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Question- I think it goes here
Posted: 05 April 2007 05:08 PM   [ Ignore ]
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My older son (18 ), who calls himself a Tao Buddhist (don’t ask me, I have no clue) insists that science has proven reincarnation is real because this girl knew things from a previous life that she should not have known and no one else knew.  I tried to tell him, "No, science has not proven that reincarnation exists", but he insists science has proven it as real.

If anyone knows of a study that shows the results of such empirical testing, I figure it would be this place.  I’m not saying I want studies that proves it’s not real or that is is real, just empirical studies that shows what we do know.  If that makes sense.  Of course, he’s at a stage that all is secondhand knowledge unless he can test it himself and prove it to himself.  Anything I say about science and religion he blows off because I didn’t test it myself, esp on myself.  I’m sorry, I can’t test the neurological process that happens during transcendence, but I know the chemistry is there in the brain when triggered by external stimuli and some people attribute the peak experience as a spiritual event.

Even so, with any luck, I can find something, preferably more than one source, that shows what we do know of reincarnation [is a myth].  If he is a Buddhist, which I doubt because he doesn’t go anywhere where Buddhists hang out, he should accept the scientific knowledge we do have about reincarnation.  Right now, he insists I am being close-minded about the subject because I won’t accept anything HE says about it.  How can I when I know it is not scientific knowledge?

Well, if you know where I can find such studies or have any info I can give him about that subject, that would be nice.  Something has to get through this nutty teenager- I hope.

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Mriana
“Sometimes in order to see the light, you have to risk the dark.” ~ Iris Hineman (Lois Smith) The Minority Report

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Posted: 05 April 2007 05:08 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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Question- I think it goes here

My older son (18 ), who calls himself a Tao Buddhist (don’t ask me, I have no clue) insists that science has proven reincarnation is real because this girl knew things from a previous life that she should not have known and no one else knew.  I tried to tell him, “No, science has not proven that reincarnation exists”, but he insists science has proven it as real.

If anyone knows of a study that shows the results of such empirical testing, I figure it would be this place.  I’m not saying I want studies that proves it’s not real or that is is real, just empirical studies that shows what we do know.  If that makes sense.  Of course, he’s at a stage that all is secondhand knowledge unless he can test it himself and prove it to himself.  Anything I say about science and religion he blows off because I didn’t test it myself, esp on myself.  I’m sorry, I can’t test the neurological process that happens during transcendence, but I know the chemistry is there in the brain when triggered by external stimuli and some people attribute the peak experience as a spiritual event.

Even so, with any luck, I can find something, preferably more than one source, that shows what we do know of reincarnation [is a myth].  If he is a Buddhist, which I doubt because he doesn’t go anywhere where Buddhists hang out, he should accept the scientific knowledge we do have about reincarnation.  Right now, he insists I am being close-minded about the subject because I won’t accept anything HE says about it.  How can I when I know it is not scientific knowledge?

Well, if you know where I can find such studies or have any info I can give him about that subject, that would be nice.  Something has to get through this nutty teenager- I hope.

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Mriana
“Sometimes in order to see the light, you have to risk the dark.” ~ Iris Hineman (Lois Smith) The Minority Report

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Posted: 05 April 2007 09:42 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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Oddly, Sam Harris said in an interview with Infidel Guy that he also agrees the jury is still out on this.

The Stevenson work may be what your son is refering to as it is often cited as proof, though the researcher never concluded that.  I found this link on that.

http://people.colgate.edu/uroy/Paper.htm

Stevenson’s research revolves around case studies of children who claim to have knowledge of previous births. In more than twenty years, Stevenson and his staff have collected data on more than 2000 such cases.[4] Of these cases, a third have been extensively investigated personally, another third less thoroughly investigated while one-sixth have been included on the strength of data collected by people Stevenson has confidence in. His pioneering work, published in 1966 and called Twenty Cases Suggestive Of Reincarnation, documents a small fraction this data.

Dr. Ian Stevenson’s study, which is still considered by many as conclusive proof (although to be fair, Stevenson himself is more modest - he does call them cases “suggestive” of reincarnation) does not hold up under true scientific scrutiny. Other arguments - such as hypnotic regression experiments and evidence from survivors of NDEs are even less convincing scientifically.

About Dr. Stevenson

http://www.healthsystem.virginia.edu/internet/personalitystudies/

It is with a heavy heart that the DOPS staff announces
the passing of our much admired founder and colleague
Dr. Ian Stevenson.
He died on February 8, 2007, in Charlottesville, Virginia. 

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Posted: 06 April 2007 02:35 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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Yes, that does sound like what my son is talking about, but that doesn’t prove there is reincarnation.  I wonder how my son deduced that it is true, even though there is no conclusive evidence.  :?  Then again, maybe Buddhism needs more scrutiny, maybe even Hinduism too, given what they have found so far concerning reincarnation.  However, I don’t know if I’d want to practice either, esp Hinduism, even if they did conclude reincarnation is possible.  Maybe my son desires for an afterlife so badly he wants and finds Buddhism’s belief in reincarnation more plausible then other beliefs.  I don’t know.

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Mriana
“Sometimes in order to see the light, you have to risk the dark.” ~ Iris Hineman (Lois Smith) The Minority Report

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Posted: 06 April 2007 02:59 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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Re: Question- I think it goes here

[quote author=“Mriana”]Of course, he’s at a stage that all is secondhand knowledge unless he can test it himself and prove it to himself.

Maybe you could ask HIM for the reference, and the two of you can look at it together.

Maybe my son desires for an afterlife so badly he wants and finds Buddhism’s belief in reincarnation more plausible then other beliefs.

I have to admit the concept of Karma is kind of attractive, even though I don’t buy into reincarnation.  I think you can be a Buddhist without it, can’t you?

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Posted: 06 April 2007 04:21 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
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Tell him reincarnation is an attachment for him and Noble Truth number 2 is “The origin of suffering is attachment.” To be a true Buddhist he must like it go.

And Scientific American has a nice story about people with reincarnation memorys have a hard time remembering where the memory came from.


http://www.sciam.com/article.cfm?chanId=sa003&articleId=A430214C-E7F2-99DF-3EEED6B0410A5114&modsrc=latest_news


Also Buddhism is one of the better religions, it teaching are useful. My favorite is:

Buddha said :

Believe nothing on the faith of traditions,
even though they have been held in honor
for many generations and in diverse places.
Do not believe a thing because many people speak of it.
Do not believe on the faith of the sages of the past.
Do not believe what you yourself have imagined,
persuading yourself that a God inspires you.
Believe nothing on the sole authority of your masters and priests.
After examination, believe what you yourself have tested
and found to be reasonable, and conform your conduct thereto.

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WoodGuard from Canada
I am 95% skeptic, 4% Believer and 1% unknown.

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Posted: 06 April 2007 04:22 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]
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I thought you could be a Buddhist without believing in reincarnation too.  I really don’t know anymore.

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Mriana
“Sometimes in order to see the light, you have to risk the dark.” ~ Iris Hineman (Lois Smith) The Minority Report

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Posted: 06 April 2007 04:36 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]
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[quote author=“woodguard”]Buddha said :

Believe nothing on the faith of traditions,
even though they have been held in honor
for many generations and in diverse places.
Do not believe a thing because many people speak of it.
Do not believe on the faith of the sages of the past.
Do not believe what you yourself have imagined,
persuading yourself that a God inspires you.
Believe nothing on the sole authority of your masters and priests.
After examination, believe what you yourself have tested
and found to be reasonable, and conform your conduct thereto.

Ah! Maybe this is where he gets the idea that science, even from a textbook, is secondhand knowledge and therefore is worthless unless he experiences it himself.  It seems to me though, if many scientists agree after all the empirical evidence that such and such seems true, then it is the best knowledge we have right now.  We don’t need to test gravity to know that if an apple falls on our heads that gravity is real and it’s going to hurt when that apple falls.  LOL

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Mriana
“Sometimes in order to see the light, you have to risk the dark.” ~ Iris Hineman (Lois Smith) The Minority Report

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Posted: 06 April 2007 05:48 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]
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[quote author=“Mriana”][quote author=“woodguard”]
Ah! Maybe this is where he gets the idea that science, even from a textbook, is secondhand knowledge and therefore is worthless unless he experiences it himself.  It seems to me though, if many scientists agree after all the empirical evidence that such and such seems true, then it is the best knowledge we have right now.  We don’t need to test gravity to know that if an apple falls on our heads that gravity is real and it’s going to hurt when that apple falls.  LOL

His proof of reincarnation is also second hand knowledge. And most of the Buddhism he read about is also questionable. And you have to question the people telling you about Buddhism.

Most Buddhist are bald because they pull their hair out, trying to figure out what is true.
And don’t get anti-bacterial soap, if he washes his hand with it, he will pay for it in the next life.  rolleyes

I did not hit my religious phase until I was 30, then the logic part of my brain hiccupped for 10 years.

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Posted: 06 April 2007 06:22 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 9 ]
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LOL  And here I thought they were bald because they shaved their heads.

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Mriana
“Sometimes in order to see the light, you have to risk the dark.” ~ Iris Hineman (Lois Smith) The Minority Report

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Posted: 06 April 2007 02:46 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 10 ]
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We’ll need to get Doug’s verification of this, but I believe it was Newton who said, “If I see farther than most men, it is because I stand on the shoulders of giants.”  In other words, scientists have to accept the reports of prior research, albeit tentatively (everything is science is tentative, open to review and change).  If we require first hand experience for everything we will progress only as far as the first generation of recorded history.  None of us can perform the myriad experiments on which our total fund of knowledge is built.

Not only that, any experience by one person is essentially useless unless it is repeatedly replicated to verify it.  That means your son has to collect a large random (not just buddhists or other “believers”) sample of people and see if they believe they they were reincarnated.  Then he has to write comprehensive tests (multiple choice will do) of historical data on the time and place they came from, that he looks up in a library.  Next, he has to give each of them these tests to verify that they actually know what happened and not that they are having hallucinations.

On the other hand, teee-agers go way out of their way to disagree with their parents to show they are “grown up” and independent.  Give him a few years and he may become more reasonable.  smile

Occam

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Posted: 06 April 2007 03:03 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 11 ]
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[quote author=“Occam”]We’ll need to get Doug’s verification of this,

I’m really curious about why you said this…???

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Posted: 06 April 2007 03:30 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 12 ]
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Tao Buddhism?

Was it not the Taoist who said that life was sweet and the Buddhist that said that life was bitter in the Vinegar Tasters? I think that the two religions somewhat contradict each other.

All I can say is that, having been and still being child, children (and many adults) have good imaginations. I find that even when I am knowingly faking a stomach ache to get out of class, I can ‘genuinely’ feel pain in my stomach. If I want to believe that I’m feeling the presence of the ghost, that’s more than enough for me to start feeling scared. Of course, I know that it is just my imagination now…

Still… imagination is underrated.

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1. God is omnipotent.
Source: Several incidents where I’ve annoyed fundamentalist Christians by challenging God’s power.
2. If God is omnipotent then he can travel faster than the speed of light.
Modus Ponens
3. Nothing can travel faster than the speed of light.
Source: Einstein
Therefore, God is nothing.
QED

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Posted: 06 April 2007 04:00 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 13 ]
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Zen is an amalgamation of taoism and buddhism.

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Posted: 07 April 2007 01:47 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 14 ]
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That’s why I said don’t ask, logicisrefreshing.  I’ve never heard of it either.

You’re absolutely right in what you say Occam.  That and being 18 he may have been trying to get my goat.  Who knows, but he has a few mistaken ideas.  However, he needs to learn all he can about what he chooses to believe too, not just accept it on face value and if he believes that reincarnation has been scientifically proven then he needs to read more info concerning it- IF he’ll accept it.  There in lies the problem.  I can get all the info for him, but I can’t make him accept it.

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Mriana
“Sometimes in order to see the light, you have to risk the dark.” ~ Iris Hineman (Lois Smith) The Minority Report

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Posted: 07 April 2007 04:52 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 15 ]
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[quote author=“Mriana”]That’s why I said don’t ask, logicisrefreshing.  I’ve never heard of it either.

Couldn’t help myself… sounds New Age if you ask me…  rolleyes

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1. God is omnipotent.
Source: Several incidents where I’ve annoyed fundamentalist Christians by challenging God’s power.
2. If God is omnipotent then he can travel faster than the speed of light.
Modus Ponens
3. Nothing can travel faster than the speed of light.
Source: Einstein
Therefore, God is nothing.
QED

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