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Maybe atheists really ARE into the paranormal and superstition…


Otherwise how do we explain this? From Matthew Olson at Digg:

This Collaborative Map Of The Paranormal In Seattle Is The Best Thing Online This Week

Founded by Seattleites Garrett Kelly (@boontdustie) and Jeremy Puma, the Liminal Seattle map is the region’s new go-to tool for tracking “fairies, ghosts, bigfoot, time travelers, extraterrestrials, ultraterrestrials, crow conferences, sentient lawn computers, lanyard’d ogres, broccoli wizards, etc.”

The project seems fairly tongue-in-cheek, but I don’t doubt that several of the stories marked on the map are real and genuinely inexplicable to the people who submitted them. More.

Seattle? From Marcie Sillman & Kate O’Connell KUOW,

If you don’t believe in God, Seattle may be the city for you.

Ten percent of Seattle residents call themselves atheists – the highest rate among the largest metro areas in the U.S., according to a new survey from the Pew Research Center.

Twenty-two percent identified as “nothing in particular.” [2015]

But then if naturalist atheists believe in panpyschism (everything is conscious) too, as — we are told — increasing numbers do, it might all make sense. Everything, it turns out, could be paranormal, including your coffee mug.

By the way, a paranormal investigator has identified a time warp in LasVegas:

Using what’s known as a “differential time rate meter,” also known as a “DT meter,” he claimed that for the first time ever he was able to record a measurement showing time had been slowing down for 20 microseconds — something that laws of physics prove should not occur. More.

And, to think, here in Ottawa we can offer you nothing but the dull old Canada Day weekend.  Flags, fireworks, and beavers.

Hat tip: Ken Francis

See also: At CSICOP: Why millennials and liberals turn to astrology

Sceptic asks, why do people who abandon religion embrace superstition? Belief in God is declining and belief in ghosts and witches is rising

As astrology goes mainstream, will Big Science start to accommodate it? For Big Science, credibility is tied up with money. And what happens when those who control the money believe that astrology is just as legitimate as quantum mechanics? Krista Burton professes and justifies her beliefs at the New York Times: …

Call for papers: How did atheism evolve? Evolutionary psychologists now want to study atheism Is it due to natural selection acting on random mutations (Darwinian evolution)? Is it adaptive? A byproduct? A stop on the road to extinction?


Shambolic atheist community faces some tough choices

Seversky at #2: "Isn’t this what BA77 also believes,...?" No, you've got that wrong. I shouldn't answer for another person, but it seems like BA77 believes this: "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through Him, and without Him was not any thing made that was made." That's totally different than what you quoted in your comment. If you don't understand it, then maybe BA77 himself will explain it to you better, though that won't guarantee that you'll understand it. PaoloV
Seversky@3, I got his 'rejecting criticism' from him censoring my criticism, his 'bitterness' from him censoring inconvenient replies repeatedly, and his 'incoherence' from his: "...we need, to some extent, to divorce our abstract thinking from our practical and emotional thinking about our lives" Had you opened my link, you would have learned that it doesn't matter "how free is our choice". If we have even a grain of free will, then we do have free will - it's as simple as that. Let me quote the whole thing for your convenience - let me know if you dispute any of these: 1. What should be the default view on Free Will? We talk about Free Will because we feel it in us and in the actions of all other. Even those attempting to disprove Free Will prove instead its existence by trying to persuade us, when lack of Free Will would make this effort futile. We can also see that dead matter is only moved by external forces hence does not have Free Will, and that the living act upon external forces and also what appears to be internally determination, aka Free Will. Therefore, the default position should be that we all have Free Will until one can demonstrate otherwise. 2. Free Will is the belief that at least some of our actions are not completely determined by agencies beyond our power. “Some” is more than “none”, but it does not have to be “most” or even “many”. Thus, the burden of proof against Free Will is impossibly high, as all - not just some - of our actions would have to be entirely - not just partly - determined by external forces to disprove Free Will. This proof has not and cannot be provided. 3. Indeed, Determinism is self-defeating as lack of Free Will would render all decisions illusory. The Sun, the dead, and the rocks do not decide anything, so why would a determinism proponent decide any more than these entities? And without decisions, ‘good’, ‘bad’, ‘worry’, ‘fair’, ‘guilt’, ‘self’, and so on do not make any more sense either. Convincing others that Free Will is not true makes absolutely no sense if Free Will were indeed illusory. 4. So how do we know that we have Free Will? We cannot know for sure, but we infer Free Will the same way we infer reflex actions – we observe and feel. When we observe actions (ours or those of others) that seem nonrandom and unrelated to any known drivers we accept Free Will. Other times, we see automatic reflex or instinct responses and we consider those actions determined by external forces. 5. Like a muscle, Free Will (Willpower) gets tired and can be overwhelmed or destroyed by external forces. Free Will appears to decrease when suffering brain trauma, under the influence of chemicals, due to genetic conditions, or when infected with certain parasites. In non-human life forms, Free Will seems weaker than reflexes and instincts. Willpower failures are not evidence against Free Will, just as forces overpowering one’s muscles do not disprove the muscular system’s power. Free Will experiments (Libet and others) have been inconclusive so far. 6. Quantum mechanics indeterminacy invalidates determinism. In the double slit experiment, one can set up a perfectly deterministic setup yet every time the experiment is repeated, it cannot be known (except statistically) where the particle will end up even if the setup is calibrated to the n-th degree. This is totally different than the deterministic systems where the normal distribution of outputs can be narrowed by tightening the inputs / set-up with the theoretical conclusion that perfect inputs / set-up will result in perfect outputs (determinism). 7. Is Free Will then just a mix of Randomness and Determinism? No. Free Will is a function of the living. Randomness and Determinism apply equally to the inorganic, but only the living (organic) has Free Will. Anything less than 100% combination of Randomness and Determinism is not sufficient to disprove Free Will. 8. Many machines fully controlled by Randomness and Determinism have been built, yet none of them displays Free Will aside from the will of their human designer. ‘Artificial Intelligence’ is an ongoing pursuit, and AI machines will eventually be so good, that the naive observer will completely miss the human designers’ contribution and will falsely conclude that the machine perfectly mimics Free Will, hence “Free Will is just an illusion”. 9. Religious views are behind most of the arguments on both sides of the Free Will debate. While opponents see only an illusion created by Randomness and Determinism, Free Will proponents also see the touch of our Creator behind the machine that would otherwise indeed be just subject to Randomness and Determinism. Is God’s omniscience incompatible with our Free Will? Not at all. Many times parents know that children’s actions will end up badly, yet they chose to let the children exercise their Free Will anyway. Nonlin.org
Nonlin.org @ 1
What about this topic: https://theness.com/neurologicablog/index.php/free-will-and-morality/ ? Of course the guy is incoherent, bitter and rejecting any criticism like this:
I read the Neurobiologica blog regularly and I don't see Dr Novella as bitter, incoherent or rejecting criticism. His work reads to me as eminently, calm clear and rational, even where I disagree with it and I don't entirely agree with the thrust of that particular OP. Like you, I think, I understand free will as meaning not that we are literally free to do anything we choose - that plainly isn't the case or I would already be in command of my own starship - but that we have the capacity to choose between a limited number of available options without that choice being determined by past events. The question is, just how free is our choice even in those limited areas where we believe we have such freedom? Say, for example, I am offered bowls of chocolate or vanilla or banana ice-cream, which do I choose and why? I like all three but I have a preference for banana. I don't know why I prefer banana, it's not something I consciously chose, but the attraction is there in me. That said, all other things being equal, I would tend to choose banana, my choice being determined by the pre-existing preference. If I wanted to prove the that I have free will I could choose one of the other flavors. But, in that case, my choice is being determined by my desire to prove a point. In other words, unless we choose by tossing a coin or taking the output of an RNG, our choices are always decided by some prior influence of which we may not even be consciously aware. So the question remains, to what extent can we say we have free will? Seversky
But then if naturalist atheists believe in panpyschism (everything is conscious) too, as — we are told — increasing numbers do, it might all make sense. Everything, it turns out, could be paranormal, including your coffee mug.
Isn't this what BA77 also believes, that consciousness precedes and underpins physical reality? Seversky
Hey News, What about this topic: https://theness.com/neurologicablog/index.php/free-will-and-morality/ ? Of course the guy is incoherent, bitter and rejecting any criticism like this:
“From everything we know about brain function, our experience of our own existence … are largely a constructed illusion... The brain is still a machine, and is dependent upon the laws of physics.” Actually, you don’t know much and you misinterpret what you see. In fact, all you have is a bad “brain model” – are you’re smart enough to understand this? You don’t know the brain is “a machine” and most certainly don’t know “the laws of physics”. You have a big problem if you must “divorce our abstract thinking from our practical and emotional thinking about our lives”. That simply means one is wrong (yes, that’s your abstract thinking). Are you smart enough to understand this? Here’s where your logic fails: http://nonlin.org/free-will/

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