Analyse the Argument of the Existence of God from Religious Experience

1171 WordsSep 5, 20105 Pages
i) Analyse the Argument for the Existence of God from Religious Experience (18) The argument for the existence of God from Religious Experience is a simple one, with only two premises. The first being that some people have, or have had a religious experience, the second premise is that these are only explicable though God, thus leading to the conclusion that God exists. This leads us to question, what exactly are religious experiences? Theologians have struggled for centuries trying to define what a religious experience is, with many believing a religious experience to be a sort of revelation, meaning that God reveals some part of hi nature to the experient. St Thomas Aquinas believed that to be his 'Revealed Theology', where truths…show more content…
Swinburne's third type is a strong feeling, a conviction that they were experiencing, even though there is no phenomena surrounding the experience. The penultimate type is witnessing a perfectly normal experience, such as the Grand Canyon, which creates a numinous experience. The final type of experience is in perceiving a very unusual public object, like a miracle, for instance, the resurrection. To help identify a religious experience, William James put forward four characteristics of a typical experience. The first being passivity: how in control the experient is; as whilst you undergo a religious experience, you take on an 'alternative personality' outside of your own, surrendering your own control to God. The second quality is ineffability, where the experient can't quite put the occurrence into words. Another characteristic of a religious experience is the Noetic Quality of said experience. This quality is the knowledge that is gained in a religious experience, knowledge that cannot be gained in a conventional manner, and tells you something that you otherwise wouldn't know. The final quality is transciency, where the time the experience takes doesn't dictate the significance of the experience, as time is altered or distorted in some way, just as in a dream – the dream may seem really long, whereas in reality it's only been a few minutes
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