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Strangelove

"talking To God"

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When I was in high school I had a friend named Ryan who joined the rugby team at a different school. We razzed him because we didn't think he was cut out for rugby. We all thought he was going to get injured or something.

You already stated your reason and logic behind the high chances of his injury. In fact you made fun of him for those reasons. If, after the injury, you then went to believing you had "clairvoyant powers" you would have been contradicting yourself.

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If, after the injury, you then went to believing you had "clairvoyant powers" you would have been contradicting yourself.

That's true. Do you think anyone can claim clairvoyance without contradiction? I don't.

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That's true. Do you think anyone can claim clairvoyance without contradiction? I don't.

If you base your decisions on faith, it wont be a contradiction in your mind. If you use reason and logic, then you can't claim clairvoyance without contradiction.

The emphasis on method of reason is particularly important in Objectivist epistemology.

Reason depends on the use of logic. Ayn Rand defines logic as "non-contradictory identification."

"The faculty that perceives, identifies and integrates the evidence of reality provided by man's senses [bold to emphasize importance]. Man's ability to extend the range of his awareness beyond the perceptual concretes immediately confronting him." - "The Psychology of Self-Esteem", NB

(http://wiki.objectivismonline.net/index.php/Reason)

The definition of the word "clairvoyance" is "the power or faculty of discerning objects not present to the senses[bold to emphasize importance]" (m-w dictionary).

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If you base your decisions on faith, it wont be a contradiction in your mind.

But it would still be an attempt to contradict reality. Clairvoyance is self-contradictory:

The definition of the word "clairvoyance" is "the power or faculty of discerning objects not present to the senses[bold to emphasize importance]" (m-w dictionary).

One cannot sense something by means of non-sense. The point of my first post in this thread was: accepting the validity of ideas like clairvoyance is phsychologically damaging. People who claim to have had out of body experiences are evading reality at best, suffering from pschological illness at worst.

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An attempt at "prayer" or "talking to god(s)" is really an attempt at introspection. The only one who can answer their questions in their minds is themselves. Bold Standard had this one right.

The answers they get come from their own subconscious mind, which usually means their emotions. Unfortunately, its a poor substitute for real introspection, because it implicitly assumes that the contents of one's subconscious is correct, and that the appropriate emotion will result from asking the question (of oneself). The "answer" one gets is merely how one feels about the question, assuming all of one's automatized premises. Unless you know epistemology, you won't know where this "answer" came from, and you might think it was something "out there" (although I personally never went that far).

How do I know this so assuredly? I've done it, when I was a wee little pup, long before I found the path of Objectivism. This identification is first-hand, through my own introspection of myself -- it is what I did when I was "praying" (except that I never thought the answer came from somewhere other than myself -- I knew that I didn't know the source).

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Funny, that sounds a lot like Nathaniel Branden's sentence completion excercises. I don't know if it's worth basing an entire approach to psychotherapy on it, but I do think you can get some unique value out of that sort of thing.

So I went home, took a sheet of paper and started talking to myself on paper. It worked just fine. I found answers I have not found while 'being myself'. It's just a good way to go beyond your very own stubbornness and see things from another perspective.

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Funny, that sounds a lot like Nathaniel Branden's sentence completion excercises. I don't know if it's worth basing an entire approach to psychotherapy on it, but I do think you can get some unique value out of that sort of thing.

You're right. That's a similar approach. But I think that the 'schizophrenia'-approach is more straightforward and more rewarding.

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An attempt at "prayer" or "talking to god(s)" is really an attempt at introspection. The only one who can answer their questions in their minds is themselves. Bold Standard had this one right.

yeah... I realized I was god when i was praying and realized I was talking to myself.

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If you can communicate with your 'ivisible friend' you're way cooler than those who can't. The best thing about make-belive friends is the fact that you can pretend they said whatever you want them to have.

Did I mention that my invisible friend can kick your invisible friend's ass? Pretty much sums up reasoning behind jihads and crusades.

My advice to the mystics, would be to grow up. Most kids give up believing in that crap, when they're 6.

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It is ironic that this thread got new attention because I had what was almost certainly an instance of sleep paralysis last week. Before reading this thread and the wikipedia article on the topic today, I had no idea what it was. After reading it, it makes sense.

What happened was this: one afternoon I fell asleep while reading in my chair. Upon waking (or imagining I had awakened), I found I could not move at all. It was extremely vivid, much more so than any dream I've had, such that I could see in front of me just as I could when I fell asleep, and I could (or imagined I could) move my eyes around to see what would be normally visible to me. Problem was, none of my extremities would move. At first I tried shuffling my body around, then as time went on got more annoyed and ultimately scared, trying as hard as I could to move my arms and legs. At one point in this struggle, in what I believe was a dream interlude I imagined getting up, being relieved about no longer being paralyzed, and going to the sink to get a drink a calm down - whereupon I was suddenly back in the chair, paralyzed again and staring straight ahead (possibly analogous to what some believe to be "out of body experience").

All this time, my mind was very functional. I remember, among other things, thinking first about medical causes of the situation (could I have slept in such a way that all my limbs fell asleep?), about the psychological implications (don't panic, this is probably temporary), and logistics (how long will it be until my roommate gets home and finds me/how will he discover I am paralyzed, and not just sleeping?). It's pretty humorous to me in hindsight, but at the time, and for hours afterword, it was quite disturbing.

Finally, after what seemed like a long time but probably was not, I snapped out of it and (at long last and with much relief) regained my motor skills.

Judging by my experience, I could definitely see somebody steeped in religious mysticism having some sort of allegedly divine experience. As for myself, I was most worried about whether medical science could cure my paralysis. The last thing I was concerned with was angels, demons, or Jesus.

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I succeeded in contacting the former Atheist who brought that point up, and asked him for a persons identity, his claims, and his proof (as you requested). He responded with this

I took a look at the site. Unfortunately the link labeled "NDE [Near Death Experiences] Archives" is under construction. I was able to click on the "Children's NDEs" link. They really give no proof, and I find it funny that so many people believe these NDE's are the souls leaving the body, and even sometimes feeling the presense of god (or jesus as I've heard many say). I'll quote some information from their site that gives you an idea of what they believe to be truth.

Sorry I couldn't find concrete proof. I didn't think I would be able to, though. These people base their decisions on faith, so that's not going to help us too much :D. This is why it seems to be so hard to argue against those who believe in the "supernatural". No matter how much proof they say they have, in the end it always comes down to faith.

Perhaps it is because faith is simply another word for trust.This presence of god that people feel or experience under certain circumstances such as NED's+ other circumstances are moments of experiencing that feeling of oneness with the universe, themselves and their surroundings.Perhaps a fleeting moment of bliss ,and the only way to describe what they experienced would be to call it GOD.I suppose that it would be somewhat like having the worst day of dealing with traffic,jobs,bosses and not to mention rude people.At the end of your day you get home.Now home would certainly feel HEAVENLY. From what i read about people that have ned's, phisically what happens is that oxygen intake becomes limited in the brain, so perhaps what happens from then is that the mind stops for however long the experince is, and therefore they FEEL rather than THINK.When this happens one is able to experience the MOMENT through feeling rather than through thought. And when one experiences the moment it is as though god has come into existence(not the god of religion) But one doesn't have to experience a NED to understand this or to experience this oneness.Silence the mind and see what happens.

The mind is a great tool but it can also be a great limitation.

Edited by kublakan

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A lot of mystics (especially evangelicals, though this does not only apply to them) often use language about having "conversations" with God, and other such claims of "communication".

I am interested, has their been any scientific research done which shows how this illusionary effect is achieved? I would imagine it would require some sort of control to be established over certain parts of the brain hemispheres, possibly triggering some sort of hormonal response to give such a sensation a feeling of "pleasure". But I have only a High-School level of basic biology education so would like any links to articles or web pages which may explain this phenomenon.

People have been claiming this from the beginnig of time.Pehaps there is truth to this.There is much that is unknown and unexplained in this universe. Even science cannot explain much though they try, but even they are stomped because the complexity of the human being is great and so is the simplicity. Answers cannot be found in a book,though many books can help to get you closer to the answer.The answers I beleive lie within the self. It is really not a phenomenon though perhaps in our generation it would be seen as such because of the simple fact that most human beings are out of touch with themselves.There was long ago a time were human beings were closer to their inner beings and this communion or communication with "GOD" was natural to most. Not an illusion but a reality. Simply meant that one was in touch with their HIGHEST self.Highest self being WISDOM. Looking at the world today ther is a lack of it, but not completely lost (it will make a come back).Science will not be able to explain this, science is limited.You must search deeper. On the other hand,yes.Parts of the brain are triggered when this communion takes place. But first the feeling of oneness , communion, unity

must happen and then the brain follows.Not the other way around.

Edited by kublakan

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It is ironic that this thread got new attention because I had what was almost certainly an instance of sleep paralysis last week. Before reading this thread and the wikipedia article on the topic today, I had no idea what it was. After reading it, it makes sense.

What happened was this: one afternoon I fell asleep while reading in my chair. Upon waking (or imagining I had awakened), I found I could not move at all. It was extremely vivid, much more so than any dream I've had, such that I could see in front of me just as I could when I fell asleep, and I could (or imagined I could) move my eyes around to see what would be normally visible to me. Problem was, none of my extremities would move. At first I tried shuffling my body around, then as time went on got more annoyed and ultimately scared, trying as hard as I could to move my arms and legs. At one point in this struggle, in what I believe was a dream interlude I imagined getting up, being relieved about no longer being paralyzed, and going to the sink to get a drink a calm down - whereupon I was suddenly back in the chair, paralyzed again and staring straight ahead (possibly analogous to what some believe to be "out of body experience").

All this time, my mind was very functional. I remember, among other things, thinking first about medical causes of the situation (could I have slept in such a way that all my limbs fell asleep?), about the psychological implications (don't panic, this is probably temporary), and logistics (how long will it be until my roommate gets home and finds me/how will he discover I am paralyzed, and not just sleeping?). It's pretty humorous to me in hindsight, but at the time, and for hours afterword, it was quite disturbing.

Finally, after what seemed like a long time but probably was not, I snapped out of it and (at long last and with much relief) regained my motor skills.

Judging by my experience, I could definitely see somebody steeped in religious mysticism having some sort of allegedly divine experience. As for myself, I was most worried about whether medical science could cure my paralysis. The last thing I was concerned with was angels, demons, or Jesus.

Why were you limited by fear?

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