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Old 01-19-2014, 08:28 PM
 
Location: South Carolina
3,544 posts, read 2,456,995 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AREQUIPA View Post
Yes, I thought of Mystic's 'Universal field' theory, when I read that. Of course the string of light - bulbs and sea of energy might have something as a theory, but there is no reason to take it as true, and the 'robotic' aspect is more of a slamming as 'Fundie atheists' all those who see the functioning of the brain as a rather better explanation, given the lack of anything more substantial.

'Energy cannot be destroyed' is of course irrelevant and only used rather like the 'nothing can come from nothing' mantra to try to force a conclusion of 'Soul' or 'God' which neither mantra - even if they are true - really supports.

If our posting pal really is an atheist, he is certainly not a rationalist atheist.
He's def not an atheist, I knew him in another life, long time no see Mystic.
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Old 01-19-2014, 10:26 PM
 
Location: Here
1,694 posts, read 1,498,535 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Thinking-man View Post
i was having a discussion with my dad last night......he's an atheist as well (i think?), but there are still some superstitions that are too deeply rooted for him to get away from....(it seems).

So, the discussion went the way of 'personal experience'.....and how there have been instances for him where he's had a dream of someone's death without knowing anything about them or being close to them in any way.....or all of a sudden having anxiety out of nowhere only to learn later that a best friend's mom has suddenly died.

he said that there are things we still don't understand and so i shouldn't be too quick to write them off, in my 'evidence-only' based way of life.

i really didn't know how to answer the above 'examples'....i was only able to mention the phenomenon of 'coincidences' and the fact that there have been thousands of dreams/feeling that didn't pan out but him not taking any notice of those....

i was wondering if you guys have any better explanation or different thoughts on the above.
Once or twice I have awakened from a dream where god had talked to me. I can't remember what he said. It might have been something reassuring, or it may have been some sort of advice. When I first awoke from one of these dreams I thought that if god actually did want to confer with me, that's how he would do it; in a dream. Then after being awake for a half hour or so -long enough for my head to clear- I realized that if god wanted to talk to me he could stand in front of me in some manifestation and speak to me, or he could even whisk me away to some unfamiliar environment and talk to me there. He did not need to speak to me in a dream. It also occurred to me that I have experienced other people talking to me in dreams, some of these people being long-gone. While dreaming, I have even had my childhood dog talk to me, speaking in regular Midwestern English. Of course he was an Ohio dog.

Point is; I am not going to discount things that just might be possible. On the other hand, I'm not going to believe in things that at least to me, are not reasonable, given what I know, and what my senses tell me.
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Old 01-20-2014, 03:11 AM
 
Location: City-Data Forum
7,945 posts, read 4,756,030 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Grandstander View Post
There are coincidences in life. I once attended an outdoor rock concert on a hog farm near Archer, Florida. It was a hot weekend and my group decided to wander off into the woods looking for any sort of swimming hole we might use to cool off some. After tramping around for a time, we found a watering hole and were splashing about when the property owner showed up with a shotgun and ordered us off his land immediately. We exited hastily and I left behind a beach towel I had brought which featured a map of the state of Florida, distinguished by a hole where Jacksonville should be.

We were now lost in the woods and wandered around for a goodly time until finally coming upon a road where we hitched a ride back to the concert.

That had been Saturday. On Monday morning we departed, it was about a two mile walk to where we had parked and half way there I spotted something familiar looking on the side of the road. It was my beach towel, map of Florida, hole where Jacksonville was supposed to be. How the towel got from the farmer's pond to the side of the road many miles away remains a mystery.

I would imagine the odds against the above described event taking place as it did must have been enormous, yet it happened. I did not interpret any of it as an indication of divine intervention, why would god be fooling around with low rent, pointless miracles like that?

Bizarre stuff happens.
In all good sarcasm: God isn't so low, and chance isn't so great; it was most likely invisible elves trying to hint to you that they exist.
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Old 01-22-2014, 08:03 AM
 
3,682 posts, read 4,950,493 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Matt Marcinkiewicz View Post
Probably, insofar as he'd prefer to feel like no wedge exists between himself and his father. Sorry to presume to speak for you, OP--correct me if I'm wrong. Also, it sounds like his lacking a sufficient answer to/for his dad's experiences may have caused him a modicum of doubt about his own convictions. That's probably the bigger issue, if I had to guess
definitely not Matt. I'm an atheist and i have a firm understanding of why i don't believe in gods and the supernatural. I think the most accurate answer i could have given to my dad was the one that i did....i just was asking if anyone would have had given a different one.
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Old 01-22-2014, 08:13 AM
 
12,438 posts, read 9,960,082 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Thinking-man View Post
i was having a discussion with my dad last night......he's an atheist as well (i think?), but there are still some superstitions that are too deeply rooted for him to get away from....(it seems).

So, the discussion went the way of 'personal experience'.....and how there have been instances for him where he's had a dream of someone's death without knowing anything about them or being close to them in any way.....or all of a sudden having anxiety out of nowhere only to learn later that a best friend's mom has suddenly died.

he said that there are things we still don't understand and so i shouldn't be too quick to write them off, in my 'evidence-only' based way of life.

i really didn't know how to answer the above 'examples'....i was only able to mention the phenomenon of 'coincidences' and the fact that there have been thousands of dreams/feeling that didn't pan out but him not taking any notice of those....

i was wondering if you guys have any better explanation or different thoughts on the above.
I guess this is amounts to that which is unknown remains unknown until it is known. I don't know what "write them off" means. But unknown = God or some other mystical thing is an equation that is not necessary. Something that is not known is just that. Not known.
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Old 02-05-2014, 05:50 PM
 
Location: Albuquerque New Mexico
23 posts, read 22,815 times
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Growing up psychic w/a psychic mom i can tell you there are conicidences then there are things that are way beyond coincidence/chance. The most extreme example i can think of was when my mom had a dream that a plane crashed into a school yard.( This i believe was in the 70s.) A couple of days later, we saw it on the news. We were horrified cause we were hoping it was "just a dream" This is one of so many i could write a book ( which i dont have the patience for !)
The other issue here is that youre connecting superstition, esp and religious belief. Understandable that one could make a general connection of these, but in my opinion, and personal experieence,they dont necessarily go together.
My mom and I are not superstitious. Superstition to me (and I think this is the generally agreed upon definition ) is about beliefs based on silly fears, such as "dont walk under a ladder", etc etc.
We also are not religious. I would call myself spiritual/new age, believe in karma and a higher power. I do believe in one God but i dont go to church and I question everything about ALL religions, including the motives of those who wrote the books ! I do believe the religious texts of the world were subject to more than a bit of creative editing to suit those in power etc.
So, my beliefs are based on my personal experience , my own intuition and my moms. Not because i want to believe but because id have to be nuts or blind not too, after all ive experienced and witnessed
Nevertheless, I always look for the "rational explanation" first. A 'ghost sighting" has often really been a ghost sighting, often w/several people and my cat all seeing it at the same time. But other times, i have been able to prove a supposed sighting as simply a trick of light/shadow, etc. I am committed to TRUTH, not lies, not assumption, not blind belief.
Its important to have a discerning mind, but also to have an open one. All the greatest inventors, explorers and discoverers have had both. Balance of the two and a sincere desire for TRUTH is what we need .
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Old 02-06-2014, 05:48 AM
 
Location: The backwoods of Pennsylvania ... unfortunately.
5,846 posts, read 3,366,813 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Thinking-man View Post
definitely not Matt. I'm an atheist and i have a firm understanding of why i don't believe in gods and the supernatural. I think the most accurate answer i could have given to my dad was the one that i did....i just was asking if anyone would have had given a different one.
I think in addition to the coincidence factor, there is also a problem of interpretation.

Sometimes we simply do not interpret the facts correctly; we assign meaning where none exists. Dreams are especially suspect because of how quickly they fade after waking - an evolutionary necessity lest our dreams become memories which can really mess with your head. It wouldn't be hard to retroactively place the deceased best friend's mother into the dream when the memory of said dream is fuzzy. Was the dream really about the mom who died that very same night? Or am I placing the mother into a dream that I can no longer accurately remember?

The interpretation aspect is especially important when dealing with religious experiences. What I try not to do is dismiss the entire experience. Rather, something may have happened, but cultural bias and religious thoughts can easily cause one to misinterpret what actually occurred.

Think of it like being in an old house alone on a stormy night - and suddenly the coat rack looks like a looming monster, the blowing curtains look like ghosts, and the wind sounds like moans. If you set your mind into a certain way of thinking, in this case the house being haunted, you are likely to see the world around you in a way that fits your preconceived interpretation. Thus if you're already religious - or want to be - a lot of feelings and experiences can be misinterpreted as being religious, that God is talking to you, etc.
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Old 02-06-2014, 06:38 AM
 
Location: Northeastern US
14,198 posts, read 9,113,267 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shirina View Post
The interpretation aspect is especially important when dealing with religious experiences. What I try not to do is dismiss the entire experience. Rather, something may have happened, but cultural bias and religious thoughts can easily cause one to misinterpret what actually occurred.
Yep. I've mentioned before that my stepson has an interest in the paranormal, despite being an atheist. It's odd because he majors in philosophy so you'd think he'd have thought deeply about all things metaphysical but afterlives seem to be something he keeps in a separate compartment. At any rate, because of this we've treated him to a couple of "ghost hunts" for entertainment, and I noticed that people really overdraw conclusions, trying to make connections and associations and infer agency -- because, as you mention, this is what we humans do.

So when discussing paranormal happenings, I notice that people superimpose their religious beliefs, and immediately interpret within that framework. The most you could say about one event under discussion, if it actually happened as perceived, was that it pointed to the possibility of discarnate consciousness and there was need to collect and sift more evidence along those lines. But the connections just kept rolling -- if they are discarnate entities, they are ghosts, and ghosts are dead people, and they must not have found their way to heaven yet -- or they are angels, or something else that populates their imaginations. So now the discarnate entities are necessarily people or angels or something else already believed or known ... when the event itself says no such thing about the matter. In other words every experience we have, rather than standing on its own with no assumptions, is assumed to confirm or deny what we already believe -- a most unscientific approach to say the least. And we have a hard time not thinking something or someone is behind things, so we infer agency -- which is why I said the event pointed to the possibility of some sort of discarnate entity; we must never trust ourselves when we see agency in anything because our mind so much wants to see agency that it often invents it.
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Old 02-06-2014, 01:59 PM
 
Location: Aiken, South Carolina, US of A
1,769 posts, read 3,878,030 times
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I think people believe what they want to believe.
Pure and simple.
Dreaming is natural, healthy for the brain.
Other than that, your thoughts are just what you
want to make them.
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Old 02-06-2014, 03:29 PM
 
Location: Type 0.7 Kardashev
10,577 posts, read 7,300,978 times
Reputation: 37479
Quote:
Originally Posted by Thinking-man View Post
i was having a discussion with my dad last night......he's an atheist as well (i think?), but there are still some superstitions that are too deeply rooted for him to get away from....(it seems).

So, the discussion went the way of 'personal experience'.....and how there have been instances for him where he's had a dream of someone's death without knowing anything about them or being close to them in any way.....or all of a sudden having anxiety out of nowhere only to learn later that a best friend's mom has suddenly died.

he said that there are things we still don't understand and so i shouldn't be too quick to write them off, in my 'evidence-only' based way of life.

i really didn't know how to answer the above 'examples'....i was only able to mention the phenomenon of 'coincidences' and the fact that there have been thousands of dreams/feeling that didn't pan out but him not taking any notice of those....

i was wondering if you guys have any better explanation or different thoughts on the above.
My thoughts are that of the countless dreams, conversations, thoughts and noticings that happen in our lives, the occasional one will bear striking similarity to something that happens subsequently.

It's no more mysterious than rolling a natural Yahtzee in one toss. "OMG! What are the odds?" Well, to be precise, 1296-to-1. It's only 'mysterious' if you ignore or forget (which is precisely what happens to things that aren't memorable) the previous thousand or so rolls that didn't have such a result.

Of course, these things are testable. But every scientifically sound attempt to test visions of the future has demonstrated no such ability.
Parapsychology - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
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