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Discussion 2 on Meditation 44
A reply on testimonial evidence

by: John Tyrrell

To add to this discussion (or any other,) please use the Contact form. This exchange of views has been continued.

Thank you for writing with your views.

On the next site update, I intend starting a Debates & Commentary section on the web site for members to address issues raised in Meditations, and I plan to include your comments as one of the start-up articles in this section.

As for my own opinion on "testimony": the problem with reports of a personal experience of God is that these reports are not only rejected by non-believers; but are also, in many cases, rejected by believers - even by those believers who have their own personal experiences with god.

To pick a fairly well known example - How many Christians expressed outright disbelief when Oral Roberts claimed that God had told him he would be "called home" if he did not raise sufficient funds for Oral Roberts University? Yet I'm sure Oral personally believed it, as he also sincerely believed he once had a vision of a 900 ft. tall Jesus.

And do Christians accept the ecstatic experiences of other religions - such as possession by various gods during a voudun ceremony? Do non-Catholics accept the various experiences and visions of the Virgin Mary experienced by various Catholics over the centuries. Etc. etc

As the various personal experiences of god transcend religious boundaries, I suggest three possible solutions:[1]

Footnote:

  1. We need not mention a fourth possible solution: "These people are nuts."