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Discussion 1 on Meditation 44
On Testimony: A response to Meditation 44

By: Reverend Robert Andrew Rodger

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More often, as I read meditations and posts of the Church, I find myself wanting to defend the religious. In my own defense, this is part of my nature; I take the opposing side to anything. But I wanted to respond to Mr. Adam’s guest meditation for those who can’t either because they didn’t read it or cannot address faith and belief logically.

Mr. Adam discusses the rational arguments used by the faithful to defend their God to rational non-believers. These arguments are, largely, ludicrous as he has pointed out (although I give fair weight to the watch one), but Believers present them as arguments to the non-believers only because they cannot present the simplest and most rational argument available to them: testimony.

Testimony, having witnessed an event is an utterly rational position. Many of these people have felt God’s presence or seen His work. And yet personal experience cannot be defended. Thus witnessing God’s grace is reason to believe, but not an argument usable to those who didn’t.

I have friends who testify to witnessing God’s grace. I have friends who claim to have seen or felt a ghost. I myself have seen Denis Franz picking his nose while stopped in traffic in West Los Angeles, CA[1]. But there is no way to convince another of that or to prove that the experience happened.

Thus they are forced to twist logic to convince those who have not witnessed such a thing since “I know what I saw” is hardly a convincing argument.

As rationalists it is good to be able to dissect and refute the flawed logic presented to us. It is good to be able to explain how a given argument fails to follow and is thus uncompelling. But as agnostics we should be respectful of those who do claim direct experience, and as apathists we should be tolerant to those who disagree.



  1. For the record, I have also been given the finger by Jameel “Urkle” White, and was once nearly run over by Isaac Asimov. I have friends who have run into super models in Starbucks, and I seem only to piss off little known stars in traffic.