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  • isaiah 1:18:

    There have not been labaratory controlled verifications of levitation, telekinesis and ESP that show that this phenomena exist.

    You just saw a good show. That's all. And we all enjoy a good illusionist show, and are standing afterwards with amazement hod that sort of things could have happened.

    A good illusionist trick is however not revealed, untill perhaps many years after the permformer has died. We know now how Houdini did his tricks.

    Comment


    • Originally posted by ex_fundy
      My realization of the false assumption underlying your claim was one of the events that helped me see my way out of fundamentalism. You see, some Mormon missionaries once visited me. While I debated them with the best anti-mormon material I could find in Christiandom, they made a simple statement that stuck in my mind. They mentioned a "burning in the bussum" that they experienced when they read the book of Mormon. Knowing (from the good Christian bible teaching I'd received) that Mormonism was false I suddenly realized that peoples supposed spiritual feelings were not an adequate guage for truth.

      When one experiences that psychological high, they mistake the feelings for some sort of evidence of the truthfulness of their beliefs. But that cannot be true as those same feelings ("direct experiences" as you call them) are felt by millions of people in contradictory religions. Are the "direct experiences" of millions of people that believe in a different God than you any less relevent an indication for truth?

      I led worship in several churchs, and it was easy to select the music and say the words that would induce these "direct experiences" of God.
      Psychosomatics? Could be. I've seen just the same sort of thing myself. How to account for it?

      Well some say all paths lead to God and that God meets people wherever they are culturally. Each culture has his words of guidance according to their culture. I do not subscribe to that theory just offerring it as a possibility.

      But your point is none the less well made. All religious adherrants of the world have some sort of emotional experience.

      I do not believe in epiphanies, per se , because I myself have never had one. I can't rule them out though. A lot of times, I find this especially true in the Pentacostal circles, feeling is believing. I can't entirely fault that view seeing as being a Christian is advertised as a relationship with God. And we know that as far as human relations go, that is human to human, they are almost entirely composed of "feelings." So naturally they would extend the same mode of relations to human to God.

      One last point perhaps is that as far as true Christianity is concerned, it is a very unique religion in that it is the only one where one is "saved" by mere faith. It is a "gift" that merely has to be accepted. Whereas, every other world religion, to my knowledge, requires its subscribers to do some sort of acts or rituals to obtain some sort of reward.

      To my mind, such a thing may suggest two possibilities.

      1. True Christianity is false and all other religions are true.
      2. All other religions are false and True Christianity is true.

      (3. [For my atheist friends] - all religions are false.)

      Comment


      • Originally posted by attention
        isaiah 1:18:

        There have not been labaratory controlled verifications of levitation, telekinesis and ESP that show that this phenomena exist.

        You just saw a good show. That's all. And we all enjoy a good illusionist show, and are standing afterwards with amazement hod that sort of things could have happened.

        A good illusionist trick is however not revealed, untill perhaps many years after the permformer has died. We know now how Houdini did his tricks.
        You know, I have thought the same thing on both accounts of what you are saying. These phenomena have not been verified scientifically nor falsified for that matter. And I thought it might have been a "show." But the conditions with which these things occured are far from a show. In a show, you must be an observer who is kept back so as not to reveal secrets. And in a show, usually it is put on for some sort of gain. But in my case and that of my friends that were with me at the time, we were afforded a view that makes us more than mere observers but participants in the case of levitation. The telekinesis... one of those stories where you just had to be there. And we tried eveything we could to expose it as a trick even moving the one who possessed this ability to a different location thinking that perhaps there was something special about the location he was at. Didn't matter in the slightest.

        The "ghost story"... how do you explain seeing an female aberration rise out of the ground, go to a well, fetch water, then return into the ground where it came from?

        I can't. Perhaps someone can. Locals say it happens with frequency. Why? Optical illusion induced by certain forces of nature coming together at a point in time? Don't know.

        How much credence do I give these things? Only as much as I've witnessed and to the degree that there have been similiar testimonies. But I stand with science being equally at a loss to explain these things.

        Comment


        • "Psychsomatics"

          Hello all, I have returned-ed, at least for a while, until I get fed up with fundies again>
          Hello Isaiah: As a doctor i just had to pick up on your apparent use of "psychosomatics". This term refers to illnesses of a physical nature which have a psychological cause, mainly in the form of stress. For instance Peptic ulcers, hysterical amnesia and anaesthesia, Migraine, irritable bowell syndrome etc. Nothing mystical about it; just a disturbed mind producing a disturbed body; which incidentally "proves" how the mind is a part of the body, and affects the rest of it. Hope you don't mind me mentioning it.
          Last edited by Wadsworth; August 25, 2003, 05:22 AM.

          Comment


          • Ilusionism and ESP

            Talking of "illusionists" and good shows, I once went to a meeting of the British Society for Psychical research, because it sounded like a serious scientific establishment. I was treated to a photo of a Lady slumped in the corner of a room, with a lace curtain stuffed in her mouth, (Ectoplasm, you see?"). Another photo was of apparently the same women with the end of a trumpet, (its always trumpets), stuck in a rather private part of her anatomy (in front), purporting to be a psychical emission of some kind. I was so disgusted at this obvious charlatinism, that later I wrote them a very stiff letter telling them what thought of them. so much for my only contact with Spiritualism, being passed off as Science.

            Comment


            • Isaiah 1:18:

              Well what can be said? Your presentation of it give no clue to make any judgments.

              What kind of levitation was it? A table? I've also seen it, in a TV show one time. A round table, people standing around it, and it came down from the ground.

              How it is done? I have no clue, never saw an explenation.

              The "ghost" story.. Where did it happen? Middle of nowhere, in the middle of nature? Or at some place where there are all sorts of artifacts of human civilization?

              Comment


              • Originally posted by attention
                How it is done? I have no clue, never saw an explenation.
                Well this is not exactly true. I know of a way how it CAN be done: usage of strong magnetic fields, that lift the table upwards. The people around the table merely avoid the table from lifting to hight and from moving to far away from the source of magnetic repulsion.

                I can not proof that this is the way this is done.
                But it could be reconstructed and see if the table movement can be simulated in a simular way. All you have to do is experiment with the right sort of magnetic field, placement of the equipment, and that sort of thing.

                Comment


                • Originally posted by SOTK4ever
                  LightSon,

                  I have read quite a few of your posts and find your patience, attitude, and compassion towards atheists to be very refreshing. It seems to me that you were called by God to witness for Him in this capacity. I applaud that!
                  ...

                  So, am I somewhat dismissive of the atheist's rejection of God and of their belief system? You bet. I can reach more lost souls concentrating on the people who are at least open to it than 3-5 atheists who aren't the least bit interested in the message of salvation. I feel that time spent arguing with the atheist takes precious time away from the lost souls who are wanting it which is why you want see me spending oogles of time debating with an atheist here at Theology online. It's a waste of my time as it's usually not productive. I've said it before. If I felt an atheist had a genuine desire or curiosity to at least be open to the Christian message, I would be up for that in a heartbeat!

                  I feel people have to be responsible for their behavior and attitudes. As much as I think God is a God of love, He is also a wrathful God. He has demonstrated His anger as being Just and has demonstrated this on numerous occasions in the bible. As much as I think He is saddened by the atheist's worldview, I am sure He is equally angered. I show compassion to the kids who have atrocious behavior in my unit at work, but I also show them my displeasure with their choices and behaviors. I am not going to pretend that their behavior and attitudes are ok, because they aren't.
                  Hi SOTK4ever,
                  You make many very good points. I agree that "God is angry with the wicked every day", yet this truth doesn’t diminish His love for them. All those outside of Christ have a relationship with God (of sorts); it is a relationship characterized by wrath. You clarified your position very well, and I have no problem with it. I sometimes question my level of involvement on this board. Is this is good use of the time, for which I am a steward?

                  Thanks for sharing about your involvement with Juveniles – it is a good analogy.

                  If I might ask, how long have you been in recovery from your Alcohol addiction?

                  Thanks for your words of fellowship; they were an encouragment to me.
                  That ye may be blameless and harmless, the sons of God, without rebuke, in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation, among whom ye shine as lights in the world.
                  Philippians 2:15

                  Comment


                  • Originally posted by isaiah 1:18
                    So what have I observed and where?

                    Where: Haiti, Dominican Republic, Jamaica.

                    What: Levitation, moving objects w/o physical force, Witchcraft, the sight of "spirits." (And no drugs were injested at anytime while being witness to these things. After, you bet!)
                    I personally have witnessed any number of examples of things such as the above, which COULD readily have been presented as being of a "mystical" or "spiritual" origin. However, those presenting them made it quite clear that what we were all seeing was an illusion, being performed for our entertainment.

                    And yet, these illusions, unless you either know in advance how they are achieved, or are at least somewhat experienced in the trade yourself, can be utterly convincing. It's not hard at all to see how people could easily be convinced that they are evidence of the "supernatural," even people who are quite intelligent and otherwise extremely rational. (Sir Arthur Conan Doyle is perhaps the most famous example of such a case, although certainly not the only one.) To date, I am unaware of any such examples of "mystical" or "supernatural" manifestations that have not been shown to be fraudulent when investigated by a competent researcher. (You may even be aware that James Randi, himself an accomplished illusionist, has a $1,000,000 reward for anyone who can demonstrate a genuine example of such phenomena, or that the magicians Penn & Teller have recently been demonstrating on television just how many such frauds have been achieved.) So I hope you'll understand why I'm a bit reluctant to accept such things as "evidence" without some rather serious investigation of them. There may be some legitimate examples out there, or there may not - but one thing is clear. If there is any example of "the real thing," it's being drowned out by the con artists.

                    Comment


                    • Originally posted by attention
                      Well this is not exactly true. I know of a way how it CAN be done: usage of strong magnetic fields, that lift the table upwards. The people around the table merely avoid the table from lifting to hight and from moving to far away from the source of magnetic repulsion.
                      I hope that Attention won't mind my using him as an example, but this does show why mainstream scientists are as likely as anyone else to be taken in by a good illusionist. (No, I'm not saying that Attention himself has been "taken in.")

                      I won't claim to be a "good illusionist," but I do have some experience in this area and can claim at least some knowledge of "the business." And I can say with no doubt at all that if said effect was achieved through magnetic repulsion, they were definitely doing it the hard way. Practically all such staged illusions (and I use that term to also cover "close-up" magic, the sort of thing that's performed with the audience - or marks, depending on the perspective of the performer - all around and close to the effect) are performed without any sort of such "technological" assistance. Most are done through methods which, if you know them, are simple and obvious (complex tricks are too likely to go wrong, for one thing), and the real art is in getting the audience to believe what you want them to believe, to look where you want them to look, etc.. A good part of the magician's trade relies on people's absolutely unwarranted faith in "eyewitness" experience, and thinking that this is not vulnerable to manipulation.

                      Comment


                      • Originally posted by bmyers
                        ... There may be some legitimate examples out there, or there may not - but one thing is clear. If there is any example of "the real thing," it's being drowned out by the con artists.
                        Classic. Well said. And so applicable to theology in general.

                        Comment


                        • Originally posted by attention
                          Isaiah 1:18:

                          Well what can be said? Your presentation of it give no clue to make any judgments.

                          What kind of levitation was it? A table? I've also seen it, in a TV show one time. A round table, people standing around it, and it came down from the ground.

                          How it is done? I have no clue, never saw an explenation.

                          The "ghost" story.. Where did it happen? Middle of nowhere, in the middle of nature? Or at some place where there are all sorts of artifacts of human civilization?
                          Levitation of a person. Myself. And it doesn't feel what I thought zero-gravity would feel like but instead like something holding you up.

                          The Ghost story... at the edge of a cane field in Haiti.

                          Telekinesis: performed by a voodoo "witch doctor" of whatever his role is to be called in that religion in Les Cayes.

                          Now it could all be tricks as bmyers has explained. I know of no "credible" modern researchers who have witnessed these things in order to give account. I'd suspect though that if there are or was, they'd go about their research scientifically and be slow to answer as to what and how. Aside from my theism, I like to think of myself as a rational person. And these sort of things deny reason in the material sense in so much as one cannot exactly put one's finger on "how" it is done. All I have is an observation that it "is/was" done.

                          Comment


                          • Originally posted by LightSon
                            Hi SOTK4ever,
                            You make many very good points. I agree that "God is angry with the wicked every day", yet this truth doesn’t diminish His love for them. All those outside of Christ have a relationship with God (of sorts); it is a relationship characterized by wrath. You clarified your position very well, and I have no problem with it. I sometimes question my level of involvement on this board. Is this is good use of the time, for which I am a steward?

                            Thanks for sharing about your involvement with Juveniles – it is a good analogy.

                            If I might ask, how long have you been in recovery from your Alcohol addiction?

                            Thanks for your words of fellowship; they were an encouragment to me.
                            LightSon,

                            I also want to thank you for fellowshipping with me and for sharing your wisdom in witnessing for Christ. You too have great points, and your message made me stop and take a personal inventory of my attitudes. I stand by what I said earlier in reference to my analogy, but I did come to realize that I could be better at showing compassion for the lost. I have a tendency sometimes to demand too much from people, and I took some of what you wrote as a good reminder to be cognizant of this.

                            I have been a recovering alcoholic for over 7 years now. I became a Christian while attending A.A. so I am relatively young in the knowledge of Christ, but I have pursued this knowledge with much gusto!! I learned in recovery that I had been angry with God for most of my early manhood and thus rebelled against Him. Imagine my mixed feelings of joy and shame when I realized that He never left me and loved me in spite of my sinning ways! It is my belief that every alcoholic unbeliever in A.A. will one day come face to face with Jesus if they honestly practice the 12 Steps of recovery with the goal of becoming more and more spiritual. I feel it is inevitability. After all, it is the goal of the alcoholic in A.A. to remain sober, help other alcoholics to achieve sobriety, and to become, as much as humanly possible, a selfless human being. In my opinion, the belief in Jesus Christ is the only way to achieve this. After all, my family nor friends nor I had the power to remove the physical craving and mental obsession of alcohol that plagued me and caused so much harm.

                            Again, thank you for your fellowship. I truly need it.

                            In Christ,

                            SOTK

                            Comment


                            • Originally posted by isaiah 1:18
                              Levitation of a person. Myself. And it doesn't feel what I thought zero-gravity would feel like but instead like something holding you up.

                              The Ghost story... at the edge of a cane field in Haiti.

                              Telekinesis: performed by a voodoo "witch doctor" of whatever his role is to be called in that religion in Les Cayes.

                              Now it could all be tricks as bmyers has explained. I know of no "credible" modern researchers who have witnessed these things in order to give account. I'd suspect though that if there are or was, they'd go about their research scientifically and be slow to answer as to what and how. Aside from my theism, I like to think of myself as a rational person. And these sort of things deny reason in the material sense in so much as one cannot exactly put one's finger on "how" it is done. All I have is an observation that it "is/was" done.
                              Something else we might wish to consider, here, is that even if these aren't "tricks", and are the result of some as yet not recognized or understood "force", that STILL doesn't say anything one way or another about "God".

                              There seems to be a very common but irrational belief that the "supernatural" somehow proves the existence of spirits, and therefor of God. But in reality it doesn't even prove itself "supra" natural. All it proves is that there are characteristics of the natural universe that we do not fully recognize or understand. And that in itself says nothing at all about "spirits" or God.

                              Comment


                              • Originally posted by SOTK4ever After all, it is the goal of the alcoholic in A.A. to remain sober, help other alcoholics to achieve sobriety, and to become, as much as humanly possible, a selfless human being. In my opinion, the belief in Jesus Christ is the only way to achieve this.
                                Well, as a friend of Bill W.'s myself, I'm a little dissapointed to see you say this. I know many folks in AA who have been relieved of their obsession with aclohol just as you have, who have helped many others to be relieved as well and continue to do so, who have become very loving and giving people (what you call "selfless"), and who are not Christians. Somehow, they have managed to achieve this without a belief in Jesus Christ. In fact, it's because I have seen this happen to so many people that I have come to realize that the names and the religious dogmas people choose for themselves are not what matters at all, but that it's the act of faith in itself that heals us.

                                Comment

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