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August 08, 2009


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You said it all and very well!

Brian, man this latest one is such a good and timely post!

And I also want to say thanks for sharing, for turning me on to that Baloney Detection Kit site. That info is right along the lines of exactly what I have been becoming more and more interested in as time goes on. Thank you ever so much. I also want to say right-on! to all that you have written and brought to attention here in this latest smokin article of yours. I'm really rather stoked about it! You done good.

Just this one point spells doom to all religions and mystic traditions.

"Ask whether the hypothesis can, at least in principle, be falsified (shown to be false by some unambiguous test). In other words, is it testable? Can others duplicate the experiment and get the same result?"

This would include such topics as:

- mystic transport
- shamanic journeying
- transubstantiation (changing bread and wine into spiritual substances)
- spiritual transmission
- religious dogmas
- perfect living masters
- Jesus as Son of God
- and the list goes on endlessly!

I guess we have to ask - what drives humankind toward beliefs that cannot be substantiated, and even among the most educated?

IMO, it boils down to an inherant fear of death. We long for some sense of security or certainty, when in reality, it all may be over with our last breath and final sunset. And then, it may not. We just don't know.


Bob, Sant Mat Mysticism gives the promise that we can know. The bottom line is that I don't know, and I'm not willing to speculate or believe that others do. Nor am I going to waste any time beyond a point, of trying to know or thinking that it's valuable to attempt such, just because someone charismatic said so.

As far as fighting the good fight is concerned, I don't like militaristic language at all. In fact, add a tune to some of it and a crowd can get quite mesmerised. I think 'Onward Christian Soldiers' has rightfully been banned. As for arguing with the racist taxi driver is concerned, this should be done with strong and repeated counterviews. His registration should be taken and he should be reported. This blog successfully does that w.r.t. religion.

Bob, you are both correct and incorrect, your premise that a claim or set of claims need only be proven false in order to discredit the belief is correct, but you perhaps do not understand the process of proof?
Consider science equivalent of mystic transport, the Star trek transportation system. We cannot prove this cannot be done, in fact, there are indicators that in a few tens or hundreds of years, we will have this technology. the relationship between science ans science fiction is testament to what in one era is impossible to then become a reality.
Science is full of unknowns, its what makes it exiting. Scientists need to have belief and faith in order to run the experiments and learn more. So far, it has not been proven, as in mathematically sound proof, that God does not exist, neither is it proven that spirit may be non-physical. Some theories exclude this possibility and still fit most of observed data, other theories do not exclude this possibility and also fit observed data. A good scientist should operate on the principle that all is a possibility until proven not possible, and even then, be cautious, given Godels theorem, its impossible to prove anything from within the confines of that system.
Its about being open, so tAo, keep in mind that a good scientist will remain open to just about anything, finding no need to spit poison words at people who do not share their biased view of the world

JAP says:

"Its about being open, so tAo, keep in mind that a good scientist will remain open to just about anything"

-- Where do you get the idea that I am not open? Either you are confusing me with someone else, or you are new to this site, or both. In any case, you are mistaken. Next time, look deeper before you jump to conclusions.

"finding no need to spit poison words at people who do not share their biased view of the world"

-- I have no such "biased view of the world". You know virtually nothing about my view. Also, exactly what "poison words" are you referring to? If you are going to make an assertion such as this, you need to back it up with some evidence, not just jump to conclusions. So... just how "open" are you in this case?

JAP, scientists are indeed open. That's a central point of the Baloney Detection Kit. But they also have to be skeptical about hypothesized facts that lack demonstrable evidence. Otherwise baloney will flow into our minds unimpeded.

One of the Kit's strengths is not falling for the "absence of evidence isn't evidence of absence" argument, which you bring up. As I often say, this isn't how science works, nor how we operate in everyday life.

Meaning, we don't go around saying, "There isn't evidence a gnome isn't making the flowers in my garden grown, so I'm going to believe in this." Other positive evidence does exist, so we go with natural causes.

Similarly, positive evidence of God or any other metaphysical entity has to be offered up. And that's where religions are lacking.

What experiments are you referring to that point to the existence of God? I'd be curious to know what they are, especially if you're referring to a personal God who intervenes in the world in miraculous ways. (If "God" is just considered to be all of nature, then sure, "God" exists -- but this is just another way of saying everything exists.

Have you heard of Victor Stenger? He's a physicist who has written "God: The Failed Hypothesis" and other books. He does a good job of demonstrating that a monotheistic God isn't supported by what science knows about the cosmos.


I hear your concern with the RS issue - I spent 23 years practicing RS mediation and never did get any confirmation that the teachings were true or untrue. And, as far as I'm concerned, the RS gurus never presented any solid evidence to support their claims either.

Therefore, calling RS the "science" of the soul is bunk precisely because no evidence has been presented to prove its case. And, even for those having inner experiences (wherever you are, LOL!) there is no way to verify whether a person is traveling to the astral or casual regions, etc. or just experiecing certain aspects of their subsconscious mind.

So, IMO, this is a classic case of a so-called "truth" that is not falsifiable. It cannot be disproved or proved one way or the other.


I'm all for "possibilities" but until the evidence supports the claim - well it's just that - a possibility - and not truth.

Personally, I'm open to the Divine Mystery or possibility that something vastly more exists than is currently understood. But, I'm not willing to label it as truth as many so-called spiritual paths and religions do until the evidence supports the claim.


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