Thursday, August 1, 2013

Atheists Can't Face Scientific Facts: Debate with Royce

Exchange with Royce over 7 arguments: Naturalism as cause on RE

 This is an exchange on a message board over issues relating to my use of 200 studies on religious experience and the arguments I think they support for the existence of God and the validity of religious beilef. I've addressed several times, on this blog, the nature of these studies and grossly unfair treatment atheists have given them. One such post was, "Atheists Slander Real Scholar," "M Scale Proved by My own test." "Atheist show their Lack of honor and decency." Please read those articles to understand what this is all about.

There have already been several exchanges at this point. I isolated the exchange on its own thread and asked others not to take part so it would be 1x1 bewteen Royce and I, and he bailed.

Blue Text: my past words in previous exchange, not all of my answers are in blue because the last exchange before Royce chickened out and ran away form the debate is not in blue. The blue is what I had said the previous time.

Here are the original 6 points that are the major issues:

these are the arguments I made to disprove Royce's assertion that brain chemistry was the cause of RE.

(1) you have never answered the receptor argument

(2) It's disproved by the universalism

(3) It's disproved by the positive effects

(4) the God part of the brain is more of an argument for God than against, so bringing into any sort of evolutionary encroachment raises the possibly of God at work.

(5) none of the researchers who claim to evoke mystical experience by stimulating the brain use the M scale or another valid scacle to know if they succeeded so you can't use them as evidence.

(6) that means your argument is merely ideologically driven and theoretical

(7) you can't show that an accident or an adaptation would be consistently positive i so many ways.

the current state of my answers to Royces come back.

Part 1

I am cutting out a bunch of this stupid yammering and getting to some real arguments.

there was a lot of stupid stuff in there like "you are not good you can't think" ect ect we don't need that.

first look for an answer to the receptor argument. that was (1). that's first of the seven points.

here it is as I make it:

the naturalistic processes that involve brain chemistry are the basic process through which we think and understand. That means that God has to work in those perimeters if we have any sense of God's presence. It's not surprising to find brain chemistry involved with it. That would like arguing that because God has vibrate the air to speak audibly to Moses then it's naturalistic so God can't be speaking.
That's not much of an argument.


First, many theists are substance dualists and thus think that their minds are ontologically distinct from their bodies. Thus, something could interact with their minds without interacting with their bodies, and so God could communicate with them without interacting with their bodies, including their brains. So your argument would not work on theistic substance dualism.

that's irrelevant. the point is that none of the neurological arguments can escape the epistemological dilemma and prove anything about the spirit. so they can't rule out mystical experience of as being experience of God's presence just becuase it invovles brain chemistry. making a theory of perception is not at issue is does not answer the argument.

Second, we can cut God out of the explanation via Occam's razor. Brain chemistry (along with other naturalistic factors such as upbringing) would suffice for explaining the religious experiences.


No we can't becasue all the other things I've argued tell us there are things involved and you can't make these simplistic formulations, which is after all merely argument from sign, or correlation.

that doesn't answer the epistemological dilemma of the receptor argument.


One would not need to posit a God, or interaction with an existent God, as a cause for these experiences (it does not make the explanation on the metrics of inference to the best explanation), especially given the disparate nature of religious experiences. Looking at people's reports of these experiences, one would not thing it likely that they are experiencing the same, singular deity.

that's a very stupid argument and proves you have not read a single study on the subject. all the studies point to the universality of the experiences themselves. many of the studies, but Hood especially prove this. The article in the McNamara book is one major Hood source on that point.
(the experiences are all the same, what differs is the name of God i the particular tradition).

the universal nature of it is one major arguments that proves there's much more to it than just neurological data. you can't just cross it out becuase it invovles brain chemistry.

not the answer doesn't answer it. not saying that every single person has it (although it's been proposed theoretically by William James and Wuthnow) but it is universal to all cultures, times and faiths. It shouldn't be becuase religious construct are cultural. cultural constructs can't be universal to all cultures. that's a good reason to think something more is involved.

that's the universality argument I just got through referring to.


So that's what you mean by "universalism". Well then, that's fairly trite. After all, if even one member of a culture had that experience, you'd say that the experience was present in that culture. I could say the same about hallucinations. After all, it's fairly likely that every culture that existed had at least one member who had an auditory and/or visual hallucination. So using your definition, that means auditory and/or visual hallucinations are universal and universalism applies to them. Ha!


what a childish argument! you are certainly a sophomore that is well,you know, sophomoric! First of all the arguemnt is made by the leader researcher in the wrold in the field whose instrument is the standard procedure for study of religious experience. Its not some little deal i made up. Backup! that's the way he argues.

secondly, Steve, you have no basis for the idiotic assertion that it's only one person in a culture. it's not only proved by modern studies which of course use more than one person in a culture but also based Stace who read all the great mystics of the world that one could find in the 1950s. IT"S YOUR BURDEN OF PROOF because I have the data to prove it., from the M scale validations and other studies. so you have must do the proving that it's not true.


Also, culturally-influenced traits can be universal. For example: language-use. Do all cultures speak the same language? No. But as Chomsky pointed out, there are underlying commonalities to the grammar and languages employed across all cultures. Doesn't change the fact that language and language-use is a culturally-influence trait


you don't get the idea of a construct. I'm not surprised you don't get what that is. language itself is nto a construct it's an instinct. Generative grammar is an instinct. It's not cultural. the particular language are cultural they are not passed on and they learned and they limited to culture.

it's just the way anthropologists divide up the world. anything universal is not a cultural construct anything that is limited to a given culture is a cultural construct. religions are different in different cultural just as languages are. so they are not instinct but culture.

If you want to conclude that mystical experience is given instinct with genetics that's ok with me. that is so close to the God o the Brain arguemnt it feeds into arguemnt I made form that. that's the way you want to go that's fine. I'll jump over the fence and start making that argument, great. that's a fine argument because it's an empirical based scientific argument for God.

I will present part 2 in the next couple of days. The kicker is I moved this to a new thread because this was a tangential exchange on a large thread about something else. When I moved it I asked everyone to say off so it would be 1x1, I wanted to move it to isolate it becuase he had several other posts that weren't part of the exchange they were creating confusing, too much to look at, can't focus on the issues. When I moved it and isolated it and ask that it be 1x1 he refused to continue. When he doesn't have anyone to hide behind he wont face me.

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