Well i was responding to your point about having Ďfar too many reasons to believe in something .... believe in godí, the experience isnít a reason, itís an experience.
The reason, in this case, is that the experience is sufficient for one to believe in god, but that begs the question. It depends what you would count as proof and we can at least grapple with the concept of salivant proof. I could count a tingling in my left food as a sufficient reason to believe in god, but how do i know it was god and not some explicable tangle of nerves and muscles that sent messages to my brain, if I believed it was god-how could i be sure which god it was-and why doesnít he let himself known in a more immediate way.
I donít know the case of the Russian guy, but as you implied yourself how can you know his experience is valid, it isnít an experience you or i have had, but crucially how can he be sure itís valid-if you're not willing to be rational about experiences you can accept anything, but it's up to him i guess.
Hi Jesse, how are you? Long time no talk. Did you enjoy Andy's superb victory at Wimbledon this year?
Anyway, to answer your question, you can't measure a subjective experience under the current scientific model which is based on objective aspects of things. For example, the tingling in your left foot is not a subjective experience, as it was in case of that Russian scientist. Yours still happened in your body which is matter and an object therefore, can be measurable using the objective model. The experience the Russian had is however subjective as he left his body to experience it, thus making it a subjective experience; therefore, not at all measurable under the current model. You can deny his experience but a person who's dead for a few days has far more credibility to his story, than someone who chooses not to believe it or chooses to come up with some other explanation, but the reality is, that isn't a concrete evidence either but just a pure speculations on his/her part.
You simply cannot deny that he didn't have an experience. Any person whose main vital organs including the brain are clinically dead isn't going to make up stories for one. We have now one too many experiences from all walks of life out there to rule out that possibility.
Now whether that proves if there's indeed God is the real question here. I believe it does simply because all these experiences are very consistent and the elements are almost identical. For example, seeing the light of unconditional love (where there's no judgement), life review, meeting with the dead loved ones, meeting with spirit guides or even Angels, Jesus etc. There are some negative experiences as well which is partly described as hellish but again very consistent. Continuous study and experiments are going on at the moment on near death experiences as I know it, so I am sure this will bound to lead us somewhere and the veil will be lifted eventually.
Now the origin of Religion is very old and given that we hadn't advanced as much just yet, it was all given in the terms that was most understood by the people back then - the biblical term if you will or the pre-scientific term etc. It was deliberately mystical or cryptic because people weren't ready for the truth just yet. In truth, we still aren't. Modern science is only as old as 400 years and they are still taking baby steps. What's more, what was true yesterday is not longer valid today. For example, Newton's theories had been overruled by Einstein's and now Quantum Physics has taken a quantum leap on things and overruled all others. Darwin's theories are now just a pile of hogwash since there's a significant gap on the fossil data to support it. The materialistic science has just too many dogmas and paradoxes to overcome and most times, it is unable to explain many things. For example, it suggests that consciousness is the phenomenon of the brain, that is, without having an ounce of evidence to support this theory. Moreover, it can't explain even off hand that even if it is indeed a phenomenon then how something so woolie or nebulous like conscious came into the world of matters? For all we know, matters can't even process meaning let alone explain values like love, justice, truth, beauty etc. which are the fundamental aspects of the consciousness. I can go much deeper than this but it's not needed at this point.
Religion is also full of dogmas as well but it is still a reference point to the concept of God. In any case, all these experiences do indicate a life after death as initially suggested by Religion and if that's so, based on the experiences people are having, it seems more likely that there just might be a divine intelligent being, who has the causal power and in charge of the downward causation. But of course, the concept of God is neither as simple as Religion makes it out to be nor it is as laughable as materialists make it out to be. I truly believe that if one goes on a journey to find out if there is indeed God, leaving all the dogmatic attitude behind, then he or she will find out the truth. And when you do find it, you won't even need to prove it because knowing it is enough of an evidence to that person. Whether others believe him or not is in fact irrelevant.
yeah, i loved Andy's win a Wimbledon, i was phoning friends up frantically during the last game, to get them to watch the end, even those who don't really watch tennis. They realised it was historic-we Brits have been waiting for a Wimbledon winner for a hell of a long time.
It's funny, it seems like a world away- those long hot summer days-it's very dark here in Yorkshire in the UK, dark and cold, though not as cold as usual. I have a soft spot for Djoko too, so it was odd, but enjoyable. I'm looking forward to Andy getting back to tennis, i have a feeling he wasn't himself after Wimbledon-possibly his back.
I can't remember what your point about belief in god was, it seems ages since this thread has been alive, but i'll do my best.
What i think you're getting at is that there can be a rational foundation for belief in god, which is the example i think you gave, and you're making the point for god in the abstract, that's to say you're not using religious credos, but rather philosophical justifications or arguments.
Any subjective experience that i, or anyone else has, is just that, it isn't something that we can point to as evidence for some divine entity who habitually intervenes and guides in the world.
I don't know whether i've mentioned on this thread that i was quite religious years ago, i had a kind of none religious belief in something transcendent, something that actually gave a damn about me and everyone else. But, for me, the problem of human suffering was just irreconcilable with a loving deity. As i've grown older, i've never found an adequate explanation to how a loving god could possibly let there be so much suffering exist. All the standard arguments just don't work-there's evil, or suffering because we have freewill, this is a joke, it doesn't stand any examination. Much of Christianity, for example, has been about trying to reconcile a loving god with pain and suffering-and it has failed.
Many have tried to resolve this, the Cathars, for example, but they all end up allowing for god as fallible in some way, which is fine if you're ok with that, but a deity who is at worst an 'underachiever' to quote Woody Allan, isn't' worth it.