Worldly Talk

Civil discussion and debate on real world events and issues.


Man Survives a Plane Crash?

   
The answer is C, obviously. You can make a prediction about something which is unpredictable. it is called a wild guess.
And there was also a point in removing the quotation marks, because it illustrates just how absurd your reasoning is.
If you are reading other posters as well, it is thoroughly evident how wrong you are, but you continue to pick nits as if that will somehow justify your confusion.
Because science isn't just about making predictions (that would be divination), science is about making *models* or theories which result in *accurate* predictions.
And, FYI predictable means that it is possible to make an accurate prediction, not that it is possible to make any prediction. Thus, yes, you can make a prediction about unpredictable things. just don't expect to be right very often. unless of course you're psychic :P

I think the discussion of what is and isn't science is facinating, but my point had absolutely nothing to do with science. My thoughts and opinions have no basis in anything I can prove, nor would I want to. My basis is faith, which in many ways is the exact opposite of what science strives to achieve -- that being a proveable explanation to a phenomena.

So I would like to toss in my two cents, though I probably shouldnt as it will most likely fan flames again, but I would like to get back to the original topic.

In order for us to determine any answers with any certainty, we must first make sure all of our definitions are on the same plate. For starters, what is an "Out of Body Experience"? Do we define it as "Any experience in which someone feels as though they have separated from their body" or "An event in which someone's Soul becomes separated from the confines of their body." Or possibly a different definition would fit better.

As you can see, the difference in these definitions is very large in calling him crazy or not and in explaining the causes. The former, leaves itself open to a broad category, from the soul leaving the body, to brain damage. While the second restricts it to needing to define what the Soul is and what could cause it to separate from the body.

The definition of death (or the point at which we consider one dead) needs to be clarified in order to determine if his claim of resurrection holds and grounds.

Now I am not saying we must say that if it isn't science, it dose not exist or can't happen. However, we do need to define things and approach them logically. Sure there might be 6 logical rational explanations that could easily work, but that dose not mean there is not a 7th possibility that could have occurred.

Realistically, I guess in the end we will never have any 100% certainty that something is the cause. However, if we wish to debate something we must all agree on what we are debating, otherwise we yell at each other over the flavor of "fruit" while one of us is talking about apples, another oranges, and another still is arguing the taste of strawberries.

There are a number of people who would and will dispute that 'defining things and approaching them logically' is a reductionist position, equivalent to assuming that the answer is scientific in nature.

To which you will probably say some variant of, 'but the Enlightenment taught us to empower ourselves by taking reductionist positions regarding natural phenomena', to which I will shamefacedly reply, 'yes, but the modern trend of thinking is to rely on emotions and intuition'.

And then we and every other rational person will take a long moment to contemplate the history of Western civilization with a shared sinking feeling in the pits of our stomachs.

Personally I would say that anything described as an experience (out of body experience, abduction experience, the Dolby experience) is defined subjectively from the point of view of the experiencer. It should also be noted that an experience is not necessarilly about reality,but about what that person percieved and how it affected them.
For example, as I said earlier I did have an abduction experience once- and even wound up waking up in a different part of the house than where I went to sleep. However two things convinced me that it was not real: 1) portions of buildings I went through in the experience were different when i went through the same locations later- for example a dorr I had never gone through ebfore led to a hallway in teh experience but led to a room in real life. Many 'abductees' have reported similar things, but write them off to alien technology. and 2) It was during a period of numerous strange dreams surrounding a very definable point in my life- I was going through puberty.
The experience still felt real, however, to the point that I still have a phobia of needles from it 30 years later. So on some level it was real, because it had a very real impact, it just wasn't physical world-real.

Quote:
Originally Posted by silveroak View Post
The experience still felt real, however, to the point that I still have a phobia of needles from it 30 years later. So on some level it was real, because it had a very real impact, it just wasn't physical world-real.
From a shamanic perspective, the physical world is but one sphere of reality. A shaman will claim that there are other layers that may be explored. It's one reason why the argument about measurement is somewhat absurd to me, because in requiring a measurement within the physical realm you're automatically discounting the possibility of other spheres of existence that cannot be measured by a purely physical device. We may someday possess the ability to measure an alternate sphere enough to scientifically accept that such a thing exists, but I don't think we currently have such technology.

Skeptics will refuse to accept that such a thing exists until it can be proven scientifically, and that's fine. But it's close-minded to state that such a thing could not possibly exist, and to not study the (admittedly faulty) evidence that does exist that measures to some degree such possibilities.

For instance, were someone to conduct a study of people who, in their early pubescence, reported abduction experiences and discovered from that study that 40% of participants reported somewhat similar phenomena (rooms and corridors that felt real, but didn't perfectly mirror physical reality) and a substantive phobia that lasted into adulthood and resisted advanced therapeutic treatment, that would be an interesting finding. It wouldn't prove the existence of alien abduction, but it could indicate that something might be going on, and that further study might prove to be of interest. It might even develop that, while those 40% reported phobias were untreatable by standard therapies, 60% of those cases did receive a higher degree of relief from non-traditional therapies based in, say, shamanic practice (which does claim to be able to access ailments from a sideways perspective).

It's easy to scoff, but modern science is full of things that were wholly immeasurable and impossible until someone purposefully or accidentally measured it enough to see a possibility that then became probability. As we develop our ability to measure things, we discover things we never before thought possible. Some scientists accept the possibility of other dimensions; it hardly seems far-fetched to claim that one of the reasons we can't measure some stuff is because our tools of measurement are still limited to the dimensions in which we are currently fluent.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Vox Clamantis View Post
There are a number of people who would and will dispute that 'defining things and approaching them logically' is a reductionist position, equivalent to assuming that the answer is scientific in nature.

To which you will probably say some variant of, 'but the Enlightenment taught us to empower ourselves by taking reductionist positions regarding natural phenomena', to which I will shamefacedly reply, 'yes, but the modern trend of thinking is to rely on emotions and intuition'.

And then we and every other rational person will take a long moment to contemplate the history of Western civilization with a shared sinking feeling in the pits of our stomachs.
I am not quite sure what you are trying to say / are understanding from my post. I am simply stating that we need to define what it is we are talking about. Simply saying "death" can have many possible meanings, but if we specifically state the kind of "death" and what it constitutes we can all be discussing and arguing on the same page. An argument can be true or false based off of very small differences in definition. And if we let that get in the way we will argue over who is right and wrong, when each of us is right in terms of our own definition but not the others, and we would just view the other as stubborn and never reach a conclusion because 4+4 = 8 in base 10 math and 4+4 = 13 in base 5 math.

What I am saying is that defining those elements of the situation IS the argument. Whoever defines them has taken control of the discussion from the other side.

If you define death scientifically, you are essentially begging the question. Science does not deal in souls. Whatever definition you come up with will HAVE to exclude the soul; there is no science for something that is only rumored to exist. Meanwhile the spiritualist will not accept a definition of death that does not involve the soul.

If you define 'out of body experience' either way, you are also begging the question. The only definitions that fall under the purview of science and reason are those that are rooted in the known functions of the brain. A spiritualist will almost certainly demand that it involves the separation of soul and body.

In order for the mumbo jumbo and the science to see eye to eye on this issue, there would need to be definitions of 'death' and 'out of body experience' that both accept as valid. No such definitions exist or can exist. Individuals whose views lie on a spectrum between total rationality and total superstition might be able to find common ground on the basis of their imperfect adherence to one paradigm, but the abstract positions represented in this discussion are fundamentally incapable of agreeing in that manner.

So in simple terms, you are saying there is absolutely no point in discussing anyone with a different viewpoint because they will refuse to see things your way. I completely disagree with you that a scientist cannot classify the soul in such a manner that a spiritualist can agree upon, at least from the standpoint of a discussion. And even if they cannot, defining the stance in which you are giving your argument is important so that one can properly counter. Your assumption also relies on the fact that both parties are 100% in their beliefs, when in fact nearly every person in existence hold to both fields in some manner.

Science in itself relies on faith. We declare things as laws because they have not failed before. We take it for granted that if we try it again a million times it almost certainly will happen the same way, however we cannot prove this. It takes only a single failure to disprove something, but an infinite number of successes to truly prove it.

A scientist might define the soul as the electrical impulses that direct and control the body. Many spiritualists might be able to accept this or at least come to a consensus that the soul can be defined as that which controls and gives the body commands regardless of what it is composed of. Carrying this understanding, one can debate, aware of what arguments are pertinent to the discussion. And if the makeup of a soul is important to an argument, one can easily operate and understand that the argument is occurring with one variable with a certain value.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Skail View Post
So in simple terms, you are saying there is absolutely no point in discussing anyone with a different viewpoint because they will refuse to see things your way.
Not what I said at all. You took my description of a very specific case and generalized it. What I did say was precisely that finding common definitions for 'death' and 'out of body experience' between the sciences and religion was impossible. I see no need to revisit my reasoning.

Science does not rely on faith. That is an absurd statement. Science relies upon inductive reasoning, which is nothing like faith. Faith is conviction in the absence of evidence. Inductive reasoning is conviction based on probability and precedent. They are opposed concepts, and their opposition is exactly what distinguishes science from religion.

Okay, NOW I'm starting to feel like I'm wasting my breath. Thanks for putting that idea in my head, Plugsy.




 

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