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12:08 AM
@HoldToTheRod I watched the relevant part of your video, but I'm still curious how exactly you'd define "worshipping science" - e.g. what are some specific things someone who worships science would do (that someone who merely values science won't do)?
"Do you believe in protons/the big bang" - I wouldn't say "I believe in" those things, but I believe that those are the best/most likely explanations given the evidence we have available. If someone were to present a better explanation for the evidence, or we get evidence that contradicts those theories, I would not hesitate for a moment for change my belief. The same goes for the scientific method as a whole (although the amount of evidence required to reason against it would be staggering, given how much evidence we have that it works). I don't believe God is "the best explanation given t
@HoldToTheRod "it's reasonable to consider the scientific method to be the only reliable way I am familiar with to discover the truth" - I largely agree with this representation of what I believe/should believe based on my argument.
But I would also question the reliability or repeatability of any other method that anyone else uses to discover truth (just because you can reliably and repeatably experience something doesn't say anything about whether the thing you're experiencing is a reliable method of discovering truth).
@HoldToTheRod I wrote a whole bunch of paragraphs about objectivity, and the difference between feeling something and seeing something, that I accidentally deleted and don't feel like rewriting right now, but here's the TLDR (which still turned out to be quite long, apparently):
Firstly, I don't mean the method itself needs to be objective, rather just that the method should have been proven to be reliable and the steps involved in the method can be performed/evaluated objectively.

Nothing is truly objective, sure, so what I mean by "objective" is roughly: if 1000 random people all evaluate the same claim (in the same way - that part is key), then 999 of them would come to the same conclusion (and the remaining 1 person is the margin of error for people who see and hear things that are fundamentally different from the rest of us, e.g. actual delusions and whatnot)
@HoldToTheRod My pronouncements (with "surprising confidence") about what you have or have not experienced are largely based on what you said in one of the videos you linked to earlier (possibly combined with some reasonable assumptions and other things you've said). If any of those are incorrect, then I'd be happy to revise them.
@HoldToTheRod "You're drawing conclusions from your experiential evidence and you may well be rational in doing so. Other people are drawing conclusions from their experiential evidence and they may well be rational too." - I can say "this is what I saw/heard, this is the other evidence I gathered from these sources, this is the reasoning I followed, and this is the conclusion I reached".
Anyone else can evaluate my description of what I saw/heard (see above), they can evaluate the other evidence, my reasoning as well as my conclusion. So in that way we can compare our experiential evidence and (ideally) come to some common understanding and agreement about what's true. The same can't be said when one has a strong reliance on personal experience.
 
 
1 hour later…
1:32 AM
@NotThatGuy sorry you lost your post, that's no fun
@NotThatGuy in the video I referenced defining our lives or purpose by some thing as worshipping that thing
Re I wouldn't say "I believe in" those things, but I believe that those are the best/most likely explanations I'm struggling to see how this isn't what is meant by the word belief. If you're distinguishing between "I believe protons are real" vs. "I know protons are real", I have no problem with that, that's a fair distinction.
@NotThatGuy anyone who considers some set of evidence and arguments to be compelling hasn't been exposed to/reject corresponding rebuttals - I respectfully suggest that you have no means of knowing this about someone else.
Re feelings - in the video I specifically acknowledged its inadequacy as a description. What if we used a term with broader application, like "cognitive stimuli"? Maybe you find that too broad. The usefulness of the term, however, is it acknowledges that all perception--from any source--occurs in the mind (e.g. if a tree falls in the forest and nobody hears it...).
Where we've all had the same experience (say, looking at a gauge), it's sometimes very easy to describe in detail. In other cases (say, what salt tastes like), it's very challenging to describe with words, so we generally either give the other person a taste or describe it by simile.
I'm glad you don't use science as a means of shaming people. Unfortunately, some do
I don't propose not using science - I think the scientific method is incredibly powerful. I just wouldn't restrict my toolset to only the scientific method--there are some questions it cannot answer. E.g. which job should I accept, whom should I marry (I don't recommend A-B testing on that one), or ethical questions. Or for computer scientists, there's the gold-digger problem, where the type of errors made is more important than the number of errors made.
I did propose a method by which someone could test what I've tested. But describing the results...let's use a really simple experiment as an example. You put a piece of pH paper into a substance and the paper turns blue. Very simple experiment, very extensively tested, it's been done thousands of times. You describe the process, your conclusions, etc...but what if I don't know what "blue" is?
If I don't have that particular shared experience of seeing blue, you could give me all the details of the process but could never describe to me what blue is, you'd have to show me
@NotThatGuy yeah we probably are talking past each other on things like verificationism, objective/subjective, what is/isn't experiential evidence. But thanks for the engaging discussion.
 
 
3 hours later…
5:02 AM
@HoldToTheRod Thanks, I appreciate that. ...
What does it mean to define one's life or purpose by some thing? If someone calls themselves a scientist and considers a significant part of their life and purpose to involve the pursuit of knowledge through science (which is probably true for pretty much anyone who works 40+ hours a week as a scientist), that sure does sound like defining one's life or purpose by science. But that's describing pretty much every scientist out there, and something similar applies to pretty much anyone who works 40 hours a week in any career they've freely chosen.
 
5:30 AM
Regarding the method as far as non-believers are concerned, another problem would be that a non-believer would have no real reason to actually attempt to verify the existence of God for the same reason they won't attempt to verify that Allah or aliens exist (they don't believe that any of them exist, and each of us individually testing the truth of every claim that hasn't been sufficiently demonstrated, even if we just limit it to ones that greatly affect our lives as a whole, is an unreasonable expectation).
 
 
8 hours later…
1:06 PM
@NotThatGuy - I'm curious, regarding your previous religious phase, (1) what denomination did you belong to or at least felt best represented by, (2) what did you try to test God's existence and (3) how did you come to the conclusion that all the tests you tried failed?
 
1:25 PM
@NotThatGuy - Regarding reliable methods for atheists to verify the supernatural, it's hard to tell for sure, but perhaps the following testimonies from former atheists could offer some insights?
@NotThatGuy - here is another 3-part story in written form posted on Reddit: part 1, part 2, part 3
@NotThatGuy - Lastly, I'm curious also about your thoughts on the reported experiences I linked to in my previous comment here. These are short clips, but as a short summary, the reported experiences include: words of knowledge, speaking in a foreign language unknown to the speaker (aka xenoglossy) but known to a listener,
and an atheist experiencing healing, possession & deliverance, hearing demonic & divine voices and receiving the so-called baptism in the Holy Spirit.
 
1:53 PM
And just one last thing for the record, here are many more insightful experience reports: youtube.com/c/SpiritAnswersPodcast/videos
 
 
8 hours later…
10:08 PM
@SpiritRealmInvestigator My experience is sufficient for me to be convinced that spiritual experiences aren't reliable forms of evidence, and tests involving those are flawed, but I'm not too inclined to share too personal details, and they may be different enough to at the same time be both more and less convincing than other cases. But if you're looking for an atheist to describe a convincing spiritual experience that they now dismiss, then I'd recommend GM Skeptic again: youtu.be/_Ro6VwyYO1A 1/...
In any case, I'm basing my conclusion not just/primarily on my own experience, but rather on the bulk of evidence I'm aware of (including not just testimonies of spiritual Christian experiences, by both Christians and former Christians, but also testimonies of experiences of other things, which appears to have been equally overwhelming and convincing for people, as well as the scientific understanding of how the brain works and how that might explain those experiences).

A test (to manifest a spiritual experience or for anything else) is flawed if the reproduction steps are poorly defined,
Correction: All the illnesses he was "healed" from are primarily psychological.
And rather than saying "A test is [invalid] if ... The result can be attributed to other causes", I probably should've said "The observed result hasn't been shown to be equivalent to the claimed result". The test, if it works, only serves to create an experience involving feeling certain things. But, as far as I'm concerned, this in no way demonstrates that the Holy Spirit is the cause of feeling those things.
 
10:37 PM
@NotThatGuy - your input has inspired me to ask this question:
-1
Q: Do any Christian groups or denominations teach reliable methods for scientifically minded individuals to seek and find God?

Spirit Realm InvestigatorMy question is inspired by an insightful chat discussion in reaction to this answer to the question How do Christians rebut Matt Dillahunty's objection that the resurrection of Jesus is untestable, unfalsifiable and thus unreasonable to believe? A skeptic and scientifically minded user commented ...

 

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