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My Response To Keith Augustine's View That The Production Th

Discuss PseudoSkeptics and their Fallacies. Share strategies for debating them.

My Response To Keith Augustine's View That The Production Th

Postby leo100 » 09 Jun 2009, 09:30

This is my response to a naturalist who fully support the view that mind is produced by the brain.


Keith,

Who ever said the better the brain, the better the filter?. If you assume that the main source of consciousness and mind is a medium but not the brain. Your saying that from outside observation that what we observe is damage brain equals damage mind and consciousness. But evidence coming from near death experiences and out of body experiences show that the inner subjective consciousness along with mind[information] is not damaged or destroyed, rather restricted by the brain.



Their is another argument for dualism which i have come across from this site

http://www.afterlifedebate.com/for.html

The argument from geometry, this is based on two premises

1. Additional dimensions besides our own
2. A Additional dimension of space and an additional dimension of time would affect our experience, and this conception seems to correlate with dream experience


More about the argument from geometry can
be found here

http://www.afterlifedebate.com/bookshop.html


Keith it depends on what you view mind and consciousness

Mind- Dreams, Thoughts, Memories,
Consciousness- Personality, Inner Subjective experience.



I seen you mentioned Phineas Gage before where he had a spike go through his
head. You probably see this case as supportive of the production hypothesis. Here is why it isn't consistent with the production hypothesis.

- The uncertainty of Harlow's sources for the changes he describes in Gage, combined with the fact that he waited almost twenty years (between his first and second papers) to communicate those changes, constitute one of the central puzzles of the case.


Current Research

- Recently, an advertisement for a previously-unknown public appearance by Gage has been discovered, as have a report of his behavior during his time in Chile and a description of what may have been his daily work routine there as a long-distance SPAM BLOCK driver. This new information suggests that the seriously maladapted Gage described by Harlow may have existed for only a limited time after the accident—that Phineas eventually "figured out how to live"[39] despite his injury, and was in later life far more functional, and socially far better adapted, than has been thought.

If this is so then (along with theoretical implications) it "would add to current evidence that rehabilitation can be effective even in difficult and long-standing cases," according to Macmillan. To better understand the question, Macmillan and collaborators are actively seeking additional evidence on Gage's life and behavior.[40]

Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Phineas_Gage

The case above is usually presented to be one of the best cases if not the best evidence that materialists have used based on.

-Harlow's observation which is very questionable based on him taking almost 20 years to communicate changes he saw in Phineas Gage, between his first and second papers. Possible embellishment, could be. However, materialists insists on taking Harlow's account as a trustworthy source. Now with new evidence which i posted above it's even more likely that the personality changes that Harlow's said occur weren't as dramatic as he said they were.

This case based on these facts show that this case is consistent with the filter or transmission theory. It also shows that the mind brain close link to eachother is not as close as what is assumed.

Another piece of evidence which appears to be consistent with the production hypothesis is the split brain experiments, HOWEVER, it appears that two conscious streams of consciousness didn't happen at all.

Due to its inherent private character, an actual co-consciousness is impossible to prove conclusively, and one self with only temporary functional dissociation is even the best explanation as split-brain patients normally show a remarkable psychological and motoric unity that can hardly be reconciled with the somatogenic creation of a new nonphysical subject by commisurectomy.

More here about split brain experiments

http://www.geocities.com/athanasiafound ... mlives.htm
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Re: My Response To Keith Augustine's View That The Production Th

Postby Scepcop » 10 Jun 2009, 11:22

Awesome.

Here is another response to Keith Augustine from my advisor Jime:

http://michaelprescott.typepad.com/michael_prescotts_blog/2009/06/rovin.html?cid=6a00d83451574c69e2011570e8427c970b#comment-form

Keith has posited some interesting ideas, and to examine them in detail, we'd need a whole detailed post.

But I'll restrict my comment to one of Keith's substantive and central points:

The natural converse of this is that the more debilitated the brain, the less effective it is going to be at filtering. So the natural extrapolation of "transmission" would be that consciousness would be "freer" or "enhanced" or whatever the more of the brain is destroyed. But we find the exact opposite. The more debilitated one's brain, the more debilitated one's mind.

I think Keith partially misunderstands the filter model of consciousness.

If consciousness is temporally attached to the brain, it depends on the quality of the brain to its manifestation in the physical world. Therefore, if the brain doesn't work properly, the manifestation of consciousness will reflect that limitation.

As a logical consequence of that is Keith's correct remark "The more debilitated one's brain, the more debilitated one's mind". It confirms the temporal functional dependence of consciousness to the level of quality the brain (filter/transmitter)

However, in cases suggestives of an actual separation of consciousness from the brain, we observe precisely Keith's prediction "So the natural extrapolation of "transmission" would be that consciousness would be "freer" or "enhanced" or whatever the more of the brain is destroyed"

This comment is key, because Keith's term "enhanced" has been used by some NDE researchers to describe some cases of NDEs that manifest "enhanced mentation", confirming Keith "natural extrapolation" of the transmission theory (at least, the extrapolation as it applies to some cases of NDEs).

According to this paper by Ian Stevenson at al: "We describe three features of NDEs - enhanced mentation, the experience of seeing the physical body from a different position in space, and paranormal perceptions - that we believe might provide convergent evidence supporting the survival hypothesis."

And enhanced mentation is explicitly commented by them like this: "In two earlier papers, we called attention to the importance of normal or even enhanced mentation accompanying such severe physiological impairment (Owens et al., 1990; Stevenson & Cook, 1995). Persisting or enhanced mentation at a time when one would expect it to be diminishing, or entirely absent, because of diminishing physiological functioning at least suggests that consciousness might not be so dependent on physiological processes as most scientists now assume."

http://www.scientificexploration.org/jo ... 3_cook.pdf

In other words, according to Keith's enhanced mentation is a "natural extrapolation" of the transmission theory. And this is exactly what some NDEs researchers and scholar have observed in NDEs! (confirming one prediction of the filter model)

Other afterlife evidence (e.g. in cases of mediumship communications) support the idea that consciousness is "enhanced" when it's freed from the physical brain restrictions. Again, it confirms the natural extrapolation of the transmission theory, mentioned by Keith.

So, part of Keith's argument, far from undermining the filter theory, actually support it.

Keith has made other substantive points, but I'll address them in other moment.

I think this kind of dialogue is useful, because, in my opinion, it exposes the weakness of the productive hypothesis.
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Re: My Response To Keith Augustine's View That The Production Th

Postby Franc28 » 16 Jun 2009, 15:36

I never had an NDE, and I assume you haven't either, and pretty much everyone else who talks about them. So why bring it up either way? It's a non-issue.

Perhaps this is a more fundamental epistemic dispute that I should talk about on another thread, but my basic position is that there's no point in debating issues of personal experience. What is true for you is true for you. I don't expect (or want, for that matter) anyone else to believe or want to comprehend things that happen only to me.
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Re: My Response To Keith Augustine's View That The Production Th

Postby Scepcop » 18 Jun 2009, 00:46

Franc28 wrote:I never had an NDE, and I assume you haven't either, and pretty much everyone else who talks about them. So why bring it up either way? It's a non-issue.

Perhaps this is a more fundamental epistemic dispute that I should talk about on another thread, but my basic position is that there's no point in debating issues of personal experience. What is true for you is true for you. I don't expect (or want, for that matter) anyone else to believe or want to comprehend things that happen only to me.


Why is it a non-issue? NDE's may provide a glimpse into the afterlife and other dimensions. That is HUGE! How can you not see the value in that? Most probably have some interest in them.

Yes personal experience is subjective, but there's nothing wrong with sharing them with those who want to hear about them. And those on this board, I'm sure, are open to them. You can learn from others experiences.
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Re: My Response To Keith Augustine's View That The Production Th

Postby Franc28 » 18 Jun 2009, 04:38

Scepcop wrote:Why is it a non-issue? NDE's may provide a glimpse into the afterlife and other dimensions. That is HUGE! How can you not see the value in that? Most probably have some interest in them.


Whether you have an affinity for the afterlife and other dimensions or not (I don't, because I don't believe in them), all you're doing is relying on other people's personal experiences. If NDEs do provide a glimpse into something entirely different, then try to arrange one for yourself. Talking about what other people report is useless because any attempt to communicate personal experience is necessarily and completely tainted by someone's memory, limited point of view, worldview, language, and so on.

I can anticipate you saying "if that's true for personal experiences, then it must be true for everything! So you don't trust what anyone says about anything?" But the major difference is that, insofar as our common experiences go, we have common observations to fall back on. We all have a good idea of what the colours are, what the numbers are, what a table is and what grass is. We can translate other people's experiences of those into our own experiences. But we can't translate other people's experiences of NDEs into our own.
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Re: My Response To Keith Augustine's View That The Production Th

Postby Scepcop » 18 Jun 2009, 12:38

Yes I've never had an NDE so I'm relying on others experiences. However, I am a good judge of character, and so are many NDE researchers, and I can obviously tell that the experiencers are honest genuine people. There is no reason to doubt what they say. Like I said, it's something to consider. Why deny it?

I don't understand your point.

Most of what people tell me check out when I try to verify it.

Trying to induce an NDE is dangerous of course. Why do you even suggest that? Do you want to come near death? One can have an OBE as well, which would validate it.
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Re: My Response To Keith Augustine's View That The Production Th

Postby Franc28 » 18 Jun 2009, 13:22

"Yes I've never had an NDE so I'm relying on others experiences. However, I am a good judge of character, and so are many NDE researchers, and I can obviously tell that the experiencers are honest genuine people. There is no reason to doubt what they say. Like I said, it's something to consider. Why deny it?"

You aren't reading what I said very carefully, or you're still stuck in "I'm debating skeptics" mode. I'm not saying their experiences aren't valid. That's not my point at all. My point is that you have no means whatsoever of evaluating their experiences, because they are personal. What you are evaluating is a second-hand account of an experience which you cannot possibly relate to unless you yourself had an NDE. It can only be evidence if you yourself had an NDE and thus had some way to compare their conceptual retelling to your direct experience.


"Trying to induce an NDE is dangerous of course. Why do you even suggest that? Do you want to come near death?"

I have no interest in assessing the truth about NDEs, so no.
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Re: My Response To Keith Augustine's View That The Production Th

Postby Scepcop » 18 Jun 2009, 14:05

Of course I don't have first-hand experience with NDE's. That's not the point. The point is that I don't consider anecdotal evidence to be invalid. Testimonials, if they are real, are valid evidence to me. If they weren't, then if I got lost on the road, I could never ask directions, because all directions given to me would be invalid, thus I'd be lost on the road forever. These dumb skeptical axioms don't even work in simple everyday situations. If the supermarket manager told me that the bread was on aisle 11, would that be zero evidence that the bread was on aisle 11? I don't think so...
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Re: My Response To Keith Augustine's View That The Production Th

Postby Franc28 » 18 Jun 2009, 15:24

Scepcop wrote:Of course I don't have first-hand experience with NDE's. That's not the point. The point is that I don't consider anecdotal evidence to be invalid. Testimonials, if they are real, are valid evidence to me.


I've already stated my position clearly (or at least I think it's clear) in my previous post. I'm not saying their experiences aren't valid. I never said their experiences aren't valid. So please stop going in this direction. My argument is solely concerned with your use of other people's personal experiences as things that are accessible to you. Nothing else.




If they weren't, then if I got lost on the road, I could never ask directions, because all directions given to me would be invalid, thus I'd be lost on the road forever.


Unlike the NDE, the fact that a road is located at a certain place is not a personal experience. It's a fact accessible to all who have a map or prior knowledge.

I've already explained this to you in two different threads.


These dumb skeptical axioms don't even work in simple everyday situations.


Why are you insulting my intelligence by associating me with skepticism? I haven't insulted you.

What "dumb skeptical axiom" am I using? That you shouldn't invalidate anyone? That's certainly not a "skeptical axiom." That personal experiences are personal? That's a tautology, and also not a "skeptical axiom."


If the supermarket manager told me that the bread was on aisle 11, would that be zero evidence that the bread was on aisle 11? I don't think so...


Once again, the location of the bread at a supermarket is not a personal experience. It's something that is accessible to everyone who can read and look at things.

I don't have access to the experience of someone who has an NDE, because it was personal. It happened inside their selves (whatever you believe about the self). If someone tells me the bread is on aisle 11, I can go there because I have common points of reference with the person: we both have the same general concept of what an aisle is, what 11 is, and what bread is. If I have never observed what an aisle is, or what 11 is, or what bread is (and thus had no concept of them), then what he said would be of no use to me, although I might try to interpret what he says in all sorts of ways relating to my own experience (which in essence would just be reinforcing my own worldview, and therefore pretty pointless).

I don't know how to make this any simpler. Help me here and at least try to read what I'm saying without imposing your unjust prejudice on me. I am not a skeptic. I am not here to invalidate you or your judgment. I am also not trying to convince you that the paranormal is not real. I'm giving you my opinion on why I think personal experience is not useful to anyone else but the person who experiences it. This doesn't mean that I don't think anyone is justified in believing in the paranormal. I believe someone can have experiences that make them believe in it, I simply don't think it's logically sound to use retellings as evidence, for the many reasons I've already discussed. If you disagree on this point, then we'll have to agree to disagree, but I wish you'd at least consider what I'm saying.
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Re: My Response To Keith Augustine's View That The Production Th

Postby Scepcop » 24 Jun 2009, 19:11

Franc28,
I never said that the skeptical arguments I was bashing had anything to do with YOU. You seem to be misreading a lot of what I say and taking things personally. My post was about THEIR arguments, NOT YOURS.

I see your point about personal experiences. My point was that testimonials, as long as their are genuine and come from honest credible people, are evidence. But like I wrote in my articles, it all depends on the circumstances and factors of the situation.

Did you read my points here?

http://www.debunkingskeptics.com/anecdotal.php

I was not trying to say that you were wrong or attributing those fallacies to you. I don't know how you interpreted it that way.
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Re: My Response To Keith Augustine's View That The Production Th

Postby Franc28 » 25 Jun 2009, 05:09

All right, I apologize for that. I must have misread something.
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Re: My Response To Keith Augustine's View That The Production Th

Postby leo100 » 28 Jun 2009, 09:05

I agree with Skepcop here
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