Religious Experience

For AS RS Unit 3

  • Created by: Nick pk
  • Created on: 07-03-11 12:37

The Argument From Religious Experience

the argument from experiences of God to the existence of God.

strong form it is only possible to experience that which exists, and so that the phenomenon of religious experience demonstrates the existence of God. People experience God, therefore there must be a God; case closed.

 weaker form religious experiences constitute evidence for God’s existence.


The principle of credulity states that if it seems to a subject that x is present, then probably x is present. Generally, says Swinburne, it is reasonable to believe that the world is probably as we experience it to be. Unless we have some specific reason to question a religious experience, therefore, then we ought to accept that it is at least prima facie evidence for the existence of God.

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Scientific Counter Argument to Argument From Relig

God helmet (

Argument from Religious Experience says that if P experiences X then X exists.  If experiences of X can be found to be due to something other than X the argument is countered.

Michael Persinger created the Koren Helmet.  The helmet passes weak magnetic charges across the temporal lobes of the brain.  Volunteers report experiences of an unseen presence while the procedure is underway.

This leads Persinger to speculate that disturbances in the temporal lobe can cause religious experiences.  Naturally occurruing electro meagnetic fields might give rise to such experiences.

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