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Old September 18 2013, 08:39 PM   #242
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Location: Brooklyn
Re: What Happens After Death

CorporalCaptain wrote: View Post
^ Sounds almost like you are trying explain how people just got it wrong for all those thousands of years, it seems by claiming implicitly that what they thought was going on according to definition #2 was really going on according to definition #1. Just proving that would be at least someone's life work, right there. Part of my resistance is I don't want such an implicit claim to slide by; it really needs to be proven. Trouble is, I doubt it can be. Why not just stick to relatively less loaded and more neutral terms, such as "consciousness"?
Oh, I'm not being implicit at all. I absolutely contend that what people believed was going on in definition #2 was all along caused by definition #1, and I absolutely contend that people just got it wrong for thousands of years. And there is nothing surprising about the notion that people could have gotten something wrong about nature for thousands of years...there are innumerable examples of how getting it wrong is a definitive part of our own nature as humans. For thousands of years we thought illness was caused by imbalances of humors rather than pathogens. For thousands of years the Egyptians thought the mind was based in the heart and that the brain's job was regulating body temperature. For thousands of years we thought everything was composed of four elements. We thought fossils were inherent patterns of nature and not the remains of ancient organisms. We thought mental illness originated in the uterus. We thought the heavenly bodies were gods. If people are good at anything, it is getting it wrong for thousands of years. To believe that a claim has weight or value just because people have believed it to be true for thousands of years is a logical fallacy: the Appeal to Antiquity (a form of the Appeal to Popularity).

As for proof; specifically because of Occam's razor, the burden of proof is not on me to disprove the claims of those who believe in paranormal souls, it is on them to prove. The burden of proof is always on the person making the claim that is contrary to, or most at odds with reality, and the more new assumptions about reality such a claim requires, the more evidence is required to support it. "Extraordinary claims call for extraordinary evidence," and all.

So while I cannot necessarily prove there is no paranormal soul (and this refers back to my earlier post about unfalsifiable claims), that doesn't really matter, because nature doesn't call for a soul to even exist. On the other hand, as I said before, if one wants to argue the existence of souls other than just another term for 'self' or 'consciousness', then one must create a whole new reality in order to fit them in. And again, just because something cannot be disproven, that's not a very good reason to believe in it.

As for why I don't stick to the unloaded term...the conversation is about afterlife and souls, why would I use another word?

The Enterprise is my TARDIS.
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