provides no support whatsoever for the claim that you immediately follow it with:

    Whether on the macrocosm (universal) or microcosm (individual) level the mental process of forming pictures remains the same, thus everything in Nature existed (as a spiritual idea and ideal or prototype) prior to the first signs of life on this planet.

    Bullshit. You have no evidence whatsoever to support this claim.
     

    This by no means means that the lifeforms we presently see on earth are identical to the spiritual prototypes – the are instead in a process of becoming which is why they all live and die at present. I use the term spiritual to emphasize that this is to do with the universal thought processes of infinite intelligence (sometimes referred to as the Great Spirit of Life). In the english language the word “spirit” often denotes the fuel behind cars, genearators, and such like, i.e. petroleum spirit.

    This is just a series of empty assertions – preachy word-salad – for which you have no evidence. If this is what you have to offer then you have nothing to offer.
     
    #137

    It is obviously a circular argument to say that natural occuring life forms by diffinition [sic] cannot have a designer, because no such designer (ie God) actually exists.

    Which is why I didn’t say that. I said you have no basis from which to infer the existence of such a designer, not that no such designer can exist.
     

    Certainly I would say that the Natural, temporal life forms we observe at the moment on this planet are not identical to the eternal, designed ones by any means ….. yet. This is because they are in a state of becoming. For instance I believe that eternal flowers and trees exist that are 100 times more vivid and beautiful than the ones we presently observe on this evolving planet.

    Look, I really couldn’t give a flying crap what stories you tell yourself. Like many of the woo-merchants who have come to this blog you started out attempting to make arguments for you position, but as you’ve seen them fail one after another you are turning more and more to simply spouting empty rhetoric and recounting your personal fantasies. No-one here (with the possible exception of Kafei) is going to find any value whatsoever in any of that narcissistic bloviation.
     
    I also note that you have chosen not to respond to my straightforward request to explain the difference between what you have called ‘Pure Light’ and just plain ordinary light. I guess the difference is just that you capitalize yours in order to make it sound more significant.

  154. says

    @buddyward

    Oh yeah I read it. We were discussing how prayer does not heal amputees and you responded with considering that prayer is a form of meditation which really has nothing to do with proving that prayers can grow limbs. Your response above did not even rebut what I said, you just made accusations with no justifications at all. You are definitely dishonest and the fact that you all you can do is accuse me of missing the point with no good reason behind it is enough evidence.

    I maintain you’ve missed the point once again. This original prayer, this contemplation, is a reaching inward to one’s own inner resources which ancient mystics have considered divine or direct contact with God.

    We are not talking about god here. That response from Matt is about evidence for god. We are talking about you providing evidence that uncreated, or Tabor light actually exists. You are trying to hide behind Matt’s answer for what would convince him so that you do not have to provide evidence.

    The Tabor light or Theoria is a direct experience of God. They’re one and the same thing in mystical theology, it was the very principle teaching of Symeon the New Theologian that originated with the early Church Fathers and the Mystery Religions. You’re attempting to separate what is essentially synonymous. So, you’re actually the one being dishonest here, and avoiding answering the question. You’re only proving my point that you’ve no better answer than Matt Dillahunty which is to say you have no clue as to what you would consider as evidence for the existence of God.

    After all if I tell you that I do not know what would convince me that Tabor light exist then you can just give up because you have no absolute parameters.

    I’ve explained to you the parameters are the measures they’re using in this research to gauge what they deem a “complete” mystical experience. I’ve explained all of this in previous threads, but you find various ways to deflect these points.

    Just because someone does not know what evidence would convince them does not mean that there are no evidence that would. Even though he does not know, he is still open to be convinced he is still willing to look at evidence.

    Yes, and the one evidence you overlook is your own potential for the CME, for these inner experiences of a direct perception of the divine. Once the ego dissolves, the underlying fabric of consciousness that remains is what mystics have been calling omniscient, the ego is the veil that hides what is quite apparent and obvious to those who’ve had this universal experience. This is precisely what Gem is referring to as the fabric of consciousness, it’s infinite intelligence and it’s at the very root in each one of our consciousness. I’ve spoken on how even the Jains called it Kevala jñāna or María Sabina calls it “the place where everything is known” or Joe Rogan calls it “The God Room” and even Tracie has described as “God as everything”, but she doesn’t realize that the mystics have a direct intuition with “everything defined as God,” all at once, that’s why this sense of the collapse of time and space inside the “complete” mystical experience or how Gem said that she could sense the entire timeline of her life being intimately recorded in minute detail, etc. However, Tracie only understands this notion of God intellectually, it’s only a concept for her. I’ve quoted Joel S. Goldsmith who said, “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 does exist and is omniscient then god would know what would convince Matt. You do not want to provide evidence because all you have are assertions and no demonstrations. This is again a very dishonest tactic.

    I’m not hiding behind Matt’s answer. I’ve repeatedly said the CME is essentially an experience that would produce the one thing you couldn’t deny, because it addresses you perfectly, it can read you perfectly, because it’s not only your own mind that is responding to you, but it’s that when you go beyond your ego, the core of your consciousness is this sense where all contradictions dissolve, as per Tracie’s analogy, it’s “everything and nothing,” all contradictions collapse within this experience, and what’s left is complete unity, a conflict-free awareness that is intuitively omniscient. That’s more accurately how it’s interpreted from the vantage point of a mystic.

  155. Gem says

    @RationalismRules

    I am simply here to explain what I believe and why I believe it and that is all. For most of my life I have been a non-believer and then in 1990 while I was in my mid-30s I had an NDE. Following this experience my own family members recognized that a great change had taken place in me and that my attitude towards others, and particularly the beliefs they hold, had become much more magnanimous then ever before. It was during this NDE that I came to realize that there is only one intelligence in the entire Universe and that it is infinite, and this one intelligence manifests on this plane of existence as what we as individuals call LIFE.

    Because it is part of our own individual consciousness the only way we can ever experience it is through our individual life experiences, and I have found in my own life experience since 1990 that the best way to do this is to look upon it as a higher wisdom that can be called upon and trusted in times of need.

    I do not believe it is possible for me or for anyone else to provide another individual with evidence that this higher inner wisdom exists within that individual other than to point to ways in which I myself have come to know it exists in the hope that he or she may experiment with it themselves through what I term scientific prayer, which I have already explained in a previous post.

    I really do appreciate the difficulty you and others here have in making the first move towards this yourself, absent a NDE or other “mystical” experience of the type I have had, and I doubt that anyone could have convinced me to try scientific prayer prior to 1990 either.

    Kafei answered your question regarding Pure Light in one of his subsequent posts. My own understanding is that Pure Light is the raw energy that sustains life on this planet and it neither emanates from the sun or from any other physical light source. In and of itself this Light energy comprises of pure, undifferentiated, universal intelligence. To the individual it manifests as a higher level of intelligence, above human reason, which is willing and able to aid us when called upon to do so. Its ways and methods are past finding out though and can be truly amazing to behold when an individual experiences them.

  156. Gem says

    @buddyward

    If you read my last post #160 I have explained how I came to experience what I have subsequently found to be true in my life.

    The practice of scientific prayer is the only evidence that any individual can have of the existence of the higher intelligence that animates the universe, in my view. Other than through this type of prayer or through some form of Mystical Experience I do not see any way that any individual can come into the knowledge that I did and that many others who have had NDEs or similar have attained.

  157. david angel says

    Tracie I apologise. I think you have explained your lack of fire in your belly when it was concerned with Saad very well. I was just frustrated with conversation with Saad as I was last week.
    I’ve always described myself as a bad Atheist .When I mean bad I mean little too militant and I think I’ve been watching the great Chris Hitchins too much.I need to calm down and extinguish that fire in my burning belly .🤣

  158. speedofsound says

    @Gem (#108)

    Prior to my NDE in 1990 I was certainly confused by life. Not anymore, thankfully 🙂

    I feel I have already answered your questions regarding my beliefs fully in posts to you and others in this thread, so I don’t feel need to repeat myself. If there is something you specifically do not understand relating to my beliefs I would be happy to explain further though 🙂

    Kafei? Is that you reincarnated in a more pleasant form?

    Gem. Are you WILLING to look at some alternative reasoning concerning what you believe? Are you willing to let go of beliefs? If not why not? What would it take?

  159. RationalismRules says

    @Gem #160

    I am simply here to explain what I believe and why I believe it and that is all.

    Then you should leave. This is a space for discussion, not preaching.

    If you are unwilling or unable to provide evidence in support of what you believe, then you have nothing of value to offer anyone.
     
    Re: Pure Light
    I did not see Kafei’s post, as I have him blocked. I got sick of having to scroll endlessly past his garbage in order to get to posts that are actually worth reading.

    Your ‘explanation’ of Pure Light is like all your other empty drivel – just a series of empty assertions with no facts or evidence to back any of it up. ‘Raw energy’ comprised of ‘universal intelligence’. Yeah, sure….

    I’m done wasting time on your nonsense.

  160. indianajones says

    @Speed of Sound. I refer you to my post @127 and to her reply @130. Paraphrasing: What would it take to convince you? Nothing, of course.

  161. says

    Might it be a good idea not to respond to Gem and Kafei? I am very tired of them hijacking the comments with their nonsense, and would really like to get back to discussing the show. They seem dishonest and show no signs of wanting an actual conversation, just a platform to spout their claims without providing evidence..

  162. t90bb says

    GEM….

    ok your simply here to tell us what you believe and why. ?? You opened up by saying you “realized a god exists”…not I suspect a god exists…or its reasonable to assume a god exists….SO WHICH IS IT???

    You then go on to say you don’t like the word god..after claiming it exists..

    You then claim this thing does not operate independent….but is the totality of “infinite knowledge”. You speak at times as if you are a deist….but open up by telling us you have loads of examples of “answered prayer”….lol

    You are a mess. That newborn you got is going to be up against a lot in life if you continue to hit the crack pipe. I feel bad for it.

  163. t90bb says

    I told your Complete Mystical Bowel Movements and NEAR death experiences could be argued similarly….and here it is! That’s prophesy right there////….

    I suspect Gem like Dummei of perennial shitology both felt a sense of euphoria upon the proposition that their lives are important than reality suggests…..that they are special and designed and loved by the grand Master Bator. Dopamine is as additive as booze and crack. Giving it up and facing reality as we understand it is very painful to the Dummeis and Gems of the world…..

    Why live in reality when the land of folly can be so much fun, right??? We get to internalize bullshit and then pretend we are enlightened!! Whats not to love?

    I had a completed mystical bowel movement and it was soooooooo intense it seemed out of this world. Other people claim to have had similar bowel movements. That’s evidence there is another dimension right there! See!! perennial shitology is correct!!!!!

    LOLOLOLOLOLOLOLO

  164. Monocle Smile says

    “intuitive omniscience”
    Just think about that term for a second. Kafei is seriously asserting that he knows all things because he feels like he knows all things. And we’re just supposed to believe that we’re dealing with an omniscient being and should just shut up and stop questioning that.

    It’s so easy to make this claim. There’s no effort involved. The truth is that I could just as easily tell Kafei and Gem that I don’t believe them. That I have no reason to think they had any of the experiences they claim to have had. How could they prove otherwise? Clearly they object to science and rely only on their own “intuition”…but this is actually a blatant lie, as given that they are alive and use computers, they subscribe to scientific reasoning for everything else. But in the case of this woo, their claims alone are supposed to be convincing. Hogwash.

  165. Gem says

    @speedofsound

    As mentioned I experienced a very profound NDE back in 1990 which changed my outlook on life around entirely, and for my own betterment I must say as prior to that I was blind/ignorant, as ,many/most people are concerning the deeper issues of life and its origins. As mentioned earlier, I was brought up as Catholic and rejected the teaching completely while still in primary school. For the next 25 years I gave the matter of whether there could be a God or not very little or no thought at all. Just before the death of my mother in 1990 I was traveling on the M25 near London in a small honda van which got rear ended by a car and it turned it over on its side and it went crashing into the barrier and then slid across into the fast overtaking lane. The honda van was smashed to bits and apparently the only reason I was not killed instantly was because the lorries amazingly stopped just in time. I did have a NDE though and it was during this experience that my mind became enlightened to the reality of being. During this experience I could only see a very bright white light. Questions began to form in my mind and answers following them. One that I remember very vividly was “If there is really such a being as the devil then why can you not just destroy it and everything will be cool after that”. The answer that came back was “It is not as simple as that but you will be given the opportunity to play a part in destroying the belief in a devil that very many people currently hold.” I went on to learn many things, the most important being that there is only one power in the universe and it has not evil intent whatsoever. Evil/devil is the negation of this one primal power and does not have any power at all of its own – it is caused by ignorance.

    To answer your question, there is nothing that could change what I experienced back in that fateful day in 1990, and nothing that could change the ongoing positive experiences I have had as a result of utilising scientific prayer since.

  166. Monocle Smile says

    Sounds like this NDE came with brain damage. Which is not all that surprising, seeing as NDEs are symptoms of brains that begin to die.

  167. Monocle Smile says

    Gem, that was a pointless story that nobody asked for. You can’t even answer a simple question. Why are the questions about children with cancer and amputees being ignored?

  168. buddyward says

    I maintain you’ve missed the point once again. This original prayer, this contemplation, is a reaching inward to one’s own inner resources which ancient mystics have considered divine or direct contact with God.

    Then you are dishonestly trying to avoid addressing what we are talking about. At what point did I ask you what prayer is? The answer is I never did and yet you keep stating what prayer is instead of whether or not it can heal amputees. You want to change the subject so that you do not have to admit that when we try to test prayer on something tangible and measurable it fails.

    The Tabor light or Theoria is a direct experience of God. They’re one and the same thing in mystical theology, it was the very principle teaching of Symeon the New Theologian that originated with the early Church Fathers and the Mystery Religions. You’re attempting to separate what is essentially synonymous. So, you’re actually the one being dishonest here, and avoiding answering the question. You’re only proving my point that you’ve no better answer than Matt Dillahunty which is to say you have no clue as to what you would consider as evidence for the existence of God.

    A direct experience of god in not god. You have to first prove the existence of god in order to claim that something is a direct experience of it. You have not done that. You are now trying to redefine Tabor light so that it fits your argument and I am not going to fall for that.

    I’ve explained to you the parameters are the measures they’re using in this research to gauge what they deem a “complete” mystical experience. I’ve explained all of this in previous threads, but you find various ways to deflect these points.

    Show me where they detected and measured Tabor light in the published research paper. Not some vague interpretation that you may have but actual statement in the research stating that they have measured this light.

    Yes, and the one evidence you overlook is your own potential for the CME, for these inner experiences of a direct perception of the divine. Once the ego dissolves, the underlying fabric of consciousness that remains is what mystics have been calling omniscient, the ego is the veil that hides what is quite apparent and obvious to those who’ve had this universal experience. This is precisely what Gem is referring to as the fabric of consciousness, it’s infinite intelligence and it’s at the very root in each one of our consciousness. I’ve spoken on how even the Jains called it Kevala jñāna or María Sabina calls it “the place where everything is known” or Joe Rogan calls it “The God Room” and even Tracie has described as “God as everything”, but she doesn’t realize that the mystics have a direct intuition with “everything defined as God,” all at once, that’s why this sense of the collapse of time and space inside the “complete” mystical experience or how Gem said that she could sense the entire timeline of her life being intimately recorded in minute detail, etc. However, Tracie only understands this notion of God intellectually, it’s only a concept for her. I’ve quoted Joel S. Goldsmith who said, “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.”

    You are trying to hijack this conversation into discussing CME because you are incapable of discussing anything else. We are not talking about CME we are talking about you presenting evidence for the existence of Tabor light. If Tabor Light manifests itself in reality in anyway then it can be detected and can be measured. Not just reported by someone as seeing a light while they are high on drugs and you confirming that it is indeed the light you speak of where you did not even detect it and measure it yourself.

    I’m not hiding behind Matt’s answer. I’ve repeatedly said the CME is essentially an experience that would produce the one thing you couldn’t deny, because it addresses you perfectly, it can read you perfectly, because it’s not only your own mind that is responding to you, but it’s that when you go beyond your ego, the core of your consciousness is this sense where all contradictions dissolve, as per Tracie’s analogy, it’s “everything and nothing,” all contradictions collapse within this experience, and what’s left is complete unity, a conflict-free awareness that is intuitively omniscient. That’s more accurately how it’s interpreted from the vantage point of a mystic.

    You are hiding because I have not said anything about what kind of evidence would convince me. If you have actual demonstrable, testable, measurable evidence you would present it. Instead you make assertions on what other people say. You make assertions that all we have to do is get fucked up on drugs and confirm your bias. The moment that discussion does not go where you want it go you immediately say that CME was not achieved. You are dishonest. Go away, come back when you know what evidence is. Go away and come back when the research paper have been published that proves god exists. Short of that, your dishonest arguments have no value here.

  169. Monocle Smile says

    @buddyward

    Go away and come back when the research paper have been published that proves god exists

    Kafei claims he has this. Of course, he plays with the words “god” and “exists.” Most of his bullshit is like this, as you’re aware. He thinks that because we can induce mental states in people that seem to be similar to the experiences of some “mystics” in the past, then god exists. I still don’t see how this is any different from proclaiming that god is a coffee cup, and all I get from Kafei is “The CME is speshul.”

  170. Gem says

    @Monocle Smile says
    Gem, that was a pointless story that nobody asked for. You can’t even answer a simple question. Why are the questions about children with cancer and amputees being ignored?

    On what post was I asked about that? I didn’t read anything about children with cancer and amputees in any post addressed to me. Perhaps I simply missed reading it.

  171. Monocle Smile says

    @Gem
    Here are the following posts asking questions on this topic:

    indianajones #46
    Monocle Smile #119
    buddyward #120

    Do you expect me to believe you just missed these? Never mind, just answer the questions.

  172. buddyward says

    @Gem 161

    If you read my last post #160 I have explained how I came to experience what I have subsequently found to be true in my life.

    I do not care how you come to experience something. I care what you can prove to be true. If you cannot prove that something is true then it cannot be accepted to be true.

    The practice of scientific prayer is the only evidence that any individual can have of the existence of the higher intelligence that animates the universe, in my view. Other than through this type of prayer or through some form of Mystical Experience I do not see any way that any individual can come into the knowledge that I did and that many others who have had NDEs or similar have attained.

    No it is not. I do not have to practice it myself in order to asses whether or not it is effective. Experiments can be performed and objectively scrutinized. Results can be measured.

    Why is it that people who practice “Scientific prayer” never pray for world peace, or to end suffering in the world? Why do none of them desire to end poverty in the world or to heal amputees? Why is it that with all of the infinite intelligence they are part of that they cannot believe that we can achieve a society that everyone is treated equally no matter what gender or race people belong? With all of the bad things happening in the world, those who claim that prayer works never prayed to rid the world of these bad things.

  173. Gem says

    Thank you Monocle Smile. I have read them now. Sorry for not answering them before but it is not always so easy for mt to scroll up and down the screen on this laptop with one hand only and my baby in the other – I’m sure you understand.

    Firstly, I do not believe in the existence of a personal God that has ever cured any ailment or disease at all. I am aware that Jesus of Nazareth among others was said to have this ability, but whether these individuals can be regarded as gods is quite another matter, even if they could heal the sick.

    Neither do I believe that a normal child would have the ability to really believe that such a prayer could possibly be answered. There may well be accounts of this very thing having happened for all I know, but I am not aware of any myself.

  174. t90bb says

    hahahha “scientific prayer”…lol…..”life program”……”there is nothing that can change the ongoing experiences of…….”

    These are the ramblings of one that has sold out intellectual honesty and reality for the “comfort” of delusion. As I have always said…life is hard. When I was about 5, I was really lonely and I “created an imaginary friend”. It occupied my time and energy for a bit. But I grew out of it. Many of us have done the same. I think some others find the comfort and intellectual laziness of the delusion hard to give up. They want to be very special, important, and enlightened. When this happens you get people like Kafei and Gem. They will use every mental gymnastic and fallacy to maintain their delusions…

    Jus sayin

  175. buddyward says

    @MS 174

    Kafei claims he has this. Of course, he plays with the words “god” and “exists.” Most of his bullshit is like this, as you’re aware. He thinks that because we can induce mental states in people that seem to be similar to the experiences of some “mystics” in the past, then god exists. I still don’t see how this is any different from proclaiming that god is a coffee cup, and all I get from Kafei is “The CME is speshul.”

    We all know that the published paper he so proudly reference does not mention the evidence for god in its conclusion. To date, Kafei have not answered the question on how many subjects were used in the study probably because he knows he will be laughed at. Kafei cannot prove what he says so he goes on defensive and tries to make accusation that everyone is missing the point. He is trying to redirect the conversation into something else because he cannot demonstrate the truth of what he says.

    This is the dishonesty of Kafei. If we continue to engage with this individual and discuss his pet topic of CME we are only providing him a platform to continue that already debunked topic. Kafei will try to hijack any conversations towards the discussion of CME. Hopefully people get wise to this and shut him off.

  176. t90bb says

    178…so GEM….god does not cure or have the ability to cure disease…hmm ok…..so tell us exactly all these examples of answered prayer you have. What were they, what happened, and who answered them??? And if god can answer some prayers and not others isn’t it convenient he can answer yours and not the amputee???

    the key is getting people like kafei and gem to talk…..the more they do the more their positions unravel……It seems we are back to deism again….but I deist god that answers Gems prayers???…lololololol……

    This is not the first time we have heard of scientific prayer. Another fool spoke of it at length a few months ago.

  177. buddyward says

    @Gem 178

    Firstly, I do not believe in the existence of a personal God that has ever cured any ailment or disease at all. I am aware that Jesus of Nazareth among others was said to have this ability, but whether these individuals can be regarded as gods is quite another matter, even if they could heal the sick.

    But you believe that prayer can do anything one can conceive in their mind. Below are quotes from you where you claim how powerful the mind is. If the mind is that powerful then why are you saying that there are limitations on the unlimited intelligence we are a part of?

    34

    “Whatever the mind can conceive man can achieve” (or words to that effect) was above the entrance of the Epcot Center in Florida last time I visited there and I believe there is great truth in it.

    42

    Because he knew whatever the mind can conceive and believe man can achieve

    62

    However, you have it within you to demonstrate in your own experience that your mind is in some way connected to seemingly unlimited power of achievement existing in the subconscious region of mind.

    96

    To come into realization of this fact is what empowers an individual to achieve far beyond what an average human being may ever achieve in life. Instead of thinking of yourself as little you with limited knowledge and brain power begin to view yourself as part of infinite intelligence and therefore without any limits at all, other than those you impose on yourself. You will soon find that your awareness and abilities begin to expand rapidly.

    144

    What I am saying is that you and everyone else reading has innate, unlimited possibilities of achievement within, and by learning to ask the higher realms of subconscious mind to help when you have exhausted all possibilities yourself you can achieve what others could never achieve no matter how hard they tried, that’s all.

  178. t90bb says

    178.. gem you say…..

    Thank you Monocle Smile. I have read them now. Sorry for not answering them before but it is not always so easy for me to scroll up and down the screen on this laptop with one hand only and my baby in the other – I’m sure you understand.

    poor kid! I suggest you turn off your mothers computer and give the child some undivided attn!.

  179. t90bb says

    Its been a while since we have had anyone with such a confused and self contradictory set of claims. Gem, do you even think about this stuff before you speak???

  180. Gem says

    @ buddyward
    who asked…
    Why is it that people who practice “Scientific prayer” never pray for world peace, or to end suffering in the world? Why do none of them desire to end poverty in the world or to heal amputees?

    How do you know than none have or do pray for or desire these?
    How do you know that it is not a part of the future of this planet to experience world peace as a result of those who prayed for that very thing anyway?

    Is it something that would have to happen instantaneously for you to believe, or within your specific timeframe perhaps?

    Praying scientifically means praying for something that you firmly believe is achievable, and in order for you to believe that it is possible and to convince your subconscious mind of it you would need to see evidence of world peace or an end to poverty, or a limb restored before praying would you not?

    In my experience hardly anyone practices scientific prayer, certainly not those involved in religions such as Christianity anyway as they are not taught how to do so, even though it clearly states how to in unmistakable terms in their own holy book. It says quite simple that in order to have prayers answered you must believe that they are answered from the moment you have prayed and most importantly you must ACT as if they are already answered.

    A prayer for more financial income for your family would be doomed to failure if after praying you acted as if you have to continue to scrimp and save just in case by chance you should lose your job, for example. It is not really possible to think and believe one way but act another way successfully.

  181. t90bb says

    Buddy…..

    all your questions to Gem where great….she wont answer them……

    and now a new twist…..you cannot ever claim a prayer is unfulfilled because it might just “be in the works” lol…….it just has not been answered YET!!! WHO DID NOT SEE THAT ONE COMING!!!!

    LOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOL……pathetic

    Gem has a “feel good” religion…..it makes her feel good so its true for her. I am done with her.

  182. Gem says

    @t90bb

    I feel it would be a pointless waste of my time relating all my experiences of answered prayer to you. You would not believe me anyway so what would be the point?

    Gotta go to my office now…laters guys

  183. t90bb says

    187…gem…..then why did you even mention them???

    Office?? lol…I am assuming you are heading to see your shrink?

  184. t90bb says

    188 gem you say…..

    I feel it would be a pointless waste of my time relating all my experiences of answered prayer to you. You would not believe me anyway so what would be the point?

    I say

    why should answered prayer be any different than the rest of the bs??? I don’t believe any of that either but you flapped your gums for 50 posts over that.

  185. buddyward says

    How do you know than none have or do pray for or desire these?

    I do not know but if they have then prayer is not working. For as long as there are religion there have been suffering, if people do desire to end suffering and prayed for it and believed that it is achievable then this should have happened by now. What reason would there be for this not to happen if god exists and prayer works?

    How do you know that it is not a part of the future of this planet to experience world peace as a result of those who prayed for that very thing anyway?

    I don’t, but this line of questioning is leading to unfalsifiability. If it is not happening now then we all just have to wait until it happens in the future. If it happens in the future then its true, if that unspecified time does not happen then we just have to wait. In any circumstance that is being proposed there is no way to falsify your claim.

    Is it something that would have to happen instantaneously for you to believe, or within your specific timeframe perhaps?

    Are you saying that people who practice prayer are limiting themselves to get results in the far future? I thought that if your mind can conceive it, then it will happen.

    Praying scientifically means praying for something that you firmly believe is achievable, and in order for you to believe that it is possible and to convince your subconscious mind of it you would need to see evidence of world peace or an end to poverty, or a limb restored before praying would you not?

    So you are saying that the unlimited intelligence is incapable of conceiving world peace or ending poverty or restoring an amputated limb. You are putting a limitation on something that you describe as unlimited.

    In my experience hardly anyone practices scientific prayer, certainly not those involved in religions such as Christianity anyway as they are not taught how to do so, even though it clearly states how to in unmistakable terms in their own holy book. It says quite simple that in order to have prayers answered you must believe that they are answered from the moment you have prayed and most importantly you must ACT as if they are already answered.

    A prayer for more financial income for your family would be doomed to failure if after praying you acted as if you have to continue to scrimp and save just in case by chance you should lose your job, for example. It is not really possible to think and believe one way but act another way successfully.

    So you are saying that once you have prayed for more financial income you should act as if you already have the money and start spending it even though your current financial situation does not and cannot sustain your spending.

    I hope for your child’s sake that if it ever gets sick that you take it to the doctor and not just pray and act like it is already cured. This line of thinking is very dangerous and I am not surprise that not many people practice it. This is all just wishful thinking.

  186. buddyward says

    @Gem 187

    I feel it would be a pointless waste of my time relating all my experiences of answered prayer to you. You would not believe me anyway so what would be
    the point?

    Then stop making claims you cannot demonstrate and stop trying to preach. You are in a blog filled with atheists and skeptics that is not going to accept your claims just because you say so. Your personal experience does not count as reasonable evidence because we cannot investigate it.

    You are free to believe whatever you want to believe but do not tell us it is true if you cannot demonstrate it.

  187. Kevin Chong says

    Lol, barely made it to 45min mark, and I already so much dumber. Just 2 things I need to unload before I can even continue listening to the podcast.
    1. @ Joel: Watching, listening and/or reading about things alone does not make you smart or even worth listening to. Mull over the info, further research the parts you don’t get, look up feedbacks on the stuff you just saw, and most important of all, yes, do your own fucking research, if you don’t want to come over as a lazy bum.
    2. @ Rao: The double split experiment is not about splitting particles, it’s about filtering a directed light beam through 2 narrow openings! If you’re bringing forth middle-school level of science, and you don’t even get that right, I won’t even bother to pretend what you’re saying is even entertaining. The double split is about what happens when a beam of light pass through a double split, literally. The particles are not split, the beam of light (the collection of photons) is not either. The beam is filtered, and the particles that do pass through the splits do so in a specific manner.
    Sorry, I just needed to vent. I love your podcasts, among others, but lately the amount of stupid is just too much.
    On a happier note, I just love all the stuff I’ve learned over the course of years listening to you guys. I was an atheist before so not so much on that front, but more on critical thinking, recognizing inherent biased, etc. Thanks for it all, and keep it up!

  188. speedofsound says

    I’m confused. I feel ill. There are TWO of them? Can they reproduce? Fuck

  189. says

    @Jeanette

    Might it be a good idea not to respond to Gem and Kafei? I am very tired of them hijacking the comments with their nonsense, and would really like to get back to discussing the show. They seem dishonest and show no signs of wanting an actual conversation, just a platform to spout their claims without providing evidence..

    I’ve provided evidence for my claims. I’ve always provided evidence, and I have redirected people’s attention to the science being done at Johns Hopkins. They’re about to publish a recent study they’ve been working on involving atheists which they’re getting ready to publish by the end of the month. They’ve shown that the so-called “complete” mystical experience which they speculate may be synonymous with the NDE is ultimately a conversion experience for atheists. So, there’s definitely evidence to back what I’ve been saying here on these threads and what Gem has introduced.

    @t90bb

    I suspect Gem like Dummei of perennial shitology both felt a sense of euphoria upon the proposition that their lives are important than reality suggests…..that they are special and designed and loved by the grand Master Bator. Dopamine is as additive as booze and crack. Giving it up and facing reality as we understand it is very painful to the Dummeis and Gems of the world…..

    You’ve misconception about psychedelics. They’re not addictive substances, and actually don’t even hit the dopamine receptors which other harmful substances do which cause addiction. In fact, psychedelics in a single high dose have been shown to cease addiction with other harmful substances, in just one single dose, because it’s like a medication that is done over and over, it’s the memory of the experience which is healing people, not necessarily the psychedelic itself.

    @Monocle Smile

    Just think about that term for a second. Kafei is seriously asserting that he knows all things because he feels like he knows all things. And we’re just supposed to believe that we’re dealing with an omniscient being and should just shut up and stop questioning that.

    That’s not what I’m saying at all. That’s how you’ve managed to misinterpret it.

    It’s so easy to make this claim. There’s no effort involved. The truth is that I could just as easily tell Kafei and Gem that I don’t believe them. That I have no reason to think they had any of the experiences they claim to have had. How could they prove otherwise? Clearly they object to science and rely only on their own “intuition”…but this is actually a blatant lie, as given that they are alive and use computers, they subscribe to scientific reasoning for everything else. But in the case of this woo, their claims alone are supposed to be convincing. Hogwash.

    No, the point is that this phenomenon of intuitive omniscience is real. It’s something that happens at the height of these experiences, and it could potentially happen to you. People often feel at the height of these experiences that they have a complete understanding of everything all at once, then when it fades, it’s like gold dust falling through your fingers. It fades away in a very similar fashion a good dream might fade away, and when you return to the baseline of consciousness, it’s but a memory.

    @buddyward

    A direct experience of god in not god. You have to first prove the existence of god in order to claim that something is a direct experience of it. You have not done that. You are now trying to redefine Tabor light so that it fits your argument and I am not going to fall for that.

    I’m not redefining Tabor light. Go look it up, and you’ll find it’s synonymous with Theoria or the Beatific vision which are terms mystics used for a direct experience of God which holds roots in the Greek Henosis. I’ve explained that the Perennial philosophy doesn’t “redefine” anything. You’re creating a straw man argument by making that accusation. Instead Perennialism addresses an original etymology such as found with Theoria or the Tabor light (uncreated light or Apophatic theology).

    Show me where they detected and measured Tabor light in the published research paper. Not some vague interpretation that you may have but actual statement in the research stating that they have measured this light.

    This light has been measured in earlier studies as “form constants,” these things do happen at the height of the experience. In the more recent research, I’ve explained how these professionals consider the CME as to be consistent with the Beatific vision (Tabor light) in Christianity, they find no distinction there, the two are virtually identical.

    You are trying to hijack this conversation into discussing CME because you are incapable of discussing anything else. We are not talking about CME we are talking about you presenting evidence for the existence of Tabor light. If Tabor Light manifests itself in reality in anyway then it can be detected and can be measured. Not just reported by someone as seeing a light while they are high on drugs and you confirming that it is indeed the light you speak of where you did not even detect it and measure it yourself.

    You’re missing the point. The Tabor light is called the “uncreated light” because it’s a light seen from within the mind’s eye. It’s not a light that science can detect, because it’s not necessarily a light seen with your two eyes. Hence “uncreated light.” And to the degree these professionals can gauge a CME, that is also synonymous to how powerful someone has experienced this phenomenon. In other words, when you’re the tabor light or the CME, you’re talking about essentially one and the same thing. You keep separating these things as though they’re two different events. They’re not. And again, I’m not attempting to hijack these threads. I believe the reason topics like these haunt the threads, and people like Gem or B show up, is because this is the answer to The Atheist Experience. If an atheist really wanted to challenge his or herself on whether there’s a God or simply challenge their own ontological foundations, a CME would do that, through and through, balls to bones. In other words, very thoroughly.

    You are hiding because I have not said anything about what kind of evidence would convince me. If you have actual demonstrable, testable, measurable evidence you would present it. Instead you make assertions on what other people say. You make assertions that all we have to do is get fucked up on drugs and confirm your bias. The moment that discussion does not go where you want it go you immediately say that CME was not achieved. You are dishonest. Go away, come back when you know what evidence is.

    I’ve already said the most convincing factor in all of this would be your own potential for a CME. That’s what’s demonstrable, it’s testable, and researchers can produce measurable evidence regarding it, and have presented it. And you don’t necessarily have to take psychedelics, there’s other means to achieve these type of states, but if you’re not really up for practicing meditation or undergoing a near-death experience for yourself, then entheogens do offer an effortless route to Satori on-tap, to a glimpse of the so-called Tabor light which has dazzled mystics throughout the ages. The fact of the matter is that the CME has always been the greatest evidence for God. Those who’ve not experienced it, like the majority of atheists here, and hosts of TAE like Matt Dillahunty cannot fathom that, because they don’t consider it. That’s why when Matt’s asked what evidence would convince him, he doesn’t know. He doesn’t know because he’s never had a CME.

    Go away and come back when the research paper have been published that proves god exists. Short of that, your dishonest arguments have no value here.

    They’ve done that. I’ve already said, they’ve published research that demonstrates evidence for the Perennial philosophy, and this is the context in which the divine is more properly understood, because it’s it’s a metaphysical truth that can be discerned at the core of all the major religions, at the very nascency of the world’s great faith traditions.

  190. buddyward says

    @kafei 193

    I’m not redefining Tabor light. Go look it up, and you’ll find it’s synonymous with Theoria or the Beatific vision which are terms mystics used for a direct experience of God which holds roots in the Greek Henosis. I’ve explained that the Perennial philosophy doesn’t “redefine” anything. You’re creating a straw man argument by making that accusation. Instead Perennialism addresses an original etymology such as found with Theoria or the Tabor light (uncreated light or Apophatic theology).

    I did and none of the references I found says that Tabor light is the same as god. Please show me where it says that.

    This light has been measured in earlier studies as “form constants,” these things do happen at the height of the experience. In the more recent research, I’ve explained how these professionals consider the CME as to be consistent with the Beatific vision (Tabor light) in Christianity, they find no distinction there, the two are virtually identical.

    Show me the peer reviewed published research paper that measured Tabor light.

    You’re missing the point. The Tabor light is called the “uncreated light” because it’s a light seen from within the mind’s eye. It’s not a light that science can detect, because it’s not necessarily a light seen with your two eyes. Hence “uncreated light.” And to the degree these professionals can gauge a CME, that is also synonymous to how powerful someone has experienced this phenomenon. In other words, when you’re the tabor light or the CME, you’re talking about essentially one and the same thing. You keep separating these things as though they’re two different events. They’re not. And again, I’m not attempting to hijack these threads. I believe the reason topics like these haunt the threads, and people like Gem or B show up, is because this is the answer to The Atheist Experience. If an atheist really wanted to challenge his or herself on whether there’s a God or simply challenge their own ontological foundations, a CME would do that, through and through, balls to bones. In other words, very thoroughly.

    How was it measured if it cannot be detected?

    I’ve already said the most convincing factor in all of this would be your own potential for a CME. That’s what’s demonstrable, it’s testable, and researchers can produce measurable evidence regarding it, and have presented it. And you don’t necessarily have to take psychedelics, there’s other means to achieve these type of states, but if you’re not really up for practicing meditation or undergoing a near-death experience for yourself, then entheogens do offer an effortless route to Satori on-tap, to a glimpse of the so-called Tabor light which has dazzled mystics throughout the ages. The fact of the matter is that the CME has always been the greatest evidence for God. Those who’ve not experienced it, like the majority of atheists here, and hosts of TAE like Matt Dillahunty cannot fathom that, because they don’t consider it. That’s why when Matt’s asked what evidence would convince him, he doesn’t know. He doesn’t know because he’s never had a CME.

    Oh are you trying to go back to CME? Another attempt to hijack the conversation back to CME, you are pathetic.

    They’ve done that. I’ve already said, they’ve published research that demonstrates evidence for the Perennial philosophy, and this is the context in which the divine is more properly understood, because it’s it’s a metaphysical truth that can be discerned at the core of all the major religions, at the very nascency of the world’s great faith traditions.

    Your YouTube video is not the published research paper. You got nothing. Go away until you have good evidence.

  191. Monocle Smile says

    They’ve shown that the so-called “complete” mystical experience which they speculate may be synonymous with the NDE is ultimately a conversion experience for atheists.

    Lies.

    I believe the reason topics like these haunt the threads, and people like Gem or B show up, is because this is the answer to The Atheist Experience. If an atheist really wanted to challenge his or herself on whether there’s a God or simply challenge their own ontological foundations, a CME would do that, through and through, balls to bones. In other words, very thoroughly.

    Propaganda.

    The fact of the matter is that the CME has always been the greatest evidence for God. Those who’ve not experienced it, like the majority of atheists here, and hosts of TAE like Matt Dillahunty cannot fathom that, because they don’t consider it. That’s why when Matt’s asked what evidence would convince him, he doesn’t know. He doesn’t know because he’s never had a CME.

    Slander.
    You’re not a Jedi. You’re just another nut with a tinfoil hat.

  192. Monocle Smile says

    That’s actually not a bad analogy.
    In the Star Wars universe, most beings are not Force-sensitive. Yet nobody doubts that Jedi exist. Why? Because they can demonstrate their claims even to people who are not Force-sensitive. There’s no need to experience the Force firsthand to believe that it’s a thing.

    Dismissing all of this and spinning off into “well, mysticism doesn’t work that way” is nothing short of apologetics.
    Why should i believe that you’ve had a CME? And conversely, what reason do you have to doubt someone who claims god spoke to them?

  193. says

    @buddyward These aren’t simply “Youtube videos,” I’ve explained to you atheists that these lectures are given by professionals who perform actual science relative to these topics. They’re speaking on peer-reviewed and published research going back decades. The Tabor light cannot be directly detected by scientific tools, but there’s other ways of assessing it, see the studies done on what in the scientific literature are called “form constants.” Also, I meant it’s not like a medication taken over and over. That’s the big point out of Johns Hopkins. And this isn’t an attempt to hijack, these things are interrelated. The Tabor light is synonymous with the Beatific vision. How is that vision defined? It’s God dwelling in an unapproachable light which is glimpsed within à la Theoria or Theosis.

  194. t90bb says

    kafie..aka dummei….I never said psychedelics are physically addictive. I said booze and crack were…as well as dopamine. I suggest your recollection of the experience and your unfounded conclusion that a grand magician was experienced…..you get a dopamine rush. Just like I did when I sang in church before I hit the age of….reason.

    Scumbags like you are indeed dangerous. Implicitly or explicitly encouraging experimentation with psychedelics to cure addition and meet with sky genie is disgusting. But hey..anything to try and substantiate perennial shitology right?

  195. t90bb says

    Dummei……197…..stop implying that any of these peer reviewed works prove God. They at best claim some have transformative experiences……

    as I have explained to you 100 times…..you implying that the divine is involved is simply an argument from ignorance. But your just a lying sack of shit so you keep repeating the bullshit as if these studies establish the divine and perennial shitology

  196. buddyward says

    @kafei 197

    These aren’t simply “Youtube videos,” I’ve explained to you atheists that these lectures are given by professionals who perform actual science relative to these topics. They’re speaking on peer-reviewed and published research going back decades.

    Did you not read what I asked? Did I ask you for a YouTube Video or did I ask you for the peer reviewed published research paper? Do you not understand the difference between the two or are you just trying to avoid presenting evidence?

    The Tabor light cannot be directly detected by scientific tools, but there’s other ways of assessing it, see the studies done on what in the scientific literature are called “form constants.” Also, I meant it’s not like a medication taken over and over. That’s the big point out of Johns Hopkins. And this isn’t an attempt to hijack, these things are interrelated.

    I am going to ask again, show me the scientific peer reviewed published paper. I am even more interested on how science is able to measure something it cannot detect.

    The Tabor light is synonymous with the Beatific vision. How is that vision defined? It’s God dwelling in an unapproachable light which is glimpsed within à la Theoria or Theosis.

    I ask again, show me where it says Tabor light is god. After that show me evidence that this is true.

  197. Monocle Smile says

    @buddyward
    A number of the lectures linked in those youtube videos are from studies not published, let alone cited by others. Kafei continues to be dishonest. Moreover, it’s all based on fMRI readings and self-reports. There’s zero evidence anything more than neurons firing is happening.

  198. t90bb says

    201 buddy….cant you just take kafei’s word for it?? after all he trips on acid.

    if the authors of any of the vids or papers are as dishonest as kafei im sure they will be fantastic.

    dummei will produce peer reviewed work that will show people have intense experiences….and have common elements perhaps…some of which may be/ and may not be completely explainable.

    Any further conclusions such as claiming a divine element in these acid trips are COMPLETELY SPECULATIVE……dummie finds these shared experiences CONSISTENT with his interprertation of perennial shitology so he has taken the leap to claim this PROVES Perennial SHITOLOGY!!!!!

  199. t90bb says

    I want to thank kafei for being here. His bullshit is so easy to see through even the dumbest guy on the blog (me) can see through it effortlessly. Makes me feel good. Thanks sweetie.

  200. buddyward says

    @ t90bb 204

    I am curious to see how science is able to measure what it cannot detect. It is like saying fairies are 6 feet tall but we have never been able to see fairies. We measured fairies while we are high on drugs during a mushroom binge using a technique we call zoned out of our minds. There were no fairies harmed during the measurements, in fact there were no fairies detected during the measurement.

  201. CompulsoryAccount7746, Sky Captain says

    @buddyward #206:

    I am curious

    Article: Wikipedia – Form constant

    one of several geometric patterns which are recurringly observed during hallucinations and altered states of consciousness.
    […]
    suggesting a similar physiological process underlying hallucinations with different triggers. Klüver’s form constants also appear in near-death experiences and sensory experiences of those with synesthesia. Other triggers include psychological stress, threshold consciousness (hypnagogia), insulin hypoglycemia, the delirium of fever, epilepsy, psychotic episodes, advanced syphilis, sensory deprivation, photostimulation, electrical stimulation, crystal gazing, migraine headaches, dizziness and a variety of drug-induced intoxications. These shapes may appear on their own or with eyes shut in the form of phosphenes, especially when exerting pressure against the closed eyelid.
    […]
    It is believed that the reason why these form constants appear has to do with the way the visual system is organized, […] Concentric circles in the retina are mapped into parallel lines in visual cortex. Spirals, tunnels, lattices and cobwebs map into lines in different directions. This means that if activation spreads in straight lines within the visual cortex, the experience is equivalent to looking at actual form constants.

     
     
    Article: Wikipedia – Phosphene

    the experience of seeing light without light actually entering the eye.
    […]
    Phosphenes can be directly induced by mechanical, electrical, or magnetic stimulation of the retina or visual cortex as well as by random firing of cells in the visual system. Phosphenes have also been reported by meditators (commonly called nimitta), people who go for long periods without visual stimulation (also known as the prisoner’s cinema), or those who are using psychedelic drugs.
    […]
    A possible use of phosphenes as part of a brain to brain communication system has been reported on march 2019. The system called BrainNet, produces phoshenes using transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS). […] signals are sent using electroencephalography (EEG) and received using transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS)

  202. buddyward says

    @Sky Captain 207

    I am not sure how those articles relate to science measuring something it cannot detect. Would please be so kind and explain? Additionally, it appears that Phosphene is induced (i.e. created) which is not the same as an “uncreated” light.

    Form constant are geometric patterns observed by the person hallucinating and thus falls under the category of self report which I do not see how it was measured. In addition, I see no connection between Form Constants and Tabor Light. The word Tabor is not even in the Wikipedia article.

  203. twarren1111 says

    @#86 and #96 Gem, and anything posted by Kafei
    I’ll probably comment on the issue(s) of epistemology that both of you keep making mistakes with, but to be brief, how we (humans) determine the reality of how entities relate (one could term this causality) is via proportional thinking. To date, the best definition of how this occurs, and indeed, completely answers this issue, is/are the concepts that have by now been so well developed under the term ‘Bayesian reasoning’. There is no escaping this concept as currently defined. To wit: there is a claim. Other words for claim are hypothesis or, if ‘more developed’, theory, or ‘educated guess’, etc. Then there is the observation. By observation I mean ‘something’ that is ‘observed’ that ‘happens’ when one performs a test. And a test is an experiment where things are controlled as well as possible so that the observation(s) made as a result of the test can be measured in some manner.

    What then happens is you end up with a grid. Eg, lets take the claim that “I have breast cancer bc I have a positive mammogram”. The grid then sets up like this:
    Cancer. No cancer
    mammogram positive. TP. FP
    mammogram negative. FN. TN

    To answer the claim I proposed, the math is: TP/TP+FP

    The beauty of Bayesian reasoning, is that probabilities change over time. Why? Bc what I mean when I say they change over time is that as we gain more and more observations, we are able to ‘hone’ our False Positive and our False Negative rates. And why is this vital to determine reality? Bc once we have claims and evidence that are self-referential, we exit the world of the binary; we exit the world of on or off; we exit the digital. In other words, we exit the world where possibilities are only True Positive and True Negative.

    So, we know, by collecting observations using this method (called evidence-based reasoning AKA the scientific method) that, in America, about 1% of the population has breast cancer at any given moment in time. We know that if you have breast cancer then 90% of the time it will be detected by a mammogram. This means that 10% of the time a person is told their mammogram is negative for breast cancer when in fact at least one of the person’s breasts have cancer cells in it. We know that 10% of the time a mammogram will be read as positive for breast cancer when there is no breast cancer. So, with this information in hand, we can fill in the grid as follows:

    Cancer (1%). No cancer (99%)
    mammogram positive. 90%. 10%
    mammogram negative. 10% 90%

    Now, we need to convert these percentages to absolute numbers and this gives us our TP, FP, TN, FN rates and then we can ask questions by which I mean we can ask claims/hypotheses and figure out likelihoods:

    Cancer (1%). No cancer (99%)
    mammogram positive. TP. FP
    .9X.01=.009. .1x.99=.099
    mammogram negative. FN TN
    .1X.01=.001. .9X.99=.891

    CLAIM: my positive mammogram means I have breast cancer is TP/TP+FP which is .009/.009+.099 which is .009/.108 which is 0.0833333333 or 8.3% chance. Why is this probability so much lower than what our intuition says (and by intuition I mean: ask every person who’s had a positive mammogram what eventually turned out to be reality and how they got to that reality and you’ll see what I mean) it should be? It’s the high false positive rate. The chance a person has breast cancer at any given time point remember is 1%. And the probability any given mammogram is falsely positive is 10%. See? This is why the default answer is never aliens…or theism. It’s just math.

    So…Gem you make the claim that ‘scientific prayer’ works but then in posts 86 and 96 you clarify your definitions and state there is no ‘god’ or ‘deity’ like most Christians ‘immaturely’ cite (and I just don’t know how Kafei kept himself from typing “as Einstein rightly pointed out that this is the ‘childish analogy of god”). Your subsequent posts refer to the idea of ‘intelligence’ that has always manifested itself and that this ‘intelligence’ is an aspect of each person’s subconscious that we all share.

    So…this is what I am meaning when I say evidence: evidence is an observation that meets a greater than 95% probability of being true via Bayesian reasoning. Btw, you have danced around the idea, so ardently exposed by Oreoman if you care to read past weekly blogs, that ‘the problem of induction’ makes all scientific queries invalid. But what Oreoman refused to accept, which is essential once you reach a certain level of complexity, which is reached once you have self-referential issues occurring (which, btw, includes everything we are talking about), is that the key to Bayesian reasoning is that your probabilities of TP, FP, TN, and FN have to be re-calculated every time a new piece of evidence is obtained.

    This is why we get so frustrated when old, disproven ideas/claims are re-hashed. Like the Joel caller with evolution and ID.

    And truly, the ideas you, Gem, are espousing are exactly those that Kafei has been expousing. The key difference is that he’s claiming (to use Kafei’s world of words) is an extroverted CME and you are claiming an introverted CME. To translate, you are using a NDE, in the context of your mother’s death (that you didn’t explain but obviously is not a non sequitor as you wrote those words for some reason. I’m presuming). And btw, in Kafei’s world of Perennial Philosophy, if one tries to be rational with his claims, introverted CMEs are considered ‘incomplete’ CMEs. Whether a CME is introverted or extroverted is picked up by the MEQ30, which is the validated research tool (by Roland Griffiths of Johns Hopkins) to quantify CMEs for use in research experiments.

    And now I get to my question (and, yes, I’m being brief). You make the claim about a ‘universal intelligence’ that guides everything. And you’ve provided a tool aka an experiment that you can perform that works 100% per your experience called ‘scientific prayer’. So…what are your results? Provide an example of where you used ‘scientific prayer’ and the result was an observed outcome that occurred that can only be explained by your claim of there being a ‘universal intelligence’. And I’d like to know how your ‘scientific prayer’ achieved this outcome. Specifically, what force did your brain use other than the weak nuclear force, the strong nuclear force, electromagnetism or gravity to achieve the result. In other words, we know very well how your mind used these 4 forces via your neuronal network to create the idea that you prayed about. But without the concept of a god, which you reject, how did the ‘universal intelligence’ receive your idea and then translate it into an answer. And why are you so certain it works 100%. What is it about when you ‘scientifically pray’ and it doesn’t work that the failure for it to work helps you explain the mechanism when it does work?

    And please, do not keep confusing claims as evidence. Eg, you cannot claim the existence of a new force than the 4 we know about. Why? Bc there is no evidence for the force. Yes, you could claim dark energy as the force but really? First, we don’t know if dark energy is actually a new force yet. But we do know why it is called dark energy: bc with any tools that we have now to detect this energy we can’t. Hence it is ‘dark’. So how do we know it’s there? Bc we know the universe is expanding and that the acceleration of the expansion is increasing. Math. We also know it from what is often called ‘Einstein’s greatest blunder’. Einstein’s fudge factor of the cosmological constant turned out to be correct, but correct for the wrong reason. And how did we figure that out? Math. We just updated our Bayesian probabilities. Why? Well, bc of math. Anyway…I look forward to your answer.

  204. buddyward says

    I find it hilarious that Form Constants can be triggered by advanced syphilis.

    You want to see god? Go get an STD.

  205. twarren1111 says

    I was afraid the formatting for my ‘grids’ wouldn’t be correct. Here is an excellent link that has the formatting in place. Please note that I changed the website’s data that mammograms are false negative to 10% of the time (the website uses 20%) bc 10% is the actual figure. Though the website doesn’t explicitly say this, I am presuming the reason they changed it to 20% is Bc they wanted to keep the false positive rate (which is the value distorted in faith based aka religious based reasoning) at 10% which is the real world value. And yes, the website uses 9.6% has the FP rate. I just rounded both the FN and the FP rates to 10% for ease of illustration). The essence of faith based reasoning, which is what both Gem and Kafei are doing over and over, is they are driving their FP rates to such a high amount they skew the likelihood their claim is true towards 100%. It’s just math that if you are determining the reality of your claim that the more you drive your FP up, then of course you can prove anything via TP/TP+FP. That’s how all non-evidence based reasoning works. It just has different names. What is racism? Well, if you think all black people are lazy then you’ve just made your FP 100% and that just overwhelms the, let me guess, TP rate that 10% of humans are lazy (irrespective of race).

    https://betterexplained.com/articles/an-intuitive-and-short-explanation-of-bayes-theorem/

  206. CompulsoryAccount7746, Sky Captain says

    @buddyward #208:

    Would please be so kind and explain?

    Just salvaging something interesting from all this. 😉
     

    self report which I do not see how it was measured

    A brain-to-brain interface means the receiver’s self-report can be compared against the sender’s message, which at least indicates TMS induces an awareness of the message.
     
    Article: Wikipedia – Transcranial magnetic stimulation

    Single or paired pulse TMS causes neurons in the neocortex under the site of stimulation to depolarize and discharge an action potential. […] If used on the occipital cortex, ‘phosphenes’ (flashes of light) might be perceived by the subject. In most other areas of the cortex, there is no conscious effect, but behaviour may be altered (e.g., slower reaction time on a cognitive task), or changes in brain activity may be detected using diagnostic equipment.

     

    I see no connection between Form Constants and Tabor Light.

    Me neither.
     

    it appears that Phosphene is induced (i.e. created) which is not the same as an “uncreated” light.

    A point worth repeating.

  207. CompulsoryAccount7746, Sky Captain says

    * The sender’s side of the interface wasn’t really necessary here. Any signal could be injected via TMS and compared with the self-report.

  208. twarren1111 says

    THIS IS MY POST #209 REPOSTED. I DON’T KNOW HOW TO ENTER TABLES AND KEEP THE COLUMNS ALIGNED. AS UNDERSTANDING THE TABLES IS NECESSARY TO UNDERSTAND WHAT I AM SAYING, THIS IS A REPOST IN WHICH I USE UNGAINLY HYPENS TO KEEP ALIGNMENT.

    @#86 and #96 Gem, and anything posted by Kafei
    I’ll probably comment on the issue(s) of epistemology that both of you keep making mistakes with, but to be brief, how we (humans) determine the reality of how entities relate (one could term this causality) is via proportional thinking. To date, the best definition of how this occurs, and indeed, completely answers this issue, is/are the concepts that have by now been so well developed under the term ‘Bayesian reasoning’. There is no escaping this concept as currently defined. To wit: there is a claim. Other words for claim are hypothesis or, if ‘more developed’, theory, or ‘educated guess’, etc. Then there is the observation. By observation I mean ‘something’ that is ‘observed’ that ‘happens’ when one performs a test. And a test is an experiment where things are controlled as well as possible so that the observation(s) made as a result of the test can be measured in some manner.

    What then happens is you end up with a grid. Eg, lets take the claim that “I have breast cancer bc I have a positive mammogram”. The grid then sets up like this:

    Mammogram————Cancer————–No cancer
    positive———————- TP——————— FP
    negative——————— FN——————— TN

    To answer the claim I proposed, the math is: TP/TP+FP
    The beauty of Bayesian reasoning, is that probabilities change over time. Why? Bc what I mean when I say they change over time is that as we gain more and more observations, we are able to ‘hone’ our False Positive and our False Negative rates. And why is this vital to determine reality? Bc once we have claims and evidence that are self-referential, we exit the world of the binary; we exit the world of on or off; we exit the digital. In other words, we exit the world where possibilities are only True Positive and True Negative.

    So, we know, by collecting observations using this method (called evidence-based reasoning AKA the scientific method) that, in America, about 1% of the population has breast cancer at any given moment in time. We know that if you have breast cancer then 90% of the time it will be detected by a mammogram. This means that 10% of the time a person is told their mammogram is negative for breast cancer when in fact at least one of the person’s breasts have cancer cells in it. We know that 10% of the time a mammogram will be read as positive for breast cancer when there is no breast cancer. So, with this information in hand, we can fill in the grid as follows:

    Mammogram————-Cancer (1%)————No cancer (99%)
    positive————————90%———————– 10%
    negative———————- 10%———————— 90%

    Now, we need to convert these percentages to absolute numbers and this gives us our TP, FP, TN, FN rates and then we can ask questions by which I mean we can ask claims/hypotheses and figure out likelihoods:

    Mammogram———-Cancer (1%)————- No cancer (99%)
    positive——————TP————————– FP
    —————————0.9X0.01=0.009———-0.1×0.99=0.099
    negative—————– FN————————– TN
    —————————0.1X0.01=0.001 ———–0.9X0.99=0.891

    CLAIM: my positive mammogram means I have breast cancer is TP/TP+FP which is .009/.009+.099 which is .009/.108 which is 0.0833333333 or 8.3% chance. Why is this probability so much lower than what our intuition says (and by intuition I mean: ask every person who’s had a positive mammogram what eventually turned out to be reality and how they got to that reality and you’ll see what I mean) it should be? It’s the high false positive rate. The chance a person has breast cancer at any given time point remember is 1%. And the probability any given mammogram is falsely positive is 10%. See? This is why the default answer is never aliens…or theism. It’s just math.

    So…Gem you make the claim that ‘scientific prayer’ works but then in posts 86 and 96 you clarify your definitions and state there is no ‘god’ or ‘deity’ like most Christians ‘immaturely’ cite (and I just don’t know how Kafei kept himself from typing “as Einstein rightly pointed out that this is the ‘childish analogy of god”). Your subsequent posts refer to the idea of ‘intelligence’ that has always manifested itself and that this ‘intelligence’ is an aspect of each person’s subconscious that we all share.
    So…this is what I am meaning when I say evidence: evidence is an observation that meets a greater than 95% probability of being true via Bayesian reasoning. Btw, you have danced around the idea, so ardently exposed by Oreoman if you care to read past weekly blogs, that ‘the problem of induction’ makes all scientific queries invalid. But what Oreoman refused to accept, which is essential once you reach a certain level of complexity, which is reached once you have self-referential issues occurring (which, btw, includes everything we are talking about), is that the key to Bayesian reasoning is that your probabilities of TP, FP, TN, and FN have to be re-calculated every time a new piece of evidence is obtained.

    This is why we get so frustrated when old, disproven ideas/claims are re-hashed. Like the Joel caller with evolution and ID.
    And truly, the ideas you, Gem, are espousing are exactly those that Kafei has been expousing. The key difference is that he’s claiming (to use Kafei’s world of words) is an extroverted CME and you are claiming an introverted CME. To translate, you are using a NDE, in the context of your mother’s death (that you didn’t explain but obviously is not a non sequitor as you wrote those words for some reason. I’m presuming). And btw, in Kafei’s world of Perennial Philosophy, if one tries to be rational with his claims, introverted CMEs are considered ‘incomplete’ CMEs. Whether a CME is introverted or extroverted is picked up by the MEQ30, which is the validated research tool (by Roland Griffiths of Johns Hopkins) to quantify CMEs for use in research experiments.

    And now I get to my question (and, yes, I’m being brief). You make the claim about a ‘universal intelligence’ that guides everything. And you’ve provided a tool aka an experiment that you can perform that works 100% per your experience called ‘scientific prayer’. So…what are your results? Provide an example of where you used ‘scientific prayer’ and the result was an observed outcome that occurred that can only be explained by your claim of there being a ‘universal intelligence’. And I’d like to know how your ‘scientific prayer’ achieved this outcome. Specifically, what force did your brain use other than the weak nuclear force, the strong nuclear force, electromagnetism or gravity to achieve the result. In other words, we know very well how your mind used these 4 forces via your neuronal network to create the idea that you prayed about. But without the concept of a god, which you reject, how did the ‘universal intelligence’ receive your idea and then translate it into an answer. And why are you so certain it works 100%. What is it about when you ‘scientifically pray’ and it doesn’t work that the failure for it to work helps you explain the mechanism when it does work?

    And please, do not keep confusing claims as evidence. Eg, you cannot claim the existence of a new force than the 4 we know about. Why? Bc there is no evidence for the force. Yes, you could claim dark energy as the force but really? First, we don’t know if dark energy is actually a new force yet. But we do know why it is called dark energy: bc with any tools that we have now to detect this energy we can’t. Hence it is ‘dark’. So how do we know it’s there? Bc we know the universe is expanding and that the acceleration of the expansion is increasing. Math. We also know it from what is often called ‘Einstein’s greatest blunder’. Einstein’s fudge factor of the cosmological constant turned out to be correct, but correct for the wrong reason. And how did we figure that out? Math. We just updated our Bayesian probabilities. Why? Well, bc of math. Anyway…I look forward to your answer.

  209. buddyward says

    @Sky Captain 213

    I do not see the BrainNet as a self reporting system because outside observers are able to verify what the receiver is receiving by comparing to what is being sent by the senders. This is a very fascinating field of study as they are more or less able to map out brain functions in such a way that the information can be transferred from one brain to another without direct contact between subjects. The sender’s signals can be verified using cameras that track eye movements while the receiver’s action can be matched with what the sender sent. This, I believe, removes the self reporting aspect of the experiment as there is no need for the receiver to tell anyone anything that they cannot verify.

    In 2008, there is a video released of a monkey feeding itself using a robotic arm which suggests that neural signals can be accurately mapped and translated to an action outside of an individual’s body. This can have significant applications in the medical fields where people with disabilities can be help using robotics. The application for this science is almost unbelievable.

  210. CompulsoryAccount7746, Sky Captain says

    @buddyward #208:

    I do not see how it was measured

    I guess I should mention this, too, in case you were thinking the visual cortex is mysterious…
     
    Article: Wikipedia – David H. Hubel

    The Hubel and Wiesel experiments [… in in 1959…] inserted a microelectrode into the primary visual cortex of an anesthetized cat. They then projected patterns of light and dark on a screen in front of the cat.
     
    They found that some neurons fired rapidly when presented with lines at one angle, while others responded best to another angle. Some of these neurons responded to light patterns and dark patterns differently[:] simple cells. Still other neurons, which they termed complex cells, detected edges regardless of where they were placed in the receptive field of the neuron and could preferentially detect motion in certain directions.
    […]
    Hubel and Wiesel received the Nobel Prize for […] their work establishing a foundation for visual neurophysiology, describing how signals from the eye are processed by visual parcels in the neo-cortex to generate edge detectors, motion detectors, stereoscopic depth detectors and color detectors, building blocks of the visual scene.

     
    Video: Hubel and Wiesel demo, visual patterns vs selectively-crackling detectors of neuron activity (11:01)

  211. devanr98 says

    Hello, I had a someone that is catholic try to debate me today, and he asked a question. I think the question was meant to be a trap, but he said “if you had the power to decide if god and the Bible is real or not ‘would you want it to be real’” now before he asked that he said he thinks that I don’t ‘want’ it to be real because I’m just scared. Now I feel like either answer I would’ve said he would have something to trap me with. Just curious how other people here would respond to that

  212. twarren1111 says

    Also to Gem and Kafei,

    Both of you (and to be proportional, I think it’s 90% Kafei and 10% Gem), have cited experts in other fields as evidence for your claims. This really isn’t necessary, as has been pointed out to you many times. But, it keeps happening and this is very very frustrating.

    What bothers me is that you don’t appear to understand why it is wrong to do in the way you are doing it. And the reason I feel it must be addressed (above and beyond that it keeps happening) is that when I was preparing this response, I wanted to find out where a certain quote came from. In particular, I wanted to find where Einstein said “the childish analogy of religion”. So I googled this phrase “where did Einstein say the “childish analogy of religion”?”. For everyone who reads this, confirm this for me by copying this phrase and use google to search the phrase. To be clear: I have google set as my default search engine and I entered this phrase in my address bar in Safari. What I get is only 32 references. And, I’m not making this up, the first 5 references I get are KAFEI!! I’m not making this up!!!!! And then, after these 5 KAFEI references, I have a row of video links and these links are (in order): TAE, Talk Heathen, TAE, and TAE!!!!! So, please cut the following phrase and paste it into google and see if you get what I get:

    where did Einstein say the “childish analogy of religion”

    My point is this, Kafei: a lot and I mean A LOT has been written on Einstein’s view of religion. And do you understand why? Because he and Darwin are considered the greatest scientists ever and Einstein especially has been quoted to say quite a bit about religion.

    But here is where you miss the mark so woefully. And before I go on, I want to establish where I am coming from. It was in 9th grade, when I learned one week in biology about glycolysis, and Kreb’s citric acid cycle and all about counting the ATPs and the next week that I learned about photosynthesis, that my young, heavily Southern Baptist inculcated mind said that if there was surely ever any proof for the existence of god then these two scientific hypotheses are it that I decided I wanted to be a doctor and specifically a medical oncologist. Why? Because that same week I learned about the concept of high dose chemotherapy and bone marrow transplant. In effect, I felt that I what I learned in biology, the yin-yang of glycolysis and aerobic metabolism along with the photosynthesis while also learning in Medical Explorers about bone marrow transplant….the symmetries were so beautiful…I felt god. And boy was I wrong (at least about the god part).

    And believe me please, I was so prepared to take on all my professors once I started my undergraduate biology degree. I was armed with all the growing creationist literature. I was prepared for WAR to FIGHT for Jeebus and the truth of god in our world. But what I discovered, as I took each course that I had been lied to…that the church lied to me…and the kicker was….why??????

    And then I went to medical school. I then did an internal medicine residency, a hematology/oncology fellowship. I then spent 5 years in the lab doing cancer immunology research before I perished (no grants) and entered private practice. I then spent 15 years in private oncology practice. Lastly, I am what you would describe as a polymath and I am an autodidact…indeed, the greatest praise I have ever received is being called just that: a polymath autodidact (at least, I was pleased after I looked the words up). And as such, I have gone to great effort to educate myself in all the sciences as they have developed. And, so…bastardization of science….the williful bending of the scientiifc process has taught us…is….well, just EVIL.

    And this is why I disagree with the view of others of you on this blog. I do not think you are INTENTIONALLY dishonest. As I have said before, I just think you are broken. Are, in more technical terms, you are still confusing claims with evidence and you are also not adding up your infinities correctly.

    To wit: look at my previous post (#214) and look at the grids I have put in there. You have to be careful in what ‘direction’ you are adding things up to unitary. My example clouds this a bit because the FN and FP rate for mammograms are both 10%, but my point is still valid: Notice that the the total incidence of the ‘cancer’ row is 100%. It has to be. 1% have breast cancer and 99% don’t. And why is it important that I point this out? Because when you look at a population and ask a binary question that is truly binary then there has to be two, and only two options and those options HAVE to add up to 100%. But, that is the population, not the individual. And why is that important? Because, as I show in that post the liklihood you have cancer with a postive mammogram is only 8.3%, if we do a biopsy and 10 out of 10 patholigists say it is breast cancer, you don’t have 8.3% cancer. You 100% have cancer. And it is important you don’t ‘confuse your infinities’ as I like to say. It’s something that happens so often. Eg, just because an undocumented immigrant robs a bank doesn’t mean that all undocumented immigrants are criminals. In addition, stating that 4000 undocumented immigrants were responsible for homicide doesn’t mean 100% of undocumented immigrants are homicidal fiends. In fact, when you look at crime statistics, it is overwhelming and uncontroversial that the EVIDENCE shows that this claim is correct with much more than a 95% probability: that undocumented immigrants have a much lower crime rate for ALL crimes as compared to natural born citizens. And it aint hard to determine why: the reason most illegal immigrants are here is to WORK and send money back to their country of origen to family stuck there still and how do they do that if they are out raising hell all the time????

    So, back to Einstein. The fact of the matter is: I cannot find ANY EVIDENCE that your quote related to Einstein exists. Please provide where your quote for Einstein comes from.

    Second, you keep saying Einstein believed in the Spinoza god. Well….and this relates to the ‘problem of induction’ issue. It is clear, the more and more I read, that you do not understand Einstein or Spinoza. These are facts: Einstein has frequently written and referred to Spinoza has one of his favorite philosophers. This is also very clear: Spinoza equated ‘god’ with ‘nature’. Indeed, Spinoza and his pantheism (NOT panentheism, but his PAN-THEISM) is often discussed by many scholars. And, Kafei, here is the issue: TODAY….the research TODAY by scholars is that PANTHEISM is a FORM OF ATHEISM. Indeed, it is stated clearly, if you read far enough, in wikipedia even that Spinoza was an atheist. I’m not going to argue this point with you. I will let you argue with Rebecca Goldenstein who wrote an autobiography of Spinoza that was reviewed by Harold Bloom (all Jews, you will notice) in the New York Times:

    https://www.nytimes.com/2006/06/18/books/review/18bloom.html?mtrref=www.google.com&gwh=A6EFCCAA5F46248FD3BD56A2F2364DA1&gwt=pay

    So, in both wikipedia and a book review written by an philosophy expert (Harold Bloom) on book written by a philosopher (Rebecca Goldstein) on a famous philsopher (Spinoza) states unequivocably that Spinoza was an atheist.

    Now, back to Einstein. You do recall who Einstein was, don’t you? A jew. And why did he come to america? Because he was a jew. And, even back then, what was america well known world wide for being? A home for religious, i.e., fundamental christianity, beliefs. So….what do you think he’s going to say when he talks about religion? Do you think he’s going to play with people or answer like I would? Hmmmmm??????

    Anyway, let us look at the last letter he wrote prior to his death in 1954 and see what he says about religion:
    https://www.theguardian.com/science/2018/dec/04/physicist-albert-einstein-god-letter-reflecting-on-religion-up-for-auction-christies

    My point is this: at most, what ANYONE can say about Einstein and his views on the abrahamic god and religion is this: he was an agnostic.

    And yes, Kafei, the quote you keep writing all the time on so many sites over years in essence is true…but I cringe when you, of all people, cite him because, and this is important, and I am using this word on purpose because it is the correct word: I HAVE NO TRUST THAT YOU WHEN YOU LOOK AT A DUCK THAT YOU SEE A DUCK. You are not a witness I trust. You have just been wrong, on HUGE issues, far too much for trust. And yes, ALL YOUR CLAIMS ABOUT CME and Perennial Philosophy are WRONG. You do not understand what you claim and you keep proving this. But, alas, this post IS NOT ADDRESSING THAT ISSUE.

    Next, it was when you quoted Carlos Rovelli a few weeks ago, like you quote so many like Einstein, and his thoughts on ‘Time’ that you twisted, in some innuendo that was more vague than vague, that this physicists too somehow supported your view of ‘god’ and Perennial Philosophy. Well….I’ve read all his books….and i’ve read all of Smolek’s books too…and, dude, I’ve delved deeply into loop quantum gravity and related issues…and I did more than throwup in my mouth little when I say you try to use him to push your claims without evidence. And here are the links…which I will use in individual posts because I think only three links are allowed per post.

  213. twarren1111 says

    First Carlo Rovelli interview:
    https://www.52-insights.com/carlo-rovelli-reality-but-not-as-we-know-it-science-and-technology-quantum/
    Interviewer Question:
    “To bring in a controversial subject, religion obviously wouldn’t see it that way”
    Rovelli’s Answer:
    “Well I don’t know. I am not religious at all. I consider myself happily and serenely atheist. But I’m not sure. The word religion comes from a Latin word that means ‘to tie’; religion is a relation between one thing and something else. If I understand anything about religion, and I probably don’t and should shut up, it’s that its not all about god. Most things don’t make much sense by themselves. It’s about the relationship between humans and gods, not about either one in their solitude.”

    Second Carlo Rovelli Interview:
    https://blogs.scientificamerican.com/cross-check/the-philosophy-of-guessing-has-harmed-physics-expert-says/
    Interviewer (John Horgan BTW, who is an EXCELLENT populizer of scientific ideas…he can definitely be trusted)
    “Horgan: do you believe in God?”
    “Rovelli: No. But perhaps I should qualify the answer….”

    I’m not going to type more in….click the link and scroll down until you see the question asked. Then read Rovelli’s WHOLE response. And then, PLEASE Kafei, read the answer Rovelli gives to the next question Horgan asks “Are science and religion incompatible?” Rovelli has a TWO PARAGRAPH response.

  214. twarren1111 says

    Third Interview of Carlo Rovelli. This one is my favorite because it’s Krista Tippett from the NPR show On Being. She is an excellent interviewer. In depth. She reads the stuff the person she is interviewing writes. She asks questions that explore and illuminate. Not obfuscate. Like you do.

    https://onbeing.org/programs/carlo-rovelli-all-reality-is-interaction-apr2018/

    Ms. Tippett asks: “all right. OK. good. Well, you wrote this: “it’s as if God had designed reality with a line that was not heavily scored, but just dotted it with a faint outline.”.

    It’s the SECOND paragraph of Rovelli’s response you need to pay attention too.

    And, before you jump, please note, that Rovelli makes it EXREMEMELY clear in many of his interviews what he means by ‘God’. And it has nothing to do with God or god or any such religious reference. He simply uses the idea of ‘god’ as a HANDLE to communicate ideas.

    To wit, read lower where Rovelli replies to a question with the following:
    “[laughs] Thank you for reading this. I think what I wanted…..” The reason I wanted you to read this is he refers to the idea of the ‘unitary’.

    And here is the kicker: by ‘unitary’ he does NOT mean ‘the universe’ or the ‘the one’ or ‘the source’ as referred to in religions and specifically Perennial Philosophy. He is referring to idea that probabilities have to add up to ONE.

    And that is what I was referring to previously in the grids when one is figuring out Bayesian reasoning. Again, the total incidence of cancer (have, not have) MUST add up to 1 (or 100% or 1.0, depending on what mathematical term you are using). And also note that the TP and the FP MUST ADD up to 1. The same is true for the FN and TN rate. BUT, AND THIS IS VITAL, THE TP AND TN RATE NEVER ADD UP TO ONE AND THE FP AND FN RATE NEVER ADD UP TO ONE. So many of the confusions you cause are when you ‘cross’ add on the matrix.

    And that is what religion does. What faith based reasoning does, mathematically, is it, despite that fact that it breaks unitary, they drive their FP to 100% when that just can’t happen and still keep the values they have for TP.

    ANd here is YET another Carol Rovelli Interview in which the title is: Talking Anarchy, Genius, and God with Italy’s Best-Selling Theoretical Physicist.
    https://www.vice.com/en_us/article/9bgvyv/revolutions-in-thinking-talking-anarchy-genius-and-god-with-italys-best-selling-theoretical-physicist
    Kafie, you have to read the WHOLE article. It is very, very deep in the article when they get to god. This is how the interviewer puts it: “He resists my suggestion that his works leaves conceptual space for God (“No, no, it’s just a way of explaining things”). Rovelli again describes himself as a ‘rational atheist’.

  215. twarren1111 says

    The point Kafei, is that when you cite outside authority, you consistently misrepresent the reality of what they say.

    And yes, Kafei, you do this with all of the people you cite in your defense of Perennial Philosophy. But, I’m not going to address this right now. I’ve posted enough.

    To be specific, you did not understand what Chikoppi was trying to communicate with you. Indeed, your rebuttals to him just kept proving the point. What Chikoppi was doing, was he GAVE YOU in plain ENGLISH what the parameters were for the ‘grid’ you are using.

    The test, Kafei, your mammogram, is the MEQ30 in which CME are defined (when they are achieved) as either INTROVERTED or EXTROVERTED CME. And the ‘cancer or no cancer’ question is this: is ‘god’ (or whatever you are calling the linked, universal ‘thing’ present all ‘revealed’ religions a ‘god’ who exists outside the person or a ‘god’ who exists only inside the person, i.e, a ‘god’ who is only ESOTERIC or EXOTERIC) inside the person to external to the person.

    These were the P1 and the P2 he broke down for you. Well, the test is the CME. Make your grid. And see where you are getting your false positive (your religion) from…I’ll break it down for you later.

  216. twarren1111 says

    Specifically, what RationalismRules is saying is that if I’d use standard algebraic notation then what I am trying to communicate would be clearer. To wit (and, I also added a zero before the decimal):

    CLAIM: my positive mammogram means I have breast cancer is TP/(TP+FP) which is 0.009/(0.009+0.099) which is 0.009/0.108 which is 0.0833333333 or 8.3% chance.

  217. CompulsoryAccount7746, Sky Captain says

    Too cool not to mention: since the 1959 cat experiment. here’s what was accomplished in 2018…
     
    Article: Science – This ‘mind-reading’ algorithm can decode the pictures in your head

    to interpret – and accurately reproduce – images seen or imagined
    […]
    In guessing what someone was viewing, [… …] a neutral human observer could tell which of two photos an image was meant to recreate 99% of the time
    […]
    Next […] they scanned the three subjects’ brains after asking them to recall images previously displayed […] The method didn’t work well for photos, but for the shapes, the generator created a recognizable image 83% of the time.

     
    An AI is trained on images + fMRI scans to become a general cortex simulator. Then, given an fMRI, the sim is fed random graphics, incrementally refining, with the goal being whatever image makes the sim mimic the scan.

  218. twarren1111 says

    Now for Gem. Gem, what I am doing here is copying your posts and pointing out where you provide claims versus evidence. I will put my comments in brackets [such as this] within your posts.

    #178
    Thank you Monocle Smile. I have read them now. Sorry for not answering them before but it is not always so easy for mt to scroll up and down the screen on this laptop with one hand only and my baby in the other – I’m sure you understand.
    Firstly, I do not believe in the existence of a personal God that has ever cured any ailment or disease at all. I am aware that Jesus of Nazareth among others was said to have this ability, but whether these individuals can be regarded as gods is quite another matter, even if they could heal the sick.
    [this comment, from “Firstly” until the end is a claim. You are claiming no personal god exists. You are claiming the Abrahamic Jesus never healed anyone]
    Neither do I believe that a normal child would have the ability to really believe that such a prayer could possibly be answered. There may well be accounts of this very thing having happened for all I know, but I am not aware of any myself.
    [This is yet another claim. This is not evidence. It is fine that you refine the definition of scientific prayer with this statement about children, but it is NOT EVIDENCE that supports your claim. Eg, how do you know a ‘normal’ child would not have the ability to wish that she did not have to have three years of chemotherapy and radiation to cure her acute lymphoblastic leukemia? As happens when one uses evidence based thinking (aka as the scientific method) more questions are raised than answered. For example, what defines a child? Biologically, the most common definition of child versus adult is the ability to reproduce. So…is puberty when a child can practice scientific prayer? Or, is it the full development of the paralimbic system, which, because the ‘para’ part of the word refers to the frontal lobes, does not happen until about age 25? And, there are sex differences that are suspected to be related to hormonal differences. Specifically, females tend to ‘mature’ earlier than males and, in support of this, empathy tends to develop more readily in females than males. Evidence for this is in the rate of psychopathy in males as compared to females. And I could go on, and on, and on, with more and more hypothesis to test. But that’s the rub…while I can design experiments in which we can furnish subjects of these different categories quite easily, the underlying claim (of scientific prayer and a universal intelligence) are untestable. Again, this is why you can’t use claims as evidence for claims. Your statements about children are claims…not evidence…PLEASE STOP DOING THIS]

    From your post #185:
    @ buddyward
    who asked…
    Why is it that people who practice “Scientific prayer” never pray for world peace, or to end suffering in the world? Why do none of them desire to end poverty in the world or to heal amputees? [This was posted by buddyward]
    How do you know than none have or do pray for or desire these? [you are answering with a claim. You made the claim about scientific prayer. The onus is on YOU GEM to provide the evidence. What buddyward is saying is that if your claim as to scientific prayer is valid (i.e., by Bayesian reasoning found to have at least a 95% probability of being true) then, with 7 billion people on this world, why have we not seen world peace happen, or an end to poverty, or amputees to have limbs grow back? He is asking you where YOUR EVIDENCE IS for YOUR CLAIM. The answer to buddyward’s question is NOT MORE CLAIMS. And, by the way, you do realize that this statement is more than 95% probability true: “when you drank a glass of water two months go, atoms in that water passed through the bladder of Hitler”. Now, I’m not going to dig out the math for you…the math was shown by a physicist in one of his or hers books…the real point of the statement is about probabilitie and orders of magnitude…when you look at the size of atoms, etc, then that type of statement is true for just about any historical figure…in other words, replace Hitler with Socrates, or Alexander the Great, or Cromwell and, yes, most likely, you are drinking their pee every time you have a glass of water…as a clue, remember the magnitude of avogrado’s number. The point is, the liklihood that at least one person has prayed for world peace or the end of poverty or the regrowth of a limb using what you refer to as scientific prayer has, to a greater than 95% probability, done so since AT LEAST ONCE since homo sapiens evolved 2 million years ago. Please understand this point. It is not arguable because it is just math. In other words, you’ve heard of the concept of chimpanzees randomly typing on a type writer coming up with a Shakespeare play? Well….look into the concepts related to that idea and what you will find is that if you only limit yourself to 7 billion chimps (and thus throwout all the humans who have ever existed) the liklihood one will come up Romeo and Juliet will shock you…the same with ideas being prayed about…so again, please do NOT USE CLAIMS AS EVIDENCE FOR CLAIMS]
    How do you know that it is not a part of the future of this planet to experience world peace as a result of those who prayed for that very thing anyway? [you are making another claim to answer as to your evidence for your claim. STOP IT. Secondly, name ONE SINGLE EVENT that has occurred that cannot be explained or has not been explained except as occuring as a result of scientific prayer and universal intelligence. JUST NAME ONE]
    Is it something that would have to happen instantaneously for you to believe, or within your specific timeframe perhaps? [WHY ARE YOU NOT ANSWERING THE QUESTION. IT DOESN’T MATTER WHEN. GIVE US ONE EXAMPLE, IE, ONE PIECE OF EVIDENCE IN ALL KNOWN HISTORY, IE, SINCE AROUND 3500 BCE WHERE THE REASON THE EVIDENCE HAPPENED WAS BEAUSE OF YOUR CLAIM]
    Praying scientifically means praying for something that you firmly believe is achievable, and in order for you to believe that it is possible and to convince your subconscious mind of it you would need to see evidence of world peace or an end to poverty, or a limb restored before praying would you not? [THIS IS A FALLACY. SPECIFICALLY YOU ARE USING A TAUTOLOGY. YOU ARE SAYING, ‘MY CLAIM IS TRUE ONLY IF YOU REALLY BELIEVE IT CAN BE TRUE AND IF WHAT YOU ARE PRAYING FOR HAS NEVER HAPPENED IN THE HISTORY OF THE EARTH, WELL, THEN THE REASON YOUR PRAYER ISN’T WORKING IS BECAUSE YOU DON’T BELIEVE IN YOURSELF ENOUGH AND THE PROOF IS THAT IT DOESN’T HAPPEN’ Gem, you really, really, need to understand why this sentence you wrote is irrational. You cannot reduce your statement to math because it never ends; your statement is so self-referential that you enter an unending loop. Have you heard of Kurt Godel? Have you head of the incompleteness theorem? Have you ever heard of the irrationality of the following statement and how it almost broke math in 1925: ‘this statement is false’? Have you heard of Turing and question of decidability? Your statement and the idea you are invoking is, by definition, a circular, unending, blue screen of death.]
    In my experience hardly anyone practices scientific prayer, certainly not those involved in religions such as Christianity anyway as they are not taught how to do so, even though it clearly states how to in unmistakable terms in their own holy book. It says quite simple that in order to have prayers answered you must believe that they are answered from the moment you have prayed and most importantly you must ACT as if they are already answered. [in my experience hardly anyone practices scientific prayer: GEM, I AM SCREAMING AT YOU. THIS IS A FALLACY. BTW, WHEN SOMETHING YOU SAY IS POINTED OUT TO BE A FALLACY THIS MEANS, MATHEMATICALLY, THE STATEMENT IS INVALIDE. IT IS NOT TRUE. AND AS SUCH YOU MUST NEVER NEVER NEVER NEVER USE IT AGAIN IN THE SAME FORM. The only way you could use it again is to change it or modify it in some way so that it becomes true. An excellent example is the statement “this statement is false”. A very easy way to alleviate the fallacy of this statement is to stop it being self-referential. And a very easy way to do this is to restate it as “this statement is false to me”. See what I did there? I stopped the unending loop by limiting the statement to only me. Thus, by definition, I changed the statement from SELF-referential to ONLY twarren1111 referential. And, that is a the total difference. There is a second fallacy you commit. It is called the “No true Scotsman fallacy”. So, I just gave you two fallacies that you CANNOT overcome without changing your opening predicate: “in my experience almost no one practices true scientific prayer….” The rest of your sentence is equally absurde: how do you know know organized religion practioiner such as a christian has not ACCIDENTALLY practiced scientific prayer?????? Again, this CLAIM is NOT EVIDENCE….and a CLAIM is NOT EVIDENCE for a claim…lastly, and I’m going to scream here again: YOU FINISH THIS HORRID STATEMENT WITH A CLAIM THAT COMPLETELY NEGATES WHAT YOU SAID EARILIER IN ADMONISHING BUDDYWARD FOR EXPECTING AN IMMEDIATE RESULT…IN FACT YOU SAY HERE “It says quite simple that in order to have prayers answered you must believe that they are answered from the moment you have prayed and most importantly you must ACT as if they are already answered. [in my experience hardly anyone practices scientific prayer:”
    A prayer for more financial income for your family would be doomed to failure if after praying you acted as if you have to continue to scrimp [HOW DO YOU KNOW THIS…HOW DO YOU HAVE EVIDENCE FOR THIS CLAIM?????] and save just in case by chance you should lose your job, for example. [THINK ABOUT WHAT YOU ARE SAYING…you are ‘blaming the victim’ if the prayer doesn’t work. YOU SOUND JUST LIKE CHRISTIANS AND MUSLEMS WHEN THEY GIVE REASONS FOR WHY PRAYERS ARE NOT ANSWERED…it’s because you weren’t righteous enough, or you had sin you hadn’t confessed yet…or whatever!!] It is not really possible to think and believe one way but act another way successfully. [oh sweet jeebus…you ARENT LISTENING. You keep using claims as evidence. And, lo and behold is yet another claim. And this is what is so funny: what you are describing here is cognitive dissonance. GEM: EVERY ONE OF US WHO HAS A CLAIM THAT WE JUSTIFY AS REALITY BY ‘UPPING’ OUR FALSE POSITIVES IS THINKING AND BELIEVING ONE WAY BUT ACTING ANOTHER. And yes, Gem, I include me. But here is another point: those who rigorously try to use the scientific method to purge their lives of as many FP as they can are LESS SUSCEPTIBLE to being lured by future FP. This is why, Gem, professionals like lawyers and doctors tend to get better as they age. Why? Because a definition of an expert is someone who has made every mistake in their field AND LEARNED WHY!!!!!!!! Oh sweet jeebus…..YOU. ARE. BROKEN.

  219. Honey Tone says

    twarren @ 223

    Not that I care about defending Kafei, but the Einstein 1954 letter to Gutkind states

    For me the Jewish religion like all others is an incarnation of the most childish superstitions.

    (I can only assume the the quote is accurate; I don’t read German.)

    I don’t think it’s misleading to restate that down to “religions are childish.”

  220. Gem says

    @twarren1111

    This may well be my last post on this forum as I am finding it very tedious having to deal with the utter nonsense aimed at me here. I have not bothered to even read all of it as I have better things to do, but here is just an example of what I mean that any honest-minded individual, atheist or not, should be able to immediately recognize as such ….

    I said….
    I am aware that Jesus of Nazareth among others was said to have this ability, but whether these individuals can be regarded as gods is quite another matter, even if they could heal the sick.
    [this comment, from “Firstly” until the end is a claim. You are claiming no personal god exists. You are claiming the Abrahamic Jesus never healed anyone]

    How on earth have you managed to interpret my above sentence to mean that I am saying that I believe Jesus never healed anyone?

    If Jesus did heal the sick, as is claimed then it would be in no way a violation of mental law or metaphysical principles, so I would have no basis at all to doubt his ability to do so. This does not mean that myself or anyone else in particular can do likewise necessarily though. If a very special and gifted individual who we regard as autistic could memorize a telephone book after reading it once through, does that mean that all autistic people should be able to do likewise?

    The point I am making here is that one individual’s ability to utilise mental laws to their fullest extent in no way means that every other individual attempting to do so should get the same results as a master in this field does.

    When it comes to scientific prayer I do not claim to be a master, but a student. I have utilised it successfully on many occasions since 1990 and it has never once failed me and I do not believe it can. I have never attempted to to use it to restore a limb as I do not have a missing one, thankfully, and do not know anyone who does.

    If I did have a missing limb though and utilised scientific prayer and failed to restore the limb do you think that this would mean that scientific does not work at all? No, all it would mean as that I did not have the TRUE, UNSHAKABLE BELIEF that it was possible for me to restore it.

    Why do you think it is that the people who actually saw Jesus heal the sick were able to do likewise whereas those who did not see it with their own eyes were unable to do so utilising the same mental discipline and method taught by Jesus? BELIEF of course! Time and time again Jesus told his followers that it was their lack of faith/belief that was their real stumbling block.

    Anyway, enough of this for now as I have things to do.

    If you really believe that I was saying in the quoted sentence that I do not believe Jesus healed sick people then you obviously do not have a very good grasp of the english language and I am wasting my time with you.

  221. Honey Tone says

    Further on the Einstein 1954 letter:

    The quote in my post #232 was from a Washington Post article, published in December 2018. But, I kept finding other articles about the letter switching the words “childish” and “primitive” in the reference to religions.

    This seems to explain the issue (from The New Yorker, 12/25/2018, link below):

    In some news accounts, Einstein is quoted as calling the Biblical stories “nevertheless pretty childish,” but that is not what his letter says. That phrase was inserted by a translator, apparently at the time of the first auction. Nor does Einstein call Judaism “the incarnation of the most childish superstitions,” also a translation error. The word that he uses is “primitiven”—that is, “primitive,” meaning pre-scientific. He is saying that, before humans developed science, they had to account for the universe in some way, so they invented supernatural stories. (Such is the nature of our own super-scientific age, however, that if you perform a search for “Einstein childish God,” you will get thousands of hits. Einstein will be eternally associated with a characterization he never made.)

    https://www.newyorker.com/news/daily-comment/reading-into-albert-einsteins-god-letter

    I think anybody not having access to the original letter might be excused for relying on a mistranslation reported by a reputable and usually reliable source.

  222. twarren1111 says

    Yes, honey tone, I agree with your take on the quote and that Kafei used it’s meaning correctly. I stated this specifically: “And yes, Kafei, the quote you keep writing all the time on so many sites over years in essence is true…”. My point is, he has used the same phrase “as Einstein rightly said “blah blah” so many times, inaccurately, that when I google his quote 32 references appear where the first page is Kafei NOT EINSTEIN. The point is he uses it repeatedly and when keeps posting something in quotes it needs to be a quote. Here’s an example: I just googled “Einstein’s view on religion” and got 1,380,000 hits. It goes to trust. Then, Kafei has repeatedly linked Einstein and Spinoza as further proof of theism (not Kafei’s theism of PP, but theism in general). The trouble is Spinoza is an atheist. He then name drops Carlo Rovelli when, infuriatingly, he has had so many interviews since his last two books that in ANY WAY linking him to ANY THEISTIC CONCEPTS is revolting.

    So yes, honey tone, as I said clearly in my post, Kafei’s use of the non-Einstein quote is correct in its spirit. But trying to use Einstein, Spinoza, and Rovelli as authorities who substantiate ANYTHING REMOTELY SIMILAR TO PP is irrational.

  223. twarren1111 says

    Gem, this is what you said:
    ‘Firstly, I do not believe in the existence of a personal God that has ever cured any ailment or disease at all.’
    In Christianity, the trinity is a personal god. One can be filled with the Holy Spirit, one must pray to Jesus of all the trinity as outlined in the NT, and of course all three abrahamic religions insist YHWH (or Allah) will intercede with prayer. You just can’t argue this fact about all the abrahamic religions. I’m a recovering southern baptist. Stop trying to tell me the southern baptist convention teaches otherwise.

    You then say:
    ‘I am aware that Jesus of Nazareth among others was said to have this ability, but whether these individuals can be regarded as gods is quite another matter, even if they could heal the sick.’
    Here you then go to the specific part of the trinity and say that you doubt Jesus is a god, even if he could heal the sick. And, btw, the ONLY source you have for Jesus healing ANYONE is the NT book of Mark and Luke. Matthew and John are just copies of Mark (hence referred to as the synoptic gospels). NONE of these books purport themselves to be eyewitness accounts. And the earliest evidence we have of when the earliest gospel was written was three lifetimes after the purported death of Jesus.

    My point:
    Gem you posted in response to me, the only thing you decided to address, was this: ‘How on earth have you managed to interpret my above sentence to mean that I am saying that I believe Jesus never healed anyone?’. Gem, you said no personal god exists. Jesus is a personal god. You then follow up saying that some say Jesus healed the sick (which is only the 4 gospels) but if he was a god is another matter even if he could heal the sick…

    You said it. OWN IT. Until then, you are lying.

    Lastly, if you want to make further claims without evidence about Jesus, I’d suggest you read “on the historicity of Jesus” and “proving history” by Richard carrier. Both books use evidence and apply Bayesian reasoning to the question of did Jesus even exist. One of the books is peer reviewed. Carrier has a PhD in ancient religious studies from Columbia University.

  224. CompulsoryAccount7746, Sky Captain says

    @twarren1111 #223:

    where did Einstein say the “childish analogy of religion”

     
    Article: Einstein – The World as I See It – Religion and Science
    (My print copy of Ideas and Opinions cites that article’s content as two documents.)
     
    “The religious spirit of science” from Mein Weltbild, Amsterdam: Querido Verlag (1934)
    ” ” ”
    You will hardly find one among the profounder sort of scientific minds without a peculiar religious feeling of his own. But it is different from the religion of the naive man. For the latter God is a being from whose care one hopes to benefit and whose punishment one fears; a sublimation of a feeling similar to that of a child for its father, a being to whom one stands to some extent in a personal relation, however deeply it may be tinged with awe.
     
    But the scientist is possessed by the sense of universal causation. The future, to him, is every whit as necessary and determined as the past. There is nothing divine about morality, it is a purely human affair. His religious feeling takes the form of a rapturous amazement at the harmony of natural law, which reveals an intelligence of such superiority that, compared with it, all the systematic thinking and acting of human beings is an utterly insignificant reflection. This feeling is the guiding principle of his life and work, in so far as he succeeds in keeping himself from the shackles of selfish desire. It is beyond question closely akin to that which has possessed the religious geniuses of all ages.
    ” ” ”
     
     
    You can see how folks of Kafei’s ilk could get fixated on “an intelligence of such superiority” and “religious geniuses of all ages”. While looking for a shareable link, I noticed there’s at least one crank consciousness book using it.
     
     
    “Religion and Science” from New York Times (1930-11-09), excerpted here
    ” ” ”
    The religious geniuses of all ages have been distinguished by this kind of religious feeling, which knows no dogma and no God conceived in man’s image; so that there can be no Church whose central teachings are based on it.
    […]
    How can cosmic religious feeling be communicated from one person to another, if it can give rise to no definite notion of a God and no theology? In my view, it is the most important function of art and science to awaken this feeling and keep it alive in those who are capable of it.
    ” ” ”
     
    I can’t comment on translation accuracy.

  225. buddyward says

    @twarren1111

    I would like to express my appreciation in all the work that you have put in trying to explain the fallacies that both Kafei and Gem have committed. I am very sorry that all that work seems to have been ignored by Gem. Too bad, she might have learned something had she read your work. Nevertheless, all that work, I find very informative and is much appreciated. Thank you.

  226. twarren1111 says

    And honey tone, I linked to an article in The Guardian that discussed the 1954 Einstein letter. The reason the article was written (IIRC was around 2014) is because the letter had been recently discovered and was being auctioned. The article provides a link to the original letter and the author of the article does an honest interpretation of the article in my opinion.

  227. Monocle Smile says

    If I did have a missing limb though and utilised scientific prayer and failed to restore the limb do you think that this would mean that scientific does not work at all? No, all it would mean as that I did not have the TRUE, UNSHAKABLE BELIEF that it was possible for me to restore it.

    Got it. So when children with cancer and amputees suffer, it’s entirely their own fault. After all, they could heal themselves if only they believed hard enough.

    You are a plague upon humanity. Fuck you and everyone like you.

  228. buddyward says

    @devanr98 222

    Hello, I had a someone that is catholic try to debate me today, and he asked a question. I think the question was meant to be a trap, but he said “if you had the power to decide if god and the Bible is real or not ‘would you want it to be real’” now before he asked that he said he thinks that I don’t ‘want’ it to be real because I’m just scared. Now I feel like either answer I would’ve said he would have something to trap me with. Just curious how other people here would respond to that

    I would respond by saying I already have the power to make that decision and I have already decided that there are no sufficient evidence to warrant belief in the Abrahamic god nor the validity of the claims in the bible. His assumption that I am scared for his god and his bible to be real has no bearing whether or not those things are actually real. I cannot be scared of something that I do not believe to be real.

  229. twarren1111 says

    Gem
    Before you decide to leave the blog, I asked you in two paragraphs very specific questions as to the evidence for your claims of scientific prayer and universal intelligence. It was only later that I critiqued your posts and you chose to respond to only one of my critiques by lying, as covered above.

    My point is this: in terms of priority to what this blog is about, you have made theistic claims. You have vigorously defended them. The claim is the validity of scientific prayer via the mechanism of universal intelligence. That is fine. NOW: WHERE IS YOUR EVIDENCE. NOT CLAIMS. DO NOT GIVE US MORE HYPOTHESES/IDEAS/CONCEPTS/CLAIMS. NOW IS THE TIME FOR EVIDENCE.

    I provided helpful guidelines as to what evidence is. Here is what I offered:
    And now I get to my question (and, yes, I’m being brief). You make the claim about a ‘universal intelligence’ that guides everything. And you’ve provided a tool aka an experiment that you can perform that works 100% per your experience called ‘scientific prayer’. So…what are your results? Provide an example of where you used ‘scientific prayer’ and the result was an observed outcome that occurred that can only be explained by your claim of there being a ‘universal intelligence’. And I’d like to know how your ‘scientific prayer’ achieved this outcome. Specifically, what force did your brain use other than the weak nuclear force, the strong nuclear force, electromagnetism or gravity to achieve the result. In other words, we know very well how your mind used these 4 forces via your neuronal network to create the idea that you prayed about. But without the concept of a god, which you reject, how did the ‘universal intelligence’ receive your idea and then translate it into an answer. And why are you so certain it works 100%. What is it about when you ‘scientifically pray’ and it doesn’t work that the failure for it to work helps you explain the mechanism when it does work?
    And please, do not keep confusing claims as evidence. Eg, you cannot claim the existence of a new force than the 4 we know about. Why? Bc there is no evidence for the force. Yes, you could claim dark energy as the force but really? First, we don’t know if dark energy is actually a new force yet. But we do know why it is called dark energy: bc with any tools that we have now to detect this energy we can’t. Hence it is ‘dark’. So how do we know it’s there? Bc we know the universe is expanding and that the acceleration of the expansion is increasing. Math. We also know it from what is often called ‘Einstein’s greatest blunder’. Einstein’s fudge factor of the cosmological constant turned out to be correct, but correct for the wrong reason. And how did we figure that out? Math. We just updated our Bayesian probabilities. Why? Well, bc of math. Anyway…I look forward to your answer.

    What say you?

  230. buddyward says

    @Gem

    Best of luck you and your child. I hope that you find time to learn the value of skepticism, logic and epistemology. Perhaps then we can have a more productive conversation.

  231. t90bb says

    GEM…. good luck with the foolishness…..its been a while since anyone here contradicted themselves so quickly and matter of factly.

    thank you for reminding why I need to try to avoid logical fallacies and confirmation bias. I am so happy you stopped by. see ya….

  232. Honey Tone says

    twarren111 –

    You and I are on the same page re Kafie & Gem and folks like them. On that one minor point Kafie might be considered justifiably innocent. I just thought I’d try to run down that one point because your post expressed so much anger about it and implied significant effort.

    As for the rest of his garbage and Gem’s, I frankly don’t care and don’t pay attention. When simple questions regarding their religion/metaphysics/woo claims are answered merely with more claims and word salad I just check out. To me they aren’t worth the irritation they cause.

  233. t90bb says

    222 devenr98….

    I have gotten that too. Now understand I am an agnostic atheist…..I am not a strong atheist.

    I would never want the Christian god of the bible to be real…..why?, because I would hate for god, if it exists to be a murderous thug that screwed up its science project so bad that it had to drown all living things…..only later to have to create itself, to sacrifice itself to itself for a long weekend. to save humans from a situation that it created. Furthermore any being that demands love and worship under threat of eternal punishment is not a thing I would consider worshipping. I would rather kick it in its divine nuts before I would praise it….

    And lastly, if I were to chose to have the biblical god exist..,,,that would preclude the existence of other god or gods that might be worthy of praise and worship. Maybe there is a god that is not all powerful and is peddling the bicycle as fast as it can for us and its the best it can do. I might love and worship that god.

    in all sincerity….for me no god existing is better than the Abrahamic version. non existence does not bother me much. I am not at all fearful of no longer existing…….id rather not exist than to pretend to love and worship a celestial gangsta.

  234. StonedRanger says

    The only application of scientific prayer I am interested in.
    Dear God/CME/whateverthefuckyoucallyourself: It is my fervent, unrestricted, total belief that you will make Kafei flounce just like Gem did. I believe this totally without hesitation and have no doubt that it will occur forthwith. Sincerely yours, etc…

  235. Gem says

    @twarren1111

    I’m sorry to have to tell you this but you are being incredibly dumb. Where on earth did you get the idea that I believe in the trinity or in a personal god called Jesus? Are you not aware that Jesus is mentioned in other so-called holy books also? For example, in the Koran i believe Jesus (Isa) is mentioned more times than any other character in the book other than Allah (God), and Jesus is believed to have had the ability to heal the sick.

    You say that “Here you then go to the specific part of the trinity ” when I never once even mentioned the word trinity or anything of the kind.

    For that matter, whereabouts in the christian bible is a trinity mentioned at all?

    You evidently are not aware that the doctrine of the trinity came from the council of Nicaea hundreds of years after the bible was written, and so did the doctrine that Jesus was God incarnate. Both these doctrines where decided by debates between a group of old men, and there was by no means anything close to unanimous agreement between them.

    Can you not now see how absurd you are being?

    The reason I did not address anything else you said in your previous post is because I didn’t read any of it, and I already told you that.

    Until you can own up to the fact that you were mistaken and were just jumping to erroneous conclusions further discussion with you is of no value.

  236. Gem says

    @ Monocle Smile
    You said …
    Got it. So when children with cancer and amputees suffer, it’s entirely their own fault. After all, they could heal themselves if only they believed hard enough. You are a plague upon humanity. Fuck you and everyone like you.

    How did you possibly arrive at that conclusion when I never even mentioned children with cancer? I was talking about myself only and my likely failure to be able to restore a limb through scientific prayer due to my lack of belief that it is possible for me to do so.

    If I have a bad tooth i go to the dentist. If a child in my care has a bad too they are sent to a dentist also. If I was diagnosed with a disease or a child in my care was I would go to a doctor and ask what treatment is available and the likelyhood of modern medicines and procedures being successful in treating the disease before anything else, same as most anybody else would.

    The last thing I would ever do is tell someone that a disease is entirely their own fault, with a few exceptions, such as person who got VD or HIV due to unprotected sex when they were fully aware of the risk they were taking. In such a case I may be tempted to tell them that they only have themselves to blame, but I probably would not do so.

    To clarify once more, I do not believe I have any ability to heal disease or any other ailment as I have never demonstrated to myself that I do due to the fact that I have fortunately never had a disease or any serious ailment that over-the-counter medicine was unable to deal with.

    I never mentioned anything at all about children with cancer

  237. Wiggle Puppy says

    @ Gem 233:

    “This may well be my last post on this forum as I am finding it very tedious having to deal with the utter nonsense aimed at me here.”

    This may well be the least self aware thing I’ve ever read in my life.

  238. jabbly says

    @devanr98 #228

    I just ask why they are asking that question. If it’s a gotcha, and I believe it is along the lines of you don’t believe in god because you want to sin, then you won’t get a honest answer.

  239. speedofsound says

    CompulsoryAccount7746, Sky Captain (#211)

    It’s so fucking obvious. I get scintillating scotomas. Crazy light patterns that are complex. If I look them up I see artists who have drawn the same things I experience. OMG! Must be a psychomystical connection.

    Google “Optical Illusion – Black Squares and Gray Dots”

    Everyone sees the same thing because of how neurons work in the primary visual cortex. It’s about something called lateral inhibition.

    The scotomas are rhythmic waves they can see proceed across the cortex.

    The tunnel of light is an effect most likely due to how the visual cortex shuts down.

    Phosphenes, the favorite wallpaper of the acidhead happens to anyone in a dim room if you pay careful attention.

    This whole Kafei thing is due to one simple mistake. We all have the same weird experiences when you do the same weird experiment on our brain. Therefore goddunit.

    Fuck. we have the same fucking kind of brain.

    Kafei is totally blind to this one thing. Absolutely amazing when you encounter this kind of concept-blind insanity.

    A key is that he thinks we are all the blind ones. Everyone else but him. That is the tinfoil helmet around an impenetrable belief. I often feel that humanity is fucked when I encounter this sort of thing. Is there any hope?

  240. speedofsound says

    @twarren1111

    I might add that Kafei has completely misunderstood Alan Watts and all of zen buddhism which is basically more atheism. I actually read his books. Had I found one hint of man-god-mind in the sky I would have shoved them down the garbage disposal.

  241. EnlightenmentLiberal says

    Well, I had questions for Gem, but as I read more and more, the questions were asked already by others, and around post 104, I started to wonder: Is Gem just a sockpuppet of Kafei? Same sort of universal consciousness. Same sort of “you must have the experience to understand” plus “I have no evidence which can be shared, unless you undergo the same sort of dangerous procedure to experience it firsthand”. Same sort of claim to absolute certainty. It’s pretty coincidental that we have two such similar quacks at roughly the same time, but that seems to me to be the most likely explanation at the moment.

    PS:

    I’m confused. I feel ill. There are TWO of them? Can they reproduce? Fuck

    Indeed.

    I do not see the BrainNet as a self reporting system because outside observers are able to verify what the receiver is receiving by comparing to what is being sent by the senders.

    Still doesn’t “solve” the hard consciousness “problem”. How do you know that your device reproduces the same qualia that is experienced by the subject? That is the “hard” question. In that sense, it’s not fundamentally better than self reporting. For example, you would rely on self reporting to calibrate your machine in the first place, which means that it’s invariably reliant on self reporting for its proper functioning.

    While I’m here, let me drop this excellent paper by Dan Dennett on the many subtle difficulties even talking about qualia.
    https://www.uoguelph.ca/~abailey/Resources/Dennetta.pdf

    Got it. So when children with cancer and amputees suffer, it’s entirely their own fault. After all, they could heal themselves if only they believed hard enough.

    You are a plague upon humanity. Fuck you and everyone like you.

    Seconded.

  242. indianajones says

    @devanr98, post 222

    I have 2 answers’ Serious answer: ‘My preferences have no bearing upon reality.’. Silly answer: ‘True! But only if I get to be Satan.’.

    Deploy as appropriate I suppose.

  243. fjblau says

    I was talking to a friend this morning and we got to the topic of “logical absolutes” and he challenged me to look into “dialectical logic” as an alternative… well, I tried, but it made no sense to me… can someone provide a “for dummies” version of how it applies to these discussions about atheism, rational thought and all?

  244. t90bb says

    Gem calling anyone stupid is hilarious…she makes kafei look like a genious. When she was born the dr slapped her mother.

  245. buddyward says

    @El 254

    Still doesn’t “solve” the hard consciousness “problem”. How do you know that your device reproduces the same qualia that is experienced by the subject? That is the “hard” question. In that sense, it’s not fundamentally better than self reporting. For example, you would rely on self reporting to calibrate your machine in the first place, which means that it’s invariably reliant on self reporting for its proper functioning.

    While I’m here, let me drop this excellent paper by Dan Dennett on the many subtle difficulties even talking about qualia.
    https://www.uoguelph.ca/~abailey/Resources/Dennetta.pdf

    I am not really sure how qualia relates to the BrainNet experiment as described in the Wikipedia article. You have senders sending binary signals to the receiver (either rotate left or rotate right), well maybe 3 if no signal is considered a signal as well. The senders’ qualia is not in the equation because it is not needed. They are playing tetris and the senders are only sending a rotate left and rotate right signal. This can be verified if the receiver’s action matches that of the senders’ signal. But perhaps I do not understand qualia very well and someone can explain how it applies to the experiment.

  246. buddyward says

    @Gem 249

    So even though we are part of this unlimited intelligence we can only do what we are capable of doing. Our individual abilities is the limiting factor of the unlimited intelligence even though there are unlimited possibilities of achievements within us.

    You have stated that scientific prayer can only provide things that is within our ability. So what does scientific prayer add to our lives? If we have the ability to do something don’t people just use that ability to reach a specific goal? This can be done without prayer, correct? Who or what answers that prayer? Is it a god or is it the individual who posses that ability? If it is a god then please present evidence that a god exists. If it is the individual then aren’t we just praying to ourselves (wouldn’t this be the concept called self motivation)? If you need someone else to push into achieving your goal wouldn’t that just be motivation?

    Is scientific prayer something you invented? Are there any objective data that we can look at in order to determine its efficacy?

  247. indianajones says

    Don’t forget buddyward, that we can also do anything we can conceive of because it took Henry Ford AGES to make a V4 engine and everyone else said ‘heaps nah and shit H.’..

  248. Gem says

    A real-life, well-documented example concerning the efficacy of prayer.
    ———————————————————————————————-

    Imagine the following situation if you would:

    An english speaking individual is living in a foreign land in asia where he or she does not understand the native language at all. Some people there do speak english so he/she manages to get by OK. One day he/she is sitting in their house chatting with some english speaking friends and is told by the son of one of them that there are some people at the front gate in uniforms who say they are from the Bureau of Immigration that want to speak to him/her and there are several police officers with them. He/she goes to the front gate and is told by these officers that they have a warrant for his/her arrest and they have brought with them several armed policemen to enforce it. He/she asks what this all about but the officers just say that he/she must come with them immediately. He/she has no choice but to go with them and is not allowed to take anything at all with them. After a 3 hour drive he/she arrives at an immigration detention center. After a while he/she is put inside what looks like a giant cage full of other people, all foreigners from different countries around the world. He/she still has no idea why he/she has been arrested and brought there. After a while he/she is introduced to a group of english speaking people which are in fact mostly from the UK and Australia. After he/she has been chatting with these people for a while he/she realises that he/she is now inside an infamous immigration detention center hidden inside a large police compound and training center which very few people in the country know exists that used to be used as an extermination unit by a former president for those who spoke against him. The inside of this detention center is run by a group of wanted fugitives from another asian country who pay very large sums of money to stay there. Many are wanted for murder and other serious crimes in their own country and pay these huge sums of money to the Bureau of Immigration in order that they will not extradite them to their own country where they are facing death penalties. Because they pay big money to stay there they are provided with hotel-like air conditioned accommodation with all the comforts of a self-catering hotel such as TV, Wi-Fi, Internet, Fridge, Cooker., etc., and their own toilet/shower facilities. Meanwhile the other inmates of this facility, most of which have committed no crimes at all, are packed into hot, humid filthy rat infested accommodation with no air conditioning and just left there to fend for themselves. There are not enough bunk beds for all of them so many sleep on the concrete floor that is infested by large rats at night, The only thing that is provided for them is tap water and two meals a day of rice and some meat or beans with gravy that most people would not even feed to their cat or dog. Some of the inmates have been there many months and others many years. Some have been there so long that they cannot remember even and some have lost the will to live and are just starving themselves waiting to die. The new arrival says that he/she has their cellphone in their pocket and will phone their lawyer in the morning to get them out of there, on bail at least if there are actually charges against them. A loud-mouthed Aussie laughs mockingly and says “so you are gonna phone your brief and he is gonna walse in here and get you out is he” “You still don’t know where you are do ya?” There is no bail – there is no getting out, unless you are willing to pay the a B.I. officer a very large sum of money, and even then there is no guarantee – he may just decide to pocket it as has happened on many occasions before.” “You are here for a reason, and that reason is to make up the numbers of white foreigners in order to make this appear like a legitimate immigration detention center to visitors.” “if you try and make a fuss and say you don’t belong here to any visitor you will find yourself transferred to a solitary cage where you will rot and may later die, so don’t even think about it.” “there are many people here with cellphones just like you at the moment, but don’t even think about posting anything about this place on facebook as they will find out and everyone here will have their cellphone confiscated, and you will get treated like a piece of shit by everybody in here if they find out it was you”. It’s happened before” Are you beginning to get the picture now newbie?” He/she is told that any visitors will be strip searched including internal search for women visitors, and if any are discovered attempting to bring you in anything that is not permitted you will never be allowed visitors again – ever” He/she asks what about money, are visitors allowed to bring you in money? He/she is told that officially no, but they are told they allowed to have upto $60usd in local currency but if your visitors bring you that amount the guards are going to tell your visitor that they will give you the money later after which they will just pocket it.

    OK, so what I am describing here is something that actually happened to someone earlier this year, on January 10th to be precise. Before I give you the conclusion of this story I would like you to think for a while and then let me know what you, as an atheist would do if you found yourself in this identical situation. I would particularly like Tracie and perhaps Matt also to answer this and tell me what he and she would do if they found themselves in this exact situation.

  249. Gem says

    The incident I am telling you about is not on youtube, It is well documented in a national newspaper of the country it happened in.

  250. indianajones says

    Oh yes, I know, but those clips are what I would do. And they are what actually happened to an actual guy in common with your story too.. 6 minutes in total, you’ll love it.

  251. Gem says

    I’m not interested in youtube, a I am only interested in what YOU YOURSELF would do if what I described happened to you.

  252. indianajones says

    OK, but those clips illustrate what I would do. They depict a similar situation to what you describe, and a few people in that situation.

  253. Gem says

    Once again, and for the last time, I am not interested in youtube. All I am asking is for you to type one sentence (or more) describing what you would do so that others who read my long post can read about what you would do. It

  254. indianajones says

    Well, if I can’t show you a factual as possible dramatisation of actual historical events that actually happened to an actual person in a very similar situation that you describe, right down to actually happening inside an actual prison that actually still exists, as the best possible description of how I would actually act in your, again very similar, situation then I don’t know what I can do.

  255. buddyward says

    @Gem #260

    1. Before anyone answers this hypothetical scenario, I believe that everyone here would appreciate that you answer their questions.

    2. Please provide the source of this material.

    3. The one thing I would not do is pray.

    4. My family would do everything in their power to get me out of there.

    5. I would do everything in my power to get out of there.

  256. Gem says

    If your family is not the same nationality as the country this happened in then they would be powerless to do anything at all to help you. Likewise, the embassy/consulate of the UK, USA, Australia, France, Germany, are equally powerless and in most cases would make no effort at all to help you other than to give you a list of lawyers from that country none of which they have any experience with themselves and can therefore vouch for as useful to you.

  257. buddyward says

    @Gem #260

    Oh and by the way, if you think that citing one example of someone praying is a representation of the efficacy of prayer, then you do not know how efficacy is quantified.

  258. buddyward says

    @Gem 270

    If your family is not the same nationality as the country this happened in then they would be powerless to do anything at all to help you. Likewise, the embassy/consulate of the UK, USA, Australia, France, Germany, are equally powerless and in most cases would make no effort at all to help you other than to give you a list of lawyers from that country none of which they have any experience with themselves and can therefore vouch for as useful to you.

    You do not know how the embassies work. How about you provide the source of this story of yours and how about you answer the questions that other people ask of you. Are you just not interested in a good, honest conversation?

  259. indianajones says

    Hell, buddyward, apparently she isn’t interested in the answers to her own questions!

  260. Gem says

    I very much know how the embassies of the countries I mention work in relation to detainees in that particular detention centre. In fact I have read the information pamphlet from the British Embassy outlining exactly what they are able to do to help detainess in a foreign country and the only thing they can do is offer a list of local lawyers. There are many Americans and British and Australian and Swedish, and Italian and other europeans detained there right now who would not be there at all if their embassies were willing and able to help, but all the embassies claim they cannot do anything until a deportation order has been issued by the B.of I. In the case of the British Embassy they can loan you money for the flight back to the UK. once deportation is finalised which can take many months or years, depending on the circumstances.

  261. buddyward says

    @Gem 274

    So, you are not providing the source, are you?
    Here is a news article where the US Secretary of State personally went to North Korea for the release of 3 Americans:
    https://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2018/05/09/609684331/north-korea-releases-3-americans-as-pompeos-visit-concludes

    You are continuously ignoring the request to answer questions that are asked of you as well as to provide source for your story. In addition you have not addressed the issue of whether or not 1 incident qualifies as good measurement of the efficacy of prayer. If you are not going to have an honest conversation here then you are wasting everyone else’s time.

  262. buddyward says

    @indianajones 273

    Apparently not. I saw your response to her and i believe that it is a reasonable response. Perhaps one line responses are all that her unlimited intelligence can handle right now. Maybe she should pray on your response.

  263. Gem says

    What I related did not happen in North Korea. It happened in another Asian country which the USA has had seemingly good diplomatic relations with over many years and has a treaty of mutual protection with in the event of either of them being attacked by another country.

    I will certainly give links to the newspaper articles verifying the event I described as well as links to a blog created by an ex-detainee who now is back in the UK after being detained a very long time in this particular facility.

    I will do this after I feel a sufficient number of atheists have said what they themselves would do in that situation. I am particularly interested in hearing from
    people who were once believers like Tracie and Matt and who are now atheists, for obvious reasons..

  264. buddyward says

    @Gem

    You have no idea what is the relationship between North Korea and the US. We do not have a seemingly good diplomatic relationship with North Korea. North Korea have made many threats to attack the US. You do not know what you are talking about.

    I used to be a believer, I was born and raised Catholic and at one time part of the church choir. I am now an atheist.

    So how about those links? How about the process of quantifying the efficacy of prayer using only one example? How about answering other people’s questions?

  265. says

    @twarren1111

    Also to Gem and Kafei,

    Both of you (and to be proportional, I think it’s 90% Kafei and 10% Gem), have cited experts in other fields as evidence for your claims. This really isn’t necessary, as has been pointed out to you many times. But, it keeps happening and this is very very frustrating.

    What’s so frustrating about presenting facts and evidence?

    What bothers me is that you don’t appear to understand why it is wrong to do in the way you are doing it. And the reason I feel it must be addressed (above and beyond that it keeps happening) is that when I was preparing this response, I wanted to find out where a certain quote came from. In particular, I wanted to find where Einstein said “the childish analogy of religion”. So I googled this phrase “where did Einstein say the “childish analogy of religion”?”. For everyone who reads this, confirm this for me by copying this phrase and use google to search the phrase. To be clear: I have google set as my default search engine and I entered this phrase in my address bar in Safari. What I get is only 32 references. And, I’m not making this up, the first 5 references I get are KAFEI!! I’m not making this up!!!!! And then, after these 5 KAFEI references, I have a row of video links and these links are (in order): TAE, Talk Heathen, TAE, and TAE!!!!! So, please cut the following phrase and paste it into google and see if you get what I get:

    where did Einstein say the “childish analogy of religion”

    This was, in fact, Einstein’s attitude towards the personal God or even the impersonal deistic God that is still an entity, a deity God that simply has abandoned its creation and left it to run like clockwork.

    My point is this, Kafei: a lot and I mean A LOT has been written on Einstein’s view of religion. And do you understand why? Because he and Darwin are considered the greatest scientists ever and Einstein especially has been quoted to say quite a bit about religion.

    Sure, and yet both these men believed in God. In the first thread of the year, you attempted to call Einstein an atheist. He, nor Darwin, nor Alan Watts, etc. were atheists.

    And believe me please, I was so prepared to take on all my professors once I started my undergraduate biology degree. I was armed with all the growing creationist literature. I was prepared for WAR to FIGHT for Jeebus and the truth of god in our world. But what I discovered, as I took each course that I had been lied to…that the church lied to me…and the kicker was….why??????

    There’s actually an answer to your “why?” question here, but it’s quite elaborate and it’s not so easily apprehended. It requires actually studying the history of the major religions. However, I do recommend the work of Vladimir Lossky, he’s done lots to shed light on questions like yours here.

    And this is why I disagree with the view of others of you on this blog. I do not think you are INTENTIONALLY dishonest. As I have said before, I just think you are broken. Are, in more technical terms, you are still confusing claims with evidence and you are also not adding up your infinities correctly.

    What precisely isn’t adding up? Why is that the majority if atheists on these threads are quick to make criticisms, but they’re completely baseless. You say something’s not adding up, but you never explain precisely what that is. I don’t even think you know or anyone here does know precisely what their criticism is, they’ve never been able to spell it out. They just make it, without foundation.

    So, back to Einstein. The fact of the matter is: I cannot find ANY EVIDENCE that your quote related to Einstein exists. Please provide where your quote for Einstein comes from.

    Second, you keep saying Einstein believed in the Spinoza god. Well….and this relates to the ‘problem of induction’ issue. It is clear, the more and more I read, that you do not understand Einstein or Spinoza. These are facts: Einstein has frequently written and referred to Spinoza has one of his favorite philosophers. This is also very clear: Spinoza equated ‘god’ with ‘nature’.

    This is a very common misconception. Spinoza did not equate God with nature. To quote the man himself, in a letter to Henry Oldenburg he (Spinoza) states, “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.” I cannot emphasize enough that it is a very common misconception that Spinoza’s brand of pantheism is such that it equates God with nature, and that is simply not true.

  266. says

    @twarren1111

    Indeed, Spinoza and his pantheism (NOT panentheism, but his PAN-THEISM) is often discussed by many scholars. And, Kafei, here is the issue: TODAY….the research TODAY by scholars is that PANTHEISM is a FORM OF ATHEISM. Indeed, it is stated clearly, if you read far enough, in wikipedia even that Spinoza was an atheist. I’m not going to argue this point with you. I will let you argue with Rebecca Goldenstein who wrote an autobiography of Spinoza that was reviewed by Harold Bloom (all Jews, you will notice) in the New York Times:

    So, in both wikipedia and a book review written by an philosophy expert (Harold Bloom) on book written by a philosopher (Rebecca Goldstein) on a famous philsopher (Spinoza) states unequivocably that Spinoza was an atheist.

    Well, I’d argue that atheists like to claim these great thinkers as their own, just like Richard Dawkins portrays Einstein as an atheist in his book “The God Delusion” when Einstein said himself that it would anger him when atheists would quote him in support of their stance. Richard Dawkins, like Goldstein, doesn’t understand pantheism, they make the same common error of seeing it as a view which equates God with nature. Dawkins even calls pantheism “sexed up atheism” and pantheism has even been called a euphemism for atheism, and it’s simply not. I agree, many scholars have studied the views of Spinoza, and that’s precisely why this term was coined, panentheism, because scholars felt it better reflected Spinoza’s views. I prefer the term panentheism as well, however my friend Leo convinced me that once you truly understand what Spinoza’s pantheism entails, then the terms are interchangeable, they’re synonymous. Did you see Rebecca Goldstein’s encounter with Jordan Peterson? I thought she made herself look rather naïve in the discussion among these topics.

    And yes, Kafei, the quote you keep writing all the time on so many sites over years in essence is true…but I cringe when you, of all people, cite him because, and this is important, and I am using this word on purpose because it is the correct word: I HAVE NO TRUST THAT YOU WHEN YOU LOOK AT A DUCK THAT YOU SEE A DUCK. You are not a witness I trust. You have just been wrong, on HUGE issues, far too much for trust. And yes, ALL YOUR CLAIMS ABOUT CME and Perennial Philosophy are WRONG. You do not understand what you claim and you keep proving this. But, alas, this post IS NOT ADDRESSING THAT ISSUE.

    I have no claims of the CME and Perennial philosophy. You do realize this, don’t you? All I’ve been doing is reiterating the claims made by the professionals involved in this research and the evidence produced by decades of scientific research investigating mystical-type experiences.

    Next, it was when you quoted Carlos Rovelli a few weeks ago, like you quote so many like Einstein, and his thoughts on ‘Time’ that you twisted, in some innuendo that was more vague than vague, that this physicists too somehow supported your view of ‘god’ and Perennial Philosophy. Well….I’ve read all his books….and i’ve read all of Smolek’s books too…and, dude, I’ve delved deeply into loop quantum gravity and related issues…and I did more than throwup in my mouth little when I say you try to use him to push your claims without evidence. And here are the links…which I will use in individual posts because I think only three links are allowed per post.

    The only thing I mentioned was that it was an LSD trip that Carlo Rovelli had in his teenaged youth, this sense of having transcended time and space, one of the core aspects of the CME, is essentially what influenced him to become a physicist in the first place. That’s all I said about the guy.

  267. Gem says

    @buddyward

    A never said that the USA had good relations with N. Korea because I obviously assume that everyone reading know all about Kim and Trump,

    What I said is that this happened in another Asian country that the USA
    DOES have good diplomatic relations with.

    If the USA were able to get prisoners realeased from N.Korea, a country it has had no diplomatic relatio with since the WW2, then you would expect that they would easily be able to do the same for prisoners in this facility in this country that they have had very good diplomatic relations with since WW2 would you not?

    Fact is though that they are doing nothing at all for any of the American prisoners currently detained there.

    Ok, so you were a Catholic…so was I and I rejected the teaching as nonsense by age 10.

    Let us imagine you were still a Catholic though. Would you pray and if so how would you pray, i.e. in what way?

  268. AtheistNotAgnostic says

    @Jimmy #280

    All I’ve been doing is reiterating the claims made by the professionals involved in this research and the evidence produced by decades of scientific research investigating mystical-type experiences.

    If this is true, why aren’t all of the scientists in the field perennialists? Something I don’t think you’ve mentioned (whether it’s by accident or on purpose) is if Griffiths/Richards/ the other CME researchers are perennialists because of these studies. Basically, are the professionals that are doing this research really claiming what you say they’re claiming, and if not, why aren’t they all perennialists? I know you have that one quote that says the CME (as defined in the paper) is “consistent with” perennial philosophy but there’s a huge chasm between “consistent with” and “collusive evidence for”. For example, beauty in nature is “consistent” with the existence of the Christian god, but isn’t “conclusive evidence for” that god.

  269. buddyward says

    #Gem 281

    A never said that the USA had good relations with N. Korea because I obviously assume that everyone reading know all about Kim and Trump,

    What I said is that this happened in another Asian country that the USA
    DOES have good diplomatic relations with.

    Ok my mistake, I did not read that part correctly.

    If the USA were able to get prisoners realeased from N.Korea, a country it has had no diplomatic relatio with since the WW2, then you would expect that they would easily be able to do the same for prisoners in this facility in this country that they have had very good diplomatic relations with since WW2 would you not?

    Fact is though that they are doing nothing at all for any of the American prisoners currently detained there.

    I do not know, there are many reasons why the US may not want to get invovled and all we have at the moment is the story of one person. We do not know all of the details. You are willing to take the word of one person as true with no corroborating information and you expect us to do the same all the while hiding the actual source of your story. Do you really think that we will fall for that?

    Ok, so you were a Catholic…so was I and I rejected the teaching as nonsense by age 10.

    Let us imagine you were still a Catholic though. Would you pray and if so how would you pray, i.e. in what way?

    Your first question was what we will do if we find ourselves (as atheist) in that situation. Now you are changing the question to what will we do in that situation while we are still believers. It sounds like you are moving the goal post here. Why would we need to imagine what we will do while we were still believers? How would that relate to what will we do now? If I answer that I will pray, what does that mean now? I would think that it would mean I was stupid back then. So now what? Could you please be honest with your posts and not try to trap us?

    So how about those links? How about the process of quantifying the efficacy of prayer using only one example? How about answering other people’s questions?

  270. says

    @AtheistNotAgnostic

    If this is true, why aren’t all of the scientists in the field perennialists? Something I don’t think you’ve mentioned (whether it’s by accident or on purpose) is if Griffiths/Richards/ the other CME researchers are perennialists because of these studies.

    I’ve actually spoken to some of the professionals about this involved in this research including Lauri Kershman, M.D., Dr. Bill Richards, Dr. Roland Griffiths (the leader of the research), and I believe this is the case. Well, with Dr. Bill Richards definitely. He’ll flat-out call these mystical states of consciousness the very evidence for the Perennial philosophy. However, Bill Richards has been involved in the earlier studies done in the 60s when this psychedelic research was completely legal. And so, he’s had direct experiences himself with high-dose psychedelics. However, Roland’s interest came from a different angle. Roland’s never done psychedelics (as far as I know). It was actually an experience he had with meditation that influenced him to explore this research. However, make no mistake, Roland Griffiths is quite acquainted with the Perennial philosophy (e.g. Huxley), and he has certainly said that he suspects that many of the world’s religions and ethical systems have been informed by mystical-type experiences, but he also caveats that with a confidence that their must be exceptions. He’s expressed that he’s generally suspicious of any claims that are stated as absolutes. He was interviewed by Michael Pollan, and you can find some of that transcript in Michael Pollan’s book “How to Change Your Mind,” he (Griffiths) expresses an agnosticism with a bent towards Perennialism.

    Basically, are the professionals that are doing this research really claiming what you say they’re claiming, and if not, why aren’t they all perennialists? I know you have that one quote that says the CME (as defined in the paper) is “consistent with” perennial philosophy but there’s a huge chasm between “consistent with” and “collusive evidence for”. For example, beauty in nature is “consistent” with the existence of the Christian god, but isn’t “conclusive evidence for” that god.

    Well, most of the professionals involved in the study have no direct psychedelic experience themselves, and of course, there’s exceptions such as Bill Richards, Lauri Kershman, and I’m sure there’s others. I believe the most convincing factor in all of this is the CME. So, I don’t know to what degree Dr. Roland Griffiths’ meditation allowed him to become influenced or interested in all of this, but I’m willing to wager if Dr. Roland Griffiths would to volunteer himself into his own research with a single high dose of psilocybin, he’d probably be able to shake off his own reluctance and his agnosticism. Of course, Dr. Bill Richards already knows, because he’s seen both aspects. He’s had a CME for himself, and I believe that’s good, because he then becomes the perfect professional guru to guide volunteers through this experience. I believe Michael Pollan has referred to him as a “white coat shaman.”

  271. Monocle Smile says

    @AtheistNotAgnostic
    I believe Griffiths and Richards are sympathetic to Perennialism, but Kafei is silent about everyone else involved and loves to dishonestly mix the views of Griffiths and Richards with his own outlandish claims. Notice earlier how he attempted to guard himself by claiming that all of “his” claims are merely the claims of others that he’s passing along. This is so he can abandon anything he wants at the first sign of trouble and claim no culpability. He doesn’t want to be held to anything he says, ever.

  272. t90bb says

    well also….efficacy needs to be defined…..

    does prayer occupy the mind of the one praying and thus pass time and possibly give hope that a magic genie is listening?? it certainly can…….AS DOES TALKING TO YOURSELF.

    does it actually effect future events by petitioning the magic genie to act in response to the prayer…..umm…there is no evidence of this….in fact some show the opposite. Sick people who are prayed for statistically to worse if the know about the prayer…

    GEM is a deist tho….at the end of the day Gem seems to believe in prayer in the same way as the power of positive thought or positivity. And she thinks that humans can sufficiently master intelligence so as to manipulate natural law,,,,,,…

    We know what she claims to believe…we have just been waiting on the evidence,,,,

    AS to how I would respond to her scenario…..I would likely ask for a bible so I could wipe me ass after I move my bowels..

  273. AtheistNotAgnostic says

    @Jimmy #284
    Thanks for directly answering the question. I obviously can’t evaluate what the researchers told you because that’s not public but I’ll look at what they’ve said in public that you’ve linked to. So it seems like some of them are perennialists but to different degrees and others are more skeptical, so there’s certainly some variance. Did you have a CME (I’ll take you at you at your word that you did, there’s really no way for me to confirm this) before finding this research, or was this something that got you interested in psychedelics? I’m curious if there’s any confirmation bias going on here where you were already a heavy user and panpsychist/panexperientialist and then co-opted this research to validate your previous conclusions.

  274. AtheistNotAgnostic says

    @MS #286
    I can tell that he likes to bait and switch a lot, so I’m just seeing if I can get him to separate the stuff out. I’m genuinely curious how he wound up thinking pansychism isn’t completely absurd.

  275. buddyward says

    @MS and AnA #289, #290

    Kafei will go radio silent on you when start asking for specific evidence. Kafei is full of dishonest claims that he hopes you will not bother looking at and just accept as he presents it.

  276. t90bb says

    291 buddy…..this is very true…..when you try to get him to specify many things he disappears……he spent lots of time telling me and others tat our depiction of god was way off……..I asked him to specify whay he knows god to be in his own words w/o aid of vids and links……..he disappeared…..

    only one example of many……

    ask him how his propositions are not merely arguments from ignorance and question begging and he will vanish as well….

  277. twarren1111 says

    @#248 Gem
    The purpose of TAE and the blog is to help each other know as many true things as possible, to know when things are not true and to, hopefully, have to believe nothing at all (because we ‘know’). The epistemology is clear on how to achieve the ‘status’ of knowing: it is assigning a probability or a likelihood of the evidence that supports a claim in which a threshold is met where we can say ‘this is true’. The only way to do this is with bayesian reasoning. The things I just wrote are not an argument or a debate. It is a statement of fact of how our world works. It is the basis of using the scientific method, aka the evidence based method, of ‘proving’ claims as ‘true’ or ‘known’ versus ‘not true’ or ‘not known’.

    For a specific example, in most biological sciences, when we hypothesize that drug A is superior to drug B in prolonging overall survival in cancer C (which is the claim), evidence is the survival curve, overtime, of patients treated with drug A versus drug B. It is the accepted (via peer-review) that a 95% or greater difference between the two survival curve represents a ‘significant’ result. By significant, I do not mean large. Significant in this usage means that we are at least 95% certain that the difference we see between the two survival curves is ‘real’. And REAL is the correct word in terms of reflecting REALITY.

    In some fields, such as physics, and in particular quantum physics, to determine if a difference is ‘real’ is much more stringent. Why? Well, it’s all due to why the pyramid of sciences have math and then physics at the bottom. Remember, biology is at the top (and if parse biology, at the very top is neurobiology and just under that is immunology, and so on). So, in physics, to say you’ve discovered something new requires far more than a 95% certainty. This is why aspects of quantum mechanics is said to be the most supported theory in all of science. Why? Because we are down to 12 decimal spaces for some calculations. In other words, as opposed to biological sciences where significance is reached withith a greater than or equal 95% confidence interval, for much of physics you need 99.999999999999% or greater confidence.

    So, your CLAIM is “scientific prayer is 100% effective and works via universal intelligence”. That is what you came to this blog with and it is an appropriate claim for this blog to discuss. You aren’t like a caller who calls TAE wanting to discuss the claim (elevated to the specific status of Theory in this example) of “evolution is not true”. What that has to with theistic claims is, well, nothing.

    Your claim, like Kafie’s (indeed, your claim can be considered an additional related hypothesis to what Kafei has been claiming on this blog). So, again, your claim is:
    “SCIENTIFIC PRAYER is 100% EFFECTIVE and works via UNIVERSAL INTELLIGENCE”. Please feel free to modify what I have wrote as, after all, of course, it is your claim.

    NOW IS WHERE YOU PROVIDE YOUR EVIDENCE.

    IN your post #248, your reply as to evidence is this:
    “I’m sorry to have to tell you this but you are being incredibly dumb. Where on earth did you get the idea that I believe in the trinity or in a personal god called Jesus? Are you not aware that Jesus is mentioned in other so-called holy books also? For example, in the Koran i believe Jesus (Isa) is mentioned more times than any other character in the book other than Allah (God), and Jesus is believed to have had the ability to heal the sick.”
    1. This is not evidence. It is another claim
    2. Calling me dumb is an attack on my character. I have been exceedingly clear and rational in all that I have written to you. Thus, it is irrational to make the claim that “I am dumb” as evidence for your claim. This is a fallacy. It is called ad hominem. It immediately renders everything that follows as invalid. Remember, a fallacy is a type of error in logic. It is determined to be an error because when you attach the appropriate mathematics to your statement it does not compute. In simple terms, saying I am dumb has nothing to do with your claim.
    3. Did you not state yourself, as I pointed out in my response to you in post #236 that you said “Firstly, I do not believe in a personal God”? This statement by you is rational as your claim refers to a “universal intelligence” that is shared in all individuals via their subconcious.
    4. I never said you believed in the Trinity. I was making the statement of fact that in christianity, the personal god is the trinity and that this includes ‘Jesus of nazareth’.
    5. Once you reference the abrahamic god in the context of christianity you are referencing a trinity.
    6. I agree that the bible never mentions the trinity. This, indeed, is one of the many things that startles christians who do not their bible history.
    7. I already told you that if you are going to argue about bible theology and Jesus or anything in regards to the trinity that two complete books that are written by an expert, using bayesian reasoning, that are peer reviewed are thus useful as a standard of what is ‘known’ and ‘not known’? All you have written thus far in this post is either to on purpose invert what I said as if I didn’t say it (or the other way around).
    8. I am well aware of how the bible was created. Did I not tell you I am a ‘recovering southern baptist’.
    9. Most importantly: NOTHING THAT YOU HAVE SAID HERE IS EVIDENCE FOR YOUR CLAIM.

    SO, TO RESTATE HERE WHAT YOUR BURDER IS FOR YOUR THEISTIC CLAIM IS THIS:
    And now I get to my question (and, yes, I’m being brief). You make the claim about a ‘universal intelligence’ that guides everything. And you’ve provided a tool aka an experiment that you can perform that works 100% per your experience called ‘scientific prayer’. So…what are your results? Provide an example of where you used ‘scientific prayer’ and the result was an observed outcome that occurred that can only be explained by your claim of there being a ‘universal intelligence’. And I’d like to know how your ‘scientific prayer’ achieved this outcome. Specifically, what force did your brain use other than the weak nuclear force, the strong nuclear force, electromagnetism or gravity to achieve the result. In other words, we know very well how your mind used these 4 forces via your neuronal network to create the idea that you prayed about. But without the concept of a god, which you reject, how did the ‘universal intelligence’ receive your idea and then translate it into an answer. And why are you so certain it works 100%. What is it about when you ‘scientifically pray’ and it doesn’t work that the failure for it to work helps you explain the mechanism when it does work?
    And please, do not keep confusing claims as evidence. Eg, you cannot claim the existence of a new force than the 4 we know about. Why? Bc there is no evidence for the force. Yes, you could claim dark energy as the force but really? First, we don’t know if dark energy is actually a new force yet. But we do know why it is called dark energy: bc with any tools that we have now to detect this energy we can’t. Hence it is ‘dark’. So how do we know it’s there? Bc we know the universe is expanding and that the acceleration of the expansion is increasing. Math. We also know it from what is often called ‘Einstein’s greatest blunder’. Einstein’s fudge factor of the cosmological constant turned out to be correct, but correct for the wrong reason. And how did we figure that out? Math. We just updated our Bayesian probabilities. Why? Well, bc of math. Anyway…I look forward to your answer.
    What say you?

  278. twarren1111 says

    @#260 GEM
    In this post, you open by stated that this is ‘well-documented example’ concerning the efficacy of prayer. This is an appropriate wording for EVIDENCE. Thank you.

    You provide a story. It is tragically, a story that I think happens for too often in this world. Indeed, I often have things playing in the background while I work, and I tend to like Simon Whistler’s videos like his TopTenz channel. On a video he has titled ‘top 10 things you don’g know were true about slavery’ or something like that, he stated (and no, I didn’t corroborate his statement) that there is an estimate that in the USA there are up to 60,000 people living as slaves. The reason I don’t question his number that much, is well, just in the past 6 months, IIRC, it was in Texas, that a diplomatic couple were arrested and charge with crimes related to keeping young female staff from their native country as slaves. And it was just last week that a 51yo white woman on vacation somewhere in Africa was taken hostage along with her translator and held for $500,000 ransom but was released without harm or the ransom (I think, reading between the lines, because her case got a lot of attention).

    My point is this: I accept your scenario as a real world scenario. I accept your premise as the setting for establishing your evidence further.

    And I will give you my answer to what I would do, if I understand the scenario correctly: I think I would do my best to obtain funds necessary to get my release. I would use the phone and try. I would try other things to….like could we pool our resources to buy our release. I guess I would also consider calling someone or contacting someone who could help…but, I am assuming that is not a realistic option for me. In addition, to my reality, I don’t know anyone who could help me in a diplomatic way but I do have access to several people with quite a lot of money (I am not wealthy personally, I am 50 with $500,000 in retirement accounts and that is about it…I could always go back to work but right now I’m ‘retired’).

  279. twarren1111 says

    Gem
    and no, prayer would not occur to me at all. And by prayer I mean it as most southern baptists would define it.

    Gem, I can’t tell where you provided ‘the rest of the story’. I am assuming that you are going to provide a resolution that is evidence for your claim. Did I miss that? I do want to know what your evidence is. And, like you said, this isn’t a trick question on my part.

  280. twarren1111 says

    Kafei,
    I do appreciate your comments. I am not ready to respond to you yet because I want to hear what Gem’s ideas are first just to not have two conversations going.

    And Kafei, I mean this, I enjoy hearing your ideas. In the past I resorted to calling to you names in my frustration (which I did apologize for) which is ALWAYS wrong (i.e., irrational). But, I do think you are being ‘honest’ in terms of how you see things. I still think they are irrational. Wrong. And, I have been exceedingly impressed by how you, overall, maintain your civility, even with the most withering attacks.

    And Gem, it is very very important to me to be ‘honest’ and by that I mean that I use exactly the same criteria on myself as I do for anyone else. As an example is how I have responded to your statements by directly quoting you and keeping things on the issues. You may, I think, have taken umbrage when I referred to your statements as lying. This is not an ad hominem. It may seem ‘harsh’ but when I define a ‘lie’ as occurring when you say, eg, Statement A and then later argue you said Not Statement A, that is a lie.

    This parenthetically is why I don’t consider Kafei to by lying and refer to the issues I have with him as lack of trust. I make this distinction because we have had enough conversations, and he is so consistent, that I know that the two of use can trust each other to know what we mean we call something a duck. But, with Kafei, I am hopeful that over time, we will be able to both see the same thing and both call it a duck and both agree. In the meantime, I do not think he is lying.

    Gem, when you, however, say things like “I never said I didn’t believe in a personal god” when in a post you wrote “I don’t believe in a personal god”, well, that’s just not what Kafei is doing. He’s arguing the definition of god part not the part of whether he said he said he believes in one or not. He doesn’t tend to contradict himself within his own posts as you have done with me.

    But, let that all be water under the bridge.

    We are still at your claim and you have provided a scenario to furnish evidence for your claim. This is good. Appropriate. Honest. And I want to hear the rest.

  281. twarren1111 says

    To clarify: I meant to say with Kafei “I make this distinction because we have had enough conversations, and he is so consistent, that I know that the two of us can NOT trust each other to know what we mean when we call something a duck”. It’s his willingness to continue to discuss what we mean by ‘a duck’ that, though I do not trust that he actually sees a duck, I do hope (and here is where I accept the word believe), I do believe, that eventually we could both see the same thing and call it the same thing over time.

  282. twarren1111 says

    Something I think theists don’t realize about epistemology. It regards the word faith. This word is very much abused by the right wing and theists. The fallacy they commit is to use two different meanings for the word faith within the arguments they make. This is called equivocation. And it is a fallacy for a simple reason that anyone can understand. If your first premise uses faith as defined as ‘believing (or knowing) something is true despite no evidence or even evidence to the contrary’, which is the standard, theistic definition and usually listed as the first definition in dictionaries of faith, then that is perfectly ok. What this means, however, is that you cannot then use faith in a subsequent premise when it is defined as ‘trust’. This is how theists will argue that eg., ‘evolution requires as much faith as religion’ or that ‘atheism is a religion’. The only way they can do this is to confuse faith as trust.

    My point is this: Gem, it is prefectly ok if what you end up presenting is not evidence. Why? Because at its core, your claim is a theistic claim. Another way of wording this is that your claim (as is Kafei’s but I will get to him later) is a religious based claimed. That is why religion and science are polar opposites. Science is the process where by you rigorously defend your claim with evidence that requires NO FAITH AT ALL EVER. How? By getting above the threshold needed for knowledge, e.g., a 95% certainty or a 99.999999999% certainty depending on what you are arguing. Nothing, ever, is 100% or 0%. That is just impossible in a complex (ie., self referential world…and essentially, once you arguing something above the quantum level you are self-referential….as an example, it is NOT true that a coin flip is binary. Why? Becuase the coin can always land on the edge. Therefore, the possible read out is not only heads or tails, but head, tails and edge. Furthermore, the concept of ‘heads’ or ‘tails’ is not a ‘root’ concept but a, well, a concept. And concepts don’t exist without language describing them, be it english and/or math, eg).

    So, it never ceases to amaze me why and how theists just don’t like that they are being held to being a religion. Why? Because they don’t like facing the fact that they are stating that they know a claim is true with no evidence (or, as is so often, with evidence that contradicts them). That is why theism is called religion and why the scientific process is called science, which I will also define as reality.

    Once you accept that you are saying you know your claim about scientifc prayer and universal intelligence is something you know as true without evidence or evidence to the contrary (and we are still wating for your first piece of evidence to be completed) then what you are declaring is what your religion is.

    And that is fine. OWN IT. IT IS WHAT YOU ARE SAYING AND DOING. I just don’t know why this is so hard for theists to accept.

    My point is then this: WHY do you say something is true without evidence or evidence that contradicts the claim? Why do you think this is ok? Doing this is, mathematically, irrational.

    Everything is a relationship, a ratio, which is two entities and how they interact. To establish the reality of any relationship, then, is to use Bayesian reasoning. And if you can’t use Bayesian reasoning (which you can’t if you don’t have any evidence because you can’t do any math if you don’t have any evidence) then that means you can not say A=B or anything about how A relates or is in ratio to B. In otherwords, religious-based determination of reality is irrational.

  283. EnlightenmentLiberal says

    I do not see the BrainNet as a self reporting system because outside observers are able to verify what the receiver is receiving by comparing to what is being sent by the senders.

    You have senders sending binary signals to the receiver (either rotate left or rotate right), well maybe 3 if no signal is considered a signal as well. The senders’ qualia is not in the equation because it is not needed. They are playing tetris and the senders are only sending a rotate left and rotate right signal. This can be verified if the receiver’s action matches that of the senders’ signal.

    Maybe I misunderstood.

    It is verifiable that a signal, communication, is being sent. However, for our purposes here, this does not appear to be revolutionary. I fail to see how this is different in any important sense from someone communicating verbally, or by writing a letter and passing the letter to the other person, or using visual cue cards, etc. I thought that someone was claiming something “deeper” than this – if not, sorry, I have nothing useful to say. I mean, yes, the communication is happening through a novel mechanism, just like the internet text messaging was once novel, but I would be very careful about making any grandiose claims.

  284. CompulsoryAccount7746, Sky Captain says

    @EnlightenmentLiberal #299:

    I thought that someone was claiming something “deeper”

    Nah. I was just sharing an example of prodding a brain in a controlled matter to invoke a form constant hallucination. A hallucination Kafei had been rambling about.
     
    My later comments did go on to add that diagnostics can confirm the effect of TMS on neurons, and the visual cortex has been mapped to the extent that fMRI scans can even roughly reconstruct imagined imagery.
     

    the communication is happening through a novel mechanism

    CA #216: “Just salvaging something interesting from all this.” 😉
     
     
    Kafei #137:

    I had mentioned the Tabor light or Uncreated light in Christian mysticism. […] The visions are of light seen behind closed eyelids within these altered states of consciousness, even referred to as form constants in the scientific literature. This is different from ordinary light seen with the eyes, this is more of a kind of light seen with the mind’s eye, through consciousness in these deep meditative states or within these high-dose psychedelic experiences and, yes, within the near-death experience.

     
    Kafei #161:

    The Tabor light or Theoria is a direct experience of God. They’re one and the same thing in mystical theology,

     
    Kafei #197:

    The Tabor light is called the “uncreated light” because it’s a light seen from within the mind’s eye. It’s not a light that science can detect, because it’s not necessarily a light seen with your two eyes. Hence “uncreated light.”

     
    Kafei #201:

    The Tabor light cannot be directly detected by scientific tools, but there’s other ways of assessing it, see the studies done on what in the scientific literature are called “form constants.”

  285. says

    @AtheistNotAgnostic

    Did you have a CME (I’ll take you at you at your word that you did, there’s really no way for me to confirm this) before finding this research, or was this something that got you interested in psychedelics? I’m curious if there’s any confirmation bias going on here where you were already a heavy user and panpsychist/panexperientialist and then co-opted this research to validate your previous conclusions.

    I was introduced through Terence McKenna, like a lot of people, upon hearing his advocation of the so-called “heroic dose.” I had taken mushrooms before in my teens, but never the amount that Terence McKenna was talking about, and that was what initially launched my interest in all these topics. It was just naïve curiosity, I simply wanted to know what it would be like to take the amount Terence was talking about, because in my teens, I’d do a gram or two and I literally thought mushrooms were simply about these subtle visual distortions, and that’s where it ended. I was obviously wrong as what happens at the height of a CME is complete visual phenomena seen behind closed eyelids. People express it differently, as seen with the form constants, it can appear as a fractal mandala that forms at the center of your vision (with eyes closed), Alex Grey has described more of a conch shell (also fractal) kind of thing turning into a vast white light, etc. I simply wanted to hallucinate, I didn’t think I would end up having visions of what is kind of represented in Buddhist mandalas or the Aztec calender or the South Rose Window of the Chartres Cathedral, etc. You can find this recurring mandalic theme throughout religious art, and I wouldn’t be surprised at all if these artists were attempting to depict these inner spiritual experiences. So, I started studying very deeply into comparative religion, studying each of the major religions. I believe I did through my studies encounter the Perennial philosophy prior to becoming aware of Dr. Roland Griffiths’ research, but when I realized what they had found through their research, I wasn’t surprised at all to hear they find these experiences consistent with the Perennial philosophy. So, a good way to gauge a good psychedelic experience without referring to the measures used in the research is whether these visual phenomena occur behind closed eyelids, we’re not talking projected hallucinations of past memories rolling in some kind of teleidoscopic array, but rather a magnificent, iridescent fractal mandala that coalesces at the forefront of your vision with eyes open or closed. I’ve linked there to some images that may give an example, but pay no justice to what’s literally seen in the mind’s eye at the height of the CME. This is a universal phenomenon, by the way, and it’s quite consistent with what the mystics have described as the Tabor light or “uncreated light” (meaning light that’s generated within, not light seen with the eyes). It’s emphasized in the practices found within the hesychasmos of the Byzantine Christian monks such as Symeon the New Theologian, it’s part of the Apophatic theology, and it’s a major emphasis in the mysticism practiced in all of the world’s major religions in general.

  286. Gem says

    @twarren1111

    Firstly, apologies to anyone who has posted above the most recent comment by twarren. I am tending to answer most recent posts first if they catch my eyes.

    I must say that I really liked reading you recent post concerning your hopeful attitude towards further discourse with Kafei and am very pleased to hear that as it indicates to me there may be a possibility of us getting somewhere with these discussions.

    Regarding you comment concerning me saying “I never said I didn’t believe in a personal god”….can you let me know which post number I said this on please as if I did say that then I mis-spoke, or mis-typed. I have done a text search of this entire thread for I never said I didn’t believe in a personal god but it only occurs in your post.

    If I did mis-speak in that way, which I find it hard to believe I did at this point, then I sincerely apologies for any confusion caused by it.

    I will say here and now and emphatically that not only do I not believe in a personal God, but if by the word God a person is referring to an individual or personal being who has magical powers somewhat like a wizard and who created the entire universe in this manner then I would say I do not believe it is even possible that such a being exists or could ever have existed.

  287. CompulsoryAccount7746, Sky Captain says

    Article: Steven Novella – Drug-Induced Near Death Experience

    They gave the subjects an established NDE scale, which assesses for 16 features reported by those who experience an NDE. […] DMT produced an experience that was very similar to reported NDEs.
    […]
    The researchers also evaluated subjects on scales of mystical and paranormal experiences, and on personality type. […] Perhaps more interesting is that there was a strong correlation between being prone to delusional thinking and reporting mystical or paranormal experiences during DMT.
    […]
    Each of these experiences reflect something basic about brain function. We can be made to feel we are separated from the self or joined with the universe because the feeling that we are a distinct self is an active constructive process of the brain that can be disrupted. Likewise we can be made to feel as if we are separated from our body because the sensation we are in our body is actively constructed. There are circuits in the brain that produce this subjective experience, and their functioning can be altered or interrupted.
    […]
    Further, that DMT can induce such experiences means that there are receptors in the brain that produce these experiences when activated (or blocked). This further implies there are endogenous neurotransmitters in the brain that can produce them.
    […]
    Another way to understand the experiences under the influence of DMT is not so much that it is hyperactivating a more mundane neurological phenomenon, but disinhibiting it by inhibiting other circuits. […] Take away all that processing-intensive reality testing, and other circuits may function out of control.
    […]
    The meta-lesson of all this is that we are our brains. When you alter brain function, you alter our minds, even at their most fundamental level of functioning. Mind function is not just changed in random and unpredictable ways, or made fuzzy. Drugs like DMT will change brain function is specific and fairly predictable ways that track with specific circuits and functions in the brain.
    […]
    I understand why people who have such experiences would interpret them as saying something about the world, rather than something about their brain. Consciousness seems to function specifically in such a way as to produce that illusion.

  288. Monocle Smile says

    Check out all of the valuable information conveniently left out of Kafei’s narrative of this research. What a surprise!

  289. Gem says

    @twarren1111#294

    Thanks for a sensible answer to my question. I really appreciate it.

    In this particular case it is possible you may be able to get out of that dreadful place as you have access to a large amount of money. However it is by no means guaranteed. There is a very high possibility you would lose all that money and then after a year or two be deported to your own country providing you would be willing to sign a piece of paper admitting the charges against you that in this instance would be entirely fictitious ones that the B.I would make up to cover themselves.

    A huge problem you would encounter though is how to get that large amount of money into the hands of the B.I. in such a way that would guarantee that they would release you once they received it.

    In the well-documented true case the individual involved was released in a matter of weeks, paid no money at all to the B.I. for his/her release, and was the first person in history to accomplish this.

  290. RationalismRules says

    So I’m currently rewatching The West Wing. The episode I happened to watch last night was “Post Hoc Ergo Propter Hoc”.
    That’s the logical fallacy of ‘event B follows event A, so A must be the cause of B’.

    Today I come to the blog, and Gem is preparing to commit this exact fallacy in post #260. Any claim of answered prayer commits the Post Hoc fallacy, because there is no causal link established between the prayer and the subsequent ‘outcome’. The claim rests solely on the fact that the prayer precedes the outcome.

    My TV watching preceded Gem’s post, so I guess I must have caused Gem’s post. I apologize to everyone. [/irony]

  291. Gem says

    If at all possible, i.e. if they are willing, I would very much like to get the following 3 individuals involved and have them tell those in this room what they would do if they found themselves in this precise situation as described:

    Tracie
    Matt
    Aron Ra

    I may be wrong but I expect one or more of these individuals will, for a reason only reasonable to themselves and them alone, not wish to do so, but I could be mistaken about this and truly hope that I am.

  292. CompulsoryAccount7746, Sky Captain says

    Gem #305:

    the individual involved was released

     
    Gem #260:

    Meanwhile the other inmates of this facility, most of which have committed no crimes at all, are packed into hot, humid filthy rat infested accommodation with no air conditioning and just left there to fend for themselves. There are not enough bunk beds for all of them so many sleep on the concrete floor that is infested by large rats at night,
     
    The only thing that is provided for them is tap water and two meals a day of rice and some meat or beans with gravy that most people would not even feed to their cat or dog. Some of the inmates have been there many months and others many years. Some have been there so long that they cannot remember even and some have lost the will to live and are just starving themselves waiting to die.

    Hooray?

  293. buddyward says

    @Gem 307

    Don’t hold your breath. I have not seen Matt or Aron post in this blog. Tracie is not here to do anyone’s bidding.

  294. buddyward says

    @Gem 305

    In the well-documented true case the individual involved was released in a matter of weeks, paid no money at all to the B.I. for his/her release, and was the first person in history to accomplish this.

    So how many, out of the thousands of inmates in that facility prayed for their release? What were the differences in each individual prayers? Why was only one prayer answered?

    I will be waiting for your response as well as any evidence for any claims you might have.

  295. RationalismRules says

    @buddyward #310

    So how many, out of the thousands of inmates in that facility prayed for their release?

    Exactly.

    This is the other fallacy fundamental to claims of answered prayer – confirmation bias. Ignore or dismiss all the instances where people prayed for a similar outcome without a positive result.

    Gem actually seems to think that “the first person person in history to accomplish this” helps her claim. In fact, it supports the opposite conclusion – that prayer is entirely ineffectual in this situation.

  296. pavelov says

    Didn’t Tracie just perform a prayer test in January? I forget, it wasn’t too long ago.

  297. CompulsoryAccount7746, Sky Captain says

    Gem is likely referring to the “Bureau of Immigration Warden Facility” (BIWF).
     
    #260 very closely resembles the first article below.
     
    However, this story wasn’t “earlier this year, on January 10th”. They were held 6 months instead of “a matter of weeks” (#305). No prayer was mentioned. And they weren’t deemed the first in history for anything.
     
    Article: Philippines Lifestyle – It happened to me: How I was locked up in hellhole then exiled from family (2017-02-11)
     
    Article: Philippine News Agency – BI vows stricter security at Taguig detention facility (2019-01-24)
     
    Second article is flavor: previously lenient policy regarding cell phones.

  298. speedofsound says

    @Gem (#281)

    Would you pray and if so how would you pray, i.e. in what way?

    I’ll bite. I pray all of the time. Well. I do it a lot. But not a catholic. I am an atheist. When it comes time to figure out how something did or could happen I stick to strict naturalism. I do not believe in ‘the mind’ or ‘consciousness’ or ‘intelligence’ or any of that shit.

    I clear my mind as much as possible. I pray for guidance and acceptance or to let go of something. I spend about two minutes on this. Then I come to a moment where I sort of release from the prayer and I leave it behind. Then I try and do a little mindful meditation on what is happening around me.

    Were I in this situation I would do it more seriously, almost continuously, and for much longer.

    What’s next?

  299. Gem says

    @ speedofsound

    That is an excellent answer in my view, and I believe one than would provide vastly superior results than many people who are involved in a mainstream religion would achieve if they were in that same situation.

    Actually you do believe in ‘the mind’ and ‘consciousness’ and ‘intelligence’ otherwise you would never be able to conceive of the type of mental discipline you describe.

    The thing is this, it does not really matter how one identifies themselves, whether it be Hindu or Jewish or Christian or Muslim or Panthiest or Athiest or Agnostic. There is only one thing that does matter in this scenario and that is that you are asking for guidance from a higher aspect of your own being and then meditating and silencing negative self-talk, etc.

    In your particular case I believe you would not remain in that situation very long at all.

    The nature of this reality is such that each of us gravitate to our right place. It may by no means be the perfect place we can envisage according to our own limited way of thinking and self-justification, but nevertheless we are all in our right place.

    By practising that mental discipline you describe your mind would provide the guidance you are seeking and in a comparatively short space of time compared to others there you would find yourself in your right place again, somewhere else.

    I hope what I am saying makes sense to you and if it doesn’t by all means let us continue discussing.

    Thanks again.

  300. Gem says

    The first link:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cGsYrpejAYw

    They say you can tell a lot about the character of a person by the type of music they listen to. This particular truly blest individual who found him/herself in that horrendous situation has a huge music collection, perhaps one the largest in the world of its type in this particular genre, and the above song is their 2nd favourite song from this collection.

    They were in there right place for certain, and the world will be a better place because of that for a great number of people.

  301. AtheistNotAgnostic says

    @Jimmy #301
    There’s a lot of stuff in here that seems to be acting as a smokescreen but it’s all tangential to my question so I’ll just ignore it.

    I started studying very deeply into comparative religion, studying each of the major religions.

    How did you go about doing this? Studying even one religion in depth is a huge task, and I’ll admit I’m no expert on any religion. I don’t really see how you can conclude that perennial philosophy is true considering we don’t know at all how some religions formed (Hinduism, Judaism), and some other that we do have some idea about (Christianity) require taking their holy book at it’s word. If you want to accept that the same mysticism that’s induced by psilocybin played a major part in the founding of Christianity, you’d have to have a pretty good idea how it was founded, which nobody knows with any certainty. Somebody who studied comparative religion extensively in a college setting would admit this.

    I believe I did through my studies encounter the Perennial philosophy prior to becoming aware of Dr. Roland Griffiths’ research

    This is what I was interested in knowing. How did you hear about it? You’re still the only person I’ve come across online or in real life that knows much of anything about this.

    when I realized what they had found through their research, I wasn’t surprised at all to hear they find these experiences consistent with the Perennial philosophy.

    Emphasis on the word “consistent”. This is the jump I was talking about. To go from “consistent with” to “evidence for” is a non-sequitur, and you use this non-sequitur a lot.

    it’s a major emphasis in the mysticism practiced in all of the world’s major religions in general.

    How on earth can you possibly conclude this is true? Mysticism isn’t even practiced in all major religions! The only way you could conclude this is true is if you move the goalpost to only include “major” religions that have mysticism elements and eclude others that don’t. I’d like to see you honestly account for religions that don’t exhibit this mysticism, mainly Catholicism, Judaism, Mormonism, Jehovash Witnesses, Scientology, Heaven’s Gate, Jonestown, cargo cults, animism etc. I left out Islam because I don’t know enough about it to say that mysticism doesn’t play a role, but I suspect it doesn’t.

  302. indianajones says

    @266 ‘Once again, and for the last time, I am not interested in youtube.’

    @316 Less than 24 hrs later, posts one. Along with ‘They say you can tell a lot about the character of a person by the….’

  303. speedofsound says

    @Gem (#315)

    Sure. Now if I did end up getting released I wouldn’t attribute that directly to my praying. Praying effects my state of my mind and subsequent actions. I did not contact any intelligence that then acted on my situation other than my own. Of course with the nature of (I want to use the word fractal but it’s become like the word crystal to modern folk so I am reluctant) causation, I could call it something like intelligence. But again, due to the woo-crowd I shouldn’t even do that.

    Now the point is that I do not ‘pray to’. Rather I simply ‘pray’. I do not pray for things that do not involve changing myself. There is a subtle trick of the mind here where I do not either pray for control over a situation. That is not so humble prayer.

    Next, whatever happens does not tell me something about the metaphysical structure of reality. Not so humble THAT would be. See twarren1111 for an excellent bit of work on what we can figure out from the things that happen to us.

    Actually you do believe in ‘the mind’ and ‘consciousness’ and ‘intelligence’ otherwise you would never be able to conceive of the type of mental discipline you describe.

    I’m just guessing here but I think I’m in a better position to tell you what I do and don’t believe than you are. What do you think? My saying that tells you a little tiny bit about a larger discussion. I even used the word ‘mind’ in what I wrote after that. But then I use ‘OMG’ and I’m an atheist. Using a word and believing a word is a tangible thing in reality are two different things. When I say ‘OMG’ you know what I mean without my believing god is a tangible thing in reality. If I exclaim ‘motherfucker’ I am not talking about you and your mom am I? (Kafei makes me say that a lot!).

  304. speedofsound says

    @Gem

    A question. It seems you have an idea about reality that differs from mine concerning prayer. To clear things up could you clearly answer one question? I graciously answered yours so I think I’m due.

    Why have you not picked a child with cancer at your local hospital and cured the child with scientific prayer?

  305. t90bb says

    320….because gem is full of shit…..is it true if you focus your mind on achievable goals you are more likely to attain it?? I believe that’s reasonable…….

    how this relates to Gem’s assertion that “she realized God actually does exist”? I have no clue. And I am becoming more and more convinced that either does she. Its all assertions. When asked for evidence she layers on more assertion.

    The story she gave apparently is her best example of “answered prayer’?….it was laughable….

    5 million buy a lottery ticket and want to win….2.5 million pray to win THAT lottery drawing,,,,,one does…..and the winner happened to pray. Gem would call this answered prayer while ignoring all that prayed…and lost…..

    Shes a cartoon to me…..marketing herself of knowing something others don’t. She is an embarrassment to herself.

  306. speedofsound says

    I have a running experiment for about five years now. I buy a certain combo of lottery tickets twice a week, for each drawing. I can afford it. As far as positive belief I will win and energy spent thinking about it I feel I have done my level best.

    Now if I happen to win it will do not a single thing to change what I believe about the universe. All we will end up with is a rich atheist. The reason it will not change my belief has do do with my clearer understanding of the fine tuning argument and probabilities.

    But do you know what I do pray ‘for’ every god damned day? That people will stop believing in all this unjustified crap. Come on fellow atheists! Open your minds and pray with me.

  307. CompulsoryAccount7746, Sky Captain says

    Gem #315:

    The nature of this reality is such that each of us gravitate to our right place. It may by no means be the perfect place we can envisage according to our own limited way of thinking and self-justification, but nevertheless we are all in our right place.

     
    Gem 260:

    inmates of this facility, most of which have committed no crimes at all, are packed into hot, humid filthy rat infested accommodation […] Some have been there so long that they cannot remember even and some have lost the will to live and are just starving themselves waiting to die.

     
    Monocle Smile #240:

    You are a plague upon humanity. Fuck you and everyone like you.

  308. Monocle Smile says

    @Gem

    They say you can tell a lot about the character of a person by the type of music they listen to

    Who are “they” and why are they stupid? This is mostly wrong.

    The nature of this reality is such that each of us gravitate to our right place. It may by no means be the perfect place we can envisage according to our own limited way of thinking and self-justification, but nevertheless we are all in our right place.

    Great, so now children with cancer are in their “right place.” Keep digging that hole, scum.

  309. buddyward says

    The first link:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cGsYrpejAYw

    They say you can tell a lot about the character of a person by the type of music they listen to. This particular truly blest individual who found him/herself in that horrendous situation has a huge music collection, perhaps one the largest in the world of its type in this particular genre, and the above song is their 2nd favourite song from this collection.

    They were in there right place for certain, and the world will be a better place because of that for a great number of people.

    I do not know who Gem is talking to at this point. One thing I do know is that it is not me. I have given her plenty of opportunity to present good evidence and none was provided. Many of you have done the same thing and are equally ignored. Gem expect us to answer her questions but refuse to answer ours. She is not interested in a conversation, she is here to preach. Her post(#316) is only made for dramatic effect as if being dramatic will somehow replace the actual evidence and answers we are asking of her. This is an age old trick that preachers use to hide the fact that they have nothing substantial to support what they claim.

  310. says

    Well, I did it. I clinked on Gem’s link to the song of the “prisoner”. It’s a show tune from Man from La Mancha”, the “Impossible Dream”. She says that this individual has “perhaps one of the largest collections of this type of music'”. Broadway show tunes? I have a second cousin who is a dancing teacher and does some local theatre. He too has a very large collection of Broadway show tunes.

    Does this mean her “prisoner” is a gay dancing teacher?

  311. Evil God of the Fiery Cloud says

    This thread’s trailed off on some pretty crazy shit (though to be fair, the last few have trailed off, so whatever) and it’s been kinda exhausting to keep track of everything.
    That said, did Gem ever identify the country in her anecdote? She promised a conclusion to the story but I fear I may have missed it.

  312. buddyward says

    @Evil God of the Fiery Cloud 329

    Nope she never did. She never even provided the link to that story she told so that we can read it for ourselves. We are supposed to just take her word for it.

  313. Evil God of the Fiery Cloud says

    @buddyward – 330
    Yeah, there’s been a bunch of things said in the exchanges here that I guess just kinda got lost in a wave of all the other nonsense that had me going “now wait a minute.” However since so many were confronting her and Kafei on so many other points I thought it’d be a waste of time to push in on it. There was the whole thing where if a missing limb failed to regrow through “scientific prayer” then the person didn’t have the “TRUE, UNSHAKABLE BELIEF that it was possible for me to restore it” which struck me as bullshit so insane it’s funny, but MS seemed to challenge on that. Again I’m not sure if it was ever sufficiently expanded upon or defended and I guess it doesn’t really matter.
    The source of the story was a sticking point that was bugging me though. Glad to see I didn’t miss the money shot with it.

  314. CompulsoryAccount7746, Sky Captain says

    @Jeanette #327:

    the song of the “prisoner”. It’s a show tune from Man from La Mancha”

     
    Article: Wikipedia – Man of La Mancha

    It tells the story of the “mad” knight Don Quixote as a play within a play, performed by Cervantes and his fellow prisoners as [Cervantes] awaits a hearing with the Spanish Inquisition. The work is not and does not pretend to be a faithful rendition of either Cervantes’ life or Don Quixote
    […]
    Synopsis
     
    [yadda yadda yadda…]
     
    Quixote challenges [a knight] to combat. The Knight of the Mirrors and his attendants bear huge mirrored shields, and as they swing them at Quixote, the glare blinds him. The Knight taunts Quixote, forcing him to see himself as the world sees him: a fool and a madman. Don Quixote collapses, weeping. The Knight of the Mirrors removes his helmet – he is really Dr. Carrasco, returned with his latest plan to cure Quixote.
     
    Cervantes announces that the story is finished, but the prisoners are dissatisfied with the ending. They prepare to burn his manuscript when he asks for the chance to present one last scene. […]
     
    Quixote is back at home […] He is now sane: he gives his name as Alonso Quijano and thinks his knightly career was just a dream. However, he feels close to death […] Aldonza suddenly forces her way into the room. She has come to visit Quixote because she can no longer bear to be anyone but Dulcinea. When he does not recognize her, she sings a reprise of “Dulcinea” and tries to help him remember the words of “The Impossible Dream.”
     
    Suddenly, he remembers everything and rises from his bed, calling for his armor and sword so that he may set out again. But it is too late – in mid-song, he cries out and falls dead. […] Sancho is distraught at his friend’s death. Aldonza tries to comfort him, saying that Alonso Quijano may be dead but Don Quixote lives on.

     
    Apropos line…

    A cynical prisoner, known as “the Duke,” charges Cervantes with being an idealist and a bad poet.

    * Artistic idealism, not philosophical idealism.

  315. buddyward says

    @Evil God of the Fiery Cloud #331

    Whenever required to provide convincing evidence both Kafei and Gem fail to respond and chooses to ignore that request. You haven’t missed much just the typical baseless assertions. I really do wish that we get some honest theists in this blog and not someone who thinks that a convincing argument for their god is “because I say so”.

  316. Evil God of the Fiery Cloud says

    @Buddyward – 333
    Don’t forget the other old favorite of “you just don’t understand.” Ages ago when Sam from UK posted here alot I engaged because he (at first) seemed interested in an honest discussion, but everything kept coming back to “look at the trees” “how else could it have happened” and “you’re just not seeing it!”
    A while back there was that one person saying they were a non-believer with a “logical” reason to take the pro-life position. However if they weren’t a christian, they were certainly using the christian’s play book for argumentation. Again alot of their argument seemed to boil down to “you’re just not seeing it” but with the added bonus of “because you’re monsters.”
    There’s been ALOT (and I know a lot isn’t supposed to be one word, but it should be dammit!) of similar argumentation boiling down to “if you had my experience you’d understand and agree with me” and “if you say you had it and still don’t agree with me it’s because you didn’t really have it in the first place” kinda shit going on in these threads the past few weeks and it’s just fucking tedious.
    I’m with ye though on the yearning for someone to honestly present a compelling argument for the existence of God that’s not riddled with silliness, even though after all these years it seems that such a thing might not actually exist. Still, ye gotta keep yer ear to the ground and take things as they come. The possibility of an interesting surprise, however remote, is what keeps me coming back to this place.

  317. says

    @AtheistNotAgnostic

    How did you go about doing this? Studying even one religion in depth is a huge task, and I’ll admit I’m no expert on any religion. I don’t really see how you can conclude that perennial philosophy is true considering we don’t know at all how some religions formed (Hinduism, Judaism), and some other that we do have some idea about (Christianity) require taking their holy book at it’s word. If you want to accept that the same mysticism that’s induced by psilocybin played a major part in the founding of Christianity, you’d have to have a pretty good idea how it was founded, which nobody knows with any certainty. Somebody who studied comparative religion extensively in a college setting would admit this.

    I agree. Studying any one religion is a huge task. If someone were to study the major religions in a chronological order from ancient indigenous religions to Hinduism, Jainism, then onto those religions who have their root in Hebraism, etc. So, what I’ve done is study the esoteric origins of the various major religions, for instance, I’ll spend time studying Indian mysticism practiced by the Hindu yogis, the Buddhist monks, the Taoist sages, etc. and when I get bored with that, I’ll switch to Christian mysticism which holds roots in the mystery religions, then when I get bored with that, I’ll switch to the mysticism practiced as Henosis by the Greek philosophers, etc. I’ve just now started studying Egyptian religion, but it is a never-ending task, it seems. However, you’ve brought up an interesting point, how do we know that the early Christian mystics weren’t ingesting psilocybin mushrooms? You see, even in Ralph Hood’s work, he’s done extensive exegesis on the scriptures of the world’s major religions, and he sifts through these scriptures with the same measures that have been elaborated and adapted to Griffiths’ work to assess the so-called “reported” mystical experience, and he says he can, indeed, find unmistakable instances of writings that are undeniable for mystical experience. However, what he emphasizes that he cannot say is how those states were achieved. He cannot discern through scripture alone whether the mystic achieved it through meditation or by means of psychedelics, but we he can discern that the mystic did, indeed, have a mystical experience. So, that’s why I find Jerry Brown’s work so interesting, because he’s traveling to these ancient religious structures and finding depictions of mushrooms riddled throughout. So, it may be that the so called “apple” in the Edenic myth may be a memory of some entheogen of some sort, it may be that the Last Supper involved the eating of entheogenic mushrooms.

    I believe I did through my studies encounter the Perennial philosophy prior to becoming aware of Dr. Roland Griffiths’ research

    This is what I was interested in knowing. How did you hear about it? You’re still the only person I’ve come across online or in real life that knows much of anything about this.

    I stumbled across the writings of Frithjof Schuon, I also started reading the books and listening to the talks of Alan Watts who also held a Perennialist view, and René Guénon who, along with Schuon, were principle thinkers in the Traditionalist School of Thought. And, of course, others like Ken Wilber, Terence McKenna, Ramesh Balsekar, Shunyamurti, Adyashanti, Sadhguru, Osho, Kilindi Iyi, etc.

    when I realized what they had found through their research, I wasn’t surprised at all to hear they find these experiences consistent with the Perennial philosophy.

    Emphasis on the word “consistent”. This is the jump I was talking about. To go from “consistent with” to “evidence for” is a non-sequitur, and you use this non-sequitur a lot.

    I don’t believe this is a non-sequitur at all, but rather the logical conclusion. Hence, I believe that’s why they emphasize that these mystical experiences are in accordance with the Perennial philosophy.

    it’s a major emphasis in the mysticism practiced in all of the world’s major religions in general.

    How on earth can you possibly conclude this is true? Mysticism isn’t even practiced in all major religions!

    Mysticism actually can be found practiced in all of the world’s major religions, especially the further you go back to when these religions were getting traction. According to this research, mysticism appears to be the very genesis of the major religions.

    The only way you could conclude this is true is if you move the goalpost to only include “major” religions that have mysticism elements and eclude others that don’t. I’d like to see you honestly account for religions that don’t exhibit this mysticism, mainly Catholicism, Judaism, Mormonism, Jehovash Witnesses, Scientology, Heaven’s Gate, Jonestown, cargo cults, animism etc. I left out Islam because I don’t know enough about it to say that mysticism doesn’t play a role, but I suspect it doesn’t.

    Well, you’re sort of conflating incongruous things here. Heaven’s Gate is a religious group, not a major religion, neither is Scientology or Jonestown, neither are cargo cults. Although Ron L. Hubbard was definitely influenced by the mystical religions, because if you read into that literature, the ultimate goal is what’s called “clear” which is defined as a transcendental state of mind.

  318. buddyward says

    @Evil God of the Fiery Cloud #334

    I agree, there are so many fallacies being tossed around by theist that often times make me wonder if they are doing those intentionally in hopes that we do not notice and if we do notice they would simply say “no you’re wrong” or ignore it all together. I wonder about this because when they are confronted by a competing religion they would not accept the same arguments that they are giving us and they are all of a sudden masters of logic and philosophy.

  319. AtheistNotAgnostic says

    @Jimmy #335

    he sifts through these scriptures with the same measures that have been elaborated and adapted to Griffiths’ work to assess the so-called “reported” mystical experience, and he says he can, indeed, find unmistakable instances of writings that are undeniable for mystical experience.

    My issue with this, which I tried to bring up in the last post but maybe wasn’t clear enough, is that looking through the scriptures doesn’t tell you everything, because those scriptures could easily just be legends. Seeing if legendary or semi-legendary characters might have exhibited some of the characteristics of a CME doesn’t get you to the fact that the CME was a central foundation for the religion. There’s way too much hedging going on there to make any definitive statements.

    I don’t believe this is a non-sequitur at all, but rather the logical conclusion.

    You’re just wrong here. This is akin to making the mistake of saying correlation implies causation. Believe all you want but you’re going to need to do better than merely “being consistent with” perennial philosophy if you expect to convince me or anyone that’s skeptical of your claims.

    Mysticism actually can be found practiced in all of the world’s major religions, especially the further you go back to when these religions were getting traction. According to this research, mysticism appears to be the very genesis of the major religions.

    Thanks for just baldly asserting this again, it’s not like we haven’t heard this from you before. /s

    Well, you’re sort of conflating incongruous things here.

    This is true, I should have just focused on the big ones like Catholicism, Judaism and Mormonism. I notice you conveniently ignored those 3. I’m sure you’ll dismiss Mormonism as not a “major” religion despite the fact that it runs multiple US states though.

  320. Monocle Smile says

    @AtheistNotAgnostic
    In one of Kafei’s earliest threads, EnlightenmentLiberal brought up Mormonism as a counter.
    In the span of two posts, Kafei argued both that Mormonism WAS NOT a “major” religion and dismissed it on a whim and WAS a major religion founded on mysticism. I shit you not.

  321. AtheistNotAgnostic says

    @MS #338
    I’ve read all of his threads from the last year or so but I don’t remember that exact exchange. Sounds like something he would do though. He needs to defend his position from scrutiny so much that he hold two contradictory defenses at once!

  322. Chikoppi says

    “Mysticism actually can be found practiced in all of the world’s major religions, especially the further you go back to when these religions were getting traction. According to this research, mysticism appears to be the very genesis of the major religions.”

    This is 100% irrelevant. A belief based on a false interpretation of an experience is also false. If anything, it’s confirmation that “mysticism” is, was, and always will be a garbage approach to inquiry.

    1) A similar neurologically active intervention will have similar effects on multiple individuals because humans share a common neurological profile.

    2) Sensations of sight, sound, subjectivity, bodily boundaries, emotional relevance, etc. are all phenomena that are neurologically constructed by the brain.

    3) How real or significant an individual “feels” an experience may be is not an indication of fidelity to objective reality – especially when that individual’s cognitive processes have been altered.

    4) Individual posteriori interpretations of an experience are all subject to a shared set of common cognitive heuristics and to cultural transmission.

    None of your constant appeals to circumstantial associations, vagaries, references to conjectures, and appeals to antiquity could possibly be any less interesting or productive. How anyone could spend so many words conveying so little is perplexing and irritating.

  323. CompulsoryAccount7746, Sky Captain says

    @Monocle Smile #338:

    Kafei argued both that Mormonism WAS NOT a “major” religion and dismissed it on a whim and WAS a major religion founded on mysticism. I shit you not.

     
    Comment: Axp 21.03 – EnlightenmentLiberal #108

    Counterexample: Mormonism. The evidence indicates that the foundation of Mormonism was that of a crook and fraud, Joseph Smith.
    […]
    So, there goes your blanket claim “all of the world’s […] religious traditions”.

     
    Comment: Axp 21.03 – Jimmy from San Antonio #109

    Perennial philosophy doesn’t include Mormonism.
     
    It may likely be that Joseph Smith was a fraud. What Perennial philosophy addresses are the major religions, the religions that are millennia old, not simply a couple of centuries old.

     
    Comment: Axp 21.03 – Jimmy from San Antonio #114

    Mormonism definitely exhibits qualities that could be included into Perennialism.
    […]
    [Joseph Smith] eventually surrendered to nature, and received the grace of God or “vision of God.” One of various visions he would be bestowed. […] so I wouldn’t necessarily say that Perennialism excludes Mormonism.

  324. AtheistNotAgnostic says

    @SkyCaptain #341
    Thanks for refreshing my memory. Doesn’t get more dishonest than that.

  325. t90bb says

    341/342///like I always said the best thing is to let people like kafei and gem talking…..the more they talk the more they twist themselves into the ground……then the disappear for a few hours or days, and hope you forget they have shown themselves….

    its what you have to do when you want to convince others of things you really have no basis of…..

    they would be much better off searching for good arguments and come back here when and if the find them.

  326. says

    @AtheistNotAgnostic

    Thanks for refreshing my memory. Doesn’t get more dishonest than that.

    If you really want to explore a thread, try the first thread of this year. Go through that. No source I know lists Mormonism, a religion of approximately 15 million which is a fraction of the numbers the major religions have which soar into the billions and are considered the major religions of the world, Mormonism doesn’t make the list.

    My issue with this, which I tried to bring up in the last post but maybe wasn’t clear enough, is that looking through the scriptures doesn’t tell you everything, because those scriptures could easily just be legends. Seeing if legendary or semi-legendary characters might have exhibited some of the characteristics of a CME doesn’t get you to the fact that the CME was a central foundation for the religion. There’s way too much hedging going on there to make any definitive statements.

    I think you’re underestimating centuries worth of exegesis on the major religions, and you said yourself that you don’t study religion at all, and yet you’re making a statement like this. You want to talk about dishonesty?

    I don’t believe this is a non-sequitur at all, but rather the logical conclusion.

    You’re just wrong here. This is akin to making the mistake of saying correlation implies causation. Believe all you want but you’re going to need to do better than merely “being consistent with” perennial philosophy if you expect to convince me or anyone that’s skeptical of your claims.

    Well, you could always have a CME for yourself, and then re-assess these things. I mean, if you want more than just consistency.

    Mysticism actually can be found practiced in all of the world’s major religions, especially the further you go back to when these religions were getting traction. According to this research, mysticism appears to be the very genesis of the major religions.

    Thanks for just baldly asserting this again, it’s not like we haven’t heard this from you before.

    This is no assertion. You can literally find mysticism at the very nascency of all the world’s great faith traditions.

    Well, you’re sort of conflating incongruous things here.

    This is true, I should have just focused on the big ones like Catholicism, Judaism and Mormonism. I notice you conveniently ignored those 3

    Well, I did say those religions which have their root in Hebraism which would include the religions you’ve mentioned.

    I’m sure you’ll dismiss Mormonism as not a “major” religion despite the fact that it runs multiple US states though.

    Sure, they’ve got some numbers, but I never said Mormonism is necessarily excluded from the Perennial philosophy. It’s just a very young religion, and doesn’t have the well of history to draw upon that the other religions have. If you actually look into Mormonism, and I have a little bit, I haven’t gone through it very deeply because it hasn’t interested me the way these obviously much larger religions have like Judaism, like Christianity, like Buddhism, etc. Joseph Smith was a skeptic himself, he attended multiple churches in his youth, and found that priests from various churches had contradictory conceptions about God, and so he began to doubt. That is until he found himself alone and in complete surrender and had his first vision in a grove in Manchester, New York back in 1820. This vision could very easily be attributed to a mystical experience, it has all the characteristics of it. Alex Grey has brought up this topic on Joe Rogan’s podcast. This vision would pacifiy his mind, and relieve him from the doubt he gained by attending these local churches. He viewed his vision as a genuine response from God that the churches couldn’t satisfy.

    However, he’s a very different case. Joseph Smith, while he may have had mystical experiences or someone who simply had a dream, he wasn’t an ascetic like Gautama or an Eastern Orthodox monk or someone like Symeon the New Theologian for instance, in other words, who cultivated these type of experiences. From what I’ve read, it’s very possible that Joseph Smith would use the fame that he gained through these visions, and abused it in the form of polygamy and various other views that were controversial during his time, and he was eventually killed for it.

    I want to give one more example to explain more what I mean by this. There’s been so many accusations of our modern popes and pedophilia, and one reason I believe that’s happening is because the clergy today aren’t anything like the early Church Fathers who cultivated these mystical experiences. They’re just regular men like most men today who took a vow, and broke their vows, obviously. If you’re just practicing religion and abstaining completely from sex because you promised to, and you’re not cultivating mystical experiences, then you’re just as prone to falling victim to a suppressed libido that any rapist would. So, that when all that bottled up suppression comes out, it comes out unfortunately in the form of pedophilia. You see, that simply wouldn’t happen to a mystic who’s dedicated their lives to cultivating these mystical experiences. They live a purely spiritual life that is not concerned with material or physical matters, including sex. That’s how these Christian monks lived, and to point to a more modern example, I’d point to Ishwar Totapuri. Here’s an example of a mystic that spent most of his life residing in the mystical experience, completely beyond all material needs apart from simply sustaining one’s self to live. While the Christian monks weren’t necessarily naked like Ishwar Totapuri, they did live very minimally, that is to say off minimal resources.

  327. says

    @Chikoppi

    “Mysticism actually can be found practiced in all of the world’s major religions, especially the further you go back to when these religions were getting traction. According to this research, mysticism appears to be the very genesis of the major religions.”

    This is 100% irrelevant. A belief based on a false interpretation of an experience is also false. If anything, it’s confirmation that “mysticism” is, was, and always will be a garbage approach to inquiry.

    First of all, mysticism has nothing to do with belief. It leads to direct knowledge. In the words of C. G. Jung when asked if he believed in God, he replied, “I don’t believe, I know.”

    1) A similar neurologically active intervention will have similar effects on multiple individuals because humans share a common neurological profile.

    Sure.

    2) Sensations of sight, sound, subjectivity, bodily boundaries, emotional relevance, etc. are all phenomena that are neurologically constructed by the brain.

    I’m not talking about senses, but an experience that transcends the senses. That is to say that goes beyond what we see, hear, feel, etc.

    3) How real or significant an individual “feels” an experience may be is not an indication of fidelity to objective reality – especially when that individual’s cognitive processes have been altered.

    Even the professionals are quick to point out that this research isn’t about “big feelings” or “grand emotion.”

    4) Individual posteriori interpretations of an experience are all subject to a shared set of common cognitive heuristics and to cultural transmission.

    Well, this is irrelevant, because the measures used in the study are a priori, that is to say, the measures don’t measure anything about the personal history or personal individual who has this type of experience.

    None of your constant appeals to circumstantial associations, vagaries, references to conjectures, and appeals to antiquity could possibly be any less interesting or productive. How anyone could spend so many words conveying so little is perplexing and irritating.

    Well, you haven’t said anything relative to what I’ve conveyed. That may be why you find it so perplexing and irritating.

  328. t90bb says

    hundreds and hundreds of posts…kafei has nothing..lol c g jung says he knows god exists..lol…impressive….does he have better evidence than you?

  329. t90bb says

    whens that show starting kafei?? or is that show like your god…in that you cant produce it?

  330. Monocle Smile says

    Kafei has already said before that we won’t get “intellectual satisfaction” from the supposed evidence for his claims. You know who says shit like that? Kirk Cameron. You know who DOESN’T say shit like that? People worth a damn.

    It’s truly wild how much Kafei sounds like an evangelical preacher while denying it constantly. What does he think about people collapsing in churches and speaking in tongues? He’ll of course dismiss this as somehow not comparable to a CME, because that’s his only defense.

  331. AtheistNotAgnostic says

    @Jimmy #344

    I think you’re underestimating centuries worth of exegesis on the major religions, and you said yourself that you don’t study religion at all, and yet you’re making a statement like this.

    Interpreting unsubstantiated hearsay doesn’t make it any less unsubstantiated. True, I didn’t study this formally; I was a computer science major. That doesn’t mean I’m completely ignorant of everything related to religion. I’m happy to admit I know very little about non-Christian religions, and don’t claim expert status for any of this stuff. I don’t see how I’ve been dishonest. I didn’t even take a firm stance, I said the scriptures COULD be legend. I even freely admitted that you can’t make any definitive statements!

    Well, you could always have a CME for yourself, and then re-assess these things. I mean, if you want more than just consistency.

    So you have nothing else? Great, we can stop barking up this tree then.

    This is no assertion. You can literally find mysticism at the very nascency of all the world’s great faith traditions.

    Since we’re just going to keep going back an forth on this, let’s stop wasting time on this too. You’re clearly not going to provide evidence for this that’s remotely satisfying.
    I found the Mormon stuff somewhat interesting. I don’t think we can really comment on the nature of his experience considering he later proved himself to be a major bullshit artist (golden plates that he translated by looking through a rock? And the angel took the plates away so nobody else could examine them?). The stuff about priests seems to be nothing more than rank speculation. I have no way to assess any of those claims, and I don’t feel like contesting anything in there.

  332. says

    @AtheistNotAgnostic

    Interpreting unsubstantiated hearsay doesn’t make it any less unsubstantiated. True, I didn’t study this formally; I was a computer science major. That doesn’t mean I’m completely ignorant of everything related to religion. I’m happy to admit I know very little about non-Christian religions, and don’t claim expert status for any of this stuff. I don’t see how I’ve been dishonest. I didn’t even take a firm stance, I said the scriptures COULD be legend. I even freely admitted that you can’t make any definitive statements!

    Yes, could be “legends,” “myths,” but you say this as to mean something “untrue.” And what I’m aiming to do is give you a new way to see the word “myth.”

    Well, you could always have a CME for yourself, and then re-assess these things. I mean, if you want more than just consistency.

    So you have nothing else? Great, we can stop barking up this tree then.

    It’s not that I have nothing else, it’s that I’ve been emphasizing throughout these threads that the most convincing factor in all of this is none other than the CME. It’s not going to be scripture, that wasn’t enough for Joseph Smith, it’s not going to be what even the science says, because people can deny that, obviously. Just look at these threads. The ultimate convincing factor is none other than the CME.

    This is no assertion. You can literally find mysticism at the very nascency of all the world’s great faith traditions.

    Since we’re just going to keep going back an forth on this, let’s stop wasting time on this too. You’re clearly not going to provide evidence for this that’s remotely satisfying.

    All you need do is actually look into it yourself. You haven’t bothered. Do you understand what the Sufi is in Islam? Do you know what a term like baqá wa faná means in Islam? What about the Shekhina in Judaism? What about Theoria or Theosis in Christianity which has its basis in the Greek Henosis, and what the later Christian mystics would practice as quietism? Not to mention all the various forms of austere asceticism found in eastern religion. So, to say that there’s no evidence for this is simply ignorant which you, yourself, admitted to, that you don’t know nothing much about the history of the major religions. So, quite obviously you’d have a response like this. If you want to deny the mysticism of the major religions, then go ahead. It seems you’re doing that, anyway, with this facetious claim of, “Oh, we’ve been over this back and forth, we’re just wasting our time. You have no evidence.” That’s not true at all. There’s plenty of evidence out there, you simply haven’t bothered to look.

    I found the Mormon stuff somewhat interesting. I don’t think we can really comment on the nature of his experience considering he later proved himself to be a major bullshit artist (golden plates that he translated by looking through a rock? And the angel took the plates away so nobody else could examine them?). The stuff about priests seems to be nothing more than rank speculation. I have no way to assess any of those claims, and I don’t feel like contesting anything in there.

    Well, at the very least you found the “Mormon stuff” interesting. And I don’t even focus on Mormonism. That’s just from briefly studying it. Imagine what you would find interesting if you actually studied this stuff. Prior to my own CME, I didn’t have too much interest in religion myself. I identified as an agnostic not necessarily atheist myself, but a kind of bent towards atheism. It was only after that experience that I became intrigued by them, and began to understand them more deeply myself.

  333. says

    @Monocle Smile

    Kafei has already said before that we won’t get “intellectual satisfaction” from the supposed evidence for his claims. You know who says shit like that? Kirk Cameron. You know who DOESN’T say shit like that? People worth a damn.

    Not necessarily. Some people can get it, intellectually, and be open to it, but some people practice a hyperskepticism, they’re too skeptical. In fact, this was one of Matt’s last entry into his Atheist Debates journey. So, now you have Matt questioning whether he’s being too skeptical, and I believe he is. His hunch is right, because some people I speak to who aren’t necessarily atheists, but agnostic can get this stuff intellectually, and can actually consider the possibility of their own CME.

    It’s truly wild how much Kafei sounds like an evangelical preacher while denying it constantly. What does he think about people collapsing in churches and speaking in tongues? He’ll of course dismiss this as somehow not comparable to a CME, because that’s his only defense.

    Well, from the vantage point of the Perennial philosophy, the CME is the only way that man or woman has had a direct encounter with the divine. It’s never happened in any other fashion. Speaking in tongues is actually a very similar method used in early religions, including Christianity, to elicit these type of experiences in a very similar way that a mantra which is sung or hum not for its meaning, but rather for its sound, and the focus of eastern meditation is to allow consciousness to dissolve into the sound. It’s a method of meditation as is speaking in tongues.

  334. Chikoppi says

    “First of all, mysticism has nothing to do with belief. It leads to direct knowledge. In the words of C. G. Jung when asked if he believed in God, he replied, “I don’t believe, I know.”

    Then Jung was wrong and so are you. A person can “believe” anything, but knowledge, which requires an epistemological framework, is demonstrable by that epistemology. By your own repeated assertion you cannot demonstrate the validity of any of the claims made about the interpretations of these reported subjective experiences.

    In fact, you continuously reiterate that you are making no claims of knowledge whatsoever (see above, #280). If you did otherwise you would have presented such after repeated requests to do so, rather than waxing on endlessly about trivial nonsense.

    (#340.1) “Sure.”

    Glad we can agree and thereby dispense with the “many people have similar experiences” trope.

    (#340.2) “I’m not talking about senses, but an experience that transcends the senses. That is to say that goes beyond what we see, hear, feel, etc.”

    Anything a person is consciously aware of (or subconsciously, for that matter) is the result of neurological processes. This includes “feelings,” conceptual associations, and memory. If you doubt that fact in the slightest look up any number of cognitive conditions and impairments, such as synesthesia or Capgras Delusion. There is no “awareness” without brain function.

    If you are claiming to be aware of and remembering an experience – in the absence of brain function – you will have to demonstrate that extraordinary claim with a ludicrous standard of objective evidence. (Cue the obvious jokes.)

    (#340.3) “Even the professionals are quick to point out that this research isn’t about “big feelings” or “grand emotion.”

    Good. Then we can dispense hereafter with all subsequent appeals to reports of how “real” or “moving” the experience may have seemed.

    #340.4 – Individual posteriori interpretations of an experience are all subject to a shared set of common cognitive heuristics and to cultural transmission.

    “Well, this is irrelevant, because the measures used in the study are a priori, that is to say, the measures don’t measure anything about the personal history or personal individual who has this type of experience.”

    The interpretations are posteriori – that is, subjectively they follow and are wholly described by an induced state of atypical neurological function. Culturally the interpretations follow and are subject to normative pressures such as social hierarchy, shared superstitions, and common heuristics (e.g., hyperactive agency detection).

    The “measures” are not “a priori.” The subjective reporting of an experience cannot be “measured” before it happens and is reported.

    “Well, you haven’t said anything relative to what I’ve conveyed. That may be why you find it so perplexing and irritating.”

    You haven’t conveyed anything of substance and you continue to not do so here.

  335. jigglefresh says

    Kafei— “That is until he found himself alone and in complete surrender and had his first vision in a grove in Manchester, New York back in 1820. This vision could very easily be attributed to a mystical experience, it has all the characteristics of it.”

    Yeah. Except it could be total nonsense. It could be a con man, realizing the type of weakness his target audience has… which it is.

  336. Chikoppi says

    “Well, from the vantage point of the Perennial philosophy, the CME is the only way that man or woman has had a direct encounter with the divine.”

    That is a CLAIM. Either:

    1) You don’t believe “perennial philosophy” is true, or

    2) You do believe “perennial philosophy” is true and that it results in an “encounter with the divine.”

    Which is it?

    If #1 then you are a tremendous and tedious waste of time.

    If #2 provide sufficient evidence for the claim that the experience is attributable to something other than a drug-induced neurological state.

    Don’t waste effort with references or links to what other people say or believe. Just provide a clear synopsis of the objective evidence.

  337. says

    @Chikoppi

    Then Jung was wrong and so are you. A person can “believe” anything, but knowledge, which requires an epistemological framework, is demonstrable by that epistemology. By your own repeated assertion you cannot demonstrate the validity of any of the claims made about the interpretations of these reported subjective experiences.

    The validity is in the CME itself, and its relevance throughout history as the very genesis of the major religions.

    In fact, you continuously reiterate that you are making no claims of knowledge whatsoever (see above, #280). If you did otherwise you would have presented such after repeated requests to do so, rather than waxing on endlessly about trivial nonsense.

    No, I said I’m making no specific claims of my own. I’m reiterating precisely what decades of scientific evidence has produced.

    (#340.1) “Sure.”

    Glad we can agree and thereby dispense with the “many people have similar experiences” trope.

    Well, I wouldn’t say you can dispense with that, the researchers go further than merely recognizing similar brains, and suspect it may be a feature of consciousness itself.

    (#340.2) “I’m not talking about senses, but an experience that transcends the senses. That is to say that goes beyond what we see, hear, feel, etc.”

    Anything a person is consciously aware of (or subconsciously, for that matter) is the result of neurological processes. This includes “feelings,” conceptual associations, and memory. If you doubt that fact in the slightest look up any number of cognitive conditions and impairments, such as synesthesia or Capgras Delusion. There is no “awareness” without brain function.

    There’s also no evidence that consciousness is generated by the brain. Once again, to solely recognize the CME as something that happens solely inside a brain is to deny the organism’s transactional relationship to its environment. To soley recognize a CME as a process that is restricted to the brain is like recognizing the yin without the yang.

  338. says

    @Chikoppi

    If you are claiming to be aware of and remembering an experience – in the absence of brain function – you will have to demonstrate that extraordinary claim with a ludicrous standard of objective evidence. (Cue the obvious jokes.)

    I’m making no such claims, and I see the very accusation as irrelevant.

    (#340.3) “Even the professionals are quick to point out that this research isn’t about “big feelings” or “grand emotion.”

    Good. Then we can dispense hereafter with all subsequent appeals to reports of how “real” or “moving” the experience may have seemed.

    No, not when it’s a universal aspect of the CME.

    #340.4 – Individual posteriori interpretations of an experience are all subject to a shared set of common cognitive heuristics and to cultural transmission.

    “Well, this is irrelevant, because the measures used in the study are a priori, that is to say, the measures don’t measure anything about the personal history or personal individual who has this type of experience.”

    The interpretations are posteriori – that is, subjectively they follow and are wholly described by an induced state of atypical neurological function. Culturally the interpretations follow and are subject to normative pressures such as social hierarchy, shared superstitions, and common heuristics (e.g., hyperactive agency detection).

    The “measures” are not “a priori.” The subjective reporting of an experience cannot be “measured” before it happens and is reported.

    One again, you’d be wrong.

    “Well, you haven’t said anything relative to what I’ve conveyed. That may be why you find it so perplexing and irritating.”

    You haven’t conveyed anything of substance and you continue to not do so here.

    Oh, but I have, it’s simply went over your head. That’s all. The CME is full of substance, and if you had one for yourself, you’d realize that.

  339. jigglefresh says

    When you’re flailing and churning, left and right, in an attempt to validate to others(or yourself), it might be prudent to reassess the blah blah blah. Acid or other things might produce a fantastic state… it’s still imaginary, until PROVEN otherwise. I know you won’t likely believe me, but after all of your descriptions of it, I am confident that I have had what you are talking about, more than once. I have never once attributed “it” to anything other than the drug doing its job. I.E. affecting my brain.

  340. says

    @Chikooppi

    That is a CLAIM. Either:

    1) You don’t believe “perennial philosophy” is true, or

    2) You do believe “perennial philosophy” is true and that it results in an “encounter with the divine.”

    Which is it?

    If #1 then you are a tremendous and tedious waste of time.

    If #2 provide sufficient evidence for the claim that the experience is attributable to something other than a drug-induced neurological state.

    Don’t waste effort with references or links to what other people say or believe. Just provide a clear synopsis of the objective evidence.

    Neither. Once again, like that example you gave last time, the two points are irrelevant as they’re loaded. Just because one adheres to the Perennial philosophy, doesn’t mean it necessarily follows that this person had a mystical experience.

  341. Evil God of the Fiery Cloud says

    “You didn’t really experience it.”

    I feel that should be a square on a bingo card at this point.

  342. buddyward says

    @Chikooppi

    Please remember you are talking to kafei. A person who says science is able to measure something it cannot detect. A person who believes and not believe in “perennial philosophy” at the same time. A person who will contradict himself in order to avoid presenting evidence. A person who will disappear when asked for evidence.

    Based on your post you seem like a very intelligent person, please do not waste your time arguing with someone as irrational as Kafei.

    Please remember this quote:

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

    ― Mark Twain

  343. says

    @Chikoppi Wrong time-stamp on the last link of #356. You can either listen to the people here, some of them even claiming they’ve never studied religion in any sincere manner, or you can hear out actual professionals who perform science relative to these topics. That’s really the choice you have. Don’t let people like buddyward fool you.

  344. Gem says

    I have been reading some of the posts and there are too many for me to deal with at this time as I only can stay online for a while as I am busy elsewhere. What I will do therefore is just continue with the detention center example for now to its conclusion and then deal with questions that need details explanations whenever I have more time.. I think it is much better this way as I am providing the evidence first of all.

    The next link is a blog from an ex-detainee and who is constantly in touch with an existing detainee and updates the goings on in that hellhole on a regular basis.

    https://voicesfromabox.wordpress.com/

    The “Systematic” Lies post outlines a police raid that took place on 24 Jan 2019. Raymond was there that day as he was not discharged until 26th February, evidence of which I will provide later. He witnessed the police raid right from the beginning as he was sleeping on the floor in the main area of the facility when the police arrived at 5,45am. The police ransacked the place taking virtually everybody’s cellphone, laptop and any other electronic items the detainees had. While the raid was going on Raymond sat on a table in the main area with his backpack, which had been brought to the facility by his lawyer. It contained cellphone, headphones, SD cards, USB flash drives etc.

    Following this is a link to the first Manila Times article showing the date on which Raymond, the new arrival in question first arrived there with some details about him

    https://www.manilatimes.net/filipinos-are-paying-collective-karmic-debt/510322/

    It mentions he is a book publisher. The Realization System is a course of books first published in 1915 which he republished some years ago. It is a course on scientific prayer and how to pray effectively. You can verify this by Googling it. A hardbound version is available for purchase on lulu.com.

    Following the raid Raymond was one of the only men in this facility with a cellphone still. The police officers did not come near him, yet he was right in front of them less than 5 meters distance with his backpack on the floor right beside him. There was one another man in the facility who did not have anything at all taken. His name is Luis and he is from Guatemala. In common with Raymond he does not belong to any religion, but is a very firm believer in God and could often be seen walking around the facility talking to people about their worldview. In common with Raymond he was always in a happy frame of mind and he said to Raymond on more than one occassion that he feel blessed to be there. He was outspokenly critical towards all organised religion and he prayed often. He had been there a few months and had already received his release/deportation documents and was just waiting for a property sale to complete to pay for his air fare to Guatemala.

    There was one Christian guy in the facility named Bannister from Montreal, he was a missionary and was there voluntarily. He was still using a cellphone after the raid. There was also one Muslim guy there who kindly offered Raymond a bedspace while he was there. Raymond declined and said he will just sleep on the concrete floor as it is cooler.

    There was also a black Christain minister there. Raymond discussed his beliefs with him but did not discuss anything else.

    Other than the ones above mention everyone else in the facility appeared to be athiest or agnostic. Raymond spent six weeks there walking around talking to people. Raymond felt blessed for this oppoortunoty to meet and chat with so many interesting people from all over the world.

    Raymond was teased by some while he was there because he kept telling people he will only be there a number of weeks and when it his time to leave he will leave. “Yeah, right…keep dreaming Raymond, you will wake up to where you are soon you silly C*** said loud-mouthed Australian Ian to him.

    Here is documented evidence showing when Raymond left the facility:

    https://www.manilatimes.net/celebrating-a-day-of-infamy/517325/

    Raymond has now collaberated with Mon Tulfo in order to make public knowledge what is really going on in there as is evidenced here:

    https://www.manilatimes.net/jim-paredes-the-yellows-poster-boy/536124/

    This is Verifiable Evidence of the very sad plight of 250+ athiests/agnostics trapped in a hell hole, some slowly losing the will to live.

    The Philippines is only 12 hours away from north america.

    If anyone would like to personally verify this account, detainees are allowed visitors. There is an englishman gentleman in his seventies detained there whose name is Ben Mason. He is an athiest and knows more about what goos on in there than anyone else. and expects to die in there if he is not released soon. He has been there several years already and is suffering from very serious illness caused by malnutrition. If anyone wishes to visit Ben Mason I will inform him. There is also an 84 yr old english gentlemen in there whose name is Peter Saunders. He is a delightful man, and athiest, and Raymond shared a table with him for the six weeks he was there. He would often laugh at Raymond whenever he said he will be leaving there in a few weeks. Peter has apperently just lost 300,000 pesos which he gave to a B.I. fixrer who promised to get him out of there. Peter is currently in hospital and says he will never return to that place. He would prefer just to die in the hospital where he is comfortable at least.

  345. buddyward says

    Don’t let people like buddyward fool you.

    Ooooh did I hit a nerve there Kafei? I am still waiting for the published research paper where you claimed science measured something it cannot detect. I am still waiting on your evidence that proves Tabor light is god.

    I am sure there are others here that are also waiting on the evidence that they have been asking for before you decided to vanish right after they asked only to come back later ignoring the requests. People here have been demonstrating how dishonest you are all day long and you are here accusing me of trying to fool Chikoppi? Even Chikoppi can see how dishonest you are.

    As I have said before go away and come back when you have evidence. At this point you are nothing but an annoyance. May is just around the corner, come back when you have that peer reviewed published study that turns every atheist into theist.

  346. says

    @buddyward

    Ooooh did I hit a nerve there Kafei?

    Not at all. I’ve told you, I’m completely unfazed by your comments.

    I am still waiting for the published research paper where you claimed science measured something it cannot detect. I am still waiting on your evidence that proves Tabor light is god.

    I never claimed this. I said there’s other ways of assessing what’s experienced in these states, if science had a way to probe consciousness directly, they’d utilize it. Obviously, we’re not there yet.

    I am sure there are others here that are also waiting on the evidence that they have been asking for before you decided to vanish right after they asked only to come back later ignoring the requests. People here have been demonstrating how dishonest you are all day long and you are here accusing me of trying to fool Chikoppi? Even Chikoppi can see how dishonest you are.

    Chikoppi hasn’t said anything relevant to what I’ve conveyed here at all. So, this is simply your biased construing of the situation. Actually, no such thing has happened.

    As I have said before go away and come back when you have evidence. At this point you are nothing but an annoyance. May is just around the corner, come back when you have that peer reviewed published study that turns every atheist into theist.

    I will post the results of the study involving the atheists as soon as they’re published, however I’ve explained that the Tabor light is synonymous with the Beatific vision, and that’s precisely how these experiences are being described in this research.

  347. Gem says

    I have been reading some of the posts and there are too many for me to deal with at this time as I only can stay online for a while as I am busy elsewhere. What I will do therefore is just continue with the detention center example to its completion for now and then deal with questions that need detailed explanations whenever I have more time.. I think it is much better this way as I am providing the evidence first of all.

    The next link is a blog from an ex-detainee and who is constantly in touch with an existing detainee and updates the goings on in that hellhole on a regular basis.

    https://voicesfromabox.wordpress.com/

    The “Systematic” Lies post outlines a police raid that took place on 24 Jan 2019. Raymond was there that day as he was not discharged until 26th February, evidence of which I will provide later. He witnessed the police raid right from the beginning as he was sleeping on the floor in the main area of the facility when the police arrived at 5,45am. The police ransacked the place taking virtually everybody’s cellphone, laptop and any other electronic items the detainees had. While the raid was going on Raymond sat on a table in the main area with his backpack, which had been brought to the facility by his lawyer. It contained cellphone, headphones, SD cards, USB flash drives etc.

    Following this is a link to the first Manila Times article showing the date on which Raymond, the new arrival in question first arrived there with some details about him…..

  348. Gem says

    https://www.manilatimes.net/filipinos-are-paying-collective-karmic-debt/510322/

    It mentions he is a book publisher. The Realization System is a course of books first published in 1915 which he republished some years ago. It is a course on scientific prayer and how to pray effectively. You can verify this by Googling it. A hardbound version is available for purchase on lulu.com.

    Following the raid Raymond was one of the only men in this facility with a cellphone still. The police officers did not come near him, yet he was right in front of them less than 5 meters distance with his backpack on the floor right beside him. There was one another man in the facility who did not have anything at all taken. His name is Luis and he is from Guatemala. In common with Raymond he does not belong to any religion, but is a very firm believer in God and could often be seen walking around the facility talking to people about their worldview. In common with Raymond he was always in a happy frame of mind and he said to Raymond on more than one occassion that he feel blessed to be there. He was outspokenly critical towards all organised religion and he prayed often. He had been there a few months and had already received his release/deportation documents and was just waiting for a property sale to complete to pay for his air fare to Guatemala.

    There was one Christian guy in the facility named Bannister from Montreal, he was a missionary and was there voluntarily. He was still using a cellphone after the raid. There was also one Muslim guy there who kindly offered Raymond a bedspace while he was there. Raymond declined and said he will just sleep on the concrete floor as it is cooler.

    There was also a black Christain minister there. Raymond discussed his beliefs with him but did not discuss anything else.

    Other than the ones above mention everyone else in the facility appeared to be athiest or agnostic. Raymond spent six weeks there walking around talking to people. Raymond felt blessed for this oppoortunoty to meet and chat with so many interesting people from all over the world.

    Raymond was teased by some while he was there because he kept telling people he will only be there a number of weeks and when it his time to leave he will leave. “Yeah, right…keep dreaming Raymond, you will wake up to where you are soon you silly C*** said loud-mouthed Australian Ian to him.

    Here is documented evidence showing when Raymond left the facility:

    https://www.manilatimes.net/celebrating-a-day-of-infamy/517325/

  349. Gem says

    Raymond has now collaberated with Mon Tulfo in order to make public knowledge what is really going on in there as is evidenced here:

    https://www.manilatimes.net/jim-paredes-the-yellows-poster-boy/536124/

    This is VERIFIABLE EVIDENCE of the very sad plight of 250+ athiests/agnostics trapped in a hell hole, some slowly losing the will to live.

    The Philippines is only 12 hours away from north america.

    If anyone would like to personally verify this account, detainees are allowed visitors. There is an englishman gentleman in his seventies detained there whose name is Ben Mason. He is an athiest and knows more about what goos on in there than anyone else. and expects to die in there if he is not released soon. He has been there several years already and is suffering from very serious illness caused by malnutrition. If anyone wishes to visit Ben Mason I will inform him. There is also an 84 yr old english gentlemen in there whose name is Peter Saunders. He is a delightful man, and athiest, and Raymond shared a table with him for the six weeks he was there. He would often laugh at Raymond whenever he said he will be leaving there in a few weeks. Peter has apperently just lost 300,000 pesos which he gave to a B.I. fixrer who promised to get him out of there. Peter is currently in hospital and says he will never return to that place. He would prefer just to die in the hospital where he is comfortable at least.

    I do believe that hospitals are the right place for very sick people whether children or otherwise. Doesn’t everybody?

  350. Chikoppi says

    “The validity is in the CME itself, and its relevance throughout history as the very genesis of the major religions.”

    First, correlation is not causation. Listing arbitrary similarities between reports of “mystic” experiences and religious imagery in no way establishes particular hallucinatory episodes as the “genisis” of the “major religions.” This is specious in the extreme and completely fails to demonstrate the actual validity of the relevant claim in any circumstance.

    Second, the statement “the validity is in the X itself” is thoroughly vacuous. The report of the subjective experience and the objective truth of the interpretation of the subjective experience are two separate claims. The one does not substantiate the other.

    “I’m reiterating precisely what decades of scientific evidence has produced.”

    Evidence of “the divine?” You’ve yet to present that. So far it’s been studies and speculation about how people have reported the subjective experience of a particular drug-induced state. You’ve presented no evidence whatsoever that those experiences are due to anything other than atypical neurological activity.

    “Well, I wouldn’t say you can dispense with that, the researchers go further than merely recognizing similar brains, and suspect it may be a feature of consciousness itself.”

    Oh, they speculate do they? Great. They can begin their work by first demonstrating a “consciousness” that exists in the absence of brain function. Until then the “many people have had similar experiences” trope has a well-established and demonstrable basis in neurophysiology.

    “There’s also no evidence that consciousness is generated by the brain. Once again, to solely recognize the CME as something that happens solely inside a brain is to deny the organism’s transactional relationship to its environment. To soley recognize a CME as a process that is restricted to the brain is like recognizing the yin without the yang.”

    Are you completely ignorant of neuroscience? Altering the brain, physically or chemically, alters consciousness and perception in a consistent manner. The neural pathways and regions in the brain responsible for numerous forms of cognition have been established and interruption of those systems predictably alters subjective conscious experience. Brain injury inhibits or interrupts consciousness.

    What is accurate to say is that there is no evidence consciousness is attributable to anything other than the brain. You’re welcome to present objective evidence to the contrary.

    What there is no evidence for is that the reported experience in question is attributable to anything other than atypical neurological function. All the special pleading in the world won’t rescue you from that fact.

    “No, not when [reports of how “real” or “moving” the experience may have seemed] is a universal aspect of the CME.”

    Nope – that canard is over and finished. You already agreed to the following: “A similar neurologically active intervention will have similar effects on multiple individuals because humans share a common neurological profile.” The fact that a similar chemical intervention has a similar subjective effect is completely unremarkable.

    “One again, you’d be wrong.”

    I’m not going to watch a fucking YouTube video or otherwise spend time chasing your nonsense. Summarize the evidence and provide citation to the written reference or GTFO.

    “Oh, but I have, it’s simply went over your head. That’s all. The CME is full of substance, and if you had one for yourself, you’d realize that.”

    Sure thing, you magical little wizard you. It’s not your fault the “normies” can’t possibly comprehend your special cosmic perspective. Be sure to wrap yourself in that thought when you tuck yourself in at night.

    “Neither. Once again, like that example you gave last time, the two points are irrelevant as they’re loaded. Just because one adheres to the Perennial philosophy, doesn’t mean it necessarily follows that this person had a mystical experience.”

    So let’s get this straight…

    1) The only way to “know” mystical experiences are true is to “have a mystical experience.”

    2) You responded “neither” to the question, so you DO NOT believe “perennial philosophy” is true.

    3) Since having had a mystical experience is synonymous with “knowing mystical experiences are true,” you therefore cannot have had a “mystical experience,” or you would “know it is true.”

    4) Since the only way to “know” that “mystical experiences” are true is to have one, and you have not had one or you would believe “perennial philosophy” is true, you therefore have no basis whatsoever for your claims.

    Good job. You’ve once again managed to contort any semblance of syntactic meaning into a perfect state of absolute irrelevance. Apparently, “perennial philosophy” is a word game played at the intersection of credulity and sophistry.

  351. Evil God of the Fiery Cloud says

    Is there any way to get to the point quicker? Is the moral of this story (which I guess ye’ve now said happens in the Philippines) some kind of protracted “No Atheists In Foxholes” scenario where people under extreme duress are gonna turn to Anything for comfort/hope? Like “here’s a scenario where things are fucking awful and what would ye, Atheists, do when things got their most desperate? Wouldn’t ye try reaching out to a god just in case it might work?”
    Or does this story eventually go to “shit sucked for these guys, then they prayed and wouldn’t ye know they were just let go…” or something like that?
    Because if that’s where we’re going then the answer’s prolly still no. It wouldn’t occur to me to pray.

  352. buddyward says

    @Kafei 365

    I never claimed this. I said there’s other ways of assessing what’s experienced in these states, if science had a way to probe consciousness directly, they’d utilize it. Obviously, we’re not there yet.

    #197

    This light has been measured in earlier studies as “form constants,”

    #197

    The Tabor light is called the “uncreated light” because it’s a light seen from within the mind’s eye. It’s not a light that science can detect, because it’s not necessarily a light seen with your two eyes

    That is a claim. Prove it.

    Kafei said in 365:

    Chikoppi hasn’t said anything relevant to what I’ve conveyed here at all. So, this is simply your biased construing of the situation. Actually, no such thing has happened.

    Chikoppi’s posts
    #352

    In fact, you continuously reiterate that you are making no claims of knowledge whatsoever (see above, #280). If you did otherwise you would have presented such after repeated requests to do so, rather than waxing on endlessly about trivial nonsense.

    #354

    Don’t waste effort with references or links to what other people say or believe. Just provide a clear synopsis of the objective evidence.

    #369

    I’m not going to watch a fucking YouTube video or otherwise spend time chasing your nonsense. Summarize the evidence and provide citation to the written reference or GTFO.

    Kafei said in 365:

    I will post the results of the study involving the atheists as soon as they’re published, however I’ve explained that the Tabor light is synonymous with the Beatific vision, and that’s precisely how these experiences are being described in this research.

    Kafei #161

    The Tabor light or Theoria is a direct experience of God. They’re one and the same thing in mystical theology,

    That is your claim once again. Show us the evidence for this claim and show us that it is true (i.e. god exists and is the same as Tabor light). I am not interested in any of your excuses and explanations. Either put up or shut up.

  353. Chikoppi says

    “@Chikoppi Wrong time-stamp on the last link of #356.”

    Stop referencing videos altogether. If they’ve “performed science” you would summarize and cite the actual published research.

    “You can either listen to the people here, some of them even claiming they’ve never studied religion in any sincere manner, or you can hear out actual professionals who perform science relative to these topics. That’s really the choice you have. Don’t let people like buddyward fool you.”

    I don’t intend to do either and it’s not “the choice I have.” Until you make a meaningful claim that is supported by evidence there is nothing to evaluate. It is the evidence relevant to the claim that matters. Absent that, I’m not the least bit interested in anyone’s opinions.

  354. says

    @Chikoppi

    First, correlation is not causation. Listing arbitrary similarities between reports of “mystic” experiences and religious imagery in no way establishes particular hallucinatory episodes as the “genisis” of the “major religions.” This is specious in the extreme and completely fails to demonstrate the actual validity of the relevant claim in any circumstance.

    It establishes these experiences as the genesis when they could be recognized as being practiced at the very nascency of the major religions, when they’re riddled throughout the scriptures found in all of the world’s major religions. That’s the point you continuously overlook.

    Second, the statement “the validity is in the X itself” is thoroughly vacuous. The report of the subjective experience and the objective truth of the interpretation of the subjective experience are two separate claims. The one does not substantiate the other.

    Then, you don’t understand what this experience entails, there is a break in the symmetry between subjective and the objective such that the boundary between the two dissolve in such a way that there’s no distinction between these two, this is referred to non-duality in eastern philosophy.

    “I’m reiterating precisely what decades of scientific evidence has produced.”

    Evidence of “the divine?” You’ve yet to present that. So far it’s been studies and speculation about how people have reported the subjective experience of a particular drug-induced state. You’ve presented no evidence whatsoever that those experiences are due to anything other than atypical neurological activity.

    Evidence which suggests these mystical-type experiences are a biologically normal phenomenon which have been occurring for millennia à la the Perennial philosophy, and it’s within this context that the divine is more properly understood.

    “Well, I wouldn’t say you can dispense with that, the researchers go further than merely recognizing similar brains, and suspect it may be a feature of consciousness itself.”

    Oh, they speculate do they? Great.

    Yes, that it may be part of the structure of consciousness itself. Even the Hindus or Christians believed that this experience was beneficial for all sentient beings.

    They can begin their work by first demonstrating a “consciousness” that exists in the absence of brain function. Until then the “many people have had similar experiences” trope has a well-established and demonstrable basis in neurophysiology.

    Irrelevant as this is something science cannot assess.

    “There’s also no evidence that consciousness is generated by the brain. Once again, to solely recognize the CME as something that happens solely inside a brain is to deny the organism’s transactional relationship to its environment. To soley recognize a CME as a process that is restricted to the brain is like recognizing the yin without the yang.”

    Are you completely ignorant of neuroscience? Altering the brain, physically or chemically, alters consciousness and perception in a consistent manner. The neural pathways and regions in the brain responsible for numerous forms of cognition have been established and interruption of those systems predictably alters subjective conscious experience. Brain injury inhibits or interrupts consciousness.

    Yes, you listed reasons as to why people believe the brain is the generator of consciousness, but the fact of the matter is that there’s very little evidence for that. You even said yourself, “Correlation is not necessarily causation” right from the start. I agree.

    What is accurate to say is that there is no evidence consciousness is attributable to anything other than the brain. You’re welcome to present objective evidence to the contrary.

    You’re welcome to produce any evidence to the contrary. You’re the one making the claim.

    What there is no evidence for is that the reported experience in question is attributable to anything other than atypical neurological function. All the special pleading in the world won’t rescue you from that fact.

    If you think the brain is solely a phenomenon inside the skull, that it has nothing to do with the external environment, then you’re missing the entire point.

    “No, not when [reports of how “real” or “moving” the experience may have seemed] is a universal aspect of the CME.”

    Nope – that canard is over and finished. You already agreed to the following: “A similar neurologically active intervention will have similar effects on multiple individuals because humans share a common neurological profile.” The fact that a similar chemical intervention has a similar subjective effect is completely unremarkable.

    Says the person who’s not had such an experience, otherwise you’d realize the implications are far more vast than simply “similar brain chemistry.”

    “One again, you’d be wrong.”

    I’m not going to watch a fucking YouTube video or otherwise spend time chasing your nonsense. Summarize the evidence and provide citation to the written reference or GTFO.

    That’s Dr. Roland Griffiths, the leader of this research, explaining just what entails these a priori measures used in the study. Of course, you’d conveniently ignore that.

    “Oh, but I have, it’s simply went over your head. That’s all. The CME is full of substance, and if you had one for yourself, you’d realize that.”

    Sure thing, you magical little wizard you. It’s not your fault the “normies” can’t possibly comprehend your special cosmic perspective. Be sure to wrap yourself in that thought when you tuck yourself in at night.

    Well, yes, I’d argue that a major factor contributing to your nescience relative to these topics is the fact that you’re completely unfamiliar with a direct encounter of the CME yourself, and therefore attempt to explain away with reductionism.

    “Neither. Once again, like that example you gave last time, the two points are irrelevant as they’re loaded. Just because one adheres to the Perennial philosophy, doesn’t mean it necessarily follows that this person had a mystical experience.”

    So let’s get this straight…

    1) The only way to “know” mystical experiences are true is to “have a mystical experience.”

    If you’re going to doubt the science, sure. Or you can just accept what the science has established and realize the CME is a tried-and-true phenomenon in consciousness which could potentially happen to even you.

    2) You responded “neither” to the question, so you DO NOT believe “perennial philosophy” is true.

    That’s right. Once again, in the words of C. G. Jung, “I don’t believe. I know.”

    3) Since having had a mystical experience is synonymous with “knowing mystical experiences are true,” you therefore cannot have had a “mystical experience,” or you would “know it is true.”

    I do know it’s true. That’s why I separate it from belief. It’s described as a knowing, not a belief.

    4) Since the only way to “know” that “mystical experiences” are true is to have one, and you have not had one or you would believe “perennial philosophy” is true, you therefore have no basis whatsoever for your claims.

    You’re ignoring the decades worth of science establishing evidence for these mystical experiences and how they’ve permeated the core of the major religions, how they’re expressed in the very scriptures of the major religions, etc. That is why the emphasis on the Perennial philosophy.

    Good job. You’ve once again managed to contort any semblance of syntactic meaning into a perfect state of absolute irrelevance. Apparently, “perennial philosophy” is a word game played at the intersection of credulity and sophistry.

    Congratulations. You’ve managed to miss the point yet again.

  355. buddyward says

    @Gem 366

    Are you certain you have the right links? I do not see the story that you are referring to. I even search for the word Raymond and none was found.

    #367

    I see no mention of prayers in those articles.

    #368

    I see no mention of prayers and atheists in that link.

  356. says

    @buddyward

    This light has been measured in earlier studies as “form constants,”

    It’s measured indirectly by what the volunteers report. There’s no technology that could directly see what’s going on inside someone’s consciousness. This should be obvious, but you seem to think there is some type of technology out there like that or at the very least, you think that’s what I’m claiming. Either way, both assumptions are naïve.

    The Tabor light is called the “uncreated light” because it’s a light seen from within the mind’s eye. It’s not a light that science can detect, because it’s not necessarily a light seen with your two eyes. That is your claim once again. Show us the evidence for this claim and show us that it is true (i.e. god exists and is the same as Tabor light). I am not interested in any of your excuses and explanations. Either put up or shut up.

    That’s precisely what this research has done, if you’re paying any attention at all. The Tabor light and the Beatific vision are two ways of describing the same thing, both are examples of what’s seen in the mind’s eye at the height of the CME. That’s what these researchers are at great pains to express, and what people in these threads are having a very heard time comprehending, apparently.

  357. buddyward says

    It’s measured indirectly by what the volunteers report. There’s no technology that could directly see what’s going on inside someone’s consciousness. This should be obvious, but you seem to think there is some type of technology out there like that or at the very least, you think that’s what I’m claiming. Either way, both assumptions are naïve.

    No, this is bullshit. What is obvious is that you are trying to get out of proving what you claim. I am not the one making any assumptions. I am asking yet again, for you to present evidence that science is able to measure what it cannot detect. Measurements results in some quantity of a specific unit. I am not thinking of any technology whatsoever because I have not been presented with any evidence that it is possible to measure something that is undetectable. You are the one that claim it was measured so show me evidence of that.

    That’s precisely what this research has done, if you’re paying any attention at all. The Tabor light and the Beatific vision are two ways of describing the same thing, both are examples of what’s seen in the mind’s eye at the height of the CME. That’s what these researchers are at great pains to express, and what people in these threads are having a very heard time comprehending, apparently.

    So you have a research that proves god exists and is the same as Tabor light, great. Post a link and I will read the peer reviewed published paper that proved the existence of god, that measured Tabor light and that the two have been compared and found to be the same. Put up or shut up.

  358. catotheyounger says

    Ah, after a long journey through the valley of darkness, it restores my soles to breathe free air.

  359. enterblandman666 says

    Hi, I have recently discovered the show, and I am currently listening/watching/binging as much as possible, it really an interesting show, can anyone answer the following question from an atheist point of view please, what would constitute as irrefutable evidence for the existence of god/a god?? i’d love to hear your thoughts and definitions please, regards blandman.

  360. Chikoppi says

    “It establishes these experiences as the genesis when they could be recognized as being practiced at the very nascency of the major religions, when they’re riddled throughout the scriptures found in all of the world’s major religions. That’s the point you continuously overlook.”

    The point “I” overlook? As opposed to the role the entire fields of sociology, psychology, and political history play in the establishment of religion in culture? Did it occur to you that both the pursuit of hallucinogenic experiences and the establishment of cultural religious practice might share contemporaneous instigating factors?

    Which, again, is all entirely beside the point. The association with religion in no way substantiates the independent verity of the claim. This is a non sequitur.

    “Then, you don’t understand what this experience entails, there is a break in the symmetry between subjective and the objective such that the boundary between the two dissolve in such a way that there’s no distinction between these two, this is referred to non-duality in eastern philosophy.”

    The awareness of “self” is generated by neurological activity. Multiple systems contribute to the construction of self-awareness and identity, including body consciousness, spatial orientation, awareness of time, memory, and more.

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

    Interrupting or impeding the ability of the brain to accurately construct a model of self does not imply the “self” does not exist. “Feeling” self-less and “being” self-less are not synonymous.

    Stop trying to tell me what I don’t understand.

    “Evidence which suggests these mystical-type experiences are a biologically normal phenomenon which have been occurring for millennia à la the Perennial philosophy, and it’s within this context that the divine is more properly understood.”

    These experiences have occurred during a particular chemically-induced state of abnormal brain activity. That much is factual. No evidence for any other attributable cause has been presented.

    Likewise, no evidence of “the divine” has been presented.

    [chikoppi] They can begin their work by first demonstrating a “consciousness” that exists in the absence of brain function. Until then the “many people have had similar experiences” trope has a well-established and demonstrable basis in neurophysiology.

    [Kafei] Irrelevant as this is something science cannot assess.

    “Science” absolutely can and does assess the effects of neurophysical interventions on conscious reported experience. We know brains exist. We know chemicals exist. We know adding chemicals to brains produces consistent reports of atypical subjective experiences. In most cases we can identify the specific receptors that are affected and regulate dosages to provoke the desired results.

    “Yes, you listed reasons as to why people believe the brain is the generator of consciousness, but the fact of the matter is that there’s very little evidence for that. You even said yourself, “Correlation is not necessarily causation” right from the start. I agree.”

    No, there is only evidence for a physiological basis of consciousness. It is certainly far from comprehensive and we lack a coherent theoretical model, but your suggestion that there is “no” evidence is hyperbolic.

    Can you provide evidence that consciousness exists in the absence of a functioning brain? Because the complete absence of anything to correlate would very definitely not lead to a presumption of causation.

    [chikoppi] What there is no evidence for is that the reported experience in question is attributable to anything other than atypical neurological function. All the special pleading in the world won’t rescue you from that fact.

    [Kafei] If you think the brain is solely a phenomenon inside the skull, that it has nothing to do with the external environment, then you’re missing the entire point.

    Then present the evidence! Demonstrate that the reported experience is attributable to something other than chemically altered neurology – which we know exists. Don’t continue to waste our time by asserting a hypothetical cause for an experience and then attempting to cite the experience as proof the cause exists. Even Evangelical apologists know better.

    “Says the person who’s not had such an experience, otherwise you’d realize the implications are far more vast than simply “similar brain chemistry.”

    The “implications” are precisely nothing unless you can demonstrate the veracity of the claim. If “you’ll believe it when you believe it” is the best you can do after weeks of haranguing and pontificating there’s really no chance of that happening.

    “That’s Dr. Roland Griffiths, the leader of this research, explaining just what entails these a priori measures used in the study. Of course, you’d conveniently ignore that.”

    I repeat, summarize and provide citation to the published research. If you can’t be bothered then I sure as hell am not going to be.

    Well, yes, I’d argue that a major factor contributing to your nescience relative to these topics is the fact that you’re completely unfamiliar with a direct encounter of the CME yourself, and therefore attempt to explain away with reductionism.

    Whether the subjective experience were my own or someone else’s is inconsequential. Subjective experiences can be and are misinterpreted…especially where those experiences are instigated by brain-altering chemicals. “Seems real” =/= “is real.”

    “If you’re going to doubt the science, sure. Or you can just accept what the science has established and realize the CME is a tried-and-true phenomenon in consciousness which could potentially happen to even you.”

    Oh, I don’t doubt the subjective “phenomenon” is possible to elicit. What I absolutely reject as baseless is your assertion of the cause of that phenomena.

    “That’s right. Once again, in the words of C. G. Jung, “I don’t believe. I know.”

    I do know it’s true. That’s why I separate it from belief. It’s described as a knowing, not a belief.”

    You know you had a subjective experience. You do not know the objective cause of that experience. It is exceedingly clear by your repeated inability to substantiate your claims that you do not know the cause of that experience.

    “You’re ignoring the decades worth of science establishing evidence for these mystical experiences and how they’ve permeated the core of the major religions, how they’re expressed in the very scriptures of the major religions, etc. That is why the emphasis on the Perennial philosophy.”

    None of which substantiates or even addresses your claim regarding the cause of said experiences.

    People can take drugs. Similar chemical interventions produce consistently similar subjective experiences. These experiences can seem very real and profound. Having such an experience can turn a person into a credulous pest.

    “Congratulations. You’ve managed to miss the point yet again.”

    No, I think we’ve all got your number precisely.

  361. Skye Eldrich says

    Okay, I’m gonna chime in… with a request that Jimmy/Kafei be banned. His blatant and ENDLESS dishonesty and numerous trolling comments show that he has no interest in an actual discussion. He is here to preach; the same as any evangelical. If people like Ronald Kyle can get banned for disrupting the flow of conversation with rants and screeds, I say the same for Kafei/Jimmy. He derails EVERY SINGLE EPISODE’S comment page with his endless crap; and prevents us from talking about anything that might… y’know… be interesting and/or productive.

    Gem, while endlessly stupid, has not YET shown herself to be intentionally trolling. So no comment there.

  362. Skye Eldrich says

    Quick added point: Jimmy/Kafei has already been banned from the show proper for his mendacity; so why shouldn’t the blog treat him the same?

  363. jabbly says

    @Skye Eldrich #378

    As someone who has just started posting recently, I have to agree as I’m all for open discussion but Kafei pretty much derails any thread they post in. It’s pretty hard to see the interesting posts when you have to wade through endless walls of text.

  364. speedofsound says

    @Kafei (#356)

    There’s also no evidence that consciousness is generated by the brain.

    🙂

    I can suggest an experiment for you to obtain the abundant evidence for the brain generating consciousness. You live in Texas right? What kinds of ‘tools’ do have laying around the house?

  365. t90bb says

    kafei really wants cme to be proof of god through perennial shitology….we get that. People have been trying to shape and interpret the evidence to fit the conclusion just like kafei for a long time….

    the idea that cmes are some sort of experience only explained by the conclusion of his choosing is the classic argument from ignorance fallacy…….

    this has been pointed out to him dozens of times and he ignores it, He uses plenty of other fallacies as well but there is no need to point those out as this is a fatal flaw….

    Where is your show kafei??? You are wasting time here…..it seems that show is as mysteriously absent as the link between your acid trips and god.\\

  366. says

    @buddyward

    No, this is bullshit. What is obvious is that you are trying to get out of proving what you claim. I am not the one making any assumptions. I am asking yet again, for you to present evidence that science is able to measure what it cannot detect. Measurements results in some quantity of a specific unit. I am not thinking of any technology whatsoever because I have not been presented with any evidence that it is possible to measure something that is undetectable. You are the one that claim it was measured so show me evidence of that.

    Let me make this clear, because you seem to not be getting it. There’s a technology that Michio Kaku talks about that one day will allow us to witness each other’s dreams. Now, if that technology were used with the CME, then you’d be able to detect what the Tabor light looks like on a screen, but we’re nowhere near there yet. So, it’s indirectly assessed by science by the reports of volunteers, it’s necessarily second-hand because we have no way to assess what’s going on in consciousness directly. Do you understand this point? You seem to think we can quantify consciousness, and technology is simply not there yet.

    That’s precisely what this research has done, if you’re paying any attention at all. The Tabor light and the Beatific vision are two ways of describing the same thing, both are examples of what’s seen in the mind’s eye at the height of the CME. That’s what these researchers are at great pains to express, and what people in these threads are having a very heard time comprehending, apparently.

    So you have a research that proves god exists and is the same as Tabor light, great. Post a link and I will read the peer reviewed published paper that proved the existence of god, that measured Tabor light and that the two have been compared and found to be the same. Put up or shut up.

    I’ve already posted the research I’ve cited which equates the CME to the Tabor light and what Christians call “Theoria” (direct vision of God). If you’re so unconvinced, why don’t you have a CME for yourself? Put up or shut up, you know.

    @Chikoppi

    “It establishes these experiences as the genesis when they could be recognized as being practiced at the very nascency of the major religions, when they’re riddled throughout the scriptures found in all of the world’s major religions. That’s the point you continuously overlook.”

    The point “I” overlook? As opposed to the role the entire fields of sociology, psychology, and political history play in the establishment of religion in culture? Did it occur to you that both the pursuit of hallucinogenic experiences and the establishment of cultural religious practice might share contemporaneous instigating factors?

    Did you know that the professionals who perform actual contemporary science on mystical experience do find these mystical states of consciousness to be in accordance with the Perennial philosophy?

    Which, again, is all entirely beside the point. The association with religion in no way substantiates the independent verity of the claim. This is a non sequitur.

    It simply does. To say it’s a “non sequitur” is a non sequitur in and of itself.

    “Then, you don’t understand what this experience entails, there is a break in the symmetry between subjective and the objective such that the boundary between the two dissolve in such a way that there’s no distinction between these two, this is referred to non-duality in eastern philosophy.”

    The awareness of “self” is generated by neurological activity. Multiple systems contribute to the construction of self-awareness and identity, including body consciousness, spatial orientation, awareness of time, memory, and more.

    Yes, this is also referred to as the Default Mode Network.

    Interrupting or impeding the ability of the brain to accurately construct a model of self does not imply the “self” does not exist. “Feeling” self-less and “being” self-less are not synonymous.

    Stop trying to tell me what I don’t understand.

    It’s quite obvious you do not understand or you haven’t had this experience or both.

    “Evidence which suggests these mystical-type experiences are a biologically normal phenomenon which have been occurring for millennia à la the Perennial philosophy, and it’s within this context that the divine is more properly understood.”

    These experiences have occurred during a particular chemically-induced state of abnormal brain activity. That much is factual. No evidence for any other attributable cause has been presented.

    Likewise, no evidence of “the divine” has been presented.

    I don’t think you understand. This is what the divine has been throughout history, in all of the major religions, the CME is what the Buddhist refer to as nirvana or buddha-nature or what Christians call Theoria, Theosis, Beatific vision, Tabor light, etc. or what in Hinduism is called moksha, samadhi, etc. or what in Islam is called the Tawhid or Fana, so on and so forth. The divine has always come through a revelation in consciousness.

    [chikoppi] They can begin their work by first demonstrating a “consciousness” that exists in the absence of brain function. Until then the “many people have had similar experiences” trope has a well-established and demonstrable basis in neurophysiology.

    [Kafei] Irrelevant as this is something science cannot assess.

    “Science” absolutely can and does assess the effects of neurophysical interventions on conscious reported experience. We know brains exist. We know chemicals exist. We know adding chemicals to brains produces consistent reports of atypical subjective experiences. In most cases we can identify the specific receptors that are affected and regulate dosages to provoke the desired results.

    But what you seem to be overlooking is that this is not something that is solely happening in the mind. It’s rather and more accurately a metanoia, it’s a fundamental alteration of one’s perception such that the external reality is seen very differently during and after these experiences. I’ve mentioned before that mystics who know 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.

    “Yes, you listed reasons as to why people believe the brain is the generator of consciousness, but the fact of the matter is that there’s very little evidence for that. You even said yourself, “Correlation is not necessarily causation” right from the start. I agree.”

    No, there is only evidence for a physiological basis of consciousness. It is certainly far from comprehensive and we lack a coherent theoretical model, but your suggestion that there is “no” evidence is hyperbolic.

    If you think there’s evidence, then produce it. I’m telling you that there isn’t much evidence for your claim.

    Can you provide evidence that consciousness exists in the absence of a functioning brain? Because the complete absence of anything to correlate would very definitely not lead to a presumption of causation.

    [chikoppi] What there is no evidence for is that the reported experience in question is attributable to anything other than atypical neurological function. All the special pleading in the world won’t rescue you from that fact.

    [Kafei] If you think the brain is solely a phenomenon inside the skull, that it has nothing to do with the external environment, then you’re missing the entire point.

    Then present the evidence! Demonstrate that the reported experience is attributable to something other than chemically altered neurology – which we know exists. Don’t continue to waste our time by asserting a hypothetical cause for an experience and then attempting to cite the experience as proof the cause exists. Even Evangelical apologists know better.

    I think you’re missing the point by asking for evidence of consciousness outside a human brain. If you’ve ever Googled “brain cell/universe,” that may imply that consciousness is a fractal phenomenon, but there’s no way for science to assess that. Also you keep wanting to restrict the mystical experience as something that is solely that just affects the internal aspect of human being, and totally ignoring the point that this experience is a fundamental transformation of one’s perception which drastically affects how one sees the world ever after such an experience. As I’ve mentioned, the study they’re getting ready to publish by the end of the month involve atheists whom had this experience, and no longer identified with atheism after this event.

    “Says the person who’s not had such an experience, otherwise you’d realize the implications are far more vast than simply “similar brain chemistry.”

    The “implications” are precisely nothing unless you can demonstrate the veracity of the claim. If “you’ll believe it when you believe it” is the best you can do after weeks of haranguing and pontificating there’s really no chance of that happening.

    The veracity of these claims are represented within this research.

    “That’s Dr. Roland Griffiths, the leader of this research, explaining just what entails these a priori measures used in the study. Of course, you’d conveniently ignore that.”

    I repeat, summarize and provide citation to the published research. If you can’t be bothered then I sure as hell am not going to be.

    I did that back in the first thread of the year.

    Well, yes, I’d argue that a major factor contributing to your nescience relative to these topics is the fact that you’re completely unfamiliar with a direct encounter of the CME yourself, and therefore attempt to explain away with reductionism.

    Whether the subjective experience were my own or someone else’s is inconsequential. Subjective experiences can be and are misinterpreted…especially where those experiences are instigated by brain-altering chemicals. “Seems real” =/= “is real.”

    We’re not talking about something that is misinterpreted, we’re talking about an experience that is universally expressed, where volunteers are endorsing that the experience is “more real than everyday waking consciousness.”

    “If you’re going to doubt the science, sure. Or you can just accept what the science has established and realize the CME is a tried-and-true phenomenon in consciousness which could potentially happen to even you.”

    Oh, I don’t doubt the subjective “phenomenon” is possible to elicit. What I absolutely reject as baseless is your assertion of the cause of that phenomena.

    Science doesn’t understand why these experiences happen, they just recognize that they do.

    “That’s right. Once again, in the words of C. G. Jung, “I don’t believe. I know.”

    I do know it’s true. That’s why I separate it from belief. It’s described as a knowing, not a belief.”

    You know you had a subjective experience. You do not know the objective cause of that experience. It is exceedingly clear by your repeated inability to substantiate your claims that you do not know the cause of that experience.

    What I believe the researchers are saying is that whatever the cause is, it’s precisely what has been referred to as the divine at the core of all the major religions à la the Perennial philosophy. You constantly overlook this point.

    “You’re ignoring the decades worth of science establishing evidence for these mystical experiences and how they’ve permeated the core of the major religions, how they’re expressed in the very scriptures of the major religions, etc. That is why the emphasis on the Perennial philosophy.”

    None of which substantiates or even addresses your claim regarding the cause of said experiences.

    What I’m trying to tell you is that what you’re calling ’cause’ is precisely what the Hindu calls Brahman or the Christian mystic calls Theoria, they’re simply various ways of describing the same thing.

    People can take drugs. Similar chemical interventions produce consistently similar subjective experiences. These experiences can seem very real and profound. Having such an experience can turn a person into a credulous pest.

    This phenomenon seems to be specific to psychedelics, and it may be because psychedelics resemble our own neurochemistry. In other words, psilocybin when passed the blood-brain barrier is converted into psilocin which shares a very close structural affinity to N,N-DMT which our own bodies make, and which so happens to be one of the most powerful psychedelics on the planet.

    “Congratulations. You’ve managed to miss the point yet again.”

    No, I think we’ve all got your number precisely.

    You obviously don’t, especially if you have to think about it.

  367. says

    @Skye Eldrich

    Okay, I’m gonna chime in… with a request that Jimmy/Kafei be banned. His blatant and ENDLESS dishonesty and numerous trolling comments show that he has no interest in an actual discussion. He is here to preach; the same as any evangelical. If people like Ronald Kyle can get banned for disrupting the flow of conversation with rants and screeds, I say the same for Kafei/Jimmy. He derails EVERY SINGLE EPISODE’S comment page with his endless crap; and prevents us from talking about anything that might… y’know… be interesting and/or productive.

    Even if I was banned, these topics would continue to haunt these threads, because they haven’t been properly addressed by TAE. Not a single host is familiar with the CME by direct experience.

    Quick added point: Jimmy/Kafei has already been banned from the show proper for his mendacity; so why shouldn’t the blog treat him the same?

    You’re talking about the Rational Skepticism threads? I followed all the rules in that thread. The only reason I was banned was because whiny people like yourself who accuse me of trolling and not being sincere. I’m being totally sincere and I have cited legitimate scientific evidence. The people at RationalSkepticism simply didn’t want to hear about research that potentially undermines atheism, and so they cried out to the MODs until the MODs finally banned me, but it wasn’t because I broke some rules or I was trolling, it was because the MODs didn’t want to hear the users crying anymore. That’s literally why I got banned.

    @jabbly

    As someone who has just started posting recently, I have to agree as I’m all for open discussion but Kafei pretty much derails any thread they post in. It’s pretty hard to see the interesting posts when you have to wade through endless walls of text.

    I’m willing to discuss any other topic, and have. I’m responding to the users here. It’s not as though I come in and derail the topic. I respond to people who ask me questions. So, it’s not myself who’s necessarily “derailing” the conversation. You’ll find that the topic of mystical experience or near-death experience or psychedelic experience or altered states of consciousness of various sorts are frequent topics that come up even on the show.

    @t90bb

    kafei really wants cme to be proof of god through perennial shitology….we get that. People have been trying to shape and interpret the evidence to fit the conclusion just like kafei for a long time….

    the idea that cmes are some sort of experience only explained by the conclusion of his choosing is the classic argument from ignorance fallacy…….

    this has been pointed out to him dozens of times and he ignores it, He uses plenty of other fallacies as well but there is no need to point those out as this is a fatal flaw….

    Where is your show kafei??? You are wasting time here…..it seems that show is as mysteriously absent as the link between your acid trips and god.\\

    All in due time, my friend.

  368. Chikoppi says

    “Did you know that the professionals who perform actual contemporary science on mystical experience do find these mystical states of consciousness to be in accordance with the Perennial philosophy?”

    Where is the published research that demonstrates your claims about the objective cause of the experience are true?

    The association with religion does not demonstrate such claims are true.

    “It’s rather and more accurately a metanoia, it’s a fundamental alteration of one’s perception such that the external reality is seen very differently during and after these experiences. I’ve mentioned before that mystics who know 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 do not care that if a person shorts-out their brain just-so they could have an experience that feels convincing or encourages them to “think about things differently.” You aren’t making claims merely about the reports of drug-induced subjective perception. You are making definitive claims about objective reality.

    Where is the published research that demonstrates your claims about the objective cause of the experience are true?

    The veracity of these claims are represented within this research.

    You just said research does not substantiate the the claim. You also just said, above to buddyward, “it’s indirectly assessed by science by the reports of volunteers, it’s necessarily second-hand because we have no way to assess what’s going on in consciousness directly.”

    I did that back in the first thread of the year.

    Your summary:

    “Bill Richards has also published a paper where he states that these professionals do, in fact, define mystical states of consciousness in accordance with the Perennial philosophy, and if I could find that bookmark, I’ll present it.”

    Defining terms used for subjective reporting is not an a prior study of the causes of subjective perception.

    “We’re not talking about something that is misinterpreted, we’re talking about an experience that is universally expressed, where volunteers are endorsing that the experience is “more real than everyday waking consciousness.”

    You cannot establish that the experience is not misinterpreted. I do not care about “subjective endorsements.”

    Science doesn’t understand why these experiences happen, they just recognize that they do.

    …and, we’re done.

    “What I believe the researchers are saying is that whatever the cause is, it’s precisely what has been referred to as the divine at the core of all the major religions à la the Perennial philosophy. You constantly overlook this point.”

    I do not care what it is “referred to as.” I want the evidence that establishes what “it” is. Also, “whatever the cause is” underscores that no research exists substantiates your claims.

    I can’t be bothered with any more of this tripe and I refuse to waste any further time on your endless equivocation and litany of nonsense.

  369. CompulsoryAccount7746, Sky Captain says

    Gem #367:

    he is a book publisher. The Realization System is a course of books first published in 1915 which he republished some years ago. It is a course on scientific prayer and how to pray effectively.
    […]
    Here is documented evidence showing when Raymond left the facility:
    “British national Raymond Edward Smith, who was detained at the immigration jail pending deportation, has been temporarily released”

     
    Barnes and Noble:
    “The Realization System sets out to cover the whole field of Practical Psychology and New Thought Philosophy.”
    By Raymond E. Smith and Daniel A. Simmons
     
    Article: Wikipedia – New Thought

    The chief tenets of New Thought are:
    – Infinite Intelligence or God is omnipotent and omnipresent.
    – Spirit is the ultimate reality.
    – True human self-hood is divine.
    – Divinely attuned thought is a positive force for good.
    – All disease is mental in origin.
    – Right thinking has a healing effect.

     
    See the “RayFromUK” thread.
     
    Comment: Axp 22.33 – CA7746 #66 (Edinburgh Lectures on Mental Science)
     
    Comment: Axp 22.33 – CA7746 #166 (Think and Grow Rich)

  370. speedofsound says

    @Kafei (#383)

    One post to represent them all.

    Let me make this clear, because you seem to not be getting it. …. Do you understand this point? You seem to think … if you’re paying any attention at all. …and what people in these threads are having a very heard time comprehending, apparently.
    … why don’t you have a CME for yourself? Put up or shut up, you know.

    Did you know that the professionals who perform actual contemporary science …
    Yes, this is also referred to as .

    It’s quite obvious you do not understand or you haven’t had this experience or both…
    I don’t think you understand. …This is what the divine has been throughout history, in all of the major religions…
    But what you seem to be overlooking is that … It’s rather and more accurately a …then you’re missing the entire point….
    “Says the person who’s not had such an experience, otherwise you’d …
    “If you’re going to doubt the science, sure. Or you can just accept what the …
    Science doesn’t understand …
    “You’re ignoring the decades worth of science establishing … the core of the major religions, how they’re expressed in the very scriptures of the major religions…is precisely what the calls …

    This is WHY you got banned on RatSkep.

  371. buddyward says

    @Kafei 383

    Let me make this clear, because you seem to not be getting it. There’s a technology that Michio Kaku talks about that one day will allow us to witness each other’s dreams. Now, if that technology were used with the CME, then you’d be able to detect what the Tabor light looks like on a screen, but we’re nowhere near there yet. So, it’s indirectly assessed by science by the reports of volunteers, it’s necessarily second-hand because we have no way to assess what’s going on in consciousness directly. Do you understand this point? You seem to think we can quantify consciousness, and technology is simply not there yet.

    What I am not getting is the evidence that supportst your claim. I do not care what Kaku says. I have no assumptions. Either produce the peer reviewed research paper that measured Tabor light or admit that you made this shit up. Put up or shut up.

    I’ve already posted the research I’ve cited which equates the CME to the Tabor light and what Christians call “Theoria” (direct vision of God). If you’re so unconvinced, why don’t you have a CME for yourself? Put up or shut up, you know.

    The only published paper you have ever posted in this blog is the one from the Journal of Psychopharmacology. You know for a fact that the article published in that journal did not mention anything about proof of god or measuring Tabor light. For someone who is not shy about posting links to documents in this blog how come you do not want to post a peer reviewed published paper that proves what you are claiming. You keep stating that you have already published it because you want to send people in a wild goose chase.

    Having a CME myself is not a peer reviewed published paper. Me having a CME does not provide objective data to others. I have been clear all this time that you present a peer reviewed published paper that supports your claim and you are dishonestly trying to avoid doing that. Put up or shut up.

  372. buddyward says

    Has Gem provided objective data regarding the efficacy of Scientific Prayer or is she still trying to spam this thread with useless non-sense?

  373. CompulsoryAccount7746, Sky Captain says

    @buddyward #389:

    Has Gem provided objective data regarding the efficacy of Scientific Prayer

    She has only mentioned the title of a book on “Practical Psychology and New Thought”.
     
    Here in #386, I linked a previous Axp thread regarding “Practical Psychology” / “New Thought” / “Mental Science”.
     
    It even had the same bible verse + proposing a “scientific method of prayer”. I quoted a couple books touted at the time, and later paraphrased the mechanism…
     

    Bodies are merely figments of our collective imagination. Tissue damage from disease or injury is the result of your spiritual mind forgetting that you’re always perfectly healthy. Once you realize that, your arm’ll grow right back! Maybe give a healer some cash to give you a pep talk.

     
    Comment: Axp – 22.33 – CA7746 #171 (Edinburgh Lectures, thought-power controlling the material plane)
     
    Comment: Axp 22.33 – Ray #113

    As individuals we are restricted by our self belief. If we can conceive of a thing we can achieve it providing we impress the idea on our subconscious mind in such a way that it will feel the reality of it and accept it. At that point it becomes a reality in the unseen and will manifest in our world. All thoughts of doubt must be removed from one’s mind though. It takes practice.

     
    No data back then either, of course. Just a ‘challenge’ to dupe yourself.
     

    she still trying to spam this thread with useless non-sense?

    Yep.

  374. CompulsoryAccount7746, Sky Captain says

    * Sorry, botched a link.
     
    Comment: Axp – 22.33 – CA7746 #171 (Edinburgh Lectures, thought-power controlling the material plane)

  375. buddyward says

    @Sky Captain #390 & #391

    Thank you.

    I wanted to make sure that I am not misreading what Gem is putting out. Glad to know that I have not missed anything.

  376. says

    @Chikoppi

    I do not care what it is “referred to as.” I want the evidence that establishes what “it” is. Also, “whatever the cause is” underscores that no research exists substantiates your claims.

    I can’t be bothered with any more of this tripe and I refuse to waste any further time on your endless equivocation and litany of nonsense.

    You continue to miss the point. Even Dr. Roland Griffths’ points out that asky “Why?” Or what he cause is is beyond science right now. It’s a larger ontological question that you’re asking, and you don’t seem to realize this. Science has only been investigating mystical experience for about a century now initiating with the work of William James, but religions have had thousands of years and centuries worth of literature describing these experiences.

  377. says

    @buddyward

    What I am not getting is the evidence that supportst your claim. I do not care what Kaku says. I have no assumptions. Either produce the peer reviewed research paper that measured Tabor light or admit that you made this shit up. Put up or shut up.

    The form constants I referred to, papers which have been peer-reviewed and published, are examples of this tabor light, likewise the research on the CME is another example of the Tabor light also called Beatific vision or Theoria (direct experience of God).

    The only published paper you have ever posted in this blog is the one from the Journal of Psychopharmacology. You know for a fact that the article published in that journal did not mention anything about proof of god or measuring Tabor light. For someone who is not shy about posting links to documents in this blog how come you do not want to post a peer reviewed published paper that proves what you are claiming. You keep stating that you have already published it because you want to send people in a wild goose chase.

    I’m not making you go on some goose chase. I’ve already linked these things. You’re under the impression I’ve not.

    Having a CME myself is not a peer reviewed published paper. Me having a CME does not provide objective data to others. I have been clear all this time that you present a peer reviewed published paper that supports your claim and you are dishonestly trying to avoid doing that. Put up or shut up.

    Undergoing a CME for yourself would reveal the Tabor light directly to you, and so you wouldn’t need to read some paper to become convinced. That’s why I said, why don’t you consider this experience for yourself so you don’t have to imagine that you’re going on some wild goose chase, you know. Put up or shut up best works there.

  378. buddyward says

    The form constants I referred to, papers which have been peer-reviewed and published, are examples of this tabor light, likewise the research on the CME is another example of the Tabor light also called Beatific vision or Theoria (direct experience of God).

    Still no evidence and more excuses.

    I’m not making you go on some goose chase. I’ve already linked these things. You’re under the impression I’ve not.

    Yep, I am willing to be wrong here just so that I can get the evidence that you are hiding. You have not linked any peer reviewed paper that supports your claim. Continuing to avoid doing that shows how dishonest you are.

    Undergoing a CME for yourself would reveal the Tabor light directly to you, and so you wouldn’t need to read some paper to become convinced. That’s why I said, why don’t you consider this experience for yourself so you don’t have to imagine that you’re going on some wild goose chase, you know. Put up or shut up best works there.

    Seeing how dishonest you are I can understand how you seem to think that I only want to prove this to myself. You are wrong, this is not only for my benefit but for others as well. Until you produce the peer reviewed research published paper you are nothing but a liar. Prove to everyone here that I am wrong in calling you a liar and produce those papers.

  379. CompulsoryAccount7746, Sky Captain says

    A recap…
     
    Gem #188:

    Praying scientifically means praying for something that you firmly believe is achievable […] to convince your subconscious mind of it

     
    Gem #63:

    your mind is in some way connected to seemingly unlimited power of achievement existing in the subconscious region of mind.

     
    Gem #41:

    We are living in a world of thoughts made manifest as physical realities

     
    Gem #82:

    This world that we know is the result of the combined thoughts of everyone who has ever lived and who is presently living

     
    Gem #84:

    Can you imagine your brain being so full of ideas that you can not possibly think another thought? Of course not. In this sense I believe mind and intelligence is infinite.

     
    Axp 22.33 – Ray #158 has its own version of that argument:

    If thought was limited the human brain then it would eventually become filled up to capacity just as other physical organs could be. Subconscious mind is infinite in its capacity. It records every event of a human’s being’s life in minutest detail.

     
    Gem #98:

    I am saying that intelligence is infinite and that we are part of the same primary intelligence which caused the Universe to be. This one infinite intelligence works through countless individual minds/brains
    […]
    Instead of thinking of yourself as little you with limited knowledge and brain power begin to view yourself as part of infinite intelligence and therefore without any limits at all, other than those you impose on yourself. You will soon find that your awareness and abilities begin to expand rapidly.

     
    Gem #233:

    I have never attempted to to use it to restore a limb as I do not have a missing one, thankfully, and do not know anyone who does.
     
    If I did have a missing limb though and utilised scientific prayer and failed to restore the limb do you think that this would mean that scientific does not work at all? No, all it would mean as that I did not have the TRUE, UNSHAKABLE BELIEF that it was possible for me to restore it.

     
    Gem #249:

    To clarify once more, I do not believe I have any ability to heal disease or any other ailment as I have never demonstrated to myself that I do due to the fact that I have fortunately never had a disease or any serious ailment that over-the-counter medicine was unable to deal with.

  380. says

    @buddyward

    Still no evidence and more excuses.

    The evidence is the CME itself which you flat-out deny.

    Yep, I am willing to be wrong here just so that I can get the evidence that you are hiding. You have not linked any peer reviewed paper that supports your claim. Continuing to avoid doing that shows how dishonest you are.

    Well, you are wrong. The published material on the CME represents the Tabor light, this is simply what’s seen at the height of these experiences, Alex Grey has given his own account with an an experience he had at the height of the LSD trance.

    Undergoing a CME for yourself would reveal the Tabor light directly to you, and so you wouldn’t need to read some paper to become convinced. That’s why I said, why don’t you consider this experience for yourself so you don’t have to imagine that you’re going on some wild goose chase, you know. Put up or shut up best works there.

    Seeing how dishonest you are I can understand how you seem to think that I only want to prove this to myself. You are wrong, this is not only for my benefit but for others as well. Until you produce the peer reviewed research published paper you are nothing but a liar. Prove to everyone here that I am wrong in calling you a liar and produce those papers.

    I have provided it. Please refer to the peer-reviewed and published studies on the CME as the Tabor light and what’s seen at the height of the CME is one and the same phenomenon. That’s what you can’t quite seem to grasp.

  381. buddyward says

    The evidence is the CME itself which you flat-out deny.

    Yes, I am denying CME because CME is NOT I repeat NOT a peer reviewed paper. You do not have a peer reviewed published paper do you? You are lying when you said Tabor light was measured by science and is now attempting to use CME as a replacement. GTFO you liar.

    Well, you are wrong. The published material on the CME represents the Tabor light, this is simply what’s seen at the height of these experiences, Alex Grey has given his own account with an an experience he had at the height of the LSD trance.

    Your YouTube video is not a peer reviewed published paper.

    I have provided it. Please refer to the peer-reviewed and published studies on the CME as the Tabor light and what’s seen at the height of the CME is one and the same phenomenon. That’s what you can’t quite seem to grasp.

    No you have not. If you have it would have been easy for you to post it again. Instead you are just claiming that you have. You are trying to be vague so that people would go on a wild goose chase. You are a liar.

  382. buddyward says

    @Kafei #397

    WTF Alex Grey is not even a scientist and you are using him as a reference for a scientific claim? Has Alex Grey ever written a peer reviewed published paper on anything that you claimed? I am willing to guess no. You are dishonestly trying to use false evidence and wasting people’s time. Liar.

  383. Chikoppi says

    “You continue to miss the point. […] It’s a larger ontological question that you’re asking, and you don’t seem to realize this.”

    I studied philosophy. I’m not missing any point. You are now appealing to a metaphysical assertion, not evidence established by scientific methodology. Yet another equivocation and attempt to shift the goal post.

    “Science has only been investigating mystical experience for about a century now…”

    Your claim is not about a subjective “experience,” but rather an objective truth about reality. Equivocation.

    …but religions have had thousands of years and centuries worth of literature describing these experiences.

    Non-fucking-sequitur. All the descriptions of a subjective “experience” in the world are not evidence that any interpretation posited about that experience is objectively true. Every individual with Capgras Delusion experiences the same conviction that people familiar to them are actually identical imposters – they “know” it. The consistency of those individuals’ subjective experiences is not evidence that people actually are imposters.

    Null hypothesis: The subjective “experience” (A) has no relationship to “the truth claim” found in the posited interpretation (B).

    “A” is not evidence of “B.”

  384. CompulsoryAccount7746, Sky Captain says

    Gem #367:

    Article: ManilaTimes – Filipinos are paying collective karmic debt
    “Raymond Smith, 62, a British citizen from England, is in the immigration jail […] a book publisher and webmaster”
     
    It mentions he is a book publisher. The Realization System is a course of books first published in 1915 which he republished

     
    Author Bio: Amazon – Raymond E. Smith

    a native of South Carolina. He began writing in 1959 after reading Napoleon Hill’s “Think and Grow Rich.” His first book [was] “Success Through Subliminal Cybernetics”

  385. CompulsoryAccount7746, Sky Captain says

    Impressive. If those are the same Raymond Smith, he started writing at two years old.

  386. EnlightenmentLiberal says

    why don’t you have a CME for yourself? Put up or shut up, you know.

    And yet another example where Kafei asks people to take unusually large (e.g. dangerous) amounts of certain hallucinogens. Just felt like pointing this out because I think this is one of the clearest points that Kafei continually lied about.

  387. says

    Just like anything else, you have people who have fuzzy abilities outside of their own. They can pick an arbitrary expected softness and reliably elicit certain responses correlated with those sorts of results, if you were wanting to maximize the distinction between these concepts, but they are not the same thing. It’s the same if they have to make a trade-off between defending the wrong hill, and being lost in your model of reality.
     
    Obviously, whatever that reality consists of resulted in information equally on what information does not determine that you are not experiencing the recommendation to get an evaluation as the ability to know things or rocks, or plants, or books, or people. With all of that hopefully providing enough to project our own estimations of desires, with people still struggling to figure it out, it’s like choosing to jump over the edge of a cliff. So unless you felt obligated to support the arguments trying to find flaws, as it becomes the majority position, objections or examples where the information seems to fill that in enough that the topic can take far too much time, perhaps years, as mentioned in the Wikipedia article.
     
    One thing to note is that it’s not dissimilar to the biological concerns with intentionally manipulating the very fact that people are questioning and disputing to go into detail, rather than simply saying something will result in people being able to determine what we find. A really simple example historically is that interactions to ones that are non-sociable, especially in situations where the difference isn’t any problem in pointing out the errors, shouldn’t accept their explanations, their confusion on the matter doesn’t invalidate their situation any more than you wouldn’t consider a biologically human person in those contexts in order to get by.
     
    That would be even more problematic for how many apparent disagreements have vanished but who can still tell you that such a distinction is being drawn. If so, it shouldn’t be any more difficult to mark them as an outlier and otherwise treating them according to reality when they do so. In this regard, an imprinting has occurred, it is no longer possible for a false front if you assume a goal of getting people early in life wondering how that keeps happening.
     
    The description of the problem was not exactly where the failure in someone’s reliability will break down. If you want to move beyond that and ask, you’re probably going to get very uninformed responses. It’s not hard to appreciate the limitations of where that evidence is useful or whether prayer is what most people will encounter on a daily basis. And a lot of people don’t go through life not bothering a randomly selected person about any subjects requiring years of study, most people can tell you. It would have been better if they saw something being commonly believed is evidence, but in the case of the correct intuitive understanding that other people relying on those sources inappropriately, such as when they are contrary, and the beliefs do not hold up under scrutiny.
     
    However, there are things where, rather than independently reached, you don’t need to see actual evidence for it. The fact remains that you can say that even without being able to follow a tremendous amount of results, most people accept that we are made of what authorities believe, despite believing the source was “scientists”. A huge amount of information about the world is more reliable than the other way around.
     
    Look at it like this: someone comes by and mentions that’s the only information you have since most people aren’t called into question, the majority of people in a closed room believe that there is usually a significantly better likelihood than chance of taking actions that result in a regrettable but necessary step towards some other purpose. In this scenario, the ultimate agent has already written into the nature of the universe that you exist. How do you validate something that you consider that you are being told is inherently the best way to achieve something else, other than just looking at what you value?
     
    If you observe that direct evidence does exist which convinced small numbers of people who entrenched social structures advocating it, not with any conception of a series of computations carried out in a foundational clash with politics, but who can still be considered problematic, then it would seem that you’re an unrelated process in this context. Also, not everyone, even if the authorities have no conflict with other information, can assume a goal of getting along socially, no matter how explicit the values of an issue. Regardless, just as the outcome may be deterministic, there are situations where the heuristics do break down, in order to update our probabilities. It’s understandable that if there were some inescapable responsibility to the preferential states and alternatives, that is essentially counting both, rather than where the confusion comes in.
     
    When discussing the outcomes of our estimates, even if we get misinformation that there’s a natural reason to use the same term, you could conceivably build a system to have reproductive fitness. Without there being this convergence layered one on top of the other, there are basically two systems where the heuristics do break down, and we end up with internal conflict that might meet such a criteria.
     
    Unless, of course, you actually seem reasonable enough to verify on a case by case basis some equivalent ‘essence’. To clarify, whenever the distinction between a high enough degree of context of the reasoning was based on a person’s state relative to possessing natural phenomena around us, this provides good evidence of the future.
     
    You’ll note that as it could be that value is a thing it implies values are something. We can observe that obviously is not the same thing, other than your own mind isn’t coherent.
     
    The point I was making is actually independent of whether or not the universe is a part of reality, even in principle.

  388. CompulsoryAccount7746, Sky Captain says

    @Jared #404:
    I found that… extraordinarily difficult to parse.
     
    To make the feedback constructive, it was for these reasons:
    unclear subject(s?), ambiguous these/they/it/that referents, long chains of clauses, double negatives, absence of specific examples. Paragraph sizes/breaks were okay.
     
    Something to do with consensus reality / epistemology / expert selection / morality / health / discourse goals / terminology and evaluating competing conventions?

  389. CompulsoryAccount7746, Sky Captain says

    Gem 366:

    Raymond, the new arrival in question

     
    Gem #316:

    This particular truly blest individual who found him/herself in that horrendous situation has a huge music collection, perhaps one the largest in the world of its type in this particular genre

     
    Comment: Axp 22.33 – Ray #205:

    my website […] If you enjoy soul/R&B you should check it out. It doesn’t sell anything so this is not an advert by the way! Mine is as far as I am aware the only ad-free music site of this kind in existence

     
    Well that detail was an unnecessary coincidence.

  390. RationalismRules says

    @SkyCaptain #406

    Well that detail was an unnecessary coincidence.

    More than coincidence, I think. (Were you being ironic?)

    There were a number of points from Gem that struck me as vaguely familiar, but I couldn’t quite place them. Now that you’ve drawn the connection to Ray it’s all beginning to fall into place.
    You’ve noted one cloned argument in your post #396: the ‘filled brain’.
    Here are the ones I noticed:
     
    Gem #41

    The mind is the realm of causation and the physical world is the realm of effects…

    Ray 22.33 #221

    Infinite intelligence is omnipresent in its entirety and subsists in the absolute … It is the realm of causation, the material plane is the realm of effect.

    (I remember taking Ray to task on this nonsense. It’s completely contrary to the actual meaning of cause & effect. But I digress…)
     
    Here’s a related point, again their phrasing is quite similar:
    Gem #135

    the mental process of forming pictures remains the same, thus everything in Nature existed (as a spiritual idea and ideal or prototype) prior to the first signs of life on this planet.

    Ray 22.33 #158

    Everything is first worked out in the unseen before it is manifested in the seen, in the ideal before it is realized in
    the real, in the spiritual before it shows forth in the material.

    (This is attributed as a quote from the introduction to “a very interesting book entitled “In Tune With The Infinite” by “19th century American philosopher Ralph Waldo Trine”)
     
    Then there’s the ‘intelligence’ argument:
    Gem #112

    It is reasonable because intelligent lifeforms have never proceeded from non-intelligent life forms, experimentally or otherwise. Like begets like, in other words.

    Ray 22.33 #70

    As intelligent life cannot and has never been formed from non-intelligence, is it really too big a step for you to realise that the defining quality of that which caused the universe to form in the first place must be intelligence?

     
    Also from that same post (Ray 22.33 #70):

    Can a human being form or produce anything useful without using intelligence and imagination to do so? It is impossible for us to even conceive of anything useful in our material world being made without some intelligence at work…

    cf. Gem #41

    Can you imagine anything at all worthwhile coming into existence in our world without it first being conceived of in the imagination of someone I wonder?
    It’s doubtful that you can….

     
    They are clearly singing from the same hymnbook.
     
    As for whether Ray is the “Raymond” of the story, Ray has said he lives in the Philippines… (22.33 #158)

  391. Maynard says

    Tracie and Phil:

    Re the long argument you had with the Mormon bloke about trusting one’s feelings: maybe you should have replaced his insistent use of the words “correct feelings” with “appropriate feelings”.

    Tracie’s fear during her walk down the dark alley was completely appropriate to what she had good reason to believe was, or might very well be, the case, based on experience: that danger possibly lurked there.

    Nevertheless, her interpretation of what her senses were telling her turned out to be wrong. Consequently, her feelings changed from fear to relief. The relief was appropriate to what she now believed to be the case – that there was a perfectly innocent explanation for what she saw and heard. To carry on being every bit as frightened would now be an inappropriate response.

    In other words, her feelings were appropriate to her interpretation, but her interpretation was wrong.

  392. Gem says

    How can a person tell if they have been blocked?
    Do they receive notification?
    Do the other users of the blog receive notification?

  393. Gem says

    @RationalismRules

    Gem #41

    The mind is the realm of causation and the physical world is the realm of effects…

    Ray 22.33 #221

    Infinite intelligence is omnipresent in its entirety and subsists in the absolute … It is the realm of causation, the material plane is the realm of effect.

    (I remember taking Ray to task on this nonsense. It’s completely contrary to the actual meaning of cause & effect. But I digress…)

    “To every action there is always an equal and opposite reaction” ~ Sir Isaac Newton (Newton’s Third Law) Karma is the law of cause and effect. Your actions or way of thinking creates a cause and in time, you will see and feel the effects it has in your life (present and future).

    @buddyward

    Has Gem provided objective data regarding the efficacy of Scientific Prayer or is she still trying to spam this thread with useless non-sense?

    see #366-368

  394. Gem says

    @buddyward

    Can you please provide an example of what you mean by “is she still trying to spam this thread”

    If I answer other posters questions is that regarded as spamming?

    Can you show any example in the blog of a post by myself that could in any way be regarded as spamming please?

  395. Gem says

    @twarren1111

    “And Gem, it is very very important to me to be ‘honest’ ”

    Regarding your comment concerning me saying “I never said I didn’t believe in a personal god”….can you let me know which post number I said this on please ?

    Can anyone else find the post twarren is referring to?

  396. says

    @buddyward

    Yes, I am denying CME because CME is NOT I repeat NOT a peer reviewed paper. You do not have a peer reviewed published paper do you? You are lying when you said Tabor light was measured by science and is now attempting to use CME as a replacement. GTFO you liar.

    No one is suggesting that a CME is a peer-reviewed paper, to even mention this is ludicrous. Who in their senses would confuse a CME with a peer-reviewed paper? I mean, c’mon, really? Yes, I have posted the peer-reviewed material on the scientific investigations of the CME. I’m not replacing the Tabor light with the CME, what I’m trying to tell you is that they’re one and the same phenomenon. The Tabor light is what’s experienced at the height of the CME.

    Your YouTube video is not a peer reviewed published paper.

    Okay, c’mon, now? Once again, no one is suggesting a YouTube video is a peer-reviewed study. Rather the lectures in the YouTube video are given by professionals who are expounding on the peer-reviewed material.

    No you have not. If you have it would have been easy for you to post it again. Instead you are just claiming that you have. You are trying to be vague so that people would go on a wild goose chase. You are a liar.

    I haven’t lied about anything. You just refuse to comprehend what I’m talking about, and straw man me with nonsense like calling a YouTube video or a CME a “peer-reviewed paper.” That’s an imbecilic charge that only shows that you’re not attempting at all to grasp this stuff.

    WTF Alex Grey is not even a scientist and you are using him as a reference for a scientific claim?

    No, that’s not what I’m doing. Quit assuming nonsense. The earlier studies done by Heinrich Klüver back in 1926 relative to the “form constants” were done on volunteers using mescaline.

    Has Alex Grey ever written a peer reviewed published paper on anything that you claimed? I am willing to guess no. You are dishonestly trying to use false evidence and wasting people’s time. Liar.

    No, what I was doing was giving you example of the vision seen at the height of an LSD experience which Alex describes quite articulately.

    @Chikoppi

    I studied philosophy.

    So have I, and I continue to study it.

    I’m not missing any point. You are now appealing to a metaphysical assertion, not evidence established by scientific methodology. Yet another equivocation and attempt to shift the goal post.

    I maintain you are, indeed, missing the point. More accurately, I’m appealing to evidence produced by decades worth of scientific research.

    “Science has only been investigating mystical experience for about a century now…”

    Your claim is not about a subjective “experience,” but rather an objective truth about reality. Equivocation.

    I’m saying at the height of the experience, the subject-object duality doesn’t exist. It’s an experience of complete ego dissolution.

    …but religions have had thousands of years and centuries worth of literature describing these experiences.

    Non-fucking-sequitur. All the descriptions of a subjective “experience” in the world are not evidence that any interpretation posited about that experience is objectively true. Every individual with Capgras Delusion experiences the same conviction that people familiar to them are actually identical imposters – they “know” it. The consistency of those individuals’ subjective experiences is not evidence that people actually are imposters.

    This is a fallacy of a false analogy. I wouldn’t compare Capgras delusion to a mystical experience. This is a universal phenomenon in consciousness, this is something that could potentially happen to yourself. It’s an experience which volunteers endorse which is “more real than everyday waking consciousness.”

    Null hypothesis: The subjective “experience” (A) has no relationship to “the truth claim” found in the posited interpretation (B).

    “A” is not evidence of “B.”

    I disagree. I believe that’s why they find these mystical states of consciousness consistent with the Perennial philosophy, because each of the major religions has a word that points to this experience as a glimpse of this underlying metaphysical truth shared by all the major religions.

  397. says

    I just ran across this interview with Duncan Trussell and Dr. Jordan Peterson where they discuss psychedelics. Even Peterson admits to having taken psychedelics. Matt Dillahunty likes to say he’s had psychedelics, but whatever he took, it was certainly a subthreshold dose, and even his accounts are typical of the type of experiences people describe on recreational doses. Just listen to Matt talk about Super Strawberry. Matt even talks about his hatred for the term “spiritual experience,” because he’s no clue as to what the word means. I don’t think he realizes that it’s been concretely defined within research investigating mystical/spiritual experiences. Matt says, for him, the closest thing he’s had that he would call the “Holy Spirit” was the, and I quote, “Euphoria and tingling in elation” that he would feel at church sometimes, and that he’d hear other people referring to as the Holy Spirit, but he also experienced that same thing on drugs, with sex, with music, by looking at interesting art, etc. and found it to be a function of the brain, but what Matt’s talking about here is frisson, the “shivers up the spine” you can get while listening to good music. While that’s an interesting experience that people have, it’s nothing to do with the concretely defined CME which people describe as the most spiritual experience of their lives. Matt’s simply never had anything like that, and has admitted so.

  398. buddyward says

    @Gem #411

    Can you please provide an example of what you mean by “is she still trying to spam this thread”

    If I answer other posters questions is that regarded as spamming?

    Can you show any example in the blog of a post by myself that could in any way be regarded as spamming please?

    Gem, from your post at #260 until the time that I made that comment on #389, where did you provide data for the efficacy of prayer? If you want specifics, then the following are examples:

    #366
    #367
    #368

    These have nothing to do with demonstrating the efficacy of prayer. What you have referenced in your posts are the troubling conditions in the Philippine prison system.

  399. buddyward says

    @Kafei #413

    No one is suggesting that a CME is a peer-reviewed paper, to even mention this is ludicrous. Who in their senses would confuse a CME with a peer-reviewed paper? I mean, c’mon, really? Yes, I have posted the peer-reviewed material on the scientific investigations of the CME. I’m not replacing the Tabor light with the CME, what I’m trying to tell you is that they’re one and the same phenomenon. The Tabor light is what’s experienced at the height of the CME.

    Then you are an idiot for suggesting CME when I asked for a peer reviewed paper. Once again you are trying to redirect the conversation back to CME when all we want is for you to present evidence in the form of a peer reviewed paper specially if you are going to claim that Tabor light was measured by Science.

    Okay, c’mon, now? Once again, no one is suggesting a YouTube video is a peer-reviewed study. Rather the lectures in the YouTube video are given by professionals who are expounding on the peer-reviewed material.

    If you are asked for a peer reviewed paper and you present a YouTube video then you are the dumbass that is suggesting a YouTube video is a peer reviewed paper.

    I haven’t lied about anything. You just refuse to comprehend what I’m talking about, and straw man me with nonsense like calling a YouTube video or a CME a “peer-reviewed paper.” That’s an imbecilic charge that only shows that you’re not attempting at all to grasp this stuff.

    I failed to comprehend why you have not presented any peer reviewed paper. You are willing to present CME or a stupid YouTube video as a replacement for a peer reviewed paper and then turn around and tell me that I am the one failing to understand. Either put up the peer reviewed paper or GTFO.

    No, that’s not what I’m doing. Quit assuming nonsense. The earlier studies done by Heinrich Klüver back in 1926 relative to the “form constants” were done on volunteers using mescaline.

    That is exacty what you are doing when you are presenting some jackass who has not written a peer reviewed paper that supports your claim. No one gives a shit about the experience of Alex Grey. We are interested in the peer reviewed paper.

    No, what I was doing was giving you example of the vision seen at the height of an LSD experience which Alex describes quite articulately.

    Did I ask for an example? Tell me Kafei, what is it that I have been asking all this time. I am assuming that you would know by now since I have asked a billion times already while you dishonestly try to redirect the conversation somewhere else. This should not take this much work, present the paper and we can discuss what was in the paper. If you have it then it should only take you seconds to search for it. If you do not have it then you are continuing to lie about your claim and the existence of that paper. Until you present that paper, you are nothing but a liar.

  400. buddyward says

    @Gem 410

    Has Gem provided objective data regarding the efficacy of Scientific Prayer or is she still trying to spam this thread with useless non-sense?

    see #366-368

    Do you know what efficacy means? Please explain how those posts demonstrate the efficacy of prayer.

  401. says

    @buddyward

    Then you are an idiot for suggesting CME when I asked for a peer reviewed paper. Once again you are trying to redirect the conversation back to CME when all we want is for you to present evidence in the form of a peer reviewed paper specially if you are going to claim that Tabor light was measured by Science.

    I’ve already provided links to the peer-reviewed material in the first thread of this year. The work done on form constants can be found cited in the Wikipedia page.

    If you are asked for a peer reviewed paper and you present a YouTube video then you are the dumbass that is suggesting a YouTube video is a peer reviewed paper.

    I’ve suggested no such thing. I said no one in their right mind would confuse a YouTube video or a CME with a peer-reviewed paper. This was your projection, and yours alone.

    I failed to comprehend why you have not presented any peer reviewed paper. You are willing to present CME or a stupid YouTube video as a replacement for a peer reviewed paper and then turn around and tell me that I am the one failing to understand. Either put up the peer reviewed paper or GTFO.

    Because I’ve already cited the peer-reviewed research I’ve brought up here.

    That is exacty what you are doing when you are presenting some jackass who has not written a peer reviewed paper that supports your claim. No one gives a shit about the experience of Alex Grey. We are interested in the peer reviewed paper.

    Then, refer to the first thread. I’ve cited this research throughout. You can also find the bulk of the published research done at Johns Hopkins here

    Did I ask for an example? Tell me Kafei, what is it that I have been asking all this time. I am assuming that you would know by now since I have asked a billion times already while you dishonestly try to redirect the conversation somewhere else. This should not take this much work, present the paper and we can discuss what was in the paper. If you have it then it should only take you seconds to search for it. If you do not have it then you are continuing to lie about your claim and the existence of that paper. Until you present that paper, you are nothing but a liar.

    The published material is easily found through Google. You could’ve searched it yourself. You don’t have to wait for someone to deliver it to you on a silver platter. And I know you didn’t ask for an example, I was giving you one so that you can better understand what this experience entails, it was for the benefit of your understanding which you obviously don’t care about.

  402. twarren1111 says

    Gem (mostly)
    I appreciate your story about the BIPD and how that person got free. I also appreciate how Compulsory Account (Sky Captain) was able to locate specific information about the situation.

    What you presented is called, when discussing the scientific method, is an anecdote. An anecdote is a ‘story’ which is uncontrolled. By uncontrolled I mean all the variables in the story (such as location, when, why, where, what, and so on) are not PROSPECTIVELY determined but as RETROSPECTIVELY determined because they are part of the story. And, this is important too, the plural of anecdote is not data. That is a bad joke (as all medical/scientific jokes are bad) but very useful (and I will explain why it is useful using probabilities as part of my reply later). One reason that anecdotes are not data is revealed by the definition that I just used. For example, if you then tell another story of how prayer worked in your life recently then it too is an anecdote and it cannot be ‘added’ to the story you presented about the Philippine situation. Why? Because the second story is not in the Philippines. Plus, your second story about prayer in your life will not relate in any way to the first story except, maybe, for the aspect of how prayer was used. But even then, as you have done by citing SCIENTIFIC PRAYER (and how it has to be ‘done right to work’) how do we know that the prayer used in the Philippine story is the same type of prayer that you used in your second story. And so on. THIS IS WHY ANECODOTE MEANS AND UNCONTROLLED STORY. Plus, by definition, the story is RETROSPECTIVE.

    The point of why I am being so precise is the concept of how the method works when one is doing science. To test claims, you need to control every aspect of the test that you can so that the test is the thing you are measuring. It is hard enough to get down to the facts of TP, FP, TN and FN for every test let alone allow aspects of how the test is conducted to be ‘anything goes’.

    So, what are anecdotes and other retrospective good for? THEY ARE HOW WE OFTEN GENERATE OUR HYPOTHESES!!! SEE? In other words, all your ‘evidence’ regarding prayer is not data. It is NOT evidence. What all your stories and experience with prayer are is a foundation for the generation of your claim (AKA hypothesis) to then test in a rigorous, prospective manner. The goal is to eliminate every possible bias that you can when you do conduct your test. Plus, it is important that once you get all your results that you publish them in a manner that you are asking EVERYONE to look at what you did and pick it apart. You are asking for HELP in determining if you found out a true positive piece of reality.

    And that is what science is.

    For example, here is a study was done that was published in the Archives of Internal Medicine. A nice thing about Wikipedia is that if you search the title of a journal a page will appear that will tell you the providence of that journal. If you do that for the Archives of Internal Medicine you will see that it is a peer-reviewed journal of Internal Medicine that was established by the American Medical Association over a hundred years ago. In other words, it is legit.

    Here is a study https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10547166
    Arch Intern Med. 1999 Oct 25;159(19):2273-8.
    A randomized, controlled trial of the effects of remote, intercessory prayer on outcomes in patients admitted to the coronary care unit.
    Harris WS1, Gowda M, Kolb JW, Strychacz CP, Vacek JL, Jones PG, Forker A, O’Keefe JH, McCallister BD.
    Abstract
    CONTEXT:
    Intercessory prayer (praying for others) has been a common response to sickness for millennia, but it has received little scientific attention. The positive findings of a previous controlled trial of intercessory prayer have yet to be replicated.
    OBJECTIVE:
    To determine whether remote, intercessory prayer for hospitalized, cardiac patients will reduce overall adverse events and length of stay.
    DESIGN:
    Randomized, controlled, double-blind, prospective, parallel-group trial.
    SETTING:
    Private, university-associated hospital.
    PATIENTS:
    Nine hundred ninety consecutive patients who were newly admitted to the coronary care unit (CCU).
    INTERVENTION:
    At the time of admission, patients were randomized to receive remote, intercessory prayer (prayer group) or not (usual care group). The first names of patients in the prayer group were given to a team of outside intercessors who prayed for them daily for 4 weeks. Patients were unaware that they were being prayed for, and the intercessors did not know and never met the patients.
    MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES:
    The medical course from CCU admission to hospital discharge was summarized in a CCU course score derived from blinded, retrospective chart review.
    RESULTS:
    Compared with the usual care group (n = 524), the prayer group (n = 466) had lower mean +/- SEM weighted (6.35 +/- 0.26 vs 7.13 +/- 0.27; P=.04) and unweighted (2.7 +/- 0.1 vs 3.0 +/- 0.1; P=.04) CCU course scores. Lengths of CCU and hospital stays were not different.
    CONCLUSIONS:
    Remote, intercessory prayer was associated with lower CCU course scores. This result suggests that prayer may be an effective adjunct to standard medical care.

    I want to point out a few things about this study. First, this is just the abstract. The abstract is designed to be a ‘snapshot’ of a paper in academic journals that gives the meat of the findings. IT IS IMPORTANT THAT IF YOU ARE GOING TO USE A STUDY LIKE THIS IN AN IN-DEPTH WAY THAT YOU MUST, IN GOOD CONSCIENCE, READ THE FULL ACTUAL PAPER. BUT, for purposes for what I am doing, looking at only the abstract is sufficient.

    Look at the results section. They report the findings with TWO types of analyses: weighted and unweighted. What that means is that ‘unweighted’ is all the data with no parsing and ‘weighted’ means reporting the same data where they cull data points that are felt to be irrelevant. BOTH OF THESE WAYS OF REPORTING RESULTS SHOW THAT PRAYER HAD AN EFFECT ON REDUCING COMPLICATIONS IN THE CORONARY CARE UNIT and that because both ways show a p-value of 0.04 (p=0.04) then that means that we are 96% CERTAIN THAT THE RESULTS ARE ‘REAL’ OR ‘SIGNIFICANT’.

    Now, this study is excellent to review for two reasons. Remember, the p-value of 4% only tells us that the two arms that were being compared and how they were being compared gave a result that the statistics show are really different with a 96% probability. This is what I was referring to before that in biological sciences it is generally accepted that a 95% probability is the threshold to determine if the difference is real or just noise. Thus, this study could have a p value as low as 0.05% and still be considered a positive study.

    But, look at what they are sure is different. In the prayer group there were 6.35 versus 7.13 complicatIons while in the CCU. Think about that. Both arms had around 500 patients. So, there were less than 2 complications different between the prayer and no prayer group. Plus, as they point out, the length of stay in the CCU and then in the hospital after they were transferred from the CCU to a regular floor was no different. And, though they do not state this in the abstract, it is implied that overall survival was no different too. I would expect that in the body of paper the lack of effect on overall survival would be discussed. Believe me, if they found more patients were alive with prayer by the end of the hospital stay that would have been SCREAMED in headlines all over the world.

    Another thing to point out: though this is a large study (500 patients per arm is a large study) it was done AT ONLY ONE INSTITUTION. This is important because we now know (since the 1950s) that studies done at one institution cannot be used to justify changes in care unless you repeat it many institutions. Why? Bias. Researchers at single institutions cannot help themselves to ‘cherry pick’ patients for studies.

    So…this is a study of intercessory prayer that shows that prayer helped to reduce complications in an CCU.

    What do we do with this? Is this the ground shaking proof of prayer?

    Hardly. This is just a start. There are several issues that need to be contended with and one of them, the most important one, is that it is a single institution study. Plus, it only looked at complication rates. The length of stay in the CCU AND the total hospital length of stay were unaffected. Plus, there was no affect on survival. The only thing you can say with this study is that if prayer works it aint very good at all.

    But, what this study really does IS JUSTIFY THE EXPENSE OF DOING A LARGER, BETTER CONTROLLED PHASE III STUDY. THIS IS HOW THE SCIENTIFIC METHOD HELPS TO REDUCE THE WASTE OF TIME AND ENERGY AND WHY THE RELIGIOUS PROCESS WASTES TIME AND ENERGY. TIME AND ENERGY ARE INFORMATION. MORALITY IS HOW ONE USES INFORMATION.

    In my next post, I will show you the ‘definitive’ phase III study that was performed. Indeed, it was funded by the John Templeton foundation. If you are not aware, the Templeton foundation awards million dollar prizes to scientists who support Christianity in their findings and scientific work.

  403. twarren1111 says

    Gem (mostly) and Kafei (about how science works)

    It is important, Gem, that you read this whole post. Why? Because by the end of this post, the best evidence to date regarding the efficacy of prayer shows that prayer HURTS PEOPLE.

    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16569567
    Study of the Therapeutic Effects of Intercessory Prayer (STEP) in cardiac bypass patients: a multicenter randomized trial of uncertainty and certainty of receiving intercessory prayer.
    Benson H1, Dusek JA, Sherwood JB, Lam P, Bethea CF, Carpenter W, Levitsky S, Hill PC, Clem DW Jr, Jain MK, Drumel D, Kopecky SL, Mueller PS, Marek D, Rollins S, Hibberd PL

    Abstract
    BACKGROUND:
    Intercessory prayer is widely believed to influence recovery from illness, but claims of benefits are not supported by well-controlled clinical trials. Prior studies have not addressed whether prayer itself or knowledge/certainty that prayer is being provided may influence outcome. We evaluated whether (1) receiving intercessory prayer or (2) being certain of receiving intercessory prayer was associated with uncomplicated recovery after coronary artery bypass graft (CABG) surgery.
    METHODS:
    Patients at 6 US hospitals were randomly assigned to 1 of 3 groups: 604 received intercessory prayer after being informed that they may or may not receive prayer; 597 did not receive intercessory prayer also after being informed that they may or may not receive prayer; and 601 received intercessory prayer after being informed they would receive prayer. Intercessory prayer was provided for 14 days, starting the night before CABG. The primary outcome was presence of any complication within 30 days of CABG. Secondary outcomes were any major event and mortality.
    RESULTS:
    In the 2 groups uncertain about receiving intercessory prayer, complications occurred in 52% (315/604) of patients who received intercessory prayer versus 51% (304/597) of those who did not (relative risk 1.02, 95% CI 0.92-1.15). Complications occurred in 59% (352/601) of patients certain of receiving intercessory prayer compared with the 52% (315/604) of those uncertain of receiving intercessory prayer (relative risk 1.14, 95% CI 1.02-1.28). Major events and 30-day mortality were similar across the 3 groups.
    CONCLUSIONS:
    Intercessory prayer itself had no effect on complication-free recovery from CABG, but the certainty of receiving intercessory prayer was associated with a higher incidence of complications.

    A few things to point out about this study is first the authorship. Harvard was the lead institution. The journal is a peer-reviewed journal. The design of the study is excellent. First, it is multi-institutional. This is so important. One thing I want to focus on though is that it was done at 6 hospitals. This really is not enough institutions. To give you an idea, most phase III cancer studies that result in a change of care are done at over a hundred institutions and often are multi-national.

    But, and this is important to know: an institution, even an NCI comprehensive cancer center, struggles to enroll patients on clinical trials. We always fight the idea of ‘you want to experiment on me????”. Thus, this number will astound you: if an institution enrolls 2 percent, (get that????????? TWO FREAKING PERCENT) of their cancer patients on a clinical trial they are considered SUPERSTARS. On average, an institution will enroll two patients a year on a particular research protocol!!!!!

    So, look at his study!! How different the cardiology world is and how different a world it is if you are doing research on prayer. They got almost 2000 patients enrolled in this study. The pdf of the study is available if you want to get it, so I am guessing here, but I bet this study was open less than 2 years. I bet they enrolled 2000 patients at 6 institutions in less than 2 years. For a comparable cancer study you would need to have a study open for 5 years at hundreds and hundreds of institutions worldwide!!

    Please cut an paste this link into your browser (I am not certain why the hyperlink does not form but I think it is because this link is to a pdf of the full paper). The paper is well written and looking at just the figures gives you all you need to know (as most good science papers do).

    https://www.researchgate.net/publication/7208885_Study_of_the_Therapeutic_Effects_of_Intercessory_Prayer_STEP_in_Cardiac_Bypass_Patients_A_Multicenter_Randomized_Trial_of_Uncertainty_and_Certainty_of_Receiving_Intercessory_Prayer

    The other cool thing was how they controlled the trial. They had three groups. Here is a pdf of the study and it is figure 1 and 2 that are vital to look at. The key control they did was via these three groups. Group 1 was patients who didn’t know if they were prayed for or not and intercessory prayer was performed; group 2 was patients who didn’t know if they were prayed for and none of them were prayed for; group 3 knew they were prayed for and they were prayed for. Now, scroll down to figure 2.

    Not only were the three groups an excellent way to control but the prayer started 14 days before the open heart surgery. Plus, they also looked at not only 30-day mortality (which is what the study was powered to determine) but they also looked at survival. It is important to note that if the study did show a difference in survival that most likely the result would not hit that p-value of 0.05 because to have enough events (i.e., death in this case) to get a p-value the study would likely need about 10,000 patients total to get the stats necessary to determine a p-value. Again, secondary endpoints like this are what is referred to as ‘subset analysis’ and are really only useful for hypothesis generation. In other words, if this had been a positive study in its primary outcome (and it wasn’t as I will discuss in a minute) then the question would be raised about the ‘gold standard’ which would be ‘well, does prayer then make you live longer too?’ but that would require lots of money to do.

    Anyway, figure 2 is astounding. What figure 2 is outlining so clearly is that the difference between complications between group 1 and 2 was not different. Indeed, look at that p-value!!!!! That p-value says that the study is 67% certain that the outcomes in the two groups are no different. In other words, we are 33% certain they are different and that ain’t anywhere close to 95% threshold we need. IT’s just noise. In the basic form of the study, where patients knew prayer may happen, there was no difference when prayer did happen.

    BUT LOOK AT GROUP 3!!!!!! Group 3, remember were the patients who KNEW they would be prayed for and they were prayed for in the same manner as for group 2. Look at the p-value!!!!! We are 97.5% certain that the results between group 3 and group 2 are real. AND WHAT ARE THOSE RESULTS?????? THAT PRAYER CAUSED MORE COMPLICATIONS WHEN THE PATIENTS KNEW THEY WERE BEING PRAYED FOR.

    The main reason the investigators give for this starting result is this: that the people who knew they were being prayed for were more anxious than the ones who didn’t know if they were prayed for and that this anxiety results in MORE CARDIAC COMPLICATIONS. And Why? because they didn’t want to let down their god.

    And this is why blaming the victim for prayer not working is, well, kinda evil. Well, actually, I can’t say kinda.

    TELLING PEOPLE HAVING CARDIAC SURGERY YOU ARE GOING TO PRAY FOR THEM IS PROVEN TO HURT THOSE PEOPLE.

    Now, this is just hypothesis generation, but what does this mean if you let people with other illnesses know you are praying for them? Why would the effect be limited to open heart surgery?

    And this is why when Monocle Smile swears at you for saying that the reason children with cancer aren’t cured with prayer is that the children aren’t praying correctly is appropriate.

    What the John Templeton foundation inadvertently did was reveal how religion and the guilt associated with it is not more than just a waste of time and energy. IT is a waste of time and energy THAT HURTS PEOPLE.

  404. buddyward says

    @Kafei 418

    I’ve already provided links to the peer-reviewed material in the first thread of this year.

    Which one out of all the Google result is the peer reviewed published paper? Which one out of all the Google result contains the description on how Tabor light was measured? Which one out of all those Google results contains the evidence that god exists?

    The work done on form constants can be found cited in the Wikipedia page.

    Where in the form constants Wikipedia article says how it was measured? Where in the Wikipedia article says that form constants is the same as Tabor light? Where in the Wikipedia article it says that Tabor light and god is one and the same?

    I’ve suggested no such thing. I said no one in their right mind would confuse a YouTube video or a CME with a peer-reviewed paper. This was your projection, and yours alone.

    I guess you are not in your right mind as I asked for peer reviewed paper and you presented a YouTube video and CME.

    Because I’ve already cited the peer-reviewed research I’ve brought up here.

    Up until this point no you have not. Presenting a Google result instead containing 13 results is a bit disingenuous. It demonstrate that you just want to waste people’s time. Which one of those contain the evidence for your claim? Let me pick the first in the list:

    “Classic Hallucinogens and Mystical Experiences: Phenomenology and Neural