The validity of religious experience

I’m going to say something that I think some of you monotheists might have trouble with. But here goes: All religious experiences are valid.

Hang with me a minute.

No one has the right to tell me that I didn’t have an experience with Isis, Hathor and Nephthys nine years ago – any more than I have the right to tell my mother that Jesus doesn’t talk to her. Can someone THINK I’m nuts? Oh, sure. I have no problem with that. Some days I think I’m nuts. But no one has the right to question my personal experience to me.

If you have a problem with that statement, we’re probably not going to get along very well.

Look, none of us believers are ever going to be able to prove our beliefs in a lab, okay? It just doesn’t work that way. That’s why it’s called “belief.”

At the same time, reality is under no obligation to conform to ANY of our beliefs. I know that going in.

In Intro to Philosophy, I enjoyed picking apart the “proofs” of Thomas Aquinas. It seemed to me like he just couldn’t imagine a universe without a Prime Mover. My rebuttal (boiled down to one sentence): Just because YOU can’t wrap your head around something doesn’t make it false. I got an A on that paper.

So do all beliefs exist in reality? Pardon the expression, but hell if I know. Why not? I’m already a polytheist; why would multiple belief systems be any more difficult for me? But again, I know that I don’t write reality with my beliefs.

You know, if we all just tolerated and respected each other’s beliefs (to the extent they don’t infringe on things like life, other people’s beliefs, etc.), we might actually get along better.

One thought on “The validity of religious experience

  1. I’ve just gotten serious about blogging, reviving a blog I started five years ago but didn’t keep up. Sounds like you might be interested in my post, actually a sermon I did, called My Loose-leaf Bible. I’m not a minister, but I often do sermons in my UU church and dharma talks in my Buddhist meditation group. Your blog fascinates me, and I’ll subscribe. You’ll find My Loose-leaf Bible here:


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