Prophesying
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01-11-2017, 08:17 PM
RE: Prophesying
(01-11-2017 05:56 PM)Thoreauvian Wrote:  When I was studying theism, I always took "foreseeing the future" along the following lines. If there is no god but God, people who take anything else as an absolute are setting themselves up for a fall. This is very similar to the idea of pride before a fall, or even karma. I considered prophets as people who could see the limitations of whole communities in this regards, and who warned them to repent their beliefs in mere idols of the mind. It would be similar to watching someone sawing off the branch he was sitting on, and predicting the fall.
There's a canonical joke in charismatic circles about someone with the "gift of prophecy" standing up and beginning, "Behold, when I, the Lord your god, guided Joseph to lead the people of Israel across the Red Sea ..." she spoke for a couple of minutes and sat down. You could hear a pin drop.

Suddenly she stands up again and say, "Behold, I, the Lord your god, made a mistake ... it was Moses, not Joseph."

I think the joke was told as a cautionary tale for prophets / prophetesses to be sure they were really hearing from god and not just speaking of their own accord, but of course all they EVER are doing is speaking of their own accord and claiming the inspiration is of god. So ultimately it was really just telling them to be careful not to make embarrassing mistakes.
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02-11-2017, 05:16 AM
RE: Prophesying
(30-10-2017 08:34 AM)Mathilda Wrote:  My evangelical brother is part of a fringe group called the Last Reformation that believes in stuff like faith healing. They say that they're trying to get back to the early days of Christianity, I suppose like a rock band that wants to re-create the excitement of playing in a garage again.

They have indoctrination sessions to get new recruits which mainly teaches preaching on the streets, asking people if they are afflicted with anything and then doing some 'faith healing'.

Their shtick seems to be the leader exclaiming about the amazing things that have recently happened but never really getting down to explaining exactly what. But half an hour later his enthusiasm has spread to his listeners. If you tried to summarise it, it would be something like, 'I had the feeling we'd get some foreigners visiting us last night and we had some twins from Denmark and we all had a good time'.

But one of the things they do is an exercise in confirmation bias. They start by praying for long periods of time and seeing what images come to mind. They think that these are prophecies from their god. They then go out into the world, preaching, faith healing and see where they end up. Afterwards they come back and see how it matches the vague images that they imagined when spending a lot of time praying at the beginning. Like if the image of golden arches came to mind and they found themselves walking past a McDonalds then they'd see it as confirmation that their god had led them to that spot. The whole idea is to condition them to believe that they can just give up all responsibility and belongings and their god will look after them.

I like exploring the actual mechanisms that would need to take place for theist fantasies to be real but never really thought about it in terms of prophesying even though it's actually quite a big part of the christian mythos.

A god would have to predict the future based on the current state of the world and the theist's own neural state, calculate the effect that seeing such images would have on their brain and then somehow recreate it by making certain neurons fire in an exact pattern of firing rates. Yet no physical mechanism has ever been uncovered that would allow such sensing and interaction with a physical brain.

How else is prophesying implausible? It assumes that the world is deterministic instead of stochastic. Does this have implications for their ideas of free will? etc.

You're kidding? Ohmy

NOTE: Member, Tomasia uses this site to slander other individuals. He then later proclaims it a joke, but not in public.
I will call him a liar and a dog here and now.
Banjo.
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