Just going to go ahead and create a thread for overflow discussions, mostly between Rayn and I, so that we can just throw our stuff here whenever we start derailing a thread (sorry to everyone we've done this to). If any mod has free time and ever wants to go through any threads and merge our off-topic stuff to this one in order to clean up other threads, that would be fine with me.
And if other people who are arguing with either Rayn or myself about off-topic-to-that-thread stuff, and want to shunt the discussion over to this thread, that would be fine too.
Latest is from here: http://forums.vsociety.net/index.php/topic,22957.60.html
Some of these things might be quoted slightly differently because I started responding before the post was edited, and I have no idea what was edited, whether a lot or just one little thing. I'm also skipping the first large paragraph because, as I said, it doesn't really add much to the discussion. You talk about informational theories, but still fall back upon the assumption that psi follows the manipulation of information. Ie...
psi seems to follow something that is analogous to the path of least resistance where this likely means that psychokinesis is merely manipulating information etc
Like that. Thank you for finally using language that indicates that such a concept is not an established fact. This is your paradigm. Your viewpoint from which extends your practices. Your set of limitations. It's the same set of crutches that are found in other paradigms.
Here, let me give you an example by saying something similar but from a qi perspective:
"however, 'qi' seems to follow something that is analogous to the path of "yi/mind directs qi/energy" where this likely means that psychokinesis is merely manipulating 'energy already present in the object' which 'directs' where energy will be in such a way that energy that already exists is manipulated unless otherwise specified which leads into the materialization aspect of psychokinesis."
I changed three things and the concepts are now incredibly similar. Also take into account other similar concepts, that are just phrased differently, that are spread across metaphysical paradigms, such as: "mental instructions are encapsulated within the energy, as the energy is the vessel that transmits the instructions to the universe" or "you impregnate the energy with your desires, and the energy delivers your desires to the destination". These are very intuitive or basic concepts to explain a fairly similar idea to what you're portraying; you're just getting way more into one specific theoretical
(or would this be an appropriate place to use hypothetical instead?) concept's minute level of detail.
Here's another example of paradigm shifting:
"For example, biochemistry in a living being is already moving around, so all that needs to be done is to just shift and direct it via 'sending energy at' aspects of those reactions 'and then manipulating the energy to make the reactions do what you're focusing on'." I'm sure it makes you cringe with how primitive the terms are compared to proper modern science, but remember many of these concepts developed over thousands of years without the benefit of modern science and are still pretty damn on-point, so that's pretty amazing in and of itself. 5000 years of practice that continually improved itself, and suddenly a few hundred years of modern science shows up and barely devotes an inkling of a thought to the concept of psi (compared to how many scientists/experiments/learning is done in the other fields), and even then only begrudgingly so (the "parapsychologists" are super enthusiastic, but the main core of the scientific community is not so much, especially with all the accusations of fraud and ineptitude and whatnot); don't discourage the efforts of the sheer volume of people who've done what they could through practice just because a new child has popped up and become daddy's favourite.
You've provided a couple of names for me to research, Helmut Schmidt and Eric Michelsen, so depending on how much free time I have, and how I feel, I *might* read some stuff of that (but don't bet on it. And yes, I understand how frustrating this kind of statement is to others). More likely I'll wait for more conclusive stuff to come out before I start reading the research again because I don't want to waste my time reading one set of theories after another and then trying to figure out the differences and similarities between them, and the assumptions they make and whether those assumptions are valid or potentially breaking, or whether evidence actually fits, etc etc etc. That's all stuff that I feel is currently better left to the people actually doing the stuff, and I'll keep doing what I do for the time being (and what I do is a mix of what I'm currently doing, plus attempting new things in order to branch out and see what else can be done).
>>>>> These group of responses are all along the same concept, so I group them together.
This usage of Qi is not falsifiable
(Actually it is falsifiable, by attempting to determine what qi is, and then using tests to seperate out intention alone versus intention+qi, but this first paragraph is going in a different direction) I, as a layperson,
don't need it to be falsifiable. I, as a layperson,
need to confirm that it's real (and I've strongly done that for myself). I don't need my food to be falsifiable; I need it to be real. We didn't need to test our eyeballs to confirm they were falsifiable before we accepted that we have them; we just needed to perceive them. We, as a race, didn't believe that we would fall back to the planet every time we jumped only after
gravitation was proposed and tested. There are certain things in life that can be taken for granted fairly easily, and other things that can be taken for granted with a bit of self testing. Modern science, with it's need for falsifiability, has been present in merely 1/10th of the existance of recorded
human history, and yet of the 7 wonders of the world, all 7 of them were done prior to modern science. Give humanity some credit for not being completely retarded. We're not going to suddenly disbelieve in something that many people have used for more years than you've been alive just because some upstart comes along and is like "WAIT! We have modern science now, and we need to prove everything before we can properly believe in it! So... start disbelieving in everything you've been doing up till now, and then we'll let you believe in it again as soon as we get around to proving the facts of the matter... whenever that might be. Maybe in another 100 years."
Remember, my response was largely in response to yours, ie when you said this: "however, there is not really any testable way we can know qi exists", which would kind of be like saying this: "however, there is not really any testable way we can know psi exists", which is obviously incorrect as scientists have devised and performed tests to verify that psi exists. I think what you meant to say is that currently
no test has been devised to confirm that qi exists apart from other (also potentially false) explanations. However, another potential explanation is that qi is not directly tied to metaphysical phenomenon but is indirectly tied to it; like a user interface that people can use rather than having to deal with the mechanics directly. Until such a thing is proven
, however, there's really not much point in going around saying "science doesn't believe in qi, so stop using it because it's unscientific". Because, you know, you've provided nothing to back up your claim that qigong has been disproven by science except the vague reference to the idea that you theoretically have access to information that the rest of us don't, and that's not good enough for most of us.
The other problem with claiming that qi can't be falsified "as a mechanic of psi" is that we don't have any evidence pointing towards any proper mechanic of psi; the information manipulation model doesn't seem to propose an actual mechanic, and simply glosses over the need for a mechanic by saying "nah, quantum physics proves non-locality so we'll just go with that. The 'cause' is that someone thinks something, and the 'effect' is that something happens. No need to show direct causality because we just employ a probability model. Trust us, it's fine." Sounds a lot like "We don't need to look at an engine. Someone pushes the gas pedal, the car goes. That's good enough for us!", and to one extent that is
good enough to prove a certain level of causality, but refusing to look at anything deeper is not a valid reason to start discluding other explanations.
There is no scientific evidence to propose that qi is a causal mechanism for psi.
Is that because the science has proven there isn't, or because (as I mentioned above) there just hasn't been much
science done on the topic? Espeically considering that the majority of research into psi has specifically
attempted to distance itself from established cultural paradigms in order to avoid pitfalls of analytical overlay (and other things) that is assumed to potentially be fairly strong amongst the practitioners? 5000 years worth of qi gong has naturally built up some of those very belief structures that would get in the way.
What you said is also a hypocritical standard, by the way. The scientific study of psi purposefully avoids as much cultural belief and ideas as possible in order to avoid shoe-horning the study of psi, and to avoid cognitive biases and analytical overlay. So if science barely does any testing on a subject, then it's not justified to demand scientific evidence for anything to do with it. So if you want scientific evidence relating to qi, produce a significant volume of scientific study of qi so that we can deduce things about it. Otherwise, reasoning about something with barely anything to go on is barely justified. To be more clear on this, given what I've said already, there are 5000 years worth of non-modern-scientific study into qigong, so there is TONS of information for non-modern-scientists to reason about non-modern-scientifically, but if you want to narrow the subject specifically down to modern-scientific understandings and beliefs and statements and whatnot then we're in very shallow water because there is barely any modern-scientific study relating to qi.
Furthermore, the persistence of a belief is not evidence for whether or not that belief is justified.
You're right, exceeeept that I didn't specify the perpetuance of the belief. I specified the sheer number of people who (claimed to) perceive the qi directly, and the perpetuance of a system that evolved with practice and results. The difference is easily seen in religion, where I grew up with people who just continued dictating beliefs to others because that's what they believed; there was neither internal nor external evidence (for the majority), there were no practices to verify their beliefs (or rather, to base their beliefs upon), there was no upgrading the beliefs with better reasoning and understanding, and when someone challenged the belief the person didn't bother listening and just continued reasserting "the old ways" as justification. All of those traps are avoided in practice-based systems like qigong.
The same arguments you are using in favor of qi can be used in favor of <insert deity>; however, it does not constitute scientific evidence(many people will say they have experienced their gods where their experiences will sync up). Also, that, at the moment, is not testable.
That's absolutely true. People will tend to believe in their own personal experiences, even if those experiences can't be thrown under a microscope to be examined scientifically. But on the other hand, the inability for science to throw something under the microscope does not invalidate the potential for it to be a real thing; it just causes the situation of "lack of testability" or merely "lack of tests, currently". People living in 100AD weren't able to scientifically test gravity, so would you say they were fools to believe that they'd come back down to the earth each time they jumped?
There are lay experiments and experiences that don't need to be thrown under a microscope to be validly believed in. And others that are better off being thrown under a microscope, when they can be, and when a group of scientists get around to it (remember, there's a lot of things to test in the world. Lack of scientific knowledge of something is sometimes simply because there hasn't been a lot of good testing, not to be confused with basic or preliminary testing, done on it).
Considering the teleological nature of psi, for an intention to say improve health via killing off an infection, you likely would be dealing with that to organize physiological processes more so than creating the energy from scratch.
Hey, that once again sounds like something you'd hear in qigong. You use qi primarily to boost what's already there; in other words, strengthen the immune system and kick the body into working its own "magic".
The law of conservation of energy is bent via the violation of the second law of thermodynamics, and this does not negate the universe being physically a closed system in that physically matter is not entering or leaving this universe.
Perhaps. or perhaps nothing is violated and something else is also going on that accounts for the seeming violation. Lack of evidence doesn't necessitate that nothing is occuring.
I already answered this, and I am not repeating myself because it can be read in my response above this one.
The issue, though, is that it is an inference, and that is what you seem to not like.
It's not that I dislike inference. It's useful in many ways, but not when we're attempting to talk about factual
explanations. If we're talking about possible
explanations, then it's perfectly fine, so long as it's not taken beyond a certain point and into just plain assumptions and guessworks yet still portrayed as being properly scientific (I don't care that inferences are a part of science. inferences are also a part of laypeople society). It's especially inappropriate to try and discourage one set of explanations yet favour another while trying to convince people that the difference is due to scientific stuff yet in reality isn't. Your preference for the information based ideology doesn't negate the qigong based practices and understandings.
Here is the thing about science; it is inductive(except for maybe experimentation to test a hypothesis). In being inductive, science deals with what is probably true and not with what is necessarily true. In other words, if I interpret an experiment statistically, I am inferring that what the statistical analysis of that experiment indicates is probably true where there is a strong case for this; however, it is not necessarily true.
Thank you for acknowledging all this. The way you normally talk about psi and your experiences/viewpoint is one of absolute surity. The words you use make you seem to absolutely
believe that psi is
a matter of informational manipulation (whereas kobok, whom you quoted, notes that it's "one reasonable interpretation", and that we "might" have the ability to do this).
You are saying we cannot directly observe this; rather, we are merely inferring something based on an interpretation, but most of science is predicated on this, so if you reject what I said for this reason, you pretty much reject science or you reject the scientific study of psi.
I was asking what your level of observation was. As I noted, if someone asks me how I "observe" the qi that I use, they'd expect a better answer than "well, the person/object moves in response to my intentions".
By specifying your own level of observation, and how far detached it is from the actual event, you can assign proper levels of sureness (stronger probability of it being correct). So me directly watching someone else's fist contact someone else's face, I can be 100% sure that the contact happened. If I look away for a split second just as the fist is heading towards the face, and then see the face moving rapidly backwards afterwards, I'm strongly sure that the contact happened. If I see one person walking towards another, then look away to deal with something else, then look back and see one person lying on the ground with a bloody nose, then I'm less sure of what happened but I can still make lay assumptions that contact happened; if this event went to court, the case would hinge on factors other than my witnessing of the event. If I walk around a corner to see someone lying on the ground and someone else standing over then, then I have no proper surity of what happened, yet because human nature is what it is, my mind will start making a variety of inferences based upon a lot of mental ideas (including unfair biases) and I will subconsciously (or perhaps even consciously) come up with at least one assumption about what happened, and those inferences will fluidly alter based upon the next several things that happen or that I get information about (such as the two people's reactions to one another, their reactions to me, etc).
So I am about 95% sure that qi exists as a real thing, with the last 5% being healthy skepticism combined with several potentially alternative explanations (for instance, it is entirely possible that I am doing the exact same psi that you are doing, but that I both suck at it and that I include a lot of limitations that you don't have and that I include delusions about things like energy that aren't really happening. But I assign that as a very low possibility because of the sheer number of personal experiments I've done where I've tried altering lots of different factors). I am 100% sure that metaphysical abilities in general
are real. I am anywhere from 30% sure to 80% sure that there are multiple different actual sets of mechanics involved in different paradigms, depending on factors such as how broadly I'd specify a set of mechanics (ie, all martial arts use the same overall mechanics of kinetics and biology, but we can still divide martial arts according to strong categories such as "hard and soft" as some martial arts focus on subsets of kinetics to the point of being plainly distinct from others that focus on other subsets, ie mostly muscle based motions in karate versus mostly centripetal forces in capoeira).
Furthermore, science is not predicated on inference. Science is predicated on the study of the world towards gathering evidence that provides knowledge of the world. Inference just narrows down the direction of the next thing to study, but evidence > inference. I know that a lot of science is done in the absence of evidence because it is based upon inference, but the search for evidence is not dropped just because an inference is strongly accepted. Another point I'd like to point out is that inferences are a double-edged sword, as they require the use of assumption; proper scientists attempt to reduce the number of assumptions to a reasonable level, and attempt to base their assumptions as strongly as possible on arguments from evidence, as much as possible, yet I've still read papers from people with PhDs in the hard sciences who make leaps of logic from assertions or assumptions to other assertions or assumptions, from time to time; because they have PhDs I generally give them the benefit of the doubt and assume that there are reasons for that leap and they simply did not specify what those reasons were, but I give that benefit less and less for people who have fewer and lower credentials.
Those arguments are deductive, tautological, and tend to not be scientific because they result in tautological statements that are necessarily true.
Can you quote me a simple example? I do acknowledge that I make a number of statements that I portray as fact because I can guarantee from my own life that they are about as factual as me falling back to earth when I jump.
It is much like Carl Sagon's dragon in the garage.
No, no no, no. No. It's not.
Carl Sagan's garage dragon was fabricated as a means of illustrating the absurd path that some people take in proposing explanation after explanation for why something can't be tested. Qi can be tested, just as psi can be tested. It's just a matter of figuring out how. A great starting
point would, of course, be to hook up a bunch of sensors to people who claim to do qigong and who can produce strong effects that seem to defy other forms of explanations; and I'm pretty sure scientists have done this part, if I recall correctly, but then I don't recall hearing of anyone taking it much further.
Now, imagine instead of a completely "invisible, incorporeal, floating dragon who spits heatless fire", you have a "difficult to perceive, incorporeal, dragon who spits very real fire". Qi Gong practitioners can produce results ("very real fire"), much like psi practitioners who can produce results. Qi can be directly perceived by quite a number of people, though not everyone (this distinction is annoying to a scientist, sure, but it would be theoretically testable if you get multiple people who have demonstrated strong results, and see if they can perceive one another's qi. not the best test, but I'm sure if any good scientists got any real funding to properly test it, they could come up with much better); on the other hand, the scientific study of psi has not yet availed itself of the task of directly observing psi either, but instead observes psi by the results (the very real fire). It's still, as of yet, considered incorporeal because we haven't been able to pin down a corporeal form for it ("it" being qi or psi), and the dragon would then just be a metaphor for the qi/psi itself.
On the note of Sagan's dragon, however: "No - that's a tenant of materialism, and my practices are not materialistic." *cough*heatless fire*cough* >_> The dangers of the new rules of quantum mechanics is that it has broken the sense of requirement for scientists to show causality, and has firmly planted them towards the path of spiritism that they so desperately attempted to demolish when modern science first emerged a few hundred years ago.
You speak of Physics that does not exists
Hah, you mean psi and how it "shouldn't" exist?
I am interested in what you can plausibly give me based on a strong inferential link with empirically meaningful evidence.
So am I. If you can't tell me what kind of evidence will change your mind, then how can I even attempt to produce it, assuming such evidence even exists? What kind of evidence would you give to a person who doesn't believe in psi phenomenon, and who consistently produces excuses to disbelieve whenever you try ("oh well, that could have been slight of hand. oh, well that could have been a power fluctuation. oh, well that could have been your own mind tricking itself")?
You have admitted to me you are giving me an argument with no evidence.
And I also asked what evidence you would like to see, and you replied with a statement that you don't really know what you'd accept, and you're looking to me to figure that out. Your own friend once told you about your energy systems, that he perceived personally psychically, and you flat out disbelieved him. What kind of extreme evidence are you looking for that you're not just going to close your eyes to?
Saying that having sex saps qi is thus not a justifiable reason to abstain from sex. You have not scientifically proven it.
Two things: When you get shitloads of people who all have similar experiences, they can agree that abstaining from (or at least reducing) sex IS a justifiable expectation when practicing qigong. Secondly, I agree that no, it's not scientifically
proven. I'm full on with the knowledge that the idea of sex having anything to do with qi is from anecdotal evidecne, though generally a lot of it for qigong stuff. And best of all, that doesn't matter anyway because when a person gets far enough in their practices, they could test it for themselves and determine for themselves whether it's a big deal or not. It may be normative, but it is not inviolable.
so I tend to resent practices that tell me what I have to or should do with them under the idea you have to subscribe to whatever to refine them
Then you should probably quit teaching people, because I'm 90% sure that you do exactly that to other people. Especially given how you argue here on these forums, and how you denounce other paradigms in favour of your own.
If a karate instructor tells you to tuck in your elbow when straight punching, would you listen? If another karate practitioner tells you to tuck in your elbow when you straight punch, would you listen? If a bunch of karate practitioners tell you to tuck in your elbow when you straight punch, would you listen? There's a reason for the tucking in of the elbow, but even if you don't know what it is, you still follow the instructions of a teacher of a specific art when they tell you to do certain things that are in the art; you went to learn that art
, as opposed to your own eclectic beliefs and understandings, for a reason, after all.
It's better when someone is able to explain the "why" as well, and then you can of course make up your own mind about whether you want to listen or not, but it is bad form to automatically
ignore something without even trying it simply because you don't "want to" subscribe to it.
Someone comes to qigong and asks what the practices are regarding sex and orgasms, they will generally get the same responses from a wide variety of other students and instructors: reduce or abstain, particularily in certain circumstances. This is a generic
instruction to "the masses of people", and therefore by the laws in probability and biology, it won't apply to everyone equally.
And I don't need a lesson on normative instructions, the pros and cons, the when-to-listens and when-not-to-listens. I'm quite aware. There are times to listen, and times not to. Its one of the first things I figure out at every new job; which rules can I toe the line, which rules can I bend, which rules can I break, and which rules should I stay well within. (Another thing I do at a new job is find the most skilled/capable person, and learn from them).
On the topic of normative statements (I'm not sure if you include the connotation of morals in with normative statements, but morals don't have to be included): are you aware that the scientific community is also normative? "Use these methodologies in these circumstances, because reasons but also because we say so. Use these equations to do these things, for these reasons but also because we say so." Education in general is the same way, as is growing up from being a child; many people telling you what you "should" do for the first 18-ish years of your life. And even after we become adults, this doesn't stop, but the real question is whether we "should" just listen to others or whether we "should" just disregard it all and do our own thing, or whether we "should" do a mix of the two. Generally, when people tell you that you should or shouldn't do things, there's reasons for it, wether it's in science, qi gong, religion, or cooking. Normative statements, in and of themselves, are not the enemy; the expectation to follow the rules without being given any leeway to test whether the rules are valid, is the enemy. Someone asks "what does qigong say about this?" and someone answers; that's not something to scream and cry about. If you don't like the answer, there's nobody (no authentic authorities, rather) in qi gong who will punish you for having sex while also doing qigong; the assumption is that your own body and energy systems will provide you the answer for your specific situation, but that doesn't mean the instructor shouldn't warn you against something that's dangerous for a lot of people (kind of like a mum saying "don't put your hand on the stove when its red" and then you go ahead and do it anyway and have to learn the hard way that some normative instructions are quite valid). So just as in science, so as in life; normative statements will prove themselves valid or invalid "under circumstances" with testing.
establishing, relating to, or deriving from a standard or norm, especially of behavior.
"negative sanctions to enforce normative behavior" <-- this is an example of the usage of the term, not part of the definition. just want to make that clear.
there are huge major flaws in the post I am referring to where it just is so tedious to go through it
Yes, the exact same thing applies your way. It is tedious, and I am glossing over certain things that I feel don't really matter (you relating fire to vapour, for instance), but I am also tedioiusly addressing a lot of things you're saying that I feel are incorrect. This is eating into my time as well. On the note of people being wrong about stuff, that's a normal thing for all humans: I am wrong sometimes, you are wrong sometimes, kobok is wrong sometimes, Einstein was wrong sometimes. This is a fact of life and doesn't need statements like "well, you were wrong about a bunch of stuff, but i'm not going to bother replying to them" because that's taken for granted. If you're not going to reply to it, then not much point in mentioning it.
No, it is not correct in that I do not place particular importance on my body etc etc
Thank you for the descriptions of what you go through. So long as you realize that what you've described hasn't been scientifically proven yet either, then that should give you a better understanding of where qigong is coming from (qigong is not coming from "assumptions to practices", but from "practices to assumptions").
Another point I'd like to make regarding qigong, as it should probably be said: the majority of philosophy intwined with qigong has less to do with the "parlour tricks" and more to do with the cultivation and development of the human being towards becoming a much better human being, physically, emotionally, mentally, spiritually, culturally, and socially. The basic viewpoint is then one that points towards the betterment of the individual person through the various practices, and the abilities are seen as a side-effect of the process rather than the main reason for the practices. TCM takes a sharply different slant, though I won't speak on that at the moment.
My own personal viewpoint is merely one of simple-minded curiosity: what is this stuff, and how does it work?