The religious experience argument

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  • Created on: 25-01-13 10:00
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The religious experience argument
All religious experiences indicate the probability of God
Did not speak directly of God BUT the spiritual and higher aspects
of the world and self
The validity of religious experience rests upon the effects it
produces; changing lives? Does it work?
There is no reason why claims to religious experience should be
treated any differently to ordinary perceptual claims
The principle of credibility: we must accept what appears to be the
case unless we have clear evidence to the contrary
The principle of testimony: unless we have positive evidence that
they are misremembering or untrustworthy, we should believe the
testimony of experience
Powerful force in history suggests it is wide spread
They tend to change the lives of individuals/communities in ways that
are difficult to explain without a reference to an outside agency such
as God
Descriptions of religious experiences ten to be the same and this
would not be the case if they were made up
Alternative explanations found in psychology, physiology and
If we can explain religious experiences naturally then the force of
the argument may be limited
Russell: rejects the argument as it is impossible to confirm or deny
what is happening inside someone else
Different faiths claiming that these experiences prove the truth of
their faith BUT they cannot all be right
Tend to be interpreted in light of their beliefs and traditions


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