I have a few questions about how to deal with a couple of positions taken by Christians.
First is the response "it is true for me but not for you"
This is an obvious cop out. My first impression is "true" is what one wants to believe, not necessarily based on fact or what is real. But how does one help the individual to see the error in their thinking?
Second is the argument from personal experience. To me this is the most difficult to deal with. Have a sleep disorder where I actually begin to dream before I go to sleep. I am dreaming while still awake! In this state what happens to me is real! I hallucinate every day this way. It is only after I wake up if I remember the dream that I can sort out reality. This becomes sometimes problematic if the wife asked me to take out the trash and I dreamed it did it. I think I actually did do it. I have enough experience now it really is not a problem. The reason I mention it is a delusion can be very real to the person having it.
Recently I had a friend that told me she believed in God because she had a car accident she could not have survived without gods intervention. My normal response to most declarations is is it possible that it could not have happened without gods intervention, or was God necessary for that outcome? In this case she had already answered my question YES. So what is a good way to help a person to "know how they know" something that has happened from personal experience without automatically falling into the God of the gaps fallacy?
I look forward to your responses as you have all been very helpful in my self growth.
As a magician, I understand how deceptive our own brains can be! Attention, perception, and memory are all very fragile. They can lead to subjective experiences which are rooted in very powerful emotions. These experiences seem very real, at least for the person who has them.
You might encourage a person with strong personal experiences to learn more about how the brain works. Below are some links which will allow a person to use his or her own brain to illustrate just how easily it can misperceive reality.
My own experiences as such worked in earlier religious times to convince me that god and religion was true. Then because we all believe differently you find that you have an experience and add it to your knowledge of scriptures. Some, of course, have not had these experiences. These experiences are also not a part of scripture with scripture not backing up whether they would be possible or not. You find that you are making things up and you are either believed or not believed. If not believed you move on to another group to peddle your mindset.
If you are liked and very good at this kind of manipulation you might find yourself writing religious books that become best sellers. As a believer already you might write about archaeological proof of Moses, Samson, David, Elijah and others. You know these people were real because Jesus believed them to be so. The deception almost gets into realms of it all being so just because the bible said so.
In the beginning the spirit of god moved on the waters. Later on Jesus walked on the Sea of Galilee. What else are gods supposed to do? Thor made thunder with his hammer.
Thank you it's amazing to me that at least some people who do the God helmet experiment, with complete knowledge of what will happen will still claim a God experience happened during the experiment. The mind is very, very powerful, and yet self deceptive.
Believers are nuts. This morning I met a new breed of believer for the first time. I've been aware of her in the dope world and my own grandson was killed in the dope world. This woman will lie to you and tell you anything, and her car has "God Is Not Dead" on the back glass. She can turn almost anything into a god experience but it would be exceptional if she scored some dope that day coz god would really be watching out for her.
Perhaps there was always people like her but I ignored them in my church days. It's easy to pass it off with "they are not true Christians." The big problem with all this is what do her children believe?
She sells flea market items and wanted to bring one over to my house later to show me. NO, you are not going to case my house. If I allow this you will then be selling my stuff pretty soon. I wasn't born yesterday.