J Neil Schulman

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About J Neil Schulman

  • Birthday 04/16/1953

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    J. Neil Schulman
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  1. I've just written on what Judge Ito famously called "the Simpson matter" for the first time in many years. "Triple Jeopardy" http://www.ncc-1776.org/tle2017/tle932-20170723-03.html
  2. Belief in the absurd is something you should never get to. None of this, including your delusional beliefs about God, has anything to with scientific inquiry. Ghs Classifying an ongoing sensory experience as a hallucination because you have a belief that it's impossible is an act of dogmatic faith, not science. You have the methods of science upside down, George H. Smith. Your skepticism isn't rational. It's religious. The ability to distinguish between the real and the imaginary is always based, to some degree, on what one regards as impossible. This is a distinguishing characteristic of sanity, not to mention rationality. My skepticism about your particiular God-claim is based on the same premises as my rejection of thousands of similar claims that have made made for thousands of years. If anything -- and as I have discussed before -- your interpretation of your personal experience is far less credible than many similar claims by other people. On a scale of 1 to 10 in regard to such God-claims, I would rate it a 3 -- possibly a 4, if I am in an especially understanding mood. Ghs George, you're trying to change the subject. I'm not going to let you get away with it. The subject is no longer my interpretation of my experience. Off the table for now, irrelevant, immaterial, out of order. The subject is -- in your own words -- "The weirdest experiences occurred while I was wide awake and completely sober. I would sometimes go for hours at a time without realizing that my father was dead, and I would frequently hear his voice coming from another room. It took at least a year before these voices stopped, and there were other disturbing incidents as well. So don't tell me about your paranormal interpretations of such experiences, as if you are the only one who has ever had them. I had dozens and dozens of them, and I struggled like a son-of-bitch to retain my hold on reality." This is your experience, not mine. While you were wide awake and sober, for a period approaching a year, you had dozens and dozens of experiences that you ultimately dismissed as too fantastic to regard as real. That is a choice of how to interpret this phenomena that you, not I, made. You could have approached this scientifically and attempted to validate whether or not this could be direct evidence of survival after death. Instead, because of your dogmatic, faith-based decision that human consciousness does not survive bodily death, you dismissed the data, declared your own experiences untrustworthy, and placed your faith in the conventional above the evidence of your own senses. You don't again get me to take you seriously as someone who holds reason at the pinnacle of his values until you admit that your denying your own experience of the exceptional makes you incapable of fairly interpreting anybody else's. You're as much of a faith-based evangelical as the Pope.
  3. Belief in the absurd is something you should never get to. None of this, including your delusional beliefs about God, has anything to with scientific inquiry. Ghs Classifying an ongoing sensory experience as a hallucination because you have a belief that it's impossible is an act of dogmatic faith, not science. You have the methods of science upside down, George H. Smith. Your skepticism isn't rational. It's religious.
  4. So do you acknowledge the possibility that you are wrong about your supposed encounter with God? Or is your mind closed on this subject? Ghs I stand with Eleanor Arroway's final testimony regarding her experience of extraterrestrials in Contact. http://youtu.be/-FbSPXC4btU Now, George, I throw the question back to you. Do you acknowledge the possibility that you are wrong about the impossibility of your supposed encounter with your father after his death? Do you acknowledge the possibility that his conscious survived the death of his body and you really were hearing a post-death communication? Or is your mind closed on this subject? Let us hope that your defense is not as incompetent and cliched as that given by Arroway. I never said that I encountered my father after his accidental death. I said I had dreams about him; and that after waking it could take a minute or so before my head cleared. This sort of experience is common, as is the experience you had. Unlike you, however, I don't confuse my dreams and states of semi-consciousness with great insights into the nature of reality. Ghs No, George. I'm asking you, "Do you acknowledge the possibility that you are wrong about the impossibility of your supposed encounter with your father after his death? Do you acknowledge the possibility that his conscious survived the death of his body and you really were hearing a post-death communication? Or is your mind closed on this subject?" because you wrote the following: George H. Smith Message #658, Page 33 of this thread Again, I never thought or imagined that my father was talking to me; in most cases, I thought I heard him talking to my mother in another room, though I could never make out specific words. Moreover, my mother never heard the voice. No, I don't think it is possible that this was really my father talking. It was my active imagination. Call them audio hallucinations, if you will. I distinguish between such experiences, which are fairly common after tragedies, and reality. Do you? Or do you believe everything you think you hear or see? Ghs Belief is something you get to much later. I would not have excluded repeated experiences as evidence of something real. I would not have rejected sensory input because it did not fit into my pre-existing worldview of what was possible. I would not have rejected data in favor of theory. That's putting belief ahead of scientific inquiry.
  5. So do you acknowledge the possibility that you are wrong about your supposed encounter with God? Or is your mind closed on this subject? Ghs I stand with Eleanor Arroway's final testimony regarding her experience of extraterrestrials in Contact. http://youtu.be/-FbSPXC4btU Now, George, I throw the question back to you. Do you acknowledge the possibility that you are wrong about the impossibility of your supposed encounter with your father after his death? Do you acknowledge the possibility that his conscious survived the death of his body and you really were hearing a post-death communication? Or is your mind closed on this subject? Let us hope that your defense is not as incompetent and cliched as that given by Arroway. I never said that I encountered my father after his accidental death. I said I had dreams about him; and that after waking it could take a minute or so before my head cleared. This sort of experience is common, as is the experience you had. Unlike you, however, I don't confuse my dreams and states of semi-consciousness with great insights into the nature of reality. Ghs No, George. I'm asking you, "Do you acknowledge the possibility that you are wrong about the impossibility of your supposed encounter with your father after his death? Do you acknowledge the possibility that his conscious survived the death of his body and you really were hearing a post-death communication? Or is your mind closed on this subject?" because you wrote the following: George H. Smith Message #658, Page 33 of this thread
  6. Got a million bucks you're not using? Under Section 181 of the IRS code its a 100% write-off. But the write-off is only good through the end of 2011
  7. It's possible you might be the first person to read I Met God who understands that I am no less hostile to religion, its dogmas, and its dogmatic clergy than I was when I was an atheist.
  8. Look at the work of UC Irvine cognitive scientist Donald D. Hoffman, PhD: http://www.cogsci.uci.edu/~ddhoff/ and http://www.cogsci.uci.edu/~ddhoff/HoffmanPubs.html
  9. So do you acknowledge the possibility that you are wrong about your supposed encounter with God? Or is your mind closed on this subject? Ghs I stand with Eleanor Arroway's final testimony regarding her experience of extraterrestrials in Contact. http://youtu.be/-FbSPXC4btU Now, George, I throw the question back to you. Do you acknowledge the possibility that you are wrong about the impossibility of your supposed encounter with your father after his death? Do you acknowledge the possibility that his conscious survived the death of his body and you really were hearing a post-death communication? Or is your mind closed on this subject?
  10. I don't think you're even aware that you're assuming your conclusion. All perception is subjective. Whether the perception is of something externally stimulated and therefore real is the question under discussion. Surely you will acknowledge that there is a difference between an actual eyewitness testimony and the type of "waking experience" someone has who "sees" something in his mind only? Conventional eyesight works by light hitting the retina and being conveyed to the brain for interpretation as an image. In an experimental lab the brain can be electrically stimulated to produce that same image without light hitting the retina. In a dream multi-sensory experience can be as real as what is experienced while conventionally awake. When a tune gets stuck in our head, we can hear it as clearly as if it was being played to our ears. The brain does a good deal of processing of sensory data such that perception often creates a memory at variance from an actual occurrence. This is often demonstrated in classroom performances showing how eyewitness testimony can be commonly false to what was presented. All perception requires reflection and integration with the whole of our life experiences. You're asking me to make a binary distinction between conventional perception and extraordinary perception. This I can not do. Just because events are unusual and iconic doesn't force one to accept by fiat epistemology that they are less real than conventional perceptions.
  11. There is an objective reality in which we exist. But the interfaces and filters between what exists and what we perceive make for a lifetime of philosophical study and crossing disciplines ranging from information theory to the physical sciences to neurobiology to "fringe" areas which are just as worthy of serious treatment as other sciences but which have protocols that are confounding and theories that are perplexing. I have accumulated enough data -- not just my own but data from others -- to conclude that conventional views of what is obviously true leave far too many anomalous data points to accept conventional worldviews. As a thought experiment, though, consider that if a medium were perfected that emulated reality -- sort of a hyper-3D reality emulation like you see in movies like The Matrix and The 13th Floor, or even the Star Trek holodeck -- so convincingly that the emulation was not readily distinguishable from an unprogrammed direct-sensory-feed reality, then the external source of a data feed is objectively real whether or not it's programmed media, but the meaning of "real" would require further definition.
  12. If you think the existence of Jane is impossible, no number of witnesses reporting sighting Jane can reach a high enough threshold to be convincing. Let's stay within the framework matching your experience. The issue is not about witnesses reporting - (like in a eye-witness testimony where there is a connection to objecitive reality) - it is about person's subjective experience limited to what went on in this person's head. I don't think you're even aware that you're assuming your conclusion. All perception is subjective. Whether the perception is of something externally stimulated and therefore real is the question under discussion.
  13. Here's the rebuttal: No problem throwing out the non-locality. But you will have to throw out your security camera as well. Since both of us obviousy did not apply Occam's razor (it's never a good idea to neglect Occam's razor), including unnecessary elements into our argumentation, let's make a better effort to tailor the "waking experience" of Jane's alleged bike theft to resemble your own waking experience as much as possible. Okay, here goes: John has a "waking experience" (of the type you had) where he "sees" Jane steal a bicycle. But there is no evidence that the "Jane" he sees even exists. Your turn. If you think the existence of Jane is impossible, no number of witnesses reporting sighting Jane can reach a high enough threshold to be convincing. Even if you believe Jane exists, but your belief system excludes anyone not on a received list of official Jane sighters, the threshold is too high to be convincing. Both of these are pre-judices against accepting reports of Jane sightings at face value.
  14. Neil presented a waking experience of his as if it was evidence of something real. Not accepting it on faith any more than accepting any other waking experience as real. Not a "mere belief." Neil, The "mere belief" does not refer to your perspective, (for you are convinced you actually did meet god). It refers to the epistemological status of your assertion. For example, suppose John states: "I know that Nancy stole a bicycle because I had a 'waking experience' seeing her do that", he would present something as a fact (Nancy's alleged theft of a bicycle) which, from an epistemological standpoint, is a mere unsubstantiated belief. "I know that Nancy stole a bicycle because I had a 'waking experience' seeing her do that" is testimony that gets Nancy convicted of theft in just about any court of law. No. For a waking experience of the type as as you described it is not an eyewitness experience. So John may have the "waking experience" in Nevada where he 'sees' Jane steal a bicycle in New York. He would be laughed out of court. Re-cross, your honor? "So if Jane was in New York while you were in Nevada, how did you see Jane steal the bicycle?" "I was watching an Internet video feed from the security cameras in New York." You're smuggling in unstated conditions of non-locality to support your own prejudices.
  15. Neil presented a waking experience of his as if it was evidence of something real. Not accepting it on faith any more than accepting any other waking experience as real. Not a "mere belief." Neil, The "mere belief" does not refer to your perspective, (for you are convinced you actually did meet god). It refers to the epistemological status of your assertion. For example, suppose John states: "I know that Nancy stole a bicycle because I had a 'waking experience' seeing her do that", he would present something as a fact (Nancy's alleged theft of a bicycle) which, from an epistemological standpoint, is a mere unsubstantiated belief. "I know that Nancy stole a bicycle because I had a 'waking experience' seeing her do that" is testimony that gets Nancy convicted of theft in just about any court of law.