--> A Great Cloud Of Witnesses: Inferential Evidence For God/Jesus Via Witness Testimony <--
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 <--
The second article I wrote:
--> Belief In God Can Be Rationally Justified Without Needing Inferential Argument/Reason/Evidence <--
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-----
Link to video (below) on how one receives the salvation found in Jesus:
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):
Below I will be posting a link to a video which explains how one can receive the salvation of Jesus Christ:
-----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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