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Sev’s IOU on how conscious mind will be explained on materialistic premises

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In the Eugene Wigner thread, frequent objector Sev argues to BA77:

Sev, 23: >>Yes, the hard problem of consciousness is explaining what it is and how it arises from the physical brain and we don’t have such an explanation as yet. The evidence for consciousness arising from the brain lies in the strong correlation between the two, the observation that when the brain is destroyed the consciousness disappears permanently and the challenge of explaining why else would we commit such a large percentage of our physical resources to support such an organ unless it provided us with something of great value.>>

This is, of course after decades of unfulfilled promises, and it neatly rhetorically side-steps J B S Haldane’s longstanding and sobering caution:

“It seems to me immensely unlikely that mind is a mere by-product of matter. For if my mental processes are determined wholly by the motions of atoms in my brain I have no reason to suppose that my beliefs are true. They may be sound chemically, but that does not make them sound logically. And hence I have no reason for supposing my brain to be composed of atoms. In order to escape from this necessity of sawing away the branch on which I am sitting, so to speak, I am compelled to believe that mind is not wholly conditioned by matter.” [“When I am dead,” in Possible Worlds: And Other Essays [1927], Chatto and Windus: London, 1932, reprint, p.209. (NB: DI Fellow, Nancy Pearcey brings this right up to date (HT: ENV) in her recent book, Finding Truth.)]

Accordingly, I commented:

KF, 26: >>the time when promissory notes on forthcoming materialist explanations of the rational mind, responsible freedom, moral government and more were plausible is long past. The fact is, evolutionary materialism cannot credibly account for the alleged spontaneous account of a functional computational substrate, due to the FSCO/I, blind needle in the haystack challenge. Strictly, it should be a non-starter at that point. But, going on, it is patent that blindly mechanical and/or stochastic computation is simply not the same as rational, intentional, insightful, responsible, understanding-driven contemplation. The things are categorically distinct, computation being a non-rational process. The imagined, unexplained, Sci Fi fantasy of spontaneous emergence of conscious mind from computational substrate (which is ever so commonly seen) is little more than a belief in materialistic magic. It is high time for a fundamental re-think.>>

We need to rethink, in a healthier age that evolutionary materialism is plainly self-refuting would long since have been enough to remove it from live options. But, we do not live in a healthy time.

Now, it is probably going to be necessary to also take up some specific talking points from Sev’s remarks, so:

>>The evidence for consciousness arising from the brain lies in the strong correlation between the two,>>

1 –> Famously, correlation is not causation. Where, Sev has already admitted absence of a plausible means to adequately account causally for the effect.

2 –> The Brain can be seen, instead i/l/o the Smith Model:

. . . simplified:

The Derek Smith two-tier controller cybernetic model

3 –> The obvious connexion is, the Brain is an in the loop controller and information store, an input-output processor in the cybernetic loop. So, it should be no surprise that it is connected to conscious mindedness and bodily action.

4 –> However, we are still at computational substrates processing information. The higher order controller has not been addressed, and there is no good reason to reject for instance the idea that through quantum influence, there is much room for a mind-brain interface.

>>the observation that when the brain is destroyed the consciousness disappears permanently>>

5 –> EMBODIED consciousness disappears, a very different thing.

6 –> You have no grounds for imposing that this is the only possible form, or to reject a huge body of evidence that conscious life transcends the biophysical. In short, huge questions have been begged and bodies of evidence have been hyperskeptically suppressed.

>>and the challenge of explaining why else would we commit such a large percentage of our physical resources to support such an organ unless it provided us with something of great value.>>

7 –> An I/O in the loop controller is an important bodily asset. That is more than enough reason given, what, maybe 10^16 bits/s info processing and a 10 W or thereabouts power consumption to do it.

Food for thought. END

32 Replies to “Sev’s IOU on how conscious mind will be explained on materialistic premises

  1. 1
    kairosfocus says:

    Sev’s IOU on how conscious mind will be explained on materialistic premises

  2. 2
    Barry Arrington says:

    Haldane wrote in 1927. By any reasonable reckoning, a note 91 years past due is never going to be collected.

  3. 3
    kairosfocus says:

    Thus speaketh a Lawyer experienced in that sort of thing!

  4. 4
    mike1962 says:

    The old “as yet” tell. It’s merely an indicator of faith. What is utterly wrongheaded is what comes after.

    Yes, the hard problem of consciousness is explaining what it is and how it arises from the physical brain and we don’t have such an explanation as yet. The evidence for consciousness…

    Whoa. Sev is asserting there is actual “evidence” here.

    …arising from the brain lies in the strong correlation between the two

    Yes. Nobody disputes that a correlation exists. Nobody disputes that a correlation exists between what exists on a movie theater screen and what one consciously experiences while watching the movie. Does that mean movie screens generate consciousness? Nobody disputes there is a correlation with certain areas of the brain and conscious experience. Maybe these certain areas of the brain do generate conscious. But just as plausible, the brain/consciousness relationship is exactly what we would expect if the brain was a interface to spacetime for consciousness. Therefore the correlation is not evidence at all. It’s The Problem To Be Solved.

    Sev thinks the problem is actually part of the answer.

    the observation that when the brain is destroyed the consciousness disappears permanently

    This is a baseless assertion on Sev’s part because he has no idea and no evidence what happens to consciousness after a person dies.

    and the challenge of explaining why else would we commit such a large percentage of our physical resources to support such an organ unless it provided us with something of great value.

    Who said it wasn’t of great value?

  5. 5
  6. 6
    ScuzzaMan says:

    and we don’t have such an explanation as yet

    Hmmm, so this is an explanation of the gaps?

    I guess that guy was right when he said that people who don’t know history are condemned to repeat it.

    But I do like the irony.

  7. 7
    Seversky says:

    So what you’re saying is that we should know pretty much everything now? If we don’t have an explanation now we never will?

    Let’s see. The universe is now estimated to be around 13.8 bn years old, give or take. What we might call modern science has been on the case for maybe two or three hundred years. I think we can afford to give it a tad longer before we write it off as a complete failure.

  8. 8
    gpuccio says:

    Seversky:

    I see two big problems in your argument:

    a) It is simply not true that, as you say, “when the brain is destroyed the consciousness disappears permanently”. At best, we simply don’t know. But of course there are many reasons and facts that can suggest the contrary, including scientific observations like NDEs.

    b) I am confident that we can find an explanation for consciousness, sooner or later, maybe even a scientific one. But that explanation could be completely different from what you think.

    Indeed, there is no rationale at all to believe that consciousness can be explained as a result of some physical configuration of matter. That’s the point. If an explanation is wrong in its approach, just waiting and hoping will not make it true.

    But maybe science will learn that the only way to deal with consciousness is to accept it as a basic component of reality, and to study its properties and behaviours and its relationship with other components of reality. That would still be science, but not reductionsit scinece, which arrogantly thinks that it can explain everything with the ideas and concepts that are fashionable today.

  9. 9
    kairosfocus says:

    Sev,

    BA observed at 2 above:

    Haldane wrote in 1927. By any reasonable reckoning, a note 91 years past due is never going to be collected.

    Haldane’s point, as is cited in the OP, is that we have a categorical problem AND a self-referential incoherence problem. Whenever a problem is self-referential there is a saw off the branch challenge that must be reckoned with. In this case, we then see that reducing mindedness to mechanical and/or stochastic computation on a substrate radically undermines the freedom of insightful, responsible, rational action needed to credibly think rationally, follow the weight of evidence and warrant conclusions.

    The general impression we keep getting from 91 years of unfulfilled IOU’s is that the matter is not recognised as a serious one in some parts and that in other parts, by locking out alternatives ideologically, IOU’s substitute for real value currency. Gresham’s law on steroids: bad money drives out good from circulation.

    Notice, for example, how the so-called hard problem of consciousness is typically formulated. Here, Chalmers:

    The hard problem of consciousness is a problem of how physical processes in the brain give rise to the subjective experiences of the mind and of the world. If you look at the brain from the outside you see this extraordinary machine – an organ consisting of 84 billion neurons that fire in synchrony with each other. When I see visual inputs come to my eyes, photons hit my eyes, they send a signal that goes up the optic nerve to the back of my brain. It sends neural firings propagating throughout my brain and eventually I might produce an action. From the outside I look like a complicated mechanism – a robot.

    Others pull back a bit from explicitly pointing to that implied, assumed emergence from brain activity. Here, Wiki:

    The hard problem of consciousness is the problem of explaining how and why we have qualia or phenomenal experiences—how sensations acquire characteristics, such as colors and tastes.[1] The philosopher David Chalmers, who introduced the term “hard problem” of consciousness,[2] contrasts this with the “easy problems” of explaining the ability to discriminate, integrate information, report mental states, focus attention, etc. Easy problems are easy because all that is required for their solution is to specify a mechanism that can perform the function. That is, their proposed solutions, regardless of how complex or poorly understood they may be, can be entirely consistent with the modern materialistic conception of natural phenomena. Chalmers claims that the problem of experience is distinct from this set, and he argues that the problem of experience will “persist even when the performance of all the relevant functions is explained”.[3]

    The existence of a “hard problem” is controversial and has been disputed by philosophers such as Daniel Dennett[4] and cognitive neuroscientists such as Stanislas Dehaene.[5] Clinical neurologist and skeptic Steven Novella refers to it as “the hard non-problem”.[6]

    Of course, Haldane’s challenge has historical priority:

    “It seems to me immensely unlikely that mind is a mere by-product of matter. For if my mental processes are determined wholly by the motions of atoms in my brain I have no reason to suppose that my beliefs are true. They may be sound chemically, but that does not make them sound logically. And hence I have no reason for supposing my brain to be composed of atoms. In order to escape from this necessity of sawing away the branch on which I am sitting, so to speak, I am compelled to believe that mind is not wholly conditioned by matter.” [“When I am dead,” in Possible Worlds: And Other Essays [1927], Chatto and Windus: London, 1932, reprint, p.209. (NB: DI Fellow, Nancy Pearcey brings this right up to date (HT: ENV) in a current book, Finding Truth.)]

    That challenge underscores the deeper problem and does not shun to point out its self-referential nature.

    In nearly a century, no serious and effective answer has been given. But thanks to methodological naturalism, there is an ideological lockout of consideration that our freedom to think responsibly and rationally is prior to having theories of consciousness. Where, blind mechanical forces and chance driven stochastic processes acting on a computational, GIGO-limited computational substrate inherently lack the quality of insightful, purposeful, responsible, rationally free contemplation that is the hallmark of intelligent agency. And indeed, just to formulate the theories as seen, it is directly implied that this is not bugs and hardware glitches talking through blind GIGO based processes, it is an intelligent agent acting responsibly and rationally.

    Undermine that and as Haldane long since recognised, science itself goes down in the crash of the branch and those sitting on it.

    KF

  10. 10
    Origenes says:

    Seversky: If we don’t have a *physical* explanation now we never will?

    I fixed it for you.

    (1) On a general note, physical causes cannot, in principle, explain everything. If science is looking for physical causal closure, in this most ambitious sense, we can all wait till hell freezes over; it’s never going to happen.

    Why not?

    The reason is rather simple: not everything can have an external cause. Physical causal closure runs into an infinite regress of physical causes, which is simply an incoherent concept. If you disagree I will be happy to discuss the concept of an infinite regress.

    (2) Rational inquiry rests on the assumption of free choice. That is, one must assume that one is in control of one’s actions and thoughts or else rational inquiry is impossible. And freedom(!) cannot, in principle, be explained by physical causes.

    If one is not in control over one’s thoughts, if one is unable to account for each step of one’s reasoning leading up to one’s beliefs, if one does not encapsulate every step of one’s reasoning, if a step (or steps) results from beyond one’s conscious control, if it is a defining feature of one’s reasoning that a step (or steps) takes place without one’s informed and conscious consent, beyond one’s conscious choice, then one cannot vouch for any of one’s beliefs.

    If you are right Seversky, and science comes up with a physical causal explanation for our thoughts, rationality would break down, since your reasoning would be tainted by unaccounted steps and consequently you would not know if any of your beliefs are true or false.

    And there would be no way out of this gridlock, since not only would your reasoning be tainted by unaccounted steps, your judgement of your reasoning would be as well.

  11. 11
    kairosfocus says:

    O, self-referential, infinite regress of grand delusion Plato’s Cave worlds. KF

  12. 12
    Seversky says:

    gpuccio @ 8

    a) It is simply not true that, as you say, “when the brain is destroyed the consciousness disappears permanently”. At best, we simply don’t know. But of course there are many reasons and facts that can suggest the contrary, including scientific observations like NDEs.

    Okay, if you prefer, there has been no reliable evidence for any consciousness surviving the death of the brain. I will agree that we cannot say at this point that the loss is permanent.

    NDEs are of no help. They are by definition Near Death Experiences. The accounts are from people who survived to report them. They did not die so they cannot be evidence that consciousness survives the death – which is irreversible – of the physical brain.

    b) I am confident that we can find an explanation for consciousness, sooner or later, maybe even a scientific one. But that explanation could be completely different from what you think

    The strangeness of relativity theory, the counter-intuitive phenomena observed at the quantum level, the difficulty of reconciling the two all suggest that there is something – maybe a lot of things – that we are still missing. I suspect that there is some ‘higher dimensional’ explanation out there in the future somewhere. When – or even if – we ever find it, it will make sense of it all. We’ll just have to keep plugging away until we find it. But that’s just my belief, of course.

  13. 13
    Charles Birch says:

    Sev wrote:

    “The evidence for consciousness arising from the brain lies in the strong correlation between the two.”

    Now I’m a layman, not a scientist (or a philosopher) but isn’t there a general caveat in science which states:

    “Correlation does not equal causation” ?

    If so, one should at least consider the possibility that the ‘lighting up’ of certain brain areas on fMRI scans during conscious experience, might not imply that the former causes the latter.

    (Any more than the lighting up of certain bits of circuitry in one’s television during a live broadcast of a Rolling Stones gig, means that Mick Jagger is created by the firing of microchips and has no existence beyond the television set.)

    As far as NDEs are concerned, I completely agree with Sev that these are NEAR death experiences and can’t be used as definitive evidence of postmortem consciousness.

    BUT…..we must not underestimate the importance of the NDE. If a person can have an astonishingly rich, detailed, hyper-real, and profound ‘conscious’ experience when the electrical activity of their brain has totally ‘flatlined’, this suggests that our simplistic model of ‘brain generates mind’ may be a bit awry.

  14. 14
    Charles Birch says:

    Sev also wrote that consciousness may have a ‘higher dimensional’ explanation.

    Is it not at least possible that this ‘higher dimension’ is …. consciousness itself?

    IOW is it not possible that consciousness creates material reality? This vast, Cosmic Consciousness would be the source of all existence and experience.

    Now, I’m not an advocate of any organised religion but didn’t St. Paul say of God:

    ‘In him we live, and move, and have our being.” ?

    I’ve always found that an utterly fascinating statement. We live IN God. We have our being IN God. Exactly what mystics have experienced throughout the ages:

    We are inseparable from God. God is the ocean of Cosmic Consciousness, we are the waves.

    Maybe?

  15. 15
    gpuccio says:

    Charles Birch (and Seversky):

    Thank you for saying all that I had to say.

    Yes, Sev’s answer at #12 is generally reasonable, and your comments emphasize all the right issues.

    Thank you also for mentioning the experiences of the mystics. I wanted to mention them, together with NDEs, as “suggestions” of the medependent existence of consciousness, but then I thought that probably Seversky would not have appreciated that so much! 🙂

  16. 16
    Origenes says:

    Seversky: I suspect that there is some ‘higher dimensional’ explanation out there in the future somewhere. When – or even if – we ever find it, it will make sense of it all. We’ll just have to keep plugging away until we find it. But that’s just my belief, of course.

    Seversky, why do you want death to be the end of it? I would really want to know.

    The OP exposes you to arguments against your position which you routinely ignore because you have no answer, but, still, here you are rooting for death to be the end of it. Why is that?

  17. 17
    kairosfocus says:

    Sev,

    as thread creator, I ask, could you kindly respond to the matters highlighted therein?

    Were the evolutionary materialist account able to soundly explain the FSCO/I in the brain as computational substrate, that would be a preliminary step that would give some sense that it is on to something. But, already, its blind mechanical necessity and/or stochastic processes simply do not have successful track record and on needle in haystack search challenge vs observed cosmos scope resources, the approach is maximally implausible. It survives by dressing up ideological imposition in a lab coat: methodological naturalism, so called.

    Materialism of the gaps covered by in this case 91 year old IOU.

    Stumbling fatally in the starting gates.

    Then, what’s worse is the implications of miraculously recovering and accounting for origin of brain as computational substrate, which accounts for the phenomena of mindedness.

    For, if those phenomena were accounted for without residue — and this is while living, no appeal to NDE or end of life encounter with God [as I personally saw with my dad] is on the table — you would prove only what would ruin the credibility of the life of rational thought. As Haldane pointed out 91 years ago.

    That is, you would reduce mindedness, freedom to choose, reason, know and imagine, sense of duty to truth, logic, prudence, fairness, justice, moral duty and much more to an infinite regress of grand delusions. For blind mechanical necessity and/or stochastic processes simply are utterly irrelevant to rationality. Self referential incoherence on steroids.

    So, we need to start afresh, with a recognition per the Smith Model, that there is room for higher order supervision of the brain-body cybernetic loop. Perhaps, as suggested, by quantum influences. Scott Calef in IEP:

    Keith Campbell writes, “The indeterminacy of quantum laws means that any one of a range of outcomes of atomic events in the brain is equally compatible with known physical laws. And differences on the quantum scale can accumulate into very great differences in overall brain condition. So there is some room for spiritual activity even within the limits set by physical law. There could be, without violation of physical law, a general spiritual constraint upon what occurs inside the head.” (p.54). Mind could act upon physical processes by “affecting their course but not breaking in upon them.” (p.54). If this is true, the dualist could maintain the conservation principle but deny a fluctuation in energy because the mind serves to “guide” or control neural events by choosing one set of quantum outcomes rather than another. Further, it should be remembered that the conservation of energy is designed around material interaction; it is mute on how mind might interact with matter. After all, a Cartesian rationalist might insist, if God exists we surely wouldn’t say that He couldn’t do miracles just because that would violate the first law of thermodynamics, would we? [Article, “Dualism and Mind,” Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy. (This is in effect a curated and quite useful reference base that is effectively peer reviewed or at least edited.)]

    The Penrose-Hameroff proposal in the SEP on Consciousness is also relevant:

    It is argued that elementary acts of consciousness are non-algorithmic, i.e., non-computable, and they are neurophysiologically realized as gravitation-induced reductions of coherent superposition states in microtubuli . . . . Penrose’s rationale for invoking state reduction is not that the corresponding randomness offers room for mental causation to become efficacious (although this is not excluded). His conceptual starting point, at length developed in two books (Penrose 1989, 1994), is that elementary conscious acts must be non-algorithmic. Phrased differently, the emergence of a conscious act is a process which cannot be described algorithmically, hence cannot be computed. His background in this respect has a lot to do with the nature of creativity, mathematical insight, Gödel’s incompleteness theorem, and the idea of a Platonic reality beyond mind and matter . . . . With his background as an anaesthesiologist, Hameroff suggested to consider microtubules as an option for where reductions of quantum states can take place in an effective way, see e.g., Hameroff and Penrose (1996). The respective quantum states are assumed to be coherent superpositions of tubulin states, ultimately extending over many neurons. Their simultaneous gravitation-induced collapse is interpreted as an individual elementary act of consciousness. The proposed mechanism by which such superpositions are established includes a number of involved details that remain to be confirmed or disproven.

    Such would readily account for all the correlations and impacts of brain and wider bodily damage. Where we don’t necessarily need to resort to gravitation etc.

    And, it would confer a different evaluation of evidence. As, if the bodily is open to the mental-spiritual already, then it should be no surprise that at existential crisis-points, people experience aspects of the reality beyond the physical. For sure, there is significant testimony in NDE literature that should give pause.

    Process of dying experience of welcoming parties also should speak.

    For sure, my Dad, while I held him one side and a chief caregiver held him the other, looked me in the eye, looked her in the eye, then looked up to an August one he called “Lord” and surrendered his spirit. He went in seconds thereafter, a brave soldier to the end. Cancer is an awful, awful enemy.

    Fifteen minutes before, he shared with us his last sermon: in effect, that those who willfully ignore or disobey the authenticated word of God, set loose the terrible fires of Hell. With the implication of setting loose the tongue set afire from Hell’s lies and slanders, blazing chaotically across the world, not just the issue of eschatological audit and consequences.

    Rom 1 on the debased, reprobate mind — with Nero as Exhibit A — should give us all sobering pause. Mindedness is morally governed through conscientious duty to truth, logical and prudent thought, fairness and more. Should these be materially discredited and rendered ineffective, the mind and life go out of responsible control. The benumbed conscience and endarkened mind may imagine that darkness is light and light darkness.

    This is because a crooked yardstick is adopted as standard of straightness, uprightness and accuracy. It is then no surprise that those living in a Plato’s delusional cave will lock out what is sound as it cannot match the test of crookedness. Some will then resist the force of plumbline, self-evident truth.

    The numbness required to dull psychic pain then leads to addiction to sensuality in many ways, and to thrill seeking, to provide needed stimulation. Nero literally became a robber by night, being escorted by the tribune of what we would call police as a householder, not realising who it was, had nearly killed him. I will not detail the much worse than that.

    A civilisation dominated by such goes into a suicidal down-spiral, as Rom 1 and Eph 4 describe and frankly as we see all around. The holocaust of the unborn is just one case in point.

    I suggest, there is need for rethinking.

    KF

  18. 18
    bornagain77 says:

    Odd that Sev wants to redefine clinical death in NDEs to his preferred definition of ‘not really dead’ because, by golly, they survived.

    Off the top of my head, there is Pam Reynold’s NDE, as well as a leading cardiologist experience of someone coming back from the ‘dead’.

    The extremely ‘monitored’ NDE of Pam Reynolds – video
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WNbdUEqDB-k

    “I think death is an illusion. I think death is a really nasty, bad lie. I don’t see any truth in the word death at all” –
    Pam Reynolds Lowery (1956 – May 22, 2010)

    The following is on par with Pam Reynolds Near Death Experience. In the following video, Dr. Lloyd Rudy, a pioneer of cardiac surgery, tells stories of two patients who came back to life after being declared dead, and what they told him.

    Famous Cardiac Surgeon’s Stories of Near Death Experiences in Surgery
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JL1oDuvQR08

    Then there is also the fact that many people who were blind from birth can see for the first time during NDE’s:

    Blind Woman Can See During Near Death Experience (NDE) – Pim von Lommel – video
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gKyQJDZuMHE

    Kenneth Ring and Sharon Cooper (1997) conducted a study of 31 blind people, many of who reported vision during their Near Death Experiences (NDEs). 21 of these people had had an NDE while the remaining 10 had had an out-of-body experience (OBE), but no NDE. It was found that in the NDE sample, about half had been blind from birth. (of note: This ‘anomaly’ is also found for deaf people who can hear sound during their Near Death Experiences(NDEs).)
    http://www.newdualism.org/nde-.....-147-1.pdf

    In short, we have far more observational evidence for the reality of souls than we do for the Darwinian claim that unguided material processes can generate functional information.

    Near-Death Experiences: Putting a Darwinist’s Evidentiary Standards to the Test – Dr. Michael Egnor – October 15, 2012
    Excerpt: Indeed, about 20 percent of NDE’s are corroborated, which means that there are independent ways of checking about the veracity of the experience. The patients knew of things that they could not have known except by extraordinary perception — such as describing details of surgery that they watched while their heart was stopped, etc. Additionally, many NDE’s have a vividness and a sense of intense reality that one does not generally encounter in dreams or hallucinations.,,,
    The most “parsimonious” explanation — the simplest scientific explanation — is that the (Near Death) experience was real. Tens of millions of people have had such experiences. That is tens of millions of more times than we have observed the origin of species , (or the origin of life, or the origin of a protein/gene, or of a molecular machine), which is never.,,,
    The materialist reaction, in short, is unscientific and close-minded. NDE’s show fellows like Coyne at their sneering unscientific irrational worst. Somebody finds a crushed fragment of a fossil and it’s earth-shaking evidence. Tens of million of people have life-changing spiritual experiences and it’s all a big yawn.
    Note: Dr. Egnor is professor and vice-chairman of neurosurgery at the State University of New York at Stony Brook.
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....65301.html

    Moreover, the transcendent nature of ‘immaterial’ information, which is the one thing that, (as every ID advocate intimately knows), unguided material processes cannot possibly explain, directly supports the transcendent nature of the ‘immaterial’ soul:

    Information is Physical (but not how Rolf Landauer meant)
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H35I83y5Uro

    Darwinian Materialism vs. Quantum Biology – video
    https://youtu.be/LHdD2Am1g5Y

    As Stuart Hameroff states: “it’s possible that this (conserved) quantum information can exist outside the body. Perhaps indefinitely as a soul.”

    “Let’s say the heart stops beating. The blood stops flowing. The microtubules lose their quantum state. But the quantum information, which is in the microtubules, isn’t destroyed. It can’t be destroyed. It just distributes and dissipates to the universe at large. If a patient is resuscitated, revived, this quantum information can go back into the microtubules and the patient says, “I had a near death experience. I saw a white light. I saw a tunnel. I saw my dead relatives.,,” Now if they’re not revived and the patient dies, then it’s possible that this quantum information can exist outside the body. Perhaps indefinitely as a soul.”
    – Stuart Hameroff – Quantum Entangled Consciousness – Life After Death – video (5:00 minute mark)
    https://youtu.be/jjpEc98o_Oo?t=300

    And whereas, atheists have no compelling evidence for the various parallel universe and/or multiverse scenarios that they have put forth (to try to get around fine-tuning and the beginning of the universe, etc..), Christians, on the other hand, can appeal directly to the higher dimensional mathematics behind Quantum Mechanics, Special Relativity and General Relativity to support their belief that God upholds this universe in its continual existence, as well as to support their belief in a heavenly dimension and in a hellish dimension.

    Quantum Mechanics, Special Relativity, General Relativity and Christianity – video
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h4QDy1Soolo

    Verse:

    2 Corinthians 12:3-4
    And I know that this man—whether in the body or out of it I do not know, but God knows— was caught up into Paradise. The things he heard were too sacred for words, things that man is not permitted to tell.

  19. 19
    OLV says:

    kairosfocus:
    “We need to rethink, in a healthier age that evolutionary materialism is plainly self-refuting would long since have been enough to remove it from live options. But, we do not live in a healthy time.”
    Agree.

  20. 20
    OLV says:

    gpuccio(8):
    “maybe science will learn that the only way to deal with consciousness is to accept it as a basic component of reality, and to study its properties and behaviours and its relationship with other components of reality. That would still be science, but not reductionist science, which arrogantly thinks that it can explain everything with the ideas and concepts that are fashionable today.”
    Agree.

  21. 21
    OLV says:

    kairosfocus(17):
    Thank you for sharing your personal experience with your father’s powerful testimony. May God bless you.

  22. 22
    OLV says:

    bornagain77(18):

    Very interesting and informative commentary.
    Thanks.

  23. 23
    Allan Keith says:

    BA77,

    Odd that Sev wants to redefine clinical death in NDEs to his preferred definition of ‘not really dead’ because, by golly, they survived.

    BA77, here is a clue. What does the “N” in NDE stand for?

  24. 24
    bornagain77 says:

    Allan Keith perhaps you should read Raymond Moody’s book “Life After Life” where he, after much deliberation and qualification, coined the term “Near Death Experience”. The reason Moody chose the term is certainly not as simplistic as you and Sev would prefer to believe.

    Almost 40 Years Investigating Near-Death Experiences
    An Overview of Mainstream Scientific Journals –
    Excerpt: Although NDEs have been described for a long time, the term near-death experience (NDE) was unknown before Moody coined it in his best seller Life After Life in 1975 (Moody, 1975).
    https://med.virginia.edu/perceptual-studies/wp-content/uploads/sites/267/2015/11/NDE77-40-years-JNMD.pdf

    Articles on Near-Death Experiences by the Researchers of the Division of Perceptual Studies:
    https://med.virginia.edu/perceptual-studies/our-research/near-death-experiences-ndes/publications-on-near-death-experiences/

  25. 25
    Allan Keith says:

    BA77,

    Allan Keith perhaps you should read Raymond Moody’s book “Life After Life” where he, after much deliberation and qualification, coined the term “Near Death Experience”. The reason Moody chose the term is certainly not as simplistic as you and Sev would prefer to believe.

    If you can find me a single example of NDE where the cells of the brain were actually dead, I might start taking it seriously. However, there are plenty of examples where the death of the cells in a significant portion of the brain resulted in the permanent loss of consciousness and self awareness.

  26. 26
    Charles Birch says:

    gpuccio @ 15

    An interest in altered states of consciousness, especially mystical experience, is one of the factors in my theistic (though not ‘orthodox-religious’) worldview.

    These accounts are remarkably similar across the ages and in different cultures, and irrespective of the cause of the experience.

    Sometimes the mystical experience is sought (via meditation, prolonged fasting – the 40 days’ fast which Jesus undertook, for example – or entheogenic drugs such as 5-MeO-DMT).

    Sometimes the experience comes totally unbidden to ordinary people, often during or immediately after a period of severe stress.

    Paradoxically, a mood of intense happiness can also trigger the experience. This happened to Richard Bucke, author of ‘Cosmic Consciousness’, whose experience occurred in a hansom cab as he was being driven home after a delightful evening with friends.

    Bucke’s insights from this experience echo those of all mystics. Amongst his revelations were: that the universe is not dead matter but a ‘Living Presence’; that ‘the foundation principle of the universe is Love’; that the ‘soul’ (consciousness) is immortal, and that ‘the happiness of everyone in the long run is absolutely certain’.

    That final insight reminds me of the mediaeval mystic Julian of Norwich, whose experience led her to believe that, no matter in what manner and for how long people suffer, and no matter how cruel, unjust and unfair human existence seems:

    “All shall be well, and all shall be well, and all manner of thing shall be well.”

    What is interesting is that the experiencers – much like people who have NDEs – are certain that their experience is REALITY, not hallucination, and their lives often totally change afterwards – for example giving up a high-paid but unfulfilling job, feeling extraordinary compassion for people after a lifetime as a ruthless and selfish bastard, giving away their posessions etc.

    In my understanding, people who are simply hallucinating have chaotic experiences which bear no resemblance to each other, and these folk return to ‘normal’ conciousness well aware that they’ve been hallucinating, and with zero effect on their subsequent lives.

    I find that to be a difference which deserves careful investigation.

  27. 27
    bornagain77 says:

    as to:

    “If you can find me a single example of NDE where the cells of the brain were actually dead,”

    How about several examples?

    Some People Were Dead For Several Days
    https://www.near-death.com/science/evidence/some-people-were-dead-for-several-days.html

    near death experiences in morgue – google search
    https://www.google.com/search?source=hp&ei=_IMdW8rWNuaR0gLMmKC4BA&q=near+death+experiences+in+morgue&oq=near+death+experiences+in+morgue&gs_l=psy-ab.3

  28. 28
    Allan Keith says:

    BA77,

    How about several examples?

    So, when these people told their stories, their brain cells were dead?

  29. 29
    bornagain77 says:

    Allan Keith,

    “So, when these people told their stories, their brain cells were dead?”

    So you will only trust the testimony of brain dead people? 🙂

    Well that certainly explains your ‘zombie science’ atheism! 🙂

    Verse:

    Luke 16:30-31
    ‘No, father Abraham,’ he said, ‘but if someone is sent to them from the dead, they will repent.’ Then Abraham said to him, ‘If they do not listen to Moses and the prophets, they will not be persuaded even if someone rises from the dead.’”

  30. 30
    gpuccio says:

    Charles Birch at #26:

    Very good thoughts! 🙂

    I remember that even an atheist like Bertrand Russel had very interesting and good things to say about mysticism, in his book “Religion and science”.

    And I would also say that, even without debating the deepest mystical experiences, many sincere people who follow a religious path with sincerety and humbleness have certainly lived personal intuitions and experiences that are often a very strong foundation for their life and beliefs.

    That personal aspect, IMO, cannot be ignored in our search for truth. And it also involves our relationship with science, reason and more in general cognition.

  31. 31
    Charles Birch says:

    gpuccio,

    Thanks for the response. I entirely agree that intuition has to be factored into one’s personal quest for truth, and that one’s inner experience is every bit as important as the findings of experimental science.

    I find so often that the poets have hit the nail on the head in these matters. Wordsworth, in ‘Intimations of Immortality’, wrote of the inner sense of something transcendent which so many people experience – the sensus divinitatis’:

    “Not in entire forgetfulness
    And not in utter nakedness
    But trailing clouds of glory do we come
    From God, who is our home.”

    And D H Lawrence wrote of the importance of collating ALL human experience, inner and outer:

    “Thought is Man in his wholeness, wholly attending.”

    Lawrence would not have been convinced that scientism is a valid path to truth.

  32. 32
    Origenes says:

    Kairosfocus: Sev,

    as thread creator, I ask, could you kindly respond to the matters highlighted therein?

    The matters you have raised are unanswerable by a/mats. By which mental gymnastics they protect their beliefs from these profound arguments is an utter mystery, but cannot be something which contributes to mental health.

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