Personal experience argument
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17-07-2015, 09:39 AM
RE: Personal experience argument
(17-07-2015 09:36 AM)The Q Continuum Wrote:  You are scratching where I itch, because, yes, it is useless to argue against personal testimony. Christians cannot logically tell atheists they are in denial, if those atheists have never encountered God personally. Likewise, atheists cannot tell Christians they haven't encountered Jesus Christ personally, but members of both groups do so unendingly.

To quote Bebe and Cece Winans, "I'm not crazy... I've never known anyone who loves me the way that You do, it's hopeless... I'm forever in love..."

What we can do is encourage ye merry theists to examine their own logic and decide for themselves if they're *really* sure that the big ol', bad ol' sky-God creator dude decided to whisper to them *personally* that sticking it in the wrong hole will result in damnation *eternally*.

The two beliefs are *not* equivalent, for all that you try to paint that they are. One is empirical, testable and subject to modification if new evidence arises. The other is not.

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If you're perfect -- Alanis Morissette
(06-02-2014 03:47 PM)Momsurroundedbyboys Wrote:  And I'm giving myself a conclusion again from all the facepalming.
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17-07-2015, 09:40 AM
RE: Personal experience argument
(17-07-2015 09:39 AM)The Q Continuum Wrote:  
(17-07-2015 09:23 AM)Chas Wrote:  There are quite good psychological explanations for sudden religious conversion, usually involving priming by the subconscious or personal 'surrender'.

Your experience does nothing to convince anyone else of the truth of your belief - your experience is not evidence.

Experience, particularly when corroborated by multiple witnesses, may often be taken as facts in evidence in a court of law. I will again ask how you dare consider theists to be deluded when the majority of people who have ever lived in all times, in all cultures, have been theist.

And, there are good psychological explanations for sudden and gradual onset of atheism. Usually they involve lashing out at religious persons, including people who are called "loved ones". Sorry, but TTA members demonstrate this fact repeatedly with their posts. Jesus is a healer, let him heal you of your anger, Chas... seriously.

Facepalm Jesus fuck.

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(06-02-2014 03:47 PM)Momsurroundedbyboys Wrote:  And I'm giving myself a conclusion again from all the facepalming.
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17-07-2015, 10:13 AM
RE: Personal experience argument
(17-07-2015 09:39 AM)The Q Continuum Wrote:  
(17-07-2015 09:23 AM)Chas Wrote:  There are quite good psychological explanations for sudden religious conversion, usually involving priming by the subconscious or personal 'surrender'.

Your experience does nothing to convince anyone else of the truth of your belief - your experience is not evidence.

Experience, particularly when corroborated by multiple witnesses, may often be taken as facts in evidence in a court of law. I will again ask how you dare consider theists to be deluded when the majority of people who have ever lived in all times, in all cultures, have been theist.

Not internal experiences - things that only occur in someone's mind. Those are not evidence in a court of law. You talk nonsense.

Quote:And, there are good psychological explanations for sudden and gradual onset of atheism. Usually they involve lashing out at religious persons, including people who are called "loved ones". Sorry, but TTA members demonstrate this fact repeatedly with their posts. Jesus is a healer, let him heal you of your anger, Chas... seriously.

Anger? I've never been a theist, so there was never any anger at any gods.
I am saddened by your delusional thinking and annoyed and frustrated at your inability to think logically. The only thing that angers me is the dishonesty you too often present.

Skepticism is not a position; it is an approach to claims.
Science is not a subject, but a method.
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17-07-2015, 10:35 AM
RE: Personal experience argument
(17-07-2015 07:04 AM)Talviomena Wrote:  
(17-07-2015 01:52 AM)Logisch Wrote:  My dad tried to tell me that when he had his heart attack that he had a near death experience. Of course, tons of people have them when they are clinically dead and have a serious amount of trauma or a traumatic experience and are revived.

Here's some pretty interesting studies and facts about NDE's

http://infidels.org/library/modern/keith...HNDEs.html

http://io9.com/5916403/how-to-have-a-nea...experience

Thanks for the link, I'll check them out! Thumbsup

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17-07-2015, 10:44 AM (This post was last modified: 17-07-2015 07:19 PM by jennybee.)
RE: Personal experience argument
(17-07-2015 09:33 AM)The Q Continuum Wrote:  
(16-07-2015 07:53 AM)jennybee Wrote:  There are no passages in the Bible that say you are supposed to be doing calculations. There is no passage that says you are supposed to add such and such a number together and get to Spring 1948. There are, however, some similarities between the Babylonian exile/return and 1948 Israel. The passages in the Bible are talking about the Babylonian exile/return but many Christians like to twist them and say they are talking about 1948 Israel.

Jesus also says the following in Acts 1:

When they had gathered together they asked him, 'Lord, are you at this time going to restore the kingdom to Israel?' He [Jesus] answered them, 'It is not for you to know the times or seasons that the Father has established by his own authority."

Very good thinking, Jenny. If I may respond?

The theocratic kingdom of Israel was not restored in 1948. This is more the Ezekiel prophecy of dead bones come to life yet without spiritual life.

And technically speaking, there actually are statements to calculate prophecies in the Bible. Remember, Jesus warned the Pharisees they missed the (calculated) date of His visitation per Daniel. As mentioned elsewhere, the Bible predicted the Messiah would die for sin (I believe it was April 4, 29 AD and Daniel was clearly written earlier as all believers and skeptics know).

But it was actually atheists who (I believe) prompted the Ezekiel calculation. Per the original prophecy under discussion, the Jews should have had a homeland many years ago. Skeptics reported that the Ezekiel prophecy had failed. AFTER 1948, some believers noticed the seven times injunction in the Torah and calculated 7 times the diaspora years remaining under discussion, and said, "Holy Prophecy, Batman! The Bible gave the year and time of Israel's restoration as a Jewish nation!" WOW. You could therefore argue that Zionists and Western sympathizers restored Israel to the Jews to fulfill prophecy, but they had no idea the date in 1948 was fulfilling exact prophecy as they did so! Awesome.

This is not the sole time that skeptics have prompted believers to unearth prophecies and codes. It is this Hegelian synthesis method I find exciting--TTA members pick apart my Bible teaching and often force me to see new gems within (okay, maybe not that often, but I already know God's Word on a working basis from talking to all kinds of people). The Jews have taught for millennia now that God's Word has revelations for those who go deeper... and Jesus Himself taught a parable of two people who looked into God's Word. The one who did so in a shallow manner suffered loss.

Thanks for your thoughtful comments. I'm open if you want to discuss this more!

The Ezekiel 390/40 prophecy was something biblical scholars noticed had failed. Whether they were skeptics or not is irrelevant. It is historical fact. It did not come true. Jeremiah was much closer numerically speaking in “his” prophecy re: Babylonian exile.

Believers notice all kinds of calculations/codes in the Bible. When I was a believer I kind of got into this kind of thing myself. I found several calculations/codes from various rapturists that made Jeffreys (the author I mentioned before) seem like child’s play.

When I was talking about biblical calculations, I was referring to adding numbers together at random from various passages to predict future *current* events. Of course, you could look at the Book of Daniel (for example) and say he was technically using calculations to “predict” events in the near future *in his time.* However, many scholars have made note that the Book of Daniel has passages that were added in after the fact. Again, I am talking about using biblical "calculations" and "codes" to predict things in our current time.

If the Bible was very specific and said: “Thou shalt add 390 and 40 together and take numbers out of Leviticus (and so on and so forth…) and come up with 1948 Israel, thou shalt know I am Lord your God," I would be completely amazed and seriously reconsider my views on things. But it doesn’t say that. In fact, the Bible warns continuously of false prophets. People using random numbers and passages taken out of context is kinda doing the whole false prophet thing, don’t you think? Why would Jesus be so adamant in Acts about not knowing the times and seasons of what God has planned (specifically what God has planned for Israel) if God wanted people to use the Bible to figure things out mathematically? Jesus could have easily said "Look closely within my Father's Word and there you will find predictions for all future events." But this is not what he said.

As a Christian, if Jesus makes a point of saying it's not your job (as a human) to know things/only God knows what the future holds, don't you think you should believe him?
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18-07-2015, 02:17 AM
RE: Personal experience argument
When it comes to personal experiences, my preferred method is to not deny the experience, but not necessarily believe the offered cause. If someone where to tell me they saw a ghost, I would not deny that they saw something, but I would not necessarily believe that it was a ghost. Maybe it was a phantasm of the mind, a trick of the light, or something else. First and foremost I try and seek a natural explanation for all personal testimonies and it is only when I cannot conceive of any natural explanation do I consider a supernatural explanation as being likely.
Fortunately for me, because I already accept the existence of the supernatural, I am able to be very agnostic about personal testimonies without much effect upon my way of seeing the world if I am wrong that an event is supernatural or not, as I have no dogmas contrary to it.

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18-07-2015, 04:45 AM
RE: Personal experience argument
(18-07-2015 02:17 AM)TarzanSmith Wrote:  it is only when I cannot conceive of any natural explanation do I consider a supernatural explanation as being likely.
Fortunately for me, because I already accept the existence of the supernatural, I am able to be very agnostic about personal testimonies without much effect upon my way of seeing the world if I am wrong that an event is supernatural or not, as I have no dogmas contrary to it.

So it's an argument from ignorance. Congrats Smile You fail at logic.

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(06-02-2014 03:47 PM)Momsurroundedbyboys Wrote:  And I'm giving myself a conclusion again from all the facepalming.
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18-07-2015, 08:04 AM
RE: Personal experience argument
(18-07-2015 02:17 AM)TarzanSmith Wrote:  When it comes to personal experiences, my preferred method is to not deny the experience, but not necessarily believe the offered cause. If someone where to tell me they saw a ghost, I would not deny that they saw something, but I would not necessarily believe that it was a ghost. Maybe it was a phantasm of the mind, a trick of the light, or something else. First and foremost I try and seek a natural explanation for all personal testimonies and it is only when I cannot conceive of any natural explanation do I consider a supernatural explanation as being likely.
Fortunately for me, because I already accept the existence of the supernatural, I am able to be very agnostic about personal testimonies without much effect upon my way of seeing the world if I am wrong that an event is supernatural or not, as I have no dogmas contrary to it.

And yet, after investigation and research the answer has never, ever been supernatural. Not once, not ever.

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18-07-2015, 07:03 PM
RE: Personal experience argument
(18-07-2015 08:04 AM)Chas Wrote:  
(18-07-2015 02:17 AM)TarzanSmith Wrote:  When it comes to personal experiences, my preferred method is to not deny the experience, but not necessarily believe the offered cause. If someone where to tell me they saw a ghost, I would not deny that they saw something, but I would not necessarily believe that it was a ghost. Maybe it was a phantasm of the mind, a trick of the light, or something else. First and foremost I try and seek a natural explanation for all personal testimonies and it is only when I cannot conceive of any natural explanation do I consider a supernatural explanation as being likely.
Fortunately for me, because I already accept the existence of the supernatural, I am able to be very agnostic about personal testimonies without much effect upon my way of seeing the world if I am wrong that an event is supernatural or not, as I have no dogmas contrary to it.

And yet, after investigation and research the answer has never, ever been supernatural. Not once, not ever.

Yeah there has been many instances where we once thought something was supernatural but it turned out to have a valid natural explanation.

There has never ever been an instance where we had a natural explanation for something and instead found out later it was supernatural.

That's pretty much the basis for my entire lack of belief in anything supernatural.
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18-07-2015, 07:24 PM
RE: Personal experience argument
I've always found the "anger" argument fairly insulting. My church experience was universally positive. The people involved were kind, and the message was rarely one of damnation, but of hope and community. I was treated well and had a lot of fun with the other kids there. I went to a religious school, and I don't hold any of that against my parents. Nor do I hold any resentment or anger towards the authority figures in the church. This was partially why I took so long coming out of religion after I (cognitively) knew of the problems with it. It had been such a positive experience, and I hold no resentment for it. The people involved were doing what they genuinely thought was best for me.

My anger only started to surface YEARS after I came out as an atheist. So not only AFTER I became an atheist, but AFTER I came out as one publicly. Years afterwards. And it isn't anger at religious figures in my life, or at religion as practiced by my family and friends. It's against those who place their religion as a license to hurt or oppress others. It's against the way that religion can corrupt people's minds. It's about the lies and hypocrisy that religious people engage in and justify or ignore using their faith.

Theists try to say that atheists are "angry" so as to rob us of our agency. They want to rob us of any validity our views might have. Because how could we have any validity? Something must be wrong with us, because their views are infallible.

Next theist who says this gets called a frightened child. If you are going to rob me of my agency like this I'll return the favor.
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