My book The Trace of God: Rational Warrant for Belief,  is a look a body of work in psychology of religion. from that data I have structured three God arguments, The centerpiece of that body of data is a research instrument called the M scale.(M = "mysticism scale"). It's a set of questions scored in a certain manner that is able to determine if a given experience is a valid mystical experience in W.T. Stace's sense of the term. Stace was an English Philosopher who retired in the 1950s then set himself the task of fleshing out his theory about the nature of mystical experience. Over the course of the next four decades Stace's theory was confirmed by empirical research conducted mainly by Ralph Hood Jr Professor of psychology at The university of Tennessee Chattanooga, who invented the M scale.
In this blog essay I will examine two major issues our resident opponent (I am Skeptical,aka "Skepie") likes to wail against Hood with: (1) His allegation that Hood is some kind of religious person (he claims he's a Christian) and thus nothing he says counts for anything.(2) Atheists have mystical experiences too. Buthe wants to call them by a different name.
(1) Hood's alleged religious commitment and sneaky motivations, lack of objectivity ect,
Skepie makes many such comments:
"They [Hood's opponents] are more interested in scientific understanding of the phenomenon. You have claimed that Hood is not religious, but I know that he is. He was the head of a Christian organization." Hood is not a Christian. I know this become Hood and I are friends when I consulted him years ago in writing The Trace of God. Notice Skepie never names the organization just as he never names any opponents.
Hood has some religious ideas but he is not a Christian. He has been a member of unity, not a christian denomination, Skepie never names the organisation and I don't find one I don't see why he would be since he's not a christian. Hood is an immanent scholar, he's top researcher in the field of psychology of religion. He is a former editor of the Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion(1995–1999), and has been coeditor of The International Journal for the Psychology of Religion (1992–1995) and Archiv für Religionpsychologie(2005–). This is clear;y an academic journal Self Decrotiono: "Psychology of Religion and Spirituality ® publishes peer-reviewed, original articles related to the psychological aspects of religion and spirituality.The journal publishes articles employing experimental and correlational methods, qualitative analyses, and critical reviews of the literature. Papers evaluating clinically relevant issues surrounding training, professional development, and practice are also considered."
According to the Journal Citation Reports, "the journal has a 2011 impact factor of 1.348, ranking it 30th out of 138 journals in the category 'Sociology'." Of course Skepie has to denigrate the field itself since Hood is big in that field, he thinks psychology of religion is like the guys that train Christian counselors for Bible college. It's not it is a valid academic discipline.
The psychology of religion is a rapidly developing field, and no single unifying theory explains individual and group religious experience. Psychoanalysts and research psychologists approach the psychology of religion in very different ways. Moreover, the field draws on a number of academic disciplines, including philosophy, sociology, anthropology, religious studies, economics, political science, and (rarely) theology. Paloutzian and Park 2005, Spilka and McIntosh 1997, and Fuller 2008 provide topical and/or theoretical overviews of the field. Putnam, et al. 2010 is written by political scientists who provide a historical overview of religion in America to the present...The field of psychology of religion has ebbed and flowed along with humanistic concerns in psychology. The empirical approach of researchers like Hood has tended to enhance the validity of the field. It's a diverse field, it has it's detractors but it's valid.
Skepie read the hearts and minds of religious people. He knows Hood's motive to deceive everyone when faced with the fact that he has no statements by Hood to justify his assertions he says "Of course he doesn't come out and admit what he's doing. What do you think the M-scale does? It is a tool invented by a religious person to filter any non-religious interpretation out from peak experiences. It is designed to look only at the religious aspect of this phenomenon, and pretend that this gives you a full understanding of it." What Hood actually does say:
For Some Mystical experience cannot support a belief that one has united with God or experienced ultimate reality, for others mysticism is an experience that provides sufficient warrant for belie in God or ultimate reality....our concern as social scientists ls restricted to the aspect of these literatures that have direct relevance for empirical research. Of immediate concern is the clarification of the nature of mystical experience as well as it's relationship to other forms of mystical experience
Here Hood is actually saying that he's not concerned with proving God's existence because that's not his role as a scientist. That is the only statement of Hood's motive that we have Skepie ever bothers to produce. Of course, he's never read a single thing Hood has written,
Skepie needs to give atheists their own Godless sense of the numinous and their own Godless undifferentiated unity,So he wants to call Mystical experience:"peak" and pretend it's a different experience even though it is just the same experience but without reference to a religious dimension,
Skepie wants to imagine that there;s a whole realm of "real psychologists" (he said that psychology of religion people are not real psychologists) "Yes. That's what I've been telling you. Maslow was an atheist..." I've refereed to Maslow as an atheist time and time again. He says:
and he used the term "peak experience", which is how it is called OUTSIDE the field of psychology of religion, precisely because general psychology recognizes that this is not confined to religious experience. Maslow's field was NOT psychology of religion, and that contradicts your claim that this whole field of study is within psychology of religion. IT ISN'T. There are many other psychologists outside the narrow field of psychology of religion who examine this phenomenon. That's what I've been telling you.There is a certain truth to the dichotomy, even though it's unnecessary,I don't think "mystical" necessarily connotes religious outlook although "Peak experience" may have been employed as a term to include atheist's experiences. But Maslow never had the M scale to work with and he never did the kind of studies on atheist's experiences that Hood has done. He never had the broad empirical basis that Hood has gotten.
Moreoever, Skepie misses a lot of dimensions in Madlow;s thinking that would others wise cause him to claim Maslow was a Christian. Maslow said "atheists and religious people can go a very long way down the road together." He did not want to see a war-like struggle between religious thinkers and atheists. Maslow wanted to observe the condition of wellness in in human psyche rather than pathology as Freud had done, Toward that end he forecaster Transactional analyses. One of the things that Maslow saw as normative and healthy was religious belief,
https://www.psywww.com/psyrelig/psyrelpr.htmOne outgrowth of Maslow's work is what has become known as Transpersonal Psychology, in which the focus is on the spiritual well-being of individuals, and values are advocated steadfastly. Transpersonal psychologists seek to blend Eastern religion (Buddhism, Hinduism, etc.) or Western (Christian, Jewish or Moslem) mysticism with a form of modern psychology. Frequently, the transpersonal psychologist rejects psychology's adoption of various scientific methods used in the natural sciences.
Notice in fn 14 Nielsen is including Maslow as psychology of religion.That's enough to make him the leader of a Christian organization in Skep's mind if he didn't need him so badly to validate "Peak experience"as the atheist answer to mystical experience. Maslow points out that the same universal symbols emerge in all people across culture. He confirms this connection emerges with with the use of all psychoanalytical techniques.
Now that may be taken as a frank admission of a naturalistic psychological origin, except that it invovles a universal symbology which is not explicable through merely naturalistic means. How is it that all humans come to hold these same archetypical symbols? (For more on archetypes see Jesus Chrsit and Mythology page II) The "prematives" viewed and understood a sense of transformation which gave them an integration into the universe. This is crucial for human development. They sensed a power in the numenous, that is the origin of religion.
In Appendix I and elsewhere in this essay, I have spoken of unitive perception, i.e., fusion of the B-realm with the D-realm, fusion of the eternal with the temporal, the sacred with the profane, etc. Someone has called this "the measureless gap between the poetic perception of reality and prosaic, unreal commonsense." Anyone who cannot perceive the sacred, the eternal, the symbolic, is simply blind to an aspect of reality, as I think I have amply demonstrated elsewhere (54), and in Appendix I.
Granted he is reducing the Spiritual rom SN to psychological. He;s still keeping the category open. The major point I am making is that Maslow was a contribtor if only defacto to the success of psych of Religion as a field.
Skep wants us to think there are a few little religious minded clerics with counselling degrees calling what they do "psych of Religion" and then there is a vast body of:real psychologists: beyond that who have disproved the former. The truth is more like there are few hold overs from the Freudian persecution ofreligion and most pscyholkogistssnow see reliion as a naturak endeavoerm a holdoverfron evoluktionary heruitagem whichnayiray notinole God but is beining,
Nowadays there are many who do not agree with the notion that religious behavior a priori implies a neurotic state to be decoded and eliminated by analysis (exorcism). That reductionism based on the first works by Freud is currently under review. The psychotherapist should be limited to observing the uses their clients make of the representations of the image of God in their subjective world, that is, the uses of the function of omnipotence. Among the several authors that subscribe to this position are Odilon de Mello Franco (12), .... W. R. Bion (2), one of the most notable contemporary psychoanalysts, ..."
(2) Atheists have mystical experiences too. But he wants to call them by a different name
As I pointed out in the comet section I do write about atheists having mystical experience, e can call it "peak experience" if we want to. I have not denied that atheists have such experience in my book That Skep refuses to read but claims to know all about I actually quote atheists who talk about such experiences. Skep wants to say the atheists have have their look behind the curtain so they don't have to acknowledge the possibility of God. That doesn't erase the mystical experiences that have the God dimension, So there are different levels of experience who is to say their look behind the curtain is really long enough or deep enough?
There is another view that is less denigrating to the atheists, the idea tat both have the same view they just interpret it differently. That is what all mystics do. They experience "it" beyond their understanding they only really understand in the experience but they can't talk about it. To talk about it they must load it into cultural constructs which changes it. Typically mystics try to explain their experiences through their doctrine. Atheists no less so, which means the Catholic says it's the Holy presence and the atheist says i;ts the void, In fact the descriptions of Vedanta sound a lot like atheists but they are not atheists,
The M scale shows us that all the experiences are the same it's the interpretation that changes. The atheist experience fits right into the same paradigm. Skepie's charge that the M scale is trying to factor out the Atheist experience could not be more un fair. Hood made several versions of the M scale with Christian language non Christian langue, Hindu, Muslim, and so on including non belief in God. So an artiest experience is factored into the equation. The M scale shows the experiences are the same,some external objective reality is encountered then it';s up to the mystic to understand what that is,
You have to read my God arguments to understand how I connect them,
Buy My Book On Amazon:
The Trace Of God
 W.T. Stace, Mysticism and Philosophy. London: Macmillan and Co 1961 no page imndicated
on line copy: https://www.scribd.com/doc/70165808/W-T-Stace-Mysticism-and-Philosophy-Whole-Book#scribd
 Ralph Hood, Psychology, UTC edu.
 'Skepie, Comments, "Unicorns Don't Exist, Theretofore, God Doesn't Exist?" Metacrock's Blog (Oct 22, 2018) http://metacrock.blogspot.com/2018/10/unicorns-dont-exist-therefore-god.html?showComment=1540708451745#c5146743849962406292
 Unity Church
This is a self promotion by the unity organization, It nay sound obliquely Christian but any attempt toinikthiswith evaangeicakfundamentalisn wouldbe vain becausethisorgniaaationisnot accpetalein Orthodox Christiancircles, I don't think I;m uttingworkdsinDr. Hood;s moiuth whenI say ithinkhis view ofGod is impersonal
"Unity Church followers believe in the divinity of Jesus, but only in the sense that all humans are the children of God and share that divine potential. They believe that Jesus was a master teacher who expressed this divine potential and sought to show others how to do the same."
Unity Church - Wikipedia
 Journal of Psychology of religion and Spirituality, "Descriptions," American Psychological Association (2018)
"Journals Ranked by Impact: Sociology". 2011 Journal Citation Reports. Web of Science (Social Sciences ed.). Thomson Reuters. 2012; see also
 Catherine A. Johnson et al, "Psychology and Religion" Oxford Bibliophiles (LAST MODIFIED: 27 OCTOBER 2016)
 Kim Wobles, "A Brief History of Psychology of Religion," Science 20 ( May 28th 2010 03:14)
science 20 self identification: "Science 2.0 was created in 2006 to modernize science communication, publishing, collaboration and public participation. It is a pro-science educational outreach nonprofit operating under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. We are the world's largest science writing community, with over 300,000,000 readers on our sites."
Skeptical, op cit
 Ralph Hood Jr. and Bernard Spilka,et al "Mysticism, Chapter 11, " The Psychology of Religion: A Empirical Approach. 4th Ed.New Yor, Lomdo: Guildord Press. 2009, 332.
 Skepie op cit
Michael E Nielsen, "Notable People in Psychology of Religion" Psychology of Religion, selective archive 1999-2004
 Araham Maslow, "Appendix I. "An Example of B-Analysis." vReligions, Values, and Peak-Experiences,
 Jorge W.F. Amaro, ""Psychology, Psychoanalysis,and religious Faith" Psychology of Religion Pages Michael E Nielsen, 1998.
Dr. Jorge W.F. Amaro, Ph.D., Head psychology dept. Sao Paulo. the sources he sights:
sources sited by Amaro BION, W. R. Atenção e interpretação (Attention and interpretation). Rio de Janeiro: Imago, 1973.
MELLO FRANCO, O. de. Religious experience and psychoanalysis: from man-as-god to man-with-god. Int. J. of Psychoanalysis (1998) 79.
Buy My Book On Amazon:
The Trace Of God