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How may one refute the religious stonewall argument "all is one"?
#1
How may one refute the religious stonewall argument "all is one"?
This is a tactic that some have used when discussing religion with me: They say they have had a meditative experience and realized all is one, or otherwise postulate that all is one for some other reason. That oneness for no logical reason is extrapolated to be a magical, mystical thing that validates religious views.

It becomes a stone wall when one may try to question the validity of a religious view, but it is explained by something beyond normal understanding like "all is one." So the conversation is blocked off completely unless one can refute this position and demonstrate that it is utterly untenable, and so the opponent must then defend their religious views in terms that do not go into realms of illogical postulations.

Seems to me there are some seriously fatal flaws in the logic of such a position as "all is one". However I am far from a logician. Could anyone offer some refutations that invalidate such a view?
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#2
RE: How may one refute the religious stonewall argument "all is one"?
(October 5, 2020 at 6:07 pm)Osopatata Wrote: They say they have had a meditative experience and realized all is one, 

Naturally, the things that people feel when they meditate can't be taken as evidence by others. 

Quote:or otherwise postulate that all is one for some other reason. That oneness for no logical reason is extrapolated to be a magical, mystical thing that validates religious views.

This, on the other hand, is very different. 

It depends on the reasons they have for thinking that all is one. Do they assert it for "no logical reason" or do they in fact have reasons? 

I ask because there are a number of different traditions which hold something along those lines. Both Neoplatonism and Buddhism would basically agree with the idea that all is one. And they do so for a number of logical reasons which have been worked out over a long time. 

I'm sure that there are shallow people who repeat "all is one" because they think it sounds cool, or reflects some experience they had while stoned. This doesn't mean that everyone who says it is like that. How you argue would depend on the beliefs of the person you're debating with.

Quote:Seems to me there are some seriously fatal flaws in the logic of such a position as "all is one". However I am far from a logician. Could anyone offer some refutations that invalidate such a view?

Before we can offer refutations, we have to know what we're refuting. And if it in fact requires refutation. 

Again, if the people you're talking to just repeat it because it sounds cool, there's not much you can do to debate them. 

But if they know what they're talking about, and have the system of Plotinus, for example, well in mind, then refutation will require a lot more work. You seem to start with the conclusion that they're wrong, but you haven't given us enough information to know whether they really are.
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#3
RE: How may one refute the religious stonewall argument "all is one"?
I'm not sure it can be refuted.  I'm also not convinced that it is necessary to even try.

Boru
‘Let me never fall into the vulgar mistake of dreaming that I am persecuted whenever I am contradicted.’ Ralph Waldo Emerson
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#4
RE: How may one refute the religious stonewall argument "all is one"?
On an atomic and/or subatomic level the argument "all is one" may be considered valid. Everything is made of stuff.

But on a day to day basis I don't consciously exist at that level and consider the position silly.
I don't have an anger problem, I have an idiot problem




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#5
RE: How may one refute the religious stonewall argument "all is one"?
There really isn't one. It's basically an argument from personal experience, and if someone claims they saw God, there's not much you can say, but "no, you didn't." But that's not going to win them over. You could probably eloquently argue that, odds are, it was just a hallucination or delusion of some kind, but, well, if you do it poorly, they won't believe you and if you do it eloquently, they really won't believe you.
Comparing the Universal Oneness of All Life to Yo Mama since 2010.

[Image: harmlesskitchen.png]

I was born with the gift of laughter and a sense the world is mad.
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#6
RE: How may one refute the religious stonewall argument "all is one"?
The claim itself isn't necessarily wrong and isn't a big deal imo. All is one. Ok, and? Why must this be a religious thing exclusively?

We should never be in the mindset that we need to refute what other (aka religious) people say, unless we see something fallacious about it. Otherwise, it's ok to [sort of] agree with what they say and/or to ask for clarifications on what they're talking about.
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#7
RE: How may one refute the religious stonewall argument "all is one"?
^^This. Simply because an argument or position can’t be refuted (especially one as nebulous as this) doesn’t mean we have to accept it. ‘Irrefutable’ doesn’t mean ‘true’.

Boru
‘Let me never fall into the vulgar mistake of dreaming that I am persecuted whenever I am contradicted.’ Ralph Waldo Emerson
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#8
RE: How may one refute the religious stonewall argument "all is one"?
When they use the personal experience argument, I always remind them that people holed up in asylums also have personal experiences that landed them there. Religious experience doesn't get a pass just because one associates it with religion.
“The man who can't visualize a horse galloping on a tomato is an idiot.”
~ André Breton
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#9
RE: How may one refute the religious stonewall argument "all is one"?
(October 5, 2020 at 6:07 pm)Osopatata Wrote: This is a tactic that some have used when discussing religion with me: They say they have had a meditative experience and realized all is one, or otherwise postulate that all is one for some other reason. That oneness for no logical reason is extrapolated to be a magical, mystical thing that validates religious views.

I had someone tell me a postulate: "Religion is born out of an attempt to explain mystical experience".  This person had their own mystical experience after a brain injury.

I know someone else who experienced being "one with everything" during a worldwide group meditation.  It became the defining religious experience of her life (and was never repeated).

If you watch the TED talk by Jill Bolte Taylor https://www.ted.com/talks/jill_bolte_tay...of_insight she describes a left-brain stroke that invoked an altered experience of connection to the world.  While scary, she talks about it as if it was a mystical experience that she wishes she could revisit.

One can discuss the religious interpretation of these events, but can't attack the events themselves.  They are life changing to those who have them.  Too bad they often get turned into crazy religious beliefs.
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#10
RE: How may one refute the religious stonewall argument "all is one"?
Frankly, if someone says that God revealed himself to them and tells them that all is one, I tend to treat it like this:




Though the means may be different, in practice, the end results are identical.
Comparing the Universal Oneness of All Life to Yo Mama since 2010.

[Image: harmlesskitchen.png]

I was born with the gift of laughter and a sense the world is mad.
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