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Old 10-02-2007, 03:18 PM   #20
Achilles
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tk102
That was actually what I was attempting to argue. In other words, belief in God did not require step #1 of Sam Harris' 6 steps. That was the whole point of the NDE tangent. Same thing with the agnostic.
The willingness to believe in god is step #1. The events leading up to said willingness are too diverse to include here, hence why I imagine he began at the first common step.

Quote:
Originally Posted by tk102
Maybe so, I wrote that in like 5 minutes.
*grumbles something about the quality of the devil's advocates nowadays*

Quote:
Originally Posted by tk102
We're not trying to prove the existence of God with an NDE. We're talking about how an NDE can be the cause of belief in God without going through Sam Harris' 6 steps. Again, that was why I brought it up.
I didn't think that you were, but even if you had been, I'm not sure how much that would have changed my counter-argument (something that happens is only evidence that it happened. Determining causality requires a little more work).

Quote:
Originally Posted by tk102
And to remedy my omission to this:
That is true. It does not tell us what causes our conscious experience. But EKGs during an NDE tells us what does not cause the experience, namely brain activity. Plus there are numerous accounts of disembodied experiences of floating above operating rooms, watching doctors perform operations.
And the fact that neuroscientists can duplicate the sensation of being outside of the body with medication and/or probes tells us that a supernatural explanation for such an experience is not required.

Regarding EKGs: I'm ok with saying "I don't know" if you are. Until a natural explanation can be ruled out, then I see no reason to accept a supernatural explanation (which also can't be ruled out).

Quote:
Originally Posted by tk102
The standard assumption is that brain electro-chemical activity is responsible for consciousness. Such experiences do not fit easily into that explanation. And therefore your argument that it is a leap of faith to assume God exists based on what is experienced near death can also be applied towards the belief that consciousness is completely derivative of the body.
I could be, assuming that I would be prepared to make any definitive statements regarding the source of consciousness, which I am not. Considering how much we know about the brain and how long we have been studying it, I would say that the lion's share of discovery lies ahead of us, rather than behind us.

What I have said before, and what I will stand by now, is that I'm not prepared to attribute consciousness to a supernatural source without evidence.

To draw an analogy, we've understood gravity pretty well for a few hundred years and very well for just about one hundred. What we still don't know is what causes gravity or where it comes from. That doesn't stop me from watching my head around piano movers. Same thing goes for consciousness in my book. But I suspect that we're getting off topic.

Quote:
Originally Posted by tk102
Hope I've redeemed my standing with you a little.
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