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Hey Jime, I watched the movies of Dean Radin on your blog, and I would have commented there, but it looks like comments are not enabled. So ... nice blog, particularly the movies.

'this most wonderful quote from Upton Sinclair:
"It is very hard to make a man understand something when his salary depends on NOT understanding it."
Nice. Is it from "Mental Radio"?'

I do not recall; I did a bit of web searching but most people just quote it or paraphrase it. For example "salary" sometimes appears as "job." Some versions have "his not" for "not" or "upon" for "on."

http://www.jimpoz.com/quotes/Speaker:Upton_Sinclair

This quote illuminates the biggest challenge I've had in such debates - everyone has at least one conflict of interest. The pop-culture icon, like Randi, depends on donations and show-business publicity; the commercial astrologer depends on fees from believing clients. No one involved enough to be able to join the conversation is truly disinterested.

Bringing up sex again, sexual involvement is an obvious conflict of interest, but even gender identity or sex-role politics can sabotage cooperation. I've never met anyone who was sexually objective and disinterested, although I have met strict celibate ascetics -- they have axes to grind for the virtue of sexlessness!

On a different note:

Examining permutations of a sequence of letters denoted 12345:


Radin = 12345
Randi = 12534
Satan = 12345
Santa = 12534

Thus Radin is to Randi as Satan is to Santa. Satan makes us feel uncomfortable, but must be dealt with. Santa makes us feel comfortable, but can safely be ignored.

The more I look into this issue, the more I am shocked! I have selected points from the original review from Dieguez to comment on. Highly problematic. I hope I will be able to post it here in a few hours, maybe less. I still want to read Jime's reply to his comments.

See you all soon.

Julio

Hi Sebastian,

Just a very introductory comment. In your reply to Jime, you say: "If you don’t accept the reality of psi, it’s simply because you have not read the relevant, though 'uneven and imperfect', literature."

That is far from correct. I know people who know an enormous amount about psi research (about ten times as much as I do...), are highly intellectually honest in this regard, and yet do not think psi has been proved already. It is highly enlightening to listen to what THEY have to say in regards to not accepting psi as a proved phenomenon. And, whenever possible, that is what I tried to do during some years in the recent past.

Best,
Julio

"Blackmore is way out of date, Augustine simply has too many holes, too many unlikely scenarios and in some cases is factual mistaken, ie Pam Reynold's earplugs). Neither one of them really deals with all the data of NDEs adequately." - Kris
--------------------------------------------

Nobody has ever been able to adequately explain away to me the connection between NDE's and the holographic universe. There is also a slight connection between NDE's and what some quantum physicist say about our universe.

Near Death Experience: A Holographic Explanation by Oswald G., Ph.d. Harding

http://www.amazon.com/Near-Death-Experience-Holographic-Explanation/dp/9768202092/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1249145256&sr=8-1

Irreducible Skepticism – a Critique of Sebastian Dieguez’s Review of the Book “Irreducible Mind.”

This is a reply to Sebastian’s review as published in the Skeptic Magazine. Before going to the points that I want to highlight, I would like to say that, as I feel, Sebastian was driven, from the bottom of his heart, by justified bitter feelings. Similarly, his main complaints about Irreducible Mind (IM) do have a kernel of legitimacy. However, in my view, he strayed far far away from justifiability and from legitimacy in the actual way that he wrote his review. And he further worsened things afterwards in his reply to critics. In my humble opinion, I think his mistakes and the reasons behind his mistakes are of deep concern to all of us (he included), and, in the end, it may be (may be) that we all share a part in the guilt for such things. May it be that, in the not far far away future, we will be able to live in a world where being an atheist-materialist will not be a sin, and being a spiritualist will not be a stupidity. For it is my sincere belief that, right now, it is *not* a sin to be an atheist materialist, and it is *not* stupidity to be a spiritualist. So, if this truth is really the Truth, let the Truth be Known. But, going past of stupid poetry… :-) let me begin:

Sebastian said:
“two major problems with current views of what the mind is and how it works… …First of all--and this is the implicit reproach addressed to "mainstream" cognitive psychologists, philosophers of mind and neuroscientists (all treated as an undifferentiated package sharing a similar worldview, namely materialism)--we just do not have a full and satisfactory physicalist explanation of how the brain generates the mind. The second problem, constituting the raison d'etre of this lengthy volume, is that what the authors portray as establishment science has along the years consistently and purposefully blinded itself to a body of evidence that flatly contradicts its most cherished tenets, and as a consequence, it has narrowed its scope to the least significant aspects of human experience.”

My Comment:
I do not really feel that the authors treat their opponents as an *undifferentiated* bunch. Also, I do not feel that they consider that mainstream science has limited itself to dealing with the *least* significant aspects of human experience.

Sebastian said:
“the book is painstakingly redundant, astoundingly arrogant in its claims and intents, utterly humorless, contains no figures, boxes or tables whatsoever, and what's more, is unaffordable to its targeted audience”

My Comment:
This above is something readers may have different reactions to. I did not feel the authors as being arrogant. As to humor, this was the complaint that struck me the most. It reminds me that a great amount of the “skeptic’s stuff” (articles, debunking, etc) is filled with “humor.” Recently I watched the video “Breaking the Spell” featuring Daniel Dennett preceded by an introduction by Michael Shermer, live to an audience of some few tens of scientists in California, if my memory serves me well. Well, the introduction by Shermer was so “funny” (not to me…) that people kept laughing during most of Dennett’s speech, even though Dennett was *not* trying to be funny. So perhaps it is time the skeptic movement started reevaluating its use of… “humor.” And, similarly, its negative views towards “humorless works.” Anyway, if humor is that important, you may just as well click this link from me: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ACKVUMioI2w

Sebastian said:
“However, the originality of IM lies in drawing attention to what the authors themselves call ‘rogue phenomena,’ which they think are inherently incompatible with current materialistic views of the mind.”

My Comment:
Sebastian asked to one of his critics if he (Sebastian) was not supposed to be qualified to review IM. Well, I think Sebastian IS qualified. And his feedbacks could have been highly informative in many instances. This above is one of such. He could have pointed out how some of the phenomena described in the book might be accommodated within the framework of existing scientific paradigms and bodies of knowledge.

Sebastian said:
“I have an abridged version of this book on my pseudoscience shelf, but I confess that until now I never differentiated it from other pompous and boring compendia of weird anecdotes, ghost stories and wacky theories from the turn of the century. Apparently I was unfair: Myers seems in a different league. For one thing, he was among the first to have theorized about what would be later known as ‘the unconscious.’ However, the reason Myers is now forgotten in non-occult circles is that Human Personality is replete with ghost stories and mediums of all sorts, which understandably has obscured the few interesting insights that could have been found in there.”

My Comment:
Later on (in Michael Prescott’s blog), Sebastian said that he sort of lied in this passage above, and that actually he knew a lot about Myers (skeptic readers might ask themselves if Sebastian kept lying in his second assertion, or if he was lying merely in his assertion number 1 or number 2, since he had already acknowledged having lied before; but, providentially, he was posting this in the nest of believers, so no one would doubt his words… :-) ). I must say that I still have my “doubts” as to what really Sebastian knows about Myers. That is, I think it is strange that he seems not to have noticed that Myers had glimpses of the idea of the unconscious. And if Sebastian had noticed that, I think it is strange that he would pretend that he hadn’t. My impression (and I may be wrong) is that Sebastian did read some things from Myers but did not notice that the man had glimpses of the unconscious. This is suggestive of weaknesses in Sebastian’s capacity to spot relevant information. But, I may be wrong.

Sebastian said:
“Accordingly, the reader is warned from the onset that the reality of paranormal phenomena (psi) is taken for granted in IM. For those not convinced, Kelly, et al. direct you to the references listed in the appendix, where all the evidence can be found.”

My Comment:
I made a similar complaint against Braude’s “Immortal Remains.”
http://www.criticandokardec.com.br/amazon_reviews.htm#braude
I think the authors should have discussed this issue a little, in perhaps forty or fifty pages. But then again, check out the comment below…

Sebastian said:
…“really translates as ‘we realize that what we just wrote sounds crazy, but there are some books that say it's true, and we chose to believe them.’ ”

My Comment:
I really think it is not that they *chose* to *believe*. Instead they were *scientifically convinced* by the *data*. That is what happened to me. And that is what I think happened to them as well. And I am sure Sebastian is not aware of this data. If he were, he would end up being either, 1, a “believer” (that is, a true scientist that accepted the phenomenon); 2, well informed but unconvinced and highly qualified to engage in rich exchange of viewpoints with those already convinced. If Sebastian ends up becoming 2, it will be an enormous gain to us all.

Sebastian said:
“The ‘full range of human experience’ is displayed across nine chapters, each more than 100 pages long, that ramble on the limits of ‘conventional’ neuroscience, while claiming that a wide array of loosely associated phenomena are simply incompatible with the idea that the brain is the seat of the mind in any conventional sense. These phenomena include placebo effects, stigmata, sudden graying of the hair, reincarnation, maternal impressions, hypnotic suggestions, distant healing, creative genius, multiple personalities, meditation, mystical experiences, near-death experiences (NDEs), out-of-body experiences (OBEs), supernormal motor automatisms, apparitions, calculating prodigies, and so forth. Parts of the book deal unashamedly, and approvingly, with mediumship and levitation, always with a perfectly straight face. The general strategy is to proceed from rather commonplace, if sometimes intriguing phenomena, onto the really wild stuff, pretending that established facts, unresolved questions and plain crackpottery were somehow all part of the same continuum of legitimate scientific interest.

My Comment:
Let’s go by parts. First, “nine chapters, each more than 100 pages long”

Chapter 1- 44 pages
Chapter 2- 67 pages
Chapter 3- 119 pages
Chapter 4- 58 pages
Chapter 5- 62 pages
Chapter 6- 54 pages
Chapter 7- 69 pages
Chapter 8- 78 pages
Chapter 9- 62 pages

Should I be asking for a refund from www.amazon.com due to pages-missing? Did Sebastian come to the “each more than 100 pages long” figure by dividing 800 by 9 and finding the result 105? Was he, once more, merely “sort of lying”?

//Sorry for now, but I must make a pause. I will return soon//

I'm amazed this post has prompted so many comments. Apparently people really enjoying debating this stuff.

I have to agree with Sebastian to a certain extent: I think such debates are largely a waste of time. When people disagree on the broad fundamentals, they're not going to see eye to eye on details. It's best to simply accept the fact that we don't all see the world the same way - which is a good thing. Our differences are what make life interesting.

But those who enjoy debates are certainly free to continue this one. Just don't expect any minds to be changed. It's been my experience that debates only cause both sides to dig in their heels.

It's best to simply accept the fact that we don't all see the world the same way - which is a good thing. Our differences are what make life interesting. - Michael Prescott
--------------------------------------------

I think it has a lot to do with "why we are here." Duality and separation. Teaching the soul what it means and how it feels to be separate, something it can't learn in Heaven due to those overwhelming feelings of oneness and connectedness. We don't come here to learn "oneness" we come here to experience separation. Separation in every way, shape, and form possible - enough to overcome those feelings of oneness and connectedness mentioned so often in NDE's.

Anita M's NDE
And there was a feeling of being connected to the entire universe- becoming one with everyone and everything."
http://www.nderf.org/anita_m's_nde.htm

Cara M's NDE
"I felt I was connected to the universe and that the other beings, like me, were forms of energy and pure consciousness.
http://www.nderf.org/cara_m_nde.htm

Vicky M NDE
I also felt very connected to the universe, and how we are all connected. I knew what I had to do - as I felt.. knew, I had work to do on earth."
http://www.nderf.org/vicky_m_nde.htm

excerpt from Lois M's NDE:
"I wanted to go back under because everything was so beautiful and amazing under the water, it was tranquil, and the feeling of oneness and timelessness was what I wanted to go back to."
http://www.nderf.org/lois_m_nde.htm

"It's best to simply accept the fact that we don't all see the world the same way."

I don't understand how anyone could look at Dr Michael Sabom's recollections of death and come to the conclusion that... 'there's nothing in it.' With their intellect(the skeptics) they should be able to recognize that there's QUITE OBVIOUSLY something going on here.'

It's absurd to propose brain pathology etc as a satisfactory explanation. At least they should have the decency to just say that Sabom fabricated the whole thing. That, I could sort of accept,but not the daft explanations that we get.

I just would like to finish saying that I think the result of proper criticism is of high interest to all of us. No one needs to be perfect. And if indeed Sebastian went wrong in some points, this is part of the process. Just as it is part of the process that he, if he sees any relevance from the contributions and critiques that he received, implements some changes in his approach and attitude.

Best Wishes,
Julio

Sorry, my post above was incorrect. I will post the correct one (much bigger) next.

The Subversive Thinking blog has just posted a "reply to Sebastian Dieguezs comments":

http://subversivethinking.blogspot.com/2009/07/reply-to-sebastian-dieguezs-comments-in.html

Dear all,

thanks for all this output, I tried to follow this thread but have been unable to find the time to respond to everyone here. If this thread is not closed by Michael I will try to post a few comments later this week. I will also try to post some words on my own blog on Subversive Thinking's reply to my comments on his critique of my review of IM. I'll try especially to get back to Julio's appreciated and extended interventions also, either here or on my blog. I want to tell him that I'm interested in dialogue, but unfortunately I just don't have much time right now.
I'm really sorry but there is too much to handle here while I have very pressing issues elsewhere.
In any case, thanks for your time and check this place in a few days if you're still interested at all in this issue.

Cheers

Hi All,

I will post my comments on Sebastian in the link below:

http://www.criticandokardec.com.br/irreducible_skepticism.htm

There may be minor changes to the text, and some additions. These will be highlighted. I will have that within a day.

By, Julio

Excellent Blog every one can get lots of information for any topics from this blog nice work keep it up.

"If this thread is not closed by Michael I will try to post a few comments later this week." (posted on August 2)

I kept the thread open for a month after that comment, but now I'm going to close it. If I keep threads open too long, they start to collect comment spam.

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