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Do you ever feel like you are speaking a different language?


mercyngrace

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No, I wouldn't go check. Even if it were true, whatever God or angel was communicating with me through this medium is clearly irresponsible and not worth my attention.

Earlier in this thread, the assertion was made that believers blame non-believers for their lack of spiritual experiences, attributing this lack to faithlessness or a lack of commitment. After this comment, can you blame us?

John, you have closed yourself off to the possibility of revelation because you don't like how it's presented and then you want to dismiss God because He's not speaking to you?

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I agree with you, John. Please notice my actual questions. If an 'angel' in a 'dream' showed you where to find a buried record, would you actually go check? What would be your response if you actually found the record where you had been told you would? Would it be sufficient to satisfy your need for 'some sort of evidence outside of the dream'? Would this experience colour your response to future such 'dreams'?

I know you were asking this question to John, and I know he answered he wouldn't go check. I want to say that I would check! My most common "checking" is when I have a dream about a word, that I'm not sure is a word, or two words put together in the dream, to see if they mean something. I have found some of these words and phrases before that I didn't really ever pay much attention to! However, more often then not, the words and phrases are just nonsensical. It is exciting though, when I find something I dreamed about wasn't nonsensical. The differentiating factor is when it comes to applying the meaning.

Edited to add. . . the other factor that may vary is the source of the message. One can only assume.

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Earlier in this thread, the assertion was made that believers blame non-believers for their lack of spiritual experiences, attributing this lack to faithlessness or a lack of commitment. After this comment, can you blame us?

John, you have closed yourself off to the possibility of revelation because you don't like how it's presented and then you want to dismiss God because He's not speaking to you?

If God wanted to speak to me, why wouldn't He use a method that works for me rather than a method that works for you?

The question is, are you open to all methods? Following the example above, would you check for buried records if the message showed up in your cheese sandwich? If you dog told you? If you saw the message in the fuzz on your TV screen? Aren't these all as valid forms of communication ad dreams?

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If God wanted to speak to me, why wouldn't He use a method that works for me rather than a method that works for you?

The question is, are you open to all methods? Following the example above, would you check for buried records if the message showed up in your cheese sandwich? If you dog told you? If you saw the message in the fuzz on your TV screen? Aren't these all as valid forms of communication ad dreams?

According to scripture God speaks to our hearts, minds, and face to face as a man speaketh to his friend. Dreams fall into the "mind" category. Unless your mind is a cheese sandwich, John... :P

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No, I wouldn't go check. Even if it were true, whatever God or angel was communicating with me through this medium is clearly irresponsible and not worth my attention.

Thanks, John. This helps me to understand why some people understand 'spiritual experiences' to be valid reflections of 'external reality' whilst others do not.

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The question is, are you open to all methods? Following the example above, would you check for buried records if the message showed up in your cheese sandwich? If you dog told you? If you saw the message in the fuzz on your TV screen? Aren't these all as valid forms of communication ad dreams?

If my cheese sandwich, my dog, or the static on my TV (two of which I don't even own!) told me where to find buried records and then I checked but there were no buried records, I'd have learnt something very important about the trustworthiness of such 'communications.'

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Even if it were true, whatever God or angel was communicating with me through this medium is clearly irresponsible and not worth my attention.

By the way, this statement makes it sound as though your dislike for deity is more important to you than whether something is true or not. Is that what you intended?

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If God wanted to speak to me, why wouldn't He use a method that works for me rather than a method that works for you?

The problem is, unless you're willing to go check, every conceivable method of revelation is going to seem dreamlike. How would you know that a mid-day visit from the Lord Himself was not just a daydream or a hallucination?

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I don't think you are getting the importance of these distinctions yet. Yes we interact with others, and we have experience of that don't we?

This doesn't entail solipsism in any way shape or form. We don't experience solipsism. The first time the doctor gives you a swat on the bum, you know there is some one else in this universe! That is your first social experience. Welcome to the world! Swat! Bright, cold and full of people willing to give you pain! That's the world alright!

Every statement you type think, or say, is either about

1-your internal states ("I'm hungry- I think this-- I don't think that, I love you, My toe hurts etc)which no one else can verify

2-your internal states which agree with what others tell you about their internal states (see that red car? yes) or "My instruments show that the speed of light is xyz" (assuming you have the instruments to verify that) OR

3- what other people tell you they have experienced as internal states: "When our research team went to Antarctica, they found ice and penguins"

Not arguing solipsism.

It's more like this, MFB. If you accept that what is real and knowable to you is only what you have "experienced", you have to also consider that the instruments of both receiving this experiential information and interpreting it are flawed in many ways. We have limits to how we experience life because our ears, eyes, sense of smell, and of touch are all evolved to perform certain tasks well. And the way our brain interprets that information has evolved in a manner that certain interpretations led to survival, even if inaccurate. It's no coincidence that a person who hears a loud, unidentifiable noise will frequently first think they heard an angry dog bark before they figure out the "real" source of the noise. Or that we see patterns in things where no pattern was intended, especially faces. Or a slew of other "tricks of the mind" that are part of being human.

There is this interesting trick described in Scientific America - the Mind a few years back I enjoyed as an example of how immediate experience can be deceiving.

Mind Illusions

Or an extreme example that shows how a person can live in a world who's experience and interpretation conflict with what we would generally call reality.

My Right Hand

My point, specifically, is that we choose to accept an interpretation of experience, though choose is too strong of a word for the process. And this is, by nature inaccurate in any absolute sense. Our only real check on reality comes from observing how others act or behave in regards to a set "experience" and this shared overlap becomes a more certain piece of reality. Not that a majority makes something "true", but only that it is in the observation of a broad and diverse set of people that we seem best able to break free of at least some of the inherent limitations of our mind/worldview.

It's partially why I hang out here rather than in a place where there are mostly ex-LDS. You guys help ground my thinking in being more aware of what may be a view point I do not share, but can use to compare my own views to to see what seems to stick and what is isolated to your shared niche-worldview. That being without the complete mind-numbing close-mindedness of places like lds.net, which is kind of impressive actually. Personally, I don't think I am alone in that I think there are more than a few LDS here who would find life a living hell to have to spend all of their time in conversation with fellow LDS of a certain ilk...

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My point, specifically, is that we choose to accept an interpretation of experience, though choose is too strong of a word for the process. And this is, by nature inaccurate in any absolute sense. Our only real check on reality comes from observing how others act or behave in regards to a set "experience" and this shared overlap becomes a more certain piece of reality. Not that a majority makes something "true", but only that it is in the observation of a broad and diverse set of people that we seem best able to break free of at least some of the inherent limitations of our mind/worldview.

I think it is largely a choice. I don't think it IS usually inaccurate.

And personality is a part of it. I for one would never accept any one else's opinion over my own. If someone tells me something is true, I virtually never believe them. I must see it for myself. I virtually always trust my own eyes and ears, and not someone else's. I seldom seek consensus unless I really don't care about the outcome.

Maybe we are getting somewhere with this. I am not a modest person, and am very opinionated. Perhaps this is more personality than anything.

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By the way, this statement makes it sound as though your dislike for deity is more important to you than whether something is true or not. Is that what you intended?

I find the God of Mormonism, particularly as described in the Book of Mormon and D&C to be quite maniacal.

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The problem is, unless you're willing to go check, every conceivable method of revelation is going to seem dreamlike. How would you know that a mid-day visit from the Lord Himself was not just a daydream or a hallucination?

One would first need to establish that a mid-day visit from the Lord Himself were even possible.

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One would first need to establish that a mid-day visit from the Lord Himself were even possible.

Apparently you have difficulty trusting your own experiences? Have you seen a lot of pink elephants or something?

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One would first need to establish that a mid-day visit from the Lord Himself were even possible.

I'm confused. You want to establish this fact first? How, exactly? Because, as you've asserted, if actually given the opportunity to establish this fact, you wouldn't act on it because you somehow know a priori that it's not possible.

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I'm confused. You want to establish this fact first? How, exactly? Because, as you've asserted, if actually given the opportunity to establish this fact, you wouldn't act on it because you somehow know a priori that it's not possible.

It's a good thing I don't believe in the moon. That light out there is clearly a mass hallucination. And then they did that "astronaut" movie. Man, what a hoax! How could anyone believe in what they see?

The existence of the moon cannot be proven logically.

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