The existence of God Based on Religious Experience Essay

2414 WordsNov 15, 201310 Pages
1. Examine the strengths and weaknesses of the argument for the existence of God based on religious experience. (18) 2. ‘The argument merely indicates the probability of God and this is of little value to a religious believer.’ Discuss. (12) In contrast to the classical arguments for the existence of God, namely the ontological, cosmological and teleological arguments, the argument from religious experience doesn’t just entail a set logical of points arriving at a conclusion on a piece of paper, rather it also necessitates sense-based experience, tangible to the individual who experiences the divine. First and foremost, we must classify the argument from religious experience. In general, philosophical arguments usually take one…show more content…
James lists four qualifiers of mystical experiences: ineffability (a state that defies description), noetic quality (revelations of universal and eternal truths), transiency (a brief but profoundly important experience) and passivity (a feeling of being taken over by a superior authority). The father of liberal theology, Schleiermacher, made “passivity” the most important qualifier. He took the concept a step further and proposed that the “essence of religion is the feeling of absolute dependence” and this approach was supported by scholars such as Rudolf Otto, who defined religious experience as “wholly other”. For Schleiermacher, in particular, and, additionally, the Islamic mystic Al-Ghazali, true religion was completely experiential and it should therefore be felt rather than thought. He believed that logic destroys religious experience because religious experience is a matter of intuitive knowledge, not processed knowledge. Intuition is belief, where as logic creates doubts. In many spiritual systems (religious or independent of religion) the human instinct is held in high regard. It was for this reason that Iqbal, the late Islamic philosopher of the modern era, disagreed with Al-Ghazali. Religious experience is a very important concept for those who believe that way to know God is to experience Him. There is a spiritual, mystical dimension to all the world religions – in fact, the Eastern religions rely

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