OCR A2 PHILOSOPHY REVISION NOTES

Full revision notes including:

  • Religious Language
  • Religious Experience 
  • Revelation
  • Miracles
  • Attributes of God
  • Life after death
HideShow resource information
Preview of OCR A2 PHILOSOPHY REVISION NOTES

First 325 words of the document:

A2 PHILOSOPHY OF RELIGION
Miracles
2 meanings:
-Event caused by God (religious believers, God acting within the world)
-Transgression of the laws of nature (or violation, David Hume)
Much debate over the definition
-Are they really miracles?
-Can God intervene in some cases and not others? (Arbitrary and partisan, Maurice Wiles)
Religious response, That is just God's way, sometimes things can happen but people do not
always recognise them. E.G people actually surviving a tsunami, although people have died,
some surviving is a miracle.
Aquinas
Calling something a miracle is interpreting what happened
Had to be intrinsically wonderful to everyone, not just one (rules out childbirth)
Cause must be completely hidden (launching a space shuttle to many would be a
miracle, but those who made it will understand)
Believed miracles could be placed in rank order
Done by God that nature can never do (making the moon and the sun stand still so
Joshua could fight)
Done by God, could be done by nature but not in that order (making someone see
after being blind)
Usually done by nature, but done by God quickly (healing a broken leg instantly)
Hume's rejection of miracles
By definition a miracle is beyond belief
No logical person could believe such a thing
Look at balance of evidence and past experience (we know water does not turn into
wine)
Balance of probability shows miracles are unlikely
Reports of miracles usually come from idiots (ignorant and barbarous places and
nations) therefore unreliable
People often look for supernatural events and this can change interpretation of
events
Contradictions within different religions
-Christian stories aim to show primary authority of Jesus
Islam shows Muhammed given authority by God
Differing accounts weakens the others
Swinburne

Other pages in this set

Page 2

Preview of page 2

Here's a taster:

Agrees with Hume that laws of nature are based upon people's experiences of the
world
Makes 2 points different from Hume
Laws of nature are generalisations (general idea of how things work)
Laws of nature are a description of how things currently work, this could change
Therefore a miracle is 'an occurrence of a non-repeatable counter instance to a law of
nature'
Couldn't define a new law due to one instance (a miracle)
Therefore it's wrong to say currently law is illogical because of one…read more

Page 3

Preview of page 3

Here's a taster:

Not just about the single action, but it reveals something about God which is more
important
Religious Experiences
Supernatural phenomenon that holds certain values and changes the person for the better
No scientific explanation
Can be a direct encounter with God
Some argue they can come in the form of more common experiences such as praying of
feeling at peace
Objectivist view:
If a religious experience is true then it's evidence for the existence of God
A God who exists independently outside the human mind…read more

Page 4

Preview of page 4

Here's a taster:

Religious experiences can come in a variety of forms within different cultures
-Different religions are a reflection of this
Swinburne
Treat religious Experiences the same as normal one's
Principle of credulity: experience is usually reliable and can be trusted
Principle of testimony: people usually tell the truth so trust them
William James
Looked at religious experiences objectively, was not trying to prove or disprove them.
Said to a certain degree they can be tested for validity.…read more

Page 5

Preview of page 5

Here's a taster:

In most of claimed religious experiences individuals are usually in a bad state such as
illness or drug and drink abuse, so the mind is weaker and vulnerable and it could be an
illusion not a religious experience. (Similar to Hume)
Freud argued that religious experiences aren't real and there is a psychological explanation,
a child's desire for a father. Look to the figure of God.
J.L.…read more

Page 6

Preview of page 6

Here's a taster:

Practical verifiability: can be tested in reality. E.G Real Madrid wear white shirts, can
observe this
Verifiable in principle: Such as life on other planets, might be possible but we don't have
the technology to observe this
Then...…read more

Page 7

Preview of page 7

Here's a taster:

Response of R.M Hare - 'Bliks'
Religious statements are non-cognitive (a statement that cannot be subject to truth or
falsification) and influence the way in which people see the world so have meaning.
Hare called this idea Bliks, which is how people see the world and the difference between
different people's Bliks cannot be solved by observation.…read more

Page 8

Preview of page 8

Here's a taster:

Say what he is not (e.g.…read more

Page 9

Preview of page 9

Here's a taster:

Viewed God as "ground of being" and the reason for everything we see. Therefore it is only
possible to comprehended God through symbols.
Believed there was a distinction between signs and symbols
-Signs are chosen arbitrary (based on random choice, rather than any reason or system) to
stand for something. As long as we agree it doesn't matter what form the sign takes.…read more

Page 10

Preview of page 10

Here's a taster:

Therefore we should accepted them as entirely true
Saying its a myth is like saying its false
Within Christianity myth's became popular when...…read more

Comments

Demmy

This is really useful.

Thanks alot.

naila

Wow this is really good and in depth, just what I was looking for...

Thanks a bunch

tanja

Wow this is really good and in depth, just what I was looking for...

Thanks a bunch


Maria Gunayon

Thank you!

Levi

Cheers, its really helpful

shanmcdonnell97

ta

Similar Philosophy resources:

See all Philosophy resources »See all resources »