Does Chi exist ?

Discussion in 'Eastern Philosophy' started by IndianCurry2010, Nov 8, 2010.

  1. Skeptical Registered Senior Member


    There may be some truth in that, but it does not obviate my point that we need objective, empirical data to determine the reality of the universe.

    Ideas on chi lack this. Evidence is generally either subjective, or taking a form that is not acceptable to good rigorous scientific methods. Chi is vitalism, which I pointed out, is a discredited theory. If you want to suggest on a science forum that it needs to be taken seriously, then there is a duty on you to provide the right kind of evidence.
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  3. woowoo Registered Senior Member



    you skipped over my question "Subjective is usually not true" then are there
    any circumstances when it is true? an important point i think, and how would
    we know it was true, could we know, scientifically?
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  5. Skeptical Registered Senior Member


    That statement is a gross generalisation, of course. And there are exceptions. If I were to say : "I have a stomach ache. There is something wrong in my gut." I would almost certainly be right. The ache is subjective, but relates to something more.

    However, my statement was more directed towards beliefs. If you believe in God due to a subjective feeling of the presence of deity, then I would say that you have nothing solid to demonstrate your belief. Such subjective feelings come from a wide range of sources, and as far as I can determine, none have any link to deity.

    In the same way, if you want to demonstrate the existence of chi, you will need to demonstrate objective and empirical data. Otherwise you convince only the superstitious.
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  7. woowoo Registered Senior Member

    so you go to your doctor and he asks you to demonstrate your belief in your
    tummy ache, is that satisfactory?
  8. ULTRA Realistically Surreal Registered Senior Member

    I think if it exists for you, it exists. If you can derive somthing from it that makes you somehow more than you were, then it exists for you. I see kids, and i remember being a kid unpolluted by adult rationale believing in assuming different personalities with different energies, and maybe it was a form of self delusion but it worked at the time. If it works, it exists on some level. Psychosematic perhaps, but the mind works on many different levels and despite our supposed wisdom there is much we still don't know. Who can say for sure?
  9. woowoo Registered Senior Member

    skeptics demand objective empirical data, the only problem is there
    is no such thing, ultimately all science has is theory, general relativity,
    quantum mechanics yes, but no way to resolve the two, there is no
    ultimate scientific truth, because we just don't know enough
    about the Universe we live in. some of us believe we have found an
    answer to that, the skeptics continue to ask for the data, if they would
    take the time to turn inward rather than outward they just might
    find what they are looking for. OM
  10. Kennyc Registered Senior Member

    No. If we did that, we'd have religion.
  11. woowoo Registered Senior Member

    quite likely, someone would take the idea and try to market it.
  12. Skeptical Registered Senior Member

    The record of the scientific approach is very clear. In the last 400 years, humanity has progressed further in both understanding the universe, and in manipulating nature to our own benefit, than the roughly 200,000 years beforehand during which we have been Homo sapiens.

    The approach woowoo recommends has been in force for all of that 200,000 years and has gained us next to nothing.
  13. woowoo Registered Senior Member


    There's no doubt our technology and understanding of the physical
    universe is advancing at an exponential rate, but i think you are
    rather disingenuous to our ancient ancestors to suppose their
    world view and ideas about the creation of the cosmos and their
    own origins were of little or no consequence in the evolution of mankind.
    There may have been a time when the belief in an afterlife was
    the driving force behind new technological ideas, paleolithic cave
    paintings and burial ritual, it would make a fascinating study, i'll
    leave that for another time.

    The objective and the subjective, inner and outer, we
    can't separate the the two, all credit to the objective data set
    that has given us our technology, without the subjective
    we would be robots, some people really think we are. Then
    there is the tricky question of truth, in either domain there
    the absolute remains illusive.

    The answer as always with these things is to embrace both aspects
    but i would not want you to take my word for it, rather as an example
    let me redirect you to the posthumous web site of one of the worlds
    most famous mathematicians who died recently, Benoit Mandelbrot,
    these words are on his home page and make my point better than
    anything I can say:

    "Seeks a measure of order in physical, mathematical or social phenomena
    that are characterized by abundant data but extreme sample variability.
    The surprising esthetic value of many of his discoveries and their unexpected
    usefulness in teaching have made him an eloquent spokesman for
    the "unity of knowing and feeling."
  14. Skeptical Registered Senior Member

    As far as I am concerned, our ancestors were simply human. No smarter, and no more stupid than we are. The occasional mega-genius among our paleolithic forebears, no doubt, came up with advances that moved humanity forward. A new way of chipping stone, perhaps.

    However, progress accelerated when we developed the scientific method, and the practical, empirical process. The is no evidence that subjective feelings have ever contributed in any practical way to human progress.

    Religious and 'spiritual' ways of thinking may have helped create entertaining tales, but it would be the practical craftsman among our ancestors that moved humanity forward, with better tools and techniques.
  15. kurros Registered Senior Member

    I agree completely. I get paid to do science after all.

    I am not suggesting we just accept the ancient theory how it stands, but I do think it is interesting enough that it deserves the attention of modern research. After all we investigate traditional medicines to see what they really do and perhaps integrate them into western medicine; I feel the other aspects of traditional healing deserve similar attention. And of course people are doing this kind of research, I just did a search and one of the first things that came up was this:

    Ok the video seems to talk about arthritis rather than diabetes like I expected but oh well. Anyway that is a program developed at the UNSW Faculty of Medicine, so people do take it seriously. I know you'll say something about how that it isn't chi creating the benefit, but that hardly matters. There is still a lot to learn here I think.
  16. The Esotericist Getting the message to Garcia Valued Senior Member

  17. woowoo Registered Senior Member


    Friedrich August Kekulé had a dream that helped him discover the benzene
    molecule. Francis Crick was high on LSD when he first deduced the structure DNA.

    There are other examples, they're not hard to find.
  18. kurros Registered Senior Member

    Well if you want to look at it from that angle, every single scientific idea is an act of creativity, which is based on a hunch. The rigorous stuff comes later.
  19. Skeptical Registered Senior Member


    Both those examples are of people who had done enormous amounts of work and obtained enormous amounts of data from their projects. All that was needed at that point was to think it through. If the thinking was subconscious rather than conscious, what difference does that make? Those discoveries were based on objective empirical data, not on some subjective brainwave.
  20. woowoo Registered Senior Member

    is thinking something through, subjective or objective?
  21. Skeptical Registered Senior Member

    The point is that the result was from objective and empirical evidence. Not some burst of unfounded intuition.

    Scientists do that all the time. It is called forming a hypothesis. And the circular nature of benzene, and the double helix nature of DNA were just hypotheses at the time. Where the idea for a hypothesis comes from is less important than what follows. The next part is even more important - using the hypothesis to make a predictive test.

    At the end of the day, it is the data that counts.
  22. woowoo Registered Senior Member

    it does not surprise me to here you discount the role of intuition.

    what good is your data in the hands of a monkey, you make it sound
    like we are no more than an adding machines, robots.
    its a very one sided point of view, and one sided points of view are
    invariably wrong. forming a hypothesis requires, intuition, insight and the creative
    spark, there is no algorithm for that.
  23. Kennyc Registered Senior Member

    What are you not getting. He did not downplay intuition. It is very important in the creative part of the scientific method as is the study and preparation that was mentioned. With the proper preparation the creation of the hypothesis happens sometime easily, sometimes in a dream, sometimes when relaxed or even while purposely attempting to create a hypothesis. As Skeptic says, it is what follows from that that is important.

    It is not some vague feeling that chi is real and important it is designing a hypothesis to test and measure to verify whether you feeling is true or not.
    What you want to do is just stop at the "I Believe" stage which can generally do more harm than good.

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