toxic thought waste site

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Friday, December 22, 2006

Spiritual Color Blindness


In the valley of the blind, the one-eyed man is king. (Gerard Erasmus)


Unfortunately, I don't have 20/20 vision. While this may be an apt metaphor for my cognitive abilities, with respect to my actual ability to see this is perfectly correctable. So, I know what it's like to have problems with my vision (astigmatism and near sightedness) but I also know what it's like to have these things 100% corrected. Someone with color blindness is in a different boat. More than likely they will never *really* understand what it's like to see the colors they are deprived of. And while that is a bit of a tragedy what interests me about this is that while they don't *know* what it's like to perceive these missing colors they can be reasonably confident that there is actually a real sensory deficit and not just a mass hallucination on the part of society.

As an example let's say someone with color blindness suspected that there really wasn't such a thing as color and wanted to test this idea. They could get a number of colored balls labelled with their colors and have various color sighted people "guess" what the labels say. Now, you could come up with an alternate hypothesis (the balls have some property "X" instead of color) but when every one reports the same name as found on each label the color blind person can be reasonably sure there is some direct awareness that they are missing. Might as well call this property color. So interestingly it makes sense to be reasonably certain of the existence of a sensory phenomena that you can't directly experience. Of course we know of lots of things like this: bat sonar, electric field detection in some kinds of fish, etc. So with vision at least some deficits are correctable and some are not but in either case you can convince your self that the deficit is real and not imagined.

Which brings us to spiritual "vision". For whatever reason I am spiritually color blind. My brain works well enough that I was able to finish school, find a mate, hold a job, etc. But somehow I'm completely without a sense of god and the spiritual world. I have tried in many ways to "fix" my spiritual color blindness, but I have had no luck so far. So I'm guessing this condition is more like color blindness than astigmatism.

But, of course, to be thorough I have to consider the possibility that my spiritual color blindness is not a deficit. Perhaps, just perhaps, people who claim to have this spiritual sense are in fact deluded or (yikes!) lying.

So that naturally leads to the question: Is there some analog of the labelled colored balls that will show me that the spiritually aware are actually experiencing something real rather than a figment of their imagination? If not why not? Also vision is subject to hallucinations. How would you distinguish between a real spiritual sensory phenomena and a spiritual hallucination?

I'm just wondering.

[digg]

1 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

No, it's not spiritual color blindness on your part.

Consider this study:
http://www.religioustolerance.org/god_pray.htm

Apparently, when God answers questions in prayer, he tends to confirm the beliefs you already have.

Fri Dec 22, 10:07:00 PM  

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