I'm just going to throw this out here now:Originally Posted by God-fearing Physicist
Faith isn't a way of seeking truth. It's a method of preserving what one already believes. When a person of faith comes to a new realization about their faith--changing what said person believes--this is not caused by faith. This new faith wasn't arrived at through faith regardless of whatever truth there may be to it.
It is, however, a great way of determining what is not truth.Originally Posted by God-fearing Physicist
And how does faith reveal these truths? Because someone with faith has managed to believe something, does that make it a "truth"?Originally Posted by God-fearing Physicist
An answer, certainly. The correct answer? Not likely--faith is not about examining what one believes, it's merely about believing.Originally Posted by God-fearing Physicist
And how did faith determine this? Because you've managed to believe it?Originally Posted by God-fearing Physicist
I read the one you suggested.Originally Posted by God-fearing Physicist
His supposed "source of knowledge" is personal spiritual experience. That's great and all, but it's completely useless to everyone else. It's great that by believing something you've had a personal experience justifying it (or you had a personal experience which led you to believe something) but so have people from all religions. Our brains are very capable of justifying silly things.“How do you know that God exists?” is a perfectly reasonable question, which I think should be asked by skeptics. I claim something greater than “I believe”. Even the wateriest agnostics can mumble these “I believe” words, but I claim more. I claim I know. To know something requires a source of knowledge.
As a really interesting example, look up "Capgras delusion." It's caused by injury to a very specific part of the brain. It cuts off a person's ability to have an emotional response to faces. Normally, when we see people we recognize, we have an emotional response. People with this injury do not. They justify this lack of response by believing that their friends and family have been replaced by imposters. Yet, the part of the brain that triggers emotional response to sound is unaffected. If they talk on the phone to, say, their mother, they still think that it's their mother. But if their mother walks up to them they will think it's an imposter.
There is a whole class of drugs entitled "entheogens," because they can make a user feel like they are in God's presence or any number of other such experiences. All they're doing is changing the way certain parts of the brain work. The brain is able to do this on its own.
Personal spiritual experience is proof of nothing.