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13 years late here, but I think there's a place for this distinction. 

When someone says "I experienced such-and-such when I was near death, and that proves <something spiritual>", there are 2 places for doubt that RobinZ is distinguishing.

  1. That the best explanation for experiencing such-and-such is <something spiritual>
  2. That the best explantaion for him remembering experiencing such-and-such is that he actually experienced such-and-such

RobinZ is distinguishing between those two avenues of doubt, whereas you're apparently grouping them together.


Does his argument hold? Because I had the same intuition as you, that a "random person raising from the dead" isn't the comparison to make here, but I can't fully articulate what the right comparison to make would be.


One of the things I got confused by in listening to this podcast was in the 'two halves separated by descartes'. He said it I felt in a very off-hand way without even briefly reminding us what those two halves were. Is there a way I could get just a brief description of that?

Is it the separation between body and mind?

PS. I think you missed a couple words here:

The Romantics become anti-empiricists; the empiricists view the mind as a blank state that's impressed on by experience, the world is an empty canvas on which imagination expresses itself.

I believe that the part beginning with "the world is an empty canvas..." should start with "...while the Romantics think that..."

These sorts of things are definitely along the lines of the examples I had in mind as well. Thanks for the reply.

At about 20 minutes in, he says that as a cognitive scientist, the evidence that your mind and your consciousnessare completely dependent on and emergent from your brain is overwhelming. Now, I agree with this, and I can think of various examples that lead me to believe that that's the occam's razor position, but I'm curious if anybody can point me to any central source of resources for information to prove this. My basis for thinking this, as a layman, isn't as rigorous or complete as I would like.

I also found hints of your steelmanning divination argument in here:

He was making the case for a random walk through the space of things we're not changing in order to help us find what we might be doing wrong.

There's two or three terms he brings up again in this episode that he hasn't used for a while, and I find the terms very ungooglable, and I can't remember how he defined them earlier in the conversation -- "exacted", "exceptation" and maybe "exactation".

Can anybody help me out here?

[edit] is he saying Exapting instead of Exacting? And by Excapting, is he meaning something like "the repurposing of existing tools for new purposes"?

Towards the end he's talking about how these transformative experiences people have, these 'quantum changes', don't give people any new knowledge, they give people more WISDOM. But his examples puzzled me.

He says, one person comes out of the transformatice experience and says "I knew that God exists", and then another person comes out and says "I knew that there was no God."

So my question is, what kind of valid "wisdom" can produce BOTH of those results? Is it just a type of wisdom that transforms the meaning each of these people assigns to the word God? 

Around 53-55 minutes of the podcast if anyone wants to see what i'm referring to.

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