Quality Thinking - Warning: Long Post Ahead

by Viviane 82 Replies latest watchtower beliefs

  • Viviane
    Thus if I see a ghost or appararition, as part of the analysis of the event I have to include initially the possibilities that I am having a brainstorm and the possibility that ghosts do exist.

    Since you asked me personally to look at this post, I will.

    First, what do you mean by ghost? Then, take that definition and make sure that it is something that means something, i.e., something that you can ascribe and effect or objectively observable definition to. Think of dark matter, we've no idea what it is, but we can certainly at least objectively observe it's effects and tell that something is there. The something you you define as a ghost must at least be objectively observable for anything to help you out.

    However, and finally the point of this waffle, what happens when we personally see images in our heads of events which actually occur as per image, at a later time? What kind of critical analysis could we make of that. initially?

    Count the hits AND the misses. How many times did you think of something that came true? How many didn't? Was the thing that came true related to something that was easily foreseeable? Did you write it down? Was it exactly right, pretty close or meh, close enough?

    What it has done is to make me look at the prophecies spoken about in the original old texts. The one thing I logically conclude from a personal perspective is that the old guys, way back when they were writing their stuff, could, well have been seeing exactly what they said they were.

    Not one prophecy every written in the Bible has ever come true. But, looking at any prophecy, was it specific? Did it name names? Dates? Events, specifically that came true exactly? If not, then it's really not a prophecy.

    Somehow, it is possible for humans to see what will later happen.

    I predict events that come true all the time. But that's just experience in a given situation that I am familiar with. If I were to predict who, 10 years from now, who would be the first person on Mars, the exact date and time, the name of the ship, where they would land, names of the crew, the date they left, how many kilograms of fuel they had and the weather on the day they left, yeah, that would be impressive. Predicting my friend will choose fish with white wine for dinner because I've seen her do it 100 times? Not so much.

  • Half banana
    Half banana
    Ron, if the Bible says so...you don't have to trouble the brain cells.
  • Half banana
    Half banana

    Human activity is driven by thought. As part of our mental equipment we assess the outcome of actions before we start, this is one way we evaluate the effectiveness of what we chose to do. This faculty for foreseeing the future is a component of all we do in life, work, sport, education, family and business. Any function of the mind can be developed to a high degree and sometimes to an obsessive or pathological extent.

    Religion, in the absence of scientific evaluation and the use of logic in the philosophical sense, has forever grasped the words of visionaries to further their hold over the gullible. Look how the schizophrenic Joan of Arc was used politically and then consider the Bible writer Paul who said with reference to his works that he did not know how he wrote, “Whether in the body or not.”

    Extreme mental phenomena were powerful exotic experiences enough to convince the man on the Clapham omnibus that they came from God.

    Our minds are the faulty interpreters of not just rational and irrational thought they also conflate memory and emotion as well... and here is where the religious mind is found; drawing comfort from the mental possession of brain patterns which have their own non-philosophical ‘logic’ which is not dependant on evidential truth but simply coherent within its own terms of reference i.e. the unsubstantiated premise that, “there must be a God.”

    Therefore I suggest that if one has a highly developed sense of outcome and future eventuation, occasionally if not frequently success with ensue. Prophecy is a religious institutionalisation of this very faculty, spoken of with elevated awe but in real terms normally a failure. But to suggest that foretelling outcomes accurately originates with divine sponsorship; ignores the profound workings, biases and the pathology of the human mind.

    Not saying you are ‘pathological’ Andrekish!... but I was just having a stab at the subject you brought up. And thanks for your story.

  • SecretSlaveClass
    Great thread that I thoroughly enjoyed reading through. Thanks for that mental five-course meal Viviane!
  • iconoclastic

    Very Good inputs, viviane.

    Sometimes conclusion depends on other things also. For example, Is wind the enemy of fire? Yes, if wind is wild and fire is only a flame-like, then fire will be put off; and No, if fire is wild and wind is normal, then wind will make the fire grow like wild-fire.

  • Oubliette

    andrekish: Thanks for list. To me they will be very, very useful. Can I refer you to a post I put on a little earlier on this topic by Vivianne and ask you opinion after using your list of skills above.

    You're welcome. I'll look at your post.

  • freemindfade

    Viviane I will trade you quality thinking (I'll start thinking quality) to be the only person on the board to possess a picture of the elusive rationalist... Viviane. Send it to me and I will think your way

  • Oubliette

    Vidqun: But how to avoid confirmation bias?

    Great question, and a really hard thing to do. One of the best ways to approach this problem is to learn to recognize it in others and then to work to see it in ourselves. That takes a lot of hard work, honesty and self-awareness. Most people are simply too lazy and afraid to do it.

    The peer review process can also be of help, maybe. Ironically, it can often have the opposite affect. Other people usually are more than glad to point out our own biases. Sadly, many will do so in brutal, unkind ways. It takes a tough person that really wants to know what is true to survive that process. Unfortunately, that process can cause many people to "double-down" on their biased beliefs and hold onto them even more firmly.

    There's a great book on the subject I'd like to recommend. Here's a link to a thread I started on this book a while back:

    Mistakes Were Made, But Not by Me (by Tavris and Aronson)


  • Vidiot

    ron rawson - "...rather than gathering all evidence exhaustively and studying it to lead them to a conclusion, instead, their method seems to be draw a conclusion, then find means to support it."

    Know what the real kicker is?

    If you called attention to that fact to a JW loyalist (or any Biblical literalist, FTM), he'd turn around and tell you that that was the right way of going about it.

  • StarTrekAngel


    In another thread someone challenged a counter claim you made and asked for you to present evidence of your position. You stated that you would not provide such evidence and that he/she could go look it up him or her self. The said individual accused you of not having any evidence. You then proceeded to explain the difference between "can't" and "won't". Your explanation was clear (as it was also simple) but my question to you is, would you not be somewhat obligated to provide some references just like you requested from others in that same thread? I mean you did type things like "references please.." right underneath the quote of someone's claim. Don't get me wrong, you are very much entitled to make a claim and then claim that you have or seen evidence but decline to present it under the understanding that such evidence is of public domain. I, however, feel that there are certain generally accepted etiquette rules of debate that one should respect when willingly engaging in one. Could in not be concluded by an observer that you won't provide the evidence because you can't or don't really have it?

    I am sincerely asking for your opinion in the context of this thread, as I find this subject to be of the most interest to me.

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