How to achieve a believable belief?

Re: How to achieve a believable belief?

Postby Bill » Tue Mar 10, 2015 6:39 am

From what I can muster about Horpeniten, your personal experience gave you a belief system based on:

    1. Christianity largely congruent with the world view of the Evangelical Church in Germany,

    2. Reincarnation: rejection of eternal damnation as a counterpart to the sky; Belief that the soul must go through a developmental several rebirths to achieve the purification into a divine being,

    3. Mature occultism commitment to the existence of spiritual beings (angels, disembodied souls), which under certain conditions contact is possible,

    4. Third Testament: in addition to the Old and New Testaments of the Bible should have Emil Bergmann received in séances a third testament, which is seen as God's revelation of the Holy Spirit,

    5. Health / Healing: reliance on natural remedies and spiritual powers to cure diseases.

Your piece simply stated that you do not believe that anything was faked when you witnessed events that led you to (presumably) accept the above tenets.

If it is your point that personal experience of such events is the key to conversion, then the skeptic would have to undergo the same personal experience before we could examine if skepticism was denying the truth the experience was revealing. Until we have accounts of such events, it is very difficult to forecast what will happen when one takes place.

On the other hand, if you asking the skeptic to suspend his natural ways on the grounds that your experience should be sufficient for such a suspension, then I think you need to lay out clearer a case that your belief system is a better one than the one held by the skeptic.

I class myself as a mild skeptic - I do not actively believe in many elements of spirituality, but i do not instantly dismiss them out of hand as being impossible. The case in point being that I have problems will each of the five tenets detailed above, and I currently have no logic to persuade me that if spirituality exists in the manner you witnessed, the truth of the 5 is then revealed.. I suspect the strong skeptic will simply dismiss them as non-sequitirs.

In sum, i need something more substantial than the fact your are convinced. Some of the members on this forum will spend all their time looking for reasons why anything you present fails, in some manner, to persuade them. I do have some sympathize with you - for when the strong skeptic sees the writing on the wall, he will claim it is a forgery. And against that mindset, there will never be an acceptable proof nor rebuttal.
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Re: How to achieve a believable belief?

Postby romansh » Tue Mar 10, 2015 7:14 pm

hraith wrote:In my last post from Jan 09 (on page 6) I have explained, how my personal experience has given me a solid evidence for my belief.

I have a memory of myself as a three year old tumbling down some steep stairs and I am watching myself watch myself tumbling.

Is this solid evidence?

I would argue not. But perhaps I am being overly skeptical here.
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Re: How to achieve a believable belief?

Postby hraith » Wed Mar 11, 2015 4:52 am

Bill, the information you got about Horpeniten is correct. But I was never a follower of that group and I am also no Christian anymore. My point was just that by my experience I have been totally convinced, that this spiritualism was real and that there is afterlife, reincarnation and an individual upwards directed development. The content of the given messages was not important for me, because it was mostly their belief during their last life on earth. Therefore I concluded also, that we will not get wiser when we die. I know, that this gives only evidence to myself. Therefore my question was, what should happen in order to give evidence about afterlife etc. to skeptics. On the other hand it is not my intention to convince anybody about my worldview if they prefer another one.

romansh, I don't know if your experience could give you solid evidence and perhaps you don't want solid evidence about afterlife etc. - that would be fine with me as well.
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Re: How to achieve a believable belief?

Postby romansh » Wed Mar 11, 2015 6:54 am

hraith wrote:romansh, I don't know if your experience could give you solid evidence and perhaps you don't want solid evidence about afterlife etc. - that would be fine with me as well.

So what is the solid evidence that convinces you Hermann?

Do you believe certain drugs take you to the spiritual world and depending on the drug it is a enjoyable or a disturbing experience?
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Re: How to achieve a believable belief?

Postby Bill » Wed Mar 11, 2015 7:07 am

I was not trying to imply that you are a follower of Horpeniten - just giving some context about its modus vivendi.

i think that, at a practical level. the majority of people have a "if it effects me, then it is" mechanism for personal belief systems. That is, those who are moved by matters of faith have a faith based belief, and those who are not, do not.

For example, and to sidetrack for a moment, people who are convinced that they have seen a Flying Saucer can become obsessed by why those who have never seen one are not convinced of their existence. I would opine that a belief in Flying Saucers is predicated on having personally witnessed one in flight.

And the experience of seeing or feeling appears to be the lynch pin of all things relating to what we believe in.

I am certain that anyone who who has been through an experience where some aspect of spirituality is the only rational explanation of what happened are then believers in spiritual things. And those of us who have not had such an experience have no personal evidence on which to build a similar belief. We may dismiss spirituality as being caused by simple chemical reactions in the brain, but if one is convinced that drugs or hallucinations do not explain away an event, then spirituality may seem rational. For those who have never been in a similar situation, they will often take refuge in "natural causes" to bolster their disapproval of those who think differently from them. In pretty much the same way as those who think Flying Saucers do not exist find some natural cause to explain away every single sighting.

Having said that, in some areas of experience, we are able to be persuaded by a simple cause and effect mechanism of something we are otherwise incapable of explaining. I have no idea what an electron actually is, but since my television does not work without an electricity supply, I am willing to go along with the notion that electrons make electricity "work" simply from the evidence that I can watch my favorite TV show. If electrons are needed to give me a picture, I have no real problem in "believing" in electrons.

When it comes to spirituality, I have no personal experience to make me believe it is real, or that it is false. I am agnostic on the matter, for I am neither persuaded nor dissuaded over the possibility. Having said that, the inability of most spiritualists to offer other than personal experience by way of proof, I do tend to lean towards the "probably not" side of the scale: simply on the grounds that spiritual experience seems to be quite rare, and there is no logical reason for it to be so rare.

Of course. one needs to be open to the possibility. For example, I once went though a full blown episode of "Religious Experience" - but instead of becoming convinced of the existence of a deity, I took the view that my temporal lobe had been overstimulated by excessive stress. For some of us, even personal experience is not sufficient to change our minds: and I have nothing to offer to show how that state of affairs could be modified.
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Re: How to achieve a believable belief?

Postby gilnv » Wed Mar 11, 2015 2:29 pm

One problem (with believing in spirits or souls) that bothers me, is that people that claim to communicate with spirits have different stories. Shamans claim to get advice from animal spirits when entering underworlds, but others visit upper worlds. Which is it? Is there upper worlds and lower worlds? Are there animal spirits, plant spirits, ancestor spirits and element spirits that can help us the way that shamans around the world claim? I notice a contradiction here, because the stories from shamans around the world is usually different than christian mystic mediums that claim to communicate with deceased ancestors, yet both claim to connect with another realm that has spirits and souls.

I suspect that if there are spirits that can communicate, that it is so vague that a person needs to create a mosty imaginary belief scenario in order for any vague communication to occur. And this leads me to think that it could be self generated instead of from outside.
Personally, if I live long enough, I would like to find answers to many of these questions. But, I'm not willing to take hallucingenic types of plants to open any spiritual realms. Maybe I'll work with a plant or animal shaman someday or progress on my own, but until then, I am quite happy with what I know and suspect, and if I'm wrong, thats okay too. We do the best we can.

Even though the disagreement amongst spiritually based people makes me skeptical, I must say that the similarities of many spiritually based religions, leads me to think that "where theres smoke, there is fire". In other words, I suspect there may be a spiritual soul type of existence. But again, if there isn't, I am quite happy realizing we are part of a pantheistic type of universe. And there is no reason to ignore the facts that our physical atoms and main elements of water, air, fire and earth do continue to live on. It's unfortunate that so many people can't identify more with the physical matter that actually makes up our bodies. If our consciousness doesn't continue, at least the rest of us does.
Feeling pantheistic, Gil.
P.S. Today warmed up to 45 degrees Fahrenheit, so it was a good day for a bicycle ride. I've been 65 for a day now, and it's not bad so far. :)
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Re: How to achieve a believable belief?

Postby hraith » Thu Mar 12, 2015 3:18 am

romansh, I did not need drugs. I got my solid evidence by logical analysis of my experience with my aunt and her spiritualistic Sect.

Bill, I can understand your position very well. It is much easier for people to believe in Flying Saucers, because they fit to the materialistic world view and there are enough movies about this topic. Believing in afterlife requires to give up the materialistic world view. Therefore a real solid evidence is needed for doing this step. I assume you understand, that I got my personally solid evidence. If you would have had the same experience it would have been also a solid evidence for you. For getting a wider acceptance a public high level spiritualism would be needed, which allows scientific approval.

ginlv, spiritualism is possible with very different individuals. Most of them will be very primitive ones (underworld), but these should not be considered. Only a high level spiritualism is worth to analyse. This type is certainly practised in several closed groups and is kept secret. Unfortunately there is no public one.
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Re: How to achieve a believable belief?

Postby romansh » Sun Mar 15, 2015 8:45 am

hraith wrote:romansh, I did not need drugs. I got my solid evidence by logical analysis of my experience with my aunt and her spiritualistic Sect.


I am not sure that your belief in your aunt's beliefs will cut it for me Hermann.

Would care to expand on your logical analysis.

And regarding the drugs ... for me they are evidence against a spiritual world rather than for it. This I suppose was my point.
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Re: How to achieve a believable belief?

Postby Bill » Sun Mar 15, 2015 9:53 am

I suppose if there are two possible causes for some event, the existence of one is all some need to dismiss the other as never having occurred. In that way you achieve a believable belief by dismissing all other believable beliefs you don't want, and you get the added bonus of picking the ones you are most comfy with.

Hmmm ... perchance a Nobel prize of some sort for making an implacable case that the only cause of R.E. is temporal epilepsy and all the other so-called causes never actual happen?

No, wait - the theists get to choose which believable beliefs they pick, and we all know how silly they are to do that. Perhaps we need a Plan B.
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Re: How to achieve a believable belief?

Postby whateverist » Sun Mar 15, 2015 9:07 pm

hraith wrote:In my last post from Jan 09 (on page 6) I have explained, how my personal experience has given me a solid evidence for my belief.

Now I am wondering, what must happen, in order to provide skeptics with a solid evidence about afterlife and the existence of a spiritual world?



Since it was your personal experience which convinced you I find it unlikely that there is anything at all you can do to provide skeptics evidence without the benefit of a favorable personal experience of their own.
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