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General => Philosophy => Topic started by: zustri on February 03, 2018, 10:32:27 PM

Title: Question about my grandmother and her "ability"
Post by: zustri on February 03, 2018, 10:32:27 PM
Ok, so I don't know if this is really an "ability", but my grandmother prides herself on having this sort of ESP where she can apparently detect the death of a person while it is taking place. I was skeptical of it, and I asked her a bit about it. She told me that at least 50 times in her life, she has had this sensation or feeling when someone dies. It has come to her in the form of dreams where she will have a dream about a person and being with them in heaven or some form of afterlife, and then she will wake up, and find out at the time of her dream that the person really did die. She has also had what I assume are hypnogogic hallucinations where she will see a person's face in what she assumes is in the form of a ghost, and then see the devil's face, and then later find out the person died. One of the weirdest examples is the time that her cousin died. She had a dream of him coming to her and saying that he had drowned. The next day, she found out that he did in fact drown. She has had these dreams with religious imagery ex: sometimes she claims Jesus tells her these messages, sometimes it's family, seeing devils, angels, etc.

I guess my question is, put aside the fact that these claims sound too good to be true, let's say if she could prove it, would that constitute proof of souls of the passed on communicating with her? Or, could there be another explanation for it that doesn't require a supernatural component? Perhaps our brains have a method of picking this stuff up that we are not aware of, and her brain interprets the info in a certain way which causes her to dream with a religious background? Or could it be a combination of an active mind, (constantly thinking of people close to her and worrying about them) so sometimes when she has these sensations they are true? Maybe with this she counts the hits, ignores the misses?

Being an Orthodox Christian, I would like nothing more than for this to be true, but I am asking for an atheist perspective here, which is why I am posting it to an atheist community. I have asked many Orthodox Christians and received their opinions, now I want yours. My grandfather says that he has also seen my grandmother get these hits a lot, and he is very surprised by it, but he himself says he doesn't think it points to the supernatural, even though he admits he cannot explain it. I guess I'm just curious. I don't want you guys to just dismiss it as "lying" or "fake", I mean, you can think it is a lie or fake, but I am asking kind of for fun, let's just assume for a second that this ability were as true as I am claiming, what would you say? Would you then suddenly believe in afterlife and a spiritual realm, or would you still say "I don't know, but I can't conclude it is really anything supernatural"?
Title: Re: Question about my grandmother and her "ability"
Post by: hermes2015 on February 04, 2018, 03:39:57 AM
Here we go again.
Title: Re: Question about my grandmother and her "ability"
Post by: Magdalena on February 04, 2018, 04:31:12 AM
 :hooked:


She has also had what I assume are hypnogogic hallucinations where she will see a person's face in what she assumes is in the form of a ghost, and then see the devil's face, and then later find out the person died.
...
(http://www.reactiongifs.com/r/2012/07/RDJ_Woah.gif)




...I am asking kind of for fun, let's just assume for a second that this ability were as true as I am claiming, what would you say?
Oh, I've heard of this..."Trump's alternative facts." "let's just assume for a second that this is true, and then believe it." OK.


Would you then suddenly believe in afterlife and a spiritual realm...
Under the spell of alternative facts, ANYTHING and EVERYTHING is possible.

I have superpowers too. But I don't like to brag about it.  :reading:

Title: Re: Question about my grandmother and her "ability"
Post by: Dave on February 04, 2018, 05:15:14 AM
(https://imgur.com/3TFuDiD.jpg)
Title: Re: Question about my grandmother and her "ability"
Post by: Recusant on February 04, 2018, 07:04:35 AM
I don't know, but I can't conclude it is really anything supernatural.
Title: Re: Question about my grandmother and her "ability"
Post by: Sandra Craft on February 04, 2018, 07:04:58 AM
Doesn't everybody's grandmother have prophetic dreams?  Doesn't this seem kind of suspiciously convenient?  Like some kind of cultural pattern?
Title: Re: Question about my grandmother and her "ability"
Post by: OldGit on February 04, 2018, 09:39:15 AM
OK, let's pick five of Granny's friends and shoot them at irregular intervals.  Let Granny keep score. :)
Title: Re: Question about my grandmother and her "ability"
Post by: Essie Mae on February 04, 2018, 11:21:11 AM
Doesn't everybody's grandmother have prophetic dreams?  Doesn't this seem kind of suspiciously convenient?  Like some kind of cultural pattern?

As somebody’s granny I can say that I have never had a prophetic dream.
Title: Re: Question about my grandmother and her "ability"
Post by: Dragonia on February 04, 2018, 05:50:04 PM
Zustri, you asked us to assume for a second that it's true. And you want to know,
Quote
I guess my question is, put aside the fact that these claims sound too good to be true, let's say if she could prove it, would that constitute proof of souls of the passed on communicating with her? Or, could there be another explanation for it that doesn't require a supernatural component? Perhaps our brains have a method of picking this stuff up that we are not aware of, and her brain interprets the info in a certain way which causes her to dream with a religious background? Or could it be a combination of an active mind, (constantly thinking of people close to her and worrying about them) so sometimes when she has these sensations they are true? Maybe with this she counts the hits, ignores the misses?
I don't mean to be condescending or rude, or to brush off your genuine curiosity, but your questions seem backwards. It's pointless to try to name what we think the explanation might be, while pretending that it's been proven.
When it's *actually* proven that someone has this ability, only then could we try to figure out what the explanation might be.
Until then, my thoughts on the matter would be probably insulting, unintentionally. I think there are sort of "reverse memories" where you believe something, like the fact that you have this talent, and then you hear of someone dying in the morning and you "remember" a dream that you had last night.
That's just one tiny little explanation, but our minds are powerful enough to deceive even ourselves, especially when we have a strong belief about something.
Title: Re: Question about my grandmother and her "ability"
Post by: Sandra Craft on February 04, 2018, 10:38:54 PM
Doesn't everybody's grandmother have prophetic dreams?  Doesn't this seem kind of suspiciously convenient?  Like some kind of cultural pattern?

As somebody’s granny I can say that I have never had a prophetic dream.

Altho of granny age, I've never had one either but my grannies always claimed to have them, and as I remember so did many of my friends grannies.  Maybe a generational thing?
Title: Re: Question about my grandmother and her "ability"
Post by: Essie Mae on February 04, 2018, 10:53:49 PM
Maybe, although both my grannies were no-nonsense North London types who wouldn’t have held with such things. Sharp on the outside but with hearts of gold. They weren’t at all religious either.
Title: Re: Question about my grandmother and her "ability"
Post by: Sandra Craft on February 04, 2018, 11:04:13 PM
Maybe, although both my grannies were no-nonsense North London types who wouldn’t have held with such things. Sharp on the outside but with hearts of gold. They weren’t at all religious either.

I suspect it's religiosity that's the working nut here: both my grannies were deeply and conservatively religious, and so were all my friends grannies.
Title: Re: Question about my grandmother and her "ability"
Post by: Davin on February 05, 2018, 01:58:17 PM
My mother says that she is so sick that she won't last six months. She's been doing that for about two decades. But if she keeps it up, she's going to be right eventually because of the simple fact that no one lives forever. I suppose that is a kind of "ability."
Title: Re: Question about my grandmother and her "ability"
Post by: Icarus on February 06, 2018, 01:17:06 AM
Doesn't everybody's grandmother have prophetic dreams?  Doesn't this seem kind of suspiciously convenient?  Like some kind of cultural pattern?

As somebody’s granny I can say that I have never had a prophetic dream.

Altho of granny age, I've never had one either but my grannies always claimed to have them, and as I remember so did many of my friends grannies.  Maybe a generational thing?


 I'm with Dragonia.  As sweet and nourishing as so many grannies are, quite a few of them are full of prune juice.
Title: Re: Question about my grandmother and her "ability"
Post by: Dave on February 06, 2018, 04:39:56 AM
Doesn't everybody's grandmother have prophetic dreams?  Doesn't this seem kind of suspiciously convenient?  Like some kind of cultural pattern?

As somebody’s granny I can say that I have never had a prophetic dream.

Altho of granny age, I've never had one either but my grannies always claimed to have them, and as I remember so did many of my friends grannies.  Maybe a generational thing?


 I'm with Dragonia.  As sweet and nourishing as so many grannies are, quite a few of them are full of prune juice.

I have met a couple of the bitterest lemons.
Title: Re: Question about my grandmother and her "ability"
Post by: Magdalena on February 06, 2018, 05:10:58 AM
I have met a couple of the bitterest lemons.
Maybe they just need a hug...?  :shifty:
Title: Re: Question about my grandmother and her "ability"
Post by: Ecurb Noselrub on February 07, 2018, 12:26:49 AM
Ok, so I don't know if this is really an "ability", but my grandmother prides herself on having this sort of ESP where she can apparently detect the death of a person while it is taking place. I was skeptical of it, and I asked her a bit about it. She told me that at least 50 times in her life, she has had this sensation or feeling when someone dies. It has come to her in the form of dreams where she will have a dream about a person and being with them in heaven or some form of afterlife, and then she will wake up, and find out at the time of her dream that the person really did die. She has also had what I assume are hypnogogic hallucinations where she will see a person's face in what she assumes is in the form of a ghost, and then see the devil's face, and then later find out the person died. One of the weirdest examples is the time that her cousin died. She had a dream of him coming to her and saying that he had drowned. The next day, she found out that he did in fact drown. She has had these dreams with religious imagery ex: sometimes she claims Jesus tells her these messages, sometimes it's family, seeing devils, angels, etc.

I guess my question is, put aside the fact that these claims sound too good to be true, let's say if she could prove it, would that constitute proof of souls of the passed on communicating with her? Or, could there be another explanation for it that doesn't require a supernatural component? Perhaps our brains have a method of picking this stuff up that we are not aware of, and her brain interprets the info in a certain way which causes her to dream with a religious background? Or could it be a combination of an active mind, (constantly thinking of people close to her and worrying about them) so sometimes when she has these sensations they are true? Maybe with this she counts the hits, ignores the misses?

Being an Orthodox Christian, I would like nothing more than for this to be true, but I am asking for an atheist perspective here, which is why I am posting it to an atheist community. I have asked many Orthodox Christians and received their opinions, now I want yours. My grandfather says that he has also seen my grandmother get these hits a lot, and he is very surprised by it, but he himself says he doesn't think it points to the supernatural, even though he admits he cannot explain it. I guess I'm just curious. I don't want you guys to just dismiss it as "lying" or "fake", I mean, you can think it is a lie or fake, but I am asking kind of for fun, let's just assume for a second that this ability were as true as I am claiming, what would you say? Would you then suddenly believe in afterlife and a spiritual realm, or would you still say "I don't know, but I can't conclude it is really anything supernatural"?

I'm a Christian, but things like this don't really prove much.  There are all sorts of phenomena in the universe that we don't understand, and it may well be that it is possible for someone to sense something that is about to happen because of the inter-connectivity of all things. We are all made of the same quarks, and sometimes they seem to connect with each other in strange ways. It doesn't prove anything about anything. It's just a facet of the nature of reality.  Of course, I'm giving you the benefit of the doubt and assuming that everything you say is true.  I'll believe you until you give me reason to do otherwise. I heard an atheist once tell of a situation where he knew the exact time that his father died even though he was thousands of miles away.  Again, I assumed he was telling the truth.  But that just shows that there is a lot about the universe that we don't understand, and a lot about our own brains we haven't discovered yet.
Title: Re: Question about my grandmother and her "ability"
Post by: Old Seer on March 29, 2018, 05:35:08 PM
I don't know, but I can't conclude it is really anything supernatural.
It isn't. I co this quite often, but it's on account of age. All my school mates and childhood friends and acquaintances are near my age. It works because I'm expecting kids my age to begin passing away. Over time one recognizes patterns during life and as they come to mind a coincidence is bound to come about. I got to wondering 2 weeks ago how bobby was doing and if he was still around. Last week he passed on. So now it switched to Dave, and Dave is a bit older then I. It hasn't switched to me yet---But I'll let you know. :) :-\
Title: Re: Question about my grandmother and her "ability"
Post by: Old Seer on April 15, 2018, 12:04:23 AM
I don't know, but I can't conclude it is really anything supernatural.
It isn't. I co this quite often, but it's on account of age. All my school mates and childhood friends and acquaintances are near my age. It works because I'm expecting kids my age to begin passing away. Over time one recognizes patterns during life and as they come to mind a coincidence is bound to come about. I got to wondering 2 weeks ago how bobby was doing and if he was still around. Last week he passed on. So now it switched to Dave, and Dave is a bit older then I. It hasn't switched to me yet---But I'll let you know. :) :-\
Ok, here we go. I went on Google earth to look over my boyhood town, I went down main street and saved pics of the buildings. Got pics of the old town I used to live as a foster boy.. Some of my High School buddies have already passed and got pics of their places etc.. I came to the Wrobel house. There were three boys on the Wrobel family, Henry, Paul  Donny. Donny was 1 grade a head  of me. All were excellent basketball players. Has I was saving the pic I was wondering what happened to them all, especially Donny, and thought I would check obits after I was done on Google Earth to see if he was still around. But as was I couldn't fing  any obits of any of them. Three days ago Henry passed.  and, his obit showed that Paul and Donny are still up and around.

Ok, so how does this work. Very simply-- in looking over my home town I was merely setting myself up to take a walk in co-incidence. As I've gone through life I've remained attached to all my childhood friends. So, every now and then I get to wondering how they all are. It's a normal thing at my age and I'm sure there's plenty of others my age that do the same thing. So, it's not magic or extra sensory anything. At my age I expect that those of my time would be passing and wonder about them. It's very simple. :)