[Quote] intuition and proponents vs non-proponents

Hi.

So today im going to talk about a few things related to a specific quote from one of those many internet forums out there. As a note on the side before im getting started, im biased aswell. Im not stating that im objective since i never could be like that.

Our intuitions may be able to tell us how we feel about something, but that doesn’t tell us whether it is true. And whether or not someone is genuine does not tell us whether the events unfolded in the way they describe. I think that’s why you see a disconnect between the sorts of things which proponents are interested in – stories, feelings – and those things non-proponents focus on – events, validity. A non-proponent hears a story and asks, “I wonder what really happened?” A proponent hears a story and asks, “how does this story make me feel?” It becomes a puzzle as to why non-proponents aren’t interested in the story, and why proponents aren’t interested in whether the details are accurate.

I’m not sure that there is a way for the different perspectives to be compatible. Maybe all that can be accomplished is that we try to regard both perspectives as legitimate?

As you can see, its about intuition and the old battle between proponents and non-proponents (those guys are these days called sceptics, although that word isnt fitting for them). Lets talk about the contents of that quote. As a additional information, the person who wrote that isnt a proponent. That propably explains why she is seeing things the way she does.

Anyways, the first sentence is stating that intuition isnt telling us if anything is true or accurate. Obviously that got some truth to it, since intuition is everything except being accurate. Intuition is more like a feeling and feelings are pretty much never something  concrete. I got no problem with stating something like that; there are further investigations needed to explain certain things. Intuition alone isnt satisfing anyone.

Even so i got a problem with the second part of the post and thats also why im writing about it. Shes writing that non-proponents are interested in events and validity and propents dont care about that; instead they want to know about stories and feelings. I deem that to be wrong. To be accurate there, thats as wrong as it can be.

Ive met quite a few proponents in the last few months and discussed a lot of things with them. I also did that with a lot of non-proponents. I also read a lot of stuff from both groups.

I rarely saw a proponent that is saying that we shouldnt find out if the story is true. Most people agree that we shouldnt believe anything just like that. That means that validity is a thing for both groups. Its plainly wrong to say that proponents do not care about that. Even more it seems like the author of that post tried to discredit proponents by writing that. There are tons of studies and tests from the parapsychological sector out there. Its merely not true to say that those are not trying to prove that something is valid. I can imagine though why there is that impression; those kind of studies mostly include subjective experiences. Thats not a thing in normal science. That may be one of the reason why people think that they dont want to test validity. Another thing is that many parapsychological studies start their research under certain premises that arent conform to mainstream science. They are sometimes trying to prove things that many people deem to be wrong. Bias and misconceptions are playing a huge role here aswell.

Subjective experiences are also the thing that is making the difference between events and stories. A story always includes those, since its something a human being told to others. A event is something that tries to be more objective than that and is not taking subjective experiences into account as much as possible. The approach of events is based on the premise that subjective experiences could be wrong, since humans could tell lies or did see things that werent true at all(-> the brain is making it up, stuff like that).

In the end the difference between both approach isnt the struggle for validity, since both are involved there. The difference is the subjective experience. Those are always involved when it comes to anything involving human beings, true enough. But one approach is trying minimalize those experiences as much as possible, while the other one is trying to take those fully into account.

I dont know which one is getting us further. Thats up for everyone to decide themselves. I can state though what i would believe to be true here. And that would be the approach that tries to take subjective experiences fully into account. I cant wrap my head around the fact that some people try to explain subjective stories without subjective experiences. There may be a objective event behind it, true enough. Does that mean that we shouldnt consider that what humans are telling us about those events? Reality isnt a objective thing after all; why would we try to handle it like it is objective? And even if we consider reality as objective and we disregard everything that is telling otherwise, why wouldnt be consider the story of someone who witnessed the event? Im not saying that we should believe someone like that without any further investigations. Im saying that we should investigate subjective stories aswell. We are all humans, and without subjective experiences we wouldnt be able to percieve those “objective” events at all. Why would we try to exclude those very experiences then?

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My personal dilemma with opinions and beliefs

Its been a while since i posted something here. Im sorry for that. Its not like i had a lot to do, its more like… well, i wasnt sure about a lot of things. Let me talk about that a bit more. I wrote about that a bit on my normal blog, but i want to explain in a lengthy way how i feel there.

The thing is, i wrote already that im kind of researching death and consciousness and all those things like that. In the last few weeks i experienced some sort of …weird feelings regarding that. All kinds of peoples got all kinds of opinions and there is no way to say who is right and who is wrong. Hell, maybe no one is right or wrong at all. Even so, when i read something that contradicts my opinion im always getting confused. What if he or she is right and im wrong? Theres always a possibility for that. Always.

Connected to that is the fact that im believing the stuff others tell me way too easily. Someone could say “well, we are all just meat bags” and i would immediately doubt anything that tells me that there could be more than that. A fair amount of scepticism is always good, no doubts there, but its propably better for my health to doubt new opinions a bit more then the ones i already know about.

Connected to that is another problem. I learned about quite a few things out there that are mysterious and kind of unexplainable with the current philosophical mainstream paradigm. The thing is, everytime i hear about something like that i immediately think “that cant be true, right?” and i always search for some sort of explanaition that fits the mainstream paradigm. That paradigm isnt what i want to believe though. It feels like i have to explain it in one way and want to do it in another. Its just like im stuck in mainstream paradigm and i cant escape, even if i want to do so. I know that every paradigm got its fair share of problems and every “ism” out there seems to be wrong at some point, but even knowing that – im stuck.

Because of that im always searching for new stuff, hoping that there is something out there that convinces me of any opinion to be finally true. Because of that ill never be satisfied with anything at all. Never. Even if i find something that leaves me baffled (like Quantum physics; it really surprised me what QM tells us about our reality), at some point later on i think like “hold on. Theres criticism about that too, right? What if those guys are right?”. Same situation when i heard the first time about NDE’s. I was speechless. But now, hm – i never experienced something like that and i know about lots of materialistic/physicalstic explanaitions for those kind of subjective experiences. Of course none of those must be true (and none of them seems to be true anyways, since they all cant explain all parts of an NDE), but it still leaves me with tons of doubts. What if those explanations are true? What if we are flesh bags without any connection to something non-material? Theres no final evidence for that, i know that – just as there isnt any real evidence for the opposite either.

I mean, i know why i got those doubts. I fear any sort of final truth. Im kind of relieved sometimes knowing that we wont get close to something like that anytime soon. I fear that we can say “well, its definitely like that. Theres no room for speculations”. Not for speculations-sake, its more like that i fear that im wrong with opinions that e.g. are not conform to that final truth.

And the combination of all of that – well, its kind of horrible. Everyone can cast doubts in my mind about those topics on the fringe of science. Everyone. And while im trying to get away from the mainstream paradigm i cant because i learned about it for like 25 years. Its not that easy. I want to, but im still trying to explain everything with that paradigm.

In the end, that leaves me somewhere with tons of doubts, no self-esteem and no faith in my own experiences and beliefs. I’d rather believe others. And thats not good, since my experiences are the only thing that i know to be definitely true. See, i know that, but still.. its not easy to get away from things you learned for years. All that bias and all those mainstream opinions… society wants you to believe them. And you cant get away from that just like that. Your sub-consciousness doesnt want to.

Why? Well, its propably easier to believe something that others told you(i mean, im german, i know all sorts of things about that). Even while knowing that, your sub-consciousness propably doesnt care. And there you see – society did a fine job, trimming you to be a believer in mainstream propaganda. I imagine that this is even worse when you studied or something like that, especially when it comes to computer science or biology or physics. Those sciences are trimmed to fit in the current mainstream paradigm. To escape it while/after studying that – it requires huge efforts. Maybe more than i can muster.