Previous life

Is there a god? What is the meaning of life?
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hellomynameis
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Re: Previous life

Post by hellomynameis »

-fluffy- wrote:I think you might be misinterpreting my views on the subject. I'm not saying past lives and the like is a reality, or even a likelihood, just that there is plenty of mystery around us and that dismissing any possibility on the lack of scientific proof is more than a little premature in my view.


Perhaps this misinterpreting of views is going both ways? I am not advocating that we should completely dismiss the possibility of past lives, or anything else. In a very technical sense we cannot completely dismiss solipsism’s idea that we may be nothing more than a brain in a vat, or that hereto unknown energies allow for psychic connection with minds from another plane of existence, or that past lives really do happen.

My point of view is that extraordinary claims require a good deal of rigorous evidence before they can be believed as true and accurate. Barring such evidence I do not believe in past lives, telekinesis, or healing crystals, etc, etc. Is lack of belief tantamount to a dismissal?

My advocacy is direct towards getting people to think more critically about issues and claims that have, for some reason, taken on an almost sacrosanct status in our culture. It isn't closed mindedness and nor does it lead to a less mysterious, diminished cosmos.

I'm not going to call anyone a mean name if they decide to believe in past lives, and if there is a group who wants to have the conversation without the debate or skeptical input, than they need only ask and I'll happily refrain from posting there. But while people are interested in a little back and forth I'll continue to present my view that these conversations should, in at least part, be framed by critical thinking.



-fluffy- wrote:I found myself thinking about the experiments on plants some time back where scientists were able to measure physiological responses in plants due to changes in their surroundings that all "reason" says they should have been immune to, responses that were basically emotional in nature. Scientifically measured but not explained. Weird? You bet. Plants that can feel and remember? What a crock eh? Well show me the proof.


I believe this experiment has been adequately debunked by re-testing with proper controls. Not to mention the host of critiques of the original experiment's methods and conclusions that basically leave it shorn of any believability.

-fluffy- wrote:Since this thread started there have been repeated examples to children making reference to past lives. Has there been any sound evidence on which to dismiss these claims or just possible alternative theories resulting from skepticism? Your personal dislike of some possibilities is not grounds enough for anything conclusion other than "The best possible explanation so far is..."



For me it has very little to do with personal dislike of the subject...
And again you'll find that I have not dismissed this subject and where I do come to a conclusion it's practically the same type of conclusion that you've deemed acceptable.
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fluffy
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Re: Previous life

Post by fluffy »

I totally get where you're coming from, and don't mean to criticise. There will always be skeptics just as there will always be dreamers.
I just want some credible articles to back up my conspiracy theory but I can't find any. Must be censorship.
hobbyguy
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Re: Previous life

Post by hobbyguy »

If one considers the scientific notion of conservation of energy, reincarnation makes some sense.

It also can be fit into the notion of there being "a little bit of god inside each us, trying to get out and express itelf" (my gist of a concept from Alan Watts writings). The "god" in this notion can be interpreted in a variety of ways - all the way down to "the force be with you".

By the time I know the answer to these questions, I won't be able to pass it on - because I will have.
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steven lloyd
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Re: Previous life

Post by steven lloyd »

hellomynameis wrote: My point of view is that extraordinary claims require a good deal of rigorous evidence before they can be believed as true and accurate. Barring such evidence I do not believe in past lives, telekinesis, or healing crystals, etc, etc. Is lack of belief tantamount to a dismissal? My advocacy is direct towards getting people to think more critically about issues and claims that have, for some reason, taken on an almost sacrosanct status in our culture. It isn't closed mindedness and nor does it lead to a less mysterious, diminished cosmos.

I agree that is true, that extraordinary claims require a good deal of rigorous evidence before they can be believed as true and accurate, particularly if it is important for someone to be convincing someone else of their extraordinary claims. Barring such motivation, and accepting that such experience (memories, sense of shared presence, whatever) and the interpretation of these experiences is such a personal matter, then instead of judging we have the option to just allow others to share what they have perceived and what they believe about it.

I also agree and would encourage anyone to critically evaluate their own experiences before jumping to their own erroneous conclusions. That being said, I sincerely do believe myself to be a person quite capable of critical thought. Not only am I fairly well read, even educated, in a variety of topics, I have been formally encouraged through coursework to engage in some of the most critical components of critical thought. That is, I have been taught to (and I’m willing to make the conscious decision to) consider the notion I might be wrong about what I’m perceiving or the conclusions I’ve arrived at. That certainly hasn’t always resulted in me coming to a new understanding that replaces the conclusions I have already reached – although it may inspire me to remain open-minded about the issue.

I have had no personal experience in having memories of past life to even evaluate, and while I would also encourage people to be critical about what they experience, I do know from personal experience how powerful and profound some experiences can be. Experiences where even when and after the application of critical reflection you know you have experienced something that will not be explained away by psychological substitutions. For that reason I know I cannot just outright dismiss what experiences others are willing to share.

Don’t misunderstand. If you tell me the Earth is only two thousand years old, or that slavery is all right as long as it’s handled by guidelines as set out in the Old Testament, or that any book was written by God – that I will challenge. On the other hand, if you tell me that something happened to you, that you experienced something, and that you think you know what it is because you were there and gave it great attention because obviously it was quite profound – that I am interested in. I’ve had my own powerful and profound experience that to this day will still not be explained away.
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cliffy1
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Re: Previous life

Post by cliffy1 »

steven lloyd wrote: I agree that is true, that extraordinary claims require a good deal of rigorous evidence before they can be believed as true and accurate, particularly if it is important for someone to be convincing someone else of their extraordinary claims. Barring such motivation, and accepting that such experience (memories, sense of shared presence, whatever) and the interpretation of these experiences is such a personal matter, then instead of judging we have the option to just allow others to share what they have perceived and what they believe about it.

I also agree and would encourage anyone to critically evaluate their own experiences before jumping to their own erroneous conclusions. That being said, I sincerely do believe myself to be a person quite capable of critical thought. Not only am I fairly well read, even educated, in a variety of topics, I have been formally encouraged through coursework to engage in some of the most critical components of critical thought. That is, I have been taught to (and I’m willing to make the conscious decision to) consider the notion I might be wrong about what I’m perceiving or the conclusions I’ve arrived at. That certainly hasn’t always resulted in me coming to a new understanding that replaces the conclusions I have already reached – although it may inspire me to remain open-minded about the issue.

I have had no personal experience in having memories of past life to even evaluate, and while I would also encourage people to be critical about what they experience, I do know from personal experience how powerful and profound some experiences can be. Experiences where even when and after the application of critical reflection you know you have experienced something that will not be explained away by psychological substitutions. For that reason I know I cannot just outright dismiss what experiences others are willing to share.

Don’t misunderstand. If you tell me the Earth is only two thousand years old, or that slavery is all right as long as it’s handled by guidelines as set out in the Old Testament, or that any book was written by God – that I will challenge. On the other hand, if you tell me that something happened to you, that you experienced something, and that you think you know what it is because you were there and gave it great attention because obviously it was quite profound – that I am interested in. I’ve had my own powerful and profound experience that to this day will still not be explained away.

Very well said Steven. I could not have said it more eloquently.

I have had many profound, life changing experiences. I don not care if they cannot be proven by science or anybody else, for that matter. We are here to experience life, not to explain or convince anybody of the validity of our experiences. I don't have to prove to anyone or look to anyone's approval or validation. I know what I experienced. That is all that is important. Life is subjective not objective. It is only really important to the person experiencing it.

I was born of British heredity but I spent 10 years living in the forest. During that time I spent much of it among the aboriginal people of BC and Alberta. I spent many hours in ceremony and experienced many "magical" events that were so completely out of the realm of my cultural upbringing. No two people will have had an identical experience, even if they were present at the same events. We each have our own unique life experiences and we draw our own conclusion as to their meaning, their value to our being. Nobody else can possibly understand the impact or importance it has for us.

I do feel a little sorry for those who would dismiss such events or try to rationalize them out of existence out of fear or ignorance. For me it would mean taking important dimensions our of my reality. Our beliefs colour our perception of life and often restrict our experience. Having an open mind can allow whole new realms of possibilities to our life experiences.
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fluffy
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Re: Previous life

Post by fluffy »

There is also the thought that a world full of mystery and wonder is more fun to be in.
I just want some credible articles to back up my conspiracy theory but I can't find any. Must be censorship.
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cliffy1
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Re: Previous life

Post by cliffy1 »

-fluffy- wrote:There is also the thought that a world full of mystery and wonder is more fun to be in.

That too. What is life without magic? Dull and linear? Antiseptic?
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janalta
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Re: Previous life

Post by janalta »

-fluffy- wrote:There is also the thought that a world full of mystery and wonder is more fun to be in.


I couldn't agree more...and this is one of the many issues I have with organized religions - the need to know.
The need to know how the earth was created, how the universe was created, how we came to be, what our purpose is. The need to know what is in store after we leave this earth. The need to know that there is a 'plan'.

I've had conversations with many people from various religions who all share the same belief....that to look at the beauty and wonder of nature and the world around us...one has to believe that it was planned this way, built this way...that it could not possibly just have been a series of random occurances that brought us to where we are.

I don't agree at all. I can look out at the beauty of nature and be just as touched and amazed at what I see without needing to know why. Perhaps even more amazed that it all just came to be through millions of years of evolution, adaptation and change. I don't need to know why. I don't need to know how....I can just relish in the wonder that is.

I think many of us have experienced things that can't easily be explained...but some of us are OK with just not knowing the how's and why's. We don't all have to have answers, or believe that all can be explained by the presence of god or a creator.....some of us are ok with unexplainable mysteries
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cliffy1
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Re: Previous life

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janalta wrote:I don't agree at all. I can look out at the beauty of nature and be just as touched and amazed at what I see without needing to know why. Perhaps even more amazed that it all just came to be through millions of years of evolution, adaptation and change. I don't need to know why. I don't need to know how....I can just relish in the wonder that is.

I think many of us have experienced things that can't easily be explained...but some of us are OK with just not knowing the how's and why's. We don't all have to have answers, or believe that all can be explained by the presence of god or a creator.....some of us are ok with unexplainable mysteries

But isn't that what science does also? They dissect, label and categorize life and take all the magic out of it. The Big Bang requires just as much magic to believe as the creation myth. To me, science is the new religion. Somewhere in between lies the truth.
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janalta
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Re: Previous life

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cliffy1 wrote:But isn't that what science does also? They dissect, label and categorize life and take all the magic out of it. The Big Bang requires just as much magic to believe as the creation myth. To me, science is the new religion. Somewhere in between lies the truth.


To a point, indeed it does...and is driven by the same 'need to know'.
I guess the difference, as I see it, is that science does not claim to know all of the answers yet, whereas, religion states, This is how it is...end of story.
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Sneaksuit
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Re: Previous life

Post by Sneaksuit »

janalta wrote:I guess the difference, as I see it, is that science does not claim to know all of the answers yet, whereas, religion states, This is how it is...end of story.



Can you give examples of religions that state this and how they state it?
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janalta
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Re: Previous life

Post by janalta »

Sneaksuit wrote:

Can you give examples of religions that state this and how they state it?


Did Christianity and Judism stop teaching that the heavens and earth were created by God?
That man was created in God's image, who then procreated the earth with a woman fashioned from his rib?
Sorry, I must have missed that
Last edited by janalta on Apr 24th, 2013, 6:48 am, edited 1 time in total.
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fluffy
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Re: Previous life

Post by fluffy »

Sneaksuit wrote:Can you give examples of religions that state this...


Christianity

...and how they state it?


Loudly.
I just want some credible articles to back up my conspiracy theory but I can't find any. Must be censorship.
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cliffy1
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Re: Previous life

Post by cliffy1 »

Funny part is, there are somewhere around 35 thousand Christian sects all giving a different version of "how it is".
Trying to get spiritual nourishment from a two thousand year old book is like trying to suck milk from the breast of a woman who has been dead that long.
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Glacier
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Re: Previous life

Post by Glacier »

janalta wrote:I guess the difference, as I see it, is that science does not claim to know all of the answers yet, whereas, religion states, This is how it is...end of story.

This a patently false statement. There is not one religion that claims to know all the answers yet. None.
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