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Author Topic:   Christian conversion experience: descriptions/analysis/links: input invited
arachnophilia
Member (Idle past 484 days)
Posts: 9069
From: god's waiting room
Joined: 05-21-2004


Message 4 of 199 (214597)
06-06-2005 2:24 AM
Reply to: Message 1 by Gilgamesh
06-02-2005 11:15 PM


fear
i guess i'll get this topic off to an interesting start. i'm not really willing to share the particulars and details of my conversion. it's nothing BAD, really, i'm just intensely private about that sort of thing. but i guess i'll talk a little about some related matters later.

however, i would like to speak now about something, as a christian. and that something is the introductory step in the christian guilt-cycle: fear.

fear and doubt are probably the most common factors that play into a conversion. fear of eternal punishment, from doubting their previous convictions (athiest of whathaveyou). i think that this probably plays some role in every christian's conversion.

even my own, which had nothing to do with heaven, hell, or even a story about jesus for that matter. to some, it kicks a little wedge of "just in case" belief in, which then slowly builds into a full-fledged religion. i've personally witnessed a lot of cult-like tendencies in the fundamentalist christian churches.

yet i remain a christian, and a believer, despite that. i've always separated religion from faith. something, of course, that my church did not like. but after my fallout with the churches, it allowed me to keep my faith. i think that despite the nastiness of organized religion, or cultish fundamentalism, that jesus was a really cool guy. i think jesus would have had a lot to say about today's churches. he sure had a lot to say back then, and it mostly hasn;t changed except in name.

- "Touch" conversion (where recipient is required to fall backwards)

that stuff has always scared me. not in fear of spiritual power, but an "i can't believe the power of suggestability" kind of way. i've been to several churches that regularly did this. and i mean, regularly. almost every meeting.

this is sort of another phase of the cycle, the guilt and revival part. it follows denial. when we fail to be completely inhuman and against our nature, we feel bad about it, and need to confess, atone, and get touched by the holy spirit, or something.

my youth group did this almost every week. teenagers... lots of sin. i guess we all felt guilty about having hormones, or something. so after the p+w, the teaching, the prayer, etc, we'd have a seesion of laying the hands and rolling on the floor. now, maybe it's because i've always been a skeptic, or maybe it's because church is the place i feel the most separation from god, but i very rarely let them ever try this on me.

i remember once. the local rising-star holy boy put his hands on me and prayed, speaking in tongues, the whole nine yards. the leader of the youth group, i think, was behind me. he was the catcher. the guy prayed and prayed, but i just didn't fall over. now, i don't know about you, but when i close my eyes and try to stand still for 15 minutes, i start to lose my frame of reference and get dizzy.

and the pressure he was putting on me was greater and greater. now, i don't mean SOCIAL pressure. i mean he was starting to push me over. eventually, i lost my balance, and fell. i laid there for a few seconds staring at the ceiling, wonder what the hell this whole bit was about, and then got up.

i thought about asking why he'd pushed me over, but i thought i'd probably just come off as insulting, or damage someone else's faith. or something.

but as it was, i became increasingly sickened by my church. i had started going there because a friend brought me once, and i liked the atmosphere. i met a girl there too, who became a very good friend. she had an attitude they just didn't like. and i don't blame her. she wasn't a christian; her step-mother forced her to go as a condition for living at home. she was the time that routinely searched her step-daughters belongings, and held a bonfire of anything remotely unchristian. which of course, involved all kinds of music and classic literature.

towards the end, the church group was coming down on this girl for something or other. spreading rumors, i think it was. she was innocent, of course. not only had she not told ME the rumor, as one of her closest friends, but the rumor was also true. they were just coming down on her because it was easy to pick on the one who didn't belong.

in disgust, i left. they were not demonstrating even a desire to have a christian attitude, let alone doing things that christ would approve above. i left sort of out of concern for my own well-being. i knew if i went back, i would only have made a scene, and yelled at them. and i didn't really want to be that sort of person. looking back, i really should have.

the youth group collapsed on itself shortly after i left. attribute it heavily to the repression of the guilt-cycle there.


אָרַח

This message is a reply to:
 Message 1 by Gilgamesh, posted 06-02-2005 11:15 PM Gilgamesh has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 5 by Gilgamesh, posted 06-06-2005 2:55 AM arachnophilia has responded
 Message 10 by Faith, posted 06-06-2005 4:16 AM arachnophilia has responded
 Message 99 by randman, posted 06-25-2005 3:03 AM arachnophilia has responded

  
arachnophilia
Member (Idle past 484 days)
Posts: 9069
From: god's waiting room
Joined: 05-21-2004


Message 7 of 199 (214602)
06-06-2005 3:11 AM
Reply to: Message 5 by Gilgamesh
06-06-2005 2:55 AM


Re: fear
I believe fear of damnation may be just one of the factors that drives someone towards a religion, but I personally don't think a fear of damnation is a critical issue at the time of conversion/enlightenment. At the time of conversion fear is a factor in that most conversion experiences are conducted in front of the congregation and sometimes in a vulnerable state (semi-dressed and immensed in water for baptisms).

perhaps we're speaking of different things. i mean the actual intellectual conversion, the idea of being "born again" in some churches. when the person actually accepts the belief. not when they go through a ritualization of that to demonstrate it to others.

i'm speaking of falling in love, you're speaking of marriages. i think. for instance, i'm a christian, but i've never been baptized.

Thanks for your own appraisal of the "shoving" over technique. It accords perfectly with my own experiences.

i think i'm disheartened to hear that. certainly evident of the power of suggestion, considering how it starts softly.

Have you come across any good links/studies on this process?

no, just a good nine inch nails song:

quote:
I speak religion's message clear;
I am Denial, Guilt, and Fear

personal experience in the matter was enough to convince me of the truth of that.


אָרַח

This message is a reply to:
 Message 5 by Gilgamesh, posted 06-06-2005 2:55 AM Gilgamesh has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 15 by Gilgamesh, posted 06-06-2005 9:33 PM arachnophilia has responded

  
arachnophilia
Member (Idle past 484 days)
Posts: 9069
From: god's waiting room
Joined: 05-21-2004


Message 12 of 199 (214633)
06-06-2005 9:02 AM
Reply to: Message 10 by Faith
06-06-2005 4:16 AM


Re: charismatic experiences
One time I made a big effort to experience being "slain in the spirit."

is that what they call it?

I still believe that for some something real happened to them

well, this is where you and i differ, i suppose. for a while, i did think there was something real to it. i even pondered the notion that there was something and not OF GOD real to it, if you follow that line of thought. something in my gut just told me that there was something seriously wrong there.

these people certainly believed whatever was happening was real. otherwise rational sane people professed visions. but lately, and i won't really go into details, my own journey of faith and examination has made me understand that some of my own experiences were just in my head, wanting to believe. there was actually a rather large crisis of faith i had a few years back that this may in fact be answer to.

and it may be the answer to what's going on here. as an anecdotal analogy, i've been interested in the topic of ufo's, close encounters, and alien abductions since early childhood. not out of belief in the matter (i whole-heartedly do not) but out of fascination with the whole culture of it, and the psychology. most alien abduction experiences are actually our particular societal interpretation of sleep paralysis disorder. it's where the brain stradles the tiny gap between rem sleep and concious, but is still producing the hormone that keeps us stationary while we dream. so the "victim" experiences paralyzation, usually accompanied with intense irrational fear, and sensing some kind of (predatory or) evil presence in the room. sometimes on their chest, sometimes at the foot of the bed. interestingly enough, when people see figures in these dreams, they are gray, wax-like, and distorted. something in our brain chemistry just produces this image. some people read them as demons, others aliens. i had one such experience myself recently, but knowing what it was, i was able to make it go away and force myself into full conciousness.

but another interesting source of alien abductions, and probably the most applicable to religious experiences, is hypnosis. research has shown that leading questions, and the desire of the patient to believe, leads to producing false memories in the brain. this was also the source of the satanic cult and ritual abuse scare a few years back, as well as most multi-personality disorders (the two were usually linked).

so, i think it's highly probably that under the right conditions, and the right atmosphere or context, a person who truly wants to believe can enter themselves into a kind of self-hypnotic trance, and think they're recieving all kinds of messages and visions from the gods. but it's all just in their heads.

my mother often quotes julian jaynes at me, which basically proposes a theory that human mind only developed the modern corpus collosum in the last few thousand years, and so intra-brain communication was interpretted as visions and the voice of god. personally, i think the guy's a crackpot, and my last psych teacher agreed with me. the human mind just has not evolved physically that much in the last few thousand years, and even if it had, it wouldn't be in that way. i think that the human mind operates now just as it did in 5000 bc, and produces visions the same way.

not to say, of course, that some aren't neccessarily real.

I no longer consider it of any value in the Christian life.

i never saw the purpose in it at all. it didn't help anything. maybe it cemented belief, but that was about it. and it never once worked on me.

but neither do placebos.

After a series of programs involving prophetic teachings of a somewhat bizarre nature I had to face the fact that much of it could not be justified by the Bible and I left the church and the organization.

suprisingly little of modern churches can be. jesus spoke of a direct relationship to our god, and that he would show us that door. what he left us with was a community of equals. that's VERY threatening to a church that thrives on heirarchy and power structures. that's the reason they had him killed.

Unlike you I did confront others with my conclusions however. They were extremely unfriendly about it. I really became a pariah. But I left and never went back.

i confronted my church on a number of things during my stay there, but always in a friendly manner. i left because otherwise i would have interrupted their service, yelled at them at the top of my lungs, turned over a few tables, and left.

wwjd, right? ah well.

I was without a church for the next couple of years because I couldn't find a doctrinally pure one and wasn't willing to put up with less in that frame of mind after being so deceived. Finally I found a good one where the preaching is something to look forward to every week it's so good.

i've been without a permanent church since then, actually. i've visited a few, but i'm becoming more and more disheartened with the whole thing. i don't need them to try to foster my faith, i have it already. it just comes off as brainwashing to me now. do this, don't do that. jesus was not about DOCTRINE, he was about INTENT.

and i could seldom find a group of believers that were about intent. the kind who were down-to-earth, and genuinely nice people who didn't annoy me with their fakeness. and when i did, other things prevented me from regular attendance. in the end, i think it was a good thing. i've gone places i never would have in church, and asked some questions and gotten a few answers that never would have been allowed.

None of this is about fear. I don't think fear entered into much if any of my Christian experience but I'd have to give it some more thought.

please do. i know i would be lying if i said it didn't play a role in mine. i think it really plays a role in everyone's, to an extent. i think it's the hook that pulls people in once they've taken the bait. even me, and my bait was never about heaven or hell, or the afterlife.


אָרַח

This message is a reply to:
 Message 10 by Faith, posted 06-06-2005 4:16 AM Faith has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 13 by Faith, posted 06-06-2005 12:41 PM arachnophilia has responded
 Message 17 by lfen, posted 06-06-2005 10:25 PM arachnophilia has responded
 Message 18 by lfen, posted 06-06-2005 10:32 PM arachnophilia has not yet responded
 Message 101 by randman, posted 06-25-2005 3:35 AM arachnophilia has responded

  
arachnophilia
Member (Idle past 484 days)
Posts: 9069
From: god's waiting room
Joined: 05-21-2004


Message 28 of 199 (214931)
06-07-2005 8:01 AM
Reply to: Message 17 by lfen
06-06-2005 10:25 PM


Re: Julian Jaynes and the bicameral mind
Arach,

Listen to your mother! I don't think Julian qualifies as a crackpot though I can see why you might catagorize him as such.

well, i specifically asked my last psych teacher (college level, and a professional psychologist, mind you) what she thought about his work, in a very non-leading question. she basically said he was a crackpot, and didn't properly understand the chemistry or biology of the human brain.

i see no evidence that people were any different, even biblical times.

I remember in college studying the Iliad how the point was made that the Gods did everything.

and yet the odyssey is blatantly challenging the gods. and winning, i might add.


אָרַח

This message is a reply to:
 Message 17 by lfen, posted 06-06-2005 10:25 PM lfen has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 31 by lfen, posted 06-07-2005 12:28 PM arachnophilia has responded

  
arachnophilia
Member (Idle past 484 days)
Posts: 9069
From: god's waiting room
Joined: 05-21-2004


Message 29 of 199 (214934)
06-07-2005 8:26 AM
Reply to: Message 13 by Faith
06-06-2005 12:41 PM


Re: charismatic experiences
I've had experiences I once thought were of God and now don't but nothing I'd yet say were "just in my head." For one thing I got "the gift of tongues" and there's nothing about that I can fake.

there's this song by incubus i have on my random playlist somewhere in which i think their dj out speaks-in-tongues some religious guy. it's kind of funny.

now, it'd be one thing if these people were speaking aramaic, or ancient hebrew, or any real language.

A production of the brain? I don't know. It NEVER felt like something from God, EVER.

yeah. i think if it were god, his purpose would be more easily served by having us speak his words, in english. of course, the same for the devil, right?

Also I have to say I'm not convinced of the hypnagogic-state paralysis explanation for elaborate visions and things like "alien-abduction" experiences. That seems as far-fetched an explanation to me as demonic activity seems to others.

i'm not sure if i mentioned in the last post, but i had one such experience recently. i knew what it was, and was able to control it. it certainly explains alien abductions.

but i really just meant it as analogy about the sort of things our brains can create under certain conditions.

A kind of trance state IS cultivated in some NON-Christian religious practices such as meditative practices and shamanistic practices, which have some similarities to these abduction experiences, and something similar may be going on in charismatic "revivalistic" Christian contexts too,

quite similar.

but I don't see how anybody can be sure that what they bring about is not real (that is, demonic activity) but merely something they induce in their own brains.

i've decided that whether or not demons are real that i don't believe in them.

I saw a TV program some years ago that showed Catholic girls who were having visions of "Mary" (possibly Medjugorje) and I thought it was fascinating

there was a good one that hbo ran a while back on satan, and the ritual abuse crisis in this country. it was terrifying. not in the aspect of "omg devil's gonna git us!" but more "what are these people letting these pastors and psychologists do to them?"

which reminded me of what some eastern religions call the "third eye" which "sees" from the forehead.

that's strictly metaphysical.

I must say I appreciate hearing about your experiences as they make a lot of what you have been doing with the Bible more understandable, even though I believe your approach to the Bible is wrong.

well, so did they. :P

Your experiences seem to have had the effect of causing you to reject all churches and all traditional Christian Bible interpretation.

no, not exactly. i'm sitll open to finding a good church. i just have not. i'm starting to think, however, that what i'm looking for does not exist. i used to joke (yes, even back then) that i would start my own church one day.

and as for traditional christian bible interpretation, i was causing problems even back then. i'm not really interested in interpretation, actually. just what it's actually all about.

my youth group pastor failed to justify to me when i ask him once how selling tapes of the sermon outside the sanctuary door was any different than the money changers outside the temple in jesus's day. he made up an interpretation, but couldn't answer my question.

Thinking more about fear, I think my charismatic experiences brought about some fear in me as they were confusing in their contradiction with the Bible and caused me to doubt my salvation at times, and I could see that kind of fear leading someone to get even more involved in the need to resolve it, but in my case it eventually drove me away from them.

interesting. glad you got away.

{EDIT: P.S. I didn't yell at anybody, I merely told them what I'd discovered about how some of the prophecies and other teachings were unbiblical. They weren't interested in discussing any of it though I'd approached them saying that's what I'd like to do before leaving. My understanding of it alone made me their enemy from their point of view -- and since this is how cults behave I have to say it shows a cultish trend in the charismatic movement -- if you question anything you may even be quietly threatened with the idea that you have committed the "Blasphemy of the Holy Spirit," which is the Unforgiveable Sin. Now THAT is food for fear.

i don't mean to get off on a rant here, but that's a trend in a lot of christian churches. christianity in general has this idea of an original sin that damages us all, and that sin revolves around a tree called "knowledge." i've been to any number of churches that find knowledge dangerous, for this and the reason you mentioned.

and this is also the key point of our debate. i'm after the knowlegde regarding the bible, not the edifying faith.


אָרַח

This message is a reply to:
 Message 13 by Faith, posted 06-06-2005 12:41 PM Faith has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 32 by lfen, posted 06-07-2005 2:43 PM arachnophilia has responded
 Message 36 by Faith, posted 06-07-2005 7:58 PM arachnophilia has responded

  
arachnophilia
Member (Idle past 484 days)
Posts: 9069
From: god's waiting room
Joined: 05-21-2004


Message 30 of 199 (214936)
06-07-2005 8:29 AM
Reply to: Message 24 by Faith
06-07-2005 12:40 AM


But being an unbeliever, you don't seem to have the necessary perspective to discriminate between the true and the false that would make your study useful.

this is a really good point, although probably not the way you meant it.

this does require a certain degree of familiarity with the subject matter, regarding this cultish practices. and that's probably what he's looking for.


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This message is a reply to:
 Message 24 by Faith, posted 06-07-2005 12:40 AM Faith has not yet responded

  
arachnophilia
Member (Idle past 484 days)
Posts: 9069
From: god's waiting room
Joined: 05-21-2004


Message 33 of 199 (215133)
06-07-2005 7:03 PM
Reply to: Message 31 by lfen
06-07-2005 12:28 PM


Re: Julian Jaynes and the bicameral mind
But it's other Gods who are motivating the challenging and creating the victories. Achilleus is going to fight Agamemnon but Athena stops him. It was Venus that inspired the love that resulted in Helen leaving for Troy and thus the war in the first place. The plot is always advanced by the actions of the Gods not by "free will" or determination of humans.

right, except for the odyssey. in the odyssey, the title character shouts to the gods, "look at how smart i am, i defeat troy. and i did without you." posieden says in return something to the extent of "good. try and get home without my blessing then."

which, of course, odysseus does. odysseus is the first anti-diest hero.

the two, the iliad and the odyssey, represent very, very different views on the gods. which is why it's been suggested that homer was merely retelling earlier traditions.

it could also be argued that in the iliad the gods are strictly metaphorical. one could easily tell the story without them (and some have. i don't think they were in the recent movie troy, for instance).

The area where his work bears on the OP is that of "hearing voices" or the ego having experiences delivered to it. But this seems to fall more under spontaneous conversions experiences and it's now appearing that the OP is about the way some churches are using psychological setting and manipulation to create an experience that results in people believing in that churches teaching.

well, that's sort of what i'm talking about, and why i brought it up. the only point of disagreement that i have, really, is that the mind has CHANGED in the last few thousand years. i think whatever creates voices and visions and religious experiences in the mind is still very much there, and evidenced by the charismatic and pentecostal churches.

So I'll drop Jaynes for now. Did you read THE ORIGINS OF CONSCIOUSNESS IN THE BREAKDOWN OF THE BICAMERAL MIND?

no, but i've had a lot read to me.


אָרַח

This message is a reply to:
 Message 31 by lfen, posted 06-07-2005 12:28 PM lfen has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 41 by lfen, posted 06-07-2005 10:18 PM arachnophilia has responded

  
arachnophilia
Member (Idle past 484 days)
Posts: 9069
From: god's waiting room
Joined: 05-21-2004


Message 34 of 199 (215135)
06-07-2005 7:06 PM
Reply to: Message 32 by lfen
06-07-2005 2:43 PM


Re: charismatic experiences
Hysterical "illness" possession phenomenon are well documented in most human cultures. The Salem witch trials are one example. In Asia there was a disease that was rampant where a man felt his penis was about to be withdrawn inside his body. I forget the name of that.

so were the werewolf trials in western europe. although that is probably related to ergot in the rye fields. (ergot being related to lsd)

It's both embarassing and humbling that we so called modern people many with college educations living in the supposedly most advanced country can fall victim to these hysterias.

we're only human. i think the fact that we understand (and can control) these sorts of things is also a testament to our rathional abilities.

I suppose I should be grateful to mainline Christianity that it generally subdues the most wildly irrational aspects of their ancient belief system.

we must go to different churches. :P


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This message is a reply to:
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arachnophilia
Member (Idle past 484 days)
Posts: 9069
From: god's waiting room
Joined: 05-21-2004


Message 40 of 199 (215164)
06-07-2005 8:40 PM
Reply to: Message 36 by Faith
06-07-2005 7:58 PM


Re: charismatic experiences
"Science" that studies these things always starts with preconceptions that they end up proving. They deny the supernatural so supernatural explanations are never considered. Some *may* be purely psychological or brain-originated phenomena, some may be something else.

well, yes. and i'm convinced that aliens DO exist, somewhere. just not that they are visiting us and abducting people to do the same experiment over, and over, and over again.

still, i'm sure, the possibility does exist of the occasional REAL alien abduction. but as it remains, most if not all of the ones reported have very down-to-earth explanations.

i know it's a little pharoah's magicians of me. but seriously, GOD can do better than my explanations. because he's god.

But this is what is in question, whether the brain creates them or something else is possibly involved.

in my opinion, most are just in the head of the person experiencing them. all of the ones i've heard about that are fantastic in nature are still well within the realm of things able to be produced by the human mind.

still, to extend my analogy, there's one alien abduction report that i'm not sure about. it's a famous one, too. betty and barney hill. not only do their stories corroborate one another, but they report being shown a star chart. reportedly, the stars on betty's drawing are able to be matched with a known constellation, from a different perspective. and it reportedly contained two stars which had not even been found at the time. of course, i don't know the veracity of that information, but i keep the option of a real abduction open in that case.

same deal with true prophecy.

i've decided that whether or not demons are real that i don't believe in them.

I'm sure they appreciate the anonymity.

i'm sure they don't.

It usually falls out to be a witch hunt on the part of the accusers. The accusations of misbehaviors in churches seem to be growing -- the accusations are outlandish but great lengths are gone to to prove them, people's lives ruined by overzealous psychologists prompting children to "remember" things that never happened.

you know, that's sort of a good point. what if the molestation scandal is the same exact thing? that warrants investigation, i think.

Meaning what? The eyes rolled back in the head in meditation is illustrated in some books on Hindu practice.

meaning, the third eye. it sees on a different plane, the spiritual. supposedly, anyways. i researched hinduism only breifly, and only in regards to certain things.

Well this is not the thread for going into that, but "what it's actually all about" involves interpretation -- What you do is interpretation.

well, i really try to keep my interpretation to a minimum. no one's ever really free of it. usually my points are firmly based on the bible itself, not an interpretation of it. for example, arguing that the 7 days of creation are millions of years is an interpretation. arguing that the bible says "day" in a context that means day (and not it's other specific usages) is not interpreation. it's what the bible says. when i start talking about intent, and how it has to mean literal days because the story is justifying the 7-day hebrew week, with the sabbath on the 7th day, that's interpretation. but not much of one.

No, that's orthodox doctrine. Original sin is real.

to quote myself in another thread: "i believe in micro-sin-death, but not macro-sin-death."

i do not believe in original sin. it doesn't make sense, and alleges that god is unjust. why should i punished for someone thousands of generations my ancestor? at is MEANEST, god only says he'll punish to the fourth generation. it also alleges that god would hold something against someone that they were essentially ignorant of. adam did not understand what sin was, nor that it was evil. because he didn't know what good and evil were, did he? adam's stupidity even after eating is evidenced by the bible: he blames god for his sin. he says "the woman YOU put here made me do it." what kind of idiot says that to god?

If you don't understand original sin you can't really understand salvation.

god makes up a set of rule designed to damn us, and then saves us from those rules? so basically, god's saving us from god. kind of silly, isn't it?

i believe that god saved us from ourselves. it is our TENDENCY and nature to sin, but we do not have to pay for the sins of others.

The tree of the knowledge of good and evil has nothing whatever to do with knowledge as such.

morality comes from knowledge of good and evil. one cannot be moral without knowledge. neither can one be sinful. sin is not just straying from the path, it is first knowing the path. we have to have a target to miss.

I would agree that there is an unfortunate anti-intellectualism in some churches today, but I've never heard it rationalized by the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.

i think i have once or twice. but i noticed it mostly myself. christian churches speak of the tree of knowledge in an almost regretful way. like they wish it had never happened. the goal they want is to get back into the garden, and christ, as they see it, is the way back in.

but without it, none of us would be here. not you, not me, not jesus, nobody. the would have continued (or maybe ended) in the garden. we owe our very existance to that. and so the result must have been part of god's plan, right?

to some degree, god probably wanted adam and eve to eat. it's like a parent telling their child not to play with fire. they don't want the child to get burned, but at some point that's how the child learns. and almost every parent allows their child that opportunity.

But I guess this is getting off topic.

quite.


אָרַח

This message is a reply to:
 Message 36 by Faith, posted 06-07-2005 7:58 PM Faith has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 47 by Faith, posted 06-08-2005 2:22 AM arachnophilia has responded

  
arachnophilia
Member (Idle past 484 days)
Posts: 9069
From: god's waiting room
Joined: 05-21-2004


Message 44 of 199 (215227)
06-08-2005 1:06 AM
Reply to: Message 41 by lfen
06-07-2005 10:18 PM


Re: Julian Jaynes and the bicameral mind
I specifically was talking about the Iliad. I'll have to look back. Maybe I said Homer only, but I'm pretty sure I said the Iliad.

i think you did. i'm just pointing out that two pieces of text, generally held to be by the same person, are so markedly different that to extrapolate a point from one that is contradicted by the other is sort of absurd.

Sometimes cutting and pasting makes it too easy not to read thoughtfully.

quite.


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This message is a reply to:
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arachnophilia
Member (Idle past 484 days)
Posts: 9069
From: god's waiting room
Joined: 05-21-2004


Message 45 of 199 (215228)
06-08-2005 1:07 AM
Reply to: Message 39 by Faith
06-07-2005 8:08 PM


That out of ignorance and false preconceptions you might do damage to true Christians. Yes, that does appear to me to be a possibility. You haven't shown me that you understand or respect what true Christianity is.

if the faith is true, such an argument shouldn't hurt it.


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arachnophilia
Member (Idle past 484 days)
Posts: 9069
From: god's waiting room
Joined: 05-21-2004


Message 61 of 199 (215465)
06-08-2005 7:49 PM
Reply to: Message 15 by Gilgamesh
06-06-2005 9:33 PM


Re: fear
I've spent over 10 years trying to identify a intellectual path to belief, and have failed to find it. It is my experience that there is no such path and that conversion (whether it be a born again process or a slow evolution of thought) is an emotional process. A degree of intellectualisation occurs after conversion, or what I call "backrationalisation", only to the extent that is necessary for psychological comfort. Compartmentalisation is then used to ensure that the emotional need is not compromised by rational analysis. Many Christian faiths have processes/rules/tenets that assist with this process.

oh dear. this is a semantics problem. by "intellectual" i only meant the change in thought patterns, not that the conversion itself was intellectual. the are certainly almost, if not always, emotional experience by definition.

although, i reserve the option for the occasional intellectual conversion, especially into the less fanatical "faiths." for instance, a taoist "conversion" might be strictly intellectual. but that's generally not what we're talking about here, is it?

but what i meant was that i'm talking about the ritual, but the transition to the mindse:, the initial accepting of the belief system that prerequisites the ritual.


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arachnophilia
Member (Idle past 484 days)
Posts: 9069
From: god's waiting room
Joined: 05-21-2004


Message 62 of 199 (215467)
06-08-2005 8:01 PM
Reply to: Message 47 by Faith
06-08-2005 2:22 AM


Re: charismatic experiences
Oh I don't think they are alien abductions, but I think it's possible they are some kind of demonic deception.

i fail to see the difference. why should one mythology be accepted over the other? it has a perfectly rational explanation, and more importantly can be replicated in a laboratory setting.

I don't doubt those cases myself. There it's individuals coming in many years after the fact, as adults, not the same thing I'm thinking of.

actually, it is. most of the people in the satanic ritual abuse witchhunt were adults, although some were children. it seemed to make no difference, really. it was all about the religious and/or psychological atmosphere.

Yes, that's the point. They were seeing this apparition, which the people following them couldn't see.

yes, but as far as i know, they don't accept it with the same degree of reality people in christendom do. they percieve a disjoint between spiritual and physical. and that the physical is fake.

i'm not really arguing with your point though.

It's a matter of what the Bible says. God told them they would die if they ate of that fruit and they died. Paul simply emphasizes that when he says in Romans 5:12 "Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned...."

paul says all have sinned. he's talking about the concept i am: we can't escape our nature. not that we are punished for adam's sin.

paul's also wrong. according to the bible, there are people without sin.

But now in these last few statements you are not even pretending to follow the Bible, not even interpreting, you are simply making up what you want it to mean.

look up the orthodox jewish position on the matter. i bet you'll find it says the same thing. and they're dealing with the same exact text paul is - genesis 3. paul is interpretation, and you quote him as scripture.

You just throw out those parts you don't like.

when the pieces don't fit, some of them have to be from the wrong puzzle.

Same with your speculations about the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. You are simply pondering it from your own feelings rather than what the Bible actually says.

look up the orthodox jewish interpretation on that too, while you're at it. i bet you'll find that says the same thing too. wonder what they're basing it on?

but here, we'll follow logic for a second. did god want jesus's sacrifice to happen?


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This message is a reply to:
 Message 47 by Faith, posted 06-08-2005 2:22 AM Faith has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 67 by Faith, posted 06-08-2005 9:32 PM arachnophilia has responded
 Message 77 by Faith, posted 06-09-2005 12:33 PM arachnophilia has responded

  
arachnophilia
Member (Idle past 484 days)
Posts: 9069
From: god's waiting room
Joined: 05-21-2004


Message 72 of 199 (215549)
06-09-2005 1:32 AM
Reply to: Message 67 by Faith
06-08-2005 9:32 PM


Re: charismatic experiences
it's ok, we should save it for another time.


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This message is a reply to:
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Replies to this message:
 Message 73 by Gilgamesh, posted 06-09-2005 1:51 AM arachnophilia has responded

  
arachnophilia
Member (Idle past 484 days)
Posts: 9069
From: god's waiting room
Joined: 05-21-2004


Message 78 of 199 (215662)
06-09-2005 2:21 PM
Reply to: Message 73 by Gilgamesh
06-09-2005 1:51 AM


Re: charismatic experiences
Feel free arachnophilia.

eh, no it's ok i'll pass for now. the original sin/"why i don't like paul" debate is a long and arduous one, and REALLY out of place here. as it is, i have to get back to faith's post a little later (gotta go out).


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This message is a reply to:
 Message 73 by Gilgamesh, posted 06-09-2005 1:51 AM Gilgamesh has not yet responded

  
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