Tag Archives: religion panentheism spirituality christianity

Reply to an Atheist

You claimed that there is no god evidence. I replied that the evidence is plentiful. I did not promise to present the evidence, and I explained why: unlike scientific evidence which can be pointed to as an external object in the material universe, god evidence is internal and nonmaterial. God is neither an object nor a theory. Moreover, the evidence can only be acquired by a hands-on individual, experiential methodology, not by discussion or debate.

I said that god evidence, like scientific evidence, results from a three-stage process of knowledge acquisition (it’s sketched out in the final paragraph of this post).

Do you want to know if Jupiter has moons? Since they are invisible to the naked eye, to confirm or disconfirm the proposition that Jupiter has moons, you will need to look through a specialized lens. Only after you have done that will you be competent to talk about the existence or nonexistence of Jupiter’s moons. Do you want to know if god is real, or if attributes ascribed to god are valid? Since these are invisible by common perceptual means, in order to confirm or deny the proposition that god is real/has particular attributes, you will need to look through a specialized lens. Only after you have done that will you be competent to talk about the existence or nonexistence of god/god’s attributes.

To reiterate: If you want to know if Jupiter has moons, you yourself must look through a prescribed lens. If you listen only to others (whether or not they themselves have looked through that lens), you’re only getting information by hearsay. Only if you yourself do the looking through the specialized lens can you truly have verified or disconfirmed the existence of Jupiter’s moons. The same applies to spiritual issues: If you want to know about god/spirit/the sacred, you yourself must look through a prescribed lens. If you listen only to others –  me or anyone else – you’re only getting your spiritual data by hearsay. Only if you yourself look through spirituality’s specialized lens can you truly have verified or disconfirmed the existence of Jupiter’s moons.

Do you wonder if Jupiter may or may not have moons? Want me to prove it to you? I can’t. I can only tell you to look for those satellites by using a specialized lens. Do you wonder if god/spirit/the sacred may or not be real? Want me to prove it to you? I can’t. I can only tell you to look for those entities by using a specialized lens. For the acquisition of both scientific and spiritual data, the ONLY means of confirmation or denial of a proposition is to 1) perform the injunction; 2) do the experiment; 3) share your conclusions with the community of others who have adequately performed # 1). There’s no other way. Unless you’d rather satisfy yourself with faith and belief-in, rather than experiential investigation.  In that case, you would strongly resemble the very religionists you so vehemently condemn.

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