jupiviv wrote:The definition of spirit is generally held to be the essence or "soul" of a person.
I'm not sure that's true - some writers distinguish between "spirit" and "soul" - but I see what you're getting at with "essence".
jupiviv wrote:That's the definition I'm using. There is only one true essence in a person, and that is the essence shared by all other things except that person as well.
I'm not sure what you mean by "except" in "shared by all other things except
jupiviv wrote:There is another(possibly more) popular definition of spirit, which is an existence contrasted with material/physical existence. But what is meant by 'material existence'? It seems to refer to the sensory world. However, the 'spirit world' seems to be surprisingly similar to the material world the way most people describe it, in that all/most of the things in it have to do with emotions and things which can potentially be experienced through an alteration or intensification of the senses. The difference between the two seems to be one of knowledge and ignorance rather than sensory and non-sensory existence, i.e, the spirit world refers to those empirical things which we are not entirely clear about, and the material refers to those things which we feel sure of.
The definition you are using seems to be the latter one. However, my comment is still valid because there is no good reason to consider the empirical things that we are not entirely clear about to be 'special' in some way. The most reasonable thing to do would be to acknowledge that we are necessarily ignorant of some things, and leave it at that.
Well, the ordinary understanding (which corresponds with mine) is that the difference between the spirit and the material is one of quality/substance and not of knowledge.
In any case, yes, these are both valid definitions of the word "spirit": spirit as in "essential nature" and spirit as in "immaterial/non-physical (usually conscious) substance". In different contexts, one or the other is most appropriate. Obviously, in the context of my own posts, I'm using the latter definition.
David Quinn wrote:You say “their” friends’ house.
Just to clarify: by "them" I mean the two (grown) children (males) in the family I was staying with.
David Quinn wrote:Did you know these “friends” before that night?
I don't recall that I did, no.
David Quinn wrote:How many of them were there?
They were a family of at least three - two parents and a son.
David Quinn wrote:Did everyone there in the household participate in the ouija board session, or just some of them?
Only the son was present. His parents were out at a social gathering.
David Quinn wrote:Were you drinking or taking drugs prior to the session? Were the others?
No and no. We were all completely sober: aside from the events, the evening and our mental states were normal.
David Quinn wrote:I will state openly that in no way would I consider the rapist/torturer in the above scenario to be "evil". I don't even consider Hitler and the entire Nazi system to be evil, any more than I consider their victims to be good. So why would I consider a solitary rapist/torturer to be evil?
I think I understand where you're coming from, David, given your appreciation for my recognition that human motivations are complex. I think your perspective is informed by your determinism: that human motivations have myriads of causes which mitigate responsibility for what might otherwise be regarded as "evil"; that applying a label like "evil" might cause us to judge blindly when a preferable and more empowering approach than judging is to seek to understand the (complex) causes behind the "evil".
I have sympathy for this perspective, but I think you might want to consider how it relates to what you say here:
David Quinn wrote:Incidentally, you can see how Laird's mind works in posing this scenario. He is identifying with the women and children on the basis that they share his own pure, innocent self. In other words, he believes deep down that he possesses a pure, innocent self (unquestioned, unchallenged, it's just what he happens to feel) and then projects that onto the women and children. He doesn't know them from a bar of soap; it's merely an assumption that has been generated by another assumption.
Even as you believe me to be ascribing a "pure, innocent self" to the victims in this scenario, your own perspective in its own way ascribes a pure, innocent self to the victims as well as the
perpetrator, seeing him as ultimately non-responsible for his actions - that he is rather, if anything, a victim of an infinite causal web.
I would like to show you a different way of seeing things by making the case that it's not only reasonable to believe in free will but that belief in free will makes more sense than hard determinism, but I don't have the energy to make that case right now with everything else going on in this thread. I will, though, say here what I would say to you if I had
made that case for free will: yes, human motivations are complex, and it's likely that there are no humans to whom the following description applies, but
it's my understanding that there is/are (a) force(s) in reality that seek(s) to harm, violate, abuse, destroy, profane, torture, torment, deceive, desecrate and slaughter for no other reason than that this is its essential nature or this is its free choice
(I do suspect though that the former is more likely). I can think of no better word for that than, unqualified, "evil". Having said that there are probably no humans to which that description applies, there are humans who are very affected and even controlled in various ways by this/these force(s).
Re purity and innocence: I do believe that they are our original state which we tarnish to various extents through our choices in the world. Something you might not have considered about why we put women and children first, and why sometimes we see them as more innocent than men is that, aside from women's nine month gestation period being the limiting factor in the reproduction of our species, women and children are physically, and in the case of children, mentally and emotionally weaker than men, and thus less capable of defending themselves. We thus impose less obligation on them to defend themselves and thus there is less opportunity for them to "get themselves dirty" in the course of that sometimes ugly job - and so they often retain more of their original state of purity and innocence than do men, which is not to devalue men and the role they perform in any way.
Diebert van Rhijn wrote: guest_of_logic wrote:
Diebert van Rhijn wrote:This as opposed to "true" fundamentalism which is trust in the real fundamentals which one can actually know by reason and experience each and every moment one is sober.
OK, so what does this consist of? Do you mean the QRS trip, or did you have something else in mind?
"Something else in mind": true fundamentalism!
Seriously, Diebert? I ask you what true fundamentalism consists of and your answer is "true fundamentalism"? Are you trying to demonstrate A=A?
Diebert van Rhijn wrote:"True positives" are very rare and very difficult. At best one can have a "highly probable" explanation.
But this is the case with anything
empirical other than the brute fact of one's existence and experience. The construction of a belief system isn't a criminal trial in which we bias the possibility of spirit as "the prosecution" and force upon "the prosecutor" a standard of "beyond a reasonable doubt" - even though I believe that that standard can be met by any fair-minded person who investigates the matter seriously. Instead, we ought to choose what to believe, particularly when it concerns something so important as the scope of material reality, through a more balanced weighing of the evidence: assessing what seems more likely given the patterns (or lack) of documented/experienced "highly probable" evidential material. One might be able to defend judging a single "highly probable" event as "coincidental", but add another... and another... and then the countless others that one will encounter through the smallest bit of reading... and, well, you get the point. Some defendants just can't be saved.
Diebert van Rhijn wrote:It's possible you wouldn't be able to give me one single true positive you know of.
I think it's more likely that you would simply never accept one. You would always leverage any smallest potentially mitigating factor into a decisive case against it in your application of the standards of a criminal trial to what is more like a civil case. I notice that you ignored the case studies that I quoted out of Dr McAll's book. What is your reaction to those?
Diebert van Rhijn wrote:Just assumptions some people find likely and others don't. The main issue here is the amount of possibilities and circumstances in a complex universe should instill a high degree of carefulness and distrust before talking about "facts". Without some scientific or clear philosophical principle carrying it one has left only personal experience and speculation really, a perpectly flexible, moldable playing field for any emotional needs.
The "emotional needs" card cuts both ways, Diebert. The hardened sceptic is as emotionally invested in his scepticism as the spiritual man is in his faith.
Diebert van Rhijn wrote:
One remark about this wind business:
in a house in which all doors and windows were closed, a huge wind tore through the living room where we were sitting [...]this was not a wind that could be produced by an air-conditioner or fan device; it was the sort of wind that you get when you have both french doors open and it's windy out.
The moment you say all doors and windows were closed, to me that meant it would be a perfect scenario for a strong draft current when someone would open a door somewhere else in the house. It's a pressure thing. I've lived in houses like that so to me it doesn't sound like any strange element at all! You see, how relative
this observation can be? And it's all far away in memory now which makes it even harder to be sure all the details survived in the group recall. How huge is 'huge' if tensions are already running high?
Given this forum's presuppositions, it's totally natural that you and others in this thread would seek to find ways around the experience I described, and of course I was expecting you to do exactly that. Let me just say this: I never intended my presentation of this event alone to make a bulletproof case; instead I was presenting a single experience out of the many, many similar ones I've had, some more extreme, which, taken together, form an irrefutable pattern. I didn't choose any of those many others because, unfortunately, none of them were shared with other people; also, I value my personal space and privacy. I did, though, also offer Roy's conclusive testimony and his glossary.
I would encourage you to take an holistic perspective rather than looking at things in isolation. Let's say I accept your possibility - perhaps a burglar, thinking people were out and had left the lights on, broke into the house through a door, creating a wind (ignoring that there was no door in the direction the wind came from), and then, realising that people were home, quietly shut the door again and carried on his way without us realising.
OK, so we have some small factor of doubt here about what really happened. Now take the experiences Roy relates in his book and work your sceptical magic with them: again we will have a very small factor of doubt. Then take the case studies I presented out of Healing the Family Tree
and find some small possibility that things aren't exactly as they seem there. How long will it take before you give up and accept that the overall level of doubt is so small as to render your denial ridiculous, and, more damningly given your values, irrational
? Will it be when I relate the story of one of my friends who had an experience of hands-on healing of a burn wound incurred in a motorcycle accident? The bike lay on top of his leg for some time, scalding it badly - as a result of the healing, he has no scar whatsoever. It certainly wasn't when one of this forum's other members, BeingOf1, related that he had personally healed by faith
a woman wounded in a car accident. So, when, Diebert?