Why are people so convinced that they've heard/seen a deity?
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18-12-2013, 01:45 PM
RE: Why are people so convinced that they've heard/seen a deity?
(18-12-2013 11:30 AM)kingschosen Wrote:  God speaks to people differently. He speaks to me through feelings. These feelings are confident and without regret. Before my regeneration, I always second guessed everything I did... now, if I get it from God, I just do it and not think about it or dwell on it.

This goes with God giving me my desires.

Ok, I am going to say this knowing that you won't like to hear it but also knowing that you know I mean well.

So, you always second guessed everything. Quite a frequent thing, people just are not sure of themselves.

I am assuming that all this second guessing was bothering you, that you were aware of it.

Now, our brain does a lot of work without us paying it never no mind, it does it in the background, even while we sleep.

So there you are, just driving along, and bingo - a light comes on. You have tapped into your true capabilities, you feel sure of yourself, no second guessing anymore.

Except for some reason you now assume it's not you who found yourself. You think you can't possibly have found that confidence in yourself. You think it has got to be confidence in someone else who is helping you - god.

God is now your - unnecessary - crutch, the one who enables you to make firm decisions. You can trust him, he knows. When you trust him, you become trustworthy. You can now trust yourself.

When are you going to realize that you are a trustworthy decision maker all on your own? That you are smart and your judgment is perfectly fine, without a crutch?

I sincerely hope that some day you can learn to trust yourself without a crutch, just as we have learned to trust you despite your crutch.

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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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18-12-2013, 02:02 PM
RE: Why are people so convinced that they've heard/seen a deity?
(18-12-2013 12:54 PM)Elesjei Wrote:  In response to the OP, not the discussion going on above me:

Brains are complex beasts. They can show you things that aren't real, when you're awake as hallucinations or illusions, and when you're unconscious as dreams. They can hear voices where there are none. You don't need to be mentally ill to be deceived by your brain, because the brain is damn good at convincing itself of things. I've had dreams that started with me ''waking up'', and had me living through what felt like a whole day, and eventually going to sleep. A whole day that never happened, thanks to Mr. Brain.

People also see and hear what they want to see and hear, and will attribute things to their god that they want their god to be responsible for. If you're looking for inspiration and you experience something positive, you might identify it as the influence of a god. You ask, something happens, therefore you have received.

Of course, it's always your god, or your prophet, or an angel of your religion, or at least something you have knowledge of. The brain doesn't conjure illusions from nothing; it draws on existing experience and knowledge. And while to an observing skeptic that might make divine experiences questionable (ie. A Christian child without knowledge of Hinduism has never seen a vision of Hanuman...), to the one who experiences it, it's confirmation for their existing beliefs. It's not just a face in a mountain than can be dismissed, it's something dear to them.

It's hard to ignore what you've seen, heard, and felt. To you it's very real. Feelings override rational thought, generally.

I've also had dreams that have felt so real only to find out they aren't. I sometimes even develop relationships in my dreams, when I wake up I get so sad that they aren't real.

Brains are interesting, indeed Smile

Very good point Smile
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18-12-2013, 02:05 PM
RE: Why are people so convinced that they've heard/seen a deity?
(18-12-2013 09:07 AM)kingschosen Wrote:  Okay, found it. I've shared this in several threads:

Evidence for me being elect:

Growing up, I was always embarrassed of Christianity and whenever my parents talked about Jesus. I thought church was silly, and I found the stories nothing more than fantasy.

I finally accepted agnosticism in college as my official belief, and I began to rip Christianity apart with the use of logic and rationality. I would combat Christians on the Internet via forums and use the aforementioned tactics against them to make them look like fools. I was good at it.

Driving home from work one day, my life changed. My heart was opened to a higher power; even though I didn't know whom. I'll try my best to explain this: I found myself suddenly and sincerely praying and listening to this higher power for guidance. This was wholly strange to me because up until that moment I didn't believe in a God that I could talk to.

My beliefs so drastically changed than I began to get angry with myself. I didn't understand how I could rationally accept that there was a higher power that I could converse with. It wasn't logical. Also, I never wanted to talk to a higher power, and I didn't understand how I was doing it if I didn't choose to. My knowledge of religion pre-empted the idea that I had to choose it.

The higher power led me to read and study the Bible. This was the first time that I’ve ever actually done it. It was at this time that I realized that the higher power I was talking to was the Christian God; however, I still didn’t understand why I didn’t get a choice. As my studying intensified, I began to learn about election. And then, it made sense. I realized that then reason I didn’t have a choice is because I was never planned to have a choice.

I knew that I was elect because I learned that those who are elect can hear the will of God and those that aren’t cannot even understand it.

So, that’s my evidence. I guess the most concrete part of it is the fact that my beliefs radically changed and became cemented by no choice of my own.

Oh, yeah, that post. I had forgotten that - probably because it was forgettable. Dodgy

You faced life problems and your non-conscious mind was working to solve them.
This happens to people all the time; you wake up one morning with a clear answer to something that was a conundrum the night before,
or you put a hard problem aside and sometime later the answer just pops into your conscious mind.

The ancient Greeks ascribed this to the Muses, who would give them ideas from an external source. Psychology and neuroscience tell us something quite different from that.

You don't have the Muse meme, you were infected with the Jesus meme as a lad. And you didn't get the science meme early enough. You are misidentifying the source of your solution.

Because you are intelligent, you have concocted a justification for the misidentified source of your realization.

I like you, kc, your heart is in the right place.
But you are not right in the head.

Skepticism is not a position; it is an approach to claims.
Science is not a subject, but a method.
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18-12-2013, 02:08 PM
RE: Why are people so convinced that they've heard/seen a deity?
(18-12-2013 12:54 PM)Adrianime Wrote:  -SEVERAL times I have seen something that looks like a human form or a monster form as a shadow, or heard a noise at night. Most of it proved to be a false construction when I did a double take.

I think that's happened to everyone at one point or another. Smile
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18-12-2013, 02:41 PM
RE: Why are people so convinced that they've heard/seen a deity?
(18-12-2013 09:07 AM)kingschosen Wrote:  Okay, found it. I've shared this in several threads:

Evidence for me being elect:

Growing up, I was always embarrassed of Christianity and whenever my parents talked about Jesus. I thought church was silly, and I found the stories nothing more than fantasy.

I finally accepted agnosticism in college as my official belief, and I began to rip Christianity apart with the use of logic and rationality. I would combat Christians on the Internet via forums and use the aforementioned tactics against them to make them look like fools. I was good at it.

Driving home from work one day, my life changed. My heart was opened to a higher power; even though I didn't know whom. I'll try my best to explain this: I found myself suddenly and sincerely praying and listening to this higher power for guidance. This was wholly strange to me because up until that moment I didn't believe in a God that I could talk to.

My beliefs so drastically changed than I began to get angry with myself. I didn't understand how I could rationally accept that there was a higher power that I could converse with. It wasn't logical. Also, I never wanted to talk to a higher power, and I didn't understand how I was doing it if I didn't choose to. My knowledge of religion pre-empted the idea that I had to choose it.

The higher power led me to read and study the Bible. This was the first time that I’ve ever actually done it. It was at this time that I realized that the higher power I was talking to was the Christian God; however, I still didn’t understand why I didn’t get a choice. As my studying intensified, I began to learn about election. And then, it made sense. I realized that then reason I didn’t have a choice is because I was never planned to have a choice.

I knew that I was elect because I learned that those who are elect can hear the will of God and those that aren’t cannot even understand it.

So, that’s my evidence. I guess the most concrete part of it is the fact that my beliefs radically changed and became cemented by no choice of my own.

Don't you think that this wouldn't have happened if you had been born and raised in, say, Japan? I don't think there are many Japanese people who claim to be able to communicate with God. At least not the Christian god.

I'm trying to have a conversation with a Pentecostal these days and he is convinced that the Holy Spirit has been inside him. He also thinks I will probably end up in Hell (for him, I am a sinner, for you, I'm not elect). I wonder how you guys will be happy in Heaven knowing that millions are suffering in hell Blink

Anyway, how can you be so sure it was the Christian god who "communicated" with you and not something else? Is it just a coincidence that you happened to be born in a Christian family?

I'm sorry if you have answered this before but I believe it's relevant to the topic in general.

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18-12-2013, 02:41 PM
RE: Why are people so convinced that they've heard/seen a deity?
@Dudette, yep!

Another thing i will share is the gist of a conversation i had with a christian several months ago.

I asked him why he believed, he said god had changed him. He used to be a much worse person, angry all of the time. God came into his life and changed him inro a better person. It is like he is a completely different person (he said). I asked, "don't you think it is possible you overcame and made these changes on your own? I think you are selling yourself short." No matter what i said though, according to this guy it was god who changed him.

*sigh* it is amazing how much some people want something to be true.

I prefer fantasy, but I have to live in reality.
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18-12-2013, 02:51 PM
RE: Why are people so convinced that they've heard/seen a deity?
(18-12-2013 02:41 PM)Adrianime Wrote:  @Dudette, yep!

Another thing i will share is the gist of a conversation i had with a christian several months ago.

I asked him why he believed, he said god had changed him. He used to be a much worse person, angry all of the time. God came into his life and changed him inro a better person. It is like he is a completely different person (he said). I asked, "don't you think it is possible you overcame and made these changes on your own? I think you are selling yourself short." No matter what i said though, according to this guy it was god who changed him.

*sigh* it is amazing how much some people want something to be true.

Do you think it was a lack of self-confidence or just a petty attempt to make you believe it was true?
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18-12-2013, 02:59 PM
RE: Why are people so convinced that they've heard/seen a deity?
(18-12-2013 02:51 PM)thedudette Wrote:  Do you think it was a lack of self-confidence or just a petty attempt to make you believe it was true?
My thoughts on him were that he really didn't believe he had the ability to change himself. I guess calling it a lack of self confidence is accurate. But it's also a disbelief in the potential and power of the self. I think that he believed that certain things aren't just beyond his own abilities, but beyond human ability.

I prefer fantasy, but I have to live in reality.
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18-12-2013, 03:02 PM
RE: Why are people so convinced that they've heard/seen a deity?
(18-12-2013 02:59 PM)Adrianime Wrote:  
(18-12-2013 02:51 PM)thedudette Wrote:  Do you think it was a lack of self-confidence or just a petty attempt to make you believe it was true?
My thoughts on him were that he really didn't believe he had the ability to change himself. I guess calling it a lack of self confidence is accurate. But it's also a disbelief in the potential and power of the self. I think that he believed that certain things aren't just beyond his own abilities, but beyond human ability.

Sad I hope he's doing alright
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18-12-2013, 03:08 PM (This post was last modified: 18-12-2013 03:12 PM by grizzlysnake.)
RE: Why are people so convinced that they've heard/seen a deity?
(18-12-2013 02:41 PM)Adrianime Wrote:  @Dudette, yep!

Another thing i will share is the gist of a conversation i had with a christian several months ago.

I asked him why he believed, he said god had changed him. He used to be a much worse person, angry all of the time. God came into his life and changed him inro a better person. It is like he is a completely different person (he said). I asked, "don't you think it is possible you overcame and made these changes on your own? I think you are selling yourself short." No matter what i said though, according to this guy it was god who changed him.

*sigh* it is amazing how much some people want something to be true.
Ah yes, feigned humility. They couldn't possibly change on their own so they call to god. Look at this beautiful stuff I got and this lovely family, I am truly "blessed". The only way they got nice things and a lovely family was entirely up to them and those around him and through hard work and effort. This false modesty...It's even worse when someone says "you're truly talented" or "you have a god given gift" Sure lets forget all about the diligent, strenuous effort an artists puts into his/her craft. Glory to God...
Then we get whackos who think they are God's chosen. ugh.

"I don't have to have faith, I have experience." Joseph Campbell
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