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Varieties Of Religious Experience

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nailit | 21:06 Fri 23rd Jun 2017 | Religion & Spirituality
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Have been (re)reading this book by William James. I think that I know the general concensus of ABers re: religious/spiritual experiences but as it seems a human thing to have transcendental experinces just wondered how you all interperate this phenomena?


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Nailit....a link would be useful at this point !
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Ill have a scout around Mikey, This is after all religion and not news. The book would be well known to anyone in R&S
Link to the whole thing here:-

I stopped reading at the phrase "There can be no doubt that as a matter of fact a religious life, exclusively pursued, does tend to make the person exceptional and eccentric."

I think that sums it up.
Sorry nailit I'm a slow typer ;-)
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And you've read the whole book in a few minutes then ll-billym?
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LOL, no worries stom!
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stob even...
As someone who believes in god but has never had any kind of transcendental experience...I have no idea.....I would suggest though that any kind of interest or belief set exclusively pursued would tend to make the person exceptional and eccentric and also that this is not necessarily a bad thing.
Ha ha obviously not - I just read until I hit that phrase then stopped because it roughly agreed with my pre-existing beliefs.

The brain is quite capable of generating 'experiences' or perceptions that something is 'true', or 'happening' that are not shared by the brain next to it, and if religion is that brain's 'thing' then those experiences may be tailored around that and if not then maybe those experiences will be about aliens invading or something else equally convincing.
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Not so much interested in faith or belief. More interested in actual phenomena. People (millions of them now) have had NDEs etc (for example)
Why do humans have these experiences? Do animals have the same?
Why are these experiances been ignored?
we can’t know if animals have them....I mean the animals can’t tell us.
The brain has a brainstorm, then wants to make sense of it, so it invents a divine cause, because it can't be anything else, or so the brain rationalises. What people think must be a religious experience can all too often be an episode of temporal lobe epilepsy. And yes, you can have only one such episode in a lifetime. Study temporal lobe epilepsy, then look at the biblical story of St Paul's conversion. You'll see powerful resemblances.
“all too often”??
Maybe they are all out of their mind ?
As an atheist a religious experience can be explained as a brainstorm. To think otherwise is to have to admit that the entity known as God is a *** of the highest order.

God or more to the point gods followers, would have you believe that he is LOVE. He is not. He is EGO.
atatlanta: As a Christian I dispute I have temporal lobe epilepsy! Your argument means that love, pity or hatred has a cause not of the rational mind. You can't say that 'religious' experience comes from irrationality but other 'reasoning' does not. How can you differentiate differing received experience? If that is the case we are wasting our time communicating because any objective reasoning is illusory. My religious experiences have been just that, experiences as real as walking down a cobbled street or falling in love. Our experiences as 'religious' can only be objectively considered as valid as the non-religious, otherwise you are saying that experience is only valid if it accords with your perception of reality which, in metaphysical terms, is simply that - perception. If I experience a religious 'event' you term it a brainstorm. Yet if I experience physical pain you would not. It is sophistry and, literally, un-reasonable. It is, in my humble view, also insulting to maintain my reality is somehow inferior to yours.
I know my unreligious mother had an odd thing happen to her once. She was inside the synagogue where she's gone to retrieve something someone else had left there and experienced what she described as a sort of epiphany and it quote distressed her because she couldn't rationalise it. She has not 'caught religion' since but she still acknowledges it as something strange and not of her controlling and it still makes her feel uncomfortable.
Scooping, //You can't say that 'religious' experience comes from irrationality but other 'reasoning' does not. How can you differentiate differing received experience?//

A good question, so why do you attribute what you call ‘religious’ experience to religion? Is it because you have pre-conceived notions, perhaps? It’s a bit like people who say they’ve seen or heard ‘ghosts’. Many consider that to be a religious experience, whereas the truth, although currently unexplained, might be very different.

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