Ponari & His Magic Healing Stone

Feb 26th, 2009, in IM Posts, by

The magical faith healing stone of young boy Ponari is big business for a small village in East Java.

East Javanese village is earning big bucks with its boy wonder

Even Ponari must go to school. He hasn’t been there for three weeks and this Monday is the time. The school director takes him there personally on his “moped”, and a platoon of riot police officers run alongside the 9 year old prodigy to protect him. It is not easy to get the boy away from his village. Thousands of people crowd between the houses and when they see Ponari they even press harder. But people have to wait because Ponari must go to school.

A month ago Ponari was hit by lightning, according to his story. When he regained consciousness there was a stone on top of his head. He threw it away but the stone came back so he took it home. There he discovered the healing effects of the stone: a neighbour healed of fever after he had touched it, the village head got rid of a bad pain in his arm and the local police officer, a pious Muslim, swears he has seen with his own eyes how Ponari healed a boy who had not spoken a single word for five years.

The news about the miraculous healings spread quickly and people started to flood to the small village of Balongsari, a few hours drive from Surabaya. First dozens, then hundreds, and now there are thousands. They bring cups, bottles and buckets of water in which the boy wonder plunges his stone. This allegedly turns the water into a powerful panacea. Ponari is carried around by his father. He looks tired.

A party tent protects him against the sun. There are barriers of bamboo put down to control the crowd. This has already led to accidents: four people have been trampled to death and an unknown number got injured. And also the healing doesn’t work that well. A child of three died after his parents had given him wonder water instead of taking him to a doctor. The media are interviewing more and more people who have been drinking the miracle water but didn’t notice anything. Hamzah (53) says that his eyes are just as bad as before. Such information may not deter visitors. They keep on flooding to the village.

Yet there is growing criticism of the Balongsari circus. Especially Muslim organizations condemn what is happening there. It is superstition and therefore sinful but also dangerous. Child welfare agencies demand closure of this 'practice' of Ponari in order to protect the boy against exploitation. Even his father says now enough is enough. He has already tried a few times to get Ponari to school but was always stopped by the crowd and his own neighbours which keep the family more or less as hostages. They want Ponari to continue because they earn big money: they sell food, they rent out parking spaces, sleeping places and sell water in which Ponari has immersed his stone. This poor peasant village is making a daily turnover of one billion rupiah (70,000 euros).

As long as the faithful continue to throng there’s no way back. Ponari says nothing. After school he is back on his father’s shoulders and he immerses his stone in water until he cannot hold it anymore....

This post is a translation of an article which appeared in Dutch daily "Volkskrant" on 24 February 2009 (link: http://www.volkskrant.nl/buitenland/article1154300.ece/Indonesisch_dorp_teert_op_wonderkind).


249 Comments on “Ponari & His Magic Healing Stone”

  1. avatar PrimaryDrive says:

    Well, even scientifically speaking pocong can exist. Theoretically a dead brain can be reanimated. It’s no different than rebooting your computer, since that’s what a brain is. It’s just that our science is not that far yet to know how to do that.

    A gost can exist, if you can make a memory dump of a dead brain. If you have a brain simulator, than you can replay one’s past life, and make some creepy visual projection out of it. It is also possible, that some extra terestial, and a lot smarter, beings are doing just that. Maybe they are making backups of everyone’s brain for their own research; they just make sure that their methods are tracesless to us. However, some individuals like Shar may be sensitive to their method; so it appears as if Shar can talk to the deaths, while she actually is just accidentally finding a way to query of ET’s database 😀

  2. avatar Mr Tic Tac Toe says:

    A gost can exist, if you can make a memory dump of a dead brain.

    You mean, you can make ghost-like image using dd ? 🙂
    You sound nerdy.

    Prime, im that-boy-in-his-20s who accused you a fascist, in another site. It was when you made a statement about the big empty lie on unity that the gov kept pushing.

  3. avatar PrimaryDrive says:

    You mean whether Aliens are nerds? 🙂 I hope at least that they are not fanatics.

    That must be in Yusril’s blog. But huh … me a facist??

    I haven’t visited Yusril again for sometime. But I think I have made my point; namely that Indonesia is a pluralistic nation. Sharia movements like his are signs of disrespect towards people with other beliefs. But since they keep insisting to go on, they must think that people like me who have other beliefs to be of secondary importance.

  4. avatar Harun says:

    You mean he can cure AIDS? I’m going to fly to Jombang today!

  5. avatar David says:

    Harun, not sure anyone knows what to say to that…

    Lairedion, to keep you updated, this post got linked from:

    forteantimes.com
    paranormal.about.com
    plime.com
    and some blogspot blogs

    Those first two are ‘A’ class links, Plime is a B- but still good.

    Cool! (makes note to self – go for the wacko weirdo stuff…)

  6. avatar Lairedion says:

    Patung,

    Thanks for the update. I visited paranormal.about.com. That’s really a cool site….

  7. avatar schmerly says:

    Thanks for the update. I visited paranormal.about.com. That’s really a cool site….

    I’ve spent hours on that site, it’s great!

  8. avatar Burung Koel says:

    Why isn’t that site more popular?

    I think there’s a conspiracy…

  9. avatar schmerly says:

    Lairedion.. Now the little bugger’s world famous! I wonder if he’ll put his price’s up, in line with demand? and I thought sex sold! looks like guna-guna’s not far behind.

  10. avatar Barry Prima says:

    ET:

    Which doctor

    In the interest of confidentiality and friendship it would not be appropriate to give names.

    How much patience?

    That is up to god, you might not even get cured as Allah has his uses for all of us. The purpose is not to get cured as such but to get closer to god, if Allah has use for us as cured human beings he will, if not we all die eventually anyway. The dukun may cure you, but you will pay a heavy price for it as the cure is coming from something that is other than Allah and thus has karmic payback written all over it.
    Burung Koel:

    Don’t argue with me, Barry

    Don’t start an argument then, and refusing to argue or debate is unscientific.

    You may attack a rationalist on a personal level, but if you want to attack rationality itself, then you will need not just name calling

    Did i name calling you or did you imagine that…i think you are being unscientific and accusing me without proof…

    or better arguments, but actual proof.

    Either i have seen the proof or i am a liar…take your pick…either way you are still being unscientific and irrational…

    Religious ‘miracles’, the ‘Power of Allah’, ‘healing stones’, ‘flower therapy’ or whatever are constantly subjected to scientific scrutiny and found not to measure up.
    By the way, I seem to recall that sceptical or rationalist groups have considerable prizemoney

    Again no reference, proof or evidence..Unscientific i say….give me the names of these organisations and i will take all the people who i know who have recovered using not a drop of medicine, including my prize winner the aids doctor. I will be a rich man.(of course i will give the money to the poor).

    An interesting trend in recent years has been the use of postmodernist claptrap by religious groups.

    I for one do not subscribe to these trends…i was merely pointing out how you were using the same limited model for your attack as those you were attacking..again not objective or only as objective as the non objective/dogmatist you deride!

    There are objective views, and there is truth

    Yes absolutely….but its not based on reason or science but based on divine revelation and i will proceed to lecture you on why you are wrong (using your own line of argument). Religion does not reject rationalism or science; it just does not put it at the summit of the hierarchy of human faculties for reasons which are very logical. You see the enlightened man, also has his intellect illuminated, not just his soul.
    First of all Logic, can only operate on itself, so itself does not meet objectivity standards it tries to impose on others. Ithas its hand tied behind its back from the outset. Religious mysticism has room to accommodate logic, but it certainly cannot be reduced only to that process.
    That is why religions speak very strongly against non belief in the universal principle or god for idolatry refers to that which insists on the absolute independence of a self that is not the one God. When one sees oneself as altogether independent of the absolute, one is in a state of being or place of banishment called exile…. It is not unlike captivity or subjugation, since there is no freedom to choose.
    That is what sole reliance on logic does, it prevents a man from his own transcendence and as man is divine whether he admits it or not, recognizes it or not, he will bring the consequences of his ignorance upon himself.
    If intelligence could be reduced to senses + logic, human beings wouldn’t be intelligent enough to know it, since no logical operation can inform them of this. As “reason always stands in need of data that it cannot provide or extract for itself.”

    The materialist says he begins his disinterested analysis “from zero,” so to speak, completely free of dogma, but this is demonstrably false, for it is no less a dogma to irrationally affirm that no knowledge exists except for that supplied by reason in conjunction with sensory perception. All bad philosophies like scientific materialism begin at second base, but have no theory that can explain how they arrived at first.

    Rationalist and scientist exclude revelation as a source of information with which to engage our reason, but only on alogical and a priori grounds, for there is no cosmic condition that forbids the Absolute from communicating itself to human beings in human terms, which is the essential definition of revelation (including the revelation of Being itself). You can fail to take cognizance of the Absolute, but it will always return through the backdoor. For example, it is impossible to consistently maintain that “it is absolutely true that nothing but the relatively true exists, one might just as well write that writing doesn’t exist.

    Just as the senses conform to the material world and our reason to the world of math and logic, our intellect — or supralogical intelligence — conforms to a realm of suprasensory phenomena. Here an analogy might be useful, for there is a dimension of suprasensible information readily available to human minds which is neither material nor logical, and that is other minds. Normal humans are equipped with what developmental neuropsychologists call a “mind reading” capacity, through which we may instantaneously — without thinking — access the “interior” of another.

    This is especially pertinent in childrearing, both in the way the infant can read the mother and vice versa.
    In the case of religious tradition, our starting point is an instinct for that which surpasses us, and which apprehends transcendent realities through what Thomas Aquinas called a their “superabundance of clarity.” These are inclinations and perceptions that the anti-theist either lacks or is in rebellion against, which leads to the autodivinization of his own narrow ability to reason about the data given to his senses. The central difference is that traditional dogmas are not static, but furnish “pointers or keys,” so that “the inward discovery” of their truth cannot be given but only discovered.
    The materialist essentially reduces Truth to method and proceeds to close up intellectual shop when his soul has reached its carrying capacity. When “thinking” about religion, you will notice that he doesn’t actually engage the object of religion, since he illogically rejects this object on a priori grounds.

    To the extent that the atheist does think about the object of religion, he will simply supplant intellect with ego — which is to say, he will try to operate in the absence of indispensable data that can only arise in the transitional space between reality as such and our contemplation of it: “Just as it is impossible to reason about a country of which one has no knowledge, so also is it impossible to reason about suprasensory realities without drawing upon the data which pertain to them,” which are supplied by 1) revelation, 2) intellection, and 3) grace.

    Revelation is truly universal; it is about mankind as such — a memo from Man to men, so to speak. But profane systems of thought are inevitably individualistic and idiosyncratic. They may convey a glimmer of transcendent truth, but it is always a partial picture, as a result of the warping of integral intelligence.

    And what is intelligence? Intelligence is that which may know Truth. Likewise, Truth is that which the intellect my know with certitude. To say that the intellect cannot know God, the Absolute, is to place an artificial boundary around intelligence as such. And if our intelligence were bounded, we would not know where the boundary lay, so there would be no reason to accept anyone’s boundary as anything other than arbitrary.

    So “either the intelligence by definition comprises a principle of illimitability or liberty,” or it comprises “a principle of limitation or constraint, in which case it no longer admits of any certitude and cannot function any differently from the intelligence of animals, with the result that all pretension to a ‘critical philosophy’ is in vain.”

    The materialist’s intelligence leads him to the inevitable conclusions it does, but those conclusions are hardly inevitable to one with a wider and deeper intellect, for materialism excludes far too much of the human experience to be the `truth’.


    I await your logical scientific materialistic reply.

  11. avatar Burung Koel says:

    @ Barry Prima

    1. The problem with a debate on religion vs non-belief is that it swiftly degenerates into an argument from within separate categories, or ‘non-overlapping magisteria’ as others have put it.

    To summarise, I consider that the burden of proof lies on those who state there is a God. However, religions invert this, instead asking rationalists to try and disprove the existence of a divinity. “Science can’t explain everything, especially if we move religion outside the boundaries of proof”. Which is your approach, along with throwing in a few red herrings.

    As there is no way of ever resolving this, it becomes a pointless exercise to use reason, or logic or the tools of critical thinking. Have you ever read Carl Sagan’s parable of the dragon in the garage? The more you ask about proving it is there, the more invisible it becomes.

    Of course, even if you did prove the existence of a divinity, which one would it be? It could be the Flying Spaghetti Monster:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flying_Spaghetti_Monster

    2. To answer your question of winning money for demonstrating paranormal or miraculous cures, try:

    http://www.keypoint.com.au/~skeptics/Paranormal_Prize_Money

    James Randi’s US 1 million prize remains unclaimed. Good luck!

    3. While I don’t know the case of the ‘Muslim intellectual cured of AIDS’ personally, I have a few thoughts of a sceptical nature that you might want to think about. There is more than a good chance that the person in question has been ‘cured’ because they never had it in the first place. It goes something like this:

    Testing for HIV/AIDS is not completely reliable, and in fact the initial screening tests are designed to produce a number of ‘false positives’, where perhaps the results are a bit dodgy, or unclear. This is supposed to trigger further tests with more sensitive techniques and equipment. NB: The reason that the tests produce false positives is that the alternative – false negatives – are extremely dangerous. It would be irresponsible to send someone with actual HIV/AIDS into the community when they don’t realise they have it.

    So, I’ve been given a positive reading on a test for a deadly disease with no known cure. I don’t have any further tests, perhaps because the testing centre is expensive, there is no follow up, or the staff are unaware of the frequency of false positives. Understandable in many developing countries without sophisticated health systems. I go home, start to worry a bit, and perhaps I start thinking about alternative therapies because retroviral drugs are unavailable or else I can’t afford them. Or because I’m dying, I go and see my local church/mosque/kovil/vihara, where I’m told to pray, become more religiously observant, or whatever.

    In a few months,or years, I am able to have another test. Miracle! This time the test is negative, which means I’m cured – and it was all because of divine intervention, obviously.

    That’s one scenario that is entirely plausible, and many like it are on record. The only way to disprove the ‘miracle’ would be if the original blood or saliva sample was retained and could be tested again along with any current ones. I know of several cases where this has occured – and, lo and behold, the original sample when re-tested was also negative. But in those cases, the church involved said that the ‘miracle’ included changing the composition of the blood in the first tested sample! Neat, eh?

    4. My son was tested for TB a few years ago and came up positive. Naturally, I was worried but luckily I could afford follow up tests, and there are reasonably good TB treatments available. But until the chest X-ray came in, I wasn’t sure if he was ill or not. In the end it came back negative, as he had only been exposed to a variant of avian TB, which had caused the first positive result. However, a more gullible person than me might have gone to church and prayed, and then believed that those actions had something to do with the ‘cure’.

    However, I did take my son to McDonalds in between the testing. Do you think Big Macs cure TB?

  12. avatar Barry Prima says:

    As there is no way of ever resolving this, it becomes a pointless exercise to use reason, or logic or the tools of critical thinking.

    So much for your idea of objective and the truth…you just defeated your own argument.no wonder you dont want to argue…youre not very good at it..

    The reality of the scientific/rationalist rest on the very premise that their is something that can objectively called truth that can be realised by a rational approach….(you said so yourself).
    For the man of religion this is not the criteria…so he does not need to validate himself in that way….either way the fact that we cant establish this objectivity,means the spiritualist wins.

    The more you ask about proving it is there, the more invisible it becomes.

    `spoken like a true man of religion’…`The more you blaspheme against him ,the more you praise him'(Master Eckhart)!

    http://www.keypoint.com.au/~skeptics/Paranormal_Prize_Money

    im far too skeptical to believe that that promise is for real…especially as its just an internet link…have you met the man personally ,do you know anyone who has taken the challenge and failed??
    I guess not…youre being unscientific and going on hearsay.

    Have a few thoughts of a sceptical nature that you might want to think about. There is more than a good chance that the person in question has been ‘cured’ because they never had it in the first place. It goes something like this:

    So much for you argument about science being our best defense,it cant, you say even prove someone has hiv aids.

    The man in question actually treats hiv patients himself….he was tested regularly over 5 years…how did he realize he was finally cured..????

    Try again , i might not even have to respond as you cant help put tripping over on your own arguments and defeating your own hypothesis.

  13. avatar ET says:

    PrimaryDrive

    However, some individuals like Shar may be sensitive to their method; so it appears as if Shar can talk to the deaths, while she actually is just accidentally finding a way to query of ET’s database

    I have nothing to do with this. I deny everything.

  14. avatar Burung Koel says:

    @ Barry Prima

    The reality of the scientific/rationalist rest on the very premise that their is something that can objectively called truth that can be realised by a rational approach….(you said so yourself).

    Indeed. Maybe I can explain it more simply.

    Me: I’d like you to prove to me that God exists.

    You: I’d like you to disprove the existence of God.

    Two very different approaches. The second one is invalid because it becomes impossible to disprove (in scientific terms it is ‘unfalsifiable’). As scientific knowledge increases, those arguing for the existence of God have made more and more extraordinary claims. In the end, they take this existence of God outside the means of verification (i.e. the dragon becomes invisible). That’s what I mean by non-overlapping magisteria, or realms of debate.

    Once this is done, and we enter the spiritual realm, then all beliefs or propositions become equally (in)valid. Your religion has no more proof or evidence than worshipping rocks, scientology, or my local branch of the orange people. By all means argue religion with them – but don’t pretend it has anything to do with reason.

    It also explains why the sceptics have prize money available for proof of paranormal events or miracles. If you can find one piece of verifiable, material evidence for the existence of miracles or God (all religions welcome), then you will have scientists and rationalists around the world converting en masse. Are you being sarcastic about your scepticism of those awards being real? It’s hard to tell. They are indeed very real – I’ve seen James Randi perform (he was a professional magician). Plenty of people have taken the tests and failed.

    As far as the HIV/AIDS tests are concerned, you might want to re-read my analysis. False positives are expected, for the reasons that I outlined. This does not make the tests wrong. Science is also about ‘replicability’ – to be valid an experiment or result must be repeatable. That’s why additional, more accurate tests are prescribed for confirmation. If your doctor friend has his original positive blood sample, along with his current HIV-free body, then you can line up for the million dollars.

    It is clear from your postings that you don’t understand the scientific method. That’s fine – millions of people don’t. However I will object if you misuse or confuse science and rationality with your personal beliefs, or use it wrongly to attack others.

  15. avatar Barry Prima says:

    Me: I’d like you to prove to me that God exists.

    How do set the parameters for proof…???Your criteria of proof is not itself foolproof as my earlier post highlighted.In fact it defeats itself on its own terms.!

    The second one is invalid because it becomes impossible to disprove (in scientific terms it is ‘unfalsifiable’).

    Again that is dependent on the the criteria for proof and `unfalsiable’ . Your own definitions/parameters for those terms are themselves illogical as shown earlier.

    Once this is done, and we enter the spiritual realm, then all beliefs or propositions become equally (in)valid

    No they dont,metaphysics and ontology have their own rules of discernment,(al furqan)which also utilise logic as well as other evidence/experince/results.

    I’ve seen James Randi perform (he was a professional magician). Plenty of people have taken the tests and failed.

    A magician and a religious mystic are very different people,magicians like sai baba are just con artist.

    This does not make the tests wrong.

    Did i say that? i just showed how if it was our best defence,it wasnt a very good one.Again stop implicating a logic( how ironic and unscientific) into my post,that simply is not there.

    It is clear from your postings that you don’t understand the scientific method. That’s fine – millions of people don’t.

    Nor it seems do you.Just claiming superiority like that is a last ditch,often employed by religious people,how unscientific/emotional and illogical you are again!

    You have failed to argue even remotely consistently that your understanding of scientific is actually scientific and objective.In fact you have continuoulsy disproved your method with your own words.

    Me: I’d like you to prove to me that God exists.

    how about taking the advise you quoted earlier:

    The more you ask about proving it is there, the more invisible it becomes.
    or as the chaung tzu says:
    if you look too much into the nature of things,you become detached from them.

  16. avatar Burung Koel says:

    How do set the parameters for proof…???

    Observation, experiment, replicability.

    A magician and a religious mystic are very different people,magicians like sai baba are just con artist.

    Indeed. The main difference being that magicians like James Randi state from the beginning that they are tricking you. Religious mystics are the con artists.

    This does not make the tests wrong. Did i say that?

    Er, well you did, actually: You said that the tests couldn’t even prove that someone had HIV.

    No they dont,metaphysics and ontology have their own rules of discernment,(al furqan)which also utilise logic as well as other evidence/experince/results.

    Just don’t pretend that it’s science. Allah has as much material evidence going for his existence as the Flying Spaghetti Monster that I linked to.

    Did you know that at school I cheated on my metaphysics exam? I looked into the soul of the boy next to me.

    Nor it seems do you.Just claiming superiority like that is a last ditch,often employed by religious people,how unscientific/emotional and illogical you are again!

    Actually, Barry, you are the one who is emotional and introducing the ad hominem arguments. My concern is that the scientific method is little understood because it is not taught well in schools. My comments on the other thread have suggested that the scientific method is within reach of all, and is used by millions of people in everyday life. From this comment and your other postings about scholars with years of study, I could suggest that you yourself are very defensive about education and knowledge. Why is this?

    The more you ask about proving it is there, the more invisible it becomes.
    or as the chaung tzu says:
    if you look too much into the nature of things,you become detached from them.

    The first quote is not advice – it is a description of how the religious argument works. The second quote sounds profound, but is in fact the exact opposite of what happens in experiments in quantum physicsl.

  17. avatar Barry Prima says:

    Observation, experiment, replicability.

    You keep setting traps for yourself.

    The same method also applies to religious experience. You still have not and cannot close the gaping hole in your argument ie: the parameters of rational proof are not even rational or logical.
    Replicability is the least consistent in both science and Religion. No two people are spiritually the same, and in science some experiments,hypothesis cannot be replicated/applied uniformly. For example even in medicine no two human bodies/immune systems are the same.

    My comments on the other thread have suggested that the scientific method is within reach of all, and is used by millions of people in everyday life.

    Again the above method is used every day by religious people in affirming their faith, except the religious believer doesn’t necesserily expect instantaneous results or any results for that matter,apart from the reformation of his soul, because the law of cause and effect of ritual is located in the invisible world (or invisible to most of us).

    Religious mystics are the con artists.

    Yes some undoubtedly are, there is a part of us that wants to be conned, both rationalism and religion satisfy that desire within us. The difference is the religious person, excepts he is weak and incapable of knowing but a little and relies on the grace of god,to liberate him. All it requires is a little humility. This is analogous to `ignorance that is wise’ as opposed to the `ignorant wisdom’ of materilist/aethist.

    You said that the tests couldn’t even prove that someone had HIV.

    You said it first,i was paraphrasing you…just scroll up the page.

    Just don’t pretend that it’s science.

    Did I ? Even if i did, or a religious person has called metaphysics science, it does not mean science in the rationalist and by its very nature limited way you do. Scientific rationalism is too limited to explain that which by nature is unlimited (Allah).

    Did you know that at school I cheated on my metaphysics exam? I looked into the soul of the boy next to me.

    Cheats never beat…as this argument proves.

    Actually, Barry, you are the one who is emotional and introducing the ad hominem arguments.

    Check up ad hominum, i do not know enough about you to make up an ad hominum attack against you. My argument is against the logic of your logic, i am debating you very much on your own terms!!!

    I could suggest that you yourself are very defensive about education and knowledge. Why is this?

    It might be because the knowledge I am referring to defeats logic by the rules of logic itself and i have seen it create human beings who can work wonders and beautify my life and the life of others.

    The first quote is not advice – it is a description of how the religious argument works.

    Advice is considered as such because it accurately describes how someone should respond in a certain situation, whether you meant it as advice is irrelevant, the statement can be construed as advise and that is how I sent it back to you.

    The second quote sounds profound, but is in fact the exact opposite of what happens in experiments in quantum physics.

    If that was the case, all quantum physicists would be enlightened human beings. Again the parameters you put on that statement are as mentioned before subjective and thus irrational/unscientific and illogical. You continue to fit reality/experience and even words into a little box of rules you have made yourself, no wonder you can’t see the bigger picture.

    Burung you cannot reach objectivity and truth using the rules you set yourself for reaching them ,the more you try to clarify,the more you trip up over your own trail of self deception.The more you try to expose the dogma of others,the more you rely on dogma yourself
    There is nothing more fallacious than expecting to find the absolute truth,the mystic is concerned with experience or annihilation in god,not intellectually verifying him or proving him according to his own criteria hence the parable of moses and the burning bush.

    Just surrender (Islam)

  18. avatar David says:

    Barry, to quote somebody you press the “Quote” button, incredibly, not the “Bold” button – I hope you take this advice on board…..

  19. avatar Burung Koel says:

    Did you know that at school I cheated on my metaphysics exam? I looked into the soul of the boy next to me.

    Cheats never beat…as this argument proves.

    Um, Barry – that was a joke. Woody Allen, I believe.

    At first I thought you were ignorant, or maybe under-educated. I was prepared to give you the benefit of the doubt. I still don’t think you’re stupid, however I do believe that you have been brainwashed into joining a cult.

    Call me when you want to think for yourself.

  20. avatar ET says:

    Burung Koel

    In the end, they take this existence of God outside the means of verification (i.e. the dragon becomes invisible). That’s what I mean by non-overlapping magisteria, or realms of debate.

    I agree, but then we are still stuck within this gray area of the boundary between physics en metaphysics where even notorious scientists are struggling to come up with plausible solutions. In the end the only honest conclusion is an agnostic one, admit that ‘We don’t know yet, and keep on searching. The hardcore atheist view relies only on what has been scientifically proved so far but doesn’t take account of possible future findings and developments.

  21. avatar Burung Koel says:

    Agreed, ET. The scientific method involves investigating with an open mind and collecting new evidence as it emerges. But it also requires scepticism when examining and verifying ‘evidence’ for unearthly powers – such as Ponari and his ‘healing stone’.

    I’m not a hard core atheist by any means – for precisely the reasons that you state. However, I have a low threshold of tolerance for con-artists preying on the gullible, or religious people misrepresenting science.

    But neither am I a ‘mysterian’. I consider that all things are knowable and understandable by the human mind. I’m particularly interested in the advances in neuroscience in recent years and addressing the problem of ‘consciousness’. Unfortunately for the deists (or those that believe in mind-body duality or the existence of a soul), the news is not good.

  22. avatar Burung Koel says:

    Sorry about the double posting – Patung, please delete or is there a glitch in the matrix?

  23. avatar David says:

    The matrix is being very weird today…

  24. avatar Cukurungan says:

    In the end the only honest conclusion is an agnostic one, admit that ‘We don’t know yet‘, and keep on searching. The hardcore atheist view relies only on what has been scientifically proved so far but doesn’t take account of possible future findings and developments.

    I think the agnostic people has to admit that ” they are the most stupid people on earth” how come they keep searching on the something while the other billion people along thousand years of human history had already got the answer.

  25. avatar ET says:

    Burung Koel

    But neither am I a ‘mysterian’. I consider that all things are knowable and understandable by the human mind.

    Here again I would like to specify. Knowable and understandable in future stages of evolution, even with the assistance of artificial forms of intelligence. Just like it is already happening now. It’s hard to imagine the present level or state of knowledge and understanding without the help of computers and communication technology. Even the Dalai Lama has no trouble to admit that one day a stream of consciousness may enter a machine not based on carbohydrates.

  26. avatar Burung Koel says:

    @ ET

    A lot of the current research – for example, what does it mean to be ‘conscious’? – emerged from the quest for artificial intelligence. These ideas were posed by Alan Turing, long before computers were anywhere near as powerful as they are now:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Turing_test

  27. avatar Barry Prima says:

    Um, Barry – that was a joke. Woody Allen, I believe.

    cheats never beat was a joke too,i really vant believe i have to point that out .Or maybe it goes against your logic for a religous person to have sense of humour too??

    however I do believe that you have been brainwashed into joining a cult.

    that statement shows your marrow mindedness not mine…

    At first I thought you were ignorant, or maybe under-educated.

    So does that one ..

    Call me when you want to think for yourself.

    and that one is just final nail in the coffin.

    At first I thought you were ignorant, or maybe under-educated

    At first i never think that about anyone..but i am begining to realise that indeed you properbly are very ignorant,narrow minded and kid yourself into thinking that an elementary knowledge of science and logic makes you educated.Untill you relaise that what you dont know is far beyond what you will possibly ever know you wont have learnt anything.

  28. avatar Barry Prima says:

    Patung ..sorry just read your post after posting my own..shall bear that in mind.

  29. avatar schmerly says:

    @ Cukie..

    I think the agnostic people has to admit that ” they are the most stupid people on earth” how come they keep searching on the something while the other billion people along thousand years of human history had already got the answer.

    “I think the agnostic people has to admit that ” they are the most stupid people on earth” and are are what? one of the “billion people along thousand years of human history had already got the answer”??

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