I’m a very logical and skeptical atheist and I wanted to see how people who don’t believe in a higher power address paranormal/supernatural activity. Now of course a lot of it is total bullshit but I’ve come across stories that are hard pretty to debunk.
I ask after just watching A Haunting (I know, I know but it’s interesting!). I enjoy it from the viewpoint that as humans we don’t know everything about our surroundings and hey who knows there may be some validity to some claims. I’ve been wondering that if exorcisms are real, and people perform exorcisms using religious texts, does the text have to match the religion of whatever is possessing someone?
On a separate but related topic, I’ve been to a psychic a few times and at first I thought it was just novelty but I was actually pretty impressed by some things. When she met with my mom, she told my mom that her father was trying to tell her something about the furnace and that there was a big problem that needed her attention. My mom paid no attention to it but a few months later we had our furnace serviced and the technician told us that it was a wonder that our cat wasn’t dead due to the carbon monoxide level. Anecdotal but interesting nonetheless.
Anywho, how do you explain paranormal/supernatural activity as an atheist or do you even attempt to?
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HhGuXCuDb1U… “Because throughout history, every mystery ever solved.. Has turned out to be NOT MAGIC.” Paranormal activity just does not exist. I am open to any evidence you have to prove me otherwise. But.. Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence
@thomph, “I enjoy it from the viewpoint that as humans we don’t know everything about our surroundings and hey who knows there may be some validity to some claims.”
You bet! I still have several people under my demonic curse, plus, I am a gentleman to ghosts, because they’re afraid I’m not, in fact, an atheist.
I don’t know if this has anything to do with the topic of this post, but I just got done watching a documentary on the buddist monks of tibet. These people are very fascinating. They go on these “retreats” where all they do is meditate for the most part. They eat, but only very minimal rations. 98% of there time during the retreat is spent sitting in this box, inside of this hut on a mountain, just meditating. Some monks go on these retreats for a years at a time and it is said that they gain complete control over the mind.
During the documentary they started to talk about monks who had attained a high level of mastery over their body and mind. They called them “realized beings”. It was said that these monks from long ago could telepathically communicate with one another, control physical matter around them, and even control the weather.
We already know that the mind is very powerful thing. Research has shown our thoughts effect ourselves and our environment. For example, Wim Hof can consciously control his body temperature and Dr. Emoto has done a lot of research into how our thoughts effects water crystals. Just imagine if you had complete control over the mind like the tibetan monks did? It would probably be pretty amazing. Man.
Focusing more on your question, even though we can’t fully explain these things, it doesn’t mean we can’t logically deduce and understand them better. Most people are some what “blind” to the supernatural because it takes place outside of what they can perceive with their “physical” senses. I often think of and try to imagine how a blind man would try to explain or conceive this “visual world of sight” we use in our everyday lives. Even though we think sight is normal, if he was blind from birth, he would have a hard time explaining and believing it exists.
So, try to think of how you would logically explain “sight” to a blind man and you might find out how to explain or understand the supernatural better.
@thomph, There are a lot of categorical distinctions that are not relevant to rational thinking or compassionate wisdom, Atheism is one of them.
You do not have to believe anything is “supernatural” just “super-science” that we just haven’t figured it out yet. But there may be “energy aliens” that religious people call “Angels” and maybe one day science will prove it.
For me I think it’s just enjoying the thrill of what I can not explain just yet. I’m still waiting to see one of these shows where the person being exorcised is an atheist and is like “Joke’s on you bitch. Prayer isn’t gonna work on me!” Sort of like when Jonah Hill is possessed in This Is The End and he mocks them.
@thomph, Back when I was a Theist, I used to say “The Devil knows God exists” and “The greatest deception the Devil ever accomplished was to convince the world he (the Devil) doesn’t exist”
But now I look at it more pragmatically, there is love and hate, no one can deny that, and that is the real choice here.
@trek79, I don’t think I ever got in that deep. I went to church as a kid, vacation bible school and stuff like that but I can remember the exact moment I wrote off religion. I was 8 years old and I asked my pastor how he knows the bible wasn’t just written by a bunch of people as an elaborate practical joke. He told me I shouldn’t ask questions like that and that was all I needed to hear. No adult had ever said anything to me that implied asking questions was bad so I knew immediately it wasn’t right. I didn’t want to be part of something that I couldn’t question and that couldn’t/refused to answer my questions.
@thomph, An Atheist is someone who rejects the concept of God because there is no evidence of one. If any real evidence was found I am sure they would believe.
I am what many call a fundamental Atheist (Or as Christopher Hitchens put it, I am an Antitheist). I see Religion as sick and evil thing that needs to be attacked fully.
You seem to go as far as saying you do not believe in a God. Why is this? Is it because you have no evidence? if so, why do you believe in all of this Paranormal stuff? I have seen 0 evidence for it (And many pointless tests have been done).
I LOVE Ghost stories and all of these Paranormal movies that are out. I watch most as I find them really entertaining… But, I know they are just stories and have no reality to them (No matter how much Hollywood tries to convince us).
IF you showed me evidence I would believe. We live in a day and age where things can be proven. With so many people saying they have seen Ghosts or whatever Paranormal thing is is fashion, I am 100% sure some form of real evidence would have been produced by now. We have countless TV shows dedicated to them… Yet, nothing.
I love X-Files! I know it is not real though.
Why do atheists sound like mindless zealots nowadays?
@thomph, I studied the Bible with Jehovah’s Witnesses, never had a question they couldn’t answer. They actually have a pretty good understanding of the Bible, hard to stay with them on blood and gays though.
I’m a Nihilist now, it is not that I don’t believe in God it is just I don’t think it is relevant, some people get the whole faith thing, I don’t, never really did, not a prayer either, even when I was a Theist. I do have a shitload of beliefs but all I am really interested in is compassion and logic, I just make sure I don’t put belief before them.
@beyond, Its nothing new. We have been like this for a very long time (You have only just noticed?)… We just live in a day and age where we are not always killed for being this way. Once religion is shown to be the crazy, sick, twisted, hideous thing it is, we will stop.
@beyond, I am not sure it is pride. For me, it is more of a obligation. If you saw something bad happening and this thing is brainwashing children and people into believing it… I would hope you would feel an obligation to stop it. I know you may not see it like this… and if you knew what I knew maybe you would.
I do not expect all people to see it the same. We live in a world that thinks religion has some sort of good morel code. Why should I blame people for being brainwashed?
Anyway, i do not wish to hijack another thread :)
Although I don’t have a device to measure God, I see the evidence of it everywhere I look.
More so within than without, but both directions non the less. I don’t need to belong to any religion to see it or to feel it. For me it’s detrimental and they are the real cults in the world.
A wise man once said, there shall be wolves in sheeps clothing.
I’m an Atheist with Agnostic tendencies and have had paranormal things happen to me. I see flashes of things, have heard voices, been “touched,” etc. All very rare, but still. Never spooky scary, just trippy. I figure I’m either a little mental or there are things we just don’t understand. I’d bet it’s both!!!