My two centavos worth to your quest. The data of science can be obtained
solely by mechanical devices. Such data are not anecdotal. For instance,
one can have photographs and other physical non human evidence of "visions
of space aliens." Mechanical devices can detect only the physical. Man is a
detector. We can detect the visible spectrum with our eyes, the infrared
with our skin, etc. In addition, man is a detector of the nonphysical. Ask
your friend if all his experiences are physical. If he says yes, then ask
him if he has ever been loved or has loved in return. Use his answers and
question his girlfriend, fiancée or wife to see if she agrees with what he
says. Most likely she will not. If she does, then they are talking about
something that is physical. [ Most women are more emotional, sentimental
and seekers of true love than men. Witness the fact that there is a
commandment for husband to love their wife. If that came naturally, there
would be no need for an injunction.] I do not know about "visions of the
kingdom of God." The latter is not important. The important thing is that we
can know God and we can reason. These things are not physical. They are
Hope this helps,
From: Wayne Dawson <email@example.com>
To: firstname.lastname@example.org <email@example.com>
Cc: firstname.lastname@example.org <email@example.com>
Date: Friday, May 07, 1999 6:03 AM
Subject: visions of what?!?
>I recently managed to get myself mired in a debate with someone
>about "evidence" in relation to the existence of God. Having
>obtained a Ph.D in physics, I am well aware of the severe paucity
>of so-called "measurements" which can attest to the existence of
>God. Moreover, I am intellectially honest enough to say that such
>faith in God is based upon our own subjective interpretation of
>events in our lives.
>However, my recent blunder into such discussions has introduced
>yet another distraction from the secular naturalists. The argument
>goes as follows...
>Person A (let's say Richard Price) claims to have been abducted
>by aliens from outer space.
>Person B (let's say Mother Theresa) claims to have had a mystical
>experience in which she was touched by God's spirit.
>Both people (as far as I know) genuinely believe what happened to them
>were real events in their lives. Moreover, nether person A nor person
>B have used these events for personal profit, and have endured much
>suffering on account of their respective experiences.
>Since both claim to have "experience", the secular naturalist
>states that both such claims are invalid since both claim their
>"experience" is true.
>Now ultimately, I suppose on the matter of "evidence", Jesus already
>made it clear in the debate between Abraham and the rich man (Luke
>16:31) "And he said onto [the rich man]. 'If they hear not Moses and
>the prophets, neither will they be persuaded, though one rose from the
>dead'". Hence, it is probably pointless for even the Almighty
>himself/itself (or whatever way chose we express it) to make argument
>with the insistant secular naturalist.
>Moreover, I suspect that denial of sense experience by the secular
>naturalist leads down a path in which *NO* sense experience can be
>considered valid (even the secular naturalist's most precious
>"reproducable-on-demand" experimental experience). Indeed, I suspect
>that taking the redutio ad absurdum, *all* sense experience could be
>classified as "anecdotal" (even the experiments we carry out ourselves
>to convince ourselves of the validity of observations carried out by
>other scientists) and therefore "scientific evidence" itself can be
>equally denied by such extreme reasoning.
>However, I lack the philosophical prowess to wage a suitable argument
>to counter this recent secular naturalist' attack.
>Does anyone on this list have some suggestions on suitable arguments
>to counter the secular naturalist' assertion that "visions of space
>aliens" and "visions of the kingdom of God" are identical and