Hello everyone! I am an agnostic from an Islamic background, and recently, a friend has tried to get me to "go" Christian. She introduced me to all these Near Death Experience stories. I found the topic interesting, and realized that many of the people who had them claim to have met Jesus. At first, I dismissed them, as I read that they are based on one's culture. However, a recent church service I went to with her, the Priest challenged people to find one NDE where a Muslim meets Muhammad, or a Hindu meets Krishna. I took up the challenge, and searched. I could not find any Muslim NDEs where a Muslim met Muhammad. I went as far as to search google Saudi Arabia in Arabic and Google Turkey in Turkish, still nothing. I did find NDEs of Muslims reporting that they met Jesus, and he told them to become CHristian. I also found one with a Hindu woman who saw Jesus too. I found so many with Jesus, that I am wondering whether or not that means that Christianity has more merit than the other faiths? Let's say it is in fact true that not one Muslim ever saw Muhammad during an NDE, or that not one Hindu saw Krishna, but Christians, Atheists, Muslims, Jews, Hindus saw Jesus, would you believe that Christianity is the true faith?
Good thought. This sort of reminds me of another way I've addressed people making these kinds of religious arguments:
Scientific examination is the best method that we've come up with to analyze ... well, anything, really. One of the vital components of the scientific method is falsification. If you can't tell me how you would know that you're wrong and why that condition would indicate that you're wrong, I have no reason to take your religious beliefs seriously.
("you" being our hypothetical theist who is trying to convert us to his/her religion)
There are two primary failures of falsification going on in the scenario proposed by the original poster, which immediately jump into my mind.
While demonstrating that Muhammad's claims about the Koran are 100% true (if that was possible) would falsify some elements of Christianity, that isn't sufficient. Okay, so that's one down, on our journey to falsification; and now ... 15,000 more to go? 35k? A couple hundred-thousand?
I'm also pretty iffy on the idea of attempting to falsify one proposition by pitting it against other propositions that are not independently falsifiable. It just doesn't work. I'm reminded of one oft-repeated statement: "While it isn't possible that all religions are true, given their mutually exclusive claims, it is possible that they're all false."
The other major flaw is something like what I was saying previously in this comment section. Why would Muslims not seeing Muhammad in their NDEs demonstrate that the claims of Islam aren't true? I don't see how that would demonstrate anything of the sort.
The question that was asked of our original poster by his friend seems to be assuming that clearly at least one of the Abrahamic religions is true, and we just have to figure out which one it is. That's ... stupid and logically bankrupt, since the whole thing falls apart once you spot that little problem.
Has any of this helped, by the way, Halil?
I think Gwen is correct. None of the so called "faiths" has any more merit than the others. An NDE only proves your brain had a crisis and you had invalid experiences. Taking drugs does the same thing.
That's one of the things I was checking into, yes. I was going to look at his other activity on here, but I haven't gotten around to it yet.
It's hard to be sure, since some people who are in the process of breaking out of their religious brainwashing, or have just recently done so, can retain most of the muddled, pro-religious conditioning and un-skeptical thinking. It takes a bit more back and forth to tell, which we haven't gotten out of this guy.
Besides, atheism doesn't necessarily mean leaving all of the spiritualist nonsense behind. Atheists can believe in reincarnation and all sorts of other silly crap. Those sorts just tend not to hang around here very long, since they're not the sort of atheists/skeptics that this site is mostly intended for. The mockery of their spiritualist nonsense tends to drive them off.
Halil? You out there, man?
During the Gifford Lectures Carl Sagan compared personal religious experiences with UFO sightings:
"But the question is, can any such experience provide other than anecdotal evidence of the existence of God or gods? One million UFO cases since 1947. And yet, as far as we can tell, they do not correspond—any of them—to visitations to the Earth by spacecraft from elsewhere. Large numbers of people can have experiences that can be profound and moving and still not correspond to anything like an exact sense of external reality."
If such experiences do provide evidence, then we'd also have to believe in Big Foot, Loch Ness Monster etc... @AgeofWisdumb