Belief system is an interesting term, like I went out and bought one off the shelf.
You did! The "product" was brought to you, pitched, and sold to you when you were young. You bought the stock (fully invested) without investigating it first - as is the case with nearly every religionist on the planet - and now you are trying to defend it by both rationalizing the inconvenient facts (and counter-examples), while spinning the interpretation of your alleged experiences ("filtering") in a fashion that is indistinguishable from confirmation bias. It's dishonest, plain and simple.
I don't mind if it gets critically examined. I believe it because it happens to me the way it happens to me.
This is more dishonesty. If you truly didn't mind that your beliefs be critically examined you would be doing that YOURSELF - while not trying to insulate/rationalize your interpretation in a way that is always favorable to what you assumed
at the outset (i.e. - the presupposition of your bible). Your words are not lining up with your actions.
If it happened to you, you would believe it too. There is absolutely no issue of honesty involved. I'm not lying about what happens so why is that dishonest?
I used to believe it just like you! For nearly 20 years I attempted your same arguments (and then some). I used to attempt the same serendipitous, superstitious, confirmation bias. I thought, "It's the still small voice talking to me"
or "Oh, Jesus wants me to do X b/c this just can't be a coincidence."
I told friends that I "saw a vision of Jesus and he told me X." This was all until I began to discover that other religions make the same superstitious, non-falsifiable, non-demonstrable claims (with just as much ferver, passion, and certainty). In fact, I wrote journal entries that look just like
your stories! "Jesus gave me this vision, and then he confirmed it because my friend called me 5 minutes later and said X" - all the while not realizing (as you are not realizing) the confirmation bias and self-fulfilling proclamation that I was happening.
Secondly, you are spinning my words once again. I DID NOT
say you are being dishonest regarding the actual events of what may, or may not, have happened. I said you are practicing intellectual hypocrisy (dishonesty) b/c you are lowering your standard of evidence ONLY for YOUR religion, which you assumed from the beginning and are now filtering everything through, and not for anything else. In other words, you are not
treating your religion (belief system) like you would any other
belief system (or attempted sales pitch). You ASSUMED it (your bible) from childhood (placed all your eggs in the Jesus Basket
) and are now suspending critical thinking, disinterested analyses, and honest investigation.
This is just plain intellectual dishonesty.
For me it's not a belief system, it is a reality.
Take a look at the surrounding posts and how questions are posed. I know you are passionate, but I'm going to limit responses for the reason I already explained. Does not compute.
It "does not compute" because you won't allow
good critical thinking in - b/c if you did it would mean you would have to change your mind about what you assumed and bought into early on. You said you could validate your belief in God (as well as give us a good reason why this alleged God won't heal amputees) but you haven't done that. You just keep using circular reasoning and rationalization.
Secondly, every religion says, "For me it's a reality."
Of course it is, b/c you assumed it and based your entire life upon it! Muslims say and do the exact same thing. But that doesn't make it an actual
reality. Santa Claus is a total reality for millions of kids (as is astrology or dowsing for many people), so what. We aren't talking about "reality for Wayne" (there is no Wayne's World
). We are talking about reality, period (the one we ALL are in). This is why I said faith is not a pathway to truth. Faith is absolutely useless is helping us distinguish between fact and fiction. Every religion claims to have "faith" in their deity/holy book/prophet etc. Why are you being so gullible like them?? Have you ever questioned your personal subjective experiences? People are often wrong about what they think they experience. You know that, right? Do you think it's possible that you could be mistaken (like you likely think the Muslims are)?? How can you, in clear conscience, believe that every other personal experience confirmation of Islam for Muslims (for example) is mistaken and yet yours is correct?
No, you can't just
go off of your personal experiences Wayne (b/c those can be very unreliable). You need to exercise good critical thinking skills (logic, reason, and evidence together) and what seems evidently clear here is that you're aren't