Philosophy of the Hard Problem

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I have recently been involved in a philosophical discussion concerning Mark Soln's new book on consciousness.

I thought some might find this interesting:

https://selfawarepatterns.com/2021/02/25...ent-157840

Anyone who knows my name can find my contribution very easily, and it seems open to anyone to join, but I am amazed that I haven't upset them already, so please tread lightly!
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Your efforts to put out some of the evidence for psi and other paranormal phenomena are well taken, but I don't think they will get anywhere against closed minds. It seems to me that Solms' theory is dead on arrival - he (like almost all neuroscientists) is convinced that consciousness is what the brain does, in his view starting with the brainstem. A very sophisticated theory, but it deliberately ignores the mountain of empirical evidence that the mind is a separate center of consciousness, a spirit, that is only inhabiting the brain and body. He complacently ignores all the NDE data and reincarnation data, psi and esp data, it goes on. I don't know on what grounds, but it probably is a conviction that the data is mostly worthlessly anecdotal, along with the old David Hume argument that you can simply throw out all data attesting to phenomena that are considered impossible according to natural law, regardless of the quality of the data.
(This post was last modified: 2022-06-07, 02:13 AM by nbtruthman. Edited 5 times in total.)
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I followed David's link and actually left a couple of comments. He responded to one with evasion (which is understandable of course). What drew me in was his almost laughable belief that Susan Blackmore is the definitive source of information about NDE's. 

I don't particularly dislike her but I just don't understand why she believes she is worth listening to? She's never done any in depth research on NDE's. Her theories are just her worthless theories with no evidence to support them. I don't think she's ever actually spoken to someone who's had an NDE, although obviously I don't know that.
 
Her profound OBE in her student digs in Oxford doesn't make any sense, either. She had a puff of weed (apparently, not Ketamine) and that was enough to give her a powerful experience that changed her life, but it didn't actually change her life, she only thought it did until she eventually knew better. (She finally checked the appearance of the roof that she felt she was flying over and saw that the gutters were in fact plastic, not metal as she'd seen in her OBE. Her own OBE debunked) 

Yet one would have thought as a good scientist, she might have checked the accuracy of her OBE the very next day to see whether or not the roof was actually how she'd seen it. But no, apparently not and for quite a while she thought she'd really been out of her body....

Of course, her story (from believer to sceptic) wouldn't have worked that way round. The whole thing makes little sense under scrutiny. I believe it was simply a convenient way for her to enhance her position as a sceptic. What better to have actually had the experience, feel how powerful it is but then still be ready to denounce it as an illusion etc. A sort of inverse "Saul to Paul". 

It's all been accepted as fact, though, down the years. The BBC interviewed her in 2017 as the pre-eminent expert on the science of near death experiences, several years after she promised to shut the f*ck up. And out came the dying brain theory once again.
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(2022-06-07, 12:49 PM)tim Wrote: I followed David's link and actually left a couple of comments. He responded to one with evasion (which is understandable of course). What drew me in was his almost laughable belief that Susan Blackmore is the definitive source of information about NDE's. 

I don't particularly dislike her but I just don't understand why she believes she is worth listening to? She's never done any in depth research on NDE's. Her theories are just her worthless theories with no evidence to support them. I don't think she's ever actually spoken to someone who's had an NDE, although obviously I don't know that.
 

Yes, he/she was a bit evasive but I didn't try to pursue the Susan Blackmore issues, because I thought I'd try to spear him with hard logic. If you look at the latest version, sadly, I think he is giving up.

David
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Solms' parting remarks in simply opting out of any discussion of (and any possibility of being shown to be wrong about) paranormal phenomena like NDEs:

Quote:I’m a skeptic, but a busy one. I just don’t have the time, energy, or interest to go down all those rabbit holes, or put up with the inevitable accusations of close-mindedness because of it. I’d rather discuss and debate the topics I am interested in.

Translation: Don't bother me with facts. My mind is irrationally made up in an absolutely fixed position of deep conviction, and I deep down don't want to risk having my ego disrupted by being proven wrong.
(This post was last modified: 2022-06-08, 02:14 AM by nbtruthman. Edited 1 time in total.)
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(2022-06-08, 02:14 AM)nbtruthman Wrote: Solms' parting remarks in simply opting out of any discussion of (and any possibility of being shown to be wrong about) paranormal phenomena like NDEs:


Translation: Don't bother me with facts. My mind is irrationally made up in an absolutely fixed position of deep conviction, and I deep down don't want to risk having my ego disrupted by being proven wrong.

Yes, I was pleased at first that he seemed open to debate - but it didn't last long!

I think a number of my points hit home - in particular the Ganzfeld result - 33% success where 25% would be the expected success rate for four possible targets. His technique was to just skip the points that 'didn't interest him'.

I only got into the debate because I found the video in which Mark Solns was describing his new book about consciousness. His big thing is that consciousness can be extinguished by damage to a region in the brain stem - so that must be the seat of consciousness in the brain. I pointed out that you could as well argue that consciousness is extinguished if the blood supply to the brain dries up, so blood is the seat of consciousness!

It is amazing, these people lose interest when they start to lose the argument! For a scientist, it should be the other war around.
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(2022-06-07, 09:32 PM)David001 Wrote: Yes, he/she was a bit evasive but I didn't try to pursue the Susan Blackmore issues, because I thought I'd try to spear him with hard logic. If you look at the latest version, sadly, I think he is giving up.

David

To be honest, I've no idea who he is. I was just drawn in by his Blackmore reference, which I find astonishing and quite depressing. It demonstrates the power of preconceptions, harder to split than the atom (someone said, can't remember who).
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(2022-06-08, 03:13 PM)tim Wrote: To be honest, I've no idea who he is. I was just drawn in by his Blackmore reference, which I find astonishing and quite depressing. It demonstrates the power of preconceptions, harder to split than the atom (someone said, can't remember who).

I agree. Blackmore isn’t even a busted flush imo. She was never even a flush lol.

I too find it’s  easier if I focus on the bits of evidence that reinforce my views and ignore the rest lol
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Even if a person was dead set against hearing anything about parapsychology, I'd think one might look at the writings of the retired neuroscientist Raymond Tallis, Eccles & Smythies before him, etc.

There's a clear desperation to "close the gap" and assure the public consciousness is within the bounds of the material...itself an amusing notion since we don't have much grasp on what matter is.

Though one does also wonder about the resistance to quantum biology involved with consciousness. I suspect it's because if consciousness is within the bounds of classical physics all the machine analogies can hold, but with QM we might start getting into questions about how the oddities of the QM level connect to the mind.
'Historically, we may regard materialism as a system of dogma set up to combat orthodox dogma...Accordingly we find that, as ancient orthodoxies disintegrate, materialism more and more gives way to scepticism.'

- Bertrand Russell


(This post was last modified: 2022-06-08, 05:38 PM by Sciborg_S_Patel. Edited 1 time in total.)
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I don't know if anyone here watched the 'lucid dying' video that Typoz posted. Hoffman stated that "spacetime" is dead, basically (Einstein's theory?). He (as a neurologist as well) thought the NDE data was fascinating but not sufficient to overthrow the current paradigm on it's own. 

His reasoning for this was slightly odd, namely that 98% of physicists are 'materialist/reductionists' and even if there is good evidence of mind brain separation, they will ignore it under the guise of that can't happen, so it doesn't happen. A bit like a religious creed I think he meant to say (but didn't). 

Could they really just close the page (ignore) on a article referencing empirical evidence, from a well controlled study, that demonstrated consciousness without a brain (no neurons firing)? They might initially, I suppose, but surely some of them would be curious.
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