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Old 12-18-2011, 03:53 PM
 
63 posts, read 43,559 times
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Hi everyone!

As the title of this thread states, I am new to these forums and I would like to ask some questions of you.

As you can see from my username, I'm someone who is deeply interested in, and believes in, many things to do with the paranormal and the occult. I consider myself a spiritual person.

Now I understand this is an atheist/agnostic forum and what I am is about as far from that as one can get. However, I am interested in discussing my spiritual and occult beliefs and ideas with people who are atheists or agnostic, simply because I feel (or hope) it could be interesting. I am interested in different perspectives and am interested in other people's take on my views (as long as the're polite to me, of course.)

Please understand, I have NO desire to try to convince anyone that what I believe is true, that is something I disagree with. What I would like to do is have a polite, mutually respectful conversation with atheists/agnostics who post here and hear of their views whilst sharing my own. What I'm hoping for is the sharing of ideas between people who have differing viewpoints (in this case, me, with my spiritual beliefs, and those who don't necessarily believe in any of it.)

My question is: is that okay? I realise that there is a 'general' forum in which I could create threads about my views, and I intend to use it, but I would specifically like to invite conversation with those who consider themselves atheists or agnostics, and this seems like the best place to do that. I know I could have just gone along and created a thread about my views anyway, but I wanted to ask your permission first.

I am also interested in asking questions of you and learning about some of your world views.

Here's hoping we can have some good discussions!
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Old 12-18-2011, 06:28 PM
 
1,429 posts, read 2,110,953 times
Reputation: 1891
Quote:
Originally Posted by Spiritual_Occultist View Post
Hi everyone!

As the title of this thread states, I am new to these forums and I would like to ask some questions of you.

As you can see from my username, I'm someone who is deeply interested in, and believes in, many things to do with the paranormal and the occult. I consider myself a spiritual person.

Now I understand this is an atheist/agnostic forum and what I am is about as far from that as one can get. However, I am interested in discussing my spiritual and occult beliefs and ideas with people who are atheists or agnostic, simply because I feel (or hope) it could be interesting. I am interested in different perspectives and am interested in other people's take on my views (as long as the're polite to me, of course.)

Please understand, I have NO desire to try to convince anyone that what I believe is true, that is something I disagree with. What I would like to do is have a polite, mutually respectful conversation with atheists/agnostics who post here and hear of their views whilst sharing my own. What I'm hoping for is the sharing of ideas between people who have differing viewpoints (in this case, me, with my spiritual beliefs, and those who don't necessarily believe in any of it.)

My question is: is that okay? I realise that there is a 'general' forum in which I could create threads about my views, and I intend to use it, but I would specifically like to invite conversation with those who consider themselves atheists or agnostics, and this seems like the best place to do that. I know I could have just gone along and created a thread about my views anyway, but I wanted to ask your permission first.

I am also interested in asking questions of you and learning about some of your world views.

Here's hoping we can have some good discussions!
Sure, knock yourself out.
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Old 12-18-2011, 06:30 PM
 
Location: Western Washington
8,998 posts, read 8,421,179 times
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I will take a shot at this.

First, atheism simply means a lack of belief in god(s). As a term, it does not address the occult or paranormal, other than in the area of god.

With that being said, it seems that most atheists are skeptics. As I am.

So, what is there to talk about in reference to the paranormal or occult? I will maintain that they are both fiction, and as such will not get terribly much response here.

But in an effort to give you the benefit of the doubt, please give one example of paranormal/occult phenomena, and supporting proof and evidence that the phenomenon actually exists other than as a story.
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Old 12-18-2011, 07:29 PM
 
63 posts, read 43,559 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fishbrains View Post
First, atheism simply means a lack of belief in god(s). As a term, it does not address the occult or paranormal, other than in the area of god.
Oh, I know that. If you get back to the basic definition of the world, it simply refers to not believing in gods. So technically, an atheist could believe in something to do with the occult or paranormal (if it didn't involve a deity.) However, I've never yet met one who does and it seems to me that the majority disbelieve in the paranormal.

Quote:
Originally Posted by fishbrains View Post
With that being said, it seems that most atheists are skeptics. As I am.
Yes, I agree.

Quote:
Originally Posted by fishbrains View Post
So, what is there to talk about in reference to the paranormal or occult? I will maintain that they are both fiction, and as such will not get terribly much response here.

But in an effort to give you the benefit of the doubt, please give one example of paranormal/occult phenomena, and supporting proof and evidence that the phenomenon actually exists other than as a story.
Well what I was envisioning was a conversation in which both sides explained their thoughts and asked questions of the other; proof doesn't necessarily have to be a part of it (although it can be.) I'd like to bring up topics that I believe in/am interested in and see what people here have to say and explain to people why I am interested or why I believe in them.

One thing I try to do is state that I "believe" in these things rather than know them as a fact; I do not discount the possibility that what I believe in may possibly one day be outrightly proven as false. I personally don't see it as a likelihood, because at this moment in time I am a strong believer in certain things, however, I don't discount it outright.

At the moment, I am what I term a "student" of the occult; I try to read as much as I can about it but have done very few practices. (I'm an avid reader and I tend to learn best from books anyway, and I feel that before trying anything major, I need to read and study and know my stuff, so to speak. The practices I have tried include casting a protection spell on myself (the Lesser Banishing Ritual of the Pentagram, often referred to as just LBRP) and experiments with sigil magick. I don't think this thread is the place to go into what sigil magick is; but I have got positive results from using sigil magick - but whether this is down to coincidence or because the sigil magick is real is another question. I believe it is because the sigils are working, a non-believer will say it's coincidence. I aim to do more experiments with sigil magick to see how successful they are and if a pattern starts to develop.

As such, I can't (yet, anyway) offer you any scientific evidence for the occult in general. I know that the occult subjects have not yet been definitively proven by science; however, I do think there are some interesting scientific results that, at the moment, suggest that there may be something more than meets the eye. I have a book by Dean Radin, called The Conscious Universe in which he outlines experiments for psi and the interesting results (in favour of psi) they yield. I haven't yet read it, but when I do, I expect I will have a better understanding.

I have some trusted friends who have paranormal abilities (or claim they do) and I firmly believe them to be telling the truth. One example is a very scientifically-minded individual who studies physics and really conducts his investigations into the paranormal in a scientific way. He has had out-of-body experiences and he has also used magick (among other things.)

I cannot prove, at this moment, that his experiences are definitely real, but I believe that he has had these experiences and I believe that they are paranormal/occult in nature, not the figment of imagination or dreams or coincidence.

Rather than going fully into my interests and beliefs in this thread, I hope/plan to create separate threads about them and get feedback from people here. They can feel free to ask me questions, and I also plan to create discussions asking atheists about their views on other matters that have nothing to do with my own spiritual beliefs.
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Old 12-18-2011, 08:47 PM
 
16,600 posts, read 14,084,987 times
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Sorry dude but atheists want proof. Since you have none, this becomes the intellectual equivalent of maaturbation. Satisfying in a selfish way but ultimately mostly just messy.
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Old 12-19-2011, 02:47 AM
 
1,429 posts, read 2,110,953 times
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I have a question - why do you feel the need to believe in the paranormal and occult?

My own take on people who "do magic" is (and no offense intended) - it's a way for people who feel powerless to feel in control.

And in that sense - it's just like any other "religion" - only darker and more taboo (which I believe is the draw for many).

So what makes your magic more worthwhile and likely than others who follow the ritual of waking up early on Sunday, dressing nicely, sitting in a building for a few hours, and praying for a specific outcome?

More bluntly - why embrace one fantasy worldview over another?
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Old 12-19-2011, 04:14 AM
 
39,168 posts, read 10,865,034 times
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To comment on that, I have to say that I would propose that questioning someone's agenda if not their moral stance in tinkering with various subjects, scientific, philosophical or rational is not required. Better to look at the various claims and see whether the evidence stacks up.

Op wrote: "As such, I can't (yet, anyway) offer you any scientific evidence for the occult in general. I know that the occult subjects have not yet been definitively proven by science; however, I do think there are some interesting scientific results that, at the moment, suggest that there may be something more than meets the eye. I have a book by Dean Radin, called The Conscious Universe in which he outlines experiments for psi and the interesting results (in favour of psi) they yield. I haven't yet read it, but when I do, I expect I will have a better understanding."

I agree that all this stuff is interesting and it may be real. There is of course always the (sometime irritating to those skeptical of the rationalist position) that anything not demonstrated and understood to the levels required by science do not deserve anything more an open - minded interest, not yet any kind of credence, belief or acceptance, whereas if it does attain that degree of scientific proof, then it becomes science and quite natural - not supernatural at all.

This has happened so often in the past that 'One day science will explain it' has perhaps earned a bit of credit by now.
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Old 12-19-2011, 05:28 AM
 
63 posts, read 43,559 times
Reputation: 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by lkb0714 View Post
Sorry dude but atheists want proof. Since you have none, this becomes the intellectual equivalent of maaturbation. Satisfying in a selfish way but ultimately mostly just messy.
I agree that atheists would want proof if I was trying to persuade them to believe in the same things that I believe in. However, if we simply have a general discussion with the sharing of ideas (and neither side being out to change the other's views) then I don't see proof as being a requirement, per se.
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Old 12-19-2011, 06:02 AM
 
63 posts, read 43,559 times
Reputation: 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by TheEarthBeneathMe View Post
I have a question - why do you feel the need to believe in the paranormal and occult?
I don't have a "need" to believe in it, I just do. I find it very interesting and entertaining and it gives me something to read about, so in a sense perhaps you could say it fulfills a need on an entertainment level - but I would still say that in general, it's not a "need" on my part. I don't need to believe in it, I just happen to.

Quote:
Originally Posted by TheEarthBeneathMe View Post
My own take on people who "do magic" is (and no offense intended) - it's a way for people who feel powerless to feel in control.
While that may be true of some, I would urge you not to believe that of all people who practice magick. I can say quite confidently that there are many practitioners of magick who don't practice it because of, or as a reuslt of, feelings of powerlessness. They feel as in control of their lives as the average person and they have their own reasons for believing and practicing.

Quote:
Originally Posted by TheEarthBeneathMe View Post
And in that sense - it's just like any other "religion" - only darker and more taboo (which I believe is the draw for many).
For religions in general, I would say again that I don't personally believe that all (or even most of) religious people follow their faith because of a sense of powerlessness. Some yes, but not all. If that's not what you were implying, I apologise for misunderstanding.

Quote:
Originally Posted by TheEarthBeneathMee View Post
So what makes your magic more worthwhile and likely than others who follow the ritual of waking up early on Sunday, dressing nicely, sitting in a building for a few hours, and praying for a specific outcome?
That's the thing, though, I don't think it's more "worthwhile" (in a general sense) than other belief systems. I don't think it's more worthwhile than atheism either. I think all belief systems, and I'm including atheism in that, are valid paths for people to follow. I don't see any one as being inherently superior or inferior to the other, and I don't see my current path of spirituality and occultism as being superior or inferior to another.

On a personal level it's more worthwhile to me as an individual because I genuinely believe in it and, as a bonus, it suits a few (but not all, by any means) of my interests and desires. The general outlook and ideas it espouses are on a similar level to my own personal conclusions.

So yes, on a personal level it's more worthwhile to me as a person, but in a general, sense, I don't believe it's more worthwhile than any other belief system or atheism or agnosticism.

Quote:
Originally Posted by TheEarthBeneathMe View Post
More bluntly - why embrace one fantasy worldview over another?
Well firstly, I don't believe it's fantasy, I believe it's real (although I understand that most posting in this forum will disagree on that.) But I think that asking me why I would follow a "fantasy" over another is probably a little redundant, as my immediate response is, "Well, in my opinion, I'm not following a fantasy."

But as to why I go with this worldview as opposed to any other - because this one currently makes the most sense to me, is the main reason. There is also very little, if any, dogma at all, so I find it more "liberating" than some of the more mainstream religions (although I do think there are good things about those religions and like some of the things about them.) One of the factors that drew me to the New Age belief system was its total lack of dogma, an individual is free to go his or her own way with the system and doesn't need to believe in all New Age ideas to practice or consider themselves a New Ager.

Also, as I said before, the general ideas of the path I am currently on are similar to conclusions that I had personally drawn.

Also, I just find spirituality and the paranormal and the occult to be a whole lot of fun!

Last edited by Spiritual_Occultist; 12-19-2011 at 06:39 AM..
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Old 12-19-2011, 09:18 AM
 
Location: Sitting beside Walden Pond
4,609 posts, read 4,115,423 times
Reputation: 1399
Mr. Occultist, I don't think you will get any insight from us Atheists.

We don't believe in anything supernatural at all. You do believe in the supernatural.

That is huge difference with no middle ground.
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