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Date Posted: 06:35
Author: Eponymous - 17 April 2002
Subject: Re: Query for Ketch (and maybe others)
In reply to: ketch - 17 April 2002 's message, "Re: Query for Ketch (and maybe others)" on 06:34

99% of claimed spiritual experiences [might be] from cranks, there are also some very sincere spiritual people who have such experiences. In the case of alien visitation/abduction though, they always seem to occur to the most improbable people."

Well, clearly, religious belief is much more conventional than little-green-alien belief, and it looks like your perspective on the veracity of the true-believers in the UFO context is calibrated by just this ambient cultural norm. But in comparing like with like cases (say, garden-variety religious experience during prayer or meditation with garden variety spottings of UFOs), I don't see any reason to doubt the sincerity of one class of believers over the other.

More importantly, I don't see the epistemological relevance of sincerity in the first place - at least where the question is whether a belief that is sincerely held is true. It is of course an interesting psychological question why most human beings earnestly believe in some sort of personal, invisible being(s) at work in the universe, but I'm not sure that this brute psychological fact is useful in trying to figure out whether this broad belief has any object or basis in reality.

But that's enough "reason babble" for now...

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