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Thread: Mistaken identity regarding Jesus sightings

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    Formerly Joedad
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    People see their Blessed Virgin in peeling paint, the shadow cast by a street light and in a potato chip. Are they really seeing their Blessed Virgin or are they just seeing shadows and potato chips?

    People are superstitious. I've talked to people who sincerely believed Elvis was present in the person of a performer on stage. People still see ghost ships on the ocean. It can feel good to pretend these things, even have survival value, which is why our brains do it.

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    My personal favorite found images of Jesus are in shower mold (to which a blogger responded, "Clean your fucking shower!") and bird poop (several examples of this, including a big splash of bird poop on a truck window in Kentucky and one that a driver found in my home state, Ohio; the Ohio Jesus poop looks more like the head of a timber wolf to me.) Thank God & bird poop for google images.

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    My favorite:


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    I'm 100% certain that people a couple thousand years ago were just as superstitious about their religious stories and images and so saw them everywhere. That's what religion is, those moments of connection to one's favorite woo, and reading stories about other people's "religious" experiences. You just have to be slightly more emotionally than rationally inclined to believe in the magic. And if a person doesn't have the knowledge and experiences to know any better it's quite normal.

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    I don't know anyone personally who claims to have made a miraculous Jesus or Mary sighting. But the stuff one does hear from believers follows a few well-worn courses in wish fulfillment and the ascription of miracles.
    1) I told a born-again relative that I'd read a piece on the progress made against childhood leukemia, and that with some kinds there is a better than 90% cure rate. Her response: "Are you serious? Praise God!" She repeated the "Praise God!" as if inviting me to join in, while all I could think was, 'I'm sure there are plenty of researchers who spent laborious years working on treatments whom you might want to praise'...left unsaid, because, why not.
    2) News coverage of the aftermath of a natural or manmade catastrophe typically shows a survivor speaking some variant of "God was watching out for me" or "I put myself in the arms of God" with no mention of the reason others weren't spared.
    3) Almost anything that's odd can be seen as a mysterious sign from the supernatural world, even if it doesn't make a coherent message. Here's one that made me suppress my laughter in a crowded faculty meeting: a pious local citizen had died, not long after donating money to the school system for a nice set of flag poles at the football field. On the night he died, our superintendent got a call that there had been a major lightning strike on that end of the field. The lightning had hit a utility pole next to the flag poles, which were higher and therefore more of a target. But there stood the flag poles, intact, with their banners unharmed. He told this little tale, and a low murmur went through the group. Wow!! Must be a sign!! Of somethn'....I suppressed a snort of hilarity, but only with effort.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ideologyhunter View Post
    2) News coverage of the aftermath of a natural or manmade catastrophe typically shows a survivor speaking some variant of "God was watching out for me" or "I put myself in the arms of God" with no mention of the reason others weren't spared.
    This reminds me of the concept of luck. I played in a lot of frisbee golf tournaments (during my 20's and 30's) and you would hear a lot of comments such as "wow, you got lucky" when a disc made a particularly good (for the thrower) bounce off a tree toward the basket. Until a good and thoughtful friend of mine observed that luck is just random chance but viewed from a particular vantage point. Of course my lucky bounce is my competitors' bad fortune. So, yeah, God is watching out for you . . . you got lucky . . . its just random but you are one that survived so viewed from your vantage point . . . .

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