Cornering the Market on Divine Visions

Question from Spivak:
I had a question regarding proof of Jesus. People always say the bible or the quran are not reliable proof of Jesus or his existence. My question is, what about all the personal testimonies people have of seeing Jesus. There are many people who make claims that they met Jesus, or Jesus helped them in a particular time. More specifically, I have read and watched accounts of Muslims, Hindus, etc who say they had a problem for ex: they were about to die, they called out to Allah or Krishna, and wouldn’t get an answer. Yet, when they call out to Jesus, they see light, and he comes and saves them. He also tells them bible versus which they later confirm exist. There are healing testimonies, dreams, near death experiences, somehow, it seems no other deity really comes up in these kinds of potentially supernatural experiences other than Jesus. Does this mean Jesus is the most likely deity to exist?

Video examples: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_PExVfzRsKU
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TjzdG2tNPgw
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NSUBn99mTkM

there are many more examples where that came from. There don’t seem to be testimonies of other faiths meeting other deities. Does this seem convincing for Jesus?

Answer by SmartLX:
We’ve often covered the implications of claimed personal experiences of the divine, and how they have little reason to mean anything to anyone who doesn’t already believe. Here I’ll focus on the supposed imbalance between claims of visits by Jesus and claims of other deities. There are a few potential and very likely reasons for this imbalance besides Jesus being the only real godlike entity that makes house calls.

The most obvious reason is the media sources available in the Western world and the English language, both of which have an immense Christian majority. Accounts of Jesus are written out, recorded, published and distributed because there’s guaranteed to be an audience for them. This is helped along by the engines that rely on people’s faith being continually reassured: televangelism and Christian Right political advocacy to name two.

The religion with the next most adherents worldwide, though with nowhere near the amount of English-language media profile, is Islam. It’s not surprising that there are no stories of visits by Allah, because it’s a matter of doctrine (see here for instance) that we’re not capable of comprehending or withstanding Allah’s presence while alive. As for Muhammad, Muslims take it practically for granted that he can appear in dreams (they have to take care that it’s not their Devil “Shaytaan” in disguise) so it’s no big deal when he does and they’re not so driven to proclaim it to the world.
That leaves Hinduism as the only other religion with more than 500 million followers, and it’s got even less profile in the West. From what I can gather it happens plenty for Hindus as well; many yogis, gurus, monks and priests have their own stories about how Ganesha or Hanuman appeared to them, but only their own congregations hear the tales.

That’s probably the big takeaway from this topic: only Christianity has the infrastructure in place to widely proclaim everything that happens to anyone as a miracle and a vindication. By and large people of other religions just rejoice and get on with it.

4 thoughts on “Cornering the Market on Divine Visions”

  1. NO, IT DOES NOT.

    All these can be hallucinations, lies or whatever other false products of their brains, except for true occurrences.

    Science of neurology has the answers of all our brains’ workings, but one does need science to know that people lie.

    1. Niki then you must think that there has been some sort of illness or environmental factor that we as Christians have been exposed to that was focused to afflict only Christians in spite of the fact that we were in close proximity to those who have not seen Jesus. And that this exposure has been going on for hundreds of not thousands of years.

      I’m afraid you and others who want to “discount” of make lite of the testimonies of millions of Christians is due to the fact that our testimonies are so much of an overwhelming obstacle that you are not allowing yourself to think logically. And that you simply don’t have any valid argument to use to contest said evidence.

  2. Spivak:

    If I told you that a lot of people swear they’ve seen an individual in their lifetime, and this sighting had a profound impact on their life and how they think about reality, what would you think about that? They can’t prove they have actually seen this individual in an empirical or scientific way, but are still convinced that they weren’t hallucinating or mistaken. They tell me they aren’t alone, and in fact there are plenty of similar stories by tens of thousands of others who experienced the same thing. All over the internet I can see the claims of ordinary people having an extraordinary experience. But does that mean I should believe it? Since no one can prove these events really happened, all I can do is take their word for it, which is hardly a basis for accepting that such an individual really exists.

    But yet many people do accept it as true, even if it hasn’t happened to them personally.

    So maybe I should become like them, and accept that Bigfoot is real.

    Oh, did I mention I was talking about Bigfoot? I’m curious, who did you think I was referring to?

    1. You fail to consider the fact that there are written reports of actual eye witnesses, both Christian and other wise, which have been passed down through time. To say that Christ did not exist today would then also make it necessary to say that Julius Caesar, or any other noted figure in the past did not exist either. But we have even more testimonies of the existence of Jesus then any other figure of long ago history.

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