May 02, 2017

Pushing scientific proof paradigm beyond its scope


Thanks for your careful reading of what I wrote and thoughtful response. I am still at a loss though of what his higher intelligence and what is lower intelligence. You have simply shown how humans are different from other animals in the activities they perform. I also do not understand what is higher knowledge and what is lower knowledge. I do not agree with your interpretation of Socrates. It is not humility but honesty. Socrates was not a specialist in anything so he did not have knowledge in anything. There were specialists who claimed to have knowledge in their specializations but upon being interviewed by Socrates they were exposed to not have the knowledge that they claimed to have.

This does not mean that Socrates knew more about their specialization than they did. The lesson is one should never be over confident nor dogmatic. At the time there was a sense, as there is perhaps today as well, that certain people like poets, statesmen, academicians and intellectuals had more knowledge than craftspersons. Socrates is also challenging this view as he interviews famous people not ordinary craftspersons. Plato in his dialogues also uses a lot of examples from crafts to make his points showing his great respect of craftspersons and knowledge by experience and hard work. There are multiple domains of knowledge and I just do not see why and how the knowledge of a carpenter is a lower knowledge than the knowledge of a laboratory scientist. Feels good to say this on May Day.

May 1, 2017

You seem to have a very sophisticated theory. I will find some time and go through it through the past emails and your writings. 

In your criteria for formal correctness are indefinables admissible or does everything have to be defined? Also, in (vi) I would be a bit careful. Ockham's razor is more often misused than properly applied. The simplest explanations among alternative explanations is to be preferred only when it explains as much or as well as the other explanations to which it is preferred. Let me give a crude example. I could say that the cause of an earthquake is that the earth rests on the horn of a bull and when he gets tired he shifts it to the other horn (my grandmother told me this). Obviously a very simple explanation. Of course in actual scientific theories it is much more complex.

I do not know much about any branch of science but I do know a little about mathematics. Poincare gave a proof for a theorem which was already proven and in a simpler manner than he did it. However, his proof was superior because its technique could be applied to other branches of mathematics. So, I think we have to be cautious with Ockham's razor. Scientific hypotheses and theories often have structural features that have an intrinsic importance even if they fail on Ockham's razor requirements. 

May 1, 2017

Dear Priyedarshi,

     I have a very simple question for you: What is the difference between a human ​being, and a stone? Do you perceive a difference? Is there a difference or is there no difference? I would like for you to explain for us what that difference is, if there is any, thanks in advance.

Regards,  Eric Reyes
May 2, 2017

I would humbly submit that scientific skeptics of concepts such as the "soul" or "mind", although sincere in their own way, are erring by being "too careful" in pushing the scientific proof paradigm beyond its legitimate scope.

Such skeptics should ponder about what would constitute a proof of the soul or mind. There are two levels of difficulty here: 
It would difficult to provide "evidence" beyond reasonable doubt for such concepts: for example, if a shadowy figure resembling the dying person was photographed and adduced as evidence of postmortem continuity consciousness, this might be "explained" as a remnant electromagnetic discharge or whatever. Hope you get the drift!

We are intimately aware of our own "I" consciousness, Yet each of us is unable to prove to another that we are conscious beings. The best we can do is pass the Turing test resoundingly, but even we would admit that this would be inconclusive.

So, this dilemma should be the point of the departure towards spiritual inquiry, that interested scientific skeptics may want to use. They may wish to accept that certain subjective realities, which while they are intimately and immediately true, are manifestly unprovable and hence have to be accepted by analogy to one's own subjective reality, rather than by the traditional scientific method of objective experimentation. 

Extrapolating this line of thought, the opinions of spiritual luminaries like Shri Ramakrishna or Shri Ramana Maharshi, who evidently had very clear "subjective channels", are worthy of serious consideration. 

On a lighter vein: here, the type of researcher we need is meditators with a PhD !!

May 2, 2017

Dear Vinod ji,

Thanks for your comments... However, I do not agree with the problematic dualistic Sāṅkhya’s interpretations in terms of astral bodies, causal bodies, and manifested consciousness out of a mind-brain system. This is because they must all have their respective neural basis, which is consistent with the least problematic monistic Dvi-Pakṣa Advaita as discussed many times before. We are unnecessarily repeating our discussion. Let us agree with our disagreement. If you still want to defend dualistic Sāṅkhya, then you first address its 8 problems in addition to the Parsimony problem (the Occam Razor parsimony of the dualistic Sāṅkhya and Interactive Substance Dualism is 50% of the monistic frameworks such as Dvi-Pakṣa Advaita)...

The problematic dualistic Sāṅkhya is an interpretation of Samādhi state data, similar to materialism, idealism, and eDAM. That time, neuroscience knowledge (every experience has a neural basis) was NOT available. Therefore, the great Kapila muni (1000–600 BCE or even before Gīta: 3000 BCE) certainly tried his best, but he had the lack of this neuroscientific knowledge (which is just about 40-100 yrs old) and missed the fact the all subjective data are bound within a mind-brain system, which is natural. In spite of this, we must acknowledge that his achievement was certainly great because it is one of the bases of top-down religions. We must understand this serious error that occurred in ancient era because of the incomplete knowledge and hence we must move forward...

The term ‘mind’ includes all mental entities, such as manas, buddhi, ahamkāra, Chitta, self, functions, and experiences). Only the NS-state ‘knowledge’ (Buddhist Śunyatā) is ‘real’ and has inherent existence in the MIR sense, where presumably mind is completely silent (latent) to ‘know’ the MIR (such as matter-in-itself and consciousness-in-itself as two inseparable aspects). The NS-state ‘knowledge’ ineffable and cannot be described thru any kinds of reports written in books including Upanishads; it can only be directly witnessed (Ātma-Sākshātakār). This is consistent with Nāgārjuna’s dependent co-origination, which entails the doctrine of inseparability (Vimal, 2016b)
Rām Lakhan Pāndey Vimal, Ph.D. 
May 2, 2017

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