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May 2011 Philosophy of Religion Harry Townsend




PHILOSOPHY OF RELIGION
RELIGIOUS EXPERIENCE:

"To have a religious experience is to be aware of God or a particular religious figure; or to
live through something understood as having some connection to religion in general."
Typical assessment criteria of credibility of evidence:
-…

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May 2011 Philosophy of Religion Harry Townsend




Voices of conscious 0 hearing without necessarily hearing (metaphorically hearing).
Examples: Samuel 1: God tells Samuel to be a prophet; Mark 1: 1-9 Jesus' Baptsm; Paul-Saul.

Critical Evaluation of Voices:

St Teresa's criteria can be used for all types of religious experience.
-…

Page 3

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May 2011 Philosophy of Religion Harry Townsend




- God is experienced as transcendent, as thoroughly `other' this leaves little room for a
conception of God as immanent and a more personal relationship with God.
- The experience is feeling based, so what about the perceptual based religious experiences?

Conversion Experience:…

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May 2011 Philosophy of Religion Harry Townsend




+ In some cases e.g. Toronto Blessing, there's a public expression of the experience that can
be observed by others.
- Human beings are psychologically prone to falling in with what others believe, say, & do.
- Maybe the experience is the result…

Page 5

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May 2011 Philosophy of Religion Harry Townsend




+ Not trying to conclude or prove the existence of God.
+ In line with St. Teresa's second criterion.
- St. Teresa in turn can be criticised.
- Otto would argue that religious experiences are about feeling separate from the divine.
- The…

Page 6

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May 2011 Philosophy of Religion Harry Townsend




It is possible for religious experiences from different religions to be veridical, because all
religions lead to the truth: overlaid with the religious culture and tradition found in particular
parts of the world.
E.g. Christianity in Europe; Hinduism in India etc., strip this…

Page 7

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May 2011 Philosophy of Religion Harry Townsend




No need to debate whether miracles written in the Bible actually happened (Virgin Birth;
Noah's Flood) because the Bible is a source of certain knowledge.

Critical Evaluation:

+ In keeping with the Bible e.g. Peter 1:20-21 `when reading the Bible it's the words…

Page 8

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May 2011 Philosophy of Religion Harry Townsend




- Because sacred writings on this view are written in response to divine revelations, the full
meaning is dependent on the original. But we have access only to scripture and not the
original non-propositional revelations, so perhaps te full meaning forever escapes us.…

Page 9

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May 2011 Philosophy of Religion Harry Townsend




+ Argument assumes laws of nature can't admit exceptions, and because a miracle is an
exception it can't happen without contradicting the law of nature.
- A miracle doesn't have to violate a law of nature e.g. Childbirth, Holland's train example.
- However,…

Page 10

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May 2011 Philosophy of Religion Harry Townsend




- If he's right then why aren't there more? E.g. why did Jesus not `free himself from the cross'?
Or respond to the Devils temptation by floating to the ground?
3. According to Hume, there are no really well supported miracle cases where…

Comments

Shannon Robinson

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thanks

Laura

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Thank you so much! Very informative

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