Sheldrake, Abraham and McKenna about Scepticism

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Sheldrake, Abraham and McKenna about Scepticism

Post by Explorer » 01 May 2012, 08:05

Three very bright and educated guys on the edge of western thinking. (as they describe it).

Sheldrake's website has tons of mp3's with discussions between them, about all kinds of controversial subjects.
Not about druidry, but about nature, science, evolution, cosmology, philosophy, spirituality etc. But in a way that shows how the extremes of dualism can be brought together without contradiction.
Open minded, controversial, but without the new age fluff nonsense that I see too much in our druid community.

http://www.sheldrake.org/Trialogues/

Sheldrake, Abraham and McKenna about Scepticism:
http://www.sheldrake.org/Trialogues/scepticism_1.mp3
http://www.sheldrake.org/Trialogues/scepticism_2.mp3
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Re: Sheldrake, Abraham and McKenna about Scepticism

Post by Bart » 01 May 2012, 08:55

Il like the quote:
Healthy skepticism plays an important part in science, and stimulates research and critical thinking. Healthy skeptics are open-minded and interested in evidence. By contrast, dogmatic skeptics are committed to the belief that "paranormal" phenomena are impossible, or at least so improbable as to merit no serious attention. Hence any evidence for such phenomena must be illusory.

But I do not consider Shelldrake on the edge of western thinking. The edge of reason maybe.

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Re: Sheldrake, Abraham and McKenna about Scepticism

Post by skydove » 01 May 2012, 09:08

Well said Bart!
Healthy skepticism is what I admire, science based but with the knowledge that not everything is clear cut, that the visionary and creative process is as important to our psyches and development as the analytical.
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Re: Sheldrake, Abraham and McKenna about Scepticism

Post by Explorer » 01 May 2012, 09:35

skydove wrote:Well said Bart!
Healthy skepticism is what I admire, science based but with the knowledge that not everything is clear cut, that the visionary and creative process is as important to our psyches and development as the analytical.
I agree. And in my opinion, that is exactly what these guys are trying to do.

They speak of 'weird' things as intuition, telepathy, morphic fields, consciousness that extends beyond the human realm, things like that.
Subjects that can quickly run out of control in the hands of 'believers' or the uneducated, so I was pretty sceptical when I started to listen to these mp3's. But I must say that I was impressed by their intelligence.

I've only listened to a few hours of conversations so far, but I can't detect logical flaws or fanatical believers statements. It seems well balanced.
Interestingly, in the mp3's about scepticism, it is McKenna who gets angry at what he calls 'fluff', and Sheldrake and Abraham more or less defending the 'open mindedness' as a way of at least getting things moving.

The example they use is the 'face on Mars'. In the 80s there were a number of fantasts who saw alien civilizations and NASA conspiracies to cover it up. All because a mountain on mars resembled a face in certain light conditions. The next mars probe crashed, which fueled even more conspiracy theories. NASA answered the call from the public opinion to investigate that area, and the next probe made clear pictures in other light conditions. It turned out to be just a weathered rock, and some of the fantasts now claimed that the aliens must have camouflaged The Face as a weathered rock (hahaha).
McKenna gets angry about that (and I identify with that, because I always get angry about all the nonsense also), but Abraham and Sheldrake had a point that this kind of curiosity and imagination, fantastically stupid or not, drives the urge to explore and make real discoveries (like the water they found on Mars).

So perhaps we do need some degree of foolishness also? But where do you draw the line? And who draws it? Based on what? How much or little scepticism is needed? That is the discussion that they are having.
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Re: Sheldrake, Abraham and McKenna about Scepticism

Post by DJ Droood » 01 May 2012, 13:44

Explorer wrote:So perhaps we do need some degree of foolishness also? But where do you draw the line? And who draws it? Based on what? How much or little scepticism is needed?
A non-skeptical mouse runs through the maze until it hits a wall. It says the wall was put there by the Cheesemaker and sits down and cleans itself. The skeptical mouse hits the wall, turns around, tries left and right, backtracks, looking for the cheese. I suppose we all get dissected in the end.
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Re: Sheldrake, Abraham and McKenna about Scepticism

Post by Bart » 01 May 2012, 15:10

but the out-of-body mice can float away above the maze.

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Re: Sheldrake, Abraham and McKenna about Scepticism

Post by DJ Droood » 01 May 2012, 15:16

Bart wrote:but the out-of-body mice can float away above the maze.
Bart, if that were true they would give us a map to the cheese, but it always just brings us back to their wall.


Explorer...interesting resource...listening to the podcast on cannabis right now...I like listening to podcast when I walk my dog.
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Re: Sheldrake, Abraham and McKenna about Scepticism

Post by Explorer » 01 May 2012, 15:35

DJ Droood wrote:
Explorer wrote:So perhaps we do need some degree of foolishness also? But where do you draw the line? And who draws it? Based on what? How much or little scepticism is needed?
A non-skeptical mouse runs through the maze until it hits a wall. It says the wall was put there by the Cheesemaker and sits down and cleans itself. The skeptical mouse hits the wall, turns around, tries left and right, backtracks, looking for the cheese. I suppose we all get dissected in the end.
Or the reverse scenario:
The skeptical mouse hits the wall, thinks 'bloody hell, I've done this 100 times and I'm not going to solve a another bloody maze for a lousy piece of cheese". He gives up, stays where he is, and is fed to the cat.

The non-skeptical mouse hits the wall and thinks "one of these days a miracle will happen when I run around bumping into walls long enough. One day the wall will turn into cheese and I will live happily ever after". He keeps trying, until one day somebody accidentally forgets to close the exit. The mouse escapes, finds a pretty mate, and lives an interesting life in the outside world (and no miracle ever happens).

So, where do we look for an answer to those questions?
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Re: Sheldrake, Abraham and McKenna about Scepticism

Post by Erithe » 01 May 2012, 16:14

I'm starting to suspect that the scientists running this experiment are high as kites.


I like that they're leaving themselves open to possibilities while still maintaining their sense of proportion and reality, more or less. Rather than shut the door on everything, they're allowing themselves room for imagination. I can't help but think this is a healthy viewpoint, and likely a bit more fun, too :D
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Re: Sheldrake, Abraham and McKenna about Scepticism

Post by Bart » 01 May 2012, 16:54

DJ Droood wrote:
Bart wrote:but the out-of-body mice can float away above the maze.
Bart, if that were true they would give us a map to the cheese, but it always just brings us back to their wall.


Explorer...interesting resource...listening to the podcast on cannabis right now...I like listening to podcast when I walk my dog.
What if there is no cheese. That the atheists were right, there is only a carbon recycling plant called kitty.

Canabis a bit of an issue here right now. Foreigners are no longer allowed to purchase cannabis anymore. Sorry.

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Re: Sheldrake, Abraham and McKenna about Scepticism

Post by Merlyn » 01 May 2012, 17:20

Put the cat in the maze and see if it goes for the mouse or finds the catnip..
By that I mean, are people more likely to go for belief or food...

Given the history and all.. the former seems possible. :thinking:
Given the lack of proof in religious prophecy (drugs, spiritual fluff etc.) and the obvious fact that we do need food (taking care of our life and body), it's an odd thing eh?

Such is the stuff of rivers of wine and rapture..
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Re: Sheldrake, Abraham and McKenna about Scepticism

Post by DJ Droood » 01 May 2012, 17:35

Bart wrote:Canabis a bit of an issue here right now. Foreigners are no longer allowed to purchase cannabis anymore. Sorry.
Are the Dutch trying to cut back on all those pesky tourists wanting to spend $$ on hotels, meals and munchies? I would also suggest putting razor wire around your windmills.
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Re: Sheldrake, Abraham and McKenna about Scepticism

Post by Explorer » 01 May 2012, 18:29

Bart wrote: What if there is no cheese. That the atheists were right, there is only a carbon recycling plant called kitty.
Well, what if? Ofcourse we (atheist) are right :grin:

But if we don't have people thinking up all kind of crazy idea's (like invisible all powerful friends), we wouldn't even be trying to prove them wrong, and then miss a lot of interesting discovery along the way. Including the realisation that 'right' and 'wrong' isn't as clear cut as we thought in the first place, and the insight that we might be just as wrong as the people with the crazy idea's are.

What I'm really saying is that we also need creativity, imagination and inspiration to make sense of the world around us. And those qualities do not always lead to neat boolean truths. Perhaps fuzzy imaginative idea's serve some purpose also, even when they are wrong and silly.
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Re: Sheldrake, Abraham and McKenna about Scepticism

Post by Explorer » 01 May 2012, 18:31

Explorer wrote:Perhaps fuzzy imaginative idea's serve some purpose also, even when they are wrong and silly.
And after a good night sleep I will probably be very sorry that I said stuff like this :grin:
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Re: Sheldrake, Abraham and McKenna about Scepticism

Post by DJ Droood » 01 May 2012, 19:01

Explorer wrote:
Explorer wrote:Perhaps fuzzy imaginative idea's serve some purpose also, even when they are wrong and silly.
And after a good night sleep I will probably be very sorry that I said stuff like this :grin:
I think fuzzy, imaginative ideas are the bases of human life...they are entertainment, inspiration, the first tentitive steps towards clear, well thought out ideas. Some ideas are perfectly fine remaining fuzzy...love, concepts of beauty, speculation about the unknown....others need to be devloped...the best way to build a bridge, for instance.
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Re: Sheldrake, Abraham and McKenna about Scepticism

Post by Explorer » 01 May 2012, 19:32

DJ Droood wrote:...others need to be devloped...the best way to build a bridge, for instance.
Having said that... some crazy indian must have had a ridiculous imaginative thought, `heh, a deadly abyss... and grass... lets combine the two and build a bridge´
http://www.bridgemeister.com/pic.php?pid=1743
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Re: Sheldrake, Abraham and McKenna about Scepticism

Post by Bart » 01 May 2012, 20:03

DJ Droood wrote:
Bart wrote:Canabis a bit of an issue here right now. Foreigners are no longer allowed to purchase cannabis anymore. Sorry.
Are the Dutch trying to cut back on all those pesky tourists wanting to spend $$ on hotels, meals and munchies? I would also suggest putting razor wire around your windmills.
Nah, they want to cut back on the day trippers. The people driving in cause mayhem and go home. Trying to cut back on the other tourists is trusted to our mayor of Amsterdam, who wants to deny everybodies fun. Not only visitors. Must be having a terrible mariage.

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Re: Sheldrake, Abraham and McKenna about Scepticism

Post by Kishi » 02 May 2012, 02:23

My limited understanding of quantum mechanics tells me modern physicists cannot afford to be atheist since their work points to creation by a single architect or a group of architects - Einstein himself alluded to this. They cannot explain their physics in language other than mathematics but they can visualise it in the mind's eye. It occurs to me that we have reached a time when all of us must get perpetually stoned, go mad, or accept that spirituality and science will never be separated.
'Would to God that all the Lord's people were prophets' Numbers 11:29

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Re: Sheldrake, Abraham and McKenna about Scepticism

Post by DJ Droood » 02 May 2012, 03:06

Kishi wrote:It occurs to me that we have reached a time when all of us must get perpetually stoned, go mad, or accept that spirituality and science will never be separated.
I, for one, can say I am comfortable with these options and am prepared to move forward from here. :shake:
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