The Argument from Religious Experience

Religious Experience
A non empirical event, which may be descibed as super natural
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External to the mind
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Within the mind
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Religious visions occur when an individual sees/hears something supernatural - ie an imaginary image that strengthens their faith
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The feeling of a powerful presence during a religious experience
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A vision can result in a life changing result - ie converting to religious faith
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A direct & intimate experience with God, as a part of a different reality
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Something out of the natural world
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5 Principles of a Religious Experience || 2 Public || 3 Private
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1 - public - numinous
Seeing a non religious event - ie a sunset and feeling a sense of overwhelming power
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2 - public - breeching natural law
unusual event which breeches natural law - ie walking on water
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3 - private - strange yet describable
A describable event - ie vision of virgin mary
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4 - private - mystic
indescribable event - ie mystical
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5 - private - completly undescribable
non specific feeling of God
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Julian Of Norwich
**vision** Saw vivid visions of God - vision experience - proves God's existence, first hand evidence - doesn't prove God's existence could have been side affects of medication
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Conversion Of St. Paul
**conversion** Travelling to Damascus, was blinded by light "Saul, Saul why do you persecute me?" - Numinous felt overwhelming presence - Conversion, changed to St Paul - Proves God's existence for those with faith
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Maria Domenica Lazzeri
Was seriously ill & was bed ridden || mother noticed that she was getting stigmata in the shape of Jesus' crucification each Thurs & Fri || Proves God's existence as he caused it |
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Maria Domenica Lazzeri Cont.
Does not prove God's existence could have been a psychological problem || Does prove God's existence, he caused the scars
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St. Bernadette
**vision** Saw the Virgin Mary 18, was told to go a river and only found dirt - so she dug and found the LOURDES BUREAU where 67 cures have been found there
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St. Bernadette Cont.
Does proves God's existence, he sent her to find the spring || Does not prove God's existence coincidence, may have been an illusion
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**mystical**Islamic** An individual seeks for God - whirling dervishes - "little sleep, little talk, little food" They feel united and at one with God
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Surfism Cont.
Does not prove God's existence could just be side affects || Proves God's existence, you feel an overwhelming sense of the divine ie God.
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Cat Stevens
**mystic** Whilst in Morocco he heard the Islamic call of prayer || Went swimming & was swept away, made a promise if he survived he'd devote himself to God
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Cat Stevens Cont.
Doesn't prove God's existence sea is unpredictable || Does prove God's existence, he wanted Stevens to convert
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**vision**Whilst meditating in the mountains an angel visited him and recited the words of God. Leading to the creation of the Ka'ran
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Muhammad Cont.
Proves God's existence was a holy message || Doesn't prove God's existence was a personal encounter, could have been made up
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Toronto Blessing
**mystic**group experience** People started laughing and were unable to control themselves
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Toronto Blessing Cont.
Does not proves God's existence could have been toxic exposure || Proves God's existence, was caused by the holy spirit
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Types of Mystical Experiences
Soul Mysticism || Nature Mysticism || God Mysticism
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Soul Mysticism
Idea of finding the soul
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Nature Mysticism
The idea that God can be at one with objects of nature
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God Mysticism
Souls of humans are destined to return with their immortal and infinate grouds ie God
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William James
Defined different parts of mystic experiences
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Temporary experience
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Experience can not be described
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The individual feels they have learnt something
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The experience is uncontrollable
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William James on existence in God
James believes that religious expereinces do not offer any logical explanation for the existence of God || Relious expereinces are individual and follow an abductive argument - Most likely answer is God, but not necessarily
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Richard Swinburne on existence in God
Religious Experiences can not prove God's existence, but it is most likely that he is the answer || Priniciple of Credulity
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Principle of Credulity
R. Swinburne, If God is present for an individual, God probably is
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Caroline Frank Davis
Challenged Swinburne's Principle of Credulity || An experience may not be God it could have been caused by: Drugs/Alcohol, the person may not have ability to fully explain: A child
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Swinburne in responce to Davis
Principle of Testimony
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Principle Of Testimony
We should accept someones experience if: You have heard reports of the experience, and have no reason to doubt the individual || Meaning God exists
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A.J Ayer **Objection**
Verification Principle || A proposition has meaning if it can be fully verified || Strong Verifcation - No doubt in the statement, can verify by using own experience || Weak Verifcation-Statement could be verified OR someone else can verify it
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Freud **Objection**
We just see illusions, we are physical beings and can not see into the metaphysical
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Michael Persinger
Religious Experiences are just our body responding to external stimuli, created the 'god helmet' to stimulate a religious experience
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Followed M. Persinger || Research into temporal lobe epilepsy - and discovered characters from events like St. Paul may of had epilepsy & the temporal lobe was God's way to communicate
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Other cards in this set

Card 2


External to the mind



Card 3


Within the mind


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Card 4


Religious visions occur when an individual sees/hears something supernatural - ie an imaginary image that strengthens their faith


Preview of the back of card 4

Card 5


The feeling of a powerful presence during a religious experience


Preview of the back of card 5
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