Why is personal experience, especially for God and supernatural/religion issues, bad and how does it differ from any other types of personal experience (which is based on our senses).
I though this might be a good discussion since it’s one of the most common arguments for God. Usually when all other arguments have failed theists revert to the personal experience argument since personal experiences are inherently subjective.
Here a recent example from a theist:
Really now, a theist's belief derives from his experiences with God. To ignore that person's experiences is to ignore that PERSON. You're cutting off the very thing which makes him a human: his ability to EXPERIENCE the world around him. That ain't cool, amigo. That ain't cool.
From the point of view of a theist, right now you are saying, "You did NOT experience God."
You can disagree with that assertion all day long, but I'll say it again: From the point of view of a theist, you are saying, "You did NOT experience God."
That denial of experience is an outright subjugation of the theist's thoughts, feelings, and emotions. From his perspective you are denying him human autonomy.
Don't do that. Instead, affirm that he experienced something, and ask about it.
See, he asks that one must merely assume the theist had a personal experience with God, without any reason to. I played this game with this particular theist once and after I agreed with his assumption, heard what he had to say, and then disagreed… his reply (paraphrased)… “You can’t disagree after you already accepted the assumption. It’s too late. You must present your disagreement at the assumption stage.
So I asked him to present his argument again, and this time I disagreed with it… “why should I just accept the assumption.” His reply… “If you want an answer you must accept the assumption since my answer requires the assumption. No assumption, no answer/debate”
So essentially, to continue the debate with this person I must accept his assumption, then at not point disagree or call him on it. I refuse to do this. Now he ignores anything I say.
"It is far better to grasp the universe as it really is than to persist in delusion, however satisfying and reassuring" -- Carl Sagan