Religious Experience

Religious Experience

Advantages

  • Swinburne believes that our experiences are reliable (principle of credulity) and that most often people tell the truth (principle of testimony)
  • Corporate experiences clearly give more evidence to believe that the experience has happened e.g. the Toronto blessing happened to hundreds of Christians who claim to have been possessed by Gods spirit.

Disadvantages

  • Psychologists such as Freud say that some religious traditions mimic mentally ill patients e.g obsessive worship and prayer shows obsessive behaviours.

Evaluation

Religious experiences are not extremely reliable as humans are unable to re-live the experience for themselves. We can only trust what the person believes they have experienced and try to understand more about God through this. Overall religious experiences are unreliable and probably the effect of a psychological or physiological change being confused by God. 

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