> go sit above a chasm in the earth in the temple, and then sort of go into a frenzy and start speaking gibberish. The priests then interpreted that gibberish as opaque prophecies.

Interesting, I didn't know that part of it! I'd always heard the vapor theory. This actually makes more sense to me. Gibberish is glossolalia, aka "speaking in tongues" (a misnomer because it's really gibberish, not some foreign language the speaker hasn't learned explicitly). This is an ecstatic trance experience seen not only in fundamentalist Christianity but in a wide variety of religious traditions (and cults). It's also great fun to play with, as a vocal warmup before singing or speaking, or just as a creativity exercise. I find it's similar to ecstatic dance. It's too weird for most people to experiment with but I find it very freeing especially since I used to have paralyzing social anxiety. I know one man specifically who overcame social anxiety through deliberate practice of glossolalia.

Then having someone interpret glossolalia as prophecy, that actually makes sense to me too, as a religious practice, similar to Tarot or Astrology. Not that there is factual validity to prophecy (or Tarot or Astrology for that matter), it's not a factual empirical kind of thing, but a metaphorical, emotional kind of thing. It's an artistic expression. Hence the cryptic nature of such prophecies.

In terms of positivism vs. anti-positivism, in the Philosophy of Science this debate is expressed in realism vs. anti-realism. Realism says science makes claims about reality itself, it gets at Truth. Anti-realism says that is super naive, science is a process humans do and is subject to all the cognitive biases and social forces (including politics and economics) that humans are driven by. Interestingly, most philosophers of science are anti-realists whereas most scientists are realists.

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