Monday, February 12, 2018

Serious Epistemological Thinking





Our friend Skeptical made the statement: "If you are serious about epistemology, you owe it to yourself to discover genuine sources of knowledge" Takig this statement in its best light as a sincere word about epistemic quandary, "If one is serious..." I accept it as such and can agree with it, Yet I find it highly ironic for a couple of reasons, first because many atheists,our friend included, don't seem to have any tolerance for sources other than those that back his view. That his born out by his reactiom to my 200 studies on mystical expereice (from my book The Trace of God Avaible on Amazon), His convetionl wisdom says experince can't be valid because it;s suibjective so no study could ever work. He claims to have read some of them  but he was knocking them before he read one.


The second reason I find his statement ironic is because he says he;s serious aboiut epistemology but he is willing to accept the entire universe and all of reality as a collection of loose eds with no meaning. Alfred North Whitehead, who was an atheist at one point in his life, observed this contradiction in modern thought:


We are content with superficial orderings form diverse arbitrary starting points. ... science which is employed in their development [modern thought] is based upon a philosophy which asserts that physical causation is supreme, and which disjoins the physical cause from the final end. It is not popular to dwell upon the absolute contradiction here involved."[1] 
Modern thought sets up  staggering contradiction by extending the age old quest for an  ἀρχή by extracting the personality from the God concept and keeping the law like regularity with no explanation. The assertion of such regularity goes back to the reek, before Aristotle but he is one example of it. [2]

Moreover, there is no explanation for reality. There's no way modern thought can even pose the question “why is there something rather than nothing?” That kind of question is hard enough to answer anyway but with the kind of metaphysical assumptions modern science makes the question can’t even be asked. That stifles thought along the lines of anything that transcends the closed realm of discourse within a society given to a narrow truth regime. There is no accounting for the law-like regularity we find in the universe. Physical laws have even been demoted from actual laws to mere descriptions. Thus though they describe this law-like regularity we are not allowed to call it a law. Thus the universe is irrational and the real explanation is just a lose end. Whitehead observed the irrationality. To That extent I'm not sure an empiricist can even do epistemology.I say that tongue in cheek of course but it seems to set oneself on  that road is to seek a dead end.

There is no understanding as to why we are here or why reality is so ordered hierarchically and to ask the question no longer makes sense because modern thought has learned to content itself with lose ends. Organizing is always hierarchical, and in comprehending the hierarchy of epistemic answers there are several principles that can be understood as transcendental. Many of these are good candidates for first principles. Mathematics, reason, logic, any of these might be seen as the basic principle upon which all knowledge is grounded. Secondly, humans have always tried to understand a means of conceptualizing and connecting to the ἀρχή (are-kay—first principle) or the TS. In every culture, age, thought tradition there has been some form of first axiom that grounds all knowledge and life. In reasoning Aristotle recognized an axiom.

Some thinkers might appeal to the nature of Brute fact, as though labeling the condition makes it more palatable.In my essay on Tie Breaker I quote Eric Sotnak in this regard:


Traditionally, theists have felt extremely uncomfortable with the idea of a “brute fact” – that something could have just happened without explanation. Instead, they have committed to variations on the Principle of Sufficient Reason (PSR).I think the main reason for this is that they know quite well that without PSR, they will have no way to rule out the hypothesis that maybe the universe is just a brute fact (no God required).But I think theists could comfort themselves a bit by shedding their anxiety about this. Imagine a conversation like this between a theist (T) and an atheist (A):A: I think the universe is a brute fact.T: Not I. I think it was made by God.A: But then where did God come from?T: God is an eternal brute fact.A: How does that make you better off than me, then?T: Well, while no logical proof of God’s existence is possible, I have subjective or existential reasons for being a theist. It seems to me that I can feel the presence of God in the laughter of my children, for instance. For me, theism helps me to make sense of the world and comforts me with the hope that death isn’t final.A: But if God is a brute fact, that means he could, logically speaking, have failed to exist.T: Yup. So I feel extra lucky that he does.[3] 
That sets up a kind of tie in terms of  logic of causes. If both God and the universe are uncased then why should they not be non par each other as explanations? If God has no cause but just always is it seem like he would be  brute fact, again on par. God has no causal explanation , nor can he be the agent of a purpose beyond himself, These things do not make God a brute fact. This was my answer to Eric.

God has connection to higher purpose, it's just not  purpose outside of himself, God is being itself,the universe cannot ever be the ground of being but will always be an aspect of being  but not its ground.If the universe could be the ground of being it would have the qualities of Holy /being [4] and there would be  God and atheists would be wrong. Speaking of God as Being itself does not mean just some impersonal force of a sense of dead matter a first existent but the implication is strong that this is Sartre's Beig por Soir.

In my Tie Breaker essay I appeal to God's love in understanding his purpose. Things like love and purpose imply mind,Since we can't go back on the causal chain behind God to understand purpose then we have to seek difference in quality, God's reality is not on a qualitative par with the universe's brute facticity,

Once again we come to mind as  the missing dimension that makes sense out of the TS, and TS plus mind = God. Things like love and purpose imply mind. Here I am going to reproduce part of my God argumet posted a few days ago;
From Defense  Premise 4-7

Axioms or first principles, in philosophy are called a priori, they are foundational propositions that cannot be deduced from other propositions. But there appears to be an equivocation in this line of thought. Propositions of reasoning and concepts of God are two different things. There is a connection, however, between propositions of first principle and the God concept, and this is connected to the TSED. First, God is the ultimate first principle. God is the top of the metaphysical hierarchy (that is axiomatic). Thus any proposition of first principle would bear an intimate relation to the God concept (if we understand God as the TSED). That is essentially what is being said when we describe God in terms of metaphysical hierarchy, or in terms of modal function. Secondly God would be the ultimate first principle and all other first principles would derive their their being and function from God.
What is the meaning of the phrase of this above premise: [modern thought] Modern thought fails to provide a rational, coherent, and meaningful view of the universe? It fails to unite the grounding function of the TS in such a way as to explain a coherent hierarchical ordering in the universe with an understanding of what it means to be. Modern thought explains the behavior of the universe without reference to purpose or goal. Things are not moving toward a desired end, they are just moving. If order results out of chaos it's not the result of any purpose or plan. For that reason there is no assumption of meaning or purpose in being,. Thus no reason to explain what it means to be. As Sartre told us first we are then we decides what it means. We might suspect that the reason for failing to comprehend a purpose has to do with Laplace's lack of needing the God hypothesis (see above fn9). Did he lack the need of God purely as a physical explanation or did he not want the explanation? Was it the moral guidance of which he lacked the need? Or, if we assume this was a straightforward statement about physics, is it our lack of desire for guidance that contents us with the lack of explanation? In either case we go on with modern physics as though we have no need of that hypothesis. If true then why do we still seek the ultimate explanation? Why have we failed to find it? There is a failure because we recognize no higher meaning. Rather we recognize no single higher meaning but we all have various ideas about it. We are not satisfied or we would not keep looking. We are not willing to make some official meaning but the umpires of reality are still seeking a logos. Even when we decide we don't want meaning we don't want truth, meaning finds us anyway and our difference turns into differance and becomes a standard, a first principle. I think Perhaps this is because without overall meaning we seek a standard of guidance in place of meaning. Gudience suggests meaning.
Perhaps the most important aspect of incoherence is that we can't do without a TS. Derrida tried to eliminate the TS and wound up creating one (difference—with an a_a). "The constant danger of deconstuction is that it falls into the same kinds of hierarchies that it tries to expose. Derrida himself is quite aware of this danger--and his response--which is really a rhetorical response...is to multiply the names under which deconstruction traffics..."[5]

PS
What we take away on epistemology is the need not to limit ourselves to one source such as empirical evidence but to seek best explanations and to use global knowledge and apply methods to questions as best suits them.



Sources


[1] Alfred North Whitehead. Science and The Modern World, NY: free Press, 1925, (1953) p.76
[2] Aristotle, Physics,184a10–21

[3] Joseph Hinman, "Tie Breaker: God Cannot Be a Brute Fact." Metacrock's Blog (

MONDAY, JUNE 12, 2017)

http://metacrock.blogspot.com/2017/06/tie-breaker-god-cannot-be-brute-fact.html
(accessed 2'12/18)

[4] John Macquarrie  Principles of Christian Theology,London,New York:  Pearson; 2 edition January 11, 1977.34

[5] Con Davis, Roger. Criticism and Culture: The Role of Critique In Modern Literary Theory, Harloow, England:Longman Group United Kingdom; 1 edition (April 13, 1995)



my book The trace of God 

Ground breaking research that boosts religious arguments for God to a much stronger level. It makes experience arguments some of the most formidable.Empirical scientific studies demonstrate belief in God is rational, good for you, not the result of emotional instability. Ready answer for anyone who claims that belief in God is psychologically bad for you. Order from Amazon 



43 comments:

im-skeptical said...

His convetionl wisdom says experince can't be valid because it;s suibjective so no study could ever work. He claims to have read some of them but he was knocking them before he read one.
- Joe, I find it impossible to believe that you understand the works of philosophers, when you fail to understand any simple statement I make. How can one person be so obtuse and still claim to have a deep understanding of all these philosophical works?

I NEVER said subjective experience can't be valid. With regard to your "200 studies" what I have said repeatedly is that your interpretation of the scientific data is incorrect. You make inferences of causation that are not scientifically valid. You draw conclusions that none of the authors of those studies have made, because there is no scientific or logical justification for it.


he says he;s serious aboiut epistemology but he is willing to accept the entire universe and all of reality as a collection of loose eds with no meaning.
- This assumption that reality is a "collection of loose eds with no meaning" is your own theistically motivated assertion. I don't have the same religious motivation to assume that there must be loose ends that can only be tied up by God (as you do), or that there is no meaning without God (again, as you do).

But this gets back to the question of your abysmal understanding. Do you know anything at all about the philosophical basis of naturalism? If you did, then it stands to reason that you wouldn't be so quick to ascribe your own absurd notions of what is entailed by atheism to me.


Whitehead, who was an atheist at one point in his life, observed this contradiction in modern thought ... which disjoins the physical cause from the final end
- You see, no atheist would say such a thing, because it reveals his belief in final causality, which is a purely theistic notion. Whitehead certainly doesn't accept naturalism. So why should I listen to that?

The point here is that you always cite a bunch of philosophers in support of your theistic bullshit, but when it comes to non-theistic philosophy, you are abysmally ignorant, and in no position to argue against atheists who have a strong basis for what they believe.

Joe Hinman said...

m-skeptical said...
His convetionl wisdom says experince can't be valid because it;s suibjective so no study could ever work. He claims to have read some of them but he was knocking them before he read one.
- Joe, I find it impossible to believe that you understand the works of philosophers, when you fail to understand any simple statement I make. How can one person be so obtuse and still claim to have a deep understanding of all these philosophical works?


this is a personal attack we don't do that here anymore.I feel into it in the past but those days are over. I have refrained from attacking your level of knowledge or your personality or whatever so need to do like wise.

It would not be hard to find statements you have made about subjective knowledge feelings and experiences as poor sources of knoweledge,


I NEVER said subjective experience can't be valid.

you did intimate that yes you did,


With regard to your "200 studies" what I have said repeatedly is that your interpretation of the scientific data is incorrect.


I have said repeatedly taht is bull shit

(1) the ringleader researcher in the world,Ralph Hood inveterate of the M scale,says my understanding is fine,

(2) I've spoken with several other of the researchers none of them every intimated anything that would imply that my understanding was less than good.

(3) you have no read my book nor have you read any armistices where I explain the M scale

(4) you have not read the studies,I have no evidence that you have read any of them you cant nameone you read,

(5) I think you are basing your misstatements on some perfunctory superficial issue like the studies don't say they prove God exists or something of that nature.

Joe Hinman said...

You make inferences of causation that are not scientifically valid. You draw conclusions that none of the authors of those studies have made, because there is no scientific or logical justification for it.

prove it? you are making an ignorant statement based upon superficial impressions rather than actually reading the book.Those are general issues anyone could guess one might make mistaken in, especially a bigot who thinks Christians are fools.

without specifics such statements are chicken shit,



he says he;s serious about epistemology but he is willing to accept the entire universe and all of reality as a collection of loose eds with no meaning.

- This assumption that reality is a "collection of loose eds with no meaning" is your own theistically motivated assertion. I don't have the same religious motivation to assume that there must be loose ends that can only be tied up by God (as you do), or that there is no meaning without God (again, as you do).

you are just doing spin. I'm right but you are arguing semantics. You believable the universe is a brute fact but you are trying to spin it so that's no so bad,

Joe Hinman said...

But this gets back to the question of your abysmal understanding. Do you know anything at all about the philosophical basis of naturalism? If you did, then it stands to reason that you wouldn't be so quick to ascribe your own absurd notions of what is entailed by atheism to me.

where did you do your doctoral work? Mine was in the history of ideas at the university of Texas at Dallas. I studied the rise of modern science and it's conflicts with religious thought.I passed my qualifying exames with flying colors, did you even take qualify exams?



I don't have time left in my life to mess with chicken shit know nothings with fragile egos who are trying to bolster to bolster their se;f esteem by running down others,.
You never back up such statements with specifics i know that;s just posing, I don't have patience with posers.

you make another personal attack of that nature you are out of here,


Whitehead, who was an atheist at one point in his life, observed this contradiction in modern thought ... which disjoins the physical cause from the final end

- You see, no atheist would say such a thing, because it reveals his belief in final causality, which is a purely theistic notion. Whitehead certainly doesn't accept naturalism. So why should I listen to that?

(1) that's the NO True Scotsman fallacy,

(2) that conclusion flows out of simple logic and everyone should see it, the fact that atheists rationalist it and special plead probably why Whitehead did not remain an atheist,

(3) I said at one point in his life he was an atheist I did not say he was one when he observed this,Although I bet it is what drove him to belief in God.

Your reading compression sux, which is probably why you think I don't understand certain things, you are the genius who thought saying one is the only one who can do something is special pleading,


The point here is that you always cite a bunch of philosophers in support of your theistic bullshit, but when it comes to non-theistic philosophy, you are abysmally ignorant, and in no position to argue against atheists who have a strong basis for what they believe.



I bet you can;t say that then times fast.

let's put down the bully boy act and talk ideas, if you think I'm wrong about some idea then prove it,


10:39 AM Delete

Joe Hinman said...

Skep, let's don't bog our blogs down in petty internet bickering; let's raise them to the higher level of academic discussion, shall we?

im-skeptical said...

It would not be hard to find statements you have made about subjective knowledge feelings and experiences as poor sources of knoweledge,
- That's correct. That is what epistemologists generally agree.

you did intimate that yes you did
- No. You need to pay attention to what I actually say.

(1) the ringleader researcher in the world,Ralph Hood inveterate of the M scale,says my understanding is fine
- He's a Christian touting another Christian who likes his work. Where's the peer review?

(2) I've spoken with several other of the researchers none of them every intimated anything that would imply that my understanding was less than good
- Where's the peer review?

you have no read my book nor have you read any armistices where I explain the M scale
- I wasn't talking about the M scale.

(4) you have not read the studies,I have no evidence that you have read any of them you cant nameone you read
- I have not read all of them. I have read several. And I noted that they specifically disagree with your interpretation about the nature of "mystical experience".

(5) I think you are basing your misstatements on some perfunctory superficial issue like the studies don't say they prove God exists or something of that nature.
- I am talking about the inference of causation that you make. The studies don't show it, and you don't either.

you are making an ignorant statement ...
a bigot who thinks Christians are fools ...
chicken shit know nothings with fragile egos who are trying to bolster to bolster their se;f esteem ...
you make another personal attack of that nature you are out of here

- OK. So you can say this stuff (as you often do), but I can't say you are obtuse. Joe, YOU set the tone for your own blog.

you are just doing spin. I'm right but you are arguing semantics. You believable the universe is a brute fact but you are trying to spin it so that's no so bad
- That's what I think. It's not spin, and it's not semantics. Sorry if it upsets you. It's the only thing that makes sense. Much more sense than your unscientific "spirit in the sky".

where did you do your doctoral work?
- Don't pull this "I'm smarter than you" crap. I don't provide personal information, but my degrees are in science, and not from "Perkins school Theology". When I argue about scientific issues, you really should listen.

(1) that's the NO True Scotsman fallacy
Anyone who believes in final causation is NOT an atheist.

(2) that conclusion flows out of simple logic
- Yes, THEISTIC logic, and all the theistic presumptions that come with belief.

I bet it is what drove him to belief in God.
- Theistic presumptions are made by people who already believe.

Your reading compression sux, which is probably why you think I don't understand certain things
- Or maybe it's your lack of comprehension.

Skep, let's don't bog our blogs down in petty internet bickering; let's raise them to the higher level of academic discussion, shall we?
- Sure. That's a good idea. Start by listening rather than attacking. You'd be surprised what a difference it could make.

Joe Hinman said...

im-skeptical said...
It would not be hard to find statements you have made about subjective knowledge feelings and experiences as poor sources of knoweledge,
- That's correct. That is what epistemologists generally agree.

you did intimate that yes you did
- No. You need to pay attention to what I actually say.

that might be a good topic to deal with in more depth,you are back peddeling

(1) the ringleader researcher in the world,Ralph Hood inveterate of the M scale,says my understanding is fine

- He's a Christian touting another Christian who likes his work. Where's the peer review?
You are a liar, cause you know better,Iv'e told you this before many times you refuse to admit it,k he has authored 10 pages full of studies all peer reviewed,

Hood's voita



(2) I've spoken with several other of the researchers none of them every intimated anything that would imply that my understanding was less than good

- Where's the peer review?

if you really read any of them as you claim you did, you would know I did not use any studies that were not peer reviewed.

you have no read my book nor have you read any armistices where I explain the M scale

- I wasn't talking about the M scale.

then you are exceedingly foolish that's the crux of the whole thing

Joe Hinman said...

(4) you have not read the studies,I have no evidence that you have read any of them you cant nameone you read

- I have not read all of them. I have read several. And I noted that they specifically disagree with your interpretation about the nature of "mystical experience".

you are a liar, if you had you would know they are all reviewed,name a study you read,

(5) I think you are basing your misstatements on some perfunctory superficial issue like the studies don't say they prove God exists or something of that nature.
- I am talking about the inference of causation that you make. The studies don't show it, and you don't either.

you have not made an argue t, just pronouncing it wrong is not an argument, you must show why my causal inferences are wrog,,

you are making an ignorant statement ...
a bigot who thinks Christians are fools ...
chicken shit know nothings with fragile egos who are trying to bolster to bolster their se;f esteem ...
you make another personal attack of that nature you are out of here


- OK. So you can say this stuff (as you often do), but I can't say you are obtuse. Joe, YOU set the tone for your own blog.

you are nothing but a sniveling bully, I have you plenty of chances to drop the path of personal attack,

you are just doing spin. I'm right but you are arguing semantics. You believable the universe is a brute fact but you are trying to spin it so that's no so bad

- That's what I think. It's not spin, and it's not semantics. Sorry if it upsets you. It's the only thing that makes sense. Much more sense than your unscientific "spirit in the sky".

you can't show me a purpose or meaning, The most you can do is to be ok with not having meaning, that;s what I call spin,

where did you do your doctoral work?

- Don't pull this "I'm smarter than you" crap.

you want the freedom to make pronouncements about how I don't know anything you know so much more than i do yet if I call you on it you you act as though I'm the one initating it,

I don't provide personal information, but my degrees are in science, and not from "Perkins school Theology". When I argue about scientific issues, you really should listen.

are you climatology to have a Ph,D?your degrees as BA or BS.you think that science entitles you to know all about philosophy and make pronouncements about religion it does not, does not,people from Perkins know a lot more about philosophy than you ever will,

Joe Hinman said...

(1) that's the NO True Scotsman fallacy

Anyone who believes in final causation is NOT an atheist.

I said he had been an atheist at one time, dolt, that's hot BS there could be atheists who believe in final cause it demesne;t have to be God,

(2) that conclusion flows out of simple logic

- Yes, THEISTIC logic, and all the theistic presumptions that come with belief.

you don't know shit about logic, you are not qualified to spout the kind of crap you do, there's no theistic logic and atheistic logic, there's only logic

I bet it is what drove him to belief in God.
- Theistic presumptions are made by people who already believe.

that the ind of bigoted mush brained garage that keeps you from thinking It is nothing more than party line that mean;s ideology, that is not reasoning,

Your reading comprehension sux, which is probably why you think I don't understand certain things
- Or maybe it's your lack of comprehension.

brilliant 'no you are,no you are"

Skep, let's don't bog our blogs down in petty internet bickering; let's raise them to the higher level of academic discussion, shall we?

- Sure. That's a good idea. Start by listening rather than attacking. You'd be surprised what a difference it could make.

how any tines a have I told you Hood is not a Christian? you don;t listen you don;tread you pay attention,\
I've told you tie and time again to knockoff the personal attack,s I'e given you abou it 10 lat change,

Joe Hinman said...

you had had 10 last chances. I do know more than yoiu it;s only because unemployed the space goat of Christians as somerset blame,your world of bigotry,

I an through wasting my time with you

im-skeptical said...

You are a liar, cause you know better,Iv'e told you this before many times you refuse to admit it,k he has authored 10 pages full of studies all peer reviewed
- Hood did no peer-review your work. All he did was tell you "that's nice".

if you really read any of them as you claim you did, you would know I did not use any studies that were not peer reviewed
- YOUR work is NOT peer-reviewed. It couldn't ever be, because it isn't scientific.

then you are exceedingly foolish that's the crux of the whole thing
- The crux of what I've been telling you is that your conclusions are NOT SCIENTIFICALLY JUSTIFIED. You haven't shown causation. It's not about the M-scale. Why don't you listen?

you can't show me a purpose or meaning, The most you can do is to be ok with not having meaning, that;s what I call spin
- i'm not trying to show purpose or reason. That's your own theistic presumption. Not mine.

are you climatology to have a Ph,D?your degrees as BA or BS.you think that science entitles you to know all about philosophy and make pronouncements about religion it does not, does not,people from Perkins know a lot more about philosophy than you ever will
- Doubtful. But one thing's clear. I know far more about science than you ever will.

how any tines a have I told you Hood is not a Christian?
- As far as I know, he IS a Christian. He was the head of a Christian organization. What evidence do you have that he's not?

I do know more than yoiu it;s only because unemployed the space goat of Christians as somerset blame,your world of bigotry
- UM, OK. Whatever.

Joe Hinman said...

You are a liar, cause you know better,Iv'e told you this before many times you refuse to admit it,k he has authored 10 pages full of studies all peer reviewed

- Hood did no peer-review your work. All he did was tell you "that's nice".


you are a liar, you are assuming that,you have never spoken to Hood. He read my book, he gave me review comment that's printed on the cover, he gave tons of advice we talked about his studies a hundred times on the phone. why would he humor me,what would be his motive? if he didn't want to read it he would just say he doesn't have time,

if you really read any of them as you claim you did, you would know I did not use any studies that were not peer reviewed

- YOUR work is NOT peer-reviewed. It couldn't ever be, because it isn't scientific.

that proves to me you don't know what peer review means. you think only scientific papers are peer reviewed. Even literary criticism is peer reviewed, all it means is that people are suitably qualified to read your work and approve it for publication. I've been peer reviewer.I have been asked to be a peer you have not. As a publisher of an academic journal I chose peers to review articles all the time.

then you are exceedingly foolish that's the crux of the whole thing
- The crux of what I've been telling you is that your conclusions are NOT SCIENTIFICALLY JUSTIFIED. You haven't shown causation. It's not about the M-scale. Why don't you listen?

they don't have to be scientifically justified cretin, I'm not doing science. I'doing theology and history of ideas,you are an idiot, you are an idiot,

science is not worthy to make pronouncements about God,. Theology is way above science,I a going beyond science and all the way up to theology. science is not capable of speaking about the reality of God except in terms of their personal feelings,it is not a scientific subject,

you understand the process back wards. I am not doing science I'm reporting on science, my ideas and conclusion are in another field. Hood's work is scientific. I am reporting upon it and using it as the basis for argument in fields beyond science.


Joe Hinman said...

you can't show me a purpose or meaning, The most you can do is to be ok with not having meaning, that;s what I call spin

- i'm not trying to show purpose or reason. That's your own theistic presumption. Not mine.

you are not doing academic work. your athyeist apologetic and hatred of religion is not going to be respected by scientists is as academic knowledge. You might be appreciated by scientists as a fellow God hater but most scientists don't hate God so they wont care,


are you trying to imply that you have a Ph,D?your degrees as BA or BS.you think that science entitles you to know all about philosophy and make pronouncements about religion it does not, does not,people from Perkins know a lot more about philosophy than you ever will

- Doubtful.

you don't know anything about, you have no idea what a seminary is or how it functions or what is taught,

But one thing's clear. I know far more about science than you ever will.

I doubt you do. I think you confuse facts about science with really knowing science and your understanding of method is mediocre. You don't seem to understand the basic concept of academic work.

how any tines a have I told you Hood is not a Christian?

- As far as I know, he IS a Christian. He was the head of a Christian organization. What evidence do you have that he's not?

are you insane? you must have him confused with someone else, what Christian organization do you think he was part of? I really want to know. This Ralph Hood Jr, professor of psychology at University of Tennessee @ Chattanooga


Joe Hinman said...

Hood has never been in any Christian organization, Of course Skepie didn't look at the Vita which I linked to earlier.

Hood's Vita: read that and see he has won international awards he's published gobs of studies in peer reviewed journals, he's the major academicresearcher on mystical experience.

im-skeptical said...
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im-skeptical said...
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im-skeptical said...
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im-skeptical said...

you understand the process back wards. I am not doing science I'm reporting on science
- I understand that you are making claim of empirical evidence that supports religious belief. That is a scientific claim. But you are using scientific studies to draw conclusions that are not scientifically justified.

Hood's vita
The vita doesn't list non-professional affiliations. I came across additional information earlier, and I don't recall what the organization was now. Also, Division 36 is a quasi-religious, quasi-scientific organization that deals with "the numinous". Numinous is defined as "divine presence". An actual scientific approach would study the feelings people have and try to understand them in the context of human psychology (without presuming any divine presence). A religious approach would be to presume the divine, and try to fit that into human psychology. Division 36 takes the latter approach. Hood's entire career is tied up with religion, just like yours is.

Joe Hinman said...


Blogger im-skeptical said...
you understand the process back wards. I am not doing science I'm reporting on science

- I understand that you are making claim of empirical evidence that supports religious belief. That is a scientific claim. But you are using scientific studies to draw conclusions that are not scientifically justified.

Obviously it;s not a scientific claim because science can't make religious claims, the science of the m scale is sold.the purpose of the scale is not argue for God But using it this way is no different than using big bang cosmology to support the cosmological argumemt,

Hood's vita
The vita doesn't list non-professional affiliations. I came across additional information earlier,

Hood is not a Christian,You have not found anything that says he is ,you are lying.


and I don't recall what the organization was now. Also, Division 36 is a quasi-religious, quasi-scientific organization that deals with "the numinous". Numinous is defined as "divine presence".

ignorant, it's from the Greek pnenum meaning "spirit." It's not necessarily religious,reportorial but not religious per se It's a term used in mystical experience. That organization is certainly not Christian most Christians would label it occult and would be highlight suspicious. Hood is a universalist,sort of Unitarian type.


An actual scientific approach would study the feelings people have and try to understand them in the context of human psychology (without presuming any divine presence).

Exactly what Hood does,if you actuallky read any studies you would know this.


A religious approach would be to presume the divine, and try to fit that into human psychology. Division 36 takes the latter approach. Hood's entire career is tied up with religion, just like yours is.

here read abut Divisioom 36


Obviously if you are going to study religion you have be around religious people and you talk about religious ideas hear about religion,your idiotic comment his whole career as though it;s a major accusation of criminality. he studies it stupid!

Your comment remissness of a episode of the old Batman tv show where the Penguin is trying to prove Batman is a criminal and he says he's always in the company of villains,



Joe Hinman said...

you need to face the truth about your self Skeptic, you are angered by Hood because he doesn't hate region he doesn;t treat it like a disease, he studies it but not to cure it.


your view of science is so ingrained with atheist ideology

Mike Gerow said...

I understand that you are making claim of empirical evidence that supports religious belief

So, IF certain kinds of experiences (that occur naturally) have far-reaching, measurable effects while other "induced" but similar experiences don't, and if these effects are observable and trackable across various ideologies, along with standard measurement techniques for estimating the "mysticalness" of experiences, it's unwarranted to think, "there could be something there, that people are experiencing?"

It don't seem, prima facie, like an unreasonable argument to me, because if the whole of the improved-personality effects can be traced to the subjective experiences themselves, you'd have to expect the induced experiences that produce similar sensations to also produce similar results, wouldn't you?

Joe Hinman said...

you'd have to expect the induced experiences that produce similar sensations to also produce similar results, wouldn't you?

Unless the "not induced" are being induced by an external factor not present in the induced,

im-skeptical said...

So, IF certain kinds of experiences (that occur naturally) have far-reaching, measurable effects while other "induced" but similar experiences don't, and if these effects are observable and trackable across various ideologies, along with standard measurement techniques for estimating the "mysticalness" of experiences, it's unwarranted to think, "there could be something there, that people are experiencing?"
- These so-called "effects" are not demonstrated to be caused by the experience. They are correlated, and that's all. That does not imply that the experience causes the outcomes. As I have explained to Joe repeatedly, he has not shown any causal mechanism. Most psychologists think that it is the mindset of the individual and various other psychological factors that actually cause these outcomes. Those same psychological factors tend to cause the person to think it's a religious event. Furthermore Hood's wonderful M scale weeds out the same kind of experiences people have that are not interpreted as religious in nature. In other words, the very same phenomena are observed in a non-religious context, but Joe ignores that in favor of just the ones that are seen as religious (or "mystical", as determined by the M-scale). That methodology for cherry-picking the data is decidedly unscientific.

im-skeptical said...

Unless the "not induced" are being induced by an external factor not present in the induced
- If the experience is externally induced, the same psychological factors the contribute to the positive outcomes may not be present in the individual. The experience may be the same as a "genuine mystical experience", but the outcomes may not be the same. This does not help Joe to make his case. But it is evidence that the experience doesn't cause the outcomes.

Mike Gerow said...

Furthermore Hood's wonderful M scale weeds out the same kind of experiences people have that are not interpreted as religious in nature.

Whatever makes you think that? Joe's essay above mentions atheist experiences too, in terms of experiences of "void".

....and, btw, even some Xians can describe their experience in terms of "void" i.e. "God as void", or "God as nothing at all" (cf some of Meister Ekhart's sermons, for one reference) as well as the concept being close to stuff in some streams of Buddhist thought.

(I get the impression you think this "theology" stuff is a lot less varied and interesting, more cut and dried, than it really is?)

Joe Hinman said...

So, IF certain kinds of experiences (that occur naturally) have far-reaching, measurable effects while other "induced" but similar experiences don't, and if these effects are observable and trackable across various ideologies, along with standard measurement techniques for estimating the "mysticalness" of experiences, it's unwarranted to think, "there could be something there, that people are experiencing?"

- These so-called "effects" are not demonstrated to be caused by the experience. They are correlated, and that's all. That does not imply that the experience causes the outcomes.

all caused is decided from correlation. You are right it doesn't prove cause but I don't claim to prove it, I claim belief is warranted. It is warranted when the correlation is tight and no counter causes stand scrutiny.



As I have explained to Joe repeatedly, he has not shown any causal mechanism.

Causal mechanism is God, that's the whole point


Most psychologists think that it is the mindset of the individual and various other psychological factors that actually cause these outcomes. Those same psychological factors tend to cause the person to think it's a religious event.

Most social scientists don't undertake to hand down decisions about the distal cause of religious experience. Hood says in Chapter 11 of his book with Spilka it's not his place as a scientist to make pronouncements about God.


some try to disentangle the experience from religion and that is very foolish, the context of 90% of these experiences are religious in nature and content. There is emphasis on spirituality without religion and a small percentage of the experiences are had by atheists. That doesn't disprove it as an experience of God.



Furthermore Hood's wonderful M scale weeds out the same kind of experiences people have that are not interpreted as religious in nature. In other words, the very same phenomena are observed in a non-religious context, but Joe ignores that in favor of just the ones that are seen as religious (or "mystical", as determined by the M-scale). That methodology for cherry-picking the data is decidedly unscientific.

I just spoke of to that and I talk about it in the book

im-skeptical said...

all caused is decided from correlation. You are right it doesn't prove cause but I don't claim to prove it,
- Joe, we went round and round about this. In order to claim causation you have yo have BOTH correlation and a causal mechanism.

I claim belief is warranted. It is warranted when the correlation is tight and no counter causes stand scrutiny.
- Yes, there are "counter causes". As I told you, most REAL psychologists believe it is various psychological factors n the mindset of the individual that causes positive outcomes AND makes him think his experience comes from God.

Causal mechanism is God, that's the whole point
- So where are the peer-reviewed studies that show this? They don't exist. This is a scientifically unjustified conclusion that YOU make.

Most social scientists don't undertake to hand down decisions about the distal cause of religious experience. Hood says in Chapter 11 of his book with Spilka it's not his place as a scientist to make pronouncements about God.
- Hood wouldn't dare make such a conclusion because he knows it is unscientific. Tha fact that YOU make it is proof of your pseudo-scientific approach.

some try to disentangle the experience from religion and that is very foolish, the context of 90% of these experiences are religious in nature and content.
- That's my point about the M-scale. It weeds out all the rest. It is a way of selecting only the subjects that HOOD thinks are having religious experience, and then declaring that these experiences are religious, because the M-scale says so. Total bullshit.

Mike Gerow said...

So, most psychologists wouldn't agree since they are not "religious", and you're not denying Joe's claim that the M-scale is the standard mystical experience measuring device (well, you're not denying it so far, anyway), but you're still accusing the scale of bias? How's that work? Why hasn't some opportunistic younger researcher made a name for themselves by producing a less-biased scale then...? If Hood's is "total bullshit?"

I suspect the reason that "90%" (or at least a large majority) of these experiences are described in religious language is that, in actuality, only a small percent of people -- whom Id guess you would describe as the "true atheists" -- are not just so irreligious, but so anti-religious, so outwardly hostile to religion in all its forms, that they choose (even under "mystical" circumstances) to avoid using the traditional religious languages common to their societies. As we see in studies, even among today's growing population of non-religious 'nones,' at least a vague belief in a 'higher power,' or some such, is quite a lot more common than not, so, if anti-religionism is an uncommon trait, then why wouldn't ordinary people just use the standard kinds of language they already are familiar with to describe their remarkable "mythical" experiences?

That's a lot simpler than your claims, which, to be honest, sound a bit like a conspiracy theory, a bit overly-suspicious and maybe even slightly paranoid to me....

Mike Gerow said...

Another point is that, iirc, Joe doesn't claim anywhere that the positive outcomes of such experiences don't generally include making people "more religious" -- they don't generally start going to churches more or anything like that.

Why not, if Hood et al are filtering the data for religiosity?

im-skeptical said...

you're not denying Joe's claim that the M-scale is the standard mystical experience measuring device
- I've done a lot of searching for scientific references to M scale. Turns out that there are others that are much more commonly used. I won't deny that M scale is touted by Hood as "the standard", but it seems to be only in his little arena of religious-based sociology (where he is the big dog in the field). He seems to have no influence in psychology, or any other field of (actual) science. So yes, I deny that M scale is "the M-scale is the standard mystical experience measuring device".

I suspect the reason that "90%" (or at least a large majority) of these experiences are described in religious language is that, in actuality, only a small percent of people -- whom Id guess you would describe as the "true atheists" -- are not just so irreligious, but so anti-religious, so outwardly hostile to religion in all its forms, that they choose (even under "mystical" circumstances) to avoid using the traditional religious languages common to their societies
- Actually these experiences have been studied fairly extensively in a more scientific manner. The consensus seems to be that people tend interpret them according to what they believe. The majority of people are religious, and so they attach religious significance to the experience. The other thing to be aware of is the fact that people never learn anything new that they didn't already know or believe from these experiences. They often claim to have some kind of insight, but they can never quite articulate any new knowledge or insight they get from it.

That's a lot simpler than your claims, which, to be honest, sound a bit like a conspiracy theory, a bit overly-suspicious and maybe even slightly paranoid to me
- The world has always been plagued with religious hucksters. That doesn't make me a conspiracy theorist.

Another point is that, iirc, Joe doesn't claim anywhere that the positive outcomes of such experiences don't generally include making people "more religious" -- they don't generally start going to churches more or anything like that.
- I never said that. They are already religious. The experience merely produces a reinforcement of their beliefs.

Mike Gerow said...

Joe's counter is gonna be that people 'articulate' their experiences in the ensuing personality adjustments that make them better, kinder people. Which would seem to be, in the most rigorous analysis, where it would count most? And be the most real?

So, it appears, there might still be something there you're not accounting for?

People may not be very adept at talking about those kinds of experiences - most ordinary people are not skilled or gifted enough with words to turn into mystic poets, after all - but "talk is cheap" anyway, as they say.

Mike Gerow said...

Btw, what is it you are calling 'already religious'?


Is a typical 'None' on a survey of religiosity, someone whom it's probable does believe in or suspect at least the existence of some vague "higher power" anyway - also a 'religious' person in your view?

Could you clarify that for us?

im-skeptical said...

but "talk is cheap" anyway, as they say.
- Sure. Anyone can say "God did it". It's cheap to claim to your fellow believers that science gives you "warrant" for belief, when the scientific data doesn't actually warrant that conclusion. But you couldn't get away with it in the scientific community.

Is a typical 'None' on a survey of religiosity, someone whom it's probable does believe in or suspect at least the existence of some vague "higher power" anyway - also a 'religious' person in your view?
- Yes, it could be someone who calls himself a 'none'. It could even be someone who calls himself an atheist. There are plenty of people like Joe who say they were atheists, but they always harbored that belief.

Mike Gerow said...

So, you have a very constrictive definition of atheism, it seems, with conditions extending quite a ways beyond the usual "lack of belief in God"?

Kinda different. And, using that def, I'd say, yeh, the VAST majority of people would definitely be deemed 'religious'!


Joe Hinman said...

im-skeptical said...
you're not denying Joe's claim that the M-scale is the standard mystical experience measuring device
- I've done a lot of searching for scientific references to M scale. Turns out that there are others that are much more commonly used. I won't deny that M scale is touted by Hood as "the standard", but it seems to be only in his little arena of religious-based sociology (where he is the big dog in the field). He seems to have no influence in psychology, or any other field of (actual) science. So yes, I deny that M scale is "the M-scale is the standard mystical experience measuring device".

There are other standards and scales, I dealt with this in the article on the blog and in the book.
None of the other standards are backed by empirical research as strongly as the M scale. It is the most validated in international research. Moreover, the other major scales produce findings that agree with those of studies using the M scale,,

that is the amazing thing about this overall body of work, it overwhelmingly supports the thesis that RE is good for you,


I suspect the reason that "90%" (or at least a large majority) of these experiences are described in religious language is that, in actuality, only a small percent of people -- whom Id guess you would describe as the "true atheists" -- are not just so irreligious, but so anti-religious, so outwardly hostile to religion in all its forms, that they choose (even under "mystical" circumstances) to avoid using the traditional religious languages common to their societies

that's what I say in the book people don't want to describe the object as God so speak of "void;" Vadanta says they experience a void but they go on to say it's God. It's a matter of semantics the overall result of the M scale research is that even atheists who have these princesses relate to them in the same way as people who believe in God they just use different nomenclature,


Joe Hinman said...

- Actually these experiences have been studied fairly extensively in a more scientific manner. The consensus seems to be that people tend interpret them according to what they believe.


No, the m scale is more scientific than anything else,you have no methodological criticisms. All your criticisms are ideological.


The majority of people are religious, and so they attach religious significance to the experience.

you are not basing that on the data Skep, you are basing it on ideological objection to religion,I have three arguments from the book tahtdisproe this arguent
,
(1)It, is often the conversion experience for a lot of people, they weren't seeking religion or agreeing with it before the experience.

(2)The experience often contradicts one's cherished doctrine,That's what happened with Aryrobinio when he became a Vadantist.


(3) Half the people with ME are children when they have their first experience other studies show children don't have doctrinal commitment,


The other thing to be aware of is the fact that people never learn anything new that they didn't already know or believe from these experiences. They often claim to have some kind of insight, but they can never quite articulate any new knowledge or insight they get from it.

that is bull shit,that's pop science. you are trying sin doctor conversion to soften the blow that people convert from atheism,,

That's a lot simpler than your claims, which, to be honest, sound a bit like a conspiracy theory, a bit overly-suspicious and maybe even slightly paranoid to me
- The world has always been plagued with religious hucksters. That doesn't make me a conspiracy theorist.

O that;s not ideological is it? YOU CAN'T ACCEPT THE FACTS,The data disproves your wrold view and you can;t accept it,!

Another point is that, iirc, Joe doesn't claim anywhere that the positive outcomes of such experiences don't generally include making people "more religious" -- they don't generally start going to churches more or anything like that.


you have no basis for your statement because you have not read book or most things I;ve wreitten on the blog.

Your standard of making "more religious" with church going as a bench mark is totally ignorant and old fashioned and unscientific,


- I never said that. They are already religious. The experience merely produces a reinforcement of their beliefs.
\

It is not uncommon for ME to be the point of conversion you are merely horrified by disproof of you ideology and refuse to accept the facts,
9:50 AM Delete

im-skeptical said...

It is not uncommon for ME to be the point of conversion you are merely horrified by disproof of you ideology and refuse to accept the facts,
- Point of conversion for people like you who already believe, and just can'r admit to yourself. Be honest. You were never a real atheist. You always had that childhood indoctrination making you believe that feeling inside you was God calling to you.

Joe Hinman said...

Why is it important to p you to explain away other people's experiences? How is what you said any different from they Christian saying you weren't really saved you were a Christa in answer to deconversion stories?

you can't face reality on your own, if Someone goes from real un-belief to belief somehow that scares you into fearing you are wrong. That means you can't face reality on your own terms.

im-skeptical said...

Joe, I've read their stories. Many of them. Unlike you, I actually listen to what they say. I listened to what YOU said. There is a common element in all these stories. And it isn't a matter of being convinced by logic or rationality. In the vast majority of cases I have seen, they are people who still have remnants of belief in something beyond physical reality. That's not something I presume - it's what they say. It's in their stories. I am not threatened by people converting. I just try to understand why they would reject logic and reason.

Joe Hinman said...

In the vast majority of cases I have seen, they are people who still have remnants of belief in something beyond physical reality. That's not something I presume - it's what they say. It's in their stories. I am not threatened by people converting. I just try to understand why they would reject logic and reason.

If you base a decisions upon an experience that is not opposed to reason,it may Ivoire reason directly but it is not opposed to it.

I've already talked about a dialectical relationship between reason and experience,in conversion. your empiricism is not reason or logic,experiences are empirical. Going by experience is being an empiricist.

It struck me the other day you really need to learn about epistemology,

im-skeptical said...

If you base a decisions upon an experience that is not opposed to reason,it may Ivoire reason directly but it is not opposed to it.
- Agreed. And I never said otherwise. But there is more to it than that. Decisions are actually based on either reason or emotion, with experience providing supporting evidence. Furthermore, experience can be subjective or objective. Your conversion, based on what you have said, happened at an emotional point in your life. And the religious experience you cite is subjective experience. So from what you have said about your own conversion, it was based on emotion and subjective experience. That is exactly the opposite of rational, which would involve unemotional application of logic, and the use of objective evidence.


I've already talked about a dialectical relationship between reason and experience,in conversion. your empiricism is not reason or logic,experiences are empirical. Going by experience is being an empiricist.
- If you say "dialectical" you are implying opposing forces of some kind. Reason and experience should not be opposing. Experience comprises evidence, provided it is objective. Empirical evidence in a scientific context is (and must be) objective. Evidence is the supporting basis for logical conclusions. Evidence is not logic. Evidence supports logic. Science is based on objective evidence and sound logic. Religion is based on subjective evidence and unsound logic.


It struck me the other day you really need to learn about epistemology
- It struck me from your previous comment that you don't have a good understanding of empiricism or epistemology.

Mike Gerow said...

Empirically, and with an ironic twist, tthere's very little neurological evidence that reason and emotion are separated phenomena in our brains & that was the point of Damasio's book, Descartes Error, that I linked for you on your site once.

Joe Hinman said...

notice when I bring up an issue of which he has no knowledge at all and can't eve fake it he resorts to personal attack. Bit we have that and he;s gone over the line way too many tiems

for the record reason and experience are often oppressed as though they are opposites but in a dialectic there's a resolution where by the oppositions are resolved in synthesis,so typical of this little clown's pretense at knowledge, he doesn't really understand a dialectic but he thinks he knows it all he;s just to stupid to deal with,


time's up stupid