A quirky detail about the "afterlife debate"

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A quirky detail about the "afterlife debate"

Post #1  Postby Otto Tellick » Mon Dec 24, 2007 10:22 am

Reading the Shermer/Chopra debate (http://www.skeptic.com/reading_room/debates/afterlife.html), I was struck by this comment by Chopra regarding "near death experiences" (NDE):

Contrary to what Shermer claims, these aren’t artifacts of an oxygen-deprived brain; they are meaningful experiences full of detail and coherence, and often they appear after the brain ceases all activity.


How to understand this?  Describing such an experience as fact depends on the person's ability to recall the experience once consciousness is regained.  At that point, how does the person account for the timing of the experience?  When did it actually happen, and how long did it last?  I know from my own experiences of "normal" dreams during sleep that the sense of time (both absolute and relative) can be skewed and counter-factual -- the dreams can seem to span a period longer than the sleep lasted, and apart from knowing that a dream ends at the point where I wake up, I have no clear sense (when conscious) of how long the dream actually lasted (i.e. when it started), regardless of how vivid it may have been.  Apparently this could be measured (to some extent) in terms of eye movement and brain activity during sleep.

But Chopra asserts that NDE occurs when "the brain ceases all activity".  He cites a reference web site where I was able to find this "case study" of one person's NDE -- http://www.near-death.com/experiences/evidence01.html -- and sure enough, the person reports seeing instruments and hearing voices of nurses and doctors in the operating room, presumably during the period when the person's brain was registering no activity whatsoever (no cortical or brain-stem impulses, no blood-flow).

The patient cited a particular phrase she heard from a doctor or nurse during the NDE, but the article does not report confirmation from the staff that this phrase was actually uttered.  The patient reports hearing the sound of the cutting instrument, though of course there's no way to compare her recollection to the actual sound of the tool.  But whether or not these questions can be more carefully resolved may not be the main issue.

If the NDE is an intrinsically non-physical event (a "pure consciousness" leaving the body), what is the mechanism whereby the disembodied consciousness detects the visual and aural stimuli of the body's physical surroundings?  After departing from eyes and ears, what is the basis for perception of sights and sounds?  If the enabling factor is some non-physical plane (the patient's soul taps into knowledge acquired by the souls of the doctors and nurses? light and sound propagate through some non-physical or extra-dimensional medium?), we are stuck in the realm of the unverifiable.  Maybe the patient simply had a vivid dream during recovery in which various details were fairly close to what really happened -- not too surprising, if the patient had been primed before the operation with a description of what would happen.

I can appreciate Shermer's reluctance to accept this sort of evidence for the existence of consciousness outside the body.  At the same time, I also appreciate Chopra's frustration with what strikes him as a dogmatic refusal by Shermer to even consider any sort of evidence for such existence. I think Chopra's goal of seeking to "prove" afterlife is admirable, but can we convey to him, in a constructive way, the criteria for such evidence to be acceptable?
autotelic: adj. (of an entity or event) having within itself the purpose of its existence or happening.
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Re: A quirky detail about the "afterlife debate"

Post #2  Postby Pyrrho » Mon Dec 24, 2007 4:08 pm

Chopra would need to be able to show that the NDE actually does occur during periods of no brain activity. First, he would need to be able to demonstrate that there actually is no brain activity. Then, he would need to show that an NDE occurred. Details of the "experience" of the patient would absolutely have to tally with the period of no brain activity.

The problem is that, as in the Pam Reynolds case, the patient was not really dead, i.e. her neurons were still alive and capable of functioning, and presumably were still functioning.

Chopra and others see the experience as evidence, and take people who claim to have had a given experience at their word.

We see experience as subjective, and do not take people at their word. Therein lies a key difference in how we understand the term evidence.
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Re: A quirky detail about the "afterlife debate"

Post #3  Postby Flash » Mon Dec 24, 2007 11:43 pm

Logograph wrote:
I also appreciate Chopra's frustration with what strikes him as a dogmatic refusal by Shermer to even consider any sort of evidence for such existence. I think Chopra's goal of seeking to "prove" afterlife is admirable, but can we convey to him, in a constructive way, the criteria for such evidence to be acceptable?

I, on the other hand, do not appreciate Chopra and his chimeras. The man has no idea what "evidence" should be. He thinks that the anecdotal reports of comatose patients count as evidence and that any demand for a real empirical evidence is "dogmatism".

Chopra doesn't understand science and he is an awful philosopher as well. The man believes his own muddled stories about the after world without real proof and that's why you can't "convey to him, in a constructive way, the criteria for such (empirical) evidence to be acceptable." Parenthesis are mine.
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Re: A quirky detail about the "afterlife debate"

Post #4  Postby rrichar911 » Tue Dec 25, 2007 5:53 am

If the NDE is an intrinsically non-physical event (a "pure consciousness" leaving the body),


That would not be accurate.  The lady said she saw her dead relatives which had bodies which appeared to her to iminate light.   That is not "pure" consciousness.  There is some form there.

There are also dimensions, as the tunnel had length and diamater.  Time passed as she traveled down the tunnel.  A space-time but not the space-time we inhabit.  

If she went past a certain point she could not return, as the silver cord would be broken, which connects her self, he consciousness to her body.  If the cord is broken the body does not return to life.  

It is not body functions which determine life or death, but the spirit.  

Ecclesiastes 12:5-7 (King James Version)

5Also when they shall be afraid of that which is high, and fears shall be in the way, and the almond tree shall flourish, and the grasshopper shall be a burden, and desire shall fail: because man goeth to his long home, and the mourners go about the streets:

6Or ever the silver cord be loosed, or the golden bowl be broken, or the pitcher be broken at the fountain, or the wheel broken at the cistern.

7Then shall the dust return to the earth as it was: and the spirit shall return unto God who gave it.


Understanding science:   got a theory?  Do an experment and see if it works.   Been there done that.  It worked.
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Re: A quirky detail about the "afterlife debate"

Post #5  Postby Chachacha » Tue Dec 25, 2007 7:04 am

rrichar911 wrote:
If the NDE is an intrinsically non-physical event (a "pure consciousness" leaving the body),


That would not be accurate.  The lady said she saw her dead relatives which had bodies which appeared to her to iminate light.   That is not "pure" consciousness.  There is some form there.

There are also dimensions, as the tunnel had length and diamater.  Time passed as she traveled down the tunnel.  A space-time but not the space-time we inhabit.  

If she went past a certain point she could not return, as the silver cord would be broken, which connects her self, he consciousness to her body.  If the cord is broken the body does not return to life.  

It is not body functions which determine life or death, but the spirit.  

Ecclesiastes 12:5-7 (King James Version)

5Also when they shall be afraid of that which is high, and fears shall be in the way, and the almond tree shall flourish, and the grasshopper shall be a burden, and desire shall fail: because man goeth to his long home, and the mourners go about the streets:

6Or ever the silver cord be loosed, or the golden bowl be broken, or the pitcher be broken at the fountain, or the wheel broken at the cistern.

7Then shall the dust return to the earth as it was: and the spirit shall return unto God who gave it.


Understanding science:   got a theory?  Do an experment and see if it works.   Been there done that.  It worked.


You broke your golden cord and now you're dust?  :?
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Re: A quirky detail about the "afterlife debate"

Post #6  Postby rrichar911 » Tue Dec 25, 2007 10:43 am

Jim Dominic wrote:Chopra would need to be able to show that the NDE actually does occur during periods of no brain activity. First, he would need to be able to demonstrate that there actually is no brain activity. Then, he would need to show that an NDE occurred. Details of the "experience" of the patient would absolutely have to tally with the period of no brain activity.

The problem is that, as in the Pam Reynolds case, the patient was not really dead, i.e. her neurons were still alive and capable of functioning, and presumably were still functioning.

Chopra and others see the experience as evidence, and take people who claim to have had a given experience at their word.

We see experience as subjective, and do not take people at their word. Therein lies a key difference in how we understand the term evidence.



When you read a science book, and it speaks of experments done, do you do them for your self, or do you take their word?   Of coarse others may say they repeated the experments , but unless we do them ourselves were just taking two peoples word, or three....  

The way NDE's differ from this, is only in that the experment is fully observable by one person at a time.  Otherwise all of the criteria may be meet.  

The only criteria that can't be meet is to have multiple people fully view the same experment simultaniously.


Chopra would need to be able to show that the NDE actually does occur during periods of no brain activity. First, he would need to be able to demonstrate that there actually is no brain activity. Then, he would need to show that an NDE occurred. Details of the "experience" of the patient would absolutely have to tally with the period of no brain activity.


her heartbeat and breathing stopped, her brain waves flattened, and the blood drained from her head. In everyday terms, she was put to death. After removing the aneurysm, she was restored to life. During the time that Pam was in standstill, she experienced a NDE. Her remarkably detailed veridical out-of-body observations during her surgery were later verified to be very accurate



I must be missing something?   All of those criteria were meet.  She could not have described events which occured while her brain waves were flat, if the NDE did not happen during the said events.
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Re: A quirky detail about the "afterlife debate"

Post #7  Postby Chachacha » Tue Dec 25, 2007 4:12 pm

First, I enjoyed logo's "glitch" obvervation.    

Second, I would have hoped that the research indicating that cells live beyond what we call "death" would have stopped all this foolish speculation that what occurs during temporary cessation of brain or heart function is a glimpse of death.  It may be a glimpse of dying, it is not a glmpse of death.
Last edited by Chachacha on Tue Dec 25, 2007 4:41 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: A quirky detail about the "afterlife debate"

Post #8  Postby Pyrrho » Tue Dec 25, 2007 4:36 pm

rrichar911 wrote:
Jim Dominic wrote:Chopra would need to be able to show that the NDE actually does occur during periods of no brain activity. First, he would need to be able to demonstrate that there actually is no brain activity. Then, he would need to show that an NDE occurred. Details of the "experience" of the patient would absolutely have to tally with the period of no brain activity.

The problem is that, as in the Pam Reynolds case, the patient was not really dead, i.e. her neurons were still alive and capable of functioning, and presumably were still functioning.

Chopra and others see the experience as evidence, and take people who claim to have had a given experience at their word.

We see experience as subjective, and do not take people at their word. Therein lies a key difference in how we understand the term evidence.



When you read a science book, and it speaks of experments done, do you do them for your self, or do you take their word?   Of coarse others may say they repeated the experments , but unless we do them ourselves were just taking two peoples word, or three....  

The key here is that I can repeat the experiements if I so choose, because the documentation of the experiments and observations, if properly conducted, will give me all the necessary instructions to perform the experiment and the data for comparison. They are repeatable. Not so with anecdotal accounts. Those are ephemeral, after-the-fact, and not repeatable.

The way NDE's differ from this, is only in that the experment is fully observable by one person at a time.  Otherwise all of the criteria may be meet.  

The only criteria that can't be meet is to have multiple people fully view the same experment simultaniously.

Thus, they are not acceptable evidence.

Chopra would need to be able to show that the NDE actually does occur during periods of no brain activity. First, he would need to be able to demonstrate that there actually is no brain activity. Then, he would need to show that an NDE occurred. Details of the "experience" of the patient would absolutely have to tally with the period of no brain activity.


her heartbeat and breathing stopped, her brain waves flattened, and the blood drained from her head. In everyday terms, she was put to death. After removing the aneurysm, she was restored to life. During the time that Pam was in standstill, she experienced a NDE. Her remarkably detailed veridical out-of-body observations during her surgery were later verified to be very accurate



I must be missing something?   All of those criteria were meet.  She could not have described events which occured while her brain waves were flat, if the NDE did not happen during the said events.

Assuming she really "experienced" anything at all, the key question is When did she have the experience? They cannot absolutely establish that she experienced anything during the period when her brain waves were allegedly flat. Too many open questions, too many unknowns.
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Re: A quirky detail about the "afterlife debate"

Post #9  Postby rrichar911 » Tue Dec 25, 2007 6:31 pm

I must be missing something? All of those criteria were meet. She could not have described events which occured while her brain waves were flat, if the NDE did not happen during the said events.

Assuming she really "experienced" anything at all, the key question is When did she have the experience? They cannot absolutely establish that she experienced anything during the period when her brain waves were allegedly flat. Too many open questions, too many unknowns.


She described events which were varafied to have taken place while her brain wave was flat.  A flat brain wave means no neurons are firing.  

Her brain was flat from time t to t', events A,B,C etc happened between time t and t',  she knew the events happpened.  

These are all provable facts, via multiple witnesses.  

There is no other conclusion possible than one can still be aware while their brain wave is flat.

It is not required to prove all of what she described, only the physical events in the room.  The facts that others can also varify.   This was done.

There is no known way in which a person with a flat brain wave, no neurons in working order, can still see and hear, especially with their eyes also closed and a sheet over their face.   If a person is doing that, there is no reason that it cannot be varified in the most strengent scientific way.

In every way such things can be measured, this woman was dead.  While dead, was able to describe events which occured.  All of this is provable. Our theory must account for all the facts.
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Re: A quirky detail about the "afterlife debate"

Post #10  Postby Otto Tellick » Tue Dec 25, 2007 9:08 pm

rrichar911 wrote:She described events which were varafied to have taken place while her brain wave was flat.

Her brain was flat from time t to t', events A,B,C etc happened between time t and t',  she knew the events happpened.  

These are all provable facts, via multiple witnesses...

It is not required to prove all of what she described, only the physical events in the room.  The facts that others can also varify.   This was done...  While dead, was able to describe events which occured.  All of this is provable.


I'm sorry, but I didn't see that proof or verification in the page that I cited at the top of this thread.  There is Pam's own description of what she "recalls", but there is no confirmation from others in the room that the comments she "heard" were actually said.  Is there some other reference where this is verified?  Can you cite that?

The core issue for me here is the brain's ability to "recall events" (sights, sounds, other sensations) that have never directly impinged on its physical senses -- that is, things that never actually happened.  Everyone is familiar with the "sensation" of dreams, and it would be simple and logical to understand NDEs as a form of dreaming -- something that the brain does internally as it works its way back to consciousness.  Some dreams yield vivid and clear "memories", and the question becomes: what makes these "memories" important?  If they accurately reflect something real, it would be foolish to take the "leap of faith" when other factors (prior knowledge, reasonable expectation, likelihood of "guessing right", etc) could be the explanation for the "reality" of the dream experience.

Jim Dominic's remarks about the kind of evidence that would be needed to prove the occurrence of NDE are exactly on target.
autotelic: adj. (of an entity or event) having within itself the purpose of its existence or happening.
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Re: A quirky detail about the "afterlife debate"

Post #11  Postby rrichar911 » Tue Dec 25, 2007 11:29 pm

logoGraph

I'm sorry, but I didn't see that proof or verification in the page that I cited at the top of this thread. There is Pam's own description of what she "recalls", but there is no confirmation from others in the room that the comments she "heard" were actually said. Is there some other reference where this is verified? Can you cite that?



Her remarkably detailed veridical out-of-body observations during her surgery were later verified to be very accurate.



http://www.near-death.com/experiences/evidence01.html


The core issue for me here is the brain's ability to "recall events" (sights, sounds, other sensations) that have never directly impinged on its physical senses -- that is, things that never actually happened



No, that is not the point.   She later recalled events that occured at the time she was flat lined.  That the events happened is varified by those there who were not flat lined, i.e. the staff.  

Her consciousness was aware of events, which took place while her brain was according to the monitoring machines, dead.

One of two things must be the case.  Either the machines were wrong, and brain activity was still going on, or consciusness is not dependent on a functioning brain.

Science must be objective.  Facts are facts.
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Re: A quirky detail about the "afterlife debate"

Post #12  Postby Pyrrho » Wed Dec 26, 2007 1:22 am

It would seem that the "facts" in the Reynolds case are not so cut-and-dried.

For example, she was not "flatlined" during the entire operation. Some of the things she remembered took place while she was sedated, not while she was allegedly clinically dead. Apparently she was only "flatlined" for a few minutes.

There is a discussion of this on the JREF Forum:

http://forums.randi.org/showthread.php? ... &post=#386
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Re: A quirky detail about the "afterlife debate"

Post #13  Postby rrichar911 » Wed Dec 26, 2007 4:58 am

For example, she was not "flatlined" during the entire operation. Some of the things she remembered took place while she was sedated, not while she was allegedly clinically dead. Apparently she was only "flatlined" for a few minutes.



I see.  Well it would be helpful if we have all the facts straight.  One report says she recalled things while flat lined, another one says no.  

It then becomes difficult to know which is accurate and thus difficult to draw any conclusions.  


This was not intended to be a test case for NDE.  If it had been we would have a strict time line to study.  With out it, there is to much guess work going on.


I have never had an NDE but I have experienced out of body travel.  From the descriptions they appear to be virtually the same thing.  Out of body does not require anything normally associated with death to be present.  

With or with out strict sceintific methods involved, I thus have no trouble with the woman's story.  I am already convenced that consciousness exists indipendent of the physical brain, else it could not leave the body and go flying around the universe or in some other dimension.  

But I agree to be scientific more strengent controls are required than seem to exist here.

However, from the link you posted, it appears that she was "dead" for approx one hour.  

"If you would examine that patient from a clinical perspective during that hour, that patient by all detinition would be dead. At this point there is no brain activity, no blood going through the brain. Nothing, nothing, nothing:"


We would then need to know if she was able to describe accuratly any events which took place within the opperating room during that hour?  

I have not varified that one way or the other.

But even still, it appears that while her brain was flat lined, she was having either a real or fanticy experience.   How would a flat lined brain have a fantisy ?


Also, while unconscious her memory was of varifiable events, while "floating" above her body.  On the one hand we must give her that which is varifiable, i.e. the events.  But if we do that, how do we take away from her the memory of her vantage point while remembering them?  

We would be saying that in one respect her memory was accurate while unconscious, and simultaniously in another aspect completely wrong.  

Possible but doubt worthy.
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Re: A quirky detail about the "afterlife debate"

Post #14  Postby JJM » Thu May 08, 2008 2:07 pm

Concerning the NDE debate between Shermer and Chopra (Skeptic. Vol 13, #4. The Great Afterlife Debate. Page 52 – 57.), I recommend the following article: http://www.sciencebasedmedicine.org/?p=114
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Re: A quirky detail about the "afterlife debate"

Post #15  Postby landrew » Thu May 08, 2008 4:34 pm

 It's all evidence until it's disproved.  

 "Disproved" does not mean excluding evidence because it doesn't fit a particular conclusion.

 A true skeptic has no firm conclusions until all available evidence has been examined.
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Re: A quirky detail about the "afterlife debate"

Post #16  Postby bigtim » Thu May 08, 2008 4:49 pm

JJM wrote:Concerning the NDE debate between Shermer and Chopra (Skeptic. Vol 13, #4. The Great Afterlife Debate. Page 52 – 57.), I recommend the following article: http://www.sciencebasedmedicine.org/?p=114


Nice...

having your heart stop for 2 to 10 minutes and being promptly resuscitated doesn’t make you “clinically dead”. It only means your heart isn’t beating and you may not be consciousness. Although the discussion states they were ”clinically dead”, it takes a lot more than a short course of no heart beat to be dead in this this day and age. But it sure sounds impressive. So when Dr. Shermer quotes the article as saying the patients were “clinically dead”, they weren’t. They were cardiac arrest patients who all received prompt resuscitation. They were “clinically dead” only if nothing was done to them, which is probably not going to pass the hospital ethics committee.


Thats the issue they say the patients were DEAD. But they look at “Near Death” experiences. Were they mostly dead? Completely dead?

All these people had change in their pockets when they left the hospital; they were not dead.


Dr. Shermer at least quotes the paper that the patients were ‘clinically dead” using the papers own flawed definitions. But as we have seen their definition of being clinically dead is an artifice used for the paper but of no clinical or physiological relevance. Mr. Chopra, as best I can tell, just makes stuff up. He states, and the emphasis is his “when there was no measurable activity in the brain, when they were in fact brain dead.”

Nowhere, and I mean nowhere, in the Lancet article do they mention whether, besides being unconscious, neurologic function was assessed and the clinical diagnosis of brain dead was determined.


This has always been my point with NDE experience.  You didn't die and come back.  You had an experience in your head that you're putting meaning to.  It all took place in your head and the fact that it's related to the experience others have is the same way that the pain we feel is similar and the emotions we feel are similar... we're of the same species and our bodies work the same.

But, with this you're dealing with the power of belief, can't change what someone believes.

And, an anecdotal retelling is not evidence and has no need to be disproven.  It is simply an account.  It can be added to the record but it must be confirmed and tested to be considered evidence.
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Re: A quirky detail about the "afterlife debate"

Post #17  Postby landrew » Fri Sep 04, 2009 1:42 pm

bigtim wrote:And, an anecdotal retelling is not evidence and has no need to be disproven.  It is simply an account.  It can be added to the record but it must be confirmed and tested to be considered evidence.

Charles Darwin's Origin of Species was almost entirely anecdotal. String theory has no experimental data.  Bigfoot and UFO sightings are anecdotal evidence.

My point is that anecdotal evidence exists whether or not you have the means to test it. It's a bit solipsistic to deny the existence of something you can't see.  Unknowns can not be casually ruled out for lack of evidence.
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Re: A quirky detail about the "afterlife debate"

Post #18  Postby Tom-Palven » Fri Sep 04, 2009 2:14 pm

If it's true, Landy, that "A true skeptic has no firm conclusions until all available evidence has been examined", then just just label me an opinionated  half-assed skeptic, if you haven't already.
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Re: A quirky detail about the "afterlife debate"

Post #19  Postby vanderpoel » Fri Sep 04, 2009 3:56 pm

Tom-Palven wrote:If it's true, Landy, that "A true skeptic has no firm conclusions until all available evidence has been examined", then just just label me an opinionated  half-assed skeptic, if you haven't already.
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Critical thinking is not merely the prerogative of science. Whether it is Tom-Palven, Bart Simpson or anyone else, there are many ways to reach firm conclusions or define critical thinking and it is simply presumptuous to dismiss conclusions because all evidence has not been examined according to the narrow rules of science.

Whether that makes me a true skeptic or not, if I draw the conclusion that an enemy sniper intent on killing awaits me, the lat thing I want to experience is conclusive evidence.
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Re: A quirky detail about the "afterlife debate"

Post #20  Postby Tom-Palven » Fri Sep 04, 2009 9:33 pm

:thumbsup:
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Re: A quirky detail about the "afterlife debate"

Post #21  Postby landrew » Sat Sep 05, 2009 4:03 pm

vanderpoel wrote:
Tom-Palven wrote:If it's true, Landy, that "A true skeptic has no firm conclusions until all available evidence has been examined", then just just label me an opinionated  half-assed skeptic, if you haven't already.
"Underachiever, and proud of it, Dude."--Bart Simpson

Critical thinking is not merely the prerogative of science. Whether it is Tom-Palven, Bart Simpson or anyone else, there are many ways to reach firm conclusions or define critical thinking and it is simply presumptuous to dismiss conclusions because all evidence has not been examined according to the narrow rules of science.

Whether that makes me a true skeptic or not, if I draw the conclusion that an enemy sniper intent on killing awaits me, the lat thing I want to experience is conclusive evidence.

Conclusions are great; we all make them, and sometimes we only have a split second to make them.  But it's a bad habit for some to jump to a conclusion too quickly, when there's no need.  It's also a bad habit to cling to a firm conclusion in light of missing evidence, emerging evidence and the opinions of others.  Jackie Gleason built his career on the inherent comedy of misplaced certitudes.

The longer you spend being uncertain about a conclusion, the better that conclusion is apt to be. (But it's not like I haven't said all this a hundred times before, is it?)
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Re: A quirky detail about the "afterlife debate"

Post #22  Postby vanderpoel » Sat Sep 05, 2009 10:45 pm

landrew wrote:
vanderpoel wrote:
Tom-Palven wrote:If it's true, Landy, that "A true skeptic has no firm conclusions until all available evidence has been examined", then just just label me an opinionated  half-assed skeptic, if you haven't already.
"Underachiever, and proud of it, Dude."--Bart Simpson

Critical thinking is not merely the prerogative of science. Whether it is Tom-Palven, Bart Simpson or anyone else, there are many ways to reach firm conclusions or define critical thinking and it is simply presumptuous to dismiss conclusions because all evidence has not been examined according to the narrow rules of science.

Whether that makes me a true skeptic or not, if I draw the conclusion that an enemy sniper intent on killing awaits me, the lat thing I want to experience is conclusive evidence.

Conclusions are great; we all make them, and sometimes we only have a split second to make them.  But it's a bad habit for some to jump to a conclusion too quickly, when there's no need.  It's also a bad habit to cling to a firm conclusion in light of missing evidence, emerging evidence and the opinions of others.  Jackie Gleason built his career on the inherent comedy of misplaced certitudes.

The longer you spend being uncertain about a conclusion, the better that conclusion is apt to be. (But it's not like I haven't said all this a hundred times before, is it?)

True, but this has to be one of the best ways you have said it!
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Re: A quirky detail about the "afterlife debate"

Post #23  Postby landrew » Sun Sep 06, 2009 12:10 am

.
Last edited by landrew on Sun Sep 06, 2009 12:15 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: A quirky detail about the "afterlife debate"

Post #24  Postby landrew » Sun Sep 06, 2009 12:14 am

vanderpoel wrote:
True, but this has to be one of the best ways you have said it!

It's not like I haven't had a whole lot of practice.
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Re: A quirky detail about the "afterlife debate"

Post #25  Postby brauneyz » Sun Sep 06, 2009 12:58 am

landrew wrote:.

This has to be your pithiest response, evah!   :mrgreen:
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Re: A quirky detail about the "afterlife debate"

Post #26  Postby vanderpoel » Sun Sep 06, 2009 1:25 am

brauneyz wrote:
landrew wrote:It's not like I haven't had a whole lot of practice..

This has to be your pithiest response, evah!   :mrgreen:

Who would have ever thought that Landrew and you can make me laugh one after the other!      :D
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Re: A quirky detail about the "afterlife debate"

Post #27  Postby brauneyz » Sun Sep 06, 2009 1:29 am

vanderpoel wrote:
brauneyz wrote:
landrew wrote:It's not like I haven't had a whole lot of practice..

This has to be your pithiest response, evah!   :mrgreen:

Who would have ever thought that Landrew and you can make me laugh one after the other!      :D

Well, it's not like we haven't had a whole lot of practice.   :lol:
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Re: A quirky detail about the "afterlife debate"

Post #28  Postby landrew » Sun Sep 06, 2009 2:31 am

brauneyz wrote:
landrew wrote:.

This has to be your pithiest response, evah!   :mrgreen:

Actually the computer crashed while posting, and when I returned, the half-baked post had been posted.  It wasn't deletable, so all I could do is edit it down to one character.  I'm glad you thought it was pithy.
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Re: A quirky detail about the "afterlife debate"

Post #29  Postby Tom-Palven » Sun Sep 06, 2009 2:50 am

Gotta second Vandy's post.  I was laughing out loud.  Best laugh in a while.
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Re: A quirky detail about the "afterlife debate"

Post #30  Postby Gord » Sun Sep 06, 2009 8:18 am

landrew wrote:The longer you spend being uncertain about a conclusion, the better that conclusion is apt to be.

I can't agree with that.  Many of the best conclusions IN THE HISTORY OF TEH UNIVERSE!! have been made quickly.  And many of the worst conclusions brewed in uncertainty for long long periods before being erroneously reached.

The longer you remain uncertain about whether or not your steak is cooked, the worse it's going to burn.

You can't make one general statement to rule all conclusions.  The early bird gets the worm, but fools rush in where angels fear to tread.
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Re: A quirky detail about the "afterlife debate"

Post #31  Postby Chachacha » Sun Sep 06, 2009 8:34 am

Gord wrote:
landrew wrote:The longer you spend being uncertain about a conclusion, the better that conclusion is apt to be.

I can't agree with that.  Many of the best conclusions IN THE HISTORY OF TEH UNIVERSE!! have been made quickly.  And many of the worst conclusions brewed in uncertainty for long long periods before being erroneously reached.

The longer you remain uncertain about whether or not your steak is cooked, the worse it's going to burn.

You can't make one general statement to rule all conclusions.  The early bird gets the worm, but fools rush in where angels fear to tread.


And the squeaky wheel gets greased.
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Re: A quirky detail about the "afterlife debate"

Post #32  Postby Gord » Sun Sep 06, 2009 9:24 am

Chachacha wrote:
Gord wrote:
landrew wrote:The longer you spend being uncertain about a conclusion, the better that conclusion is apt to be.

I can't agree with that.  Many of the best conclusions IN THE HISTORY OF TEH UNIVERSE!! have been made quickly.  And many of the worst conclusions brewed in uncertainty for long long periods before being erroneously reached.

The longer you remain uncertain about whether or not your steak is cooked, the worse it's going to burn.

You can't make one general statement to rule all conclusions.  The early bird gets the worm, but fools rush in where angels fear to tread.


And the squeaky wheel gets greased.

Gord, landrew, Chachacha -- which is the wheel, which is the grease, and which is the squeak? :P
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Re: A quirky detail about the "afterlife debate"

Post #33  Postby xouper » Sun Sep 06, 2009 9:25 am

Gord wrote:...The early bird gets the worm,

And the second mouse gets the cheese.
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Re: A quirky detail about the "afterlife debate"

Post #34  Postby xouper » Sun Sep 06, 2009 9:32 am

landrew wrote:... The longer you spend being uncertain about a conclusion, the better that conclusion is apt to be.

Pardon my curiosity, but how long did you spend being uncertain about that conclusion?

Sorry, I couldn't resist asking that. I blame Gord for making me take a second look at your comment. :P
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Re: A quirky detail about the "afterlife debate"

Post #35  Postby Gord » Sun Sep 06, 2009 9:36 am

xouper wrote:
landrew wrote:... The longer you spend being uncertain about a conclusion, the better that conclusion is apt to be.

Pardon my curiosity, but how long did you spend being uncertain about that conclusion?

Sorry, I couldn't resist asking that. I blame Gord for making me take a second look at your comment. :P

If everyone had me on Ignore, (a) this would never happen, (b) I would probably never notice, and (c) my posts wouldn't be any different than they are now (except I wouldn't have to respond to people asking me about them).
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Re: A quirky detail about the "afterlife debate"

Post #36  Postby Chachacha » Sun Sep 06, 2009 6:03 pm

Gord wrote:
Chachacha wrote:
Gord wrote:
landrew wrote:The longer you spend being uncertain about a conclusion, the better that conclusion is apt to be.

I can't agree with that.  Many of the best conclusions IN THE HISTORY OF TEH UNIVERSE!! have been made quickly.  And many of the worst conclusions brewed in uncertainty for long long periods before being erroneously reached.

The longer you remain uncertain about whether or not your steak is cooked, the worse it's going to burn.

You can't make one general statement to rule all conclusions.  The early bird gets the worm, but fools rush in where angels fear to tread.


And the squeaky wheel gets greased.

Gord, landrew, Chachacha -- which is the wheel, which is the grease, and which is the squeak? :P


:lol:  All of the above?

The wheel repeats, the squeak draws attention to the wheel, the grease attends to the squeak even though it knows, in doing so, it enables the wheel to continue repeating.  The squeak returns, demanding attention be paid to the wheel; the grease attends to the squeak; and the wheel repeats.
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Re: A quirky detail about the "afterlife debate"

Post #37  Postby landrew » Mon Sep 07, 2009 4:01 pm

Chachacha wrote:
Gord wrote:
Chachacha wrote:
Gord wrote:
landrew wrote:The longer you spend being uncertain about a conclusion, the better that conclusion is apt to be.

I can't agree with that.  Many of the best conclusions IN THE HISTORY OF TEH UNIVERSE!! have been made quickly.  And many of the worst conclusions brewed in uncertainty for long long periods before being erroneously reached.

The longer you remain uncertain about whether or not your steak is cooked, the worse it's going to burn.

You can't make one general statement to rule all conclusions.  The early bird gets the worm, but fools rush in where angels fear to tread.


And the squeaky wheel gets greased.

Gord, landrew, Chachacha -- which is the wheel, which is the grease, and which is the squeak? :P


:lol:  All of the above?

The wheel repeats, the squeak draws attention to the wheel, the grease attends to the squeak even though it knows, in doing so, it enables the wheel to continue repeating.  The squeak returns, demanding attention be paid to the wheel; the grease attends to the squeak; and the wheel repeats.

OK, then.  The longer the time allowed to make a conclusion, the better that conclusion is apt to be.  Perhaps I was less vigorous in making that clarification than I needed to be.  

I mean, 300 attempts is bound to be better than 200 attempts. :roll:
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Re: A quirky detail about the "afterlife debate"

Post #38  Postby vanderpoel » Mon Sep 07, 2009 9:23 pm

landrew wrote:OK, then.  The longer the time allowed to make a conclusion, the better that conclusion is apt to be.  Perhaps I was less vigorous in making that clarification than I needed to be.  

I mean, 300 attempts is bound to be better than 200 attempts. :roll:

One of the factors in drawing conclusions is personality. For some it is natural to jump to conclusions instantly, while for others it is natural to mull over issues indefinitely. Neither one is better than the other, theyʻre just different.

We should appreciate that we can not generalize statements about behavior.
Whatʻs good for the goose is not always good for the gander.
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Re: A quirky detail about the "afterlife debate"

Post #39  Postby Gord » Tue Sep 08, 2009 1:20 am

landrew wrote:I mean, 300 attempts is bound to be better than 200 attempts. :roll:

Not in golf, it ain't.

Clearly, if you get it right the first time, that would normally be considered "better" than failing 299 times before getting it right.

The best amount of time to wait depends on a lot of variables.  One of them is waiting until enough evidence is in for you to be confident in making a judgement.  That could be immediately, or it could be never; but it's a personal decision, because "enough" is a subjective term.
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Re: A quirky detail about the "afterlife debate"

Post #40  Postby landrew » Sat Sep 12, 2009 6:22 pm

Gord wrote:
landrew wrote:I mean, 300 attempts is bound to be better than 200 attempts. :roll:

Not in golf, it ain't.

Clearly, if you get it right the first time, that would normally be considered "better" than failing 299 times before getting it right.

The best amount of time to wait depends on a lot of variables.  One of them is waiting until enough evidence is in for you to be confident in making a judgement.  That could be immediately, or it could be never; but it's a personal decision, because "enough" is a subjective term.

That's why Japanese industry has succeeded so often where American industry has failed, despite tougher odds. In Asia, it's normal to keep trying until you get it to work. In the West, you give it your full 8 hours and then its Miller Time.
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