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Featured How to prove?

Discussion in 'General Religious Debates' started by Amanaki, Mar 18, 2019.

  1. Hubert Farnsworth

    Hubert Farnsworth Well-Known Member

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    "Law" doesn't prove anything in the sense that mathematics does either. The "proof" required in a court of law is similar to the level of "proof" required to establish a scientific theory.
     
  2. ManSinha

    ManSinha Active Member

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    I have two incomplete - completely unsubstantiated and anecdotal - by current scientific standards - viewpoints to offer

    1. (Completely personal based on my beliefs) - was doing some research into where to stay before going to visit Amritsar in India - chanced upon a travel site and the number of people that posted thoughts of calmness and peace and serenity while inside the complex was interesting to read. Now how many were devotees, how many sightseers, how many did not have any experience and did not post - I do not know but again - just one example of different regions of the brain being activated (nod to @ChristineM) with what might be considered a spiritual visit - again this is not unique to the Golden Temple - I am sure similar experiences can be found at visits to the Vatican, Mecca and the Tannah Lot in Bali

    2. Have had a conversation with someone that decided to be an agnostic / atheist after being less than satisfied with their given religion at the time. And yet, decided to pray given a rough time and found some inner strength and calmness helping to cope with the circumstances. This is not a unique conversation - I have had it two or three times in my life - it would interesting to get PET scans on these individuals as well to see if the same front-temporal hippocampal plexus is being activated.
     
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  3. exchemist

    exchemist Well-Known Member

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    It's intermediate I think. I entirely agree that in law one deals with "proof beyond reasonable doubt", which is not nearly as rigorous as mathematical proof. But many scientific theories are far from "beyond reasonable doubt". In fact we use a lot of them perfectly aware that they are not entirely correct.

    The difference, I think, is that in science we work with models of reality, rather than claiming "truth".
     
  4. Falvlun

    Falvlun Earthbending Lemur
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    I doubt you would end up with a drawing that would look like the rabbit/duck. You’d probably end up with a clear rabbit or a clear duck, depending on what that person saw. And if you didn’t have prior knowledge of the rabbit/duck, you’d likely not think “oh yeah it could be a rabbit or a duck”, you’d just think they saw different things.

    But we all have references for rabbits, ducks, and optical illusions— as well as places, people, etc. A spiritual realm could be something completely out of ordinary experience, for which we do not have adequate descriptors. So people settle for analogies and similes (eg “it was like this”), which will necessarily be colored by their culture and experiences. To add to the confusion, we know about religions so we may automatically place a spiritual experience within the context of a religion with which we are familiar.

    Sure, it would go a long way to verifying these spiritual experiences if they matched. But the fact that they don’t match, doesn’t rule out the possibility that they are the same thing.

    (And, honestly, many religions/spiritual experiences do tend to have similar aspects even if the entirety is divergent.)
     
  5. WalterTrull

    WalterTrull Godfella

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    Of the body, certainly. Past that, much speculation. This life is so unlikely, the next is not much of a jump.
     
  6. PureX

    PureX Veteran Member

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    Good post. ...But I would remind us all that, "models of reality" is basically a definition of what we generally call; 'subjective truth'.
     
  7. 9-10ths_Penguin

    9-10ths_Penguin 1/10 Riboflavin
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    Just so we're clear: are you just flat-out rejecting intersubjective verification as a way to learn about reality?
     
  8. ManSinha

    ManSinha Active Member

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    And ladies and gentlemen - mathematical and scientific proofs are not the only kind - there are also - as you know - social experiments - in which much of the work is empirical
     
  9. ManSinha

    ManSinha Active Member

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    Is that not in part because there are only so many ways that we humans experience spirituality? There is bound to be some overlap :)
     
  10. Nakosis

    Nakosis crystal soldier
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    Does it need to be proven? Not really. Since a spiritual experience is only relevant to you.

    Why go about trying to prove what is beyond someone else's experience?

    What's important, IMO, is that you gain something from what you experience. The subjective truth of our experience is not something that can be shared. I think it is best to seperate subjective truth from objective truth. Objective truth is what we can share, prove, validate.

    While we can talk about our subjective experiences, we can't really share the experience.

    There is your truth and my truth, both subjective. Then there is objective truth, the truth in accordance with physical reality. People tend to confuse the subjective with the objective.
     
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  11. Quintessence

    Quintessence Tale Weaver
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    For some endeavors, proof is not the point and fixating on it is both a waste of time and counterproductive. Often, what you are asking about falls into that category. I also live in a cultural climate that is generally hostile to personal religious experiences. That makes approaching the topic more problematic than it might be otherwise. Given these factors, I recommend letting go of any need to prove anything. It is a waste of time compared to focusing on the need for discernment.

    All that said, this is a topic that comes up quite a lot if your religious community heavily embraces aspects of mystery religions or mystical/religious experiences. One of my favorite Pagan bloggers just wrote another essay on the topic here - UPG: Why Unverified Personal Gnosis is Good and Necessary - that you might find of value. More important than that essay is his words on discernment here - Discernment: Distilling the Truth from our Pagan Experiences - of which I'll hilight this gem:

    "The better job you can do of being present while the experience is happening the better chance you have of discerning the truth in the experience."
    Fussing about proof from the gate absolutely gets in the way of being fully present while having an experience, whether we want to label it as spiritual, religious, mystical, mundane, or whatever after we have that experience. Mystery traditions necessitate the ability to shut up inner analysis and just experience in the moment and pay attention to it without judging it. It's why meditation is a critical skill to learn in such paths. The analysis can come later.
     
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  12. ecco

    ecco Well-Known Member

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    How to prove that Mickey Mouse is a real living, breathing, conscious being?

    How to prove that the universe was created by psychic snowflakes?

    Do these things need to be proven to someone who does not believe in them?
     
    #52 ecco, Mar 18, 2019
    Last edited: Mar 18, 2019
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  13. ecco

    ecco Well-Known Member

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    And there, folks, we have the same cop-out given by woosters for millennia.

    It's right up there with:
    • The negative vibes of the non-believers in the room are keeping the spirits away.
    • My powers are not very strong today. (If I remember correctly, this was the excuse Uri Geller used when he failed to bend a spoon on Carson's show).
     
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  14. Falvlun

    Falvlun Earthbending Lemur
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    No. Obviously, comparing notes with other people is a great way to learn about reality.

    You wrote: “if two people both claim to see the same "spiritual realm" but their descriptions of that realm don't correspond at all, then even without being able to see that realm myself, I can conclude that the two people aren't seeing the same thing.”

    I am saying that this is a premature conclusion. It is possible for two people to see the same thing and describe it differently. I would think this would be especially compounded for descriptions of things for which we have less references.
     
  15. ManSinha

    ManSinha Active Member

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    Superman loses his powers at night and during solar eclipses?
     
  16. ecco

    ecco Well-Known Member

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    I think that science has come to some very definite conclusions about NDE's.
     
  17. Falvlun

    Falvlun Earthbending Lemur
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    Most likely.

    I would be so interested in experiencing how people thought, in a natural state, before knowing various religions. How would they describe things?
     
  18. ecco

    ecco Well-Known Member

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    Someone who decides he is an atheist after being less than satisfied with their given religion at the time is not really an atheist. He is a religious person looking for a different religion/god.
     
  19. ManSinha

    ManSinha Active Member

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    Fair enough - even if they claim not to follow an organized religion? :)
     
  20. ManSinha

    ManSinha Active Member

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    PET scans actually :)
     
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