- A posteriori = inferring God's existence from sprititual encounter
- Swinburne: "An omnipotent and perfectly good creator will seek to interact with his creatures"
- Direct proof = empirical evidence (5 senses)
- Synthetic = from observation
- Subjective = open to interpretation
- Inductive = number of possible conclusions
- 'Probability argument'
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- Vardy: need to analyse precisely what we mean
- Vardy cited Swinburne - 2 types of RE:
- Public/ Corporate: see God/s action in public scene/ object eg. night sky OR can be unusual - breaches laws of nature
- Private: can describe in normal language eg. dream OR cannot describe in normal language eg. St Teresa
- Smart: "involving some kind of perception of the invisible world or a perception that some visible person is a manifestation of the invisible world"
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- James - 4 ways:
- Ineffability: directly experienced to be understood eg. St Teresa
- Noetic quality: revelations and illuminations helf to provide knowledge and transcend rational categories
- Transciency: last for short time and modify life eg. Paul/ Saul
- Passivity: beyond control eg. Ian McCormack
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- Otto: refers to "being in the prescence of an awsome power"
- eg. conversion events offer "wholly other" nature of God
- Wesley: "I felt my heart strangely warmed as I felt that I did trust in Christ for salvation"
- Bible - Isaiah: "For I am a man of unclean lips and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips, for my eyes have seen the King"
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- Tyler: recall what happened whilst 'dead'
- eg. Ian McCormack - stung by jellyfish, experienced divine power
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- lead to RE eg. music, dance, meditation and prayer
- Temple: "when I pray, coincidences happen and when I don't, they don't"
- Meditation = prayerful state - seek understanding and union with God to deepen relationship
- H. D. Lewis: "not just a feeling, but a conviction or insight, a sense that something must be"
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1. Experience of x idicates reality of x
2. Experience of God indicates reality of God
3. Possible to experience God
Conclusion. God exists
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- Principle of testimony: unless evidence to contrary should believe people
- Swinburne: "In the absence of special considerations, the experiences of others are (probably) as they report them"
- 3 types of evidence to render testimonies unreliable
- Circumstances unreliable
- Evidence to suggest lying
- Can be explained in terms other than God
- Basic principle of rationality to believe them because so many = Principle of credulity
- Swinburne: "how things seem to be is a good guide to how things are"
- Based on principles and examines concepts of cumulative and inductive arguments
- Cumulative = based on many different arguments
- Tyler: weight of evidence taken into account
- Swinburne: combined RE alongside teleological, cosmological, ontological and moral arguments
- Swinburne: inductively - reasonable to assume God loving and wants personal relationship
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