Total Posts:10|Showing Posts:1-10
Jump to topic:

Theists & the Fallacy of Personal Revelation

jat93
Posts: 1,440
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
11/13/2012 2:37:44 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
Do you believe that God has appeared to you personally and given you a divine revelation of access to his perfect being?

Theists only believe this because it makes it impossible for "non-believers" to reject their hypothesis about God. Once you say that you have had a personal revelation from God, the only things that could possibly disqualify it are a) logical explanations of why you having a divine revelation are unlikely and b) questioning your own personal sanity. Theists have set up the intellectual debate, via their dominance over it for thousands of years, such that it is almost impossible for the atheist to win an argument with a theist, unless the atheist objects to and changes the terms of the argument (linguistically, philosophically, etc). Theists have made themselves foolproof from the force of intellect/reason by Western religion's ultimate reliance on on authority and on popularity.

If you have indeed had a personal revelation from God, I am curious and have a riddle for you: What differentiates you from someone in an insane asylum who has been shunned by society and locked away for believing so strongly that his own ideas and over-active imagination are actually projections of a real world external of his individual mind's skewed perception... when ultimately his delusions are simply based on having certain very strong, very real feeling imaginative perceptions/sensory experiences that give him the illusion that they are really "out there" in the real world? These effects can all be perfectly and lucidly felt while under the influence of mind-altering drugs, by the way; DMT users have sworn they were in the afterlife while under the influence of the drug, for example.

I believe there is very little objective difference between someone who honestly, passionately feels like God spoke/speaks to them personally, and the "insane" person I just described. The only difference is whether or not these things are socially acceptable. Religious delusion is socially acceptable. When it comes to other delusions that are not socially acceptable, and the deluders that delude them, our society merely ignores them by essentially throwing them in a cage, away from the "normal people" so we don't have to see them, interact with them, and ultimately pity them because we are reminded of the fact that when we see an insane person, we see a bit of ourselves looking right back at us, because we feel empathy with all humans whether we like it or not... and this makes us scared/threatened.

If you think God appeared to you/conversed with you/shows his will to you, you are experiencing delusions, and you might just be an insane person who happens to believe in some of the rather more ridiculous myths of religious thinking. Depending on the severity, I would recommend doing copious amounts of safe but mind altering psychedelic drugs to make you realize that nothing you think you know for sure, not even your own sanity, is certain by any means.
AlwaysMoreThanYou
Posts: 2,900
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
11/13/2012 2:57:43 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
There's nothing wrong with being insane. It's not like you have any way to verify that your own mental facilities are operating as they ought to.

That having been said, I would be extremely skeptical of 'personal revelation'. It is, however, an easy card to play when you don't know how else to advocate for your side.
'When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth; for he will not speak on his own authority, but whatever he hears he will speak, and he will declare to you the things that are to come.' - John 16:13
Paradox_7
Posts: 1,870
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
11/13/2012 3:35:19 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 11/13/2012 2:37:44 PM, jat93 wrote:
Do you believe that God has appeared to you personally and given you a divine revelation of access to his perfect being?

I have never seen God, nor heard audible words from him; not that I know of anyway. In regards to divine revelation, yes, I believe this is what I recieved. But, what is divine revelation? What does it contribute?

I'd say, per the scriptures, that my revelation allows me to understand my condition as a man; it exposes my ineffectual will and understanding. This is a miracle in its own right as you, and many others, display that lack of conviction and understanding. I would be this same way given to myself; as I can understand and relate to the arguments made by none believer such as you-- it's all very appealing.

So, divine revelation, isn't much of moral or intellectual boost... It's a slap across the face while you're in a dead sleep. I cannot make excuses for my condition, I cannot divert the blame, and I feel inescapable guilt for the unrighteousness I produce.

Theists only believe this because it makes it impossible for "non-believers" to reject their hypothesis about God. Once you say that you have had a personal revelation from God, the only things that could possibly disqualify it are a) logical explanations of why you having a divine revelation are unlikely and b) questioning your own personal sanity.

This is getting more to your point.. and this is what trips me out the most about human kind. You're so predictable.

Theists have set up the intellectual debate, via their dominance over it for thousands of years, such that it is almost impossible for the atheist to win an argument with a theist, unless the atheist objects to and changes the terms of the argument (linguistically, philosophically, etc). Theists have made themselves foolproof from the force of intellect/reason by Western religion's ultimate reliance on on authority and on popularity.

Then change the terms of argument. You will never discover what I've been given. You may accept that God is real, and you may seek for an appealing religion to subscribe to, but you will never find the truth; It can only find you.

It's humbling. I have no part in my understanding, other then recieving it.

You sound to frustrated throughout this whole post, it makes me wonder if you are insecure in your position. Would you so adamantly dispute a belief in Dragon Ball Z? If a person entered these forums, with a genuine argument for the reality of the DBZ culture and physical//spiritual abilities, would you be so angry? I doubt it.. i doubt you'd even discuss anything with them.

If you have indeed had a personal revelation from God, I am curious and have a riddle for you: What differentiates you from someone in an insane asylum who has been shunned by society and locked away for believing so strongly that his own ideas and over-active imagination are actually projections of a real world external of his individual mind's skewed perception... when ultimately his delusions are simply based on having certain very strong, very real feeling imaginative perceptions/sensory experiences that give him the illusion that they are really "out there" in the real world? These effects can all be perfectly and lucidly felt while under the influence of mind-altering drugs, by the way; DMT users have sworn they were in the afterlife while under the influence of the drug, for example.

Like i said above, it all comes down to your understanding of divine revelation. So far, you seem to think it's some sort of telekenetic ability to download knowledge and information from God, or that he pops in on us looking like some old white guy with a grey beard and sandals... The fact that you would even compare normal men and women to the insane, rings to familiar to things that have happened all throughout history.

If one were to combine your train of thought, with those who swear theists are a danger to society, you'd get to common ground with every other homicidal maniac thats ever attempted to exterminate the entirety of his fellow man.

Tread lightly.

I believe there is very little objective difference between someone who honestly, passionately feels like God spoke/speaks to them personally, and the "insane" person I just described. The only difference is whether or not these things are socially acceptable. Religious delusion is socially acceptable.

And, your point is that religion shouldn't be socially acceptable right? Unless we concede to 'most-likely' being wrong. That way you don't look exactly like hitler.

When it comes to other delusions that are not socially acceptable, and the deluders that delude them, our society merely ignores them by essentially throwing them in a cage, away from the "normal people" so we don't have to see them, interact with them, and ultimately pity them because we are reminded of the fact that when we see an insane person, we see a bit of ourselves looking right back at us, because we feel empathy with all humans whether we like it or not... and this makes us scared/threatened.

I agree with this last part, but it's not limited to the insane.

If you think God appeared to you/conversed with you/shows his will to you, you are experiencing delusions, and you might just be an insane person who happens to believe in some of the rather more ridiculous myths of religious thinking.

Agree'd.

Depending on the severity, I would recommend doing copious amounts of safe but mind altering psychedelic drugs to make you realize that nothing you think you know for sure, not even your own sanity, is certain by any means.

Trust me, none of that sh*t helpd at all.. If anything it drives people further into their delusion. Speaking from person experience, psychedelic drugs are the worst for critical thinkinging.. not because you can't do it, but because it's not reliable.
: At 10/23/2012 8:06:03 PM, tvellalott wrote:
: Don't be. The Catholic Church is ran by Darth Sidius for fvck sake. As far as I'm concerned, you're a bona fide member of the Sith.
Solanale
Posts: 8
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
11/13/2012 3:53:40 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
Could you say a similar thing about religious people who have claimed to visit heaven/hell during a near death experience?
"Damn, those were some good tacos"-Martin Luther King, Jr.
Solanale
Posts: 8
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
11/13/2012 3:55:37 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 11/13/2012 3:53:40 PM, Solanale wrote:
Could you say a similar thing about religious people who have claimed to visit heaven/hell during a near death experience?

Actually, I guess a NDE would be under the category of "divine revelation", so my question is already answered.
"Damn, those were some good tacos"-Martin Luther King, Jr.
philochristos
Posts: 2,614
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
11/13/2012 4:05:18 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
Although I believe in God, I've never had any sort of experience that I could definitely identify as having been an experience of God. I've never heard a voice or seen a vision or even felt a presence. I've met lots of people who claim to have had these experiences, and they usually describe it in different ways, but I've never had any experience that resembles the way any of these people describe theirs.

It's true that it's hard to argue with a subjective experience. I've faced this when talking to Mormons and Muslims. The personal experience always trumps the argument.

But that's not to say you can't win debates with these people. A debate is when you present public evidence to make your case--evidence that everybody can example. When a person says they've had a personal experience, that isn't public information. That's private information. That's evidence they claim to have but can't show you, so it doesn't count in the debate. Since it doesn't count, you can still win the debate.

But you may not be able to win the person, and I think in that case, you should just live with it. After all, suppose you're accused of a crime you didn't commit, and you know you didn't commit the crime because you weren't there when the crime took place, and you have perfect memory of what you were doing when the crime took place. But somebody has obviously framed you because the evidence against you looks very strong. Well, no amount of evidence is going to convince you that you committed the crime when you know good and well that you didn't. You may not be able to show somebody else your memories, and you may not have an alibi, so you may not be able to defend yourself, but that doesn't mean you aren't perfect within your epistemic rights in thinking you are innocent. In the same way, a person who has an a subjective experience with God may be perfectly within their epistemic rights in believing in God even if they can't defend his existence.

All you can do is offer arguments. If a person is lying about having had some experience with God, the they'll see the weight of your arguments. Their "religious experience" might help them save face in a debate, but it isn't going to do any epistemological work for them. So go ahead and make your arguments, and don't worry about being trumped by personal experience.

I don't think people who have had religious experience are like insane people. People aren't put in hospitals and asylums just for having hallucinations or delusions. Usually these people are mentally unstable in other ways. So we need not determine whether some experience is real or imagined before we decide whether to institutionalize or medicate somebody.

After all, it could be that all of us are plugged into the Matrix, and none of this is real. Maybe we're all suffering a hallucination. Or maybe it's just you. Maybe all of us are just part of your over active imagination. After all, all perception is subjective, and it's an open question whether any of our perceptions correspond to an external world. You can't appeal to common accepted belief to get out of this one because that would be circular reasoning. The only way you could know that belief in the external world WAS common is to appeal to your perceptions. Should we lock you up, then?

I think it is perfectly rational for people who actually have subjective experiences with God to believe that God exists as long as they have no independent reason to think their cognitive faculties aren't working right. For example, if they exhibit erratic behavior or crazy fits and outbursts, then we might question whether they are in their right minds. But if they've also got independent arguments for the existence of God (whether you find them convincing or not), then it is perfectly rational to believe their subjective experience.
"Not to know of what things one should demand demonstration, and of what one should not, argues want of education." ~Aristotle

"It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it." ~Aristotle
DanielChristopherBlowes
Posts: 1,066
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
11/13/2012 4:20:20 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 11/13/2012 2:37:44 PM, jat93 wrote:
Do you believe that God has appeared to you personally and given you a divine revelation of access to his perfect being?

Theists only believe this because it makes it impossible for "non-believers" to reject their hypothesis about God. Once you say that you have had a personal revelation from God, the only things that could possibly disqualify it are a) logical explanations of why you having a divine revelation are unlikely and b) questioning your own personal sanity. Theists have set up the intellectual debate, via their dominance over it for thousands of years, such that it is almost impossible for the atheist to win an argument with a theist, unless the atheist objects to and changes the terms of the argument (linguistically, philosophically, etc). Theists have made themselves foolproof from the force of intellect/reason by Western religion's ultimate reliance on on authority and on popularity.

If you have indeed had a personal revelation from God, I am curious and have a riddle for you: What differentiates you from someone in an insane asylum who has been shunned by society and locked away for believing so strongly that his own ideas and over-active imagination are actually projections of a real world external of his individual mind's skewed perception... when ultimately his delusions are simply based on having certain very strong, very real feeling imaginative perceptions/sensory experiences that give him the illusion that they are really "out there" in the real world? These effects can all be perfectly and lucidly felt while under the influence of mind-altering drugs, by the way; DMT users have sworn they were in the afterlife while under the influence of the drug, for example.

I believe there is very little objective difference between someone who honestly, passionately feels like God spoke/speaks to them personally, and the "insane" person I just described. The only difference is whether or not these things are socially acceptable. Religious delusion is socially acceptable. When it comes to other delusions that are not socially acceptable, and the deluders that delude them, our society merely ignores them by essentially throwing them in a cage, away from the "normal people" so we don't have to see them, interact with them, and ultimately pity them because we are reminded of the fact that when we see an insane person, we see a bit of ourselves looking right back at us, because we feel empathy with all humans whether we like it or not... and this makes us scared/threatened.

If you think God appeared to you/conversed with you/shows his will to you, you are experiencing delusions, and you might just be an insane person who happens to believe in some of the rather more ridiculous myths of religious thinking. Depending on the severity, I would recommend doing copious amounts of safe but mind altering psychedelic drugs to make you realize that nothing you think you know for sure, not even your own sanity, is certain by any means.

Visual or auditory hallucinations associated with mental illness, such as schizophrenia, are accompanied by various other symptoms; an inability to function in personal relationships and in a working environment, severe mood swings including depression and suicidal impulses.

My personal revelation of Jesus Christ actually had the exact reverse effect on my life; before it I had a mild and prosaic manic depression, a litany of failed relationships and found it impossible to hold down jobs.

I now have healthy and enduring relationships, I've had the same job for over 3 yrs as well a Bible reading ministry, weight training and learning to play (badly) the piano..

In short, I am functioning.
Everyone on the side of Truth listens to Me. (Jesus Christ)
truthseeker613
Posts: 464
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
11/15/2012 7:29:33 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 11/13/2012 2:37:44 PM, jat93 wrote:
Do you believe that God has appeared to you personally and given you a divine revelation of access to his perfect being?

NO.
Theists only believe this because it makes it impossible for "non-believers" to reject their hypothesis about God. Once you say that you have had a personal revelation from God, the only things that could possibly disqualify it are a) logical explanations of why you having a divine revelation are unlikely and b) questioning your own personal sanity. Theists have set up the intellectual debate, via their dominance over it for thousands of years, such that it is almost impossible for the atheist to win an argument with a theist, unless the atheist objects to and changes the terms of the argument (linguistically, philosophically, etc). Theists have made themselves foolproof from the force of intellect/reason by Western religion's ultimate reliance on on authority and on popularity.

If you have indeed had a personal revelation from God, I am curious and have a riddle for you: What differentiates you from someone in an insane asylum who has been shunned by society and locked away for believing so strongly that his own ideas and over-active imagination are actually projections of a real world external of his individual mind's skewed perception... when ultimately his delusions are simply based on having certain very strong, very real feeling imaginative perceptions/sensory experiences that give him the illusion that they are really "out there" in the real world? These effects can all be perfectly and lucidly felt while under the influence of mind-altering drugs, by the way; DMT users have sworn they were in the afterlife while under the influence of the drug, for example.

I believe there is very little objective difference between someone who honestly, passionately feels like God spoke/speaks to them personally, and the "insane" person I just described. The only difference is whether or not these things are socially acceptable. Religious delusion is socially acceptable. When it comes to other delusions that are not socially acceptable, and the deluders that delude them, our society merely ignores them by essentially throwing them in a cage, away from the "normal people" so we don't have to see them, interact with them, and ultimately pity them because we are reminded of the fact that when we see an insane person, we see a bit of ourselves looking right back at us, because we feel empathy with all humans whether we like it or not... and this makes us scared/threatened.

If you think God appeared to you/conversed with you/shows his will to you, you are experiencing delusions, and you might just be an insane person who happens to believe in some of the rather more ridiculous myths of religious thinking. Depending on the severity, I would recommend doing copious amounts of safe but mind altering psychedelic drugs to make you realize that nothing you think you know for sure, not even your own sanity, is certain by any means.

Devils advocate:

Lets put it the other way around:

Suppose you live in a world in which almost every one believed in god, and they had "arguments" to "prove" it.
Suppose you don't find them convincing, would you presume that there must be something wrong with you.

Just because there are crazy people who think they see god,
doesn't mean any one he thinks they see god is crazy.

It is unrealistic to ignore your own perceptions, just because someone else who is crazy had the same perceptions.

And question all your may sound nice but it doesn't work.

"I think therefore I am", is not a practical out look on life, but rather a philosophical one.

You question only personal revelations, but what about mass revelations?
http://www.nydailynews.com...

royalpaladin: I'd rather support people who kill spies than a nation that organizes assassination squads (Kidon) to illegally enter into other nations and kill anybody who is not a Zionist. Who knows when they'll kill me for the crime of not supporting Israel?

Koopin: LOL! I just imagine Royal sitting in here apartment at night, when suddenly she hears a man outside speaking Hebrew as sh
MouthWash
Posts: 2,607
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
11/16/2012 8:53:06 AM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 11/13/2012 2:37:44 PM, jat93 wrote:
Do you believe that God has appeared to you personally and given you a divine revelation of access to his perfect being?

Theists only believe this because it makes it impossible for "non-believers" to reject their hypothesis about God. Once you say that you have had a personal revelation from God, the only things that could possibly disqualify it are a) logical explanations of why you having a divine revelation are unlikely and b) questioning your own personal sanity. Theists have set up the intellectual debate, via their dominance over it for thousands of years, such that it is almost impossible for the atheist to win an argument with a theist, unless the atheist objects to and changes the terms of the argument (linguistically, philosophically, etc). Theists have made themselves foolproof from the force of intellect/reason by Western religion's ultimate reliance on on authority and on popularity.

If you have indeed had a personal revelation from God, I am curious and have a riddle for you: What differentiates you from someone in an insane asylum who has been shunned by society and locked away for believing so strongly that his own ideas and over-active imagination are actually projections of a real world external of his individual mind's skewed perception... when ultimately his delusions are simply based on having certain very strong, very real feeling imaginative perceptions/sensory experiences that give him the illusion that they are really "out there" in the real world? These effects can all be perfectly and lucidly felt while under the influence of mind-altering drugs, by the way; DMT users have sworn they were in the afterlife while under the influence of the drug, for example.

I believe there is very little objective difference between someone who honestly, passionately feels like God spoke/speaks to them personally, and the "insane" person I just described. The only difference is whether or not these things are socially acceptable. Religious delusion is socially acceptable. When it comes to other delusions that are not socially acceptable, and the deluders that delude them, our society merely ignores them by essentially throwing them in a cage, away from the "normal people" so we don't have to see them, interact with them, and ultimately pity them because we are reminded of the fact that when we see an insane person, we see a bit of ourselves looking right back at us, because we feel empathy with all humans whether we like it or not... and this makes us scared/threatened.

If you think God appeared to you/conversed with you/shows his will to you, you are experiencing delusions, and you might just be an insane person who happens to believe in some of the rather more ridiculous myths of religious thinking. Depending on the severity, I would recommend doing copious amounts of safe but mind altering psychedelic drugs to make you realize that nothing you think you know for sure, not even your own sanity, is certain by any means.

Summary: If you think God appeared to you, then how do you know you just aren't a nut?
"Well, that gives whole new meaning to my assassination. If I was going to die anyway, perhaps I should leave the Bolsheviks' descendants some Christmas cookies instead of breaking their dishes and vodka bottles in their sleep." -Tsar Nicholas II (YYW)