Circa 11: a.m. on January 12th 2017 I was doing some cleaning and had on in the background this podcast of Sam Harris´:
I had not listened to it before. It had arrived by e mail ten hours earlier.
I was thinking about my six previously cited and advanced reasons - e.g. at Facebook threads - for accepting the existence of some Deity.
Those are -
a) Over forty very brief experiences of compassion way beyond normal consciousness and which could only be described as Divine.
b) That others report such experiences of the Divine.
c) These coincidences
d) The faults with neo-Darwinism.
e) The philosophical argument from design.
f) The very existence of the ´Occult Classics´.
In each instance there are of course counter arguments.
a) Sceptics might say there is only my testimony to have experienced the Divine.
b) There is only the testimony of the other claimants too.
c) That coincidence does not necessarily point to anythng beyond itself.
d) Lack of authentic evidence for neo-Darwinian theory does not demand acceptance of a Deity. Strident anti Darwinists such as Dr James le Fanu and Richard Milton have no religious beliefs.
e) Those who detect design in Nature that they attribute to a Higher Power speak only for themselves.
f) And claims re an ´outpouring of Esoteric truth´ in books which began in the late 19th century with Blavatsky have yet to be independently corroborated. Some people simply like drawing attention to themselves. Plus a lot of the writings of Blavatsky, Bailey, Besant, Rudolf Steiner, etc is largely repetitive verbiage.
Point a) was the overwhelming one.
Impossible for the experiencer to doubt some Divine component to reality after even one such experience. I promoted it in my mental reckoning from 80% significance to a full 90%.
Point (c) I demoted from a significance of 10% to now only 5%.
re point d), however, I, continued with an allocation of just 1%. It may at best be called "indirect evidence", since Darwin critics like Milton and le Fanu harbour no belief in a Deity.
I found myself thinking on how, in an exposition of why I accepted God´s existence, the importance of the faults with neo-Darwinian theory were only 1%.
Within four seconds of my thinking that I heard what Harris says at 17:17 of the podcast.
That caught my attention so I listened more keenly to the few minutes before and after that.
Circa 12:50 he and Dawkins agree that personal and introspective experience may be of value scientifically. Harris expounds on how he has been trying to do away with the distinction between outer ´canonical´ fact and subjective experience. For him each is valuable.
Finally, at 16:00 Harris points out that we could never know what was going through the head of "JFK" just before his assassination.
And when making the short drive home after a lunchtime visit to the beach I found my car immediately behind a black one with a numberplate ending in JFK.