RE: Carl Sagan's no evidence claim

Jim Taggart (
Tue, 30 Sep 1997 11:57:03 -0400

> ----------
> From:[]
> Sent: Tuesday, September 30, 1997 10:34
> To:
> Subject: Re: Carl Sagan's no evidence claim
> When people like Sagan claim there is no evidence for God,
> they are
> dismissing the personal testimony of literally billions of people
> today and
> throughout history. They may not say this in so many words, but they
> are in effect claiming to know that every one of these billions of
> people is
> deeply psychologically deceived. (It is also rather ironic that some
> of
> these same scholars then turn around and claim that Christians are the
> ones who are "arrogant" in their knowledge claims! But that is another
> issue.)
Good point.

> One obvious complication is that the exact content of this
> testimony varies so much -- this is so even just among Christians, but
> far
> more so if we take all claims of religious experience together, from
> Nuer
> witches seen flying upside down to blinding lights near the city of
> Damascus. It is reasonable for the sceptic to ask how these could all
> be
> experiences of an objectively real "something" outside the person
> (like
> God) if they are so different. Several possible answers come to mind
> -- 1)
> they are all experiences of spiritual beings, but of different beings,
> 2)
> they are all experiences of God, but how we understand and explain our
> experience of God is so culture bound that when the descriptions are
> put
> side-by-side they seem to be incompatible, or 3) some are experiences
> of an objective spirit world while others are psychological quirks.
Actually it's probably more like the fable of the blind men and the
elephant. Why should all of us experience the spiritual realm in the
same, or even similar, ways?