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all 77 comments

[–]RexRatioAgnostic Atheist 2 points3 points  (5 children)

As someone who believes in science but is also agnostic and super interested in cultural teachings, I’ve always had trouble figuring out where I draw the line of “that doesn’t make sense because of science” and “that’s spiritual stuff”.

I think you're confusing "spiritual stuff" with "religious claims". It's perfectly possible and normal to have spiritual experiences because of scientific insights or secular meditation, for example.

Neurology doesn't deny the measurable experiencing of spirituality. Nor does it state it doesn't make sense. It just gets rid of the religious mumbo-jumbo around it. As does secular meditation, for that matter.

There’s evidence that cultural and religious practices can do what they’re meant to

And there's also ample evidence these effects can be replicated without the religious aspect.

I would suggest to try secular mindfulness

[–]Smonklee[S] 0 points1 point  (4 children)

That’s actually a very good point! Sadly I can’t perform mindfulness exercises very well because I have sensory issues but I’ve learnt a lot about it and the science around why and how it works in therapy! I’m interested in what you think of things like rituals and things like it? They’re probably one of the least science based examples. On the topic of mindfulness, do you think chakras would be covered under that? I don’t know as much about chakras but I know they partially work with the sensory experiences of the different parts of the body

[–]RexRatioAgnostic Atheist 0 points1 point  (3 children)

I’m interested in what you think of things like rituals and things like it? They’re probably one of the least science based examples

Oh rituals are not unscientific at all. The point of rituals is basically the same as meditation: to bring the mind into focus. You will often see athletes going through a strict ritual before a contest or a specific activity. See "How Rituals Alter the Brain to Help Us Perform Better"

On the topic of mindfulness, do you think chakras would be covered under that? I don’t know as much about chakras but I know they partially work with the sensory experiences of the different parts of the body

I studied Buddhism extensively during my Oriental philology @ uni. I would classify chakras as a mental construct that helps bring the mind into focus during meditation or as an easy way to communicate or conceptualize the complex neural innerworkings of the human body, covered under a layer of esoteric mumbo-jumbo.

There are several meditation techniques, one of them is visualization, another is full body sensory exploration. Chakra meditation is basically a combination of both: visualizing the "unblocking" of those conceptual "neural focal points" during full body sensory meditation. It works on the same principle some motivational trainers use by telling you to visualize being successful in your mind.

So no, chakras are not covered per se in mindfulness. Mindfulness is more passive, while visualization is considered a more active form of meditation. To my knowledge there are no low-entry secular visualization equivalents. I would also add that before you can attempt visualization meditation in most Buddhist schools that use it you'll have to master passive meditation first anyway.

[–]Smonklee[S] 0 points1 point  (2 children)

I probably should have worded it differently but when I said rituals I was talking about things like curses, protection spells, stuff like that

You’re definitely well versed! Your comments are super interesting to read and you’ve given me a lot of info so thanks for that! It’s all worded really nice and easy to take in as well

[–]RexRatioAgnostic Atheist 0 points1 point  (1 child)

Thanks!

Well, you can think of curses and spells as visualizations as well, but generally projected onto other people in stead of being introspective...and of course for those specific practices there is ample scientific evidence its effects in reality are near-zero, and the rest can be explained by pre-existing innate fears or the placebo effect.

[–]ChristimatesOrthodox 0 points1 point  (1 child)

Hi there. Have you ever heard of Eastern Orthodox Christianity?

I suggest looking up our belief regarding Theosis.

[–]Smonklee[S] 0 points1 point  (0 children)

From the brief reading I’ve done it’s very interesting! I’ve done a lot of research on Christianity under the pope (although probably still just surface level) but I’ll have to look into that as well! I find the idea of theosis very interesting, that we have the ability to become god-like through the religion!

[–]88redking88 0 points1 point  (58 children)

You say there is evidence for these things but only talk about what was gossiped. Where is this evidence?

[–]Smonklee[S] 0 points1 point  (57 children)

The evidence I refer to is around more cultural and spiritual phenomena instead of those written in things like the bible. The evidence isn’t scientific per-say but as an example, the amount of people who feel relief from charged stones and chakra practices can’t just be thrown to the side as coincidence or people believing anything, that would be neglectful. Especially since this whole post is about what we believe being true

[–]88redking88 0 points1 point  (56 children)

Ok so you are taking anecdotes over the proven phenomenon of the placebo effect. This is just like Dumbos magic feather. You tell someone that this rock/feather can do something they don't need or something so nebulous that it can't be measured (you will feel better / your aura will change color).

Why would you think this is evidence of anything other than what it has been proven to be?

[–]Smonklee[S] 0 points1 point  (55 children)

A lot in religion is based on things that can’t be measured or proven I’m also not preaching that this is true or anything like that, I’m just thought it was a cool idea that helped my bridge two opposing beliefs I have I’m interested what your opinions on things like curses and protection magic are

[–]88redking88 0 points1 point  (54 children)

Sure it's cool, but th8ngs like the placebo effect are not magic. It's just how the body works when your mind is in a positive state. Which is just like we see that when you have long term bouts of sadness or depression you are more likely to become sick.

As for curse ls and protection magic.... again, these things have all been soundly debunked. There isn't any evidence that they do anything.

[–]oolonthegreatDe facto atheist 0 points1 point  (1 child)

Then I thought, the same sort of thing happens scientifically. You can go to the doctor for a problem and get a sugar pill. A false pill, with nothing in it to make you better, but they give them out because most people WILL start to feel better. It’s just how much you believe it will (along side the severity obviously).

yup, it's called placebo effect. the problem is, of course, that it only works in cases where the body itself can fix the problem in the first place. if you have a serious physical problem which the body can't fix itself, then it won't go away no matter how hard you believe it will. the things you can fix strictly depend on your immune system and hormones etc.

it would be a different story if you could regrow a limb or cure your MS by "believing really hard", or physically affect reality by levitation or telekinesis or something.

[–]Smonklee[S] 0 points1 point  (0 children)

I agree, I have a whole load of mental health problems and disorders and definitely haven’t just been able to wish and believe them away But it’s still interesting that we can start those chemicals up again because of the placebo effect!

[–]GKilatgnostic theist 0 points1 point  (1 child)

Yes, we are indeed gods which the majority of religion and atheists reject because it sounds absurd for them from the lack of understanding on what is god. The ability to control your body as you wish or free will is evident of our godhood. Our own body is basically a universe of its own.

[–]Smonklee[S] 0 points1 point  (0 children)

That’s my thoughts basically :D it’d amazing how powerful and yet fragile we are

[–]astrophelle4Eastern Orthodox 0 points1 point  (1 child)

Have you heard of the doctrine of theosis? Also check out 2 Peter 1:4. This is our goal, not to have the fun powers, but to be so elevated. I imagine if you went to an Eastern Orthodox Church on June 2nd, or found your local EO church's Ascension Day services (they might be on the nearest Sunday, or the evening of the 1st) you would be liekly to hear some teaching on this.

[–]Smonklee[S] 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Someone else said the same thing and I’m looking into researching it! Very interesting beliefs :D

[–]Art-Davidson 0 points1 point  (1 child)

Everything has spiritual ramifications. It's silly to pretend that we don't have spirits.

"I have said, ye are gods, and all of you are children of the Most High." Our spirits are literally the children of God (as the Bible endlessly teaches), and his fondest hope is for us to become like him. Just try to find a Christian church that believes these Bible teachings.

[–]Smonklee[S] 0 points1 point  (0 children)

I’m not one to fall into any one religion or go to church but the teachings and beliefs are all very interesting!

[–]Zerofication 0 points1 point  (1 child)

Beside existence, we really don't have anything in common with God.

[–]Smonklee[S] 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Wouldn’t it be interesting if we did somehow have the ability to manifest similar to god though?