Is it weird to have an imaginary friend

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cyberdad
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18 Feb 2024, 11:08 pm

TwilightPrincess wrote:
Maybe this comes down to semantics, but I don’t think that an “imaginary friend” has to be voluntary. I used to believe in God, but I would still say that God was an “imaginary friend.” You are free to think differently, but I tend not to hold those who’ve had paranormal experiences above children with imaginary friends. I don’t believe in hierarchies like that anyway. Adults aren’t more worthy of respect and dignity than children..


Ah I see. Yes, belief in god ins't voluntary. Many are forced beliefs.



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19 Feb 2024, 6:03 am

cyberdad wrote:
TwilightPrincess wrote:
It’s perfectly legitimate. None of those sorts of experiences have been proven no matter what appeal to authority people try to use to make them seem real. You can’t know if they are “real” experiences. People make s**t up all the time. Besides that, when folks have what they assume is a paranormal experience, it’s probably often something they don’t know or can’t explain combined with imagination, so imagination would still have a strong role to play in the “experience.


But you can't make a blanket generalisation. There are people who have had paranormal experiences have been psychiatrically assessed and found to be completely without any type of pathology. One simple example are US military staff in charge of nuclear launch sites who have testified seeing UFOs. You would think if they are having some type of hallucinatory event that they shouldn't be having access to launch codes for nuclear warheads.
That analogy is very flawed. Trump had access to to launch codes as president & has even bragged about passing a psych eval he was forced to take. The way the military & government actually work is kinda backwards from the way they should work.


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cyberdad
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19 Feb 2024, 4:33 pm

nick007 wrote:
That analogy is very flawed. Trump had access to to launch codes as president & has even bragged about passing a psych eval he was forced to take. The way the military & government actually work is kinda backwards from the way they should work.


Trump wasn't employed to be president. He was voted. Military commanders who command nuclear sites had to go through some of the most rigorous training in the world to reach their station (not just a psych eval).



TwilightPrincess
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19 Feb 2024, 4:38 pm

cyberdad wrote:
nick007 wrote:
That analogy is very flawed. Trump had access to to launch codes as president & has even bragged about passing a psych eval he was forced to take. The way the military & government actually work is kinda backwards from the way they should work.


Trump wasn't employed to be president. He was voted. Military commanders who command nuclear sites had to go through some of the most rigorous training in the world to reach their station (not just a psych eval).

That’s not proof. It’s an appeal to authority.

Even people without pathologies can misinterpret phenomena, imagine things, make stuff up, develop sleeping disorders, etc. The possibilities are endless. Until something approaching extraordinary evidence demonstrates that paranormal experiences are real, current explanations seem sufficient.


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cyberdad
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19 Feb 2024, 4:53 pm

TwilightPrincess wrote:
That’s not proof. It’s an appeal to authority.


Nothing to do with authority. I believe in a court of law there is a sliding scale of "credibility" for a an eyewitness. I am referring to credibility.



funeralxempire
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19 Feb 2024, 4:55 pm

blitzkrieg wrote:
funeralxempire wrote:
I don't see how the second paragraph supports the first.


It wasn't supposed to support the first. It was meant to be an explanation, not an argument for why some people believe things a certain way.

funeralxempire wrote:
Yes, there's reasons for why people will try to differentiate between the two but functionally they sure seem to be the same. A shared imaginary friend is still an imaginary friend, no?


I would argue that God isn't supposed to be an individual entity and thus cannot be compared to an individual, imaginary friend.

Also, the scale of God as an idea is different from a typical imaginary friend that a person might have, in that shared reality is invoked when thinking about or discussing the concept of God, whilst imaginary friends on an individual level are more like people - people who don't exist.

God as a concept for some people means being the creator/designer of DNA, or quantum mechanics and possibly the universe in general and all that it contains.

An imaginary friend is just a personality projected by an individual.

If a person thinks of God as a male, oversized human with a flowy beard, sitting on the clouds, as is often popularly depicted, then sure, maybe a comparison could be drawn.

But I don't think most people who believe in God, at least in the current day, think of God as a concept, that way.


I would argue the minute you assign a personality to your god or begin having interactions with your god you've made your god into an imaginary friend.


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19 Feb 2024, 5:03 pm

cyberdad wrote:
TwilightPrincess wrote:
That’s not proof. It’s an appeal to authority.


Nothing to do with authority. I believe in a court of law there is a sliding scale of "credibility" for a an eyewitness. I am referring to credibility.
It looks like an appeal to authority to me.

Credibility in a court of law is not applicable here. In order to prove something like the paranormal, you need much more than eyewitness accounts. We have hard evidence that people commit specific crimes - that they have done so in the past. We do not have hard evidence that paranormal phenomena has ever truly occurred. It doesn’t matter if someone is the most intelligent and respected person on the planet. Without hard evidence, their experience doesn’t mean much when it comes to proving the paranormal.


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blitzkrieg
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19 Feb 2024, 5:22 pm

I have experienced the paranormal, so I sympathise with your position, cyberdad.



funeralxempire
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19 Feb 2024, 5:35 pm

TwilightPrincess wrote:
cyberdad wrote:
TwilightPrincess wrote:
That’s not proof. It’s an appeal to authority.


Nothing to do with authority. I believe in a court of law there is a sliding scale of "credibility" for a an eyewitness. I am referring to credibility.
It looks like an appeal to authority to me.

Credibility in a court of law is not applicable here. In order to prove something like the paranormal, you need much more than eyewitness accounts. We have hard evidence that people commit specific crimes - that they have done so in the past. We do not have hard evidence that paranormal phenomena has ever truly occurred. It doesn’t matter if someone is the most intelligent and respected person on the planet. Without hard evidence, their experience doesn’t mean much when it comes to proving the paranormal.


But a very well-respected man said it, clearly the fact that he's well-respected means that we don't need to take a critical approach to his far-fetched claims.


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TwilightPrincess
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19 Feb 2024, 5:37 pm

I had what I thought were supernatural experiences when I was younger. It was due to a combination of misinterpreting stuff and my religious beliefs at the time. Such “experiences” were commonplace in my community. A flickering light or slammed door on a windy day must be caused by a demon. :lol: When I got older, I had stranger experiences which were related to extreme abuse and sleep deprivation. People in my old faith would’ve automatically attributed those experiences to demons. As a nonbeliever, I went with the slightly more mundane reason which was the correct one. After getting out of that situation and giving myself time to rest, things went back to normal. Well, I’ve got PTSD, but I don’t hallucinate. Sometimes reasons for stuff are harder to determine, but it doesn’t mean that they don’t exist.

The point is that I’m wary of my own subjective experience when it comes to bizarre experiences.


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Last edited by TwilightPrincess on 19 Feb 2024, 6:11 pm, edited 3 times in total.

TwilightPrincess
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19 Feb 2024, 5:40 pm

funeralxempire wrote:
TwilightPrincess wrote:
cyberdad wrote:
TwilightPrincess wrote:
That’s not proof. It’s an appeal to authority.


Nothing to do with authority. I believe in a court of law there is a sliding scale of "credibility" for a an eyewitness. I am referring to credibility.
It looks like an appeal to authority to me.

Credibility in a court of law is not applicable here. In order to prove something like the paranormal, you need much more than eyewitness accounts. We have hard evidence that people commit specific crimes - that they have done so in the past. We do not have hard evidence that paranormal phenomena has ever truly occurred. It doesn’t matter if someone is the most intelligent and respected person on the planet. Without hard evidence, their experience doesn’t mean much when it comes to proving the paranormal.


But a very well-respected man said it, clearly the fact that he's well-respected means that we don't need to take a critical approach to his far-fetched claims.

Oh yeah! I forgot. :lol:


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cyberdad
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19 Feb 2024, 6:46 pm

blitzkrieg wrote:
I have experienced the paranormal, so I sympathise with your position, cyberdad.


I think its surprising how many people have. Thanks for your support.



blitzkrieg
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19 Feb 2024, 7:02 pm

cyberdad wrote:
blitzkrieg wrote:
I have experienced the paranormal, so I sympathise with your position, cyberdad.


I think its surprising how many people have. Thanks for your support.


No worries!

Mine were not drug induced, and were witnessed also by a person without a history of mental illness.

I have never otherwise hallucinated either.



cyberdad
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19 Feb 2024, 7:26 pm

TwilightPrincess wrote:
Credibility in a court of law is not applicable here. In order to prove something like the paranormal, you need much more than eyewitness accounts. We have hard evidence that people commit specific crimes - that they have done so in the past. We do not have hard evidence that paranormal phenomena has ever truly occurred. It doesn’t matter if someone is the most intelligent and respected person on the planet. Without hard evidence, their experience doesn’t mean much when it comes to proving the paranormal.


I think you are conflating different things here. From my perspective
1. imaginary friend - a person creates a friend to keep them company whom they know is not real
2, god - a made up entity people are either forced to believe or voluntarily choose to believe
3. a hoax - a made up story created for drawing attention or for financial gain
4. a hallucination - perception is distorted for psychological reasons
5l Misidentification - somebody sees a bear and mistakes it for bigfoot, they see the planet venus or a satellite and mistake it for a UFO

What I am talking about is something quite different.
6. A person experiences a visual/auditory anomaly that doesn't fit into any of the above., The experience was real. In the case of UFOs they are acknowledged as real. And there are receipts (you are conveniently ignoring the government acknowledges this too).

What you are doing is jumping to the conclusion that item 6 is automatically explained by items 3-5. Clearly there are unknown anomalies out there. I am not saying they are alien, they could be man made, But to make blanket statements that interpret another person's personal experience seems to me designed to shut down simple investigation.



cyberdad
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19 Feb 2024, 7:35 pm

blitzkrieg wrote:
Mine were not drug induced, and were witnessed also by a person without a history of mental illness.

I have never otherwise hallucinated either.


If you apply a cultural lens, then many cultures accept paranormal experience as normal. Western science has a habit of being arrogant and dismissive of personal experience of what some would describe as supernatural.



TwilightPrincess
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19 Feb 2024, 7:45 pm

cyberdad wrote:
blitzkrieg wrote:
Mine were not drug induced, and were witnessed also by a person without a history of mental illness.

I have never otherwise hallucinated either.


If you apply a cultural lens, then many cultures accept paranormal experience as normal. Western science has a habit of being arrogant and dismissive of personal experience of what some would describe as supernatural.

Skepticism is not being arrogant and dismissive. It’s being rational. As I previously stated, I will change my stance when there is sufficient enough evidence to warrant it.

“Keep an open mind but not so open that your brain falls out.”


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