Yes. Possibilities are endless and all of that. And it's possible there is a spiritual realm. But I don't see how that possibility gives anyone good reason to think there is a spiritual realm. And really if all we were doing is positing any old possibility then calling that real or true or factual, I mean, that sounds more like a game than living a life, practicing science or trying to help humanity. With religion we have people from thousands of years ago positing ideas about spirits, gods and other worlds and that really old guessing game (really sporty sounding as religions competed) seems to be the basis of our religious thinking today. Some may say these ancients were inspired by this god or spirits to conceive of such things. But as far as anyone's observed as far as I know, there hasn't been any evidence for that realm. One might suggest personal spiritual experience is evidence. I question that. That's poorly defined as a concept and it doesn't appear anyone's been able to document a spiritual experience that's otherwise unexplainable. For instance, one might say they know there is a god because they saw a little girl at the bottom of the stairs at their house 45-50 years ago (that's my brother-in-law's explanation to me). His mom was there at the time and didn't see her, but he did. She disappeared after he saw her and started walking down the stairs towards her. Nevermind that he seems as prone to dreaming spirits and hallucinations as I am. I ask, "don't you think you could have been seeing something that wasn't there? Or that you have, all these years later, convinced yourself of this special visit?"Physics Guy wrote: ↑Sat May 07, 2022 4:03 pmPareidolia is one thing that's real: people often think we see meaningful patterns in stuff that doesn't really mean anything, or at least doesn't mean what we think. The clouds do not really form horsies or duckies. The mouldy spot on the bread probably isn't a sign to you from Thor.
Yet on the other hand the most striking proof of meaning—perhaps even the meaning of meaning—is seen in complicated patterns that do not follow obvious rules. What I mean by that is not woo, but information theory: the most efficiently communicated message will literally be a string of random characters—if you don't know the code.
This can be eery. After quite a few years in Germany I can now follow even rapidly spoken colloquial German with no real difficulty ... unless there is too much background noise. In a crowded room with many people speaking, or a hall with bad acoustics, German just sounds like unintelligible mumbling. At my age I get the same effect in English, too, but only at a higher noise level. My non-native German proficiency is just not as good as my native English proficiency at recognising signal in noise. So at parties I am often reduced to smiling and nodding and saying, "Echt?" and "Wirklich?" ("Oh, really?") a lot.
For all the evidence I can distinguish in those circumstances, it would be tempting to conclude that everyone is just pretending to understand one another, that communication is make-believe, and that all those echoing sound waves are carrying no meaning at all. And yet as soon as things quiet down a bit and one person's voice stands out clearly, my brain gets a lock on the signal again, and everything is quite unambiguous. There's nothing make-believe about it, not in the slightest. Somebody's lights are on the parking lot, license plate number—oh Scheiss.
Until there's a sudden flood of overwhelming clarity like that, it can be an awfully hard question to determine whether or not a pattern is really meaningful. The mean orbital radii of the planets around our sun conform pretty closely to a simple pattern known as Bode's Law. No theoretical explanation of the pattern has yet been found, however; it's probably just a coincidence (though it will be interesting to see whether extra-solar planetary systems follow anything like it). On the other hand the weird jumbles of wavelengths of light that are emitted and absorbed by simple gases can also be catalogued with simple numerical patterns. These empirical patterns turned out to be the decisive confirmation of quantum mechanics, and they are now used to tell us almost everything we know about distant stars.
If somebody else believes there is a meaningful pattern in data that to you seems like meaningless noise, then you could be right. Or they could.
"no", says he. "It really happened and I can't deny it. Joseph is a true prophet."
The stubbornness on the topic is interesting. An argument from ignorance surely convinces many but it demonstrates we can posit anything in the place of God and voila! a good argument or as good an argument ever presented on god is made. That's the type of effort it takes to rebut religion when all they have is fallacious reasoning. And yet here we are offering an "anything is possible" as our best defense. Of course there is tons that humans don't understand. And sure, that can mean there is a spiritual realm we simply haven't been able to detect. It's all possible and yet it seems quite probable today that none of that is true. People can hold out hope for make-believe if they want, but I maintain that's not helping humanity, or anything. At this point, it seems to be a hindrance. And we may never know because we give such space and preference for people throwing all they have into one invisible bag with holes in it.