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kashi
2003-Oct-25, 02:20 AM
http://www.childpastlives.org/stevenson.htm

What are your thoughts?

Matthew
2003-Oct-25, 06:28 AM
I'm a bit skeptical, we shouldn't have reincarnation, it means that there is another plane of existance. It'd be proof that there is another plane of existance. Unless we all live in 'the matrix' and the machines don't liquify the dead, the just give them a new brain. :huh:

Haglund
2003-Oct-25, 08:16 AM
I am of course skeptical. How many of these memories could he match up with people living in the past, and how many memories were "false"? And isn't there always a chance that people now have birthmarks resembling those who people had in the past? What peer-reviewd journals included his articles?

Matthew
2003-Oct-25, 08:26 AM
And how specific was the detail that the kids provided?

kashi
2003-Oct-25, 11:24 AM
Here's a list of articles on his site:
http://www.childpastlives.org/stevenson_articles.htm

He has been published in a few journals I think. One of them is this one:
http://www.scientificexploration.org/jse.html

This journal has an editorial board consisting of:

Dr. Mikel Aickin, Ctr. for Health Res., Kaiser Permanente, Portland, OR
Prof. Rémy Chauvin, Sorbonne, France
Prof. Olivier Costa de Beauregard, University of Paris, France
Dr. Steven J. Dick, U. S. Naval Observatory, Washington, DC
Dr. Peter Fenwick, Institute of Psychiatry, London, UK
Dr. Alan Gauld, Dept. of Psychology, Univ. of Nottingham, UK
Prof. Richard C. Henry (chairman), Dept. of Physics & Astronomy, Johns Hopkins University
Prof. Robert Jahn, School of Engineering, Princeton University
Prof. W. H. Jefferys, Dept. of Astronomy, University of Texas
Dr. Wayne B. Jonas, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda
Dr. Michael Levin, Cell Biology Dept., Harvard Medical School
Dr. David Pieri, Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena
Prof. Juan Roederer, University of Alaska-Fairbanks
Prof. Kunitomo Sakurai, Institute of Physics, Kanagawa University, Japan
Prof. Ian Stevenson, Health Science Center, University of Virginia
Prof. Peter Sturrock, Ctr. for Space Science & Astrophysics, Stanford University
Prof. Yervant Terzian, Dept. of Astronomy, Cornell University
Prof. N. C. Wickramasinghe, University College Cardiff, UK

kashi
2003-Oct-25, 11:32 AM
There's a fairly substantial forum there with many hundreds of threads. Some of them are fairly informative (most are full of fruit cakes). Has anybody read The Self-Aware Universe, by Dr. Amit Goswami? I want to know if it's complete crap, or a good read?

Tinaa
2003-Oct-28, 04:57 AM
I think if you believe in reincarnation, you have to believe that you have a soul, and if you have a soul, there must be a higher power at work. I read some of the articles and am very much a skeptic. Maybe we die and our souls go to a different universe.

Matthew
2003-Oct-28, 05:51 AM
The only ways I see a possibility for reincarnation to exsist are:
There is a superior being (eg. God)
We live in a Matrix sort of world. Our bodies never die, but the code of some other personality is copied onto us, our bodies aern't destroyed. With population incresing more 'bodies' would need to be created, with clean minds, so not everyone has an old soul.
There just is reincarnation. Just a plain old fact of the universe.

Its not very long, for I see no real reason for there to be reincarnation. Please do add some more reincarnation ways.

jimmy
2003-Oct-28, 01:27 PM
I highly recommend the book "The Science of God", by Gerald L. Schroeder. He also wrote "Genesis and the Big Bang", but I haven't read that one yet. It's subtitled, The Convergence of
scientific and Biblical Wisdom. Really interesting!!

Haglund
2003-Oct-28, 02:05 PM
There are several questions that arise when we introduce the idea of some sort of eternal soul. For example, are these souls the essence of what we are? Are these souls separate entities for an eternity? Or are they constructed as soon as a member of an intelligent species is born? Where do they go afterwards when they die? What are they made out of? What species have souls, only the intelligent ones? And in that case, where to draw the line on what intelligent is? Are these ideas about souls as separate from the material and physical structures really necessary at all?

all_isone
2003-Oct-28, 11:50 PM
For example, are these souls the essence of what we are? yes
Are these souls separate entities for an eternity? yes

Or are they constructed as soon as a member of an intelligent species is born? no

Where do they go afterwards when they die? nowhere material

What are they made out of? soul, ethics, morals, experieces
What species have souls, only the intelligent ones? no

And in that case, where to draw the line on what intelligent is? being alive

Are these ideas about souls as separate from the material and physical structures really necessary at all? essential

kashi
2003-Oct-29, 06:25 AM
If you ask me, Tibetan Buddhism (which is based around reincarnation...the cycle of life, death and rebirth) is the only religion that doesn't really contradict modern theoretical physics. It is entirely possible for there to be another plane of existance that doesn't interfere with the physical "reality" that we experience (or at least to a very minimal degree). Maybe if it has interfered, the fact that it has always interfered means that we don't notice it (it's like you don't notice the bass line of a tune until it's not there). It is admirable that a whole lot of Buddhist Monks are working together with proffesors in pyschology and biomedical science throughout the US to map the human brain. They are experimenting on brain waves during meditation with some amazing results.

The reason why I believe that there is more than just a physical reality is because science does not explain "WHY"! Science can explain how we evolved from micro-organisms (which may have evolved from chemicals themselves), but science doesn't explain WHY matter needed to exist in the first place. Why have a universe at all? What's the point?

Haglund
2003-Oct-29, 07:21 AM
Originally posted by all_isone@Oct 28 2003, 11:50 PM
For example, are these souls the essence of what we are? yes
Are these souls separate entities for an eternity? yes

Or are they constructed as soon as a member of an intelligent species is born? no

Where do they go afterwards when they die? nowhere material

What are they made out of? soul, ethics, morals, experieces
What species have souls, only the intelligent ones? no

And in that case, where to draw the line on what intelligent is? being alive

How do you know this?



Are these ideas about souls as separate from the material and physical structures really necessary at all? essential
Why? Essential to what? To explain what?

kashi
2003-Oct-29, 07:57 AM
Indeed. Please elaborate on those statements!

all_isone
2003-Oct-29, 08:13 AM
it will take too long to 'elaborate' and i get seriously bored of long forum answers, so i'll try to make it short :
those are conclusions i have come to following reading a good number of diverse religion/tradition/philosophy books, including the Tibetian traditional theory on death and re-birth, Native Indian theories and much more

"essential" as there is no question soul is separated from material/physical 'structures' e.g. bodies.
soul is just inhabiting the physical for as long as the physical is functioning.
from what i've read, soul is eternal and non deteriorating (unlike our material body)

*no fanatic here, those are just my personal conclusions from what I've read this far, so please don't jump ;)

Haglund
2003-Oct-29, 08:35 AM
Ok so it's only based on some religious texts then? I'm afraid I have a hard time to take those very seriously or literally. I mean, I could read just about anything, or write anything for that matter, and there will always be someone who would believe in it without skepticism at all.

kashi
2003-Oct-29, 09:12 AM
I'm half way through one of the Dalai Lama's books, and I'm yet to find a single contradiction between Buddhism and modern science (in fact it supports much of what quantum mechanics/relativity have to say...including a lengthy explanation of why the multiple big bang theory has much validity). In contrast, one could not count the number of contradictions that appear in the first page of the bible with two hands. I was also impressed when the Dalai Lama actually pointed out where traditional Buddhist texts got it wrong in terms of the relative dimensions of the moon and the sun. He acknowledged that science has a superior understanding of the physical universe. What a top bloke!

All_isone...Buddhist teachings actually support the idea of anatman or "no soul"!

Parker, like you I am not religious, and I try to rationally analyse everything I encounter. I read a range of material, mainly scientific. Eastern philosophy does however have much to offer in my opinion. Some of the Bhuddist explanations are quite nifty. You should get the book "the four noble truths" by the Dalai Lama (it's pocket sized...should only be about $10). Read it and find as many contradictions as you can with modern scientific theory!

kashi
2003-Oct-29, 01:12 PM
Anatman (definition from http://kengarman.tripod.com/zen/budd.summary.htm)

Buddhism analyzes human existence as made up of five aggregates or "bundles" (skandhas): the material body, feelings, perceptions, predispositions or karmic tendencies, and consciousness. A person is only a temporary combination of these aggregates, which are subject to continual change. No one remains the same for any two consecutive moments. Buddhists deny that the aggregates individually or in combination may be considered a permanent, independently existing self or soul (atman). Indeed, they regard it as a mistake to conceive of any lasting unity behind the elements that constitute an individual. The Buddha held that belief in such a self results in egoism, craving, and hence in suffering. Thus he taught the doctrine of anatman, or the denial of a permanent soul. He felt that all existence is characterized by the three marks of anatman (no soul), anitya (impermanence), and dukkha (suffering). The doctrine of anatman made it necessary for the Buddha to reinterpret the Indian idea of repeated rebirth in the cycle of phenomenal existence known as samsara. To this end he taught the doctrine of pratityasamutpada, or dependent origination. This 12-linked chain of causation shows how ignorance in a previous life creates the tendency for a combination of aggregates to develop. These in turn cause the mind and senses to operate. Sensations result, which lead to craving and a clinging to existence. This condition triggers the process of becoming once again, producing a renewed cycle of birth, old age, and death. Through this causal chain a connection is made between one life and the next. What is posited is a stream of renewed existences, rather than a permanent being that moves from life to life—in effect a belief in rebirth without transmigration.

I don't think there is anything here that contradicts modern theoretical physics.

all_isone
2003-Oct-29, 06:55 PM
All_isone...Buddhist teachings actually support the idea of anatman or "no soul"!

there are lots of different 'paths' in all religions, tibetians teatch that souls (or not-souls makes no difference really) stay in a state of limbo until they choose their next parents which will eventually bring them back to this planet to try and perfect their search for divine, their perfection.

thanks for the anatman definition kashi.

i dont put down native beliefs or science.
i respect both, they both hold truths that interest me a lot.
excuses if you find my posts naive or non-scientific,
i dont draw lines, respect for both sides, holistic approach.

always skeptical, even to my own views.

kashi
2003-Oct-30, 11:35 PM
Okay... I've been thinking about this.

If the universe is deterministic by nature (ignoring random variations at the quantum level), then it is entirely possible that an individual's life has an effect on the universe to the extent that simular forms (or the even the same form) of "consciousness" are born elsewhere once he/she dies. This would be like a string of renewed existances rather than a permanent "soul" moving from body to body (which doesn't seem very plausible). Furthermore, reincarnation could be a statistical relationship modelled by a wave function.

Any thoughts, theories, criticisms? How this explains children's abilities to remember past lives I don't know.

Dan Luna
2003-Oct-31, 06:06 PM
I have been very interested in Tibetan Buddhism in the past, but I stopped going to classes when I realised that I didn't accept reincarnation and karma. Sure, I might have believed in it for a while, but there's a massive difference between believing something and knowing it to be true without a doubt. These ideas of the three marks though I think are spot on, and don't actually require these other beliefs to be of great benefit.

The place to start is to think about how objects are all made of parts or components of some sort. It then follows that all objects are impermanent, because their parts are bound to separate again at some point. This is what causes the suffering or dissatisfaction, because none of these things are going to stay the way you want them to for ever.

The "anatman" concept is more far reaching than "no soul", it's more of a "no identity", but it's very hard to get your head round. It follows that, from all things being made of parts, the idea of an object as something that exists by itself, having its own identity, is just that, an idea or a label for our convenience.

For example, if you take a load of car parts and assemble them into a car, you have a car of course, but also you can see that you still have all the parts. You might say that you have "made" a car "out of" the parts, but the parts haven't been used up by this process, they're still there. Where you started with just the parts, now you have the same parts but also a car. Mathematically, you could express it as "parts = parts + car".

This idea applies to everything - all "objects" are just labels that we attach to these collections of parts. I think a lot of confusion arises because these labels are very flexible, and we like to keep the same label even though the collection of parts it is applied to changes. If parts of your car go missing you re-label what's left as the same car, you could even replace every part of your car, and as long as you didn't do it all at once, you'd still believe it was still "the car". Just look at some of the cars people "restore" from a few bits of rusty iron!

Well, I might "understand" this to a degree, but I still don't think I've taken it in deeply enough. I'm on holiday next week, so I'll have another go at the books!

Chook
2003-Nov-03, 06:17 AM
QUOTE Kashi:
“I'm half way through one of the Dalai Lama's books, and I'm yet to find a single contradiction between Buddhism and modern science (in fact it supports much of what quantum mechanics/relativity have to say...including a lengthy explanation of why the multiple big bang theory has much validity). In contrast, one could not count the number of contradictions that appear in the first page of the bible with two hands.”

The Poor Old Bible, written ?,000 years ago, being compared with contemporary religious literature! Tsk! Tsk! Tsk!

OF COURSE the good Dalai Lama knows about modern science.

all_isone
2003-Nov-03, 07:54 AM
Originally posted by Dan Luna@Oct 31 2003, 06:06 PM


The "anatman" concept is more far reaching than "no soul", it's more of a "no identity", but it's very hard to get your head round.
exactly, it has nothing to do with soul, its an identity issue

jimmy
2003-Nov-05, 06:04 AM
Originally posted by kashi@Oct 30 2003, 11:35 PM
Okay... I've been thinking about this.

If the universe is deterministic by nature (ignoring random variations at the quantum level), then it is entirely possible that an individual's life has an effect on the universe to the extent that simular forms (or the even the same form) of "consciousness" are born elsewhere once he/she dies. This would be like a string of renewed existances rather than a permanent "soul" moving from body to body (which doesn't seem very plausible). Furthermore, reincarnation could be a statistical relationship modelled by a wave function.

Any thoughts, theories, criticisms? How this explains children's abilities to remember past lives I don't know.
Kashi, I don't understand. This string of renewed existances would be experienced by what? If reincarnation is, then there has to be something to reincarnate from. What remains from the previous life, if not a soul or whatever we want to call it?

kashi
2003-Nov-05, 06:32 AM
The way I think of it is fits within the context of a deterministic view of the universe (i.e. the laws of physics predetermine everything). The events of a person's life effect one's surroundings (in the same way that a butterfly flapping its wings can theoretically trigger a hurricane over the other side of the world). "Consciousness" (being one part of the car so to speak) can therefore come to exist again due to the events in a previous life or something like that. I'm still trying to get my head around the idea myself.

Like you Dan Luna I read these ideas, but don't neccesarily believe in them. I like scientific evidence rather than purely philosophical descriptions of human existence. All I was commenting on is that unlike most religions, the Buddhist explanations don't contradict modern science, rather they seem to compliment it nicely (e.g. they depend on a theory of evolution).

jimmy
2003-Nov-06, 06:13 AM
Originally posted by kashi@Nov 5 2003, 06:32 AM
The way I think of it is fits within the context of a deterministic view of the universe (i.e. the laws of physics predetermine everything). The events of a person's life effect one's surroundings (in the same way that a butterfly flapping its wings can theoretically trigger a hurricane over the other side of the world). "Consciousness" (being one part of the car so to speak) can therefore come to exist again due to the events in a previous life or something like that. I'm still trying to get my head around the idea myself.

Like you Dan Luna I read these ideas, but don't neccesarily believe in them. I like scientific evidence rather than purely philosophical descriptions of human existence. All I was commenting on is that unlike most religions,
"the Buddhist explanations don't contradict modern science, rather they seem to compliment it nicely (e.g. they depend on a theory of evolution). by kashi"
By theory of evolution do you mean that samskaras are gradually reduced by rebirth and reincarnation?
Did you hear about the dove that has a scarf in it's beak and flies every one hundred years over this granite mountain that is a mile wide, a mile deep, and a mile thick. The time it takes for the scarf to wear down the mountain is the amount of time it takes for us to reach Nirvana. or something like that.
Serious is the matter of birth and death, time waits for no one, hurry, wake up!!!

kashi
2003-Nov-06, 08:53 AM
by a theory of evolution I mean that life began as single celled organisms and evolved into what we see today over billions of years.

jimmy
2003-Nov-06, 03:42 PM
Originally posted by kashi@Nov 6 2003, 08:53 AM
by a theory of evolution I mean that life began as single celled organisms and evolved into what we see today over billions of years.
And how do" buddhist explanations" compliment this theory of evolution?

all_isone
2003-Nov-07, 08:16 AM
Originally posted by jimmy@Nov 6 2003, 03:42 PM
And how do" buddhist explanations" compliment this theory of evolution?
are we missing the point in 'what a religious text is?'
why should buddhism deal with any scientific theory of evolution?

jimmy
2003-Nov-07, 03:00 PM
Originally posted by all_isone+Nov 7 2003, 08:16 AM--></div><table border='0' align='center' width='95%' cellpadding='3' cellspacing='1'><tr><td>QUOTE (all_isone @ Nov 7 2003, 08:16 AM)</td></tr><tr><td id='QUOTE'> <!--QuoteBegin-jimmy@Nov 6 2003, 03:42 PM
And how do" buddhist explanations" compliment this theory of evolution?
are we missing the point in &#39;what a religious text is?&#39;
why should buddhism deal with any scientific theory of evolution? [/b][/quote]
I don&#39;t believe that it has to, but Kashi wrote,[Buddhist explanations don&#39;t contradict modern science, rather they seem to compliment it nicely(e.g. they depend on a theory of evolution.]
In none of the buddhist books that I&#39;ve read has there even been mention of evolution, so I would like to have the information that Kashi has. That&#39;s all. :)

kashi
2003-Nov-08, 05:44 AM
Of course religion doesn&#39;t "deal" with evolution (and any other significant theory), that&#39;s the problem with it. I merely said the two complimented each other. There is a big difference.

This was not meant to turn into a religious discussion, and I&#39;m sorry I even brought up the Buddhism thing. This is an astronomy forum, and some users spend most of their time talking about religion and philosophy instead of space exploration. I&#39;m sure there are many forums out there for discussions about religious texts.

rahuldandekar
2003-Nov-08, 05:51 AM
As I have said somewhere on this site, Religion and science are different things, and they are meant for different uses. We should not take into consideration religious Ideas in science.

kashi
2003-Nov-08, 05:53 AM
and this is essentially a science forum.

jimmy
2003-Nov-08, 09:03 AM
Exactly, and reincarnation is a religious belief, so who brought it into the scientific forum??

starrman
2003-Nov-08, 10:10 AM
Indeed. I would commend all the contributors to this particular thread to the essay in the December issue of Sky & Telescope, entitled "Science and Religion: Can We Talk?" by George V. Coyne, S.J., director of the Vatican Observatory. He echoes an number of themes explored some time ago by Thomas Aquinas regarding the appropriateness of logic as applied to theology/spirituality. A thoughtful discussion.

Clear skies

Fraser
2003-Nov-08, 05:19 PM
I&#39;ve closed this thread as part of the new forum Rules. You can read them here:

http://www.universetoday.com/forum/index.p...?showtopic=1134 (http://www.universetoday.com/forum/index.php?showtopic=1134)