Monday, November 7, 2011

Pitting incompatible Supernatural beliefs against each other

Supernatural claims are a dime a dozen now adays. Many of them can be consistent with Christianty, like NDE's, Apparitions and Poltergeists. However, many aren't as adaptable, such as Reincarnation and Alien sightings. Furthermore, amonst the phenomena that are consistent with Christianity, I think that many cases can be shown to be incompatible with it as well- such as non-Christians having NDE's featuring members of their Religion. I have used this strategy in various posts, such as this one, this one and this one.

Here is an interesting article I discovered recently that illustrates my point. What makes it interesting, however, isn't the story itself- but the couple starring in it- Sarah & Michael Feeley. These two claim that they experienced  angelic visitations. Now, angelic visitations aren't incompatible with the truth of Christianity- as a matter of fact, they are what we'd expect if Christianity were true! Therefore, this couples experience serves as evidence that Christianity is true, right?

Wrong! In addition to the beliefs they hold that support Christianity, they also hold many absurd claims that don't gel as well with it- such as that they experienced ascended masters, energy meditations and even alien encounters. They also believe that  they had past lives in Egypt and Atlantis- a claim that is completely in conflict with most forms of Christianity since it removes hell from the picture.

So- if we were to assume that an angel did, in fact, visit them- one would have to ask why they hold all these absurd beliefs- some of which are irreconcilable with Christianity. Perhaps a demon disguised as an angel decieved them. That's a possible explaination- but than, how can ever we know whether "genuine" religious experiences are authentic? After all, they have just as much evidential merit as this couples experiences, don't they? Plus, the demon hypothesis can't be disproven, so it's on quite shaky ground. Only two other possibilities stick out in my mind- that they are all correct beliefs, or that they are all incorrect beliefs- and I think we all know what the answer is.

Now, as well as a being a good example of pitting incompatible beliefs against each other, this couple should also shed light on the power of belief. For those that have read the article, you'll know that these two aren't just superstitious tribals- their ex-police officers! This should demonstrate how even the most credible of witness' could be utterly, utterly deluded.

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