Faith, Experience, and Spiders. (Q & A)
Dear Mr. Supposed Philosopher:
I think the whole notion of posting faith in something after having some esoteric feeling affirms no truth and prevents no problems. What do you think of that?
Dear Sense-It-or-It's Senseless:
I can perfectly understand your exasperation with people who make claims about the veracity of their inner experiences as if they were straightforwardly accounts of the way things are, and thus worthy of immediate belief (and subsequent action). However, the person who interprets and acts upon such motives may be doing nothing other than what we all do in the face of everyday ambiguous experiences. I am reminded of the account of a close friend, one whom I love as if he were my very brother, on matters not far from this very issue:
"At 3:30am, one morning, my wife wakes me up and tells me to get out of the bed. Allegedly, and I very much emphasize that term, there is a bug crawling around in it. I am quite certain she is dreaming, but she was pretty panicky, so I went along with her. 5 minutes later, after the entire bed was torn apart, and then carefully put back together, piece by examined piece, I was allowed back in and went back to sleep without incident.As any good lawyer will tell you, precedent sets how we must interpret past experience, and I can think of no better precedent for explaining the link between inner experience and action that this story.
The next morning, when I am in the shower, at the very instant when hot water hits my arse, I feel a slight burning. I explore and discover a heinous welt on my butt cheek, quite obviously a bug bite -- in fact, a spider bite.
My lovely bride had faith in something she could not see, but something she was able to feel. I was unable to have faith in something I could neither see nor feel.
Because of my lack of faith; in the end, I got bit in the ars."