When people hear voices in their heads we call them mad or schizophrenic.
I wonder whether society has a way of managing and assimilating this madness. The minute we call them pastors, prophets, apostles and so on, we give these people permission to do this and a special place in society. Luckily, not all of these people are arrogant enough to assume they have a direct line to their supreme being.
Throughout the centuries people have told us that a god speaks to them or that their writings are inspired by a god. Are we supposed to just take their word for it? How can we assess whether this is true? Some people say that if a pastor’s words are in line with the bible then he’s genuine. But that begs the question of whether the bible is really the inspired word of their god and how this can be assessed.
Personally, I would be impressed if these books or people could tell us something that no one living in our age could know. The bible does not reveal anything that people living at that time did not already know or couldn’t work out for themselves. Often, they got things wrong. I would have been more impressed if Jesus had taught us about quantum physics or germ theory. Instead he seems to believe the myth of the time that disease is caused by bad spirits.
Revelations and modern day prophecies may be the apologists’ answer: vague, confusing words that are reinterpreted after the fact.
No. I would rather maintain that people who believe a voice in their head tells them what to say and do are self-deluded or slightly unbalanced people, should not be running our countries but should be treated with compassion and understanding, not devotion.