Metacrock vs any commer: debate Religious Experience Argumen

Metacrock vs All comers; other can also reserve. this is for 1x1 debate, please do not respond if you are not specifically demarcated as part of the debate.

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Re: Metacrock vs any commer: debate Religious Experience Argumen

Post by Metacrock » Sat Mar 01, 2008 10:12 pm

QuantumTroll wrote:
Sorry, I was unclear. I see psychological trauma as a kind of polar opposite of RE effects. Sometimes, people just get in a very bad place mentally, and they often get stuck there long-term. Nervous breakdowns (more accurately, sudden acute onset of certain mental illnesses) are analogous to RE experiences with negative consequences. The only difference between Religious Experiences and the worst night of your life is that RE are positive and nervous breakdowns are negative. There are two possible reasons for nervous breakdowns, either there is a natural cause or there is not. Again, this is the same as RE. Clearly, I don't believe that nervous breakdowns are caused by the "Ground of UnBeing" or some other polar opposite of the Ground of Being(God). You don't believe that either, right?

you haven't offered any data explaining the nature of RE. you can't prove RE is some kind of opposite of nervous breakdown, that's just argument from analogy.
If the only difference between RE and nervous breakdowns is the direction of the change, then the causes are probably related.
that's an assertion not in evidence.


Either there's a difference between RE and nervous breakdowns that I do not perceive, or it is likely that they're either both natural or both transcendent experiences. Ugh, sorry about nested clauses in that sentence. I'll go for both natural, but you've got some options. You might disagree that RE and nervous breakdown are analogous. You might believe that mental illness is sometimes caused by divine influences (I doubt that this is your choice). Or you could change your mind about the nature of religious experiences ;)
[/quote]


mental problems are degernative. they differ from RE in many respects. there are several studies pointing this out. RE is not degerative but therapeutic, and very different. To me that would suggest they are not analogous.
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Re: Metacrock vs any commer: debate Religious Experience Argumen

Post by QuantumTroll » Sun Mar 02, 2008 11:10 am

they differ from RE in many respects. [...] RE is not degerative but therapeutic, and very different.
How is RE "very different"? Clearly I've identified one important difference already, but you haven't identified any more. If you look at your own evidence:
"Short-Term Effects (usually people who did not previously know of these experiences)

*Experience temporarily disorienting, alarming, disruptive
*Likely changes in self and the world,
*space and time, emotional attitudes, cognitive styles, personalities, doubt sanity and reluctance to communicate, feel ordinary language is inadequate

*Some individuals report psychic capacities and visionary experience destabilizing relationships with family and friends Withdrawal, isolation, confusion, insecurity, self-doubt, depression, anxiety, panic, restlessness, grandiose religious delusions"
The short term effects of an RE and a nervous breakdown are the same. The long term effects are essentially completely inverted, especially Noble's. High ego strength, relationships, values, integration, psychological maturity, self-acceptance, and self-worth are all destroyed by mental illness, but reinforced by RE. I honestly don't see how they're "very different". And look, your quote from "Psychedelic Drugs in Psychiatry" makes the same connection as I did.
"3) Therapeutic effects of peak experiences

``It is assumed that if, as is often said, one traumatic event can shape a life, one therapeutic event can reshape it. Psychedelic therapy has an analogue in Abraham Maslow's idea of the peak experience. The drug taker feels somehow allied to or merged with a higher power; he becomes convinced the self is part of a much larger pattern, and the sense of cleansing, release, and joy makes old woes seem trivial.'' -- page 132

Lester Grinspoon and James Bakalar (1983). ``Psychedelic Drugs in Psychiatry'' in Psychedelic Drugs Reconsidered, New York: Basic Books."
If one traumatic event can shape a life, one therapeutic event can reshape it, say Grinspoon and Bakalar. They suggest that taking drugs is a way to have peak experiences, or at least something analogous. If taking drugs can cause the same effects as religious experiences, then we have a concrete example of a natural trigger for positive transformation experiences. I don't see why we can't extrapolate and say that probably all such experiences are natural (just the way we say that physical constants are probably the same throughout the universe). You're free to believe what you want, but as far as I'm concerned I think that the onus is on you to provide evidence that the extrapolation is invalid.

I'm not proving that RE is the opposite of nervous breakdown. I'm just demonstrating that the magnitude of the RE experience doesn't indicate anything about the root cause. Drugs, your own pineal gland, or God, they're all equally capable of reshaping your psyche.

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Re: Metacrock vs any commer: debate Religious Experience Argumen

Post by Metacrock » Mon Mar 03, 2008 6:30 am

QuantumTroll wrote:

Heck, the number of suicides every year indicates that either Satan kills people or people's spirits can be severely damaged naturally. I'm more inclined to think that people's minds are fragile than the Satan hypothesis, aren't you?


what? what? what the hell? what the fuck is that? what kind of assumption are making now?
Sorry, I was unclear. I see psychological trauma as a kind of polar opposite of RE effects. Sometimes, people just get in a very bad place mentally, and they often get stuck there long-term. Nervous breakdowns (more accurately, sudden acute onset of certain mental illnesses) are analogous to RE experiences with negative consequences. The only difference between Religious Experiences and the worst night of your life is that RE are positive and nervous breakdowns are negative. There are two possible reasons for nervous breakdowns, either there is a natural cause or there is not. Again, this is the same as RE. Clearly, I don't believe that nervous breakdowns are caused by the "Ground of UnBeing" or some other polar opposite of the Ground of Being(God). You don't believe that either, right?

If the only difference between RE and nervous breakdowns is the direction of the change, then the causes are probably related. Either there's a difference between RE and nervous breakdowns that I do not perceive, or it is likely that they're either both natural or both transcendent experiences. Ugh, sorry about nested clauses in that sentence. I'll go for both natural, but you've got some options. You might disagree that RE and nervous breakdown are analogous. You might believe that mental illness is sometimes caused by divine influences (I doubt that this is your choice). Or you could change your mind about the nature of religious experiences ;)

no that's not true.

the studies that show the distinctions between RE and MI show more differences than just its positive result.


1).Effects indicate that Mystical expereince cannot be reduced to Mental Illness.

Mental illness is usually either treatable or progressive (gets worse), but it is not positive over a long term. Mentally ill people do not gian long lasting postive effects from thier illness that gives them a heightend sense of well being and lasts for long term. Mental illness does not improve the sense of self-actualization or make one a "whole" person. Religious experience does this and mystical expereince or "peak experience" so so all the more. Evidence to document this point is found above under argument III, but more studies can also be sited.[see above, Larson, The Faith Factor, Study search]

2) No relationship Mysticism and Mental Illness.

[Noble, Kathleen D. (1987). ``Psychological Health and the Experience of Transcendence.'' The Counseling Psychologist, 15 (4), 601-614.]

Transpersonal Childhood Experiences of Higher States of Consciousness: Literature Review and Theoretical Integration (unpublished paper 1992) http://www.sawka.com/spiritwatch/cehsc/ipure.htm
Jayne Gackenback

"Scientific interest in the mystical experience was broadened with the research on psychoactive drugs. The popular belief was that such drugs mimicked either mystical states and/or schizophrenic ones (reviewed in Lukoff, Zanger & Lu, 1990). Although there is likely some physiological similarity as well as phenomenological recent work has shown clear differences. For instance, Oxman, Rosenberg, Schnurr, Tucker and Gala (1988) analyzed 66 autobiographical accounts of schizophrenia, hallucinogenic drug experiences, and mystical ecstasy as well as 28 control accounts of important personal experiences. They concluded that the: "subjective experiences of schizophrenia, hallucinogenic drug-induced states, and mystical ecstasy are more different from one another than alike" (p. 401).

(Ibid) "Relatedly, Caird (1987) found no relationship between reported mystical experience and neuroticism, psychoticism and lying while Spanos and Moretti (1988) found no relationship between a measure of mystical experience and psychopathology."




a. Trend toward positive view among psychologists.

Spiriutal Emergency

MYSTICAL OR UNITIVE EXPERIENCE

"Offsetting the clinical literature that views mystical experiences as pathological, many theorists (Bucke, 1961; Hood, 1974, 1976; James, 1961; Jung, 1973; Laski, 1968; Maslow, 1962, 1971; Stace, 1960; Underhill, 1955) have viewed mystical experiences as a sign of health and a powerful agent of transformation."



b. Most clinicians and clinical studies see postive.
(Ibid)

"Results of a recent survey (Allman, et al,. 1992) suggest that most clinicians do not view mystical experiences as pathological. Also, studies by several researchers have found that people reporting mystical experiences scored lower on psychopathology scales and higher on measures of psychological well-being than controls (Caird, 1987; Hood, 1976, 1977, 1979; Spanos and Moretti, 1988)".



c. Incidence rate suggests no pathology.


"Numerous studies assessing the incidence of mystical experience (Back and Bourque, 1970; Greeley, 1974, 1987; Hay and Morisy, 1978; Hood, 1974, 1975, 1977; Thomas and Cooper, 1980) all support the conclusion that 30-40% of the population do have such experiences, suggesting that they are normal rather than pathological phenomena. In addition, a recent survey (Allman et al., 1992) has demonstrated that the number of patients who bring mystical experiences into treatment is not insignificant. Psychologists in full-time practice were asked to estimate the percentage of their clients over the past 12 months who had reported a mystical experience. The 285 respondents indicated that of the 20,670 clients seen during the past year, the incidence of mystical experience was 4.5%. This clearly challenges the GAP report on Mysticism, which claims that "mystical experiences are rarely observed in psychotherapeutic practice" (Group for Advancement of Psychiatry, 1976, p. 799).



2) Not the restult of deprivation or fantasy; mystics tend to be successful people.

Council on Spiritual Practices

State of Unitive Consciousness http://www.csp.org/experience/docs/unit ... sness.html
"Furthermore, Greeley found no evidence to support the orthodox belief that frequent mystic experiences or psychic experiences stem from deprivation or psychopathology. His ''mystics'' were generally better educated, more successful economically, and less racist, and they were rated substantially happier on measures of psychological well-being. "

3) Mystisicm offers therapeutic insights.

"...Within the Western model we recognize and define psychosis as a suboptimal state of consciousness that views reality in a distorted way and does not recognize that distortion. It is therefore important to note that from the mystical perspective our usual state fits all the criteria of psychosis, being suboptimal, having a distorted view of reality, yet not recognizing that distortion. Indeed from the ultimate mystical perspective, psychosis can be defined as being trapped in, or attached to, any one state of consciousness, each of which by itself is necessarily limited and only relatively real.'' [-- page 665 ) [Roger Walsh (1980). The consciousness disciplines and the behavioral sciences: Questions of comparison and assessment. American Journal of Psychiatry, 137(6), 663-673.

See Also: Lukoff, David & Francis G. Lu (1988). ``Transpersonal psychology research review: Topic: Mystical experiences.'' Journal of Transpersonal Psychology, 20 (2), 161-184. Charles T. Tart, Psi: Scientific Studies of the Psychic Realm, p. 19.
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