Religious Experience

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  • Religious Experience
    • Types of REs
      • Prophecy - getting knowledge in a direct way.
      • Miracles - a subjective interpretation
      • Toronto Blessing - people started acting bizarrely (eg: barking like dogs) & this spread to certain Christian churches
      • Numinous - The feeling of a presence of something higher than you
      • Speaking in Tongues - speaking in an apparent language but no-one knew the language
    • Views and Descriptions of REs
      • Schliermacher
        • REs are a sense of ultimate awareness of wholeness; conscious of infiniteness and finitenesss
          • The world is infinite but I am finite - once I die, I disappear an the world will continue
          • a "feeling"
            • faith is a fundamental feature  of human experience
      • Davies
        • There is a God because he has directly encountered Him
      • William James
        • Emotional content of REs were directed towards something divine
      • RM Hare
        • You can look at something and conclude that it is a religious experience, despite the false interpretations
          • A 'blik' - an unvable and unfalsifiabof looking at the worrld
      • Wittgenstein
        • "seeing-as"
          • random set of dots and lines - perceived differently by an individual.
          • No objective reality (no correct answer)
    • Key Ideas
      • Verification
        • If something is verifiable, it can be tested by experience or by sense expeience
        • If something is not verifiable, it is either meaningless or tautological (a circular argument)
        • If something is subjective, it is not verifiable as knowledge is not subjective
          • Everything is truth claim" until you verify it.
            • It can be turned into knowledge through the process of VERIFICATION
        • GOES AGAINST RELIGIOUS EXPERIENCE
      • Analogy
        • KEY ARGUMENT THAT THEISTS USE
        • Using one thing to describe another
          • not a perfect similarity, but is used to see whether the similarities outweigh the differences
      • Knowability
        • How do you define something to someone that has never seen it before?
        • How do you get a checklist of God's characteristics to test his existence?
          • Theoretically, you have verified His existence by the characteristics that you have acquired from meeting him beforehand
            • (Mrs Goodwin example)
            • Cyclical process that isn't proving anything
            • You would accept only the good qualities and not the bad ones - WHY?!
      • Metaphysical metanarrative
        • Reality encompasses the universe and the spiritual realm where there is a God in charge of everything
      • Swinburne's Principles
        • Principle of Testimony
          • You should believe what people you, because the majority of the time, they are telling the truth
        • Principle of Credulity
          • Experience of X = reality of X
            • If someone claims to have experienced something, they probably have.
              • We should believe them, unless there is evidence that goes against their claims
                • If people claim to have had a RE, we should believe them
                • Evidence against them could be w they are suffering from a mental illness and/ or take drugs/ a intoxicated
        • Problem of Induction
          • Some experiences are credible, others are not
      • The argument in its simplest form
        • Premise 1: Experience of X indicates the reality of X
          • Premise 2: Experience of God indicates the reality of God
            • Premise 3: It is possible to experience God
              • Conclusion: God exists
    • Examples of REs
      • Paul
        • 1) Bright Light 2) A voice  gave him instructions 3) others heard the voice but couldn't see anything 4) went blind 5) Ananias was given information & had a conversation with God 6) Ananias healed Paul's blindness 7) Paul converted
          • "Bright light" = sun; "voice" = hidden Christian; "blind" = caused by looking at the sun; "information about Paul" = heard he was in town
      • Teresa of Avila
        • a woman who was ill and felt God was inside her.
  • Key Ideas
    • Verification
      • If something is verifiable, it can be tested by experience or by sense expeience
      • If something is not verifiable, it is either meaningless or tautological (a circular argument)
      • If something is subjective, it is not verifiable as knowledge is not subjective
        • Everything is truth claim" until you verify it.
          • It can be turned into knowledge through the process of VERIFICATION
      • GOES AGAINST RELIGIOUS EXPERIENCE
    • Analogy
      • KEY ARGUMENT THAT THEISTS USE
      • Using one thing to describe another
        • not a perfect similarity, but is used to see whether the similarities outweigh the differences
    • Knowability
      • How do you define something to someone that has never seen it before?
      • How do you get a checklist of God's characteristics to test his existence?
        • Theoretically, you have verified His existence by the characteristics that you have acquired from meeting him beforehand
          • (Mrs Goodwin example)
          • Cyclical process that isn't proving anything
          • You would accept only the good qualities and not the bad ones - WHY?!
    • Metaphysical metanarrative
      • Reality encompasses the universe and the spiritual realm where there is a God in charge of everything
    • Swinburne's Principles
      • Principle of Testimony
        • You should believe what people you, because the majority of the time, they are telling the truth
      • Principle of Credulity
        • Experience of X = reality of X
          • If someone claims to have experienced something, they probably have.
            • We should believe them, unless there is evidence that goes against their claims
              • If people claim to have had a RE, we should believe them
              • Evidence against them could be w they are suffering from a mental illness and/ or take drugs/ a intoxicated
      • Problem of Induction
        • Some experiences are credible, others are not
    • The argument in its simplest form
      • Premise 1: Experience of X indicates the reality of X
        • Premise 2: Experience of God indicates the reality of God
          • Premise 3: It is possible to experience God
            • Conclusion: God exists

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