Critical Thinking: Are personal spiritual experiences believable?

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Belief & falsifiability < Idea of Ideas < Critical Thinking

Should you believe other people’s experiences?

First, this came about from the following Facebook comment:

“Suppose your uncle tells you God is real because he saw Him in a vision. Your cousin tells you heaven is real because he saw it during a near-death experience. Should you accept these as real? Yes, personal experiences can hold profound truth. While we can’t all embark on a shared journey to see God or heaven, these experiences offer a personal form of evidence. Just because they aren’t publicly verifiable doesn’t mean they lack validity.”

My Answer: Those are empirical things, and empirical things need evidence. Without all of us being able to verify them, they DO NOT EXIST. Well, at least from an epistemological sense as all empirical things must be falsifiable. Within each person’s personal worldview, they can embrace whatever irrational ideas they wish. However, I have chosen a life in which I try to embrace no irrational ideas. This means I outright reject disproven ideas, avoid non-scientific irrational ones, and even explore very few speculative scientific ideas.

Our ideas of and about the material world are either empirically true, rationally true, or irrational. The irrational is either disproven wrong, fiction, or a new speculative idea awaiting judgment. This is how the Idea of Ideas looks at these things. I wrote about it in my upcoming book “30 Philosophers“. For more on categorizing ideas, take the deep dive: The Idea of Ideas

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