Bowen-Hinman Debate (Existence of God) my argument 2

RE: Religious Experience. umbrella term including mystical experience, born again experience and others.

ME: Mystical experience, generally understood as defined by Stace as a state of consciousness embodying a sense of undifferentiated unity and sense of the Numinous but not visions or vices,

M Scale: s survey designed to provide control mechanism for deteriorating the authenticity of one;s mystical experience as opposed to some other kind of experience. Invented by Ralph Hood Jr, as a means of validating Stace's theories,

Control: social science methodology a means of measuring the norm against experimental results,

Inter subjective: experiences that while subjective are shared or seemingly shared by similar kinds of experiences between different people,

Criteria of epistemic judgment the basis of my own epistemology,a habitual criteria to which we brutally subject our experiences to compare for validity.

Argument II: Religious Experience warrants belief in God because (A) it fits the basic criteria by which we judge epistemic credibility, thus is trustworthy, and because (B) it is Universal when it should be culturally bound which implies that  an  external reality is being experienced.

(A) RE fits the basic criteria by which we judge epistemic credibility, thus is trustworthy,

(1) we trust perceptions that work for us in navigating the world

(2) we judge by criteria Regular, Consistent, Shared (inter-subjective) [1]

(3) RE fits this criteria [2]

(4 ) enables "navigation" (the point of the criteria) 

(5) :. we are warranted to trust RE as indicative

The essence of the argument is that we habitually make epistemic  judgments  based upon this criteria, The point of that is to navigate in the world by understanding what is real. We also do this on an emotional level as well a physical level, That is what the move from P3 to P4 is about, Re can be seen to bolster the navigation on the emotional level thus that is an indication that it does for the criteria because it does enable a kind of navigation in the world. The enabling of navigation emotionally can be seen in the studies where people who have mystical experience while dying or in chronic pain do better than who those don't have these experiences but are also dying or in chronic pain,[3]

The overwhelmingly depict lives altered in dramatic ways and enabled to navigate emotionally and otherwise, This is what the whole of chapter 2 in The trace of God (my book) is about, The whole chapter makes this argument, Here's a summary of the aspects of emotional navigation as reflected in two of the major studies on mystical experience, 

Long-Term Effects


*Say their lives are more meaningful,
*think about meaning and purpose
*Know what purpose of life is
Meditate more
*Score higher on self-rated personal talents and capabilities
*Less likely to value material possessions, high pay, job security, fame, and having lots of friends
*Greater value on work for social change, solving social problems, helping needy
*Reflective, inner-directed, self-aware, self-confident life style[4]


*Experience more productive of psychological health than illness
*Less authoritarian and dogmatic
*More assertive, imaginative, self-sufficient
*intelligent, relaxed
*High ego strength,
*relationships, symbolization, values,
*integration, allocentrism,
*psychological maturity,
*self-acceptance, self-worth,
*autonomy, authenticity, need for solitude,
*increased love and compassion[5]
Furthermore the Greely study:
State of Unitive Consciousness
"Furthermore, Greeley found no evidence to support the orthodox belief that frequent mystic experiences or psychic experiences stem from deprivation or psychopathology. His ''mystics'' were generally better educated, more successful economically, and less racist, and they were rated substantially happier on measures of psychological well-being. "[6]

(B)Argument from Universal Nature of Mystical Experience

(1) Religious experience is an individual personal experience

(2) Religious symbols are cultural

(3) scientific knowledge is far from proving a gene for religion [7]

(4) therefore, we should not expect to find that mystical experience is universal

(5) Since hood and Williamson found weather language referenced God, Christ,or "reality" the factor strictures were identical regardless of the group represented. thus we do find that mystical experiences are universal in the nature of what is experienced.[8]

(6) Therefore, we are rationally warranted in thinking that there is an external stimulus being experienced.

(7)Since universal mystical experience leads people to faith, the content of it is about God, and is life transforming we are warranted in the assumption that this external stimulus experienced is God

the main body of the argument is developed in an essay here:

see "The M Scale And The Universal Nature of Mystical Experience."
An in Depth Article Summarizing my book (the Trace of God) and documenting the points Made in this argument.

see supporting material:

The Brain structure Objection

Science is far from proof that religion is genetic
Arguments and Essays Defending my Religious Experience Arguments.

[1] J.G. Mattey, "Lecture Notes, Lehrer's theory of knowledge...chapter 4...Faisalism" U.C. Davis on line version (accessed 7/16/17) URL

[2] Reid ((Essay on the Intellectual Powers of Man, Essay IV, Chapter XX))quoted in Mattey, Ibid.

I have extracted y epistemic criteria from Reid's arguments,


[4]Wuthnow, Robert (1978). "Peak Experiences: Some Empirical Tests." Journal of Humanistic Psychology, 18 (3), 59-75.

[5] Noble, Kathleen D. (1987). ``Psychological Health and the Experience of Transcendence.'' The Counseling Psychologist, 15 (4), 601-614.

[6] Council on Spiritual practices,State of Unitive Consciousness, on line (accessed 7/16/17)URL:

CPS is study of group of psychiatrists it is very prestigious. evaluating study by Andrew Greeley(February 5, 1928 – May 29, 2013) prof of sociology at U of Arizona,and a priest,
[8] 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, 119-135.


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