Logan or Wendell,
I was just curious if you guys had heard about Robert Lanza's theory regarding the afterlife and shifting consciousness between parallel universes after death? If you have heard about his theories, do you have any specific opinions regarding them? Thanks for the awesome shows and all of the generous giveaways!
He thinks biology is more important than physics and chemistry. The physical sciences will discover the nature of multiple universes, not biology. Biology is really just an extreme expression of complex chemistry, not a science on cosmology.
I suppose that the most interesting aspect of the theory, for me, is that it could converge two different philosophical schools of thought that once were one. Historically, science emerged out of philosophy, and I think that his theory (in regards to there being an 'afterlife') might bring philosophy, religion, and science back together. I don't know if it is a good thing, or a bad thing, but it fascinates me to think about such a paradigm shift in a logic-based field of study. I really appreciate your thoughts on the matter, fyi, A5H.
Philosophy and science are absolutely distinct. And don't mention religion at all. Religion is faith, and faith is believing something without evidence.The act of picking out which facts support your idea is unforgivably unscientific. Science forms conclusions from evidence, so they are incompatible constructs.
Science offers explanations to questions of "what" and "how". Philosophy offers explanations to questions of "why". They cannot converge. If philosophy became a science, we could objectively answer questions of purpose, which is illogical. Purpose is subjective. You can't answer the question "why does a mountain exist" through the lens of science (you could try to in philosophy but it's easier and more logical to say that attaching purpose to such an object is irrelevant). Rather you can ask questions like how does a mountain form, what is a mountain, which processes allowed the existence of mountains, etc. But never a question of purpose or meaning.
Philosophy can be useful to deal with areas like logic and epistemology, both of which are not science. I agree that science emerged from the thought of philosophers originally, but observation of reality is distinct from musings on abstract, intangible concepts.
afterlife ideas are just attempts to avoid having to deal with one's own finite existence.
"shifting consciousness between parallel universes" is sudoscience. What little we understand about our minds comes from neuroscience, and that points exclusively to our minds+consciousness = our brain (& probably some nerve clusters in our intestines & spinal cord).
Allot of our thinking is the result of complex chemistry, I'm pretty sure that we could measure a bunch of chemicals vanishing into another dimension.
The idea that consciousness is separate from the brain is known as dualism, which is just a crutch to rationalize afterlife ideas.
This is yet another attempt to shoehorn religion into science.
The general rule: don't make assumptions unless the evidence leaves you no other choice.
There is no evidence that requires us to conclude that consciousness is this semi-magic ethereal thing. You can believe that if you want, but don't you dare evoke science for anything other then falsifiable claims.
Science is about cold hard facts, if you feel anything spiritual, it's probably a good idea to pull the emergency break, & go maximum power on scepticism.
This is simply the result of an escapist attempt to find solace in the thought of death. Without even reading his theory I can tell you that it is not scientific. If falls into an idea of ignorance. "We can't explain this, so it must be the result of supernatural forces."
I'm going to play "Devil's Advocate" yet again and ask you what you think about logical positivism? Your opinions please, and not the definition of what it is. I wouldn't ask for your opinions if I didn't know what it was :) I really like where this thread is going, and I must say it is inspiring to see people that are actually rational--it is not a common occurrence in public forums.
I know you said don’t mention a definition but I will to ensure we’re not discussing semantics rather than the content of your post.
Logical positivism is an attitude that says science is the only form of knowledge that we can be positive about and everything else is meaningless regarding questions of truth. It is nonsense in my opinion.
Scientific “laws” are theories that have always worked with no exceptions (conservation of energy, Newton’s laws of motion, laws of thermodynamics, Maxwell’s equations, laws of reflection and refraction, etc). I can partially agree that these empirical descriptions of nature are best described as “truth” and will remain valid forever (though I am still sceptical since my understanding of quantum mechanics, special relativity and areas of chemistry are not adequate to fully appreciate how these laws are sustained). From a logical positivistic lens, scientific laws are definitely true, since they are areas of knowledge that have been harnessed from the scientific method.
So what about ideas like love; a non-scientific concept (yes, someone might argue that love is a chemical reaction/imbalance in your brain from a neurological or chemical point of view, but I’m talking about it from an experiential perspective). How can anyone be sure that their partner, family, etc love them? Do I need to posit a hypothesis, test it with observation and discuss my findings with peers to “prove” that love is a valid emotion to experience? Absolutely not. But from a logical positivistic view, I must conduct this process if I want to classify love as truth.
Therefore, logical positivism is hopeless in dealing with metaphysics. One’s identity, their will, their beliefs, their relationships; these facets of one’s being cannot be tested. If I were a logical positivist, I could conclude that they are “untrue” since scientific thought makes no conclusions on these notions. This is futile and senseless. Enter philosophical thought. Now we can answer questions of purpose! This cannot be achieved with logical positivism.
There are many Tek members who have a firmer grasp on philosophy then I do, so I’m interested in other people’s ideas, and your own project_meatloaf.