Bryan Melvin: Another Hell Tourist?

Question from Vlad:
Do you believe this man? Apparently people say they knew him and that he is totally genuine. They say they went to school with him and he was a total atheist until this experience, where he wrote books about it and became a pastor, but I have my doubts. I feel he may have lied to make a profit.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pmp3UNjeu0k

Answer by SmartLX:
Bryan Melvin certainly made a profit whether or not he believes his own claims. It doesn’t cost much to put out a book with a Christian self-publishing company, and the above video is on sale too.

Atheists do sometimes convert to Christianity and other religions, so there’s really no problem with the idea that Melvin was once an atheist. What’s important is the reasons why people convert, and Melvin’s reason is a personal experience which he really has no way to establish as supernatural as opposed to generated by his own brain at some stage during his cholera episode. If it was real to him, and as intense as it sounds, objective examination of his own state of mind would have gone out of the window very quickly.

3 thoughts on “Bryan Melvin: Another Hell Tourist?”

  1. I know a baptist preacher that became religious after a plane crash he was in. He lost a few fingers, and amazingly that was about the extent of his injuries. He’s a good person, and truly believes he was “called” to become a preacher after his god sent him a message via the plane crash. I’ve tried to point to him that he probably suffered some mental trauma because of that experience, but he has always refused any kind of counseling. Most people I have known that went from atheism to religious experienced some kind of traumatic event, so the man in the YouTube video is a fairly common case I’d say. it’s interesting, though, how so many have had a brush with death (or injury or suffered a major loss) have a sudden change in their personality. It appears to me, in my opinion, that they’ve developed a coping mechanism to answer why that thing happened to them, and they spend the rest of their lives leaning on that mental crutch, instead of dealing with the event and moving on…

    1. Atheism is a form of bigotry.

      And your opinion is based off atheism + weaker than weak speculation.

      Yes it is interesting how someone could experience something which is backed up by the direct evidence of a drastic change in how they live their lives.

      In my “opinion” this is evidence the person KNOWS what happened was real.

      In terms of “dealing with the event” your ignoramus advise is tantamount to “just deal with it and move on” says the ignoramus.

      What is your foundation for dealing with an event that is real – yet shouldn’t be – yet you know it is real, and cannot believe its happening. Write it off? Pretend it never happened?

      Oh I know …. Just Say “hey I’m an atheist so it can’t real”

      I had something supernatural happen to me proving proof of another plane of existence beyond our earthly realm.

      What I experienced was real. It should not have been real. Only one problem. It happened. It was real. I will not pretend it didn’t happen.

      Now tell me it was my imagination or a freak occurrence or I was on drugs or emotionally disturbed drinking or hallucinated ..

      1. Michael writes: [Atheism is a form of bigotry.]

        Interesting charge, but rather empty in my opinion. If I was prone to bigotry, I wouldn’t have gone from a Christian to an atheist, because I would have been bigoted against atheists.

        [Yes it is interesting how someone could experience something which is backed up by the direct evidence of a drastic change in how they live their lives.]

        Personal anecdote is not “direct evidence” or anything. The fact that the preacher I mentioned was in a plane crash does not prove that gods exists, or that any of those gods wanted him to become a preacher and let him survive that plane crash. For all I know, he made that up because he realized that it was a good story and would make people want to come to his church and put money on the collection plate. That’s the problem with personal experience – it cannot be verified or validated by anyone else.

        [In my “opinion” this is evidence the person KNOWS what happened was real.]

        The way someone “knows” there is water at the horizon, and it turns out to be a mirage? Or the way someone “knows” an optical illusion is real, even though it isn’t? Did you know, Michael, that your vision is extremely bumpy when you are moving, yet you don’t see this in the finished product in your brain because your brain filters it out and makes it smooth?

        Ever hear of the show “Brain Games”? You ought to watch it, you’d be amazed at the sheer number of ways your brain makes up for lack of evidence by filling stuff in for you, often based on past experiences or perceived expectations. There’s plenty of material in cognitive and neuroscience journals with lots of research and data that you can review in your own time. Don’t take my word for it, go look it up.

        [What is your foundation for dealing with an event that is real – yet shouldn’t be – yet you know it is real, and cannot believe its happening. Write it off? Pretend it never happened?]

        I try to figure out the reasons behind what I experienced. I look for evidence and data about the event, and use logic and reason to formulate an appropriate hypothesis. I try to stay come and reasonable in such situations. I investigate. I see if I can recreate the event based on things like the time it happened, if the sun was out or it was dark, etc.

        I cannot honestly recall anything in my life that I cannot find a satisfactory answer for. That doesn’t mean that all things have satisfactory answers by the way, it just means that I don’t have experience with something that couldn’t be explained. I don’t ever claim that gods cannot possibly exist, because a person cannot prove a negative. They may indeed exist, and I just don’t have the evidence and data yet to confirm that. But at the same time, I also don’t credit unproven gods for things that happened just because I can’t explain something. Not knowing why something happened isn’t reason to automatically assume gods were involved. That’s the god of the gaps fallacy, and it’s illogical.

        [What I experienced was real. It should not have been real. Only one problem. It happened. It was real. I will not pretend it didn’t happen. Now tell me it was my imagination or a freak occurrence or I was on drugs or emotionally disturbed drinking or hallucinated ..]

        You’d have to share more about your experience before I could possibly comment on it. If you feel comfortable doing so, I look forward to reading it…

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