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Playing Devil's Advocate
Seraphyna
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Post: #1
Playing Devil's Advocate
I think it's interesting to think about what someone would think if their beliefs were suddenly proven...but not in the way they thought of them so I pose these questions (disregarding the possibility of such proof actually being found):

To those who believe there is nothing mental/psychological/brain related about their identity (e.g. it's a spiritual thing)...

If, tomorrow, it was conclusively proven that souls/past lives/etc. do *not* exist, how would this affect you?

To those who believe there is nothing spiritual about their identity (e.g. it's a brain-related thing)...

If, tomorrow, it was conclusively proven that souls/past lives/etc. *do* exist, how would this affect you?

In either case, would you suddenly not feel you were otherkin/therian? Would you instantly stop identifying as whatever and feel entirely human?

Or would you feel exactly the same?


Personally, I currently believe there is no spiritual component to my identity. However, if it was one day proved definitively that souls/past lives/etc. exist I would acknowledge the possibility that my identity could be spiritual in nature. However, I would likely still believe that my identity was more likely to be psychological in nature unless it was also proven that that is an impossibility. I would still feel the same, experience the same things, etc. I would just potentially have a new explanation for why.

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"All that is gold does not glitter, not all those who wander are lost."-Tolkien
"All that we see or seem is but a dream within a dream."-Poe
2014-01-03 20:32
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Elinox
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Post: #2
Re: Playing Devil's Advocate
I'm in the middle camp where for me, it's a combination of mental and spiritual reasoning.

Spiritually speaking, if it was proven without a doubt that we don't have souls (or whatever you want to call the 'kin identity inside) I think I'd be disappointed, but at least I'd have a concrete answer.

If it were proven that souls do exist, there really wouldn't be an issue because again, I'd have an answer either way.

It's the wishy-washy, we-can't-know-for-sure thing that irritates me the most when it comes to otherkin belief. I could learn to accept that it's not true, but it's the not knowing one way or the other that really bugs me.

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2014-01-03 22:13
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Edge
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Post: #3
Re: Playing Devil's Advocate
Seraphyna Wrote:Or would you feel exactly the same?
This. If it were conclusively proven that there is no possible way I can be what I think I am, that wouldn't change how I feel about myself. I currently already know it's a likely possibility and made the decision to just let it be anyway in order not to drive myself nuts worrying about it. If it were conclusively proven that it is possible, I still wouldn't know for sure that it applies to me or that I am not hallucinating that proof or something.

I'm the one with the power around here. -Rumplestiltskin
2014-01-10 3:25
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Tzolkin
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Post: #4
Re: Playing Devil's Advocate
This question is a tricky one for me to answer, because I believe part of one's identity is spiritual in nature, and another component is mental and physical.

If it were proven tomorrow without doubt that souls do not exist, then my beliefs about who I am as a person would not change much, but I would be rather disappointed, because life is so short, and so much of it is spent getting ready to live in Western culture, rather than living. In addition, my spiritual beliefs add something to the quality of my life on earth; things would seem a bit more 'gray' without that element. Which begs the question, if a 'delusion' helps a person live a happier, more fulfilled life, does the fact that they are deluding themselves really matter?

If it were proven that souls do exist, and further that the origin of one's identity is purely spiritual, it once again would not change my beliefs very much, but I would be disappointed, because the human mind, thought of as a computer, is a terrible thing to waste, and some personality quirks and defense mechanisms can be thought of as 'brain software', which we can alter. In addition, it raises the question of what exactly the brain is, if not used to help form an identity, and in the case where someone is born with a condition such as autism, is it to be considered a spiritual illness, or a result of a faulty spirit-body interface?

~Tzolkin
2014-03-21 9:24
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Chimera
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Post: #5
Re: Playing Devil's Advocate
We’re on the fence either way with some of us looking at it as more spiritual, while others being more psychological, but none of us fully being set on it one way or another.

1. If, tomorrow, it was conclusively proven that souls/past lives/etc. do *not* exist, how would this affect you?

It would certainly cause major upset and rethink plus challenge a lot of beliefs, but more on religious grounds (given so many of us are animists). However, as far as identity goes, it wouldn’t do much. We still would be stuck with the body image’s we do and species dysphoria as it is.

Those of us with past life memories would have to try to wonder where they came from and what they mean, where as now they can just be left a “eh, who knows either way, not that important, moving on…” However what they take from such memories or how they do effect them (Cavern-Risen’s phobias, Z’s way over the top pet peeve over driving while distracted, etc) would not just go way just because what explained why they felt that way aren’t real.

2. If, tomorrow, it was conclusive proven that souls/past lives/etc. *do* exist, how would this affect you?

“It would certainly cause major upset and rethink plus challenge a lot of beliefs, but more on religious grounds (given so many of us are animists). However, as far as identity goes, it wouldn’t do much.”

Here, especially though. I mean, just because “souls do exist” would not prove “spiritual can be the only way for otherkin to exist!” So, psychological otherkin wouldn't be gone either.

Not to mention it still doesn’t prove ever memory of past lives any given person has isn’t somehow fake. (Especially given false memories are a known and proven thing.) So really, it would leave some interesting things open, but that’s it. It would leave them open, not leave it all solved.

- Spiridon
2014-04-28 15:08
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Terro
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Post: #6
Re: Playing Devil's Advocate
For me personally:

If souls were absolutely and totally proven not to exist in any capacity whatsoever, then my search would continue.

The rules of cause and effect still apply. I have experiences and things I believe are past life memories, these constitute an effect. I would need to determine the cause.

If the reverse were true, and to go one step further, to prove the existence of the myriad things individuals in our community believe to be or have been in some capacity, then things might change very much.

I personally would not want it to really get out, what I believe I am. Despite any amount of acceptance by the populace, what kind of pressure does it put on an individual like myself? If I were proven to be an Angel incarnate, and one with substantial age and rank, suddenly my words and decisions mean more. Were I to condone something, how many Christians would take that as what to do? Were I to condemn something, how many Christians may automatically do the same?

In the case of an Angel, you have just been "proven" to be a messenger of the Lord God Almighty and all the rest. Lot of pressure and liability.

The maximum effective range of an excuse is zero meters.
-The Unit
2014-08-31 0:18
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simim23
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Post: #7
Re: Playing Devil's Advocate
Terro Wrote:The rules of cause and effect still apply. I have experiences and things I believe are past life memories, these constitute an effect. I would need to determine the cause.

I had a strange tangent of thought here, in the sense that even if there were no spiritual basis behind it whatsoever, it then becomes a matter of figuring out how and why my brain has made "memories" for me. Until I find a step by step reason, I see no reason to stop searching.

Simim: Rainbow poop at your disservice.
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2014-09-24 22:03
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