One of the things that my future son does that annoys me is that he tells people (and us) that he sees visions of the future. This is usually tied directly into his belief in ghosts and the supernatural. Almost every vision has to do with something he wants and dreams of having. Last night he mentions another "vision" he had and then asks if I believe in visions. This is a hard one to answer, I told him. Because I don't want to downplay what you believe, but I also think that there are rational explanations to visions. So I told him about how I used to experience dreams and visions, some about the future. And I believed that God must have sent those dreams and visions to me. I lied to people about how they were from god when a part of me always knew that I had just come up with it in my imagination or that it was just a dream. Yet, when I began to analyze them, even when I was still a Christian, I began to question them. I was surrounded by religion as a child, we talked about heaven and hell all the time. Is it any wonder that I would have dreams about heaven? I also have a very active imagination and my church talked about the end times all the time. Is it any wonder that I would imagine scenarios about the end times? No. In fact, I wouldn't expect anything less.
My biggest issue with visions, I told him, is that I have never seen one come true. My mom prays all the time and tells me about things she saw that she believes God showed her. Her "visions" always seem to align with what she wants and most of the time they don't come true. You would think someone with a low batting average for correctly prophesying would stop after a while, but the rationale simply isn't there. "My mom and her friend told everyone that the other woman's cheating husband was going to come back to her. They prayed for three days and believed that this is what God told them. And they were wrong. Really wrong. He ended up marrying the lady he cheated with, had another child with her, and has been happily married for almost twenty years now." This, I finally told him, is when I began to question people having visions and talking to God. They can't all be talking to God, because everyone is coming up with completely different things. Catholics. Protestants. Jews. Evangelicals. The people who claim to see visions of the end times have been wrong. Every. Single. Time. In the end, there are many mysteries in this world and I would love to know the answers to them and will continually seek out an answer. Maybe that answer will lead me to a god, but I will only accept that answer based on evidence. I am no longer filling in the blank of a mystery with GOD.
I encouraged him to write down his visions in as much detail as possible and date them. Convoluted Confuscisms are not good enough. Evidence that his visions are real will show itself in time. If he believes that he is actually having visions and that it isn't a product of wishful thinking, an active imagination, or a desire to impress other people; this could be the evidence the world needs. But, I reminded him, so far there is no such evidence. Not a single person among the billions of people on this planet have been able to prove that human beings can have regular true visions from a deity. And even if you can prove that you are having visions of the future, that does not prove the existence of any one god. All it proves is that somehow you are seeing visions of the future. "And I must warn you," I told him. "This is how new religions and cults start. One leader claiming they can do something that no one else can. Convincing others. And then shaping religion to match whatever crazy notions of enlightenment they have come up with."
I'm not sure how this kid got so caught up in all this supernatural beliefs as it seems rather contrary to what his bio mom taught him, but he is obsessed. To the point where we won't allow him to watch horror films or shows. Don't want to provide him with more imagination fodder. Frankly, it's like he is a small child. Sure, there are plenty of adults who believe in ghosts, but most don't have a panic attack when they hear a noise they don't recognize.
Last night he sat down on the couch and the light flickered. He immediately freaked out. Jumped up, came running into our bedroom with fear in his eyes. My husband gave him a withering look and said, "Dude, your powers of deductions are terrible. You should look for natural explanations before immediately jumping to supernatural." He then showed him that there was a power strip that sits against the back of the couch. (I hate that it is there as it IS a fire hazard) When he sat down hard, the plug connected to the lamp moved a bit, which made the light flicker. "It also could have been a bulb going bad, a criss-crossed wire, the power strip failing or being shut off, or the lamp breaking since it was only $5. You need to analyze these things better." Coming from my god-believing husband, this was accepted. We have assured this kid multiple times that our apartment really really isn't haunted. My husband absolutely believes in ghosts and even he is like...kid, this place is unbelievably supernatural free. But this kid has an imagination and he will not be deterred.
I just hope that we have given him some things to think about. That he begins to really analyze the things he believes and quits jumping on the supernatural bandwagon every time a light flickers or he starts daydreaming.
This is a personal, but secret, blog archiving my deconversion from a Christian to a non-believer.