Religious conversions

Discussion in 'Religion' started by James R, Oct 3, 2013.

  1. arauca Banned Banned

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    That is nice coming from an Australian
     
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  3. James R Just this guy, you know? Staff Member

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    Was that an attempt at a racist insult, arauca?
     
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  5. Hapsburg Hellenistic polytheist Valued Senior Member

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    It's pretty clear from the context that it's not a literal homecoming. It has nothing to do with seeking of acceptance within a community. It was a psychological and spiritual homecoming, feeling like I had found a place or identity wherein I could feel spiritually at-home or secure. Maybe it would be easier to understand if I simplified it: I felt like I was comfortable with where I was when it came to spirituality and religion.

    That's kinda my point. Mystical experiences are, with few exceptions, intangible things. They are experiences in or of the mind, not of tangible objects.

    Typically, mystical experiences occur in an altered state of consciousness by either inducing a trance or a dreamlike state. Some people use sleep deprivation, some use thirst or hunger, some use hypnosis, some use psychoactive drugs, some use simpler methods such as meditation or repetitive sound. Some use sexual activity, some use flagellation, some use other repetitive motions such as dance, posture exercises, or breathing exercises. On the other hand, some people experience them largely in dreams. Very rarely do mystical experiences occur while in a normal waking state.

    I've tried hypnotic trance a couple times; usually I have done meditation. I've done it through sex a few times. I know others who have done so through drugs or pain. I don't know anyone who has done so through sleep or nutritional deprivation.
    Imagery is pretty easy to describe. In most trances, there's a series of stages you go through, seeing geometric shapes and patterns before transitioning to more concrete imagery, e.g. animals, scenery, figures. Guided dream induction is somewhat different and the images usually occur immediately after going into the dream-state.
    The vivid feelings are hardest to describe. They are the facet of mystical experiences that are have to be experienced yourself to fully grasp. Even the words that pop into my head immediately, like "protection" or "stern" or "warmth", are insufficient to really convey the feelings. And often it's many at once. The feelings are very intense, almost hyperreal.

    I have had a few experiences when I was in a completely normal waking state. Those ones are easiest to describe, but they sound weird. Stuff like seeing a spiritual auras, or being around a person who is spiritually possessed. They sound silly. But I cannot deny what I have seen for myself.
     
    Last edited: Oct 4, 2013
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  7. Seattle Valued Senior Member

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    Thank you. One would think that between the "report" button and the "ignore" button that these constant off-topic distractions would be easily curtailed and yet they go on and on in many threads.
     
  8. arauca Banned Banned

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    Come on , with the BS racist , I give you a complement

    I was on the forum Dr Karl ( Astralia ) and I would say the Australian forumite are ride . I see some of them here , with different name except Hercules and Boris
     
  9. Hapsburg Hellenistic polytheist Valued Senior Member

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    Just to clarify: I don't necessarily think that theism is "correct". I happen to believe that there are multiple gods, and that those gods are real beings. That does not mean that I think other beliefs are incorrect. They're just different opinions, drawn from usually very personal and subjective experiences in life.
    My polytheistic interpretation of my experiences might be wrong, and monotheists might be right. Or pantheists might be right. Or atheists might be right. Any of us could be right, so I'm not going to insist that I am. As a result, I'm very relativist and pluralistic when it comes to there being a variety of beliefs and belief systems.
     
  10. Michael 歌舞伎 Valued Senior Member

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    I converted to atheism after concluding belief in the Church is a form of superstition no different from any other.
    I converted to anarchism after applying the same reasoning to the State.

    I find people generally fall into the following two catagories, possibly for the same reasons:
    Big God little State
    Little God Big State
     
    Last edited: Oct 6, 2013
  11. Hapsburg Hellenistic polytheist Valued Senior Member

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    Do you mean "Big God" as in they believe it to be a powerful being? Or as in they make it a central part of their lives? There is a difference. Someone can believe that their god or gods is/are all-powerful without making it a big deal and making a religion out of it. Just as well, someone can make a perceived supernatural power a big part of their way of life even if they don't believe it to be omnipotent.
     
  12. Seattle Valued Senior Member

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    I'm guessing he is saying that people who want the state to take care of everything believe in a God who doesn't require so much from the believer. Those who want reduced government are those who believe in a God that tells them who to marry, how to act, what meat to eat on Friday, etc.

    That's why reading of what he was saying.
     
  13. Hapsburg Hellenistic polytheist Valued Senior Member

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    Tricky thing is, there's a lot of cases of big state structures being intermeshed with the big presence of religion in the lives of the citizens of that state. I mean, that pretty much describes most theocracies, given that most of them have been authoritarian. It also neatly describes several big empires of antiquity, such as Egypt and the Roman Empire. Religion was a very big part of their societies, and had a tremendous impact on their cultural norms. Didn't stop them from having big, complex, and powerful governments.
    To say nothing to the entire theory of Divine Right monarchy. They're just not really mutually exclusive.
     
  14. Balerion Banned Banned

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    You go on to say that you don't know that theism is correct, but you also say that you hold a belief and have had "mystical" experiences which I presume inform your faith. This seems like a contradiction to me. Could you elaborate a bit on how you can believe in something while not believing in it? That's honestly not meant to be a flippant question.
     
  15. Jan Ardena OM!!! Valued Senior Member

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    Robbitbob1, I have to commend you on this observation.

    I do disagree with ''Basically you would have to be an agnostic to moderate a forum like this fairly'', however.

    jan.
     
  16. Robittybob1 Banned Banned

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    Who is moderating the forum? It seemed like Bells was yet the person assigned to it never seems to get involved.
    SkinWalker - I don't recall even seeing a post from SkinWalker!
     
  17. wynn ˙ Valued Senior Member

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    Already on principle, it is not possible to moderate a forum for religious and spiritual topics fairly.
    Unless, of course, we are to assume that there is nothing substantial to religious and spiritual topics anyway, so it's all just silly chit-chat.
    But as long as we do posit that at least potentially, there is something substantial to religious and spiritual topics, resorting to secular notions of democracy and equality means to take one particular metaphysical position and impose it on all others, which runs right against any kind of openness for religious and spiritual topics.
     
  18. Seattle Valued Senior Member

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    All a moderator needs to do is deal evenly with personal insults. No one needs to moderate the exchange of ideas or opinions even if they are disputing an idea that you (generic you) hold.

    It's not reasonable to be offended by someone disputing religious ideas (or by someone disputing non-religious ideas).

    The only reason one should be here is to learn or try to understand where other's are coming from so to speak.

    Moderators are needed when threads are turned into preaching threads however.
     
  19. wynn ˙ Valued Senior Member

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    Heh. Sciforums has had periods of renewal of forum policies, there was even a quest to develop Sciforums' mission statement, to clarify what it was all about.
    But no agreement nor clarification was reached why people should post here or why they do.

    Sciforums has never been the sort of purpose-driven forum like many others are. It's always been more like a basement, a garage with all kinds of stuff and noone to really lord over it.
     
  20. Robittybob1 Banned Banned

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    But while the atheists don't accept that it is possible for them to preach and the moderators are themselves atheists they only see christians preaching but that was to be like "My God is better than your God"
    I suppose on the Christian music thread you might ocassionally get a Christian song that supports Christianity. Be strange if there wasn't.
     
  21. wegs Matter and Pixie Dust Valued Senior Member

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    If that were true, then every religious person on here would be censored, and that's simply not happening. Sharing one's faith isn't the same as "preaching." Preaching is when a person who is religious tries to imply that others are wrong to not accept the belief system the "preacher" is trying to promote. I don't see the moderators singling out religious people, IOW.
     
  22. Seattle Valued Senior Member

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    How does an atheist preach? No one is calling it "preaching" when a theist talks about why they believe. It's preaching when the talk is about "bringing down hell fire" or fighting a glorious battle for the Lord or whatever.

    It's not preaching when an atheist says I see no evidence for God. I don't know what "preaching" in a similar vein would be in the atheist context.
     
  23. wegs Matter and Pixie Dust Valued Senior Member

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    Yep, this.

    Preaching to me, borders on evangelization.
     

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