Friday, March 30, 2012

...And 200 more...

Self-explanatory.

212 comments:

  1. Dr Edmund Jacobson proved years ago that one cannot feel strong emotions while relaxed...
    -----------------------
    I was really relaxed when I was waking up that day my wife said to me 'I think my water just broke.'

    Jerry, Dr. Edmund Jacobson is wrong.

    Honestly though, when you think about it, it's actually a silly thing to even have a study about.

    Relaxed person suddenly sees stranger with gun pointed at him. Does he remain relaxed? Also, person already feeling strong emotions, can he relax in the first place?

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  2. Incidentally, I recently commented about the possibility of there being no 'scale' between universes in the sense that maybe one universe contains a smaller one and that one a still smaller one, down ad-infinitum, and so in both directions, smaller and larger.

    I am in the first chapters of a science fiction novel, and they just talked about just such an idea. It was like I was reading *me.* And I don't recall running across it in other SF books, and I've read a shitload of them.

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  3. So then the 'barrier' that keeps all the universes separate, is scale. A big barrier indeed.

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  4. (That part is my idea, not in the book)

    (Or maybe I should say, since I'm not even halfway through it, 'I haven't run across it in the book *yet.*)

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  5. Micro-choices Brian.

    Maybe if you were reading a romance novel, the odds would have been a bit more astronomical!

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  6. I'll never forget the horror story I was reading, in my mom and dad's basement(big fight with the wife), and the story went, "(the horror whatever it was) had gotten into the basement and the protagonist tried phoning the cops(or whatever), and all he heard was tick-tick, tick-tick of a clock".

    I stopped reading to make a phone call to the police station(to see how much trouble I was in, lol). When I picked up the phone, instead of a dial tone I heard, "Tick-tick, tick-tick."

    A scream escaped from my lips as I bolted up the stairs and I felt like my hair was standing on end.

    I asked my father what the hell and he said that my mom always left her phone off the hook next to a Baby Ben alarm clock.

    He was the only one who read books in that house, so now I wonder if it wasn't a set up.

    I remember a few setups over the years. When I was about 8, I was in the living room by myself (how, why?), and for some reason I pulled a plug out of it's socket, a switched socket, and both pins on the plug came out, leaving the bare pins sticking out of a 240 volt socket, which I automatically grabbed for.

    Good times!

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  7. Micro-skeptic.

    I just told you that I haven't run across it in other sf books, thousands of them over the years, many about alternate universes. So yes of course, if I'd run across it in a romance novel.... wait a minute, I know you, and you'd negate that, too. That would have been just another coincidence as well, wouldn't it have been? C'mon... be honest. I could show you 500 in a row, all within an hour and you'd never grant them any significance.

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  8. And I sincerely hope that you don't believe that your parents were trying to electrocute you. Because that would be rather sad.

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  9. When I was four I was left in my grandparent's living room all alone, too. And they had this plug stuck in a wall socket, with about a four-foot section of wire, cut straight across at the end like with wire cutters... ends showing.

    I was very lucky that it was a hardwood floor, not grounded.

    I went to my grandmother and asked her why the wire felt funny at the end, why it tingled when I touched it... she saw the wire, and said something alarmed-sounding and got rid of it...

    But what kind of idiots leaves a plug and wire in a wall socket like that? With a baby grandson coming over all the time?

    They weren't trying to get rid of me though... just idiots, that's all.

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  10. Victor Reppert must be hitting some kind of new low when, in an effort to defeat John Loftus' Outsider Test of Faith, insists that he has no faith, in the sense that John Loftus means it.

    In the comments another joker plays that 'what about an OTF for the OTF itself?' card.

    A similar test might be a Catholic test of faith, which, if taken honestly, would demonstrate to the test taker that he/she has Catholic faith or no.

    The idea of a Catholic test of faith for the test itself makes no sense.

    Next test, a Muslim(sub Shia) test of faith. No-one in their right mind would suggest that the test itself needs to be tested.

    In either case, what would the test, testing itself verify or disprove?

    The OTF is a bit different, in that what you need to have faith in to be confident that your version of your religion is the 'right' one, is a given.

    Any argument you'd bring to bear on some other religion or version(sadly mistaken in your eyes), is just a given.

    It's, How do you know that these other religions/versions are mistaken?

    You must realise that proponents of the other religions/versions have similar arguments against your 'truth'.

    If you imagine yourself to be an 'outsider', outside all of the various faiths, how can you make a case that any of them are the 'right' one, if you're judging each one by the same standard?

    If you cannot do that, then your faith is equally right/equally wrong.

    It is a bit devious to argue semantics here, "All you fools have faith, we have reason on our side!".

    It's just silly, not matter how convoluted the 'logical steps', how 'philosophical' the jargon used, to argue that the test itself is somehow 'a faith' which cannot or may not 'pass itself'.

    If we were trying to conclude that the OTF were the last religion standing, as if becoming an 'outsider' temporarilly 'converts' one to the faith of outsiderism which may or may not pass the test, presumably by imagining one is an insider(a believer in all faiths).

    Under these circumstances all faiths, including 'outsiderism' fail the test, none of them stand out as more true than any other.

    So even under the ridiculous 'rule' that if one is searching for a reason, using the exact same standards, to the point of adding 'outsiderism' as a faith, to make one's own version stand out, well, you just won't, will you?

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  11. So, it becomes obvious that the two 'main' arguments, 'no test for test itself' and 'not faith, reason, therefore test invalid' and two extremes, 'all is faith' and 'nothing is faith' which a theist can use, both at the same time, since we don't see theists arguing amongst themselves which one is the correct view.

    Sort of, "Hey, nothing is faith, our religion does fine without it.", AND(in the commentary), "Not only that but ALL IS FAITH, your faith in the test itself, for example!"

    YAY US, we can shift gears without even thinking about it, so when you argue against 2nd gear, we're in 3rd, punk, and vice versa!

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  12. not 'and two extremes'... ARE two extremes.

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  13. Isn't maintaining that there needs to be a test for the OTF itself, a cop out and admission of the fact that 'you've got nuthin?'

    To me it's like having an argument with a small child. Once you get to that point, you smile and move on, since the child isn't capable of understanding they're wrong yet. Only difference is, the adult christian will never, ever grow up. And they vote.

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  14. Adapted from INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF PSYCHOSOMATICS Vol. 36(1-4), 1989. Edmund Jacobson, M.D., Ph.D.: The Founder of Scientific Relaxation ...

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  15. It's so bad that I've noticed that, when about to apply the OTF to someone, and to prepare I ask them 'do you admit that christianity is a religion?' they say NO.
    It's way to special to them to even admit that it's anything like other faiths.
    Of course, I'm sure muslim fundamentalists think in similar fashion about their faith.

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  16. Jerry, I wish your Dr. Jacobson could test me when I'm deep into a salvia/mj experience.
    I'm so relaxed, I'm practically dead.

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  17. I think it's like us saying that all faith is suspect, if you tested your faith against others you'd see.

    So, tu quoque is always a handy card, "Our faith suspect, in your face, your test is suspect too!"

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  18. Good trip I trust.
    ----------------
    I was speaking in general... And just fooling around, for that matter.
    ;-)

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  19. How do you know for sure that you haven't had an anyrism(?) and are living in the 'TOTAL RECALL'world of delusion?

    And, eh, eh, I knew you were going to ask, "How do YOU know you're not either?"


    Shh, I'm working on the system which reveals the never ending story if only we decode pi right!

    Just realised, maybe it's not in English!

    (much ripping of foolscap)

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  20. Simple decodification of pi, as a porno book.

    1) tit
    2) nipple
    3) hadron
    4) ball
    5) silky smooth
    6) lick
    7) clit
    8) labia
    9) fuck

    Now.. 3.14159 equals hadron, tit, ball, tit, silky smooth, fuck... and so on.

    I'm a fucking genius!!!

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  21. So the next one's hadron. By far the least interesting.

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  22. Hey, keep going, it gets better.

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  23. The threes are for the girls, or the physicists.

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  24. How do you know for sure that you haven't had an anyrism(?) and are living in the 'TOTAL RECALL'world of delusion?
    ---------------
    Well. knowing you doesn't do much to dispel that idea.
    ;-0

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  25. xD... (squeaky voice) I know. LOL

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  26. Okay, it's 2am and I was just reading further into the book.

    The sentence that caught me was "smaller
    'pocket' universes conquering their problems of SCALE."


    Didn't I say it would happen?
    -------------------
    See, as I wrote at the top of the page here:

    "So then the 'barrier' that keeps all the universes separate, is scale. A big barrier indeed.

    (That part is my idea, not in the book)

    (Or maybe I should say, since I'm not even halfway through it, 'I haven't run across it in the book *yet.*)"

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  27. I had these ideas, just *before* reading this book.

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  28. Which brings to mind one of my early 'coincidences' that had long ago slipped my mind.

    This is about seven years ago.

    I swear, this is what happened:

    I had this strange dream, in which I was in like a post-apocalyptic world where we humans had many problems, one of which, perhaps the worst one, was these nasty creatures that looked like shrimps and burrowed in the ground... I forget why they were so dangerous... maybe moved really fast, venomous, I can't recall now.

    So no big whoop, had a strange nightmare, went on with my life.

    A few days later I decided to finally start to read the SF book that I'd had on the side table next to my bed for over a month. So I start to get into it, and wouldn't you know, in it were creatures that were shrimp-like, burrowed in the ground, and so forth... identical. The thing was, and I checked it to be absolutely sure, the book cover and jacket and all information about it that I'd had, blurbs on the inside and so forth, did not even hint at such creatures. There was no way to have foreseen them in that book, sitting next to me on the nightstand as I dreamed about them, but a book that I hadn't looked at very closely and hadn't started to read yet.

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  29. Doesn't this shit happen all the time to you, Pboy? It must be like this for all people, right?

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  30. And I assume you all recall my Smithsonian Magazine coincidence. That one was astonishing... still have the mag.

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  31. "And I assume you all recall my Smithsonian Magazine coincidence. That one was astonishing... still have the mag."

    I don't. Were you thinking about Beetle Bailey and the mag had a piece about an extinct species of beetle?

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  32. I don't suppose it's possible that you were at one time very ill and you read a LOT of books. You now love to buy old sci-fi and have these odd ideas which are memories from your past.

    You wouldn't need to have been ill, maybe you started to read before your brain was developed enough to have coherent memories or perhaps you were read to by someone.

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  33. There was that time where I heard that at one time the North Sea was land and it was a big ditch, and I thought that that would be a good place to drill for oil. Of course it wasn't long after that it was on the news that they were drilling for oil off Scotland.

    My first school friend, George MacKenzie, had the same birthday as me. His first question to be was, "What's your birthday?", likely typical for a 5 year old. I told him and he said, "That's my birthday too!"

    I called him a liar, since I thought the odds were astronomical.

    George was an bit of an idiot and actually thought that we made up the word 'dough' to mean money. I was skeptical.

    Hey, this is new, we've all heard of the old 'inheritance from the practically forgotten uncle from Scotland' story.

    Well, apparently I'm waiting for one. My uncle here informs me that Arthur, his brother, died in September and the lawyer is hunting down the people named in the will.

    Hey, might be enough to buy a drink to toast him, he was a happy guy.

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  34. Claiming coincidence beyond physical laws forces intentionality onto mindless events. It's a form of religious thinking.

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  35. " we humans had many problems, one of which, perhaps the worst one, was these nasty creatures that looked like shrimps and burrowed in the ground"

    This is an episode of Outer Limits called 'The Sand-Kings'.

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  36. The smithsonian coincidence:

    I was watching the (not very good) Movie "What the Bleep Do We Know?"
    In it (you can check) was a segment by one Candace Pert, a brain neuroscientist. Interesting bit, illustrated with funny animation, about how the brain is affected by neuropeptides I believe.

    The next morning I had to drive my aunt and mother to a hospital 45 minutes away... aunt marie needed some tests and so forth...

    So I let the ladies off at the door, and parked the car, went in, found them in the waiting room. Then we had time on our hands till auntie was done. So I look around the waiting room, *strewn with magazines.* I notice several Scientific Americans lying about, and chose one at random. Nothing on the cover to give it away either. So I'm thumbing through it, and what do you know, AN ARTICLE BY CANDACE PERT! And about the very same thing! And similar animation! So I'm thinking, I guess this is popular now... until I checked the date on the magazine... it was sixteen years old!
    SIXTEEN YEARS OLD! Someone had brought in a very old Smithsonian... just there for me to find, apparently!
    I 'stole' the magazine, and still have it.

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  37. That coincidence is too bizarre to be me 'forcing intentionality onto it' Harry. It's obviously intentional. You must also consider the SUBJECT MATTER. The movie, What The Bleep, while not being very good, is after all, about THESE VERY IDEAS.

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  38. This is an episode of Outer Limits called 'The Sand-Kings'.
    -----------------
    So even if I had seen that episode as a kid, it makes not one whit of difference as pertains the coincidence, because A. I wouldn't have seen it in forty years and B. No way to connect it with the random book on my bedside table. Why have the dream about them BEFORE reading the book or having ANY IDEA of it's plot elements. It's not like the book was centered on the creatures and it gave clues in the synopsis. Nope. I checked afterwards to see if that might have been the case... and the book gave absolutely zero clue to it's shrimpy contents.

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  39. I don't suppose it's possible that you were at one time very ill and you read a LOT of books. You now love to buy old sci-fi and have these odd ideas which are memories from your past.

    You wouldn't need to have been ill, maybe you started to read before your brain was developed enough to have coherent memories or perhaps you were read to by someone.
    --------------
    I assume this is a joke?

    If not, then no, no such thing ever happened to me. NOBODY in my family would even read science fiction, much less to me. They absolutely HATED it. All of them hated anything futuristic. Remember, my family is very, very dumb.

    I must say, if serious, this above, sounds like you're reaching waaaaaay out there for a rational explanation of something that doesn't have one.

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  40. And even if my mind is filled with such images, it's filled with thousands of different kinds... not just shrimpy alien creatures you know. I had not read the book. I had no clue that it had anything like that in it. None whatsoever. It was on the table next to me when I had the dream, sitting there unread. And a few days later at most, I started to read it and only then discovered that I'd dreamed about the creatures in it. They weren't just similar, they were identical.
    I'm not making this up. It is the source of whatever conviction that I have that there's 'something to' my ideas. There's more to this reality than meets the eye.

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  41. Plus if I had seen that OL episode, which is possible, in the interim time I'd definitely read in excess of four thousand books, mostly SF. (I used to count)
    I think that would have muddied the water up a little bit, wouldn't it have?

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  42. You now love to buy old sci-fi and have these odd ideas which are memories from your past.
    -----------
    Also, the book was new at the time, a new release.

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  43. Brian: " we humans had many problems, one of which, perhaps the worst one, was these nasty creatures that looked like shrimps and burrowed in the ground"

    pboy: "This is an episode of Outer Limits called 'The Sand-Kings'."

    Sandkings was originally a short story published in OMNI magazine back in the 1979.

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  44. And if I remember correctly, the sandkings resembled ants more than shrimps in the written story.

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  45. Ants? No way it could be related then. These weren't anything like ants.

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  46. I still have that issue of OMNI in the basement at my mom's house...

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  47. See, that's the problem. These coincidences are too bizarre to dismiss as some kind of subliminal thing in my head.
    Plus, it's not as if I only had one.
    So in toto, I must consider some other explanation than mere chance or my subconscious mind. It's reality that's affected, not me. Even if I'd LOVED 'the sand kings' and had read it ten times, I'd also read a whole shitload of other things, and there was no reason all those years later to be dreaming about 'the sand kings' or whatever, just at the time when there's a book on my table next to my bed unread that has just such a plot device in it.

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  48. It's not like I'd ever had that dream before, either.

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  49. Did any of you ever see Phase IV?

    Now THAT was a cool ant movie!

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  50. Of course, I see the 'shrimpy things' coincidence as less improbable than the Smithsonian one.
    How to explain THAT, I ask you? Watch a movie, next day see what is practically an excerpt from it featuring the same woman, but in a random mag in a hospital waiting room, and it's sixteen years old. And the movie is ABOUT the strangeness of the universe and quantum mysticism.

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  51. Incidentally and of course, in that waiting room, when I saw the article, I checked to see how many issues of Smithsonian were lying about, since that's the only mag in that room that I'd even consider reading, the rest being like 'Woman's Day' or 'Car and Driver.'

    Three or four copies, maybe five.

    If there had been only one, it still would have been incredible, but there were several, and I only picked up the one.

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  52. Oh, and once again, no hints on the cover of what I might find inside. It wasn't a major piece in the mag.

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  53. Incidentally I just googled 'Phase IV' and a lot of people said that it's very similar to 'the sand kings.' They say sand kings was on Outer Limits, though.

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  54. The Outer Limits version had significant differences from the written novelette. Having read the original when it was first published, I thought the Outer Limits version sucked.

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  55. Guess I told you about the time I was thinking that if I lay flat in bed it would improve my posture and give me a better rest, but I wouldn't be able to watch TV from that position. So I was imagining a periscope, glasses with mirrors that you could adjust to see the TV with while lying flat.

    It was only a couple of days later I was flipping through the channels and came to a movie where this woman was joking around about inventing a periscope thing which she could use to watch the TV while laying flat.

    The movie, as it turned out wasn't very interesting, excepting that one bit that was such a coincidence, of course. So if I'd been flipping through like a few mins. earlier or later I'd never have stuck with the movie to see that bit.

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  56. Interesting. No way to tell of course what would have happened if you had given that event more significance in your mind. Perhaps more coincidences might have followed. Oh, you might say that such would only be the result of you merely starting to notice them more, but that's not the answer, since my coincidences are all of the variety that I'd have to be blind not to notice. Like, how could I not notice the Smithsonian, or the shrimpy thingies? Or the tiramisu thing, or the parrot... or any of them... they scream for attention.

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  57. Although, not to lessen that experience any, but very similar coincidences happen to me all the time, and I don't give them special status, if you will. I acknowledge the possibility that they're *possibly* all part of *something,* but I really only look at the prominent ones.
    For instance, I can't count the number of times I've thought 'there ought to be a (blank,) said blank being some invention that just came into my head... I often think of things that would be useful that do not exist, and within a short time I hear of someone inventing it. In fact now when I think of something like that, I start to watch for it being advertized.

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  58. One of the first ones that I had ever, on the same day as my lucid dream experience (described to you years ago) was the caterpillar.
    I'm driving behind this yellow backhoe, when I notice motion on the rear ramp above the bumper area... something moving, seemingly pointing upwards like a finger... It's a geometrid caterpillar, green, about two and a half inches long. (geometrid = inchworm family)
    It's got its rear legs/prolegs anchored and most of the rest of its body is up at about a forty-five to sixty degree angle, and moving, looking like it's pointing at something.
    What was it seemingly pointing at?
    Why, the large words "CATERPILLAR" of course.
    Not an astronomical one I grant you, but it got my interest due to the humor value.
    That was one of the very first ones that I noticed, and they haven't stopped since, just not as huge lately mostly. In the beginning, big ones were really common.

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  59. Well, let's not call these happenings 'coincidences', let's call them contrivances.

    For what purpose are these things contrived?

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  60. For what purpose are these things contrived?
    --------------
    If there's a purpose it would have to be to show us the truth of things.
    But I don't think or sense a real purpose behind them like that at all, pboy. I think they're like feedback. A side effect of a certain type of thinking about reality. Echoes, maybe. No great purpose at all, more like the universe accidentally showing me a tiny bit of it's structure. It's real structure. The universe flashed me it's tits. ;-)

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  61. If there is a mechanism in the universe that *somewhat* responds to various different people's minds by giving them some (or all) of their expectations of it, then when someone starts to concentrate on odd coincidences, would it not possibly cause the universe to show one more of them? Possibly up to the point where it becomes at least highly suspicious to that person.
    At most, I see them as hints. Tiny signs saying 'you're onto something, keep it up...'

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  62. http://www.nytimes.com/2012/04/01/opinion/sunday/a-quantum-theory-of-mitt-romney.html

    Funny stuff... A Quantum Theory of Mitt Romney.

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  63. "Contrived" necessitates a 'contriver,' does it not? The only active contriver in this scenario, is me. My subconscious mind 'contrives' to see coincidences in the world around me by attaching significance to something in said subconscious mind, and the universe responds.
    Most like feedback than like anything else, I think. Or echoes. That's how I tend to think of them. Not 'signs,' although they are that, they are signs, that something's off, there's more than meets the eye to this place.

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  64. Something I just realized, or at least just put into words in my head...

    If the universe can show us coincidences, can be altered to show us things we're expecting it to by our very expectations, then it's responding to human thought in the form of stories, plots, themes, and so forth. Therefore since it responds to stories in our minds, it must also be like a story, a saga, a plot. A dreamlike reality that is more of a saga than a thing. Have no fear though; it's part of the story that it isn't a story, so you're safe. ;-)

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  65. By the way, I talk a lot about how reality behaves if these ideas are true, and so forth, *however* I do want to emphasize that all I can really know is the odd coincidences and the fact that concentrated meditation on a goal seems to have effect in reality. All that I speculate, is based on those two things and an assumed mechanism whereby they happen, and as such may be wildly inaccurate, even totally wrong. It's not like I can see the truth of it... I am just speculating, throwing my hypotheses out there for all to see, but really it's mostly guesswork. So I'm not an authority on this stuff... nobody can be that. I'm more asking 'what if?' than deciding 'what is.'

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  66. Coupled with evolution, thoughts being fee agents using frequencies could easily explain this phenomenon.

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  67. Still don't get the frequency thing, Jerry. How do you mean the word?

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  68. Thought frequencies? Don't get that, if that's it...
    Thoughts as free agents? That sounds interesting. That would fit in with certain ideas I've been having...
    Do tell...

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  69. What ever it is has to explain how a thought got out a book and into your head.

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  70. "Thoughts as free agents?"

    Jerry said 'fee agents', not 'free agents'.

    I'm thinking it's the theory that no good deed goes unpunished, you have to pay, for going through all these things, twice, that kind of thing.

    I could be wrong here of course.

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  71. Using the chakra idea, as one progress's to higher levels the thought patterns conform to the level one is operating on. For instance, if a person operates on level 3 the meaning of a thought would correspond with level three, while a person operating on level 5 would have a meaning that corresponds to level 5 which would be a different meaning for the same basic idea. Although each entertains the same thought, one is receiving the thought on a different frequency which gives it a different meaning.

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  72. Watch the movie, 'The Invention of Lying'. Mark explains everything.

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  73. I don't know, Jerry. I;m familiar with the idea of the chakras, and the idea of kundalini energy rising up the spine from root to crown and so forth, even think I've experienced something very much like it. Is that a higher frequency of thought, really? Or just a different way of thinking? Is it 'higher,' or 'lower,' because to me it seems one is going within further, not higher up somehow. To me it's all about learning to communicate with your unconscious mind, which many systems of mystical thought consider linked to, well, to everything.

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  74. I agree, we are linked to everything on all levels but only becomes conscious of that on the spiritual level.

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  75. The chakra system is comsidered valuable I think primarily because it teaches people to move 'energy' (sensation of tingling and light and so forth) around inside their bodies and concentrate it and direct it from and through perceived 'centers' of this energy. But that's visualization, and the system itself is somewhat arbitrary. The old rabbis could do it too, with the tree-of-life. And yet, different 'centers.' It's learning to feel and direct the energy of biofeedback. Or so it seems to me.

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  76. In the sense of progressing in sophistication of thought, your various 'levels' there remind me of simple changes in perspective as one's mind matures.
    So if reality is all interconnected, those who can realize that and perceive it best, are likely the 'highest' levels of thinkers, would you say?

    I'm at impasse though. I want to believe things that I cannot believe because I know that I want to and how that (wanting to believe something) skews perception. So I get mad at me and dig in my heels and stay as rational as I can while still strongly suspecting that, as I like to say, there's more to this place than meets the eye.

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  77. What ever it is has to explain how a thought got out a book and into your head
    ---------------
    Huh?
    Other than reading it and comprehending english, I assume you mean?

    Care to elaborate? I'm not getting you fully.

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  78. What do you mean by a 'thought as a free agent?'

    Can you give me an example? I'm genuinely curious here, not busting your agates or anything.

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  79. On salvia I've seen my reality around me like a pixellated 3-D screen, and the pixels are all, for lack of a better term, thoughts. I laid down on the floor and the air around me, the floor I was lying on, the furniture, and yes, my own body, was composed of little bits of thought. And nothing else, for nothing else was needed.

    What would you call that Jerry? An hallucination or a vision of the truth? Hard for me to be sure, myself, since I am aware of the fact that I want it to be one and not the other. I try to avoid bias if it's at all possible.
    At the time, it was the truth. I couldn't doubt it; I was perceiving it even more clearly than I normally do reality. I even felt it, inside of me... all just bits of thought.

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  80. How does a buddhist order a hotdog?











    "Make me one with everything!"




    (not my joke, oldie but goodie)

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  81. To me, the idea that there is some hidden spiritual/'mindey' substrate connecting everything, an underlaying reality, as it were, seems to open the door to 'the miraculous', 'the magical'(as far as physicalist/materialist reality is concerned), and through that open door we may as well take religions to be codified explanations for the not-so-sensitive-to-the-'reality', put in terms that simpletons, like myself, could understand. Jesus coming down to Earth to show God's love for mankind. Mission accomplished. Zips off. Leave it to the professionals now. "Put your money in the collection plate, thank you very much!"

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  82. To be honest, I'm not sure how sure they can be of the Big Bang or what there was, by infering back from the motion of the galaxies now, since they seem to be 'infering' that space itself can expand now too.

    Still, infering God from the prime mover, uncaused cause, grand designer or anything along those lines seem to be in the 'how the hell could we really know' category too.

    Then there's coming at the 'problem' from questioning ourselves, what is consciousness compared to matter/energy and vice versa. How does that all work?

    Well, I think we're jumping the gun a little here if we're concluding that science has reached the limit of what can we know about how the brain works.

    Also I think we'd be presuming a bit much if we imagined that all the animals, birds and insects had brains as a central control over their impulses and senses but we and we alone had this connection, 'bad' connection as it may be, to another baser reality underneath this one.

    Of course there are different 'realities'. The universe with all it's galaxies and vast time-frame differences cares nothing for us, neither does the details of what's going on in a volume less than atomic scale.

    All we can conclude from this is, well, it's back to inferences again, and though we're 'right' that there's nothing quite as strange as reality, we still seem to be totally missing the miraculous/magical.

    You might wonder, "But quantum seems magical to me!" Fair enough, but it still seems predictable inasmuchas we can predict the chaosy bits and we're getting better at it.

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  83. I think my point is, not that we can't refer to the 'world' as spiritual or 'mindey' at it's base, it certainly is energy (M = E/C^2) and we should give the science boys a bit more of a chance, the simple, 'There are gods who I can curry favour from.' having been refered from 'There are powerful people I can curry favour from.", for long enough.

    Now I like curry as much as the next guy but it's a simple, obvious game where wannabe leaders just want to be able to tell you what to do, what to think.

    I'm just taking it one step further than you Brian, or you Jerry, who, both of you seem to realise that it's just wrong for people to use these ideas to command others for their own benefit, or even in spite of their own needs.

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  84. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yydx1vvUVlc&feature=relmfu

    Did you watch this, Brian? This is the 3rd. video, but the reasoning of video 1 and 2 is very sloppy.

    They've already introduced an original creator/sustainer out of thin air, straight out of their asses.

    Now Kabbala?

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  85. Jerry, you'll like those videos too!

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  86. Also I think we'd be presuming a bit much if we imagined that all the animals, birds and insects had brains as a central control over their impulses and senses but we and we alone had this connection, 'bad' connection as it may be, to another baser reality underneath this one.
    ---------------
    That's a huge assumption on your part.

    Why aren't they in the dream, too? Lesser dreamers? I've always thought of them as that. Are you prejudiced, a human-bigot or something? Hell, the first dreamers, would have been the first life. Or even before that...

    Or perhaps that is incorrect and we're the only dreamers, but in that case they don't even exist at all outside of us dreaming all of them up. (Least likely, but still a possibility)

    In my opinion, the lesser animals and even plants were the first dreamers of this place, and we took up the baton when we came on the scene. But they still have their input.

    At any rate, you can see how very easy it is to assume things in this scenario. Me, and you.

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  87. I had not watched that vid, pboy, and I still didn't just now. It lost me in the beginning. Too silly. Sorry. Once they bring in the music and start talking about 'facts' from religions and higher sources and all that in that dumbass computer-sounding voice, it lost me.

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  88. Original Hebrew kaballah, is theistic, you do know that, right?

    They believe in Yahweh.

    I learned the hermetic, european variant, with a lot of admixture of other influences, from christian to egyptian and 'rosicrucian.' It doesn't adhere to any particular deity. One isn't even really necessary.

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  89. I guess the people who made that video, lacked humility. Too grandiose.

    I don't like the sound of egos singing.

    I have my own to deal with.

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  90. From what I saw of it, kaballah's prime utility, it's best use, is to teach a concrete-literal and logical thinker, a 'yang' personality type if you will, to think in intuitive ways and to better access their unconscious mind in that way. It does this by beginning in letters and numbers and dissecting the meanings of words, and finishes in really complex concepts that are not clearly understandable in concrete terms.
    Some of the concepts are presented in a format that one might call 'circles of meaning' in which you have a bunch of terms and concepts all relating to the underlying nonverbal concept *that is itself, not capable of being presented simply in word form.* You 'get the feeling' of the concept by looking at all the words and getting a gist of the underlying commonality of meaning. You 'buy into' the 'circle' with the words in it that you understand best, and learn how the others might relate, and eventually what you come away with is a strong 'feel' for the concept.

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  91. Pboy, I just tried again. Watching the video, I mean. Can't do it. Too silly. I got two-thirds through it this time.
    The only thing any of it has in common with how I think, is "the nature of matter is an illusion." The rest was silliness. Especially that 'Hebrew matrix' and the scenes from the Jody Foster movie.
    If these people were serious, I'd think their video would reflect that. To me it seems like they're selling something. Something rather silly.
    The 'holy grail' is not mentioned in kaballah, although of course any mythology can be applied to the tree-of-life and found to fit on it somewhere.

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  92. I think the idea of all reality being essentially illusory in nature, is so drastic and novel a concept that it draws in crackpots as much as any religion does.
    If there's any truth to it, it will have to overcome that somehow.

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  93. http://articles.latimes.com/2012/apr/01/opinion/la-oe-krauss-cosmology-design-universe-20120401

    Nice article from Neil Tyson... He's always good.

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  94. "I think we'd be presuming a bit much if..", I said.

    I don't think it deserved this response. "That's a huge assumption on your part."

    I was trying to kind of reconcile your ideas, Jerry's ideas and my ideas. The main religions, the 'fighting ones' anyways, load themselves and everyone brought up around them, with assumptions.

    I watched, and liked, 'World as a hologram'. Good lecture, must have missed the part where the information on the surface of our black hole is 'projected' and by what on to what? I thought that the stuttering was an affect, the way he communicates in order to engage the audience, and that strange accent, very engaging.

    This man, there ought to be a better word for him, philosophical physicist, 'theoretical' seems so vague and the word itself, far from being concerned with scientific theory in the sense that Evolution is a scientific theory, is more philosophical insight.

    They admit that they are pulling the String Theory straight out of their asses and that it's not so much a scientific theory, in the sense of Evolution, but a fully formed set of ideas in search of something to predict.

    On the video I pointed at for you, that's where it got a little carried away, I thought. But if you watch videos 1 and 2, you'd likely notice how they are deliberately trying to deceive us.

    In those two videos they take us from the simple idea that our senses are not direct links to our interpretation, all scientific fact mind you, to the idea that there is an overarching controller of a cosmic database.

    The hidden knowledge known by the secret societies, hinted at in later videos gets the 'profound spacey music' treatment and flashed 'nods' to experts, designed to tease us, advertise to us, giving me a sense that it is a commercial.

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  95. Also I think we'd be presuming a bit much if we imagined that all the animals, birds and insects had brains as a central control over their impulses and senses but we and we alone had this connection, 'bad' connection as it may be, to another baser reality underneath this one.
    ---------------
    That's a huge assumption on your part.
    --------------------------------------
    You are right. I missed the implication of 'we'd be presuming a bit much.'
    Oops.

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  96. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s42mrdhKwRA

    Try this. Amit Goswami. More to my liking.

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  97. In my opinion, the ideas that are out there about a holographic universe being somehow projected from the surface of a singularity, are popular only because it's another way to explain the universe that fits observations *other than* the idea that consciousness itself is the ground of all being. I see it as an attempt to explain the inexplicable in 'rational' terms. However, it's much simpler to just think of it all as consciousness.

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  98. That same said buddhist gave the hot dog vendor a $50.00 bill, which the vendor quickly put in his pocket. The buddhist, being a patient man, waited for a few minutes before he asked, "My Good Man, what about my change?"



    To which the vendor replied,
    "You, sir, more than any other, should know, change can only come from within"



    The follow-up to your oldie but goodie)

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  99. Guess that's why they need to practice that Kung Fu shit.

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  100. Brian said,

    "For instance, I can't count the number of times I've thought 'there ought to be a (blank,) said blank being some invention that just came into my head... I often think of things that would be useful that do not exist, and within a short time I hear of someone inventing it. In fact now when I think of something like that, I start to watch for it being advertized."

    Perhaps a better course would be to invent one yourself instead of waiting to see if others have done it first...?

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  101. Consciousness as the Ground of All Being is bullshit.

    Read this

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  102. Consciousness as the Ground of All Being is bullshit.

    Read this
    ----------------
    ...which was a link to a well written article defeating christian presuppositionalism.

    What, is that how you think of me?

    I don't see any connection to the article at all. Care to elaborate?

    It's like I wrote 'atheist rationalism is bullshit' and sent you a link to a site about flower arranging.

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  103. Now you have to tell me why it's bullshit. You can't just call bullshit you know. Or if it relates to that article, tell me how at least. I'm sure you must see it... but I do not, so enlighten me puhleeze....

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  104. Remember, my personal reasons for giving credence to the idea of consciousness being involved in manifestation, in reality, is that to me, nature was not uniform. It behaved in an anomalous manner. Still does, sometimes. So I must account for that. How to deal with those who do not see anomalies as I do when they call bullshit? How can you know, if you're not seeing what I am? If I never saw it, I'd be the one calling bullshit! If consciousness is the ground of all being, we obviously can't tell by just looking around. If it is, it gives us the impression that it is not for some reason. I'd say that the reason is, we expect it to not be because it's so counterintuitive.

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  105. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jKe5Ad2rSOI
    The Iron Monk

    (Trailer)

    I love really good kung fu movies, if the martial arts are realistic. This one is looking great.

    I really liked Ong Bak, I think the name was... thai boxing is really vicious. Elbows and knees stuff with amazing kicks. Tony Jaa is one incredible martial artist, makes van damme and seagal and those guys look like silly clowns.

    Ong Bak, Tony Jaa in action:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sj-9aPhPo0M&feature=fvwrel

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  106. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OQ2RpINs4KE&feature=related

    Tony Jaa demo... he makes it look sooooo easy.

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  107. Sorry it took me so long to get back, Brian... internet snafu...

    The basic idea I was trying to point out (and the article articulates it very well) is that 'Primacy of Consciousness' metaphysics is incoherent, in that for us (or any "conscious" being) to perceive something, it must first exist, and also that consciousness, being a function of material brains (we have exactly ZERO evidence for any other 'kind' of consciousness) relies on 'Primacy of Existence' metaphysics for it's own existence.

    So, all these discussions of the Big Brain, etc... are thus refuted. It stems from discussions about the warrant we place upon inductive reasoning, but digs deeper into the metaphysics of existence.

    The universe existed long before humans became conscious of it.

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  108. I remember thinking last year 'why don't we have child monitor bracelets with one 'mommy' button (or whatever) which places a call to mom's cell phone, and a GPS involved so even if no call is placed one can locate the child?'

    Two days later I saw one advertized.

    That's how it happens for me. No time really to invent it... it's usually in the works already, but I don't know about it yet.

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  109. (The blog post refutes God as a free-floating, immaterial 'consciousness' resposible for creating the universe, too; but that was incidental to why I posted the link...)

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  110. The universe existed long before humans became conscious of it.
    -----------
    I must consider the possibility that you are not understanding how I mean consciousness. Not human consciousness. Just consciousness. The first thing, was consciousness, not a body to hold it. That came later, much later.
    In this scenario, consciousness is really all that exists, and all that ever existed, for ever and ever, amen. (lol)

    We have more complex *thoughts* and thoughts are arrangements of consciousness, as are we, our bodies themselves. Consciousness can be thought of as similar to bits in a computer here, so the first consciousness was not organized... that came later when matter started to form, and more complex later still with the advent of the most complex arrangements of consciousness to date, *life.* Our personal consciousness is highly organized, into thoughts and feelings. That is due to the fact that life arranges and organizes consciousness into perceived arrangements called 'bodies' and 'minds.'

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  111. In this scenario, consciousness is really all that exists, and all that ever existed, for ever and ever, amen. (lol)
    -----------
    I should add to this 'not thought though!'

    Thought is the result of consciousness organized into a being which becomes complex enough to become self-aware. The organization process is what we perceive as 'evolution' on this planet. In it, non-living molecules organized to eventually become living cells and so forth down the line. We see non-life organizing into life, but we assume that the non-life is dead matter when it's the appearance of dead matter as given by a static arrangement of consciousness that gives us the perception of say, a rock complete with crystal structure and so forth. Why does a certain molecule or atom bond in a certain way with another certain molecule or atom? Because that is the nature of it's 'atomic' consciousness, to bond to some things and not to others. Simple mathematics, numbers, are what is involved in this.

    A rock is consciousness organized into what we perceive as a rock. It is a static organization of consciousness rather than an active one, but consciousness all the same.

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  112. Well, pragmatically speaking, I have to go with the notion that the ONLY examples of "consciousness" we know are the materially-based human ones. And as I said, there's ZERO evidence for any other 'kind' of consciousness, God included.

    Think about it like this: God is said to have "existed" before the creation of the universe, immaterially (material [matter, energy, spacetime] being part of the universe that had not yet been 'created'), but conscious: See Genesis 1:1. SO God's consciousness "existed", which is to point out that if God's consciousness didn't exist first...


    i.e., Primacy of Existence.

    Yeah, I get that you're not talking about God per se. The point is that consciousness must EXIST before it can perceive anything, and that things to be perceived must exist before a consciousness can perceive them.

    Consider the alternative...

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  113. definition of "consciousness":

    Awarerness of existence.

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  114. Descartes got it exactly backwards:

    "I am, therefore I think."

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  115. and also that consciousness, being a function of material brains
    ------------
    That is an assumption at best, what I like to call 'reality-bias' because that is how we perceive it. We assume that is the way it is, but if it were the opposite, how could we tell? Thought is a function of material brains, but I'm not talking about thought here. When I say 'consciousness' it's undifferentiated, unorganized into anything (yet.)

    If consciousness came first, and then organized itself into matter and energy (in this dream we call reality) and then into more organized forms including eventually us, how could we tell? No way to determine you're in a dream when it's as realistic as this one is. Except maybe tiny little clues every now and then, easily dismissed of course.

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  116. This would be one of the more relevant paragraphs in the linked blog post:

    Uniformity and Metaphysical Primacy

    Because the issue of metaphysical primacy is the most fundamental concern in all philosophy, the first item to address in considering the question of how one “accounts for” the uniformity of nature is not whether or not nature’s uniformity entails theism or atheism per se, nor would I say that trifling over what exactly the presuppositionalist means by “account for” will be very productive (good luck getting him to commit to a clear meaning here). Rather, the controversy here first needs to be understood in terms of metaphysical primacy. Specifically, if it is agreed that nature is in fact uniform, does the uniformity of nature presuppose the primacy of existence, or does it presuppose the primacy of consciousness? Is nature uniform independent of anyone’s thoughts, feelings, wishes, commands or temper tantrums? Or, does the fact that nature is uniform depend on some form of conscious activity?

    This is the central question to be considered before all others: is consciousness involved in “making” nature uniform, or is nature uniform on its own, regardless of what consciousness does?

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  117. The author goes on to make a very good case that consciousness does not affect existence.

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  118. Yeah, I get that you're not talking about God per se. The point is that consciousness must EXIST before it can perceive anything, and that things to be perceived must exist before a consciousness can perceive them.
    ------------------
    Ah.

    Consciousness must exist before it vcan perceive ANY THING.
    What things?

    All things are a part of that primal consciousness.

    It's perceiving itself here. We are a part of it. We are made of it. Everything is. It was already chaotic, all 'split up' into nonorganized bits... but it kept getting more and more 'clumpy' (organized) until there were parts of it that could perceive (us) and other things to perceive (the rest of it.)

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  119. I may not have said so on the old "Big Brain" thread (I was arguing with Eric on that thread mostly), but I pretty much agree with Pboy's take (if I remember it correctly) that the BB theory is pretty much woo.

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  120. And you've pretty much just stated that there can be no compelling evidence that your theories are true:

    If consciousness came first, and then organized itself into matter and energy (in this dream we call reality) and then into more organized forms including eventually us, how could we tell? No way to determine you're in a dream when it's as realistic as this one is.

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  121. I know that, Ed. Not a problem. You present your side well, and to be honest, I cannnot 'win' this. In this dream (if it is such) there is ample evidence that it is highly unlikely that it is a dream lying about to point to.
    You never got rude or dismissive. Thank you.

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  122. And you've pretty much just stated that there can be no compelling evidence that your theories are true:
    -------------
    The only way that I can see, is for a person to be in a psychological place in their lives where they want to try this stuff for themselves, as I once did. I was in that place, because I started to get the coincidences. The nature of the problem is unfortunately such that objective compelling evidence is not possible on the macro scale of existence where we live. I see many of the quantum 'micro scale' developments as indicators that it's not bullshit. Others see them differently. But they never had the coincidences, did they? Nor have they ever custom-ordered a son and have him turn out precisely as ordered. So I has me reasons, and I haven't been able to invalidate them yet. I may never be able to validate them either, but I know what I've seen in my life, and 'there's something amiss with this place.'

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  123. You're welcome.

    I try to remain civil. After all, we're just hashing out some concepts that ultimately determine nothing about how we conduct our daily lives.

    It's a curious pastime.

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  124. One small thing I can actually test.

    Does anybody here know of a good blog that is attended by a lot of fundamentalist christians?

    I want to post to it, and just for the post, tell a small lie.

    I want to present myself as a christian, not to deceive them or hurt them, but to garner information they would not give me otherwise.

    I want to ask them about 'funny coincidences.' Tell them that I just started to have them, and 'what do they mean?' and so forth.

    Because, I've run into christians before that had them, and attributed them to the holy spirit. Seriously. I've told the story where I happened to meet a woman that had had them, but I didn't know that, and told her about mine first, and that I was an atheist, and that I thought I knew what was causing them... the woman that thought I was satan, remember? Because at least for a little while it caused her to lose her faith.

    So I'm fairly convinced that, for some christians, their level of belief is adequate to cause the kind of coincidences that I had.

    I can't think of another way to do this, without the deception. If any of you can, let me know.

    It long ago occurred to me that if fundies get the kind of coincidences that I do, it would serve to cement their faith absolutely, when it's just a reality-effect that responds to belief. So I'm wondering if a significant percentage of them get them.

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  125. One of the primary clues (to me, anyway) that my "consciousness" will dissipate into nothing after I die is the fact that I must consume so much energy to maintain my consciousness in the first place.

    I would expect (if this were a "dream" reality as you've postulated) that if one were sufficiently strong enough in controlling his portion of the dream, that one would be able to dispense with the illusion of needing outside energy sources to maintain his own consciousness.

    Mind over matter, right?

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  126. Also, a small bit of 'evidence' in my favor.

    I've told you all about my initial lucid dream that precipitated the coincidences.

    I had that dream, wherein I tried to 'open my third eye' with my 'dream' finger (my actual hands would not move off my chest) and that day, the coincidences started. That day, and not before.

    Why would that be, I must wonder? Why did they start on that day, and not before or days or weeks afterwards? They totally surprised me... it's not like I had any thought of getting coincidences beforehand... Why would I? I didn't even suspect... I had the dream, no indication in it of anything to follow, no relation in the dream to the idea of having coincidences, nothing like that. And then that day, they start. And didn't ever stop.

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  127. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  128. You could perhaps try here.

    It's Ray Comfort's blog...

    (forgot to include the link in that last message...)

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  129. One of the primary clues (to me, anyway) that my "consciousness" will dissipate into nothing after I die is the fact that I must consume so much energy to maintain my consciousness in the first place.

    I would expect (if this were a "dream" reality as you've postulated) that if one were sufficiently strong enough in controlling his portion of the dream, that one would be able to dispense with the illusion of needing outside energy sources to maintain his own consciousness.
    -----------------------
    See, I agree, I think after we die our consciousness (which is highly organized and maintained by the consumption of other more basic forms of consciousness as building blocks) will dissipate back into more undifferentiated forms of consciousness.
    This 'belief' here that I so like to discuss, does not predicate an afterlife at all.
    If true, we will most likely 'de-organize' at death into billions of little bits of individual consciousness. To us, to our 'meta-consciousness' that we enjoy due to the organization of our component parts much like a bee hive's consciousness is dependant on the individual bees, it will be death, dissolution. Afterwards there will be no 'I' left of me... but a lot of very tiny micro 'I's' that have no memory of ever being alive as a person, and indeed, no memory at all, because memory is linked to living matter (which is of course, just organized consciousness that can last and process and record information in it's own structure.)

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  130. Then again, maybe that's not the best place... it looks like he's trying to write some sort of trashy novel that he's posting a couple of paragraphs at a time...

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  131. ...But I said "nothing", and I meant exactly that. Your take allows for my "consciousness" to survive, even if it's as a non-associated non-collection of individual consciousness 'particles'(?) (Is there any evidence of consciousness 'particles'? Is this the connection to QM to which you were alluding?)

    To me, human consciousness is a very complex pattern of energy, and needs the physical substrate of a living brain to exist. I would compare it to a (vastly more complex version of a) light bulb.

    It ONLY works if all the parts are there and functional, and even then still requires consumption of energy of another form to operate. Take away the energy input, and the light goes out. Wreck the structure, and it will never work again, no matter how much energy you throw at it.

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  132. Your take allows for my "consciousness" to survive, even if it's as a non-associated non-collection of individual consciousness 'particles'(?)
    ------------
    ...which are your component chemicals and so forth, that are the eventual products of your decomposition.
    Do they have any memory of once being you? Of course not. That's all I'm saying, in different form. (In the hypothetical form of 'what if I'm right here...')
    I think I made it clear, and I certainly tried to, that those bits left over after you de-organize, are not 'bits of you' anymore. They are like other chemicals and so forth. They're not bits of your consciousness, they used to be organized in such a way that your consciousness arose, and now that they're de-organized 'you' cease to exist as such.
    It's as much a real death, as the materialistic version.

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  133. "Even to dispute the premise that nature is uniform, itself requires the uniformity of nature in order to make sense of the dispute in the first place."

    IOW, for you or Jerry to insist that there is some kind of occult(hidden) basis for everything, you kind of have to assume that we all, including yourselves, see everything as we do.

    Your synchronicities, for example, seem to depend on your(our?) expectation that they ought not to be occurring because 'the world isn't like that'.

    Seems you are stealing the concept that 'the world is like we all experience it' as a basis for your conclusion that the world isn't at all like we experience it!

    Hey, I could be wrong, but that's the connection I see.

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  134. That was in there, too, peeb. I just keyed on the bigger, obvious chunks...

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  135. Of course, this is only one 'version' of what is possible if the universe is dreamlike in nature. I chose the most 'realistic' version, in which atoms and molecules and so forth are 'composed' of 'bits' of consciousness and thus evolved into higher forms allowing more complex expressions of it.

    The other end of the spectrum, still as valid a possibility, but one I have more problem with, is that it's ALL a dream, and even the organization of our component parts into a whole, is illusory. In that case, it's even possible that we each have our own version of 'reality' in our minds, and it doesn't even have to exactly conform to other people's versions... as long as they blend in an apparently seamless manner, it would work. That version can even go to the extreme of total solipsism... as in, none of you really even exist, and it's all just me pretending that I have company in a really lonely 'universe.'

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  136. Your synchronicities, for example, seem to depend on your(our?) expectation that they ought not to be occurring because 'the world isn't like that'.
    ------------
    So it is, then? you all have them too, as significant as mine? Do tell!

    I suppose it's all in my head... the smithsonian thing is just a coincidence and nothing more... All the others... everybody gets things like that, and maybe what, doesn't notice them so much, those screaming coincidences?

    I don't know... I doubt that very much. And when I extended the idea and tried to manifest certain things on purpose, and I did, more coincidences, eh?

    Okay........

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  137. I've had coincidental experiences before; just never made a big deal out of them. I have also experienced deja vu, and even once had a vivid dream that I was astral projecting (that was pretty scary, and I snapped wide awake in a cold sweat).

    But that doesn't mean any of it was objectively "real".

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  138. Seems you are stealing the concept that 'the world is like we all experience it' as a basis for your conclusion that the world isn't at all like we experience it!
    ---------------
    I am pointing out that all we can know about the world is how we experience it, and that that isn't necessarily true just because that's how we experience it. That there are other scenarios that give us that result. And I even think, once we divorce ourselves from conditioned thinking that 'reality' must be as we perceive it to be, we can realize that it's a much simpler (and more logical) answer that it is not.

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  139. I've had coincidental experiences before; just never made a big deal out of them. I have also experienced deja vu, and even once had a vivid dream that I was astral projecting (that was pretty scary, and I snapped wide awake in a cold sweat).
    -------------
    Doesn't everyone?

    What I mean is of course, that describes me pretty well BEFORE the really significant ones started to happen. The significant ones, the synchronicities if you will, were as different to that as night is to day. Or else, why would I have noticed anything different?

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  140. I mean, I had coincidences and deja-vu's before all this started. Or course I did. Everyone does.

    Again, I wouldn't have even noticed these, if they weren't hugely different in kind, quality, and frequency.

    I say they 'started' after the lucid dream. By that I mean, that's the day when the significant ones started. I certainly wasn't implying that I'd never had coincidences or deja-vu's before that point.

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  141. I think the point is that if you expect to see large scale coincidences in your life, the anticipation provides events that look more farfetched as coincidences but are things that would have occurred anyway.

    In other words, as some of the commenters on Debunking Christianity like to point out, "people who believe in Bigfoot see lots of evidence of Bigfoot".

    It's called confirmation bias.

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  142. Incidentally while I see a logical relationship between coincidences and deja-vu's, oddly enough I've experienced no increase in the latter while a huge increase in the former.

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  143. That's because deja vu is a glitch in the Matrix...

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  144. It's called confirmation bias.
    -------------
    Which I've tried to guard against by describing the synchronicities to others in detail and getting feedback.

    Even pboy once admitted that 'that's a big one' to some coincidence that I was relating.

    They're too extreme for it to just be confirmation bias on my part. I'm likely not free of that, but I think I've taken it into account.

    Take the What The Bleep/Smithsonian one, a good illustration. In reality it was a double coincidence. The mag had a virtually identical article in it by the same person, and it was sixteen years old and in a random hospital waiting room forty-five minutes away. Incredible enough. But the subject matter of the movie, was about just such things happening, essentially was about an informational universe.

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  145. Also, my state of mind when they happen is always similar at the start of the process.

    Enthusiastic. Excited. And in good humor. Like when I was watching the movie. Or describing my friend's parrot to my son. Or talking about the tiramisu to my wife. I'm most often making jokes about it.

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  146. Did you agree that the presuppositionalist doesn't have a leg to stand on when he/she is trying to have us give an account for the uniformity of nature, which he then will go on to discredit since 'god can do anything', this consciousness driven uniformity would definitely NOT be uniform.

    If god can decide to 'reveal himself' by turning water into wine, why doesn't he go ahead and do that, say on a Friday night? I imagine us all sitting down to watch a video, getting a big pitcher of water and some glasses, then fully expecting the water to convert to wine and us all having a jolly good time.

    Hey, we could still 'hate GOD', but it would make it much harder to believe that there wasn't any God at all.

    No doubt apologists, and presuppositional apologists too, have that covered, and their 'reasoning' that they're NOT just stealing the concept, too.

    Perhaps us mere unbelievers have not had SIGNIFICANT hints at god, like they have.

    "Stealing the concept you say? Hey, look a shiney thing!"

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  147. That's because deja vu is a glitch in the Matrix...
    -------------------
    Maybe series of strong coincidences are the one glitch in ours.

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  148. I thought about something recently.

    If I could stare at something, say a wall, and just by staring at it, change it, what would happen? Say I imagine it has a hole in it, and afterwards, it does.

    Likely, those who I could tell about it, say, like my wife, would remember it having the hole all the time before that. I could insist that it never did, but who'd believe me?

    Or maybe not. Maybe they'd see it and be amazed.

    How would I be, though?

    I actually think it might drive me insane.

    Maybe we instinctively do not change reality because of abject fear of insanity, of it all just dissolving around us revealing some terrible truth...

    Hey, who knows, eh?

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  149. I've pointed out to the Xian post-ers on DC more than once that even though they insist that the Uniformity of Nature / Regularity of the Universe is due to God's "providence", that their argument is flawed because a universe without divine agents exercising their omnipotent caprice (and making the universe thereby IRregular!) looks more uniform than a universe with said agents mucking around according to their 'divine' schemes. And in any case, life could neither arise nor continue to exist under non-uniform conditions.

    They almost never respond to this, beyond the occasional "Nuh-Uh!"

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  150. A brilliant objection that falls on the deaf ears of those determined to be ignorant.

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  151. Yeah...

    The Xian position amounts to:

    "The Universe is orderly, except when it isn't."

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  152. I saw that for the bullshit it is, even when I was only ten years old.

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  153. "...[1] a universe without divine agents exercising their omnipotent caprice (and making the universe thereby IRregular!) looks more uniform than [2] a universe with said agents mucking around according to their 'divine' schemes. And in any case, life could neither arise nor continue to exist under non-uniform conditions.
    They almost never respond to this, beyond the occasional "Nuh-Uh!""

    We all know that the universe is orderly; the question is, why expect it to be orderly given [1], or, more precisely, why think that [1] explains the orderly structure of the universe better than [2]?

    Here are a two quick reasons to think that [2] is a good explanation:

    (a) The universe exhibits a mathematical structure
    (b) Order implies final causation (i.e. certain structures consistently exhibit certain dispositions, and consistently lack others)


    Now we would expect (a) and (b) to obtain if the universe were the product of (speaking metaphorically) a divine 'mind,' but we would not expect them to obtain if materialism/physicalism/naturalism were true. So, Ed, the question you must answer is, Why expect an orderly universe given [1]? (Note, an appeal to any of the many versions of the anthropic principle miss the point, for as I said, we already know that the universe is orderly; the issue is, why expect it to be so given naturalism?)

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  154. You assume order must come from a mind, when it's the order here that created the minds.

    Silly wabbit, your weligion is for kids!

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  155. "Why expect an orderly universe given [1]? (Note, an appeal to any of the many versions of the anthropic principle miss the point, for as I said, we already know that the universe is orderly; the issue is, why expect it to be so given naturalism?)"

    Nono. THAT the universe is orderly, insofaras it is 'orderly' is a given.

    I mean why bother if God could suddenly turn your head into a bunch of roses at any point if HE so chose?

    All your inferences start from the premise THAT the universe is orderly(insofaras etc.).

    We're not hearing that scientists are completely stymied when it comes to that flying car we were promised by the sci-fi writers because of something God does or doesn't want, no.

    "(a) The universe exhibits a mathematical structure
    (b) Order implies final causation.."

    (a) no it doesn't.
    (b) no, it doesn't.

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  156. "You assume order must come from a mind, when it's the order here that created the minds."

    You must learn to distinguish an assumption from the conclusion of an inference to the best explanation -- big difference there! I didn't assume that order must come from a mind, but inferred that a mathematically ordered universe in which everything in it exhibits final causality is better explained by theism than by naturalism. I'm still waiting to learn why naturalism explains both mathematical order and the presence of final causality better than theism does...(though this question may not be for you, Brian, since I don't think that naturalism comprises your BB commitments.)

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  157. "All your inferences start from the premise THAT the universe is orderly"

    No kidding. That's kinda the point. Read Ed's post again.

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  158. "(a) The universe exhibits a mathematical structure
    (b) Order implies final causation.."

    (a) no it doesn't.
    (b) no, it doesn't."

    Yes it does, and yes it does (boy, the Pboy method of reasoning/argumentation is *easy*!)

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  159. Eric, you've saturated your consciousness with thoughts of a god you wish so dearly to be true that it skews your logic function. You can't even imagine being wrong anymore, because in order to do that you'd have to allow the possibility, and you just aren't capable of it. Get some rest.

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  160. "(a) The universe exhibits a mathematical structure
    (b) Order implies final causation.."

    (a)What do you mean?

    (b)What do you mean?

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  161. You see order and think it must mean a mind behind it, no?

    Because your experience of minds is that they are orderly and impose order onto other things.

    What I said still applies then. You see order and think 'mind of god' but it's that same order that caused the mind of man to arise, and so of course that mind of man looks around and says 'gee, this looks like a mind (similar to the mind of man but greater of course) designed it' when what the real problem is, that order you see out there, is what is responsible for the similarity in the first place.
    In an ordered universe, any mind that evolves shares in that order, causing said minds to think that another mind must have designed the order itself.

    Get it?

    Of course not.

    But it was fun for me explaining it. Thanks!

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  162. Leaving God completely out of the picture here, how can you possibly say that the universe exhibits a mathematical structure then say that it's not doing it right, as they are saying when they say that they seem to have to add some dark matter(unknown stuff) and dark energy(unknown forces) to make that math 'work'?

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  163. Same thing with the 'order' thing. That seems to follow the 'mathematical structure' down the toilet too, when those astrophysicists are adding unknown stuff and unknown forces to make their math work, don't you think so?

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  164. Eric, why do you assume that any universe that evolves in an orderly manner, must be created or is most likely to be?

    I just don't see it. What did you expect universes to do? Just be chaotic, have no rules? Perhaps most of them are like that, but we can't evolve in one of those. We're here because 'here' caused us to evolve into what we are. Plus, any universe that is made up of interrelated non-ephemeral parts that interact, is likely to be able to be described by citing whatever rules of interaction it has. There have to be some kind of rules. Even if the basic idea is 'objects cannot occupy the same space at the same time,' that will evolve into complex mathematical rules of interaction, within the bounds of whatever universal forces are present. Hence, mathematically we can describe rules and so forth. If we could not, I'd take that as more of a proof of a god, than this situation we find ourselves in.

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  165. "boy, the Pboy method of reasoning/argumentation is *easy*!"

    I do kind of like the theist method, where being wrong is not an option.

    Either the orderliness of the universe implies God, or the disorderliness of the universe implies God, I don't think you guys really care, since you simply assume 'Goddidit!" anyways, right?

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  166. You, Eric, answered, "why expect it to be orderly given [1], or, more precisely, why think that [1] explains the orderly structure of the universe better than [2]?"

    To which I replied, "Nono. THAT the universe is orderly, insofaras it is 'orderly' is a given."

    What we 'expect' is neither here nor there Eric, you 'expect' it too.

    That you expect us to start with the given that the universe is orderly, infer some stuff then conclude that God makes/keeps the universe orderly, is jaw-droppingly circular to me, since you're obviously assuming God does everything anyways.

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  167. We all get up from our sleep, knowing that the universe is orderly around us. There's no need to believe in any gods for us to 'expect' this. Animals wake up and don't exhibit any surprise that they are the same animal as they were when they went to sleep, that they need to look around the same places for the same kind of food that they did the previous day and this kind of thing.

    That animals deal with longer term 'order' by hibernating, storing food, migrating, constructing sites to reassure themselves that the Sun will creep back up the horizon again and celebrate that 'rebirth', that sort of thing seems to imply that that underlying order was a given, just 'there' for us to interpret it as an 'order-sustainer', basically to anthropomorphize it, personify it as a god or a set of gods.

    Sure primitive tribes can and do anthropomorphize the changing seasons, their leaders extolling the villagers to be 'good and moral', for fear that the gods will hold back on the rains.

    Is that what you want us to believe then Eric? Or are we supposed to have a bit more sophisticated type fears now?

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  168. Damn! I missed all the fun...

    I took a nap this afternoon because last night, the Camry overheated on the freeway on the way home and I had to walk the last six miles to the house, then get a ride out there this morning and drive the car the rest of the way back to the house. I'm sore, and tired now.

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  169. Eric asked,

    We all know that the universe is orderly; the question is, why expect it to be orderly given [1], or, more precisely, why think that [1] explains the orderly structure of the universe better than [2]?

    As partial answer, I refer back to the linked blog page, specifically these paragraphs:

    Although presuppositionalists can be expected to insist that this “account for” the uniformity of nature has not “simply ‘moved the problem’ by introducing God into the equation” (Ibid., p. 135), it seems that this is precisely all that such appeals ultimately accomplish. The claim that a being “has created the universe in which we live… and… sovereignly maintains it as we find it to be,” amounts to the view that the uniformity of nature is a product of some prior cause. This assumes the continuity of any causal process by which said being allegedly accomplishes these tasks. In other words, the “justification” for the premise that nature is uniform proposed by presuppositionalism assumes the uniformity of nature from the get go.

    It is unhelpful to the presuppositionalist case for apologists to seek exemption from the applicability of a law of nature – and therefore, by implication, the uniformity of nature – in their proposed solution by pointing to their god’s “supernatural” character, for however they wish to conceive of their god, they are unable to escape the causal implications embedded in their proposed justification. Essentially they are saying that their god causes nature to be uniform, and are thus invoking a natural law – namely the law of causality - even if they wish to refer to it by some other name. The presuppositionalist appeal to theism, then, to “account for” the uniformity of nature, assumes the very thing that this appeal is supposed to explain, and is thus an instance of reasoning in a circle.


    I know you're not strictly a presuppositionalist, Eric, but the argument applies to your question, and shows it to be begging the question.

    The whole essay can be found here again, so y'all don't have to scroll through a gang of comments to find it.

    Feel free to read the whole thing, Eric.

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  170. ...and besides that, I already pointed out that worlds without agents are more parsimonious than worlds WITH agents all the while needing to be orderly on either conception for life to have arisen and continuing to exist.

    Subatomic particles operate in a frictionless environment, and once in motion will STAY in motion--no need for any "sustainer".

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  171. "I know you're not strictly a presuppositionalist, Eric, but the argument applies to your question, and shows it to be begging the question."

    First, I'm not merely 'not strictly a presuppositionalist'; I'm not *at all* a presuppositionalist.

    "I already pointed out that worlds without agents are more parsimonious than worlds WITH agents"

    This is a typical internet atheist error. That Jones was shot with a gun is a more parsimonious explanation of his death than that Jones was shot by Smith with a gun, but it's hardly a better explanation. Parsimony is *one* criterion among many; you need explanatory power as well. Removing Smith from the explanation of Jones's death makes the explanation more parsimonious, but at the cost of eliminating its explanatory power. So, what's your alternative naturalistic explanation, and what accounts for its explanatory power?

    Second, I'm most certainly not begging the question. I'm taking data most people would accept and from there inferring to the best explanation of our shared supposition that the universe is orderly. You've yet to defend any alternative naturalistic explanation that supposition, or to explain the data (mathematical structure of the universe, the reliability of particular causal connections) given naturalism.

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  172. This typical Eric. No, "There is mathematical structure because..", this this and this.

    No. Simply repeating that there is mathematical structure is dandy!

    People inventing gods to control their people and plead with nature, you say?

    (stunning silence)

    You ought to know better than to argue word meaning with Eric, Ed.

    He just doubles down on the stupidest version of a word he likes better. God is an 'explanation' now?

    LMAO.

    All purpose 'explanation', Goddidit!

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  173. The main point of the essay I linked, Eric (did you read it?) is that there's no sense to be made of trying to "account for" (explanatory scope, anyone?) the orderliness of the universe, because any justification you might formulate that depends on "Primacy of Consciousness" metaphysics (i.e., 'God as a necessary, immaterial conscious being before "Creation"...') begs the question because it assumes regularity and order to give an explanation for that order.

    This IS circular,and explains exactly nothing.

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  174. P.S. I don't need to provide an alternative "naturalistic" explanation to show that YOUR explanation is defective.

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  175. Two more things:

    1) You agreed with me, Eric, that my "world sans agency IS more parsimonious, since you didn't argue against it

    2) You said, "I'm taking data most people would accept and from there inferring to the best explanation of our shared supposition that the universe is orderly." (my emphasis) This sounds suspiciously like the pot calling the kettle black. Just a moment ago, you were chiding me for making "a typical internet atheist error", yet you appeal to the collective opinions of a vague group of people and the vague data set that they accept (and I feel like if any of them showed up here to argue theology, you'd probably start correcting THEM, too!). This is skirting dangerously close to an ad populum fallacy, Eric.

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  176. Nicely done, Ed.

    I needed to take more than one logic course, apparently.

    Too bad Eric... you can't be clear like Ed is... too bad.

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  177. 1) You agreed with me, Eric, that my "world sans agency IS more parsimonious, since you didn't argue against it
    ----------------
    God shot Jones! I just knew it!

    No wait...

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  178. I just don't get all this talk about parsimony and explanations on Eric's part.

    Introducing a deity is raping parsimony.

    Where did it come from? It's eternal, eh? A being with a mind, is eternal? And so forth.

    An eternal force or phenomena, including a universe, is much more logical and parsimonious than having to throw an eternal deity with a mind into the mix. A mind is organized. What organized it? May as well introduce Peter Pan.

    The answer to the question "How can the universe be eternal" is a puzzle because of the concept of 'eternal' Attempting to answer it by saying 'it doesn't have to be because God is and He created it!' is just pushing the whole question one step further away. And making the right 'eternal' thing be not a force or an phenomenon, but an ALL POWERFUL BEING, is insane.

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  179. I noticed that Ryan is railing against the Obushma presidency.

    Blaming him for the bank fuck up and everything rotten from 2001 on.

    "Thought this guy was a uniter, not a divider, heh, heh."

    What? Bush was the 'uniter', right?

    Guess Obama is getting blamed for the War on Terror, the attack on the Towers and everything.

    Only true red, white and blue Reps. would actually think that this was a great idea, basically blaming Obama for everything going down hill in Bush's presidency, except for the big tax cuts for the rich of course.

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  180. When in doubt…Reframe!
    - Long ago I read this quote somewhere or another

    Riddler: If you say a tail is a leg, how many legs does a dog have?

    Philosopher: Five.

    Riddler: No, the correct answer is four. Saying that a tail is a leg doesn’t make it a leg.

    I’ve seen this quote attributed to Abraham Lincoln but who knows…

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  181. I don't even understand how anybody can vote republican. Unless they can't see the lies. And I mean, c'mon... they're incredibly obvious. They have nothing BUT lies lately. Whatever honor they once had, they sold along with their souls for power. They deny science and knowledge in favor of absolute mouth-drooling idiocy. They aren't just dangerous... they passed that point a long time ago. They're like a cancer. It goes WAY beyond politics. Not for them I mean, but for us looking at them. To them, politics is all that matters, fuck the country, fuck the poor, fuck women and minorities, and hey why not, let's start keeping slaves again, wtf!
    They'd only be a joke, and a bad one at that, if people didn't actually believe their transparent swiss-cheese lies.
    The fact that they have any following at all makes me despair for this country. They're neofascists wrapped in flags.

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  182. ...and anybody that says 'there's lies on both sides, both sides are guilty' is a fuck-head. Regular political lies and half-truths, versus pernicious and unconscionably evil canards that can (and will!) destroy a country, is not a comparison. Plus, not all democrats in power are liars, not like the reptiles. They lie in concert, like they have a bullshit band leader. "All together now!"
    It's gone past ridiculous. They're winning! How is that even possible? Are we just a bunch of knee-jerk reactionary stupid religious apes who will believe whatever fantastic bullshit that is thrown at us by these sub-human knuckle-draggers??
    HOW ARE THEY NOT A LAUGHING STOCK YET?

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  183. I mean, THEY'VE COME OUT PUBLICLY AGAINST THE GOLDEN RULE AND EVEN THE CONCEPT OF SHARING!

    They need treatment, not political office!

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  184. I know how politically incorrect I'm being...

    ...so as long as I'm already doing it.....

    Wouldn't Paul Ryan look absolutely stunning in an SS uniform? I mean, talk about finding his look!

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  185. The reps have labelled Obama a divider. They have done this, as part of and in concert with their never-ending, herculean effort to divide the country. It's working. We're so fucking stupid. Whatever they want to do, they first accuse the democrats and liberals of, and then fucking do it. And the country buys it!
    Unreal.....
    These assholes think the Reichstag Fire was a brilliant political move. Which, let's face it, it was. But you'd think we'd fucking learn.

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  186. As to Eric...

    I'm quite sure that in the past, the people that believed in leprechauns, would not be swayed either. I'm sure they absolutely knew, with Eric's level of confidence that leprechauns were real. No doubts in their minds. Prepared to argue the point, too.

    LeprechaunDidIt.

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  187. Who here thinks Mormonism is a cult?

    TRICK QUESTION!

    Because christianity has been at this cult business for two thousand years. It's not that they hate it because it's a cult. They hate it because it's a COMPETING cult.

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  188. The thing that I find myself being somewhat embarrassed for Eric for, is that he not only argues for leprechauns, but has access to an entire system of pseudological deceptive thought that was developed by ancient, highly biased leprechaun-lovers that he believes proves them. So he even sounds sophisticated and knowledgeable as he argues for leprechauns. And that's kinda sad, to me.

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  189. Sarah Palin guest-hosted the Today Show yesterday...

    Who here would pay good money to see her spontaneously combust? I know I would...

    Catch Jon Stewart's take on it... brilliant. As usual.

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  190. Ryan's against obama? Really? Oh I hope not. He seems so smart. I'd have thought that he could see through the ass-smoke by the republicans better than that.

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  191. "That Jones was shot with a gun is a more parsimonious explanation of his death than that Jones was shot by Smith with a gun.."

    This, as an analogy of the orderliness of the universe presupposes that there is an actor(God) that can be added.

    Ed says that the universe is orderly is essential to any claim of why the universe is orderly.

    Pulling Smith out of your ass as the fall guy in the Jones incident if we're presupposing that Jones was murdered is all very well, BUT for the analogy to be equivalent there is no choice but to presuppose some actor that needs to 'account for' the orderliness of the universe.

    That Smith killed Jones begs for an equivalent actor to cause the orderliness.

    Our language is rife with presuppositions, any philosophy student ought to be aware of this and avoid conclusions brought about by them.

    "Well, who makes it rain then?"
    "Who made the Sun shine?"

    In Erics analogy he adds a third character Jones to muddy the waters, but he really should know better. What's all that studying stuff about if he's not expected to know better?

    Well, it seems to go like this. Eric studies philosophy and lords that over us. Eric expects us to bow to his greater intellect. Eric creates a flawed analogy which includes a presupposed actor as a 'better explanation'(actually more detailed explanation).

    We are expected not to notice that Eric has introduced an actor, Smith, in the guise of a 'better explanation', guiding us to accept his introduction of God as a 'better explanation'.

    But 'orderliness' is not a cream or a lotion or, as per the analogy, a bullet lodged in some poor sod's chest.(see how I added more 'explanation' there).

    Eric is a failure as a student of philosophy!

    God, who we must presume is orderly, is, we hear, a good explanation or a better explanation of the fact that we perceive some order in the universe.

    But gods were invented to plead for intervention in an apparently disorderly world. "We must pray for the rains to come to water our crop. We must be thankful that God provides food for us, at every single meal! We ought to be thankful that a hurricane didn't come by and trash our city!", etc. etc.

    God is a failure as an order-creator/maintainer! If God created an orderly universe, He, and He alone, is responsible for the disorder or any agent of disorder existing in our world.

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  192. Yea, Paul Ryan, Brian, not our Ryan.

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  193. Ah! That's an incredible relief!

    That really confused me. I couldn't picture Ryan (our Ryan) being like that.

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  194. Paul Ryan in the SS uniform…seems about right.

    I would like to see Romney choose PR for VP running mate. Ryan seems to be all the current rage among the tea baggers, evangelicals and otherwise looney tooners. It would help Romney in the Southern states where Santorum and Gingrich have whupped Romney’s ass. Ryan would help balance out Mitt’s street cred with afore-mentioned nut jobs. So it might help MR energize the far right but I think would ultimately be disastrous for him in the general election. A bit like the disaster Sarah was for the old McCain Train in '08.

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