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Discussion 3 on Meditation 44
On Testimony: A further response

by: Reverend Robert Andrew Rodger

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I had hoped to convey that testimony is a personal argument not a religious argument. A religion is based upon individual's personal testimony, true, and a believer who is convinced without a religious experience can be challenged on logical grounds. But an individual who has had a religious experience can not be.

Just as almost no amount of logic will convince me that Isaac Asimov did not almost run me over. (You could show me evidence that he was not in Boston that day, which you can't do with God, but you wouldn't find that evidence because he was in Boston. I know because I saw him. He was in an orange station wagon.)

Organized religions have an even greater problem with testimony because they can't control it. And when testimony conflicts with the establishment there will be problems, such as Fatima and the Catholic Church, or Joan of Arc, or Jesus and the Jewish judges. Christians categorically do not accept the ecstatic experiences of other religions. And why should they? Why should they accept the word of heathens over their own or their leader's experiences?

I do not believe that another's religious experience can support any argument for or against a god or the nature of that god unless you trust the character of that individual. I merely wanted to point out that arguing logic with the religious, especially Born Again or Saved Christians is irrelevant. They've seen the light, and you won't convince them otherwise.

And I wanted to stress that if one is to say, "I don't know if there is or is not a god," one should be careful around those who claim to have met him. They just might have.

Regardless, thanks for all the work on the site and the Church. It's very exciting having a place where I can actually have such discussions, even if I tend to disagree.