The Argument from experience

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  • Created on: 30-05-12 09:27

The Argument from experience


Can God be experienced at first hand?

·         Notion of God is to be rejected (There is no God, hence no experience of Him)

o    Are there good reasons to do this? Divine characteristics incompatibility? Surely, there must at least be a possibility – we cannot prove the non-existence of God.

·         Our experience was wrong (mistake identity, mis-interpretation, hallucination)

o    Possibility we could be wrong does not mean we were wrong

o    Hallucination requires the possibility of it being a true experience, how could have a hallucination/illusion of X without X being a possibility?

·         The people who experience God are usually under psychological/social pressures

o    But if people who experience God are often mad…that is not always.

·         We have no tests for verifying experience as being experience of God

o    But the existence of tests is independent of the truth of the claim

·         Some people report experience of absence of God, no uniformity on this experience

o    This does not demonstrate there is no God

o    Surely this means that religious experience does not demonstrate God?


What is experience of God?

·         Sense experience

o    Sense experience of a non-physical, non-locatable (etc.)


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