The Reincarnated (2019)

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2019: The Reincarnated

Nick Ripatrazone

Quote:A young woman is embraced by her remote village as the reincarnated spirit of a soldier killed in war — until a professor obsessed with proving life after death shows up from America to test her claim. The unlikely pair put their futures on the line to push the boundaries of identity.

Quote:...he faced a conundrum in putting out a flare to other intrepid researchers who might push the case forward. Within such a heavily militarized Burma filled with superstitions about reincarnated spirits, Ma Tin Aung Myo’s life could be placed in danger. For Stevenson, to give up identifying details, including her location, could be tantamount to betrayal. Yet Paul Edwards and his other critics would pounce on any vagueness in the published research as reason to dismiss the work entirely. Stevenson, it seemed, could either save himself or his subject.

He made a decision. He would share her story with the scientific community, signaling he found her plausible and credible, but would refuse to expose the name of the village. His published reports held back other details, as well, in order to shield Ma Tin.

As expected, Edwards published a series of texts building his case against Stevenson’s reliability and the possibility of reincarnation. In the process Edwards was, as a fellow philosophy professor put it, “grind[ing] every axe he owns.” Edwards’ whistleblower, Champe Ransom, seemed somewhat sheepish at the use of his inside observations by Edwards. Ransom later noted that he wished he had been able to express his admiration for Stevenson and much of his overall approach, and denied that Stevenson had ever tried to prevent his critiques from going public (one of Edwards’ laundry list of allegations).

Stevenson lamented what he saw as an unwillingness in the field at large to examine his observations with an open mind. “The wish not to believe,” he wrote, “can influence as strongly as the wish to believe.” He may have been knocked down a few pegs, but he weathered the abuses of his antagonists by holding firm to his methodology...
'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

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Quote:Threats closed in on all sides, back in the United States and in Burma.

Paul Edwards, the New York-based philosophy professor, found just the leverage he sought against what he believed was Stevenson’s dangerous version of science. Edwards recruited the testimony of Champe Ransom, the ex-lawyer turned Stevenson’s research assistant, against Stevenson’s reincarnation cases. Through Ransom’s records, Edward charged the now embattled UVA professor with posing leading questions and interviewing informants too long after their experiences, serious charges in academic work. “Stevenson evidently lives in a cloud-cuckoo-land,” Edwards wrote.

It seems to me that such opposition as shown by Edwards is often driven by some kind of deep seated ‘belief’ system rather than by an honest searching for truth. Of course something similar might be said of Stevenson, the difference being that he didn’t appear to want to disprove anyone else’s theory as far as I know, but to add evidence to his own. What motivates people to become such ardent opponents? Are they really opposed to ideas or is it maybe more the people that entertain those ideas that they dislike?
Oh my God, I hate all this.   Surprise
(This post was last modified: 2021-05-11, 07:36 AM by Stan Woolley.)
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