• ChrisH
    146
    What intrigued me was the very weird way you were using the terms, so that "I like anchovies" is objective in your view, it's an objective fact, and its not a judgment, but "anchovies are delicious" is not objective in your view, it's subjective, and it is a judgment.Terrapin Station
    My usage is based on reading many philosophical discussions over the years where I've seen this distinction made on many occasions.
  • Terrapin Station
    12.5k


    Do you mean on message boards, or are you talking about writing from philosophers a la professional journals, books written by professors, etc.?
  • ChrisH
    146
    On message boards in which academic philosophers have contributed.
  • Terrapin Station
    12.5k


    Sure. I won't ask you to give any examples, because it's difficult enough to search for something particular in a thread we were just participating in. ;-)
  • Sam26
    1.3k
    Here is an NDE of a blind person. The only thing I disagree with is the ending, namely, "Jesus is the key." If anything my research on NDEs shows that religion has it wrong. However, religious people love cherry-picking those NDEs that support their views. Anyway, I found this NDE interesting.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3rFW2lc3344
  • Wayfarer
    8.3k
    The only thing I disagree with is the ending, namely, "Jesus is the key."Sam26

    I would imagine that people in this kind of state will generally 'see' what occurs in terms of their cultural background; a Hindu might say 'Krishna is the key'.
  • Sam26
    1.3k
    Yes, if you compare NDEs from different cultures, you'll find that many times they'll interpret different beings they see in terms of their cultural beliefs. Not always though, sometimes they change their religious beliefs.

    I've been fascinated with the similarities between NDEs and DMT.
  • Wayfarer
    8.3k
    I wonder if you're familiar with the subject of 'archetypal psychology'? It is generally associated with Jung but was considerably developed by one of his later students, James Hillman. I'm sure if you're interested in the subject it will provide some insights.
  • Sam26
    1.3k
    Jordan Peterson talks about that doesn't he?
  • Wayfarer
    8.3k
    Actually now you mention it....if he had come along 40 years ago, I would probably have talked about him instead! But I think you'd still find James Hillman an interesting read, he's not nearly so much into cultural criticism as Peterson.
  • Sam26
    1.3k
    My opinion is that Peterson has some interesting things to say, but goes over a cliff on other things, which is probably true of most of us.
  • Wayfarer
    8.3k
    What I'm getting at is that the subject of archetypal psychology (which is not at all a mainstream academic pursuit) might provide an interpretive framework for the kinds of things that subjects report in NDE's. Try googling it!
  • Reshuffle
    27
    ISam26

    Re: testimonial evidence in the manifold way you described it as a valid measure of an event:

    For two years and more-every day, every hour-millions of people asserted that Trump colluded with the Russians. They just knew it was political and ideological gospel;

    -Reporters and journalists nationwide swore it was true, reproducing one article after another to that titillating effect;
    -Social media sounded the conspiratorial alarm, writ large;
    -Academics, legal types, and pundits harangued ad
    nauseam about the juicy matter;
    -Forums and blogs regurgitated the notion;
    -Congress, presidential candidates, the FBI, the CIA and peripheral security agencies joined hands in the cri de coeur;
    -Cable news outfits made the charge their raisin d’etre;

    The “testimonial evidence” overwhelmingly grounded the allegation and accusation. Report after report after report assured us of the misdeed. Indeed, the “truth” of collusion could not have been less than an apodictic certainty.

    Well, oops.
  • 3017amen
    168


    Great thread! I studied NDE's awhile back and this is a great refresher. (And I read through some of the responses but not all.) What was the consensus on EM field theories of consciousness?
  • Sam26
    1.3k
    I'm not familiar with EM field theories of consciousness.
  • Sam26
    1.3k
    I would suggest reading over what I said would make testimonial evidence strong. Testimonial evidence can be notoriously weak, but it can be strong if it contains all the criteria I set forth earlier in the thread.

    The following is why I believe the inductive argument is strong:

    My claim is that there is sufficient testimonial evidence to reasonably conclude that consciousness survives the death of the body. In other words, I'm making the claim that I know the conclusion is true. And although I believe that I could make other claims based on the evidence, i.e., claims of knowledge, I'm limiting the scope of the conclusion. By limited, I mean I'm not trying to give evidence of a god, heaven, that we are eternal beings, or any other spiritual or religious idea; nor am I trying to give evidence of many of the other claims people are making while having such an experience. Although I do believe there is strong evidence to support other conclusions, and these conclusions have varying degrees of certainty, just as many of our everyday rational conclusions have varying degrees of certainty.

    The first question is, what makes a strong inductive argument? As many of you know, the criteria for a good inductive argument is much different than the criteria of a good deductive argument. The criteria of a good inductive argument are as follows:

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

    First, number. It seems rather obvious that if you have a greater number of testimonials that say X happened, then the stronger the argument. This does not mean that the conclusion relies solely on numbers, because numbers in themselves are not sufficient.

    Second, variety. The greater the variety of cases cited the stronger the conclusion. Remember that when examining the conclusion of an inductive argument, the conclusion is either strong or weak, which is much different from a good deductive argument, where the conclusion follows with absolute necessity. The difference being what is probably or likely the case (inductive arguments), verses what necessarily follows (deductive arguments).

    Third, scope of the conclusion. This has already been covered briefly in the opening paragraph. It means that the less the conclusion claims the stronger the argument. In other words, conclusions that are broad in scope are much harder to defend. A conclusion that is limited in scope is easier to defend.

    Fourth, truth of the premises. Clearly this means that the premises must be true, which by the way, is the same criteria that makes a good deductive argument, i.e., a good deductive argument must be sound (soundness has to do with whether the deductive argument is valid, plus the premises must be true).

    (a) Also, since we are dealing with testimonial evidence, in order to know if the testimonial evidence is true we need corroboration, i.e., we need an objective way to verify some of the testimonial evidence. This helps to establish the truth of the testimonial evidence, and since the evidence is testimonial evidence, it helps to establish the fourth criteria of a good inductive argument, viz., the truth of the premises.

    (b) Another important factor in determining the truth of testimonial evidence is firsthand testimony, as opposed to hearsay or secondhand testimony. Firsthand testimony is stronger than hearsay or second-hand testimony, all things being equal.

    (c) Consistency of the reports is another important criterion in terms of getting to the truth. However, testimonial evidence does not have to be perfectly consistent to be credible. When dealing with a large number of reports you will inevitably find some inconsistency. So, inconsistency itself is not enough to rule out the reports unless the inconsistency is widespread, and of such a number that it affects the quality and number of consistent reports. So although consistency is important, it must be looked at in terms of the overall picture.

    Fifth is cogency. You rarely here this criteria, but it's very important in terms of effectiveness. Any argument's (deductive or inductive) effectiveness is going to be based on whether the person to whom the argument is given, knows the premises are true. For example, if I give the following argument:

    The base of a souffle is a roux.
    This salmon dish is a souffle.
    Hence, the base of this salmon dish is a roux.

    If you do not know what a souffle or a roux is, then you do not know if the premises are true, so how would you know if the conclusion is true. You may know that the argument is valid based on its form, but you would not know if the premises are true. Thus, you would not know if it is sound. For any argument to be effective, you have to know if the premises are true; and since knowledge varies from person to person, an arguments effectiveness is going to vary from person to person.
  • sime
    402
    Whatever a person's beliefs are regarding subjective continuity, I cannot see how those beliefs can be challenged or supported by evidence. For any belief concerning the relationship of the physical world to consciousness isn't an empirical hypothesis, but a definition of 'consciousness'.
  • Reshuffle
    27
    You put great stock in these premises being true to ground your particular conclusion, which no one disputes as a measure for being logically consistent, but I don’t see how this specific NDE truth is being affirmed except by some subjective assertions, en masse.

    Or are your simply stating that the (NDE) assertions per se are true and that they represent the premises? I hope not, since there are, e.g., an infinite number of Santa Claus -is-coming-at-Christmas assertions, and well...

    It appears to me that you’re running into the fallacy of begging the question. Exactly what is the objective independent evidence that the premises presented are true? Please don’t give me more testimonial evidence.

    As I demonstrated by my prior collusion analogy, testimonial evidence gets you to point x in a conclusion, but not to the truth of the conclusion.
  • Sam26
    1.3k
    Please read my argument, then respond, I answer the questions that have been asked. For example, I answer the question of whether these testimonials are simply subjective. I use the same criteria used in any logic book on what is a good inductive argument.
  • Reshuffle
    27
    I wasn’t challenging your argument, which is little more than that a scaffold of testimonial evidence is better than limited testimonial evidence insofar as trying to establish an inductive argument. You insist on volume, variety, consistency, supporting evidence and first-hand accounts. Got it.

    What I challenged you on, rather, was how your noted criteria sufficiently ground your conclusion (I.e., NDE truth,) not whether that criteria enhance an inductive argument.

    To be clear, one legal standard, with which you’re likely familiar, is preponderance of the evidence (p/o/e); the standard boils down to whether it is more likely than not that x testimony is sufficient to establish y. Your argument parallels the p/o/e standard.

    However, neither that legal standard nor your species of testimonial evidence obtains the truth of a conclusion. Both approaches just make the argument(s) a little more convincing.
  • 3017amen
    168


    Sam I want to applaud you for the work you've done, as I feel like it was very well-thought-out. As we all know the conclusion from inductive reasoning relates to probability theories, which are used quite regularly in physical science.

    I'm compelled to get back into it...but I remember in my earlier studies being persuaded by the consistent testimony, from the subjective experiences.

    My question relates to corroberation. I'm sorry if you've already gone over this, but how were these experiences corroberated? For instance, was there any testimony from third persons who may have felt some sort of ' phenomenon ' happening during that other person's NDE?

    Thank you kindly.
  • Sam26
    1.3k
    However, neither that legal standard nor your species of testimonial evidence obtains the truth of a conclusion. Both approaches just make the argument(s) a little more convincing.Reshuffle

    The argument is not like a deductive argument in that it establishes the truth of the conclusion, i.e., if the premises are true, then the conclusion follows necessarily. Inductive arguments are either strong or weak based on the evidence; and based on the aforementioned criteria, the argument is very strong. Moreover, there is more than enough evidence (to say the least) for a reasonable person to infer the conclusion.
  • Sam26
    1.3k
    My question relates to corroberation. I'm sorry if you've already gone over this, but how were these experiences corroberated? For instance, was there any testimony from third persons who may have felt some sort of ' phenomenon ' happening during that other person's NDE?3017amen

    The testimonials were corroborated by doctors, nurses, family members, friends, and others who were at the scene. The person having the OBE usually can describe the people, conversations, and instruments used in their revival - this is later verified by the people who were there. A good example of this is Pam's NDE out of Atlanta, GA, which can be seen on Youtube. There are just too many of these accounts to rule them out as hallucinations.

    This is how any piece of testimony is validated, i.e., how accurate is their testimony when compared with others who were there?
  • Terrapin Station
    12.5k
    I thought it was interesting that on the new William Shatner-hosted "Unxplained" show, the episode on unusual manifestations of consciousness--it covered things like unusual cases of "genius," remote viewing, etc., it was simply assumed for the vast majority of the show that consciousness was a factor of brain function.

    This is a show that has no reservations about positing the wildest paranormal/supernatural/etc. theories they can broach.
  • Sam26
    1.3k
    it was simply assumed for the vast majority of the show that consciousness was a factor of brain function.Terrapin Station

    Ya, that's the common view, viz, that consciousness is a function of the brain. My view is that consciousness is what unites everything, it's what connects all of us. It's the underlying mechanism of reality itself.
  • Terrapin Station
    12.5k
    Ya, that's the common view, viz, that consciousness is a function of the brain.Sam26

    Right, and that's my view, too. It was refreshing to see it just assumed on a show like that, because it gets so much opposition here.
  • sime
    402
    There is much to be said regarding interactionist conceptions of personal-identity that are holistic and non-reducible to particular events or entities, and yet I still fail to see the relevance of NDEs in relation to the question of mortality, even if NDEs violated our existing understanding of causal relations by producing verifiable paranormal results:

    For according to standard type-physicalism, NDEs are by definition types of mental events that correspond to types of biological functioning and so NDEs cannot imply anything transcendent of biological functioning, even if paranormal claims were verifiable.

    Conversely, if one's conceptualization of personal identity is sufficiently fuzzy , then immortality is assured by definition, even if NDEs fail to produce verifiable paranormal results.
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