The Brain of the Believer Is Deceiving Its Host. Why It Does It. And What It Takes To Be An Honest Seeker Of Truth.

This time, boys and girls, I want to highlight what we see over and over and over again from Christian apologists and wannabe apologists alike without exception. Every single analogy offered in defense of a crucial tenet of faith is disanalogous to the very point being defended. Every. Single. One. Without. Exception. I could write a booklet highlighting them. When seen for the false analogies they really are, all they got is special pleading. So combining a whole lot of false analogies disguised as analogies gets them nothing.

Harold Newman asked Don Camp how we go about verifying his "personal experience with God" claim? "This one is especially puzzling to me because we haven't established that God exists, and you cannot have experiences with something that doesn't exist."

Don Camp:
We can establish that God exists in the very same way that we can be reasonably sure that there was a mouse in my kitchen. But, as you say, not 100%.

If we add the reasonableness of God's existence to the subjective experience of him, I who have that subjective experience can be more than intellectually convinced convinced of the probability; I can be personally convinced.

That is like my experience with the mouse. My report is reasonable based on the investigation and reasoning done. It is probable there was a mouse. My experience seeing the mouse makes it a personal reality.

And I can be reasonably sure that I did not hallucinate the mouse. If I alone had the experience of seeing the mouse, that might still be a possibility. But If others, many others, also see the mouse in my kitchen, the likelihood that we all are hallucinating is minimal.
The DC commenters have already taken Camp to task on this, but let me highlight what's wrong with it. First off mice exist. We have seen plenty of them to know. We can verify the existence of this mouse with objective evidence that would convince everyone; mouse droppings, eaten food, noises in the walls, and/or with our eyes. Again, we can verify the existence of this mouse with objective evidence that would convince everyone. There is no such evidence that convinces everyone Don Camp's sect specific god exists. That's because there is no observable god, unlike mice. Point. Get. The. The proper analogy is not a verifiable mouse. The proper analogy is to substitute Hobbits, Goblins, Unicorns, or gods like Zeus, Thor, Ra or Odin. Those invisible non-verifiable concepts do not admit of evidence that would convince every reasonable person. Let's compare comparables if we want to be honest with the available facts.

Since this is easily recognizable with regard to Camp's mouse analogy (and all the others if you're paying attention), the obvious conclusion is that Christian apologists are allowing themselves to be deceived by their brains to continue believing because that's the job of our evolved human brains (which also helps prove we truly did evolve from a common ancestor). The job of the human brain is not primarily to get at the truth. It's primary job is to protect us from harm. The brain's job is to keep us in a socially acceptable caring tribal grouping with whom we feel support, and can turn to for help in times of need. It has little to do with the truth. Yep, you read that right. Little. It must be taught from birth to care about the truth. [Instead, parents indoctrinate their children AND put the fear of hell on top to reinforce the brain's goal of keeping them inside their social prison (reminding me of Pink Floyd's lyrics, "Hey, teacher leave those kids alone")]. The brain must be convinced that the truth is better than lies. It must personally experience that the truth is helpful and is better than accepting lies. That's how evolution worked to get us here, by accepting lies in order to stay protected within a particular tribe in tribal societies! [If we don't train it to heel--and do so quickly--we may allow religious wars and stupidities to obliterate us and the inhabitable planet.]

Oh, and the subjective experience of Don's concerning his sect specific god? They should mean nothing to a reasonable person--a thinking adult--who honestly desires to know the truth. It wouldn't matter if everyone Camp knows CLAIMS to have had the same personal experience of the same god either, since that is completely explainable by a brain that will deceive its host to conform to a social tribal grouping. So the biggest barrier to honestly desiring the truth is other people in our tribal grouping. You want to know the truth? You may have to love the truth more than your own tribe.

Don mentions a necessary condition in knowing god exists as the "reasonableness of God's existence". Now why can't apologists just say "objective evidence" here, and add the word "sufficient" to it, as in "sufficient objective evidence"? I think this is a Freudian slip revealing how desperately they want to disassociate themselves from evidence altogether! But for people like Camp, the sufficient condition providing all he needs to believe is a "subjective experience of [his god]." I object. Subjective experience of his sect specific god should not even be in the equation--given the number of others who claim their own subjective experience of their gods, revelations and doctrinal faiths! Objective evidence is not just a necessary condition for believing in his god, as apologists like Camp treat it. It is the sufficient condition, making sufficient objective evidence for Christianity the primary requirement to acceptance.

There are necessary conditions required too, like the coherence of a god concept and goodness of its actions and demands. But I need convinced one of them is a subjective personal experience that a god exists. I deeply suspect the whole reason why a personal subjective experience of a god's existence--to the exclusion of other gods claimed to be experienced by other believers--has been elevated highly on the apologist's special pleading agenda because they tacitly acknowledge there isn't enough evidence (if any) to reasonably accept it. For if there were they wouldn't punt to personal subjective experiences as any sort of proof of god since it's clearly obvious it's unnecessary if sufficient objective evidence existed.