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#41 samoth   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 4774

Posted 16 October 2013 - 04:45 PM

Also, I find it quite funny how many times these aliens look more human than the species closest to humans on earth. As if evolution universally converged on the same form.

 

Although the reason for that is quite obvious and rather simple (people are stupid and simply can't imagine something that's much different from themselves could exist and even be intelligent), it actually isn't quite as queer an idea as you might think.

 

Evolution generally(*) converges to what best fits the environmental conditions, whatever uses the least amount of energy and bears the greatest chance of survival.

 

Given similar environmental conditions. similarly shaped bodies would likely evolve (and only aliens which come from somewhat similar environments could possibly come to visit, except if they're wearing full-body environment suits -- and then you wouldn't know what they look like!).

 

For example, on our planet, all vertebrae have five fingers (and more or less exactly the same organs in general). These five fingers may melt into two or into one during fetal development, or one of them may wander away a bit (think dog), the thumb may be opposable or not, but they all start with the same number, and they all are generally alike. Does that make sense? No. But for some reason it's like that. Clearly 8 fingers are better than 5, so why do we not have 8 of them? And now that I think about it, 3 hands are clearly an advantage. If you're a handyman, you know what I'm talking about. So why do we not have a 3rd arm on our back?

 

Something must at some time have given a strong evolutionary advantage to "The Universal Plan" which is in use on our planet, or it wouldn't have persisted in such an ubiquitous manner. So either you believe that it's like this because "God" made it that way (but, why not any different, why no variation, and why doesn't God use a bit of fantasy?) or it must be the optimum given earth-like environmental conditions (which, too, are kind of an "optimum").

 

(*) Notable exceptions are conditions which include aggressive races such as homo sapiens, obviously. While nobody knows why homo neanderthalensis died out, it sure wasn't because their race was "unfit" in a Darwinian sense. They were much more advanced than homo sapiens at their time and had by far better adapted bodies. Numerous finds in caves suggest that their brains were quite a bit more advanced than one would think, too. My personal theory is that they died out because they were busy painting walls and thinking about who put the stars on the sky while their smaller but more aggressive cousins were busy throwing javelins at them.

The 1,000 or so species that die out every year also don't die out because they're unfit, but because we are an aggressive, destructive species and we have no respect for their existence.


Edited by samoth, 16 October 2013 - 04:47 PM.


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#42 mikeman   Members   -  Reputation: 2225

Posted 16 October 2013 - 05:02 PM


If God doesn't exist you must highly consider life to be automatically generated in the universe. The universe is homogenous, the same events repeat everywhere, so you should have life everywhere. But I haven't found a person that doesn't believe in God that still believes in aliens, instead most of the people that believe in God also believe in the contrary solution for life as well.

 

 

Yes, the physical laws are, to the best of our knowledge, the same throught the universe, but doesn't it all depend on what exactly are the odds of the right conditions on a planet to emerge, in order to eventually have life(and specifically intelligent life, as it's the kind of life we can actually communicate). I don't think we have ruled out the possibility that the odds of such an event happening are so astronomical that it only happened on Earth, in all the visible universe. On the other hand, if the odds are such that we have, on average, only ONE planet with intelligent life per galaxy, that means there are billions of civilizations in the universe...except we won't come in contact with them, ever...not in a thousand years, not in 100 thousand years, not in a million years(assuming humans will still be around in some evolved form). I mean, even most of  sci-fi works about hyperspace, warpspeeds, wormholes and whatnot still doesn't "dare" to talk of such a thing as intergalactic travel or communication - the concept is almost unthinkable. Of course, one never knows... smile.png


Edited by mikeman, 16 October 2013 - 05:09 PM.


#43 ShadowFlar3   Members   -  Reputation: 1258

Posted 17 October 2013 - 01:44 AM

 


1. Why atheists spend so much time coming up with ideas to disprove the existence of God? That actually transform them into negative believers. If God exists or not there is no need for believers or anti-believers, we don't matter.

 

If "god" (by whatever definition you want to apply to that) does exist, he has no meaningful interaction with our daily lives. His fan club, OTOH, do.

 

Some atheists (Dawkins, Hitchens, et al) feel that the world would be a better place without religion and attack the root cause of religion, belief in god. The reasoning goes if you disprove god, then religion goes away and with it, fundamentalism, attacks on science, etc.

 

Personally, I'm not sure about this. People who are idiots (creationists) or people who have been oppressed and manipulated for political gain (jihadis) will simply find some other reason to do whatever it is they do.

 

That said, I am thankful that Dawkins and his ilk exist. They serve as an important counter-balance to the religious crazies. It's just unfortunate that religious fundamentalists tend to occupy positions of power (Ayatollahs, the Tea Party), while "rationalist fundamentalists" are marginalised and ignored.

 

Besides "is there a god" is a fundamentally interesting question. Religion, for good or evil, has had a massive influence on our society and culture. Even Dawkins advocates teaching the bible in schools, simply because you can't understand many great cultural works without it.

 


2. If God doesn't exist you must highly consider life to be automatically generated in the universe. The universe is homogenous, the same events repeat everywhere, so you should have life everywhere. But I haven't found a person that doesn't believe in God that still believes in aliens, instead most of the people that believe in God also believe in the contrary solution for life as well.

 

Well, it depends on what you mean by "aliens". If you mean "life on other planets", I think you'll find that most atheists would quite happily say that not only is it possible, it's highly likely. 

OTOH, if you mean little grey men and government conspiracies, that seems less likely for several reasons:

1. If you work out the probabilities for intelligent life, the distances involved are vast, and the energy expenditure is immense.

2. If you did spend all that time and effort to come visit, why would you be subtle about it? Unless you were doing some kind of Star Trek Prime Directive cultural observation, in which case, if you wanted to stay hidden, your tech would allow you to do that.

 

 

Thank you so much for this. You put it together so much better I'm ashamed of how my own text came out. +1!

 

Also restores some of the faith (pun intended) in scientific thinking eventually taking over religious power. But also reading some of the other comments here, I can't really count on it.

 

Everyone is of course free to believe what they want. Unfortunately the religion doesn't stay on this level, it affects legislation and expands to other people well beyond the lines of believers.



#44 JohnnyCode   Members   -  Reputation: 217

Posted 18 October 2013 - 04:08 PM

Who, what is Holy Spirit is left open in all monotheist religions. None defines it. From most relevant sources, so to speak, it is pointed that Holy Spirit is an identity incarnated to living realm as Jesus Christ, donated a body from God and Virgin Mary, to be performed as Agnus Dei sacrifice. He sort of failed at the purpose as he donated the "Keys to The Heavenly Kingdom" to saint Peter on his way to Rome to be crucified the second time. This escalated to saint Peter resurection upon his "head down crucifiction" in Rome, being burried in middle of Rome,

"saint Peter Comb" is another name for Vatican, where nearly all popes have been buried. Let apoint the fact that second pope was given title "pontifex maximus", what was title of the highest Roman pantheon religion authority. The papal emblem caries the two keys and a crown. Since second vatican councile. The cothlic church forges itself to be a representative of Christ, instead of God. As title of saint Peter was always known to be "Vicarious Filii Dei" that means "representative of the Son of God". This also emerged that cothlic church adopted all facts about God from Old Testament, as Jesus was a son of jewish woman, cousing an incredible respect towards jewish religion. The fact that jewish religion refused to reform its teachings with accepting Jesus Christ emerged a lot of isolation from christianity towards judaism.

 



#45 JohnnyCode   Members   -  Reputation: 217

Posted 18 October 2013 - 04:15 PM

It is a known thing , even from my experience, that kids of religion forcing parents are pationate atheist, while, kids of atheist parents become religous. A faith is something for you to come free and honest, like a flower for you to pick up on a heyfield. 



#46 LennyLen   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 3782

Posted 18 October 2013 - 07:22 PM


It is a known thing , even from my experience, that kids of religion forcing parents are pationate atheist, while, kids of atheist parents become religous.

 

That is not a known thing at all, and there is a ton of evidence to disprove it.



#47 n3Xus   Members   -  Reputation: 704

Posted 19 October 2013 - 03:39 AM

This sums it up for me (from Wiki):

 

Apathetic agnosticism (also called pragmatic agnosticism) claims that any amount of debate can neither prove, nor disprove, the existence of one or more deities, and if one or more deities exist, they do not appear to be concerned about the fate of humans. Therefore, their existence has little to no impact on personal human affairs and should be of little theological interest.


#48 BGB   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 1554

Posted 19 October 2013 - 10:07 PM

 

This sums it up for me (from Wiki):

 

Apathetic agnosticism (also called pragmatic agnosticism) claims that any amount of debate can neither prove, nor disprove, the existence of one or more deities, and if one or more deities exist, they do not appear to be concerned about the fate of humans. Therefore, their existence has little to no impact on personal human affairs and should be of little theological interest.

 

 

fair enough description.

 

 

some of this gets into the matter of theodicy though, or basically trying to answer why, assuming He exists, is all-powerful, ..., that hardly anything is done.

 

there are possible reasons, for example:

this life is merely a test, with those who pass the test being rewarded, and those who fail being condemned;

the physical and material well-being of humans is largely insignificant in the greater plan, and so intervention is only really used in cases to move the plan forwards (*2);

during the fall of man, authority over the goings-on on Earth were mostly handed over to Satan, thus the present situation (*1);

the present situation is needed for free-will to exist (with too much intervention, free-will would cease to exist);

...

 

 

*1: whether or not this was a literal or historical event can be considered a subject of debate. though, non-literal does not necessarily mean not-true.

(a lot of this stuff potentially exists outside of the normal timeline).

 

 

*2: also, part of why he is not a supernatural vending machine: he gives in accordance with the divine plan, and anything which is not part of the plan goes unanswered (miracles then go to those who exist in a role to move the plan forwards, and for everyone else, no such luck). this doesn't necessarily means supernatural events signify good purpose: hoaxes and demons are also common (IOW: the person is faking it, or a demon is the one doing it).

 

contrary to popular belief (assuming they exist), demons are not necessarily scared off by religious symbols or imagery, and may also make use of it to their own ends.

 

most often though, what appear as supernatural events are actually hoaxes, like self-proclaimed religious leaders / prophets / ... essentially using stage-magic (or, if one is more skeptical, all of them are).

 

another issue regarding religious experiences is that many / most of them are likely hallucinations or delusions rather than an actual experience.

well, and the issue that stress / sickness / ... are cases where a person is most likely to experience both types of phenomena, making a problem for anecdotal accounts of religious experiences. (nevermind people who use LSD or shrooms thinking that these experiences count as valid religious experiences, rather than drug-induced hallucinations...).

 

...

 

 

a more neutral answer would be:

"assuming they exist, they don't get involved in the fate of humans, and would thus be of little practical interest..."

 

like, otherwise, people spend lots of time debating philosophical stuff as well, even when most of this stuff has little real impact, really, on anything...

 

granted, some things within science and engineering have philosophical origins, but this is not to say necessarily that they had much practical application at the time, or would not have been rediscovered simply by the situation demanding it.

 

 

most often though, people will analyze and debate things, because they can, and whether they matter, or even exist, is of lesser importance...


Edited by BGB, 19 October 2013 - 10:09 PM.


#49 AltarofScience   Members   -  Reputation: 934

Posted 19 October 2013 - 11:53 PM

Contrary to popular belief, atheists barely spend any time thinking about god. I'm so tired of this Christian bullshit where they say we must believe in god because we think about him so much. Man, the reason you always encounter atheists talking about god is because you always bring that shit up.

 

Prayer in schools, in sports, in politics. All the damn time.

 

Always trying to force other people to deal with your magical sky men.

 

If I sound annoyed its because I am. In college preachers and shit always hogging speaker's circle. Every other time you open the door its some people in church clothes asking bout god and always having those pamphlets and shit.

 

If I never had to hear about god again that would be great. But I live in the country of the Tea Party, so I'll be dead long before that happens.

 

When I'm on an atheist website, in the rare occasion I still go to one, half the questions are:

 

"Can you guys help me come up with a good refutation or response to this because they won't stop asking me. First I ignore them but it doesn't work then I say I don't know which I don't, and to me that's okay because sometimes we don't know shit, but they see blood in the water and it just doesn't stop."

 

Just about the only time an atheist really actively goes out to stir shit up is when they were raised super religious and they are finely free of all the emotional and physical abuse and all the shit that went down and they are hyper sensitive to religious shit. Like someone says god bless you and they get a flash back and flip out. After a while you just learn to roll your eyes and ignore that casual religion that surrounds you. But when you first get free you want to push back. You can finally say that god isn't real without getting hit by a tire iron. (I'm not kidding one of my friends used to get beat with a tire iron for being atheist. Although I don't mean to imply that this is common for people. Most people I know just got the belt or emotional abuse.)



#50 BGB   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 1554

Posted 20 October 2013 - 01:29 AM

Contrary to popular belief, atheists barely spend any time thinking about god. I'm so tired of this Christian bullshit where they say we must believe in god because we think about him so much. Man, the reason you always encounter atheists talking about god is because you always bring that shit up.

 

most people probably don't think much about religion in general...

 

 

oddly enough, even being a Christian doesn't make a lot of this go away, like the missionaries will still bother people, as they are not so much trying to convert the non-religious at this point, but most often those who don't believe exactly the same things that they do (or are in their area and not a member of their specific church).

 

so, it is to some extent, one sect/denomination/... vs another. a few of them make a big deal about trying to get their members to convert anyone they can find, so it sort of ends up as a thing of never-ending missionaries. (sometimes from different sects/denominations, sometimes from other religions, ...)

 

 

usual answer is to try to avoid interacting with missionaries, if possible, or just say nothing and try to blend in or avoid them (so as to not draw attention to being in any way different), or hiding from the door-to-door variety.

 

it is also "fun" if most of ones' relatives / extended-family have different beliefs from oneself, and a person may lack any specific cultural identity, sort of existing between the various sub-cultures which cross ones' life.



#51 HappyCoder   Members   -  Reputation: 2664

Posted 20 October 2013 - 05:56 PM

I do agree that many horrible things have been done in religious organizations, some trying to justify their acts even by twisting doctrine. But I don't think that those horrible things are a characteristic of religion. I think that that is a result of evil men, and being that majority of the population are relgious. You will see many acts evil, likely the majority, done by people who believe there is a God, but thier belief in God says nothing about the moral character of that person. So saying the crusades were the result of religion and that Christ's ministry ultimately led to bad things would be like blaming Darwin for Hitlers actions and that the foundational work he did on evolution are evil.

Reading many of your sentiments on religious leads me to beleive you see nothing good in them. That, if you had the power, would abolish all religion from the earth. I would hope that is not the case. I would hope that even if you don't agree with or believe in the religious views of others that you would try to see the good. Do we all have to believe the same thing to achieve harmony?

#52 BGB   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 1554

Posted 20 October 2013 - 06:59 PM

@HappyCoder:

yes, true.

 

 

it is unclear who this comment is directed towards though.

 

I don't personally really have anything against religions in general though, if that is what you mean (*1).

 

but, I don't necessarily have a particularly positive view of everything in-general though, and systems of authority are very often abused.

but, I am less inclined to give specifics here...

 

but, yeah, a religion doesn't really need a hierarchical organization or centralized leadership (and many religious groups exist just fine without them).

(and, admittedly, I am not really a fan of aggressive proselytizing either, ...).

 

it is basically much like how generally things like markets controlled by a single company, or governments ruled by a single "absolute" ruler, are generally things to be avoided. it is better when there is a freedom of choice in these matters.

 

so, similar sorts of problems...

 

 

ADD: people don't all have to agree to achieve harmony, and expecting everyone to agree on anything is unrealistic. however, people also need to allow a little flexibility, for each person to believe what they believe for themselves.

 

in my case, I also have some potentially non-standard and sometimes controversial views, as well as there existing a sort of split (on religious grounds) between my immediate family and extended family. actually, if one goes out a little further, there is a split again (so, most of the more distant relatives are yet another religion). well, and on the other-side of the family, yet another split, and another religious split.

the result is around 5 religions over 4 generations, and a lot of relatives with uneasy relations.

(and, throw in some ethnic controversy as well, ...).

 

 

*1: note: I do consider myself a Christian, but I am also non-denominational.

then there is all the usual doctrinal fun, a person can maybe debate whether or not I actually classify, but oh well.

 

but, of note here (related to some of the above): Matt 20:20-28 (specifically 25-28), John:18:35-37, ...

...


Edited by BGB, 20 October 2013 - 09:20 PM.


#53 HappyCoder   Members   -  Reputation: 2664

Posted 20 October 2013 - 09:33 PM

@BGB
Yeah, I agree that centralized leadership with much of the power can be risky. If the one in charge is good and has pure intentions, a lot of good can be done. But all it takes is one corrupt leader with personal incentives to undo a lot of good and damage people's trust.

That being said, I am a firm believer in the organization of my church, the LDS church. Nobody in the church call aspire to positions of leadership, rather people who are already in higher positions of leadership choose ordinary members to fulfill certain callings and these members only fulfill that calling for a period of time. Nobody is paid for doing any of these callings. They give of their own time freely. This means greed is in no way motivation. I know that highest callings in the church that require a full dedication of time. meaning they cannot work to earn any money outside of their calling, will sometimes be supported so they can have their needs met. I do trust these men. I believe God can and does reveal who should fill these positions and guides them on the proceedings of the church. Every six months we listen to them speak in General Conference. I believe what they have to say is true. I don't ask any of you to trust them simply because I do, but if you want I would invite you to listen to what they have to say. I am not trying to impose anything on anybody but I see no point in withholding my beliefs simply because some people may disagree with them or even be angry with them. I simply want to put my beliefs out there so hopefully help others understand them more to allow them to form a more informed opinion to allow more informed decisions.


EDIT:
To be more on topic. I do believe there is God. Spiritual experiences are real. There just aren't explanations that are immediately obvious. Sorry for the disruptiveness of my post.

Edited by HappyCoder, 21 October 2013 - 02:49 PM.


#54 BGB   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 1554

Posted 21 October 2013 - 01:49 AM

@HappyCoder:

 

fair enough, though I am fairly settled at present in my generic "non-denominational Protestant" stance.

how strictly accurate this description is, is potentially subject to nitpicking though, but oh well...



#55 AltarofScience   Members   -  Reputation: 934

Posted 21 October 2013 - 02:04 AM

I do agree that many horrible things have been done in religious organizations, some trying to justify their acts even by twisting doctrine. But I don't think that those horrible things are a characteristic of religion. I think that that is a result of evil men, and being that majority of the population are relgious. You will see many acts evil, likely the majority, done by people who believe there is a God, but thier belief in God says nothing about the moral character of that person. So saying the crusades were the result of religion and that Christ's ministry ultimately led to bad things would be like blaming Darwin for Hitlers actions and that the foundational work he did on evolution are evil.

Reading many of your sentiments on religious leads me to beleive you see nothing good in them. That, if you had the power, would abolish all religion from the earth. I would hope that is not the case. I would hope that even if you don't agree with or believe in the religious views of others that you would try to see the good. Do we all have to believe the same thing to achieve harmony?

 

If nothing bad can be blamed on religion than how do you justify claiming the good from them? That's massively hypocritical. And don't even try to tell me Christians don't try to claim the good. Its all they ever talk about. If your religion has no effect on humanity then why the hell do we need it in the first place?

 

We don't all have to believe the same thing. But we do all have to believe that we should leave other people the fuck alone. A message which never seems to penetrate the think skulls of the religious.



#56 phantom   Moderators   -  Reputation: 7269

Posted 21 October 2013 - 02:14 AM

Meh.. religion... human history is practically littered with gods, why anyone thinks they have picked the 'right' one is beyond me and is, at it's core, the height of arrogance when you get right down to it.

#57 samoth   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 4774

Posted 21 October 2013 - 08:25 AM

So saying the crusades were the result of religion and that Christ's ministry ultimately led to bad things would be like blaming Darwin for Hitlers actions and that the foundational work he did on evolution are evil

.

Those are very different things, though.

That young carpenter of Nazareth, nor anything he had said, had anything to do with the crusades. I wouldn't know whether he was the son of God, though if one believes in the latter, he most probably was since according to that doctrine we all are, somehow.
What's certain is that Jesus was the first communist in the world, long before Marx and Engels. The reason why he was killed wasn't because he was the son of some god or because he preached some religion. There were literally thousands of prophets preaching more or less the same thing at that time.
The reason he was put to an end was that civil order had to be kept up when he started rabble-rousing the poor against the wealthy merchants and money-lenders, which were incidentially all jews. Though it wasn't the jews (as commonly alleged) who insisted on killing him, they already knew that nothing good would come from making a martyr. If you read through Nikodemus' accounts, you'll find that in fact, the jews spoke in his favour.

The crusades, on the other hand, were indeed a result of religion, but not of "God" or "God's will". They're a prime example of how evil religion is. Much similar to the present-time muslim hate-preachers who give islam such a nasty face, the crusades were a direct result of vicious clerics sending people to kill the innocent. The muslims had been living peacefully in Jerusalem for centuries, until self-declared holy people like Urban and Gregor decided that Jerusalem must be "freed" (in fact, it was free, by all means, until the crusaders arrived). If you kill enough muslims, God will forgive all your sins and your place in heaven is certain. Sounds familiar?

Hitler's genocide, as well as World War 2, and World War 1 before, was unavoidable, as it was staged, anticipated, and welcomed. Let's be clear: Millions of Hugenots and Jews have been dicriminated, hunted, killed, robbed, burned for centuries, and that wasn't in Germany. And this was considered a "good thing", nobody objected to that. Nobody wanted Hugenots or Roms in their neighbourhood, nor  Jews (though no one objected against their money). The fascist rise was the best thing to happen: It gave a solution to "the problem", and someone else did the dirty work (so someone else would get the blame in case it went wrong), and there's a good reason for a just war -- war is always good for business.
England and France even happily sold out the Czechs in the Munich Agreement (knowing what would happen) and His Greatness Pope Pacelli sold the Church to Hitler. Churchill was the only one intelligent enough to know what would become of it, but nobody, in particular not Chamberlain wanted to hear it at that time. Daladier even mocked his fellow citizens for being stupid when he came back from signing the agreement (showing that he knew very well what he had just signed).
Nobody anticipated how far it would go and how terrible it would become, and afterwards everyone pretended being shocked. Everybody has always been against it, sure.

Not long (2-3 months?) ago, a French politician said that if the Germans had worked more thoroughly back then, we wouldn't have the problem with the Roms now. That statement was, unsurprisingly, not received too well, but the fact that someone dares to speak it out after 75 years is telling a lot about what people still think today.

Darwin's works are, although still not conclusively proven, of profound scientific quality, and at the very least, plausible. The Arian pureness shit in the Third Reich (tall, blonde, blue-eyed like Hitler himself or Göbbels or Göring, indeed...) was just utter nonsense, and if it hadn't been death to so many people, it would be a great thing to make fun of. There's absolutely no base to compare these two.

But, war needs an enemy, and someone with either a different religion or a slightly darker skin makes a good enemy. After all, it's important that people can immediately recognize their enemy. It helps if you don't have a job and the enemy is rich, too. First, it's much easier to despise the rich (wait, I said this had nothing to do with Jesus, but here we are right at Jesus...), and second, as a plus, you get to keep the money after killing them.



#58 frob   Moderators   -  Reputation: 21311

Posted 21 October 2013 - 11:05 AM

MODERATION NOTE:
 
Okay, Hitler and Nazis has now been mentioned, and the last few posts have been confrontational rather than providing cooperative discussion. You should all know what that means.

This has been getting away from the topic of "your personal religious experiences".  Please keep it on topic.


Edited by frob, 21 October 2013 - 11:12 AM.
Fix the broken link, it doesn't like the wikipedia link with a quotation mark in it. :-/

Check out my personal indie blog at bryanwagstaff.com.

#59 HappyCoder   Members   -  Reputation: 2664

Posted 21 October 2013 - 02:46 PM

Sorry unsure.png , I realized my post wasn't very on topic after thinking about it later.

I guess this is relevant now
Regarding Mussolini


Edited by HappyCoder, 21 October 2013 - 02:55 PM.


#60 AltarofScience   Members   -  Reputation: 934

Posted 21 October 2013 - 02:48 PM

My personal experience with religion is that they try to impose their views on my specifically and society generally and that I have had friends beaten or murdered by religious parents or religious authority figures.

 

How much more personal than "my good friend was murdered by his parents because he didn't believe in sky fairies" can you get? It seems pretty personal to me. Its also an experience and religious.

 

Perhaps you wanted to the topic to be "hallucinations or delusions you personally experienced that had something to do with, usually the christian, god"?






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