Meta vs Logic Lad: Part 1 of Meta's first speech

Metacrock vs All comers; other can also reserve. this is for 1x1 debate, please do not respond if you are not specifically demarcated as part of the debate.

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Meta vs Logic Lad: Part 1 of Meta's first speech

Post by Metacrock » Sat Sep 21, 2013 8:29 am

I am hoping my friend Logic lad will come to the boards. If he does if he wants to debate me 1x1 he's welcome. If he doesn't no shame. It's not a sign he's not smart of anything of the kind. Some people just don't like he format. so whatever he wants to do.

if he wants to debate then here we are.


I have two basic argument but I'll start with an overview:

My point is not to prove the existence of God. Since God is not given in sense data he can't be the object of empirical proof. Trying to subject God to empirical proof is like trying to demand empirical proof of the reality of experience or the laws of phsyics. Science accepts the potential existence of things that are not proved by empirical data, such as dark matter, string membranes and the like. We do expect that someday such things might be possible. Yet physicists have said string theory might be unprovable. muliverse and origin for the Bigbang might also be unprovable. no one stops talking about them. Scientists don't stop talking about it on that basis.

The atheist is trying to draw from the mystique of scinece and apply it even to matters that can't be proved. So they expect the scientific aura of truth to adhere even to matters that are unprovable by phsyics. But they refuse to accept it for religious ideas.

Therefore my goal in argument is not proof but warrant. I argue that belief in God is rationally warranted.I will demonstrate this with empirical proof. What is being proved is the warrant not the existence of God.

Warrant is basically like permission. It's saying if an idea is warranted there is a reason to believe it.

Now I will present three arguments that show rational warrant for belief. The first one is logical but is presented in abductive from. That is a scientific from of logic that makes make it into an hypothesis. It basically says what conditions would we expect to find if this state of affairs were true. The proof itself is logical.

The next two will be based upon empirical scientific evidence.

I. Argument from Transcendental Signifier.


________________________
Definitions
________________________


(1) Signifier:

The term used of written words in the linguistic theories know as "structuralism" and in the theories of French Linguist Ferdinand Saussure. A signifier is a "mark," that is writing, which designates a concept forming a word, that which points to an object as the thing that it is and no other. ie, a physical tree is the signified, the object of the signifier "t-r-e-e."

(2) Signified

the reality to which a signifier points.


(3)Transcendental Signifier (TS):


The signification mark (word) which refers to the top of metaphysical hierarchy; the organizing principle which makes sense of all sense data and groups it into a meaningful and coherent whole, through which meaning can be understood. (Aka "TS").

(4) Transcendental Signified:

The corollary, the thing the Transcendental Signifier signifies, is the "Transcendental Signifiered The actual reality to which the Transcendental Signifier points.
(designated as "TSed")



________________________
Preliminary Observations:
the nature of the Christian
view of God

________________________

The Christian view of God is that of a example of the transcendental signified: The top of the metaphsyical hierarchy who not only creates the world but judges all truth, bestows all meaning and wiht it lends theological significance to the world.

________________________
If There is a God, We would expect to see:
________________________

I. Meaning would be bestowed in terms of a metaphysical hierarchy leading back to a universe sense of truth at the time and issuing a cascade of hierarchical organizing principles that bestow meaning by virtue of their authentication from the top.

II. We should see some kind of relationship between God and the TSed. or than the just the TS "God."

________________________
Argument: here's what we do see
________________________

(1) Any rational, coherent and meaningful view of the universe must of necessity presuppose an organizing principle which makes sense of the universe and explains the hierarchy of conceptualization.

(2) Organizing principles are summed up in a single first principle which grounds any sort of metaphysical hierarchy, the Transcendental Signifier (TS)

(3) It is impossible to do without a Transcendental Signifier, all attempts to do so have ended in the re-establishment of a new TS. This is because we cannot organize the universe without a principle of organizing.

(4)TS functions Uniquely as Top of The Metaphysical Hierarchy.It's function is mutually exclusive.

(5)The all pervasive nature of the TS is a good reason to assume that it's real.


6) The signifier "God" is one version of the TS, that is to say, God functions in the divine economy exactly as the TS functions in a metaphysical hierarchy.

7) Since "God" is a version of the TS, and since TS and God concept share a unique function which should be mutually exclusive, the logical conclusion is that: God and TS share identity.ie "God" concept is discretion of the Transcendental Signified.

8)Since the TS should be assumed as real, and TS and God share identity, we should assume that God is the Transcendental Signified, and thus is an actual reality.

rational warrant for belief in God's existence, QED.

________________________
If there is no God,
we should expect to see:
________________________


No meaning. Of cousre there would be hierarchical principles of language but the ultimate meaning would just break down, Derrida's principle of Deconstruction would work and his ultimate lat step would prove there is no ultimate meaning.

________________________
Here is what we do see:
________________________


Derrida follows the moves from Heidegger's Parmenides book. This means that both he and Heidegger affirm the inescapable nature of metaphysical hierarchies. Yes this undermines his whole project because deconstruction is an attempt to do away with metaphsyical hierarchies. Yet if they are inescapable then the project fails before it starts and there must be ultimate meaning some place. Thus we a good reason to believe that there is this all pervasive nature to Transcendental Signifiers, thus there must be a real TSed that actually does bestow meaning and theological significance.
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Part 2 of Meta's first speech

Post by Metacrock » Sat Sep 21, 2013 8:45 am

Argument II: Miracles

(1) miracles can't be proved directly becuase there is always an epistemic gap between Cause and effect.

(2) We can make reasonable inference about causes, this is the standard basis for accepting cause and effect anyway, if there is a very tight correlation.

(3) there are case in which the only differing aspect is prayer, all other variables are constant and no other cures have been effected.

(4) Thus it is reasonable to assume in such cases that miracle has occurred.

.....(a) Lourdes miracles use strict rules

http://www.doxa.ws/other/Miracles.html


.....(b) 700 remarkable cases and 65 or so official miracles represent the strictness of the rules.


The Marian Library Newsletter

No. 38 (New Series)
Summer, 1999

"In the last one hundred years, over 6,500 individuals have reported cures to the Medical Bureau. Of these, at least 2,500 cases are considered truly remarkable, but they lack some requirement needed to allow them to advance to the next stage--witnesses, evidence, lack of agreement on the nature of the ailment. In the last twenty years, there have been reports of about twenty cases of extraordinary cures or healings, about one a year. Mr. Bély's healing is the 66th cure occurring at Lourdes which has been officially recognized by ecclesiastical authorities. The recognition by church authorities has been a feature of Lourdes for a total of sixty- three years of its history."

Updated material form Lourdes this summer show 7000 remarkable cases.

.....(c) the inexplicable nature of the cases are upheld by medical historians.

a team of medical historians writing in a major medical journal document their work in the Lourdes archives and find that the cures are still unexplained. I link to an article by me on my blog but the link there is to the original article.
http://religiousapriori.blogspot.com/20 ... cures.html


.....(d) protestant evidence such as that of Casdrough backs up Lourdes.

.........(d1) Casdrouph
http://www.doxa.ws/other/miracles5.html

.........(d2)
also Catholic source, another medical historian, Jaqulin Douffin wrote a book about her work in the Vatican archives. She documents the existence of 1400 miracles. Again this is my review of her book.

http://religiousapriori.blogspot.com/20 ... s-and.html


(5) Miracles are not a priori proof of God but they are a rational warrant for belief: the bleief that God actually healed is a good reason to believe in God.
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Part 3 of Meta's first speech (LAST)

Post by Metacrock » Sat Sep 21, 2013 9:08 am

III. argument from epistemic judgement.

this argument is in 3 parts. (A) argument from co-determinate (B) from criteria (C) universal nature of the experiences.

(A) co-determinate

...(1) definition of co-determinate

Co-determinate: The co-determinate is like the Derridian trace, or like a fingerprint. It's the accompanying sign that is always found with the thing itself. In other words, like trailing the invisable man in the snow. You can't see the invisable man, but you can see his footprints, and wherever he is in the snow his prints will always follow.

We cannot produce direct observation of God, but we can find the "trace" or the co-determinate, the effects of God in the wrold.

The only question at that ponit is "How do we know this is the effect, or the accompanying sign of the divine? But that should be answere in the argument below. Here let us set out some general perimeters:

(2) The trace produced content with speicificually religious affects

(3)The affects led one to a renewed sense of divine relaity, are transformative of life goals and self actualization

(4) Cannot be accounted for by alteante cuasality or other means.

Argument
......(a)There are real affects from Mystical experience.

......(b)These affects cannot be reduced to naturalistic cause and affect, bogus mental states or epiphenomena.

......(c)Since the affects of Mystical consciousness are independent of other explaintions we should assume that they are genuine.

......(d)Since mystical experience is usually experience of something, the Holy, the sacred some sort of greater transcendent reality we should assume that the object is real since the affects or real, or that the affects are the result of some real higher reality.

......(e)The true measure of the reality of the co-determinate is the transformation power of the affects.

http://csp.org/experience/docs/unitive_ ... sness.html

Also called Transcendent Experiences, Ego-Transcendence, Intense Religious Experience, Peak Experiences, Mystical Experiences, Cosmic Consciousness Sources Wuthnow, Robert (1978). Peak Experiences: Some Empirical Tests. Journal of Humanistic Psychology, 18 (3), 59-75.

Noble, Kathleen D. (1987). ``Psychological Health and the Experience of Transcendence.'' The Counseling Psychologist, 15 (4), 601-614.

Lukoff, David & Francis G. Lu (1988). ``Transpersonal psychology research review: Topic: Mystical experiences.'' Journal of Transpersonal Psychology, 20 (2), 161-184.

Furthermore, Greeley found no evidence to support the orthodox belief that frequent mystic experiences or psychic experiences stem from deprivation or psychopathology. His ''mystics'' were generally better educated, more successful economically, and less racist, and they were rated substantially happier on measures of psychological well-being.
(Charles T. Tart, Psi: Scientific Studies of the Psychic Realm, p. 19.)

Long-Term Effects
Wuthnow:

Say their lives are more meaningful, think about meaning and purpose
Know what purpose of life is
Meditate more
Score higher on self-rated personal talents and capabilities
Less likely to value material possessions, high pay, job security, fame, and having lots of friends
Greater value on work for social change, solving social problems, helping needy
Reflective, inner-directed, self-aware, self-confident life style

Noble:

Experience more productive of psychological health than illness
Less authoritarian and dogmatic
More assertive, imaginative, self-sufficient, intelligent, relaxed
High ego strength, relationships, symbolization, values, integration, allocentrism, psychological maturity, self-acceptance, self-worth, autonomy, authenticity, need for solitude, increased love and compassion

(B) Epistemic Judgement

(1) No empirical evidence can prove the existence of the external world, other minds, or the reality of history, or other such basic things.

(2) We do not find this epistemological dilemma debilitating on a daily basis because we assume that if our experiences are consistent and regular than we can navigate in "reality" whether it is ultimately illusory of not.

(3) Consistency and regularity of personal experience is the key.

(4) religious experience can also be regular and consistent, perhaps not to the same degree, but in the same way.

(5) Subjective

RE of this type has a commonality shared by believers all over the world, in different times and different places, just as the external world seems to be perceived the same by everyone.

(6) Real and Lasting effects.


(7) therefore, we have as much justification for assuming religious belief based upon experience as for assuming the reality of the external world or the existence of other minds.

(C) Universal nature of experiences

(1) When the names are taken out and the experiences themselves are recorded they are all alike.

this is documented by Ralph Hood Jr. in his articles about the M scale that he invented,which is a test devised to determine if religious experiences are authentic or not. Read the article which I wrote that sums up what I'm saying:

http://religiousapriori.blogspot.com/20 ... re-of.html

(2) The actual evidence is the universal nature of the experienced as documented in the essay I just linked to.

(3) The universal aspect is important.

religion is a cultural construct it has to limited to each culture by definition. The experiences should not be universal. the fact that they are is a good indication that there is something out there.

In other words the overall argument, co-determinate, criteria for epistemic judgement and the universal nature of religious expedience, the overall argument is saying that we have reason to associate these experiences with God, they conform to the criteria by which we judge the reality of our experiences, thus we should regard them as real and trust worthy and as being from God, and the proof of this is in both the result of having had the experiences (life transformation) and the universe nature of them.
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Re: Meta vs Logic Lad: Part 1 of Meta's first speech

Post by LogicLad » Thu Feb 06, 2014 7:58 am

Meta

I am not a fan of the formal debate format, partly because I am unfamiliar with it and partly because it makes things feel a bit less friendly also I don’t have the time to compose long arguments, however I am more than happy to engage with your opening remarks and hope that leads to a good discussion
As background for anyone else reading this, I am an atheist, read quite a bit but have no formal training in philosophy or argumentation so if I have to ask basic questions do try to be patient, straight away from Meta’s opening piece there are a number of concepts that are just flying straight past me
I suppose the first thing that comes to mind with Meta’s opening is to challenge the statement
‘God is not given in sense data’
If an entity can have a physical interaction with the universe i.e. cause changes to occur then that being can be sensed or at least their actions can be. I may not be able to see the wind, but I can see the flag moving, the result gives me cause to postulate the existence of the cause.
While I accept there are scientific theories that we currently can’t test directly that doesn’t mean we never could, it just means that we have reached the limit of our current technology. Also these theories live and die on their predictive power, even if we can’t directly test string theory, it can be used to produce expected outcomes that can then be looked for, this is what they do at places like CERN.
An extension to this would be, if there is an entity that is beyond all ability for our senses to detect, either directly or by their actions then what difference does it make if they exist or not, to our material universe they are an irrelevance.
Transcendental Signifier
I am having a difficult time wrapping my brain around this, but I think what you are saying is that there has to be a name for the basis on which all reality is built, fair enough I suggest Bob. You can call it anything you want; calling it God does not give it any other features than a name.
As to the specific logical arguments I think I have the biggest problem with
‘The signifier "God" is one version of the TS’
Surely this should be
‘The signifier “God” is postulated to be a version of the TS’
You have presented no reason to believe that “God“ actually is a version of a TS you have simply stated that it is. Again going back to my ‘giving something a name does not bestow any other characteristics on it’ argument.
I may have just made a complete ass of myself, like I said I am no philosopher and I am having real trouble following this argument.

Argument from Miracles
The counter to this appears to be correlation does not suggest causation, just because someone preyed and they got better does not mean the preying did it.
Please give me some evidence of properly controlled tests that showed that preying affected a cure, because all the studies I have heard of came out dead against that result.
Lets look at the Lourdes thing,
We have 2,500 remarkable cures at Lourdes, a significant number, according to Wikipedia anything up to 5,000,000 pilgrims can visit Lourdes in a year, most of them very ill, that is after all why they are making a pilgrimage to a healing shrine, just by random chance some of them will get better while they are there, no need for a divine explanation, and of those that get better some of these will be from things that medicine has already done everything they can. So this tiny number of remarkable cures feels less like divine grace and more like spontaneous remission. Unless any of these cures involves regrowing limbs or similar things considered impossible there is no reason to invoke miracles. As a further question i wonder how many pilgrims die at Lourdes?

Argument from epistemic judgement
This argument seems to come down to
‘I feel like there is a divine, therefore there is’
There seems to be the suggestion that because people all around the world have similar experiences then they must all have the same source, I don’t disagree, the human mind is almost exactly the same no matter what continent you live on, however everyone seems to have slightly different experiences, this is due to the cultural lenses that all people have to view the world, American evangelicals may speak in tongues, while Buddhists see visions of the divine, the same piece of brain chemistry being filtered in different ways.
I also need to question your assertion of
‘There are real affects from Mystical experience’
Please give me one example of a real effect from a ‘Mystical’ experience, that can’t be accounted for by local atmospherics, mass hysteria or just plain miss understanding.
Your examples taken from the studies is interesting but speaks nothing of the truth of mystical beliefs, only on the effect of holding them. People can firmly believe all manner of strange and untrue things, these beliefs can have a real impact on the way they interact with the world and on their perceptions, so I fail to see why I should accept that people who feel they benefit from religious beliefs proves that the beliefs are real.
While I get the whole we cannot truly know the world idea, that’s why we test and repeat things. I can drop a fixed weight, from a fixed weight all day and it will take the same time to hit the ground every time (all other variables being controlled for) my perception is irrelevant to the actuality of the happening. However nearly every religious experience is unique to the subject, they cannot be used to predict future experiences and what commonality there is can be understood by the cultural surroundings of the subject. So I think suggesting that religious experience is as sound a basis as physical experience for basing our concepts of reality on is outright wrong.
As we have discussed on my blog, while the above is interesting we are really in the height of airy philosophy. Not many actual believers would understand your god concept or recognise the god you describe.
More interesting is how do you jump for this version of a divine being to the god you actually worship? That is the really interesting thing to be addressed in my opinion.
However happy to talk about whatever.

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Re: Meta vs Logic Lad: Part 1 of Meta's first speech

Post by Metacrock » Thu Feb 06, 2014 4:08 pm

LogicLad wrote:Meta

I am not a fan of the formal debate format, partly because I am unfamiliar with it and partly because it makes things feel a bit less friendly also I don’t have the time to compose long arguments, however I am more than happy to engage with your opening remarks and hope that leads to a good discussion
As background for anyone else reading this, I am an atheist, read quite a bit but have no formal training in philosophy or argumentation so if I have to ask basic questions do try to be patient, straight away from Meta’s opening piece there are a number of concepts that are just flying straight past me
then we will just scrap the formal debate and have a discussion.
I suppose the first thing that comes to mind with Meta’s opening is to challenge the statement
‘God is not given in sense data’
If an entity can have a physical interaction with the universe i.e. cause changes to occur then that being can be sensed or at least their actions can be. I may not be able to see the wind, but I can see the flag moving, the result gives me cause to postulate the existence of the cause.
God does do that. First because he created the whole and it can be demonstrated that there is no other satisfactory theory of ultimate origin. Secondly though religious experience. That's what's happening in experiencing the presence of God, one is sensing the effects of God upon the human heart/psyche.

While I accept there are scientific theories that we currently can’t test directly that doesn’t mean we never could, it just means that we have reached the limit of our current technology. Also these theories live and die on their predictive power, even if we can’t directly test string theory, it can be used to produce expected outcomes that can then be looked for, this is what they do at places like CERN.
that's just an expression of faith. Why do you get to express faith in your transcendental signifier (scinece) and I don' t get to express it in mine (God)?


An extension to this would be, if there is an entity that is beyond all ability for our senses to detect, either directly or by their actions then what difference does it make if they exist or not, to our material universe they are an irrelevance.
same situation with string theory or dark matter. We can't verify them but according to the theory it makes a huge difference becuase they explain things like gravity. That's merely analogous to God. First he created it all that would make the ultimate difference. Had he not done so nothing would be. Secondly, because he saves us for eternal life that makes a huge difference as well. As it so happens our experience of God's presence changes our lives in concrete ways in the here and now.

I also have a problem with the argument you make becuase it assumes God is just a thing in creation that can be detected and if something is not then it can't be. it's us the reference point for all reality .like if something doesn't appear to us so we can know of it then it can't exist.

Transcendental Signifier
I am having a difficult time wrapping my brain around this, but I think what you are saying is that there has to be a name for the basis on which all reality is built, fair enough I suggest Bob. You can call it anything you want; calling it God does not give it any other features than a name.
that's hardly the issue. The issue of just needing a name is not it at all. The importance of bringing up names is to point out that there's a broad based understanding of the same reality but different names for such that we don't realize we are talking about the same thing. God, the laws of physics, Higher power, zeitgeist, the one, the forms, and so on they are all pointing to the same reality.
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Re: Meta vs Logic Lad: Part 1 of Meta's first speech

Post by Metacrock » Thu Feb 06, 2014 4:38 pm

part 2
As to the specific logical arguments I think I have the biggest problem with
‘The signifier "God" is one version of the TS’
Surely this should be
‘The signifier “God” is postulated to be a version of the TS’
You have presented no reason to believe that “God“ actually is a version of a TS you have simply stated that it is. Again going back to my ‘giving something a name does not bestow any other characteristics on it’ argument.
I may have just made a complete ass of myself, like I said I am no philosopher and I am having real trouble following this argument.
Yes I did give a reason to think God is a version of the TS. I quoted Derrida saying it's the ultimate idea of it. Derrida is the major thinker who dealt with the concept of TS. We have a point of confusion. When Is that I just mean what Chrsitians mean by "God" and what others mean by these other terms such as "the one" (Plato) those are all either the same reality or pointing to the same reality.

you probably think of "God" as a proper name like Fred Smith and so you think I'm talking about the actual God in the OT. for me the way is pictured in the OT is just a cultural development that's used as a place holder for the real thing that is beyond our understanding.
Argument from Miracles
The counter to this appears to be correlation does not suggest causation, just because someone preyed and they got better does not mean the preying did it.
Please give me some evidence of properly controlled tests that showed that preying affected a cure, because all the studies I have heard of came out dead against that result.
Lets look at the Lourdes thing,
All causation is nothing more than the assumption of cause based upon correlation. That's really all that's behind any concept of cause. It's not even true that mechanism is a second step becuase even mechanism is based upon correlation: how else do we know we have the right mechanism? When the only factor that can be accounted is prayer than that's a good enough reason to assume it was an answer to prayer. it's the same kind of reasoning that got smoking labeled as a cause of cancer.


We have 2,500 remarkable cures at Lourdes, a significant number, according to Wikipedia anything up to 5,000,000 pilgrims can visit Lourdes in a year, most of them very ill, that is after all why they are making a pilgrimage to a healing shrine, just by random chance some of them will get better while they are there, no need for a divine explanation, and of those that get better some of these will be from things that medicine has already done everything they can. So this tiny number of remarkable cures feels less like divine grace and more like spontaneous remission. Unless any of these cures involves regrowing limbs or similar things considered impossible there is no reason to invoke miracles. As a further question i wonder how many pilgrims die at Lourdes?
several things wrong with they way you are thinking about it.

(1) it's actually 7000 not 5, that figure is out of date.

(2) you assume that all the people who to Lourdes have some kind of promise of being healed. no one does. The healing should have stopped in the 1800s because there is no promise no bible verse or not anything that says it has to keep going.

(3) my theory of zones explains that. you have to be in the zone to get healed. There's no obligation on God's part.

(4) it's not a field trial for a drug no rule that ways God must do this automatically just becuase we asked.

(5) There are probably thousands of healings that dont' go through the documentation channels. We know there are several million claims that are so sloppy documented they wouldn't bother to check them or they are not reported at all. There are way more crutches and stuff left there then there seen in official channel reports.

The remarkable cases are ones that go through the official channels and just barely don't get taken becuase of a technical problem in the documentation. There are lots of others that are not even reported. many of them could well be real.
Argument from epistemic judgement
This argument seems to come down to
‘I feel like there is a divine, therefore there is’
Nope! It's saying there is an epistemological gap at the basis of reality that we can't resolve. We don't let that stop us because we use a criteria to go around the problem. We just use that criteria to determine what's real. Religious experience fits that criteria so we should assume it's real.


There seems to be the suggestion that because people all around the world have similar experiences then they must all have the same source, I don’t disagree, the human mind is almost exactly the same no matter what continent you live on, however everyone seems to have slightly different experiences, this is due to the cultural lenses that all people have to view the world, American evangelicals may speak in tongues, while Buddhists see visions of the divine, the same piece of brain chemistry being filtered in different ways.
I also need to question your assertion of
‘There are real affects from Mystical experience’
only some evangelicals speak in tongues primarily Asian based Buddhists have visions. Buddhists are not known for visions. No matter. The semitrailer of brain is not a factor that argues for similarity of experience. If it was we wouldn't need cultural lenses.

religious symbols are cultural and religious experience is culturally bound. That they have the same experiences around the world is a good argument that there is an objective reality to experience.

Please give me one example of a real effect from a ‘Mystical’ experience, that can’t be accounted for by local atmospherics, mass hysteria or just plain miss understanding.
lower incidents of depression and mental illness. A tendency to be haled from those things after expericing mystical. That can't be due to any sort of hysteria becuase hysteria is part of a mental problem those are not transformational. Those tend to wear people down over time rather than making their lives better.

Your examples taken from the studies is interesting but speaks nothing of the truth of mystical beliefs, only on the effect of holding them. People can firmly believe all manner of strange and untrue things, these beliefs can have a real impact on the way they interact with the world and on their perceptions, so I fail to see why I should accept that people who feel they benefit from religious beliefs proves that the beliefs are real.
that's unrealistic rationalizing there's no way to account for the regularity and long term nature of the positive with an absence of any real long term negative. trying to minimize it and reduce it to the level of a coincidence or some naturalistic thing is not practical there's no data to support it. No way to explain why it's always positive, it has no negatives that are long term, an accident or a mental illness or a deprivation or nutritional problem could not produce that. That kind of thing just does not result in long term positive transformations.

While I get the whole we cannot truly know the world idea, that’s why we test and repeat things. I can drop a fixed weight, from a fixed weight all day and it will take the same time to hit the ground every time (all other variables being controlled for) my perception is irrelevant to the actuality of the happening. However nearly every religious experience is unique to the subject, they cannot be used to predict future experiences and what commonality there is can be understood by the cultural surroundings of the subject. So I think suggesting that religious experience is as sound a basis as physical experience for basing our concepts of reality on is outright wrong.
200 studies over 50 years in academic journals is pretty good testing. are you willing to accept the testing when it disproves your assumptions? I find that most atheists can't live consistently with their views becuase science disproves their ideas they just refuse to accept it as scinece.


As we have discussed on my blog, while the above is interesting we are really in the height of airy philosophy. Not many actual believers would understand your god concept or recognise the god you describe.
First of all you are underrating the level of seminary education in America. Secondly that's just appeal to popularity. So what? If I was the only person who knew the truth it would still be true. Besides if you really believed that you should be a Christians atheism is a tiny minority fringe element with no cultural capital. Atheism is not growing. I've uncovered their scams to bolster their figures, they are are not growing they are stuck around 3% of world popularity. Christianity is 35%. 80% of USA while atheists are less 6%. In fact that pew study of 2007 said ahtiesm is 1.6% so if it is 3% that's assuming it doubled.

More interesting is how do you jump for this version of a divine being to the god you actually worship? That is the really interesting thing to be addressed in my opinion.
However happy to talk about whatever.
I don't know what version you think you are talking about. The concept of mystical experience is that we don't get God. God is beyond our understanding. it's refusal to pin God down. So God could fit the God of the Bible, and there are lots of expression in the bible to the effect that God beyond our understanding. "your ways are not my ways, your thoughts are not my thoughts." Moreover, there has a Christian mystical experience throughout history. It's in the Bible and it's in the earliest records of Christian monasticism.

Christian mysticism is a huge tradition, look it up.
Have Theology, Will argue: wire Metacrock
Buy My book: The Trace of God: Warrant for belief

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