Don Camp is Our Gullible/Deluded/Anti-Intellectual Person of the Day!

Don Camp has been commenting here for a few months. He's on a mission to save readers from hell. He's the answer man, always doing what he can to show why we are wrong. But if there was ever a gullible/deluded/anti-intellectual person then he is it. The special pleading word salad he makes out of pure bullshit is bizarre to behold. I cannot stomach it. Since he really thinks he has reasonable answers to the questions posed of him, I want others to see what faith does to an otherwise intelligent mind. It makes people stupid. I've argued this in one of my top ten favorite chapters, chapter 3, "Christianity is Wildly Improbable", for my anthology The End of Christianity. Camp is another example of this phenomenon. He proclaims he has psychic abilities to hear "voices" from "the other side"! He doesn't even know that's what he's doing, but he is. I've written about this psychic connection in the writings of Alvin Plantinga, in another one of my top ten favorite chapters, chapter 5, "Accept Nothing Less Than Sufficient Objective Evidence", for my book How to Defend the Christian Faith: Advice From an Atheist.

You must read this to see it for yourselves, below:

Don Camp:
None of us gains all our knowledge by means of the personal examination of the particulars and reasoning from those; we depend upon authorities who have done the examination of particulars for us. Those are authorities who write our text books, teach in university, and raise us as their sons and daughters. But in every case, the process of inductive investigation or reasoning is limited to the extent of experience.

For example, I may have six rabbits in my backyard. I may examine them carefully and note that every one of those rabbits is an animal and not a tree or a rock. So I might conclude that all rabbits are animals. But you probably notice the problem with this conclusion. It is that my sample is extremely small. I've only examined six rabbits out of a total potential population of billions, and people would probably make fun of me if I were to propose my conclusion as a final truth. They would ask, as Dr. Peter Boghossian recommends, "How do you know?"

Okay. How might I remedy the weakness of my reasoning? Well, I could examine more rabbits. OR I could ask an authority. But whatever that authority might be, whether an encyclopedia or a biologist, he is simply basing his conclusion on a larger sample including the examinations done by many others. In any case, in my silly example, the conclusion that all rabbits are animals is strong and well established based on many observations by many people. BUT it is not absolute. There might be somewhere a rabbit that is a rock, and that one rock rabbit would falsify my conclusion.

So, in real life, choosing an authority that is reliable is crucial to my "knowing" or concluding accurately. Choosing a reliable authority is just as crucial to Robert as it is to me BECAUSE WE CANNOT KNOW EVERYTHING BY PERSONAL EXAMINATION. We cannot even know with absolute confidence any conclusion based on inductive examination of the particulars.

Now, that uncertainty would paralyze us if absolute certainty was crucial in everything. But it is not. We function quite well on inductive examination that is less than absolute. But some situations are more critical than others.

The resurrection of Jesus is one of those situations. The actuality of his resurrection validates what Jesus said and those things that are based on the things Jesus said. Robert quoted Paul to say the same thing.

Now, the fact is, none of us were there to observe the resurrection or the resurrected Jesus. So every one of us must depend on the examination of that event by others.

BUT even that is only trusting an authority, and that authority might be wrong. That is the argument of many on DC. If, however, there was an absolute authority, that would settle the matter, right? And that is what Christians claim for the Holy Spirit. So listening to the "whisperings of the Holy Spirit" makes perfect sense if there is a Holy Spirit. AND refusing to consider the whisperings of the Holy Spirit is foolish if there is a Holy Spirit.

Robert's presupposition is that there is no Holy Spirit. Based on that presupposition, he is left with the authorities that are less reliable, and his skepticism is justified, at least in his mind. My presupposition - and EXPERIENE - is that there is a Holy Spirit. Based on that presupposition, why should I not listen to the whisperings of the Holy Spirit?
Robert Conner:
"My presupposition - and EXPERIENE (sic) - is that there is a Holy Spirit."

Thank you, Don, for making my point. Applying your criterion, the experience of every shaman, guru, sipper of ayahuasca tea, space alien abductee, Joseph Smith, William Miller, Mary Baker Eddy, Harold Camping, etc, etc, etc, is real. This is why evangelicals have no place at the big folks table.

From Philo of Alexandria's Quis rerun divinarum heres:
"Whenever [the light of the mind] dims, ecstasy and possession naturally assail us, divine seizure and madness. For whenever the light of God shines upon us, human light is extinguished and when the divine sun sets, the human dawns and rises. This is what is apt to happen to the guild of the prophets. At the arrival of the divine spirit, our mind is evicted. When the spirit departs, the wandering mind returns home...Therefore the eclipse of the power of reason and the darkness that envelopes it begets ecstasy and madness."
The Holy Spirit will testify to anything, reveal anything, that the truth seeker wishes.

It's how men create so many gods, so many Jesuses, in their own image, after their own likeness.
I suggest you are woefully ill-informed as to how easy it is for someone to fool one's self in this area. The "Holy Spirit" clearly isn't telling everyone the same thing, yet you dismiss this uncomfortable fact and simply assume that the REAL "Holy Spirit" is definitely speaking to YOU, and you conveniently don't worry very much about others that claim the same thing and are getting a different message than you're getting.

The ironic thing is that a major idea in Christianity is that people are flawed and make mistakes all the time, but in the one area as to whether a real god is somehow speaking to them, they assume that - at least personally - that they can't be mistaken. So you're wrong all the time; limited, fallible, fallen. But on this one thing, nobody entertains the possibility that they're fooling themselves.

As Feynman wisely put it, "The first principle is that you must not fool yourself — and you are the easiest person to fool."
Robert Conner:
The "Holy Spirit" is likely the reason there are something like 40,000 brands of Christianity.
Don Camp said: "Robert's presupposition is that there is no Holy Spirit. Based on that presupposition, he is left with the authorities that are less reliable, ..."

I can't imagine an authority less reliable than the Holy Spirit.
Robert Conner:
Don is merely one of millions of examples of the thesis of this series: when push comes to shove--and push always comes to shove--for evangelicals/fundamentalists the answer is always (as in "always") about what they believe, not about coherency, the convergence of available evidence (consilience), history, or anything else open to falsification. It's belief. Period. The rest of it is a sham. The Holy Spirit has led Don here for the very purpose of confirming that Christianity's the world's biggest grift, but he's unaware of what's really happening because the Holy Spirit has only revealed the master plan to me!
Don Camp: " Indeed, I am amazed nearly every day by how reliable the Holy Spirit's leading is in my life
....we trust the "whispering of the Holy Spirit" to us personally. "

So I presume that it was the Holy Spirit who whispered to you that

1. the Garden of Eden was only a few miles from Göbekli Tepe in Turkey
2. your god really created other humans coexisting with Adam & Eve and these other humans somehow became sinful thanks to the "rebellion" of A&E
3. there was no Global Flood
4. ..........

Did the HS also whisper to you about all the other wrong assertions and false claims in your holy book and try to explain them away like what you have been doing here?

When there were serious disagreements about issues such as the divinity of Jesus, did the HS whisper to these theologians to settle the controversial issues instead of letting them fight it out? Or perhaps he whispered different versions to different theologians?

Your HS also appears to be a science ignoramus, a surprising trait for an omniscient god.

I'll ask directly:

The Mormons believe that they have a personal, reliable religious experience which they claim is the HS telling them that Mormonism is true. If you're a Christian but not a Mormon, there is no escaping the fact that you must believe this authenticating experience that Mormons have is an error. A mistake. That is, it's not the Holy Spirit, and Mormons are wrong about what the HS supposedly tells them.

So, why exactly should anyone take seriously anyone else's claim that the HS tells them things, when the HS gives different people contradictory info? Isn't this an indication that people should be more skeptical of their own validating spiritual experiences, considering most of them (if not all) must be cognitive errors and delusions? Unless the HS is a liar....

Is the HS authentically speaking to you, and nobody else? Does the HS speak to you directly, or not? Voice in your head? What does it say?
Don Camp:
So, why exactly should anyone take seriously anyone else's claim that
the HS tells them things, when the HS gives different people
contradictory info?
They can't. They don't know his voice. They can't tell the difference between the Holy Spirit and some other claim, at least in an abstract way as you propose. Only those who have a relationship with God (the Holy Spirit) that is longstanding enough for them to have often heard the Holy Spirit can tell when a claim is true or not.

The first thing a person hears from the Holy Spirit is most likely that they are lost and separated from God by their sin and need to turn to God and his forgiveness. And they will know when that happens.

It is something similar to knowing the voice of your wife or child. Someone who does not know what your wife sounds like will not be able to differentiate between your wife and any other woman. But you can, even though it is likely you can't explain what it is about your wife's voice that indicates it is her voice and not another's.

Did the Holy Spirit speak to Joseph Smith as he wrote the Book of Mormon? I doubt it. It doesn't sound like the Holy Spirits voice to me. But really, have you read the Book of Mormon? It is primarily a fantastic story that Smith wrote in the already in 1850s archaic King James English to give it some sense of authenticity. It has very little if any content as far as meaning goes. A poor imitation of King James English, I might add. Evidently Smith had no acquaintance with any of the English writers of the 1600s.
Is the HS authentically speaking to you, and nobody else? Does the HS
speak to you directly, or not? Voice in your head? What does it say?
The Holy Spirit speaks to all who will listen. Does he speak directly? Yes. Sometimes in strong impressions unlike any others. Sometimes in dreams. Sometimes through others in whom I hear the ring of the Spirit's truth. And yes, sometimes in a voice in my head, but not often. Sometimes through circumstances.

What does the Spirit say? "This is the way. Walk in it." Or "This is not me." But most often the Spirit affirms the words of the Bible to me personally. Sometimes the Spirit convicts me of my sin or affirms his love and forgiveness. Most times the Spirit does what a friend described as causing the words of a passage of scripture to stand out as if they were raised from the page (metaphor). After all the Scripture is inspired by him. It is his words. Why should he not most often draw my attention to some particular truth found therein?
" And yes, sometimes in a voice in my head, but not often."

What does the Holy Spirit sound like? How does it differ from an imaginary voice in your mind?
Don Camp:
By "voice in my head" I mean a thought thought [sic] that seems not to be my thought. Not a voice that I hear.
There are more comments than I quoted. If you wish to read them follow this LINK.

Congrats to Don Camp for your supposed psychic abilities to hear from the other side! You are now the gullible/deluded/anti-intellectual person of the day!