Why are people so convinced that they've heard/seen a deity?
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16-12-2013, 06:09 PM
RE: Why are people so convinced that they've heard/seen a deity?
(16-12-2013 04:42 PM)WitchSabrina Wrote:  
(16-12-2013 03:36 PM)thedudette Wrote:  This a question that I've been wanting to ask for awhile.

If they aren't lying about the experience then what could it be?
Hallucinations?

If anyone has an article about this I'd be happy to read it!

I would SO love to discuss this as it's been something that's troubled me for some time and getting to be honest with some truly rational people would be helpful.....
but........ I can't/won't get stalked here again and being honest is no longer an option for me - not about the past I've fought with anyway.

I will definitely, however, be reading this thread with interest.

It's a sad commentary that assholes are allowed to intimidate people on here, repeatedly, while making no effort to actually interact with the forum members.
Unfortunately, that's not a new development. Even a few long-time, revered members are allowed to bully. So much for a safe place. Dodgy

I'm not anti-social. I'm pro-solitude. Sleepy
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16-12-2013, 06:12 PM
RE: Why are people so convinced that they've heard/seen a deity?
(16-12-2013 05:59 PM)Minimalist Wrote:  Wishful-thinking.

They so desperately want their bullshit to be true.

Notice how it is always the god they already believe in who they see.

I remember watching the magic sandwich show (For the life of me I can't remember what number the episode was) but a born again man called the show and was talking to DPR about how he was an atheist and his girlfriend brought up Jesus. Then he says that Jesus appeared before him... He says that his experience is different from those who saw other religious figures because his vision "changed his life."

I also remember watching a video on Youtube a while back about a girl who could paint Heaven. Her mother was an atheist so I suppose they were meaning to imply that the girl was freethinking at the very least.
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16-12-2013, 06:16 PM
RE: Why are people so convinced that they've heard/seen a deity?
(16-12-2013 05:52 PM)thedudette Wrote:  
(16-12-2013 05:39 PM)grizzlysnake Wrote:  They may not be lying but they could be under a misapprehension of a case. Rare astronomical events, mistaken human aircraft, even the common bird or sky lantern. Oh right..sorry that's aliens. They can be remarkable similar another case is sleep paralysis. Call it a glitch in the sleep cycle, that you are paralyzed but aware of your surroundings with the added bonus of vivid hallucinations. Aliens, monsters, demons, and even angelic beings. Miracles are another thing, since we are prone to create patterns where there are none people see the the virgin Mary in a tree trunk or whatever, and if you can't see that and dare claim that it is just a random pattern of tree bark than you just don't have enough faith. See? It's the emperor's new clothes, some dare not say they don't see it or otherwise they will be rejected within the group. Who knows how far people travel to these "sacred" places, they don't want to say it was a wasted trip. Oh hey, how about that miracle water? Lets not forget that people deliberately want to see such visions and resort to drugs and have stumbled on them to in the ancient past to commune with gods. Highly devout religious person is always going to have that filter, they look for miracles and often find them in the smallest everyday things..like burnt toast. People are largely ignorant of what they experience and our senses are not perfect and do get fooled. Oh, and some people deliberately lie as well.

So people can convince themselves they saw something even though they know they didn't?
That would be a trick, wouldn't it? I would say it usually is a misapprehension and even though people can prove that to them they won't necessarily take their word for it. Who is to tell them that they are wrong? "I know what I saw" is a common phrase. Memories can often be exaggerated and events that we remember aren't exactly accurate.

"I don't have to have faith, I have experience." Joseph Campbell
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16-12-2013, 06:18 PM
RE: Why are people so convinced that they've heard/seen a deity?
(16-12-2013 04:52 PM)goodwithoutgod Wrote:  
(16-12-2013 03:36 PM)thedudette Wrote:  This a question that I've been wanting to ask for awhile.

If they aren't lying about the experience then what could it be?
Hallucinations?

If anyone has an article about this I'd be happy to read it!

As i strive to understand how people can believe in astonishing things with little credible evidence, I have come up with a scenario...I call it the church of the purple unicorn...bear with me..

Lets say i approach you, we have been friends/co-workers for a long while, and I am visibly excited. I tell you how I was invited to a meeting, a group called CPU, and they showed me some exciting things, and I wanted to invite you to the next meeting. (no it isnt AMWAY ) So I convince you to come, and you meet a nice group of uber friendly people who give you hearty handshakes and beaming smiles. Once all the pleasantries die down, and some food has been demolished, they start telling you about how an archaeologist had discovered an ancient text in a cave, and it described a purple unicorn that flew across the sky, and farted rainbow sprinkles, bestowing wishes for all those who truly believed. he did this until the non beleivers found him, and killed him, but as the believers stood weeping around his body, it started to glow, and *gasp* rise into the air, and with a whinny and a toss of his tail, he rose into the sky and as he disappeared he said, I will return, and bring you to paradise. These 12 believers were astonished and told everyone the story, they gained followers here and there....people are always drawn to smiles and excitement, and will pretty much believe anything, or pretend to, so they can be part of the group.

Now years later, this secret group has decided to spread the good word to the world, and you can get in on the ground floor! With much fanfare and drama, they whip aside a golden curtain and show you a golden telescope, they reverently beckon you to look into it..."look, and you can see him for yourself"...you look incredulously into it, but alas, dont see anything but the sky. You tell them you dont see anything, they give each other knowing looks and say "ahhh he only shows himself to those who truly believe, think hard about your belief, suspend your doubt, look again" then you get a gathering of folk behind you, slapping you on the back and nodding their heads....you look through the glass again...and even though you dont see anything, you start to think, there must be something to this...maybe I am just not ready yet....but you turn and gasp aloud "oh my unicorn! I see him, and he is glorious!". they all circle you and much merriment happens. they give you a copy of the BOOK OF UNICORN to cherish and study. Be strong, the non believers will question your faith, they are the enemy, and strive to steer you off the course of true enlightenment.

--------------------------------

Now this was totally pulled out of my ( i ) obviously, but there is a valid point I think. Is this how people get sucked into these belief systems? psychologically I mean.. I understand the desire for fellowship, to belong to a group, to be part of something bigger than you....your thoughts? Why do people profess to believe such astonishing things.....with zero proof besides a book and some philosophy of those who were also members of the group? I have always wondered this, I have never felt the need to be in a group, a huge need for belief in something in order to be able to face our basic human fear of death..and the unknown...death will come, and then I will be in final rest as my body rots and my consciousness fails with my last breath...I dont need to clutch a belief of golden roads and condos on the beach in paradise, or 72 virgins if I die as a martyr for Muhammad, or any other reward for believing something that seems so astonishingly hard to believe. The fact that the book is loosely tied to actual historical timelines is just an attempt to make it sound believable.

Good point Smile

It's not a good reason to believe/ follow something when all you are thinking about are the rewards or punishments.
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16-12-2013, 06:21 PM
RE: Why are people so convinced that they've heard/seen a deity?
(16-12-2013 06:16 PM)grizzlysnake Wrote:  
(16-12-2013 05:52 PM)thedudette Wrote:  So people can convince themselves they saw something even though they know they didn't?
That would be a trick, wouldn't it? I would say it usually is a misapprehension and even though people can prove that to them they won't necessarily take their word for it. Who is to tell them that they are wrong? "I know what I saw" is a common phrase. Memories can often be exaggerated and events that we remember aren't exactly accurate.

Aye, a trick indeed.
Something we can't argue with as you've said.
How does someone figure out for themselves that they may have exaggerated their own memories?
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16-12-2013, 06:21 PM
RE: Why are people so convinced that they've heard/seen a deity?
(16-12-2013 05:56 PM)Dom Wrote:  
(16-12-2013 03:36 PM)thedudette Wrote:  This a question that I've been wanting to ask for awhile.

If they aren't lying about the experience then what could it be?
Hallucinations?

If anyone has an article about this I'd be happy to read it!

When I was a kid, like 5 years old, I could have sworn I saw the devil in my room. Today, I know it was the way the tree outside threw a shadow on the wall.

Not long after my husband died, I was walking towards the barn thinking to myself: "I just wish I knew where you put the darn barn key". Seconds later, I stepped on something hard in the dark corner next to the barn door - it was the key. If the same thing had happened to my mom after dad passed, she would have sworn she asked him and he showed her.

There are coincidences in life, and if you are already thinking along those lines, it is easy to connect the wrong dots. If there is something you really want, like in my case I would have given my kingdom for a way to communicate with my husband again, it is quite easy to make it happen in your mind.

As a matter of fact, I have had numerous conversations with hubby since he died. Of course it wasn't him responding, but because of my long term, intimate relationship with him I already know what he would say. The "conversations" were simply my brain bringing up the experiences gathered from him and serving up the most likely answer. Another person would believe they actually talked to him.

The imagination is a powerful thing. If you feed it enough information, it can come up with some pretty realistic images.

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16-12-2013, 06:23 PM
RE: Why are people so convinced that they've heard/seen a deity?
(16-12-2013 06:16 PM)grizzlysnake Wrote:  
(16-12-2013 05:52 PM)thedudette Wrote:  So people can convince themselves they saw something even though they know they didn't?
That would be a trick, wouldn't it? I would say it usually is a misapprehension and even though people can prove that to them they won't necessarily take their word for it. Who is to tell them that they are wrong? "I know what I saw" is a common phrase. Memories can often be exaggerated and events that we remember aren't exactly accurate.
Oh, it really isn't such an outlandish trick is it now? How about a movie or a good book, we often see fantastic events unfolding before our eyes that at least within context is actually occurring then when we leave we know they aren't but speak of them as if they really did happen. Suspension of disbelief. I wonder if this can also be used to explain indoctrination. Thats just speculating thoughTongue

"I don't have to have faith, I have experience." Joseph Campbell
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16-12-2013, 06:27 PM
RE: Why are people so convinced that they've heard/seen a deity?
(16-12-2013 06:21 PM)thedudette Wrote:  
(16-12-2013 06:16 PM)grizzlysnake Wrote:  That would be a trick, wouldn't it? I would say it usually is a misapprehension and even though people can prove that to them they won't necessarily take their word for it. Who is to tell them that they are wrong? "I know what I saw" is a common phrase. Memories can often be exaggerated and events that we remember aren't exactly accurate.

Aye, a trick indeed.
Something we can't argue with as you've said.
How does someone figure out for themselves that they may have exaggerated their own memories?
Only answer I have if you have something empirical to back it up with. Home movies or something like that. I really don't know of anyother way. It's usually a good practice to negate the fantastic.

"I don't have to have faith, I have experience." Joseph Campbell
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16-12-2013, 06:29 PM
RE: Why are people so convinced that they've heard/seen a deity?
(16-12-2013 05:31 PM)WitchSabrina Wrote:  back to topic
(please)
Fair enough

I'm no pschiatrist or neurologist, but can relate to the bus driver from the article. It took me a while to come to terms with the fact that my delusions (not hallucinations in my case just delusions) were completely created in my brain.

I was conditioned by years of indoctrination and even though it had been a couple of years since I left Pentecostalism for Reformed Christianity, it came back with a vengeance.

I was going through a really low point in my life. Everything was falling apart. Everything. In my valley of tears I came across q&a 27-28 of the Heidelberg Catechism and it reads thus:
Quote:7. Question: What do you understand by the providence of God?

Answer: God’s providence is His almighty and ever present power, whereby, as with His hand, He still upholds heaven and earth and all creatures, and so governs them that leaf and blade, rain and drought, fruitful and barren years, food and drink, health and sickness, riches and poverty, indeed, all things, come not by chance but by His fatherly hand.

28. Question: What does it benefit us to know that God has created all things and still upholds them by His providence?

Answer: We can be patient in adversity, thankful in prosperity, and with a view to the future we can have a firm confidence in our faithful God and Father that no creature shall separate us from His love;for all creatures are so completely in His hand that without His will they cannot so much as move.

I was overblown by how the words described my hardship.

After that I started conceiving the idea that God was literally talking to me through words printed on a page as though he were texting me (or if you saw Man of Steel as if Jor-el programmed the texts for me). Not that far fetched from the idea of verbal plenary inspiration of the bible if you think about it.

It was very creepy, to say the least. Everything I read, saw on TV seemed to be talking to me in real time. I didn't care about the context, I took the words as to hold a specific meaning just for me. It felt very real and I couldn't explain it. I conceived the notion that I was special. I was a prophet or a messiah of sorts.

I wasn't hallucinating. I was seeing everything everybody else saw
What was really happening is that I was in an altered state because of the traumatic stress and the mystical aspect of my suffering and boom I was delusional.

It escalated from there and I had to be taken to the hospital against my will because my family thought i would be a harm to myself. The aftermath was the undoing of my religion. If I was wrong about something that I perceived as being so truthful in my experience, then maybe I am wrong about Jesus. Maybe Paul was wrong about Jesus. Maybe Jesus was wrong about himself. Exploring those possibilities in a truly objective way made me an atheist.

“The reason people use a crucifix against vampires is because vampires are allergic to bullshit.” ― Richard Pryor
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16-12-2013, 06:29 PM
RE: Why are people so convinced that they've heard/seen a deity?
(16-12-2013 06:23 PM)grizzlysnake Wrote:  
(16-12-2013 06:16 PM)grizzlysnake Wrote:  That would be a trick, wouldn't it? I would say it usually is a misapprehension and even though people can prove that to them they won't necessarily take their word for it. Who is to tell them that they are wrong? "I know what I saw" is a common phrase. Memories can often be exaggerated and events that we remember aren't exactly accurate.
Oh, it really isn't such an outlandish trick is it now? How about a movie or a good book, we often see fantastic events unfolding before our eyes that at least within context is actually occurring then when we leave we know they aren't but speak of them as if they really did happen. Suspension of disbelief. I wonder if this can also be used to explain indoctrination. Thats just speculating thoughTongue

I see.

What do you think about those who claim they have talked to a deity on more than one occasion. Like they are bros.
Do you think someone could be that convinced?
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