Saturday, September 19, 2009

My Response To The Shameless Atheist

Here are my responses of a debate i had with the blogger you owns this blog. To see his responses go to his blog

Rather you like it or not their is strong evidence that nde’s are evidence for an afterlife. Let me explain why, yes their is deep level brain activity in deep levels of the brain. However, EEG can read the cortex of the brain and when flat lined people still have nde’s and obe’s. The flat line EEG indicates their is very little brain activity left in the cortex when blood flow is cut to the brain when someone goes into cardiac arrest. Jason Braithwaite said that those deep lower processes of the brain is more than sufficent to account for near death experiences. However it order for his theory to work. Their would have to be evidence that stimulating those processes of the brain when someone is flat lined can bring about complex though processes etc that are reported in nde’s.

I quote

“By late 2008 an advertisement for a previously unknown public appearance by Gage had been discovered, as well as a report of his physical and mental condition during his time in Chile, and a description of what may well have been his daily work routine there as a long-distance coach driver. This new information suggests that the seriously maladapted Gage described by Harlow may have existed for only a limited time after the accident—that Phineas eventually “figured out how to live” despite his injury,[40] and was in later life much more functional, and socially much better adapted, than has been thought”.[41]

So as we see that his personality back, however their is good reasons to doubt Harlows account.

I quote

“The uncertainty of Harlow’s sources for the changes he describes in Gage, combined with the fact that he waited almost twenty years (between his first and second papers) to communicate those changes, constitute one of the main puzzles of the case.”

So as we still it is looking more and more less likely that he suffered dramatic personality change to the point of showing evidence for full blown mind-brain dependency. This case is often cited by full blown support for very strong mind-brain dependency. But as i have shown it’s no where near supportive of it.

As far as free will goes ok go away deny the all so obvious. How do you explain why a person’s arm goes up. Now you can say well that is the thing with the arm sometimes it goes up and sometimes it doesn’t. But the fact is it does.

The chinese room argument, put forth by philosopher John Searle, is a powerful argument that shows why computationalism is wrong. The many world’s interpretation if correct would show that quantum immortality is possible that when a person dies. Consciousness continues on to another parellel universe.

Hello Shamelessly Atheist,

The Phineas Gage case yes their was significant personality changes however that is not incompatiable with dualism. Based on the fact that the issue is the brain producing mind and consciousness like a productive function? or is the brain a receiver of the mind.?

As far as the split brain experiments go they no where near demonstrates their are two separate conscious selves.

There are a lot of powerful arguments that the view that materialism is wrong .

Phineas Gage lost his personality permanently?. It looks that is not the case, because of the fact that he was more functional and social shortly after his accident.

“The strange case of Phineas Gage,” History of the Human Sciences

After his death, Gage slowly morphed into the lecture room legend. According to Kotowicz,

” Most of the subsequent descriptions of Gage were based on hearsay. Some of them were quite florid; Gage was portrayed as having fits of temper when not getting his own way, as being disinclined to work, as having a reduced libido, as being an aimless drifter and so on. A typical description of him would say that before the accident Gage had been a diligent, reliable, polite and socially adept person: after his accident, he subsequently became uncaring, profane and socially inappropriate in his conduct”.

In neurophilosophy we learn this

The Documentary Evidence

Kotowicz begs to differ:

However, after examining closely the accounts of Phineas Gage as given by the doctors who knew him, Harlow and Bigelow, one must conclude that the supposed psychopathic traits are not evident.

The drastic discontinuity was not so much between Phineas Gage pre- and post-tamping rod but between Phineas Gage (1823-1860) and the lecture room legend.

What we can learn from contemporary accounts of Gage’s post-trauma life is this: For a while after the accident, he drifted, and even ended up briefly in P. T. Barnum’s freak show, exhibiting himself and the tamping rod. But he then settled down and worked a year and a half in a stable. Later, he went with a friend to Valparaiso in Chile where he cared for horses and drove a coach and six for eight years.

Kotowicz points out the obvious,

Working in stables is not a job for a psychopath. Horses are very sensitive and they require discipline and calm; they have to be attended to regularly, seven days a week, and work begins early.

Malcolm Macmillan of Deakin University School of Psychology in Victoria, Australia, where he maintains a Phineas Gage page. He writes:

Most of the accounts of Gage’s life after 1848 are strange mixtures of slight fact, considerable fancy, and downright fabrication.

Now contrasts all of the above information to this materialist account of Phineas Gage’s personality.

As far as i know and yes i read lots of articles, and go to skeptical sites to, neuroscientists haven't been able to induce key aspects of obe's. Instead what the people who had a part of their brain electrically stimulated reported distortions of their body from above [such as their legs becoming shorter, and arms becoming shorter. If you compared nde cases brought on by cardiac arrest with induced ndes you see their are big differences. Yes in some cases that is possible that details can be added but not by patients who were interviewed shortly after being unconscious.

Also what is your opinion on Richard Wiseman's statement that ESP has been proven by the scientific method but requires a higher level of evidence. Denial there for sure, nowhere does he mentions what his higher level of evidence would be?. The scientific method is the best method we have at getting at the truth.

As far as the science of violation goes. The only thing that can be demonstrated by this type of evidence is that there is some brain mechanism involved to facilitate consciousness during our incarnated existence. This does not at all mean the contents of consciousness are themselves caused by the brain mechanism. In other words, the evidence can be perfectly interpreted in terms of the transmitter-receiver hypothesis.

Brain scanners can see your decisions before to make them< [One of the main responses seems to me that there is an interaction of brain and mind, so that the role of the brain does not exclude a separate role of the mind[.

Here is a good paper by Titus Rivas and Hein Van Dongen showing why epiphenomenalism is untenable.

Also, other cases of brain damage to the frontal lobes of the brain are similiar to the case of Phineas Gage above. Their is no doubt that his personality was probably changed a lot however not so dramatically changed that it is evidence that the mind and brain are so linked that their is no way that personality could survive death.

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