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Debunk My Spiritual Bullshit!


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Although I have been an atheistic thinker for several years now, I tend to doubt the supposed "Truth" of Atheism. I don't know that I believe in a god per se, but I do believe that an unseen spiritual world must exist simply because I've had encounters with it since early childhood.

 

All of the houses we lived in when I was a child were haunted. I don't mean Hollywood scary movie type of hauntings, but hauntings nonetheless. I grew up in Lake Jackson, TX, which is located in Brazoria County - an area famous for its old ghost stories. The living room in the first house we lived in when I was very young was haunted. I hated walking down the hall past it at night because when I did I would usually hear an odd, unexplained noise that scared me. Strange things went on in my bedroom, too. I once had a dream about the Three Little Bears, and after the dream a deep voice informed me that if I ever told anybody about it, I would die. Now, I have told people about this many times over the years, and I obviously haven't died. So, was it just a dream, or what? I woke up one night to see a woman sitting on the foot of my bed. I wasn't scared at all. I felt very peaceful and just went back to sleep. I don't really believe in the concept of guardian angels, but I have to wonder... I dreamed one night about a garage full of running lawnmowers and edgers, and several years later that dream came true. I was quite the small engine mechanic when I was a kid, and one day I did have our garage full of lawnmowers and edgers running all at one time just for the hell of it, and I recalled the dream. Coincidence? Precognition? Hmm....

 

We moved across town to a larger house when I was seven years old. That house turned out to be haunted too. I regularly heard angelic-sounding singing coming from one of the closets in my bedroom at night. I also became aware of an energy field of some sort that surrounded me that I could see in the dark and manipulate with my mind. I know that sounds weird, but it's true. One day while I was at home alone working out in the garage while my mother and sister were at the grocery store I saw a ghost. It wasn't a frightening experience, but it was startling. I just saw this form hovering in the driveway for a minute or two, and then it simply disappeared. Once when I was home alone sitting in the den reading a book I heard my name being called from the back of the house. That scared the hell out of me, and I went to stay with the neighbors until my folks got home.

 

When I was fourteen years old, we moved to a still larger house. Hey, my parents were doing well... It was new, but it too turned out to be haunted. I often heard knocks on my bedroom walls at night (classic poltergeist activity), and sometimes my bed shook when I wasn't moving a muscle. I also frequently saw apparitions on the walls of my room. One was of a 19th Century British Navy Captain. I don't know how I knew he was one, but I just did. His mouth would move, but there was no sound. My room was a scary place at night...

 

My mother owned a travel agency for about 20 years, and her office building was also haunted. Neither my sister or I liked to be there late at night. It just didn't feel right, and weird shit went on there, too. When I was there working late at night, it was not unusual for me to hear "work" going on up in the front office - papers being shuffled, muffled voices, etc. Sometimes the phone would ring and I would answer it and there would be nobody there. If I just let it ring, it would never stop. I was a fundie at the time, so I prayed and did spiritual warfare and all that kind of stuff in the Name of Jesus, and the phone stopped ringing and it never happened again. Hmm.... makes me wonder...

 

My family has had stuff happen to them that indicates the reality of a spiritual world too. I'll be happy to relate those events if anybody is interested.

 

Thoughts?

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Thoughts? Perhaps it's simply that the mind is a mysterious thing.

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Bro, do you think it possible that perhaps you had things happen because you'd been told and/or heard of ghost stories? Maybe just a case of your mind playing tricks on you?

 

Death and destruction are everywhere in the US, seems to me that if ghosts existed, we'd all have regular experiences with them, but we don't.

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Although I have been an atheistic thinker for several years now, I tend to doubt the supposed "Truth" of Atheism.....

There is no "truth" in Atheism. There is only a lack of belief in gods.

 

All of the houses we lived in when I was a child were haunted.

That is one giant clue as to what you believe is going on. You are only seeing what you're looking for.

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Bro, do you think it possible that perhaps you had things happen because you'd been told and/or heard of ghost stories? Maybe just a case of your mind playing tricks on you?

 

Death and destruction are everywhere in the US, seems to me that if ghosts existed, we'd all have regular experiences with them, but we don't.

 

So... is Westboro Baptist Church over an Indian Burial Ground?

 

Poltergeist-Lebt.jpg

 

 

 

:scratch:

 

Fred_Phelps_on_his_pulpit.jpg

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Looking at the history of the 'supernatural' it seems to be the history of inadequate models of reality... from lightning being the wrath of god rather than static electricity, through to hot rocks falling from the sky. Just because we don't know the mechanism of something doesn't make anything supernatural, just outside what we currently know. And the human mind is one of the great mysteries....

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Bro, do you think it possible that perhaps you had things happen because you'd been told and/or heard of ghost stories? Maybe just a case of your mind playing tricks on you?

 

Death and destruction are everywhere in the US, seems to me that if ghosts existed, we'd all have regular experiences with them, but we don't.

 

So... is Westboro Baptist Church over an Indian Burial Ground?

 

Poltergeist-Lebt.jpg

 

 

 

:scratch:

 

Fred_Phelps_on_his_pulpit.jpg

 

Fred_Phelps_fuck.jpg

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Thoughts? Perhaps it's simply that the mind is a mysterious thing.

 

No, it's more than that. These are real events that happened to me.

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Bro, do you think it possible that perhaps you had things happen because you'd been told and/or heard of ghost stories? Maybe just a case of your mind playing tricks on you?

 

Death and destruction are everywhere in the US, seems to me that if ghosts existed, we'd all have regular experiences with them, but we don't.

 

No, it's not just my mind playing tricks on me. These events are real, and they happened to me. I personally think that ghosts are real. I have seen one and I have seen the spirits of some of my pets that have passed on, so having actually seen them, it's pretty hard for me to really believe that they don't exist. People do actually report experiences with ghosts or with the supernatural in some fashion, but they are not always taken seriously and the reports don't get a lot of attention. What about the ghosts that can still be heard on Civil War battlefields? That does happen, you know...

 

I enjoy watching the TV show "A Haunting" on the Discovery Channel. The show is about true stories of hauntings that ordinary people have experienced. I can really relate to the show because I've had lifelong experiences with ghosts and/or the supernatural, and it's good entertainment too that is based on real events.

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No, it's more than that. These are real events that happened to me.

 

In your opinion, why do you think that the majority of people do not have those same events happen to them?

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Although I have been an atheistic thinker for several years now, I tend to doubt the supposed "Truth" of Atheism.....

There is no "truth" in Atheism. There is only a lack of belief in gods.

 

All of the houses we lived in when I was a child were haunted.

That is one giant clue as to what you believe is going on. You are only seeing what you're looking for.

 

Yes, I know, but there are fundamentalist Atheists around who firmly believe that Atheism is "The Truth".

 

LOL, no I'm not just seeing what I'm looking for. I'm relating real events that happened to me that don't fit easily (if at all) within a completely naturalistic worldview.

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I don't see where Atheism presupposes the nonexistence of anything supernatural.

 

I don't suppose that it does, but it's been my experience that most Atheists seem to lack not just a belief in gods, but in the supernatural as well. I suppose I'm more Agnostic probably than I am Atheist in terms of belief in god, but I can't help but believe in the supernatural since I have directly experienced it on more than one occasion, and so have members of my immediate family.

 

If there is any god belief that fits me the most closely, it would probably be the one depicted in the movie "Ghost", though I don't subscribe to a belief in a bad place for anybody to go to after death, though there are a few evil people I have encountered in life that I wish could be condemned to an eternal flaming hell.

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I don't see where Atheism presupposes the nonexistence of anything supernatural.

Exactly. Because it really doesn't. Atheism is just non belief in a supernatural creator or deity. That's why even some forms of Buddhism are forms of atheism. At least in my opinion. Now some might read more into the word than others, but fundamentally the word doesn't really say much more than just "no god".

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No, it's more than that. These are real events that happened to me.

 

In your opinion, why do you think that the majority of people do not have those same events happen to them?

 

No, it's not just my opinion that these things actually happened to me. These events are a part of my life history and I can't reasonably deny the reality of them anymore than I can reasonably deny the reality of the ordinary, non-supernatural things that have happened to me. I don't know why these things don't happen to many other people (I suspect that they actually do to more people than you think), but that doesn't detract from the fact that they have happened to me.

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Yes, I know, but there are fundamentalist Atheists around who firmly believe that Atheism is "The Truth".

Then you should also know that you cannot use their blanket of ignorance and cover all Atheists with it.

 

LOL, no I'm not just seeing what I'm looking for. I'm relating real events that happened to me that don't fit easily (if at all) within a completely naturalistic worldview.

It's obvious that you are only seeing what you're looking for. It's the exact same thing that christians do when they "feel" or "know" their jesus.

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Yes, I know, but there are fundamentalist Atheists around who firmly believe that Atheism is "The Truth".

Then you should also know that you cannot use their blanket of ignorance and cover all Atheists with it.

 

LOL, no I'm not just seeing what I'm looking for. I'm relating real events that happened to me that don't fit easily (if at all) within a completely naturalistic worldview.

It's obvious that you are only seeing what you're looking for. It's the exact same thing that christians do when they "feel" or "know" their jesus.

 

Yes, I realize that, but one of my best online friends happens to be one of those fundie atheists.

 

No, I am doing nothing more than relating real events that happened to me. You are comparing apples and oranges. There is a big difference between subjective religious beliefs and real events that happen to real people - in this case, me. But, believe whatever you want. I realize that in your worldview, these events can't happen, so you believe that they didn't. But, nevertheless, these events did happen, regardless of the fact that they don't happen to fit within your narrow, atheistic worldview. That's why I keep an open mind about things and do my best to avoid narrow, closed-minded worldviews, whether religious or atheistic.

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No, I am doing nothing more than relating real events that happened to me. You are comparing apples and oranges.

No, they are exactly the same. They absolutely believe as strongly about their beliefs in gods as you do with ghosts. They absolutely believe that they are experiencing jesus just as you absolutely believe you are experiencing ghosts. I have no doubt that you had certain experiences. I just don't believe your interpretation if them is all that objective. But believe as you want. Nothing I could say would ever change your mind.

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I don't suppose that it does, but it's been my experience that most Atheists seem to lack not just a belief in gods, but in the supernatural as well. I suppose I'm more Agnostic probably than I am Atheist in terms of belief in god, but I can't help but believe in the supernatural since I have directly experienced it on more than one occasion, and so have members of my immediate family.

 

Maybe a cogent definition of what the supernatural is would be more conducive to this discussion, since it really has no meaning to me.

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No, I am doing nothing more than relating real events that happened to me. You are comparing apples and oranges. There is a big difference between subjective religious beliefs and real events that happen to real people - in this case, me.

 

Brother Jeff, you seem to be falling victim to two things:

 

1) Special pleading - Your insistence that this is different from religious people and how their beliefs affect them despite the overwhelming similarities. They too, have real events that happen to them. You reject their religious "beliefs" but they still have their experiences. They feel, see, hear, touch...etc.

 

Why are yours any different?

 

2) Fallacy of Faith - you believe that these events are exactly as you believe them to be, and they must be true because you believe them to be true. Who's to really say that they happened exactly as you relate them, or that your interpretations of these events are parallel to the actual events? This is the problem with singular subjective experiences, they have no basis with which to analyze and compare with reality since it is only you who experience it.

 

You are also begging the question, but I've said that already.

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That's why even some forms of Buddhism are forms of atheism.

 

If I may steer off to make a correction. The Dharma, as taught by the Buddha, is Atheistic. So Buddhism is Atheistic. If other schools want to add a belief in supernatural powers/gods etc then they are not practicing what the Buddha taught - so can't be called "Buddhist."

 

On the subject of "ghosts." If the human body does not contain a "soul" how would one explain these apparitions? What it is that is able to be manifested and seen by many as representing a human form? Is it the consciousness of the once living? Is it the energy (ki,chi, prana) that is evident in humans manifesting itself after death in human likeness?

 

The Wiki definition of ghost -

 

A ghost is usually defined as the apparition of a deceased person, frequently similar in appearance to that person, and encountered in places he or she frequented, or in association with the person's former belongings. The word "ghost" may also refer to the spirit or soul of a deceased person, or to any spirit or demon.

 

The belief in ghosts as souls of the departed is closely tied to the ancient concept of animism, which attributed souls to everything in nature, including human beings, animals, plants, rocks, etc.

 

Ghost stories date back to ancient times, and can be found in many different cultures. The Chinese philosopher, Mo Tzu (470-391 BC), is quoted as having said:

 

"The way to find out whether anything exists or not is to depend on the testimony of the ears and eyes of the multitude. If some have heard it or some have seen it then we have to say it exists. If no one has heard it and no one has seen it then we have to say it does not exist. So, then, why not go to some village or some district and inquire? If from antiquity to the present, and since the beginning of man, there are men who have seen the bodies of ghosts and spirits and heard their voices, how can we say that they do not exist? If none have heard them and none have seen them, then how can we say they do? But those who deny the existence of the spirits say: "Many in the world have heard and seen something of ghosts and spirits. Since they vary in testimony, who are to be accepted as really having heard and seen them?"

 

I found this interesting -

 

 

Skeptical analysis

Critics of "eyewitness ghost sightings" suggest that limitations of human perception and ordinary physical explanations can account for such sightings; for example, air pressure changes in a home causing doors to slam, or lights from a passing car reflected through a window at night. Pareidolia, an innate tendency to recognize patterns in random perceptions, can cause people to believe they have seen ghosts. Reports of ghosts "seen out of the corner of the eye" may be accounted for by the sensitivity of human peripheral vision. According to skeptical investigator Joe Nickell:

 

...peripheral vision is very sensitive and can easily mislead, especially late at night, when the brain is tired and more likely to misinterpret sights and sounds. Nickell also states that a person's belief that a location is haunted may cause them to interpret mundane events as confirmations of a haunting:

 

Once the idea of a ghost appears in a household . . . no longer is an object merely mislaid. . . . There gets to be a dynamic in a place where the idea that it's haunted takes on a life of its own. One-of-a-kind quirks that could never be repeated all become further evidence of the haunting. Sound is thought to be another cause of ghost sightings. Frequencies lower than 20 hertz are called infrasound and are normally inaudible, but British scientists Richard Lord and Richard Wiseman have concluded that infrasound can cause humans to feel a "presence" in the room, or unexplained feelings of anxiety or dread.

 

Carbon monoxide poisoning, which can cause powerful auditory and visual hallucinations, depression, and a generalized sensation of illness and dread, was recognized as a possible explanation for haunted houses as early as 1921.

 

The traditional perception of ghosts wearing clothing is considered illogical, given the supposed spiritual nature of ghosts, suggesting that the basis of what a ghost is said to look like and consist of is quite dependent on preconceptions made by society. Skeptics also say that, to date, there is no credible scientific evidence that any location is inhabited by spirits of the dead.

 

 

 

In Japan ghosts sightings are seen as being quite normal occurances. The Japanese do not believe in a "soul," however, preferring to believe that the persons energy - ki - has become manifest in physical form after death.

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That's why even some forms of Buddhism are forms of atheism.

 

If I may steer off to make a correction. The Dharma, as taught by the Buddha, is Atheistic. So Buddhism is Atheistic. If other schools want to add a belief in supernatural powers/gods etc then they are not practicing what the Buddha taught - so can't be called "Buddhist."

I'm fine with that, it's just that I've been corrected before by claiming that Buddhism is Atheistic, so I wanted to be political correct and avoid anyone correcting me. But it seems like I failed anyway. :)

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Maybe a cogent definition of what the supernatural is would be more conducive to this discussion, since it really has no meaning to me.

That's the funny thing with supernatural. It can't be made to be understood by natural laws or ideas. Like the "soul", how can it interact with the natural matter in our brain, without also breaking the laws of thermodynamics by constantly introducing more energy into it? If supernatural can't be experienced and measured, unless someone believes in it, then something is really fishy about it.

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If supernatural can't be experienced and measured, unless someone believes in it, then something is really fishy about it.

 

Why can't "supernatural" be experienced?

 

People experience what is termed "supernatural" all the time. Thus the term - "supernatural" from the Latin meaning "above nature." What's the saying about investigating the supernatural - Measure what is measurable, and make measurable what is not so - or something like that.

 

There is no exact definition of what “natural” is by the way.

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