Regular posters Skeptical and Kristen rise issues regarding faith, belief, and rationalization thereof, from the comment section (WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 31, 2018):
In my own life, I believed as a child, rejected belief and the arguments of belief in my early teens, and returned to belief in my later teens. So what changed? I had some personal experiences in my mid-teens that I could not overlook, that appeared to me to be divine, which I could, I suppose, have simply dismissed, but they were-- well, compelling! And which then became part of my rational warrant to believe.
Kristen, you speak of experiences that you interpret as divine. That is the kind of thing that I call a-rational.Notice that she never told us what those experiences are, he asserts they are rationalizing. For all he knows she could have been called before the throne of God in the seventh heaven but he asserts this must be rationalization. He gives no basic reason why she would need to assume its divine. Skeptical is asserting the nature of the case without knowing the facts; the germ of belief is out there waiting to infect us.
Many so-called ex-atheists (including most of the Christians I talk with, it seems) never really abandoned their belief. They simply put it in the closet. And then it came back - but not because of any logical argumentation. As you said yourself, you had those experiences. And that's the real reason for your return to belief.I see this statement in that light, that he must think belief as some kind of germ, because he can't accept it on it's own terms he has to reduce it to some involuntary condition that the faithful can't understand or resist. He asserts this without knowing a single argument or the nature of the experiences. He does this in place of answering the argument presented on the blog. That is clearly ratiocination. Experience is not antithetical to reason. If we don't have knowledge of the world, which is essentially experience our ideas are self referential, logic is tautological. Doesn't tell us anything.
The logical arguments for theistic belief come after one has already accepted belief (most often on an a-rational basis, as I said). Those arguments provide what most people would call their rational basis for belief (but were never their reason for believing in the first place). And it is those same arguments that someone like myself rejects along with theistic belief.
"Most often the rational basis I said." in other words evoking his paradigm that belief is a germ and not a set of ideas and (one need not even address arguments or even know the details of experiences) answering the arguments is irrelevant. He asserts that no one ever bases belief in argument but of course they do.I have actually convinced people to believe in God based upon my arguments.He asserts this cannot be. That's obviously a rationalization itself. Now I agree that real faith is a complex and dynamic process. No one does launch into a life time of faith based upon one argument, Rather the conversion process is a dialectical and dynamic one based upon an interplay of experiences and arguments. You have to have reasom to interpret experiences.
He sets up reason as some kind of ultimate standard to which all forms of belief must adhere, but when push cones to shove he doesn't even bother to reason about the God argument he's assailing . Moreover, most atheist make a big thing out of being empiricists and will deny the necessity of deductive argument in the face of empirical data. But he seems not to get the connection between experience and empirical knowledge. He eschews the notion of understanding experience: "...you speak of experiences that you interpret as divine. That is the kind of thing that I call a-rational.." Experience is antithetical to being rational most atheists laud empiricism. I understand he's not speaker of being irrational but a-rational, or outside of reason.
Kristen has not told us of her religious experiences in the comment section and yet she has written about some of them,I quote from her blog because it is available in the public record.In her review of my book the trace of God she discusses overprices she had that fit the criteria of mystical experience: she also talks about the reasoning process that at one point led her back to faith.
For months I struggled, suspended between faith and doubt. And then an online friend ... showed me that the real problem was that I was letting the skeptics determine the rules of engagement, playing the rationalists' game on their own playing field. They said my God was a big imaginary friend in the sky. They made it sound so silly. But Doxa helped me see that I didn't-- and needn't-- believe in that little straw-man deity anyway.The scientific rationalists said I needed to question all my assumptions. But I began to understand that they were leaving most of their own assumptions unquestioned. Could their assertion that everything that is real can be scientifically verified, itself be scientifically verified?Her experiences are validated evidently by the 200 studies I analyze in the book, but we also see her using reason and experience together in a whole faith making process. 
I once wrote an article that focuses on the process of faith or doubt in response to facing trials in life, This topic is more about the initial motive for belief, Skep has done nothing to show us he understands that process or that he has any valid s things to say about it. I recommend reading this other essay too because it';s very goof for exposing the hypocrisy of skepticism. Here's a sample.
O but look at the nature of religion and religious people. It's all based upon lies and religious people are hysterical and stupid so of course it has to be that I'm just rationalizing. They are not rationalizing they are brave men of science. This is kind of perpetual knee jerk doubt is just the kind of penetrating insight people have when they become incurably skeptical. But where I come from we have another name for it. It's called "bigotry." I define rationalization as the refusal to think deeply about an issue but putting up a self deceiving pretense of thought by going through the motions of critical thinking without looking deeply at one's own interest or prejudices. That's what those guys are doing. I'm not doing that becuase I was an atheist. I had doubt. I was one of those perpetual doubters who said as long I have an excuse for doubt or a breath I will continue to doubt. I struggled thought that by honestly confronting the nature of my experiences and thinking as deeply and logically as I could about them. I came to the conclusion of faith. I don't see any evidence that would disprove or overturn the warrant for belief that I have discovered. I don't see any reason not to credit God with the good and refuse to blame him for the bad. That is logical and consistent given what I know about God. What is not logical is the circular reasoning that says "there's no evidence for God's reality, but the evidence that people put forward must be wrong, must be rejected, because there's no evidence."
 Wordgazer, "Book Recoemdatiom, The Trace of God by Joseph Hinman," Wordgazer's words, blog (Saturday, May 31, 2014)
 Joseph Hinman, The Trace of God: Rational Warramt for Belief, Colorado Sproimgs, Grad Viaduct Publishing, 2014, no page. available on amazon"
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.
Joseph Hinman, "Rationalizing Faith or rationalizing Doubt?" Metacrock's blog, (Sep. 11,2013).
see my book, The Trace of God Rational Warrant for belief on amazon
see my book, The Trace of God Rational Warrant for belief on amazon