Sunday, October 23, 2016

Children of the lack of reading the material they criticize

  photo A_012br_GirlTrance.jpg



In 2014 my first book was published, (see add below). That work centered around a huge body of academic work that proves religious experience is good for you and is life transforming (long term positive dramatic change in life). There are 200 studies or more covering a 50 year period and they are still coming, I have found a couple since the book came out, I use this material in backing my God arguments. At the basis of the research is a methodological apparatus called "The M scale" it's a control mechanism for sorting between real mystical experience and mere wool gathering, Bringing this body of work together and focusing it on apologetic is ground breaking. Atheist blogger "I am Skeptical" (aka "Skepy" to the Cadre) put down my book having not read it. Now he's cut lose on an article I did on Cadre called "Children of The .Lack of a God." But it's really an excuse to bash my book more. His blog peice hatchet job is called "Children of the lack of objectivity." That explains the title of this piece.

 I wrote an article that received interested from  an academic conference at U of Georgia. It's basically a summary of my book with a good clear explanation of the M scale. That can be found here:


Here are my answer's to Skepy's blog article below.

Joe Hinman raises an issue [1] that is worth considering.  It is the question of how we can relate to something for which we have no familiarity and no experience.  It may not be easy to understand something that you've never seen or never experienced.  He asks the question:...What Hinman wants us to think is that atheists have no understanding of Christians' belief in God because they haven't experienced it for themselves.  Of course, this is the same old trope that we hear over and over again.  And it's just not true.[2]
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. One of the major things that body of researche I used in writing my book proves is that religious experience is not had by all humans and there is a huge difference in any old religious feeling and the kind we call "mystical." That is the point of having an M scale in the first place because all experiences are not the same,[3] 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.I did write about this in my book.[4] Some atheists do wind up converting to religious belief as did I.

He takes up on my color analogy that one born having never seen blue or yellow can't understand what it's like by mere description, just as atheists can't understand religious experience just by hearing discrimination.Then he makes the argument that we can know enough it even without exposure to color:"
You can't understand what it's like qualitatively to see blue or yellow unless you've had the experience, but you can understand how those sensations are caused from a physiological perspective, and you can understand what kind of sensory stimulation causes them...."  But so what? That does not answer the issue, Understanding how they are caused is not the point, Without knowing what the sensation of religious experience is like  you can't judge it's reality, It's quite common for mystics to explain their experiences as "more real than reality," That is not the full basis for my argument but it is part of it.


But is it true that atheists have never had the inner experience of God that Hinman speaks of?  Not in the least.  Hinman ignores a couple of very key points:  One is that whether or not we believe in God, we are all humans and we all have the same kinds of inner feelings and experiences.  The other is that the majority of atheists are former believers."  
I just got through answering this, The fact of The M scale (which ha been validated  by research) proves that human experience is not all the same. Other scales exist as well, even though the M scale is the most corroborated by validating studies, they all find the same thing,[5] All the studies such as Wuthnow demonstrate this fact. Those who have mystical experience are experiencing something different than the average human that' why there;s a big correlation between this experience and life transformation, the results of two major studies: The Wuthnow study and the Noble study

Long-Term Effects
Wuthnow:
*Say their lives are more meaningful,
 *think about meaning and purpose
*Know what purpose of life isMeditate 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

Noble:
*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[6] 

The people who have these experiences are more likely then the average person to find themselves growing in these characteristics such as Wuthnow and Noble document. when he says "the other is that the majority of atheists are former believers." That proves nothing because most believers don't have mystical experiences and those who do are at the mature end of the spectrum. In other words, mystical experience is synonymous with maturity, at least in terms of Christian spirituality, according to the Voyle study.[7]

He asserts that we all have mystical experiences:


On the first of those points, there is no question that there is some kind of inner feeling we all experience that creates a sense of awe or spirituality.  It may be felt with more intensity by some, but we pretty much all feel it at some time in our lives.  In fact, Hinman makes this the basis of his pseudo-scientific claims about warrant for belief.  But as I said, this experience can be understood at different levels.  We all have some understanding of what it feels like because we all have felt it to some degree.

Wuthnow (above) proposes a theory that all have such experiences but for most it's very mild. He points to William James who  also made such an argument, The whole point of scoring the scale is that there are varying intensities. If he's not a believer in God or any sort of transformative ontology then he probably has not had such experience to the degree necessary for understanding. As for my claims about warrant I have documented this time and time again, they are based upon the works of a major logician in the rhetorical tradition who made major contribution to debate theory, Stephan Tulmin.[8]

He reduces the complexity of cause to a one liner that is essentially  a falsehood because it's too much a simplification to amount to anything. "There is disagreement about what causes it.  Theists think it is caused by God, but science has shown that the same feelings can be caused by certain kinds of physical stimulus, or even by psychological manipulation." I devoted a whole chapter to this in the book,  By physical stimulus he means brain chemistry, I document philosopher John Hick showed that researcher's who use helmets and so forth to stimulate such experience do not use controls like the M scale thus they cannot establish that they have indeed produced mystical experiences,[9] Moreover, there is an argument made by Dr. Hood (inventor of the M sclae) that atheists cannot answer. There is just as much reason to think God would use brain chemistry to allow u to feel his presence as not, Thus merely tying the experience to brain chemistry proves nothing, The tie at this stage is broken by my (8) tie breakers, see the article link to at the top.

At this point he wastes a lot of time in foolish speculation over "meaning: of the experience when he could be reading my book and understanding how actual scientists (psychologists) think about it,

And then there is the question of meaning.  How does the mind interpret this experience?  That depends entirely on what concepts and associations already exist in the mind.  We associate red with the concept danger mainly because that concept is culturally ingrained in us.  The same is true of religious experience.  The interpretation of a religious experience is based on concepts we already have in our mind.  No Christian would ever have a religious experience that causes him to become a Buddhist if he didn't already have some knowledge of Buddhism, and vice versa.  Nobody ever learns something new from a religious experience.  The religious experience only serves to reinforce what we already believe.
This shows his utter ignorance, I document cases where mystical experience converted people, the famous Indian philosopher Sri Aurobindo became Vadanta because of such an experience. It is quite common for one to find that one's sacred doctrine is contradicted by mystical experiences. I don't advise using it to establish doctrine and I deal with this in a whole chapter, the last chapter of my book, Eventually, doctrines are dependent on many things such as reason and logic, culture, tradition, but mystical experiences are the same the world over regardless of the doctrines. [10] these experiences do not determine one;s religious tradition but they demonstrate a reality behind all traditions.

He ventures off into more ignorant prattle trying to claim credit  for an experience he's never had:

The other point that Hinman ignores is a common mistake among Christians who love to pretend that their understanding is so much superior to that of atheists.  Most of us have been raised as believers.  We do know what it's like to have a religious experience and interpret it as the experience of God.  We've been there and done that.  The difference is that the atheist who is an ex-believer has more ways to interpret the experience.  The atheist understands that God is not the only possible reality, and not the only possible way to explain what we observe and what we feel.  The atheist sees it from a wider perspective, because he knows what the Christian feels, and he can still take a more objective view that encompasses a greater body of understanding.
Some of the more authoritative measures of incidence rate put mystical experience at about 1 in 4 and that does not even speak to the level of intensity. True mystics are more rare. So just being a believer is not a ticket to mystical enlightenment. There is a difference, As I said  above the Voyle study proves that mystical experience is the mature end of Christian experience, in so doing it also proves that just being a believer doesn't mean you have had a mystical experience.
I have to laugh every time I hear Christians making these claims about how blind atheists are, how limited their epistemological toolbox is.  We reject God belief, not because it is outside our understanding, but because our understanding is broader.  When it comes to interpreting our experiences, we have more than just one way to see everything.  We are not limited to always arriving at the same old conclusion that was instilled in us when we were children.  We can look beyond those childhood beliefs and see more.  Most of all, when looking at a broader range of choices in how to understand something, we can base our decision on objective evaluation, because we are not hemmed in by religious faith.

72 comments:

im-skeptical said...

Joe,

I'll ask this question again: How does a study that correlates spirituality with general well-being provide any justification for belief? Sure, there may be dozens or hundreds off studies like that. But what do they tell us? Maybe we could conclude that well-being has a psychological component. That says nothing about warrant for belief, and the people who conducted those studies drew no such conclusions.

What about your M-scale? Invented by a religious guy to try to distinguish genuine religious experience from non-genuine ones, based on the way people answer a set of questions. But how does he know which experiences are genuine in the first place? What scale did he use to measure the accuracy of his M-scale? I have asked you about this, and all I get is side-stepping. This is pseudo-scientific hucksterism.

Joe Hinman said...

look I don't have to have a sturdy that draws the conclusion God exists I can draw that conclusion myself from the data. These guy are not seeking to prove God exists they are psychologists they study human experience, but i can argue from their data that the data indicate something beyond they study conclusion'The researchers are well aware of the logic of this conclusion,I talk to Hood about it and he agrees it indicates God but he and the others feel it is not their job as psychologists to make pronouncement about God.

Obviously the Voyle study guy believe it implies god because his study ins it[s the mature end of Christian spirituality.

In the studies on air bags they never conclude as a study conclusion air bags should be mandated, We said that in our debates in college and we used their data and no judge ever said that was wrong.

Joe Hinman said...

But what do they tell us? Maybe we could conclude that well-being has a psychological component. That says nothing about warrant for belief, and the people who conducted those studies drew no such conclusions.

first of all I have three different arguments that warrant belief. The book is important even without arguing about God's existence, it shows religion is not harmful per se. Only one of those three arguments directly employs the idea of positive results as the turning point of the argument and even then it's not so much that it's positive that it is real and measurable,also that it is positive figures in to it.

What about your M-scale? Invented by a religious guy to try to distinguish genuine religious experience from non-genuine ones, based on the way people answer a set of questions. But how does he know which experiences are genuine in the first place?

First of all I don't that he was "a religious guy: Hood believes in God bit he;s not a Christian he;s more like a Unitarian,if you know about them they are not necessarily :religious." Hood used the theory of W.T. Stace. Stace was not religious he was a philosopher and mystical experience placed in his ideas about epistemology. But he extracted the qualities he found after reading the great mystics of the world and distilled them, Then he molded a theory and Hood made his questionnaire to test Stace's theory.


What scale did he use to measure the accuracy of his M-scale? I have asked you about this, and all I get is side-stepping. This is pseudo-scientific hucksterism.

that's actually a good question it;'s just I've answered it. Initially it's because the original theory is born out by the study, asking then the questions they answer the questions as one would expect if the theory were true.Then that was corroborated by translation into other cultures and doing it in six difernet countries got the same results every time.

im-skeptical said...

So you don't see the problem with this M-scale thing?

People report subjective experiences that are similar, but they interpret them in different ways. A religious guy decides which of them are "genuine mystical experiences", without any objective knowledge of those experiences. In truth, all he really knows is what people tell him about those subjective experiences. So based on those descriptions, he devises a scale that will assess whether someone's interpretation of their own subjective experience is similar to the the interpretation by those who he judged to be describing "the real thing". What the M-scale does, at best, is to assess whether people interpret their subjective experience in the same manner. Nowhere in this process is there any objective knowledge of the experiences any of these subjects is having. And it's only one religious guy's judgment that this description is about a "genuine" mystical experience, and this other description isn't. As if he had some basis for knowing.

Mike Gerow said...

... AND if he can show the correlations of HIS scale with some other, independent phenomena - in this case, longer term term, positive life changes - then he's also shown that his definition may have have some validity, may point out something that's effective in reality? That's the crux....

Joe Hinman said...

So you don't see the problem with this M-scale thing?

People report subjective experiences that are similar, but they interpret them in different ways. A religious guy decides which of them are "genuine mystical experiences", without any objective knowledge of those experiences.


I just got through explaining why that';s not the case did you read what I said?

(1) neither Stace nor Hood can be called "religious" so your implication of bias and untrustworthiness are wasted;

(2) the descriptions from mystics around the world and through the ages (all different religious traditions)match the set of experiences reported from around the world and different traditions today, That means there is a set of experiences people are hainv that are not cultural and not just doctrinal they have real effects, so they must be real,

did you see that? read what I said



In truth, all he really knows is what people tell him about those subjective experiences. So based on those descriptions, he devises a scale that will assess whether someone's interpretation of their own subjective experience is similar to the the interpretation by those who he judged to be describing "the real thing".


nothing unreasonable bout that, The same is true of any objective idea one observes, It would true of discussing observations on the physical symptoms f yellow fever.It's obviously a scinetfic method. Since they are corroborating with people from different times and cultures and the experience are the same that'a dead cert that they experiencing something real,


What the M-scale does, at best, is to assess whether people interpret their subjective experience in the same manner.

so what? The same would be the case if we ask the symptoms of fever, someone says:ui feel chills:that;s subjective, I can't feel your chills so you subjective idea,

stupid atheist superstition "subjectivity is werboden!"


Nowhere in this process is there any objective knowledge of the experiences any of these subjects is having.

grow brains NOW, how are we supposed to know what they feel if they don't tell us,. grow SOME brains the fact the descriptions tally with each other when they should not tells us us they are experiencing a reality. If we were assessing a physical illness they would still have to tell us their own symptoms, there;s no scientific means of deducing if they feel sick or not. the little atheist fear of subjectiovity just gets in the way of learning,

THINK ABOUT THAT AGAIN NOW HOW CAN YOU ACCOUNT FOR THE DESCRIPTIONS OF EXPERIENCE BEING THE SAME IN DIFFERENT TIME PERIODS, CULTURES AND RELIGIOUS TRADITIONS?



And it's only one religious guy's judgment that this description is about a "genuine" mystical experience, and this other description isn't. As if he had some basis for knowing.
3:00 PM

the fact that it tallys with experiences from all over the world shows that he got it right,

Joe Hinman said...

hey thanks Mike you make a damn good point

Joe Hinman said...

how could we know someone i seeing red if they don['t tell us? they could pic out the red object but that would just be an assumption that we wee the same color. There is a poit at which you have to trust subjective assessment and corroborate it with others,

im-skeptical said...

... AND if he can show the correlations of HIS scale with some other, independent phenomena - in this case, longer term term, positive life changes - then he's also shown that his definition may have have some validity, may point out something that's effective in reality? That's the crux....
- Then he's proven absolutely nothing about whether belief in God is justified. All it might show at best is that people with a certain kind of psychological outlook have better health.

neither Stace nor Hood can be called "religious" so your implication of bias and untrustworthiness are wasted;
- I didn't say anything about bias or untrustworthiness. That's the implication that you draw, probably for good reason. But if those guys aren't religious, it is fair to say at least that they believe in some kind of spiritual existence that is unsupported by empirical science.

the descriptions from mystics around the world and through the ages (all different religious traditions)match the set of experiences reported from around the world and different traditions today, That means there is a set of experiences people are hainv that are not cultural and not just doctrinal they have real effects, so they must be real, ... did you see that? read what I said
- I did read it. You missed the point of what I said. They defined how the answers should look to show that someone is having a "true" mystical experience, and then they go around asking people, and anyone who gives the same answers is declared to be having a "true" mystical experience. How do they know that? What independent means do they have of assessing whether it actually is a real mystical experience? What if a non-believer has exactly the same kind of experience, but just doesn't think it was caused by God, and then answers the questions differently?

It would true of discussing observations on the physical symptoms f yellow fever.It's obviously a scinetfic method. Since they are corroborating with people from different times and cultures and the experience are the same that'a dead cert that they experiencing something real,
- There's a world of difference. You seem to have no understanding of the difference between subjective feelings and objectively observable facts. The latter is what science is built on, and only a pseudo-science huckster would use subjective feelings as the basis of a "scientific" theory.

so what? The same would be the case if we ask the symptoms of fever, someone says:ui feel chills:that;s subjective, I can't feel your chills so you subjective idea, ... stupid atheist superstition "subjectivity is werboden!"
- No. In addition to feelings of chills, there are objectively observable symptoms. Any doctor would rely on the observable symptoms, not just the patient's reports of chills.

THINK ABOUT THAT AGAIN NOW HOW CAN YOU ACCOUNT FOR THE DESCRIPTIONS OF EXPERIENCE BEING THE SAME IN DIFFERENT TIME PERIODS, CULTURES AND RELIGIOUS TRADITIONS?
- You need to think about it. You have absolutely no clue how real science works. This is certainly not an example of it. This is self-selecting. let me try to give you a little example:

Let's say I want to find out who's a saint. I draw a meaningless symbol on paper and ask people what it makes them think of. I know someone who I think is a saint, and he answered "tree". Other people give different answers, but some of then say it's a tree. I find that in different cultures and places around the world, there are some who answer "tree". I declare all those people to be saints, because they all gave the same answer. I ignore everyone else who gave a different answer. I tell the world that I have a scientific method of determining who's a saint.

Mike Gerow said...

Again, IF you had some independent correlating data - like, eg, the people who said "tree" also all showed visible halos under certain lighting conditions - then wouldn't you have shown your point? Or at least that there was SOMETHING going on, that there was something unique about the people who said "tree?"

Then he's proven absolutely nothing about whether belief in God is justified. All it might show at best is that people with a certain kind of psychological outlook have better health.


Well, Hood - whom your critique of the M-scale was addressed at - didn't say that. But Joe did. So, yeah, it's possible and even likely that certain personality types are more apt to have "mystical" experiences. But, if so, I'm not sure it gets you very far "prima facie" - so? - what exactly do you think that would show, if people still have IMPROVED outlooks, etc, afterwards?

I suppose you could question the objectivity of those reports, but I think there are standard social science methods for that sort of thing, too, so it must take some work, minimally....

im-skeptical said...

If there was an independent, objective standard that could be correlated with the measure in question (answer to the questionnaire, or the M-scale), that would provide something to go on (not proof, but a probability). That's why I asked "What scale did he use to measure the accuracy of his M-scale?" If we could see halos on the saints, and if we knew that that is the mark of a saint, then we'd know how accurate our test is. But there is no such standard by which to determine if someone has had a mystical experience. That means the M-scale is useless. It doesn't measure anything objectively determinable.

What exactly do I think that would show, if people still have IMPROVED outlooks, etc, afterwards? Not much. There is good reason to think that state of mind can play a role in outcomes, but no particular reason to think God has anything to do with it. And the M-scale doesn't even tell us anything specific about the kind of inner experience a person has had.

Joe Hinman said...

im-skeptical said...
... AND if he can show the correlations of HIS scale with some other, independent phenomena - in this case, longer term term, positive life changes - then he's also shown that his definition may have have some validity, may point out something that's effective in reality? That's the crux....
- Then he's proven absolutely nothing about whether belief in God is justified. All it might show at best is that people with a certain kind of psychological outlook have better health.


wow how does that follow? I've proved that these experiences do lead to long term positive effective and life transformation due to the tight correlation, That in itself justifies belief because it means the consequence are real so the cause must be real.

I have three different arguments read the book



neither Stace nor Hood can be called "religious" so your implication of bias and untrustworthiness are wasted;


- I didn't say anything about bias or untrustworthiness. That's the implication that you draw, probably for good reason. But if those guys aren't religious, it is fair to say at least that they believe in some kind of spiritual existence that is unsupported by empirical science.

so what? that's not an indictment of their objectivity or their credentials,



the descriptions from mystics around the world and through the ages (all different religious traditions)match the set of experiences reported from around the world and different traditions today, That means there is a set of experiences people are hainv that are not cultural and not just doctrinal they have real effects, so they must be real, ... did you see that? read what I said



- I did read it. You missed the point of what I said. They defined how the answers should look to show that someone is having a "true" mystical experience, and then they go around asking people,

of course they do! get it through yiour head Skepy, it is proved to be true because the modern people fit the characteristics, obvious, doesn't matter if it;s pre set or pre conceived or what they live up to it, there is no body of researching show anti mysticak experiences. also don;t forget the N scale is just one scale. There are three major one;'s and a whole bu inch of ones unique to specific research but they all show the same thing, there is no contradiction' some veriemnce but not contradiction


and anyone who gives the same answers is declared to be having a "true" mystical experience. How do they know that? What independent means do they have of assessing whether it actually is a real mystical experience? What if a non-believer has exactly the same kind of experience, but just doesn't think it was caused by God, and then answers the questions differently?

because there's no big set of counter experiences. Those who don;t fit that set of experiences don't show some other wet of corroborated experience they have individual reactions.example someone says he has a mystical experience because he dreamed about the Virgin Mry is that is nysticakl? why would it be? we find unified set of experience from around the world vs this one guy's dreams constitute mysticism?, why is there av unified body experience that is the same across cultures an produces results?



Joe Hinman said...

It would true of discussing observations on the physical symptoms f yellow fever.It's obviously a scinetfic method. Since they are corroborating with people from different times and cultures and the experience are the same that'a dead cert that they experiencing something real,


- There's a world of difference. You seem to have no understanding of the difference between subjective feelings and objectively observable facts. The latter is what science is built on, and only a pseudo-science huckster would use subjective feelings as the basis of a "scientific" theory.


you have labeled subjective feelings as wrong and bad, so anything one can attach that label to must ignored, this stupidity, it is idiotic, jt atheist (dawkie) propaganda designed to make religious experience seem bad,

Moreover this is not just subjective it/s inter-subjective which means it's shared,


so what? The same would be the case if we ask the symptoms of fever, someone says:ui feel chills:that;s subjective, I can't feel your chills so you subjective idea, ... stupid atheist superstition "subjectivity is werboden!"


- No. In addition to feelings of chills, there are objectively observable symptoms. Any doctor would rely on the observable symptoms, not just the patient's reports of chills.

asv there are with these experiences, We can score them of self actualization tests and show that those who have the experiences have higher scores of self actualization than those who don't have such experiences,there are many studies with that finding. that is an objective measurement.


THINK ABOUT THAT AGAIN NOW HOW CAN YOU ACCOUNT FOR THE DESCRIPTIONS OF EXPERIENCE BEING THE SAME IN DIFFERENT TIME PERIODS, CULTURES AND RELIGIOUS TRADITIONS?
- You need to think about it. You have absolutely no clue how real science works. This is certainly not an example of it. This is self-selecting. let me try to give you a little example:

do you realize that every tie you are bested in an argument you resort to the pathetic ploy that the Christian can't know science, You don't knowing science,I don't have time to waste on your ignorance. I did 10 years PhD work as history of science and you have never even gradated college or at least never been to graduate school. now shut up and read my answers dummie.



Let's say I want to find out who's a saint. I draw a meaningless symbol on paper and ask people what it makes them think of. I know someone who I think is a saint, and he answered "tree". Other people give different answers, but some of then say it's a tree. I find that in different cultures and places around the world, there are some who answer "tree". I declare all those people to be saints, because they all gave the same answer. I ignore everyone else who gave a different answer. I tell the world that I have a scientific method of determining who's a saint.


stupid! these mystics being studies have the experiences they have fool, they know what it was, we can't know it, they either conform to the set of criteria or not, if it does consistently and with no counter body of work we can clearly say these these experiences constitute a coherent phenomenon that can be studied as a clear and dkstinct set of phenomena,

you don't know shit about social science, i have a degree kin ociakity you know nothing abojut it,v This is standard social science research,

Joe Hinman said...

that should say I have a degree in sociology, this is all standard social sciences,

Joe Hinman said...

The Religious Studies Project (blog) May 20, 2013.

http://www.religiousstudiesproject.com/podcast/podcast-ralph-hood-on-mysticism/
"Dr. Ralph W. Hood Jr. has extensive experience in the field of psychology of religion and particularly in the study of mysticism and mystical experience. As an early pioneer in the renaissance of the field of psychology of religion, Hood’s work is extensive and prolific exploring a variety of research topics in the social sciences of religion. Moreover, much of his collaborative work extends beyond the field of psychology to include sociology, religious studies, medicine, and a variety of other disciplines in the social scientific study of religion. In this week’s podcast, Chris SIlver is joined by Ralph Hood to discuss in detail his work on mysticism and the benefits and disadvantages of this academic exercise."


Ralph W. Hood Jr. is professor of psychology at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga. He is a former editor of the Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion, and former co-editor of the Archive for the Psychology of Religion and The International Journal for the Psychology of Religion. He is a past president of division 36 (psychology of religion) of the American Psychological Association and a recipient of its William James, Mentor, and Distinguished Service awards. He has published over 200 articles in the psychology of religion and has authored, co-authored, or edited numerous book chapters and eleven books, all dealing with the psychology of religion.
(One of the primary interests of scholars and researchers from diverse academic disciplines has been in exploration of mysticism. Mysticism has been observed within a variety of traditions and philosophies from Neo-Platonism to Hinduism and Christianity. Mysticism as a field of study is pregnant with possibilities for academic inquiry, both cross-disciplinary and discipline specific. The field of psychology is one of those disciplines which have sought to explore the richness of individual claims of mystical experience. This has been done with theoretical depth and methodological sophistication and is centralized within a variety of tools of empirical inquiry.) (Ibid)

Description of Hood's book on Amazon:

http://www.amazon.com/The-Psychology-Religion-Fourth-Edition/dp/1606233033

"Scholarly and comprehensive yet accessible, this state-of-the-science work is widely regarded as the definitive psychology of religion text. The authors synthesize classic and contemporary empirical research on numerous different religious groups. Coverage includes religious thought, belief, and behavior across the lifespan; links between religion and biology; the forms and meaning of religious experience; the social psychology of religious organizations; and connections to morality, coping, mental health, and psychopathology. Designed for optimal use in advanced undergraduate- and graduate-level courses, every chapter features thought-provoking quotations and examples that bring key concepts to life."


Joe Hinman said...

If there was an independent, objective standard that could be correlated with the measure in question (answer to the questionnaire, or the M-scale), that would provide something to go on (not proof, but a probability).

that is not going to fall out of the sky, you have to build it through research .That;s what the M scale has done it is the objective standared,because the theory is born out by the actual experiences people are having.

It's just hypothesis testing. Stace's theory is an hypothesis, The M scale is just a surevy that tests weather or not any expereinces confom to the theory, The statistical probablity of then guessing the right on all 32 items is nill. so an objective standard is created,



JBsptfn said...

Skep: If it doesn't back my world view, it's not real science.

Does that sound right, or am I missing something?

im-skeptical said...

JB,

You certainly are.

im-skeptical said...

Joe,

wow how does that follow? I've proved that these experiences do lead to long term positive effective and life transformation due to the tight correlation, That in itself justifies belief because it means the consequence are real so the cause must be real.
- Consequences are the result of a cause. A psychological state might be a factor in bringing about a consequence. But you have presented no justification for jumping to the conclusion that God has something to do with it.

so what? that's not an indictment of their objectivity or their credentials,
- The fact that Hood believes in things that are not supported by empirical science is indeed an indictment of his objectivity. And don't try to tell me this guy's not religious. I don't know if he's Christian, but he certainly believes in some kind of religious woo.

get it through yiour head Skepy, it is proved to be true because the modern people fit the characteristics
- I just presented a reductio as an example of how stupid these assertions are. The simple fact that people have common experiences only shows that some common factor might cause those experiences. Is says nothing at all about what the actual cause is - as any real scientist would tell you.

why is there av unified body experience that is the same across cultures an produces results?
- Because belief in religious woo is common across cultures. The way people interpret these experiences is heavily influenced by what they believe. You have to be totally blind to objective reality not to understand this.

you have labeled subjective feelings as wrong and bad, so anything one can attach that label to must ignored, this stupidity, it is idiotic, jt atheist (dawkie) propaganda designed to make religious experience seem bad,
- I said nothing of the sort. Please learn to read. I said that science is not based on subjective feelings.

Moreover this is not just subjective it/s inter-subjective which means it's shared
- All that means is that people share what appears to be the same subjective feelings. But you ignore the fact that non-religious people share it, too. They just interpret it differently, and your M-scale weeds them out, because it only selects the ones whose interpretation agrees with the inventor of the scale.

im-skeptical said...

do you realize that every tie you are bested in an argument you resort to the pathetic ploy that the Christian can't know science, You don't knowing science,I don't have time to waste on your ignorance. I did 10 years PhD work as history of science and you have never even gradated college or at least never been to graduate school. now shut up and read my answers dummie.
- I never said anything of the sort. "now shut up and read my answers dummie." And what the hell makes you think you know something about my education? I have real education in real science (yes, graduate level - with real degrees). if I were you, I wouldn't go around boasting about spending ten years trying to get a degree from some bible college and failing at it. Not very impressive.

stupid! these mystics being studies have the experiences they have fool, they know what it was, we can't know it, they either conform to the set of criteria or not, if it does consistently and with no counter body of work we can clearly say these these experiences constitute a coherent phenomenon that can be studied as a clear and dkstinct set of phenomena,
- the criteria are bogus. Designed to select beliefs, not experiences. This is not science. It is pseudo-scientific hucksterism. And all your ad hominems don't help to make your case.

you don't know shit about social science, i have a degree kin ociakity you know nothing abojut it,v This is standard social science research
- I know about REAL science, and you have shown that you don't. And I know that what you tout as scientific is nothing more than religious woo. I really don't care what degrees you claim to have. If you present religious woo as science, you are fooling yourself. It isn't.

that is not going to fall out of the sky, you have to build it through research .That;s what the M scale has done it is the objective standared,because the theory is born out by the actual experiences people are having.
- An independent scale is not going to fall out of the sky for the simple reason that there is no objective measure of feelings. Here's another example to think about: I ask people to rate their pain on a scale of 1 to 10. Some people answer "10". Do I know that they all have the same level of pain? No, I don't. All I know is that they all gave the same answer. If you assume that they all share the same kind of pain, I'd say you are totally blinkered. And I'd be right about that. But that's the way your idiotic M-scale works. It doesn't measure anything objectively. You have to be totally blinkered to believe it does.

Joe Hinman said...

- Consequences are the result of a cause. A psychological state might be a factor in bringing about a consequence. But you have presented no justification for jumping to the conclusion that God has something to do with it.


yes obviously IO have. but you have not read my presentation because you have not read my book it is the height of stupidity and ignorance to think you can criticize a book without having read a single passage. Essentially the logic one of argumemt says

1 the experience is about God ,

2 The experience is real

3 therefore God must be real



[so what? that's not an indictment of their objectivity or their credentials,]

- The fact that Hood believes in things that are not supported by empirical science is indeed an indictment of his objectivity. And don't try to tell me this guy's not religious. I don't know if he's Christian, but he certainly believes in some kind of religious woo.

(1) you don't know what Hood believes in

(2) you are letting your bigotry and prejudice run wild

(3) I told you he's not a a Christian and he does not belong to an organized reliogom,. his views are like those of a liberal Unitarian,

(4) it's obvious you are member of the God hater club and you are letting your childish prejudiced blind to any sort of understanding of study methodology,




[get it through yiour head Skepy, it is proved to be true because the modern people fit the characteristics]

- I just presented a reductio as an example of how stupid these assertions are. The simple fact that people have common experiences only shows that some common factor might cause those experiences. Is says nothing at all about what the actual cause is - as any real scientist would tell you.


it doesn't and it doesn't have to it's not supposed to That's why I argue warrant rather than proof. of course you don't know the reason I connect them because you refuse to read anything about it, you blind yourself, like the fool you are you refuse to examine the issues or arguments,you think your pseudo scientific made up bluster is all you need,that;'s you are fool.



[why is there a unified body experience that is the same across cultures an produces results?]


- Because belief in religious woo is common across cultures. The way people interpret these experiences is heavily influenced by what they believe. You have to be totally blind to objective reality not to understand this.

that is not a valid explanation for the sameness the experience, they should not be the same because the cultural constructs that filter the religion are different,this means there is a reality at least at the psychological level that is coming through despite the constructs.

Again calling it names doesn't make it go away, go home and write religion on a dart board piss on it throw darts kit that wont make God vanish, calling it names doesn't either.



Joe Hinman said...

[you have labeled subjective feelings as wrong and bad, so anything one can attach that label to must ignored, this stupidity, it is idiotic, jt atheist (dawkie) propaganda designed to make religious experience seem bad,


- I said nothing of the sort. Please learn to read. I said that science is not based on subjective feelings.

you are scared to death of subjective feelings you think you are being scientific but you are being anti-scientific in flogging this pseudo scientific dogma that feelimngs must never be part of science.

this is especially stupid because the hypothesis is "people have these experiences,",so in this case studyig the feelings proves the hypothesis that makes it scientific, But you are such a fool your hate blinds you and can't get the concept,


[Moreover this is not just subjective it/s inter-subjective which means it's shared]

- All that means is that people share what appears to be the same subjective feelings. But you ignore the fact that non-religious people share it, too. They just interpret it differently, and your M-scale weeds them out, because it only selects the ones whose interpretation agrees with the inventor of the scale.


the people answer the 32 items if they see their experience there they answer it yes and if not no, There;s no interpreting done by the researcher,

so as long as the idea of feelings is part of it mustbe forbidden this is the forbidden topic that may not be researched, fool.

the fool says in his heart there is no God, not in logic not in argument in his heart? why because that's where one finds God. you closed your heart to God. you closed your heart to truth so youhave closed your heart to science and to understanding new ideas,


9:49 AM

Joe Hinman said...

An independent scale is not going to fall out of the sky for the simple reason that there is no objective measure of feelings.

it did not Hood constructed it very carefully out of stace's theory



Here's another example to think about: I ask people to rate their pain on a scale of 1 to 10. Some people answer "10". Do I know that they all have the same level of pain? No, I don't.

that's not analogous because that's not what Hood is doing, he;s not scoring them on how deeply mystical they are, The higher scores are based upon how many more items they say yes to. It's not a measurement of depth of insight,


All I know is that they all gave the same answer.

you have never seen the M scale you don;t even know how it works why why would you assume your little bullshit thing is analogous? because you made the foolish assumption that they were testing depth rather than number of qualities,


If you assume that they all share the same kind of pain, I'd say you are totally blinkered. And I'd be right about that. But that's the way your idiotic M-scale works. It doesn't measure anything objectively. You have to be totally blinkered to believe it does.

no reason to think that's analogous

Mike Gerow said...

[Because belief in religious woo is common across cultures. The way people interpret these experiences is heavily influenced by what they believe. You have to be totally blind to objective reality not to understand this]

Joe already said that the reaseach shows atheists can have - high on the m-scale - "mystical" experiences too & without necessarily having to convert ....

But I think the bigger problem for your POV might be showing why "religious woo" is "bad" if, as the results being discussed here describe, at least some kinds of experiences traditionally associated with "religion" actually make people HAPPIER, HEALTHIER, & BETTER? What if, whether there's a God or not, religion is "natural" to people, and (properly done) it's actually good for individualls and societies? Then why are you so dead set against it?

I think theres an underlying trend like that in this research, which hasn't been discussed much yet...

JBsptfn said...

Me: Skep's belief-If it doesn't back my world view, it's not real science.

Does that sound right, or am I missing something?

Skep: You certainly are.


After reading what was written above, it doesn't appear that I am.

Joe is right: Atheists like you are scared of feelings. That's why you cling to science (or scientism in your case).

im-skeptical said...

What if, whether there's a God or not, religion is "natural" to people, and (properly done) it's actually good for individualls and societies? Then why are you so dead set against it?

Where did I ever say these feelings are not natural or that they aren't beneficial, or that I was I was "dead set against it"? Show me the quotes.

What I argue against is the idea that Joe has made any kind of scientific case for an empirically-based warrant for belief. Joe doesn't know the first thing about science, and it shows. That's what I'm saying. You are reading all kinds of other things into my words that I haven't said. Learn to read.

im-skeptical said...

Joe is right: Atheists like you are scared of feelings. That's why you cling to science (or scientism in your case).

Show me where I said anything negative about feelings. Joe is the one making scientific claims. I'm only pointing out that his claims are bogus from a scientific perspective. Call it scientism if you want. That's your opinion.

Joe Hinman said...

you don't know anything about social science so you know real scientific answers when you see then, you don't know good social science when you see it.

Joe Hinman said...

read these quotes and answer them


The Religious Studies Project (blog) May 20, 2013.

http://www.religiousstudiesproject.com/podcast/podcast-ralph-hood-on-mysticism/
"Dr. Ralph W. Hood Jr. has extensive experience in the field of psychology of religion and particularly in the study of mysticism and mystical experience. As an early pioneer in the renaissance of the field of psychology of religion, Hood’s work is extensive and prolific exploring a variety of research topics in the social sciences of religion. Moreover, much of his collaborative work extends beyond the field of psychology to include sociology, religious studies, medicine, and a variety of other disciplines in the social scientific study of religion. In this week’s podcast, Chris SIlver is joined by Ralph Hood to discuss in detail his work on mysticism and the benefits and disadvantages of this academic exercise."


Ralph W. Hood Jr. is professor of psychology at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga. He is a former editor of the Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion, and former co-editor of the Archive for the Psychology of Religion and The International Journal for the Psychology of Religion. He is a past president of division 36 (psychology of religion) of the American Psychological Association and a recipient of its William James, Mentor, and Distinguished Service awards. He has published over 200 articles in the psychology of religion and has authored, co-authored, or edited numerous book chapters and eleven books, all dealing with the psychology of religion.
(One of the primary interests of scholars and researchers from diverse academic disciplines has been in exploration of mysticism. Mysticism has been observed within a variety of traditions and philosophies from Neo-Platonism to Hinduism and Christianity. Mysticism as a field of study is pregnant with possibilities for academic inquiry, both cross-disciplinary and discipline specific. The field of psychology is one of those disciplines which have sought to explore the richness of individual claims of mystical experience. This has been done with theoretical depth and methodological sophistication and is centralized within a variety of tools of empirical inquiry.) (Ibid)

Description of Hood's book on Amazon:

http://www.amazon.com/The-Psychology-Religion-Fourth-Edition/dp/1606233033

"Scholarly and comprehensive yet accessible, this state-of-the-science work is widely regarded as the definitive psychology of religion text. The authors synthesize classic and contemporary empirical research on numerous different religious groups. Coverage includes religious thought, belief, and behavior across the lifespan; links between religion and biology; the forms and meaning of religious experience; the social psychology of religious organizations; and connections to morality, coping, mental health, and psychopathology. Designed for optimal use in advanced undergraduate- and graduate-level courses, every chapter features thought-provoking quotations and examples that bring key concepts to life."

im-skeptical said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
im-skeptical said...

Hood is capable of doing valid scientific research. The book you cite may well be an example of that. There has been plenty of scholarly research in the area of religion and the psychology of religion. And I never said or implied otherwise. But when it comes to empirical measurement and determination of inherently subjective so-called "mystical" experiences, based on highly questionable methodology, we have crossed into the realm of pseudo-science.

Here is a more rational perspective from Bertrand Russell.

Joe Hinman said...

clean out the wax and listen this time genius, no one is saying we can measure the depth of the experience or measure the veracity or it,e can measure the effects of it and then deduce warrant from that, grow up, listen!

im-skeptical said...

clean out the wax and listen this time genius

Let's say that someone gives the "correct" answers on the M-scale survey, and then has an "improved" outcome in his life. Let's say someone else gives the "correct" answers but doesn't have an "improved" outcome. Let's say that someone doesn't give the "correct" answers but still has an "improved" outcome. What do we know about the M-scale? What does it tell us about all the many possible factors that might play a role in improving people's lives? NOTHING.

The fact is that the M-scale tells us NOTHING useful. A valid scientific study would have to account for all the possible variables that might affect the outcome. An experiment would have to control each of those variables individually. Do you know of any scientific experiments like that? I sure don't.

Why don't you grow up and listen? What you're talking about is NOT SCIENCE. Unless and until you can describe a valid scientific methodology for making the inferences you describe, it's just bullshit.

JBsptfn said...

Why don't you grow up and listen? What you're talking about is NOT SCIENCE. Unless and until you can describe a valid scientific methodology for making the inferences you describe, it's just bullshit.

Oh, geez. And you wonder why you are referred to as a believer in scientism.

im-skeptical said...

Oh, geez. And you wonder why you are referred to as a believer in scientism.

Right. You listen to Joe's and Stan's phony claims about science, and you believe it without question. But when it comes to someone who actually knows something about science, and it doesn't fit your superstitious beliefs, that's "scientism".

Joe Hinman said...

this guy isn't even knowledgeable about basic like comptroller and validations his idea of sconce is being against God. he doesn't pay attention to methodology he just assumes to be scientific it has to be anti- belief in God.

im-skeptical said...

I'm talking about valid methodology. You're the one talking about God.

Mike Gerow said...

[Let's say that someone gives the "correct" answers on the M-scale survey, and then has an "improved" outcome in his life. Let's say someone else gives the "correct" answers but doesn't have an "improved" outcome. Let's say that someone doesn't give the "correct" answers but still has an "improved" outcome. What do we know about the M-scale? What does it tell us about all the many possible factors that might play a role in improving people's lives? NOTHING.]

Most of that would just be to say that respected psychology profs & social scientists don't know anything about or use valid statistical methods? No? Not even when publishing peer-reviewed scholarly articles?

You think NOT??

Ithe result shows a correlation, something else from the real world that corresponds with the M-scale - ie improved well being - so to that extent it demonstrates its own validity. It's not that hard a concept & you can speculate that other factors might have been present, but speculation doesn't SHOW a correlation, so afaict your refutations here would seem to be ... Well, only speculative? - as opposed to having the weight of some data behind them?

Now, if you SHOWED that high M-scale measurements also corresponded with something else - high education levels or something - that could also account for the other effects, then MAYBE your argument would have more impact, but as it stands, it seems you haven't....

Like that, afaict .....

im-skeptical said...

The majority of those studies that Joe cites link "spirituality" with well-being in general. That has nothing to do wit the M-scale, or any kind of specific "mystical experience". I looked at Joe's references, and most of it doesn't even remotely support the conclusions he makes about his M-scale, afaict.

Ryan M said...

"Oh, geez. And you wonder why you are referred to as a believer in scientism"

At best you can accuse him of taking a restricted view of what counts as science (Which I don't think he is doing). Nothing he said comes close to being scientism though. Remember, scientism as an epistemic theory says no beliefs are justified except those with scientific justification. Saying Joe's studies are not science is not the same thing as saying Joe's beliefs are unjustified because they lack scientific justification. You use "scientism" as a buzzword without understanding it, and frankly you seem to only post on this blog to say shit about I'm-skeptical. All you really show is that he intimidates you intellectually.

JBsptfn said...

All you really show is that he intimidates you intellectually.

No, he doesn't. He has been ridiculed by many people on many blogs. There is a reason for that. He doesn't try to understand anything. He just criticizes.

Joe Hinman said...

im-skeptical said...
The majority of those studies that Joe cites link "spirituality" with well-being in general. That has nothing to do wit the M-scale, or any kind of specific "mystical experience". I looked at Joe's references, and most of it doesn't even remotely support the conclusions he makes about his M-scale, afaict.
6:35 PM

which studies?you say "the majority of those studies," YOU HAVE NEVER READ A SINGLE ONE! name them, I can name them, you can't. you do not know what they say

Joe Hinman said...

m-skeptical said...
I'm talking about valid methodology. You're the one talking about God.

1:49 PM Delete


Skepy can;'t see this because he';s brainwashed but the rest of you doesn't that just prove what I said He's not even paying attention to any methodological issue, (btw he knows nothing about social science methodology) he just looks at one fact, i believe in God therefore i am wrong, he is not capable of thinking in any other terms,

Joe Hinman said...


Blogger Ryan M said...
"Oh, geez. And you wonder why you are referred to as a believer in scientism"

At best you can accuse him of taking a restricted view of what counts as science (Which I don't think he is doing). Nothing he said comes close to being scientism though. Remember, scientism as an epistemic theory says no beliefs are justified except those with scientific justification.

O come off it you are coverings or the atheist, it;s obvious; science is hs reloigon, he is offended by my beef in god because he has a God that competes iwth my god, he doesn't have tovsayv that its obvious, Trump doesn't say "I:am a racist.," Trump says "I respect women" isn't it obvious he doesn't! Skep is looking at one thing belief in God = no science., that';sit. that's all he understands--he as much as said that see my commemt above



Saying Joe's studies are not science is not the same thing as saying Joe's beliefs are unjustified because they lack scientific justification. You use "scientism" as a buzzword without understanding it, and frankly you seem to only post on this blog to say shit about I'm-skeptical. All you really show is that he intimidates you intellectually.


saying mhy studies are not scientific are imbecilic, they are declared scientific by the only academic organization that studies religion scientifically, The ASSSR

aside from the description I've given which proves it's scientific, control, replication, validation,Skep is not even dealing with such issues, I have statements by major psychology professors saying it's round breaking it's the standard in the field, The M scale is the most coroborated measurement evidce for the study of religious experience,

Joe Hinman said...

OK I brought personality into it, that was my fault,


Joe Hinman said...

Let's say that someone gives the "correct" answers on the M-scale survey, and then has an "improved" outcome in his life. Let's say someone else gives the "correct" answers but doesn't have an "improved" outcome. Let's say that someone doesn't give the "correct" answers but still has an "improved" outcome. What do we know about the M-scale? What does it tell us about all the many possible factors that might play a role in improving people's lives? NOTHING.]

all the studies that compare scores of self actualization to scores on measurements such as M scale (M scale and other measurements) show very small percentage have no experience an d life transformation,that;s why they compare the two groups experience people to non experience e people, Wuthnow and Nobel compared them, and others.

Joe Hinman said...

I get angry because the blind unreasoning prejudice of many atheists like Skep refuses to listen to the methodological stuff, they make the simple equation belief in God = no science. That drives me up the wall. Brain washing,

im-skeptical said...

they make the simple equation belief in God = no science.

I have asked you (and your fans), and you haven't responded. Where did I make such a statement? The only one here saying that is you. I'm talking about what constitutes legitimate science, and it is all about methodology, not about the topic of research. Why are you so defensive about this? Could it be that you know that your methodology is lacking and you are using these accusations about me as a cover-up for your own failings?


that;s why they compare the two groups experience people to non experience e people

You ignored the issue that I raised about this: How does anyone know who has had a "legitimate mystical experience"? If you use the M-scale, how is that calibrated against reality? There must be some independent standard, but no such standard exists. I have asked you to explain how this works, and all you do is launch a barrage of attacks. We all know the reason: you have no scientifically valid explanation.

Ryan M said...

To JB,

"No, he doesn't. He has been ridiculed by many people on many blogs. There is a reason for that. He doesn't try to understand anything. He just criticizes"

There is some irony here since it seems the latter assertion is actually a perfect description of your internet presence. You don't seem to be great on making arguments, responding to arguments, etc. Rather, you only seem to criticize people, such as IM-S. Pro tip-, if you don't have anything to say that counters his assertions then don't bother responding to you. As it stands, it just looks like he intimidates you and you're lashing out because you have no intellectual way to respond to his points.

To Joe,

It is clear you and IM-S have some disagreement. It would be best for you two to lay out exactly which propositions you're advocating so you two of you can make it clear which propositions you dispute and why you dispute them (Assuming you ultimately do have disagreement, which you probably do).

Mike Gerow said...

You can look at the m-scale questionnaire yourself and critique it if you want to....

It's certainly possible to critique the potential differences between "experiences" and "descriptions of experiences", and in fact some leading figures in studying mysticism don't like the term "experience", finding it too dualistic and reflexive. The Wiki article on mystical experience even brings this up....


--The notion of "experience", however, has been criticized in religious studies today. Robert Sharf points out that "experience" is a typical Western term, which has found its way into Asian religiosity via western influences. The notion of "experience" introduces a false notion of duality between "experiencer" and "experienced", whereas the essence of kensho is the realisation of the "non-duality" of observer and observed. "Pure experience" does not exist; all experience is mediated by intellectual and cognitive activity. The specific teachings and practices of a specific tradition may even determine what "experience" someone has, which means that this "experience" is not the proof of the teaching, but a result of the teaching.

BUT if the m-scale is correlatiing with genuine, positive life-effects, wouldn't that tend to indicate it's measuring SOMETHING beyond merely concepts,,at least?

Joe Hinman said...

mike mike mike, all that nonsense is based upon ideological reducationists who oppose inner states because they don't want minds because they don't want God,.That is Proudfoot bullshit


I have experiences i have a mind

Joe Hinman said...

Ryan

stop protecting your little atheist brother and lethim fail on his lack of knowledge,

he must dress

Replication Verification

control

corroborator studies

acceptance by the field


major issues I have qddressed he will not even mention

JBsptfn said...

Ryan seems to act like he has more knowledge than a lot of the theist bloggers that are online. For example said that someone like Stan isn't qualified to talk about evolution because he isn't a biologist. In response, Stan had this to say:

If a science is not based in the fundamentals of logic, it is both not a science, and not a rational pursuit. Scientists are not more capable of determining logical properties than are those who are trained in logic. In fact, because they are attached to their own hypotheses, for their own gain and egos, they are less able.

The least able to determine the logic quality of a proposition are those who adhere to it for ideological reasons. And that is the reason that Evolution is a success. The hypothesis is valued ideologically far over the valuation given to actual logic and rationality. Were it not the creation story of Atheism, evolution would have been a dead backwater in the history of "science" failures.


What probably bothers guys like Skep and Ryan is that a guy like Stan has rational rebuttals to evolution. So, what do they do? They label him a Young Earth Creationist, and they say that only scientists have the right to talk about evolution (ignoring the fact that science can produced bias results because it's all about the grant money in a lot of cases).

Heck, on the CADRE, Skep said that Stan (and others on the CADRE) said that Goddidit, and we made no claim of the sort. That's his problem. I have seen the archives of sites like Feser's and Reppert's, and he has no credibility wherever he goes.

Ryan M said...

JB,

Not all scientists have a right to talk about evolution just like not all scientists have a right to talk about classical mechanics. I have advocated the following to you:

1. a person ought not debate a topic they have no expertise in.
2. a person ought not debate a topic (they have expertise in) with a person without expertise in said topic.

You can interpret those maxims in an ethical or epistemic sense. I would restrict my domain of discourse to topics which require many months (Or years) to master. Evolution, and most things to do with physics at the college level (and above) would count as topics which ought not be debated by people without expertise in the subject(s).

I'm not at all sure what Stan is going for in his reply. Two issues:

First, he says that science must be based in the fundamentals of logic. Well, which logic? There are many different types of logics out there, partly to create more expressive semantics (e.g. propositional logic + quantifiers/relations/equality, etc), but also partly because some logicians prefer axioms different from the axioms found in general classical logics. For example, the "fundamentals of logic" assuming that means the basic axioms of logic, differ in intuitionistic logic compared to classical logic. In intuitionistic logic, we lose double negation elimination and the principle of excluded middle. In other non classical logics we also lose the principle of explosion (paraconsistent logics can do this, and dialatheism goes even further), and in others we lose the principle of bivalence (such as three valued logics, fuzzy logics, etc). Since there are many types of logics, it isn't clear which "fundamentals of logic" he is referring to.

Second, unless I am misinterpreting Stan then he seems to be saying this:

Stan's alleged thesis - [Anyone capable of understanding the fundamentals of logic is capable of understanding any science].

I think following Stan's alleged thesis the following argument would be sound:

1. Anyone capable of understanding the fundamentals of logic is capable of understanding any science.
2. Anyone capable of understanding classical propositional logic, contextual logic and intuitionistic logic is capable of understanding the fundamentals of logic.
3. I am capable of understanding classical propositional logic, contextual logic and intuitionistic logic.
4. Therefore, I am capable of understanding the fundamentals of logic.
5. Therefore, I am capable of understanding any science.

Conclusion (5) is false. I in fact do not understand PHD level physics. Since the conclusion is false, but the argument is valid, one of 1 through 3 must be false. Premise 1 is the obvious contender. While being a great logician might help someone understand science (I have formal education in logic), it is not sufficient to understand science, so premise 1 is false. Rather, more is required to master many sciences. PHD level physics requires a great deal of knowledge in calculus, linear algebra, probability theory, statistics, etc. The math for physics goes over my head and it makes me incapable of grasping the equations involved. As a result, premise 1 is false, so the argument is unsound. I can handle a great deal of mathematical logic, and I can handle dealing with matrices, but I cannot do advanced Bayesian statistics.

I don't think this conversation is worth pursuing for two reasons:

1. it is off topic so unfair to Joe.
2. it continues your behaviour of treating atheist/theist discussions as a war to be won.

Ryan M said...

Joe,

Honestly I think you two need a restart on what exactly you disagree on. It's easy to get lost in walls of text (especially for someone with dyslexia), and it's easy to lose track of what has been asserted historically. If I were you, and I wanted to debate this topic, then I would make a post outlining, one by one, which propositions I am advocating, and I would defend each one, one by one. I would give each proposition a label such as "Proposition 1" so it could more easily be referred to in conversation. If possible, and if it's useful, I would label each defense as well. e.g. "defense 1".

I don't think you need to make formal arguments like Bradley had requested. While formal arguments are useful, even in sociology or history, it's still a skill that is sort of limited to just a few disciplines. It can very much slow a historian down if they are forced to write their arguments in a more formal style that a philosopher would be accustomed to. In fact, in some cases it does a person a dis-justice to think about how to make their arguments more formal since they think more about the form and less about the overall picture.

im-skeptical said...

Regarding Stan:

If I recall, he said that his education in science consists mainly of reading some (unspecified) texts on his own. No college-level science education at all, as far as I know. In addition to that, He relies heavily on pseudo-science internet resources, like these, as his source of "scientific facts", which he then uses to dispute genuine science. Stan rejects any scientific facts that are not consistent with his ideological beliefs.

Stan does seem to have some understanding of classical logic, but unfortunately, he formulates his own arguments on a foundation of theistic presumptions. On that basis, he claims that atheists (materialists) have no epistemological foundation whatsoever for making any logical argument at all, and he automatically rejects every argument they make.

Stan is narcissistic and extremely close-minded. He refuses to even consider any scientific fact or logical argument that doesn't comply with his preconceived notions.

Mike Gerow said...

[i have experiences I have a mind]

Well, Sharf, cited on Wiki, is a Buddhist & scholar of Buddhism, and so might wanna contest that with you? In an ultimate sense.... ;-)

But me, I was just trying to grasp at what Skep's underlying point about defining "mystical experiences" might be and help articulate it - just in case it might be significant!

im-skeptical said...

With regard to Joe's claims:

First of all Joe wrote this post in response to a post that I made, here, which in turn was a response to his post here. His claim was that atheists have no knowledge of the religious experience that is a primary source of justification for their belief in God. My article was an attempt to refute that claim. Joe saw my article as an attack on his book, despite the fact that I didn't mention his book at all.

Now, I understand that Joe's book defends (or presents) his thesis that religious experience is a valid basis of epistemological justification for religious belief. But Joe goes beyond Plantinga's Reformed Epistemology, and posits a scientific basis for justified belief in things that can't be detected by empirical means. That's an extraordinary claim. If it were true, it would certainly rock the world of science. But the fact is that the scientific community has not been rocked at all. His book might have received an "atta-boy" from Professor Hood, but that hardly amounts to peer-review, or acceptance from the greater scientific community.

The problem that Joe refuses to recognize is that despite the existence of this M-scale, there is no objective way of determining precisely what kind of inner experience someone else is having. The M-scale is, at best, a means of selecting candidates based on someone's idea of how they should answer a set of questions. And even if it could actually identify "true mystical experiences", that still doesn't justify the logical leap: "therefore, God". You can correlate these experiences with all the positive outcomes you want, but doesn't provide a causal basis for those outcomes. It may very well be the case that the psychological outlook that is responsible for these positive outcomes also causes the subject to give the answers on the M-scale questionnaire that have been identified as "true mystical experience". But there has been no attempt to isolate and test all the possible causal factors, and eliminate all natural causes for what has been observed. So in the end, Joe's scientific claims are not valid.

And at the bottom of all this, Joe's lack of understanding of scientific methodology is evident. He claims hundreds of studies make the case for him. But they don't. Joe is jumping to a conclusion that those studies don't justify. As I said earlier, if it were true, then the world of science would be rocked. It would be HUGE news. But somehow, the world hasn't even noticed. I tend to think it's because there's nothing worth noticing.

Joe Hinman said...

Honestly I think you two need a restart on what exactly you disagree on. It's easy to get lost in walls of text (especially for someone with dyslexia), and it's easy to lose track of what has been asserted historically. If I were you, and I wanted to debate this topic, then I would make a post outlining, one by one, which propositions I am advocating, and I would defend each one, one by one. I would give each proposition a label such as "Proposition 1" so it could more easily be referred to in conversation. If possible, and if it's useful, I would label each defense as well. e.g. "defense 1".


I've already done that, even in the book

I don't think you need to make formal arguments like Bradley had requested. While formal arguments are useful, even in sociology or history, it's still a skill that is sort of limited to just a few disciplines. It can very much slow a historian down if they are forced to write their arguments in a more formal style that a philosopher would be accustomed to. In fact, in some cases it does a person a dis-justice to think about how to make their arguments more formal since they think more about the form and less about the overall picture.


I've made that very observation myself

Joe Hinman said...

Well, Sharf, cited on Wiki, is a Buddhist & scholar of Buddhism, and so might wanna contest that with you? In an ultimate sense.... ;-)

he's wrpmg. i appreciate your input

Joe Hinman said...

who the hell is Stan?

Joe Hinman said...

Skep, you don't knw anything about social science research ,any thing anyone says to you if you know they are a christian you are incapable of understanding,all you can see is a red flag being waved and hear faint utterance of "toro! Toro!"

JB you are over looking a basic aspect of the internet a'don't feed the trolls"

Joe Hinman said...

the only answering this is because he makes certain factual errors i don't want to give the impression that that the facts of his post are true.


-skeptical said...
With regard to Joe's claims:

First of all Joe wrote this post in response to a post that I made, here, which in turn was a response to his post here. His claim was that atheists have no knowledge of the religious experience that is a primary source of justification for their belief in God. My article was an attempt to refute that claim. Joe saw my article as an attack on his book, despite the fact that I didn't mention his book at all.

I put a fn in the post explaining and I think I pointed this out on his site that I was not saying atheists think that The original article was penned before I did much research on my book. read the note. This has nothing to do with scientific methodology he's not even able to see the note an he's just trying to find something to feel that he won over,




Now, I understand that Joe's book defends (or presents) his thesis that religious experience is a valid basis of epistemological justification for religious belief. But Joe goes beyond Plantinga's Reformed Epistemology,


I am under no no obligation to support reformed epistemology.there is not such requirement im Christianity.


and posits a scientific basis for justified belief in things that can't be detected by empirical means.

this is a bold faced lie and I have denied it directly just a few posts ago ,this only proves that he can't regsiter the meaning of my words, he does not see the words I wirte he sees the words he want to be there,


That's an extraordinary claim. If it were true, it would certainly rock the world of science. But the fact is that the scientific community has not been rocked at all. His book might have received an "atta-boy" from Professor Hood, but that hardly amounts to peer-review, or acceptance from the greater scientific community.

Hood's work has been loaded as scientific. I have not gone belong hood, what I said is simple:


(1) Hood and Wuthnow and Nobel et al proceed the data which is scientific

(2)and i merely extrapolate from that data implications for theology.


(3) I do not attempt to prove things beyond empirical observation I don't pretend to delve into the supernatural or the meaning of experiences or the texture or feeling I look at the effects of having the experience and that is very measurable,

(4) example psychology already has methods of measuring self actualization. It is a simple matter just to test those who score high on M scale with the actualization tests many studies have done so.


Joe Hinman said...

The problem that Joe refuses to recognize is that despite the existence of this M-scale, there is no objective way of determining precisely what kind of inner experience someone else is having.

(1)we don't have to l have wasted my time saying this because he can't read the words but I've said it several times,we do not have to know that that's not part of the effects.

(2)the experience we are talking about is a priori about god and the meaning of like that is what those who have it take away from it, we do not have to know what the meanings are they think they know or how it felt or if they truly felt God or not. All we need to know is that it is about those things a prori.,we know it in the same way that people know when they are seeing red because that's what they see what they understand red to be. they may not see what i call red but they see what they know as red,



The M-scale is, at best, a means of selecting candidates based on someone's idea of how they should answer a set of questions. And even if it could actually identify "true mystical experiences", that still doesn't justify the logical leap: "therefore, God".


here's another case in point where he just can't see the words. he physically cannot see the words I write,I say "I don't say 'therefore God'"he sees "I say therefore God."

(1) I have said over and over I do not claimto prove the eistence of god

(2) one only says therefore when one is proving

(3) that is not what warrant is

(4) I have always said i only prove warrant, justification, I am warranted to believe in God not that I prove God.


You can correlate these experiences with all the positive outcomes you want, but doesn't provide a causal basis for those outcomes. It may very well be the case that the psychological outlook that is responsible for these positive outcomes also causes the subject to give the answers on the M-scale questionnaire that have been identified as "true mystical experience".


he's still asserting that I've delving into their psyche's I don't have to do that, That's not necessary to deduce a warrant. The only necessary deduction is the realization that the experience has to be real because the effects are real,.


But there has been no attempt to isolate and test all the possible causal factors, and eliminate all natural causes for what has been observed. So in the end, Joe's scientific claims are not valid.

yes actually I have done that there aren't very many we should take seriously, read the book stupid!


And at the bottom of all this, Joe's lack of understanding of scientific methodology is evident. He claims hundreds of studies make the case for him. But they don't. Joe is jumping to a conclusion that those studies don't justify. As I said earlier, if it were true, then the world of science would be rocked. It would be HUGE news. But somehow, the world hasn't even noticed. I tend to think it's because there's nothing worth noticing.

I am one step away from Phd in history of ideas and I studied science, my book was approved by several major researchers in the field inculcating Hood, Hood did not say what he waylaid he does not agree with that assessment. I am taking the data and using it in theology that's more than researchers are willing to do not because they don't agree that it can be done but it's not their place to they are not theologians.

has he answered any f the scientific issues that I raised? no a one nothing on verification nothing on replication nothing on validation nothing on any of the meat and potato issues of scientific methodology ,That;s he doesn't know methodology, he;s filling in those gaps with a lot of ahteist banterand ideologicalswill., that's all he knows.

Joe Hinman said...

the book

The Trace of God A Rational Warrant For Belief by Joseph Hinman


on amazomn

Joe Hinman said...

I've moved on

this is a presentation of my first argument on RE.

Ryan M said...

Stan is the author of that "Atheism Analyzed" blog.

Joe Hinman said...

o that guy, the trump supporter

im-skeptical said...

and i merely extrapolate from that data implications for theology.

No. You leap to a conclusion that is NOT supported by the data. And you call this scientific.

Joe Hinman said...

I linked to the argument n a new thread you are too afraid to argue it, see above "I', moving on"

Mike Gerow said...

Oh, I dunno....here's Joe's book blurb from the bottom of another blog....

"Ground breaking research that boosts religious arguments for God to a much stronger level. It makes experience arguments some of the most formidable. Empirical scientific studies demonstrate belief in God is rational, good for you, not the result of emotional instability. Ready answer for anyone who claims that belief in God is psychologically bad for you."


That seems pretty conservative, & esp for a book blurb!

im-skeptical said...

Empirical scientific studies demonstrate belief in God is rational, good for you, not the result of emotional instability. Ready answer for anyone who claims that belief in God is psychologically bad for you."


That seems pretty conservative, & esp for a book blurb!


Joe makes more than one claim here. I'm not disputing whatever he says about belief in God being beneficial. What I'm disputing is the other claim he makes. The one about "warrant for belief" - the claim that empirical studies show that belief is rationally justified. That's where Joe goes off the rails, jumping to conclusions that are not justified by the data.