Inferential Evidence For God/Jesus Via Witness Testimony

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The Interlocutor's picture
Inferential Evidence For God/Jesus Via Witness Testimony

--> A Great Cloud Of Witnesses: Inferential Evidence For God/Jesus Via Witness Testimony <--

-----INTRODUCTION-----

This is an article which will be assessing/presenting evidence for God’s/Jesus’ existence via witness testimony.

This article is a follow up to two previous articles I had written and the responses I received--from interlocutors--concerning these two articles; however, you do not need to firstly read these other two articles in order to comprehend the message of this one.

The first article I wrote:
--> How Belief In A Proposition Is Shown To Be Rationally Justified Over Its Negation/Opposite <--
https://www.facebook.com/notes/atheist-answers/how-belief-in-a-propositi...

The second article I wrote:
--> Belief In God Can Be Rationally Justified Without Needing Inferential Argument/Reason/Evidence <--
https://www.facebook.com/notes/atheist-answers/belief-in-god-can-be-rati...

This second article made the case that a person can have a rationally justified belief in God/Jesus--even without inferential argument/evidence--as long as that belief was a non-inferential belief which was formed in a rationally justified way; in this case the non-inferential belief being formed (in a rationally justified way) is via direct experience (via the witness of the Holy Spirit and/or the sensus divinitatis).

Concerning this second article (above) I received a response from an atheist interlocutor--who I had been conversing with for a while--who stated: ‘You made a great case [showing how a Christian can have a rationally justified belief in God/Jesus], but you did not show why I personally should rationally believe in Christianity/Jesus/God.’

His response assumes that he had never experienced the Holy Spirit (conviction/drawing) and/or the sensus divinitatis (for non-inferential belief formation), and that there are no good inferential arguments for God/Jesus (for inferential belief formation).

However--even if I granted those assumptions above--I told him that the Christians justified belief in God/Jesus (which he conceded) did act as inferential evidence for God/Jesus in the form of witness testimony (so he had rational reason to believe based on that).

-----ASSESSING WITNESS TESTIMONY-----

When it comes to witness testimony, it is rational to believe a witnesses testimony (and irrational to reject it) if:

1. The witness is considered to be telling the truth (of how they experienced the events in question).
2. The witness is considered to be of sound mind (their faculties/senses are considered to be functioning normally).

Below I will be posting various testimonies of people who have experienced God/Jesus. You will only be able to assess them via the criteria above at a superficial level (through the internet), however, all these people I am sure will be happy to meet you personally so that you can assess them (via the criteria above) at a deeper level.

-----WITNESS TESTIMONIES OF GOD/JESUS-----

Testimony #1
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-yehENU4s_Y&app=desktop

Testimony #2
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ruaoEB19S-w

Testimony #3
https://www.facebook.com/oneforIsrael/videos/1009174195767206/

Testimony #4
https://jamesbishopblog.com/2015/06/12/professor-of-new-testament-craig-...

Testimony #5
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vAExSMvGWJg

Testimony #6
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rJCeFd-fc0k

Testimony #7
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cMu5F2icsT8

Testimony #8
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=77F6T8DNCX0

Testimony #9
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JKQzlManKYU

Link to video (below) on how one receives the salvation found in Jesus:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OGQ_4jAVck0

-----CLOSING THOUGHTS-----

Not all people who have come to know God/Jesus experienced His presence/witness in the same-type of manner as some of these testimonies above. I have noticed (in my Christian journey) that there seems to be two types of ways the Holy Spirit’s presence/witness is made apparent in a Christians life; the first is an obvious and direct experience (normally when one is at the beginning of their Christian journey), the second is like a small seed which is planted in the Christian’s heart/spirit and over time as the Christian walks and grows in the Lord (keeping and walking in His words) they start to recognize the presence/witness of God inside of them growing (this is more like a small whisper than a loud and obvious shout).

In fact, when most people truly come to the Lord (they truly repent and put their faith in Jesus; and they are truly regenerated) the first thing they tend to notice is a change of nature/heart. For example they may suddenly find themselves having a desire/zeal not to sin anymore (but rather to live righteously), they may notice themselves loving people more, they may notice themselves feeling peaceful, they may notice themselves suddenly having a desire to read the Bible, they may notice themselves suddenly having a strong love for other Christians, they may notice that everything looks more beautiful (the colors of nature seem more vibrant and alive) etc...

I will post a link (below) of the testimony of a Dr who noticed something similar to that which I mentioned above (when he was first regenerated):
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SEsCs97-hOQ

Below I will be posting a link to a video which explains how one can receive the salvation of Jesus Christ:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OGQ_4jAVck0

-----START OF SIDE NOTE (you do not need to read this)-----

Concerning criteria 2: it would be irrational if you consider a witnesses mind to be generally sound (their faculties/senses are considered to be functioning normally), but make special exception for their senses/faculties which had the experience of God/Jesus... unless:

A. You have rational reason to believe (something like) the proposition ‘God does not exist’ is far more likely true than the proposition ‘God exists.’ This way you would have rational reason to believe the experience of God/Jesus is false because you have rational reason to believe such a reality does not exist (and remember, this belief would have to be rationally strong enough to counter the evidence of the testimony itself and still be considered a more rationally justified position than its negation). Please go read my first article (above) for my information concerning this position.

B. You have a rational reason to believe the senses/faculties which formed experiences of God/Jesus are (specifically shown to be) unreliable--rather than just allowing these senses/faculties to fall under the umbrella of generally reliable when used by a person of generally sound mind.

-----END OF SIDE NOTE-----

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Sheldon's picture
"This is an article which

"This is an article which will be assessing/presenting evidence for God’s/Jesus’ existence via witness testimony."
------------------------------------------------------------

These are witness testimonies for mermaids
>https://science.howstuffworks.com/science-vs-myth/strange-creatures/merm...
>https://www.theepochtimes.com/10-credible-mermaid-sightings-videos_29446...
>https://www.themorningbulletin.com.au/news/mermaid-sighting-capricorn-co...

These are alien abduction eye witness testimonies

>https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v-NKSqqM4CU
>http://paranormalscholar.com/witness-testimony-i-was-abducted-by-aliens/ NICE TWIST, THIS ONE SWEARS ON A BIBLE
>http://www.disclosureproject.org/
>https://www.express.co.uk/news/weird/811158/Roswell-UFO-crash-new-witnes...

Here's an article explaining why eyewitness testimony is woefully unreliable

https://people.howstuffworks.com/eyewitnesses-unreliable.htm

David Killens's picture
You beat me to it Sheldon, I

You beat me to it Sheldon, I was going to pursue the alien abduction testimony route.

Despite that, a large number of testimonies does not make anything true. If I could go back 10,000 years with a video camera, I could easily get testimonies from almost 99% of the population proclaiming that they sincerely believed the earth was flat. Just because lots of people believe something, that does not make it true.

Although I respect the time and attention given to the OP's post, that if this "evidence" was in a court of law, it would be laughed out the doors.

Sheldon's picture
David..."a large number of

David..."a large number of testimonies does not make anything true"

Precisely true, a bare appeal to numbers is a fallacy in informal logic, it's called argumentum ad populum.

Think of things once believed by everyone that proper evidence showed was false, like the continents never moving before tectonic plate shift were discovered. Or the universe not expanding prior to TBBT.

Sushisnake 's picture
And I AM a mermaid*- please

And I AM a mermaid*- please refer to my icon which is a recent photo.

* Not my fault you had preconceptions about mermaids.

Diotrephes's picture
The Interlocutor,

The Interlocutor,

In Matthew 15:24 (CEV) Yeshua said: "Jesus said, “I was sent only to the people of Israel! They are like a flock of lost sheep.”

So who cares if he existed or not? I don't.

CyberLN's picture
TI, you wrote, “In fact, when

TI, you wrote, “In fact, when most people truly come to the Lord (they truly repent and put their faith in Jesus; and they are truly regenerated) the first thing they tend to notice is a change of nature/heart. For example they may suddenly find themselves having a desire/zeal not to sin anymore (but rather to live righteously), they may notice themselves loving people more, they may notice themselves feeling peaceful, they may notice themselves suddenly having a desire to read the Bible, they may notice themselves suddenly having a strong love for other Christians, they may notice that everything looks more beautiful (the colors of nature seem more vibrant and alive) etc...”

Please provide data to back this up.

Sheldon's picture
Are you implying anecdotal

Are you implying anecdotal testimonies on YouTube are not sufficient for you to believe one of the thousands of fictional deities humans have created is real?

CyberLN's picture
I would not merely imply it.

I would not merely imply it.

Jared Alesi's picture
Eyewitness testimony is

Eyewitness testimony is insufficient for scientific evidence. End of story. That's the way it is and always will be.

chimp3's picture
Nothing more boring than

Nothing more boring than Christian testemonies.

Sheldon's picture
Well Muslims listing

Well Muslims listing "science" in the Koran is spectacularly dull. Though your point has merit.

Diotrephes's picture
chimp3,

chimp3,

"Nothing more boring than Christian testemonies."

Are testemonies church fund raisers? They can be boring.

LogicFTW's picture
@orignal post

@orignal post

If only I needed a few cases of "eyewitness" testimony to plead my case to a bank to loan me a million dollars simply because I think I am cool and could really use a million bucks.

I wonder why the bank does not accept that. Hmm.

Oh I know, duh! It is so obvious, a child could figure it out!

Eyewitness testimony is worthless, the bank doesn't know if I just offered three friends 100k each if they give an "eye witness" testimony, while I pocket the other 700k and disappear.

I do have to applaud that you did appropriately title your post. And it looks like you put some time into your post. If you respond to this post I will be happy to put more time and effort into my post in response.

Grinseed's picture
Of the many theists who have

Of the many theists who have shared their conversions with me, I consider most were telling the truth about how they experienced it and I thought they were otherwise of sound mind. I just thought and I still think they were deluding themselves. I do not think my judgement irrational.

Thanks for introducing me to the concept of sensus divinitatus. Just finished with Calvins view now to Locke's.

Greensnake's picture
T.I.,

T.I.,

You can't know that you are right unless you have some outside reference point, and that would have to be evidence. History is filled with people who were deeply moved by their religion, who felt an enlightenment above and beyond what passed as ordinary knowledge. Were they rationally justified in believing in their various gods? If so, then the whole idea sinks since that takes us into contradictions which hardly qualify as rational thinking. At the very least you need to explain why your own heartfelt emotion is any different than all the others. There is no escaping the need for evidence! A moment of intense feeling is not an alternate route to truth.

By the way, studies of the brain have identified an area that produces an intense religious enlightenment when activated by a probe. That's one more reason to rely on evidence. Evidence is the gold standard!

The testimony of ancient, unnamed witnesses on such a biased subject is worthless. Some of the other members of this forum have supplied some good examples. There is a good reason why science rejects such "testimony" as well as anecdotal stories. They are demonstrably unreliable as a genre.

Old man shouts at clouds's picture
Not another "YouTube" as

Not another "YouTube" as evidence. Puh-lease. What have we done to people's minds that they actually produce this as 'evidence'?

You tube testimony is as valuable guide to truth as the advertisements that precede them.

If you have any ACTUAL evidence in the form of contemporary third party accounts for the existence of a 1st Century CE prophet of that name I would be happy to engage with you.

BTW I have a really nice bridge in Sydney going cheap and a boat on Lake Leonora you might find interesting.

Tin-Man's picture
@Old Man Re: "BTW I have a

@Old Man Re: "BTW I have a really nice bridge in Sydney going cheap and a boat on Lake Leonora you might find interesting."

Hey, Old Man, if I act as a character witness for you claiming what you say is true, can I get a cut of the profits?

Old man shouts at clouds's picture
@ TM

@ TM

Profits? No there wont be any such sordidly unreligious thing as profits. I will, if you like, grant you a sub franchise as a prophet of the Great Secret Lake of Leonora and Revelatory Church of Deep so you can set up there (need sand shoes and water) and we will split the donations 80/20 in your favor.

Tin-Man's picture
@Old Man Re: Profits

@Old Man Re: Profits

Profits or Prophets?.... Hmmmm..... Profits?...... Prophets?.... Ummm.... *scratching head*.... Well..... Oh, okay! Sure. Prophet it is. And just to be fair and show good faith, let's do 60/40 on the donations as long as you supply the WD-40 to keep me from rusting solid around all that water. No need for me to be getting all greedy and shit. By the way, how deep is the water? Will I need my arm floaties?

Old man shouts at clouds's picture
@ TM

@ TM

Here's a true story, a German "friend" of mine, producer, arsehole and generic con man whi had rocked up in Perth. He had really ticked me off by dishonestly witholding my fees for a project, trying to steal and sell one of my ideas to a TV company (and nearly succeeding) then laughing about it. I wanted the cash, and didn't need drama so kept me head bowed submissively with gritted teeth. Anyhoo, come the day I got most of my money, and as con men often do he decided we were all pals again and I would love him for his personality and gay abandon of ethics.

He had just bought himself a nice sailing boat, and, being bored with the Swan River asked me if there any nice lakes (like in Germany) where he could sail in WA. I showed him the map of WA..Lake Argyle (huge) but too far, he then pounced on Lake Leonora , clearly marked on the map. I sang its praises, lovely spot, no crowds, nice hotel, friendly locals. I knew the Landlady of the pub there (another story)and after a few days planning he took off with family and boat to Leonara for a few days sailing and recreation.

Leonora is an outback mining town, dry dusty and for a 'civilised' soft handed European the epitome of vileness. The majority of the visitors are local aboriginals or those making a trek from the interior for a wedding, funeral, medical reason. It can be lively then, I kid you not! The lake, is in fact a large underground aquifer under where part of the great Inland Sea used to be some several millions of years ago.

After a 16 hour drive from Perth, our conning little mate turned up at the pub, roo damaged car, dusty as fuck and with very grumpy wife and children. The Publican, having been forewarned by yours truly, refused to cash a cheque and the travelling bank didn't come thorough for another two days..but he could stay in the back yard of the pub and set up a tent etc.
.The Con artist then went into the bar (leaving wife and children to set up), ordered himself a beer and asked the first local he saw at the bar "where the lake was" . Australians have a wicked sense of humor especially when forewarned about supercilious pieces of shit and the laughter only subsided when "Charlie" a local aboriginal Elder, offered to be his 'native guide'. The entire pub had gone out the back and admired his boat, complimented him on coming "off season" when other boaties were not around etc etc, Typical Aussie humor. The German swallowed it, con artists are easy to con, and for a day he was, with his boat led on a roundabout route around Leonora looking for a suitable launch site on the non existent lake. His wife and kids had meanwhile been taken in by the landlady and showered, fed, given airconditioned dongas to sleep in while father was on his trek.

He returned, tired, out of fuel, red dust encrusted ( it gets in the most unlikely crevices and irritates for days) and enraged. Even more so when he discovered wife and children absent and were later found to be refreshed, cool and well fed.

He turned up back in Perth a few days later, still coated in red dust (the boat looked awesome!) with his wife and kids, didn't speak to anyone apart from a tirade of abuse left on my answering machine and fucked off to the Eastern States where he eventually found himself in Gaol for fraud I learnt.

So welcome to the church of the Great Lake of Leonora!

Tin-Man's picture
@Old Man Re: Great Lake of

@Old Man Re: Great Lake of Leonora

Holy shit, that was funny! LMAO I think I am totally in love with Australian humor! And now I am even more glad I chose the Prophet option. Guess I won't be needing the arm floaties or WD-40, at least. We'll still keep the donations at 60/40, though, just for that story alone. That was great. Now I just have to decide what color robe I should use, and come up with a really cool staff design. Beard or no beard?.... Hmmmm.....

Sushisnake 's picture
GOOD story, Old Man! Really

GOOD story, Old Man! Really good story! Lol! :-D

Old man shouts at clouds's picture
@ TM

@ TM
I think the best bit was "Charlie" the Elder had agreed to his fee by cheque as Con man didn't have cash, but when the bank turned up the next day Charlie and his "mob" (aussie for clan/tribe /family) was all present and correct waiting to cash the cheque when Herr Arseluch went to cash his own cheque LOL. Apparently there was only a little token resistance from Arseloch about honoring his paper LMFAO. Best bit of the joke apart from all of it LOL.

Jared Alesi's picture
Isn't Arseloch German for ass

Isn't Arseloch German for ass lick, or something to that effect?

Old man shouts at clouds's picture
Transalated as "arsehole}lk

Transalated as "arsehole}lk,ooooooooooooooooooooooo( Cat typing there)

Jared Alesi's picture
Ah. My German is about as

Ah. My German is about as rusty as Tin-Man.

Tin-Man's picture
@Jared

@Jared

Wow. That's pretty damn rusty. I haven't had an oil bath in quite awhile.

Nyarlathotep's picture
It's the 21st century. The

It's the 21st century. The average person is carrying a 10 megapixel + camera around with them; and they offer us testimonials, like a god damn infomercial.

arakish's picture
another flyover... rmfr

another flyover...

rmfr

Sapporo's picture
The fact there are many

The fact there are many thousands of Christian denominations each with their different representation of Christianity does not give me much confidence about eyewitness testimony.

Someone might have had a vision of Jesus being sodomized by the Pope, but it doesn't make it so.

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