The atheist view on the Spiritual Realm

Kate4Christ
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The atheist view on the Spiritual Realm

I'd like to know what the atheist view is on the Spiritual Realm. You deny the existence of God, therefore you deny existence of Satan. What is your excuse for people possessed by demonic forces? What do you have to say about children who have miracuously spoken in the tongues of foreign languages never heard? Do atheists believe in miracles? I've seen deaf children miracuously being able to hear within one day of prayer, I've heard (while others have seen) the healing touch of annointed people, who go out and heal the blind, the sick, the mute, etc. I AM a believer of the Holy Spirit, although I suppose it's easy to believe it since I've witnessed it myself.

Acts 2:25
" ...I saw the Lord ever before me; because He is at my right hand, I will not be shaken."


Iruka Naminori
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Kate4Christ wrote: What is

Kate4Christ wrote:
What is your excuse for people possessed by demonic forces? What do you have to say about children who have miracuously spoken in the tongues of foreign languages never heard?

First prove these things happened.  We'll go from there.

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Extraordinary claims, as

Extraordinary claims, as Sagan said, require extraordinary evidence. Do you seriously think we need to provide rebuttals to a vague list of anecdotes?


zarathustra
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Kate4Christ wrote: I'd like

Kate4Christ wrote:
I'd like to know what the atheist view is on the Spiritual Realm.

I have yet to try LSD, but once I do, I'll let you know.

 

Kate4Christ wrote:

You deny the existence of God, therefore you deny existence of Satan. What is your excuse for people possessed by demonic forces?

People don't get possessed by demonic forces, so no excuse is required.

Kate4Christ wrote:

What do you have to say about children who have miracuously spoken in the tongues of foreign languages never heard?

Bllurting out gibberish with a funny accent is not miraculous.  

Kate4Christ wrote:

Do atheists believe in miracles? I've seen deaf children miracuously being able to hear within one day of prayer, I've heard (while others have seen) the healing touch of annointed people, who go out and heal the blind, the sick, the mute, etc.

Demonstrate this under controlled observation.  Then maybe I'll miraculously stop rolling my eyes. 

Kate4Christ wrote:

I AM a believer of the Holy Spirit, although I suppose it's easy to believe it since I've witnessed it myself.

 I haven't witnessed it.  So it's easy to believe that you're talking smack.

 

There are no theists on operating tables.

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Perhaps there is a positive

Perhaps there is a positive reply we can give to this.
Rather than have to account for why these things happened (after all, she'd need to convince us that these things did actually happen) we could have a crack at accounting for why so many people believe these things happened.

I'm not an expert in psychology but I think that the following observation might be helpful.
Our perception is somewhat governed by our mind.
Sure, we see the same thing as everyone else - we more or less have the same image coming through the same type of eye but there is also a lot that our mind does in interpreting this image before it becomes belief.

Our mind determines on what concepts we apply
We are familiar with the concept cat, how to use it in language, how to apply it to the image of a cat. We see a cat and our mind recognises the image as a cat.
I don't think that we were born with this ability.
We slowly learned it, develloped our cognitive abilities, first learning how to apply the concept and then getting better at it to the point where we can recognise a cat even if we only see it for a split second.

This shows that what we 'see' will depend a lot on what we already believe. What we already believe will determine which parts of the image we focus on, e.g. I could look at an electrical problem for hours with no luck, but a practiced electrician could glance at the same problem and instantly see where it lies as they are practiced in recognising the clues and intuitive know exactly where to look for them.

Another point is that from time to time our mind mis-applies concepts. Sometimes we will mis-apply a concept to an image, see an object in the dark as something it's not, briefly mistake someone for a look a-like... more often than not our mind corrects itself after a couple of seconds when it has had a second look, but there's also the potential for mistakes where it doesn't, so we don't even realise we've mis-perceived.

Lastly, when we see something, we automatically infer things from it that will depend on our existing pre-conceptions.
E.g. if we briefly see a cat flash by then we automatically infer that it was running, even though we didn't specifically make out the motion, we just saw 'cat' + 'speed' = 'must be running'.

So putting these points together:
1) Our mind determines on what concepts we apply.
2) What we 'see' will depend a lot on what we already believe.
3) From time to time our mind mis-applies concepts.
4) We automatically infer things from it that will depend on our existing pre-conceptions.

So there are already reasons why these miracles can be mis-perceived, that people imprint their own beliefs on a normal situation and see a miracle come out of it. Add that observations on things that religious folk will often say, that you have to start with faith and believe and then you see for yourself...
I.e. Change your beliefs where your mind interprets miracles in natural events.

Thoughts?


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Quote:

Quote:

Thoughts?

Entirely true. Some of the most amusing experiments ever conducted where those on perceptive bias by clinical psychologists. When food is served to people which appears normal, what they are used to, whose appearence is as they have known it before and whose taste is familiar, food which brings certain mental states, people eat it and report enjoying it...until the experimenters switch off the tinted light and reveal that the fries are actually bright purple and the hamburger meat is blue...of course, this is immaterial, food coloring has no taste, but the second that the tint was switched off, subjects were ill and could not eat anymore. A lot of sensory information does appear to interpreted by the brain in such a way that it conforms to pre-existing bias. I am reminded of this video, which is a rather more powerful example of such an effect:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a9J1b3MqiX8

"Physical reality” isn’t some arbitrary demarcation. It is defined in terms of what we can systematically investigate, directly or not, by means of our senses. It is preposterous to assert that the process of systematic scientific reasoning arbitrarily excludes “non-physical explanations” because the very notion of “non-physical explanation” is contradictory.

-Me

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Penn and Teller are the

Penn and Teller are the best! Laughing out loud


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I agree with everyone so

I agree with everyone so far. And to answe the main question, I don't believe a spiritual realm exists.

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Quote: What is your excuse

Quote:
What is your excuse for people possessed by demonic forces?

Neurology is a great field. You should check it out. The human brain is a terribly fragile thing in some ways. You fuck with one chemical and you get some pretty crazy behaviors. Kate, I'm guessing you've noticed that you act a little crazy sometimes over the course of a month as part of your normal cycle, right? That's just minor variances in chemicals that normally vary in humans. When you start screwing around with chemicals that aren't supposed to vary, bad things happen.

Quote:
What do you have to say about children who have miracuously spoken in the tongues of foreign languages never heard?

I'm not aware of a single documented, scientifically verified case.

Quote:
Do atheists believe in miracles?

Not in any supernatural sense. Sometimes things happen that are statistically extremely unlikely, but they turn out to be good. Sometimes we say they are miracles, but we mean it only to say that they are extremely unlikely.

Quote:
I've seen deaf children miracuously being able to hear within one day of prayer, I've heard (while others have seen) the healing touch of annointed people, who go out and heal the blind, the sick, the mute, etc.

Not that I don't believe you, but are you aware of how fallible human perception is? I know you believe you have seen things like this, or that your friends have, but the simple fact remains. There has never been a single scientifically verified miracle.

I've seen a man levitate a foot off the ground, but I don't believe in levitation. I know the man was creating an illusion. Even so, I know what I saw. It looked just like he was levitating. The senses are fallible. Miracles are either hoaxes or mistaken perception or confirmation bias.

Quote:
I AM a believer of the Holy Spirit, although I suppose it's easy to believe it since I've witnessed it myself.

http://www.bible.ca/tongues-popoff-39-17Mhz.htm

http://www.amazon.com/Faith-Healers-James-Randi/dp/customer-reviews/0879755350

 

 

Atheism isn't a lot like religion at all. Unless by "religion" you mean "not religion". --Ciarin

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deludedgod wrote:

deludedgod wrote:

Entirely true. Some of the most amusing experiments ever conducted where those on perceptive bias by clinical psychologists. When food is served to people which appears normal, what they are used to, whose appearence is as they have known it before and whose taste is familiar, food which brings certain mental states, people eat it and report enjoying it...until the experimenters switch off the tinted light and reveal that the fries are actually bright purple and the hamburger meat is blue...of course, this is immaterial, food coloring has no taste, but the second that the tint was switched off, subjects were ill and could not eat anymore.

 

 

 

Speaking of Penn and Teller, did you see the 'anger mangement' episode?

 

'Why do these psychologists lie to the subjects?'

"Why the fuck not?'

 

LOL

 


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First of all, I was a

First of all, I was a Christian for 9 years and i never saw anyone healed of anything. And as for the "spirit realm". people just mad that up because they needed a place for their imaginary gods to reside. Besides,is there any real evidence for a spirit realm?

Nero(in response to a Youth pastor) wrote:

You are afraid and should be thus.  We look to eradicate your god from everything but history books.  We bring rationality and clear thought to those who choose lives of ignorance.  We are the blazing, incandescent brand that will leave an "A" so livid, so scarlet on your mind that you will not go an hour without reflecting on reality.


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Kate4Christ wrote:

Kate4Christ wrote:
I'd like to know what the atheist view is on the Spiritual Realm.

It doesn't exist.

Kate4Christ wrote:
You deny the existence of God, therefore you deny existence of Satan.

Correct.

Kate4Christ wrote:
What is your excuse for people possessed by demonic forces?

No "excuse" necessary.

Kate4Christ wrote:
What do you have to say about children who have miracuously spoken in the tongues of foreign languages never heard?

See above.

Kate4Christ wrote:
Do atheists believe in miracles?

No.

Kate4Christ wrote:
I've seen deaf children miracuously being able to hear within one day of prayer, I've heard (while others have seen) the healing touch of annointed people, who go out and heal the blind, the sick, the mute, etc.

No you haven't. It's despicable and insulting to suggest you have.

Kate4Christ wrote:
I AM a believer of the Holy Spirit, although I suppose it's easy to believe it since I've witnessed it myself.

No you haven't.

Thanks for your time.


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Your question would be more

Your question would be more appropriate if it asked what the opinion of an atheist is on the spiritual realm. There are many views on the subject of spiritual realms among atheists. The Theravada Buddhism philosophy speaks of a spiritual realm, in which beings called devas and brahmas dwell. I'd say there are other notions of the spiritual realm among atheistic philosophies, though I am confessedly ignorant on the matter. The physicalism philosophy holds there is nothing above, outside, or underneath, nature because nature is all that exists.

From my studies of supernaturalist notions, I have tentatively arrived at the physicalist position. I see no need to introduce demons, angels, spirits, souls, devas, brahmas, or anything else supernatural into my mental-model of reality. The stories of demonic possession are almost always found to originate among religious families, begging the question of why it is not the unfaithful that more frequently experience such possession, and the stories are almost certaintly fables as they ring to the ears not as original experiences but as retelling of the story of Jesus casting our demons in the presence of the doubting Thomas, the "skeptical father" we're always told of. Whatever small percentage of the stories may actually possess a grain of truth, there will almost certainly be found a plausible explanation from a physicalist perspective of the mind. Such begs the question, why add unnecessary entities in your mental-model of reality?

As for healings, I've never seen a deaf or blind child healed through prayer or healing touches. The only effective prayers seem to be the desires of the doctors, scientists, and engineers and the only effective healing touches were by the hands of those doctors, scientists, and engineers. We see those individuals affecting their own miracles all the time along the halls of the hospitals, but where in those hospitals do we find the superstitious grovelers and touchers?

Stultior stulto fuisti, qui tabellis crederes!


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Kate4Christ wrote: I'd like

Kate4Christ wrote:
I'd like to know what the atheist view is on the Spiritual Realm. You deny the existence of God, therefore you deny existence of Satan. What is your excuse for people possessed by demonic forces? What do you have to say about children who have miracuously spoken in the tongues of foreign languages never heard? Do atheists believe in miracles? I've seen deaf children miracuously being able to hear within one day of prayer, I've heard (while others have seen) the healing touch of annointed people, who go out and heal the blind, the sick, the mute, etc. I AM a believer of the Holy Spirit, although I suppose it's easy to believe it since I've witnessed it myself.

1. Yes I deny the existence of God, Satan, Vishnu, Thor, Ra and any other nonsense diety you throw at me.

2.I don't need an excuse for people posessed by demonic forces. It does not happen.

3. Give me an example of children speaking in tounges, and prove that they had never before been exposed to the language. Also prove that what they are speaking is a real language. Finally, see if what they were saying was really in another language by having a native speaker converse with them. If any one of these holds false, the child has been coerced into repeating certain foreign phrases or (more likely) they are simply babbling incoherently in an attempt to please their elders' nonsense religious beliefs.

4. I do not believe in miracles. I do believe in remarkably improbable events happening, but not in any divine intervention.

5. I doubt that you have actually seen that. Give us more details about their "healings", especially details supported by a medical professional; then we can see if these "healings" were really just the body healing itself, or an elaborate placebo effect. 


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To say that you have

To say that you have witnessed (a) certain miracle(s), is an extremely misleading statement as this could mean that your best friend who you have known since childhood was cured of lifelong deafness, or it could mean that you saw someone deliver a touching anecdote on The 700 Club.

Personally, I have witnessed "god given miracles".  I watched a documentary some years ago about faith healers that focused on Benny Hinn Ministeries.  They followed up on several of the people that he "healed" at one of his shows.  The ones that I remember are as follows:

A child with a severe mental and physical handicap, the name of which eludes me.  He died several months later.

A deaf woman who could miraculously hear.  Her doctor told the filmmakers that she only had 20% hearing loss and that it "comes and goes".

A man with severe lower back problems.  He threw down his crutches, walked, jumped and crouched to the ground.  This one was placebo effect as several days later, he was confined to a wheelchair, possibly permanently.

A woman with cancer.  Her cancer actually DID go away several weeks later.  Her doctors said it was "very rare and unpredictable" form of cancer that sometimes inexplicably goes into remission.  Hardly a miracle.

Just a note to everyone who may read this, just because someone says they witnessed a miracle and just because they MAY believe what they say, doesn't make it so. 

You can't rationally argue out something that was not rationally argued in.


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Don't miracles

Don't miracles happen, like, once in a million times? I just call it good chance. Good chance backed up with superstitious belief; people getting all cheerful for a god who's abusing on coffee breaks, if you'd ask me.

Chance - a world full of miracles would be nice, though.


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I suppose if you could show

I suppose if you could show me exactly how to find the spirit realm, I'd be happy to provide commentary.  Until then, you're just making stuff up. (or echoing stuff other people made up)


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If by spirit realm you mean

If by spirit realm you mean a bar, I am fond of them.  I like spirits, ales, and cordials.  They are all delicious.  So, I am for the spirit realm.

"Tis better to rule in Hell than to serve in Heaven." -Lucifer


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Nero wrote: If by spirit

Nero wrote:
If by spirit realm you mean a bar, I am fond of them. I like spirits, ales, and cordials. They are all delicious. So, I am for the spirit realm.

By that account, I am too for the spirit realm in that case.  Tho lately I wish I was a bit more in that realm ;p

Been a long couple of weeks.  Now, where did I leave that last spirit I had a hold of ... ;p

 


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I think this was a hit and

I think this was a hit and run! :'(


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Hit and runs have a 0%

Hit and runs have a 0% conversion rate around here it seems.  Who gets the free blender for the simmo deconversion?  Sticking out tongue


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Atheists have a view on the

Atheists have a view on the Spirit Realm? That's news to me.

Hello Kate 4 Christ. Firstly I'm wondering why you want 4 Christs? Isn't one bad enough?! Secondly I'll informed you that most atheists have no view on the "Spirit Realm" as you call it, because most atheists are also a-super-naturalists and do not believe in anything beyond the "realm" physical and natural since there is no evidence of it.

Possesion by evil spirits: Doesn't happen. There are many possible explanations involving mental disorders, hallucinations and drugs.

Faith healing is a pile of wank. It's mostly the placebo effect which after all can be a useful thing, but at the same time doesn't cure anything. As for prayed, if you prayed to a brick wall and your prayer came true would you believe it? My point is that the mean probability of any wish coming true is 50% - there are obviously variations - the chance of an astronaut crash-landing in your back garden is less than your friend getting over a cold, but if you pray then there is still the same chance of it happening, and if you possess a strong belief in prayer you'll choose to ignore the times when it doesn't happen and use the times it does as proof. Also the times when it does work might reinforce the false idea that it works. It's another superstition like gamblers on slot machines who start to believe that perhaps if they put the money in a certain way it will have certain results when in fact all there is is probability.