ISF Logo   IS Forum
Forum Index Register Members List Events Mark Forums Read Help

Go Back   International Skeptics Forum » General Topics » General Skepticism and The Paranormal
 


Welcome to the International Skeptics Forum, where we discuss skepticism, critical thinking, the paranormal and science in a friendly but lively way. You are currently viewing the forum as a guest, which means you are missing out on discussing matters that are of interest to you. Please consider registering so you can gain full use of the forum features and interact with other Members. Registration is simple, fast and free! Click here to register today.
Tags past life memories , reincarnation

Reply
Old 9th September 2017, 10:45 PM   #121
Wonder234
Scholar
 
Join Date: Jul 2017
Posts: 117
Originally Posted by Mojo View Post
How about the ones you mentioned in post #6?



How did you know about these cases of you hadn't actually found any?
I've looked at some cases it's just that I haven't posted one in this thread.
Wonder234 is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 9th September 2017, 10:51 PM   #122
Mojo
Mostly harmless
 
Mojo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 29,327
Originally Posted by Wonder234 View Post
My definition of reincarnation is the standard definition.

Give me your definition of reincarnation.
Originally Posted by Resume View Post
What do you mean by "standard" definition? This is your claim we're examining here.
Originally Posted by Wonder234 View Post
The definition you find in the dictionary.

The definition I find in the Concise Oxford English Dictionary I have on the shelf here is "The rebirth of a soul in a new body." That's incompatible with this:

Originally Posted by Wonder234 View Post
Well, I'm not necessarily trying to prove that souls transfer from body to body. I'm trying to show that someone's memories are actually the memories of another person. If you proved that the memories of one person are the memories of another then you could prove that that's the case, you could do that without talking about a soul.

Which dictionary are you using? What is its definition?
__________________
"You got to use your brain." - McKinley Morganfield

"The poor mystic homeopaths feel like petted house-cats thrown at high flood on the breaking ice." - Leon Trotsky
Mojo is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 9th September 2017, 10:53 PM   #123
zooterkin
Nitpicking dilettante
Deputy Admin
 
zooterkin's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Berkshire, mostly
Posts: 38,521
Originally Posted by Wonder234 View Post
I've looked at some cases it's just that I haven't posted one in this thread.
Would now be a good time to do so?
__________________
The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, and wiser people so full of doubts.Bertrand Russell
Zooterkin is correct Darat
Nerd! Hokulele
Join the JREF Folders ! Team 13232
zooterkin is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 9th September 2017, 10:57 PM   #124
Mojo
Mostly harmless
 
Mojo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 29,327
Originally Posted by Wonder234 View Post
I've looked at some cases it's just that I haven't posted one in this thread.

I know you haven't posted any, but you claimed that there are at least some that are "actually not that bad". Then you said that you haven't found any convincing ones. If your "actually not that bad" cases aren't convincing even to you there doesn't seem to be much to discuss here.
__________________
"You got to use your brain." - McKinley Morganfield

"The poor mystic homeopaths feel like petted house-cats thrown at high flood on the breaking ice." - Leon Trotsky

Last edited by Mojo; 9th September 2017 at 10:59 PM.
Mojo is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 9th September 2017, 11:00 PM   #125
Pixel42
Schrödinger's cat
 
Pixel42's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Malmesbury, UK
Posts: 9,501
Originally Posted by Wonder234 View Post
I don't know how I became convinced that reincarnation is real, but once you're convinced, and I do not believe you control being convinced, it is a matter of doubting what you believe.
It's very easy to unquestioning accept something and incorporate it into your belief system without first examining it properly to ensure it deserves to be so incorporated. But it's never too late to examine a belief to check there is sufficient evidence for it, and to readjust your beliefs if it doesn't stand up. It's also sometimes necessary to re-examine beliefs that appeared fully justified, but for which new contradictory evidence has now emerged.
__________________
"If you trust in yourself ... and believe in your dreams ... and follow your star ... you'll still get beaten by people who spent their time working hard and learning things" - Terry Pratchett
Pixel42 is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 9th September 2017, 11:01 PM   #126
John Jones
Penultimate Amazing
 
John Jones's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Iowa USA
Posts: 11,362
Originally Posted by Wonder234 View Post
I tried and can not think of what would falsify reincarnation, for me the "evidence" would have to be explained away, so far I have found none of the things meant to explain it away convincing.
Logically speaking, the burden of proof is on you. No one is obliged to prove/disprove your claim.
__________________
Credibility is not a boomerang. If you throw it away, it's not coming back.
John Jones is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 9th September 2017, 11:03 PM   #127
John Jones
Penultimate Amazing
 
John Jones's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Iowa USA
Posts: 11,362
Originally Posted by Wonder234 View Post
I tried and can not think of what would falsify reincarnation, for me the "evidence" would have to be explained away, so far I have found none of the things meant to explain it away convincing.
Originally Posted by Wonder234 View Post
If by testable claims you mean cases of reincarnation, I'll try to get to that soon.
Do a good job, and don't make another post until you have something.
__________________
Credibility is not a boomerang. If you throw it away, it's not coming back.
John Jones is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 9th September 2017, 11:05 PM   #128
Porpoise of Life
Illuminator
 
Porpoise of Life's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2014
Posts: 3,082
Originally Posted by Wonder234 View Post
I had an idea of what I wanted this thread to be, I would post those various points above and someone would point out the problems with it and it would continue from there. Here's an example of what I mean with the first point;
<Examples snipped>

And so on.
Like you wanted to do in this thread on reincarnation, which you abandoned when people started asking you to support your case?
http://www.internationalskeptics.com...d.php?t=322161
Porpoise of Life is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 9th September 2017, 11:28 PM   #129
Mojo
Mostly harmless
 
Mojo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 29,327
Originally Posted by Wonder234 View Post
I tried and can not think of what would falsify reincarnation, for me the "evidence" would have to be explained away, so far I have found none of the things meant to explain it away convincing.

You don't seem to have found any convincing evidence for reincarnation either. Why accept unconvincing evidence, but not unconvincing explanations of that unconvincing evidence?
__________________
"You got to use your brain." - McKinley Morganfield

"The poor mystic homeopaths feel like petted house-cats thrown at high flood on the breaking ice." - Leon Trotsky
Mojo is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 10th September 2017, 12:15 AM   #130
arthwollipot
Observer of Phenomena
 
arthwollipot's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Location, Location
Posts: 56,048
Originally Posted by Wonder234 View Post
Me: In cases of children who remember past lives where people claim the parents lie about it while getting their children to play along; Some people don't go public about their child's comments that indicate a probable past life and instead just tell friends and family members, which, I believe, removes the incentive for monetary gain and therefore of a reason to lie.
Other poster: please demonstrate at least one reliable case of a child who remembers a past life.

Remember: first you must demonstrate that a phenomenon actually exists.
__________________
Read my fantasy novel for free!
arthwollipot is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 10th September 2017, 10:47 AM   #131
Craig4
Penultimate Amazing
 
Craig4's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Next door to Florida Man, world's worst superhero.
Posts: 14,588
Originally Posted by Wonder234 View Post
Why would the address and the names of his kids not be valid?

He did say what his past self's favorite soda was, a soda that was discontinued 50 years before his supposed new incarnation. And there have been cases where intimate details have been reported.




It seems unlikely that each case has some unique thing to explain it away, why would it happen so much if that's the case? Maybe if there was some weird psychological phenomenon that was discovered besides cryptomnesia, but I can't think of what that would be.

What would make you think that past lives are real?
But the fact that soda was made is historical data anyone with an inclination could find. Any historical data available today cannot be considered to be evidence of a past life. To even consider that the topic needs more study, you'd have to provide data unavailable historically and confirmed archaeologically. Even then, you'd need many data points before you can say there's evidence.
Craig4 is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 10th September 2017, 04:55 PM   #132
Carlotta
Thinker
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Posts: 148
Originally Posted by SusanB-M1 View Post
If they did, one can only hope that the adults around them would interpret them correctly!
I imagined a couple "past lives" when I was a kid. The story was they were relatively ordinary and didn't live long. Then I grew up.
Forgot to say that family appropriately ignored me!!!

Last edited by Carlotta; 10th September 2017 at 04:57 PM.
Carlotta is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 10th September 2017, 06:27 PM   #133
John Jones
Penultimate Amazing
 
John Jones's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Iowa USA
Posts: 11,362
Originally Posted by Wonder234 View Post
I was not saying that the soul is not reincarnated but that I do not have an argument for the soul.
Do you have an argument for any supernatural beliefs you hold?

Will you now just disavow any of your woo-woo beliefs?
__________________
Credibility is not a boomerang. If you throw it away, it's not coming back.
John Jones is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 10th September 2017, 07:46 PM   #134
John Jones
Penultimate Amazing
 
John Jones's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Iowa USA
Posts: 11,362
Originally Posted by Wonder234 View Post
I believe it is easier to make an argument for the persistence of memories than the mechanism by which the awareness that those memories are housed in transfers from body to body and how could we observe observe a soul leaving, existing apart from and then going to another body? There doesn't seem to be any obvious way.

OK. Go right ahead and do it. You're not exactly making a good start.
__________________
Credibility is not a boomerang. If you throw it away, it's not coming back.

Last edited by John Jones; 10th September 2017 at 07:47 PM.
John Jones is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 10th September 2017, 09:50 PM   #135
Pixel42
Schrödinger's cat
 
Pixel42's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Malmesbury, UK
Posts: 9,501
I could of course be wrong but the impression I'm getting is that Wonder234 is reasonably intelligent but, for whatever reason, is coming from a background where he/she has never been exposed to critical thinking skills, the scientific method etc. Home schooled, or something?

They have somehow found their way to this forum, which is an ideal place to acquire the skills they currently lack. Can I politely suggest that we first try to help them fill in the gaps in their education rather than go straight into full on attack mode?
__________________
"If you trust in yourself ... and believe in your dreams ... and follow your star ... you'll still get beaten by people who spent their time working hard and learning things" - Terry Pratchett
Pixel42 is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 10th September 2017, 10:10 PM   #136
SusanB-M1
Incurable Optimist
 
SusanB-M1's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 3,424
Originally Posted by Wonder234 View Post
Then wouldn't more children report past lives, if they all experienced adults talking and absorbed and rearranged the information?
Only if (a) there was such a thing as reincarnation, and (b) if the adults chose to interpret what the child said as evidence of reincarnation; both of which would fail to stand up to scrutiny.
SusanB-M1 is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 10th September 2017, 11:33 PM   #137
Hokulele
Deleterious Slab of Damnation
 
Hokulele's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: The Biggest Little City in the World
Posts: 29,518
As was pointed out the last time this topic came up, why would memories of a past life necessarily imply reincarnation? Why not time travel, being able to speak with the dead, or even necromancy? The last would be the most fun, I would think.
__________________
"Oh god...What have you done, zooterkin? WHAT HAVE YOU DONE?!?!?!" - Cleon
Hokulele is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 11th September 2017, 02:27 AM   #138
steenkh
Philosopher
 
steenkh's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2002
Location: Denmark
Posts: 5,112
Originally Posted by Hokulele View Post
As was pointed out the last time this topic came up, why would memories of a past life necessarily imply reincarnation? Why not time travel, being able to speak with the dead, or even necromancy? The last would be the most fun, I would think.
That is correct, and Wonder234 has wisely chosen to limit his claim to the transfer of memories, presumably from dead people to living people.

But it is still contrary to the current understanding of the laws of nature, and the evidence is the same as what has been presented for reincarnation, so it is just as bad. It seems that Wonder234 also understands this part.

S/he is probably mentally attuned to the idea of reincarnation so that it will be very difficult for him or her to follow where this evidence leads, and accept that reincarnation, or the transfer of memories does not exist.
__________________
Steen

--
Jack of all trades - master of none!
steenkh is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 11th September 2017, 07:05 AM   #139
Pope130
Master Poster
 
Pope130's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Oregon
Posts: 2,566
The big problem I have with the idea of survival of memory is that we know from actual testing and experience that memory does not survive damage to the brain in cases where the individual survives. No mechanism has been shown to suggest that memory can survive the destruction of the brain.

Without either a coherent theory, or convincing evidence, there is nothing but speculation to discuss.
Pope130 is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 11th September 2017, 07:21 AM   #140
Argumemnon
World Maker
 
Argumemnon's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: In the thick of things
Posts: 67,304
Originally Posted by Wonder234 View Post
There are cases where a child remembers being someone so obscure that there is practically no way to come across information about them other than deliberately searching for it.
How did you determine that there was practically no way?
__________________
<Roar!>

Argumemnon is online now   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 11th September 2017, 07:30 AM   #141
Dave Rogers
Bandaged ice that stampedes inexpensively through a scribbled morning waving necessary ankles
 
Dave Rogers's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Cair Paravel, according to XKCD
Posts: 24,811
Originally Posted by Argumemnon View Post
How did you determine that there was practically no way?
I like the "other than deliberately searching for it" bit too. Some children do, in fact, deliberately search for information on obscure subjects; I remember having been one of them.

Dave
__________________
Me: So what you're saying is that, if the load carrying ability of the lower structure is reduced to the point where it can no longer support the load above it, it will collapse without a jolt, right?

Tony Szamboti: That is right
Dave Rogers is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 11th September 2017, 08:55 AM   #142
Pixel42
Schrödinger's cat
 
Pixel42's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Malmesbury, UK
Posts: 9,501
In a previous thread someone brought up the documentary The Boy Who Lived Before. The youtube link to it no longer seems to be working, but here's the description I cut and pasted at the time:

Quote:
Ever since he was two years old and first started talking, Cameron Macauley has told of his life on the island of Barra. Cameron lives with his mum, Norma, in Glasgow. They have never been to Barra. He tells of a white house, overlooking the sea and the beach, where he would play with his brothers and sisters. He tells of the airplanes that used to land on the beach. He talks about his dog, a black and white dog.

Barra lies off the western coast of Scotland, 220 miles from Glasgow. It can only be reached by a lengthy sea journey or an hour long flight. It is a, distant, outpost of the British Isles and is home to just over a thousand people.

Cameron is now five, and his story has never wavered. He talks incessantly about his Barra family, his Barra mum and Barra dad. His Barra dad he explains was called Shane Robertson and he died when he was knocked down by a car.

He has become so preoccupied with Barra and is missing his Barra mum so badly that he is now suffering from genuine distress.

Norma considers herself to be open-minded, and would like to find out if there is any rational explanation for Cameron's memories and beliefs that he was previously a member of another family on Barra. Her first port of call is Dr. Chris French, a psychologist who edits The Skeptic magazine which debunks paranormal phenomena.

Not surprisingly, he discounts any talk of reincarnation mooting that a child's over-active imagination can be fed by the multitude of television programmes available and the easy access to the Web. Norma is not convinced, she does not believe that Cameron has ever watched programmes that could have provided this information.

Norma's next step is a visit to Karen Majors, an educational psychologist whose speciality is children and their fantasy lives. She considers that Cameron's accounts are very different to normal childhood imaginary friends.

It has become clear to Norma that there are no easy answers to the questions thrown up by Cameron's memories. Cameron has asked, persistently, to be taken to Barra. Norma has finally decided to make that journey.
I goggled 'Barra documentary' and found this short (26 minutes) documentary:

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0996476/

Quote:
O Ye Barra (1996)

The Isle of Barra, situated at Southwestern tip of Hebrides, is an isolated place with a mysterious magnetism. The film depicts everyday life on this remote island where traditional tasks such as fishing and crafting are carried out. We are captured by the fairy tales and the Celtic folklore of Barra, and the dreamlike beauty of the landscape. The recurrence of symbols, colors and signs have given a poetic quality to this impressionistic documentary film.
It's just the sort of filler programme that might be shown on Scottish daytime TV, and which the young Cameron might have watched and absorbed whilst his parents were out of the room.

I haven't seen either documentary so I don't know how closely (if at all) its contents match Cameron's 'memories', but it does make me wonder how diligent people are in investigating all mundane possibilities before jumping to the supernatural explanation.
__________________
"If you trust in yourself ... and believe in your dreams ... and follow your star ... you'll still get beaten by people who spent their time working hard and learning things" - Terry Pratchett
Pixel42 is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 11th September 2017, 10:54 AM   #143
P.J. Denyer
Master Poster
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Posts: 2,610
Originally Posted by Wonder234 View Post
Was the definition of reincarnation I gave earlier not sufficient?

By reincarnated I mean that there's a connection between the person the current person remembers being and their current self wherein the memories of the memories of the former are had by the latter.

By being reincarnated I mean the memories of the previous person show up in someone else. (I know that this is where they usually say awareness is transferred from one body to another, but let's stick with memories)
That's certainly not the standard definition of reincarnation. Most people who believe in reincarnation believe in souls, believe the souls are reincarnated, and believe that most reincarnated souls do NOT remember their previous lives.
P.J. Denyer is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 11th September 2017, 11:01 AM   #144
P.J. Denyer
Master Poster
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Posts: 2,610
Originally Posted by Wonder234 View Post
- In the case of the argument that the world population has grown from millions to billions and that there would be no new souls to occupy the new bodies, I argue that there could be a vast amount of souls, much more vast than is currently incarnate that are disincarnate.

They come from the Mimbari. It's as well evidenced as the existence of souls themselves.
P.J. Denyer is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 11th September 2017, 01:12 PM   #145
Donn
Philosopher
 
Donn's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: In my head.
Posts: 7,509
Originally Posted by Wonder234 View Post
- In the case of the argument that the world population has grown from millions to billions and that there would be no new souls to occupy the new bodies, I argue that there could be a vast amount of souls, much more vast than is currently incarnate that are disincarnate.
And you should see the software to manage all that dead-tape. The algorithms to account for every ill and virtue; summed to either pend, or bloom a fresh meat suit. Complexity falls shy.
__________________
"If I hadn't believed it with my own mind, I would never have seen it." - thanks sackett
"If you stand on a piece of paper, you are indeed closer to the moon." - MRC_Hans
"I was a believer. Until I saw it." - Magrat
Donn is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 12th September 2017, 11:10 AM   #146
SOdhner
Graduate Poster
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: Arizona
Posts: 1,156
So here are a few of my objections, feel free to respond if you can.

1. Memories are stored in our physical brains. We know this from doing a whole lot of scientific research. There's no known way that a memory, stored in our physical brains, could be recalled by a different brain somewhere else.

2. Memories are super fragile. We lose them all the time, and research has shown that we subtly alter them each time we recall them. Memories are fuzzy and inconsistent, and so it doesn't seem plausible that they would survive the transition from one brain to another even if that were possible.

3. Also, where do the memories go in-between? If the original owner of the memories dies, and then it takes a bit for them to move on to the new owner, where are they in the meantime? If we're supposing that they can survive, intact, between lives then I don't really understand why they would be stored in our physical brains at any point. Why would we lose memories to time, and disease, and injury if they're not in our brains?

4. Because we've never seen actual evidence of the paranormal that has stood up to scientific scrutiny, any supernatural explanation is less plausible than even the least plausible non-supernatural explanation. That being said, there are plenty of plausible explanations that don't involve the paranormal. Kids lie. Parents lie. Kids get confused. Credulous people who are looking for proof of the afterlife are highly motivated to (subconsciously) hint at the correct answers or to treat anything ambiguous as a 'hit' or whatever. Coincidences happen, and since they make for good stories they get passed around while the "my kid says he remembers being a carpenter but it turned out to be just a show he watched while he was falling asleep" stories don't go anywhere.

5. Whenever you deal with stories like this, the problem is that either you can't confirm the details (which means you don't know if they're accurate) or you can confirm the details and you don't know that the person telling the story wasn't already aware of them too. What you would really need is something that they couldn't have possibly found out about ahead of time. That's really, really tough - by definition if you could find it out to test the story they might have been able to find it out too.
SOdhner is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 12th September 2017, 11:48 AM   #147
Donn
Philosopher
 
Donn's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: In my head.
Posts: 7,509
Originally Posted by SOdhner View Post
2. Memories are super fragile. We lose them all the time, and research has shown that we subtly alter them each time we recall them. Memories are fuzzy and inconsistent, and so it doesn't seem plausible that they would survive the transition from one brain to another even if that were possible.
I'd say the meat that forms the memory, the media, is fragile. We lose memories because we lose brain cells (however technical it all gets).

I get what you're saying, but it plays to the woo by mistake because it gives memories a position independent of their necessary matrix.
__________________
"If I hadn't believed it with my own mind, I would never have seen it." - thanks sackett
"If you stand on a piece of paper, you are indeed closer to the moon." - MRC_Hans
"I was a believer. Until I saw it." - Magrat
Donn is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 12th September 2017, 12:00 PM   #148
SOdhner
Graduate Poster
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: Arizona
Posts: 1,156
Originally Posted by Donn View Post
We lose memories because we lose brain cells (however technical it all gets).
I'm pretty sure we lose memories for a whole lot of reasons, most of which aren't related to brain cells dying.
SOdhner is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 12th September 2017, 12:06 PM   #149
Donn
Philosopher
 
Donn's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: In my head.
Posts: 7,509
Originally Posted by SOdhner View Post
I'm pretty sure we lose memories for a whole lot of reasons, most of which aren't related to brain cells dying.
Okay, but that wasn't what I was saying. No expert, for sure, but I don't think one can usefully speak about memories on their own. It's like speaking of bytes without registers, RAM, or hard disks, etc.
__________________
"If I hadn't believed it with my own mind, I would never have seen it." - thanks sackett
"If you stand on a piece of paper, you are indeed closer to the moon." - MRC_Hans
"I was a believer. Until I saw it." - Magrat
Donn is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 12th September 2017, 12:48 PM   #150
SOdhner
Graduate Poster
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: Arizona
Posts: 1,156
Originally Posted by Donn View Post
Okay, but that wasn't what I was saying. No expert, for sure, but I don't think one can usefully speak about memories on their own. It's like speaking of bytes without registers, RAM, or hard disks, etc.
I'm offering up multiple issues with the idea of reincarnation (specifically with the transfer of memories). What you're saying above was point number 1. Repeating point number one in all the other points would be redundant.
SOdhner is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 12th September 2017, 04:52 PM   #151
fibbermcgee
Scholar
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Posts: 78
Wonder 234, I don't know what kind of research you have done but do a search on Bridey Murphy. Probably the most famous reincarnation story. You should also look at something called Cryptomnesia.
fibbermcgee is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 12th September 2017, 04:55 PM   #152
xjx388
Philosopher
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Posts: 5,287
As another poster mentioned upthread, children are absorbing information practically from birth. They watch the same shows you watch, for example. It is certainly possible that a child saw something on a show you don't remember watching and used that as a seed for childhood fantasy and imagination. Every case I'm aware of started with weird "memories" that caused the parents to freak out, then the kid ends up seeing an "expert" that is involved with study of reincarnation. From there, it's impossible to ferret out what is true memory and what is "planted" memory (for want of a better term). All we have to go on is 1)The fertile and impressionable imagination of a child and 2)The testimony of a biased expert. We have no idea what information the expert gleaned independently and seeded back into the kids memory.
__________________
Hello.
xjx388 is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 13th September 2017, 04:22 PM   #153
Wonder234
Scholar
 
Join Date: Jul 2017
Posts: 117
Just curious, have you guys looked into reincarnation very much? What have you seen that dissuaded you from a belief in reincarnation? If it's something you read/watched/heard online can you post it here? If it's not online can you tell me what it was? If your disbelief comes from your own convictions can you tell me what those are? Basically, what are your reasons for your disbelief in reincarnation?
Wonder234 is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 13th September 2017, 04:26 PM   #154
Mojo
Mostly harmless
 
Mojo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 29,327
Originally Posted by Wonder234 View Post
Just curious, have you guys looked into reincarnation very much? What have you seen that dissuaded you from a belief in reincarnation? If it's something you read/watched/heard online can you post it here? If it's not online can you tell me what it was? If your disbelief comes from your own convictions can you tell me what those are? Basically, what are your reasons for your disbelief in reincarnation?

There's no good evidence for it, and no credible mechanism.

ETA: And I don't like to see the burden of proof reversed.
__________________
"You got to use your brain." - McKinley Morganfield

"The poor mystic homeopaths feel like petted house-cats thrown at high flood on the breaking ice." - Leon Trotsky

Last edited by Mojo; 13th September 2017 at 04:27 PM.
Mojo is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 13th September 2017, 05:13 PM   #155
Wonder234
Scholar
 
Join Date: Jul 2017
Posts: 117
Originally Posted by Mojo View Post
There's no good evidence for it, and no credible mechanism.

ETA: And I don't like to see the burden of proof reversed.
I'm just curious.

You say there's no good evidence. Does that mean you've seen evidence and thought that it wasn't good? What was the evidence and why didn't you think it was good?

Last edited by Wonder234; 13th September 2017 at 05:16 PM.
Wonder234 is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 13th September 2017, 08:52 PM   #156
RecoveringYuppy
Philosopher
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Posts: 6,602
Originally Posted by Wonder234 View Post
I'm just curious.

You say there's no good evidence. Does that mean you've seen evidence and thought that it wasn't good? What was the evidence and why didn't you think it was good?
Does any of the evidence you've supplied (substitute "alluded to" if you like) qualify as good?
__________________
REJ (Robert E Jones) posting anonymously under my real name for 30 years.

Make a fire for a man and you keep him warm for a day. Set him on fire and you keep him warm for the rest of his life.
RecoveringYuppy is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 13th September 2017, 09:20 PM   #157
SOdhner
Graduate Poster
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: Arizona
Posts: 1,156
Originally Posted by Wonder234 View Post
Just curious, have you guys looked into reincarnation very much?
Yup.

Originally Posted by Wonder234 View Post
What have you seen that dissuaded you from a belief in reincarnation?
The evidence is on the same level as UFOs, Bigfoot, the Loch Ness Monster, or Fairies. That is to say, there are anecdotes and people claim to have proof, but as soon as you look closely none of the supposed evidence is very inspiring. There's also no plausible mechanism for it.

Originally Posted by Wonder234 View Post
Basically, what are your reasons for your disbelief in reincarnation?
Um... I gave a bunch and you didn't reply to my post. But sure, here you go again:

Originally Posted by SOdhner View Post
1. Memories are stored in our physical brains. We know this from doing a whole lot of scientific research. There's no known way that a memory, stored in our physical brains, could be recalled by a different brain somewhere else.

2. Memories are super fragile. We lose them all the time, and research has shown that we subtly alter them each time we recall them. Memories are fuzzy and inconsistent, and so it doesn't seem plausible that they would survive the transition from one brain to another even if that were possible.

3. Also, where do the memories go in-between? If the original owner of the memories dies, and then it takes a bit for them to move on to the new owner, where are they in the meantime? If we're supposing that they can survive, intact, between lives then I don't really understand why they would be stored in our physical brains at any point. Why would we lose memories to time, and disease, and injury if they're not in our brains?

4. Because we've never seen actual evidence of the paranormal that has stood up to scientific scrutiny, any supernatural explanation is less plausible than even the least plausible non-supernatural explanation. That being said, there are plenty of plausible explanations that don't involve the paranormal. Kids lie. Parents lie. Kids get confused. Credulous people who are looking for proof of the afterlife are highly motivated to (subconsciously) hint at the correct answers or to treat anything ambiguous as a 'hit' or whatever. Coincidences happen, and since they make for good stories they get passed around while the "my kid says he remembers being a carpenter but it turned out to be just a show he watched while he was falling asleep" stories don't go anywhere.

5. Whenever you deal with stories like this, the problem is that either you can't confirm the details (which means you don't know if they're accurate) or you can confirm the details and you don't know that the person telling the story wasn't already aware of them too. What you would really need is something that they couldn't have possibly found out about ahead of time. That's really, really tough - by definition if you could find it out to test the story they might have been able to find it out too.
Hope that helps.
SOdhner is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 13th September 2017, 10:41 PM   #158
Pixel42
Schrödinger's cat
 
Pixel42's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Malmesbury, UK
Posts: 9,501
Originally Posted by Wonder234 View Post
Just curious, have you guys looked into reincarnation very much? What have you seen that dissuaded you from a belief in reincarnation? If it's something you read/watched/heard online can you post it here? If it's not online can you tell me what it was? If your disbelief comes from your own convictions can you tell me what those are? Basically, what are your reasons for your disbelief in reincarnation?
Over the years I've looked into several claimed cases of reincarnation (some brought to this forum, others brought to my attention elsewhere) and none have stood up to scrutiny. They are just anecdotes which can always be explained without assuming the existence of reincarnation, like the one in the documentary I referred to above.

When someone makes a claim which seems to contradict our understanding of how the world works (painstakingly acquired over generations by humanity's best minds) the burden of proof is on them. They are the ones who need to provide evidence to support their claim, and it needs to be evidence that cannot be explained unless their claim is true. Claims of reincarnation do not meet that requirement, so the default assumption remains that they are not correct.
__________________
"If you trust in yourself ... and believe in your dreams ... and follow your star ... you'll still get beaten by people who spent their time working hard and learning things" - Terry Pratchett
Pixel42 is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 13th September 2017, 11:19 PM   #159
steenkh
Philosopher
 
steenkh's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2002
Location: Denmark
Posts: 5,112
Originally Posted by Wonder234 View Post
Just curious, have you guys looked into reincarnation very much? What have you seen that dissuaded you from a belief in reincarnation?
Why on Earth would I have to be dissuaded from believing in something that is obviously against the laws of nature and common sense? I would rather ask what made you give up on the laws of nature and common sense in order to believe in reincarnation?

Perhaps you never thought about how tied memory is to the physical brain, and how easily we forget everything even while we are alive?

What physical mechanism would you propose for storing memories outside of the brain? How can this memory get back into the developing brain of a child without a physical mechanism that we would know of, considering that we have found that we know every physical influence that makes an impact at room temperature?

If you think our understanding of physics is missing something, you need to have impressive evidence that goes beyond a lack of imagination of how normal physical interactions could make a child and its parents believe in reincarnation.
__________________
Steen

--
Jack of all trades - master of none!
steenkh is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 13th September 2017, 11:20 PM   #160
Mojo
Mostly harmless
 
Mojo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 29,327
Originally Posted by Wonder234 View Post
I'm just curious.

You say there's no good evidence. Does that mean you've seen evidence and thought that it wasn't good? What was the evidence and why didn't you think it was good?

Why don't you post the evidence that has led you to believe in it?
__________________
"You got to use your brain." - McKinley Morganfield

"The poor mystic homeopaths feel like petted house-cats thrown at high flood on the breaking ice." - Leon Trotsky
Mojo is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Reply

International Skeptics Forum » General Topics » General Skepticism and The Paranormal

Bookmarks

Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Forum Jump


All times are GMT -7. The time now is 03:32 AM.
Powered by vBulletin. Copyright ©2000 - 2017, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
© 2014, TribeTech AB. All Rights Reserved.
This forum began as part of the James Randi Education Foundation (JREF). However, the forum now exists as
an independent entity with no affiliation with or endorsement by the JREF, including the section in reference to "JREF" topics.

Disclaimer: Messages posted in the Forum are solely the opinion of their authors.