I have always wandered how can people believe in god and imagine some Santa in the sky. Are we aphantastics more prone to critical thinking and therefore atheism or agnosticism?
Atheism and Aphantasia
A belief in god does not involve imaging any form of figure. Sufficient is the belief that god is the collective energy in all that is alive enhanced by an experience of being in touch with/infused with that energy. It has nothing to do with logical thinking, but a belief in something outside of the thinking self. If one has not (yet) experienced such transcendence there is no path to understanding unless/until surrendering self to something greater. Once having experienced it would be difficult to remain an atheist while being an agnostic leaves what happens ‘next’ unanswered. Having said that, I have had precognitive experience of my son’s death, an out-of-body experience on my grandfather’s death, several conversations with my deceased mother and, during a prolonged postnatal psychotic episode (and since) where I visually dream of hints of forthcoming events.
The long and short of it is, none know and within a ‘scientific’ paradigm will never KNOW.
Recent revelation I am aphantasic has me no longer writing, crippled by now knowing other authors have a gift of seeing scenes! Also am so annoyed now realising that much of my misunderstandings with others has been based on their not realising I am ‘blind’ to and not truly sharing their daily experiences. No wonder I feel or am treated as alien. But on that thought, probably the inherent motivation to seek a sense of belonging to a realm beyond everyday ‘reality’?
It pisses me off that others do not have to keep removing/moving furniture to find the best place both visually and functionally. Big sigh.
Recommend study Spinoza
I am being raised a catholic and I’ve stopped believing but not because of not being able to imagine God but more of not believing in catholic ideas and beliefs. But I do think I am more critical thinking than creative. I’m not sure if that’s because of aphantasia or just because my brain works that way.
Critical thinking –
Who or what created the big bang, laws of physics, and all matter and energy?
#define ABCDEF “being created the big bang, laws of physics, and all matter and energy, sometimes called God, goes by lots of names, but regardless of the name, somehow matter and energy and laws of physics came into existence”.
We Aphantasics are generally more prone to critical thinking. That’s part of why I do believe in God. Do you know the odds of the Physics of the universe even allowing the possibility of life? This universe that we live in does allow for that. Do you know the odds of this universe producing life as we know it, by chance + time?
It’s easier to believe in God.
But that is not why I believe in him. I believe in Him because he is a personal God who does reach out to us if we are willing to put away our self centeredness long enough to see his glory in the universe and even more, within our selves because he created us to be in his image so that he could communicate with us and we with him.
I have a unique perspective. My great-uncle was literally the prophet and president of my entire religion for many years (a church that now has almost 17 million members). So, yeah, a very traditional background in my youth.
I was a volunteer missionary for the church in another country. Over the years, I was also a volunteer accountant, teacher, activity organizer, Scout leader, speaker, translator, interpreter, and many other things. But recently, we don’t go to the meetings.
Do I believe in God? Yes. Do I believe the principles of my church? Absolutely. But as critical thinkers, my wife and I have gotten burned out on what the leaders do. I don’t expect any organization to be perfect. But when the entire organization pretends like serious crimes by the people in charge weren’t mistakes at all, that “God has mysterious ways”, it’s too much. I suspect that after the final judgment there will be so many so-called prophets, political leaders, business leaders, entertainers, athletes, teachers, etc., in the deepest pit of Hell, that Heaven will a very lonely place.
The Bible gives very clear warnings about people who claim to be prophets, but make false claims. If we apply this same standard to political and business and entertainment leaders (who like to be treated like prophets, or even like gods), the warnings apply to everything going on in the world today.
Religious or not, in any context, we all have the obligation to ensure we don’t follow what a toxic person teaches us. If they are a narcissist, or a sociopath, or psychopath, they will destroy us. The moment anybody has to make excuses for the many mistakes of their leader, their leader is a fraud and a joke. If followers say, “But that doesn’t matter, because the leader did <XYZ>”, no, it’s all leading downhill. If they are a racist, they are evil. If they discriminate against LGTBQ, they are evil. If they discriminate against people from other countries, they are evil. If they destroy families, they are evil. If they cheat and lie and make big money by defrauding everyone, they are evil. If they think their opinion matters in things they never studied, ignoring the facts, they are evil. If they have too much pride, they are evil.
I believe in God, and I believe he weeps at the horrible things we do, despite everything we have. He must be especially saddened when church leaders blame him for their mistakes, lying that it was his will. He set us up with a world where all can be successful, yet many dedicate their lives to destroying everyone and everything.
What are Heaven and Hell? I suspect Heaven is finally being able to get away from all of the toxic people who are destroying our world. I suspect Hell is being left with the same toxic people that evil people choose to support today, knowing they are wrong, and that they all threw away all of their opportunities. Hell won’t be a literal fire and brimstone, but a hell of the mind, knowing how stupid the choices were, and how much was lost.
Examples of how to recognize bad leaders (religious or not):
2 Peter 2:1
2 Corinthians 11:13-15
2 Peter 2:1-3