Religious ExperienceA rgument

  • Created by: Psycheart
  • Created on: 30-11-16 15:04
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  • Religious Experience Argument
    • Strength's of the Experience Argument
      • Effects: Powerful and positve- changes lives and communities in ways difficult to explain without an outside agency AKA God.
      • Quantity: Religion has been widespread throughout history- could they all be delusional/ wrong?
      • Similarities: Between descriptions of religious experiences that wouldn't be present if made up.
    • William James' Argument
      • All religious experience indicates the probability of God PLURALIST- speaks of 'the spiritual' 'higher aspects' of the world.
      • Interested in the effects of an experience.
        • Validity of the experience is based on the effects produced e.g. lives changed.
      • Phenomena of religious experiences point to a 'higher reality'.
    • Swinburne's Argument
      • No reason for religious experience to be treated differently to normal perceptual claims.
        • 2 Principles to support this
          • Principle of testimony: Unless we have positive evidence they're misremembering or are untrustworthy- we should believe.
            • 'Other things being equal, we usually think that what others tell us that they perceived, probably happened'.
          • Principle of Credulity: Must accept hat appears to be the case unless we have contrary evidence.
            • Evidence might mean you have reason to doubt the person, Prove God doesn't exist, or Experience wasn't caused by God.
    • Weaknesses of the Experience Argument
      • Usually private: may convince the individual but do nothing for others.
        • Bertrand Russell (1872-1970) Rejected the argument because you can't confirm or deny what's happening to someone else.
      • If we can explain religious experiences without a supernatural element, the argument is limited.
      • Interpreted according to religious beliefs/traditions.
      • Not every faith can be right.
    • 'If there is a God there are likely experiences of him'                 ...........            'There are religious experiences, therefore there is a God'
      • Two sentences aren't logically connected.
        • If we assume there is a God and he would  interact with us an SWAP the sentences around they don't work.
          • Affirming the Consequent     Religious experiences may be caused by God, but they may not.
          • 'If i drink too much I'll fall over               'I fell over- therefore i drank too much'


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