Sunday, August 09, 2009

Vision or hallucination

Acts 10 contains a ludicrous story that Christians believe, because it is in the New Testament, although it is clearly nonsense, that no grown up person should take seriously.


He (Peter) became hungry and wanted something to eat, and while the meal was being prepared, he fell into a trance. He saw heaven opened and something like a large sheet being let down to earth by its four corners. It contained all kinds of four-footed animals, as well as reptiles of the earth and birds of the air. Then a voice told him, "Get up, Peter. Kill and eat."

"Surely not, Lord!" Peter replied. "I have never eaten anything impure or unclean."

The voice spoke to him a second time, "Do not call anything impure that God has made clean."

This happened three times, and immediately the sheet was taken back to heaven.

NT Wright would say this was not an hallucination, because Peter knew perfectly well what an hallucination was and what an hallucination was not.

I guess there is nothing that Christians won't believe. If somebody claims to have seen food that was not there, they will say that it was not an hallucination, it was a 'vision'

Wright on the Resurrection Here a Christian explains that this bizarre story was not an hallucination, it was a vision.

A sheet containing all kinds of four-footed animals was not an hallucination, because it was a vision?

You have to laugh at these people....

6 Comments:

Blogger pcraig said...

Well, it depends on your presuppositions. If you believe that God exists and he can communicate directly with people, then you will interpret the same data in a different way. I guess that's your definition of someone who isn't a "grown up person".

4:28 AM  
Blogger Steven Carr said...

I see.

So a vision is seeing something which is not really there while a hallucination is seeing something which is not really there.

The difference being that early Christians could tell the difference between a vision and a hallucination by believing that their god had chosen to make them hallucinate a vision?

4:31 AM  
Blogger Steven Carr said...

And of course, you have to presuppose that any preposterous thing is possible if it is in the New Testament.

That is the definition of a 'grown-up' person.

He will believe literally anything written in an old book, no matter how absurd it seems.

4:32 AM  
Blogger pcraig said...

As I said, it's about your presuppositions.

2:01 AM  
Blogger Steven Carr said...

And your presupposition is that if you read something in an old book, then somebody must have had a genuine vision.

Even if, by definition, a vision means seeing something which is not there, which is also the definition of an hallucination.
So there is no difference between a vision and a hallucination. Both involve seeing things which are not there.

2:10 AM  
Blogger pcraig said...

But that is not what a vision is "by definition". If it was the same thing as a hallucination, then there wouldn't be another word for it.

How do you know that if someone sees a vision, it is a hallucination? You don't - you are letting your presuppositions (and your closed mind) lead you to that conclusion. That is exactly my point.

7:55 AM  

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