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Existence of spiritual beings (invisible?): on experience, facts, and reason
Posted: 02 July 2015 08:42 PM   [ Ignore ]
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This thread is occasioned by the article of Nickell and McGaha, Treatise on Invisible Beings.*


The stock information of peoples using the English language distinguishes between material beings and spiritual beings.

Material beings are what we might identify as anything at all which are accessible to scientific investigations with our conscious senses or/and with laboratory instrumentation.

Spiritual beings are what we might identify as anything at all which are not material beings as described above.


Next, I like to suggest to readers and also specially persons contributing messages to this thread, the big distinction between (1) existing beings and (2) non-existing beings.

Existing beings are anything at all which exist independently of humans’ thinking at all, or even if they just at all exist in humans’ thinking; so there are two kinds of existing beings:

(a) those which exist independently of humans’ thinking or of man’s mind, and
(b) those which exist in man’s mind only, so that if there are no humans at all, they don’t exist at all: because then there is no human mind where they can exist in.

What then are (2) non-existing beings? They are neither (1)(a) nor (1)(b): so they are literally nothing at all.

Perhaps the distinction of (1)(a) and (1)(b) is that between respectively objects and concepts.

Now, what are invisible beings talked about by Nickell and McGaha?


At this point, let us exchange our thoughts on the statements and questions I have made so far.


*Click on the colored line to open the link.

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Posted: 07 July 2015 10:38 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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What’s your point? I perused the article and it concludes that so called invisible beings amount to imaginary. Not much else to discuss, especially in a CFI forum.

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Posted: 21 November 2015 02:15 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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The title of the article referred to is the following:

http://www.csicop.org/si/show/treatise_on_invisible_beings

Treatise on Invisible Beings


Feature
Joe Nickell and James McGaha
Skeptical Inquirer Volume 37.2, March/April 2013

Allegedly invisible entities—popular belief notwithstanding—are indistinguishable from imaginary beings.


The proposition of the authors is concisely and essentially “invisible beings are equivalent to imaginary beings.”

No matter how intricate and variegated their exposition is, I can’t see how they have proven their proposition, namely, that invisible beings are equivalent to imaginary beings.

Allow me to bring to your notice, dear readers that we only know some 96% of the visible universe, the rest is the invisible universe, and they are not equivalent to the products of our imagination at all.

Google: “percentage of man’s knowledge of the universe,” and here is the first hit of page 2:

https://www.google.com/search?q=percentage+of+man’s+knowledge+of+the+universe&biw=800&bih=415&ei=YzNQVvHKEcTKmwWsqbngDA&start=10&sa=N


Page 2 of about 39,000,000 results (0.35 seconds)
Search Results

  Missing: 96 Percent of the Universe | Dark Matter & Dark ...
  http://www.space.com/11642-dark-matter-dark-energy-4-percent-u...

Space.com
May 12, 2011 - Almost all of the universe — 96 percent — is invisible stuff called dark matter and dark energy. The new book “The 4 Percent Universe” by Richard Panek describes ... University of Human, Spiritual and Mystical Knowledge.


So, the authors the write-up above at the top of this message, Nickell and McGaha, are rash in their proposition that “Allegedly invisible entities—popular belief notwithstanding—are indistinguishable from imaginary beings.”

They forget to factor into their exposition the three criteria of critical thinking, namely, truths, facts, and logic, in particular facts about the invisible universe which is not any imaginary being.

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Posted: 21 November 2015 09:43 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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Good grief.  I concede that stuff probably exists that we, currently, have no way of knowing about. And there is plenty of stuff that exists ONLY in our imaginations.

But if beings, or anything else, exist, that we have absolutely no way of sensing, or inferring, then the point is effectively moot.  It doesn’t matter whether they exist or not, until we have some way of detecting them. 

If and when that happens, then we have something to talk about. But, in the meantime, let’s not be goofy.

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As a fabrication of our own consciousness, our assignations of meaning are no less “real”, but since humans and the fabrications of our consciousness are routinely fraught with error, it makes sense, to me, to, sometimes, question such fabrications.

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Posted: 21 November 2015 12:19 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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Thanks for your reaction.

Your point is that if anything is not visible then we need not bother with it.

That is an attitude and it is not constructive: because it is essentially closing your heart and mind to the world that we at present do not have what you would call visible access to.

Suppose we talk about visible phenomena which we want to explain in terms of causality, is that all right with you.

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Posted: 21 November 2015 02:33 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
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Mdejess - 21 November 2015 12:19 PM

Thanks for your reaction.

Your point is that if anything is not visible then we need not bother with it.

That is an attitude and it is not constructive: because it is essentially closing your heart and mind to the world that we at present do not have what you would call visible access to…

I suggest using the words “perceptible” and “imperceptible” rather than “visible” and “invisible”.

I AM NOT “closing my…mind” to the possibility of things existing in our universe, that we have no way of perceiving.  I am simply pointing out the obvious truth, that, as long as we have no possible way of perceiving those things, in any way, it is IMpossible to engage with them, or to know whether they do exist, or to know what they are, or anything else about them. At best we can engage in fantasy and speculation. 

Engaging in fantasy and speculation can be fun.  It can, and does, for many people, provide a narrative that can impact how they behave, to some extent. But, objectively, it is nonsense.  So you can kid yourself if you want.  Most people do.  I prefer not.

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As a fabrication of our own consciousness, our assignations of meaning are no less “real”, but since humans and the fabrications of our consciousness are routinely fraught with error, it makes sense, to me, to, sometimes, question such fabrications.

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Posted: 21 November 2015 05:58 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]
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Mdejess repeats, focus on text in bold:

Thanks for your reaction.

Your point is that if anything is not visible then we need not bother with it.

That is an attitude and it is not constructive: because it is essentially closing your heart and mind to the world that we at present do not have what you would call visible access to.

Suppose we talk about visible phenomena which we want to explain in terms of causality, is that all right with you.

 


It is all right with me about perceptible and imperceptible things; but we must also reason on logic and truths and facts from the perceptible like a phenomenon to the imperceptible like the factors of its causality.

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Posted: 22 November 2015 08:20 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]
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Mdejess - 21 November 2015 05:58 PM

... we must also reason on logic and truths and facts from the perceptible like a phenomenon to the imperceptible like the factors of its causality.

I don’t understand what you are saying.

I assume that English is not your first language, so I don’t know if my lack of understanding has to do with my failure to understand the complexity or subtlety of what you are trying to say or if it is due to the lack of fluency needed to communicate the idea in English.

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As a fabrication of our own consciousness, our assignations of meaning are no less “real”, but since humans and the fabrications of our consciousness are routinely fraught with error, it makes sense, to me, to, sometimes, question such fabrications.

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Posted: 22 November 2015 10:28 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]
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Tell me then what are the most difficult of my words which you don’t understand, and I will explain them to you, okay?

Give me the quote, okay?

Is it this quote produced in your message:

  Mdejess - 21 November 2015 05:58 PM

    ... we must also reason on logic and truths and facts from the perceptible like a phenomenon to the imperceptible like the factors of its causality.


Here. let me help you to understand what I am saying, do it this way:

1, Take down the words which I use and which you do not know the meaning of.

2. Look up the dictionary for their definitions.

3. Now, which words there are nouns or pronouns, and which are verbs.

4. Do you now notice the simple sentence of subject and predicate in my quote?

5. Here, I will help you: see what I will do in my quote to produce the simple sentence which you should understand if you know the meanings of the words in the simple sentence, I will put in brackets [ ] the words which are not parts of the simple sentence.

  Mdejess - 21 November 2015 05:58 PM

  ... we [must also] reason [on logic and truths and facts from the perceptible like a phenomenon] to the imperceptible [like the factors of its causality].


Here is the simple sentence: “we reason to the imperceptible.”

6. Are you following me? This is the simple sentence, “we reason to the imperceptible,” which you must understand in order to come to the thought I want to convey to you, unless perhaps you do not know the meanings of the words used in the simple sentence; here is again the simple sentence:

we reason to the imperceptible


7. Now, ask yourself, what are the modifier words of the verb reason, and what are the modifier words of the noun the imperceptible?

8. If you still cannot get the thought I want to convey to you, go then to the neighborhood grade school, and look up the teacher of English grammar and writing, ask for help from her or him, to get from this teacher what my thought is in the quote from me you claim to not understand:

  Mdejess - 21 November 2015 05:58 PM

  ... we must also reason on logic and truths and facts from the perceptible like a phenomenon to the imperceptible like the factors of its causality.


Dear readers here, what about you, do you understand the thought in the above quote which TimB claims to not understand?

Please help him, tell me what you understand of my thought in the quote which TimB cannot understand.

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Posted: 22 November 2015 12:55 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 9 ]
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Yes, Dear readers, please help me understand what “we reason to the imperceptible” means.  (I must not have been paying attention that day in grade school.)  I understand the noun “we” and the verb “reason” and the word “imperceptible”.  I just don’t get the meaning when they’re put together, in just that way, in a sentence.

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Posted: 22 November 2015 01:59 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 10 ]
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Perhaps it is the use of the preposition “to” that is throwing me off, in the sentence.  “we reason ‘to’ the imperceptible.”

The preposition “to” is typically used to indicate a movement toward something.  Hmm… Let me try this:  We think in a logical manner “to” the imperceptible.  No.  I still don’t get it.  Maybe…  We think in a logical manner toward the imperceptible. ... No. I don’t get that either.
How about:
By logical thinking we can recognize, by virtue of things that are perceivable, that there are things that are imperceptible. 

Hey! Maybe I’m getting somewhere.  Now I just need to get that last little bit which is “like the factors of ‘its’ causality”. 

Please clarify what you’re referencing by the word “its”. Does “its” refer to the verb “reason” or to “logic and truths and facts from the perceptible” or to “the imperceptible” or to “a phenomenon”?

[ Edited: 22 November 2015 02:29 PM by TimB ]
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Posted: 22 November 2015 04:22 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 11 ]
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Thanks TimB for your reaction.

Now, so that we will both come to what I want to tell you, as you find it hard to understand my kind of English, let us do it this way:

As you do recognize that I write in a language which to you seems most likely to be English, tell me what is the best you can make out what I am trying to convey to you: since you are also writing in what I recognize to be English.

Here is the text you find you can’t understand what I am trying to impart to your mind:

Mdejess - 21 November 2015 05:58 PM

  ... we must also reason on logic and truths and facts from the perceptible like a phenomenon to the imperceptible like the factors of its causality.


Try your very best as an intelligent and literate person, literate in English, to rewrite the text above in italic, in your own words as to reflect what you can make out, what I am telling you.

Try to limit your expatiation in just 100 words or less.


If you cannot even rewrite what is to you written in English, the best that you can make out, then I will not anymore bother with you, because we have a communication gap.

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Posted: 22 November 2015 04:35 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 12 ]
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Mdejess - 22 November 2015 04:22 PM

Thanks TimB for your reaction.

Now, so that we will both come to what I want to tell you, as you find it hard to understand my kind of English, let us do it this way:

As you do recognize that I write in a language which to you seems most likely to be English, tell me what is the best you can make out what I am trying to convey to you: since you are also writing in what I recognize to be English.

Here is the text you find you can’t understand what I am trying to impart to your mind:

Mdejess - 21 November 2015 05:58 PM

  ... we must also reason on logic and truths and facts from the perceptible like a phenomenon to the imperceptible like the factors of its causality.

 


Try your very best as an intelligent and literate person, literate in English, to rewrite the text above in italic, in your own words as to reflect what you can make out, what I am telling you.

Try to limit your expatiation in just 100 words or less.


If you cannot even rewrite what is to you written in English, the best that you can make out, then I will not anymore bother with you, because we have a communication gap.

I need to know what you mean the “it” in “its” to refer to.

Then I think I can give it a shot.  I doubt that I will need 100 words.

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Posted: 22 November 2015 04:48 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 13 ]
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TimB, you ask ms: “I need to know what you mean the “it” in “its” to refer to.”

Give me the quote from me which you come across the it and its.

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Posted: 22 November 2015 04:50 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 14 ]
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By the way, TimB, I am not a native user of English, native as in Americans are native users of English, so also Australians, and of course the English folks of England.

Are you a native user of English?

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Posted: 22 November 2015 05:09 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 15 ]
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Mdejess - 22 November 2015 04:48 PM

TimB, you ask ms: “I need to know what you mean the “it” in “its” to refer to.”

Give me the quote from me which you come across the it and its.

“... we must also reason on logic and truths and facts from the perceptible like a phenomenon to the imperceptible like the factors of its causality.”

I speak American English.  I know that there are more English speakers in India, than in the USA.  I am guessing that is where you are from.

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As a fabrication of our own consciousness, our assignations of meaning are no less “real”, but since humans and the fabrications of our consciousness are routinely fraught with error, it makes sense, to me, to, sometimes, question such fabrications.

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