The Medium Is The Message

I’m building up to a brief presentation based in a novel concept about the ongoing bumper car action between theists, atheists and new agers; soon enough.

This video from attorney Victor Zammit has stand-alone appeal. One conclusion from viewing Zammit’s “Eight Reasons Richard Dawkins Is Wrong About the Afterlife” is that I’d not want Zammit to be my lawyer for any reason.

In this video the category errors, faults of logic, and, circular arguments pile up almost until one wants to look away. Yet, it’s really funny too. My favorite parts are the several times when Zammit appeals to the venue of a court of law and its procedures being an apt environment for sorting the controversy out, presumably into the right and wrong parties.

I carry no brief for the new atheists at all since I’m an agnostic, but Zammit here is unable to reach even the low hanging fruit. His most grotesque, albeit garden-variety, category error is to imply something about energy persisting after death in a specific form without declaring how his view reconciles the actual dispersion of embodied energy at death with the presumptive persistence of consciousness he’s enthusiastic about.

But, there’s more:

4) As part of a cumulative case, you have presented several lines of evidence supporting the afterlife. In your opinion, what is the best or most convincing or more hard to refute single piece of evidence supporting the afterlife?

Without doubt, my investigation of David Thompson’s materializations were the most impressive – because we had the time to investigate. Time is critical to come to valid conclusions – and David Thompson’s mediumship passed all tests. My wife and I sat with David Thompson every Sunday night for fifteen months. I have absolutely no doubt in my mind that whenever we communicated with intelligences from the afterlife during David Thompson’s materializations, we were in direct contact with beings who are residing in the afterlife dimension. We travelled with David, the medium, and saw him before during and after séances. We helped prepare the room and tape recorded the sittings. On more than seventy occasions we were present when people were reunited with their loved ones and talked with those people after the sessions. They confirmed that they recognized specific mannerisms of their loved ones and spoke of intimate things that no-body in the séance room could have known. My wife’s father came through as did my sister. They confirmed their identity in several ways.

My wife is a professional psychologist with expertise in Scientific Method and with my expertise in the admissibility of objective evidence we came to the inevitable conclusion that the evidence qualified as objective and repeatable. This made the evidence empirical and scientific. Of course closed minded skeptics would not accept our evidence. But again, they did not raise critical issues such as what intervening variables we did not control in our experiments. No hard core skeptic took up my challenge to claim half a million dollars if they could show that there was fraud or negligence taking place in these critical afterlife experiments. Of course one condition was that if the skeptic failed, then the skeptic had to hand over half a million dollars to us. In other words, the challenge was to put up or shut up. Recent experience has shown that they shut up. from subversivethinking

Obviously in this clip Zammit provides no warrant for the decisive appeal to his and his wife’s authority. But, he hasn’t sketched anything ‘scientific’ out here at all. The minimal scientific test of mediumship would be that the channeler could raise the materialization in a controlled experiment and do so repeatedly against a control session.

(Zammit) My particular one-sided bias is the test of objectivity/repeatability. Once the test is passed, and I have had personal experience that it was administered properly, I will rigidly adhere to my decision about my conclusion.

Obviously, this framing of his own objectivity is antithetical to scientific methodology and its component of necessary provisionality.

Both theists and new atheists are working over ultimately circular arguments.

Zammit has a web site.

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