Relation with Jesus

Weston Bortner
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Relation with Jesus

Alright. One of the most common things said by Christians is that a personal relationship with Jesus trumps all evidence. Often people talk about how wonderful it is to talk about their relationship with the Christ himself. Most atheists would say that this is just their imagination. I agree, because I have experienced something very similar.

I'm an Author, and for many, many years I loved taking characters from TV shows and coming up with my own episodes in my mind. I would do this with TV show characters, video game characters, etc. Sometimes, I would have characters from different shows interact with each other. But as I grew older, the characters began to mature and develop different personalities than on television, and they grew into brand new characters of my own creation. I am now trying to write a novel with these characters, and I have now been able to create new people without borrowing from an original source. So I've had these characters all of my life and I cherish them greatly. (If this all sounds weird to you, my background would explain it)

I have a history of depression and self-loathing. My dad, a few nights ago, told me that I need to change the way I think. I need to, instead of thinking I can't, think I can. While in bed, I thought about this and eventually found myself arguing (mentally of course) with one of my characters. It wasn't a heated argument, but rather her calmly acting as a therapist as she listened to my rather pathetic attempts to convince myself that I couldn't do anything right. As I eventually listened to her, the other characters I had imagined came up and they, if no one else, were there for me.  Now, before you call me crazy, I am fully aware that none of them actually exist, and I don't make a habit of talking to them. I just feel that this is what happens with the character Jesus of Nazareth.

The fact that people think they're talking to Jesus is just a myth. Obviously many on these boards would agree. The voice in your head that we call "the conscience" can present itself in many different forms. Since many are told that it is Jesus, they take it to be Jesus. But it's not. It's just them.

Our job on this Earth, is to take care of each other. Something that we have ultimately failed at doing, hence why we are so miserable.


Atheistextremist
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Yeah

 

 

I agree. Conversation with Jesus is self dialogue. I don't think I've reached the creative heights you have with this but I converse with my dead father every so often - tell him stuff. I find it therapeutic. Like you I know it's just in my head but I enjoy 'spending time' with him. The whole religious experience is self experience - it's all played out in the precincts of human imagination.

Maybe one day we'll find it's a necessary feature of temperal lobes the size of flapjacks. Once you get to a certain level of brain development then the world inside your head becomes as real as that outside it. Perhaps religion originated partly as a visible expression of the power of the human mind spilling back out into the drudgery of a world devoid of gaming.   

"Experiments are the only means of knowledge at our disposal. The rest is poetry, imagination." Max Planck


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There is a real subconscious

There is a real subconscious electro-chemical cause in the brain .

The more we study brain activity the more we see that merely thinking about something an individual thinks is positive will cause reactions in the brain that induce chemical reactions that produce a sense of euphoria.

Dawkins describes this evolutionary flaw in the God Delusion as "the moth mistaking the light bulb as the natural moonlight it guides itself by".

Basically it amounts to a placebo that trumps the pragmatism of real evidence via testing and falsification. The comforting thing people think about doesn't have to actually be real, it merely has to be something the person thinks will comfort them.

I look back at my child hood and can remember the same sense of comfort I had when I was a superstitious kid who believed that my Winnie the Poo stuffed bear would protect me at night from the boogie men.

I also had that same sense of "comfort" even as a teen when I fantasized about dating Farrah Fawcett.

Winnie the Poo did not protect me and I damned sure didn't nor could have ever had a relationship with Farrah Fawcett.

Religion is merely make believe for adults.

 

 

"We are a nation of Christians and Muslims, Jews and Hindus -- and nonbelievers."Obama
Check out my poetry here on Rational Responders Like my poetry thread on Facebook under BrianJames Rational Poet also on twitter under Brianrrs37


Atheistextremist
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So was Miss

Brian37 wrote:

 

Religion is merely make believe for adults.

 

 

Fawcett...


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Introspection

I also feel like I should add that introspection and self awareness seem to be rare traits these days, and I think its easier for Christians to look to "Jesus" as their guide, rather then realize that the "conversations" they have are really just part of the introspection process. Its much easier for people, I think, to blame someone else when they feel like some of their beliefs might be contradictory. A good example I've noticed is gay marriage. I am very passionate about equality, and its something I talk about very often with people. In my experiences, Christians who are very adamantly against gay rights seem to also be "freaked out" by homosexuality. They use their faith to justify the "icky" feelings they have towards gays, rather than trying to work out the "prejudice vs. loving everyone" dilemma that their faith creates.


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Weston Bortner

Weston Bortner wrote:

Alright. One of the most common things said by Christians is that a personal relationship with Jesus trumps all evidence. Often people talk about how wonderful it is to talk about their relationship with the Christ himself. Most atheists would say that this is just their imagination. I agree, because I have experienced something very similar.

I'm an Author, and for many, many years I loved taking characters from TV shows and coming up with my own episodes in my mind. I would do this with TV show characters, video game characters, etc. Sometimes, I would have characters from different shows interact with each other. But as I grew older, the characters began to mature and develop different personalities than on television, and they grew into brand new characters of my own creation. I am now trying to write a novel with these characters, and I have now been able to create new people without borrowing from an original source. So I've had these characters all of my life and I cherish them greatly. (If this all sounds weird to you, my background would explain it)

I have a history of depression and self-loathing. My dad, a few nights ago, told me that I need to change the way I think. I need to, instead of thinking I can't, think I can. While in bed, I thought about this and eventually found myself arguing (mentally of course) with one of my characters. It wasn't a heated argument, but rather her calmly acting as a therapist as she listened to my rather pathetic attempts to convince myself that I couldn't do anything right. As I eventually listened to her, the other characters I had imagined came up and they, if no one else, were there for me.  Now, before you call me crazy, I am fully aware that none of them actually exist, and I don't make a habit of talking to them. I just feel that this is what happens with the character Jesus of Nazareth.

The fact that people think they're talking to Jesus is just a myth. Obviously many on these boards would agree. The voice in your head that we call "the conscience" can present itself in many different forms. Since many are told that it is Jesus, they take it to be Jesus. But it's not. It's just them.

The "personal relationship" is a back peddle from prior generations. It is a way to avoid the generations gaps. It is a way to avoid the core value of EVERY Abrahamic religion in that one god dictates to all it's subjects?

If I have a "personal" relationship with  a snarfwidgit who burns all who deny his existence, how does that personal relationship allow for dissent or disagreement?

"We are a nation of Christians and Muslims, Jews and Hindus -- and nonbelievers."Obama
Check out my poetry here on Rational Responders Like my poetry thread on Facebook under BrianJames Rational Poet also on twitter under Brianrrs37


BobSpence
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I am sure I have read of

I am sure I have read of studies that some people have a higher tendency than others to feel that they are really talking to someone outside their own imagination when involved in such internal dialogs.

This is at least a strong likely origin of the claims of having a conversation with God.

Favorite oxymorons: Gospel Truth, Rational Supernaturalist, Business Ethics, Christian Morality

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Weston Bortner wrote:I'm an

Weston Bortner wrote:
I'm an Author, and for many, many years I loved taking characters from TV shows and coming up with my own episodes in my mind. I would do this with TV show characters, video game characters, etc. Sometimes, I would have characters from different shows interact with each other. But as I grew older, the characters began to mature and develop different personalities than on television, and they grew into brand new characters of my own creation. I am now trying to write a novel with these characters, and I have now been able to create new people without borrowing from an original source. So I've had these characters all of my life and I cherish them greatly. (If this all sounds weird to you, my background would explain it)

 

Well, that doesn't sound weird to me. But then I also write my own fan fic so I am aware of the idea of mashing up different groups of characters and adding new ones that are not in the original sources.

 

There is certainly nothing wrong with having an internal dialogue of that type as long as you are not kidding yourself about the characters being real. I don't think that I would use any of my characters for therapy though. They are just not that sort of personalities. Well, one guy is a psychiatrist but he is also permanently psychically bound to a rather morally ambiguous spy.

 

Actually, I like to say that the Muses from ancient Greece do the best writing because I sometimes get “in the zone” and stuff just happens. Sometimes the stuff that comes out that way ends up having plot twisting complications later on that I certainly was not planning. That does not mean that I really believe they exist though.

 

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BobSpence1 wrote:I am sure I

BobSpence1 wrote:
I am sure I have read of studies that some people have a higher tendency than others to feel that they are really talking to someone outside their own imagination when involved in such internal dialogs.

 

This is at least a strong likely origin of the claims of having a conversation with God.

 

The extreme end of which is clinical schizophrenia. Has anyone here seen the Russel Crowe movie “A Beautiful Mind”?

 

Over the years, I have worked with a great many people who were completely serious about having invisible people following them around and telling them what to do. In fact, the guy who babysat me as a kid thinks that there is an evil computer thousands of miles away that controls him.

 

That much being said, too many people report religious experiences to suggest anything like a self inducible and subclinical form of schizophrenia. However, humans are susceptible to the actions of those around them. Consider what one German nutter managed in the 1930's. If he could do that, then what can a few nutters with clerical collars and a couple thousand years manage? Umm, yah.

 

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Answers in Gene Simmons

Answers in Gene Simmons wrote:

BobSpence1 wrote:
I am sure I have read of studies that some people have a higher tendency than others to feel that they are really talking to someone outside their own imagination when involved in such internal dialogs.

 

This is at least a strong likely origin of the claims of having a conversation with God.

 

The extreme end of which is clinical schizophrenia. Has anyone here seen the Russel Crowe movie “A Beautiful Mind”?

 

Over the years, I have worked with a great many people who were completely serious about having invisible people following them around and telling them what to do. In fact, the guy who babysat me as a kid thinks that there is an evil computer thousands of miles away that controls him.

 

That much being said, too many people report religious experiences to suggest anything like a self inducible and subclinical form of schizophrenia. However, humans are susceptible to the actions of those around them. Consider what one German nutter managed in the 1930's. If he could do that, then what can a few nutters with clerical collars and a couple thousand years manage? Umm, yah.

 

 

Yes, I saw "A Beautiful Mind" and enjoyed it thoroughly.  Parts were difficult to watch, but I stuck with it.  John Nash has a brilliant mind as well.  And a remarkably stable mind all things considered.

I have wondered if it is correct to say from schizophrenia to autism is a spectrum of interpersonal disorders.  Could one say that opening your mind to too many beings in your world is the opposite of shutting out the beings of your world?  I understand that most experts consider these particular disorders are caused by different neurological dysfunctions.  Not having any credentials in psychology, I probably don't understand either disorder well enough to form a reasonable opinion.  I most likely have the wrong disorders at the ends of my spectrum or maybe it is a circle - where eventually the last one connects with the first.

Any way, I see religion as on that spectrum somewhere - towards the end where there are too many beings in one's world.
 

 

-- I feel so much better since I stopped trying to believe.

"We are entitled to our own opinions. We're not entitled to our own facts"- Al Franken

"If death isn't sweet oblivion, I will be severely disappointed" - Ruth M.


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And there's this....from NewSci...

BobSpence1 wrote:

I am sure I have read of studies that some people have a higher tendency than others to feel that they are really talking to someone outside their own imagination when involved in such internal dialogs.

This is at least a strong likely origin of the claims of having a conversation with God.

 

Praying Brains Are Talking to A Friend

 

Danish researchers from the University of Aarhus, led by expert Uffe Schjodt, found in a recent study that people praying to their gods actually show no signs of “anything mystical” in their brains while doing so. During the experiments, which involved 20 devout Christian volunteers, the subjects' brain activity was measured using a Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) machine, which allowed the researchers to observe exactly which areas of their brains were activated during prayer.

The experiment was divided into two sections, in that the participants were also asked to recite nursery rhymes, in addition to their prayers. Their brain activities were recorded in both circumstances, and the experts learned that the same regions of the brain that were activated when talking to a friend were set off.

The most intensely activated portions were those regularly associated with rehearsal and repetition, regardless of whether the test subjects were saying a given prayer or reciting the rhymes.

In a second experiment, rather than giving people a pre-defined prayer, the experts asked each of the participants to “improvise” and say one from the heart. When they did that, different areas of their brain were activated, but this time some associated with inter-human communication. In other words, people's brains were convinced that they were talking to someone. 

This was further evidenced by the fact that the theory of mind was also identified, which is a term describing the awareness that people have of the fact that others have motivations and intentions too.

Areas of the prefrontal cortex were also activated, and brain experts know that these portions of the brain usually engage when people try to access memories of a certain person they've met before. In addition, the scans revealed that those praying did not expect any kind of reciprocity in their dialog. By comparison, when the individuals were asked to talk to Santa and request a present, the prefrontal cortex did not engage, suggesting that they did not believe he was real.

“The brain doesn't activate these areas because they don't expect reciprocity, nor find it necessary to think about the computer's intentions,” Schjodt is quoted as saying by NewScientist. He adds that most of those involved in the studies have had the idea that God is real, and that Santa Claus is not. However, University of Oxford expert Robin Dunba points out that the study “has nothing to do with whether God exists or not, only with subjects' beliefs about whether God exists.”

   

"Experiments are the only means of knowledge at our disposal. The rest is poetry, imagination." Max Planck


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 Wow! Cj, not sure where

 Wow! Cj, not sure where you are going there.

 

What I can say it that my babysitter* is certain that there is an evil computer that controls his brain.

 

*caveat being that there has been professional confusion over the term “my babysitter” He did not take care of the little tykes that I never inflicted on the planet. He took me to see the original Star Wars before it was called episode 4. In a VW bug.

NoMoreCrazyPeople wrote:
Never ever did I say enything about free, I said "free."

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Answers in Gene Simmons

Answers in Gene Simmons wrote:

 Wow! Cj, not sure where you are going there.

 

What I can say it that my babysitter* is certain that there is an evil computer that controls his brain.

 

*caveat being that there has been professional confusion over the term “my babysitter” He did not take care of the little tykes that I never inflicted on the planet. He took me to see the original Star Wars before it was called episode 4. In a VW bug.

 

Not sure I know where I was going.  Just rambling.  Let me try to expand a little on my idea.

There are professionals who talk about a Autism Spectrum.  And it seems to me that schizophrenia may also be a spectrum.  Surely not everyone who has the brain dysfunctions associated with schizophrenia has the exact same severity of disorder.  Some - like Dr. Nash - manage to function without medication, some manage with medication, and some can't seem to stay on medication.  So there must be some range or spectrum for schizophrenia like there is for Autistic disorders.

And then I was thinking why do we compartmentalize neurological functions?  We also compartmentalize the brain in general.  We are taught that vision is here, motor control is here, and so on.  But in reality, that makes little sense.  It isn't like there are lines in the brain as drawn in introductory texts.  Yes, vision interpretation mostly occurs within this area of the brain but I'll bet that function blends out into surrounding areas a little and surrounding areas blend into that area a little.  The brain is a contiguous structure.  And, there is a lot individual variability.

So disorders/dysfunctions must also blend.  We should not be surprised that personal expressions of the dysfunctions vary widely.  And perhaps the inability to socialize in a manner that is considered normal ranges from schizophrenia to autism.  I'm full of shit, most likely.

I took my children to see the first Star Wars when it came out.  Don't remember which car we owned at the time.  I do remember standing in line.  And being in awe of the opening scene.  I had never seen anything like that before.  I know it is really tame by today's standards, but then..... wow.

 

-- I feel so much better since I stopped trying to believe.

"We are entitled to our own opinions. We're not entitled to our own facts"- Al Franken

"If death isn't sweet oblivion, I will be severely disappointed" - Ruth M.


ex-minister
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you do not have a personal relationship with Jesus

copied old embedded code, clicked on source and then paste. If it don't show can a mod please fix.

 

 

If that don't work then

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DtrE5RBB2gk

Religion Kills !!!

Numbers 31:17-18 - Now kill all the boys. And kill every woman who has slept with a man, but save for yourselves every girl who has never slept with a man.

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