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How is anything different if this is true or false?

 

Reincarnation is not falsifiable. We may all reincarnate, but since we do not recall our past lives, it's irrelevant.

I don't think anybody really expects for contributors to this thread to come to a consensus, or for the discussion to have any sort of practical use. We were asked what we thought. You can accuse us of wasting internet space, but at the present moment it's below freezing outside and the roads might be closing. I'm stuck at my computer, I might as well talk about irrelevant ****. That's the beauty of forums.

Edited by Pop
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I beg to differ. I would contend that the majority of people on this forum do not believe in reincarnation, due to rational disproof. As such, I am curious to know why Lucian thinks reincarnation is so definite. I don't mean to pick apart his reasoning, if that's what your getting your pants in a knot over.

 

May I ask what is "rational disproof"? What does "rational" mean to you?

 

Because no proof in favor of something does not equate to a disproof.

 

I have to say that I am getting fairly tired of arguing against "no proof against doesn't mean it can't exist!!!1". I work within the realms of known science, and a phenomenon such as reincarnation would require some directing force - some force creating information/order on a large scale and away from what is natural. As far as I can tell that would defy entropy. But ignoring that, where is this information coming from? Who or what is generating it? Because it's certainly not explained by the laws of physics.

 

May I refer you to Occam's Razor and the Invisible Pink Unicorn (blessed be her holy hooves)?

 

"The Invisible Pink Unicorn is a being of great spiritual power. We know this because she is capable of being invisible and pink at the same time. Like all religions, the belief of the Invisible Pink Unicorn is based upon both logic and faith. We have faith that she is pink; we logically know that they she is invisible because we can't see her."

 

Somebody please disprove the IPU. K?

 

"one should not increase, beyond what is necessary, the number of entities required to explain anything."

 

I think it's a good rule to live by. Why should we theorise that human progression is directed by some intelligent agent? Some agent who, to explain the existence of, would require fundamental changes to the laws of physics, or worse, a belief in magic, when we can just as easily explain human progression with some basic science (autonomous brain function fails, then we decompose!)? It doesn't further the cause of reincarnation any that it in fact doesn't make any predictions. Any purpose it carries is tucked away securely in some abstract realm such as an afterlife.

 

Now, it should come as no surprise that my arguments hold as much weight for God/gods, yet interestingly people don't dismiss them nearly as easily.

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You may be tired of arguing against the notion, but it really doesn't change the fact that it remains a key issue (notwithstanding the fact whether you work in science or not...).

 

No matter how ridiculous or not the notion of a pink unicorn is, if I cannot disprove it, I will not say I can disprove it. Much less will I say I can rationally disprove it (to me at least, the notion of rationality is tied with deductive validity, and there is no contradiction involved in positing such an entity, so I cannot see how there is any "rational disproof" of it.)

 

As for Ockhamz Razor, I really don't see how it brings any epistemic merit. It runs into problems with its own justification, as well as the fact that it is not really clear if it "works" or not.

 

I prefer Chatton's Razor of Plenitude as he advanced it against Ockham. I think it is a good rule to live by...

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You may be tired of arguing against the notion, but it really doesn't change the fact that it remains a key issue (notwithstanding the fact whether you work in science or not...).

 

No matter how ridiculous or not the notion of a pink unicorn is, if I cannot disprove it, I will not say I can disprove it. Much less will I say I can rationally disprove it (to me at least, the notion of rationality is tied with deductive validity, and there is no contradiction involved in positing such an entity, so I cannot see how there is any "rational disproof" of it.)

 

As for Ockhamz Razor, I really don't see how it brings any epistemic merit. It runs into problems with its own justification, as well as the fact that it is not really clear if it "works" or not.

 

I prefer Chatton's Razor of Plenitude as he advanced it against Ockham. I think it is a good rule to live by...

 

I did misuse terms. To me "rational disproof" held with it a certain level of recourse to intuition. You're right that this proof/disproof idea is an important one which I shouldn't simply dismiss due to it becoming trite. I'd like though, for it not to be the lynch pin in arguments against why it's seems to make more sense to not believe in reincarnation, because otherwise I think we get stagnation (as it would be the same reason to challenge somebody as to why they DID believe in it).

 

I couldn't find the razor of plentitude to which you refer but I think you mean this? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Principle_of_plenitude

 

It's certainly an interesting rule but I don't feel it violates Ockham's razor fully. There's a key phrase there "anything that can happen". So that which one claims will happen must still be justifiable through science.

 

You don't see any contradiction with positing that:

a) a unicorn exists

b) that it is invisible

c) but that it is also arbitrarily pink?

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I couldn't find the razor of plentitude to which you refer but I think you mean this? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Principle_of_plenitude

 

It's certainly an interesting rule but I don't feel it violates Ockham's razor fully. There's a key phrase there "anything that can happen". So that which one claims will happen must still be justifiable through science.

 

You don't see any contradiction with positing that:

a) a unicorn exists

b) that it is invisible

c) but that it is also arbitrarily pink?

 

A principle of plenitude does not have to be mutually exclusive with a principle of parsimony, depending exactly on what is said. That being said, there are principles that state that it is favorable to have more entities for explanation. Frankly, I cannot see how exactly one could pick between the other, or which one is more justified. The issue of parsimony against plenitude in explaining entities has nothing to with the explanatory power of the explanation.

 

If my power goes out, me deciding between the two explanations for the event:

 

1) that it was because a power line was cut due to a storm that occurred because some weather phenomenon...

2) that it was because a power line was cut due to a storm invoked by the Microsoft fairy for me using Linux at times...

 

...becomes wholly an issue of personal "flavor". Both have the same explanatory power, and the number of entities required to explain them becomes irrelevant. If I were to take parsimony to it's extreme, I could explain events by saying "stuff happens"...

 

I don't see why a claim must be justifiable by science though, due to any of the razors.

 

Lastly, there is no contradiction involved with a), b), or c). They may be very ridiculous propositions to some, but they involve no contradiction whatsoever.

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True enough about IPU not being a contradiction. It's still a demonstration of the absurdity of disbelief in one thing which wholely lacks evidence, yet belief in the another.

 

I think that a claim must be justifiable through science because it is the lens through which I make sense of the universe. I don't consider it something you can use sometimes, and ignore at other times. Is it even possible for one to believe in logic but not science (from a deductive point of view, not personal belief)? I guess if one were to shun the axioms of science (those which we observe to be 100% without counterexample so far) then it is possible. But it would not be a very rational being who did so (though I suppose that needn't imply they are illogical).

 

It all gets rather subjective and meaningless if you take science and rationality out of the equation.

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Fair enough Krezack, but just remember that there are people who view the world through the lens of their separate belief system like you do of science. I think you were curious as to why someone would profess their belief for reincarnation so confidently. I'm just speculating here, but to a reincarnation believer, perhaps the axioms of whatever metaphysical system he/she holds are clear and well established. It is not at all an absurd belief for them, and perhaps non belief is absurd to others.

 

Very subjective stuff, I know, but that's the way it is.

 

I know a couple of people who believe in reincarnation with a quite well developed framework (as far as I can gleam from conversations). Of course, they form most of their ordinary beliefs with the usual, perception test, but these metaphysical beliefs of reincarnation cannot be perceived, and yet form cornerstones of the said persons beliefs. From my experience, most people are like this. They hold some metaphysical, spiritual, or religious beliefs which don't have to accord to the heuristic of perception when the question of justification comes up.

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Reincarnation to hindus is the way to climb the hard caste system. A tool that keeps the poor just that. A person is not even allowed to marry into a higher caste.

 

Reincarnation is just another means to eternal life for humans. They fear death, and so cling to this notion, and the good obedient meek shall inherit good fortune while the others have to suffer another fate. Just another axial religion.

 

Until it can be empirically observed, then we should ignore the ritual belief in it.

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I do think that a frantic belief in the idea of Heaven/afterlife, or reincarnation, has some roots in the dissatisfaction with the shortness of our lives and the fear of death, of an end. But effectively, if you are reborn with no memories or anything as a completely different person, how is that any different from oblivion? If you as a self is completely lost, then it's like melting a golden ring then making it into, uh, golden chopsticks. Except in our case, the material that is remade isn't even visible or detectible. Would it really matter whether we were reincarnated or not if this is the case? Wouldn't it be 'oblivion' anyway?

 

I'm Christian (sort of, wishy washy) so I'm not really hung up on needing physical and empirical evidence. The law of empirical evidence, with which the scientific thought is closely related, is only one of many ways in which we try to understand the world: in the end, just like the law of faith or other spiritual mechanisms, the law of human precedence and common sense or the law of natural instincts, this law cannot explain everything in the universe to the point of rendering these other laws irrelevant or incorrect. There is no point I think in saying a soul is scientifically/empirically unproveable (i dont know if it is or not, by the way), I think. But I won't stray too far into that tangent.

 

What I really wanted to say is, despite me being (sort of) Christian, I don't think the afterlife should ever be the aim of your life. In the end, we don't know what happens when we die. In a common sense way, then, it's kind of silly to place your hopes on the afterlife and live for that afterlife, unless you're in the middle of a war zone eating burnt rubber for breakfast and working sixteen hours in a coal mine and you have terrible diahorrea. I think the aim of our lives (and what we live for) should always be something in this life. Even for a Christian or any other religious person. Isn't it more worthwhile to try and make this world a little closer to heaven, rather than work all your life to accumulate 'points' so you, just you, can get into this 'heaven' that's supposed to exist on the other side? Man, would it suck for you if you died and there wasn't no heaven. But if you follow the former principle, you wouldn't feel that your life was a waste.

 

This is of course very idealistic. Sometimes we need the prospect of perfect goodness and happiness waiting for us on the other side to push on. And early religion especially had that effect on a lot of people, who were able to adopt that epistemology onto their core beings better than most people can these days, and really live and die for that afterlife. And yes, we are very curious about what happens after. But as posters before have pointed out, in a logical and empirical sense, well, we can't really, at the moment. But there are plenty of reasons to live the good life, whatever that may be in your worldview, without the potentially druglike allure of the afterlife.

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I don't have much to say other than I think Tigranes' post was excellent, or in other words, I agree completely with what he said.

 

Well, if you think reincarnation is a wacky theory, and personally I don't see how it is, I have a theory that when you die you start life over again... as the same person you are now. Only reason being is because it explains to me why I have a lot of deja vu. Then again I'm ignorant, lazy and considerably uneducated in many aspects so I guess one of you smart ones here could explain to me or theorise something more plausible why is it we have deja vu... if anyone cares to explain.

 

Edit: Yeah I know... I can't really use deja vu as an argument, not just because I don't really know jack **** about the why, but also because even if you do die and come back as you, why would you have memories of your past life as yourself since you wouldn't remember it, and wouldn't your life be different? Well, I can't answer the former, but the latter... well I believe in destiny. Then there's the whole time thing... yeah I know, it's a pretty ****ed up theory :thumbsup:, but it was just something that popped in my head and stays as a possibility in my head.

Edited by The Architect
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Well, if you think reincarnation is a wacky theory, and personally I don't see how it is, I have a theory that when you die you start life over again... as the same person you are now. Only reason being is because it explains to me why I have a lot of deja vu. Then again I'm ignorant, lazy and considerably uneducated in many aspects so I guess one of you smart ones here could explain to me or theorise something more plausible why is it we have deja vu... if anyone cares to explain.

 

I experience deja vu, when I am really tired. So I (at a time) theorized that because one is tired the brain acts like that for some reason. Then I asked my brother and he said the same thing (that he experiences them when tired) . So are you tired when you experience deja vu? (maybe I should search the wiki).

Edited by Istima Loke

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Could be!

Or is it really someone else

Who only thinks he's me?

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Deja vu is supposedly a question of brain sync. When you witness an event, there's a chance that one side of the brain processes the information slighly quicker than the other side, thus giving you the illusion that you've experienced the same thing twice.

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What do you think of reincarnation?

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I do think that a frantic belief in the idea of Heaven/afterlife, or reincarnation, has some roots in the dissatisfaction with the shortness of our lives and the fear of death, of an end. But effectively, if you are reborn with no memories or anything as a completely different person, how is that any different from oblivion? If you as a self is completely lost, then it's like melting a golden ring then making it into, uh, golden chopsticks. Except in our case, the material that is remade isn't even visible or detectible. Would it really matter whether we were reincarnated or not if this is the case? Wouldn't it be 'oblivion' anyway?

Pretty good analogy. Another good one is a flame lighting another flame ect.... it will not be the same flame but it resembles that flame. And yes it would matter because that person has his same intuition just like a Christian does, and thats how he knows right from wrong too. Thats how Christians know there is a god. A priori knowledge. So its like having another chance each time, and knowing by your actions which caste system you will go in. Knowing that there is a caste system and that you can be born into either a higher one or lower is like the Christian question " Who wants to go to hell!" as a minister so eloquently put Christianity once.

 

in the end, just like the law of faith or other spiritual mechanisms, the law of human precedence and common sense or the law of natural instincts, this law cannot explain everything in the universe to the point of rendering these other laws irrelevant or incorrect. There is no point I think in saying a soul is scientifically/empirically unproveable (i dont know if it is or not, by the way), I think. But I won't stray too far into that tangent.

I don't know anything about the Law of Faith so i wont presume i do, except that it is not science. As for a soul, i find it fishy. So many cultures believe in a soul, but when we look for it in the brain its no where to be found and every cultures definition is different, just like there other beliefs. So maybe there is not a soul but what Pop was saying. A consciousness that arose from neurons and dendrites causing synapses in a brilliant way. We can observe the brain and there is still much to know. But science is not going extraordinary claims like ... Jesus zombie will arise and bring about the messianic age giving his followers the knowledge to be perfect again and live in his kingdom... Its just doesn't follow the consistency of human history.

 

What I really wanted to say is, despite me being (sort of) Christian, I don't think the afterlife should ever be the aim of your life. In the end, we don't know what happens when we die. In a common sense way, then, it's kind of silly to place your hopes on the afterlife and live for that afterlife, unless you're in the middle of a war zone eating burnt rubber for breakfast and working sixteen hours in a coal mine and you have terrible diahorrea. I think the aim of our lives (and what we live for) should always be something in this life. Even for a Christian or any other religious person.

I agree, and I would call this aim meaning, and the meaning in ones life and what he does will define that person.

 

And yes, we are very curious about what happens after. But as posters before have pointed out, in a logical and empirical sense, well, we can't really, at the moment. But there are plenty of reasons to live the good life, whatever that may be in your worldview, without the potentially druglike allure of the afterlife.

Hmmm...

Whats more important - To know thyself, to know what makes you first. If its tiny bits of atoms and spaces clumped. And then a brain, with neurons and dendrites causing synapses. Or is it better to know your meaning; kind of life to live first? Does existence precede essence? Because what a person is, if hes a Christian can mean eternal hell or salvation, or being reincarnated as a slug for that matter. but what does a Christian or Hindu put first? Does this question relate to the recollection of a priori knowledge.

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Guest The Architect
You haven't played Planescape: Torment? Hooooo boy. You're missing out!

 

On what, having ridiculously pale skin? :shifty:

 

And okay, that makes sense... about the brain syncing thing.

 

And Isitma Loke, nah generally I experience deja vu when I'm not tired.

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You haven't played Planescape: Torment? Hooooo boy. You're missing out!

 

On what, having ridiculously pale skin? :shifty:

 

And okay, that makes sense... about the brain syncing thing.

 

And Isitma Loke, nah generally I experience deja vu when I'm not tired.

 

Since you became fan of Avellone's writing after Kreia and K2, you really should check his "magnum opus" PS:T.

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Isn't it an old game though, meaning it wouldn't work on a Vista laptop? That, and I'd have a better chance of finding a non alcoholic aboriginal in town than the game. Otherwise, I'd play the game given the opportunity.

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What I really wanted to say is, despite me being (sort of) Christian, I don't think the afterlife should ever be the aim of your life. In the end, we don't know what happens when we die. In a common sense way, then, it's kind of silly to place your hopes on the afterlife and live for that afterlife, unless you're in the middle of a war zone eating burnt rubber for breakfast and working sixteen hours in a coal mine and you have terrible diahorrea. I think the aim of our lives (and what we live for) should always be something in this life. Even for a Christian or any other religious person. Isn't it more worthwhile to try and make this world a little closer to heaven, rather than work all your life to accumulate 'points' so you, just you, can get into this 'heaven' that's supposed to exist on the other side? Man, would it suck for you if you died and there wasn't no heaven. But if you follow the former principle, you wouldn't feel that your life was a waste.

 

Not so certain though. Well, one, if you die and there is no Heaven or Hell, and there is obivlion, you can't feel any feeling anyway, so you don't feel your life is a waste.

 

Another thing is that while Heaven is supposed to be eternal, Earth is not, and Earth will eventually get destroyed anyway in 5 billion years, and the human race is likely to go excitnt before that time period. Therefore, if you devote resources to Earth, you know for a fact that your effort WILL be lost in the void. But if you devote resources to helping you and your fellow humans go to Heaven, there is a chance that your effort may in fact prove worthwhile, and that since you are going to live forever in Heaven, it becomes more effective to spend resources to Heaven than to Earth.

 

But suppose the other thing: Suppose you die and there was Heaven but you didn't get enough "points" to get to Heaven, so you lose out. Prehaps erring on the side of caution may be better. That, or seeking a happy compromise where you are doing something that you really like to do on Earth, and it just so happens to get you a ticket to Heaven in the process.

 

EDIT: This is supposing reincartion and all the other religions are not true.

 

If reincaration is correct, then that means I'm stuck having to live in this Earth for a long, long time, and due to the fact that the Earth isn't perfect, hm, I would like to explore a way to end reincaration and die my last death, thank you very much.

Edited by SilentScope001
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