Re: Attempt to put Paranormal discussion in context

From: Jef Allbright (
Date: Sun Jan 01 2006 - 11:36:01 MST

Sorry, had to correct the last word of the last sentence of my previous post.

On 1/1/06, Jef Allbright <> wrote:
> On 1/1/06, Damien Broderick <> wrote:
> >
> > I think the key to the credibility problem, at least among thinkers
> > characteristic of this list, is the difficulty in retaining a distinction
> > between inanimate physical systems that are highly reliable, even if
> > entirely novel, such as x-ray machines, and purposive, complex, opaque
> > cognitive/emotive systems ("human beings", for short). It seems completely
> > reasonable to some people to expect that if humans can do Y, and you know
> > how to do Y, you should be able to do it every time you're asked to. That
> > is largely true of such tasks as tying your shoe laces, but it breaks down
> > badly when an artist is challenged to "Go ahead, then, if you're so
> > `creative', write a book/paint a painting/compose a symphony, and make a
> > million dollars with it!" Even so routine a human experience as falling in
> > love has proved to be unpredictable, even zany. Those humans! So much more
> > irritating than simple machines.
> >
> Thanks Damien for highlighting what I see as the great and perplexing
> divide between those who tend to emphasize the subjective and those
> who emphasize the objective as their framework for describing reality.
> Personally, I see all of it -- us and our subjective experience, and
> the unpredictability that accompanies insufficient context -- in
> mechanical terms, and strangely, I feel that my viewpoint enhances,
> rather than diminishes, the mystery and romance of human experience.
> - Jef

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