Maybe you’ve noticed this as well but it’s becoming absurdly common in my encounters with the religious. A religious person simply cannot abide by the rules of evidence, logic and common sense that actually exist so they pretend they get to make up their own rules and insist that by following these imaginary rules, they can proclaim victory.
That doesn’t stop it from happening every day though. I can’t tell you how many theists I’ve run into recently who freely admit that they have no evidence whatsoever for their claims, yet they pretend they have no obligation to support anything they have to say because, well, they’re right and that’s all there is to it. And, of course, they have “proof” but they’re not going to share it because we wouldn’t believe them anyhow. Because we’re all materialists. Well yes, we’re materialists, not because we have some quasi-religious belief in materialism, as they seem to believe, but because the material world is all that anyone has ever managed to find a shred of objective evidence for. I’m a materialist for the same reason I’m a “gravitationalist”. That’s where the evidence points. If you want me to accept the supernatural, you’re going to have to make a convincing argument, complete with objective evidence and until you can manage to do that, I’m not going to take your claims seriously. Of course, these people are convinced that we’re all somehow biased against the supernatural, that we practice some bizarre form of materialist religious belief, in fact I recently had someone make that exact accusation. All I could do was roll my eyes at his stupidity.
There are reasons that we have established laws of logic and basic rules for rational discourse. It’s because it is the only system we’ve found to date that produces demonstrable results. We use it because it works. If they can come up with another system that produces objectively true results as well, I’d be more than happy to use that as well. Unfortunately, they simply cannot do that, all they can do is make things up, follow their emotions and when logic and reason shows their conclusions are faulty, instead of rejecting their conclusions, they just make fun of logic and reason, as though that makes their faulty beliefs somehow better.
So where did this load of nonsense start this time? There were a couple of people arguing that “mysticism” was real yet they were unable, or more likely unwilling, to actually define what they meant by “mysticism”. I therefore filled in the blanks from Google, producing the definition “belief that union with or absorption into the Deity or the absolute, or the spiritual apprehension of knowledge inaccessible to the intellect, may be attained through contemplation and self-surrender”, but suggesting it was closer to “belief characterized by self-delusion or dreamy confusion of thought, especially when based on the assumption of occult qualities or mysterious agencies.” Yeah, that didn’t go over too well. However, they spent the next couple of days running all over the field with the goal posts, accusing me of being biased against “higher consciousness”, again without being able to provide a working definition, and finally one of them came up with that wonderful chestnut “well, maybe that’s how reality is for you, but it isn’t for us!” Oh brother. That was about the time I gave up, I had no more interest in dealing with complete and utter idiots. Unfortunately, those people are not remotely alone in their inability to deal with reality or logically evaluate their own claims. It’s also unfortunate that these irrational, illogical basketcases are among the loudest idiots on teh street corner, standing on their imaginary soap boxes, declaring how true the idiotic nonsense they believe really is.