Review Of "The Argument From Religious Experience" From The Existence Of God.

1574 words - 6 pages

Richard Swinburne takes a stand in his introduction with a very strong subject for a good argument. One can assume by reading his starting sentence that he will not only form an argument about religion, but that he is a religious man himself and in being a religious man he will try to explain why he chose to believe in God.In the first part of his argument titled "The Nature of Religious Experience", he starts his argument by asking the philosophical question, "what are the 'religious experiences' whose occurrence are supposed to be evidence for the existence of God?" (Philosophical thinkers 542). He breaks down the answer to simplify it and to make his premise easily understandable. He explains two different types of experiences: one that is caused by an existing thing or person and one that it caused by a nonexistent thing or person; the one cause by a nonexistent thing or person it called an external description and the other one it's called an internal description. He simplifies the premises to ease the thought process of the reader by getting the reader to think about religious experiences. In addition, if one compares the words he uses in this argument to other philosophical writings; one can immediately notice how easy it is to read Swinburne writings.After the first paragraph of part one in his argument, he still doesn't take a stand. I know he is educating the reader, but I have no idea what his argument is. He continues to explain private perception and why some individuals, many times religious, sometimes have religious experiences and others don't. He appears to be rational in his thinking up to this point. In explaining private perception he goes on to make his second point and talks about the relation between experiences and how one often perceives one thing in perceiving something else. Explaining how two persons can perceive the same visual moments but have different experiences. In other words, how two different witnesses that witness the same thing can tell different stories.The second part of his argument is called, "Five Kinds of Religious Experience" It appears that the paragraph is going to be about different kinds of religious experiences. He asks the reader to consider what he had covered in the earlier part of the argument and begins to discuss different types of experiences that can be possible in accordance with religious revelations and their relation to what we should believe. In his writing he covers as far as six senses and religion. At this point he starts to take his stand in the argument reinforcing some questions about God's existence. His religious beliefs become more obvious in his writing; one gets the impression that he truly believes in religious revelations and that he will try to convince the reader by giving him/her a logical explanation of why. He goes as far as to write the statement, "There is no doubt at all that very many men down the centuries have had religious experiences of one or more of the...

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