...Where was the evidence that the feeling I had labeled a long time ago as "the Spirit" was actually the Voice of God? The evidence was: First, someone I respected had told me that it was so. Second, it was an integral part of what I had been raised to believe, and I wanted to believe it. That was it. But those are weak reasons, insufficient to justify such an important and specific claim. And instead of strong evidence confirming that those feelings were the Spirit, there was evidence that those feelings were internally generated, that the Church creates a huge infrastructure designed to lead minds toward preferred conclusions, and that certain conditions can reliably produce the feeling that I'd misidentified. I have no doubt that brother D. believed what he was telling us, but belief doesn't make a thing true.
Where is the evidence? Correct question, but wrong paradigm in my opinion. But let us look at it simply...from lectures on faith it is taught that people have faith in God because they are told to. Simple enough. But they have faith only up to a point...then God manifests upon them and they believe. So, the only "evidence" that will ever be presented to a person is by the actual manifestation of God upon them...yet again, simple enough.
So, you have three options...
1. Believe in God because you have been instructed to believe.
2. Believe in God because God has manifested Himself to you.
3. Do not believe in God.
A rational person should always consider true what is instructed to him provided that there is no compelling reason to believe otherwise. An irrational person would initially assume that instruction is false.
wanting to believe is not a weak reason at all...it may be weak science, but often a belief is the foundation of good science, so i do not agree with your assertion on that point and you have no justification for that position.
If you have "evidence" that those "feelings" were generated internally then surely you have evidence that those feeling were not initiated by the Spirit...a runny nose is not necessarily evidence of a cold. If you have a belief that these feelings are internally generated then surely you have the ability to generate them at your will, correct? Even if you can not summon them forth while sitting in a chair, surely you can bring together the circumstances that would precisely replicate that "feeling", correct?...that is evidence i would like to see.
When people speak of testimonies, I know what they're talking about. They're saying that they associate that feeling that I've felt many times, which I still feel often, with a particular piece of religious doctrine, and that this feeling is evidence that the thing is true. They say the words "I know." Two questions seem relevant: First, are emotional experiences a good way for other people to determine whether something is true? And second, how do you know that what you felt is the Spirit?
emotional experiences can be associated with the "truth", otherwise emotional experiences must be considered as deceitful, a condition which has no rational, reasonable, nor logical justification. This is distinct from the idea of "illusion" and one can not possibly, or effectively, argue that emotions are nothing more than physiological illusions which serve some unknown purpose....that is an absurd and illiterate position.
your second question is a good one...i would ask you a similar question...
How would you know if I was in "truly" Love with my wife?...is that something you are able/capable of instructing me on?