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my "philosophy" as a humanist
#76

my "philosophy" as a humanist
(05-01-2024, 12:36 PM)SteveII Wrote:
(05-01-2024, 01:02 AM)pattylt Wrote: There is none beside me.
I am the Lord, and there is none else.
I form the light, and create darkness:
I make peace, and create evil:
I the Lord do all these things

Ooops!

Did you bother to look up the Hebrew word? No, of course not. It is specifically not moral evil (which is what we are talking about). All modern translations use the word calamity.

    7       I form light and create darkness;
    I make well-being and create calamity;
    I am the LORD, who does all these things. (ESV)

Further, do you think that in the 1189 chapters in 39 books that form the Bible there might be other verses that help understand the principle of moral evil other than a verse that does not even apply?  No, that would be to understand the thing you so confidently dismiss.

Steve…I use the JPS version…the Jewish one translated from the original Hebrew.  Christian bibles used to translate it the same…ie. KJV.  Christians are the ones that NEEDED to change the translation in order to fit their theology.  Jews have always believed that god created both good and evil.

So, my ooops stands.
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#77

my "philosophy" as a humanist
(05-01-2024, 12:17 PM)SteveII Wrote: Exactly! Empirical does not mean detectable. The atheist talking points usually say to demand empirical evidence. That is the wrong standard. The universe, all the events in outlined in the Bible, all the personal experiences with God are all 'detectable'...obviously.
em·pir·i·cal
based on, concerned with, or verifiable by observation or experience rather than theory or pure logic.
"they provided considerable empirical evidence to support their argument"

Quote:Why would there be empirical evidence for the supernatural? Empirical evidence is for natural things. You cut off all other (and more proper) epistemological avenues and think that you have a reliable conclusion. If you were to spell it all out, you would see the question-begging argument for Naturalism for what it is.
Why indeed.
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#78

my "philosophy" as a humanist
(05-01-2024, 03:51 PM)Paleophyte Wrote:
(05-01-2024, 12:17 PM)SteveII Wrote: Exactly! Empirical does not mean detectable. The atheist talking points usually say to demand empirical evidence. That is the wrong standard. The universe, all the events in outlined in the Bible, all the personal experiences with God are all 'detectable'...obviously.

Clearly you read that back to front.
 - Empirical means detectable and measurable. That's pretty much the definition.
 - ISupernatural is a weasle word but I was taking it to mean detectable but inexplicable.
 - Anything that isn't detectable is Inconsequential. It can never affect the natural world.

Why should the supernatural be inexplicable? It seems like you might be starting a question-begging line of reasoning.

Quote:Personal experiences are empirical evidence of anedata. Congrats, you've proven that believers exist.

You are confused as to the claim here. The claim is the personal experience of God caused peace, a changed life, renewed hope, etc. These are tangible effects. It is certainly a question-begging argument to claim, as it seems you do, that the experiences are not veridical and the effects are not real. In other words, since you can't possibly know, you are starting with the premise: God does not exist, therefore... xxxx and that's why I think God does not exist.

Quote:Biblical passages are empirical evidence of scripture. Wow. Scripture exists too.

More confusion. Biblical passages (especially books like the gospels and Acts) are attesting to a series of claims. Everything is evidence of something (as I think Epronovost wisely said recently). At the very least, these books are evidence of a group of people believing the content to be true (as early Church history bears out).

Quote:None of these are evidence for god. We can demonstrate this quite simply by the ease with which you rightly reject exactly the same claims made by any religion other than yours.

Like I have said, I am not interested in convincing you. I am more interested in accuracy and faulty reasoning.
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#79

my "philosophy" as a humanist
(05-01-2024, 05:06 PM)SteveII Wrote: Why should the supernatural be inexplicable? It seems like you might be starting a question-begging line of reasoning.

Supernatural is usually defined negatively as in things that are inexplicable by the laws of nature and empirical evidences thus for something to be supernatural is kind of needs to be inexplicable without appeal to magic which might as well be no explanation at all since it provides no information on what type of magic or how magic works.

Quote:The claim is the personal experience of God caused peace, a changed life, renewed hope, etc. These are tangible effects.

The mechanism of causation is not established and doesn't require a God to actually operate. How do you make the difference between a placebo effect and the power of the divine for example. Neither is a personal experience of God necessary to cause peace and change life or renew hope. It would be begging the question to assume that because these effect are caused by divine worship and faith that God exists independantly from its worshipers mind and has a tangible effect on things in nature like humans.

Quote:At the very least, these books are evidence of a group of people believing the content to be true (as early Church history bears out).

Nobody questions the existence of Christian belief; we question the veracity and sometime morality of such belief.
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#80

my "philosophy" as a humanist
(05-01-2024, 04:37 PM)Dānu Wrote: If evil is the absence of God, then why is it intolerable to him?  Does this not sound like mere narcissism?

I didn't say it was the absence of God. I said "Evil cannot be created. It is traditionally defined as anything contrary to the nature/will of God."

'Absence' was from the light/darkness analogy and applied to the "contrary to the nature/will of God" aspect. In other words, if it is not in accordance with the nature of will of God (aka good), then it is evil simply because of the absence of being good.

Narcissism seems to require a choice that it could be otherwise.
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#81

my "philosophy" as a humanist
(05-01-2024, 05:36 PM)epronovost Wrote:
(05-01-2024, 05:06 PM)SteveII Wrote: Why should the supernatural be inexplicable? It seems like you might be starting a question-begging line of reasoning.

Supernatural is usually defined negatively as in things that are inexplicable by the laws of nature and empirical evidences thus for something to be supernatural is kind of needs to be inexplicable without appeal to magic which might as well be no explanation at all since it provides no information on what type of magic or how magic works.

in·ex·pli·ca·ble
/ˌinekˈsplikəb(ə)l,ˌinˈekspləkəb(ə)l/
adjective
unable to be explained or accounted for.

My point was that the supernatural is not necessarily inexplicable. If God says he will make his presence felt in your life, and he does, that does not seem inexplicable to me. If Jesus healed a paralytic in Luke 5 as the account goes, that does not seem inexplicable to me.

Quote:
Quote:The claim is the personal experience of God caused peace, a changed life, renewed hope, etc. These are tangible effects.

The mechanism of causation is not established and doesn't require a God to actually operate. How do you make the difference between a placebo effect and the power of the divine for example. Neither is a personal experience of God necessary to cause peace and change life or renew hope. It would be begging the question to assume that because these effect are caused by divine worship and faith that God exists independantly from its worshipers mind and has a tangible effect on things in nature like humans.

First, these effects are not claims out of thin air. They are clearly articulated and discussed for hundreds of pages in the NT as to the how, why, and what then.

Second, related, Christianity is a cumulative case. Simply casting doubt on one can easily be overcome the 20 other reasons one might believe.

Third, the question-begging does not work in the direction you propose. All that is needed for the Christian is not to rule out God so that the conclusion is purely based on the experience. In other words, it is not a hidden premise to be open to where the experiential evidence leads.


Quote:
Quote:It is certainly a question-begging argument to claim, as it seems you do, that the experiences are not veridical and the effects are not real. In other words, since you can't possibly know, you are starting with the premise: God does not exist, therefore... xxxx and that's why I think God does not exist.

At the very least, these books are evidence of a group of people believing the content to be true (as early Church history bears out).

Nobody questions the existence of Christian belief; we question the veracity and sometime morality of such belief.

As long as you do it accurately and with good reasoning behind it...I have no problem with the atheist's position.
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#82

my "philosophy" as a humanist
(05-01-2024, 05:43 PM)SteveII Wrote:
(05-01-2024, 04:37 PM)Dānu Wrote: If evil is the absence of God, then why is it intolerable to him?  Does this not sound like mere narcissism?

I didn't say it was the absence of God. I said "Evil cannot be created. It is traditionally defined as anything contrary to the nature/will of God."

'Absence' was from the light/darkness analogy and applied to the "contrary to the nature/will of God" aspect. In other words, if it is not in accordance with the nature of will of God (aka good), then it is evil simply because of the absence of being good.

I was thinking of Augustine of Hippo's elaboration. Regardless, it doesn't appear as if you've created any difference in what was said with your niggling here. God creates the good and so the good doesn't exist independent of God. I'm reminded of a puzzle which influenced me in my younger years. As a Taoist, if the Tao is the source of all things, then whence comes ignorance? You seem to face a similar dilemma here. If God is good, and everything descends from God's will, and evil is simply the absence of his willed efforts, we seem at the same impasse.

(05-01-2024, 05:43 PM)SteveII Wrote: Narcissism seems to require a choice that it could be otherwise.

I don't understand what you're trying to say here.
Mountain-high though the difficulties appear, terrible and gloomy though all things seem, they are but Mâyâ.
Fear not — it is banished. Crush it, and it vanishes. Stamp upon it, and it dies.


Vivekananda
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#83

my "philosophy" as a humanist
(05-01-2024, 06:21 PM)SteveII Wrote:
(05-01-2024, 05:36 PM)epronovost Wrote: Supernatural is usually defined negatively as in things that are inexplicable by the laws of nature and empirical evidences thus for something to be supernatural is kind of needs to be inexplicable without appeal to magic which might as well be no explanation at all since it provides no information on what type of magic or how magic works.

in·ex·pli·ca·ble
/ˌinekˈsplikəb(ə)l,ˌinˈekspləkəb(ə)l/
adjective
unable to be explained or accounted for.

My point was that the supernatural is not necessarily inexplicable. If God says he will make his presence felt in your life, and he does, that does not seem inexplicable to me. If Jesus healed a paralytic in Luke 5 as the account goes, that does not seem inexplicable to me.

Didn't we just do this dance? Didn't you acknowledge that God's presence in one's life cannot be an evidence-based position?
Mountain-high though the difficulties appear, terrible and gloomy though all things seem, they are but Mâyâ.
Fear not — it is banished. Crush it, and it vanishes. Stamp upon it, and it dies.


Vivekananda
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#84

my "philosophy" as a humanist
(05-01-2024, 06:21 PM)SteveII Wrote: My point was that the supernatural is not necessarily inexplicable. If God says he will make his presence felt in your life, and he does, that does not seem inexplicable to me. If Jesus healed a paralytic in Luke 5 as the account goes, that does not seem inexplicable to me.

It's inexplicable because it's the how that is important. People feel all sort of things and heal of all sorts of things all the time; what is key in those events is that it's God who explicitly did those things using magical and inexplicable means to achieve the result. I don't think you believe that Jesus "healed" the paralytic because it was a con or healed him from a psychosomatic paralysis. I don't think you believe that Jesus used sophisticated and advanced forms of orthopedic spinal surgeries to cure the man. I assume that you believe Jesus used magical means whose process and working is unknown to cure a man from a physical disability.

Quote:Third, the question-begging does not work in the direction you propose. All that is needed for the Christian is not to rule out God so that the conclusion is purely based on the experience. In other words, it is not a hidden premise to be open to where the experiential evidence leads.

A Christian who doesn't want to rule out the existence of God, if they want to be rational, cannot rule out any other explanation either and find themselves in a situation where the existence of God and his actual effect on the natural world is unknown at best or disprovable at worst. A rational Christian cannot assume that feeling one of the claimed effect of God's presence is evidence of God's presence since other things can produce similar or identical effects. Not doing so would be begging the question.
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#85

my "philosophy" as a humanist
Quote:If Jesus healed a paralytic in Luke 5 as the account goes, that does not seem inexplicable to me.


Hmmm....but to rational people, Stevie...which is everyone on this board except you... that is one big motherfucking "IF."
Robert G. Ingersoll : “No man with a sense of humor ever founded a religion.”
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#86

my "philosophy" as a humanist
(05-01-2024, 06:51 PM)Dānu Wrote:
(05-01-2024, 06:21 PM)SteveII Wrote: in·ex·pli·ca·ble
/ˌinekˈsplikəb(ə)l,ˌinˈekspləkəb(ə)l/
adjective
unable to be explained or accounted for.

My point was that the supernatural is not necessarily inexplicable. If God says he will make his presence felt in your life, and he does, that does not seem inexplicable to me. If Jesus healed a paralytic in Luke 5 as the account goes, that does not seem inexplicable to me.

Didn't we just do this dance?  Didn't you acknowledge that God's presence in one's life cannot be an evidence-based position?

No, I said it certainly wasn't compelling evidence for someone else, but it is very good evidence for the person experiencing it.
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#87

my "philosophy" as a humanist
(05-01-2024, 06:43 PM)Dānu Wrote:
(05-01-2024, 05:43 PM)SteveII Wrote: I didn't say it was the absence of God. I said "Evil cannot be created. It is traditionally defined as anything contrary to the nature/will of God."

'Absence' was from the light/darkness analogy and applied to the "contrary to the nature/will of God" aspect. In other words, if it is not in accordance with the nature of will of God (aka good), then it is evil simply because of the absence of being good.

I was thinking of Augustine of Hippo's elaboration.  Regardless, it doesn't appear as if you've created any difference in what was said with your niggling here.  God creates the good and so the good doesn't exist independent of God.  I'm reminded of a puzzle which influenced me in my younger years.  As a Taoist, if the Tao is the source of all things, then whence comes ignorance?  You seem to face a similar dilemma here.  If God is good, and everything descends from God's will, and evil is simply the absence of his willed efforts, we seem at the same impasse.

(05-01-2024, 05:43 PM)SteveII Wrote: Narcissism seems to require a choice that it could be otherwise.

I don't understand what you're trying to say here.

I would never say that "God creates the good". His nature is the paradigm of goodness. Avoids dilemmas.

You said something to the effect that God's intolerance of evil seems narcissistic. That seems to be solved by recognizing that God's perfect goodness and holiness requires intolerance of evil.
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#88

my "philosophy" as a humanist
(05-01-2024, 08:14 PM)SteveII Wrote:
(05-01-2024, 06:51 PM)Dānu Wrote: Didn't we just do this dance?  Didn't you acknowledge that God's presence in one's life cannot be an evidence-based position?

No, I said it certainly wasn't compelling evidence for someone else, but it is very good evidence for the person experiencing it.

And you also acknowledged that they could be mistaken. The outfall is that thinking it is God is not in itself evidence that it is God. And for good reason.
Mountain-high though the difficulties appear, terrible and gloomy though all things seem, they are but Mâyâ.
Fear not — it is banished. Crush it, and it vanishes. Stamp upon it, and it dies.


Vivekananda
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#89

my "philosophy" as a humanist
(05-01-2024, 08:20 PM)SteveII Wrote:
(05-01-2024, 06:43 PM)Dānu Wrote: I was thinking of Augustine of Hippo's elaboration.  Regardless, it doesn't appear as if you've created any difference in what was said with your niggling here.  God creates the good and so the good doesn't exist independent of God.  I'm reminded of a puzzle which influenced me in my younger years.  As a Taoist, if the Tao is the source of all things, then whence comes ignorance?  You seem to face a similar dilemma here.  If God is good, and everything descends from God's will, and evil is simply the absence of his willed efforts, we seem at the same impasse.


I don't understand what you're trying to say here.

I would never say that "God creates the good". His nature is the paradigm of goodness. Avoids dilemmas.

No, but that seems Augustine's contention.


(05-01-2024, 08:20 PM)SteveII Wrote: You said something to the effect that God's intolerance of evil seems narcissistic. That seems to be solved by recognizing that God's perfect goodness and holiness requires intolerance of evil.

Still not understanding you. This seems simply to restate the question of what is it about what God does not tolerate is it that he is intolerant of.
Mountain-high though the difficulties appear, terrible and gloomy though all things seem, they are but Mâyâ.
Fear not — it is banished. Crush it, and it vanishes. Stamp upon it, and it dies.


Vivekananda
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#90

my "philosophy" as a humanist
(05-01-2024, 05:06 PM)SteveII Wrote:
(05-01-2024, 03:51 PM)Paleophyte Wrote: Clearly you read that back to front.
 - Empirical means detectable and measurable. That's pretty much the definition.
 - ISupernatural is a weasle word but I was taking it to mean detectable but inexplicable.
 - Anything that isn't detectable is Inconsequential. It can never affect the natural world.

Why should the supernatural be inexplicable? It seems like you might be starting a question-begging line of reasoning.

Because if it's detectable and explicable then it's natural.

Quote:
Quote:Personal experiences are empirical evidence of anedata. Congrats, you've proven that believers exist.

You are confused as to the claim here. The claim is the personal experience of God caused peace, a changed life, renewed hope, etc. These are tangible effects. It is certainly a question-begging argument to claim, as it seems you do, that the experiences are not veridical and the effects are not real. In other words, since you can't possibly know, you are starting with the premise: God does not exist, therefore... xxxx and that's why I think God does not exist.

Apologies, Apparently I should have congratulated you for the discovery that believers enjoy believing.

It remains that your god is indistinguishable from any of the other placebos.

Quote:[quote]Biblical passages are empirical evidence of scripture. Wow. Scripture exists too.

More confusion. Biblical passages (especially books like the gospels and Acts) are attesting to a series of claims. Everything is evidence of something (as I think Epronovost wisely said recently). At the very least, these books are evidence of a group of people believing the content to be true (as early Church history bears out).
Quote:So you have evidence of claims and believers believing them. How underwhelmed do you want me to be? It's starting to take serious effort.

[quote]Like I have said, I am not interested in convincing you. I am more interested in accuracy and faulty reasoning.

I think that you've got faulty reasoning covered.
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#91

my "philosophy" as a humanist
(05-01-2024, 06:21 PM)SteveII Wrote: My point was that the supernatural is not necessarily inexplicable. If God says he will make his presence felt in your life, and he does, that does not seem inexplicable to me. If Jesus healed a paralytic in Luke 5 as the account goes, that does not seem inexplicable to me.

Goddunnit is not an explanation. It is a baseless statement that is the bastard love child of ignorance and superstition. It is so profoundly philosophically vacuous that you haven't even noticed the implicit subtext "Goddunnit now stop asking pesky questions because any further thought is blasphemy."
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#92

my "philosophy" as a humanist
(05-01-2024, 10:57 PM)Paleophyte Wrote:
(05-01-2024, 06:21 PM)SteveII Wrote: My point was that the supernatural is not necessarily inexplicable. If God says he will make his presence felt in your life, and he does, that does not seem inexplicable to me. If Jesus healed a paralytic in Luke 5 as the account goes, that does not seem inexplicable to me.

Goddunnit is not an explanation. It is a baseless statement that is the bastard love child of ignorance and superstition. It is so profoundly philosophically vacuous that you haven't even noticed the implicit subtext "Goddunnit now stop asking pesky questions because any further thought is blasphemy."

Of course God could be an explanation. Unless of course you are claiming that you can prove God does not exist. Can you?

I am certainly not worried about questions (obviously).
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#93

my "philosophy" as a humanist
(05-02-2024, 12:41 AM)SteveII Wrote: Of course God could be an explanation. Unless of course you are claiming that you can prove God does not exist. Can you?

I am certainly not worried about questions (obviously).

Steve's 'hill to die on'.
Being told you're delusional does not necessarily mean you're mental. 
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#94

my "philosophy" as a humanist
(05-01-2024, 05:06 PM)SteveII Wrote: Why should the supernatural be inexplicable? It seems like you might be starting a question-begging line of reasoning.


Not so.  The fallacy of begging the question occurs when
an argument's premises assume the truth of the conclusion,
instead of supporting it.   Which is precisely what theists of
all shades do—presuppose that their god(s) have been proved
to exist, and therefore use that as the ultimate evidence for all
their subsequent claims.

If you imply that the "supernatural"—as you seem to be doing
here—is explicable, then you need to provide that explanation.
You're the person claiming that such a state of being actually exists,
evidenced by your belief in mythical gods and miracles etc.  
There is no way that science can investigate any sort of proposed
supernatural state of being.

Why should we take your word for all this without any evidence at all?

(05-01-2024, 05:06 PM)SteveII Wrote: More confusion. Biblical passages (especially books like the gospels and Acts) are attesting to a series of claims. Everything is evidence of something [...]. At the very least, these books are evidence of a group of people believing the content to be true (as early Church history bears out).

So.....

A couple of millennia ago, a "group of people" purportedly believed in
the truthfulness of biblical scripture and a series of associated "claims".  
And of course none of this forms any viable evidence for whatever those
claims were or weren't.  

That people in the 21st century still accept those beliefs as some sort of
evidence for the viability of Christianity both amuses me and astounds me.
I'm a creationist;   I believe that man created God.
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#95

my "philosophy" as a humanist
(05-01-2024, 08:26 PM)Dānu Wrote:
(05-01-2024, 08:14 PM)SteveII Wrote: No, I said it certainly wasn't compelling evidence for someone else, but it is very good evidence for the person experiencing it.

And you also acknowledged that they could be mistaken.  The outfall is that thinking it is God is not in itself evidence that it is God.  And for good reason.

We could be mistaken about lots of our experiences. It does not follow that personal experience is not evidence. At best, you can say that personal experience is not proof (although even that requires setting proof to be of the highest standard). I would say "proof beyond a reasonable doubt" is quite possible for a consistent personal experience.
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#96

my "philosophy" as a humanist
(05-01-2024, 10:57 PM)Paleophyte Wrote:
(05-01-2024, 06:21 PM)SteveII Wrote: My point was that the supernatural is not necessarily inexplicable. If God says he will make his presence felt in your life, and he does, that does not seem inexplicable to me. If Jesus healed a paralytic in Luke 5 as the account goes, that does not seem inexplicable to me.

Goddunnit is not an explanation. It is a baseless statement that is the bastard love child of ignorance and superstition. It is so profoundly philosophically vacuous that you haven't even noticed the implicit subtext "Goddunnit now stop asking pesky questions because any further thought is blasphemy."

Exactly.....

There is absolutely no evidence that a man who was
crippled by leprosy was healed by God or Jesus or a
time-travelling bacteriologist.

To claim this fantasy fiction as any sort of proof of God's
existence—or Jesus's existence—is nothing more than
wishful thinking.
I'm a creationist;   I believe that man created God.
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#97

my "philosophy" as a humanist
(05-01-2024, 07:28 PM)epronovost Wrote:
(05-01-2024, 06:21 PM)SteveII Wrote: My point was that the supernatural is not necessarily inexplicable. If God says he will make his presence felt in your life, and he does, that does not seem inexplicable to me. If Jesus healed a paralytic in Luke 5 as the account goes, that does not seem inexplicable to me.

It's inexplicable because it's the how that is important. People feel all sort of things and heal of all sorts of things all the time; what is key in those events is that it's God who explicitly did those things using magical and inexplicable means to achieve the result. I don't think you believe that Jesus "healed" the paralytic because it was a con or healed him from a psychosomatic paralysis. I don't think you believe that Jesus used sophisticated and advanced forms of orthopedic spinal surgeries to cure the man. I assume that you believe Jesus used magical means whose process and working is unknown to cure a man from a physical disability.

Quote:Third, the question-begging does not work in the direction you propose. All that is needed for the Christian is not to rule out God so that the conclusion is purely based on the experience. In other words, it is not a hidden premise to be open to where the experiential evidence leads.

A Christian who doesn't want to rule out the existence of God, if they want to be rational, cannot rule out any other explanation either and find themselves in a situation where the existence of God and his actual effect on the natural world is unknown at best or disprovable at worst. A rational Christian cannot assume that feeling one of the claimed effect of God's presence is evidence of God's presence since other things can produce similar or identical effects. Not doing so would be begging the question.

I don't think so. Requiring people to be skeptical crosses the line into special pleading--we don't do that for other personal experiences, why this particular one? ---Especially when you consider that belief in God and becoming a Christian is a multistep process--which I am considering describing in a new thread.
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#98

my "philosophy" as a humanist
(05-02-2024, 12:51 PM)SteveII Wrote: ...We could be mistaken about lots of our experiences.

Agreed.  I also agree that our lived experiences can also form
unequivocal, accurate, truthful accounts of what's happened
in the real world.

One of my observational life experiences was witnessing the
deaths of million of people due to the SARS‑CoV‑2 virus.

Millions of other people claimed that there was no such disease,
and COVID was simply a variant of the seasonal influenza.
Their distorted observational viewpoint was obviously incorrect
and misleading.

Interestingly, containing the COVID pandemic in the US required
mobilising a large majority of the mass public to vaccinate, but many
Americans were hesitant or opposed to vaccination.

A significant predictor of vaccine attitudes in the US was religiosity,
with more-religious individuals expressing more distrust in
science and being less likely to get vaccinated
.

(05-02-2024, 12:51 PM)SteveII Wrote: It does not follow that personal experience is not evidence. At best, you can say that personal experience is not proof (although even that requires setting proof to be of the highest standard). I would say "proof beyond a reasonable doubt" is quite possible for a consistent personal experience.

A "consistent" personal experience in no way supports an empirical
truth—without the support of other's investigations, observation, and
replication of that personal claim.  I could claim (as many have before
me) that I or they saw a black panther roaming the forest near my home
in Gippsland.

   Would you believe my claim Steve?  And if not, why specifically?     Consider
I'm a creationist;   I believe that man created God.
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#99

my "philosophy" as a humanist
(05-02-2024, 01:34 PM)SteveII Wrote: I don't think so. Requiring people to be skeptical crosses the line into special pleading--we don't do that for other personal experiences, why this particular one?  ---Especially when you consider that belief in God and becoming a Christian is a multistep process--which I am considering describing in a new thread.

When believing in christ (or any god figure) was turned into an organized religion that preached group think it stopped being a personal experience. A 'multi-step process' came from group think. The only person you seem to be fooling is yourself.
Being told you're delusional does not necessarily mean you're mental. 
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my "philosophy" as a humanist
(05-02-2024, 01:34 PM)SteveII Wrote: Requiring people to be skeptical crosses the line into special pleading--we don't do that for other personal experiences, why this particular one?

Requiring people do be skeptical is not special pleading. God belief is not just another personal experience; it's an explanation for a personal experience. Stating that believing that God made you feel hope once again through the power of the Holy Spirit or some other magical force is very different than just feeling hopeful. One present a precise mechanism for a mental state and the other only posit a mental state. In fact, implying that both should be treated the same is an egregious form of special pleading. Any explanation for an observable fact should be treated with skepticism and demands for sound epistemic process to determine their accuracy; that's how knowledge and reason works.

I am not asking people to doubt their personal feelings nor do I doubt that they actually felt something important or major (at least not in most context). I doubt their explanation for the cause and exact nature of this experience and so should they because they do not have a mechanism to make the difference between a placebo effect and a divine effect nor do they have a mechanism to make the difference between a well recorded historical event and a tall tale/legend.
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