Religious experience

Deductive argument
Uses logic to arrive to a conclusion e.g. Ontological argument - no experience required
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A priori/analytic argument
deductive argument
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Inductive argument
Sense experience required to verify e.g. teleological argument
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a posteriori/synthetic argument
inductive argument
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Direct awareness argument
Based on intuition
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Define RE
"an encounter with the divine that leaves one without any doubt that a higher spiritual force exists beyond ourselves"
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Four types of RE's
Visions Conversion Numinosity Mystical Experience
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Kant and Aquinas
God is beyond our experience
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Aquinas Maimonides
our ability to merely discuss God is strictly limited
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In life- it's impossible to have direct acquaintance with God- transcendent in nature
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Aquinas #2
we can only become acquainted with the products of God's existence
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General revelation
experiencing the products of God's work existence e.g. TA
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if we believe in God's existence- reasonable to accept he can be experienced
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discussed profound experiences when taking hallucinogen mescaline- drugs responsable for RE
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Principal of credulity and testimony
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Principal of credulity
we should accept what appears to be the case unless we have clear evidence to the contrary-accepting
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Principal of testimony
unless we have positive evidence that they are misremembering/untrustworthy- believe their testimony of RE
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converted by Jesus- went blind for3 days then followed the word of the Lord
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'the divided self and the process of its unification'
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James #2-type of conversions
volitional and self-surrender
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person attempts to make spiritual change e..g. start studying the Bible
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giving oneself up to the Lord-just happens spontaneously
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Teresa of Avila
Famous Christian mystic
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James #3- mystical experience
Ineffability, noetic, transiency and passivity.
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receiving visions
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receiving visions
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hearing voices
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Teresa of Avila #2
'when my soul reached this state where God granted it great mercy, my troubled ceased'
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Toronto Blessing
Corporate experience- gift of tongues, holy laughter, spasms
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speaking in tongues
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James #4
'healthy minded' vs 'sick soul'
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'healthy minded'
Life's optimists, solve life crisis
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'sick soul'
Neurotic, divided self, low self esteem, depressive
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Life goal is unification of a divided self
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find own personal meaning to life to overcome unhappiness
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Zaehner (took psychoactive drugs)
theistic/non theistic mysticism
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theistic mystiism
returns to God as answer
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non theistic mysticism
uniting with self
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psilocybin experiment- felt unity with universe
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spiritual experiences are merely fact of the mind
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'Peak experiences'
relative to culture- feeling of transcending the universe, flooded with feelings of awe- all generated by the mind and interpreted spiritually from person/society
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Teresa of Avila, James and Mackie
RE verifiable via how it has affected experiencer's life
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Peter Sutcliffe
Yorkshire ripper- claimed to have been spoken by God
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unless one can prove otherwise, experiences are generally accurate
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prima facie
until proven otherwise
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Greeley- coherence theory of truth
if an experience fits in with other things we believe to be true, it's more likely to be true
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people that claim God to be cause of RE are mistaken about cause
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Mackie #2
we interpet experiences in the light of 'cultural conditioning' - conflicting claims argument
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Swinburne- proof of God
Experience of X indicates reality of X. Ex. of God- reality of God. Possible to Experience God- God exists
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'key understanding of religions'- 'there's no religion which it doesn't live as the inner most core'
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Cumulative argument
Mitchel- amount of empirical evidence to support RE's strengthens argument
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leaky buckets- '10 leaky buckets is no greater than one'
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Davis- opposes Flew
may be possible to arrange the buckets inside each other so that the holes do not overlap.
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Explain Davis point
while individual arguments regarding religious experience may be flawed, it is possible to take elements from each and to end up with a fairly powerful argument for God’s existence.
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People can be mistaken in what they see e.g. the lock ness monster
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Event is questionable & verifiable- correlates with church teachings/renewed goodness
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'condition of his mind' mystic is neurotic?
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realist challenge- RE- HB-LD- final understanding God
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Lash- challenge
anti-realist challenge- only religious people have RE
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Oppose of Lash
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RE's are illusions created by the mind- projection of subconscious- e.g. seeing suffering of Jesus
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God helmet- RE created by temporal lobe- psychological
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contemporary conversion- criminal to Christian
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James' conclusions
pluralism, pragmatism and empiricism
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RE's are similar snd those having the experiences may experience the same realty
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the truth isn't fixed- what's true down to what has great value for us- effects of RE- truth found in religion
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case studies provide clues as to the reality beyond what we see and hear
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I-You vs I-thou; RE's are analogous to intimate personal relationships
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conversion natural process of finding oneself in adolescence-majority-15-25- psych.
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Conversion- just because RE makes one bah more morally- doesn't make it genuine
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Phenomena vs noumena; we can only experience things in the phenomenal realm- RE thus impossible
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we can't gain knowledge of God from RE- intuitive knowledge isn't genuine knowledge- not empirically verifiable
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Vicious circle challenge
RE's generated from existing faith- supports Lash
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Other cards in this set

Card 2


deductive argument


A priori/analytic argument

Card 3


Sense experience required to verify e.g. teleological argument


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Card 4


inductive argument


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Card 5


Based on intuition


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