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I agree. I expressed this in another way: Sudduth make the mistake of treating the survival hypothesis as a deductive hypothesis when it is an abductive hypothesis, because the question is to find out which is the simplest hypothesis that connects a whole group of phenomena apparently unrelated: OBEs, NDEs, apparitions, mediumship and people seem to remember their past lives, and that is the survival hypothesis.

An example: we know that many mediums as Eileen Garrett stated that they could perceive auras around living beings and they perceived such auras came off the body at the time of death and still made an independent life. The survival hypothesis relates the ability to perceive auras with an afterlife: the auras are the surface of the embodied spirits while and it is natural that people capable of being possessed by spirits of the deceased can perceive embodied and disembodied spirits. But for non survivalists hypothesis is incomprehensible that the ability to mimic the personality of a deceased sole accompanied by the ability to perceive auras.

That is, the survival hypothesis is more homogeneous. The non survivalists hypothesis are more heterogeneous because they have to explain the apparitions of a form, mediumship otherwise, apparent memories of previous lives differently, etc. The survival hypothesis is more probable but not in the sense of beyond a reasonable doubt, but more likely to be true.

"the simplest hypothesis that connects a whole group of phenomena apparently unrelated: OBEs, NDEs, apparitions, mediumship and people seem to remember their past lives, and that is the survival hypothesis." juan
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Please don't leave out death bed visions! They are wonderful! I love them. David Kessler's book "Visions, Trips, and Crowded Rooms" is a great book. It is so uplifting and comforting.

I have quite a few death bed vision books in my little life after death collection, Death Bed Visions by Sir William Barrett, At the Hour of Death by Karlis Osis, One Last Hug Before I Go by Carla Wills-Brandon, Final Gifts by Maggie Callanan, The Art of Dying by Peter Fenwick, Glimpses of Eternity by Raymond Moody, etc.

What Michael and Juan said. :)

What I don't get is the *ostensible* motivation for the super-psi hypothesis. (I get the *real* motivation: they are atheists or fellow travelers who want to discourage people from believing in survival.)

But let's grant for the moment that super-psi proponents are saying what they mean. In that case, they *do* believe in the same set of phenomena that we survival proponents believe. What I don't get, then, is why they think super-psi is a better explanation. Michael pointed out a bunch of phenomena that seem to point toward actual survival instead of super-psi. Are there any phenomena that super-psi proponents adduce that point toward super-psi itself?

I have yet to hear *anything.* "When after-death communicators do XYZ, that really doesn't seem like survival, does it?" Things like that.

Further, the whole thing about "auxiliary assumptions" is epistemologically ridiculous. After-death communications are all about the *content*, right? It's not the fact that a medium is talking is amazing; it's only the *content* of his/her words that can impress or not (assuming we're talking about mental mediums here). Insofar as super-psi proponents take that content seriously (i.e., they credit it as at least proving psi is real), why don't they actually *believe* the content? As Michael says, these aren't really "assumptions": they are elements of the content that are being told to us.

That doesn't mean one should believe everything any medium, NDEr, etc., has ever said. Yet has a good reason been provided to *doubt* everything they've ever said? I think not.

Michael, well stated. I was going to say the same thing that Juan ended with. That is, even if a person can't accept it "beyond a reasonable doubt," that one can drop down significantly to the "preponderance of evidence" standard of the law, which simply means the evidence for outweighs the evidence against, or as Juan stated, more likely to be true than not true. That is the standard in civil courts. If we can put it on a percentage basis, the preponderance standard is 51% for and 49% against, while the BARD standard is more like 98.8% for and 1.2% against. I'm sure many would argue with the latter percentage. That's just my take on it.

Michael,

Meant to add that I am at (degree of certainty):

98.8% on survival
90% on reincarnation in its broadest sense
80% on crop circles
70% on reincarnation as generally accepted
60% on alien abductions
15% on Big Foot
12% on the Loch Ness Monster

Juan, "Sudduth make the mistake of treating the survival hypothesis as a deductive hypothesis when it is an abductive hypothesis...."

I agree. I think we can also that the argument is arising from the two approaches taken; scholarship (us) versus Baconian science (Sudduth).

Scholarship allows us to arrive at a reasonable conclusion based on what we have learned whereas the Baconian approach leaves us mired in a tangle of untestable hypothesis.

Please don't leave out death bed visions!

The deathbed visions are a type of apparitions.

I always thought that the super psi theory, as an alternative to the afterlife hypothesis, was self defeating. After all isn't a being who can traverse time, operate non locally outside the brain, cause psychokinetic effects, read minds etc etc, the very type of being one would fully expect to transcend death? Maybe the answer isn't "either or", but possibly, both.

GregL

What I don't get, then, is why they think super-psi is a better explanation.

One of the reasons given is that both the survival hypothesis as the super psi hypothesis must accept psi among the living, but the survival hypothesis has to accept also spirits of the deceased, so it is ontologically more complicated than the super psi hypothesis, and therefore the super psi hypothesis entities is preferable for imply less entities. But then considering that all psychic phenomena are only psi between living, super psi proponents fulminate all traits that distinguish psi only between living and psi between living and deceased.

Are there any phenomena that super-psi proponents adduce that point toward super-psi itself?

Yes there are cases as the cases of a medium that comes in contact with a person who claims to have died and then is check that the person was fictitious or existed but was alive:

http://www.dailygrail.com/blogs/Greg/2008/1/Not-So-Imaginary-Bessie-Beals

But this only indicates some cases of apparent mediumship can be psi only between living, but does not prove that all cases of mediumship are only psi between living. (Even this example is not proof of only psi between living, because a
not contradictory possibility is the medium in contact with the future person once deceased, although this person is still alive in the present, but this few people even think it because it defied our conceptions of time, but even this could have some support from the evidence that the time may not be as linear as we tend to believe).

The key is whether it is probable that all cases of apparent mediumship are only psi between living, and the answer is no, because there are certain traits that point to some cases are samples of postmortem survival, as Michael wrote, besides that if this we add OBEs, NDEs, apparitions and people seem to remember their past lives, then the odds towards the survival hypothesis increase.

I have to say that the discussions on this blog about Super PSI are of high quality.
I would like to contribute to this discussion by sharing some things in my mind:

1) Super PSI would be better described as Super Deceptive PSI. This is not to ridicule the idea of Super PSI but to highlight the nature of what is being claimed; an immensely elaborate psychic deception.

2) Explanations are meant to be statements providing clarification and better understanding.
Super PSI/ Super Deceptive PSI however seems to do the opposite. If we accept that we are susceptible to such vast deception in this case why should we be considered immune to elaborate deception in other cases?
If we consistently follow through the implications of Super PSI/ Super Deceptive PSI then what we get is not clarification or understanding but colossal confusion.
This undermines the validity of Super PSI/ Super Deceptive PSI as an explanation.

3) I have not yet seen any plausible reason of why the existence of PSI points to the existence of Super Deceptive PSI, or how people’s fear of death can unleash such powers.
Unless this can be plausibly shown, accepting Super PSI/ Super Deceptive PSI means accepting a non-sequitur logical fallacy; acceptance Super PSI/ Super Deceptive PSI does not seem to follow the acceptance of PSI and the fear of death.

I don't even take super-psi that seriously... If it can't be proven (or disproven) why even try? I'm cool with people believing in super-psi, i't doesn't change how I think the real thing is...

Besides, I haven't read more than a couple of articles in this blog about super-psi... but if our own subconscious is so good at tricking us, wouldn't be extrange that someone could have come up with the idea of super-psi in the first place...? I mean, if the conspiration is that good, how do you explain that someone could have figured it out and create a theory of it called "super-psi"?

Don't look at me! I didn't do it! {grin!} - Art

[Art's referring to a problem with the italics, which is now fixed. Folks, it is always best to avoid italics. - MP]

Luciano wrote,

||I mean, if the conspiration is that good, how do you explain that someone could have figured it out and create a theory of it called "super-psi"?||

That's a great point!

And Faisal wrote,

||If we accept that we are susceptible to such vast deception in this case why should we be considered immune to elaborate deception in other cases?||

Another great point.

We would need an explanation of why super-psi is only good enough to fool us to the degree it does, and no more.

It would amount to a humanity-wide system of control or deception that nevertheless chooses only to bring us all together on this one hoax but nothing else. If it had such a Trickster nature, then wouldn't it choose to fool us in multiple areas?

Has anyone seen this paper yet I found it very interesting on the mind brain relationship

Brain works like a radio receiver

http://www.ru.nl/english/@930644/pagina/

Luciano:
|| I mean, if the conspiration is that good, how do you explain that someone could have figured it out and create a theory of it called "super-psi"? ||

Matt Rouge:
|| We would need an explanation of why super-psi is only good enough to fool us to the degree it does, and no more.

It would amount to a humanity-wide system of control or deception that nevertheless chooses only to bring us all together on this one hoax but nothing else. If it had such a Trickster nature, then wouldn't it choose to fool us in multiple areas? ||

Since everything human has its limitations, this would include the powers of the supposed collective unconscious mind. Maybe it does the best it can to pull the wool over our eyes, but runs into a lot of constraints. The main limitation would be in actual physical manifestation.

There actually are a number of other anomalous phenomena that seem candidates for deception by a collective unconscious mind. Ever heard of UFOs, alien abductions, crop circles, Bigfoot and other cryptids, angel appearances and Marian apparitions? They share some odd characteristics with psi and afterlife-suggestive psychical phenomena, namely an even more elusive, unverifiable nature, and a focus on the mass fears and desires of the time.

Super-psi still seems very implausible as an explanation for psychical phenomena, but it seems to me there is room for suspicion.

My question about super-psi is why that mediums don't continually experience that level of success in telepathic perception in other contexts? You would think that they were the best experts on the nature of what they experience, since they're the ones experiencing it and if they had that level of telepathic ability they would be aware of it in contexts other than attempts to communicate with the dead.

If super-PSI really was in effect, wouldn't it manifest upon very tragic deaths - such as death of a child - when it's needed most? Wouldn't the collective family, the aunts, uncles, and cousins, manifest the appearance that the deceased child survives to give the grieving parents solace? But this never occurs. I'm fine with people believing in this, I just don't see it myself.

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