I was a sugar-crashing rambling amateur next to people between 55 and 75, many of whom had an academic background. I made a few good points, but we all agreed that experiences don't teach us much.
I should be had said that the group's discussion this evening was meant to be "do religious experiences provide evidence of God?", They changed it to "what can we learn from religious experiences". A pity.
Did they change it due to the possibility that they'd get the wrong audience? If nothing else, someone got my hopes up for a good debate.
As it was the debate was agnostic from the person covering the debate, but we all agreed that experiences are unlikely to result in anything we can be sure of as proof for a higher power.
the troubles started straight away, and WTF is a religious experience?
From the get go these intellectuals in their own right, even if medicated and retired, they seemed not to know what a religious experience was.
Did they mean a brainwashed person was seeing Christ? Well, no. The lecturer seemed to be suggesting that William James was onto something regarding experience but not the religious meaning added after. I guess they meant religious experience is a sense of wonder with a message untouched by ideology. Various argument were based on other definitions.
I was annoyed, I didn't get the chance to correct a few errors over Richard Dawkins that the speaker made. I got to mention a few history stories, which they confused, such as Joan of Arc finding a sword and if the myth holds she claimed it was a gift from God. I had a guy think I was on about King Authur, corrected him though.
There were many things I haven't noted here. It isn't the place for me, I lost confidence a bit. And, I think if anything I should organise my own group. Maybe see about renting a room once a month, invite some friends for a debate. Recorded prehaps.
In any case, I think I was throw by a few things, the group used to be bigger, it used to be more defined, and it wasn't a circle of chairs. I find it better to debate the speaker, share thoughts with 20+ people, instead of 9(not including myself), and have a subject defined enough to discuss.
Not saying the group was horrid, just that I used to enjoy it mopre two years ago. About two years ago I was a regular, now I'm not as headstrong and care about definition not general discussion.