Some info on Religious Experience

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  • Religious Experience
    • Definition of a R/E
      • Mental events
      • A deeper awareness of the divine
      • Non-empirical occurrences - supernatural
      • Sometimes caused by an external object
    • Types of R/E
      • Mystical - union with the divine
      • Prayer - experiences brought about through prayer + meditation
      • Conversion - permanent + life-changing
      • Revelation
      • Public/private
      • Vision/voices
      • Induced
      • Numinous
      • Corporate experiences
    • Swinburne
      • Supported arg from R/E
      • Suggested that each case should be treated in same way we keep reports of others.
      • Believe them. Take them in face value.
      • We should q R/E accounts
      • PRINCIPLE OF CREDULITY - experience = usually reliable + can be trusted. Sometimes senses mislead us.
        • What you percieve to be true is prob the case unless: person = unreliable, perceptions = shown to be false, strong evidence that doesn't exist or can be accounted in other ways
      • PRINCIPLE OF TESTIMONY - should believe a person unless we have good reason to to
        • People usually tell truth
      • Oublic experiences - ordinary, extra-ordinary and private - describable in normal lang,
    • Mackie (responded to Swinburne's P of T)
      • Might know people normally not deceitful + untrustworthy - but could be mistake. Could interpret events wrong by  saying experience came from G-d when in fact the source was different. He thought balance of probability was that it would be a mistake.
    • Christianity
      • Revelation
        • Revealed to Peter, James + John that Jesus was to fulfil the messianic prophecy in Jews Scripture
      • Conversion
        • Saul to St Paul
      • Vision
        • St Bernadette of Lourdes, vision of Virgin Mary
      • Mystical
        • St Teresa of Avila - spiritual marriage with G-d during illeness
    • Freud
      • Reliigon = illusion - way of expressing desires. subconsiously desrire for G-d to  resemble father
      • Challeneges to R/E
        • Marx
          • R/E = illusions - imaginary projection of needs + qualities people think = important
        • Description - unexplainable experience
        • Subject - evidence of mental ill health - unreliable
        • Conflicting claims - all religions claim they have truth
    • Marx
      • R/E = illusions - imaginary projection of needs + qualities people think = important
    • Challeneges to R/E
      • Description - unexplainable experience
      • Subject - evidence of mental ill health - unreliable
      • Conflicting claims - all religions claim they have truth

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