Can an atheist believe in the supernatural?

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Can an atheist believe in the supernatural?

 Can an atheist believe in the supernatural?


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Not likely.

 

 

 

                Being an atheist means we are unlikely to accept any ideal without proof or some kind of explanation. If your only explanation is "because lots of people believe it" we are not jumping on THAT bandwagon.

 

 

               To make it simpler; Supernatural by deffinition is 'without evidence' and atheists do not believe anything 'without evidence'.

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The simple answer is no

I think a lot of people confuse metaphysical (ideas) with supernatural (explanations). An atheist - provided that he's interested in that sort of thing - might well discuss metaphysics and "possibilities", but he won't accept any explanation which demands supernatural forces or entities (which are "supernatural" in the sense that they cannot be proven or disproven), much less subject his mind to the sort of mental gangrene that constitutes "faith".

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Jeffrick wrote:       

Jeffrick wrote:

                Being an atheist means we are unlikely to accept any ideal without proof or some kind of explanation. If your only explanation is "because lots of people believe it" we are not jumping on THAT bandwagon.

If that is what an atheist is I don't understand why it has the root theist in the word.

 

 

Quote:

  To make it simpler; Supernatural by deffinition is 'without evidence' and atheists do not believe anything 'without evidence'.

This begs the question. Even Sam Harris on his web page allows for the possibility of the paranormal.


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Marquis wrote:I think a lot

Marquis wrote:

I think a lot of people confuse metaphysical (ideas) with supernatural (explanations). 

I don't.


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OrdinaryClay wrote:If that

OrdinaryClay wrote:

If that is what an atheist is I don't understand why it has the root theist in the word.

 

That's actually a very good question.

I often find that whereas all skeptics are atheists, not all atheists are skeptics.

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To OrdinaryClay.

 

 

 

        {If that is what an atheist is I don't understand why it has the root  theist in the word.}

 

             Theist means you have a theology;  A-theist means you have no theology.  From that take it up with a grammerian, I'm an engineer.

 

 

        {This begs the question. Even Sam Harris on his web page allows for the possiblity of the paranormal.}

 

             I too allow for such possibilities. But I want to see proof before I believe it. Once there is proof I suppose it is no longer paranormal but normal.

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Marquis wrote:OrdinaryClay

Marquis wrote:

OrdinaryClay wrote:

If that is what an atheist is I don't understand why it has the root theist in the word.

 That's actually a very good question.

I often find that whereas all skeptics are atheists, not all atheists are skeptics.

Whether all skeptics are atheists is another thread, but whether all atheists are skeptics is part of my question. The other part is could a person claim to be an atheist and still believe in the supernatural (In order to avoid the question begging responses let's assume said atheist had evidence that was convincing to them).

 


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Jeffrick

Jeffrick wrote:

         {If that is what an atheist is I don't understand why it has the root  theist in the word.}

 

             Theist means you have a theology;  A-theist means you have no theology.  From that take it up with a grammerian, I'm an engineer.

 

This answer does not account for your original description of atheist here.

 

Quote:

 

         {This begs the question. Even Sam Harris on his web page allows for the possiblity of the paranormal.}

 

             I too allow for such possibilities. But I want to see proof before I believe it. Once there is proof I suppose it is no longer paranormal but normal.

 

The normal(natural) world requires detection and explanation (usually through mathematics). The supernatural(if it existed) could be detectable, and not scientifically explainable. Unless, of course you resort to the whole question begging retreat, and if so I have your answer.

 

 


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I hate the word "atheist"

I hate the word "atheist" being limited to god/s. So technically speaking YES, because of that distinction.

I would like to see the word expanded to include ANY AND ALL naked assertions.

 

 

 

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 I don't see why not. An

 I don't see why not. An atheist lacks belief in a god. Beyond that what any atheist believes is a personal belief and does not speak for the rest of us. I think it is unlikely that an atheist will believe in the supernatural, as we have broken free from those kinds of beliefs. But just remember what the definition of an atheist is. I get really annoyed when people start classifying all atheist with other beliefs besides our disbelief in god. 

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Brian37 wrote:I hate the

Brian37 wrote:

I hate the word "atheist" being limited to god/s. So technically speaking YES, because of that distinction.

I would like to see the word expanded to include ANY AND ALL naked assertions.

 

Why not just use the words we all ready have. Seems odd one would want to overload a word.


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OrdinaryClay wrote:Brian37

OrdinaryClay wrote:

Brian37 wrote:

I hate the word "atheist" being limited to god/s. So technically speaking YES, because of that distinction.

I would like to see the word expanded to include ANY AND ALL naked assertions.

 

Why not just use the words we all ready have. Seems odd one would want to overload a word.

Why?

Because a god claim is no different. God as a claim is beyond nature, which would put it in the category of the super natural, thus the prefix "super" meaning "beyond".

God is the same as ghosts and Ouija boards and vampires. All these fall into the category of naked assertion based upon the same naked assertion of something being beyond nature.

It is not overloading a word. It is expanding it to put evidence first in all cases and the rightful rejection of absurdity IN ALL CASES.

"atheist" is currently defined as "god/s" that part is true. But I don't see why if one can reject the absurdity of a brain with no brain, which is "beyond nature" why that word can't include the rejection of other absurdities and unproven claims.

You for example are an atheist when it comes to pink unicorns, so what would be the difference? Have you ever seen a real unicorn outside of manufactured fiction? Wouldn't a pink unicorn be "beyond nature"?

"Beyond nature" is nothing more than humans attempting to pass off fiction as reality and nothing more than a gap answer and I don't think any claim about anything "super natural" should be treated with any less ridicule than a claim of a god. BOTH deserve ridicule and scorn.

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Brian37 wrote:OrdinaryClay

Brian37 wrote:

OrdinaryClay wrote:

Brian37 wrote:

I hate the word "atheist" being limited to god/s. So technically speaking YES, because of that distinction.

I would like to see the word expanded to include ANY AND ALL naked assertions.

 

Why not just use the words we all ready have. Seems odd one would want to overload a word.

Why?

Because a god claim is no different. God as a claim is beyond nature, which would put it in the category of the super natural, thus the prefix "super" meaning "beyond".

God is the same as ghosts and Ouija boards and vampires. All these fall into the category of naked assertion based upon the same naked assertion of something being beyond nature.

It is not overloading a word. It is expanding it to put evidence first in all cases and the rightful rejection of absurdity IN ALL CASES.

"atheist" is currently defined as "god/s" that part is true. But I don't see why if one can reject the absurdity of a brain with no brain, which is "beyond nature" why that word can't include the rejection of other absurdities and unproven claims.

You for example are an atheist when it comes to pink unicorns, so what would be the difference? Have you ever seen a real unicorn outside of manufactured fiction? Wouldn't a pink unicorn be "beyond nature"?

"Beyond nature" is nothing more than humans attempting to pass off fiction as reality and nothing more than a gap answer and I don't think any claim about anything "super natural" should be treated with any less ridicule than a claim of a god. BOTH deserve ridicule and scorn.

Actually my questions was "Why not just use the words we all ready have." The word theist has a specific meaning, and it is not supernatural.

No, not really, pink unicorns are not a theistic concept, with respect to Zeus I am atheistic. With regard to pink unicorns I'm a skeptic. 

BTW - Are you aware that in the first and second century Christians were in fact considered atheists, of course then the word atheist had the standard meaning of not believing in gods.

 


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OrdinaryClay wrote:Whether

OrdinaryClay wrote:
Whether all skeptics are atheists is another thread, but whether all atheists are skeptics is part of my question. The other part is could a person claim to be an atheist and still believe in the supernatural (In order to avoid the question begging responses let's assume said atheist had evidence that was convincing to them).

 

What kind of convincing evidence could there be in anything that does not place that thing in the natural world?

 

Seriously, belief in the supernatural is just what it sounds like. No evidence in the real existence of some object makes it a supernatural matter and thus subject to belief. On the other hand, I can state with a high degree of confidence that they sky is blue. That is not something that I only believe to be true.

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OrdinaryClay wrote:Brian37

OrdinaryClay wrote:

Brian37 wrote:

OrdinaryClay wrote:

Brian37 wrote:

I hate the word "atheist" being limited to god/s. So technically speaking YES, because of that distinction.

I would like to see the word expanded to include ANY AND ALL naked assertions.

 

Why not just use the words we all ready have. Seems odd one would want to overload a word.

Why?

Because a god claim is no different. God as a claim is beyond nature, which would put it in the category of the super natural, thus the prefix "super" meaning "beyond".

God is the same as ghosts and Ouija boards and vampires. All these fall into the category of naked assertion based upon the same naked assertion of something being beyond nature.

It is not overloading a word. It is expanding it to put evidence first in all cases and the rightful rejection of absurdity IN ALL CASES.

"atheist" is currently defined as "god/s" that part is true. But I don't see why if one can reject the absurdity of a brain with no brain, which is "beyond nature" why that word can't include the rejection of other absurdities and unproven claims.

You for example are an atheist when it comes to pink unicorns, so what would be the difference? Have you ever seen a real unicorn outside of manufactured fiction? Wouldn't a pink unicorn be "beyond nature"?

"Beyond nature" is nothing more than humans attempting to pass off fiction as reality and nothing more than a gap answer and I don't think any claim about anything "super natural" should be treated with any less ridicule than a claim of a god. BOTH deserve ridicule and scorn.

 

Actually my questions was "Why not just use the words we all ready have." The word theist has a specific meaning, and it is not supernatural.

No, not really, pink unicorns are not a theistic concept, with respect to Zeus I am atheistic. With regard to pink unicorns I'm a skeptic. 

BTW - Are you aware that in the first and second century Christians were in fact considered atheists, of course then the word atheist had the standard meaning of not believing in gods.

 

 

Don't hand me that, there is no difference between Zues and a pink unicorn. Neither exist, just because on had a history of being a once believed god doesn't make it any less fiction than a pink unicorn.

Zeus and a pink unicorn are BOTH in the relm of absurdity and hold no weight so why not treat them the same?

Your attitude is exactly why new superstitions end up replacing old ones. Right now there are individuals that treat "the force" from Star Wars as being real. It is not of critical mass as of yet, but there are NUTS who hae turned a mere movie into a personal belief. Get enough of these nutcases to spread that absurdity and POOF you have a new superstition.

The only difference between fiction and gods are the amount of people who believe them to be fact. Get enough people to buy a claim of a unicorn and you'd end up with the same thing.

If fans of L. Ron Hubbard can start a new religion based on the rantings of a science fiction writer, what makes you think a mentally unstable fan of J. K. Rowlings couldn't start a religion based on Harry Potter?

MIND YOU am not talking about all fans of any fiction, I am merely saying that AN individual can lead others down absurd roads. It is evident throughout our human history.

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OrdinaryClay wrote:(1.) Why

OrdinaryClay wrote:
(1.) Why not just use the words we all ready have.

(2.) in the first and second century Christians were in fact considered atheists

 

(1.) Agreed. Which is why we need to distinguish between "supernatural" and "paranormal". The words natural and normal are some times interchanged, but they really describe two very different things. "Natural" obviously refers to that which exists in nature; as a part of life here on earth. "Normal" however describes that which exists in compliance with a normative idea or concept. It follows from this that "supernatural" describes something separated from nature whereas "paranormal" decribes something which cannot be described with any standard idea for normalcy. More specifically, ideas about supernatural phenomenons and entities are based either A) in a poor understanding of physics, or B) in outright superstition (which is a psychotic reaction to metaphysical anxiety).

(2.) This is actually very ironic indeed, because the early Christians refused to acknowledge the god-nature of the Roman emperor, and this is why they were being called atheists. Of course that all changed as soon as they adopted the essentially blasphemic idea that their prophet was actually not only "a" god, but the Big Boss himself, trying on a human life for convenience.

Other than that, what I specifically mean with the statement 'not all atheists are skeptics' is that many of them are quite naive in political matters; even to the point of what we may call 'inverse paranoia', i.e. the irrational idea that people are "naturally good".

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OrdinaryClay wrote: Can an

OrdinaryClay wrote:

 Can an atheist believe in the supernatural?

Buddhism - There is no requirement to believe in a God or Gods and yet they believe in reincarnation and karma for example.

So the answer is yes...

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Of course atheists can

Of course atheists can believe in the supernatural....such as psychics, ghosts, telekinesis, fate, etc, etc, etc, etc. Just when it comes to gods/goddess/demi-gods and beings within that realm is where the term atheist comes into play. I know a few atheists that believe in the whole tarot cards/palm readings and in ghosts, as well as in psychic abilities.

However I will say that the majority of atheists I know tend to be on the more skeptic side of things when it comes to supernatural claims.


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latincanuck wrote:Of course

latincanuck wrote:

Of course atheists can believe in the supernatural....such as psychics, ghosts, telekinesis, fate, etc, etc, etc, etc. Just when it comes to gods/goddess/demi-gods and beings within that realm is where the term atheist comes into play. I know a few atheists that believe in the whole tarot cards/palm readings and in ghosts, as well as in psychic abilities.

However I will say that the majority of atheists I know tend to be on the more skeptic side of things when it comes to supernatural claims.

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neptewn wrote:OrdinaryClay

neptewn wrote:

OrdinaryClay wrote:

 Can an atheist believe in the supernatural?

Buddhism - There is no requirement to believe in a God or Gods and yet they believe in reincarnation and karma for example.

So the answer is yes...

Yes, this is what I heard also. Do they consider themselves atheists?


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latincanuck wrote:Of course

latincanuck wrote:

Of course atheists can believe in the supernatural....such as psychics, ghosts, telekinesis, fate, etc, etc, etc, etc. Just when it comes to gods/goddess/demi-gods and beings within that realm is where the term atheist comes into play. I know a few atheists that believe in the whole tarot cards/palm readings and in ghosts, as well as in psychic abilities.

However I will say that the majority of atheists I know tend to be on the more skeptic side of things when it comes to supernatural claims.

This was my understanding as well.

 

The next question would naturally be then, if a supernatural existed would it increase the likelihood of God's existence? 


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An atheist is a person that

An atheist is a person that doesn't believe in God. So, yes, an atheist can believe in supernatural things, provided that none of those things are God.

Jeffrick wrote:

                Being an atheist means we are unlikely to accept any ideal without proof or some kind of explanation. If your only explanation is "because lots of people believe it" we are not jumping on THAT bandwagon.

To make it simpler; Supernatural by deffinition is 'without evidence' and atheists do not believe anything 'without evidence.'

Huh? What dictionary or encyclopedia says atheists do not believe anything without evidence? Atheism is the disbelief or denial of the existence of a God or gods. That's it. No more. No less. 

Brian37 wrote:
I would like to see the word expanded to include ANY AND ALL naked assertions.

But, we already have other words for that.

 

Our revels now are ended. These our actors, | As I foretold you, were all spirits, and | Are melted into air, into thin air; | And, like the baseless fabric of this vision, | The cloud-capped towers, the gorgeous palaces, | The solemn temples, the great globe itself, - Yea, all which it inherit, shall dissolve, | And, like this insubstantial pageant faded, | Leave not a rack behind. We are such stuff | As dreams are made on, and our little life | Is rounded with a sleep. - Shakespeare


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OP:  Sure, an atheist can

OP:  Sure, an atheist can believe in woo.

 

Just because someone is an atheist does not mean they are a rational skeptic.  Most of the atheists around here are rational skeptics though, and if the qeustion is, "Could a rational, atheist, skeptic believe in the supernatural?" I would say no, unless they are idiots.  To be rational is to deny supernatural events by definition.  Supernatural is, in itself, a contradictory term that has no meaning.

That is why I don't like the word 'atheist' being used to describe people...it isn't enough.  It is like describing your friend by saying, "they don't like toast".  Ok, they don't like toast, but that does not tell you what kind of person they are and what they do like.

Everything makes more sense now that I've stopped believing.


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No, I think that atheists

No, I think that atheists can not BELIEVE in the supernatural. However, they can OBSERVE it, and become convinced beyond any belief. This often happens with doctors. Human body is the most malleable to so-called supernatural influences, so a few miraculous healings during career will give a doctor some food for thought. A doctor can also observe effects of alternative medicine on his well-known patients, this is why many become convinced that it works. Our group unites several such a doctors, both practical and psychologists. I'm not giving out any names, of course.

Yeah, it is OK to not believe. This is what I do - I don't believe. I observe, with a big community that can repeat and confirm (or not) the correctness of my observations.

Actually, there is a plenty of potential in science to explain supernatural phenomena. It's not just the often cursed quantum mysticism. Every time I read up on dark matter or string theory, I barely resist *facepalming*, seeing how it is identic with standard esoteric theory. Duh. All those scientists researching dark matter and strings do nothing else, than naturalize what was until now "supernatural".
It's ashaming how scientists at one side research dark matter, but on the other side reject it's effects on everyday world. Dark matter forms whole levels of universe, full of life, that is eager to interact with us - because we are partially based on dark matter too. This is how and why there always were countless rituals, myths and attempts to get into contact with invisible world that surrounds us - the dark matter, as it's called nowadays. Almost all "paranormal" phenomena are very simply explainable, if we take into account the omnipresent invisible world of dark matter.
If dark matter interacts with our matter very closely as scientists think, then it's effects had to be necessarily observed during history of mankind. These observations evolved into myths, rituals, superstition, religions, gods, magic, visions, hallucinations, and abilities seemingly defying natural laws. It needs only one hypothetical step - that human thoughts, emotions or ideas are actually a phenomena, that exist in some form of dark matter like it's objects. That the consciousness itself interacts with dark matter of some kind, or perhaps is even based on it. That is, what all thinkers should consider.

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OrdinaryClay

OrdinaryClay wrote:

latincanuck wrote:

Of course atheists can believe in the supernatural....such as psychics, ghosts, telekinesis, fate, etc, etc, etc, etc. Just when it comes to gods/goddess/demi-gods and beings within that realm is where the term atheist comes into play. I know a few atheists that believe in the whole tarot cards/palm readings and in ghosts, as well as in psychic abilities.

However I will say that the majority of atheists I know tend to be on the more skeptic side of things when it comes to supernatural claims.

This was my understanding as well.

 

The next question would naturally be then, if a supernatural existed would it increase the likelihood of God's existence? 

Nope, IF and that's a HUGE IF, it doesn't mean god exists, ghosts, psychic abilities, magic etc, etc, are really just beliefs, there is no proof really that any of them exist, at least no proper scientific evidence. Even if they did, it doesn't mean that god exists either, the description of god itself usually contradicts itself in many many ways, so my answer is no.

Just because someone believes in the supernatural doesn't mean god is real.


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OrdinaryClay wrote:The next

OrdinaryClay wrote:

The next question would naturally be then, if a supernatural existed would it increase the likelihood of God's existence? 

Are you attempting to create an ontological proof of God based on a supposed "existence" of the supernatural?  i.e. That by conceiving of the supernatural, that it (and a supernatural being) must be so?

Faith is the great cop-out, the great excuse to evade the need to think and evaluate evidence. Faith is belief in spite of, even perhaps because of, the lack of evidence.
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Yeah, I believe in the supernatural.

 

It's taken a long time but after a reading the posts of eXni et al, I now believe that one day a great, big cuddly teddy bear in the sky is going to give me a fucking lollypop.

 

 

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Natural_SciGuy

Natural_SciGuy wrote:

OrdinaryClay wrote:

The next question would naturally be then, if a supernatural existed would it increase the likelihood of God's existence? 

Are you attempting to create an ontological proof of God based on a supposed "existence" of the supernatural?  i.e. That by conceiving of the supernatural, that it (and a supernatural being) must be so?

No, I'm using probabilistic reasoning. If there existed any supernatural then I maintain it is more likely that God exists. At the very least, once you've disproven pure materialism the a priori rejection of anything supernatural is unavailable. 

 


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OrdinaryClay wrote: No, I'm

OrdinaryClay wrote:

 

No, I'm using probabilistic reasoning. If there existed any supernatural then I maintain it is more likely that God exists. At the very least, once you've disproven pure materialism the a priori rejection of anything supernatural is unavailable. 

 

 

It most certainly helps the case for god if there is belief in the supernatural.  However most here do not believe in the supernatural.  Also, you would need to debunk naturalism, not just materialism.  Technically I think you need to debunk monism in order for the supernatural to exist.


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OrdinaryClay

OrdinaryClay wrote:

Natural_SciGuy wrote:

OrdinaryClay wrote:

The next question would naturally be then, if a supernatural existed would it increase the likelihood of God's existence? 

Are you attempting to create an ontological proof of God based on a supposed "existence" of the supernatural?  i.e. That by conceiving of the supernatural, that it (and a supernatural being) must be so?

 

No, I'm using probabilistic reasoning. If there existed any supernatural then I maintain it is more likely that God exists. At the very least, once you've disproven pure materialism the a priori rejection of anything supernatural is unavailable. 

 

 

How would you identify something that is supernatural? 

Everything makes more sense now that I've stopped believing.


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While I can't speak for

While I can't speak for every atheist, I can speak for why I am one.

There isn't enough evidence to support the claim.  Therefore, the claim must be assumed false.

With that, it would follow that to claim the supernatural, you would need evidence to support the claim.  There isn't any.

Therefore, the claim must be assumed false.

So, no, I don't think it is reasonable to believe in the supernatural.

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Me:"Yes, so is light and gravity. Pardon me while I flash this strobe while dropping a bowling ball on your head. This shouldn't bother you; after all, these are just theories."


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OrdinaryClay wrote: No, I'm

OrdinaryClay wrote:

 

No, I'm using probabilistic reasoning. If there existed any supernatural then I maintain it is more likely that God exists. At the very least, once you've disproven pure materialism the a priori rejection of anything supernatural is unavailable. 

 

 

Even using that, once we can prove the supernatural beliefs that some atheists may have, they are no longer supernatural but just plain old natural, of course the reason it is considered supernatural is because there is no evidence for it and it requires to suspend reality in order for it to be explained. However for god to even exist there has to be some form of evidence that he does at all, and then some proper definition of what god is in order to verify that what is to be "known" as god is actually god. So far all the descriptions of god that I have heard are reduced to contradictory statements and well babble.


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Atheistextremist wrote:bear

Atheistextremist wrote:


bear in the sky is going to give me a fucking 

 

(Sorry AE, I just couldn't resist.)

(It's such a perfect example of how the meaning of something might change when taken out of context.)

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Luminon wrote:No, I think

Luminon wrote:
No, I think that atheists can not BELIEVE in the supernatural. However, they can OBSERVE it, and become convinced beyond any belief. This often happens with doctors. Human body is the most malleable to so-called supernatural influences, so a few miraculous healings during career will give a doctor some food for thought. A doctor can also observe effects of alternative medicine on his well-known patients, this is why many become convinced that it works. Our group unites several such a doctors, both practical and psychologists. I'm not giving out any names, of course.

 

Yeah, it is OK to not believe. This is what I do - I don't believe. I observe, with a big community that can repeat and confirm (or not) the correctness of my observations.

 

OK, I can follow that much. What I fail to see is how what you are talking about is actually supernatural and not something that is firmly grounded in the real world, just not yet well understood by the wider community.

 

Not too many centuries ago, sailors used a type of mineral known as lodestone hung on a string to determine which direction magnetic north was when they were far from land. Today we call that a compass and thanks to James Clerk Maxwell we have a whole well described theory of electromagnetism. Due to his work, it is possible to get a hand held GPS for the cost of a month or two of lunches.

 

Or since you mention medicine, the pharmaceutical industry has field researchers who find primitive tribal doctors and get them to show what they use as medicine. From that work comes many of our modern drugs. On a personal level, my own mother was granted a couple of extra years on this planet due to an extract from the yew tree. However, it was not the tree source, rather chemists learned how to make the stuff artificially as the tree is just not abundant enough in nature to meet the demands of cancer patients.

 

None of that stuff is supernatural. It was all stuff that was very poorly understood in the past but by examining the available evidence, it is now science. There is nothing to believe in here. It is all stuff that can be known with a high degree of confidence.

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Answers in Gene Simmons

Answers in Gene Simmons wrote:

OK, I can follow that much. What I fail to see is how what you are talking about is actually supernatural and not something that is firmly grounded in the real world, just not yet well understood by the wider community.

I use the word 'supernatural', because it's so convenient, everyone will quickly get the gist of what's going on. Everyone, but local forum members, apparently. Of course it is all real - just like the dark matter is real. But what I want to break is the prejudice, that things "out there" are real, and things "in there", like thoughts, emotions, and so on, are less real.

Because, the mysterious "supernatural" world, which is, I suppose the relatively newly found dark matter, has the force of mind as one of it's major natural phenomena. In other words, whatever forces we know, like electric or nuclear, the same forces may in the form of dark matter participate on things like consciousness, thoughts and emotions. I mean just a higher, more subtle version of electric forces, for example. Do you get what I mean? Can you fathom the possibilities?

 

Answers in Gene Simmons wrote:
  Or since you mention medicine, the pharmaceutical industry has field researchers who find primitive tribal doctors and get them to show what they use as medicine. From that work comes many of our modern drugs. On a personal level, my own mother was granted a couple of extra years on this planet due to an extract from the yew tree. However, it was not the tree source, rather chemists learned how to make the stuff artificially as the tree is just not abundant enough in nature to meet the demands of cancer patients.
Yeah, but I wonder why they don't send the same people to 'tribal doctors' in Europe, USA or Japan. The greatest flaw of pharmaceutical industry, and all the medicine based on it and science behind it, is that it's the market, for which quick profit is a priority. I hope you understand that industry will not research everything, when it already has profit.
This is the same as evolution, that will not make a perfect design of life form. If survival and procreation is achieved, then it's fine with evolution, it does not care about houses full of elderly, zombified people. This is why it's perfectly possible to make a real and valuable discoveries in science and medicine, which will not be adopted by the mainstream communities, we must not presume they want a perfect world. This is why we must not be just mere consumers of popular science and worldview, we must try things on ourselves.
 

Answers in Gene Simmons wrote:
 

None of that stuff is supernatural. It was all stuff that was very poorly understood in the past but by examining the available evidence, it is now science. There is nothing to believe in here. It is all stuff that can be known with a high degree of confidence.

Yes! More of that!
I'd appreciate some more convenient terms for the invisible worlds, than 'supernatural'. Nobody has a problem with this term, just people like you. My advice is, don't let the words get into way of mutual understanding!!!! Because words and historical burden on them means so much, I probably shouldn't use the term aether, riiiight???
I understand what you mean, with the 'supernatural' magnet and navigation. But do you understand me? Today, countless phenomena must be either rejected as impossible, or labelled as supernatural, in both cases unresearchable. And yet, they were with us since the dawn of civilization and there is no less of them today. How do you recognize a true explanation? When the explanation actually opens a whole new field of science with new questions and technologies. "Explaining things away" is not always explaining. I mean something like what happened with magnetic stones, and this will also happen (and to some degree already happens) with subtle forms of matter and energy, today referred to as "dark" by astronomers or "spiritual" by people in tie-dyed shirts.
I know, it's a bold idea, but it gives sense. It all fits together like ass on chamber-pot, even what is not yet discovered. That's a small and shortened example of how I see it.

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I think the word

I think the word supernatural carries more baggage than you are admitting to.  For most people I know, supernatural means magic.  Harry Potter magic, not your magic.  Although, of course I think most of your magic is Harry Potter magic too, but for the sake of this discussion I am letting that slide because I know you think you are talking about a reality that actually exists.

I think you give the average person too much credit by assuming they have actually thought what reality is, or what it would actually mean if an angel pulled them from a car wreck.

Everything makes more sense now that I've stopped believing.


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mellestad wrote:I think the

mellestad wrote:

I think the word supernatural carries more baggage than you are admitting to.  For most people I know, supernatural means magic.  Harry Potter magic, not your magic.  Although, of course I think most of your magic is Harry Potter magic too, but for the sake of this discussion I am letting that slide because I know you think you are talking about a reality that actually exists.

I think you give the average person too much credit by assuming they have actually thought what reality is, or what it would actually mean if an angel pulled them from a car wreck.

Well, perhaps you're right. Even if I would ever use the word 'magic', I would never mean Harry Potter magic, that's nonsense. If I can't avoid admitting where I've been on weekend, I must tell the people about "witchery", because they don't know the word 'occultism'. But then I have to add that we don't fly on brooms or sacrifice chickens, but we basically, less or more, plus minus, work with people's subconsciousness.

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Luminon wrote:subtle forms

Luminon wrote:

subtle forms of matter and energy, today referred to as "dark" by astronomers or "spiritual" by people in tie-dyed shirts

 

This is where you go wrong. You mix and match until all you have is a toxic stew that carries no meaning at all.

Physics pretty much has it all covered, and the reason why you don't know this is because you haven't taken the time to study it, which must be why you call dark matter (which BTW is only hypotheized so far) "subtle" whereas physicists call it "dark" because it doesn't interact with light (so we can't see it) and yet it seems to have mass (because the gravitational pull is present). But there is also the possibility that the observational data is wrong, or any number of other possibilities. We just don't know, but "dark matter" has been predicted.

When we discussed this, I told you that what you call "spiritualism" I call "sexual hysteria". This is unconnected to interstellar phenomenons, it is simply a product of redirecting your sexual energy to the neural complex of the cortex, thus producing some really rather powerful hallucinatory effects (much like drugs may do). This has the power to transform your neural pathways and change your cognitive structures. For better or worse. It boils down to being able to control it, as is the case with so much in life. I.e. "personal power", or discipline.

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Me and my

Marquis wrote:

Atheistextremist wrote:

 

bear in the sky is going to give me a fucking 

 

(Sorry AE, I just couldn't resist.)

(It's such a perfect example of how the meaning of something might change when taken out of context.)

 

projecting....

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OrdinaryClay wrote: Can an

OrdinaryClay wrote:

 Can an atheist believe in the supernatural?

 

A critical thinker can't believe in the supernatural- or rather, if the critical thinker is critical thinking about it, he or she won't believe in the supernatural.  That's not to say that the critical thinker won't believe phenomena aren't real, but that they have natural explanations.

But then, not all atheists are critical thinkers.

 

I can tell you that in China, the majority of the population are atheists (or very nearly), and the majority also believe in the supernatural in one way or another- but do they recognize it as supernatural, or are they believing in something they think is natural?  Take the voodoo medicine in China- and the magical energy lines and such in the body people think exist- they think those are natural.

 

That's what it comes down to- because virtually nobody believes in anything, believing it to be supernatural.  Wiccans, for the most part, believe that magic is natural, and part of nature.  Nature spirits are some of the basic origins of deities- possibly the most fundamental origin or theists.  A good number of theists will tell you that their god is natural, and part of nature- while most of the common definitions of gods still explicitly contain the necessity of them being supernatural.


The most important question here is "what is supernaturality?"

 

A critical thinker will tell you that it's something beyond the natural- beyond logic and naturalism, and as such, something that is patently false.  And that would be right.  Not everybody knows that, though.

 

Can an atheist believe in the supernatural?  Out of ignorance- absolutely.  Ignorance of the word and its meaning?  Sometimes.  Ignorance of the implications and nature?  Often.

 

And the rest?  Out of ignorance of critical thinking- sure. 

 

But among those we have the few who know very well the implications,  and are blatantly rejecting naturalism in those cases- believing in true magic while with full knowledge of what they're saying.  I know a few of them, and they're still atheists, but if only by the generosity of the definition of atheism- that whatever they believe in, they either don't consider to be a god, or don't worship as their god.

 

An atheist, after all, can be anything short of a theist.  While the slide between animism and theism may be a short one, it's still there, so they're left slipping around in the murky grey region between superstition and outright devotion/subservience to deities- maybe never to get there, but with seemingly nothing to stop them. 

 

They all definitely make up a vulnerable subsect of atheist the people of which are liable to become religious at any opportunity, given the right incentive.


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Marquis wrote: This is

Marquis wrote:

 This is where you go wrong. You mix and match until all you have is a toxic stew that carries no meaning at all.

No meaning to you, because you don't know esotericism. Or perhaps you know, but you won't put the information together. You don't have synthetic thinking, there can be just a shade of suspicion, and you will turn your brain off, because a toxic stew might poison it. Dear Marquis, maybe you have synthetic thinking, but it is blocked by huge prejudice. I don't know which choice is less offensive...

Marquis wrote:
Physics pretty much has it all covered,
Excuse me, physics has not covered all the esoteric and spiritual tradition of humankind - which is quite a big hole in knowledge. Or it actually has - but most of  scientists and esotericists don't know about that yet. They lack the knowledge of both sides. Esotericists don't know science and scientists don't know esotericism.

Marquis wrote:
and the reason why you don't know this is because you haven't taken the time to study it, which must be why you call dark matter (which BTW is only hypotheized so far) "subtle" whereas physicists call it "dark" because it doesn't interact with light (so we can't see it) and yet it seems to have mass (because the gravitational pull is present). But there is also the possibility that the observational data is wrong, or any number of other possibilities. We just don't know, but "dark matter" has been predicted.
I have taken time to study esotericism. Then, I have taken some, although shorter time to study science too, and the more I study science, the more it is IDENTIC with esotericism. This identity is totally obvious to anyone with synthetic thinking. They both talk about the same things. And by that, I mean physical forces and phenomena. You, on the other side, openly admitted, that you did not understand esoteric literature. If you did not understand it, how can you know it's bullshit? You started with one of the hardest books, but instead of getting an easier one, you got bitter. But why? If scientists and esotericists would join their forces, the scientific progress would speed up exponentially!

As for dark matter, I think you're overly cautious - the scientific opinion on it's existence borders with certainity. Also, it might be considered an evidence for string theory. Dark matter = the sum of matter which's basic particles have more than one vibrating string.
I call this matter subtle for it's unique properties, that have no simple scientific name yet. If particles can have smell and color, why couldn't they have subtlety? This term refers to the ability of dark matter to form macroscopic objects, that don't collide on macroscopic level with our matter.

Marquis wrote:
  When we discussed this, I told you that what you call "spiritualism" I call "sexual hysteria". This is unconnected to interstellar phenomenons, it is simply a product of redirecting your sexual energy to the neural complex of the cortex, thus producing some really rather powerful hallucinatory effects (much like drugs may do). This has the power to transform your neural pathways and change your cognitive structures. For better or worse. It boils down to being able to control it, as is the case with so much in life. I.e. "personal power", or discipline.
Excuse me, but that is just a small part of the whole truth. It is like you would pick for example sexuology, and claim that this is all the science that there is, and that all science disciplines are ultimately about sexuology. In fact, this is what YOU are good at - you control sexual energy. But have you ever seen a scientist who would be an expert in all sciences? Nope, but there is such a thing as specialization. As for esotericism, you are very narrowly specialized, and you don't know about that. I can acknowledge your expertise, but only at it's own area.
I don't want to be overly critical, but it takes a lot of pride, to think that you've got it all figured out. I personally only refer to the general structure of the universe, that will be later filled in with countless details. It's an open-ended scheme, and I admit that I did not invent it. I only have recognized experimentally that it's correct, and I try to represent it as best I can.

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Luminon wrote:Marquis wrote:

Luminon wrote:


Marquis wrote:
Physics pretty much has it all covered,
Excuse me, physics has not covered all the esoteric and spiritual tradition of humankind - which is quite a big hole in knowledge. Or it actually has - but most of  scientists and esotericists don't know about that yet. They lack the knowledge of both sides. Esotericists don't know science and scientists don't know esotericism.



As a scientist who knows esotericism, I can confirm Marquis' statement.



Marquis wrote:
I have taken time to study esotericism. Then, I have taken some, although shorter time to study science too, and the more I study science, the more it is IDENTIC with esotericism. This identity is totally obvious to anyone with synthetic thinking.



With imaginative thinking, yes, because esotericism has wiggle room for interpretation, and a poor understanding of science has a margin of error that overlaps that wiggle room.  



Taken with a strong understanding of the science, esoterism is rarely passable within its own wiggle room, but only by dumb luck- taken as a whole, my experience is that it has a track rate profoundly *worse* than random guessing.  When a set of dice agree with science more often than esoterism does, that's pretty abysmal.  



Taking the opposite stance of esoterism, though, would tend to have a slightly better track record than luck... so, if you just believe the opposite of what esotericists believe, you'd know slightly more about the universe than you did in a state of complete ignorance.



It's really a shame, though.



When I study people like Yeats, I think to myself:  There but for the grace of critical thinking go I.



And it's true- these are largely very intelligent people.  Yeats, of course, Aleister Crowley, etc.  These men are brilliant- and gifted with immense creativity.  The power of the human mind is pattern finding- we can find faces in clouds, and see images in TV static (statistically probable configurations, but ones that retain remarkable similarity to genuine reflections).



Intelligence, particularly with creativity, can actually serve to work against critical thinking.  Most religious people are idiots- most esoteric new-agers are idiots- most people are idiots.  The leaders in the fields, though?  largely brilliant- and they are the ones finding the patters that the rest of the flock are following.



It's hard to find coherent and consistent somersaults of reasoning to justify magic, souls, etc. and takes foresight and extensive investigation.  It is, essentially, the formation of theories.  Where the esotericists fail, though, is in becoming too attached the the theories, and obtaining only biased evidence for them.



I should know- as anybody who has practiced the occult or science does (though perhaps only the former can admit)- we become attached to our theories.  We see them as reflections of our achievements and hard work, and we don't want them to die.  We cheer at successful trials- even the best scientists.  That's *why* we have the scientific method.  When we don't know if the trial is supporting our theory, or a data-point against us in the control, we are incapable of accidentally biasing our results (and I do believe that for most esotericists it is an accident).



The greatest shortcoming of the education system is, in so many years, completely failing to teach the scientific method.  The scientific method is taught as "formulating a hypothesis, doing experiments, and making conclusions", which is nothing whatsoever to do with it- that's just haphazard testing.  And yet, coming away with that, esotericists end up genuinely believing that they know and do science.



Science is the elimination of human bias through proper controls in experimentation for statistically valid empirical results- that's it.  A hypothesis isn't even necessary- nor is, strictly, a conclusion.  The data itself has been derived by the scientific method if it has been controlled for human bias.



Esotericism is fundamentally different in this one capacity, and as such, unfortunately has nothing whatsoever to do with science.




Quote:
If scientists and esotericists would join their forces, the scientific progress would speed up exponentially!



No.  If esotericists started using the scientific method properly, then scientific progress would speed up linearly (because it would have gained more scientists).  They might bring with them, though, a few things they accidentally believed that actually are true by virtue of dumb luck.




Quote:
But have you ever seen a scientist who would be an expert in all sciences?



Yes, these people are polymaths, and come in varying degrees.  Not only the sciences, but are generally also experts in literature, linguistics, history, and psychology-- and even the occult.  Comprehensive polymaths have become less common since the industrial revolution, as the body of human knowledge as expanded due to modern science- they nonetheless still do exist.



Quote:
It's an open-ended scheme, and I admit that I did not invent it. I only have recognized experimentally that it's correct, and I try to represent it as best I can.




Which is exactly my point- no, no you haven't (or at least, it's very unlikely that you have).  You have confirmed your own biases and predispositions by informally accruing patently unreliable biased evidence, and conveniently forgetting or failing to notice any other evidence- a biased evidence of that kind which really isn't any kind of evidence at all, beyond that as required for an examination into your preconceptions.



If you have (extremely unlikely), conducted any remotely useful experimentation: What was your experiment setup?  What were your controls?  How did you triple blind the trials?  What was the standard deviation for your experiment and control groups?  How many trials did you do?


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Blake wrote:As a scientist

Blake wrote:
As a scientist who knows esotericism, I can confirm Marquis' statement.
Perhaps we started on the wrong end. First of all, we should define what is the esotericism. Obviously, there is no official institution with obligatory membership and standards. This is why there are many branches of esotericism and many people around it. Further, you mention Aleister Crowley, etc. By no means, this is not wat I mean.
By nature, esotericism is a body of teaching, that is mostly not researched by people, but given by revelation from the one source. Esotericism, just as science, is more likely to be correct, if people independently come to similar results.
The precision and purity of an esoteric teaching is determined by the quality of a person that receives it. That person must be dis-illusioned, free from pride, fear, greed, hate, various ideologies, and so on. There are (were) 4 people who's job was mediating the general esoteric theory on large scale, from the one source, to people. They were H. P. Blavatsky, Helen Roehrich, Alice A. Bailey and Benjamin Creme.
Then there is a work of people around them, who explained and simplified some aspects of the teachings. Other people made their own less or more distorted version. And their organizations themselves became so rigid, that they officially don't recognize each other, although their founders would.
According to my experience, the "holy quartity" that I mentioned is the most precise source of teaching for our current time, and all other esotericism there is, is either a popularization, specialized version, misinterpretation, obsolete version, distorted version, or complete nonsense. All of it, except of popularized or specialized versions, is less or more plagued by the author's emotional illusion. This is why I recognize mainly the work of the 4 people I mentioned. I'm particularly well versed in Creme's books, in several of Bailey's books, and in general esotericism, that is universal for most of it's branches. So much for theory.

Blake wrote:

With imaginative thinking, yes, because esotericism has wiggle room for interpretation, and a poor understanding of science has a margin of error that overlaps that wiggle room. 

Can you be more specific? What wiggle room? It is quite obvious, that the "1st, 2nd and 3rd ray" in esotericism are actually the strong nuclear force, gravity, and electroweak force. That is the level of detail I mean.

Blake wrote:
Taken with a strong understanding of the science, esoterism is rarely passable within its own wiggle room, but only by dumb luck- taken as a whole, my experience is that it has a track rate profoundly *worse* than random guessing.  When a set of dice agree with science more often than esoterism does, that's pretty abysmal.

Taking the opposite stance of esoterism, though, would tend to have a slightly better track record than luck... so, if you just believe the opposite of what esotericists believe, you'd know slightly more about the universe than you did in a state of complete ignorance.

If you take esotericism as a whole,then yeah, it's about correct. But then, you might also include Scientology. Excuse me, but that is a waste of time. I only care about the few sources of information that I found to be correct. Not the vast majority of bullshit there is, which deserves to be forgotten.

Blake wrote:
And it's true- these are largely very intelligent people.  Yeats, of course, Aleister Crowley, etc.  These men are brilliant- and gifted with immense creativity.  The power of the human mind is pattern finding- we can find faces in clouds, and see images in TV static (statistically probable configurations, but ones that retain remarkable similarity to genuine reflections).
My sources and also I are quite different from Aleister Crowley. Even Rudolf Steiner, although similar, is not accepted by us. Yeah, creativity is nice, whatever. But believe it or not, The Tibetyan in Alice Bailey's book places a great emphasis on critical thinking, clear thought, free will, careful examination, and so on. He also emphasizes erradication of any belief or authority that this teaching might provoke. Literally, he writes in preface, that if the book doesn't seem right to you, you should not accept it, even if it would be true. This all is in sharp contrast to all gurus who proclaim themselves as sources of truth and demand belief.

Blake wrote:
Intelligence, particularly with creativity, can actually serve to work against critical thinking.  Most religious people are idiots- most esoteric new-agers are idiots- most people are idiots.  The leaders in the fields, though?  largely brilliant- and they are the ones finding the patters that the rest of the flock are following.
Most people are emotional - or better said, their wishes rule them, not oppositely. Finding patterns is easy. But what about valid, correct patterns? I mean, some books by Alice Bailey say literally, that the following text contains some deeper levels of meaning and hidden information or nuances that will not be understood by everyone, and that it's all to train reader's intuition. In some cases, I deciphered the message, so I can say it exists and gives sense. We esotericists need a real, valid information as everyone else, except of those that go after fun, money and fame.

Blake wrote:
It's hard to find coherent and consistent somersaults of reasoning to justify magic, souls, etc. and takes foresight and extensive investigation.  It is, essentially, the formation of theories.  Where the esotericists fail, though, is in becoming too attached the the theories, and obtaining only biased evidence for them.
Well, hopefully my somersaults are well-done and aesthetic. And as for the bias, I'm sure there is a lot of biased people out there, but personally I don't know what you're talking about. I can understand, that bias can come from money, status, and fame, but our local esoteric group doesn't go after these things. Quite oppositely, we keep an eye on the corrupt esotericists in neighbourhood.
During our years of esotericism we encountered so many bastards, that we know very well what to NOT do. No guru will teach you more than false guru Smiling

You also have to understand, that I live in a country, which is literally an european banana republic. Here, everything and everyone is for sale, corruption is rampant and 20% of annual state budget is stolen. Therefore, I can not comprehend how there can be no bias in science. All these money and places of power mean nothing??? Quite oppositely, the more money, the more corruption. I can well imagine how the needs of market define the scientific worldview. For example, there was a scientific program in TV, where they introduced a research of machine, that can diagnose all the human body instantly for all kinds of diseases. They said that it will be done in a few years and will cost a shitload of money.
Guess, what is already years on the market. The Oberon device, developed for cosmonauts to diagnose themselves on space stations. About two of these devices are already in my state. Do you get it? Market lies to us all the time. It is not a problem for a market to bribe a single person by 100 millions of dollars in local currency, to get a state contract for a billion of dollars. Things like that happened with Gripen aircrafts, swine flu vaccine, Pandur vehicles by Steyr AU, and the whole city of Karlsbad, that belongs to Russians. And nobody got punished yet. Not that I'd be a believer, (no esotericist should be) but I find it easier to believe in spiritual worlds, than in honest institutions.
 

Blake wrote:
I should know- as anybody who has practiced the occult or science does (though perhaps only the former can admit)- we become attached to our theories.  We see them as reflections of our achievements and hard work, and we don't want them to die.  We cheer at successful trials- even the best scientists.  That's *why* we have the scientific method.  When we don't know if the trial is supporting our theory, or a data-point against us in the control, we are incapable of accidentally biasing our results (and I do believe that for most esotericists it is an accident).
I don't know if you noticed, but esotericism works in spirals. It is basically the same thing, but as the progress goes, you (or I) gain understanding of it on a whole new, more perfect level. Therefore, unless it is emotional bullshit done for money and fame, there's no reluctance of abandoning it. There is only constant perfection of the knowledge, seeing it in greater precision, new context, new applications, and so on. It's not like someone will discover that there are in fact only 2 rays instead of 3, so we have to erase the 1st one Smiling

Blake wrote:
The greatest shortcoming of the education system is, in so many years, completely failing to teach the scientific method.  The scientific method is taught as "formulating a hypothesis, doing experiments, and making conclusions", which is nothing whatsoever to do with it- that's just haphazard testing.  And yet, coming away with that, esotericists end up genuinely believing that they know and do science.
My opinion is, that scientific method is a common sense, and we do it automatically. This is the only way to get a valid results. But there is little motivation to do double and triple blind tests, why? We get valid results with single-blind tests (if such a thing exists) and we use the spared time to apply the results in practice, which is more useful for real life. This is what we need scientists for - they're those who will say what kind of tests they need. They should think of ways how to catch and study these so unstable, unpredictable or subjective phenomena. Why should I do that, when scientists can do that 100x better? I can let myself be studied, and do as best I can.

Blake wrote:
  Science is the elimination of human bias through proper controls in experimentation for statistically valid empirical results- that's it.  A hypothesis isn't even necessary- nor is, strictly, a conclusion.  The data itself has been derived by the scientific method if it has been controlled for human bias.
Good - so human bias is eliminated. And what about corporate bias, market bias, and funding patron's bias? Someone has to pay for the lab... In return, this is the kind of bias that esotericists have eliminated Smiling

Blake wrote:
Esotericism is fundamentally different in this one capacity, and as such, unfortunately has nothing whatsoever to do with science.
Please, can you provide some examples? You know, I suspect that we don't talk about the same esotericism. I play for the Trans-Himalayan white lodge team.

Blake wrote:
No.  If esotericists started using the scientific method properly, then scientific progress would speed up linearly (because it would have gained more scientists).  They might bring with them, though, a few things they accidentally believed that actually are true by virtue of dumb luck.
Good esotericists, like my dad, have the so-called higher mind. It is an intuitive ability to know immediately whatever you want, if you have a correct framework. Therefore, such an esotericist can give a result that would take weeks or months to discover by systematic experiments. Then scientists can confirm it and apply it in practice. Theoretically, a genius is someone who can do both of these things.

Blake wrote:
Which is exactly my point- no, no you haven't (or at least, it's very unlikely that you have).  You have confirmed your own biases and predispositions by informally accruing patently unreliable biased evidence, and conveniently forgetting or failing to notice any other evidence- a biased evidence of that kind which really isn't any kind of evidence at all, beyond that as required for an examination into your preconceptions.
LOL. Your assertion is unverifiable, because if I conveniently forgot or failed to notice any conflicting evidence, then how can you prove it ever existed? And I mean it seriously.

And by the way, you don't know me. I'm such a special case of a living, walking esotericist since I was born. As I would call it today, I was always aware of my etheric body, I had (and still have) a degree of control over it. You should know what etheric body is. Therefore, I could (and I can) compare it to the esoteric teachings. Soon I found out, that my practical, physical experience and the texts agree with each other. Nothing less than frequent, repeated physical experience, verified on other people would convince me.

Blake wrote:
If you have (extremely unlikely), conducted any remotely useful experimentation: What was your experiment setup?  What were your controls?  How did you triple blind the trials?  What was the standard deviation for your experiment and control groups?  How many trials did you do?

About as much, as you personally do with getting alive through traffic lights. Really, have you ever seen a person who would do a triple blind test on things like telling a salt from sugar? Some things just work or don't work. Esotericists don't live in a lab, but in real life. Find me someone who will pay the tenths of millions and you will have your controls, trials and standard deviation.
Scientific method doesn't say anything specific on how the experiments must be conducted. Scientific method in field circumstances of real life will be necessarily different from the same method in laboratory. First of all, real world is much bigger. We can perform dozens of separated experiments simultaneously in real conditions and compare results. No test subject is the same, therefore we can isolate the only pattern that repeats. 
Secondly, unless one is a freakin' self-realized Master of wisdom and natural laws, the esotericism is not under control. Evidence in esotericism may be plentiful, (or not) but it manifests itself in many various ways. (or not) The result is very convincing, but very various and unrepeatable. Just like the ocean, every wave is different. Demanding a set of identic waves of the ocean to study the water is a gross minsunderstanding.

Of course, there are exceptions from everything, even from exceptions. I believe that if I would get my head into Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging, it would work. FMRI can pick specific moves or thoughts and isolate them from other brain activity. I'd bet that none of people who ever underwent this test had etheric perception. Therefore I should be able to produce some highly anomalous results. My etheric perception (and some other techniques based on it) works 365 days in year, 7 days per week, there's no problem in repeating it.
There is also a sociologic research, which describes masters of esotericism in practice. The author is Kyriacos C. Markides, american sociologist who works for the university in Maine.

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You seem to be saying you do

You seem to be saying you do not need to apply proper scientific method to your experiences because you think your subjective experiences make them unnecessary.  Is that an accurate statement?  If so, it is an obvious flaw because it allows you to believe in anything you feel, regardless of reality.  If not, the last portion of your post seems to be indicating that idea.

Everything makes more sense now that I've stopped believing.


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Luminon wrote:Perhaps we

Luminon wrote:

Perhaps we started on the wrong end.

Yes, and let me stop you right there before I even read another sentence- because I really don't need to, evidenced by the fact that you're arguing against anything I said, I already know what you're going to say.

You're going to make an eloquent rationalization for why the scientific method, and ostensibly 'flawed human concepts of logic' don't apply to your beliefs; rationalizations which ultimately only serves to further convince you of your own apologia.  The post following yours even seems to confirm this (which is a pattern I have seen many times).

No, you are not immune to logic.  However, as you won't be liable to ever actually accept the consequences of that proposition and abide by those rules in conversation- and as any rational discourse is reliant on mutual acceptance of the rules of logic, there's no point in discussing it with you.

 

No offense, of course- I'm sure you're a fine person to *not* debate with; or even to have discussions with insofar as the topic doesn't challenge your beliefs- I just won't play a game with somebody who fully intends to cheat at it.  It's like playing cards with a toddler; a game otherwise known as "I win".

 

Where we *should* start, if we were to start- and the only place to start if we want to go anywhere in educating you, is with a steadfast proclamation from you of your rejection of the esoterics of dialetheism, and furthermore, a statement to the effect that you are interested at all in discussing the nature of reality (for all of us), and not just your own whims of fancy.  And if you are willing to begin there (which I think you are not), then, and only then, may we proceed.


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i will say YES, because

 

 

i will say YES, because i'm all for atheism being limited to its root meaning.  as someone who studies the histories of political ideologies, particularly leftist political ideologies, i've known the frustration of trying to argue with people who both know and use words like "communist," "socialist," "fascist," "anarchist," etc., as meaningless, amorphous blobs or buzzwords, or, worse, use them interchangeably.  rational discourse becomes very difficult and often impossible when words are convoluted beyond all recognition.  in my opinion, convoluted terms are a sign of demagoguery and intellectual laziness.

 

this is the very reason why you will almost never see me chime in on any scientific discussion on this website.  i've mastered neither the concepts nor the terminology of the physical sciences and thus it would be disrespectful of me to make any but the most tentative assertions.

"I asked my father,
I said, 'Father change my name.'
The one I'm using now it's covered up
with fear and filth and cowardice and shame."
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mellestad wrote:You seem to

mellestad wrote:
You seem to be saying you do not need to apply proper scientific method to your experiences because you think your subjective experiences make them unnecessary.  Is that an accurate statement?  If so, it is an obvious flaw because it allows you to believe in anything you feel, regardless of reality.  If not, the last portion of your post seems to be indicating that idea.
No, it isn't accurate statement.Firstly, people don't perform scientific method in their lives, in the same way as it's used in laboratories. They don't use double or triple blind tests, (everyone would laugh at them) but it still works, without budget, without sterile tools, and without university degrees.
Secondly, it is not about my subjective experiences, but both subjective, interpersonal and objective events that happen to tenths of people in our circle, and if I should believe e-mails, then it happens to people all around the world. We get all sorts of evidence, with various persuasive power. We are a network of groups and individuals, with a few central groups. We use groups and people (including ourselves) as lab mice. A central group (usually mine) receives an information, health supplement, technology, book, technique or exercise (meditation) and spreads it. Then our group receives feedback from the people connected to us, independently, simultaneously. If the stuff is good, we get customers. Customers may become connected to us and try other products that we can offer.
This is how our network works, shortly. Of course, there are other kinds of evidence. For example, some people from among us are sensitive to spiritual energies. And if I do some energy control technique, then people nearby can sense it, although they don't expect it. There are many such energetic phenomena going on, and we, sensitive people can give independent reports about them. And I could go on...

 

Blake wrote:
Yes, and let me stop you right there before I even read another sentence- because I really don't need to, evidenced by the fact that you're arguing against anything I said, I already know what you're going to say.

You're going to make an eloquent rationalization for why the scientific method, and ostensibly 'flawed human concepts of logic' don't apply to your beliefs; rationalizations which ultimately only serves to further convince you of your own apologia.  The post following yours even seems to confirm this (which is a pattern I have seen many times).
Hell, no! I even agreed with you on some points. Too bad... So let's call it TL/DR Smiling

Blake wrote:
No, you are not immune to logic.  However, as you won't be liable to ever actually accept the consequences of that proposition and abide by those rules in conversation- and as any rational discourse is reliant on mutual acceptance of the rules of logic, there's no point in discussing it with you.
I personally don't see how I'd ever digress from logic. If I understand, you ASSUMED that I don't abide by logic, based mostly on length of my text Smiling

I'd point out one question though. You claimed that  I only see evidence for my opinion, and don't see or conveniently forget the evidence against it. If this is true, how can you prove it, if I didn't see and forgot all negative evidence? This is something that I can't know, by definition. And it's damn funny. Does circular logic say anything to you?

Blake wrote:
No offense, of course- I'm sure you're a fine person to *not* debate with; or even to have discussions with insofar as the topic doesn't challenge your beliefs- I just won't play a game with somebody who fully intends to cheat at it.  It's like playing cards with a toddler; a game otherwise known as "I win".
If I understand, first, you magically guessed what I was about to write, (which you then didn't care to verify) and then you judge me according to your imagination. I'm more amused, than offended Smiling Most importantly, I'm not interested in winning, because I don't have billions of dollars to make a research that would convince you. I'm interested in making things clear, making sure we don't have illogical, self-contradictory or too much incomplete opinions. Thanks to different sources of information, our opinions may be different, but still logical. The change is done by pointing at new sources of information.

Blake wrote:
  Where we *should* start, if we were to start- and the only place to start if we want to go anywhere in educating you, is with a steadfast proclamation from you of your rejection of theesoterics of dialetheism, and furthermore, a statement to the effect that you are interested at all in discussing the nature of reality (for all of us), and not just your own whims of fancy.  And if you are willing to begin there (which I think you are not), then, and only then, may we proceed.

Dialetheias? Never heard of them. After some quick e-learning, I feel like rejecting them. But take care to inform me, if I'd unintentionally commit dialetheia. 

Yes, I really am interested in discussing the nature of reality, or what I think is the nature of reality, or might be.

But you tell me something. The nature of reality is, that we can't always know for sure, that a logical argument is true or false, complete or incomplete. Therefore it can have a logical result, which has nothing to do with reality. This is why, in my opinion logic is important (in fact, it's self-evident prerequisite) but even more it's important to have a correct and complete information and actual framework (context) to which the logic can be applied.
You surely know the Liar sentence. So what if the liar lies, and the sentence itself is not true? For example, if someone says that "this sentence is false," then the sentence itself may be a lie, which means the correct version of it is NOT "this sentence is false." Are you OK with that? It's a reality, after all.

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Luminon wrote:mellestad

Luminon wrote:

mellestad wrote:
You seem to be saying you do not need to apply proper scientific method to your experiences because you think your subjective experiences make them unnecessary.  Is that an accurate statement?  If so, it is an obvious flaw because it allows you to believe in anything you feel, regardless of reality.  If not, the last portion of your post seems to be indicating that idea.

No, it isn't accurate statement.Firstly, people don't perform scientific method in their lives, in the same way as it's used in laboratories. They don't use double or triple blind tests, (everyone would laugh at them) but it still works, without budget, without sterile tools, and without university degrees.
Secondly, it is not about my subjective experiences, but both subjective, interpersonal and objective events that happen to tenths of people in our circle, and if I should believe e-mails, then it happens to people all around the world. We get all sorts of evidence, with various persuasive power. We are a network of groups and individuals, with a few central groups. We use groups and people (including ourselves) as lab mice. A central group (usually mine) receives an information, health supplement, technology, book, technique or exercise (meditation) and spreads it. Then our group receives feedback from the people connected to us, independently, simultaneously. If the stuff is good, we get customers. Customers may become connected to us and try other products that we can offer.
This is how our network works, shortly. Of course, there are other kinds of evidence. For example, some people from among us are sensitive to spiritual energies. And if I do some energy control technique, then people nearby can sense it, although they don't expect it. There are many such energetic phenomena going on, and we, sensitive people can give independent reports about them. And I could go on...

There is a disconnect in what you are saying.  You say humans don't use the scientific method in daily life and your group does not need it because you share and agree with each others subjective experience.

The purpose of the scientific method is to remove bias and test for reality.  How do you know the people in your group are not crazy, or aren't just sycophants?  No-one is suggesting you go around and have a double blind test to see whether or not you prefer coffee to tea, but come on...you are investigating the building blocks or reality from inside a field that even you admit is full of quackery and lies.  How can you possible trust the judgment of yourself or the observations of others inside your social circle without some measure of methodological structure?  "Common sense" gets things wrong every single day, you cannot trust it when doing research of this type.

Plus there is the fact that out of the entire group of esoterists who claim what they see/do is 'real' no-one ever does a proper study, even if only to humor us poor normals.

It isn't like we have not had this discussion before though, but you never have a good response.  I wish someone you really trust could step up to the plate and do the work so we could separate truth from fiction.  From my perspective, scientific method is the best way I have to discern what is real in the world around me.  When someone makes extraordinary claims and refuses to analyze those claims using the best tool I know about for such a purpose, it sets off my bullshit alarm.

Everything makes more sense now that I've stopped believing.


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mellestad wrote:There is a

mellestad wrote:
There is a disconnect in what you are saying.  You say humans don't use the scientific method in daily life and your group does not need it because you share and agree with each others subjective experience.
The context is: "Firstly, people don't perform scientific method in their lives, in the same way as it's used in laboratories. They don't use double or triple blind tests...." As someone had put it, people otherwise use scientific method even in video games.

mellestad wrote:
The purpose of the scientific method is to remove bias and test for reality.  How do you know the people in your group are not crazy, or aren't just sycophants?
That's simple: "You can identify them by their fruit, that is, by the way they act. Can you pick grapes from thornbushes, or figs from thistles?" Also, we have fairly high demands on membership. Our people's personal lives must be OK, we frown at things like alcoholism, smoking, drugs, home violence, personal quirks or OCD, or the good old craziness and more. We've got some people very skilled in psychology, and messed up people wouldn't get among us unnoticed. There is a very specific kind of people that we unite. They're those, who already achieved their family and career, and seek a further self-realization.

mellestad wrote:
No-one is suggesting you go around and have a double blind test to see whether or not you prefer coffee to tea, but come on...you are investigating the building blocks or reality from inside a field that even you admit is full of quackery and lies.  How can you possible trust the judgment of yourself or the observations of others inside your social circle without some measure of methodological structure?  "Common sense" gets things wrong every single day, you cannot trust it when doing research of this type.
We work on ourselves. We have powerful tools to improve our physical and mental health, and we spare no efforts. We all meditate regularly for years, some of us do yoga, all of us love alternative medicine and some of us even practice it.
Fortunately, corrupted people stick together, and non-corrupted people also stick together, they don't mix, or not for long.

mellestad wrote:
Plus there is the fact that out of the entire group of esoterists who claim what they see/do is 'real' no-one ever does a proper study, even if only to humor us poor normals.
The "normals" as you say are welcomed if they want to solve their problems. If they want to do that, then we offer help. The information and advice is typically for free, but the time and materials are paid, though affordably. Those who use our services often call back with gratitude and recommend us to their friends...

IOW, the old esotericists don't like making a show of it, they prefer doing it as a private and serious work, but the convincing effect is the same. It seems that in their view scientific testing is not a serious work. I regret that, I'd love to have it scientifically supported. But so far, no scientific institution did that. This is why we don't trust institutions. It would be fine if at least some esotericism would be confirmed. But if all is rejected, including ours, then something is not yet right. I believe the cooperation must be started on personal basis, with some scientist we can personally know and trust. We've got already some "casualties" on our side, this is why we're so careful. Well, they aren't exactly dead, just in jail or homeless.

mellestad wrote:
It isn't like we have not had this discussion before though, but you never have a good response.  I wish someone you really trust could step up to the plate and do the work so we could separate truth from fiction.  From my perspective, scientific method is the best way I have to discern what is real in the world around me.  When someone makes extraordinary claims and refuses to analyze those claims using the best tool I know about for such a purpose, it sets off my bullshit alarm.
Sure, there is no problem with scientific method. The problem is with the tools! The only tool that we can have for less than millions of dollars is the consciousness. And contemporary science is famous for mistrusting the consciousness. Perhaps FMRI machine would help to catch the elusive ESP manifesting itself right in the brain. I offered that to one local university, and they didn't respond. I should start making the experiments by myself, getting them on video. But I hate to say this, when I can't yet promise anything. I hope I'll look good on the video Smiling

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Same old same old Luminon. 

Same old same old Luminon.  You don't need a fancy machine to do anything.  If you can discern things with your mind then we group you with other people who claim to do the same thing, test you individually with control groups and blammo, we've done a proper test.

Talk to spirits?  Have a sampling of people visit 10 different mediums and be totally honest.  Record what you find.

See auras?  Have 10 different readers read a random sampling of people, record and compare.

NDE?  Same.

Prophecy, well you have already made some claims that are hard enough we can test them, but they are a couple years out.  A good start though...what will you do if they don't happen?  Usually people just reinterpret over and over and drag it out, clinging to the original idea.  Or they point to something minor and make an excuse.  I don't think I've ever heard of a prophet say, "whoops, I must be full of shit!".  Wouldn't that be refreshing?

Or whatever.  Is there a website were someone lists all the crap people think they can see/experience/do via esoteric means?  Something you consider legitimate?

This stuff isn't rocket science dude.  We went over this in another thread and you were never willing to put it on the line and actually put a hard claim on what you or others are able to consistently accomplish/observe.  If you can't consistently accomplish anything, you are probably not experiencing what you think you are.

Everything makes more sense now that I've stopped believing.