Hatrack River
Home   |   About Orson Scott Card   |   News & Reviews   |   OSC Library   |   Forums   |   Contact   |   Links
Research Area   |   Writing Lessons   |   Writers Workshops   |   OSC at SVU   |   Calendar   |   Store
E-mail this page
Hatrack River Forum Post New Topic  Post A Reply
my profile login | register | search | faq | forum home

  next oldest topic   next newest topic
» Hatrack River Forum » Active Forums » Books, Films, Food and Culture » Ghost stories and Spiritual resolve (Page 1)

  This topic comprises 5 pages: 1  2  3  4  5   
Author Topic: Ghost stories and Spiritual resolve
Launchywiggin
Member
Member # 9116

 - posted      Profile for Launchywiggin   Email Launchywiggin         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
One of my facebook friends recently updated her status after seeing the latest horror movie craze:

quote:
Paranormal Activity may possibly the best tool to teach about the importance of spiritual warfare. It's about time you people realized this stuff is more real than you think. Ephesians 6:12.
It's a trend I've noticed over the past few years in movies and TV--we need to start giving credence to ghost stories. I'm especially puzzled at how many of these comments are coming from my religious friends. I was taught (as a young Baptist) that all of those horror ghost movies were hogwash. That exorcism was a Catholic thing--and even they don't like publicizing it.

What is it about ghost stories in particular that has my friends quoting bible verses about donning the Armor of God against "Dark powers" and "Forces of Evil"--but not after the latest Friday the 13th movie? Or werewolves and vampires? Are those more obviously "not real" than the ghosts?

I looked up Ephesians 6:12 as she suggested, but I was too struck by the verses that came immediately preceding in Ephesians 6:5-8

quote:
5Slaves, obey your earthly masters with respect and fear, and with sincerity of heart, just as you would obey Christ. 6Obey them not only to win their favor when their eye is on you, but like slaves of Christ, doing the will of God from your heart. 7Serve wholeheartedly, as if you were serving the Lord, not men, 8because you know that the Lord will reward everyone for whatever good he does, whether he is slave or free.
Now that's a verse I'd never heard on Sunday morning! Is the translation funky or is that what it's supposed to say?
Posts: 1314 | Registered: Jan 2006  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Shanna
Member
Member # 7900

 - posted      Profile for Shanna   Email Shanna         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Its a minor point but the spirit in "Paranormal Activity" is actually a demon rather than a ghost. Not sure it makes much of a difference since from my perspective they're equally unbelievable.

On a similar note, I work at a bookstore and had a lady ask my opinion regarding "Wicked" and her daughter's intense desire to read it. She feared the book itself might be evil and it took myself and another girl to convince her that the book is about prejudice rather than a propaganda piece for witchcraft.

For every Christian I know who rejects the mumbo-jumbo about demons and Satan and witches and ghosts, I hear from people who honestly in their hearts think "Harry Potter" and ghost stories will destroy their relationship with Jesus.

Posts: 1724 | Registered: Apr 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
mr_porteiro_head
Member
Member # 4644

 - posted      Profile for mr_porteiro_head   Email mr_porteiro_head         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
For every Christian I know who rejects the mumbo-jumbo about demons and Satan and witches and ghosts, I hear from people who honestly in their hearts think "Harry Potter" and ghost stories will destroy their relationship with Jesus.
And some of us do neither. [Smile]
Posts: 16551 | Registered: Feb 2003  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Launchywiggin
Member
Member # 9116

 - posted      Profile for Launchywiggin   Email Launchywiggin         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
If you don't mind, what is that middle ground, mph? I had the same conversation about "The Exorcism of Emily Rose" a few years back. My friend was saying "what's REALLY scary is that movies like this are actually REAL--I read about it online". Where is the line drawn between The Headless Horseman, Casper, Dracula, Harry Potter and The Exorcist? People claim to have seen werewolves, vampires and ghosts--just like demons.

Another thing that bothers me is the idea that guys like Hitler and Sadaam Hussein were possessed by demons. It glosses over the fact that humans can be awful on their own.

Posts: 1314 | Registered: Jan 2006  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Tresopax
Member
Member # 1063

 - posted      Profile for Tresopax           Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Or werewolves and vampires? Are those more obviously "not real" than the ghosts?
I think, actually, those probably ARE more obviously "not real" than ghosts. Werewolves and vampires would preumably need biological explanations that don't seem to make sense, whereas ghosts would not, for one thing. So I don't think one can lump all "supernatural" things together and declare them all equal.
Posts: 8120 | Registered: Jul 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
TomDavidson
Member
Member # 124

 - posted      Profile for TomDavidson   Email TomDavidson         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Well, since all things supernatural are equally unreal, there's at least one way in which they are indeed analogous. They are not all equally unlikely, I suppose.
Posts: 36938 | Registered: May 1999  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
mr_porteiro_head
Member
Member # 4644

 - posted      Profile for mr_porteiro_head   Email mr_porteiro_head         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
If you don't mind, what is that middle ground, mph?
I wouldn't call it a middle ground. One one hand, I believe some of the "supernatural" things you mentioned really exist in some manner, even if I wouldn't use those terms. On the other hand, I enjoy Harry Potter, Tolkien, and other fantasy books, and play D&D with my children.

quote:
Where is the line drawn between The Headless Horseman, Casper, Dracula, Harry Potter and The Exorcist?
It's whether the viewer thinks that the events in the movie could happen. I'd guess there are more people in America who believe that the basic events in The Exorcists could happen than believe that the basic events of Casper or Dracula could happen.
Posts: 16551 | Registered: Feb 2003  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
BlackBlade
Member
Member # 8376

 - posted      Profile for BlackBlade   Email BlackBlade         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
LaunchyWiggin:
quote:
Another thing that bothers me is the idea that guys like Hitler and Sadaam Hussein were possessed by demons. It glosses over the fact that humans can be awful on their own.
Not exactly. I'm not saying they were possessed, but if they were that does not necessarily preclude them being terrible people in the first place. Evil people are pretty prime real estate as far as demonic possession goes.

MPH gave a very good summation of how I feel on the matter.

Posts: 14263 | Registered: Jul 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Noemon
Member
Member # 1115

 - posted      Profile for Noemon   Email Noemon         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Porter, Blackblade, I'm curious by what you mean by "witches" when you say that you believe in them. How are you defining the term?
Posts: 16059 | Registered: Aug 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
steven
Member
Member # 8099

 - posted      Profile for steven   Email steven         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Noemon:
Porter, Blackblade, I'm curious by what you mean by "witches" when you say that you believe in them. How are you defining the term?

That was misspelled. He meant "bitches". Porter is a gangsta rapper on the side. Jam Master P, featuring goats.
Posts: 3257 | Registered: May 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
mr_porteiro_head
Member
Member # 4644

 - posted      Profile for mr_porteiro_head   Email mr_porteiro_head         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Noemon -- that's not a conversation I'm interested in having. [Smile]
Posts: 16551 | Registered: Feb 2003  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Launchywiggin
Member
Member # 9116

 - posted      Profile for Launchywiggin   Email Launchywiggin         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
She followed up her status with this:
quote:
I'm not freaked out because I'm a child of God and I know that even if something were to happen He would protect me
This movie is really getting to people on a visceral level--but from what I've seen in the preview, I already know exactly what I'm gonna see. It's a horror movie for pete's sake.

What is it about demons that makes them scarier than ghosts? I'm missing something here, because people don't react like this to the latest "Haunted House" movie. *edit* because there's as much evidence in the real world for ghost stories as there is for demon stories.

Another post:
quote:
I'm interested into seeing just how the "demon" in this is portrayed, because this real stuff that I've had real experiences dealing with. I'm more concerned with this movie misdirecting cultural views from real demonology than I am with it over sensationalizing stuff, mostly because from my experience it's pretty hard to over sensationalize just how demons and Satan work.
I guess what's confusing me is that they're getting all serious about this movie instead of the movies about witches and werewolves and--how about serial killers? Aren't those all candidates for demonic possession?
Posts: 1314 | Registered: Jan 2006  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
BlackBlade
Member
Member # 8376

 - posted      Profile for BlackBlade   Email BlackBlade         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Noemon:
Porter, Blackblade, I'm curious by what you mean by "witches" when you say that you believe in them. How are you defining the term?

I'm not sure I'd be very useful as a conversant on that topic. I believe they exist, I have not spent much time determining exactly what categorizes somebody as one.
Posts: 14263 | Registered: Jul 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
King of Men
Member
Member # 6684

 - posted      Profile for King of Men   Email King of Men         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
This is, of course, exactly why it is so important not to believe things based on hearsay and habit. Once you let in one piece of unsupported nonsense, you're terribly vulnerable to every other piece of it out there. Vampires, demons, ghosts, and witches are every bit as well supported by evidence as afterlives, resurrections, gods, and souls.
Posts: 10592 | Registered: Jul 2004  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
scifibum
Member
Member # 7625

 - posted      Profile for scifibum   Email scifibum         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I heard a self-described witch talking on the radio the other day.
Posts: 4010 | Registered: Mar 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Tresopax
Member
Member # 1063

 - posted      Profile for Tresopax           Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
This is, of course, exactly why it is so important not to believe things based on hearsay and habit. Once you let in one piece of unsupported nonsense, you're terribly vulnerable to every other piece of it out there. Vampires, demons, ghosts, and witches are every bit as well supported by evidence as afterlives, resurrections, gods, and souls.
The vast majority of things a person learns in life are based on hearsay and habit - including most of one's education, where one is told what is true (hearsay) and trained to approach things in a certain way (habit). For instance, the duckbilled platypus makes as little sense as a unicorn does; the sole reason I believe in it is hearsay (I was told it exists.)

This does not make one more "vulnerable" to believing nonsense. Informed human judgment can generally tell that things like gravity, souls, World War II, and duckbilled platypi seem to fit with what we know about the world in a way that werewolves and vampires do not. There's a spectrum of obviously true things on one end and obviously false things on the other, but accepting the existence of some things that are less obviously true does not cause one to accept everything on the spectrum equally.

Posts: 8120 | Registered: Jul 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
TomDavidson
Member
Member # 124

 - posted      Profile for TomDavidson   Email TomDavidson         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Informed human judgment can generally tell that things like gravity, souls, World War II, and duckbilled platypi seem to fit with what we know about the world in a way that werewolves and vampires do not.
Heh. I see how you snuck "souls" in there.
Posts: 36938 | Registered: May 1999  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
scholarette
Member
Member # 11540

 - posted      Profile for scholarette           Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
My sister in law is a witch, though I believe she prefers the term wiccan (but witch is still ok with her).
Posts: 2223 | Registered: Mar 2008  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Shanna
Member
Member # 7900

 - posted      Profile for Shanna   Email Shanna         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I think what makes "Paranormal Activity" and other ghost stories so frightening is that lots of people have been startled by a bump in the night. They've had their eyes play tricks on them and allowed their imaginations to run away with them.

The fear is understandable but it doesn't mean that the supernatural explanation is a valid one. And we don't have the same evidence for souls and ghosts like we do for gravity and World War II.

Posts: 1724 | Registered: Apr 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Tresopax
Member
Member # 1063

 - posted      Profile for Tresopax           Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I have far more evidence for souls than I do for World War II. The only evidence I have for World War II is what people have told me and what I've read. Souls, on the other hand, I can observe directly pretty much any time I want.
Posts: 8120 | Registered: Jul 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
scifibum
Member
Member # 7625

 - posted      Profile for scifibum   Email scifibum         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Tresopax:
I have far more evidence for souls than I do for World War II. The only evidence I have for World War II is what people have told me and what I've read.

You have a funny way of quantifying evidence. [Smile]
Posts: 4010 | Registered: Mar 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
TomDavidson
Member
Member # 124

 - posted      Profile for TomDavidson   Email TomDavidson         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
I have far more evidence for souls than I do for World War II.
I believe we've had this conversation. I think it's cute you keep insisting, though. [Wink]
Posts: 36938 | Registered: May 1999  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Tresopax
Member
Member # 1063

 - posted      Profile for Tresopax           Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
You have a funny way of quantifying evidence.
How should I quantify it differently? Do you agree that observations I can make directly on my own (repeatedly if necessary) should be counted as "more evidence" than things I've simply heard or been told by others?
Posts: 8120 | Registered: Jul 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
TomDavidson
Member
Member # 124

 - posted      Profile for TomDavidson   Email TomDavidson         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I note that you have not directly observed your soul in any way that does not cheapen the concept of "direct observation."
Posts: 36938 | Registered: May 1999  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Tresopax
Member
Member # 1063

 - posted      Profile for Tresopax           Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I suppose what "cheapens" direct observation is a matter of opinion... I'm inclined to think observations of the soul are direct observation even under the strictest sense of the term - they are repeatable, anyone can make such observations themselves anytime, they don't rely on any instruments that could misleading, etc.

A soul is a person's mental self. Every time I feel or experience anything, that necessitates the existence of a self that is doing the feeling or experiencing of that thing. If I pinch myself and feel pain, that necessitates the existence of a mental self that is experiencing that pain. That's really all it takes to directly observe a soul. I do it literally every second of my conscious existence.

Since we've had the discussion before, Tom, I realize you personally don't believe I am actually experiencing anything (you think I am just reporting to myself that I am experiencing something.) But I nevertheless do observe it that way, and that observation does not come from hearsay/other people.

Posts: 8120 | Registered: Jul 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
scifibum
Member
Member # 7625

 - posted      Profile for scifibum   Email scifibum         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
If "soul" is just your label for the subjective experience of self, then I think you are using it quite differently than most people use the word, Tresopax.
Posts: 4010 | Registered: Mar 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Shanna
Member
Member # 7900

 - posted      Profile for Shanna   Email Shanna         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
A soul seems like such an unnecessary explanation for what can be explained by studying the brain.
Posts: 1724 | Registered: Apr 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
0Megabyte
Member
Member # 8624

 - posted      Profile for 0Megabyte   Email 0Megabyte         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I could show you things that were used in WW2, and let you meet people who were in it.

What can you do to show me a soul, that isn't explained by neural activity in the brain?

Posts: 1577 | Registered: Sep 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
MattP
Member
Member # 10495

 - posted      Profile for MattP   Email MattP         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
My sister in law is a witch, though I believe she prefers the term wiccan (but witch is still ok with her).
Presumably this is not the variety of witches to which we are referring.

Blackblade, since Porter is not willing to go there can you provide any elaboration at all on this? I'm honestly curious.

Posts: 3272 | Registered: May 2007  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Tresopax
Member
Member # 1063

 - posted      Profile for Tresopax           Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Eh, what do you think a soul is? Here's what Wikipedia says:

quote:
The soul, in many religions, spiritual traditions, and philosophies, is the spiritual and eternal part of a living being, commonly held to be separable in existence from the body; distinct from the physical part. It is typically thought to consist of ones consciousness and personality, and can be synonymous with the spirit, mind or self.[1] The soul is believed to live on after the person’s physical death, and some religions posit that God creates souls. In some cultures, non-human living things, and sometimes other objects (such as rivers) are said to have souls, a belief known as animism.[2]

The terms soul and spirit are often used interchangeably, although the latter may be viewed as a more worldly and less transcendent aspect of a person than the former.[3] The words soul and psyche can also be treated synonymously, although psyche has relatively more physical connotations, whereas soul is connected more closely to metaphysics and religion.

I'm not going to speculate on whether the soul exists after death, what sort of material (or nonmaterial) is is made of, or where it comes from, etc. because I have very little firsthand information on that. Take that out and I think the basics boil down to a thing that is your "self" which is mental and not identical to your physical body.
Posts: 8120 | Registered: Jul 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Christine
Member
Member # 8594

 - posted      Profile for Christine   Email Christine         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I really don't see why religion/spirituality and belief in certain paranormal phenomenon are mutually exclusive. If you believe in God, Satan, demons, souls, and miracles than how much of a stretch is it to believe in ghosts, answered prayers, and demon possessions?

Religion is already a leap of faith and belief in the supernatural.

Now, people who believe every story posted on the Internet or who believe these horror movies have an ounce of truth to them probably need to have their heads examined.

Somewhere, maybe there's a middle ground. An open mind to the possibility that unexplained things do happen, with a healthy skepticism to hep try to explain them. Your basic Molder and Scully. [Smile]

I've been doing some reading lately -- trying to expand my horizons and learn about different points of view and different religions. A while back I picked up a book on Wicca, out of curiosity (this is not the same thing as witchcraft, though some call themselves witches). Some of it is pretty out-there, but most of it is just a different religion -- a different way of looking at things. The "spells" are basically prayers, dressed up in ritual. If you believe prayers can be answered, then why not spells?

So I don't know...I don't believe in ghosts or demons but I don't think they're quite as "out there" as our modern scientific minds would have us believe.

Posts: 2392 | Registered: Sep 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
scifibum
Member
Member # 7625

 - posted      Profile for scifibum   Email scifibum         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Tresopax, if you can't see the glaring gap between the common definition you just quoted and what you described as your observation of your own soul, then I doubt I can explain it to you.
Posts: 4010 | Registered: Mar 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
dkw
Member
Member # 3264

 - posted      Profile for dkw   Email dkw         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by MattP:
quote:
My sister in law is a witch, though I believe she prefers the term wiccan (but witch is still ok with her).
Presumably this is not the variety of witches to which we are referring.

I'm not sure why you would presume that.
Posts: 9797 | Registered: Apr 2002  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Tresopax
Member
Member # 1063

 - posted      Profile for Tresopax           Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Scifi, I explained the gap in the two sentence below the quote. I'm boiling out all the speculation on the soul I can't prove, which mostly varies from religion to religion anyway, and focusing on what it is that I can prove to myself. If you don't want to call that a "soul" okay - perhaps we can call it an "auia" or make up some different term.

quote:
A soul seems like such an unnecessary explanation for what can be explained by studying the brain.
Well, yes and no. It is entirely possible that the soul arises in some way from neural activity in the brain. That doesn't mean it doesn't exist as something distinct from the brain.

The difference relates to some philosophical issues that would take a very long tangent to explain. (We've done it before, but if people won't complain I can go through it if you want...) The most prominent issue, in my view, is The Hard Problem of Consciousness. But really what it boils down to is that neural activity can explain why people function the way they do, but not why they have a self that experiences life and exists as a singular thing across time, rather than simply being a robot.

Posts: 8120 | Registered: Jul 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
dkw
Member
Member # 3264

 - posted      Profile for dkw   Email dkw         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Christine:
The "spells" are basically prayers, dressed up in ritual.

The big huge glaring theological difference is that a spell is an attempt to wield power directly, while a prayer is a request made of someone else.
Posts: 9797 | Registered: Apr 2002  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
MattP
Member
Member # 10495

 - posted      Profile for MattP   Email MattP         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
The big huge glaring theological difference is that a spell is an attempt to wield power directly, while a prayer is a request made of someone else.
Not always. I recall my Wiccan friends asking this goddess or that to perform some action for them on many occasions. Also, there are some LDS ordinances that *are* a direct wielding of power. A priesthood blessing, for instance.
Posts: 3272 | Registered: May 2007  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
MattP
Member
Member # 10495

 - posted      Profile for MattP   Email MattP         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
I'm not sure why you would presume that.
Because the majority of those sort of witches are deluded teens that eventually grow out of it. Presumably it's OK to suffer them to live. Or should I not presume that either?

EDIT: Also because BlackBlade said it was hard to define. "Wiccan" isn't a difficult definition, so I assumed he meant something else.

Posts: 3272 | Registered: May 2007  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Christine
Member
Member # 8594

 - posted      Profile for Christine   Email Christine         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by dkw:
quote:
Originally posted by Christine:
The "spells" are basically prayers, dressed up in ritual.

The big huge glaring theological difference is that a spell is an attempt to wield power directly, while a prayer is a request made of someone else.
I don't know...I've always thought of prayer as an attempt to wield power, even if it is done in a humbling way. It's a sort of "ask and ye shall receive" power.

Plus, a lot of Wiccans ask the Goddess of God for help.

But in some ways I would say that the differences go deeper than you say even here, since most Wiccans believe that we ourselves are divine (as part of a sort of universal divinity -- all things in nature are divine).

Hmmm...I think you got me off the point. The point I was trying to make was this: The spells, whatever you think of the theology behind them, are no more supernatural than prayers and to the extent they are answered, can be explained in much the same way.

Posts: 2392 | Registered: Sep 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
King of Men
Member
Member # 6684

 - posted      Profile for King of Men   Email King of Men         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Eh. I was beginning to write a nice long rant about the evidence for WW2, starting thus:

My junior high school was bombed by the British, trying to get the U-boat bunker down in the harbour (which still stands; the reinforced concrete has been "too expensive to knock down" for sixty years now). A rusting old bombshell still stands in the schoolyard, as a reminder of the children who died. My grandfather fought in the war, had a destroyer sunk beneath him in the battle off Crete, and lived to personally tell me the tale.

But then I saw that Tres is just doing his usual trick of not speaking English, but a made-up personal language where common words mean something quite different. I don't know why I let it get to me.

Posts: 10592 | Registered: Jul 2004  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
TomDavidson
Member
Member # 124

 - posted      Profile for TomDavidson   Email TomDavidson         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
The big huge glaring theological difference is that a spell is an attempt to wield power directly...
As people have already mentioned, most Wiccan "spells" involve drawing on the power of something else, even if the caster is the one choosing the target.
Posts: 36938 | Registered: May 1999  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Xavier
Member
Member # 405

 - posted      Profile for Xavier   Email Xavier         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
I have far more evidence for souls than I do for World War II. The only evidence I have for World War II is what people have told me and what I've read.
You must not have the history channel then.


**** SPOILERS FOR THOSE WHO LIVE UNDERGROUND AND SOMEHOW MISSED IT ****

There are hundreds and thousands of hours of audio and video footage of WWII.

**** END SPOILERS ****

Posts: 5645 | Registered: Oct 1999  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Tresopax
Member
Member # 1063

 - posted      Profile for Tresopax           Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
My junior high school was bombed by the British, trying to get the U-boat bunker down in the harbour (which still stands; the reinforced concrete has been "too expensive to knock down" for sixty years now). A rusting old bombshell still stands in the schoolyard, as a reminder of the children who died. My grandfather fought in the war, had a destroyer sunk beneath him in the battle off Crete, and lived to personally tell me the tale.
But then here's the question: Should I believe you when you say all of that? And if I do, isn't that hearsay?

It seems to me I should take you on your word about all that stuff, and thus that there's nothing wrong per se with believing people when they tell you stuff about the world you can't personally prove... as long as your personal judgement tells you it sounds legitimate and doesn't contradict too many things you believe about the world. I can judge the difference fairly easily, for instance, between your WW2 story here and the story of the Headless Horseman. One seems likely true; the other seems likely false. Accepting your "hearsay" about WW2 as true doesn't put me in danger of believing the Headless Horseman really runs loose in the world.

Posts: 8120 | Registered: Jul 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
dkw
Member
Member # 3264

 - posted      Profile for dkw   Email dkw         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by TomDavidson:
quote:
The big huge glaring theological difference is that a spell is an attempt to wield power directly...
As people have already mentioned, most Wiccan "spells" involve drawing on the power of something else, even if the caster is the one choosing the target.
Yes, and "drawing on" power vs requesting a favor of someone else is exactly what distinguishes the definition of magic from the definition of (suplicatory) prayer. Which is not saying that wiccans don't ever pray or that Christians don't ever attempt magic.
Posts: 9797 | Registered: Apr 2002  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
MattP
Member
Member # 10495

 - posted      Profile for MattP   Email MattP         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
But if both groups use both magic and prayer then where is the distinction? Just in relative proportions?
Posts: 3272 | Registered: May 2007  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Samprimary
Member
Member # 8561

 - posted      Profile for Samprimary   Email Samprimary         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
I have far more evidence for souls than I do for World War II.
Well, you don't, but the ways in which you think you do are at least interesting on a level of willful belief.
Posts: 14169 | Registered: Aug 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
King of Men
Member
Member # 6684

 - posted      Profile for King of Men   Email King of Men         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Nu. In the weird sense of "soul" as "conscious experience", Tres actually does have more evidence for it than for WWII, assuming arguendo that he's not a zombie with no internal narrative. To wit, he has experienced the one but not the other directly. In the sense that the rest of the English-speaking world uses the word, he's gibbering utter nonsense; but that's only to be expected when someone begins making up their own language. Not that I've got anything against conlangs, as such, but it gets confusing when they insist on using the same words that English does.
Posts: 10592 | Registered: Jul 2004  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
fugu13
Member
Member # 2859

 - posted      Profile for fugu13   Email fugu13         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Tres: tell me, in what way did you experience it not being part of your physical body?
Posts: 15770 | Registered: Dec 2001  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Christine
Member
Member # 8594

 - posted      Profile for Christine   Email Christine         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by dkw:
quote:
Originally posted by TomDavidson:
quote:
The big huge glaring theological difference is that a spell is an attempt to wield power directly...
As people have already mentioned, most Wiccan "spells" involve drawing on the power of something else, even if the caster is the one choosing the target.
Yes, and "drawing on" power vs requesting a favor of someone else is exactly what distinguishes the definition of magic from the definition of (suplicatory) prayer. Which is not saying that wiccans don't ever pray or that Christians don't ever attempt magic.
Ok, but does this distinction make one approach supernatural?
Posts: 2392 | Registered: Sep 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
dkw
Member
Member # 3264

 - posted      Profile for dkw   Email dkw         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Yes. And also the other one.

ETA: Wait . . . that would depend on your definition of "natural" I suppose. I can see definitions by which only one or the other would fit.

Posts: 9797 | Registered: Apr 2002  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Christine
Member
Member # 8594

 - posted      Profile for Christine   Email Christine         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by dkw:
Yes. And also the other one.

ETA: Wait . . . that would depend on your definition of "natural" I suppose. I can see definitions by which only one or the other would fit.

Yeah, that was probably a bad question, now that I think about it a bit. [Smile]

Honestly, I think of them as both natural phenomena that we simply have not managed to explain but that, in the meantime, make a great many people feel at peace.

Posts: 2392 | Registered: Sep 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
  This topic comprises 5 pages: 1  2  3  4  5   

Quick Reply
Message:

HTML is not enabled.
UBB Code™ is enabled.
UBB Code™ Images not permitted.
Instant Graemlins
   


Post New Topic  Post A Reply Close Topic   Feature Topic   Move Topic   Delete Topic next oldest topic   next newest topic
 - Printer-friendly view of this topic
Hop To:


Contact Us | Hatrack River Home Page

Copyright © 2008 Hatrack River Enterprises Inc. All rights reserved.
Reproduction in whole or in part without permission is prohibited.


Powered by Infopop Corporation
UBB.classic™ 6.7.2