• Jack Cummins
    1.5k

    I did read your post and I am not sure that the arguments you gave were convincing evidence of life after death, personally. I think that is only one aspect of the issue of the life after death debate.

    People are still writing in the thread I created, mostly against life after death but some arguing from the point of view in favour of life after death. I do wonder if it would be worth you writing your argument about NDE in the thread because it is possible that people are logging into the one I created. Probably the two thread can be connected by links but, even so, if there are 2 with a similar title it is a bit confusing.

    Whatever, you choose I hope that people engage with you, because I do believe that life after death is one of the central questions of philosophy. Personally, I am not convinced that the inductive argument is relevant for considering NDEs but others may view the matter very differently from me. But I definitely think that it is worth you going forward with your argument in some way because I felt that when I have been looking at the question some of on the site missed your prescience.
  • Sam26
    1.6k
    I want to add this video for those of you who are interested in following this thread, and learning more about NDEs. Enjoy.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=acN2MQQYGWg
  • creativesoul
    9.8k
    Is it possible to have such experiences during death? I mean, if death was a process, could it be that these people simply did not complete the process? If the process includes lucid memories or imagination...
  • Sam26
    1.6k
    Is it possible to have such experiences during death? I mean, if death was a process, could it be that these people simply did not complete the process? If the process includes lucid memories or imagination...creativesoul

    NDEs occur in a variety of situations, but most occur during the process of dying, viz., when the heart stops beating, when there is no measurable brain function, etc. They definitely don't complete the process, if by completing the process you mean staying dead. If you watched the last video I posted, it's hard to imagine that what they're experiencing is lucid memories or imagination.

    If you haven't watched the last video, I suggest watching the first 15 min.
  • Wayfarer
    11.4k
    He’s an alumni of the same university, and, I guess, same department, that hosted Ian Stevenson, who conducted research into children with past-life memories. Not a coincidence.
  • Sam26
    1.6k
    Yes, many NDEers mention living past lives, so his research extended into past life memories.
  • Sam26
    1.6k
    I believe that I have given an inductive proof that consciousness extends beyond our biological bodies. The evidence that forms the core of this conclusion is based on good testimonial evidence. I'm not going to reiterate the argument because I've already explained the argument at least three time in this thread (It was last given on page 21 in two posts).

    Based on this argument my claim is that I know consciousness survives the death of our bodies. If this is true, it still doesn't get us any closer to understanding what consciousness is, other than to say it's more than the sum of our physical bodies. More specifically, it's more than brain activity.

    At a very basic level, consciousness is awareness. Awareness of what? Awareness of ourselves as distinct things in relation to our surroundings. However, it seems obvious that there are different levels of awareness or consciousness. An earthworm's level of awareness is very rudimentary, nonetheless, it seems aware on a very basic level. We know this by the way the worm interacts with its surroundings.

    Human consciousness, on the other hand, is more expansive. In other words, human awareness extends to thinking about our awareness, i.e., being aware that we are aware (introspection). Hand-in-hand with human awareness is the ability to communicate our awareness, and to not only think introspectively, but to think about our surroundings in ways that other living things can't.

    If consciousness is more fundamental than our brain, what is that composition? I believe that consciousness is at the core of all reality, i.e., that the unifying principle of all reality (everything that exists, seen and unseen) is consciousness, or an intelligent mind or minds. However, what gives something awareness apart from biological matter (or any kind of matter) is a mystery that we are not even close to solving. It's much easier to suppose, or to conclude that consciousness arises from the stuff of the known universe. The composition of consciousness may not be anything physical at all. Moreover, composition implies component parts, but there may be no component parts in the way we think of components. Answering this question would be like trying to figure out alien technology that is billions and billions of years ahead of us.

    One might ask, how did consciousness arise or begin? Maybe consciousness is timeless in some sense. It could be the source of all love and knowledge - all that is, will be, and has been. If everything is happening at once the question of a beginning or end lacks sense.

    One final comment. I don't think this means that one has to be religious to believe that an intelligent consciousness is fundamental. I find there are too many dogmas in religion, and too many dogmas in atheism.
  • MondoR
    120
    How do you know that earthworms have rudimentary awareness? From what I can tell, humans seem to be at the bottom of the totem pole, having very limited awareness. Just observe how little awareness people (especially scientists) have about the nature of Life, proclaiming it a batch of chemicals? It's laughable to consider humans anything more that consumption creatures with nothing more on their mind than the next thing to consume.
  • counterpunch
    744
    I saw a ghost once. It was on Scooby Doo! Scooby was terrified - tried to run away, and he's pumping his legs but not getting anywhere. All the while the ghost is gaining on him. Suddenly, Scooby seemed to find traction and zoomed off - into a big pile of barrels that collapsed onto the ghost, who was knocked unconscious - which was weird - because it was a ghost, and then Fred and Velma caught up, and pulled the ghosts mask off. Turns out it was the creepy abandoned amusement park janitor all along - trying to scare off property developers. I did not see that coming!
  • Bartricks
    2.5k
    I think there is overwhelming evidence that our minds are immaterial, eternally existing objects. I know of no good evidence that the mind is a sensible object, only a lot of fallacious arguments to this conclusion (of the 'brain events cause mental events....therefore the mind is the brain' variety).

    I am unsure if you would agree about the nature of the mind. I describe my view just to assure you that I am not committed to the prevailing materialist worldview. I believe in afterlife and past lives. I just think the kind of evidence you have provided is very weak by itself. I stress that this is not to dismiss it. It is just to say that it counts for very little and if someone believes in an afterlife solely on the basis of these kinds of testimony, then their belief is very poorly supported to the point of being unreasonable.

    For example, surely the same reasoning that you employed in your original argument would commit you to insisting that there is a dream realm that we all travel to when we sleep?

    Virtually all of us report having dreams when we go to sleep. And although the content of our dreams varies a lot, there are lots of resemblances - curious things happen in them; our perspective often radically alters; they have a strange atmosphere; we ourselves seem remarkably unperturbed by their strangeness while having them and so on. Lots and lots of things in common - so much so that it is safe to say that we share the same concept of a dream. I mean, we a use the same basic method to distinguish dream from reality, so all of our dreamlands differ from here in the same kind of systematic way.

    All of this testimony is, of course, good evidence that dreams exist. We really do have them. And probably virtually every sleeping person has them even if on any given night only about 5% of sleepers remember having them (I just made that figure up for illustrative purposes).

    But it is not good evidence that there exists a dream realm governed by laws of nature very different to those operative here and that we all travel to when we sleep, surely?

    Wouldn't you be committed to saying otherwise? I mean the testimonial evidence for the dream realm is orders of magnitude better than that which you are offering for a post morten realm. So are you not now committed to adding a dream realm as well?
  • Sam26
    1.6k
    The question Bartricks raises is that the same inductive argument that I'm making about NDEs could be made about dreams. Is this correct? Let's compare the two arguments. But first let's also reiterate what makes a good inductive argument, and this is just simple logic. The following link gives the criteria of a good inductive argument (this is important): https://thephilosophyforum.com/discussion/comment/483632

    There are five criteria that make a good inductive argument, and these are explained in the link above.

    (1) number
    (2) variety
    (3) scope of the conclusion
    (4) truth of the premises
    (5) cogency

    My argument makes the claim that NDEs are veridical. In other words, not only are they real experiences, but the place that NDEers go to is real. In fact, most if not all NDEers claim that their NDE is more real than our normal everyday experiences, and that their sensory experiences are more expansive. Moreover, their feelings of love, peace, harmony, empathy, go far beyond what we experience here. There are literally hundreds of millions of people who have experienced an NDE, so in terms of numbers the argument fulfills the first criteria.

    Bartricks makes the claim that this same argument could be made about our dream states, i.e., that it's a real place with physical laws etc. But, do we actually have large numbers of people making the claim that their dreams are real, i.e., that they are going to a real place? No. His argument comparing the two falls apart right from the start.

    It's true that there are large numbers of people claiming to have dreams, and that there are a wide variety (second criteria) of people having dreams (across cultures, age groups, etc), but the key here is what they are claiming about their dreams.

    Even if people were claiming that their dreams were taking them to a real place, where is the corroborating evidence? The fourth criteria in the argument I use (truth of the premises) involves corroborating evidence, viz., there are people who were at the scene of the NDE that can confirm the accuracy of the OBEs (accuracy of what people have seen while claiming to be out of their bodies). There are a large number of accounts that can be corroborated. Given that so many can be confirmed we have a way of objectively verifying the accounts. Again, even if people were claiming that dreams are real, we have no objective way to verify it, no corroborating evidence. A good example of this is Pam's NDE out of Atlanta, GA on Youtube. This is an important part of my argument, since you need a way to objectively verify what people are claiming. It can't be purely subjective.

    You can read what I said about the consistency of the testimonials in the link above. This, obviously is another important part of the fourth criteria.

    Bartricks also says that the argument is unreasonable, but nothing can be further from the truth. The argument is very strong and very reasonable. Granted, testimonial evidence is generally very weak evidence, but what people fail to acknowledge is that it can be extremely strong under the right conditions. And, I have given the conditions under which testimonial evidence can be strong.
  • Bartricks
    2.5k
    That is not a convincing reply. Your case now rests entirely on the supposed hyper real quality that some testimonies report. Yet most of us have had dreams that seemed every bit as 'real' as waking life. So again, by your logic we have excellent testimonial evidence for another reality that we all visit when we sleep.

    Note too that the out of body experiences are different. I am talking about those who report having the experience of going to another place.
  • Sam26
    1.6k
    It's not my logic, it's logic, period. Because dreams seem real, that's not the same as people claiming they are real. And what about the corroborating evidence, you are not addressing the argument. You are just giving me an opinion.
  • Bartricks
    2.5k
    You are not addressing the objection. All of us have had dreams that we would say seemed robustly real. When we subsequently judge them to be dreams this does not alter the fact that they seemed, phenomenologically, to be real. We would testify to how real they seemed. Again, virtually all of us - billions upon billions of us - could provide such testimonies, including you, yes?
    Such testimonies satisfy all of your criteria and thus provide us with evidence - proof, by your lights - of another realm.
    Only, of course, they don't and so something has gone wrong with your lights. Again, I stress that all of your criteria are satisfied by our dream testimonies.
    Note too you can't just dismiss this criticism as expressing a prejudice, for I believe in an afterlife. It is just that I believe in it on good grounds, not the dodgy grounds that you do.
  • Bartricks
    2.5k
    I should say what, in more detail, is wrong with your case.

    First, there is no question in my mind that testimonial evidence can count, and can count for a lot. But it does not invariably do so. Philosophers distinguish between 'defeaters' and 'undercutters'. A defeater is countervailing evidence. An 'undercutter' is something that undermines the probative force that a piece of apparent evidence would otherwise have.

    Normally, if something appears to be the case, that is good evidence that it is in fact the case. And we can apply this basic principle - the principle of phenomenal conservatism - to testimony as well. Normally, if someone says that something is the case, that provides us with some reason to think that what they are saying is true. And so if someone says that they had a near death experience as if they were going down a tunnel towards a light or whatever, then this provides us with default reason to think that they did indeed have such an experience. And as experiences of this kind - experiences with representative content (so, 'appearances' of some sort or other) - are default evidence in support of what they represent, then accordingly we can conclude that we have some reason to think that what appeared to this person to happen to them, did in fact happen to them.

    So far, I take it, you would agree with all of this. For it is only if all of this is true that mounting up more such experiences will add probative force.

    The problem, however, is that there are many circumstances under which we have undercutters for phenomenal appearances. If, for example, everyone in a room has taken a powerful drug that makes them extremely suggestable, and written on a blackboard in the room is the statement "there's a flying pig in the corner" - something that everyone in the room now confirms does indeed appear to be the case - we do not suddenly have good evidence that there is a flying pig in the corner. The fact all these people are on drugs and that flying pigs are things we have hitherto had no evidence exist, makes the more reasonable explanation that there is no flying pig in the corner and that the appearances to the contrary are the result of the drug's operations.

    Well, that's the case with near death experiences and with dream experiences. There is no serious question that we do have the experiences constitutive of dream experiences, and no question that such experiences have a great deal in common, are attested to by virtually everyone, and, while one is subject to them anyway, can have representative contents as vivid as that contained by any phenomenal experience. And there is no serious question, I think, about near death experiences either - or at least, you won't find me questioning it. But in both cases we are in unusual circumstances - circumstances that operate as undercutters for those experiences. When it comes to sleep, we are unconscious. Our normal sensory modalities are not functioning. And so the more reasonable explanation of these experiences is not that they are accurate and that sleep transports us all to a bizarre other realm in which other laws of nature operate, but that we are hallucinating. And the same is true of near death experiences: those who have them are unconscious at the time and furthermore their body is under extreme stress. The idea that we become 'more' reliably hooked up to reality under those circumstances seems to me to be utterly bizarre and one only someone quite unreasonable would make.

    It was a point that Descartes made. It would be foolish, he thought, to think that you become 'better' at discerning reality when you're asleep than when awake. And similarly, it would be foolish to think you become better when you are dying.

    So, although there is no serious question that testimonial evidence often counts (and can count for a lot), the fact is that the testimonial evidence you are appealing to has no real probative force at all. In terms of what testimonial evidence can provide in the way of direct evidence for an afterlife, we actually have much better such evidence for a dreamland. And of course, as any reasonable person recognizes, we do not have good evidence for a dreamland. A fortiori, we do not have good evidence - not in the form of this kind of testimonial anyway - for an afterlife.
  • Philosophuser
    21
    If what is described in NDE, like to have "impossible" perceptions without brain activity is real, it would mean not only that mind and body are different substances, but that the physicalist assumption that the brain creates the mind and it's all about particles is wrong, and the correlation is the opposite: qualia are not an irrelevant byproduct of brain activity (epiphenomenalism), but brain activity is derived, somehow, from qualia (or at least, they are independent and causally disconnected events)...

    I wonder if someone has tried to create a theory in this line, explaining how somebody could have a perception coming from an inaccesible place to his senses and without intervention of the brain. Why the correlation with the physical waves reaching the eyes, ears, etc? How to explain dreams? While dreaming experiences doesn't match with external imputs...
  • Sam26
    1.6k
    Well, that's the case with near death experiences and with dream experiences. There is no serious question that we do have the experiences constitutive of dream experiences, and no question that such experiences have a great deal in common, are attested to by virtually everyone, and, while one is subject to them anyway, can have representative contents as vivid as that contained by any phenomenal experience. And there is no serious question, I think, about near death experiences either - or at least, you won't find me questioning it. But in both cases we are in unusual circumstances - circumstances that operate as undercutters for those experiences. When it comes to sleep, we are unconscious. Our normal sensory modalities are not functioning. And so the more reasonable explanation of these experiences is not that they are accurate and that sleep transports us all to a bizarre other realm in which other laws of nature operate, but that we are hallucinating. And the same is true of near death experiences: those who have them are unconscious at the time and furthermore their body is under extreme stress. The idea that we become 'more' reliably hooked up to reality under those circumstances seems to me to be utterly bizarre and one only someone quite unreasonable would make.Bartricks

    We agreed until we got to the above paragraph. There is no question that both dreams and NDEs are unusual. And, it is true that there are common elements as attested by many who experience dreams and NDEs. It may be the case that while experiencing a dream we believe it to be real or veridical, but most people who awake from a dream do not confuse the dream with reality. They may say that the dream seemed real, but most (99% or higher) don't go on to argue that it was real. Dreams do produce intense feelings that are just as real as what we experience in our waking life, there is no doubt about this. However, there is nevertheless a quality about dreams that is just different from our waking life, which is why most people don't confuse dreams with reality. And, unusual circumstances don't always act as defeaters for a particular argument. They can, but it depends on the combined strength of the argument, and other factors.

    Here are some key differences that lead many people to believe that NDEs are real. First, and I mentioned this in another post, people are reporting on real events, and this is corroborated by people who are not having an NDE, but are at the scene where the NDE is taking place. For example, people who are experiencing an NDE in a hospital setting (say in an operating room) are able to describe what is going on in the operating room in detail. Not only do they describe what's happening to them, but they are later able to describe the conversations between the doctors and nurses who are performing the procedures. Some also describe conversations that are going on in other rooms of the hospital. This happens to people even if there heart has stopped, or even when there is no measurable brain activity (including blood being completely drained from the brain). Now you want to tell me that NDEs are like dreams. Our dreams don't overlap with reality in this way. There is an added component to NDEs that dreams normally don't have, viz., the NDE overlaps with what others are experiencing in their waking life. This has been documented thousands and thousands of times, so it's objective evidence that has been corroborated. You just don't get this kind of overlap in our dreams, and if you do, it's very rare, not the norm. This is the norm with NDEs.

    You say that it's unreasonable to argue that NDEs are real. I say that the evidence to support NDEs as real experiences (unlike dreams, hallucinations, or delusions) is overwhelming, and to deny it reflects someone who hasn't studied the data, is biased, or is just being unreasonable. I think it's more likely that you haven't studied the data, and your argument reflects this.
  • Jack Cummins
    1.5k

    As you know, I am interested in the whole issue of consciousness after death too. My own view shifts and, deep down, I am not really sure. I do think that near death experiences point to a possibility of life going beyond this one, although I do think that it is possible to enter into heightened states of awareness of without dying too, including out of body experiences.

    The other question which I wonder about, although I know that it is not directly in your thread but linked, is what the near death experiences point to ultimately. The reason why I say this is because I had a college tutor once who saw near death experiences as leading to a possible eternity of being in that dimension. At the time, I was swayed towards that idea. However, looking at that way of thinking now, I am inclined to think that that state would not be permanent. Personally, having read 'The Tibetan Book of the Dead,' I wonder if the near death experiences is an entry into the bardo state, and would be a period of time and lead to eventual rebirth. Of course, I realise that this is only a speculation.
  • Sam26
    1.6k
    I do think that it is possible to enter into heightened states of awareness of without dying too, including out of body experiences.Jack Cummins

    Yes, I agree. One can have similar experiences through meditation, or by taking DMT. There were also studies done years ago on the brain where someone touching a particular area of the brain produced an OBE, or at least a partial OBE.

    I had a college tutor once who saw near death experiences as leading to a possible eternity of being in that dimension. At the time, I was swayed towards that idea. However, looking at that way of thinking now, I am inclined to think that that state would not be permanent. Personally, having read 'The Tibetan Book of the Dead,' I wonder if the near death experiences is an entry into the bardo state, and would be a period of time and lead to eventual rebirth. Of course, I realise that this is only a speculation.Jack Cummins

    My view is that we are eternal beings, and that there is some evidence to support this from NDEs and other sources. However, the evidence to support this is not as strong as the evidence to support the conclusion that we do survive bodily death, which is what I'm claiming in this thread.

    Think of it this way, there may come a time in our future where we essentially do away with aging, in fact, we are making strides towards this now. It's not hard to imagine that in the future we could download our consciousness into some other kind of body and continue living for long periods of time, barring an accident of some sort. If you can imagine this now, given what we know, imagine beings billions and billions of years ahead of our technology. They might be able to make a copy our consciousness in case there is some kind of accident. All you would have to do is reload it, and bang you're alive again.

    There is good evidence that whatever is in the afterlife, it is far beyond anything we can imagine. I would think that life eternal is probably a small problem to solve. Not only is this a good possibility, but the way time passes there may also play an important role in how long we live. It could be that one year here could be an eternity there.

    Since you brought up rebirth, I'll say a little about this. There have been thousands of reports by people who have had NDEs that we can choose to come back here in a different body. Now I don't believe in reincarnation as spelled out by some religion, but I do believe that we can choose different lives to live, either in this world or universe or other worlds and universes. I don't think it's forced upon you, but you can choose it. There is also some evidence that what we experience here has been planned out prior to our birth, and that the memories we have of who we really are is suppressed. This can be seen in some NDEs. What happens is that many people who have an NDE all of a sudden remember who they are and why they are here. Some of them are told that they will not be able to remember these memories when they return to their bodies. It's as if remembering too much hinders our life here in some way. There is much more that can be said about this, but it's a bit off topic, not much, but a bit.

    We can only get so much information from NDEs. There are many more questions than answers, but there are some answers. We will see our loved ones again, including pets believe it or not. That our true home is there not here. That we are loved and cherished beyond words. Also, that there is no reason to fear death, or some religious idea of hell. Moreover, I don't think any religion quite captures the essence of the afterlife. Is there a God? I don't know, if there is it's probably nothing like the God as presented in any religion.
  • Jack Cummins
    1.5k

    Yes, I think that NDEs only give us so much else and the rest is speculation. Even within Christianity there is a division between those who believe that people rest until a final resurrection at the end of the world.

    I would agree that if there is consciousness beyond death it is far more complex than imagined within religious experience. I think that the whole idea of the astral dimension is important because that would be the one in which the person enters in the near death experiences.
  • Bartricks
    2.5k
    It may be the case that while experiencing a dream we believe it to be real or veridical, but most people who awake from a dream do not confuse the dream with reality.Sam26

    Contrary to what you say, this commonly happens. "Did I remember that, or dream it?" is a common refrain.

    But anyway, even if most of those who have NDE think they're real, there are obvious explanations for this. We are used to dreams and used to explaining them away. We also have no vested interest in them being anything other than, well, dreams. By contrast, the very nature of NDEs is such that we can expect to experience them once, if at all. And furthermore they occur under traumatic circumstances, ones likely to motivate people to re-evaluate everything, including their worldviews. It is simply implausible, then, to think that people under these kinds of circumstances are objective assessors of their experiences. That is not to say that these experiences do not constitute evidence, it is just to say that, as evidence, they are very weak indeed. If I was making a case for an afterlife, I wouldn't even mention them, just as, for an analogy, a detective who is trying to build a case for thinking that Jones did the murder wouldn't throw in 'he also had a bit of a shifty look'.

    For example, people who are experiencing an NDE in a hospital setting (say in an operating room) are able to describe what is going on in the operating room in detail.Sam26

    These sorts of cases - if accurate (and that seems highly debatable at the moment) - seem to provide evidence for the immateriality of the mind, rather than an afterlife.
  • Sam26
    1.6k
    We'll just have to disagree about the interpretation.
  • Bartricks
    2.5k
    No, your position is unreasonable. You're taking to be good evidence what is in fact clearly very weak evidence. Dreams are actually better evidence - by your own lights - for what they represent to be the case (namely another realm in which radically different laws of nature operate and to which we are transferred by going unconscious) than NDEs are for an afterlife.

    DNA evidence that Jones's hand was on the knife is good evidence that Jones killed Susan. That Jones has a bit of a shifty look about him is not.
  • Paul S
    146
    Edit: Responded to a 3 year old post. Don't mind me!
  • Sam26
    1.6k
    DNA evidence that Jones's hand was on the knife is good evidence that Jones killed Susan. That Jones has a bit of a shifty look about him is not.Bartricks

    That's just stupid Bartricks. I don't think you would know reasonable if it jumped up and bit you. I've seen many different arguments against NDEs, but nothing as ridiculous as yours. It doesn't seem to me that you know how to evaluate testimonial evidence.
  • Bartricks
    2.5k
    er, no - by your lights we have excellent evidence that we all go to a weird other realm when we go to sleep. Good job! You're an excellent evaluator of testimonial evidence. Yes you are. You are.
  • Kaiser Basileus
    38
    Anecdote is always the lowest form of evidence because it can never be verified directly, or if it is, the verification is always stronger than the anecdote by way of being more direct. All knowledge (justified belief) rests on replication. Logic replicates because it is descriptive of real-world relationships that always good true. Science is rigor; replicative measurement essentially.
  • Sam26
    1.6k
    As I've said before, testimonial evidence, or if you prefer anecdotal evidence, is generally the weakest form of evidence, but it's not always weak.. So, if someone tells me a story, the strength of that story depends on a number of factors. Can we verify the story, because sometimes we can verify the story. For example, if someone tells me a story about an old women living in a cabin in the woods, there may be a way for me to verify whether this is true or not. And, there are a number of ways for me to do this. I can go into the woods myself to see if the cabin is actually there, or I may be able to talk to others who have had the same encounter. There may also be other ways of checking the reliability of the story. For instance, there may be something written down about the existence of the cabin and the old lady who owns the cabin. Obviously if there is no way to verify a story, then it's indeed very weak, but even here it depends on a number of factors. In our everyday lives we don't need to verify every story told to us in order to believe the story. We generally accept as true many of the stories told to us by family and friends we trust.

    Everyday stories are one thing, but what about stories out of the ordinary, stories that go against the accepted science of the time. Well, in such a case we need more than just a few testimonials that can't be verified, we need very strong evidence to counter the prevailing view. This is why I've pointed out over-and-over again that we need not only a strong number of reports (in this case 100's of millions of accounts), consistent accounts, a wide variety of accounts from different cultures, an objective way to verify the accounts, etc., etc. If this can be done, and it has been done, then the evidence becomes very strong. In fact the evidence can be so strong that it becomes unreasonable to reject it.

    The argument I've made is based on logic, not opinion. It's based on what makes a good or strong inductive argument. So, it's not just a weak anecdote that cannot be verified.

    Also my argument has a strong epistemological point to make, viz., that we can claim to know some things based on strong testimonial evidence.
  • Kaiser Basileus
    38
    I think you summed up my point very neatly there. Anecdote is the lowest form of evidence precisely because you cannot know how strong it is all on it's own. You must appeal to other validation (the addition of additional evidence from prior experience, etc.) in order to substantiate it.

    For example, the problem with holy texts lies not in how they are interpreted, but in that they must be interpreted.

    universal taxonomy - evidence by certainty
    0 ignorance (certainty that you don't know)
    1 found anecdote (assumed motive)
    2 adversarial anecdote (presumes inaccurate communication motive)
    3 collaborative anecdote (presumes accurate communication motive)
    4 experience of (possible illusion or delusion)
    5 ground truth (consensus Reality)
    6 occupational reality (verified pragmatism)
    7 professional consensus (context specific expertise, "best practice")
    8 science (rigorous replication)
    -=empirical probability / logical necessity=-
    9 math, logic, Spiritual Math (semantic, absolute)
    10 experience qua experience (you are definitely sensing this)
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