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Experiences Change Minds?


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#16    Mr Walker

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Posted 28 September 2012 - 11:25 PM

View Postfullywired, on 28 September 2012 - 06:50 PM, said:

I have never had  an paranormal experience and neither do I believe in them .I think the people that claim to have had them are highly susceptible types


fullywired

NAturally. But remember, it is your lack of experiences which forms this opinion in you. If you ever have a genuine paranormal encounter you will have to adjust your belief in either your own nature or in the paranormal. (Or attempt to rationalise away what happened.)

I am quite intelligent,  as ascertained in  a variety of tests and achievements, :innocent:  educated in logic, philosophy, psychology, and a social scientist's appreciation for the scientific method; and i can assure you that there exist very real and physical manifestions and examples of many forms of paranormal/supernatural "things and events".

They are not created in a person's mind, but are a physical manifestion of the natural order. It wouldnt matter how suggestible you were. You could encounter one as real/physically, as encountering a cat or a dog, because they hold independent existence..

Of course there are also many and common ones caused by mental disorders, suggestion , human's tendency to see patterns where non exist and to create meaning from coincidences. But it is not an either or situation. There are exampes of both.

While you are "encounter free" you are also free to chose belief or disbelief, and it is perhaps more rational to chose disbelief in that situation. A real encounter negates that freedom.

But it is dangerous and illogical just to assume that, being encounter free  means no such things exist.

Edited by Mr Walker, 28 September 2012 - 11:27 PM.

You are a child of the universe, no less than the trees and the stars; you have a right to be here. And whether or not it is clear to you, no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.

Therefore be at peace with God, whatever you conceive Him to be, and whatever your labors and aspirations, in the noisy confusion of life keep peace with your soul.

With all its sham, drudgery and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world..

Be cheerful.

Strive to be happy.

#17    Ryu

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Posted 28 September 2012 - 11:32 PM

View PostChasingtherabbit, on 28 September 2012 - 03:04 PM, said:

I think it is more important to understand why we have a need to believe or not to believe.

Precisely. Wouldn't it be better to THINK rather than merely "believe"?


#18    Mr Walker

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Posted 29 September 2012 - 12:09 AM

View PostRyu, on 28 September 2012 - 11:32 PM, said:

Precisely. Wouldn't it be better to THINK rather than merely "believe"?

There is little connection between an ability or choice ot think and belief IN terms of exclusivity Belief can be a consequence of deep and critical thinking. One deep and critical thinker can chose belief  while another can chose disbelief.

Belief and disbelief are conditions/choices which can only exist /be made, in the spaces where knowledge is absent or insufficient. In those spaces both are of equal 'value" in a way. In such a  cognitive space  IMO, the most important thing is weighing up the physical results /consequences of belief /disbelief.

Because  spiritual belief  almost always produces more measurable physical benefits than a lack of belief, i always recommend belief, in spiritual matters. In non spiritual matters such as the existence of boson paricles, multi braned universes or the constancy of gravity, one can use other criteria to select belief/disbelief, but in spiritual matters the action of chosing belief confers measured and measurable psychological  and physical benefits in its very choice, and in the actions we take, predicated on those beliefs.

You are a child of the universe, no less than the trees and the stars; you have a right to be here. And whether or not it is clear to you, no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.

Therefore be at peace with God, whatever you conceive Him to be, and whatever your labors and aspirations, in the noisy confusion of life keep peace with your soul.

With all its sham, drudgery and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world..

Be cheerful.

Strive to be happy.

#19    Ryu

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Posted 29 September 2012 - 01:09 AM

Thoughts can easily change if one has acquired new information whereas beliefs almost NEVER change despite being presented with overwhelming evidence. Plain and simple.


#20    Mr Walker

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Posted 29 September 2012 - 04:24 AM

View PostRyu, on 29 September 2012 - 01:09 AM, said:

Thoughts can easily change if one has acquired new information whereas beliefs almost NEVER change despite being presented with overwhelming evidence. Plain and simple.
I disagree. A belief cannot logically and rationally be held in the face of overwhelming evidence. The point is what one considers overwhelming evidence.

Different people require differnt standards of proof. Also, individuals posses varying degres of knolwedge and understanding. So, for me, evolution iss a proven fact based on my education and standards of proof. All  the evidences  available to me, point to it. My wife is  a very intelligent but not very "educated" person  and she finds more evidence for creation than for evolution Man yof the evidences available to me to make a decison are simply not "available" to her.
This is because lacking sufficient educatio in these areas, she is not capable of understanding or appreciating biology chemistry or general science to a level to know any different. To accpet these evidences  she would have to believe the opinons of others, and that is not acceptable to her, compared with her faith in, knowedge of, and understanding about god.


I know many people in the same situation To utilise evidences effectively requires a complex inter locking set of knowledge and thought processes. Most people dont have this; they either accept  creation or evolution based on what they are told by others eg schools experts etc. Few modern people have the slightest idea about evoutionary process, but they accept it because they have faith in science and it is taught to them from childhood as fact .

Nothing wrong with that, but they dont have any better rationale for believing in evolution than a person educated in childhood that god is the creator, does. They are basicallylly accepting what they are taught by others, and what is the staus quo . Oh sure,  evolution is the correct model, but that is not why people accept it.

You are a child of the universe, no less than the trees and the stars; you have a right to be here. And whether or not it is clear to you, no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.

Therefore be at peace with God, whatever you conceive Him to be, and whatever your labors and aspirations, in the noisy confusion of life keep peace with your soul.

With all its sham, drudgery and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world..

Be cheerful.

Strive to be happy.

#21    Mr Walker

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Posted 29 September 2012 - 04:26 AM

View PostRyu, on 29 September 2012 - 01:09 AM, said:

Thoughts can easily change if one has acquired new information whereas beliefs almost NEVER change despite being presented with overwhelming evidence. Plain and simple.
So, if this is true,  why don't most adults still believe in father christmas?

You are a child of the universe, no less than the trees and the stars; you have a right to be here. And whether or not it is clear to you, no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.

Therefore be at peace with God, whatever you conceive Him to be, and whatever your labors and aspirations, in the noisy confusion of life keep peace with your soul.

With all its sham, drudgery and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world..

Be cheerful.

Strive to be happy.

#22    Jinxdom

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Posted 29 September 2012 - 05:56 AM

View PostMr Walker, on 29 September 2012 - 04:24 AM, said:

I disagree. A belief cannot logically and rationally be held in the face of overwhelming evidence. The point is what one considers overwhelming evidence.

The exact reason why I can't believe in the Christian god. Honestly wasn't by choice it just happened. Ghosts same thing. Didn't believe in them at first had an incident now I do... sort of. (if what did happen didn't I wouldn't believe, but I would still disbelieve most stories I hear). Honestly it would of been a lot easier on my life if I could of kept a belief in God but I couldn't because honestly it wasn't a choice for me.  If the information I find later on points to a different conclusion then my beliefs will change accordingly.

This is a good place to read about beliefs and how we form them.

http://atheism.about...eliefChoice.htm


#23    Mr Walker

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Posted 29 September 2012 - 09:03 AM

View PostJinxdom, on 29 September 2012 - 05:56 AM, said:

The exact reason why I can't believe in the Christian god. Honestly wasn't by choice it just happened. Ghosts same thing. Didn't believe in them at first had an incident now I do... sort of. (if what did happen didn't I wouldn't believe, but I would still disbelieve most stories I hear). Honestly it would of been a lot easier on my life if I could of kept a belief in God but I couldn't because honestly it wasn't a choice for me.  If the information I find later on points to a different conclusion then my beliefs will change accordingly.

This is a good place to read about beliefs and how we form them.

http://atheism.about...eliefChoice.htm
I dont believe or disnelieve in anything much except where i chose to. Like i  chose to believe my wife loves me. I cant get in her head to make sure but she says she does and she acts like she does. Nonetheless, basically i have to chose to believe she does, or not. It works a lot better if I chose to believe she does. So I do. Unless you have convinvcing evidence that god does not exist, then you always have a choice to believe or disbelieve, but of course  how and why you choose, is up to you, as it should be. Perahps you find it very hard tp choose belief In the absence of evidence. That is natural but it is not impossible to chose belief in the absence of evidences..

I'll check out the site but i actually study (As an amateur) the formation of belief in human beings as a factual scientific subject. It is fascinating how the human mind works.

Edited by Mr Walker, 29 September 2012 - 09:05 AM.

You are a child of the universe, no less than the trees and the stars; you have a right to be here. And whether or not it is clear to you, no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.

Therefore be at peace with God, whatever you conceive Him to be, and whatever your labors and aspirations, in the noisy confusion of life keep peace with your soul.

With all its sham, drudgery and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world..

Be cheerful.

Strive to be happy.

#24    Jinxdom

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Posted 29 September 2012 - 11:08 AM

That wouldn't be choosing to believe that be choosing not to see what is in front of your face pretty much playing willfully ignorant to the evidence at hand. Belief requires reasons. It is those reasons that make us believe in something not choice.


#25    Alienated Being

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Posted 29 September 2012 - 11:36 AM

View PostMr Walker, on 28 September 2012 - 11:12 PM, said:

For example, as an extreme example, "god" is a natural entity and integrated into the whole of nature, just like we are. But we dont know just how, ATM, and so, to some, god seems to stand outside of nature /the natural world and exist as a supernatural entity.
And what evidence do you have to reinforce this claim, my friend? To any self-respecting individual, god is a fairy tale. You make this statement as if it were a fact, so I am asking you for evidence to reinforce such a claim. Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence.

As an individual whom has observed your behaviour over time, your validation for such beliefs will most likely come down to "I know from experience", which is simply ridiculous as most of what people label as "unexplainable" typically does have a mundane, logical explanation... they just choose to ignore the facts. You are not the only one, either. I have observed many individuals whom dodge my question for evidence that indicate, beyond a reasonable doubt, that the god's existence is irrefutable, out of fear of being "mocked", "ridiculed", etc.

You also have a tendency to attribute scientifically unexplainable events to the works of "god".

Edited by Alienated Being, 29 September 2012 - 11:47 AM.


#26    Mr Walker

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Posted 29 September 2012 - 11:52 AM

View PostJinxdom, on 29 September 2012 - 11:08 AM, said:

That wouldn't be choosing to believe that be choosing not to see what is in front of your face pretty much playing willfully ignorant to the evidence at hand. Belief requires reasons. It is those reasons that make us believe in something not choice.

Actually belief doesnt require any reasons pertaining to evidences. Beliefs flourish in the absence of knowledge and evidences. Certainly, humans require reasons to believe but that can be as ample as believing makes them feel better or takes their pain away or it can be as complex as the human minds need to make sense from chaos in any way available to it.

Humans are conditioned into belief by the way our brains work. This has been observed in children around the world. Humans attribute intelligent purpose to any  thing which appears to have a pattern or purpose  ie they individually create god concepts at a very young age to explain things they  observe happening and have no/inadequate data to explain.

Everyone CHOOSES to believe or disbelieve. The only way a person can arrive at a belief or disbelief is through a process of choice. Belief can only be logically, rationally, and usefully formed, in the area of  what is unknown, because it cannot be  formed or held, in the area of things we know. Ie if  i believe i can breathe underwater, i will soon be disabused of that belief when I try to.

You are a child of the universe, no less than the trees and the stars; you have a right to be here. And whether or not it is clear to you, no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.

Therefore be at peace with God, whatever you conceive Him to be, and whatever your labors and aspirations, in the noisy confusion of life keep peace with your soul.

With all its sham, drudgery and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world..

Be cheerful.

Strive to be happy.

#27    Alienated Being

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Posted 29 September 2012 - 12:07 PM

View PostMr Walker, on 29 September 2012 - 11:52 AM, said:

Humans are conditioned into belief by the way our brains work. This has been observed in children around the world. Humans attribute intelligent purpose to any  thing which appears to have a pattern or purpose  ie they individually create god concepts at a very young age to explain things they  observe happening and have no/inadequate data to explain.
I would not go so far as to say that children formulate "god" concepts at a very young age - however, I believe they do question at a very young age. The scientific study pertaining to the children observed to formulate a belief in "god" is simply ridiculous, in my opinion, simply because a child's mind is like a sponge, as in it absorbs everything. These children could have picked the "god concept" up from one of their parents, another child at a play date, hearing it on the street, hearing it in the grocery store while their mother pushed them in a cart, swimming at the beach, etc. There are so many variables that could have contributed to the formation of these "concepts".

As I said, children question things that they do not understand; however, to say that they are born with a "god concept" ingrained in their minds is absolutely ludicrous.

Quote

Everyone CHOOSES to believe or disbelieve. The only way a person can arrive at a belief or disbelief is through a process of choice. Belief can only be logically, rationally, and usefully formed, in the area of  what is unknown, because it cannot be  formed or held, in the area of things we know. Ie if  i believe i can breathe underwater, i will soon be disabused of that belief when I try to.
You can believe in anything you want - but that does not make the elements of the belief true.


#28    Mr Walker

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Posted 29 September 2012 - 12:27 PM

View PostAlienated Being, on 29 September 2012 - 11:36 AM, said:

And what evidence do you have to reinforce this claim, my friend? To any self-respecting individual, god is a fairy tale. You make this statement as if it were a fact, so I am asking you for evidence to reinforce such a claim. Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence.

As an individual whom has observed your behaviour over time, your validation for such beliefs will most likely come down to "I know from experience", which is simply ridiculous as most of what people label as "unexplainable" typically does have a mundane, logical explanation... they just choose to ignore the facts. You are not the only one, either. I have observed many individuals whom dodge my question for evidence that indicate, beyond a reasonable doubt, that the god's existence is irrefutable, out of fear of being "mocked", "ridiculed", etc.

You also have a tendency to attribute scientifically unexplainable events to the works of "god".

Been over this before. I am a very self respecting individual, and highly respected in all parts of the communities in which i live, so that little put down doesnt wash with me.

In my life god is as real, physical, and factual, as my wife and my dog. It exists within the common, shared, and physical real world just as they do, and interacts with me in that world much as they do. If any of those three entities touch me i feel them. If any of them speak to me, I hear them of they are in my sight i can see them. If I talk to them they respond. When they move through the environment they all leave traces. And the evidences for god are the same as for  my wife and my dog.

What you want is transferrable evidence that i can present to you to convince you. Not my job. Not my concern.  I have no need or really desire to prove anything to you, or anyone else. I dont feel a need to prove the existence of my wife or of my dog or of my god all are self evidently real. Because of your position vis a vis me,  it is almost impossible to prove anything to you. I can't get in your head and share my knowledge with you and you will chose not to believe me when i communicate like this. My concern is my life my sanity and well being and my own relationship with the world around me.
But to satisfy your curiousity The evidences for god are physical; sight, sound, touch, manipulation of my inner and exterior environments   If i had a camera when god appeared i think his image would appear on the camera But of course al you would see would be a picture of a two meter tall pillar of light or a very hadsome young man in an aexpensive suit Unless oyu are along side me you dont get to observe the contextual evidences tha tgo with such encounters And  while you would hea rthe voice of god whenhe speaks to me  through anothe rperson or an angel or via a radio you wont get to hear his voice inside oyur head . You wont get to feel the things i fel or know the things i know Because you cant until it happens to you When it does come and tell me how oyu will prove it to me
Of course god is mundane. It is just as mundane as my wife or dog, which is why the evidences for them all are very similar. And of course i know from experience. The only way a human knows anything is from experiences, and  from processing those experiences using their mind.

I have posted many times the physical evidences and proofs for god that have occured in my life .You are wlecome to look them up and try your best to rationalise them away.

My god is sapient, real, physical and a natural part of the universe around me. It is protective of me, loving, caring, compassionate, and with a  cosmic sense of humour.

It seems to enjoy our relationship as much as i do, even though I think I gain far more from  the relationship than god does. God enjoys teaching, mentoring,  helping, and ongoing communication with people, especially those who are open to him, take his advice, and use it to grow and enhance themselves. God not only protects and heals me but he educates me and teaches me. He empowers me with many things, and allows me to access his universal consciousness to learn, experience, and enjoy the wonders of the universe.

I am impervious to mockery or ridicule. They usualy (and sadly) come fromm peole who are either afraid or want to belittle another to make themselves feel better, because inside themsleves is a feeling of their own inadequacy.

I am a part of god, and a part of god dwells within me. I can't feel mockery or ridicule, and generally it makes me either smile or feel sad for people when they try and use it.

I never have a need to put another down, or belittle another person. In part because i am totally comfortable with my self. Also I try to model god, who is a creator and a builder of people.  By profession a teacher, part of my job is to build young people up, to empower them, strengthen them, teach them, help them, protect them and encourage them. I take a lot from what god has taught me and apply it to building the young people i teach.

God is a fairy tale to you. To me god is an integral, real, physical part of my inner and outer environments. And because that is real and true, no one can mock it, and  i can be completely self respecting in asserting it. i can rely on god every minute of every day, to guide me, mentor me, strengthen and empower me; to transform me from a mere material being into what man is meant to be. A part of the divine.

You are a child of the universe, no less than the trees and the stars; you have a right to be here. And whether or not it is clear to you, no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.

Therefore be at peace with God, whatever you conceive Him to be, and whatever your labors and aspirations, in the noisy confusion of life keep peace with your soul.

With all its sham, drudgery and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world..

Be cheerful.

Strive to be happy.

#29    Mr Walker

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Posted 29 September 2012 - 12:41 PM

View PostAlienated Being, on 29 September 2012 - 12:07 PM, said:

I would not go so far as to say that children formulate "god" concepts at a very young age - however, I believe they do question at a very young age. The scientific study pertaining to the children observed to formulate a belief in "god" is simply ridiculous, in my opinion, simply because a child's mind is like a sponge, as in it absorbs everything. These children could have picked the "god concept" up from one of their parents, another child at a play date, hearing it on the street, hearing it in the grocery store while their mother pushed them in a cart, swimming at the beach, etc. There are so many variables that could have contributed to the formation of these "concepts".

As I said, children question things that they do not understand; however, to say that they are born with a "god concept" ingrained in their minds is absolutely ludicrous.


You can believe in anything you want - but that does not make the elements of the belief true.
You might be interested in reading about this. I just happen to have on my desk an issue of the new scientist which takes the latest scientific studies and conclusions about many of these things and presents/discusses them. It is the 17th march 2012 edition. Basically british based i think, although my copy is published in australia. It is headlined, "The GOD Issue."

Beliefs have nothing to do with truth. Some beliefs turn out to be true, some do not. Is the higgs boson particle a fact? Is gravity a universal constant? Is the universe multi braned?  People will have different beliefs on these unknown questions. Some peoples' beliefs will later be proven right, others wrong.  It is the purpose for, and reasons why, we hold beliefs, which is important.

Critically, children do not have to be taught beliefs or anything about god. As long as they are taught language and consequent ability to think in linguistic symbologies, they WILL create god and beliefs for them selves. It is an inevitable part of every humans thought patterns  and how we process information at an early age.  This is science not faith. Later they will have to unlearn this and learn to think using other forms of thought patterns.

It is likely that is  the neurological  reason why, consistently, less than 10% (and closer to 5%) of humans self label as atheists, even in this age.

You are a child of the universe, no less than the trees and the stars; you have a right to be here. And whether or not it is clear to you, no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.

Therefore be at peace with God, whatever you conceive Him to be, and whatever your labors and aspirations, in the noisy confusion of life keep peace with your soul.

With all its sham, drudgery and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world..

Be cheerful.

Strive to be happy.

#30    White Crane Feather

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Posted 29 September 2012 - 01:19 PM

View PostAlienated Being, on 29 September 2012 - 11:36 AM, said:


And what evidence do you have to reinforce this claim, my friend? To any self-respecting individual, god is a fairy tale.
Self-respect and respecting others are closely linked, clearly you missed that in such a grossly fallacious and disrespectful statement.

I'm continually amazed at how some people can claim logic, yet be grossly even formally illogical in the same statement. Truly it amazes me.

Edited by Seeker79, 29 September 2012 - 01:21 PM.

"I wish neither to possess, Nor to be possessed. I no longer covet paradise, more important, I no longer fear hell. The medicine for my suffering I had within me from the very beginning, but I did not take it. My ailment came from within myself, But I did not observe it until this moment. Now I see that I will never find the light.  Unless, like the candle, I am my own fuel, Consuming myself. "
Bruce Lee-




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