‘Conversion experiences are the strongest evidence for the existence of God’ Discuss

  • Created by: Zara
  • Created on: 31-03-14 10:30

‘Conversion experiences are the strongest evidence for the existence of God’ Discuss

Advantages

  • St Paul the Apostle who went from persecuting Christians to becoming a Christian missionary whilst on the road to Damascus, after divine intervention. (Acts 9:1-18)
  • CS Lewis stated that the presence of God is what caused him to convert to Catholicism.
  • William James: Conversion happens when we least expect it to- can be subconscious or divine intervention. Two types of conversion: Volitional: voluntary experience- person decides to make spiritual changes to their life e.g. may study the Bible if they wish to convert to Christianity, and then feel a deep connection to God. Or there is the self-surrender type, which is when someone feels that they have done all they can and leave it to God .
  • Conversion from Theism to Atheism could show that God gives us free will
  • Swinburne believed that a good God would seek to interact with his creations

Disadvantages

  • Freud may argue that people convert to religion to escape the horrors of the outside world.- religion is a security blanket.
  • Marx would argue that  the ‘opium of people’ and so people turn to it to escape the misery caused by a capitalist state.
  • Wiles- Why would God only reveal himself to certain people?
  • If divine intervention is involved in peoples conversion, then that may take away free will.

Evaluation

The belief that religious conversion is because of psychological/social reasons is probably the most coherent argument. 

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‘Conversion experiences are the strongest evidence for the existence of God’ Discuss

  • Created by: Zara
  • Created on: 31-03-14 10:30

‘Conversion experiences are the strongest evidence for the existence of God’ Discuss

Advantages

  • St Paul the Apostle who went from persecuting Christians to becoming a Christian missionary whilst on the road to Damascus, after divine intervention. (Acts 9:1-18)
  • CS Lewis stated that the presence of God is what caused him to convert to Catholicism.
  • William James: Conversion happens when we least expect it to- can be subconscious or divine intervention. Two types of conversion: Volitional: voluntary experience- person decides to make spiritual changes to their life e.g. may study the Bible if they wish to convert to Christianity, and then feel a deep connection to God. Or there is the self-surrender type, which is when someone feels that they have done all they can and leave it to God .
  • Conversion from Theism to Atheism could show that God gives us free will
  • Swinburne believed that a good God would seek to interact with his creations

Disadvantages

  • Freud may argue that people convert to religion to escape the horrors of the outside world.- religion is a security blanket.
  • Marx would argue that  the ‘opium of people’ and so people turn to it to escape the misery caused by a capitalist state.
  • Wiles- Why would God only reveal himself to certain people?
  • If divine intervention is involved in peoples conversion, then that may take away free will.

Evaluation

The belief that religious conversion is because of psychological/social reasons is probably the most coherent argument. 

Comments

No comments have yet been made