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Posted by Mario Dovalina on May 1, 2002 19:35:56 UTC

once you take the drug the explanation becomes useless to you. The paradox lies in the fact that your acceptance of the hallucination hypothesis rests on your ignorance of the contents of the drug experience.


That's definitely interesting. There's two ways I could talk about it. I could either deal with it as an isolated incident, or I could aim for the topic I think you're getting at, that you can't understand faith until you experience it. I guess I'll do both.

I'm not totally convinced that that drug actually exists, and you weren't speaking metaphorically. If it does, though, I wonder what would happen if you were to give a dose to a monkey or a guinea pig, with no concept of any God. If a reaction were to take place, perhaps it would instill a feeling of awe or well-being, a feeling of incredible positive emotion with a feeling of another presence. I would suggest that it's just the humans involved who invoke "god" to explain this. Although, for someone to claim that the drug proved God's existence to them is a bit silly, I think. If I could design a pill that could completely annihilate any faith in a person and make them accept it completely, the experience would be no more and no less legit. It's a chemical reaction that you have no control over, and I tend to be a bit suspicious of things that you can only understand by ingesting large amounts of narcotics. Like people who claim that you can think clearer and more quickly when you've been smoking pot. True, my experience may be limited by the fact that I haven't experienced it, so I can never *know,* but the fact that it is artificially induced makes me suspicious. Maybe it causes the brain to manifest its most deeply, desperately held desire. Also, scientifically speaking, why would the only way a human can directly experience God be to take a drug? Why would God take such a roundabout approach? Sounds mighty suspicious.

If you were being purely metaphorical, and were trying to say that faith can never be explained, it just is, well, I suppose that's true. But I don't accept it as an explanation, regardless. My skepticism isn't "just there." I try to have decent reasons for it. People who say that faith can't be explained, it just is, have no right to criticize people who kill or terrorize people as a result of their faith, which also "just is," and can't be justified. I believe you when you say that you can't explain your faith, but I don't view it as a valid reason to have it.

I'll probably have a better idea of what you meant when you reply, and then I'll write a better response.

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