real or not?

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Re: real or not?

Post by obiwan on Sat Feb 18, 2012 11:38 pm

Left Behind wrote:
obiwan wrote:I asked for the evidence against reincarnation and you said you preferred arguments rather than evidence Very Happy . I am confused now.

You will no doubt remember from your legal training that a person saying they have not experienced an event is not evidence that no one has, only that they havent. It certainly does not mean that the event cannot occur.

Most of my friends have never been to Australia. Does that mean it is impossible? I know people who say they have but as it's not possible they must be mistaken or trying to trick me. Very Happy

OK, I'll try, one last time.

EVIDENCE is anything that is offerred to prove the proposition under dispute. The law recognizes two types of evidence: testimonial, and physical.

If the proposition under dispute is whether Jones shot and killed Smith, with malice aforethought, testimonial evidence would be such things as sworn statements to the effect that someone saw Jones level the gun at Smith: that they heard the gunshot, saw Smith fall to the floor: that Jones had previously told them he hated Smith, planned to kill him, had a revolver that he intended to use for the purpose: etc.

Physical evidence would be such things as: the bullet extracted from Smith's body: a written report from a forensic examiner stating that the bullet was fired from a certain revolver: sales records indicating that Jones had purchased that same revolver: etc.

As I said before: physical evidence is totally inapplicable regarding reincarnation. One can't expect a baby to be born clutching the Sioux arrow that killed him during his alleged previous existence with the 7th US Cavalry: or wearing the wedding ring from his alleged previous marriage to the woman whose husband died 10 years ago.

So we're left with testimonial.

How many people remember an alleged prior life? Very few.

How many people don't remember an alleged prior life? Legions.

What does the weight of the evidence then indicate? I'll let you draw the inference.

If 20 people testify that they were standing at the corner of Main and Second Streets at noon on 15 January and that they did NOT see a polka dot elephant pass by, no, that does NOT prove that "nobody" saw such a sight. But given the testimony of these 20, vs. the testimony of 1 other who states that he was there at the time, and that he DID see such a sight. . . again, I'll leave it up to you to decide whether it's more likely that the elephant passed by, or not.

As I stated before - and I'm not going to rehash all those arguments - reincarnation makes logical sense only in the context of a Buddhist type of theological world view. It does not make sense in the context of a Christian or a Spiritualist world view. Those "arguments" - coupled with the fact that the testimonial evidence is overwhelmingly against it - leads me to NOT believe in it.

The issue isn't whether reincarnation is possible, or impossible. The issue is whether reincarnation is probable, or not. In my example above, the elephant COULD have passed by. The likelihood is that it did not.


You appear now to have changed your argument from one of fact to one of probability. This is not the same as your original position. You originally offered evidence that reincarnation does not happen. All you have done is a) stated many don't remember it, therefore it doesn't happen (now you're saying it probably doesn't, which is a more defensible position, but not the one you started with, so that's progress), and b) made reference to religious philosophies which differ and in the case of Judeo-Christian ones, don't comment on it (although there are Christians who read it differently, just as there are Buddhists who don't believe in reincarnation).

The error you make is one of logic. If one person experiences an event, and in this case there are very many - not 'a few ' as you incorrectly stated -and others do not, or cannot remember it for some reason (‘not remembering’ is an important distinction in law, and is not the same as saying it didn't happen. As you will know from your own study of law, one independent witness under appropriate conditions stating they did see an event occur, trumps 100 witnesses who did not see it because they did not have continuous visibility of the locus of the event, or cannot remember seeing it) this might suggest that the event didn’t happen, particularly if there was only one witness (not in this case, there are many) and also assumes that all witnesses had visibility and their attention on the event through period it was alleged to have happened (clearly this is impossible in the case under discussion because it is not an objective event).

Left Behind wrote:I see no evidence of it in my life. The evidence that other people adduce in favor of it is, to me, far outweighed by the evidence against it.
Absence of evidence (in this case there is plenty), is not necessarily evidence of absence.

You would know there is a great deal of evidence to support reincarnation if you had done some open-minded research. You appear not to have looked at the evidence of those who claim to have experienced it, and the subsequent research on the matter. It is not the same event as observing an event.

The argument is more akin to the 'white crow' analogy. To prove there are no white crows, I do not have to prove all crows are black, in fact the vast majority are black - numbers are legion Very Happy . However one white crow concludes the argument. The number of black crows doesn't matter. Your argument is logically incorrect. The analogy you use, inappropriate. As an aside, your original argument wasn't that most people don't reincarnate in some way, but that no one does.

So far a religious philosophy is concerned, this seems irrelevant as to whether reincarnation is a fact or not. It is not even suggestive as there is conflict between philosophies, so unless you believe one philosophy is correct on the matter, which clearly you do, it is illogical to rely on that philosophy. The problem is that your religious beliefs are just that: beliefs, not fact; and yours. The most one could say is that reincarnation is certainly not a proven fact, and neither is its non-existence. So we are back to square one.

It would appear from the entire body of evidence (i.e. all of it, not just the elements that you select because they support your argument) suggest that reincarnation, if it is a fact at all, may not occur for everyone; may have different purposes for different people; may be part of a much more complex process; may not be a simple process of the same 'person' simply coming again and again with no recollection of the purpose or memories of what went before – which appears to be your own rather simplistic view of how reincarnation is alleged to work. I have no interest in instructing you in the origins of the concept or showing you the evidence to support it, you need to research it yourself if you have a genuine interest. At the moment you seem to be arguing from a position of ignorance of the range evidence and potential mechanisms.

Interestingly, purported spirit communicators appear to differ in opinion on the same subject. So the matter cannot be resolved by reference to them either. On the other hand you claim to have the answer, which of course you don't. I do think you would benefit from reading some of the research. You will find it very difficult to be so black and white about the matter if you do.

Your comments put me in mind somewhat of my own reading of the observations of those who are cynical about survival (not true sceptics, as they would consider the range of evidence). There are endless discussions on the subject of survival on here and in many other places however very few ardent opponents of survival seem willing to consider properly the evidence or even read the research. It is difficult to enter into meaningful debate in these cases, as seems to be the position here.

obiwan


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Re: real or not?

Post by obiwan on Sat Feb 18, 2012 11:47 pm

KatyKing wrote:Ancient ancient quasi argument. It's simply a re-hash of William James 'One white crow ' aphorism. Sounds profound but is in fact a trite trism. Really chaps [and it's always men!] some of the rhetoric on here passing for reasoned dicourse would be unworthy of the junior common room in a provincial university.
You cannot reach a resolution unless you agree prior definitions. Some here are simply even simplisticaly shouting opinions across self erected barricades. That's really not the spiritualist way as we are and always have been an ecletic and inclusive consituency welcoming all. It's the posturing one normally associates with our more fundamentalist Xtian chums If you say you are right and I am wrong then you my friend are not a spiritualist. Informed civility and acknowledged mutuality are essential for argument [taking that term in the philosophical sense] to progress constructively. Some posts here bear the hallmarks of a row between fishwives. Just agree to disagree at worst and move on. We don't do conversion so why attempt to convert? Then again some sorry sorts are unhappy unless they can bully their own pet prejudice to the fore.
1)re white crow: It is a point of logic I would be interested to hear your counter argument.

2) I am not offering an opinion, merely testing the logic of the assertions made by someone who has made a definitive statement.

3) I am not seeking to reach an agreement because I don't know the answer - Left Behind claims to.

4) I am not a Spiritualist

5) Your comments re suburban universities and fishwives are frankly insulting. Whether it is aimed at me or Left Behind. If you have nothing so contribute to the discussion - why not say nothing? Just because you don't like it, doesn't mean it isn't useful to someone else. Perhaps I ought to run my thoughts past you in future before I post?

It would be a good idea to remember that many people read the board and do not post. As long as we are not being insulting then there is surely no harm in discussing the points. When we have had enough, or it turns nasty either we will stop or Jim or Lis will intervene and stop the discussion. Personally I don't think we are anywhere near that position but it is their opinion that counts.

obiwan


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Re: real or not?

Post by mac on Sun Feb 19, 2012 1:36 am

FYI - I do like reading the interchange of standpoints. I've seen the clear expression of strong ideas. I've read nothing offensive or insulting.

I don't like the attempted belittling, and sexist, reference to "chaps" - I wouldn't stand for that towards females and I don't like it towards males.

I don't like the comparison to "a row between fishwives" - I agree it's insulting to the parties presenting their points. I also don't like anyone talking down as in "...agree to disagree at worst and move on. We don't do conversion so why attempt to convert? Then again some sorry sorts are unhappy unless they can bully their own pet prejudice to the fore."

I do like anyone adding to the points already made in the debate/discussion. I don't ever like a dismissive attitude to a well argued interchange of ideas - I've often been at the receiving end of one of those myself.

mac


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Re: real or not?

Post by Left Behind on Sun Feb 19, 2012 2:05 am

Obiwan, and everyone:

I have made it clear that I don't believe in reincarnation. I have given my reasons why.

I'm not going to keep repeating the same reasons, nor come up with new ones, nor engage in hairsplitting arguments regarding evidentiary standards or definitions.

I WOULD like to comment, however, that I could readily come up with a counter-argument for every argument I gave, and am surprised that I've not hearing them from the pro-reincarnationists! Shocked

If you believe in reincarnation: that's good. I don't: and that's good too. Smile

I will not comment further in this Thread. Life is short.

Jim

Left Behind


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Re: real or not?

Post by mac on Sun Feb 19, 2012 2:13 am

Left Behind wrote:Obiwan, and everyone:

I have made it clear that I don't believe in reincarnation. I have given my reasons why.

I'm not going to keep repeating the same reasons, nor come up with new ones, nor engage in hairsplitting arguments regarding evidentiary standards or definitions.

I WOULD like to comment, however, that I could readily come up with a counter-argument for every argument I gave, and am surprised that I've not hearing them from the pro-reincarnationists! Shocked

If you believe in reincarnation: that's good. I don't: and that's good too. Smile

I will not comment further in this Thread. Life is short.

Jim

I consider my duck friend and Jim were making serious points in their pieces.

Debates and discussions function better when folk debate points and not personalities I find. Perhaps one day you will choose to comment further and return to this subject when I feel your contributions will be read with interest.

mac


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Re: real or not?

Post by KatyKing on Sun Feb 19, 2012 1:14 pm

Apologies for any offence caused. It was unintentional.
Chaps is OK terminology in the academy [There's even a popular a masculinist mag called The Chap] but if it rankles then I'll not use it in future.
Fishwives was intended as a quaint colloquialism without attribution to any one on here. My intention was oil upon the waters but I seem to have put a match to said oil slick.
Apologies once again.
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KatyKing


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Re: real or not?

Post by hiorta on Sun Feb 19, 2012 2:32 pm

According to Silver Birch, re-incarnation is voluntarily undertaken when the particular personality realises that in order to progress further, they must repeat some aspect of their lives to remedy/ repair some error/ ommision.
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Re: real or not?

Post by KatyKing on Sun Feb 19, 2012 2:45 pm

Fair comment.
I expect it's also an Essential criterion in a Dalai Lama's job description.
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KatyKing


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Re: real or not?

Post by _Leslie_ on Mon Feb 20, 2012 10:37 am

From the teaching of 'White Feather':

White Feather Teachings

Reincarnation
White Feather and the controversial topic of reincarnation never seem to be far
apart. Indeed, the guide has commented on more than one occasion that he
enjoys speaking on the subject even though in some spiritualist circles it
seems to be taboo. Here are a selection of questions put to the guide
beginning with one from a concerned gentleman who was of the opinion that
any return to the earth was a retrograde step.

Questioner: “Reincarnation, is it a step backward ? We come to this earth to
learn and experience. When we move to the higher world we progress, it
seems to me, that when we reincarnate, we take a step back !

White Feather: “You know, when you have a plant, a flower or a bush growing in
your garden, do you ever prune it back in order that it may grow to something greater
than it is?
Because that in a sense is what reincarnation often entails. Let me say that there is
in my view, no going back. All progress is in an upward trend from the lower to the
higher, from captivity to freedom. The reason that you are often reintroduced into
the body of matter through what is termed reincarnation is not a backward step but to
actually propel you forward and give you a greater impetus because you come into
form, you come into a body, the male and the female, because you are imperfect, as
are we all. We make mistakes, we stumble, we fall, we err at that which has been
created, that which has often created suffering either to itself or to others creates a
pattern which has to outwork itself. So you have to come back, to be reintroduced
into the body of matter to put right that which was wrong. To cancel out the debt
and so advance your spiritual growth.

So it is not a backward step in actual fact, it is an opportunity to redress the balance,
to restore harmony, to continue your progress in an upward vein in my world. Do
you understand that? Do you agree with it?

Questioner: “Yes.”

White Feather: “I hope that helps you. Good.”

Question: “When we look around we hear so much about reincarnation, are
there any other worlds or do we have to return to this world? Do we have a
choice of whether or not to reincarnate?”

White Feather: “In a simple one word answer, yes. Let me say that language is
very important and you do not HAVE to return in the sense that you are compelled to
or are instructed to by someone or by God. It is a matter of your own conscience,
for your own soul, but it comes about when there is a realization that you can no
longer progress in my world without perhaps leaning lessons in the physical plane of
life and putting right that which you have done wrong, creating an imbalance in the
past and now going back to create a balance. And so you choose, and it is a self
choice, to return again to this play in order to redress the balance and to then
continue to progress upward.

You do not have to come back always over a period to the same planet. There are
other worlds that you can experience upon, but the point that you have to remember
is that if you created an imbalance in this place, then what better place to return to
correct it? And when that has been accomplished then you can move onto other
experiences and other worlds. Life is endless. You think of time and you think
perhaps of three dimensions, but your life upon the earth is but a speck. It is but the
blink of an eye compared to eternity and you come time and time again through
different forms to different worlds if it is appropriate that you should do so in order to
further your spiritual education. Let me just say in conclusion to this that there will
be a time when you no longer return to the physical universe because there is no
purpose served by your lessons, so to speak, and you can continue your progress
and learning in the spiritual realms of which there are innumerable levels.”

Question: “If we all reincarnate, who is it that mediums are speaking to? If
my father who was not very nice speaks through a medium what happens
then?”

White Feather: “Who is that mediums are speaking to? Do you mean the guide or
the instrument who speaks through the medium?”

Questioner: If my father has reincarnated upon the earth, how can I speak to
him? What if he comes back before I die? How will I ever recognize him? A
medium once gave me a message that he had reincarnated, how can this be
true?”

White Feather: “It doesn’t quite work like that! There are laws that operate,
devised by mind that is greater than you or I. And let me say that once a cycle has
been embarked upon, it has to outwork itself before another one begins. If I can
open this up to you in the broadest sense. Where you have an instance of a father
or mother, a brother or sister, or a child that is in my world now, you will find that they
will not reincarnate until you have served your time upon the earth and passed into
my world. It would be a great shock to the soul, it would be a great shock to you if
upon passing into my world you found that your beloved was not there waiting for
you, that they had gone again into another form. That is not the way of the Great
Spirit. Only when the harvest is gathered in, when the laws and the cycles have
outworked themselves can any individual have earned the right to reincarnate upon
your world. Does that help you?

So if you have a communication from your father and it is a genuine one, then you
can rest assured that he is still in my world !”
Whenever reincarnation is discussed there are always questions regarding
‘past lives’ and whether or not we can access these either through becoming
aware of them as we progress or through hypnotic regression:

Question: “Regarding reincarnation, if you believe that you have been
reincarnated and have memories of such, is it true representation of a past
life?”

White Feather: “There is a chance, I wouldn’t like to put a percentage on it
because everyone is different and some have greater insight and perception into
past lives. Whilst others have a vivid imagination! There are reasons why you are
not always able to gain access to past lives. It is a protective mechanism for one
thing and I have to be careful here because the one through whom I speak (Robert)
and the one with whom he links (Amanda) are often asked to regress individuals
through the use of hypnosis, and I have to say that it is something with which I do not
always agree.

There are however, times when individuals do gain access to their past and when
you have earned the right to know then it is indeed possible that you have
awareness of past lives, that you have glimpses of the past, and it is up to you as to
whether you pursue that to any great level. But I must warn you that sometimes you
know, it is not wise to know all that you have been in the past because you are not
spiritually ready or strong enough to have that knowledge. There are even those in
my world… you know, when you pass into my world at death you are not always,
indeed seldom aware of past lives. It is only when you have grown spiritually and
have the strength that you become aware of the other facets of the diamond, of that
which you are and that which you have been.

On another trance evening the guide was again asked about the use of
hypnosis to uncover past lives and went into greater detail of why he believed
that although it could be effective, it should only be used sparingly.

White Feather: “….I am not greatly in favour of the use of hypnosis for regression
although even I must concede that at times it has been used to release a blockage
that has been causing a disturbance in this life and that perhaps had a cause, as is
very often the case, in a past life. The danger or the difficulty as I perceive it is that
it not always wise to look back, as it were, in to a past existence unless one is ready
to do so, because one can find that one is greatly shocked by what is unfolded. To
use your language, it is like ‘opening a can of worms’. One has to be very careful.

Hypnosis used in the right hands by a skilled person who has in my view the right
spiritual knowledge and wisdom, allied to the technical ability, can be a helpful thing.
But so often, as is the trend today that out of mere curiosity individuals seek to
uncover their past lives, to know who they were and what they did….and very often
this can lead to further difficulties and traumas. So one has to exercise caution in
my view. Does that help?”

Questioner: “Yes to a point…but are you saying that reincarnation is true,
because there are some guides who dispute this?”

White Feather: “Absolutely, Absolutely. Those of you who are familiar with the
philosophy which I seek to bring will know that I have never wavered from the fact
that reincarnation is a fact and that you indeed…or a facet of you comes here
through a physical form many, many times in order to gain experience and unfold the
divinity within it. It cannot be accomplished in one lifetime.”
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_Leslie_


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Re: real or not?

Post by nick pettitt on Mon Feb 20, 2012 6:22 pm

thanks Leslie..., interesting that White Feather says 'a facet of you comes here through a physical form many, many times' which suggests to me that it's only a part of us that's incarnated in physical matter and that the greater part of us is still in the spirit world. I guess because our consciousness has to work through a physical brain we can only understand things at a physical level and can't properly interpret what comes from the part of us that's in spirit. Maybe that part is what some people call the higher self... more food for thought...

nick pettitt


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Re: real or not?

Post by mac on Mon Feb 20, 2012 6:56 pm

nick pettitt wrote:thanks Leslie..., interesting that White Feather says 'a facet of you comes here through a physical form many, many times' which suggests to me that it's only a part of us that's incarnated in physical matter and that the greater part of us is still in the spirit world. I guess because our consciousness has to work through a physical brain we can only understand things at a physical level and can't properly interpret what comes from the part of us that's in spirit. Maybe that part is what some people call the higher self... more food for thought...

I'm not convinced by this 'facet' argument which is said to suggest a 'remainder' of our total self remaining in the etheric.

As always we're left to struggle on with words which can imply many things but as we well know, the way words get used is highly imprecise. I'm always reluctant to pay too much heed to the detail of words, much more comfortable by their overall intent.

mac


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Re: real or not?

Post by mac on Mon Feb 20, 2012 6:57 pm

As a btw, I'm a recent contributor to Robert's simple forum. Does anyone else visit?

mac


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Re: real or not?

Post by nick pettitt on Mon Feb 20, 2012 7:47 pm

mac wrote:
nick pettitt wrote:thanks Leslie..., interesting that White Feather says 'a facet of you comes here through a physical form many, many times' which suggests to me that it's only a part of us that's incarnated in physical matter and that the greater part of us is still in the spirit world. I guess because our consciousness has to work through a physical brain we can only understand things at a physical level and can't properly interpret what comes from the part of us that's in spirit. Maybe that part is what some people call the higher self... more food for thought...

I'm not convinced by this 'facet' argument which is said to suggest a 'remainder' of our total self remaining in the etheric.

As always we're left to struggle on with words which can imply many things but as we well know, the way words get used is highly imprecise. I'm always reluctant to pay too much heed to the detail of words, much more comfortable by their overall intent.

Magnus who speaks through medium Colin Fry has always been against the idea of reincarnation but he does say that an 'aspect' of a person can come back to the earth plane and attach to someone to learn from their earthly experiences. He also says that memories of previous lives when regressed are in fact the earthly lives of the attachment(s)

nick pettitt


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Re: real or not?

Post by mac on Mon Feb 20, 2012 8:06 pm

nick pettitt wrote:
mac wrote:
nick pettitt wrote:thanks Leslie..., interesting that White Feather says 'a facet of you comes here through a physical form many, many times' which suggests to me that it's only a part of us that's incarnated in physical matter and that the greater part of us is still in the spirit world. I guess because our consciousness has to work through a physical brain we can only understand things at a physical level and can't properly interpret what comes from the part of us that's in spirit. Maybe that part is what some people call the higher self... more food for thought...

I'm not convinced by this 'facet' argument which is said to suggest a 'remainder' of our total self remaining in the etheric.

As always we're left to struggle on with words which can imply many things but as we well know, the way words get used is highly imprecise. I'm always reluctant to pay too much heed to the detail of words, much more comfortable by their overall intent.

Magnus who speaks through medium Colin Fry has always been against the idea of reincarnation but he does say that an 'aspect' of a person can come back to the earth plane and attach to someone to learn from their earthly experiences. He also says that memories of previous lives when regressed are in fact the earthly lives of the attachment(s)

I know Colin. (aka Lincoln) I know Magnus. I don't understand any of what he's said (above) at all....

A so-called attachment as described makes no sense for me unless it's equivalent to 'over-shadowing'?

mac


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Re: real or not?

Post by nick pettitt on Mon Feb 20, 2012 9:06 pm

mac wrote:
nick pettitt wrote:
mac wrote:
nick pettitt wrote:thanks Leslie..., interesting that White Feather says 'a facet of you comes here through a physical form many, many times' which suggests to me that it's only a part of us that's incarnated in physical matter and that the greater part of us is still in the spirit world. I guess because our consciousness has to work through a physical brain we can only understand things at a physical level and can't properly interpret what comes from the part of us that's in spirit. Maybe that part is what some people call the higher self... more food for thought...

I'm not convinced by this 'facet' argument which is said to suggest a 'remainder' of our total self remaining in the etheric.

As always we're left to struggle on with words which can imply many things but as we well know, the way words get used is highly imprecise. I'm always reluctant to pay too much heed to the detail of words, much more comfortable by their overall intent.

Magnus who speaks through medium Colin Fry has always been against the idea of reincarnation but he does say that an 'aspect' of a person can come back to the earth plane and attach to someone to learn from their earthly experiences. He also says that memories of previous lives when regressed are in fact the earthly lives of the attachment(s)

I know Colin. (aka Lincoln) I know Magnus. I don't understand any of what he's said (above) at all....

A so-called attachment as described makes no sense for me unless it's equivalent to 'over-shadowing'?

It's nothing to do with overshadowing, the way he describes attachments is that they can subtly influence us with thoughts that we perceive as our own...

nick pettitt


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Re: real or not?

Post by mac on Mon Feb 20, 2012 9:12 pm

[quote="nick pettitt"][quote="mac"]
nick pettitt wrote:
mac wrote:
nick pettitt wrote:thanks Leslie..., interesting that White Feather says 'a facet of you comes here through a physical form many, many times' which suggests to me that it's only ...............against the idea of reincarnation but he does say that an 'aspect' of a person can come back to the earth plane and attach to someone to learn from their earthly experiences. He also says that memories of previous lives when regressed are in fact the earthly lives of the attachment(s)

I know Colin. (aka Lincoln) I know Magnus. I don't understand any of what he's said (above) at all....

A so-called attachment as described makes no sense for me unless it's equivalent to 'over-shadowing'?

It's nothing to do with overshadowing, the way he describes attachments is that they can subtly influence us with thoughts that we perceive as our own...

Then it makes no sense at all for me....

Nonetheless I have no doubts about reincarnation, I'm not a sceptic or debunker, but I remain unconvinced by any such arguments. I don't know if many see Magnus's guidance as authoritative but for me it doesn't resonate.

Whatever the situation I'm none too concerned as I'm comfortable enough with my own limited perception and I reckon that'll do nicely for me. I ain't here to teach or persuade others. sunny

mac


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