我們如何驗證一件事的真偽?

“Will I go to heaven after death?

week3的第一個問題: One example of using a mental property to explain some phenomenon.

以以下例子為例: “I believe I will go to heaven after death."

那下一步,我們如何驗證"I will go to heaven after death." 這句話是真的? 其他包含類似的想法,如超自然現象、宗教等,有什麼證據可以證明?

正面回覆1: 以前台大校長李嗣涔為例:

撓場(Torsion field):

A torsion field (also called axion field, spin field, spinor field, and microlepton field) is a feature of pseudoscientific proposals that the quantum spin of particles can be used to cause emanations to carry information through vacuum orders of magnitude faster than the speed of light.

正面回覆2: 親身經歷睡覺起來出現靈魂出竅的現象(看見自己躺在床上)。

反面回覆1: 較簡單的方式透過VR產生幻象,或者更複雜的方式透過刺激顳部與頂部交界處(temporo-parietal junction, TPJ)皆有可能讓對象產生所謂的幻覺(illusion)或者sensation。

反面回覆2: 人類其實很常產生錯覺[1],例如:

  1. The Pinocchio illusion (video): A blindfolded participant receives vibration on his biceps while touching the tip of his nose with his fingers. The illusory extension of the arm (Goodwin et al., 1972) generates the illusion that his nose, his fingers or both are elongating (Lackner, 1988).[2]
  2. An out of body illusion: The participant sees a video of his back as if he were located behind it. The experimenter touches the back of the participant with a stick while the participant sees it online in the video. As the seen and the felt stimulation is synchronous, the participant perceives illusory drifts in his self-location toward the seen body (Lenggenhager et al., 2007). [3]
Yong, E. Out-of-body experience: Master of illusion. Nature 480, 168–170 (2011). https://doi.org/10.1038/480168a

反面回覆3: sleep is tricky! 剛睡醒時並全腦立刻醒來,部分功能可能還沒恢復,導致會有類似「鬼壓床」的體驗。(material about sleep paralysis: What You Should Know About Sleep Paralysis)

雖然關於這些超自然或宗教的現象仍無一明確方法可確定真實,但是有一些已知的醫學、科學方法已證實某些illusion或sensation是可透過人為方式產生。


Another Example: Epilepsy

在過去醫學不發達的時代,如果有人癲癇發作,可能會有人認為他被惡魔附身,但是到今日多數人已不會再這樣認為,拜醫學所賜。而關於possession behaviors,現今可解釋的如: anti-NMDA Receptor Encephalitis (抗NMDA受體腦炎)。

Philosophy and Psychiatry: Problems, Intersections, and New Perspectives


Describe → Clarify

一切事物想要釐清它的真相,首先必須詳細地描述這件事情,累積關於此事的訊息,才有辦法從這些資訊中得出結論。

  • 如果在描述階段就已無法清楚地描述、或在描述階段就已錯誤,則無需再經過驗證即可知道已錯誤。
  • 以Body Integrity Identity Disorder (BIID)或者Somatoparaphrenia為例,在過去如此少見的現象讓人無法理解,甚至不相信這樣的狀況存在,但是經過醫學上不斷累積的經驗(describe),最終可證實(clarify)。

如何撇除主觀、先入為主的想法?

不可否認,每個人在思考某件事情時都可能已經包含個人的見解與想法,又因為動機性推理 (Motivated reasoning),我們可能更支持自己所想的看法,並更激烈反駁與自己相左之看法。

那我們要如何能避免這樣的情形發生?

The Web of Belief By W. V. Quine, J. S. Ullian

尚未讀此書,但可先參考其他人的summary:

課堂推薦書目與作品💁‍♀️

  • The origin of consciousness in the breakdown of the bicameral mind.” by Julian Jaynes
    • 如果以思想史的角度,此書值得閱讀,但以知識的角度稍顯過時。
  • The Exorcist: 《大法師》,1973年的美國恐怖電影,受Fr. William S. Bowdern驅魔事件啟發。(但部分劇情因為電影效果而與事件有出入)
    • 更貼近事件的作品為: Possessed (2000),由Timothy Dalton飾演的版本。

參考文獻

  1. Kilteni, K., Maselli, A., Kording, K. P., & Slater, M. (2015). Over my fake body: body ownership illusions for studying the multisensory basis of own-body perception. Frontiers in human neuroscience, 9, 141. https://doi.org/10.3389/fnhum.2015.00141
  2. Lackner J. R. (1988). Some proprioceptive influences on the perceptual representation of body shape and orientation. Brain : a journal of neurology, 111 ( Pt 2), 281–297. https://doi.org/10.1093/brain/111.2.281
  3. Lenggenhager, Bigna & Tadi, Tej & Metzinger, Thomas & Blanke, Olaf. (2007). Video Ergo Sum: Manipulating Bodily Self-Consciousness. Science (New York, N.Y.). 317. 1096-9. 10.1126/science.1143439.

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