1. Standard memberwolfgang59
    Infidel
    Dunedin
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    13 Sep '11 09:21
    I recently opened two threads asking theists and atheists what it would take to change their belief. I must say I am disappointed with the debates so far! Problem is I don't know what it would take to convince me!

    This is a true story:

    I was awoken in the middle of the night by my partner returning from (I surmised) a visit to the loo. She entered the bedroom by the door 2 metres to my right and began to walk around the foot of the bed (she sleeps on my left). Normally she was a sound sleeper so I asked "Are you alright love?" as she rounded the bed. She did not reply. Then I felt something touch my left leg. I turned around and to my horror (yes I was frightened) there in the bed beside me was my partner.

    What had I seen? I was really shaken and had to wake her up and put the lights on. I HAD JUST SEEN A GHOST. With my VERY OWN EYES I had seen a ghost!

    What more proof of ghosts was needed?

    But of course I DO NOT BELIEVE in ghosts - and while I do not have any exact answer to what I saw or why I saw it - I put it down to a hallucination/dream/trick of light.

    So - seeing a ghost did not make me believe in ghosts and my guess is that no proof of a god would satisfy me ... in the same way that nothing would deter theists from their belief. I find this curious and unsettling if true.

    Comments?
  2. Standard memberkaroly aczel
    the Devil himself
    Brisbane,QLD
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    13 Sep '11 10:33
    Originally posted by wolfgang59
    I recently opened two threads asking theists and atheists what it would take to change their belief. I must say I am disappointed with the debates so far! Problem is I don't know what it would take to convince me!

    This is a true story:

    I was awoken in the middle of the night by my partner returning from (I surmised) a visit to the loo. She entered t ...[text shortened]... uld deter theists from their belief. I find this curious and unsettling if true.

    Comments?
    You have a sound view.
  3. Cape Town
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    13 Sep '11 10:44
    Originally posted by wolfgang59
    So - seeing a ghost did not make me believe in ghosts and my guess is that no proof of a god would satisfy me ... in the same way that nothing would deter theists from their belief. I find this curious and unsettling if true.
    This is because you have a rational mind. You experience something but you do not immediately attribute that experience to the existence of 'ghosts'.
    A rational person must ask:
    1. What are the possible explanations for a phenomena, and what are the likelihoods of the various explanations.
    2. If an explanation seems likely, what would follow. ie if you decide ghosts might exist, does that therefore make all ghost stories true, or only the phenomena as you observed it, or only the ghost stories told to you by your parents or in your culture?
    3. Are there ways to verify or test further some of the possible explanations?
  4. Maryland
    Joined
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    13 Sep '11 13:14
    Originally posted by wolfgang59
    I recently opened two threads asking theists and atheists what it would take to change their belief. I must say I am disappointed with the debates so far! Problem is I don't know what it would take to convince me!

    This is a true story:

    I was awoken in the middle of the night by my partner returning from (I surmised) a visit to the loo. She entered t ...[text shortened]... uld deter theists from their belief. I find this curious and unsettling if true.

    Comments?
    Proof!
  5. Standard memberDasa
    Dasa
    Account suspended
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    13 Sep '11 13:27
    Originally posted by wolfgang59
    I recently opened two threads asking theists and atheists what it would take to change their belief. I must say I am disappointed with the debates so far! Problem is I don't know what it would take to convince me!

    This is a true story:

    I was awoken in the middle of the night by my partner returning from (I surmised) a visit to the loo. She entered t ...[text shortened]... uld deter theists from their belief. I find this curious and unsettling if true.

    Comments?
    Ghosts are real.

    They exist.

    A ghost is an un-embodied spirit.

    Beneath this material body is our ethereal body.

    A ghost is an ethereal body.
  6. SubscriberSuzianne
    Misfit Queen
    Isle of Misfit Toys
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    13 Sep '11 15:01
    Originally posted by twhitehead
    This is because you have a rational mind. You experience something but you do not immediately attribute that experience to the existence of 'ghosts'.
    A rational person must ask:
    1. What are the possible explanations for a phenomena, and what are the likelihoods of the various explanations.
    2. If an explanation seems likely, what would follow. ie if you ...[text shortened]... your culture?
    3. Are there ways to verify or test further some of the possible explanations?
    It seems unlikely you would have the presence of mind to be asking yourself these questions at 3am when you sense someone walking around at the foot of your bed. Especially when there is a high likelihood of your musings being interrupted at the point of a knife or a gun barrel.
  7. Joined
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    13 Sep '11 15:04
    Originally posted by wolfgang59
    I recently opened two threads asking theists and atheists what it would take to change their belief. I must say I am disappointed with the debates so far! Problem is I don't know what it would take to convince me!

    This is a true story:

    I was awoken in the middle of the night by my partner returning from (I surmised) a visit to the loo. She entered t ...[text shortened]... uld deter theists from their belief. I find this curious and unsettling if true.

    Comments?
    Sometimes I have extremely vivid dreams, the weirdest of which are about me lying there in bed seeing something. I sometimes have an experience in which I see a particular configuration of light and dark in the room as a person, sometimes coming toward me. I waken, and it seems as though my eyes were actually open during the experience, because instead of feeling like waking up, it is as if my eyes were open the whole time, and the scene gradually becomes normal -- or my interpretation of it does. That's just one kind of dream I have that defies my normal interpretative functions at the time.

    I often have dreams which feature some relative of mine who in real life has passed away. I sometime have a dream in which my daughter, now an adult, is a young child or baby. These visitations are almost always pleasant.

    I'm not saying you should explain away your experiences this way, but there are others who have experiences similar to yours. I can see how such dreams may have been very influential in the formation of beliefs in the supernatural, ghosts of the departed, etc., in early humans and possibly even dogs and cats. Have you ever seen a sleeping dog or cat seem to be running?
  8. Joined
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    13 Sep '11 15:11
    Originally posted by wolfgang59
    I recently opened two threads asking theists and atheists what it would take to change their belief. I must say I am disappointed with the debates so far! Problem is I don't know what it would take to convince me!

    This is a true story:

    I was awoken in the middle of the night by my partner returning from (I surmised) a visit to the loo. She entered t ...[text shortened]... uld deter theists from their belief. I find this curious and unsettling if true.

    Comments?
    you would believe in ghosts if George Washington appeared in front of congress and called everyone thieves and morons. and wouldn't stop calling them morons even when they started throwing stuff through his ghostly form.

    yours was simply a case of eating chili for dinner. (or maybe it WAS a ghost)
  9. Cape Town
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    13 Sep '11 15:41
    Originally posted by Suzianne
    It seems unlikely you would have the presence of mind to be asking yourself these questions at 3am when you sense someone walking around at the foot of your bed. Especially when there is a high likelihood of your musings being interrupted at the point of a knife or a gun barrel.
    Of course, and I don't expect anyone to, nor did I suggest anyone would.

    But the following evening, whether or not you leave a glass of milk out to appease the spirits will be affected by what answers you come up with to the questions I listed.

    Its interesting that your first thought is 'robber with gun' whereas others might think 'ghost' and still others may think 'angel'.
    My point is that upon rational reflection, all we have is a phenomena, there are many possible explanations some of which are more reasonable than others, and some are strongly coloured by our culture, background, other experience, desires etc.
  10. Cape Town
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    13 Sep '11 15:42
    Originally posted by Zahlanzi
    you would believe in ghosts if George Washington appeared in front of congress and called everyone thieves and morons. and wouldn't stop calling them morons even when they started throwing stuff through his ghostly form.
    I wouldn't. I would suspect the advent of holographic technology or trick filming long before I suspect ghosts.
  11. Joined
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    13 Sep '11 16:06
    Originally posted by twhitehead
    I wouldn't. I would suspect the advent of holographic technology or trick filming long before I suspect ghosts.
    i got bored with listing all the conditions needed to rule out any foul play. no aliens, no mass halucination, no holograms, no lsd in the congress water.

    plus the ghost of george washington would later run for president and appear on david letterman.


    thought i was clear in the distinction i made.
  12. Standard memberavalanchethecat
    Not actually a cat
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    13 Sep '11 17:45
    Originally posted by wolfgang59
    I recently opened two threads asking theists and atheists what it would take to change their belief. I must say I am disappointed with the debates so far! Problem is I don't know what it would take to convince me!

    This is a true story:

    I was awoken in the middle of the night by my partner returning from (I surmised) a visit to the loo. She entered t ...[text shortened]... uld deter theists from their belief. I find this curious and unsettling if true.

    Comments?
    Interesting story. I had a similar experience some years ago and concluded similarly. I considered one of your threads (from the point of view of a 'scum', although only a soft atheist) but couldn't think of anything which would convince me of the reality of a god. Then I read Bbarr's post and he had a pretty good point - maybe if I see a big beardy guy dishing out divine punishments left, right and centre and have other people confirm that they're seeing it the same, maybe then I'd believe. Maybe.
  13. Standard memberRJHinds
    The Near Genius
    Fort Gordon
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    13 Sep '11 20:40
    Originally posted by avalanchethecat
    Interesting story. I had a similar experience some years ago and concluded similarly. I considered one of your threads (from the point of view of a 'scum', although only a soft atheist) but couldn't think of anything which would convince me of the reality of a god. Then I read Bbarr's post and he had a pretty good point - maybe if I see a big beardy ...[text shortened]... have other people confirm that they're seeing it the same, maybe then I'd believe. Maybe.
    Then He *said to Thomas, “Reach here with your finger, and see My hands;
    and reach here your hand and put it into My side; and do not be unbelieving,
    but believing.” Thomas answered and said to Him, “My Lord and my God!”
    Jesus *said to him, “Because you have seen Me, have you believed? Blessed
    are they who did not see, and yet believed.” (John 20:27-29 NASB)

    Today you are called to believe without seeing to be blessed.
    Believe before your time runs out.
  14. Standard memberavalanchethecat
    Not actually a cat
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    13 Sep '11 21:05
    Originally posted by RJHinds
    Then He *said to Thomas, “Reach here with your finger, and see My hands;
    and reach here your hand and put it into My side; and do not be unbelieving,
    but believing.” Thomas answered and said to Him, “My Lord and my God!”
    Jesus *said to him, “Because you have seen Me, have you believed? Blessed
    are they who did not see, and yet believed.” (John 20:27-29 ...[text shortened]... oday you are called to believe without seeing to be blessed.
    Believe before your time runs out.
    "ME thus often the evil monsters
    thronging threatened. With thrust of my sword,
    the darling, I dealt them due return!
    Nowise had they bliss from their booty then
    to devour their victim, vengeful creatures,
    seated to banquet at bottom of sea;
    but at break of day, by my brand sore hurt,
    on the edge of ocean up they lay,
    put to sleep by the sword."

    Beowulf IX
  15. Standard memberRJHinds
    The Near Genius
    Fort Gordon
    Joined
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    13 Sep '11 22:56
    Originally posted by avalanchethecat
    "ME thus often the evil monsters
    thronging threatened. With thrust of my sword,
    the darling, I dealt them due return!
    Nowise had they bliss from their booty then
    to devour their victim, vengeful creatures,
    seated to banquet at bottom of sea;
    but at break of day, by my brand sore hurt,
    on the edge of ocean up they lay,
    put to sleep by the sword."

    Beowulf IX
    You provide the following two quotes on your profile page:

    "Believe those who are seeking the truth; doubt those who find it."
    - Andre Gide

    "I do not feel obliged to believe that the same God who has endowed us with
    sense, reason, and intellect has intended us to forgo their use."
    - Galileo Galilei

    The second one is the only wise quote.
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