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Justifying Hallucinations as "Reality"


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I feel I have found a way of seeing Mormonism which justifies visions as being "real" by justifying human experience as the only reality humans can know.

Visions are human experience, therefore in a sense and in a qualified way, they are as "real" as science.  They are about different subject matter, but fully justifiable as a part of human experience.  We can even justify speaking of them as being "true" within the context of Wittgensteinian language games and a pragmatic theory of truth, in which truth is dependent on a given context and in speech within a given social group.

So fans of basketball can debate whether or not a given call by a given ref was a "true call" for example- use any sport you like.  Within the rules of that game, there is "truth" within the context and the facts are debatable, but everyone agrees on what "truth" is in that context.

Scripturally I see that as cohesive with D&C 93 which speaks of the "spheres" of truth and even this talk by president Kimball   https://www.lds.org/ensign/1978/09/absolute-truth?lang=eng (as well as MANY other scriptures.)

But have been blathering my views here for a long time and will intentionally avoid voicing them in this new thread.  I just want all to know that I AM a "true believing Mormon" though here I play an atheist on the internet. ;)

So come on all you TBM proponents of objective reality- you know who you are!

Come on and tell me why YOUR testimony is "objectively real" and Joseph Smith's vision was as well.

The intent is to show me IF there are any theories other than mine which I find justifiable which are current in the views of other "Mormons in the street" as opposed to weird philosophy types like me.  I am betting there are not after 40 years of thinking this way, but I could be wrong.

I predict this will be a short thread unless I get going on MY theories which I will try to avoid

Wait a second....  I have to put on my atheist hat.....  THERE

OK all you dang TBM's- show me how I am wrong.  Show me how Josephs hallucination was of objective reality.  Go for it!  The challenge is hereby issued!!

I have the popcorn out..... ;)

 

 

 

Edited by mfbukowski
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While it is true that there are only several churches, synagogues, and mosques which lay claim to true authority, there is a lot of mutual respect among some of them.  Rory is a fine example of a Roma

Hmmm... first Pogi and I are discussing the Grateful Dead and Phish in the make-up-your-own-religion thread and now there's a thread on hallucinations... Is LSD taking over the LDS board? "W

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27 minutes ago, mfbukowski said:

Come on and tell me why YOUR testimony is "objectively real" and Joseph Smith's vision was as well.

My testimony is "objectively real" because I really have it AND because the things the Holy Ghost has told me (which I collectively refer to as my testimony, referring to what the Holy Ghost has told me) are true (with truth referring to what is or was or will be).

Joseph Smith has answered for himself and what he said regarding his vision of seeing our Father and our Lord is true because he really did see them as well as hear what they said to him.  That's why that is objectively true. Because it really happened and he saw what he said he saw.

You can doubt it or deny that it is true but you can not show that it is not objectively true because it really happened. Regardless of what you think is true.

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1 hour ago, Duncan said:

What do you think about premonitions that actaully happen? because I got a story for you

Coincidence.

Confirmation bias is what my atheist hat says.

No replicable evidence

I demand scientific evidence or a justifiable philosophical theory that shows that evidence is inappropriate.

Edited by mfbukowski
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48 minutes ago, Ahab said:

My testimony is "objectively real" because I really have it AND because the things the Holy Ghost has told me (which I collectively refer to as my testimony, referring to what the Holy Ghost has told me) are true (with truth referring to what is or was or will be).

Joseph Smith has answered for himself and what he said regarding his vision of seeing our Father and our Lord is true because he really did see them as well as hear what they said to him.  That's why that is objectively true. Because it really happened and he saw what he said he saw.

You can doubt it or deny that it is true but you can not show that it is not objectively true because it really happened. Regardless of what you think is true.

Proof it really happened?

No way is that objective. No evidence.

I demand scientific evidence or a philosophical theory that shows that scientific evidence is not appropriate.

Edited by mfbukowski
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1 hour ago, mfbukowski said:

So come on all you TBM proponents of objective reality- you know who you are!

Come on and tell me why YOUR testimony is "objectively real" and Joseph Smith's vision was as well.

Am I correct in assuming that you have come to understand that reality exists apart from your personal experience by seeing that life goes on after people die; that records show that life went on long before you were born; and, that you sometimes see real-time events or orchestrate practical jokes and deceptions that others clearly don’t notice?

Am I correct in assuming that you have come to understand that subjective reality also exists by having analyzed your reaction to optical illusions, changing biases over time, and seeing how some relationships improve and some worsen by trying out the same counter-intuitive or new behaviors?

Of what you know of Mormonism, what can you identify as objectively real (such things as temples, tithing, bishops, etc.); rather, what can you think of that stretches the envelope of what you tolerate as objectively real?

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10 minutes ago, mfbukowski said:

Proof it really happened?

No way is that objective. No evidence.

The event that happened when it happened is the evidence.

What do you want? A picture I took when I was there to see it happen? Even if I had one it would not be the event, itself, and you could still deny that it happened even if you had been there to see it.

10 minutes ago, mfbukowski said:

I demand scientific evidence or a philosophical theory that shows that scientific evidence is not appropriate.

Philosophical theory, then:

What happens, happens.

If you don't have that theory in your philosophy book then you can put it in there.

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Hmmm... first Pogi and I are discussing the Grateful Dead and Phish in the make-up-your-own-religion thread and now there's a thread on hallucinations...

Is LSD taking over the LDS board? ;)

"Wake up to find out that you are the eyes of the world!"

(this Robert Hunter lyric should fit into your post-modern view nicely)

 

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I’m not sure that “hallucinations,” by their very nature, can ever be justified as “real.”  After all, that is the sort of thing which accompanies certain kinds of mental illness, can also be brought on by taking certain types of hallucinogens (psychoactive drugs), and are often handled by prescribing anti-psychotic drugs.

However, even if we use the more neutral term “vision,” we are still confronted with the socio-cultural construction of reality which all of us share to some extent – and in a language which severely limits our ability to express our experience.   Worse, Noam Chomsky insists that the language we use to describe such phenomena is genetically determined:  Chomsky says that language acquisition is organic combined with the triggering effect of experience.  That is, language is not so much learned, as that we are preprogrammed to develop/acquire language.  Which leaves us little better than dolphins in objectively understanding our world.

Thus, we intellectuals fall back on phenomenological descriptions of our “religious” experiences, and make little pretense of them being “objectively real.”  After all, Mark, you have emphasized in the past that the true distinction to be made is between the “subjective” and the “intellectual” (following William James), and not between “subjective” and “objective.”  We are simply not capable of making objective judgments about anything, which sounds like an existentialist dilemma and seems to sell subjectivity short.  All a TBM really has is his subjective testimony, and he has to make do with that in this life.  That is the challenge, but it does not mean that he cannot at the same time intellectualize the circumstances of his existence.  Moreover, Noam Chomsky certainly doesn’t allow genetic determinism to dull his harsh intellectual critique of the human condition.

Indeed, we cannot even be certain that all of life as we know it is not simply a simulation created by beings so advanced that we could not even conceive of their purpose or nature.

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10 minutes ago, Robert F. Smith said:

All a TBM really has is his subjective testimony, and he has to make do with that in this life.  That is the challenge, but it does not mean that he cannot at the same time intellectualize the circumstances of his existence. 

Nor does it mean we can not seek out and experience objective reality, subjectively.

We can "touch the elephant" and go in search of it while knowing intellectually that it must be out there somewhere.

10 minutes ago, Robert F. Smith said:

Indeed, we cannot even be certain that all of life as we know it is not simply a simulation created by beings so advanced that we could not even conceive of their purpose or nature.

We CAN be certain of that. We could certainly be wrong, but we can be certain of just about anything.

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53 minutes ago, MiserereNobis said:

Hmmm... first Pogi and I are discussing the Grateful Dead and Phish in the make-up-your-own-religion thread and now there's a thread on hallucinations...

Is LSD taking over the LDS board? ;)

"Wake up to find out that you are the eyes of the world!"

(this Robert Hunter lyric should fit into your post-modern view nicely)

 

200_s.gif

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1 hour ago, CV75 said:

Am I correct in assuming that you have come to understand that reality exists apart from your personal experience by seeing that life goes on after people die; that records show that life went on long before you were born; and, that you sometimes see real-time events or orchestrate practical jokes and deceptions that others clearly don’t notice?

Am I correct in assuming that you have come to understand that subjective reality also exists by having analyzed your reaction to optical illusions, changing biases over time, and seeing how some relationships improve and some worsen by trying out the same counter-intuitive or new behaviors?

Of what you know of Mormonism, what can you identify as objectively real (such things as temples, tithing, bishops, etc.); rather, what can you think of that stretches the envelope of what you tolerate as objectively real?

:angel: I think I will use this smiley to denote when I am being me - the TBM we all know and love ;)

That makes it easier to differentiate who is talking.  This could be an interesting Socratic dialogue if I do that I guess

:diablo: And this one to be the other side

Now to answer your question.

Of course reality exists apart from my personal experience- it is outside of me.

My personal experience is just subjective nonsense - a hodgepodge of feelings and unreliable emotions.  Life goes on after people die?  Totally ridiculous.

Objective records show that life went on before I was born?   What do you take me for, a fool?  Of course!!  There is OBJECTIVE evidence for that!  Real things happened in real history and there is real evidence for historical occurances- totally unlike this Joseph Smith hallucination stuff.

Practical jokes?  What does that have to do with anything?  Optical illusions show exactly the problem.  You Mormons have created a whole religion based on your personal emotionally based illusions.  That is exactly the point.  Optical illusions cannot possibly be truthful since they do not correspond to what can be scientifically verified in the real world.  

Mormonism objectively real??  Yeah the money is certainly real, and yes they have stolen their members funds by making them believe in illusions to build their grand palaces and make contractors rich- that much is for sure.  Probably someone's brother in law the way this all seems to work.  One hand greases the other with these Mormons.

Of course there are deluded people who buy into this great deception believing that visions and their own burning bosoms disclose "reality" but how people do that is beyond me.  I have no trouble distinguishing reality but Mormons do.  I do not stretch what real is- what is real is what is real.

:angel:

I hope that wasn't too nasty. ;)

 

Edited by mfbukowski
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1 hour ago, MiserereNobis said:

Hmmm... first Pogi and I are discussing the Grateful Dead and Phish in the make-up-your-own-religion thread and now there's a thread on hallucinations...

Is LSD taking over the LDS board? ;)

"Wake up to find out that you are the eyes of the world!"

(this Robert Hunter lyric should fit into your post-modern view nicely)

 

:diablo:

Oh yeah?  Well this also applies to ya dang Catholics with all your non-verifiable visions and other hallucinations.  I won't get into sacred stuff with you but you know what I mean!

Any believer in an invisible God is a candidate.

How can you be rooted at all in a real world while believing that stuff?  What evidence do you have for any of it???

:angel:

Good to see you here, bro!

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1 hour ago, Ahab said:

Btw, this is a stupid thread.

(Just feeling nostalgic about earlier days)

:angel:

We shall see.

You haven't given a good answer yet to how you justify your belief in an invisible being.  An atheist would walk all over you.

Edited by mfbukowski
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47 minutes ago, Ahab said:

Nor does it mean we can not seek out and experience objective reality, subjectively.

We can "touch the elephant" and go in search of it while knowing intellectually that it must be out there somewhere.

We CAN be certain of that. We could certainly be wrong, but we can be certain of just about anything.

:diablo:

How can you possibly know anything subjective IS objective? Objective reality is out there- subjective visions and silly testimony feelings are no where to be seen.

If you can't show me your vision or your burning bosom it is your mind making up delusions.

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Unintended consequence of this thread:

Rep points get weird.  

I am not going to get many, I can tell. ;)

Which side are you repping?  

OR maybe I could get them from both sides?  Dang we need more atheists around here....

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4 minutes ago, mfbukowski said:

:diablo:

How can you possibly know anything subjective IS objective?

By finding what was "out there" before I got "there" and knowing what I have found.

4 minutes ago, mfbukowski said:

Objective reality is out there-

...only until you get to where it is when it is then "there".

4 minutes ago, mfbukowski said:

subjective visions and silly testimony feelings are no where to be seen.

I have them. You don't, apparently.

4 minutes ago, mfbukowski said:

If you can't show me your vision or your burning bosom it is your mind making up delusions.

They are mine and you must get your own.

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6 minutes ago, mfbukowski said:

Unintended consequence of this thread:

Rep points get weird.  

I am not going to get many, I can tell. ;)

Which side are you repping?  

OR maybe I could get them from both sides?  Dang we need more atheists around here....

All you need to do is be funny or witty.

Even atheists can do that sometimes.

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21 minutes ago, mfbukowski said:

:angel:

We shall see.

You haven't given a good answer yet to how you justify your belief in an invisible being.  An atheist would walk all over you.

Yes I have. It's all a matter of perspective.

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58 minutes ago, mfbukowski said:

:angel: I think I will use this smiley to denote when I am being me - the TBM we all know and love ;)

That makes it easier to differentiate who is talking.  This could be an interesting Socratic dialogue if I do that I guess

:diablo: And this one to be the other side

Now to answer your question.

Of course reality exists apart from my personal experience- it is outside of me.

My personal experience is just subjective nonsense - a hodgepodge of feelings and unreliable emotions.  Life goes on after people die?  Totally ridiculous.

Objective records show that life went on before I was born?   What do you take me for, a fool?  Of course!!  There is OBJECTIVE evidence for that!  Real things happened in real history and there is real evidence for historical occurances- totally unlike this Joseph Smith hallucination stuff.

Practical jokes?  What does that have to do with anything?  Optical illusions show exactly the problem.  You Mormons have created a whole religion based on your personal emotionally based illusions.  That is exactly the point.  Optical illusions cannot possibly be truthful since they do not correspond to what can be scientifically verified in the real world.  

Mormonism objectively real??  Yeah the money is certainly real, and yes they have stolen their members funds by making them believe in illusions to build their grand palaces and make contractors rich- that much is for sure.  Probably someone's brother in law the way this all seems to work.  One hand greases the other with these Mormons.

Of course there are deluded people who buy into this great deception believing that visions and their own burning bosoms disclose "reality" but how people do that is beyond me.  I have no trouble distinguishing reality but Mormons do.  I do not stretch what real is- what is real is what is real.

:angel:

I hope that wasn't too nasty. ;)

 

No worries, you made it clear you are merely playing a role contrary to your belief in God to challenge your belief about reality, and I am likewise playing a role contrary to my belief about reality to engage in that challenge.

MDDB FRIENDS: This is just a test!

Your answers show a good deal of sophisticated insight but may be a bit beyond me; please indulge my clarifying questions as I test my observations and understanding.

I do not think you are saying that there is no objective evidence that life goes on for living persons after the dying persons die. How is it that you misspoke?

What experiences have you had that are not personal, and how do you know you had them? What do you think of answers like your conception or intrauterine exposure to anything (not necessarily drugs or alcohol)? What is the objective line between a personal and an impersonal experience?

What is the problem with practical jokes and optical illusions when they are found in objective reality? What is the problem with replicating lies and placebos with consistent results?

How have you objectively proven that Mormonism steals money to make contractors rich, and that Mormons are deluded? Would you share the documentation?

What do objective answers to these questions look like?

I am only trying to be thorough in preparing my response about why my testimony is "objectively real" and Joseph Smith's vision was as well.

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1 hour ago, Ahab said:

Nor does it mean we can not seek out and experience objective reality, subjectively.

We can "touch the elephant" and go in search of it while knowing intellectually that it must be out there somewhere.

We CAN be certain of that. We could certainly be wrong, but we can be certain of just about anything.

We are first and foremost prisoners of our senses (sight, smell, taste, touch, hearing, etc.), which do not give us immediate access to reality, but only a version or interpretation of reality.  Second, we are prisoners of our language, which has only a limited capacity to describe what our senses tell us -- all of it subjective, and a method of symbolizing what our socio-cultural upbringing has ingrained in us.  We try to represent reality as best we can, and we are often frustrated that we cannot get full agreement from other humans as to what reality really is.  We are in Plato's Cave, seeing only shadows on the wall, unable to access the really real.  Or by St Paul's description we see only through a glass darkly -- at least in this life.

It is a dilemma, but that is part of our human condition.  We can only accept the purely subjective experiences we have and hope for the best -- including our subjective experiences with the sacred, hoping that we are not victims of hallucinations.

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