For a long time I’ve been puzzled by skepticism. Skepticism is the perfectly rational idea that you should only believe something if it so captures you with its undeniable truth that you have no choice.
The problem is that it seems like a lot of religion breaks down under skepticism. But maybe a lot of religion is actually something I want to believe. So maybe I should be a little merciful with my doubting?
As of tonight’s experience, this no longer worries me. Skepticism is the correct position, and insofar as it really is certain, religion can defeat skepticism.
A true mystical experience cannot be doubted. The skeptic need only be willing to test the hypothesis that “if you use this mental technique, then you will be struck down by a Thing so fantastically brilliant and real that there will be no atom left in your body capable of denying it; and then you will be a believer.”
If the skeptic is a talented mystic, then after they do the experiment, they will be a believer: without having had to sacrifice an iota of their skepticism.