A Conversation for Asimov on Religion

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Post 1

jbliqemp...

Associative leaps, or something like that. I have them every now and then, just as everyone else does, I suppose. Some sort of stimulous triggers a memory of a past event, or a possible event, or an event that could never happen, and manifests itself.. It's usually easier for the event to manifest in some way other than primary (visually, for most people), so, whichever sense is being ignored at the moment will 'receive' the stimuli (the prickling up the back, the sound of people talking).

So yeah, every now and then I hear or feel something that isn't there, and wonder about it.. I usually ignore it, unless, of course, it makes me remember that I didn't do something that I needed to.

-jb


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Post 2

deackie

I must have been about 8 when I had a similar auditory experience. I was staying at my grandparents and had gone to bed but was not at all sleepy. I led in bed wide awake and frozen stiff because for some reason I felt scared, then I heard a woman's voice talking. I paused to decide whether to keep perfectly still or run, and then I leapt up and ran as fast as I could downstairs to my grandparents. Afterwards I though it may have been the TV I heard because the woman's voice had the clear, precise sound of a newsreader but from the bedroom it was impossible to hear anything that was going on downstairs.

Another experience was similar to that of Asimov's. I my late teens I went through a stage of suffering from a variety of sleep disorders. One of the results of this was very vivid sensory dreams, the one in particular that sticks in my mind was the morning I woke up with my arm above my head and my hand being held. I retracted my arm so quickly, but of course, nothing was there.

At the time of both events I immediately explained both situations with ghosts. Probably because I have always had an over active imagination, a love of ghost stories and a fear of going to bed because of the sleep problems I suffered. It seems obvious to me, however, that both situations and many other similar ones have psychological routes (either that or I'm psychic and very attractive to paranormal activity, excuse me a ghost is just tapping me on the shoulder with a message for Pam, anyone here called Pam? smiley - winkeye )


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Post 3

Blatherskite the Mugwump - Bandwidth Bandit

Heh. In another forum, where I was discussing paranormal activities, someone said the "voices in the noise" told him to tell me "runaway boat." It was supposed to convince me. Utter gibberish.

I have noticed that, when I discuss the reasons for their beliefs, a lot of Christians get a distant expression and say "I've experienced things that can't be explained any other way." So naturally, I ask them to tell me about it. They refuse. I imagine they're thinking of this sort of phenomenon, and they don't want a rational explanation.

And now I'll go put this up on the FFFF page...


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Post 4

deackie

Colonel Sellers, you are lucky that when you ask Christians to tell you about their "religious" experiences they don't tell you. I get very fed up with Christians telling me about the "proof" behind their faith, especially when I think that they are usual experiences that most people probably have, it's just about the way in which they are interpretted. I have the perfect example. I occassionally suffer from sleep paralysis, a known and documented sleep disorder. When I experience sleep paralysis I explain it neurologically, as EEGs show the disorder is caused by the presence of both waking brain waves and REM sleep brainwaves. Certain Eastern cultures explain it as the witch. A person wakes, is completely paralysed but sees the witch, it is believed that if the paralysis does not wear off the witch will kill you. Many Westerners think of sleep paralysis as proof of alien abduction, the witch figure is substituted for aliens. A Christian friend of mine experienced sleep paralysis once, this coincided with her having doubts about her faith. She explained to me that it was the devil visiting her and was a warning and now her belief in God is much stronger. Much to her disappointment, I was not convinced by her "evidence" for the existence of God. Interestingly, she was not even willing to consider my neurological explanation despite its strong scientific grounding.


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Post 5

Fragilis - h2g2 Cured My Tabular Obsession

Thanks for the anecdotes, jbliqemp and deackie. It's nice to know it isn't

We know that science can't explain everything about our universe today, while in the future it might. I suppose I should take the same stance with my auditory experience. I don't really know what caused it, but some useful scientific factoid may make sense of it later.

I'd far rather believe that than some silliness about my teacher's spirit visiting me.

And yes, it is interesting about how people interpret such events differently. I remember being very distressed over my experience, and I haven't had one since. Perhaps on some level, my brain kept a memory of what had occurred to bring the experience about and avoided it in the future.

For people who enjoy such experiences (as blessings or through titillation), perhaps their brains connive to make the occurrences happen again and again. It's an interesting theory, anyway. It might even explain the stories of such people as Joan of Arc.


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Post 6

Fragilis - h2g2 Cured My Tabular Obsession

It's nice to know it isn't... just me. smiley - smiley


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Post 7

deackie

You are not alone... although it could be that you probably are smiley - smiley. I go for the lone brain in a jar theory myself.


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Post 8

Fragilis - h2g2 Cured My Tabular Obsession

smiley - smiley

I'm too attached (in more ways than one) to my body to imagine that it might not exist. smiley - smiley


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Post 9

deackie

But how can you be sure? smiley - winkeye


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Post 10

Fragilis - h2g2 Cured My Tabular Obsession

I can't, really. Unlike the pure atheist, agnostics like myself feel comfortable making the odd assumption about life. In this case, I find it far easier to live with the assumption of my body's existance than to question my every action.


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Post 11

deackie

I think it would be impossible to live a functional life if you doubted constantly the existance of your body. It's almost like an evolutionary survival trait that humans have the ability to believe in something, rather than nothing at all. Humans have developed higher cognitive functions but with that comes the ability to contemplate existence. This could be potentially threatening as it could drive an individual insane, therefore, the ability to form belief patterns is required. I suppose all beliefs provide comfort.


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Post 12

R. Daneel Olivaw -- (User 201118) (Member FFFF, ARS, and DOS) ( -O- )

Even though there is no way to prove your body exists, it is reasonable to use it as a working hypthesis until you find exidence to the contrary. Of course, if you do, you might have to change your assumption.


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Post 13

Nonexistent One

smiley - biggrin


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