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Auditory hallucination can be so powerful that the sufferer deeply believes that they are hearing words spoken to them by a spirit or a ghost. Throughout history there a many examples of people acting on these phantom messages; and some cases they have persuaded many others that those messages were real.

In his new book Oliver Sacks describes visual hallucinations, auditory hallucinations, olfactory hallucinations and hallucinations produced by illness, fevers, sleep deprivation, drugs, grief, trauma and exhaustion.

Image for post Auditory hallucination can be so powerful that the sufferer deeply believes that they are hearing words spoken to them by a spirit or a ghost.  Throughout history there a many examples of people acting on these phantom messages; and some cases they have persuaded many others that those messages were real.
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VicZincs avatar Health, Beauty & Fitness
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perhaps it wasn't auditory hallucination
but labeled as that because it didn't fit in with what some people know

maybe the people with "auditory hallucination" really knew something that we didn't
and we dismissed it merely because it was outside of our pool of information

maybe other dimensions crossed over
or alternate universes

anything can be real and exist as long as it is acknowledged in our minds

we're very quick to label people insane and label them with many different disorders
but who knows what we're missing?

@fuzala perhaps it wasn't auditory hallucination but labeled as that because it didn't fit in with what some people...

Good point. Don't know if you recognize the picture. "Son of Sam" was a serial killer who received verbal instructions from a stray dog that told him who to kill next, and how to do it without being caught. But who knows?

You know that is a somewhat baited question - because we both KNOW that it comes down to the "word" or "experience" of the one claiming such. I do know that Biblical accounts record multiple audible voice hearings of God to and by His people. You have obviously read and studied the Bible (I deduct such by your posts and references to it), so you have read that from the Garden of Eden clear through the conversion of Saul of Tarsus, God audibly spoke to His followers. Some groups claim He is still doing such. I have not personally ever heard an audible voice, but would love to.
It would be quite a stretch however to write off every Old Testament Biblical example as lunacy or brainwashing. The context of many of these accounts expresses clear "shock" and "surprise" by those visited by God.
From my perspective, God could clear up many things by giving an audible message that many could hear and there be no mistaking who it was and where it came from. But since He is choosing not to do such (for whatever reason or purpose), I still can not bring myself to discount or discredit the written record of the countless numbers who already DID. To do so, I must call God and all of those who experienced what they say LIARS. Who am I to ever arrive at such a conclusion?

@freespeechfreelancer You know that is a somewhat baited question - because we both KNOW that it comes down to the "word" or "experience"...

I respect that, and yes this is a bit baited, but what I struggle with is why (when) we accept those biblical accounts but not, for in this example "Son of Sam"? Of why do some religious follows believe that Joseph Smith heard and followed an Angle's instruction and others (many of the Christians) say that he was either hallucinating or lying?

I am willing to believe that it is possible for a being to exist that is far beyond human comprehension that could possible "speak" to chosen people. But what I don't get is why this is different from people who "hear voices" and are called insane?

@VicZinc I respect that, and yes this is a bit baited, but what I struggle with is why (when) we accept those biblical...

And I truly respect your honesty. I have always felt and believed you have an extremely good and decent approach to all things and can tell you have an openness to most things.
From my perspective, the Bible is the ONLY book I am aware of that claims to be "God authored" or inspired by Himself. It makes claims that NO other book I am aware of has ever made. There are maybe similar religious writings in existence with very good writings and claims about life. But a careful study of the Biblical text reveals a measure or dose of something that nothing else has. Even from a casual observance, an outsider would have to ask such questions as "why is the Bible the number one all time best seller ever?" How has it managed to survive all the attacks and attempts to wipe it out over the ages? Why are there more fragments and pieces of its old manuscripts than any other historical writing known to us? The list of questions could go on. The point being, of all the written literature that humanity has recorded throughout history, the Bible has risen to the top. And I see no way that it can be coincidence, chance, or accidental.
Many attack, question, belittle, or outright hate the book, but nevertheless, it is still here. If it were such an easy book to equal, I find it more than interesting that nothing has come close to its production - not even in our modern age with all of today's technology.
I do not claim to understand or fully comprehend all things "Spirit" but the lack of never seeing one has never been cause for me not to believe they exist. I have no trouble believing that there is a spirit realm existing around all of us at all times. Angels and demons (evil spirits) are operating in both an unseen world and influencing this one as well. Once a person accepts the notion of a spirit world, then it does open up a whole new set of issues and struggles. You refer to the "Son of Sam" and other mass killers who "heard God" tell them to do such and such. I too, have seen the stories over the years where many claimed their actions were a result of God's telling. But WHAT they did is not consistent with what the Bible teaches as a whole, so it is hard to believe or accept that their message came from God. The Bible instructs all of its followers and believers to "try the spirits whether they are of God:" So, essentially just because a spirit activity CLAIMS to be of God, does not make it necessarily so. The RESULTS or ACTIONS of the individual then would largely help in determining what kind of spirit it was.

@freespeechfreelancer And I truly respect your honesty. I have always felt and believed you have an extremely good and decent approach to...

Thanks for this. If we want to debate we can. I understand your position and I am sure I could list half-a-dozen examples of old testament stories where god instructed people to do things that might seem to the casual observer to be just a horrific as what the David Berkowitz claims to have been instructed to do. I am sure you know these stories as well.

It is interesting (at least to me) that some of the very issues that strengthen your faith are the same issues that I use to support my lack of faith.

And yes, I suppose the point of this post was to raise the question we have been discussing - not simply that "some people falsely believe they hear voice" but also the possibility that "all" such voices are false.

We will not agree - you have given me something to ponder, and perhaps I have give you a question to meditate on as well. Even for devotees, questions of faith are a normal part of being human.

I would be interested in learning of any test that can be used to determine when these voices are real and when they are imagined, but perhaps such a test is not intended for human understanding.

@VicZinc Thanks for this. If we want to debate we can. I understand your position and I am sure I could list half-a-dozen...

And you and I always find a way to peaceably see our agreements or disagreements. I have no problem whatsoever with this process and hopefully other readers will see that it can be done. It is possible to NOT agree on all issues and yet co-exist in harmony and unity.
I struggle with my faith each and every day, and probably have as many questions (if not more) as you do. But the struggle is not a sign of a bad thing - it only indicates the need and desire to understand and know more.
If God should ever decide to visit either of us personally to say something, I am sure the need for a "test" will vanish instantly!

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@1930292

You have stated your views with clarity and precision. That is each and every person's right. I am NOT the final authority on anything and never claimed to be such. I put my 2 cents worth out there just like anyone else willing to speak openly about a topic. If people can't speak their minds, opinions, or views, then there would be no way to know what others believed or thought.
The only comment I will add as a reply to your comments is regarding religions needing something to offer people. Christianity did not create the concept of God offering something or punishing people - God did that. His followers and believers only accept what has been recorded in His Word.
And the word of God through an angel (as in the Quran or Book of Mormon) is a bit different than God Himself speaking, guiding, and telling the writers what to write. The Bible claims to be "inspired" and "God breathed." In the Old Testament, Scripture states that the original 10 commandments were actually written by the finger of God, and calls them "the work of God." Of course when Moses came down from Mt. Sinai after visiting with God and hearing His voice, the children of Israel were worshipping a golden calf. Moses was so angered by what he saw that he threw the 2 stone tablets down on the ground and broke them. God told Moses to make 2 new tablets and He (God) again wrote the words on the tablets exactly as were on the first (since they were God's words He could easily write them again.)
Throughout the Old Testament, God is seen speaking to those He picked, and even telling them things to write down.
Most of the New Testament books were written by those who walked with Christ while on Earth or by Paul. These men were all eye witnesses to many things that had been done by Jesus and were used to form the first and earliest Christian churches.
I actually enjoy a good discussion about religion. I refuse to argue it with people, because that profits no one. I appreciate you sharing your thoughts. And I really do mean that.

CAN be and has been in many instances, but still does NOT erase the possibility or existence of the REAL thing.

@freespeechfreelancer CAN be and has been in many instances, but still does NOT erase the possibility or existence of the REAL thing.

I agree, anything is possible. What do you think is a valid criteria on which to judge "hallucinations" from an actual "voices from beyond" (assuming that it is possible)?

You're wrong Logan

Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) was unlettered and did not know how to read and write

{Believe, then, in God and His Messenger – the unlettered Prophet who believes in God and His words – and follow him, so that you might find guidance!} (Al-A'raf 7: 158)

http://www.onislam.net/english/...the-quran.html

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