Arguments against Soul

General philosophy message board for Discussion and debate on other philosophical issues not directly related to veganism. Metaphysics, religion, theist vs. atheist debates, politics, general science discussion, etc.
teo123
Senior Member
Posts: 500
Joined: Tue Oct 27, 2015 3:46 pm
Religion: None (Atheist)
Diet: Vegan

Re: Arguments against Soul

Post by teo123 » Sat Sep 07, 2019 4:43 am

brimstoneSalad wrote:I don't know what you're looking for here.
I am looking for evidence of that particular claim, that epileptic patients who have the middle of their brain damaged appear to have different personalities governing halves of their bodies. It's often used as an argument in the anti-NDE literature, but there appears to be just as much evidence of that as there is for NDEs: no credible evidence.
brimstoneSalad wrote:And contrary to your shallow scriptural reasoning
What's "shallow" there? The Bible is obviously contradictory on that matter. The simplest explanation might be that Luke believed in souls (Luke 23:43), but that John did not.
brimstoneSalad wrote:Stop strawmaning me Teo. You'll only get banned again.
I don't see how I strawmanned you.
brimstoneSalad wrote:We don't look for novel information on science from historians who knew nothing of science and weren't skeptical enough to tell if something is a con, a delusion, or real.
Well, some people appear to do that. The theory of the Roman Warm Period appears to be primarily based on the accounts from ancient historians about plants that can and can't be cultivated.
I mean, I am not sure it's the right methodology, and whether we can, for a lack of better evidence, accept what Stephanus of Byzantium wrote about there being a stream on the island of Brač with the same name.
brimstoneSalad wrote:you're barking up the wrong tree yet again.
Well, I can't really know if what I am studying is pseudoscience until I study it enough to realize that.
brimstoneSalad wrote:There's physical evidence of OTHER massacres.
And that's a non-obvious empirical claim. What's the difference between saying that and saying "There is evidence of other miracles."?
brimstoneSalad wrote:A fabricated massacre would be relatively easy to throw into doubt by conflicting evidence.
And the names appearing symbolic is not conflicting evidence? I mean, "Ovčara", the name of the part of Vukovar with the mass grave, is the Croatian word for "meat from a sheep". And "Željko Raznatović" appears to be derived from a Croatian phrase meaning "one who wants to destroy" ("raznijeti" is a rare, but still well-known, word for "destroy"). And "Mile Dedaković", the name of the helpless Croatian military leader to whom the Croatian president Franjo Tuđman refused to send weapons, appears to mean "dear grandfather".
Is that just an amazing coincidence? Or is it because the event (or at least the mainstream narrative of it) is mythological?
brimstoneSalad wrote:Many and perhaps even most Journalists don't print stories to spread the truth or important news, they do it to sell papers.
Then why hasn't some other journalist written an article refuting that claim, if it were so easy? That would also sell, wouldn't it?

teo123
Senior Member
Posts: 500
Joined: Tue Oct 27, 2015 3:46 pm
Religion: None (Atheist)
Diet: Vegan

Post by teo123 » Sun Sep 08, 2019 10:52 pm

You know, @brimstoneSalad, maybe you are right, maybe there is no point in studying this issue.
You know as they say, the real knowledge is one that is independent of the experience. And, obviously, by that definition, who we really are (and whether souls exist) can't be really known.
Now, perhaps things that can be easily checked via a simple experiment, such as most of the things about computer programming, can also be counted as "real knowledge". But the discussions about whether souls exist (and whether massacres really hapened) clearly don't belong to that category either.
What's obvious, and has been obvious for a long time, to me is that most of the arguments brought up by both sides in this debate about souls are ridiculous. You just can't make an academic argument about those things. Though some of those arguments, at the first glance, appear to be based on science, there is far less science in this debate than there is in my interpretation of the names of places in Croatia.

User avatar
brimstoneSalad
neither stone nor salad
Posts: 9499
Joined: Wed May 28, 2014 9:20 am
Religion: None (Atheist)
Diet: Vegan

Post by brimstoneSalad » Mon Sep 09, 2019 1:18 pm

teo123 wrote:
Sat Sep 07, 2019 4:43 am
I am looking for evidence of that particular claim, that epileptic patients who have the middle of their brain damaged appear to have different personalities governing halves of their bodies. It's often used as an argument in the anti-NDE literature, but there appears to be just as much evidence of that as there is for NDEs: no credible evidence.
We have a limited number of accounts, and it's probably possible for people to fake them sure. A lot of our information is also based on non-human animals (and there the proof is overwhelming), but obviously you could arbitrarily rule that humans are special.
However, you don't seem to understand what I said that it isn't limited to that fact. There are MANY components of neuroscience that don't make sense (or are very difficult to rationalize) without the brain being the source of consciousness.

As I said originally, you can't definitely prove that there are not REDUNDANT souls. It just adds an unnecessary layer to things.
Even exporting the source of consciousness to souls without such compelling evidence that the brain is at least one adequate source would be a violation of Occam's razor unless we could establish that it's not possible for the brain to be the source.

To your analogy: Without information to the contrary, we should assume the music is coming from the radio rather than hypothesizing radio towers broadcasting the music and being received by the radio.
Of course, we have information to the contrary and as such we know there is another source. And even without that information, if we were to merely study radios we would learn quickly that they're too simple to produce music entirely on their own. This is far from the case with brains.
teo123 wrote:
Sat Sep 07, 2019 4:43 am
What's "shallow" there? The Bible is obviously contradictory on that matter. The simplest explanation might be that Luke believed in souls (Luke 23:43), but that John did not.
That's weak, even if you take the bible seriously.
https://www.jw.org/en/publications/maga ... -paradise/

It comes down to where the punctuation is placed by modern translators, as the original Greek apparently lacked any.
Here's a summary of the arguments in more detail from people who don't agree with them:
https://christianity.stackexchange.com/ ... what-basis

As a linguist, you may find one or another more compelling: I encourage you to look into it if you're interested.
However, if your "proof" that the writer of Luke believed in souls is a comma placement vs. the entirety of the rest of the Bible which makes no clear mention of anything like that then that is as I said pretty weak.

Souls are metaphysically very important today. If people believed in them then or they existed in early Jewish and Christian metaphysics then you would expect more indication of that in the scripture.

You'll probably find a lot more from the Gnostics, but they were rejected and persecuted by mainstream Christians as the religion grew.
@Greatest I am May have some thoughts on this.
teo123 wrote:
Sat Sep 07, 2019 4:43 am
I don't see how I strawmanned you.
Don't respond to this, because it would be derailing the topic, but I will explain how you strawmanned me:

Tribes are not inherently violent, but tribes end up warring with each other because it only takes one bad actor to spoil peace. It's an unstable configuration. It's like the instability of magnetic or electric charges: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Earnshaw%27s_theorem
You need other forces to stabilize them.

Tribes CAN and do make peace with each other: with treaties and larger inter-tribal government structures that help resolve disputes without violence (like courts). To the extent they are stable in peace they are no longer small isolated tribes, but instead they are a part of a larger governmental system.

And I've been clear that this applies to any group: clans, families, etc. Internal patriarchal or matriarchal power structures can form in small groups and work to maintain stability, but it works the same way in lawless areas of regions like modern North America too, where you have family feuds that escalate into violence among hillbillies etc. You need to have external systems in place to resolve small conflicts by way of something like a court before they escalate into larger conflicts.
teo123 wrote:
Sat Sep 07, 2019 4:43 am
The theory of the Roman Warm Period appears to be primarily based on the accounts from ancient historians about plants that can and can't be cultivated.
That's a little different. We're drawing interpretations from objective information that's widely corroborated, not trusting their unscientific interpretations on matters that are easily influenced by bias.
teo123 wrote:
Sat Sep 07, 2019 4:43 am
Well, I can't really know if what I am studying is pseudoscience until I study it enough to realize that.
You should have been able to figure it out by my first reply.
teo123 wrote:
Sat Sep 07, 2019 4:43 am
brimstoneSalad wrote:There's physical evidence of OTHER massacres.
And that's a non-obvious empirical claim. What's the difference between saying that and saying "There is evidence of other miracles."?
If you study it at all, it's a very obvious empirical claim.
"Miracle" is too vague. The "miracles" would have to be specifically related to souls.
teo123 wrote:
Sat Sep 07, 2019 4:43 am
And the names appearing symbolic is not conflicting evidence?
No.
teo123 wrote:
Sat Sep 07, 2019 4:43 am
Is that just an amazing coincidence? Or is it because the event (or at least the mainstream narrative of it) is mythological?
It's not an amazing conincidence, you can find funny things like that about a lot of events if you look for them. That's conspiracy theory level nonsense.
teo123 wrote:
Sat Sep 07, 2019 4:43 am
Then why hasn't some other journalist written an article refuting that claim, if it were so easy? That would also sell, wouldn't it?
No, that wouldn't sell. People don't usually want to read things that conflict what they want to believe like that. That's a very specific audience of skeptics, not your general newspaper reading public who want inspiring stories about NDEs and get mad about skeptics.
It's like if Fox News did a big take-down of the Republican administration: they'd lose viewers.

User avatar
Greatest I am
Full Member
Posts: 230
Joined: Wed Dec 07, 2016 10:24 am
Religion: Other
Diet: Vegan

Post by Greatest I am » Tue Sep 10, 2019 1:55 pm

brimstoneSalad wrote:
Mon Sep 09, 2019 1:18 pm

You'll probably find a lot more from the Gnostics, but they were rejected and persecuted by mainstream Christians as the religion grew.
@Greatest I am May have some thoughts on this.

Thanks for this buddy.

===============

Gnostic Christians were seem as the good Christians and the orthodoxy could not have that and that is why they used their many inquisitions against us.

When they could not find other religions to decimate, they turned to murdering witches.

I find it strange that Christians ignore their past atrocities all while continuing to idol worship a genocidal moral monster that they can somehow see as good.

If Yahweh is good, then so is Hitler, Stalin and their ilk.

I hope all can agree with that statement.

Regards
DL

teo123
Senior Member
Posts: 500
Joined: Tue Oct 27, 2015 3:46 pm
Religion: None (Atheist)
Diet: Vegan

Post by teo123 » Tue Sep 10, 2019 3:01 pm

brimstoneSalad wrote:There are MANY components of neuroscience that don't make sense (or are very difficult to rationalize) without the brain being the source of consciousness.
Like what? And is there actual evidence of that (better than the evidence for non-hallucinatory NDEs)?
brimstoneSalad wrote:This is far from the case with brains.
Why exactly? It's hard to imagine our emotions are made of material things.
brimstoneSalad wrote:As a linguist, you may find one or another more compelling: I encourage you to look into it if you're interested.
I mean, I've heard of this, I just haven't taken it seriously.
Well, I don't speak a word of Greek. Is there any expert in those things to confirm that's even possible given what we know about Ancient Greek grammar? Somebody who claims the Bible has been mistranslated is more likely to be a crank than to have discovered something, don't you think? I mean, what it comes down to is asserting that all the early Christian scholars, who knew Ancient Greek way more than anybody does today, have gotten it wrong or somehow missed such an important detail.
The New International Version of the Bible, which includes a bunch of comments in footnotes about different possible translations, makes no mention that Luke 23:43 is somehow ambiguous.
Matthew 22:30 also says that, in heaven, people do not have husbands and wives, but that they are like angels. That's far more compatible with the notion of heaven being full of metaphysical souls, rather than that heaven will consist of physical humans. And, in Matthew 14, when Jesus walked on water, the Apostles thought he was a ghost, a spirit of some deceased person. So if John (quite likely, John 3:13 explicitly says nobody has yet been to heaven) and Luke (perhaps, but unlikely) didn't believe in spirits, it's hard to deny that Matthew did.
The First Book of Samuel, in the 28th chapter, appears to describe a woman that talks to a spirit of deceased Samuel.
Odyssey also describes spirits communicating with humans, probably dating earlier than most of the things in the Bible.
The belief in spirits is of great antiquity, it ocurred in many cultures, and it's very hard to deny that fact. And while some authors of the Bible didn't believe in souls, some did, and it's hard to deny that. Were they aware of the NDEs, which are much more common today than they were back then, even more people would have believed in souls.
brimstoneSalad wrote:We're drawing interpretations from objective information that's widely corroborated, not trusting their unscientific interpretations on matters that are easily influenced by bias.
So, what do you think, is taking Stephanus of Byzantium seriously about there having been a stream named "Brettia" on the island of Brač more similar to taking the stories about NDEs and UFOs seriously, or is it more similar to the hypothesis about the Roman Warm Period?
brimstoneSalad wrote: You should have been able to figure it out by my first reply.
Why exactly? Now everybody who is not immediately convinced by your arguments that NDEs are not real is somehow being close-minded?
brimstoneSalad wrote:If you study it at all, it's a very obvious empirical claim.
And if you study NDEs just a little, it seems obvious there is evidence of some verifiable information being transmitted from the other world into this one. Perhaps if you study a lot more, that stops being so obvious.
brimstoneSalad wrote:It's not an amazing conincidence, you can find funny things like that about a lot of events if you look for them.
That's not obvious. Names, especially in modern times, rarely make sense in the language that's spoken there. And when they do, it's something related to theology or heroism. Names rarely mean "one who wishes to destroy" or "dear grandfather".
And a name of a part of a city meaning "meat from sheep" is, I hope you agree, quite extraordinary, and it sounds like it's made up. Add to this that there is allegedly a mass grave there, and it sounds highly implausible.
Now, admittedly, it's hard to calculate the p-value here, because names often have multiple interpretations, some of which are not obvious at the first glance. For instance, the name "Vukovar" appears to mean "city of wolves" in Croatian (folk etymology), when in fact it means "city on the Vuka river", and the name "Vuka" is actually derived from the ancient name "Ulca".
brimstoneSalad wrote: That's a very specific audience of skeptics, not your general newspaper reading public who want inspiring stories about NDEs and get mad about skeptics.
I don't know about that. Atheism is quite a bit more common in Croatia than it is in the USA, right?

User avatar
brimstoneSalad
neither stone nor salad
Posts: 9499
Joined: Wed May 28, 2014 9:20 am
Religion: None (Atheist)
Diet: Vegan

Post by brimstoneSalad » Thu Sep 12, 2019 1:11 am

teo123 wrote:
Tue Sep 10, 2019 3:01 pm
Like what?
Like everything we've learned about the structure of the brain and its function.

Ever heard the expression "Nothing in Biology Makes Sense Except in the Light of Evolution"? It's the same with neuroscience.

At best you have a soul of the gaps, and those gaps shrink with EVERY discovery.
Like we figure out where words are processed, and then the soul advocates claim it turns out the soul doesn't do that, but it does memory and everything else.
Then we figure out where memories are stored and how they can be lost with damage, and then the soul advocates again claim the soul doesn't do that, etc. etc.
It doesn't take a genius to figure out what trajectory that is. You don't have to have every element of consciousness already fully explained to realize a supernatural explanation is likely to be on the losing side here. The scope of what it might have to do is losing ground rapidly, like the god of the gaps.

Like I said, and clearly several times now, you could make a very complicated model where a soul somehow works with those facts. Likewise, you can make a complicated model where the sun still goes around the Earth. There are reasons we choose less complicated models over more complicated ones (especially ad hoc ones).

And as I was very clear, even without neuroscience there's no reason to believe in a soul. It is an extra assumption. It adds a non-physical aspect of reality we have no evidence of to the model, and it does so for no reason: it adds no explanatory power, and there's no evidence that the physical model is incapable of explaining those things.
teo123 wrote:
Tue Sep 10, 2019 3:01 pm
And is there actual evidence of that (better than the evidence for non-hallucinatory NDEs)?
Somebody with brain damage perhaps could be making up those symptoms. You can probably fake memory loss and other effects if you practice. How does somebody prove to have forgotten the meanings of words? You could perhaps with an MRI, but that would be based on the same theories we use these facts to validate.
However, people with the same kinds of brain damage having similar symptoms before we even knew what those parts of the brain are supposed to do make that very unlikely (astronomically unlikely). You'd be talking about a conspiracy again.
There's much less similarity between NDE accounts, and many contradictions.

teo123 wrote:
Tue Sep 10, 2019 3:01 pm
brimstoneSalad wrote:This is far from the case with brains.
Why exactly? It's hard to imagine our emotions are made of material things.
I was very clear, read the whole paragraph.

Brains are too complicated to work out their limitations at this time and rule out conscious experience. Radios are very simple (at least early ones), studying them can easily rule out their production of music on their own. We can reverse engineer a radio to prove it's not the source.

There's no reason to assume brains don't generate emotions. And your intuition that emotions are non-material (whatever that means) isn't one. It's as ignorant as a creationist saying it's hard to imagine life coming from non-life.

teo123 wrote:
Tue Sep 10, 2019 3:01 pm
I mean, I've heard of this, I just haven't taken it seriously.
You should take it seriously before writing it off and passing off the pro-soul interpretation as authoritative.
teo123 wrote:
Tue Sep 10, 2019 3:01 pm
Well, I don't speak a word of Greek. Is there any expert in those things to confirm that's even possible given what we know about Ancient Greek grammar? Somebody who claims the Bible has been mistranslated is more likely to be a crank than to have discovered something, don't you think?
I don't agree with Jehovah's witnesses practices, but they're not just somebody; they're among the best educated and scripturally literate Christians on the planet.

Biblical scholarship isn't anything like science; it's distilled bias. We're not talking about dispassionate historians here just trying to record what is, we're talking about people with a particular theological interpretation who will dismiss readings that don't fit with that. And we're talking about an interpretation that's supported only by one particular line and hinges not even on the words it's translated to but the structure and interpretation in the context of potential ambiguity.
teo123 wrote:
Tue Sep 10, 2019 3:01 pm
Matthew 22:30 also says that, in heaven, people do not have husbands and wives, but that they are like angels. That's far more compatible with the notion of heaven being full of metaphysical souls, rather than that heaven will consist of physical humans.
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).
See:
https://wol.jw.org/en/wol/d/r1/lp-e/1967765
teo123 wrote:
Tue Sep 10, 2019 3:01 pm
And, in Matthew 14, when Jesus walked on water, the Apostles thought he was a ghost, a spirit of some deceased person.
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.
Arguably, the Apostles could have been influenced by pagan superstition; they were not god or divinely inspired, they could be wrong. 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.
teo123 wrote:
Tue Sep 10, 2019 3:01 pm
So if John (quite likely, John 3:13 explicitly says nobody has yet been to heaven) and Luke (perhaps, but unlikely) didn't believe in spirits, it's hard to deny that Matthew did.
It's pretty damn easy to deny that the writer of Matthew did. You *might* be able to make the argument for some of the Apostles mistakenly fearing spirits, but that would hardly be surprising. In each case, Jesus was *NOT* a spirit. Matthew doesn't confirm ghosts as being real in the slightest.
teo123 wrote:
Tue Sep 10, 2019 3:01 pm
The First Book of Samuel, in the 28th chapter, appears to describe a woman that talks to a spirit of deceased Samuel.
Maybe. That's a hotly debated issue. Or a trick, or a demon. What Saul did was against YHWH's commands, and he died the next day (arguably because of it).
teo123 wrote:
Tue Sep 10, 2019 3:01 pm
Odyssey also describes spirits communicating with humans, probably dating earlier than most of the things in the Bible.
Well yeah, the Greeks and Romans believed in that stuff.
teo123 wrote:
Tue Sep 10, 2019 3:01 pm
Were they aware of the NDEs, which are much more common today than they were back then, even more people would have believed in souls.
Sure, because people are dumb and accept very bad evidence for things. You included, which is still disappointing after all this time.
teo123 wrote:
Tue Sep 10, 2019 3:01 pm
So, what do you think, is taking Stephanus of Byzantium seriously about there having been a stream named "Brettia" on the island of Brač more similar to taking the stories about NDEs and UFOs seriously, or is it more similar to the hypothesis about the Roman Warm Period?
Neither, it's linguistics, so it's a question of probability of those coincidences. How extraordinary is that claim? How much does it complicate our models of reality to assume true?
It doesn't add a whole new layers to physics for no reason at all, but it's also not an collection of objective accounts.
teo123 wrote:
Tue Sep 10, 2019 3:01 pm
Why exactly? Now everybody who is not immediately convinced by your arguments that NDEs are not real is somehow being close-minded?
Being naive, and forgetting the epistemological lesson you should have learned in the Flat-Earth thread and others.
teo123 wrote:
Tue Sep 10, 2019 3:01 pm
And if you study NDEs just a little, it seems obvious there is evidence of some verifiable information being transmitted from the other world into this one. Perhaps if you study a lot more, that stops being so obvious.
It is at no point obvious unless you just want to believe it, because none of those accounts are useful.
You don't need to study it much at all: you need to study epistemology so you understand what qualifies as verifiable information.
teo123 wrote:
Tue Sep 10, 2019 3:01 pm
Names, especially in modern times, rarely make sense in the language that's spoken there. And when they do, it's something related to theology or heroism. Names rarely mean "one who wishes to destroy" or "dear grandfather".
And a name of a part of a city meaning "meat from sheep" is, I hope you agree, quite extraordinary, and it sounds like it's made up. Add to this that there is allegedly a mass grave there, and it sounds highly implausible.
This seems to discredit you as a linguist. There are reasons most names aren't comprehensible in most areas; you should know better in this case. There are also only so many; if you'd group them into ironic and non-ironic categories with a control you'd likely find it's barely a coincidence.
Not really interested in getting into it, but this isn't impressive and it's tin foil hat conspiracy theory reasoning. I'm amazed that you're still denying that massacre on such silly things.
teo123 wrote:
Tue Sep 10, 2019 3:01 pm
brimstoneSalad wrote: That's a very specific audience of skeptics, not your general newspaper reading public who want inspiring stories about NDEs and get mad about skeptics.
I don't know about that. Atheism is quite a bit more common in Croatia than it is in the USA, right?
Atheists broadly believe in the supernatural.
Atheism is not skepticism. You'd find much better correlations with scientific literacy. This nonsense is all over the place throughout the English speaking world too, though. All equally rubbish.

EDIT: 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?
Like I said, there's shit like this everywhere, particularly in languages where names are typically composed of meaningful words. It takes five seconds to find a seeming coincidence if you're looking for it.

teo123
Senior Member
Posts: 500
Joined: Tue Oct 27, 2015 3:46 pm
Religion: None (Atheist)
Diet: Vegan

Post by teo123 » Fri Sep 13, 2019 11:04 am

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.

User avatar
brimstoneSalad
neither stone nor salad
Posts: 9499
Joined: Wed May 28, 2014 9:20 am
Religion: None (Atheist)
Diet: Vegan

Post by brimstoneSalad » Sun Sep 15, 2019 5:59 pm

So you deny historical consensus on bloody massacres, but you believe in souls because of ridiculous anecdotes despite no credible evidence suggesting they're real.

Teo, you're still as nuts as you were when you were a flat-Earther and you're not really understanding what I'm saying.

Deny history because you don't like the idea that a lot of people were killed, and believe in souls. I'm wasting far too much time trying to teach you and getting nothing back for it. All you do is dig in your heels more and more, just like with the Flat Earth thread.

teo123
Senior Member
Posts: 500
Joined: Tue Oct 27, 2015 3:46 pm
Religion: None (Atheist)
Diet: Vegan

Post by teo123 » Tue Sep 17, 2019 4:06 am

brimstoneSalad wrote:
Sun Sep 15, 2019 5:59 pm
So you deny historical consensus on bloody massacres, but you believe in souls because of ridiculous anecdotes despite no credible evidence suggesting they're real.

Teo, you're still as nuts as you were when you were a flat-Earther and you're not really understanding what I'm saying.

Deny history because you don't like the idea that a lot of people were killed, and believe in souls. I'm wasting far too much time trying to teach you and getting nothing back for it. All you do is dig in your heels more and more, just like with the Flat Earth thread.
OK, I am sorry... for trying to apply the critical thinking skills I've gained by studying linguistics and computer science to religion and politics.
Though, mind-body materialism still seems like a reasonable position. Before I thought about it recently, I considered the other positions on that problem ridiculous. Now I don't. I now see mind-body materialism as perhaps slightly more philosophically grounded, but that's all. Most of the arguments made for it are gibberish, just like for the other side of the story.
As for the massacres, listen, what I see is some easily verifiable evidence that they didn't happen (names appearing symbolic, which is typical for myths), and people claiming there is a lot of evidence they did happen, but that evidence is hard to evaluate. How do you check that there are really people buried in that mass grave? And how can you know they didn't exhume those bodies from near-by graveyards and buried them all in one place to make it look like there was a massacre there? Massacre is not an every-day thing. It's an extraordinary statement, especially asserting that it happened here less than 30 years ago, where I've lived my entire life and I have never even seen a gun.
And since, as far as I have seen, no evidence whatsoever is being presented when the claim about the Tiananmen Massacre is being made, a claim that's presented without evidence can be dismissed without evidence.
Yes, the governments are usually corrupt and sometimes fail catastrophally to protect human rights. But that doesn't mean every allegation of a massacre should be accepted as true.

Post Reply

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 40 guests