The Deceptiveness of Pure Reason

Ali Sina

Ali Sina is the author of Understanding Muhammad and Muslims.

29 Responses

  1. Indian says:

    Quantum Physics suggests that Big Bang never occurred. If time does not exists, it is meaningless to say that there was Big Bang on particular time in the past.
    http://www.collective-evolution.com/2015/02/11/quantum-equation-suggests-the-big-bang-never-occurred-the-universe-has-no-beginning/

  2. Phoenix says:

    Qwerty
    I don’t know what you mean by ‘truth of NDEs’//
    Meaning it has passed scrutiny with favorable results.

    The law of large numbers implies that given a large enough sample size, there will likely be the occurrence of the highly improbable.//
    You are applying this principle prejudicially.I could just as easily apply it to any study and claim the current positive results will eventually become highly improbable as the sample size grows,therefore all studies are false.Besides,this theorem does not invalidate counterexamples and its power to disprove universal propositions.

    There have been many NDEs. The types of validated veridical NDEs documented so far have not proven a spiritual immortality//.
    Okay,I think understand your contention.You do not dispute that NDEs confirm that consciousness survives death but your issue is with the length of time a soul may exist after bodily destruction.Do I understand you correctly so far?

    Strawman argument. I’m not rejecting anything simply because it contradicts some atheist claims. I’m not even an atheist//

    Perhaps I labelled you incorrectly but you don’t dispute the fact that NDE studies and their positive results have been published in peer reviewed journals.
    http://profezie3m.altervista.org/archivio/TheLancet_NDE.htm

  3. Ali Sina says:

    @qwerty
    “The issue is spiritual immortality. If not, then I don’t know what you mean by ‘NDE is real’. You can only prove spiritual immortality to yourself by experiencing it by permanently dying.”

    Finally we are getting somewhere. The only way to experience the immortality of consciousness is to experience it directly, i.e., to die. But it does not help me while I am still alive. The next best way is to rely on second hand stories of those who died and came back.

    Let us say I want to experience weightlessness. The best way is to experience it directly. But that costs a lot and I can’t afford it. So I have to content myself reading about it. Reading about it gives me intellectual knowledge. It is not the same but better than nothing. It would however be absurd to deny weightlessness on the ground that I have never experienced it personally.

    There is another way that we can get an experience similar to weightlessness and that is swimming. It is nowhere close to weightlessness that an astronaut experiences, but let us say it is the poor man’s way to experience something similar. Likewise there is a way to experience consciousness without the expense of dying and that is learning astral projection. There are techniques and I tried some of them. Not successful yet.

    When I say NDE is real I mean it is not hallucination as the materialists keep saying. These people have actually seen something real which was not in their brain.

  4. qwerty says:

    ‘Consciousness is not made of matter. What part of this is difficult to understand?”
    Ali, that is not the issue

    ‘When you demand scientific explanation of consciousness’
    I never demanded an explanation of consciousness

    ‘Consciousness can only be experienced with consciousness’
    You can only ever experience your own consciousness

    The issue is spiritual immortality. If not, then I don’t know what you mean by ‘NDE is real’. You can only prove spiritual immortality to yourself by experiencing it by permanently dying.

    ‘Materialist claims deserve to be fact checked.Don’t you agree?’
    Santiago, of course

    ‘just one single verified documented case is enough to establish the truth of NDEs’
    I don’t know what you mean by ‘truth of NDEs’. The law of large numbers implies that given a large enough sample size, there will likely be the occurrence of the highly improbable. There have been many NDEs. The types of validated veridical NDEs documented so far have not proven a spiritual immortality.

    ‘There are cases of NDEs published in medical journals but of course those documented cases does not qualify as fact because they contradict Atheist claims.Atheists try to present themselves as open-minded but constantly contradict themselves and prove they are as dogmatic as religious fundamentalists.’

    Strawman argument. I’m not rejecting anything simply because it contradicts some atheist claims. I’m not even an atheist.

  5. Phoenix says:

    Accidentally used my email address as my username

    Phoenix

  6. Qwerty

    //Ali, you seem to believe in things that have not actually been verified with sufficient veracity. One veridical NDE per study (the last one involving 1000s of people) is not sufficient for me to wholehearted conclude that there is an >immortal< life after death. You can call me a factualist 🙂 Without all the facts, the issue is still open. Definitely not something to be taught as fact//.

    Not too long ago I would probably have fallen for this rhetoric but now I prefer scrutiny,even Materialist claims deserve to be fact checked.Don't you agree?

    First of all,one,just one single verified documented case is enough to establish the truth of NDEs and qualifies as a sufficient counter-example to falsify a universal statement.So your issue of " is not sufficient for me to wholehearted conclude" is merely a fallacious moving of goalposts.And you present neither evidence nor logic to the contrary,merely that you're unconvinced.
    Secondly,you claim the issue is still open but you have already concluded there are no facts when there's an abundance available on the web.There are cases of NDEs published in medical journals but of course those documented cases does not qualify as fact because they contradict Atheist claims.Atheists try to present themselves as open-minded but constantly contradict themselves and prove they are as dogmatic as religious fundamentalists.

  7. Ali Sina says:

    I already said science cannot explain anything that is not material in nature. Science can only measure matter and material objects. Consciousness is not made of matter. What part of this is difficult to understand?

    Can you weigh intelligence, measure the temperature of love or gauge the length of awareness? How about the viscosity of compassion or the thickness of courage? When you demand scientific explanation of consciousness it shows how little you know about the nature of consciousness. It is like trying to measure the length of an object with thermometer.

    Consciousness can only be experienced with consciousness.

    I compared consciousness to software and the brain to the hardware. You can see the hardware and fix it with a screw driver. But not of the tools you use for the hardware can be used to measure or fix the software. It is of a different nature. Likewise the instrument we can use to detect and measure the material world, including the brain are useless in measuring consciousness.

  8. qwerty says:

    ‘We don’t have answer to all the questions but we have enough facts to determine NDE is an objective phenomenon.
    By your logic one should not come to any conclusion about anything’

    No we do not. You are biased, and you don’t know it.

    The scientific method can be extremely tedious and is always open to new evidence. To science, truth is only a probability.

  9. Ali Sina says:

    We don’t have answer to all the questions but we have enough facts to determine NDE is an objective phenomenon.
    By your logic one should not come to any conclusion about anything. One could say how do we know that Earth is not flat? Maybe one day we will discover new facts to prove it is flat. Or, how can we be sure Islam is false? Maybe one they we will find new facts that prove it is true.

    There are enough proven facts to determine NDE is real. If a person can report what she saw in other rooms and it is confirmed by others, the truth of NDE is established. One case is enough. Unless the people involved are lying. But we can logically assume 200 million people lie. What is more likely that 200 million people lie or that materialism is a false theory?

  10. qwerty says:

    Wouldn’t it make more sense to name this ‘The Deceptiveness of Not Having All the Facts’? I don’t see anything wrong with reasoning if one has all the facts. Just as we shouldn’t judge Islam by it’s believers, and instead should look to the ideology, we shouldn’t judge reasoning and science/materialism by it’s adherents.

  11. Ali Sina says:

    Jim Fox,

    I wrote the following article, after I had that nasty discussion with you and was confirmed that the mind of the bigot works the same way irrespective of its content. In a way, I must be grateful to you for resorting to insults when cornered with reason. Your obnoxious conduct allowed me to develop my theory of deceptiveness of pure reason and understand why smart people cling to asinine beliefs. I thought this person is not a Muslim and yet he behaves in exact same way. Therefore, bigotry has nothing to do with intelligence or the nature of our belief. It has everything to do with the architecture of the brain. It is how we process data that makes us rational or bigot. This was a major discovery for me, which I plan to develop further. I must credit you for it. Without your bigotry and rudeness I may not have discovered it.
    http://www.faithfreedom.org/the-deceptiveness-of-pure-reason/

  12. Jim J Fox says:

    Another thought- how does an NDE differ from a dream? I have had many vividly realistic dreams where I’m floating above my body and these memories have remained vivid for decades. Reports of NDE’s claim the survivor is ‘brain dead’ for a time [no neural activity] but if so, how can the experience be ‘real’?
    If there really is an afterlife, why are the billions of dead ‘souls’ unable to contact the living to prove so?

  13. Jim J Fox says:

    Logical fallacy- “argumentum ad populum”

    Near death and after death are not one and the same, obviously. So HOW is a NDE proof of an afterlife?
    Hearsay is not evidence and ‘eye witness evidence’ has been shown as unreliable in many legal cases
    and in psychological experiments (cf the gorilla in the basketball game). We are notoriously unreliable witnesses
    to everyday events and much given to exaggeration and fantasy.

    “…we have irrefutable evidence that consciousness is independent from the brain.” Please provide it, then!

    Anyway I am fed up with infatuation with mysticism, be it religion, tarot, or NDE. It MAKES NO SENSE

  14. qwerty says:

    I’m not particularly swayed by medical explanations either, as they are just hypotheses, but skeptics seem satisfied by explaining away NDEs in that fashion. I prefer to just keep my questions open.

    ‘Both the blinds in those videos say they saw the world for the first time and you deny that they did’. No, I question what they experienced, especially if they were born blind. There’s a difference between doubting and disbelieving.

    1st and 2nd party accounts aren’t the best source of evidence. They leave room for doubt. According to Dr. Sam Parnia’s studies, only about 1-2% of cardiac arrest survivors have an OBE. Even less are the ones of the type about what was happening around the physical body during death. Compulsive liers make up about 2% of the population, so when someone says they had an OBE during cardiac arrest and the details haven’t been verified by a third party, or it’s obvious that I have no way of doing so myself, then I’m going to doubt their honesty. I wouldn’t accuse them of lying though. I simply have no way of finding out the truth of their claims.

    As for the OBEs that have been verified by third parties (meaning I could do the verification if I were determined to do so), great. Just that those ones are rarer than rare.

    Nothing presented has proven a spiritual immortality. That is something that we can only find out for ourselves by permanently dying.

  15. Ali Sina says:

    In this article I posted a dozen of videos, including the two of the born blinds. They are irrefutable. http://alisina.org/?p=3869
    I am not interested in medical explanations. I heard them all and none has any basis in science. Only explain how these people got that information which they could not have in any other way except by traveling out of their body. Read my comment to each video and reply to the comment.

    Nothing will change the mind of a believer. The believer is not after truth. I have been dealing with Muslims for 18 year and I know how the mind of the believer works. It has nothing to do with its content or even intelligence. Believers can be very smart people and very learned. It has everything to do with the architecture of their brain and how it is designed. The believer filters facts. Those facts that challenge his beliefs are filtered out. He looks at them and does not see them. So he makes very rational arguments and in his mind he wins all the time.

    Both the blinds in those videos say they saw the world for the first time and you deny that they did. Do you know better than them? The woman says she saw her hand and recognized herself by the engraved imaged on her ring. She was familiar with that image only through touch. Haw that is possible if she was not seeing as you say?

    Watch also the video of Michaela. She saw her grandmother asking her father to give her a cigaret and was surprised because she had never seen her grandmother smoke. She gave many details that were confirmed by her parents. How is that possible if she did not go out of her body?

    I just posted a dozen but there are over hundred of such stories that all prove the validity of NDE.

  16. qwerty says:

    No, I neither believe nor disbelieve. There really haven’t been many veridical NDEs at all to make a conclusion. When you say ‘all these people’, you must be basing your belief on the afterlife on stories that you can’t verify. People who say things are ‘anecdotal’ or ‘hearsay’ are pointing out a lack of verifiability.

    It’s not been verified that there isn’t brain activity during an NDEer’s cardiac arrest. An EEG reading isn’t deep enough to tell because it only measures the surface of the brain. However, there has been a study showing that when rats go into cardiac arrest, there is a spike in electrical activity deep in their brains. This brings up some questions about the cause of NDEs.

    To me it’s not a fact that a blind person could actually see during a NDE. How did such a blind person define ‘seeing’ if they’ve never even seen anything before? What you take as fact could very possibly be questioned, and such questions would likely open room for doubt.

    It’s not a fact that NDE stories prove that we are immortal. NDEers may have had extraordinary experiences, but they don’t actually prove immortality. Once you enter the ‘light’, who knows what happens? If a NDEer wakes up in their body again, there’s no proof that life carries on forever without the physical body, and if they stay physically dead, we never find out whether they still exist.

    Have you read about Dr. Sam Parnia’s research? He is probably a believer, but the scientist in him would likely doubt, or at least make him appear to doubt, or else he would risk his credibility.

  17. Ali Sina says:

    @qwerty

    And what would be enough evidence for you? There are only three explanations to these millions of cases of NDE.
    1- All these people, including their nurses, doctors and relatives who confirmed their stories are liars. 2- They are hallucination 3- NDE is real.

    The first is so silly that few make it. It is just absurd. The second is unscientific and irrational. A dead brain cannot hallucinate let alone create coherent and super realistic events that incidentally fall in the same pattern, irrespective of the age, belief or culture of the person. Even if it were true, the fact that these people report accurately what happened when they were dead and what happened in other rooms leaves no doubt that these experiences are real.

    No I don’t call you factualist. I call you for what you are: a staunch believer. Facts are clear and you want nothing to do with them. You cling to your materialistic belief despite the irrefutable evidence.

    When born blinds say they floated away from their body and for the first time could see, you can no longer call yourself factualist if you keep denying the NDE. If that is not enough, then explain it. Explain how could a born blind see and how could someone lying in one room, conscious or not, see what happened in other rooms.

    The irony is that people who have no regard for facts love to think of themselves “factualist.” If you are factualist, I am the queen of England.

  18. qwerty says:

    Ali, you seem to believe in things that have not actually been verified with sufficient veracity. One veridical NDE per study (the last one involving 1000s of people) is not sufficient for me to wholehearted conclude that there is an >immortal< life after death. You can call me a factualist 🙂 Without all the facts, the issue is still open. Definitely not something to be taught as fact.

  19. Ali Sina says:

    All you have to do is read or watch the videos on NDE. There are millions of people of all religious persuasions, some atheists and some people of various creeds. They all tell the same tale.

    Now there are only three possibilities to explain that

    1-All these people are lying
    2-All these people are hallucinating
    3-NDE is a real phenomenon

    As for the first, I think that is the most asinine claim. It is so stupid that hardly anyone makes it.
    As for second argument, it is not logical for a brain that is not functioning to generate vivid images and stories. Furthermore, these people report seeing things in other rooms that have been confirmed by other people. This evidence is irrefutable. If a patient is in the operation room there is no way for her to know what her parent are doing and saying in the waiting room and if she reports accurately everything and her story is confirmed by her doctors, nurses, and parents the NDE is confirmed. When we have hundreds of such confirmed cases it take only a bigot to denying it.

  20. Phoenix says:

    A. Nonymous

    There are evidence for NDEs published in peer reviewed medical journals

    http://profezie3m.altervista.org/archivio/TheLancet_NDE.htm

    http://www.southampton.ac.uk/news/2014/10/07-worlds-largest-near-death-experiences-study.page

    ====
    You said:Unsupported satatements like “These experiences cannot be dismissed as hallucination of a dying brain.” are incorrect due to the fact that a wealth of scholarly research by reputable neurologists and other highly qualified researchers has been published demonstrating conclusively that it actually is the case. So according to scientific research they can and are being dismissed as merely the hallucinations of a dying brain//

    If you have counter evidence to the above links do share,because there are studies from neurosurgeons and neurobiologists confirming mind-body dualism.Dissmissing NDES as hallucinations of a dying brain is a contradiction,since NDEs are very lucid,coherent,meaningful to the experiencers who also have vivid memories.When something is on the brink of destruction it is incoherent to conclude it functions better than in its natural healthy state.How does a broken computer function better than when it was its original functional condition?

  21. A. Nonymous says:

    “Reason without facts is meaningless.” Quite true. However, other people reporting an NDE isn’t necessarily fact; it may be factual that people report such a thing, but the act of reporting it isn’t in itself factual evidence, it’s just hearsay.

    The reliance on hearsay to support the metaphysical construct of ‘consciousness existing separately from the brain’ is a fallcy of presuming hearsay to be irrefutable fact when it is not. Hearsay is neither fact nor irrefutable.

    Unsupported satatements like “These experiences cannot be dismissed as hallucination of a dying brain.” are incorrect due to the fact that a wealth of scholarly research by reputable neurologists and other highly qualified researchers has been published demonstrating conclusively that it actually is the case. So according to scientific research they can and are being dismissed as merely the hallucinations of a dying brain.

    In this regard the argument that ‘consciousness exists separately from the brain’ is corect, when based on pure reason. However, it ignores facts published by the scientific community.

  22. A. Nonymous says:

    “…we have irrefutable evidence that consciousness is independent from the brain.”

    Where is this “irrefutable evidence”?

  23. Kamlesh Reesaul says:

    What you have been stating here Mr Ali Sina is corroborated by the Vedas and Upanishads.Schopenhauer studied Upanishads extensively.

  24. bertski says:

    thank you Ali Sina for your erudite explanation. From a Muslim to agnostic-atheist-Christian. I believe you will become Catholic.

  25. Ali Sina says:

    Yes Andy, I already mentioned the magical world by which materialists recuse themselves from thinking. That is exactly what i was talking about.

    For those who have not abdicated their rational faculty I talked about the cases that the person with NDE comes back reporting things that happened in other rooms. i know you read this and it does not go through. I can repeat this a million times but once a person decides not to hear, he cannot hear.

  26. andy says:

    the plural of ‘anecdote’ is not ‘data’.

    ‘lots of personal anecdotes on the internet’ is not ‘evidence’

    nobody denies that people have NDEs sometimes. but why, how they come about, the mechansim that causes them isnt known and we should avoid leaping to conclusions.

    having said that, keep up the good work, you are a tsunami of good in a world that desperately needs you.

  27. charlie says:

    A good explanation Ali. I love reading your articles.

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