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Argument From Religious Experience

Envisage
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3/11/2015 5:32:09 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
Shameless self-promotion:
http://www.debate.org...

As an admiration, I have never had a religious experience of my own, I have missed out on that I guess. Who here is a theist by virtue of a religious experience? I know BornOfGod is one, any others?
EtrnlVw
Posts: 2,307
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3/11/2015 9:19:36 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 3/11/2015 5:32:09 AM, Envisage wrote:
Shameless self-promotion:
http://www.debate.org...

As an admiration, I have never had a religious experience of my own, I have missed out on that I guess. Who here is a theist by virtue of a religious experience? I know BornOfGod is one, any others?

Sure I've had "religious experience" although I would call it a spiritual experience as religion can't produce any experience on it's own. However my theist beliefs are not based on that it's just a part of it, spiritual experience is something that should be considered but I would never expect anyone to accept any such testimony as a fact and that is why I never pursue discussions involving them.
Envisage
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3/11/2015 9:25:33 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 3/11/2015 9:19:36 AM, EtrnlVw wrote:
At 3/11/2015 5:32:09 AM, Envisage wrote:
Shameless self-promotion:
http://www.debate.org...

As an admiration, I have never had a religious experience of my own, I have missed out on that I guess. Who here is a theist by virtue of a religious experience? I know BornOfGod is one, any others?

Sure I've had "religious experience" although I would call it a spiritual experience as religion can't produce any experience on it's own. However my theist beliefs are not based on that it's just a part of it, spiritual experience is something that should be considered but I would never expect anyone to accept any such testimony as a fact and that is why I never pursue discussions involving them.

But assuming you did have a noetic experience, and I see no reason to deny this premise, how does one conclude something theological?
celestialtorahteacher
Posts: 1,369
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3/11/2015 9:55:32 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
I was an atheist for many years before I became a believer in God and spiritual reality after undergoing a three day religious conversion experience. It's been 36 years now as a believer and no sign at all of ever returning to the lesser consciousness of atheism.

But here's the deal: People do get religious experiences and sometimes, like in BOG's case, they flip out and believe they are God's Chosen Vessel and try to start religions. When these false prophets get angry and it seems they often do about non-believers, they go for the violent conversion extremes, e.g. Muhammad and Joseph Smith, Jim Jones, David Koresh. Then there are the more mellow false prophets offering their big fat Books, like Urantia or Course in Miracles joining the ranks of Mormonism and Seventh Day Adventists, Jehovah's Witnesses. It seems that you can offer Scripts to people that if the scripts have enough verbiage in them they can snow believers into most any kind of bizarre cult beliefs, e.g. Scientology. Others are just weird primitive religions gussied up for modern consumption, e.g. Santaria.

I teach Celestial Torah Christianity which comes from spiritual experiences and God-guided research. I believe I am the only authentic Jewish prophesy bearer to come along in a long time but I would caution all of you to think twice about new revelation vs. old. You can usually spot the phonies both old and new by their strong tendencies to be totally intolerant of other peoples belief systems with penalties inflicted for straying outside the new chosen ones's scriptures. I bring a new revelation too but its wonderfully free of my own or any man's or any priesthood's agendas overlaid onto spiritual visions because of being astrologically based, i.e. stellar based where no one on earth can reach.
EtrnlVw
Posts: 2,307
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3/11/2015 10:32:56 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 3/11/2015 9:25:33 AM, Envisage wrote:
At 3/11/2015 9:19:36 AM, EtrnlVw wrote:
At 3/11/2015 5:32:09 AM, Envisage wrote:
Shameless self-promotion:
http://www.debate.org...

As an admiration, I have never had a religious experience of my own, I have missed out on that I guess. Who here is a theist by virtue of a religious experience? I know BornOfGod is one, any others?

Sure I've had "religious experience" although I would call it a spiritual experience as religion can't produce any experience on it's own. However my theist beliefs are not based on that it's just a part of it, spiritual experience is something that should be considered but I would never expect anyone to accept any such testimony as a fact and that is why I never pursue discussions involving them.

But assuming you did have a noetic experience, and I see no reason to deny this premise, how does one conclude something theological?

By examining scripture and it's framework. How else? The scripture is information, it's there to build off of theologically.
Harikrish
Posts: 11,004
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3/11/2015 10:35:11 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
I am a Vedantist raised in the Vedantic tradition a Hindu by birth. I was trained to read esoteric scriptures. I have had spiritual experiences during my meditative state that made me transcend my physical limitations and I felt a unity with the universe the very essence of our being. It helped my transform my attitudes and I remain enlightened from those experiences.
I have to lower my level of consciousness to participate in the discussions here, otherwise there is little I would have common with such pedestrian discussions.
For those what are not familiar with Hinduism might confuse spiritual entanglement with religious dogmas. I have no argument from religious experience. My goal has always been spiritual enlightenment. Namaste.
EtrnlVw
Posts: 2,307
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3/11/2015 10:38:58 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 3/11/2015 9:55:32 AM, celestialtorahteacher wrote:
I was an atheist for many years before I became a believer in God and spiritual reality after undergoing a three day religious conversion experience. It's been 36 years now as a believer and no sign at all of ever returning to the lesser consciousness of atheism.

But here's the deal: People do get religious experiences and sometimes, like in BOG's case, they flip out and believe they are God's Chosen Vessel and try to start religions. When these false prophets get angry and it seems they often do about non-believers, they go for the violent conversion extremes, e.g. Muhammad and Joseph Smith, Jim Jones, David Koresh. Then there are the more mellow false prophets offering their big fat Books, like Urantia or Course in Miracles joining the ranks of Mormonism and Seventh Day Adventists, Jehovah's Witnesses. It seems that you can offer Scripts to people that if the scripts have enough verbiage in them they can snow believers into most any kind of bizarre cult beliefs, e.g. Scientology. Others are just weird primitive religions gussied up for modern consumption, e.g. Santaria.

I teach Celestial Torah Christianity which comes from spiritual experiences and God-guided research. I believe I am the only authentic Jewish prophesy bearer to come along in a long time but I would caution all of you to think twice about new revelation vs. old. You can usually spot the phonies both old and new by their strong tendencies to be totally intolerant of other peoples belief systems with penalties inflicted for straying outside the new chosen ones's scriptures. I bring a new revelation too but its wonderfully free of my own or any man's or any priesthood's agendas overlaid onto spiritual visions because of being astrologically based, i.e. stellar based where no one on earth can reach.

Don't take this as me being a smart arse please, in the underlined what is the difference between that and what you have done? As I have never heard of Celestial Torah Christianity from anyone but you.....
Philocat
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3/11/2015 10:44:17 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
I am one of the few who is convinced by the argument from religious experience, not because of a experience I have had, but because of the sheer frequency of religious experiences among other people.
EtrnlVw
Posts: 2,307
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3/11/2015 10:56:57 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 3/11/2015 5:32:09 AM, Envisage wrote:
Shameless self-promotion:
http://www.debate.org...

As an admiration, I have never had a religious experience of my own, I have missed out on that I guess. Who here is a theist by virtue of a religious experience? I know BornOfGod is one, any others?

So you're in your 20's and I'm gonna go ahead and assume you were raised in a religious situation and now you have been an Atheist for a decent amount of time, I'd say that probably means in your heart you had already began converting while you were a teen, if that's the case do you believe that you gave a spiritual Christian lifestyle a chance according to what it even means to be a Christian in the first place?

Don't be insulted please I'm just curious and I would like to pick through your mind a little bit, correct me where I go wrong here...

You do understand Christianity is not a label, it's a commitment and a pursuit of God. What your parents believed in reality has nothing to do with your own spiritual walk in life, meaning you have to actually apply it.
EtrnlVw
Posts: 2,307
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3/11/2015 11:02:42 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 3/11/2015 10:44:17 AM, Philocat wrote:
I am one of the few who is convinced by the argument from religious experience, not because of a experience I have had, but because of the sheer frequency of religious experiences among other people.

Very open minded of you, I applaud you for considering it. Did you know that almost every single civilization and culture in Human history has testified to some kind of spiritual existence? That is overwhelming testimonial evidence that at minimum should be considered. Considering that is that spiritual activity is undeniable.
Angry_Bird
Posts: 64
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3/11/2015 11:03:29 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 3/11/2015 5:32:09 AM, Envisage wrote:
Shameless self-promotion:
http://www.debate.org...

As an admiration, I have never had a religious experience of my own, I have missed out on that I guess. Who here is a theist by virtue of a religious experience? I know BornOfGod is one, any others?

Religion ?.. Please, how do you define in the purest of terms.
Harikrish
Posts: 11,004
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3/11/2015 11:21:01 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 3/11/2015 10:44:17 AM, Philocat wrote:
I am one of the few who is convinced by the argument from religious experience, not because of a experience I have had, but because of the sheer frequency of religious experiences among other people.

80% of Americans believed Saddam Hussein had WMDs. They were wrong. To base you answer on the consensus of deluded people is not a very good scientific way of determining probability.
Envisage
Posts: 3,646
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3/11/2015 11:26:01 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 3/11/2015 10:56:57 AM, EtrnlVw wrote:
At 3/11/2015 5:32:09 AM, Envisage wrote:
Shameless self-promotion:
http://www.debate.org...

As an admiration, I have never had a religious experience of my own, I have missed out on that I guess. Who here is a theist by virtue of a religious experience? I know BornOfGod is one, any others?

So you're in your 20's and I'm gonna go ahead and assume you were raised in a religious situation and now you have been an Atheist for a decent amount of time, I'd say that probably means in your heart you had already began converting while you were a teen, if that's the case do you believe that you gave a spiritual Christian lifestyle a chance according to what it even means to be a Christian in the first place?

I was attending Chruch into my 20's, I didn't drop Christianity completely until a couple years ago. Logical problems just eroded at my belief. Once I looked at things from the perspective from a non-believer, it was a lot clearer how my preconceived notions were baiding my beliefs - which is why I take the approach of skepticism with virtually anything nowadays. I don't really see what this had to do with the topic at hand though.

Don't be insulted please I'm just curious and I would like to pick through your mind a little bit, correct me where I go wrong here...

I didn't become a nihilist overnight FYI, I reordered the closet once I decided to examine my philosophical stance on.... Everything.

You do understand Christianity is not a label, it's a commitment and a pursuit of God. What your parents believed in reality has nothing to do with your own spiritual walk in life, meaning you have to actually apply it.

Sure, that is what I believed too. The problem of whether or not the religion is true and God exists takes presidency however. I came to a conclusion I did not like and was forced to accept it.
popculturepooka
Posts: 7,924
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3/11/2015 11:57:00 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 3/11/2015 11:21:01 AM, Harikrish wrote:
At 3/11/2015 10:44:17 AM, Philocat wrote:
I am one of the few who is convinced by the argument from religious experience, not because of a experience I have had, but because of the sheer frequency of religious experiences among other people.

80% of Americans believed Saddam Hussein had WMDs. They were wrong. To base you answer on the consensus of deluded people is not a very good scientific way of determining probability.

The following propositions are compatible:
Consensus is sometimes wrong.
Consensus has evidential weight.

And it's simply implausible to suppose that so many people are systemically deluded. When millions - billions - of people report having religious experiences and we have no reason to doubt them that has significant evidential weight.
At 10/3/2016 11:49:13 PM, thett3 wrote:
BLACK LIVES MATTER!
Philocat
Posts: 728
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3/11/2015 12:14:21 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 3/11/2015 11:21:01 AM, Harikrish wrote:
At 3/11/2015 10:44:17 AM, Philocat wrote:
I am one of the few who is convinced by the argument from religious experience, not because of a experience I have had, but because of the sheer frequency of religious experiences among other people.

80% of Americans believed Saddam Hussein had WMDs. They were wrong. To base you answer on the consensus of deluded people is not a very good scientific way of determining probability.

Well that was because their government heavily implied that Saddam Hussein did have WMDs, few Americans would have thought that he had WMDs without being told it.

In contrast, religious experiences are often random occurrences that occur to random people without any apparent external influences.

Of course an argument ad populum cannot be used to establish deductive fact, but it definitely establishes inductive probability.
If millions of people claim to have experienced X, then it is overly skeptical to reject ALL of their individual testimonies and conclude that X does not exist.

Finally, what grounds have you got for calling mystics deluded?
Harikrish
Posts: 11,004
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3/11/2015 1:14:16 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 3/11/2015 12:14:21 PM, Philocat wrote:
At 3/11/2015 11:21:01 AM, Harikrish wrote:
At 3/11/2015 10:44:17 AM, Philocat wrote:
I am one of the few who is convinced by the argument from religious experience, not because of a experience I have had, but because of the sheer frequency of religious experiences among other people.

80% of Americans believed Saddam Hussein had WMDs. They were wrong. To base you answer on the consensus of deluded people is not a very good scientific way of determining probability.

Well that was because their government heavily implied that Saddam Hussein did have WMDs, few Americans would have thought that he had WMDs without being told it.

In contrast, religious experiences are often random occurrences that occur to random people without any apparent external influences.

Of course an argument ad populum cannot be used to establish deductive fact, but it definitely establishes inductive probability.
If millions of people claim to have experienced X, then it is overly skeptical to reject ALL of their individual testimonies and conclude that X does not exist.

Finally, what grounds have you got for calling mystics deluded?

Church leaders like politicians have a vested interest in controlling the message to influence a favourable outcome. The power of suggestion is almost cultish in Christian circles.

Scientific grounds for suspected delusional behaviour.

Kathleen Taylor, Neuroscientist, Says Religious Fundamentalism Could Be Treated As A Mental Illness

Quote:
An Oxford University researcher and author specializing in neuroscience has suggested that one day religious fundamentalism may be treated as a curable mental illness.
Skepticalone
Posts: 6,082
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3/11/2015 2:19:36 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 3/11/2015 11:57:00 AM, popculturepooka wrote:
At 3/11/2015 11:21:01 AM, Harikrish wrote:
At 3/11/2015 10:44:17 AM, Philocat wrote:
I am one of the few who is convinced by the argument from religious experience, not because of a experience I have had, but because of the sheer frequency of religious experiences among other people.

80% of Americans believed Saddam Hussein had WMDs. They were wrong. To base you answer on the consensus of deluded people is not a very good scientific way of determining probability.

The following propositions are compatible:
Consensus is sometimes wrong.
Consensus has evidential weight.

And it's simply implausible to suppose that so many people are systemically deluded. When millions - billions - of people report having religious experiences and we have no reason to doubt them that has significant evidential weight.

I don't believe you can back your claim that millions - billions - of people have had religious experiences. I believe it would be accurate to say some unknown number have had these types of experiences, but we cannot count all believers in that lot. So a "consensus" based on people we know having had some type of experience would not really be based on objective evidence. After all, your religious experience would give me no special knowledge, and my opinion based on your anecdotal account does not add to a valid objective consensus.
This thread is like eavesdropping on a conversation in a mental asylum. - Bulproof

You can call your invisible friends whatever you like. - Desmac

What the hell kind of coked up sideshow has this thread turned into. - Casten
Harikrish
Posts: 11,004
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3/11/2015 2:32:35 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 3/11/2015 2:19:36 PM, Skepticalone wrote:
At 3/11/2015 11:57:00 AM, popculturepooka wrote:
At 3/11/2015 11:21:01 AM, Harikrish wrote:
At 3/11/2015 10:44:17 AM, Philocat wrote:
I am one of the few who is convinced by the argument from religious experience, not because of a experience I have had, but because of the sheer frequency of religious experiences among other people.

80% of Americans believed Saddam Hussein had WMDs. They were wrong. To base you answer on the consensus of deluded people is not a very good scientific way of determining probability.

The following propositions are compatible:
Consensus is sometimes wrong.
Consensus has evidential weight.

And it's simply implausible to suppose that so many people are systemically deluded. When millions - billions - of people report having religious experiences and we have no reason to doubt them that has significant evidential weight.

I don't believe you can back your claim that millions - billions - of people have had religious experiences. I believe it would be accurate to say some unknown number have had these types of experiences, but we cannot count all believers in that lot. So a "consensus" based on people we know having had some type of experience would not really be based on objective evidence. After all, your religious experience would give me no special knowledge, and my opinion based on your anecdotal account does not add to a valid objective consensus.

But most Christians are deluded for the simple reason their acceptance is based on faith. And much of their personal experiences are then superimposed with their faith or rationalized by their faith. Faith by justification then permeates throughout their experiences making even ordinary chance happenings religiously significant. Eg. Only to the few survivors of the sunk Titanic was their survival a miracle.
Burzmali
Posts: 1,310
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3/11/2015 2:37:35 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 3/11/2015 11:57:00 AM, popculturepooka wrote:
At 3/11/2015 11:21:01 AM, Harikrish wrote:
At 3/11/2015 10:44:17 AM, Philocat wrote:
I am one of the few who is convinced by the argument from religious experience, not because of a experience I have had, but because of the sheer frequency of religious experiences among other people.

80% of Americans believed Saddam Hussein had WMDs. They were wrong. To base you answer on the consensus of deluded people is not a very good scientific way of determining probability.

The following propositions are compatible:
Consensus is sometimes wrong.
Consensus has evidential weight.

And it's simply implausible to suppose that so many people are systemically deluded. When millions - billions - of people report having religious experiences and we have no reason to doubt them that has significant evidential weight.

A bunch of people having what they describe as a "religious experience," devoid of all other detail is meaningless as regards the truth or accuracy of any one religion. If everyone, or even a simple majority, of those who have had a "religious experience" described almost identical scenarios, then that would be a step in the right direction. But every religious experience is described differently in small and large detail. So the best we could say, from that, is some folks have experienced something that has yet to be concretely explained.

To use an analogy, a dozen people with thermometers all saying that the temperature of the room is 89.6 to 90.8 degrees F is a consensus that the room is at a temperature of around 90 degrees. A dozen people all describing their level of thermal comfort as fine to hot pretty much just tells us they aren't in a functioning freezer. Yet folks such as yourself would have us believe they're in a sauna.
popculturepooka
Posts: 7,924
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3/11/2015 3:20:09 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 3/11/2015 2:19:36 PM, Skepticalone wrote:
At 3/11/2015 11:57:00 AM, popculturepooka wrote:
At 3/11/2015 11:21:01 AM, Harikrish wrote:
At 3/11/2015 10:44:17 AM, Philocat wrote:
I am one of the few who is convinced by the argument from religious experience, not because of a experience I have had, but because of the sheer frequency of religious experiences among other people.

80% of Americans believed Saddam Hussein had WMDs. They were wrong. To base you answer on the consensus of deluded people is not a very good scientific way of determining probability.

The following propositions are compatible:
Consensus is sometimes wrong.
Consensus has evidential weight.

And it's simply implausible to suppose that so many people are systemically deluded. When millions - billions - of people report having religious experiences and we have no reason to doubt them that has significant evidential weight.

I don't believe you can back your claim that millions - billions - of people have had religious experiences

There's been billions of religious believers throughout the ages (including the present age). It's not implausible that at least half have had religious experiences (and that's lowballing it tremendously).

. I believe it would be accurate to say some unknown number have had these types of experiences, but we cannot count all believers in that lot. So a "consensus" based on people we know having had some type of experience would not really be based on objective evidence.

Of course it would.

After all, your religious experience would give me no special knowledge, and my opinion based on your anecdotal account does not add to a valid objective consensus.

If someone I know who is especially smart, intellectually virtuous (tries to check their biases al the time), morally upstanding etc tells me that they've had a religious experience and I have no reason to doubt them then that would give me evidence that what the say is true. Now, when there are countless people, smart, dumb, good, evil, and everything in between across a range of time, a range of location, and a range of cultures saying they have had religious experience(s) but I personally haven't that would give me significant reason to believe them and that the experiences are veridical on some level.
At 10/3/2016 11:49:13 PM, thett3 wrote:
BLACK LIVES MATTER!
popculturepooka
Posts: 7,924
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3/11/2015 3:26:05 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 3/11/2015 2:37:35 PM, Burzmali wrote:
At 3/11/2015 11:57:00 AM, popculturepooka wrote:
At 3/11/2015 11:21:01 AM, Harikrish wrote:
At 3/11/2015 10:44:17 AM, Philocat wrote:
I am one of the few who is convinced by the argument from religious experience, not because of a experience I have had, but because of the sheer frequency of religious experiences among other people.

80% of Americans believed Saddam Hussein had WMDs. They were wrong. To base you answer on the consensus of deluded people is not a very good scientific way of determining probability.

The following propositions are compatible:
Consensus is sometimes wrong.
Consensus has evidential weight.

And it's simply implausible to suppose that so many people are systemically deluded. When millions - billions - of people report having religious experiences and we have no reason to doubt them that has significant evidential weight.

A bunch of people having what they describe as a "religious experience," devoid of all other detail is meaningless as regards the truth or accuracy of any one religion.

I wasn't talking about the truth or accuracy of any one religion.

If everyone, or even a simple majority, of those who have had a "religious experience" described almost identical scenarios, then that would be a step in the right direction.

Except that when you actually look at the literature many of the religious experiences (beyond the surface details) are remarkably similar in that they share a common core.

But every religious experience is described differently in small and large detail.

The same with any type of experience (like senses).

So the best we could say, from that, is some folks have experienced something that has yet to be concretely explained.


Which has religious significance.

To use an analogy, a dozen people with thermometers all saying that the temperature of the room is 89.6 to 90.8 degrees F is a consensus that the room is at a temperature of around 90 degrees. A dozen people all describing their level of thermal comfort as fine to hot pretty much just tells us they aren't in a functioning freezer. Yet folks such as yourself would have us believe they're in a sauna.

More like: person A sees a plane, person B sees a blimp, and person C sees a UFO. We all those descriptions can't be true but we can still come to the conclusion that they all saw something in the sky because, beyond the surface details, they have a common core.
At 10/3/2016 11:49:13 PM, thett3 wrote:
BLACK LIVES MATTER!
Skepticalone
Posts: 6,082
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3/11/2015 3:46:49 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 3/11/2015 3:20:09 PM, popculturepooka wrote:
At 3/11/2015 2:19:36 PM, Skepticalone wrote:
At 3/11/2015 11:57:00 AM, popculturepooka wrote:
At 3/11/2015 11:21:01 AM, Harikrish wrote:
At 3/11/2015 10:44:17 AM, Philocat wrote:
I am one of the few who is convinced by the argument from religious experience, not because of a experience I have had, but because of the sheer frequency of religious experiences among other people.

80% of Americans believed Saddam Hussein had WMDs. They were wrong. To base you answer on the consensus of deluded people is not a very good scientific way of determining probability.

The following propositions are compatible:
Consensus is sometimes wrong.
Consensus has evidential weight.

And it's simply implausible to suppose that so many people are systemically deluded. When millions - billions - of people report having religious experiences and we have no reason to doubt them that has significant evidential weight.

I don't believe you can back your claim that millions - billions - of people have had religious experiences

There's been billions of religious believers throughout the ages (including the present age). It's not implausible that at least half have had religious experiences (and that's lowballing it tremendously).

That seem a completely arbitrary number. How do we determine what is a reasonable percentage? Of all the believers you know, how many have had some type of religious experience? Honestly, of the hundreds - thousands - of believers I have known as a believer and non believer (my entire life) I am not aware off the top of my head any one who has had this type of experience. It is possible such an experience may not have been mentioned, but I have no way of knowing.

. I believe it would be accurate to say some unknown number have had these types of experiences, but we cannot count all believers in that lot. So a "consensus" based on people we know having had some type of experience would not really be based on objective evidence.

Of course it would.

Not in the proper usage of "objective" evidence. I cannot take your subjective story as objective evidence. Any consensus built on that type of evidence is not objective.

After all, your religious experience would give me no special knowledge, and my opinion based on your anecdotal account does not add to a valid objective consensus.

If someone I know who is especially smart, intellectually virtuous (tries to check their biases al the time), morally upstanding etc tells me that they've had a religious experience and I have no reason to doubt them then that would give me evidence that what the say is true. Now, when there are countless people, smart, dumb, good, evil, and everything in between across a range of time, a range of location, and a range of cultures saying they have had religious experience(s) but I personally haven't that would give me significant reason to believe them and that the experiences are veridical on some level.

No matter your opinion of your friend, he/she is certainly capable of being wrong. Basically, you are making your friend into an false authority. And as far as the "countless" people who have had experiences, it strikes me as an argument from popularity. Countless people also believed the Earth was flat, and the Sun revolved around the Earth, but they were wrong too. Large numbers of people on the bandwagon does not necessarily make it true.

Lastly, even if these experiences are true, that does not necessarily mean they speak of the same god, and in fact, I'm pretty sure they do not. Amazingly, most of these experiences are of the particular deity individuals are already familiar with. Muslims do not experience anything related to the Christian god, and Christians do not experience anything related to Vishnu of the Hindus, as a general rule. That would lead me to believe these experiences are inventions of the human mind.
This thread is like eavesdropping on a conversation in a mental asylum. - Bulproof

You can call your invisible friends whatever you like. - Desmac

What the hell kind of coked up sideshow has this thread turned into. - Casten
Burzmali
Posts: 1,310
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3/11/2015 4:15:20 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 3/11/2015 3:26:05 PM, popculturepooka wrote:
At 3/11/2015 2:37:35 PM, Burzmali wrote:
At 3/11/2015 11:57:00 AM, popculturepooka wrote:
At 3/11/2015 11:21:01 AM, Harikrish wrote:
At 3/11/2015 10:44:17 AM, Philocat wrote:
I am one of the few who is convinced by the argument from religious experience, not because of a experience I have had, but because of the sheer frequency of religious experiences among other people.

80% of Americans believed Saddam Hussein had WMDs. They were wrong. To base you answer on the consensus of deluded people is not a very good scientific way of determining probability.

The following propositions are compatible:
Consensus is sometimes wrong.
Consensus has evidential weight.

And it's simply implausible to suppose that so many people are systemically deluded. When millions - billions - of people report having religious experiences and we have no reason to doubt them that has significant evidential weight.

A bunch of people having what they describe as a "religious experience," devoid of all other detail is meaningless as regards the truth or accuracy of any one religion.

I wasn't talking about the truth or accuracy of any one religion.

It's meaningless with regard to the truth of any one religion, or religion in general.

If everyone, or even a simple majority, of those who have had a "religious experience" described almost identical scenarios, then that would be a step in the right direction.

Except that when you actually look at the literature many of the religious experiences (beyond the surface details) are remarkably similar in that they share a common core.

The only commonality they share, that is meaningful, is that they are unexplained. And many of them actually do wind up having explanations that are discovered later.

But every religious experience is described differently in small and large detail.

The same with any type of experience (like senses).

Can you explain that comment further? The way I'm reading it, it's incoherent.

So the best we could say, from that, is some folks have experienced something that has yet to be concretely explained.


Which has religious significance.


How does something so vague have religious significance?

To use an analogy, a dozen people with thermometers all saying that the temperature of the room is 89.6 to 90.8 degrees F is a consensus that the room is at a temperature of around 90 degrees. A dozen people all describing their level of thermal comfort as fine to hot pretty much just tells us they aren't in a functioning freezer. Yet folks such as yourself would have us believe they're in a sauna.

More like: person A sees a plane, person B sees a blimp, and person C sees a UFO. We all those descriptions can't be true but we can still come to the conclusion that they all saw something in the sky because, beyond the surface details, they have a common core.

I'll accept that analogy as well. Folks who place any value in the supposed consensus of those kinds of experiences would have us believe that they know more about the significance of the sight than can actually be discerned.
popculturepooka
Posts: 7,924
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3/11/2015 4:28:14 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 3/11/2015 3:46:49 PM, Skepticalone wrote:
At 3/11/2015 3:20:09 PM, popculturepooka wrote:
At 3/11/2015 2:19:36 PM, Skepticalone wrote:
At 3/11/2015 11:57:00 AM, popculturepooka wrote:
At 3/11/2015 11:21:01 AM, Harikrish wrote:
At 3/11/2015 10:44:17 AM, Philocat wrote:
I am one of the few who is convinced by the argument from religious experience, not because of a experience I have had, but because of the sheer frequency of religious experiences among other people.

80% of Americans believed Saddam Hussein had WMDs. They were wrong. To base you answer on the consensus of deluded people is not a very good scientific way of determining probability.

The following propositions are compatible:
Consensus is sometimes wrong.
Consensus has evidential weight.

And it's simply implausible to suppose that so many people are systemically deluded. When millions - billions - of people report having religious experiences and we have no reason to doubt them that has significant evidential weight.

I don't believe you can back your claim that millions - billions - of people have had religious experiences

There's been billions of religious believers throughout the ages (including the present age). It's not implausible that at least half have had religious experiences (and that's lowballing it tremendously).

That seem a completely arbitrary number. How do we determine what is a reasonable percentage? Of all the believers you know, how many have had some type of religious experience?

Pretty much all of them. I'm sure you have some religious members in your family or your friends. Ask them if they've had at least one religious experience. I can almost guarantee at least half of them have.

Honestly, of the hundreds - thousands - of believers I have known as a believer and non believer (my entire life) I am not aware off the top of my head any one who has had this type of experience. It is possible such an experience may not have been mentioned, but I have no way of knowing.


Have you ever talked about it?

. I believe it would be accurate to say some unknown number have had these types of experiences, but we cannot count all believers in that lot. So a "consensus" based on people we know having had some type of experience would not really be based on objective evidence.

Of course it would.

Not in the proper usage of "objective" evidence. I cannot take your subjective story as objective evidence. Any consensus built on that type of evidence is not objective.


All testimony is subjective then according to you as they all necessarily involved "subjective stories".

After all, your religious experience would give me no special knowledge, and my opinion based on your anecdotal account does not add to a valid objective consensus.

If someone I know who is especially smart, intellectually virtuous (tries to check their biases al the time), morally upstanding etc tells me that they've had a religious experience and I have no reason to doubt them then that would give me evidence that what the say is true. Now, when there are countless people, smart, dumb, good, evil, and everything in between across a range of time, a range of location, and a range of cultures saying they have had religious experience(s) but I personally haven't that would give me significant reason to believe them and that the experiences are veridical on some level.

No matter your opinion of your friend, he/she is certainly capable of being wrong.

I never said they weren't.

;Basically, you are making your friend into an false authority.

Not true at all. If you know someone is respectable in many other ways then when they tell you they had an experience, absent any special reason to disbelieve them, you should believe things are as the probably experienced. If they are respectable that raises the evidential weight. There is such a thing as expert testimony.

And as far as the "countless" people who have had experiences, it strikes me as an argument from popularity. Countless people also believed the Earth was flat, and the Sun revolved around the Earth, but they were wrong too. Large numbers of people on the bandwagon does not necessarily make it true.


I never said it did. Just because large number of people in the relevant fields believe evolution doesn't make it true, but it does count as evidence for YOU believing that evolution is true. Because is what the consensus is. But that doesn't mean that they couldn't be wrong.

Lastly, even if these experiences are true, that does not necessarily mean they speak of the same god, and in fact, I'm pretty sure they do not. Amazingly, most of these experiences are of the particular deity individuals are already familiar with.

yeah, most of our experiences including everyday sense experience are colored by cultural and sociologocial background. That mere fact doesn't count against sense experience in general so it shouldn't count against religious experience. All observation is theory laden.*

*http://plato.stanford.edu...

For instance, back in the middle ages there was signs of a huge nova in the sky. The Chinese recorded but medievial Europeans didn't. But the Europeans saw it. They didn't record because, at the time, their cosmology was hugely influenced by Greek philosophy which said the cosmos were static and didn't change. In essence, they didn't record and observe it because of a cosmology there were already familiar with. Does that count against observation in general? Nope.

Muslims do not experience anything related to the Christian god, and Christians do not experience anything related to Vishnu of the Hindus, as a general rule. That would lead me to believe these experiences are inventions of the human mind.

Seems like you'd actually have to examine the religious experiences in question. And the people have done so have come to the conclusion that many of these claims have a general common core.
At 10/3/2016 11:49:13 PM, thett3 wrote:
BLACK LIVES MATTER!
Philocat
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3/11/2015 5:32:42 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 3/11/2015 1:14:16 PM, Harikrish wrote:
At 3/11/2015 12:14:21 PM, Philocat wrote:
At 3/11/2015 11:21:01 AM, Harikrish wrote:
At 3/11/2015 10:44:17 AM, Philocat wrote:
I am one of the few who is convinced by the argument from religious experience, not because of a experience I have had, but because of the sheer frequency of religious experiences among other people.

80% of Americans believed Saddam Hussein had WMDs. They were wrong. To base you answer on the consensus of deluded people is not a very good scientific way of determining probability.

Well that was because their government heavily implied that Saddam Hussein did have WMDs, few Americans would have thought that he had WMDs without being told it.

In contrast, religious experiences are often random occurrences that occur to random people without any apparent external influences.

Of course an argument ad populum cannot be used to establish deductive fact, but it definitely establishes inductive probability.
If millions of people claim to have experienced X, then it is overly skeptical to reject ALL of their individual testimonies and conclude that X does not exist.

Finally, what grounds have you got for calling mystics deluded?

Church leaders like politicians have a vested interest in controlling the message to influence a favourable outcome. The power of suggestion is almost cultish in Christian circles.

Yes, but many mystics have been non-religious or agnostic at the time of their experience. How could they have been influenced by the Church?
But even with active theists, religious experiences are not simply reinterpretations of ordinary experiences, they are numinous and life-changing. Such an experience could not simply be caused by the Church's influence.

Scientific grounds for suspected delusional behaviour.

Kathleen Taylor, Neuroscientist, Says Religious Fundamentalism Could Be Treated As A Mental Illness

Quote:
An Oxford University researcher and author specializing in neuroscience has suggested that one day religious fundamentalism may be treated as a curable mental illness.

1. The grounds for supposing that religious fundamentalism is a mental illness are based on the preconception that their beliefs are intrinsically false (i.e God does not exist). Yet if God does exist, then it cannot reasonably asserted that they are mentally ill.

2. I know these are supposedly intelligent scholars, but the concept that fundamentalist religion is a mental illness is utter b*llshit. Just because they happen to disagree with fundamentalists it does not mean that they can assume that they are mentally ill.
It's basically like me saying, 'you're a communist but I don't believe communism to be valid, therefore you must be mentally ill because I cannot possibly be wrong'. It just reeks of bigotry.

3. The majority of religious people are not fundamentalists.
RuvDraba
Posts: 6,033
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3/11/2015 6:26:03 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 3/11/2015 5:32:09 AM, Envisage wrote:
Who here is a theist by virtue of a religious experience?

Not me, but I understand that any anyone can be, by staging an experience a subject will find religious: not simply a wondrous event; it's possible to prime and induce overwhelming private and subjective awe and love.

Stage psychoillusionist Derren Brown demonstrates in How to Convert an Atheist:

https://www.youtube.com...
RuvDraba
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3/11/2015 6:36:43 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 3/11/2015 5:32:42 PM, Philocat wrote:

1. The grounds for supposing that religious fundamentalism is a mental illness are based on the preconception that their beliefs are intrinsically false (i.e God does not exist). Yet if God does exist, then it cannot reasonably asserted that they are mentally ill.

I don't think it's that simple, Philocat. Even if there were a creator who welcomed and desired worship, and even if such worship were at times beneficial, there is no guarantee that religious zealotry about any particular divinity would be properly directed or the best way to engage.

Since religious zealotry is possible for almost any faith, they can't all be right. Therefore there is evidence that at least some zealotry is deluded and disordered. And to the extent that zealotry oft demands cruel and unreasonable sacrifice -- not just of self, but innocents and dependents -- lives, safety, dignity, prosperity, and freedom -- that zealotry at least could be considered a psychosocial affliction.

And if some zealotry can be considered that way, how should any of it be differentiated? (That's a serous question, not a rhetorical one.)

3. The majority of religious people are not fundamentalists.

It's not about whether someone is a religious zealot, but if and when they are. Consider the passions fans at sports events or music concerts can sometimes get into. Consider what happens when unemployment rises, resources grow scarce, or people feel threatened by foreigners or strangers. Consider what happens to populations of otherwise kind and law-abiding people when the economy collapses and a charismatic leader arises claiming spiritual authority, and a harsh but inevitable path to prosperity and happiness.
Harikrish
Posts: 11,004
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3/11/2015 7:28:26 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 3/11/2015 5:32:42 PM, Philocat wrote:
At 3/11/2015 1:14:16 PM, Harikrish wrote:
At 3/11/2015 12:14:21 PM, Philocat wrote:
At 3/11/2015 11:21:01 AM, Harikrish wrote:
At 3/11/2015 10:44:17 AM, Philocat wrote:
I am one of the few who is convinced by the argument from religious experience, not because of a experience I have had, but because of the sheer frequency of religious experiences among other people.

80% of Americans believed Saddam Hussein had WMDs. They were wrong. To base you answer on the consensus of deluded people is not a very good scientific way of determining probability.

Well that was because their government heavily implied that Saddam Hussein did have WMDs, few Americans would have thought that he had WMDs without being told it.

In contrast, religious experiences are often random occurrences that occur to random people without any apparent external influences.

Of course an argument ad populum cannot be used to establish deductive fact, but it definitely establishes inductive probability.
If millions of people claim to have experienced X, then it is overly skeptical to reject ALL of their individual testimonies and conclude that X does not exist.

Finally, what grounds have you got for calling mystics deluded?

Church leaders like politicians have a vested interest in controlling the message to influence a favourable outcome. The power of suggestion is almost cultish in Christian circles.

Yes, but many mystics have been non-religious or agnostic at the time of their experience. How could they have been influenced by the Church?
But even with active theists, religious experiences are not simply reinterpretations of ordinary experiences, they are numinous and life-changing. Such an experience could not simply be caused by the Church's influence.

Scientific grounds for suspected delusional behaviour.

Kathleen Taylor, Neuroscientist, Says Religious Fundamentalism Could Be Treated As A Mental Illness

Quote:
An Oxford University researcher and author specializing in neuroscience has suggested that one day religious fundamentalism may be treated as a curable mental illness.

1. The grounds for supposing that religious fundamentalism is a mental illness are based on the preconception that their beliefs are intrinsically false (i.e God does not exist). Yet if God does exist, then it cannot reasonably asserted that they are mentally ill.

2. I know these are supposedly intelligent scholars, but the concept that fundamentalist religion is a mental illness is utter b*llshit. Just because they happen to disagree with fundamentalists it does not mean that they can assume that they are mentally ill.
It's basically like me saying, 'you're a communist but I don't believe communism to be valid, therefore you must be mentally ill because I cannot possibly be wrong'. It just reeks of bigotry.

3. The majority of religious people are not fundamentalists.
But when they are the correlation is staggering.

80% of Americans polled as Christians. Highest among developed countries.
More Americans Suffer From Mental Disorders Than Anyone Else
It has the highest incarceration rate
It has the highest gun ownership in the world
It has the highest drug consumption in the world
It has the highest gun related deaths and highway deaths in the world.
It holds the record of wars participated in by a country.
It has the highest military spending budget equal to the combined expenditure of all the other developed countries combined.
The correlation between Christian fundamentalism and mental illness is well supported American statistics.
UndeniableReality
Posts: 1,897
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3/11/2015 7:29:29 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 3/11/2015 5:32:09 AM, Envisage wrote:
Shameless self-promotion:
http://www.debate.org...

As an admiration, I have never had a religious experience of my own, I have missed out on that I guess. Who here is a theist by virtue of a religious experience? I know BornOfGod is one, any others?

I'm an atheist who has had religious experiences, if that counts for partial points.
Envisage
Posts: 3,646
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3/11/2015 8:06:22 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 3/11/2015 7:29:29 PM, UndeniableReality wrote:
At 3/11/2015 5:32:09 AM, Envisage wrote:
Shameless self-promotion:
http://www.debate.org...

As an admiration, I have never had a religious experience of my own, I have missed out on that I guess. Who here is a theist by virtue of a religious experience? I know BornOfGod is one, any others?

I'm an atheist who has had religious experiences, if that counts for partial points.

Do you still have them? Are there circumstances where they happen more often than otherwise?