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Validity of a spiritual experience.

Be patient with me here, I'm not quite sure how to word this..

Many believers who have spiritual experiences, claim that these experiences are "of god" or that they are testimony of the  "holy spirit." I suppose according to the believing individual, that the definition of the origin of these experiences differ, due to differing religious sects/beliefs. Anyway, all of these experiences, to my knowledge, are defined as a result of individual, subjective reality. The individual having the experience thinks it is real, based on their interpretation of the experience which is coupled with a belief in a higher power. Agree?

Now, my questions are, do you that believe give the experience of the Muslim, the atheist, or anyone who practices a different perspective than you, the same reverence as you give your own testimony? If not, how do you justify denying the validity of a subjective reality belonging to someone else?

When someone believes in a different god than you, and they too have had what they believe are intense spiritual experiences that are of god, do you think they are lying, or that their experiences are from something evil, seeing as they don't believe in your god? 

 
clarity333

Asked by clarity333 at 7:06 PM on Mar. 20, 2011 in Religious Debate

Level 22 (13,098 Credits)
This question is closed.
Answers (78)
  • I think that it's a little pretentious to assume that all of the people who report seeing the same things, are lying. I think it's completely possible that it actually happens. If you notice, all religions have the same origin/basis. So it's very possible.
    LoveMyPoliceMan

    Answer by LoveMyPoliceMan at 7:07 PM on Mar. 20, 2011

  • No one religious experience is more valid than another-
    soyousay

    Answer by soyousay at 7:39 PM on Mar. 20, 2011

  • I do think that billions of people can be delusional. There is no evidence for a god, yet billions of people believe in a god, as if there is.

    For billions of people there is evidence but you personally do not accept it- does that make you delusional- NO-
    That's the thing- there is plenty of evidence that makes perfect sense to so many people-but those that do not believe refuse to accept that- its a never ending circle- and I think those that do not believe tend to be more hung up on it than those that do-
    soyousay

    Answer by soyousay at 10:05 PM on Mar. 20, 2011

  • God did not divide man, man divided man. Everyone's experience if they have the eyes to see and receive spiritual communications, are valid.
    jeanclaudia

    Answer by jeanclaudia at 7:08 PM on Mar. 20, 2011

  • I don't think any specific religion holds more validity when having a spiritual experience. But, some ignorant people do.
    samurai_chica

    Answer by samurai_chica at 7:28 PM on Mar. 20, 2011

  • No- I believe the way I define God is personal and therefore can not be wrong to me, and really it does not matter if its wrong to another- I believe the same for each of us-
    Do I believe that all the believe in a loving and caring God are all believing in the same God in a different way- yes- I believe He is powerful enough to be all things to all people that view Him in that light-
    Do I believe those that think of God as a vengeful being believe in the same God I do- no, I do not recognize a God that is evil-
    soyousay

    Answer by soyousay at 7:52 PM on Mar. 20, 2011

  • "do you that believe give the experience of the Muslim, the atheist, or anyone who practices a different perspective than you, the same reverence as you give your own testimony?"

    Yes. I believe all understandings/relationships with the Divine are valid, and wouldn't presume that others don't/can't have the same experiences I can. The experiences of others of "different" faiths doesn't contradict my belief in any way, rather it compliments and validates it, IMO.

    "When someone believes in a different god than you, and they too have had what they believe are intense spiritual experiences that are of god, do you think they are lying, or that their experiences are from something evil, seeing as they don't believe in your god? "

    I believe we all relate to the same Divine, in different ways. I don't believe there is a "wrong" way, and I believe each relationship is genuine and true for the individual. We're all different, is all..
    bandgeek521

    Answer by bandgeek521 at 8:02 PM on Mar. 20, 2011

  • I'm going to steal and answer this too :
    "Do you personally think that the origin of each of those experiences is the same? If so, what about those who define a god differently than you, is their definition wrong?"

    I believe that the origin is the same, that we all relate to that Origin differently, understand It differently, perceive It differently, based on our own world views and understandings. I don't believe there is a "wrong" way, I believe all perceptions are INTENDED, so that each of us can connect to the Divine in a way that most resonates with us individually. I believe truth is more transcendent than the absolutism of right or wrong, that the Divine can meet us where we are, be what we need It to be. I don't believe its about having all the "answers", I believe its about the journey, the process, the growth. If that makes any sense....
    bandgeek521

    Answer by bandgeek521 at 8:06 PM on Mar. 20, 2011

  • "Are those feelings I get, which are my own subjective summation of those circumstances, revered equally as much as someones spiritual experience, which is also based on subjective reality?
    If so, how does a believer justify my lack of belief in a god being the core of my feelings, versus their belief in god being at the core of theirs?"

    I believe they are equally valid, yes. Heck, most of us feel them too. Your non-belief is just as valid as our belief, based on your own understanding and worldview. I don't believe the point is about whether or not we believe, or what we believe, in terms of the specifics, but instead about how we apply our beliefs/non-beliefs to our lives. Its about what we DO... Our beliefs are founded on many different things, and none of us are going to come to the exact same conclusion. Non-belief is always included in my list of various paths, and each of us has to follow whatever one is best for us...
    bandgeek521

    Answer by bandgeek521 at 8:10 PM on Mar. 20, 2011

  • Fantastic and challenging question! i too believe it to be subjective. Most already confirmed their belief and having an experience would justify it or intensify it. It doesn't mean that their belief is real anymore than someone else however in saying this, I would think that person would not be open or understanding if someone were to say their experience was towards a different belief because it is as you said "subjective" they are not going to generally be open in my opinion.
    jujubean1979200

    Answer by jujubean1979200 at 10:18 PM on Mar. 20, 2011

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