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"People are still responsible for their actions even if they can't help wanting what they want."

But are we responsible or all that is our fiction to coexist?

"I really don't think this has anything to do with materialism, pace both you and Eric on this point."

That is a materialistic consequence: there are no moral agents. Of course, other philosophical positions can have a same corollary.

Matt wrote: If a person is a sadist and looking for opportunities to hurt others, then *on one level* I can have compassion for this poor being that can't help but want to do evil, but that doesn't change the fact that the being is evil and responsible for his actions.
Here's Agatha Christie:
"I am willing to believe that [those who kill] are made that way, that they are born with a disability, for which, perhaps, one should pity them; but even then, I think, not spare them."

Roger Knights,

Great quote... Yes we said the same thing!

http://theness.com/neurologicablog/index.php/follow-up-on-bems-psi-research/. I am wondering what everyone's response to this is. He's saying that data mining or fishing for positive results for psi known as p-hacking shows that Parapsychologist's such as Bem are not doing real science but pseudoscience.

Leo, I'm not a great fan of Novella's arrogance towards unconventional claims. On the other hand he does raise valid points regarding issues with replication in science. To quote him:

Initial positive results are not definitive because there are just too many ways to bias the outcome (to p-hack). We start to get interested when there are rigorous replications, especially exact replications.

Lack of replication is a major issue in especially medical science and probably also psychology. Generally I think there's massive confirmation biases going on science due to a constant pressure of producing new scientific papers.

On the other hand lack of replication does not disprove psi. In general it's next to impossible to disprove anything. I personally believe the stronger cases comes from the so-called anecdotal claims.

sbu writes: "On the other hand lack of replication does not disprove psi. In general it's next to impossible to disprove anything. I personally believe the stronger cases comes from the so-called anecdotal claims."

Yes, so do I. I'm always on the lookout for descriptions of psychic experiences that match my own. That's the best proof of all for me.

I have studied practiced and taught Zen Buddhism for almost fifty years. I have received transmission form two Zen masters Soto and Rinzai. It is hard to speak of Buddhism as a uniform philosophy with all its adherents agreeing on much other than the eightfold path and the four noble truths.
I know of no Sanskrit ,Pali or Chinese texts that claims much of anything about the origins of consciousness.(there is no word for that in Sanskrit) various words for mind about i six really.
It is quite frankly irrelevant to Buddhism and Buddha refused to answer such metaphysical questions as being irrelevant. Buddhist tradition holds that the separation of subject and object individual and universal is primarily the result of Avidya ignorance.(avidya)
IN Buddhist thought there are two truth or two levels of truth ,conventional and absolute. Conventional truth is incomplete fundamentally illusory and absolute truth can be attained but not expressed in words.
Rebirth occurs moment by moment not just in between "lives".

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