Friday, February 25, 2011

Why the "Experience Argument" Does Not Work

 The "religious experience" argument is one of the favorites used by Christians, but as this conversation reveals, this same argument can be used by followers of other faiths as well--which then invalidates the claim that the Christian god is the only god.

Christian--The Bible is full of historical facts, and historical records also documented the existence of Jesus. Many people vouch they have supernatural visions of Jesus. Look up Anne Catherine Emmerich (September 8, 1774 – February 9, 1824). She revealed that Jesus was Essene & that the Essenes lived in a series of caves, long before the discovery of the Dead Sea Scroll.

Atheist--Actually, no, most scholars do not consider the bible "historical fact." Read "The Bible Unearthed." Many people vouch for supernatural visions of Krishna too, that does not make him a god either. The Essenes monks spent a great deal of time in the library of Alexandria, where the knowledge of all the great religions was stored, and created the "angel messiah" based on Buddha, the attributes of which, could then have been attributed to a man named Jesus--that does not make him a god.

Christian--Are there any documented evidence of people with visions of Krishna that also provided relevant & accurate historical details that have been proven correct? Surely Emmerich's experience is something much more. Have you heard of her?
Secondly, all religions have areas of similarity & you cant use that as a basis of your claim. The NT is integral to the very Jewish OT, which rules out the possibilities of it being invented by Catholics.

Atheist--Why yes, there are people who have had "documented" visions of Krishna. This man for instance, Sri H. W. L. Poonja, who claimed, while still a boy, to have visions of Krishna, which continued throughout his life. This is typical of almost ALL religions that worship a deity. Emmerich is not special in that regard. Really, the NT contradicts the Tanakh in so many instances, Christians would have been better off not attaching it to their "holy book" at all.

Christian--Poonja's experiences sound like the kind people experience when they are in a trance or trance-like state. Emmerich's experience is much different.
Also I am not arguing that people cannot have visions of one kind or another, some with mental problems being the case, etc. The point I am making is whether these people reveal something astounding thats proven to be true that they could not possibly know, thus proving its supernatural.

Atheist--The same thing you say about the religious experiences of believers of other faiths, can be said about yours, and the case you present."Stigmata" for example (as in the case of Emmerich) is argued to be a case of "pious fraud" and/or mental illness. Go to Researchers have offered so-called "empirical" evidence of reincarnation, which is a key component of Hinduism. See research by I. Stevenson-Reincarnation and Biology, and his other many works on the subject.

Christian--I don't disagree with you, but this all took place in the early 1800's & while she (Emmerich) was under observation & her wounds were also examined. They were proper wounds that healed & also come back. Also, how do you address her information about Jesus & the Essenes?

Atheist--The argument by experience has many difficulties. If we accept the experience argument,we would have to accept it for all the other faiths as well. This produces an absurdity for the Christians, who claim their god is the one and only true god, as if we accept the experience argument, then it would appear that there are many gods. This would prove the bible and the Christian claims as being false.Thus, a dilemma. The experience argument would "prove" too much to swallow for christians.

Christian--I did not say all other visions cant be supernatural. I accept some of the experience by people of other faiths could also be supernatural though most aren't (from the detailed ones I looked into). However, I believe that Jesus is the true God for many reasons, which is impossible to summarize here.

Atheist--The experiences of other faiths are as "supernatural" as Christian experiences. And if they experience their gods, then the Christian claim that their god is the only god is false. I suggest you download "Bible Myths and Their Parallels in Other Religions" by TW Doane. This text was used at Harvard Seminary, and shows how Christianity was plagiarized from older myths and religions. Hindus believe their gods are the true gods as well, and they also have many reasons for doing so.

Christian--Fair point, but the bible explains that Satan misleads others & would appear to themto lead them away from the truth. You see in bible, though written by different authors, everything explained & all conceivable anomalies answered.

Atheist--This begs the question, as first you must show that your religion is true, as opposed to the other religions. You admit the experience argument works for the other religions and have not provided any arguments that shows your religion is true and theirs is false. There are many religions that claim to have "deceivers" among their gods, and therefore, it could be argued that your religion, including Satan, is from one these "tricksters." Again, no proof and no evidence.

Christian--Fair point. The theology is water-tight in Christianity but not in other religions, but like I say before, I cant show it to you here. Just a quick example. Pagan gods are accepted as myths with no historical evidence of it being anything but myths. Jesus claims divinity but many religions worship 'Gods' whom did not claim to be divine eg Buddha. Islam promises a carnal heaven where a man can have many wives/slaves = many children=more grandchildren & so on to eternity. Too ridiculous!

Atheist--The theology of Christianity actually has LESS historical and archeological evidence than most of the other religions. An example would be the Greek and Hindu gods--that is if you want to count the mention of battles, temples caves, archeological evidence. etc. Christianity is a religion of faith because it lacks evidence--this was pointed out by Kierkegaard. Note, you say Jesus "claims" divinity--no evidence, key word being "claims". All the Hindu gods are considered divine.

Christian--Totally disagree with you. Evidence of worship such as temples, etc is not evidence of there being a God. The hindu gods probably stemmed from Mahabharata which documented historical events of man elevated to divine levels. Again Hindu theology is ridiculous & equally carnal in nature.

Atheist--Ahhh--EXACTLY!! Now we know why the Jews made up their gods and goddesses, including Yahweh. So again, what evidence do you present for Christianity? The fact that Jesus CLAIMED divinity?? BTW--I am the divine queen of Canada.

The fact that Jesus claims divinity while Buddha did not, only illustrates that Buddha was far more trustworthy and straightforward in his philosophy. In what I consider true Buddhism, there is no worship of any god, as Buddha saw that this was of no value to enlightenment and salvation of humankind. I agree with Nietzsche in what he stated in the "Antichrist"--" Buddhism is a hundred times as realistic as Christianity--it is part of its living heritage that it is able to face problems objectively and coolly; it is the product of long centuries of philosophical speculation. The concept, "god," was already disposed of before it appeared."

Christian--I told you there are many reasons. I cant go through all here. The books are written by different individuals over centuries & yet are an integral whole & water-tight. What is the chance (%) of that? NT explains all the OT to such clarity that had it been made up, it would be virtually impossible.
There’re some truly astounding facts such as bible said all nations & tongues came from one family. Now what an amazing & true revelation as proven by science that all races from same common ancestor!

Atheist--The bible is not considered evidence for anything, as it is a book full of inconsistencies and contradictions. Many of the holy books of the other religions have just as many, if not more "amazing and true" revelations that are far more consistent with science. In fact, Buddha's views have been proven to be epistemologically, psychologically, and scientifically sound. All the major religions have "amazing true" revelations proven by science.--Christianity is not special in that regard.

1 comment:

  1. my friend A you NEED to see this video i also have a great deal of respect for Buddhism, and this video can shed a LOT of light on the teachings of Buddhism!!!