Is J. Neil Schulman justified (logically) in believing in God?


Starbuckle

Recommended Posts

Belief is something you get to much later.

I would not have excluded repeated experiences as evidence of something real. I would not have rejected sensory input because it did not fit into my pre-existing worldview of what was possible. I would not have rejected data in favor of theory. That's putting belief ahead of scientific inquiry.

Belief in the absurd is something you should never get to.

None of this, including your delusional beliefs about God, has anything to with scientific inquiry.

Ghs

Classifying an ongoing sensory experience as a hallucination because you have a belief that it's impossible is an act of dogmatic faith, not science.

You have the methods of science upside down, George H. Smith. Your skepticism isn't rational. It's religious.

The ability to distinguish between the real and the imaginary is always based, to some degree, on what one regards as impossible. This is a distinguishing characteristic of sanity, not to mention rationality.

My skepticism about your particiular God-claim is based on the same premises as my rejection of thousands of similar claims that have made made for thousands of years. If anything -- and as I have discussed before -- your interpretation of your personal experience is far less credible than many similar claims by other people. On a scale of 1 to 10 in regard to such God-claims, I would rate it a 3 -- possibly a 4, if I am in an especially understanding mood.

Ghs

There is nothing wrong with Neil's claims about God qua science if he can find a way to apply science to them.

--Brant

Link to comment
Share on other sites

[replying to Neil Schulman]:

My skepticism about your particiular God-claim is based on the same premises as my rejection of thousands of similar claims that have made made for thousands of years. If anything -- and as I have discussed before -- your interpretation of your personal experience is far less credible than many similar claims by other people. On a scale of 1 to 10 in regard to such God-claims, I would rate it a 3 -- possibly a 4, if I am in an especially understanding mood.

George,

Just curious: what "God-claim" would you rate highest in terms of credibility?

Edited by Xray
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Belief is something you get to much later.

I would not have excluded repeated experiences as evidence of something real. I would not have rejected sensory input because it did not fit into my pre-existing worldview of what was possible. I would not have rejected data in favor of theory. That's putting belief ahead of scientific inquiry.

Belief in the absurd is something you should never get to.

None of this, including your delusional beliefs about God, has anything to with scientific inquiry.

Ghs

Classifying an ongoing sensory experience as a hallucination because you have a belief that it's impossible is an act of dogmatic faith, not science.

You have the methods of science upside down, George H. Smith. Your skepticism isn't rational. It's religious.

The ability to distinguish between the real and the imaginary is always based, to some degree, on what one regards as impossible. This is a distinguishing characteristic of sanity, not to mention rationality.

My skepticism about your particiular God-claim is based on the same premises as my rejection of thousands of similar claims that have made made for thousands of years. If anything -- and as I have discussed before -- your interpretation of your personal experience is far less credible than many similar claims by other people. On a scale of 1 to 10 in regard to such God-claims, I would rate it a 3 -- possibly a 4, if I am in an especially understanding mood.

Ghs

George, you're trying to change the subject. I'm not going to let you get away with it.

The subject is no longer my interpretation of my experience. Off the table for now, irrelevant, immaterial, out of order.

The subject is -- in your own words -- "The weirdest experiences occurred while I was wide awake and completely sober. I would sometimes go for hours at a time without realizing that my father was dead, and I would frequently hear his voice coming from another room. It took at least a year before these voices stopped, and there were other disturbing incidents as well. So don't tell me about your paranormal interpretations of such experiences, as if you are the only one who has ever had them. I had dozens and dozens of them, and I struggled like a son-of-bitch to retain my hold on reality."

This is your experience, not mine. While you were wide awake and sober, for a period approaching a year, you had dozens and dozens of experiences that you ultimately dismissed as too fantastic to regard as real. That is a choice of how to interpret this phenomena that you, not I, made. You could have approached this scientifically and attempted to validate whether or not this could be direct evidence of survival after death. Instead, because of your dogmatic, faith-based decision that human consciousness does not survive bodily death, you dismissed the data, declared your own experiences untrustworthy, and placed your faith in the conventional above the evidence of your own senses.

You don't again get me to take you seriously as someone who holds reason at the pinnacle of his values until you admit that your denying your own experience of the exceptional makes you incapable of fairly interpreting anybody else's.

You're as much of a faith-based evangelical as the Pope.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Here's a great scene from W. Allen's wonderful movie "Hannah And Her Sisters" about the problem of certainty when it comes to the God question: :)

Several of Allen's films touch on the philosophy of existence, and the way he manages to present this topic in his bittersweet comedies - that's pure genius!

Edited by Xray
Link to comment
Share on other sites

[To George H. Smith]

You're as much of a faith-based evangelical as the Pope.

Neil, with such irrational comments directed at a rational individual like George, you will only drive him away from this thread, for he'll conclude that he is wasting his time discussing with you here.

Why don't you ask George more questions? For example, you could have asked him why he went up to "3" at all in his rating of your God-claim. I was pretty surprised actually that he did:

My skepticism about your particiular God-claim is based on the same premises as my rejection of thousands of similar claims that have made made for thousands of years. If anything -- and as I have discussed before -- your interpretation of your personal experience is far less credible than many similar claims by other people. On a scale of 1 to 10 in regard to such God-claims, I would rate it a 3 -- possibly a 4, if I am in an especially understanding mood.

Edited by Xray
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Xray, you sound like a GHS groupie. All hail King George!

Thought we got rid of him a few hundred years ago...

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Xray, you sound like a GHS groupie. All hail King George!

Me, of all the posters here?? I hope Ghs doesn't fall out of his chair when he reads that! :D

Aristocrates, you're fairly new to OL, but if you read up on some of the older threads, you'll find some pretty controversial exchanges between Ghs and me.

What I have always appreciated in George though, despite disagreements on several issues, is his proficiency as a debater.

All hail King George!

George won't be delighted at being labeled King. He's an anarchist! :o ;)

Edited by Xray
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 3 weeks later...
  • 1 year later...

Well, I think we can do better, me. What if one of us invited in J Neil Schulman for a final valediction?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

J. NEIL SCHULMAN: Because I don't believe the supernatural is unreal, therefore reason can eventually discern supernatural operations and supernatural laws.

More of Jneil's god-notions in this exclamation-strewn writeup:

http://www.weeklyuniverse.com/2003/godexists.htm

###

The man is daft.

Talking to G-D is nothing unusual. When G-D talks back it is time to seek help.

Ba'al Chatzaf

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Too late ... I stepped in front of the gawd bus and invited Neil via Facebook. How about he posts the 1000th post and then MSK locks it?

-- if there is a 1001th post, then we will know that gawds work in mysterious ways ...

Link to comment
Share on other sites

God has never heard of PARC, but he has read J Neil's account of their meeting, and also Alongside Night. (God has a lot of free time). He told me he thinks the former is much better written and more interesting than the latter, and respondeth I to Him, Amen.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

God has never heard of PARC, but he has read J Neil's account of their meeting, and also Alongside Night. (God has a lot of free time). He told me he thinks the former is much better written and more interesting than the latter, and respondeth I to Him, Amen.

Ah, forget about PARC - while you have HIM on the Line, Carol - get His

review of ATCAG!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now