Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Suspension of Judgement-Self Evident

The regress argument (also known as the diallelus (Latin < Greek di allelon "through or by means of one another")) is a problem in epistemology and, in general, a problem in any situation where a statement has to be justified.[1][2][3]
According to this argument, any proposition requires a justification. However, any justification itself requires support. This means that any proposition whatsoever can be endlessly (infinitely) questioned, like a child who asks "why?" over and over again.


The argument is usually attributed to Sextus Empiricus, and has been restated by Agrippa as part of what has become known as "Agrippa's trilemma". The argument can be seen as a response to the suggestion in Plato's Theaetetus that knowledge is justified true belief.


Assuming that knowledge is justified true belief, then:
  1. Suppose that P is some piece of knowledge. Then P is a justified true belief.
  2. The only thing that can justify P is another statement – let's call it P1; so P1 justifies P.
  3. But if P1 is to be a satisfactory justification for P, then we must know that P1.
  4. But for P1 to be known, it must also be a justified true belief.
  5. That justification will be another statement - let's call it P2; so P2 justifies P1.
  6. But if P2 is to be a satisfactory justification for P1, then we must know that P2 is true
  7. But for P2 to count as knowledge, it must itself be a justified true belief.
  8. That justification will in turn be another statement - let's call it P3; so P3 justifies P2.
  9. and so on, ad infinitum.

Since being a layman,  I am finding my way through my own beliefs in the constructive mechanisms of philosophy which seem to be produced at almost every turn. To continue learning, and while holding suspension of Judgement  from what is self evident,  plays to the role of where Foundationalism and  Coherentism (see also: Coherentism) reside. Hopefully being,  by my assumption,  as to being accurate within the instructions detailed by way of the mechanism implied by Philosophy. My head is spinning. I mean, can I have found myself relieved of such constraints to have finally said, "Ataraxia (ἀταραξία "tranquility") is a Greek term used by Pyrrho and Epicurus for a lucid state of robust tranquility, characterized by ongoing freedom from distress and worry.[1]"

 Ataraxia (cont.)

For the Epicureans

For the Epicureans, ataraxia was synonymous with the only true happiness possible for a person. It signifies the state of robust tranquility that derives from eschewing faith in an afterlife, not fearing the gods because they are distant and unconcerned with us, avoiding politics and vexatious people, surrounding oneself with trustworthy and affectionate friends and, most importantly, being an affectionate, virtuous person, worthy of trust.[citation needed]

For the Pyrrhonists

For the Pyrrhonists, given that neither the sense impressions nor the intellect, nor both combined, is a sufficient means of knowing and conveying truth, one suspends judgement on dogmatic beliefs or anything non-evident. It is from this suspension of belief Ataraxia arises as one realizes one thing is 'no more' than that. No more up than down, no more wet than dry, no more hot than cold, no more night than day, "the number of stars one can see in the night sky is no more even than odd", no more left than right, no more black than white as when Anaxagoras countered the notion that snow is white with the argument "Snow is frozen water, and water is black; therefore snow is also black", etc. Most important of all, in enunciation of 'no more' or 'I determine nothing', in uttering these expressions, one is merely stating how things appear to them, at the time and in an undogmatic way, without making any assertion of truth regarding external reality.[2]

For the Stoics

The Stoics, too, sought mental tranquility, and saw ataraxia as something to be highly desired and often made use of the term, but for them the analogous state, attained by the Stoic sage, was apatheia or absence of passion.[3]

See also


  1. "". Retrieved August 2, 2012.
  2. Sextus Empiricus, "Outlines of Pyrrhonism", Trans. R. G. Bury, Loeb Classical Library, Book I, Ch. XIX, "Nowise more", p. 109
  3. Steven K. Strange, (2004), The Stoics on the Voluntariness of Passion in Stoicism: Traditions and Transformations, page 37. Cambridge University Press.

External links

  • The dictionary definition of ataraxia at Wiktionary


Rest assuredly,  I have not reach that state of "apatheia or absence of passion," with which a Stoic is as if, one may have found in them self to be.

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Heaven in the After Life

I bought this book within the last year and find it a interesting read. It provdes for me some confimration about the subject of Near Death Experiences(NDE) by a child that seem to follow in suit with what has been happening of late in the previous two blogs posts.

As if the timing couldn't be better the Times Magazine has appropriately sign on to the subject with their rendition as well. While I had picked the magazine up at my local supermarket I have yet to scan it's interior. So I will do that after having linked the previous two blog posts and continued on from there.
For those of you aware now, the work that I had been doing in science has had been me looking for and trying to understand the nature of gravity in our thoughts. To do that one needs to understand how time clocks and such, experiments done, and satellites that map our earth and moon, help to clarify some depth to our globalization of gravity as a subject not just in the use of measure in the world, but of understanding gravity in our thoughts as well.

 The English word spirit (from Latin spiritus "breath") has many differing meanings and connotations, most of them relating to a non-corporeal substance contrasted with the material body. The word spirit is often used metaphysically to refer to the consciousness or personality. The notions of a person's spirit and soul often also overlap, as both contrast with body and both are understood as surviving the bodily death in religion and occultism,[1] and "spirit" can also have the sense of "ghost", i.e. a manifestation of the spirit of a deceased person.

The correlate here then for your examination is how gravity and Heaven could be related, as if in the use of our realization that what Heaven may mean for us as we live the life alive here and now on Earth exists as it is in Heaven.

See Also:

Saturday, May 10, 2014

Philosophy of Science and Death is Not Final

Aristotle described at length what was involved in having scientific knowledge of something. To be scientific, he said, one must deal with causes, one must use logical demonstration, and one must identify the universals which 'inhere' in the particulars of sense. But above all, to have science one must have apodictic certainty. It is the last feature which, for Aristotle, most clearly distinguished the scientific way of knowing.[2] —Larry Laudan, Physics, Philosophy, and Psychoanalysis, "The Demise of the Demarcation Problem"
So you get a note given under a materialistic count, and who is going to argue about that logic? I liked a related thought here given by Sean in his opening comments regarding Scott Aaronson. After all isn't computerized version describing consciousness as somehow leading perspective to use matter orientated ways in which to measure things? Think about that for a moment. It may be boring to you, but think of the implications of society if it were to have some foundation in this presentation. Other then, to leave it like that.
This independence created by philosophical insight is—in my opinion—the mark of distinction between a mere artisan or specialist and a real seeker after truth. (Einstein to Thornton, 7 December 1944, EA 61-574) See also: Entheorizing
This is reminiscent of the way Sean Carroll spoke at the end given his summation on the debate. Jut as convincing his closing argument, such responsibility with regard to the question of Death is Final or not, is the realization that responsibility becomes just as significant given the understanding that life. This can be held in one's own perspective as to Judgement, so as to assume that the given the count of personal and subjective statements about people experiences, is as wanting clarification, as to such responsibility and truth about our own lives in the larger scheme of things. Is it just personal? Of course not.
Philosophy of Science
Don Howard University of Notre Dame
And in a 28 November 1944 letter to Robert Thornton he echoed those words of nearly thirty years earlier:
I fully agree with you about the significance and educational value of methodology as well as history and philosophy of science. So many people today—and even professional scientists—seem to me like somebody who has seen thousands of trees but has never seen a forest. A knowledge of the historic and philosophical background gives that kind of independence from prejudices of his generation from which most scientists are suffering. This independence created by philosophical insight is—in my opinion—the mark of distinction between a mere artisan or specialist and a real seeker after truth. (Einstein to Thornton, 7 December 1944, EA 61-574)
Statistically you take the numbers of experiences and you apply it to a pie and this somehow makes it better?:) The after math somehow justifies the position one takes and you go on your merry way.:) Not so fast. Judgement in its examination can set the course for matter orientated things and who wouldn't want to have their thoughts extend the boundaries of the parameters set?

Defining science

Main article: Demarcation problem

Karl Popper c. 1980s
Distinguishing between science and non-science is referred to as the demarcation problem. For example, should psychoanalysis be considered science? How about so-called creation science, the inflationary multiverse hypothesis, or macroeconomics? Karl Popper called this the central question in the philosophy of science.[1] However, no unified account of the problem has won acceptance among philosophers, and some regard the problem as unsolvable or uninteresting.[2]
 Early attempts by the logical positivists grounded science in observation while non-science was non-observational and hence meaningless.[3] Popper argued that the central property of science is falsifiability. That is, every genuinely scientific claim is capable of being proven false, at least in principle.[4]
An area of study or speculation that masquerades as science in an attempt to claim a legitimacy that it would not otherwise be able to achieve is referred to as pseudoscience, fringe science, or junk science.[5] Physicist Richard Feynman coined the term "cargo cult science" for cases in which researchers believe they are doing science because their activities have the outward appearance of it but actually lack the "kind of utter honesty" that allows their results to be rigorously evaluated.[6] Various types of commercial advertising, ranging from hype to fraud, may fall into these categories.

One calls for a method outside of the thoughts about the demarcation problem in order to approach the science of things other then to have it described as, "pseudoscience, fringe science, or junk science," so you have to realize something along the way? If you are going to be lost in a materialistic count then the message again has to be relayed here. Moody if you are going to point something out and your a philosopher you just can't leave it like that. You have to put on your thinking cap and present the way the argument can be demonstrated, logically and with reason.
The demarcation problem in the philosophy of science is about how to distinguish between science and nonscience,[1] including between science, pseudoscience, other activities, and beliefs.[2][3] The debate continues after over a century of dialogue among philosophers of science and scientists in various fields, and despite broad agreement on the basics of scientific method.[4][5]
So the issue here is for what is to be considered science and non-science? If you are a Skeptic you might feel good about your self if you can see such a demarcation. Yes? But you remain open, so that is good.


See Also:

Thursday, May 08, 2014

Death is Not Final

You all have to know the hammer analogy was made aware to me about a week before this debate took place. Also,  a YouTube label given to this demonstration was posted under "gaming" so I find that kind of funny given the seriousness of this debate.

I pushed Number 1.  But, you also know my bias right so I did not think providing this image would hurt in an way given that you already have some insight into my perspective? My opinion at Sean's Blog as well pertaining to this subject.

So as I am going through the debate I thought it necessary to keep a running tab for my self so as to see from what position one is speaking.  So now that I know Sean is speaking from a Naturalist point of view. I will continue.

A metaphysics that goes beyond the commitments of science is simply unsupported by the best available evidence.[27]
—Lynne Rudder Baker, Naturalism and the First-Person Perspective

 A naturalistic methodology (sometimes called an "inductive theory of science") has its value, no doubt.... I reject the naturalistic view: It is uncritical. Its upholders fail to notice that whenever they believe to have discovered a fact, they have only proposed a convention. Hence the convention is liable to turn into a dogma. This criticism of the naturalistic view applies not only to its criterion of meaning, but also to its idea of science, and consequently to its idea of empirical method.
— Karl R. Popper, The Logic of Scientific Discovery, (Routledge, 2002), pp. 52–53, ISBN 0-415-27844-9.

Okay I am at 36:58 of the video so I have had the opportunity to listen to the four speakers. I have to say oh my gosh, there is a lot here to consider, and a lot I have already considered. So I need to respond to that first part of the video.

As life calls us to do our things in the day to day, I also have a schedule today, so this posting will be broken up in terms of my response as to the first part of the video. Please be patient. It also gives me time to think about what has been said.

I want to open with the quote Sean responded too, of Eben Alexanders of Einstein. So give me time to drawn this comment out of Eben's book.

A man should look for what is, and not for what he thinks  should be. -Albert Einstein (1879-1955)

I am still ay 36:58 so I needed to finish what  what I have surmised in that first part so I can go on with the video. Below is something that I had written to my Aunt,  so hope she is okay with me repeating it here.  You will see that entry below. It basically sums up the first part of the debate for me.

As I was finishing listening to Steven Novella speak, the quote of Einstein, now gotten from Eben's book, Proof of Heaven under Prologue,  and response given by Sean Carroll was a matter of fact to the whole first part to me as it was for Sean to Eben's Alexanders use of the quote.

Something also interesting to me was Sean's admittance of wanting to believe (that death is not final) but at this point not being able too.That said a lot to me, and in the aspect of being a scientist,  I believe what he is saying.:) So I will continue on with the rest of the video now.

 In a note to my Aunt.

Hi Aunt Celine,

 I am a bit of a science buff when it comes to what is currently happening in science. I too had been reading about the NDE for quite a long time as well. Moody agrees with you, about science not quite ready. Since I have studied other aspects of consciousness research, it is my hope that one day we will understand this debate, as a recognition of who we all are as spiritual beings, in a physical body.

What Moody proposes is the beginning of a true dialogue based on logic and reason, and these stem from philosophy. So it is important to see the discussion in terms of where this dialogue can truly begin. Moody mentions pseudoscience and from that, his journey through philosophy. He is trying to set up a credible debate.

 I read Eben Alexander's book as well so I knew where he was coming from, as well I have been following Sean Carroll's science for sometime now. The only one that was sort of new to me was that Steve Novella, and as a neuroscientist, I am open to what he has to say. I must say then I am also a bit of philosopher that has had me venturing through aspect and developments about the Mind/ body debate that is going on, and that is where the science is saying that it is based on materialism. On my own, I have studied Plato and other philosophers.

 In order to accept materialism one has to believe, that consciousness is derived from the brain, while the other perspective is that the brain in my view, is what consciousness uses while the body is alive, but that consciousness can exist, once our body dies. That understanding is in contradiction to what science saids today, but I am saying to science, that they indeed do not have all the facts to make this conclusion even though they can simulate experience from manipulating the physical aspects of the body to produce the near death experience.

Religion has not helped me and I must say, that my upbringing within the Catholic Church has left much for me say, about its patriarchal construct, and how it falls short of providing support for what spiritual means to me. I hope you are not offended.

I do believe in a higher power, and I do believe that Heaven is capable in all of us now. In my education, I might of called it Symmetry, in the very beginning, and science has something to say about that. While I have a real study in reductionism, the work that has been going on, I believe eventually it will lead to an understanding within science, but it has to be developed, and in my view Moody's philosophical standpoint, is where we will start.


So I finished the rest of the video last night. There were somethings that were quite memorable to me that stood out.I wanted to quickly move to the end of the debate where each had an opportunity as they did in the beginning to give their last assessment as to why Death is Final, or not.

I was more focused on Sean's response and reiteration of respect for people and their beliefs. This was important to me. When Moody spoke of the work that he had been doing for the last forty years with regard to NDEs and the listening to people about these experiences, these were genuine stories of,  "Death was not Final"  for Moody. I was encouraged by the votes last night, not for which side supposedly won, but by the uncertainty(final 12%) as to the question of what remains as a definitive, as to Death is Final. These shows to me that people in the end still do not know, and that,  they could not be decisive. This to me,  leaves room for work to be done.

I also liked Sean Carroll's response too,  the responsibility of acceptance as to how one may look at life given the perspective of responsibility he has having accepted his position on Death is Final. Of course he might used,  when he was a child, as one might use as Moody did, as was his thrust to understand astronomy.

I believe this to be sincere, and such a question about death that would come to all in the child's mind, a determiner of what the future would bring for him as he sat on that panel. Not so much as a Skeptic full blooded, so as to be glib with the response of,  as if Steve Novella was the amazing Randi and waited for the bet that has not been collected. :) But to remain open, as the undecided results spoke toward, as if,  more information would be needed to make a final definitive statement.

So anyway, another moment stood out in regard to Sean Carroll's response to a woman about where the energy goes once we die. His analogy of a flame going out was like the hammer statement used above, as used in the repertoire of such a question about energy and death. What I liked about the response, was as to where it put the woman in mind. If you have ever come to the point of a logical constructive immobilizing one's position, as it was on the face this woman wore,  as to where the woman could go next. That final deductive state is an important one to me.

I have much more to say about reductionism and how that research is important to me as if the table would be permanent as the atom that make it up, would be a table ad infinitive. So as sure as, matter in all it's constitutions have been described, as to say I am pointing right a it?:) We are not objects like the table. The analogy of the narrative is always important as it is spoken, and as subjective and alone as it might seem there is the greater picture of the story of the NDEr.

I must say too, that the idea of reductionism as much as materialism, causes flinches in those who speak about spiritual things, would make one from that side speak about what is not reducible?  Since energy is an important topic and how we use configuration space to surmise  it's existence,  it becomes a classification of matter. I would assume there is much still to be ascertained.  I read the blogs of other scientists who are at the front with questions phenomenologically expressed that want to see where the science goes next. Just as we have been taken t the limits of where the identification of the Higg's operates and what that energy range is.

After Life Debate-Materialism and Religion

Just so you know while visiting Sean Carroll's site, I had not the opportunity to see the debate until I have provided the link, and embedded the debate here now. Well, to stimulate debate, its necessary without having my point if view shown. I do have an opinion about
The After Life, so you might have seen my comments there, or not, given the materialist count. :)

See: Death is not Final

So with such dire warnings I do not know what I am to face other then what I have encountered as a position taken by Sean,who I have known in the blogging world for a long time now.

My own bias can be shown here on this site so as to understand that I have had a position about the Afterlife, regardless of Sean's opinion. This did not in any way make me think less of the way in which I have learn what science is,  and all the lessons that have gone into following Sean's blog. I just wanted people to know that.

So without further ad-due, I delve into the video.