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Well, I would gladly like to now write on how and what made or tempted me to stop my skepticism (pseudo skeptic) and become a believer.
- Religious Years -
So, I was a Christian for many years; I was born into Christianity and I left the brainwashing religion at age 18 and then was still curious of what religion is true and what isn't. So... I then became a Wiccan and I started to get into Tarot readings and Astrology, and other divination and also practiced and got into Magick (White), had done and created covets, and had worshiped a God and Goddess (ex. Horned God, Mother Goddess) and believed all other gods and goddesses are facets of the God and Goddess, while other Wiccans and pagans think and believe the same or differently. I had done rituals, covets, holidays (Sabbats), worship, and all the beliefs and practices. Then, about two years when I was into three years of Wicca, I was introduced by a friend of mine who was also a Wiccan and still is, had introduced me to a prayer to invoke the God and Goddess and I will be able to see them. I then tried it; I first casted a spell of love and light to help me through life, and thanked and woshiped the God and Goddess, and then did the prayer (I had to use some Magick to invoke them as well [so... a spell]) and I did it. I then feel a weird feeling in my stomach, it hurts and tickles, I close my eyes as I am supposed to for the prayer to be successful, I open them a few seconds later, the God and Goddess are waiting there, they are happy, I am happy, they appear to me in human forum, but there in the sky, and floating in mid air (I wasn't on drugs or anything at the time, lol.).
I then had been in Wicca for six years; and on my seventh year of Wicca, I start to think "What if everything I had believed and experienced and practiced was just an experience I had created in my head?", I began to research on Google on Atheism and hallucinations caused by religion and things of New Age and spirituality. I find very truthful information on both of the subjects; on Atheism I found that there was so many things that was in evolution and is left out of ALL religion; finding that what I saw from the practices and beliefs were just side effects of renal fatigue and even Déjà vu and the confirmation effect, believe it or not. After a few days, I then start to become an Atheist, I stop all my practices, beliefs, and religion and such... My friends of Wicca and other religions started to ask me what made me become an Atheist and leave everything behind, I tell them "Well, what you want is what I deny, and what I deny is what you perceive.". Meaning that, they believe something, and I deny and expose their beliefs, and they perceive what I do, and they start to think, and they'll become an Atheist too. Get it? But none of them had become Atheist's...
- Life As a Skeptic -I now follow up on Richard Dawkins and Christopher Hitchens for rolling in Atheism, and follow up and put faith in James Randi and other pseudo skeptics for skepticism on the paranormal, supernatural, and the pseudo scientific. I was into about three years of Atheism and skepticism, I created a website on Atheism and skepticism (which is now down due to the fact I became a believer... again...) and had posted blogs and articles and criticism and such saying that all religion is brainwash (and it is...) and how evolution is true (and it is...) and how Atheism will be something in the future that will be looked at upon as a god... even more. As well as skepticism, I had said how all things of Magick, paranormal, psychics, supernatural, and such is fake and is bullsh!t and has no evidence and while doing so, I was emailed by a believer in these things, he had shown me articles on Dean Radin, Rupert Sheldrake, and Charles Tart, and was shown evidence by many labs and universities such as; J.B. Rhine, and various skeptic debunking books, such as Winstons book. I then at first say the man is full of it and is lying and is being scammed and diluted. He then challenges me o other emails to see if skepticism is right and he tells me to go to a psychic and he would pay... He sends the psychic three hundred dollars, he tells me where the psychic holds his business, and I first think he is pulling my leg and is just joking. I get to the psychic, I say out of the most IDIOTIC skepticism, "So, are you going to get that million dollars?", meaning getting James Randi's money and going to be rich and such and he looks at me with a little smirk and walks to the table... I was really foolish to say while what happened. The psychic told me to sit down; he was going to see what my emotions where like and such. He says "So, the spirit guide is telling me you're feeling guilty and had left something and is holding ignorance and hate against something." (which I was because I left religion and my practices and beliefs and had hated things of that nature), and there is NO way this man could get sources about this from anywhere because I only knew about this... He keeps guessing; he guesses everything right and everything I only knew... I start to feel very good inside, but very scared, and I'm thinking "Wait. How can this be happening? He must be using cold reading, I'm the only one who knows this...". I interrupt the psychic (he was actually a medium and necromancer and magickian too [not stage magic]) and I say I have to leave. I leave; I then go on my website and email and say to the man who sent me to the psychic and my website followers and saying how idiotic and stupid and ignorant and closed-minded I was...
- Life As a Believer -
I then start to go back on the road of believing and begin reading books on paranormal successes and investigations and skeptic debunking and I read and by books on Dean Radin and Charles Tart and Rupert Sheldrake, and I begin to email Radin and deny Randi and Shermer and other pseudo skeptics. I start to practice Psi and divination again, but am still an Atheist. I was thankful for being contacted by the man, David Heremee and of what he had done to get me to believe.
This is basically it about my life in spirituality, and religion, and skepticism and such...
Hopefully any skeptics or pseudo skeptics on here reading this will become a believer or even believe again in they were believers and then became skeptics.
That's interesting Mittens, but if one doesn't have similar experiences with psychics and doesn't see the same confirmation in the evidence presented by Radin, Sheldrake, et.al, then why or how should I become a believer (or, just as curious, why do you care?)
Thanks. Yeah.. I get what you're saying, as I had experiences with one thing and passed it off an a "hallucination" and another thing in the same category I have a belief towards and believe in it.
Well, from what Radin produces, he likes to fill in a lot of things by himself, which is a good thing, but some might be more skeptical, per se. What I'm presenting wont make a lot of people believers. Sometimes even a "in-person" demonstration wont change the way people think or believe. Understand?
Oh yes, I understand completely.
Thank you for posting your interesting story. i enjoyed reading it very much.
I confess that it did not convert me over to being a believer again. I was a believer years ago, but now call myself a skeptic.
I hope you do not mind if I give you my thoughts on the story of your conversion. My intent is to give you useful feedback for improving it.
Whether this is the case or not, it reads very much like you are simply following the latest thing that you have been exposed to. You start out as a christian because you are raised that way. After a while you discover Wicca and pursue that. Then you start to read Dawkins & Hitchens and become an atheist, throwing the whole paranormal thing out with your religion at the same time. You mention placing "faith" in Randi and other skeptics, which is completely outside the skeptical approach. It makes it seem as though you only substituted disbelief for belief, without an understanding of the methods of critical thinking. Lastly, you become a believer in the paranormal again because another believer convinced you to go to a psychic and you felt like it was a genuine paranormal experience.
I feel quite sure that there is more to the story than this. You must tell us the other details though, if you want to convince to your way of thinking. Don't just tell us that you read a book and converted to that way of thinking. You should outline at least a couple specific points or reasons why your thinking was changed. Later, when you recount another conversion, it would be good to then explain why the points or reasons for the previous beliefs no longer convinced you. That is especially important if you want to convince people. Merely saying that you had been "idiotic" carries no real power to explain or convince.
On the story of your visit to the psychic, this part in particular needs fleshing out. This is critical, as it is the last argument given and is meant to support your current outlook on things. If it is not iron-clad, you have no hope of convincing others that your current position is the correct one. I personally can see a couple of potential natural explanations that explain this encounter perfectly well. So to me, the story reads as though you made an error in judgment that led to your final conversion back to believer. I am not saying that is the case, either, just that it appears to be so based on how you tell your story.
Also, be wary of lumping atheism, evolution, and the paranormal together, or making them seem to be opposing viewpoints. They are in the vast majority of cases completely separate topic with no bearing on each other and should be treated as such.
Anyway, I hope this is helpful to you.
"It is proper for you to doubt ... do not go upon report ... do not go upon tradition ... do not go upon hear-say." ~ Buddha
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