brimstoneSalad wrote:Ever heard the expression "Nothing in Biology Makes Sense Except in the Light of Evolution"? It's the same with neuroscience.
I don't think it's the same thing. The proportion of neuroscientists who believe in afterlives is a lot higher (around 13%) than the proportion of biologists who deny evolution (around 2%).
Regardless, all we can do here is, it seems, rely on arguments from authority or on facts that are hard to verify.
brimstoneSalad wrote:Then we figure out where memories are stored and how they can be lost with damage
The way memory is stored in the brain is not at all clear. It's not even clear if we actually remember distant past, or if we simply remember the last time we remembered something. So, since we don't know how the data is stored in the brain, perhaps we should assume that as little as possible data is indeed stored in the brain. Perhaps the best explanation is that the data stored in the brain are pointers to where some bigger amount of data is stored in the soul.
brimstoneSalad wrote:There's much less similarity between NDE accounts, and many contradictions.
How do you know? Sure, there are differences between NDEs, but there are also many things that appear in all or nearly all NDEs: feelings of peace, awareness of being dead, the feeling of leaving one's own body, rapidly moving upwards in some dark tunnel, the light at the end of the tunnel, seeing souls of dead people and other spiritual beings, being told there is a point of no return somewhere in that tunnel... Sure, the spiritual beings that are seen differ between NDEs. But presumably that's because they want to be recognized by the recently deceased.
brimstoneSalad wrote:And your intuition that emotions are non-material (whatever that means) isn't one.
OK, I was referring to the the William S. Robinson's text "Why I am a Dualist". It was included in my high-school philosophy textbook. And it seemed to me like a real eye-opener. It basically says that, because considering something to be the simplest explanation, we need to ask ourself if that's even conceivable. Because inconceivable explanations can't be tested, and therefore aren't scientific. That reminded me of how I claimed that the ships disappearing bottom first being caused by the perspective is the simplest explanation, without thinking much of whether that's even conceivable. It sounds like a good explanation, until you actually think about it. And the same goes for mind being material.
According to Robinson, there are three basic types of materialism. The first one claims that our emotions are literally the neurons in our brain. The second one claims that our emotions are the states of the neurons in our brain. The third one claims that our brains consist partly of emotions, just like it does partly of the chemical compounds. The first one is comparable to the claim that the world is made of numbers, it's simply not clear what we mean by that and what could prove or disprove what we say. The second one is similarly inconceivable, although maybe it doesn't seem like that when we first look at it. Namely, it's conceivable, and it's also obvious, that some states of mind are caused by the states of neurons in our brains, but that does in no way imply that they are indeed the states of neurons in our brains. The third one is inconceivable because then we would, to quote Robinson, need to conceive a situation in which it's reasonable for a scientist to say "The neurons in the brain don't behave completely as the laws of physics and chemistry predict. Therefore, we need to put emotions into the equation.".
brimstoneSalad wrote:but they're not just somebody; they're among the best educated and scripturally literate Christians on the planet.
I just fail to see the difference between that claim and the claim made by Christian Scientists that the Bible supports their belief. Sure, Mary Baker Eddy was educated about the Bible. So what? The claim she made was that the early Christians believed that the material world didn't exist, and that, of course, for some reason, they didn't explicitly say that. That's an insane assertion. The claim that the first Christians were materialists (at least about the mind-body problem, while everybody else believed in afterlives), but failed to make it clear, is still a weird assertion, though not as insane.
brimstoneSalad wrote:It's a resolution of the contradiction of a woman having multiple husbands because one died, and arguably makes sense in an immortal heavenly kingdom where death is no more (no more prerogative to have children).
What do you think "like angels" means? Do you think that people believed back then that angels were physical human beings flying in the sky?
brimstoneSalad wrote:Or don't put all of your faith in such a modern word: it's also "apparition" or a "false vision" as far as I understand it.
Well, yes, "phantasma" can also mean "dream", even though it usually means "ghost". So, you think that when the Apostles saw somebody walking on water, they thought they were dreaming, and that that's why they screamed? It doesn't make sense, why would they scream if they thought they were "dreaming"? I can see why people would scream if they think they are seeing a ghost.
brimstoneSalad wrote:Even if they believed in them that doesn't mean the Christian bible is confirming their existence or that the belief wasn't from Roman cultural diffusion.
OK, fine, maybe. Maybe that's also what's implied in John 8:22, that contemporary Jews believed in afterlives, but that Jesus did not. But, you know, maybe you can make similar arguments for Hitler being an atheist.
brimstoneSalad wrote:It's pretty damn easy to deny that the writer of Matthew did.
Not at all, since he said that people in heaven are "like angels".
brimstoneSalad wrote: What Saul did was against YHWH's commands, and he died the next day (arguably because of it).
OK, so, Saul clearly believed in afterlives. And the author implies that something paranormal was going during that psychic session that made God angry. If it were a trick, why would that make God angry enough to kill Saul?
brimstoneSalad wrote:Well yeah, the Greeks and Romans believed in that stuff.
Well, that goes against your original claim that the belief in metaphysical souls is recent in origin.
brimstoneSalad wrote:Neither, it's linguistics, so it's a question of probability of those coincidences.
It's more of geology than linguistics. You are saying climate science can accept the accounts of ancient historians about which plants grow where. If so, can geology accept what Stephanus of Byzantium wrote about there having been a stream on the island of Brač?
Linguistically, the claim that the island got its name after a stream on it is not at all extraordinary. The claim that the name of a stream apparently comes from the word for "deer" is also not extraordinary. There is also a small river named "Jelenska" (apparently derived from "jelen", the Croatian word for "deer") in northern Croatia, flowing into Lonja. In the worst case, you can say it's a conceivable folk-etymology. "Jelenska" could in fact be related to the names such as "Ilica" (from "il", an archaic Croatian word for "mud"), and the name "Brattia"~"Brettia" could in fact be related to "Barbania", the ancient name for the river Bojana, and only become apparently related to *brentos (the Illyrian word for "deer", also attested by Strabo claiming in Geography 7th book 6th chapter that "Brentesium", the ancient name for Brindisi, meant "stag's head" in Illyrian) by folk-etymology.
brimstoneSalad wrote:Being naive, and forgetting the epistemological lesson you should have learned in the Flat-Earth thread and others.
And what's that epistemological lesson? That if all or nearly all scientists in some field agree on something, there is probably a good reason for that, even if I don't see it? Well, it's not that all or nearly all scientists agree souls don't exist, like they do with the Earth being round or there being a man-made climate change currently going on or with evolution. And the lesson that I need to ask myself whether something is even conceivable before I consider that to be the simplest explanation? Well, I've learned that lesson.
brimstoneSalad wrote:because none of those accounts are useful.
Like the one when a man found a child trapped in a building ruined by fire using the information he received in an NDE?
brimstoneSalad wrote:you need to study epistemology so you understand what qualifies as verifiable information.
An example of what qualifies as verifiable information is the information about programming. It's usually very easy to check any piece of information about the syntax of some programming language, or about a subroutine in some framework.
The information about linguistics sometimes comes rather close to that. It's relatively easy to search through corpus or, in many cases, ask a native speaker to find out if something is grammatical in some language. Though, in case of searching through corpus, it's hard to decide what some rare grammatical construction means. The information about sound laws (such as that Latin 's' corresponds to Ancient Greek 'h' at the beginning of a word) also tends to be easy to verify, if not even easier than many of the statements about grammar: all you need to do is to go through dictionaries.
The information about NDEs or about how brains work internally is not easy to verify.
brimstoneSalad wrote:This seems to discredit you as a linguist.
Well, I probably wouldn't be able to publish a paper saying that in a peer-reviewed journal. If not for scientific reasons, then for the fact that it's very politically incorrect to make such statements. That is, even if I made a proper statistical analysis of those things, and found that the names in the mainstream story of the Massacre of Vukovar appear symbolic at a rate far greater than chance, my paper likely still won't get published.
I've just published a short paper in which I claimed, among other things, that the word "surduk" (approximately meaning "stream", of unknown etymology) comes from Late Latin, that it literally means "to lead over" ("sur-" was a short form of "super-" in Late Latin, whence English words "survive" and "surname", and that "duk" comes from "ducere", "to lead"), and that it originally meant "bridge". That obviously contradicts the basics of Croatian historical phonology ('u' in Old Croatian doesn't give 'u' in Modern Croatian, it gives either 'a' or 'i' or nothing, depending on the accent and the position in a word), but people who review that journal apparently don't know that or don't care about that. Well, who cares now, I can add the reference to that paper into my CV and brag about having published another paper about linguistics, and the fact that it's false is not my fault, it's the fault of those who edit that journal.
I still haven't managed to publish the paper in which I tried to statistically analyze the patterns in the names of places in Croatia. But I still think it's just a matter of time. Perhaps it's better if it's published later rather than sooner, since, more I edit it, the better it becomes.
brimstoneSalad wrote:I'm amazed that you're still denying that massacre on such silly things.
And why should I even care about the Massacre of Vukovar? If it happened, it was 30 years ago. Nearly all statistics show that Croatia today is one of the safest countries in the world, even safer than Denmark. That means a new Vukovar is way more likely to happen in the USA than in Croatia, right?
brimstoneSalad wrote:You'd find much better correlations with scientific literacy.
Well, Croatians tend to be slightly more scientifically literate than Americans, don't they?
brimstoneSalad wrote:Just thought I'd give a quick example of how stupid this looking for ironic meanings in names and claiming conspiracy is: Tian'anmen can be read as a gate to heaven... where the victims of the massacre were sent? Hmm?
And what has convinced you Tiananmen really happened? As far as I know, there are a few people who were in Beijing back then and who claim Tiananmen didn't really happen. The BBC claiming that thousands of people were killed is without a doubt an overestimate. Furthermore, nobody has ever claimed to have found the mass grave of the Tiananmen massacre. Tiananmen denial is more likely to be true than Vukovar denial is, and not less.