Are Psychopaths The Only People Without Souls?

Color

Jedi Council Member
beau said:
Third_Density_Resident said:
Unlike this site, I don't necessarily agree that ALL people have an inbuilt soul
Where on this site did you read that all people have souls?
I think TDR was talking about the site for which provided a link, in the sentence before the one you quoted...
Not THIS site... Or, maybe I'm reading it wrong, so you're asking for that particular site?
 

Laura

Administrator
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Mr_Bateman said:
I suppose my 'research' could be considered biased in a sense.

I have deliberately leant towards the materialistic and scientific method. It just seems to be coming from a more honest place.
Not necessarily. As my husband has written:

Arkadiusz Jadczyk said:
Ark to Robin Amis:

You stated that:

1) Scientific method has its limitations.

2) Knowledge should be understood in broader terms so as to include, for instance "noetic knowledge". In particular:

a) there is a true form of knowledge that is normally associated with religion

b) those with intellectual training tend to regard it as not being knowledge at all

3) That you - Praxis - teach this other form of knowledge, and the conditions under which it can be understood.

4) The reason that Praxis (and other religions) depends on a suspension of judgment is "that newcomers studying this material, despite quickly getting confirmation of its reality, will not understand it deeply enough."

I will try to address and expand the above points and, perhaps, try to add some new ideas, if only for the future discussion.

Point 1) I agree. I agree completely. In fact it takes a scientist to truly know the limitation and the weaknesses of science, as many of the tricks and games and even lies are known only to the insiders - scientists.

Point 2) I agree that there is such a knowledge; I agree that is important and, in fact, is crucial. And it is because of this fact that we stress on our Website and in our publications the importance of "knowledge", not just "science" or facts. It depends on whether you start with a fact and follow the clues to real knowledge, or whether you start with an assumption, and interpret all facts based on what may, at the very beginning, be a lie.

a) Whether this "true knowledge" is, was, or should be "associated with religion" is disputable.

The term "associated" is somewhat vague and can lead to misunderstandings. Science is also associated with religion. The Pope has scientific advisers; the Vatican supports scientific research.

On the other hand the greatest crimes of history have also been - and probably are still - associated with religion, one way or another.

Religion, if analyzed sincerely and critically, has many dark spots, and analyzing the reasons for this is not an easy task.

But I hope you will agree with me that one of the reasons why religions have these dark spots is that people were lulled into believing that they have (in opposition to others) the "true knowledge".

So the very concept of "true knowledge" is risky. It is easy to imagine that two different people will have different, orthogonal truths. For one the truth may be that he needs to kill the other man, while for the other man the truth may involve avoiding being killed. Every noetic truth has down-to-earth implications. Or so I think.

b) Though I agree that what you wrote may describe a general tendency, yet there are exceptions. History knows scientists - great scientists - that were "mystics" at the same time. Pascal, Newton, Poincare - just few examples. So, indeed, the term "tend to regard" that you used seems to be appropriate. But for this present point, it is important to know whether there is a real contradiction between being a scientist and appreciating other forms of knowledge at the same time. It seems to me and, I believe, you will agree, that there is no intrinsic contradiction.

Point 3) Here of course you are assuming that Praxis is already in possession of such a knowledge. Perhaps this is the case or, perhaps, Praxis has only "fragments of unknown teachings", and not the complete picture.

Being a scientist I am always careful and I would never state that I have the full and complete "knowledge" of something. I may know about tools, theories, formal structures, data etc. But one day, all my tools, data, theories and formal structures may prove to be wrong or useless with the uncovering of a single datum that shifts the entire structure. A true scientist MUST be open to this. What is important in science is being always open to surprises, to new paradigm shifts etc.

So, I think, you - Praxis - are teaching what you BELIEVE to be, at the present moment, "the true knowledge", and you may have very good reasons for such a belief. You may have very important pieces of knowledge - as we think based on research - but, perhaps, you are still lacking some of other important pieces - which we also think, based on research.

How can we know in advance where the next unexpected discovery will lead us?

And here I would like to make some constructive - or so I think - comments.

Looking at the history of "our civilization", religion seems to have been in existence much longer than "science." And yet we see that religion has failed. In spite of its teachings people are still constantly at war with each other. Human beings have not become better, and they are often much worse than animals. Gurdjieff described seeing the truth of our condition - the condition of our reality in general - as the "terror of the situation." It is terrible because, when you really SEE it, you realize how great a failure religion or the "powers" of the various versions of God really are.

Science, which came later and has exploded in the last millennium, has failed too. It has brought mankind to the edge of self-destruction. Advances in mathematical, physical and computer sciences have brought about "applied game theory", where "wars" are called "games", and to "win the game" is to kill as many people as possible with as little cost as possible.

Is there any hope at all? And if there is, then where?

Perhaps it is time to try something new? Perhaps a "marriage of science and mysticism" has a chance?

Why not take what is good from science and what is good from religion, and discard what is wrong?

What is the best thing about religion?

Religion teaches us to be open minded and accepting of possibilities which are far from being "rational". Religions teaches us to pay attention to singular events, miracles, phenomena that are fragile and hardly repeatable. Finally religion teaches us to look inside as much as outside: know thyself.

The strengths of the approach of religion just happen to be the weak points in science.

Science is often narrow-minded and conservative restricting everything to what is material and rigidly repeatable. Science teaches us that what is "out there" is not connected to what is "in here," that it must be captured, weighed, measured and manipulated. That is why new paradigms are so painful when they come - but they DO come in science, and they seldom come in religion which is "fixed" and dogmatic and not open to discussion.

What is the best thing about science?

Science is open to criticism and discussion. Even if many forces on the earth try to make a sort of religion of science, in general, scientific theories must be published and publicly discussed. We can find an error in Einstein's papers because these, as well as other papers, are publicly available. Everyone can learn mathematics, as advanced as you wish, from reading monographs, articles, going to conferences, and discussing with other scientists.

The strength of science just happens to be the weakness of religion. Religions are always "secret" in one respect or another - even if that secrecy is only the declaration that no changes can be made, no questions asked, because the ultimate truth about God is a "mystery," a "secret." That is why the teachings of religion are so easily distorted and misunderstood. It is so easy for the central "authority" to achieve the "pinnacle" of the religion and declare to the followers the correct interpretation and that no other is permitted.

Point 4) What you say about students not being able to judge for a long time is certainly true. But whether discouraging them from such judgments is the only solution - I am not sure.

Certainly that was the way it was done in the past. Groups were usually small, whether exoteric or esoteric. Travel and communication possibilities were severely restricted. But today a qualitative change has occurred: we are now in the era of networking and instant communication on a planetary scale.

Therefore a different approach is possible: instead of having few students and "teach them even when they are not yet ready", we can address ourselves to those who are ready.

This was not so easy to do in the past when teachers communicated, at best, to merely hundreds of potential students. But it is possible now, when we can communicate with millions.

Whoever is not yet ready for the next stage, let him stay where he is or go back where he was. Those who ARE ready, will find you - if you take care and NETWORK efficiently.

So, I would not discourage students from making early judgments and discussing subjects that they are not prepared for. If they come to the wrong conclusions and go away or attack you, that is their free will. Let them go where their minds and their hearts lead them.

Mind and Physics

Isn't "mind" a domain of philosophy, psychology and cognitive sciences?

Or, is mind just a function of a brain; and isn't the brain just a computing device?

There is no easy answer. There are a lot of interesting theories; a lot of controversy; a lot of "true believers" in this or that idea. There are "new age" physics books, Penrose bestsellers, Sarfatti's site on the internet, mail-lists and newsgroups discussing the subjects of MIND and CONSCIOUSNESS and so on.

I want to give here my own small perspective, based on my own research, my own experiences, my own conclusions.

First of all: why does it seem to me that I am qualified to discuss the subject?

The answer is pretty simple. The fact is, all my work on EEQT was directed toward one end: to make Quantum Theory as OBJECTIVE as possible; to eliminate any trace of "observer" from its (that is: Quantum Theory) dictionary; to formulate - reformulate - Quantum Theory in such a way that "observers" and "observables" and even "measurement" would be replaced by precise and totally objective concepts. I wanted to eliminate "Mind" entirely from the equation.

By doing this I was really pursuing John Bell's programme - a programme that he did not have enough time to carry out to a conclusion due to his untimely death - a crusade to discover an exact mathematical formulation describing both micro and macro phenomena so as to produce either a real synthesis of quantum and relativity theories, or to be able to construct a viable alternative to one or both of them. [...]

Our theory, EEQT, was presented at the conference "Quantum Theory Without Observers", held in Bielefeld, Germany, in July 1995. [...]

Our presentation was accompanied by a computer simulation of a run of a "measuring device" coupled to an individual quantum system. Our Event Generating Algorithm produced a sequence of "clicks" that were accompanying "quantum jumps" - without any intervention of an "observer". Moreover, the standard "quantum measurement postulates" can be derived from EEQT's "objective algorithm." In our papers ... we have stressed repeatedly that "mind" and "consciousness" and "observer" are not needed by quantum theory. Quantum physics can do without these concepts!

So, you see, I AM qualified to discuss the problems of mind and consciousness and their importance to physics - because I spent years trying to get rid of them!

Did I succeed?

Yes and no. My views started to shift after having an extensive discussion with H.P. Stapp. [...]

In a long series of e-mails, I tried to convince him that quantum theory does not need "mind" or "observer" - at least not any more than any other branch of physics. He insisted that it is MIND that is responsible for all that HAPPENS. It is MIND that is responsible for each and every final act of reduction of the "wave packet," for each and every "event," for each and every "quantum jump." And he pointed out the weakest place in our new quantum measurement theory (EEQT), namely: our theory worked well at the "phenomenological level" but could not aspire to become a "fundamental theory." Indeed, our theory assumed that a part of the world is "non-quantum," a part of the world had to remain "classical;" and it was this part that was surely related to the measuring device, to "perception," to "mind."

We could not find anything else in all of physics that would have to remain classical, unquantized.

So, willy-nilly, I started to study Stapp's papers again - but now with a more positive attitude; namely, with the idea of applying the powerful mathematical machinery of EEQT to the Mind-Matter interface. But this is another story; it is part of the current Quantum Future Project.
Mr_Bateman said:
As soon as any discussion on the soul starts focusing on life after death it is appealing to the emotional and becomes disreputable. Surely all the 'pseudoskeptics' in the world would be happy to find out they will survive death?
Probably not. And they probably won't. Those who can't conceive of it probably don't have it as I have already mentioned.

Mr_Bateman said:
And looking at the bigger picture, I also can't see how the soul concept can be reconciled with evolution, which is something I find a lot more convincing.
Evolution had to start somewhere. The very fact that a single atom exists depends upon something non-physical existing first. If you read Dawkins carefully (and he probably doesn't have a soul either, but that doesn't mean he is a psychopath. You don't have to be a psychopath to not have a soul. Non-souled individuals CAN have primitive feelings, also, just as animals have; only they have them in conjunction with a human brain. Not a very good combination from the point of view of the souled people that interact with them, but perfectly fine when they stay with their own kind.) you will discover that he conveniently just "skips" over this point and says quite plainly that he "leaves it to physicists" to figure that one out.

What is there "Before the Big Bang"? Well, the most basic way to describe it is: INFORMATION.

It is even quite possible that the "soul" is just that: Information that is "arranged" in a special way (think "sphere packing.")

Mr_Bateman said:
But I will with hold any further comment until I've read that document, which looks like it may lead to more reading.
Here's some more reading for you:

http://www.trans4mind.com/spiritual/myers1.html
http://www.members.global2000.net/~periph/
http://www.survivalafterdeath.org/photographs.htm
http://www.cfpf.org.uk/
http://www.victorzammit.com/

Note that I am just giving you a sampling of what is out there and available to someone who is just starting to look into the subject. Been there, done that, have been convinced.

The fact is, this forum has been created for others who are also convinced. It was not intended to be a place where the merits of the argument for or against the soul could/would be argued. My suggestion to you is do the work, get your hands dirty in the research. If you are still not convinced, then that is fine. There are plenty of forums where you can hang out with your own kind.
 

Beau

Administrator
Administrator
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Color said:
beau said:
Third_Density_Resident said:
Unlike this site, I don't necessarily agree that ALL people have an inbuilt soul
Where on this site did you read that all people have souls?
I think TDR was talking about the site for which provided a link, in the sentence before the one you quoted...
Not THIS site... Or, maybe I'm reading it wrong, so you're asking for that particular site?
Ah, I see. You are correct Color. I misunderstood first. I think TDR was referring to the site linked to in his post. Don't mind me...
 
M

Mr_Bateman

Guest
Laura said:
Mr. Bateman said:
I don’t think I have a soul, I don’t think anyone has. So the lack of a soul being given as a reason for psychopaths seems a red herring to me.
That seems to be at the root of many of the world's problems: people who don't have souls and can't conceive of them, assume this is true for everyone and project that belief onto others.

Because, it is, in fact, a belief.
My belief is based solely on the available evidence. If the me that is 'me' is a network of neurons, or a none physical soul, I am still me (the me that has some connection missing). Until this forum I had never heard of the idea of some people having souls and some not, only of the 'all or nothing' viewpoints.
Laura said:
At the same time, people who DO have souls, also can't conceive of those who do not have them and likewise project that belief onto OPs and psychopaths.

It would be comical if it wasn't so tragic.

You say you have never felt anything for anyone ever in your life. Does that include your parents? Any siblings? Pets?
Nothing. Only Child. Nothing [well nearly nothing, this popped into my head on the proof read... I did feel a sadness at the realisation that an exgirlfriend's cat would be dead by now].
Laura said:
How do you feel about - or react to - music and art? Nature?
Indifferent to all three.
Laura said:
Have you ever cried while watching a sad movie?
Once, when the only kid with potential was killed in Boyz In Da Hood. I was 19-20 years old.

Thank you for the second post too, I'll properly check out the links before replying to that one though.
 
M

Mr_Bateman

Guest
Laura

Actually, I would like to reply to one thing from your second post, which I can do without further reading.
Laura said:
Evolution had to start somewhere. The very fact that a single atom exists depends upon something non-physical existing first. If you read Dawkins carefully (and he probably doesn't have a soul either, but that doesn't mean he is a psychopath. You don't have to be a psychopath to not have a soul. Non-souled individuals CAN have primitive feelings, also, just as animals have; only they have them in conjunction with a human brain. Not a very good combination from the point of view of the souled people that interact with them, but perfectly fine when they stay with their own kind.) you will discover that he conveniently just "skips" over this point and says quite plainly that he "leaves it to physicists" to figure that one out.
I have read Dawkins, as carefully as I read everything else, and to be fair to him, he is a biologist so what happened before biology existed is not within his area of expertise.

Though arguably neither is religion...

But what I'm saying about evolution is that the evolutionary process is driven by the materialistic (random mutations who's success is selected by the evironment) and does not cater to the existance / development of a metaphysical soul unless it is a direct manifestation of the brain. And as, so far as is currently known, brains are pretty much the same across the board how do you explain some people having souls / some not?

Indeed, if the brain controls the soul, the lack of a soul would not effect the behaviour of a person, but would rather be a symtom of said behaviour.

Which ties with my original post.
 

nf3

Padawan Learner
Mr_Bateman said:
But what I'm saying about evolution is that the evolutionary process is driven by the materialistic (random mutations who's success is selected by the evironment) and does not cater to the existance / development of a metaphysical soul unless it is a direct manifestation of the brain.
So...define random.

Mr_Bateman said:
And as, so far as is currently known, brains are pretty much the same across the board
Absolutely false. You might enjoy The Psychopath: Emotion and the Brain.

Mr_Bateman said:
if the brain controls the soul
It does not. Where did you get that?
 
M

Mr_Bateman

Guest
nf3 said:
Mr_Bateman said:
But what I'm saying about evolution is that the evolutionary process is driven by the materialistic (random mutations who's success is selected by the environment) and does not cater to the existence / development of a metaphysical soul unless it is a direct manifestation of the brain.
So...define random. ?
Like it says in the dictionary:

proceeding, made, or occurring without definite aim, reason, or pattern: the random selection of numbers.

I think evolutionary theory is pretty well documented without me rehashing it.
nf3 said:
Mr_Bateman said:
And as, so far as is currently known, brains are pretty much the same across the board
Absolutely false. You might enjoy The Psychopath: Emotion and the Brain. ?
Thank you for the link, I have just ordered the book. But please read what I write before replying. The key bit here is the words ‘pretty much’. Of course there is variation to a degree, or we would all be the same. But soul vs soulless seems a much bigger difference than “reducing emotional learning”.

Though that phrase sums up my own condition more than anything else has to date.

nf3 said:
Mr_Bateman said:
if the brain controls the soul
It does not. Where did you get that?
Again, see how I used the word ‘if’? When read in context I thought I was clear that I was postulating a theory that would allow for both evolution and the soul to coexist.

If the soul is not 'generated' by the brain of the evolving creature, how could it evolve?
 

anart

A Disturbance in the Force
Mr_Bateman said:
I have read Dawkins, as carefully as I read everything else, and to be fair to him, he is a biologist so what happened before biology existed is not within his area of expertise.

Though arguably neither is religion...
True, although 'what happened before biology existed' is a rather vague phrase.


Mbateman said:
But what I'm saying about evolution is that the evolutionary process is driven by the materialistic (random mutations who's success is selected by the evironment) and does not cater to the existance / development of a metaphysical soul unless it is a direct manifestation of the brain.
This is the conclusion of the theory of evolution, but it is only a theory. If you have not had a chance to read 'Forbidden Archeology: The Hidden History of the Human Race' by Michael A. Cremo and Richard L. Thompson, it might well be worth your time, especially if you are basing your understanding on the theory of evolution.

mb said:
And as, so far as is currently known, brains are pretty much the same across the board how do you explain some people having souls / some not?
You might also want to do more research on brains - they are anything but 'pretty much the same across the board'.

mb said:
Indeed, if the brain controls the soul, the lack of a soul would not effect the behaviour of a person, but would rather be a symtom of said behaviour.
Where did you get the idea that the brain controls the soul? It seems you have quite a lot of research to do before you can grasp the finer points of this issue -that is ok, most people do, but it would be externally considerate of you to do the research before coming here to discuss it. As Laura said earlier:

Laura said:
The fact is, this forum has been created for others who are also convinced. It was not intended to be a place where the merits of the argument for or against the soul could/would be argued. My suggestion to you is do the work, get your hands dirty in the research. If you are still not convinced, then that is fine. There are plenty of forums where you can hang out with your own kind.
Please do the research, and if you are so inclined after doing the research to return and comment, please do.
 

Third_Density_Resident

Jedi Council Member
Color said:
beau said:
Third_Density_Resident said:
Unlike this site, I don't necessarily agree that ALL people have an inbuilt soul
Where on this site did you read that all people have souls?
I think TDR was talking about the site for which provided a link, in the sentence before the one you quoted...
Not THIS site... Or, maybe I'm reading it wrong, so you're asking for that particular site?
Yes, I was referring to the www.cfpf.org site. The SOTT site has pretty much convinced me that not everyone has a soul. But as Laura pointed out, the reason why so many people (such as certain paranormal researchers) believe everyone has one is because they probably possess one themselves, and mistakenly project that idea onto everyone else.

As for 'brain controlling soul', well that certainly is a mistaken idea in general, but could it not be argued that many souled individuals suffer from their brain controlling (or rather, dominating) their soul to some extent? Is this not the kind of thing Gurdjieff was referring to when he said people need to 'create' (i.e. awaken) their own soul, something necessary to avoid being an asleep, mechanical thing?
 

anart

A Disturbance in the Force
tdr said:
As for 'brain controlling soul', well that certainly is a mistaken idea in general, but could it not be argued that many souled individuals suffer from their brain controlling (or rather, dominating) their soul to some extent? Is this not the kind of thing Gurdjieff was referring to when he said people need to 'create' (i.e. awaken) their own soul, something necessary to avoid being an asleep, mechanical thing?
I can't say I agree with this. It might be more accurate to state that one's brain cannot hear one's soul (if it is present) - there is really no controlling or dominating present. Programs and mechanical behavior cannot control or dominate a soul, to my understanding, but they most certainly can 'tune it out' and ignore it's input for an entire lifetime - that seems quite different from what you are proposing, fwiw.
 

Third_Density_Resident

Jedi Council Member
anart said:
I can't say I agree with this. It might be more accurate to state that one's brain cannot hear one's soul (if it is present) - there is really no controlling or dominating present. Programs and mechanical behavior cannot control or dominate a soul, to my understanding, but they most certainly can 'tune it out' and ignore it's input for an entire lifetime - that seems quite different from what you are proposing, fwiw.
Well that does make a bit more sense. I was just trying to relate brain to soul in some way, and I guess it really comes down to the fact that there is no or little relationship whatsoever between brain and soul in most souled individuals. If brain tunes out soul, I guess you could still say that brain 'dominates', insofar as the brain pretends it doesn't exist, but this is more semantics than anything else.
 

Laura

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Mr. Bateman said:
My belief is based solely on the available evidence.
This is an incorrect statement. You clearly are not cognizant of "the available evidence."

We recently carried an interesting article entitled: How The Media and Establishment Brainwash The Public. We carried this article not because we "believe" in creationism" in the same sense that the author does, but because the example of how things work is very simple and important. It is particularly applicable in the case of Mr. Batemen who says "My belief is based solely on the available evidence."

Hearing Both Sides of an Issue

To illustrate brainwashing, let me use Darwin's "Theory of Evolution" as an example of teaching what I want to get across, since that is a controversial area in which everyone seems to have an opinion. More importantly, it is the only theory that is allowed to be taught in our schools.

There are two broad categories of theories about evolution: first, are those who think that evolution occurred by total accident. Second, are those who think that God had a hand in evolution or God simply created each species independently. Let us call the first group the "evolutionists" and the second group the "creationists." There are actually several different camps (i.e. different theories) within each group, and there are hybrid groups (i.e. hybrid theories), but let us assume there are only two simple groups.

To visualize the two different camps, suppose there is a large field and there is a fence that bisects the field and you are standing at one end of the fence looking down the fence. On the right side of this fence are the evolutionists (the people who make up the "establishment") and on the left side of this fence are the creationists (the people who disagree with the "establishment" point of view).

You have the choice of siding with the establishment or the renegades. In some cases this choice could affect your job. For example, if you taught biology in a public high school, and you believed in creationism, and taught creationism in your classroom, you might lose your job.

If you are only looking for the benefits, and a promotion, then there is no question as to what theory you will teach. The evolution side of the fence has virtually all the benefits. But let us suppose you are one of those rare people who are more interested in truth than benefits. What are you going to do?

Suppose you want to know the truth (as best as you are capable of honestly determining as an "open-minded" person) - is evolutionism or creationism correct based on the evidence currently available?

Suppose that you decide to start your decision making journey by talking first with the evolutionists; because everything you have heard in school is that evolution has been proven to be true. So you head to the right side of the fence and start talking to an evolutionist.

Suppose this person tells you all the reasons why evolution occurred by accident. He might go into microevolution (what changes can occur within a species that shares the same genome), macroevolution (the creation of new genomes), why transitional species cannot be found in many cases, punctuated equilibrium, all the bones paleontologists have found, and so on.

After this conversation, you start to walk away, but the person stops you. Then this same evolutionist starts telling you all of the things that are wrong with the creationists. He tells you one theory after another of the creationists and why each theory cannot be true and what a bunch of goons they are.

After this conversation, you now feel that you understand both the evolutionist's and the creationist's theories of evolution. You decide it is not necessary to go to the left side of the fence and talk to a creationist because you already think you understand their views and why their views are wrong.

A Common Mistake

If you made such a decision, you would be making a common mistake: you have heard both sides of the issue, but from only one person on one side of the fence. You have really only heard how the people on one side of the fence feel about the issues. But you haven't heard the arguments of the creationists, from a creationist, nor have you heard why the creationists think that the evolutionists are wrong.

There are actually four categories of the two sides (these are the four things you need to hear to make an informed decision):

1) pro-evolution (from the evolutionist side),
2) anti-creation (from the evolutionist side),
3) pro-creation (from the creationist side),
4) anti-evolution (from the creationist side).

In other words, from the right side of the fence you have heard the pro-evolution arguments and also from the right side of the fence you have heard all of the anti-creationist arguments. But note that you have not heard the pro-creationist arguments, from a creationist, nor have you heard the anti-evolution arguments, from a creationist. You have only heard two of the four categories because you have only heard from one person who is on one side of the fence.

Do you really know both sides of the issue? No you don't! You only know one side of the issue and two of the four categories. Until you go to the left side of the fence and hear about the pro-creationist views, from a creationist, and you hear the anti-evolution views, from a creationist, you don't have a basis for making an objective decision.

The Way We Have Been Taught

At this point we need to stop and think for a moment. We have been conditioned all of our lives not to listen to the "renegades." In physics, you hear how wonderful Einstein was, but you are told never to talk to anyone who challenges Einstein (someone like Roland De Witte, for example). In science class you were taught that evolution has been proven to be true, and you have been taught that the creationists are all a bunch of religious nuts.

This same kind of bias has been drilled into you for every conceivable type of issue. You have graduated from school thinking you have all the answers and that there are no open issues that need to be debated. In other words, you think the establishment is all-knowing.

All your life you have been taught not to listen to the people on both sides of the fence. All your life you have been taught by people inside the "establishment" and you have been taught that what the "establishment" teaches is true, and you have been taught what is wrong with the renegades and you have been taught not to listen to them. All your life you have been taught two of the four things you need to make an informed decision. You have been brainwashed.

And now I come along and tell you to listen to the renegades. Why? Because, quite frankly, sometimes the "establishment" is wrong. Actually, it is frequently wrong. There, I said it, sometimes the renegades are right! You will never, never know when the renegades are right unless you talk to one of them with an open-mind!

Did it ever occur to you that what the "establishment" tells you about the creationists is not what the creationists really believe, or perhaps what you heard about the creationists is what only a very small percentage of them believe? You cannot trust an evolutionist to correctly represent the views of the creationists. They are biased. They will pick the most fantastic views of a small percentage of the creationists, then twist and contort their views. They will leave out the beliefs of the other 90% of the creationists. When they are done, what they say may not even remotely represent what a real creationist believes.

"Scientific" Research

But it goes much, much deeper than that. For example, the research done by paleontologists involves the dating of bones. In dating these bones there are a wide range of assumptions that must be made. Rather than give the public a huge range of dates for a bone (due to unknown issues such as moisture, radiation, etc.), they pick one specific date for the age of the bone, and that date is very generous to the evolutionists. In other words, they assume evolution is true when they pick a single date for the age of a bone, when in fact they should pick a very, very wide range of dates due to unknown information.

For example, many bones are found on the edge of rivers long dried up. Even if those bones were next to the river (when it was still flowing) for just a few hundred years, the moisture from the river could have had a huge affect on the estimated date of when that animal died.

Thus, by using generous assumptions, and not making it known that in fact there are assumptions made, they make it look like evolution "has been proven to be true." Evolution has not been proven to be true. Much of the evidence comes from generous assumptions with the data.

I can assure the reader that in some cases (my background is in mathematics and physics), the assumptions they make with the data amounts to 99% of the "evidence" used to reach their final conclusion. This is true in virtually every field of "science."

Truth Versus Benefits

But aside from all of these issues, did it ever occur to you that the people in the establishment have a conflict of interest? Let us go back to the point where you were standing at the end of the fence and had not yet moved. You had a choice to make. Before you ever decided to look into the issues you could have made your decision based on which side offered you the most benefits.

Did it ever occur to you that what you hear in the news media, for example, is being told to you by people who chose the "establishment" side for the sole reason the establishment had more benefits than the renegades? Did it ever occur to you that you have not been taught by "truth-seekers," but rather you have been taught by "benefit-seekers?"

The deciding issue for many people is not which side is right or wrong, but which side offers the most benefits. It is not a debate between truth and error, it is a debate between benefits. And many, many of the people you have listened to throughout your life have been people who have chosen benefits over truth!

We have been conditioned to believe that an "open-minded" person is someone who absorbs the propaganda of why the establishment is always right, and defends the storyline propaganda of why the renegades are always wrong.

So in reality "you" (the hypothetical person who is trying to find the truth about evolution) probably have absolutely no desire to talk to anyone on the left side of the fence. You have heard everything you think you need to hear. Thus, you are a member of the establishment and a certified "defender of the faith" of the evolutionists.

End of story - time to go home.

Your Trip To The Left Side of the Fence

Well, just for the heck of it, out of morbid curiosity and to test your debate skills, you decide to walk over to the left side of the fence and talk to a creationist. You carefully walk up to (gulp, drum roll): Hermann the Horrible Hermit Heretic. Be careful, you say to yourself, close your ears and don't listen, this person is an idiot. Oh well, its cold outside and your hands are in your pocket, so you listen.

You shake hands with Hermann and exchange pleasantries. Right away you are amazed at something: Hermann can talk! You had always been taught that creationists had the IQ of a rodent and wore beenie caps with rotors.

Hermann starts by talking about the first living organism, and about its DNA component and its cell membrane component. He states that even though it is absurd that a 300,000 nucleotide chain (300 genes with an average length of 1,000 nucleotides) can randomly form, even if it did, the statistical probability that the first DNA had a permutation of nucleotides, such that 300 viable proteins could be created by this DNA genome, has a probability that is far less than: 10-30,000 (this is a probability of 1 divided by a 1 with 30,000 zeros behind it).

(Note: the 10-30,000 figure is based on the assumption that 1 in 100 random permutations of 1,000 nucleotides will form a protein vital to a living organism. This is a very generous figure for the evolutionists, because the real figure is probably far, far less than 1 in a billion.)

He then stated that even if it could create 300 proteins, there is an absurdly small probability that these 300 proteins would form a set of proteins that could support the life of a new organism. He did not give a probability for this because there isn't enough known about sets of proteins.

You quickly do some math in your head. You remember from science class that there are 1080 atoms in our universe. Then, you imagine there are 1029,920 universes just like ours in a cluster (that is a one followed by 29,920 zeros). All of these universes combined would have 1030,000 atoms.

Suppose some government wants to do a lottery and in order to win the lottery you have to pick the single, correct atom from among all of the atoms in the 1029,920 universes. The probability of winning this lottery is 10-30,000. You ask yourself: "who is so bad at math they would buy a ticket in that lottery?"

Then you remember what your math teacher taught you: "the lottery is a tax on people who are bad at math." Then you realize there are a lot of people who would spend their life savings buying lottery tickets in that lottery. Finally, you come out of your daydreaming and realize that Hermann was talking while you were doing the math in your head.

Then you hear about the ridiculous probability of the first cell membrane forming by accident. For two hours Hermann gives you an earful about how incredibly complex a eukaryotic cell is. It is so complex that even the exobiologists admit that one could not form by accident from a prebiotic pool. Thus, they claim that the first cell was a prokaryotic cell, and that there are conditions where a prokaryotic cell can survive without an organic host (since this is the first cell, there are no organic hosts to feed on). But even so, prokaryotic cells still could not have formed by accident. Then you hear that the first DNA and first cell membrane could not have formed in the same prebiotic pool, and thus you are told it was virtually impossible that they could ever get together.

Hermann then starts talking about new genomes and macroevolution. You then learn about the improbability of irreducibly complex protein systems forming large numbers of complex inter-related proteins in the same random mutation event in macroevolution.

You learn about the mathematical absurdities caused by the issue of viable permutations of nucleotides from random mutations needed to create any new gene in any new genome. You hear that this is another case of absurd probabilities caused by permutations.

You then hear about the "morphing of the embryo." A new creature starts out as one type of cell, but when the "baby" is born it has many different kinds of cells. This means that some cells, when they divide, must divide into two different kinds of cells. The timing of these strange divisions has to be with pinpoint accuracy. You learn that the instructions for this pinpoint accuracy must be built into the DNA, thus making random mutations even less likely to be advantageous (i.e. requiring more precise chains of nucleotides). When Hermann started taking about the morphing "timing" issues and base-2 trees, you started thinking that Hermann might even be smart.

Then Hermann starts to talk about the evolutionists (this is the anti-evolution part, heard from a creationist viewpoint).

He tells you that the first argument the evolutionists use is that "we exist," thus our existence is proof of evolution. Hermann then likens this logic to the theory that all of Shakespeare's plays were written by six monkeys locked in the basement of a building. He states: is it logical that because Shakespeare's plays "exist," that the monkey theory is true?

You then hear how "punctuated equilibrium" is really a super irreducibly complex protein system, and how absurd it is to claim that it was not necessary for irreducibly complex protein systems to have mutated all at once, but at the same time to believe in punctuated equilibrium. You hear why the phylogenetic tree is really a cover-up for the gaps in transitional species. You also learn about the massive assumptions evolutionists make with regards to carbon dating bones. You also hear the totally unproven assumptions and very shallow logic evolutionists make with respect to mitochondrial DNA and nuclear DNA. And so on.

Ten hours pass and you realize the sun went down and it is now dark - and Hermann is still talking. You also realize it has been four hours since you had a clue what he was talking about. You also realize that this is not what you expected. You expected some wild and crazy theories. But in fact you realize that creationists are not stupid and they really do have some very strong arguments. Then you also realize that what you had been taught by the evolutionists, about what the creationists believe, has absolutely no relationship to what the creationists actually do believe.

You finally go home, very confused.

This simple story demonstrates the very sad state of affairs in America and throughout the world. Neither schools, nor corporations, nor governments want anyone to hear both sides of any issue from [the people on] both sides of the fence. They would rather have a brainwashed student than a thinking student. Schools act as if they have all of the answers and that it is not necessary to teach students to think for themselves. Students are graded on how well they regurgitate "facts," not on how well they think. Students learn very early on that all of the benefits are on one side of the fence and that they should spend their life gathering up the benefits.

* "Education ... has produced a vast population able to read but unable to distinguish what is worth reading."
G.M. Trevelyan

People are taught from birth to assume and expect that those in the "establishment" (such as the schools, the news broadcasters and newspapers):

1) Have no vested interests or conflicts of interest,
2) Have perfect intelligence,
3) Have all the facts for both sides of the fence,
4) Are totally neutral and unbiased,
5) Have perfect integrity,
6) Have your best interests in mind, and
7) Are truly open-minded.

And above all, you are never, never allowed to think that money or power (i.e. benefits) could possibly influence what the establishment teaches you.

Dream on, this is the real world we are talking about.

It is quite probable, that from the time a person starts first grade, to the time they get a PhD or M.D., they never once hear both sides of any issue from the people on both sides of a fence. And even if they do, they have been so brainwashed by one side, or they are so interested in the benefits of one side, they simply pay no attention to the "other side."

As incredible as this sounds, it is difficult to get people to grasp the concept of hearing both sides of an issue from both sides of the fence. All your life you have been taught that it is not necessary. Society always has all of the answers, and anyone who does not agree with society is a crackpot, quack, moron, rebel, incorrigible, mentally unstable, or whatever.
 
M

Mr_Bateman

Guest
anart said:
True, although 'what happened before biology existed' is a rather vague phrase.
What’s vague? There was a time before life existed on this planet, before chemicals became complex enough to be considered ‘life’.

anart said:
This is the conclusion of the theory of evolution, but it is only a theory. If you have not had a chance to read 'Forbidden Archeology: The Hidden History of the Human Race' by Michael A. Cremo and Richard L. Thompson, it might well be worth your time, especially if you are basing your understanding on the theory of evolution.
The theory of evolution is called a ‘theory’ because the of the demands of the scientific method. As yet nothing has been put forward to disprove this theory which puts it way above any other theory (however sure their proponents sound).

The reviews on amazon for that book where enough to put me off. One of the biggest ‘tells’ in a weak argument are the points that are not addressed. And in this case several ‘against’ reviewers claim the entire book provides no evidence, just hearsay, and none of the ‘for’ reviewers argued it. Also, it is supposed to be debunking humans being 10 000 years old. But other than young earth creationists I don’t think anyone believes that anyway.

anart said:
You might also want to do more research on brains - they are anything but 'pretty much the same across the board'.
I stand by my comment. With the exception of actual abnormalities, most things fall within a range. That is why the test for psychopathic traits has twenty items, and not one.

anart said:
Where did you get the idea that the brain controls the soul? It seems you have quite a lot of research to do before you can grasp the finer points of this issue -that is ok, most people do, but it would be externally considerate of you to do the research before coming here to discuss it.
I think I explained this in an earlier post, but my suggestion of the brain manifesting the soul was an attempt to map the concept of the soul onto evolutionary theory.

I have not found a thread on here that supports both beliefs, so by asking the question I consider this to be researching the “finer points of this issue”. If there is a thread I have missed, I’ll happily read it if someone has a link?
 
M

Mr_Bateman

Guest
Laura said:
Mr. Bateman said:
My belief is based solely on the available evidence.
This is an incorrect statement. You clearly are not cognizant of "the available evidence."
I suppose I phrased that badly. I meant: based on the evidence of which I was aware.

Laura said:
We recently carried an interesting article entitled: How The Media and Establishment Brainwash The Public. We carried this article not because we "believe" in creationism" in the same sense that the author does, but because the example of how things work is very simple and important. It is particularly applicable in the case of Mr. Batemen who says "My belief is based solely on the available evidence."

Hearing Both Sides of an Issue
This article is really relevant, especially as I started in the ‘Religious Field’.

I have heard the arguments from both sides, but obviously in reverse to that of the article. And I found the religious argument was one lie after another. Even after a lie is exposed they will keep pushing it as fact.

It was this realisation that my early indoctrination was based on lies that is why I am open to viewing any theory on it’s own merits. And is why I am interested in exploring a none materialistic belief system, despite all my earlier reading.

Some times the biggest clue to validity of a particular belief system is the questions it can’t/won’t answer.

One very important factor that article just bring up is the ‘value’ of a belief, and I think this should also be applied on a personal level. What does the individual gain from their faith in a particular belief.

I think that anything that feeds the ego should be suspect.
 
M

Mr_Bateman

Guest
Third_Density_Resident said:
If you took the time to do some proper research, you would find some good internet sites that deal with this kind of thing. But as a start, I direct you to this site: _http://www.cfpf.org.uk/articles/background/scientificproof/scientificproof1.html.
I have been super busy this week, but did spent considerable time reading this article and some additional stuff around the things it mentions. I have even ordered the book on subatomics.

But nothing in that article constitutes scientific proof.

To say a soul exists because the atom is not solid is like saying a desert has a soul because there is space between the sand grains.

Sir William Crookes was interesting. I read up about him elsewhere and he was an accomplished scientist. Which begs the question: why would he think that results tested only by him and friends, only in his home would be treated with anything but scorn?

I can understand a non-scientist making this mistake, but he should have known better.

Which of course is not to say the results weren’t sound, but it does put them in question.

The article author also mentions Sir William Crookes being accused of being a conman, liar, cheat and having a thing for a medium.

The article goes on about the medium, though obviously can’t really say if it is true or not (but who cares?) and ignores the more serious charges.

And this:
They have a pact with the priests! This was confirmed when Professor Stephen Hawking came on television following his meeting with the Pope. Hawking reported that the Pope said to him
"I do not care what you do, just so long as you do not encroach on in my subject - life after death."
Here we have a clear case of the religionists and materialists working together to block the scientific proof of survival after death.
This is not an evil pact, it is the Pope asking Hawking not to disprove the soul as this is the basis of the catholic faith.
Also, my experience of the English school system was very different. I was taught evolution at school (much to my mother’s distress) and the local vicar that used to visit the school described the bible as “a collection of stories with morals we can learn from”.
In summary, the article maybe right, maybe wrong, but it is definitely not in any way scientific.
 
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