I can tell you that regardless of what logical proofs you can come up with to dispute the bible, or what hypocrisy you can point out in believers behavior, it doesn't amount to a hill of beans.
I can tell you that regardless of what logical proofs you can come up with to dispute the [Qur'an], or what hypocrisy you can point out in believers behavior, it doesn't amount to a hill of beans.
I can tell you that regardless of what logical proofs you can come up with to dispute the [Baghavad Gita], or what hypocrisy you can point out in believers behavior, it doesn't amount to a hill of beans.
I can tell you that regardless of what logical proofs you can come up with to dispute the [Book of What is in the Duat], or what hypocrisy you can point out in believers behavior, it doesn't amount to a hill of beans.
Can you explain why the above substitutions would not be equally valid, if stated by someone who had "direct experience" of Allah, Brahman, or Osiris?
What I am trying to say is that knowing God has nothing to do with your mind. Nothing you can conceive of has any bearing on Gods existence or non-existence. Until He comes to you personally, and lets you know, you don't know Him at all. You can't conceive of Him. It seems like nonsense. There is a lot more going on in reality though than what you can see. From what I have witnessed, there is no way for any human mind to perceive God unless God decides to reveal Himself to that person, period. They will continue to believe whatever it is they believe until God decides, for whatever reason, that it's time.
That time for many of you may never come.
just such a special little snowflake, that the omnimax Creator of a hundred billion galaxies tore through the dimensions of time and space--to end famine and AIDS in Africa? To bring enlightenment to the whole world? No--to reveal his presence to you
, and you alone. Yeah. I'm sure he created the whole Cosmos just so that the person behind the Internet moniker "tothesea" could exist. Right?
BTW, whichever deity this is that has revealed itself to you, it cannot
be the deity of the Bible. Here's why:
And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, [even] unto the end of the world. Amen.
And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.
But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and [be] ready always to [give] an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear:
--I Peter 3:15
According to your personal revelation, all of this is futile. There is simply no point in talking
to anyone about God, since only those (assuming there are any besides you, God's favorite magic unicorn) to whom God reveals himself directly through inner experience can have any chance of "getting it" anyway. All of the sermons in the Gospels and Acts, all of the Epistles, all of the writings of the Church Fathers and the great theologians through the ages--vanity, all is vanity, useless gusts of words addressed to the mind, with which the real God has nothing to do.
What purpose can there possibly be for a book, any
book, when the only way to have valid knowledge of God is by being one of the select few to whom God opts to reveal himself directly through inner experience? A book requires reading, and hermeneutics, and studies of the meanings of words in ancient Aramaic, Hebrew, and Greek, efforts to understand ancient idioms and cultural practices that illuminate the meaning of the texts, an entire science of textual criticism to compare the various manuscripts, etc., etc.. All of which you, the Great Revelator, sweep aside as so much dust and ashes.
Do not be surprised if the rest of Christendom is not impressed.
Of course, the relationship between you and the rest of Christendom is not really our problem. We have no dog in that fight. What is perhaps more relevant to us is your claim that the Divine, however defined, can only be apprehended through a special inner experience. First, this claim rests on the unspoken premise that the Divine does not and/or cannot act directly upon external reality. If it could, then we could observe external reality by means of the scientific method, and note a pattern of observable events that are consistent with the existence and action of a particular sort of Divine agency, but not with atheistic naturalism or other conceptions of the Divine.
On the other hand, if the true Divine nature can only be known through a revelation to the hidden recesses of the selves of certain lucky and special people, it follows that as far as external reality is concerned, the existence of the Divine is indistinguishable from its non-existence.
Universe can be expected to behave exactly as it would if gods (or at least the True God of your special revelation) did not exist. When it comes to reality, and our anticipation of how reality will behave, your expectations must be the same as ours. You must join us in expecting a naturalistic Universe that does not behave as if it had a God in it. Or to encapsulate it in a single phrase: You live in the same godless Universe we do.
Now, the second problem for your approach: you are far from the only person claiming to have had a special, mystical revelation of the Divine--and most, if not all of those other claimed revelations differ from yours in terms of the Deity or Deities they purport to reveal. How can we know that you, and not Neale Donald Walsh
or the authors of A Course in Miracles,
or Mohammad (the Qur'an), or Amazonian shamans, or any one of a wide range of mystic experiencers is The Right One?
In accordance with what you've claimed, it is impossible even in principle
to apply any sort of reality-test to claims of Divine revelation. If it were possible, then reality-testing, rather than Divine revelation, would be the way to discover the truth about the Divine. So, if we have had no mystical experiences of our own, we have no reason to trust yours over the myriads of other mystical experiences reported by other people, and reality will not validate yours over the others. If we have had mystical experiences of our own, and if we want to accept some mystical experience as veridical, we should trust our own rather than yours. After all, we would know
our own experiences happened. We'd have to take your word for it that yours did.
However, if it is true that no experimental or observational test made on external reality can be used to compare purported revelations (because the Divine putatively acts only
within such revelations and is otherwise un-observable and undetectable), then we have no reason to take any of them seriously. No matter which particular revelation one might want to believe, one must also
believe that it is possible for all those other mystics to be deceived or in error, and there is no way, even in principle, to know that they are wrong and you are right. At a minimum, all-but-one of the mystical revelations of the Divine are wrong.
So, in the case of any particular revelation, it is far more probable that it will be one of the vast mass of wrong ones, than that it will be the One True Revelation.
And since you must agree with us that all other
mystic revelations are false, there is no reason for us to accept your revelation as valid, even if we should happen to experience a revelation that agrees with yours.
After all, there's a billion Hindus in the world, and countless millions of them, especially their Yogis and Gurus, report mystical experiences that (to them) validate Hinduism. Since they're
all wrong, and they don't (and can't) know it, we likewise cannot know that we (and you) could not also be wrong.
Which is more likely? That the Divine (however defined) would: A) Camouflage its existence so perfectly
that no one could possibly know it was there, and B) then reveal itself to one person or a few persons; Or, that the one person or few persons claiming to have received the true Divine revelation is/are lying or in error? Since you would have to agree with us that the vast majority of people claiming mystical experiences of the Divine are lying or in error (to the extent that their revelations differ from yours), it follows that you are also far more likely to be lying or in error. "But I just know
it's true!" is something every mystic of every persuasion will tell you when it comes to their own experiences. Just as inner conviction and felt certainty do not validate other people's revelations, they cannot validate yours.
To summarize:1. Universe behaves exactly as it would if there were no supernatural Divine agents.2. At a minimum, nearly all people claiming mystical revelation are lying or in error.
3. There is no way, even in principle, to demonstrate that any purported experience of the Divine is true, even if the experience is one's own.
A simple application of parsimony (Occam's Razor) to this means that claims of mystic revelation of the Divine should be rejected.
Don't try to convict God of sin or insanity because the world doesn't make sense to you, or doesn't seem to indicate that God could be good.
Actually, that's not where our disagreement lies. The world does
make sense to us. Scientists can accurately model the behavior of reality from the sub-atomic scale all the way up to the expansion and gravitational behavior of the entire known Cosmos, all without ever having to employ a variable in their equations to account for the existence and/or action of any invisible supernatural beings. Even you must agree with this, since your main claim is that "God" can only be known through subjective experience.
Debating the question of whether a particular god is "good" or not is merely an argument over the moral status of a fictional character, like debating whether or not Darth Vader ought to be considered the hero, or the villain of the Star Wars movies.