Correct me if I'm wrong, but mostly as atheists, we believe in nothingness after death, or at least I think I do. But then we have all of this stuff with mediums and spirits that maybe point to evidence to an afterlife. Some mediums have told people things that no one else has known, so that really makes me wonder.
I was really just wondering what everyone's opinions were on afterlife and spirits and stuff like that. Like, what exactly do you think happens after death?
It would be ageist if I suggested that all people of a certain age think one way. I'm just saying that the alternative religion phase is common among young adults. Especially in their college years. I've known many a hard-headed young person as well, but you, sir, are not one.
"You see, it doesn't work that way. It's purely intuitive."
LOL! That describes it all, Jimmy - all your bullshit. Does IQ increase? Well, no - that would be actual evidence. Does specific knowledge increase? Well, no, again, there is nothing you can measure. Ok, so can psychologists interview people before and after becoming devotees and note personality changes? YES, of course - they've become devotees and worship Terrence!
@Heather I've described how this can change someone's personality, I've described how this is in a way a kind of "special" or even "esoteric knowledge." I'm not sure what you're gibing at. I never said the changes in someone are "immeasurable," I'm saying that they're just as measurable as diagnosing someone who has high-functioning autism. In other words, it exists on a spectrum because people are complex and can be influenced by these things in many different ways, so there really isn't a concrete simplified way to tease these things apart with... which you, for some reason, expect there to be.
Jimmy, if you think of your mind as software, I would not challenge the fact that taking psilocybin may reprogram your software, perhaps irrevocably - but that has no correlation to what is going on in the world outside your mind. I'm not writing more because I can't deal with this narrow paragraphed column format :)
@Strega, if you want to think of the effects of psilocybin as a re-programming of software, and the brain as hardware, then boy do I have something for you to see!
It's not just a steaming pile of bullshit - it promises to be incredibly fascinating if you check it out while on shrooms! LOL!
** a world of indoctrinated adolescent egocentric dupes
If the 'gods', the 'spirits', the 'other world', 'survival of the immortal part after death' were honestly held to be the nonsense that they are -- a lot of folks would be out of a job. It's in the self-interest of every god-proxy out there to make sure a metaphysical, magical, mystery show keeps on rollin' along.
Think of religious institutions (and their spritualist look-alikes) as what they are -- Ponzi schemes. Invest your money in the scheme, get patted on the back for being a good dupe, obey the god-proxies' dictates, and that treasure in heaven will be all yours. "Pay no attention to that man behind the curtain" -- the Wizard of Oz has been -- and forever will be -- a humbug.
Millions of chronological adults remain stuck in Piaget’s stage of *adolescent egocentrism* which “. . .involves attention getting behavior, and personal fable [marked by. . . a] sense of personal uniqueness and invincibility.” (Piaget, Wikipedia)
Religious indoctrination invests heavily in maintaining believers in adolescent egocentrism -- witness adolescent angst and acting out common among believers in the so-called great monotheisms.
Looks like it's time to trot this out again:
KISS HANK'S ASS
This morning there was a knock at my door. When I answered the door I found a well groomed, nicely dressed couple. The man spoke first:
John: "Hi! I'm John, and this is Mary."
Mary: "Hi! We're here to invite you to come kiss Hank's ass with us."
Me: "Pardon me?! What are you talking about? Who's Hank, and why would I want to kiss His ass?"
John: "If you kiss Hank's ass, He'll give you a million dollars; and if you don't, He'll kick the shit out of you."
Me: "What? Is this some sort of bizarre mob shake-down?"
John: "Hank is a billionaire philanthropist. Hank built this town. Hank owns this town. He can do whatever He wants, and what He wants is to give you a million dollars, but He can't until you kiss His ass."
Me: "That doesn't make any sense. Why..."
Mary: "Who are you to question Hank's gift? Don't you want a million dollars? Isn't it worth a little kiss on the ass?"
Me: "Well maybe, if it's legit, but..."
John: "Then come kiss Hank's ass with us."
Me: "Do you kiss Hank's ass often?"
Mary: "Oh yes, all the time..."
Me: "And has He given you a million dollars?"
John: "Well no. You don't actually get the money until you leave town."
Me: "So why don't you just leave town now?"
Mary: "You can't leave until Hank tells you to, or you don't get the money, and He kicks the shit out of you."
Me: "Do you know anyone who kissed Hank's ass, left town, and got the million dollars?"
John: "My mother kissed Hank's ass for years. She left town last year, and I'm sure she got the money."
Me: "Haven't you talked to her since then?"
John: "Of course not, Hank doesn't allow it."
Me: "So what makes you think He'll actually give you the money if you've never talked to anyone who got the money?"
Mary: "Well, He gives you a little bit before you leave. Maybe you'll get a raise, maybe you'll win a small lotto, maybe you'll just find a twenty-dollar bill on the street."
Me: "What's that got to do with Hank?"
John: "Hank has certain 'connections.'"
Me: "I'm sorry, but this sounds like some sort of bizarre con game."
John: "But it's a million dollars, can you really take the chance? And remember, if you don't kiss Hank's ass He'll kick the shit out of you."
Me: "Maybe if I could see Hank, talk to Him, get the details straight from Him..."
Mary: "No one sees Hank, no one talks to Hank."
Me: "Then how do you kiss His ass?"
John: "Sometimes we just blow Him a kiss, and think of His ass. Other times we kiss Karl's ass, and he passes it on."
Me: "Who's Karl?"
Mary: "A friend of ours. He's the one who taught us all about kissing Hank's ass. All we had to do was take him out to dinner a few times."
Me: "And you just took his word for it when he said there was a Hank, that Hank wanted you to kiss His ass, and that Hank would reward you?"
John: "Oh no! Karl has a letter he got from Hank years ago explaining the whole thing. Here's a copy; see for yourself."
Me: "This appears to be written on Karl's letterhead."
Mary: "Hank didn't have any paper."
Me: "I have a hunch that if we checked we'd find this is Karl's handwriting."
John: "Of course, Hank dictated it."
Me: "I thought you said no one gets to see Hank?"
Mary: "Not now, but years ago He would talk to some people."
Me: "I thought you said He was a philanthropist. What sort of philanthropist kicks the shit out of people just because they're different?"
Mary: "It's what Hank wants, and Hank's always right."
Me: "How do you figure that?"
Mary: "Item 7 says 'Everything Hank says is right.' That's good enough for me!"
Me: "Maybe your friend Karl just made the whole thing up."
John: "No way! Item 5 says 'Hank dictated this list himself.' Besides, item 2 says 'Use alcohol in moderation,' Item 4 says 'Eat right,' and item 8 says 'Wash your hands after going to the bathroom.' Everyone knows those things are right, so the rest must be true, too."
Me: "But 9 says 'Don't use alcohol.' which doesn't quite go with item 2, and 6 says 'The moon is made of green cheese,' which is just plain wrong."
John: "There's no contradiction between 9 and 2, 9 just clarifies 2. As far as 6 goes, you've never been to the moon, so you can't say for sure."
Me: "Scientists have pretty firmly established that the moon is made of rock..."
Mary: "But they don't know if the rock came from the Earth, or from out of space, so it could just as easily be green cheese."
Me: "I'm not really an expert, but I think the theory that the Moon was somehow 'captured' by the Earth has been discounted*. Besides, not knowing where the rock came from doesn't make it cheese."
John: "Ha! You just admitted that scientists make mistakes, but we know Hank is always right!"
Me: "We do?"
Mary: "Of course we do, Item 7 says so."
Me: "You're saying Hank's always right because the list says so, the list is right because Hank dictated it, and we know that Hank dictated it because the list says so. That's circular logic, no different than saying 'Hank's right because He says He's right.'"
John: "Now you're getting it! It's so rewarding to see someone come around to Hank's way of thinking."
Me: "But...oh, never mind. What's the deal with wieners?"
Mary: (She blushes)
John: "Wieners, in buns, no condiments. It's Hank's way. Anything else is wrong."
Me: "What if I don't have a bun?"
John: "No bun, no wiener. A wiener without a bun is wrong."
Me: "No relish? No Mustard?"
Mary: (She looks positively stricken)
John: (He's shouting) "There's no need for such language! Condiments of any kind are wrong!"
Me: "So a big pile of sauerkraut with some wieners chopped up in it would be out of the question?"
Mary: (Sticks her fingers in her ears) "I am not listening to this. La la la, la la, la la la."
John: "That's disgusting. Only some sort of evil deviant would eat that..."
Me: "It's good! I eat it all the time."
Mary: She faints.
John: (He catches Mary) "Well, if I'd known you were one of those I wouldn't have wasted my time. When Hank kicks the shit out of you I'll be there, counting my money and laughing. I'll kiss Hank's ass for you, you bunless cut-wienered kraut-eater."
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