Dear Christian Forum Member,
“I have no doubt that your acceptance of Christ coincided with some very positive changes in your life. Perhaps you now love other people in a way that you never imagined possible. You may even experience feelings of bliss while praying.
I don’t wish to denigrate any of these experiences. I would point out, however, that billions of other human beings, in every time and place, have had similar experiences - but they had them while thinking about Krishna, or Allah, or the Buddha, while making art or music, or while contemplating the beauty of Nature.
There is no question that it is possible for people to have profoundly transformative experiences. And there is no question that it is possible for them to misinterpret these experiences, and to further delude themselves about the nature of reality. You are, of course, right to believe that there is more to life than simply understanding the structure and contents of the universe, But this does not make unjustified (and unjustifiable) claims about its structure and contents any more respectable.”
Sincerely, Sam Harris
(page 89, Letter to a Christian Nation)
‘There is no question that it is possible for people to have profoundly transformative experiences. And there is no question that it is possible for them to misinterpret these experiences, and to further delude themselves about the nature of reality’
This is THE key. A natural experience caused by the variables of genetics and brain chemistry are not to be confused with belief in the existence of the supernatural.
Many, many people have not figured this out yet, or possibly just have not become willing to accept it.
Unsmoked: Bliss is not unique to the Christian member of religion. There is more to life than the pursuit of science.
Steefen: An astrologer would say it is important for a civilization to realize which age they are in. For the last 4,000 years people cared if they were in the Age of Taurus, the Age of Aries, or the Age of Pisces. There is bliss but then there is the particular bliss of alignment with an age.
Eudemonia: genetics and brain chemistry only causes natural experiences not supernatural experiences.
Steefen: Cause and effect isn’t a closed system like that. The instruments of an orchestra are objects of the conscious world. Hear these instruments played by an excellent orchestra at Carnegie Hall (NY) or Disney Hall (CA) etc. and they will affect the conscious and the unconscious, if not the spiritual.
There is the natural world of Flatland (2D world). The 3D world is supernatural to the 2D world. The 2D world brings about change in the 3D world all the time.
At one point in time, the 3D world was the Newtonian world; and, whatever was beyond the Newtonian world was supernatural. Nonlocality would have been a supernatural event/phenomenon because the Newtonian world did not understand physics as deeply as we do today. Some of what was supernatural 200 years ago isn’t supernatural today; BUT, this doesn’t mean it is Newtonian.
Just because you can understand the workings of the human organic machine does not discount the higher level; transcendant; functions above the organic machine.