My final word on Skepies Mendacity


I am Skeptical has a child's concept of discussion and argument, refusing to accept that the sources I quote are talking about mystical experience even when I show that they do. He basis this upon the use of synonyms such as "higher consciousness," he wont accept that this is another term for mystical experience.
here is Gagenback direct quote: A. "Mystical Experiences

The experience of pure consciousness is typically called "mystical". The essence of the mystical experience has been debated for years (Horne, 1982). It is often held that "mysticism is a manifestation of something which is at the root of all religions (p. 16; Happold, 1963)." The empirical assessment of the mystical experience in psychology has occurred to a limited extent.[1]

when he claims that he read the titles in the bib and they don't say mystical so that proves the study is not about it, a bunch say higher states of consciousness, this expert says that is also called mystical.that just demonstrates the stupidity of trying to pretend the studies aren't talking aren't talking about it just because he doesn't see the word in the title, it also proves my contention that are other terns for it, and it proves he doesn't read the comments or he doesn't care about the facts because I quoted this right to his face.

I went through this with hundreds of atheists for a decade at least, They reuse to read the studies they refuse to read the evidence, They never looked at a single study for five years but continually told me how stupid they were, This is what this irresponsible liar is doing you cannot know by reading a title on a bib what the work contains, he says repeatedly "I read the bib and a couple of abstracts" that's supposed to really prove it. That's a big research job. More ludicrous he wont even say what abstracts he read, so I can't look them up to see if he has a point, For all I know he didn't read any I would not put that past him, He seems to be playing that same little game over and over again, He doesn't have to read anything but just assert he knows fro looking at  the tittles and a couple of non disclosed sources that aren't even the full studies. He never has to read it he never has to stop lying, That proves nothing about my work all it proves s we cannot trust this guy, No evaluation he makes is trustworthy,

Now does yet one more broadside no his blog to get the last word after totally showed him up and disproved his childish drivel:

Let me give a brief recap.  Joe wrote an article called Children of the lack of God, that said basically that atheists don't know what Christians know about their basis for belief, because atheists lack the experience that provides this epistemic basis.  He is referring to the mystical experience, which supposedly provides first-hand knowledge of God's presence.  My response, called Children of the lack of Objectivity, said that there are different levels of understanding of an experience, some of which are indeed subject to objective examination.[2]  
First of all I did say that a small fraction of atheist have mystical experiences, But there really no way he can deny this argument since on the one had he claims the experiences are nothing,but on the other if they haven't changed his life then they are not the right one,s. The fact is none of the atheist who go on message boards have scored on the M scale so their claims to experience are bogus. But those who actually have had mystical experiences, their lives were changed, They have not become Christians but they don't just dismiss it as no big deal,

As for the meaning of these experiences, I said basically that we are all humans, and we all have similar experiences, but we interpret them differently, based on what we already know or believe.  Furthermore, many of us atheists are former theists, and therefore, the claim that we lack the same experience simply isn't true.  For some reason that isn't clear to me, Joe sees this as an attack on his book.  But I didn't mention his book, and I was responding strictly to what Joe said in that article.

No we don't all have similar experiences, not at all. That is borne out by every study, One of the major findings is that those who have then do better in so many aspects than those who don't. I can name study after study such a Nobel and Wuthnow, Hood, Alexander, Maslow, .Lukoff and Lu, Greely, Rozario,who have such findings, obviously then we don't all have them or would be no comparison, Moreover tyhere is not one single study that backs up his premise that we all have them and they are no big deal.

So now in his latest article, Joe has come out with some false claims that I feel should be addressed.  First of these is the title of his new article: Children of the lack of reading what they criticize.  He might have a case if I was talking about his book, which I haven't read, but that's not what I was addressing (as I just explained).  It is true that I haven't read his book, and I have said so many times.  I refuse to provide financial support for it, but I'll be happy to read it if Joe wants to provide a free copy.  In the meantime, when I make my comments about things that Joe says elsewhere (regardless of any overlap they might have with what is in the book), I am commenting on things that I have read.


First of all it;s obvious that he hasn't read all of the material,  Even after I quoted the Gagenback quote at the top linking higher states to mystical experience he continued to assert that her source and other sources are not talking about mystical experience and that "higher states" are not mystical.. Either he did not read the statement I made or he;s just a liar, As for the review copy why should I
waste a review copy on someone with his horrible track record of bad reading comprehension and willful desire to distort and discredit,.He would just make up a bunch of lies and misconstrue the facts. After seeing so many dishonest statement I sure as he,kl will not trust him to review my work.
More importantly the articles I' posted on my blog and here show clearly the things I'm  talking about. 

But the book, like the study expects. He wants to pretend that if he has not read it doesn't mean anything,But then he expects me to credit his"I read a couple of abstracts" without even saying hat they are, He wants the reader to extend him privileges he wot wont extend to his opponent, But then the book is there and the two chapters where I go through and show all the studies and what they do he wants to pretend they just don't exist because he hasn't  read them,[3]

 If  one  follows the quotes there's no way one could construe that the studies are not about mystical experience, I quoted Gacklenback talking  about other scales of measurement besides the M scale why would they have all these scales for measuring mystical experience if they don't have studies? That's what the scales are invented for is the studies.,

Next, Joe makes this claim:
He assumes that there is nothing there to explained so therefore any human feeling is as good as another therefore he knows all about it. That is manifest nonsense. ... Some atheists (small group) do have mystical experiences and the studies show that these atheists react to the experiences the same way that religious people do but they use different terminology, but they are the same experiences.
Joe completely failed to understand what I wrote.  I never denied that non-religious people have profound (possibly religious) experiences.  I did deny that experiences of this type are unknown to atheists.  In fact, it's not just a small group of atheists who have these experiences, although it might be a small group that sees the experience as reason to convert.  It's because of our previous understanding that we interpret the experience in a different way.  But Joe denies that most atheists have the same kind of experience.  And this is a point of disagreement.  
 I already dealt with this above. I've read most of the studies he read not one, There is no study showing that lots of atheists have mystical experiences. It's true there are degrees and one theory holds that we all have some a level of experience but for most people it's not very strong, The significant experiences that really change lives. No study shows lot's of atheists having them. Moreover the structure of the studies comparing the experiences between those who have them and those who don;t proves we don't all have them, at least not the significant kind. This is all reflected in the free articles I put on my blogs and websites.[4]

At this point, it is worth pointing out that Joe bases this mistaken belief on his "empirical studies" - specifically, the M-scale that, according to Joe, purports to objectively measure mystical experience, and distinguish the "true" experience from others that are similar.  In other discussions, I have made the point that there is no objective measure of what is inherently subjective.  How would the inventor of this scale know whether the scale is accurate in determining a "true" experience?  It's impossible.  All he knows is how people answer a questionnaire, which is dependent on how they interpret the experience. 

I've answered this every time, More proof he does not read, He does not read the responses, Some new atheist loony convinced him not read what Christians say. The answer is his assertion that subjective experience can be measured is not evidence, it's his opinion,The fact is what is being measured is both the content of the experience and  the effect of having had it. That can be and is measured, It's is an objective effect. these experiences are real and really do produce objective quantifiable responses.

 The M-scale may weed out any answers that its creator feels don't indicate the proper interpretation, but it provides no objective information about the subjective inner experience, just as it is impossible to objectively describe what the color blue looks like.  In fact, there is no legitimate way to say that this person's experience is "the real thing", and this other person's isn't, M-scale notwithstanding.  This isn't objective scientific analysis.  It is religion masquerading as science - just like "creation science".
It doesn't have to provide it. We can get what we need to know about experience without without it (ie the content and the result,). He is essentially saying we can't measure the intensity and we don't need to do that,

"Joe's defense of the validity of this M-scale is predicated on studies that correlate the experience with positive changes in one's life." No not exactly The M scale works by comparing the content of people's experiences with Stace's theory by asking them 32 questions and scoring those in a system that Hood worked out.[5]

But that's meaningless.  If this correlation is true, it doesn't establish that the experience comes from God.  All we might conclude is that a person's attitude and psychological state probably affects both his interpretation of the experience, and also the way he lives. No legitimate scientist would make the logical stretch from correlation data to Joe's conclusion.
This all goes back to his not having read anything I've put for him to read, I've answered every single time. No way has he read any of the essays I put up unless he's just lying  about what they say, As I just said the M scale establishes if it's a real mystical experience. other studies use it to establish real Mystical experiences then they compare those people's scores on other scales that measure things like self actualization, The M scale does not do that it is used by those doing it, No it doesn't prove that God is real and that is what I have said on all my God arguments it's all over all my blogs and all my sites, of course doufus doesn't read so he doesn't know: I never claim to prove the existence of  God,I claim that belief is rationally warranted. I Never said the studies probe all the claims I make, I say they prove my claims that mystical experience is real it has real effects it has  measurable effects it's good for you it'snot pathological it's not mental illness and makes your life better, Based upon that spring  board I can prove that belief is warranted. If he had read any of the things I;e put up in comments sections or on blogs he would know that.

Furthermore, Joe cites 200 such studies that supposedly provide "empirical backing" for his claims.  But with the possible exception of of Wuthrow and Noble, those 200 studies aren't even about mystical experience.  They mostly correlate a spiritual attitude with well-being.  They don't really support his thesis in any substantial way.

The Nobel study and the Wuthnow study do not possibly show mystical experience they do show it it's fact that's what they set out to study,[6] This last claim that none of the other studies talk about mystical experience is a total lie. "those 200 studies aren't even about mystical experience." So If I show you one other study that does then obviously his is empirically wrong I've already shown that Gackenback [7] talks about mystical experience and in fact she talks about different scales used to measure it by Where are they using those scales if nit in studies? The scales were made to be used in studies. Look at her site look at her bib sand look at the lot search of Lukoff and Lu[8] you can see many of the studies I use. The Nobel study doesn't say it's about mystical experience but he admits it is because I quoted from it.
These are some of the source i used in y research,I have pointed out before how in the book I very carefully go though many studies and in fact most of them and discuss their methodology, All of these are sources I used in building my bib. Against all of this all he has to offer is that he read some titles.see my note on bibs [9]

Joe wraps up his diatribe with this:
This guy has the gal to lecture me on epistemological tool boxes. He's never read any of the studies I use (which are the leading studies in the field) or my book and probably not any book or even an article about mystical experience, He wants to be credited as knowing all about an experience he's never had, he doesn't quote a single source I have 200 studies from peer reviewed journals, He doesn't even know who Stephan Tulmin was and he's so ignorant he thinks Warrant has to be blessed by science before its valid. His knowledge base is grounded in pre conceived notions and atheist propaganda, Mine is based upon resource of a body of literature consisting of 200 peer reviewed studies in academic journals going back 50 years and endorsed by the leading researchers in psychology of religion, My actual book is endorsed by Ralph Hood inventor of the M scale and one of the acknowledged leaders in research in the field. It.s on the cover of the book.
 What I know about Joe's thesis is what he's told me.  And much of it is pseudo-scientific hokum.  He may be citing actual studies, but the way he interprets them, and the conclusions he draws, are not scientifically valid.

What he knows about my thesis could be write large on the bum of a fly with a huge crayon. Emblazoned on the cover of my book is the quote by Dr, Hood inventor of the MN scale professor of psychology at University of Tennessee Chattanooga who says my book is an excellent introduction to the empirical research in the field. I studied 12 years in Ph,D. work in history of science and i passage qualifying examine with flying colors, my committee chair said I did better on qualifying examines than anyone hie had seen at UTD. I have published in academic journals I ran one and I served referee for one, Skepie is s loudmouth know nothing, he's irresponsible and a liar, He has no scholarly knowledge he;s a fake.

As a Christian, Joe makes faith-based claims much like many other Christians.  The difference is his insistence that he is playing the role of scientific researcher, and claiming empirical validation for his religious beliefs.  If this were true, he should have the attention of the whole scientific community.  But that's not the case.  Instead, what we see is Joe showing up on blogs everywhere, pathetically trying to promote sales of his book.
The little know nothing atheist worships science, that's  his only concept of a critic or a thinker or a scholar is  he;s never heard of philosophers or historians, he has no concept of knowledge other than science. Yet he  knows nothing about the science the he worships,He knows only a pseudo-science practiced by atheist apologists which is analogous to creationism for fundamentalist Christians. His kind of atheism is the book end for fundie Christians. The dawkamentalist.

I never said I'm, a scientist or that I'm doming scientific research. He imagines I think because that;s his religion that's his version of a priest, I have committed sacrilege, I am an historian of science and I'm makimng known a body of work that is scientific that is unknown to theology. Like the graduate program I was in I'm interdisciplinary I work in many fields one of them is theology, I am also a theologian. Skepie has no idea what any of that is, 

Not all of my sources on my bib are studies about mystical experience but I have documented a huge body of work that cover possibly 200 studies, His silly gambit of denying what they are refusin to read about then so he can; pretend they don't exist is both childish idiotic, It shows the true depth of incompetence in   his notion of intellectual discussion,

How my arguments work.

As I said I use the data from the studies to establish three things and from those tuhree I construct my Gio arguments, the three things are:

(1) Mystical experience is life transforming, meaning it is positive and promote self authentication and actualization,

(2) It is regular, consistent, and 

(3) universal to all faiths and cultures (although not to all individuals).

(1) The Trace of God (From Religious Experience as God Correlate)New

This argument draws upon my book (see side bar) and the 200 studies I used in it to show that religious experience is like God's finger print upon our lives, the Trace of God. 
(2) The Thomas Reid Argument (from Epistemic Judgment)New 
the experiences fit the criteria we use to determine the trustworthy nature of reality and thus we should trust them,.

(3) Argument from universal nature of mystical experience.New

Empirical studies show that the kind of religious experience known as "mystical" is universal. The names and doctrinal ideas are different but the experiences are the same. Yet the experiences should not be the same since religion is cultural. Religious symbols are cultural. Atheists have countered this argument by saying that religion is genetic, but there is no basis for saying that religion genetic.

[1] Jayne Gacenback, "Childhood experiences  higher States of Consciousness : Pure Consciousness /mystical Experience,  1992, on line resource URL:

[2] I am Skeptical, "Responding to Hinman (Again)," The KIspetioc Zone, (Monday, December 5, 2016), blog URL

[3] Joseph Hinman, The Trace of God:Rational Warrant for Belief, Colorado Springs: Grand Viaduct, 2014, 61-179. 
two chapters, 2 "arguments," 61, 3 ""Studies A ZCloser Look at Findingsand 
Methodology 135. 
[4] Joseph Hinman, "The Empirical Study of Mystical Experience," The Religious a priori, no date indicated, on line resource, URL:
see also _________. "The Trace 0f God Argument rm religious experience"
_______________. "Children of The lack of ReadingWhat They Criticize." Cadre Blog" (Dec.4,2016)
there are noumerious others
[5] W.T. Stace, Mysticism and Philosophy, New York: Mcmillon and co. 1961
on line copy:

see also 
Dale Caird, “The structure of Hood's Mysticism Scale: A factor analytic study.”journal for the Scientific study of religion 1988, 27 (1) 122-126, and

Bernard Spilka, Ralph Hood Jr., Bruce Hunsberger, Richard Gorwuch. The Psychology of Religion: An Empirical Approach. New York, London: the Guildford Press, 2003.

Ralph Hood Jr. “The Common Core Thesis in the Study of Mysticism.” In Where God and Science Meet: How Brain and Evolutionary Studies Alter Our Understanding of Religion. Patrick Mcnamara ed. West Port CT: Prager Publications, 2006, 119-235., 127.

[6] Noble, K.D. (1987). “Psychological health and the experience of transcendence”. The Counselling Psychologist. 15, 601-614., and Wuthnow, R. (1978). “Peak experiences: Some empirical tests”. Journal of Humanistic Psychology, 18, 59-75.
[7] Gackenback, op cit

[8] Lukoff, D. & Lu, F.G. (1988). Transpersonal psychology research review topic: Mystical experience. The Journal of Transpersonal Psychology, 20(2),161-184. Lynn, S.J. & Rhue, J.W. (1988). Fantasy proneness: Hypnosis, developmental antecedents, and psychopathology. American Psychologist, 43(1), 35-44.
This is a literature search, they deal with several studies and summarize their methodology and results, they are all about mystical experience,

see also Lukoff's own individual study on mystical experience: Lukoff, D. (1985). The diagnosis of mystical experiences with psychotic features. The Journal of Transpersonal Psychology, 17(2), 155-181.

[9] Gackenback's sub headig is "pure consciousness/mystical experience. I.I quote her saying Pure consciousness is called mystical experience, If one reads her pages she clearly is talking about mystical the things says in connection with pure consciousness are described in terms that mystical is described and she refers to mystical directly, Here are  bunch of sroiuces she talks about that are aboutmystical and they are among the studies I use, It doesn't matter if soem don;t say mystical they are, she says are she talks about them and I've read them. H already admitted Nobel was about mystical and it doesn't say it is in title.


J. P Holding said…
"What he knows about my thesis could be write large on the bum of a fly with a huge crayon."

I think you just wrote the biography of the vast majority of Internet atheist right there.
im-skeptical said…
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
thanks JP I appreciate it.
im-skeptical said…
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
I am a brilliant scholar, deal with it, ask Dr. Hood
im-skeptical said…
Joe, you are truly a legend in your own mind. But a scholar you are not. How could such a brilliant person have failed to get his degree after all this time? How long has it been? Twelve years? Longer? What's the problem, Joe? Do they expect you to produce something scholarly?
Joe, you are truly a legend in your own mind. But a scholar you are not. How could such a brilliant person have failed to get his degree after all this time? How long has it been? Twelve years? Longer? What's the problem, Joe? Do they expect you to produce something scholarly?

fool. where's PhD asswhipe? you didn't even get into the program,
Bozo thinks you can't be a scholar if you din't have a Ph.D,I still have a Masters degree which is more than you can say fool.

D.Z. Philips and Mortimer Adler were big named scholars who did not have Ph,D's / bit he you don't know what a scholar.
Anonymous said…
SKEP: Joe, you are truly a legend in your own mind. But a scholar you are not. How could such a brilliant person have failed to get his degree after all this time? How long has it been? Twelve years? Longer? What's the problem, Joe? Do they expect you to produce something scholarly?

IMS, I think that you are the fradulent legend. All you have done on several sites is spit all over Christians and theists because you think that belief is stupid, not because of any evidence you have.

Joe tried to explain his findings to you, but you don't really respect what he has done. Also, when others have had discussions with you, your scientistic, materialistic biases seem to show:

Dangerous Idea: Lewis was right after all

The Skeptic Zone: Theistic Arguments Series: On the Possibility of an Actual Infinite

A highlight from each link:

DI link (from G Rodrigues):


It is clear by now that im-skeptical is not very good with logic and reasoning. You make a reductio argument about his position. How does he respond? You are only doing it because you are a Cartesian dualist (he does not know any other kind) and are you "unable" to see things "his" way. Facepalm. All the more bizarre, since he admits to having no explanation of how it all works -- he is just confident that "brain takes care of it". Double facepalm. You make a separate argument that any way out of the reductio while holding to the same two premises *entails* a vicious regress (not that a separate argument is needed, as the *logical structure* of the reductio readily implies it). How does he respond? That he never made that argument, *you* did. Triple facepalm.

Then goes on to ask some rather muddle-headed questions about how the mind works (a bold move for someone who admits having no answer) which presuppose both a mechanistic conception of the mind *and* Cartesian dualism (as you surely know, the former practically entails the latter), maybe in the delusion that if you cannot answer them, then he is in the clear and his metaphysical naturalism is saved from the blatant *contradictions* continuously pointed out.


The Skeptic Zone (exchange between Martin and Skep):

Skep: Martin,

You say that a 'horizontal' (sequential) series can be infinite, but a 'vertical' (simultaneous) series can't be infinite. Why not? The same logic applies. Aquinas is still begging the question.

By the way, chains of things moving things are sequential, and I challenge you to show me an example that isn't. Even Aquinas agrees with this: "For succession characterizes motion." [SCG 2 19]

Martin: Why not? There Must Be a First-Why Thomas Aquinas Rejects Infinite Essentially Ordered Causal Series

Skep: Martin,

I read the paper. This is rationalization for those who already believe. There is nothing here to convince someone who is not already a believer. You can declare that a causal series is "wholly derivative", and thus claim that the series must have a beginning by definition, but that is absolutely meaningless to those of us who see causation as a matter of physics.

Martin: don't understand what you mean. I have to be a "believer" to believe that if a toy car is missing its batteries, and begins to move that something else (gravity, the wind, a string) must be moving it? A believer in what?
im-skeptical said…
Here's an actual scientist commenting on certain empirical studies related to religious experience.
Anonymous said…
Jerry Coyne? OK. Yeah, he's a good source to critique religion (lol). Skep, you just get more and more ridiculous as time goes by. Can't wait to see what you will do next.

BTW, here are a few articles that Joe did that discussed Coyne:

Metacrock's Blog: Jerry Coyne Search
im-skeptical said…
This comment has been removed by the author.
im-skeptical said…

It would do you a world of good to read what a real scientist writes for once in your life, instead of listening only to the ignoramuses you do.
Anonymous said…
That's the problem: You label anyone that is a theist an ignoramus, and you believe in people like Coyne who promote scientism. You should change your blog to SAA (Scientism Association of America).
im-skeptical said…
Labels? Please take a look at the comments Joe makes. ^^^
StardustyPsyche said…
Perhaps the most interesting thing about this thread is the cartoon that leads it off.

Indeed, math is not proved, it is postulated at base. Much of the math that children are taught leads to some very interesting philosophical questions that still lack proof.

The fundamental principles of math are postulated, meaning one may accept them on faith, religiously, as the cartoon character asserts, or, as we scientifically minded people do, provisionally accept them as working postulates, not on faith, rather, in full knowledge that these fundamental principles are not proved, and thus, if anybody can ever present an alternative, we will alter our provisional working postulates accordingly.

I don't need faith to function in a world of uncertainty and absent proof or absolutes. The religious seem to find this so disturbing or foreign that they often ascribe one thing or another as my god, apparently unable to conceive of a human thought process absent some sort of faith in something to address the mysteries of the universe.

I pity this childish world view shared by so many theists.
StardustyPsyche said…
"You say that a 'horizontal' (sequential) series can be infinite, but a 'vertical' (simultaneous) series can't be infinite. Why not? The same logic applies. Aquinas is still begging the question."
A time sequence of events that is infinite is irrational. This fact is why the problem of first cause has never been solved. The speculation of god does nothing to solve this ancient riddle of the origin of existence itself.

A mathematical infinity is a useful conceptual tool because it is not a sequential process over time, rather all members of this unbounded set are conceptually present simultaneously in zero time. A mathematical infinity is a concept, a brain process, with no physical realization.

So, the quoted description has it backwards.
StardustyPsyche said…
"(1) The Trace of God (From Religious Experience as God Correlate)New

This argument draws upon my book (see side bar) and the 200 studies I used in it to show that religious experience is like God's finger print upon our lives, the Trace of God. "

Magical pixies dancing on nerve cells induce the brain state humans experience and label "mystical".

Hundreds of studies corroborate this experience, therefore the mystical experience is correlated as the trace of magical pixies.

(2) The Thomas Reid Argument (from Epistemic Judgment)New
the experiences fit the criteria we use to determine the trustworthy nature of reality and thus we should trust them,."

Magical pixies fit the criteria so we should trust that magical pixies dancing on nerve cells cause mystical experiences.

(3) Argument from universal nature of mystical experience.New

Empirical studies show that the kind of religious experience known as "mystical" is universal. The names and doctrinal ideas are different but the experiences are the same. Yet the experiences should not be the same since religion is cultural. Religious symbols are cultural. Atheists have countered this argument by saying that religion is genetic, but there is no basis for saying that religion genetic."

The experience of the mystical is universal therefore magical pixies are universal.

Sorry folks, your "reasoning" is just confirmation bias of idle speculation. Utterly worthless as any sort of sound argument for correlation, warrant, or anything above the infinitesimal likelihood of any particular idle speculation.

That is all god is, idle speculation.

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