Science or Spirituality

Discussion in 'Archive: The Senate Floor' started by JediMaster1511, Aug 2, 2010.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. JediMaster1511 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 15, 2010
    star 9
    In the evolution thread, DorkmanScott and myself began a discussion of science vs. spirituality. Unfortunaley it was off topic so it had to end. I, however, grew intrigued on not only his view point but others as well on both sides and inbetween. So I am starting this in the hopes of continueing the discussion.


    On the side of science, there have been many break throughs in the battles against disease and overall health, and many strides towards understanding our physical world. It has aided in prolonging loves and saving lives as well. It uses observation and experimentation to prove it's point, while leaving open the option of improvement on resulting findings.

    On the side of Spiritualy, It has been the backbone of many if not all societies to build on. It helps provide comfort to people who question they're own worth. And in many Occult fields, it provides answers as well as benefits to one's health, both physically and mentally. It also provides answers to "mysteries" science cannot explain.
    Ultimately it is the individual whom decides what they believe in the end.


    I take the side of Spirituality. I am an Occultist and practice OBE's regularly, as well as yoga. After I started practicing OBE's I found my Health increased. My immunity, my stamina, my concentration, and my perceptions increased. I found myself niticing things I never noticed before, and right after I started practicing OBE's

    I would like to hear others opinions and experiences on the matter. And it is not just limited OBE's and what not. Feel free to enter anything spiritual or scientific on the matter.


    (OBE's, or Out of Body Experiences for those who don't know, allow the user to enter a trance that allows them to leave their physical body and explore their surroundings.)
  2. Lord Vivec Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Apr 17, 2006
    star 7
    It also provides answers to "mysteries" science cannot explain.

    What "answers" to what "mysteries" does it provide?
  3. JediMaster1511 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 15, 2010
    star 9

    I'm speaking on both matters in a one person personel view. What one might say if they were speaking.
  4. Lord Vivec Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Apr 17, 2006
    star 7
    Give me an example of an answer that's provided that cannot be provided using the scientific method.
  5. Lowbacca_1977 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jun 28, 2006
    star 6
    I think the largest issue is a thing of scope. When you create a dichotomy, then I go with science because it simply works, and tradition alone doesn't give spirituality validity. The track records are very, very different.

    That's not to say that people don't get benefits out of spirituality, but the question is are we seeking greater understanding (which science has a strong track record) or just trying to feel better, which is something that's much more subjective? There is an element of psychological health that can come from many different mindsets, but there's a distinction between having a mindset that increases happiness, and a happiness that increases actual understanding. I think there are many that meet the first qualifier, but only one reality means only one mindset that truly leads to increasing understanding.
  6. JediMaster1511 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 15, 2010
    star 9
    Allow me to answer this with my personel experiences. Science has not been able to properly address what happens to us after we die.(At least not to a degree that I am satisfied with) However, I started practicing OBE's, and many others also practice this. There have been people that have seen a person dying while out of their body. The person entered a state similair to theirs. I myself, after my dog's death, saw him upon exiting my body that night.
    In an unrelated but still relevant case, when my father died, it was in a violent motorcycle death. At the time they estimated his death, my mother's boyfriend began sweating furiously. Which wouldn't be anything special, except it was an April and snow was still on the ground and he was outside wearing nothing more than a light long sleeve shirt over top of his tank top.
  7. DorkmanScott Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Mar 26, 2001
    star 6
    Which one cured smallpox?

    Which one cured polio?

    Which one put humans in the air?

    Which one put humans in space?

    Which one builds skyscrapers?

    Which one domesticated the dog?

    Which one harnessed and understood the power of electricity?

    Which one extended the average human lifespan from 30 to 80 years?

    Which one built the network across which we are having this conversation?

    It's all very well to say that you subjectively seem to feel better by believing in woo. But it doesn't actually answer questions -- it simply makes wild assertions that the people who want to believe accept without questioning. And that doesn't even get to whether or not the questions themselves have any form of validity. It's no use saying that crystals provide the answer to the question "How do we control our chakras?" when there is no evidence that chakras exist. The question itself has not been shown to be worth asking, let alone the answer provided.

    Why do you imagine yourself to be entitled to an answer that you like? The universe isn't here to please you. You don't get to just make up an answer you like better unless you have some evidence to back it up.

    Science has addressed death the ONLY proper way -- by reporting what the evidence indicates, and nothing more.

    And you don't think this might have anything to do with the fact that your dog was on your mind at the time?

    I wouldn't consider this to be at all relevant. This could be due to any number of factors, or entirely incorrect. How do you know it was at the time they estimated his death? Did they note the specific time at which he started sweating? That seems an odd thing to do. Or did they find out he died and your mother's boyfriend went "OMG, I felt weirdly sweaty today this afternoon, and he died this afternoon! It must have been at the same time!"

    You see these post hoc correlations all the time. Someone will come out of a psychic reading going "He spoke to my father! I know it was real because he knew I'd had knee surgery! He knew which knee and everything!" But then you watch the performance on video and the psychic faces a group of people and goes "I'm seeing a medical procedure, either fairly recently or upcoming, who is that?" and she raises her hand, and he says "I've got a male figure standing beside me, has someone close to you passed" and she says "Yes, my father," and he says "I'm getting something fairly serious about this medical procedure, was it a serious procedure?" and she goes "Yes, knee surgery," and he goes "Yes, I'm definitely feeling something in the right knee, was the surgery in the right knee?" And she goes "It was my left," and he says, "Yes, of course, you've been favoring your right knee since you got the knee surgery on your left. Your father wants me to tell you to make sure you balance that out, or you'll end up having to get surgery on your other one!" And when she leaves, she remembers him getting it all right even though SHE was the one who told HIM.
  8. Lowbacca_1977 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jun 28, 2006
    star 6
    Well, science's current answer is that it seems you die. That's not unsubstantiated so much as it is inconvenient and not what people want to hear.

    What you've mentioned isn't really providing an answer, it's providing an opinion but not actually any reason why it should be treated as an actual answer.
  9. JediMaster1511 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 15, 2010
    star 9
    I will not deny sciences contribution to our life. I never have, I never will.


    But if you want to get into science and OBE's for example, their was a study by Drs.Malta and Zaalberg Van Zelst on individuals weight while in an OBE state. The participants were found to weigh close to between 2 and 2 1/4 oz. lighter than in a normal sleep. Further more, in experiments by Dr.Duncan McDouggall-of Haverhill,Mass.- he weighed a number of patients dying from Consumption, at the moment they died. He placed the cot, containing the patient, on a delicatly balanced scale. At the moment of the patients death, the beam of the balance went up and struck the upper arm suddenly. The average weight loss was 2 1/2 oz.


    And those "cold psychic" readings like performed by John Edwards, well no self respecting occultists acknowledges them as really occult, or real.


    When my father died, it was only 50 feet from my driveway. I was one of the first to be at the scene. He was found immediatly after the accident and the sirens from the ambulance and police were heard by my mother around the time of the sweating/death. I had got into contact with my mother about 20 mins. later. And it was 20 mins. before I contacted her that the sweating incident happened. She knew because they had entered the house during the sweating incident and the first thing she does is look at the clock. The ordeal happened over a very sudden and short time that it was easy to keep track of things. It stared a little after 11 pm, before anyone knew it was close to midnight and it was all over.
  10. DorkmanScott Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Mar 26, 2001
    star 6
    In which peer-reviewed scientific journal were these "lighter weight" findings published, and when were they conducted?

    Just kidding, I know the answer. Respectively, "none" and "the beginning of last century."

    The MacDougall measurements were conducted over 100 years ago, in 1907. And by the way, he found the supposed weight of the soul to be 21 grams -- which is 0.74 oz, pretty far off from your 2.5 oz claim.

    Malta and Zaalberg Van Zelst did their work in the 1920s, and claimed a weight of the soul of 69.5 grams -- over three times MacDougall's findings. They aren't a close match, they're wildly divergent. Later works by paranormalists fudge the MacDougall numbers to make them sound significantly alike, but they're two entirely different measurements.

    We don't know the conditions under which these tests were performed, the results do not corroborate each other, and neither finding has been reproduced in the century since, even though our measuring instruments have gotten finer and finer. We should be seeing MORE of these results as technology improves, not fewer.

    It's similar to UFO belief. As video and still cameras have become more and more prevalent, you would expect photographic evidence to do the same. Everyone's got a camera now, if something crazy happens they are ready and able to snap a shot at a moment's notice. But the relationship is inverse.

    Likewise with psi claims. We would expect if such things were true, then the more accurate measuring devices become, and the slimmer the margin of error, the more we should see these results. When in fact the opposite is true.
  11. Lowbacca_1977 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jun 28, 2006
    star 6
    Plagiarism is not allowed, even if it is only some sentences or parts of sentences. In this case, Projection of the Astral Body by Sylvan Joseph Muldoon, it seems.

    As to the more substantive claims, I'd point out that paragraph isn't even accurate. Dr. MacDougall argued, based off of 6 cases, that the soul represented 21 grams worth of weight. That's less than .75 ounces, not over 2 ounces.
  12. DorkmanScott Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Mar 26, 2001
    star 6
    By the way, we no longer get tuberculosis (aka "consumption") epidemics in the developed world, either. Guess which one cured it.
  13. JediMaster1511 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 15, 2010
    star 9
    Sorry, I forgot to write the source. That's my mistake.


    Now, in regards to the soul, look at it this way. We'll use the scientific method. Energy cannot be destroyed. It only can be broken down and converted. I.E. humans breathe oxygen, exhale co2 plants intake co2, give off o2. Simple example. Now the human body cannot move without energy. That energy is conciesness. The body will not move without any form of of conciessness be it sub or the regular one we use when awake. When the body dies, where does said conciessness go? If energy cannot be broken down, then our minds cannot be destroyed, and therefor go somewhere after death.

    It then can be assertained that it is possible to temporarily transport said mind outside of the body, without inducing death, as most people in OBE's appear to be dead. The body is much more calm and relaxed over the average sleeeping body.

    (I'm not sure if I read this somewhere else, or if I came up with it. I won't claim I did, but I can't remember where I may have heard it)


    And did you (Dorkman) miss the part where I wrote that I don't deny sciences contributions.
  14. DorkmanScott Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Mar 26, 2001
    star 6
    Wrong. Consciousness is a by-product of your brain. It's produced by energy, which your body makes by breaking down the food you eat. Consciousness is not itself energy.

    Think of your television set. The picture on the screen is not the energy that make the TV run. The energy from the wall socket makes the TV run and it produces the picture as a byproduct of the energy.

    Nonsense. You can apply electrodes to the muscles of a corpse and cause them to spasm.

    Where does the picture go when you turn off the TV?

    Sorry, you started from a false premise. GIGO. Brain activity ceases at death, and there is no evidence that our "minds" are anything more than a type of brain activity.

    Sorry, no. Doesn't follow.

    Really? No pulse, no breathing, no brain function? Has this been repeatedly measured and verified? What scientific papers have noted this phenomenon?

    That's a pretty subjective claim. How do they quantify this?

    No, but I'm pointing out what science has actually accomplished. You want to make it sound like these two positions are even close to being on the same plane of utility toward the human race. But everything important seems to get handled by science, so I'm looking for some substantiation of your statement (admittedly in the previous thread) that they both have value.
  15. LostOnHoth Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Feb 15, 2000
    star 5
    I don't understand why you should necessarily have to pick camps. There's a place for both spirituality and science, it all depends on what you are looking for. Spirituality to me is simply tied to emotion (it is an expression of emotion). Science is tied to reason and logic in terms of it being a methodology. Arguably a well rounded individual possesses a sense of spirituality and reason and logic. That way you can know what causes a sunset but also be able to express the emotional response as well. It's a human thing.
  16. DorkmanScott Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Mar 26, 2001
    star 6
    Actually, before we go any further, could we get a solid definition of what "spirituality" means for the purposes of this thread? It makes a difference whether we're actually talking about supernatural/paranormal claims, or just a sense of having a rich emotional life. I kind of gather that the OP is talking about the former, but let's get a clarification.
  17. LostOnHoth Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Feb 15, 2000
    star 5
    Sounds to me like both. The OP refers to both 'mysteries' and 'comfort'. Spirituality is about a sense of connectedness which we need as social animals. We 'connect' on different levels with our fellow humans but also with our surroundings and our environment. To say that you are 'spiritual' does not necessarily denote religion, merely that you feel happy or content having a sense of connection with the world (on some level) and that you will remain a part of it (even when you die).
  18. Lord Vivec Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Apr 17, 2006
    star 7
    Science has addressed what happens when you die. You die. That's it. You're not conscious any more. Zero brain activity.

    As for your "experiences," I cannot take your word for it. Personal experience does not qualify as empirical evidence.
  19. LostOnHoth Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Feb 15, 2000
    star 5
    Agreed. Spirituality is not a methodology. There is nothing objective or falsifiable about it. I don't know how anyone can say it "explains" anything. At best, all we can say is that 'spiritual/paranormal/supernatural' phenomena are not able to be explained according to scientific method. Nothing really beyond that.
  20. Ghost Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Oct 13, 2003
    star 6
    I am not sure what this thread is really about, whether Science or Spirituality help with health or not??


    Anyways, in general, there is no science "versus" spirituality, they can co-exist. But spiritual matters tend not to be physically or objectively proven, and science is more of a method than a system of beliefs.


    As for Out-Of-Body-Experiences... I am very, very, very skeptical of those claims.

    What exactly do they have to with Spirituality, anyways?

    And your reasoning on Consciousness does not work. The energy behind our minds could just decay into heat energy or whatever, energy can't be destroyed but it can be changed. Also, a reminder to both sides, no one truly understands the Brain or Consciousness yet.
  21. Lowbacca_1977 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jun 28, 2006
    star 6
    I think it comes down to if you view spiritual/new age matters as being BETTER at understanding and predicting phenomena than science, or if you view spiritual matters as simply addressing different sorts of things than what science does.
  22. Ghost Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Oct 13, 2003
    star 6
    Of course science is better at understanding and predicting phenomena than "new age" spiritual "stuff." I also believe spiritual matters address different areas than science does, but there is usually no objective proof for a lot of beliefs involving spirituality. Doesn't mean it's wrong, we just don't know. But science is obviously better at understanding and predicting physical phenomena, the only objectively proven phenomena there is.

    This seems way too easy to answer, maybe I'm misunderstanding it. :p
  23. Ramza JC Head Admin and RPF Manager

    Administrator
    Member Since:
    Jul 13, 2008
    star 6
    So, what, you're just discounting the placebo effect entirely?
  24. Lowbacca_1977 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jun 28, 2006
    star 6
    Oh, if you want to catagorise spiritual stuff as value judgements and beliefs rather than proven things and facts, then no objection here. That's the stuff I'm fine with.
  25. SuperWatto Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Sep 19, 2000
    star 5
    I've had plenty out-of-body experiences; they're cool. You don't actually really leave your body though.
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.