Religious Experience

GCSE religious experience. argument for and against for God's existance.

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Religious Experience
Religious experience is an attempt at proving the existence of God. It's
an a posteriori experience and therefore relies on evidence and
experience. It is also both a synthetic and an inductive argument. A
religious experience is generally understood to be an encounter with
God and the different types of religious experiences are revelatory
experience, near death experience, mystical experience and corporate
experience. A religious experience "offers a sense of the ultimate and a
feeling of wholeness." and it generally has a deep effect on the
experient, although they may not be able to fully comprehend what the
experience meant. It has known to create a sense of "awe and wonder"
(James) for the experient.
For many people, a religious experience is enough to prove the
existence of God. This could be because the religious experience often
leads to the experient converting from one or no religion to another.
This can be quite sufficient evident that God exists for not only the
experient but also, for the people around them who notice the change in
the individual. Swinburne agrees that we should believe people if they
say they've had a religious experience as he says that "In the absence
of special consideration peoples experiences are (probably) as they
report." Swinburne puts forward the Cumulative Argument for the
existence of God. It first looks at all the various arguments for God's
existence except the argument of religious experience. He believes that
although none of the arguments in isolation prove that God exists, when
they're put together they do. So, given this, he goes on to put forward
his argument for Religious Experience.
There are two principles to this argument: The principle of credulity
which says that "it it seems to subject that X is present, than x probably
is present" and the principle of testimony maintains that, in the absence
of special consideration, you should believe the experient. However,
Swinburne didn't take into consideration the negative form of the
argument that if it seems to a subject that x is not present, and then x
probably isn't present. Swinburne goes on to say that an interventionist's
God would seek to communicate with his creations, therefore it is in
God's nature to want to "speak to individuals and tell them individual
things". If God is omnipotent, omniscient and omnibenevolent then it
should be within his power to communicate with us. This is also
suggested in the bible that he wishes to communicate with his creations.

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Hume argues against the Cumulative argument as he doesn't believe
that combing lots of weak testimonies creates a strong argument,
instead he believes that it just creates a large weak theory. "There is not
to be found in all history, any miracle attested by sufficient amount of
men as such unquestioned good sense, education and learning as to
secure us against all delusion", meaning that Hume believes there can
be other explanations for Religious Experiences other than God.…read more

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Experience is meaningless.…read more



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