I'm saying that merely reading someone's testimony won't do the trick, unless the Holy Spirit is involved. Otherwise, there are plenty of testimonies by Jews, Muslims, Hindus, Buddhists, etc., that are waiting to convert you to their respective faiths.
I would have thought that Christianity relies on the living presence of the Holy Spirit.
And the verifiability of religion really depends on the religion. With respect to Christianity, for example, we rely on the evidentiary value of the witnesses of the Resurrection.
Yes, do I deny that? But don't we have witnesses? Or are you saying that Christ's disciples were persuaded of the Resurrection without the need of any testimony?
You're right that merely calling somebody a witness doesn't mean he's reliable. You have to look at other factors. Like the fact, as I said, that the disciples of Christ who witnessed the Resurrection were putting their lives on the line, and often paid with their lives. Wouldn't they have recanted if they knew that they had lied about such a thing?
The testimonies of the false religions are just not reliable. That is why I do not believe them. And I am sure the action of the Holy Spirit has something to do with the fact that our witnesses are reliable, while the witnesses of falsehood are not.
Neither is the testimony of Christianity reliable, people have suffered martyrdom for various religions, philosophies, and political ideologies. There are cults to this day that commit mass suicide based on the word of a single individual and there were several of these cults in the ancient world, Christianity is one that just happened to occur during the right time in the Roman Empire and eventually got lucky and Converted and Emperor, has a few things gone slightly differently, you would be worshiping Mithras today instead of Jesus. From a rational and empirical perspective, Christianity is no more valid than other Cults of the day, heck, it might not have even been the best one. But as the rise of communism demonstrated, the best or most reasonable system is not always the system that prevails, there are many other factors that come into play, not the least of which is a leader's charisma and the system's propaganda.
The problem I have discussing this issue is that no one can offer me repeatable and verifiable evidence. I know how you feel about your religion, I was once a devout Christian, but all that I ask is that people take a step back, undergo the thought experiment of Descartes, dismiss all presuppositions (not that I believe Descartes managed to do this, but I'll give him credit for trying), question everything you believe, demand proof for every thing said. Don't even take such things as gravity and EM forces for granted, go through the data yourself, analyze the experiments, recreate them yourself (assuming they're something you can recreate, most of us can't afford to build our own particle accelerator for example, we'll just have to rely on data from various sources and check it for consistency). Don't accept QM and GR because Einstein or Planck said it was true, or because it's the scientific consensus. Go through the equations and derivations yourself and don't just use the Algebra and Analysis involved because your college professor told you that's how things work. Go to the axioms, go through the proof demonstrating consistency tantamount to the real numbers, derive the procedures and equations you use from that axioms of mathematics.
I don't ask people simply take me at their word on this matter, I ask much more of people. I expect them to go through the mathematical theorems and physics theories themselves, understand them...after that, if you find a problem with the systems, you can actually say what the problem is, you can say 'this is the problem with assumption X, instead we should use assumption Y...if we do that, these are the equations we get, they satisfy all the data of the time PLUS they also explain Z, which did not fit into the equations derived from assumption X.'
If you want to criticize physics, GREAT, we need more people to criticize and refine existing theories, BUT I have what I consider to be a very reasonable expectation, I expect you understand what you're criticizing and be able to explain why you're criticizing it logically.