Religious Experience

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How does William James define Religious Experience?
He focuses on the mystical element, and believes that there are four things that make it a mystical RE- Ineffability- can't be described/explained, Noetic- Gives knowledge, Transiency-it passes and passivity- you let it happen
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How does Otto define religious experience?
"Mysterium tremendum et fascinans"- "a terrifying and compelling mystery"- true numinous experience conveys otherness of God, strikes terror and leaves feelings of wonderment. Numinous- RE that underlines all religion.
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What are Kant's three arguments for God's existence?
1-Cosmological 2-Ontological 3- physio-theological, based on specific experiences of the world, includes teleological and personal experience. Justifies belief in God. It provides direct proof of existence for those involved who need no more.
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What about Buber's theory on the I-Thou relationship?
three types- I/it- you don't know them- I/you- understand them as an individual- I/Thou- Has no bounds, can't be reached with people, with God. different when with spiritual being. Re's deep and valid, can't be discussed as I/you.
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What are Swinburne's five types of religious experience?
Public-1-everyday but interpreted religiously (sunset)-2-Extraordinary event/miracle attributed to God/Private-3-unusual with religious significance, describable(dreams)-4-Unusual,R significance, indescribable-5-private, non-specific-feeling of God
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How might you use Wisdom to criticise the idea of Religious experience?
Parable of the Gardener- the theist will always justify their belief.
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Why might you argue that selectivity negates religious belief?
Religious believers often accept some religious experiences over others- the Yorkshire Ripper claimed he was informed by God, and they refute this. But A four year old seeing the Virgin Mary is okay.
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How might we use Marx here?
He claims that religion is a form of oppression, and that religious experiences are a result of this. They make you more submissive.
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What Is JL Mackie's idea on this topic?
There is no demonstrative argument that can show objective truth in RE. Doesn't say that God doesn't exist.
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What would Freud (sigh) say?
RE's are illusions based on childhood experiences, based on strongest wishes of mankind. You also want to **** your parents.
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What does Flew believe about RE's?
The nature of RE's seems to depend on the interests or path of the person rather than anything outside of them. Just observing...
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What is the argument from altered states?
Christians Fast, Shamans do drugs, Sufi whirlers get dizzy- Russell Quote.
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What is Persinger's helmet?
When you put the helmet on it stimulates the brain, generates weak magnetic fields. The subjects had RE's while wearing it.
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Why does Aquinas believe we can never know God?
When we first meet someone we have a way of recognising them. To experience someone we first must recognise them, to recognise them, we must know them. We can never fully understand God, and so we cannot experience him.
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How can we take Ramachandran and temporal lobe epilepsy into account?
Temporal lobe epilepsy- heightened sensitivity in left frontal lobe floods senses. You have intense spiritual feelings during seizures. It is a natural explanation for some Numinous and mystical experiences.
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And how does Ayer feel about RE's?
God in nature-"Awe of natural processed they can't understand. Knowledge/truths-No language about him is literally significant. Knowing God- Transcendent, unintelligible. Intuition- if you can't express the knowledge gained, you didn't learn anything
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How can we apply Swinburne's Principle of credulity?
We should take someone at their word unless we have specific reason not to.
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How does Brian Davies respond to the Altered States argument?
Perhaps we can't experience god unless we lower our resistance to him, unless we reach a special mental state.
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How might we use Hick here?
Eschatological verification- We can verify religious experiences when we die.
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What is the view of Caroline Franks Davies and why is it stupid?
She says that there's equal argument for an against, and that Religious experience tips the scale. But you could just as well use innocent suffering to tip the scale. She also says that RE's correlate with our context so we understand. That sucks.
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What is Donovan's take on Religious Experience?
Religious experience is often the grounding for belief, we should talk about and analyse it. He doesn't believe in religious knowledge though.
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What did David Hay's survey reveal?
30-40% of the UK population felt a presence of power beyond themselves, Hadn't spoken out for fear of ridicule. Reputable researchers.
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What are Alston's views on religious language?
Religious language is objective in language games. The language game and the form of life involved has proved viable. No assertion made within the game contradicts other Language Games. Religious experiences come together as a group like sense E's
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What is Alston's view on credulity?
If X considers that they're having a religious experience, then X is the best judge. People aren't infallible but should be taken seriously. The only reason for rejecting truth claims is that people are too sceptical.
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What is Alston's idea of the perceptual model?
The perceptual model is a very simple form of perceptual awareness in which anything presents itself to us. Relies on the theory of appearing.
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What is Alston's theory of appearing?
To see X, it must appear in a certain way- three conditions- must exist, make important causal contribution to experience, must give rise to beliefs about it. For perceptual experience to be legit, God must exist.
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What is Alston's theory of religious duality in experience?
When experiencing God, theists use prior frameworks, atheists with normal experience make comparisons. God is experienced as you expect to experience God.
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Name Three religious experiences.
Lewis Carol being struck with a sense of God. Toronto Blessing. Saul on Damascus road.
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Card 2

Front

How does Otto define religious experience?

Back

"Mysterium tremendum et fascinans"- "a terrifying and compelling mystery"- true numinous experience conveys otherness of God, strikes terror and leaves feelings of wonderment. Numinous- RE that underlines all religion.

Card 3

Front

What are Kant's three arguments for God's existence?

Back

Preview of the front of card 3

Card 4

Front

What about Buber's theory on the I-Thou relationship?

Back

Preview of the front of card 4

Card 5

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What are Swinburne's five types of religious experience?

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