1. Melbourne, Australia
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    05 Jun '06 00:26
    Just been having a chat with someone about an experience which they had that converted them into a practising Christian.
    I've been trying to explain my perspective on such experiences as an atheist, and I'd be interested in any other thoughts.

    My view is that people will always attempt to understand and explain the experiences they go through, and will use whatever makes sense to them to do this. So someone who explains an unusual experience by religion does this because they are enculturated to do so.
  2. Standard memberKellyJay
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    05 Jun '06 00:49
    Originally posted by amannion
    Just been having a chat with someone about an experience which they had that converted them into a practising Christian.
    I've been trying to explain my perspective on such experiences as an atheist, and I'd be interested in any other thoughts.

    My view is that people will always attempt to understand and explain the experiences they go through, and will ...[text shortened]... o explains an unusual experience by religion does this because they are enculturated to do so.
    There can always be others ways to explain anything, doesn't matter
    if they vary from what is called natural or not. If I tell you about
    something I believe was supernatual, and someone comes along
    and says no no, it was really this way. You have a way to know who
    is right or wrong, or do you believe you will pick according to your
    current beliefs at the moment?
    Kelly
  3. Melbourne, Australia
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    05 Jun '06 01:04
    Originally posted by KellyJay
    There can always be others ways to explain anything, doesn't matter
    if they vary from what is called natural or not. If I tell you about
    something I believe was supernatual, and someone comes along
    and says no no, it was really this way. You have a way to know who
    is right or wrong, or do you believe you will pick according to your
    current beliefs at the moment?
    Kelly
    Hmmm, not quite sure what was in my original post to draw such a response.
    Of course I don't know who is right or wrong, and yes of course I will pick what I think according to my current beliefs. What else could anyone do?
    You make it sound like my beliefs are swapping and changing. Why would you think this?

    What I was actually interested in was two things I guess:

    1. How do other non believers explain religious and spiritual experiences?
    2. How do believers respond to rational or non-supernatural explanations of such experiences?
  4. Melbourne, Australia
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    05 Jun '06 01:17
    Originally posted by 7ate9
    a while ago i stood up for a friend against the police, and end up getting my life taken away. they didn't stop because it would show their wrongs. they wanted their good name any which way possible. links were used by them until i became agoraphobic. i ended up nailing curtains to my lounge windows as i felt safer with them never opening.

    during a time wh ...[text shortened]... happy again. me, Jesus and her, even if they both weren't really there. love huh.
    It's hard to make sense of exactly what you're saying. I'm not sure exactly what your point is other than love seems to have helped you, which I can certainly understand.
  5. SubscriberAThousandYoung
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    05 Jun '06 03:22
    Originally posted by amannion
    Hmmm, not quite sure what was in my original post to draw such a response.
    Of course I don't know who is right or wrong, and yes of course I will pick what I think according to my current beliefs. What else could anyone do?
    You make it sound like my beliefs are swapping and changing. Why would you think this?

    What I was actually interested in was two t ...[text shortened]...
    2. How do believers respond to rational or non-supernatural explanations of such experiences?
    What's a "religious" or "spiritual" experience?
  6. Standard memberorfeo
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    05 Jun '06 03:36
    Originally posted by amannion
    Just been having a chat with someone about an experience which they had that converted them into a practising Christian.
    I've been trying to explain my perspective on such experiences as an atheist, and I'd be interested in any other thoughts.

    My view is that people will always attempt to understand and explain the experiences they go through, and will ...[text shortened]... o explains an unusual experience by religion does this because they are enculturated to do so.
    What was your friend before their conversion? A 'non-practicising' Christian?

    I'm curious to know how you would explain dedicated atheists becoming Christians, and committed Christians becoming atheists. Because both happen.

    And people also switch to dramatically different religions.
  7. Standard memberKellyJay
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    05 Jun '06 03:57
    Originally posted by orfeo
    What was your friend before their conversion? A 'non-practicising' Christian?

    I'm curious to know how you would explain dedicated atheists becoming Christians, and committed Christians becoming atheists. Because both happen.

    And people also switch to dramatically different religions.
    What is a practicing Christian?
    Kelly
  8. Cosmos
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    05 Jun '06 04:14
    Originally posted by amannion
    Hmmm, not quite sure what was in my original post to draw such a response.
    Of course I don't know who is right or wrong, and yes of course I will pick what I think according to my current beliefs. What else could anyone do?
    You make it sound like my beliefs are swapping and changing. Why would you think this?

    What I was actually interested in was two t ...[text shortened]...
    2. How do believers respond to rational or non-supernatural explanations of such experiences?
    "Hmmm, not quite sure what was in my original post to draw such a response."

    Don't worry, KellyJay is a master at telling you what he wants to say without understanding what you asked.
    Reading comprehension is not his strength.
  9. Cosmos
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    05 Jun '06 04:15
    Originally posted by 7ate9
    a while ago i stood up for a friend against the police, and end up getting my life taken away. they didn't stop because it would show their wrongs. they wanted their good name any which way possible. links were used by them until i became agoraphobic. i ended up nailing curtains to my lounge windows as i felt safer with them never opening.

    during a time wh ...[text shortened]... s. people who act in that manner can't do this. they should respect this fact.
    You are a paranoid schizophrenic.

    Seek medical assistance immediately.
  10. Melbourne, Australia
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    05 Jun '06 04:57
    Originally posted by AThousandYoung
    What's a "religious" or "spiritual" experience?
    I've never had a religious experience, so I couldn't answer that. I'm describing those type of experiences that people claim to have had where they've felt the presence of the Holy Spirit (in a Christian experience at least) entering them.
    I attribute this to already being enculturated into a Christian society and using this idea (Holy Spirit) as the explanation.

    I liken it to what I see as the analagous experience of someone encourntering an unusual aerial or atmospheric phenomena and attributing this to extraterrestrial intelligence. In essence, they use that explanation because it's the one closest to hand and the one they're most familiar with and which most fits with their views of the world.
  11. Melbourne, Australia
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    05 Jun '06 05:00
    Originally posted by orfeo
    What was your friend before their conversion? A 'non-practicising' Christian?

    I'm curious to know how you would explain dedicated atheists becoming Christians, and committed Christians becoming atheists. Because both happen.

    And people also switch to dramatically different religions.
    Glibly I'd say committed atheists becoming christians have lost their mind and christians becoming atheists have found theirs, but I don't have a better response to this.
    I would suspect that an atheist who claims to have become a christian was never really an atheist at all, but that's just a thought. Committed christians becoming atheists I can better understand.
    And you're right people change to other religions.

    But for most people, their religion is the one that their parents followed, and their friends and local community. This is part of the enculturation of religions.
  12. Melbourne, Australia
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    05 Jun '06 05:01
    Originally posted by KellyJay
    What is a practicing Christian?
    Kelly
    Someone who practices Christianity?
    What other answer were you looking for?
    Isn't it obvious?
  13. SubscriberAThousandYoung
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    05 Jun '06 08:25
    Originally posted by amannion
    I've never had a religious experience, so I couldn't answer that. I'm describing those type of experiences that people claim to have had where they've felt the presence of the Holy Spirit (in a Christian experience at least) entering them.
    I attribute this to already being enculturated into a Christian society and using this idea (Holy Spirit) as the expla ...[text shortened]... and the one they're most familiar with and which most fits with their views of the world.
    I think a number of different experiences could be described as "the presence of the Holy Spirit". For example, one might feel a sense of calming relief once one had decided upon a particular method of resolving some dilemma and call that "the presence of the Holy Spirit". I would call it normal human psychology.
  14. Standard memberKellyJay
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    05 Jun '06 14:36
    Originally posted by amannion
    Someone who practices Christianity?
    What other answer were you looking for?
    Isn't it obvious?
    Well no.
    What does one do to practice being a Christian?
    I define a Christian as someone in a right relationship with God
    through Jesus Christ. Someone who is just doing the 'Christian'
    things, and one who has a relationship have completely different
    foundations, if by practicing you mean just doing certain things
    that is.
    Kelly
  15. Gangster Land
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    05 Jun '06 14:59
    Originally posted by 7ate9
    a while ago i stood up for a friend against the police, and end up getting my life taken away. they didn't stop because it would show their wrongs. they wanted their good name any which way possible. links were used by them until i became agoraphobic. i ended up nailing curtains to my lounge windows as i felt safer with them never opening.

    during a time wh ...[text shortened]... s. people who act in that manner can't do this. they should respect this fact.
    I agree with howardgee. Unless your last message was a joke of some sort you are almost certainly a paranoid schizophrenic and need to seek help now.

    TheSkipper
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