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Sam Harris vs. James Randi
Posted: 26 February 2009 12:09 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 61 ]  
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Carstonio - 25 January 2008 12:58 AM
Bruce Burleson - 24 January 2008 07:54 PM

So you are eliminating the possibility of a reality that exists beyond this universe, that is not subject to empirical observation and deduction.

In several threads I have acknowledged the possibility of such a reality, however remote. But I have also said that the possibility has no relevance because of the undetectability of such a reality. The effect of its existence and the effect of its nonexistence would be exactly the same - zero. Since such a reality would have no perceivable effect on perceivable reality, there’s no reason to even contemplate the possibility.

Bruce Burleson - 24 January 2008 07:54 PM

So it remains an open question whether such a reality exists, and, if it exists, how it can be experienced, if at all.

That wrongly assumes that the existence and nonexistence of such a reality are equally probable.

Bruce Burleson - 24 January 2008 07:54 PM

Christianity simply says that such a reality exists, and that it is known by faith in response to revelation. By requiring that all realities be “known” only by empirical observation and deduction, you are shutting the door on other possible avenues of experience. Where IS your sense of adventure?!?!

Your “other possible avenues of experience” comment makes no sense. Sensory experience is the only way humans collect data about the world around them. There are no other sources of data. It’s not like we have an extra nose on the back of our heads, or suddenly developed a shark’s ability to sense electricity.

Once years ago I had a strange experience where I was sitting watching television and eating leftovers when I suddenly had a strong thought, dare I say a voice in my head that came compeletely out of the blue and was as clear as a bell. It said that I should go upstairs immediately and stay there before my dad came home from work.  It was almost like a command, it was so strong I didn’t question it, I just went upstairs.

I heard my dad opening the garage door and driving in a few minutes later, and then heard him talking to someone.  It was about midnight. I didn’t know if I should call the police, but I thought my dad would KILL me if it was nothing (I could imaging trying to explain to the police…‘Well I heard this voice…’).  My brother was visiting and staying in the guest room downstairs so I thought maybe he went outside and was the one talking to my dad.

I was feeling more and more ridiculous so I just decided to go downstairs and check it out.  I heard the door open and close, so I figured my dad came in (or it really was a burglar and I was in for it.)  My dad was standing there and I felt relieved and a bit silly, but my heart sank as I got closer to him.  He was pale and clearly shaken.  I said “Hi Dad!” and he said “You won’t believe what just happened to me…”

Apparently two men came up behind him when he got out of his car and puy a gun to his back.  They asked for all his money and told him not to turn around or they’d shoot.  If I had gone outside to meet my dad when he got home and not been upstairs, who knows what would have happened.

I don’t think this has anything to do with religion, God or anything remotely like that.  I’ve had similar experiences, having a bad feeling about going somewhere and finding out something horrible happened there afterward and I know of lots of reliable friends and family who’ve had similar experiences.

I think it’s something to look into w/out automatically dumping it into the ‘paranormal’ category.

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Posted: 26 February 2009 01:15 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 62 ]  
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selinakyle - 26 February 2009 05:09 AM

I’ve had similar experiences, having a bad feeling about going somewhere and finding out something horrible happened there afterward and I know of lots of reliable friends and family who’ve had similar experiences.

I think it’s something to look into w/out automatically dumping it into the ‘paranormal’ category.

If you intend “look into” to mean rigorous scientific testing, I would agree. One of the avenues to investigate is the likelihood of coincidence. Do such events stand out in our memories because there appeared to be a connection? Do we forget all the times when we may have had such feelings and nothing happened, or we had no such feelings and something bad did happen? There’s a natural human desire for patterns and causes.

If there was really something causing the experiences, there would be nothing “paranormal” about it. Hypothetically it would be far more likely that the cause was rooted in some aspect of the physical universe that we haven’t yet discovered. “Paranormal” is a meaningless tautology like “supernatural” or “metaphysical.” They’re based in the very ancient assumption that magic must be behind any event that appears to have no explanation.

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Posted: 26 February 2009 02:01 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 63 ]  
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Carstonio - 26 February 2009 06:15 PM
selinakyle - 26 February 2009 05:09 AM

I’ve had similar experiences, having a bad feeling about going somewhere and finding out something horrible happened there afterward and I know of lots of reliable friends and family who’ve had similar experiences.

I think it’s something to look into w/out automatically dumping it into the ‘paranormal’ category.

If you intend “look into” to mean rigorous scientific testing, I would agree. One of the avenues to investigate is the likelihood of coincidence. Do such events stand out in our memories because there appeared to be a connection? Do we forget all the times when we may have had such feelings and nothing happened, or we had no such feelings and something bad did happen? There’s a natural human desire for patterns and causes.

If there was really something causing the experiences, there would be nothing “paranormal” about it. Hypothetically it would be far more likely that the cause was rooted in some aspect of the physical universe that we haven’t yet discovered. “Paranormal” is a meaningless tautology like “supernatural” or “metaphysical.” They’re based in the very ancient assumption that magic must be behind any event that appears to have no explanation.

Yes, I agree. Not paranormal.  This experience was very vivid and intense for me, there was no doubt that I got a clear warning out of the blue and for no reason I was consciously aware of. I wasn’t worrying about burglars or speculating on anything dangerous.  I was watching Seifeld reruns! smile

Maybe our species is developing a higher level of awarness of danger on a subconscious level that seems to the conscious mind to come out of nowhere.  I think there should be scientific testing and research in this area.

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Posted: 16 March 2009 09:32 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 64 ]  
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selinakyle - 26 February 2009 05:09 AM

Once years ago I had a strange experience where I was sitting watching television and eating leftovers when I suddenly had a strong thought, dare I say a voice in my head that came compeletely out of the blue and was as clear as a bell. It said that I should go upstairs immediately and stay there before my dad came home from work.  It was almost like a command, it was so strong I didn’t question it, I just went upstairs.

I heard my dad opening the garage door and driving in a few minutes later, and then heard him talking to someone.  It was about midnight. I didn’t know if I should call the police, but I thought my dad would KILL me if it was nothing (I could imaging trying to explain to the police…‘Well I heard this voice…’).  My brother was visiting and staying in the guest room downstairs so I thought maybe he went outside and was the one talking to my dad.

I was feeling more and more ridiculous so I just decided to go downstairs and check it out.  I heard the door open and close, so I figured my dad came in (or it really was a burglar and I was in for it.)  My dad was standing there and I felt relieved and a bit silly, but my heart sank as I got closer to him.  He was pale and clearly shaken.  I said “Hi Dad!” and he said “You won’t believe what just happened to me…”

Apparently two men came up behind him when he got out of his car and puy a gun to his back.  They asked for all his money and told him not to turn around or they’d shoot.  If I had gone outside to meet my dad when he got home and not been upstairs, who knows what would have happened.

I don’t think this has anything to do with religion, God or anything remotely like that.  I’ve had similar experiences, having a bad feeling about going somewhere and finding out something horrible happened there afterward and I know of lots of reliable friends and family who’ve had similar experiences.

I think it’s something to look into w/out automatically dumping it into the ‘paranormal’ category.

I had similar “urges” in my life, usually having to do with my mother or my friends. Turned out nothing was wrong at all and I felt like an idiot. Even if I had a profound experience like yours, it wouldn’t be proof of God, and would -certainly- not validate the specific religion I was brought up in.

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Posted: 16 March 2009 12:55 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 65 ]  
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quote]
I had similar “urges” in my life, usually having to do with my mother or my friends. Turned out nothing was wrong at all and I felt like an idiot. Even if I had a profound experience like yours, it wouldn’t be proof of God, and would -certainly- not validate the specific religion I was brought up in.

Hi Argo,

I don’t think it’s proof of a God or religion either. 

I just wonder about capabilities human beings may have that we may be able to sharpen and utilize.  Completely NATURAL abilities that have unfortunately been completely hijacked by religion and therefore are completely dismissed by the scientific community.

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