What is a religious experience?
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27-07-2016, 05:01 PM
RE: What is a religious experience?
(27-07-2016 02:45 PM)Dworkin Wrote:  Hi,

What is it to have a religious experience?

Richard Swinburne has suggested, “A private experience which may not be described using normal language.”

Of course, some philosophers will say that all private experience has something indescribable about it, as no one else can know exactly how another person feels, but I think Swinburne is talking about ‘mysticism’.

Just occasionally I have had a feeling of the oneness of the world, dropping away of the ego and a feeling of great calm. Of course, these are words that I am trying to use to express the feeling and they are inadequate even to myself. But I know that something happened. It never happened in a church, but just randomly when alone in nature. The feeling of calm was not about me being calm in myself, but of the whole world being calm. It lasted for only a few seconds, and when I tried to catch it, the feeling was gone.

That’s all I have to offer on ‘religious experience’; does anyone else have an experience (or lack of it) to share?

D.

Deep! Smokin

[Image: dobie.png]Science is the process we've designed to be responsible for generating our best guess as to what the fuck is going on. Girly Man
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27-07-2016, 05:49 PM
RE: What is a religious experience?
I thought I had a religious experience when I was 10 years old and I got sick at school, my teacher sent me home early and I walked since it was close but it was cold out and once I got there no one was home. I just sat on the porch freezing waiting for one of my parents to show up. I prayed about it and suddenly my dad pulls up in the driveway, he had come home early from work. He said he was at work, it was a slow day, he asked if it was cool to leave, his co-workers didn't' care and he said it must've been angels guiding him home to let me in.

My mom totally believed it too and I started to think I had actually been in contact with God and he somehow inspired my dad to show up right when I needed him and he normally wouldn't be there until hours later, I would've been even more sick at that point.

Once I became an atheist I realized it was just chance, dumb luck or maybe I have psychic powers and it only worked that one time. I mean seriously if I could control what other people do that would be pretty neat. It's a cute story anyway but whenever someone tries to tell me about their miracles and such to prove God I'm just like "Well what about all the bad things that happened to you? Was that God too? He only get's credit for the good stuff?" We all have fortunate moments like that but we also have bad ones too, that's just life, it can be silly and weird sometimes. If God really wanted to prove himself he'd cure fucking cancer or wipe out world hunger, now that would be impressive.

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27-07-2016, 05:55 PM
RE: What is a religious experience?
(27-07-2016 03:02 PM)Brian37 Wrote:  Nothing, word salad.

In reality what humans are really describing is an neurological electro/chemical reaction in the brain when they observe something that gives them a deep sense of comfort, a "sense of awe".

Atheists have those feelings too. I feel a deep sense of awe when thinking about my mother and her love for me. I have a deep sense of awe when I think about my two best friends and how lucky I am to have them. I have a deep sense of awe when I think about the beauty in nature and even the destructive power such as a earthquake or volcano or black hole. The shear size of the universe is very intense for me to ponder.

It is nothing more than an old phrase born out of gap filling ignorance.

I also feel a sense of awe when I look up at the night sky and see all the stars and realize I'm living on this rock orbiting a star in the middle of this vast wonder of space. I don't see how a religious person can truly feel that amazed by it, for them it's just "God made it all and he's so amazing!" Yeah ok but what if he didn't, what if it's all just a bunch of elements working together naturally over long periods of time to create all of this and we are conscious beings that can actually experience it and appreciate it?

It always just makes me feel small really and also very lucky and connected to all living things on this planet we all share. It's not a religious or spiritual experience to me, it's just realizing some little bit of truth about our place and our lives, it's still special because it's unique and rare. To believe some intelligent being is behind it all is overly simplistic and unsatisfying.

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27-07-2016, 07:25 PM
RE: What is a religious experience?
That, uh, definition sounds an awful lot like masterbation.

But yeah that's of course nobody would be able to share something to that detail, it's by definition something nearly impossible to share. That's the most wonky description I've come across.

"Allow there to be a spectrum in all that you see" - Neil Degrasse Tyson
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27-07-2016, 08:42 PM
RE: What is a religious experience?
(27-07-2016 04:53 PM)dancefortwo Wrote:  Maybe something like this??

[Image: 82762-Magic-Mushrooms.jpg]

Or this?

[Image: lucy_in_the_sky_with_diamonds_by_jimjimf...6i3ygy.jpg]

Laugh out load

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27-07-2016, 08:48 PM
RE: What is a religious experience?
Religious experience
I experienced something out of the ordinary and I couldn't explain it. Other people probably could explain it, but the story is much better if it can't be explained.

I touched an ice cube and it felt hot for a second.
"Religious experience"

I drove to work and hit all green lights.
"Religious experience"

Jesus toast
"Religious experience"

Seizure, followed by unconsciousness and dreams of very peaceful Greek architecture.
"Religious experience"

It's whatever you want it to be.

Insanity - doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results
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27-07-2016, 09:04 PM
RE: What is a religious experience?
A surge of : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Beta-Endorphin

Insufferable know-it-all.Einstein God has a plan for us. Please stop screwing it up with your prayers.
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27-07-2016, 09:20 PM
RE: What is a religious experience?
(27-07-2016 05:49 PM)SitaSky Wrote:  I thought I had a religious experience when I was 10 years old and I got sick at school, my teacher sent me home early and I walked since it was close but it was cold out and once I got there no one was home. I just sat on the porch freezing waiting for one of my parents to show up. I prayed about it and suddenly my dad pulls up in the driveway, he had come home early from work. He said he was at work, it was a slow day, he asked if it was cool to leave, his co-workers didn't' care and he said it must've been angels guiding him home to let me in.
And if you believed that. If you thought god came to your rescue, saved you from perhaps hypothermia, then you may feel that it would be a personal betrayal for you to turn your back on god, to decide not to believe in him. So you don't, you stay in belief, thankful that god has been looking out for you.

LOL.
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27-07-2016, 10:24 PM (This post was last modified: 27-07-2016 10:35 PM by Ace.)
RE: What is a religious experience?
basically a religious experience is just a normal experience which people attribute to god because they can't think otherwise
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28-07-2016, 01:23 AM
RE: What is a religious experience?
(27-07-2016 03:26 PM)SunnyD1 Wrote:  It's important to differentiate between "religious experience" and "spiritual experience". Some to take care in doing whilst trying to define one or the other. Do not let religions fool you that they have a monopoly on spirituality.

SunnyD1,

Thanks, I can see the sense in this distinction.

http://www.bodysoulandspirit.net/mystica...fine.shtml

As an agnostic, I have no need to interpret any experience in a religious framework, but there is a clear difference for me between a subjective experience of pleasure, pain, intoxication, understanding etc and the feeling of oneness mentioned in the above link. I think the crucial distinction is that the mystical experience is not about 'me' in any sense.

However, the word 'spiritual' does seem a bit close to 'religious' for me. Of course I don't know if there are any metaphysical 'spirits' in the universe, but have no problem believing that there is mystery which may surpass our understanding, but not our occasional perceptions.

I think the root problem with the theist/atheist world view, is one of closure and philosophical reduction. Although we naturally try to 'right brain' mystical experience in a similar way, I see the elusiveness of the mystical as refreshing.

D.
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