The Argument From Religious Experience Many Individuals And Groups Have

3305 words - 13 pages

The Argument from Religious Experience Many individuals and groups have claimed many different types of religious experience some people have accepted their reports but many others have been sceptical. We have, therefore, to consider whether religious experiences can provide a fountain for faith or the basis for an argument for the existence of God.It is all too easy to talk of religious experience in general, but there are many different types. Richard Swinburne (in The Existence of God) provides a helpful analysis. He defines five different types of religious experiences two are public, in that they can be seen by anyone who is present, whilst three are individual and private.[pv p99] Public experiences 1.An individual sees God or God?s action in a public object or scene. However, the purported religious experience can readily be explained on other grounds.For instance, the believer might look at the night sky and see the hand of God, whilst the non-believer might just see a beautiful sunset. In this case a great deal depends on personal interpretation.2.Very unusual public events occur, involving a breach of natural law.Examples might include someone walking on water or a person appearing in a locked room or water turning into wine. There is less emphasis on personal interpretation here, although the sceptic can still maintain that whilst something inexplicable may have occurred, there is no need to attribute this to God. A hundred years ago a video camera might have been considered miraculous, whereas today it is simply an example of modern technology.Private experiences By their very nature, these are less easily verified than public experiences: 3.Experiences which an individual can describe using normal language. Examples might include Jacob?s vision of a ladder going up to heaven or the appearance of the Angel Gabriel to Mary.[pv p100] 4.Experiences which cannot be described in normal language but which are nevertheless very real to those experiencing them. Mystical experiences are the most obvious examples of this category. The mystic may be the first to admit that normal language is not adequate to express what has happened.In this case, there is no specific experience, but the individual feels that God is acting in his or her life. Looking back on past events, the individual may say, "God?s hand guided me" although if pressed he or she would admit that there is no specific evidence for this.[rg NEED TO EXPAND THIS] Swinburne?s analysis suffers from the defect of making religious experiences appear very similar to ordinary experiences. He has little feeling for what Rudolf Otto [rg need to expand this and to include Ninian Smart] described as "the numinous" or "an apprehension of the wholly other"[rg need to explain this in terms of Kant and "categories of understanding" Strawson and the "Bounds of sense", Karl Rahner in terms of "Holy mystery"] Nevertheless, the analysis is helpful in that it forces us to be clearer about which sort of...

Find Another Essay On The Argument from Religious Experience Many individuals and groups have

Religious Experience and the Existence of God

1368 words - 5 pages Religious experience presents a convincing argument for the existence of God analyse this claim (12) S.T.Davies describes a Religious experience as a non-empirical, (all in the mind/ personal rather than analysable by science) experience. He said these experiences were often spontaneous, (believers need no preparation to have these experiences) and unique, (completely individual to the believer having the experience). Many experiences were never

The American Religious Experience Essay

1209 words - 5 pages In America today we all have choices to make in regards to our religious beliefs. Many young children are brought up today confused about religion and the significance it plays in their lives. There are many sanctions and rules now on what can and can't be thought or displayed to people on public property, but it wasn't always like this. In this paper I will be discussing the American religious experience in regards to the impact religion has in

Motivating Individuals and Groups in Organizations

1319 words - 5 pages Over the past seven weeks I have learned a number of things about Organizational Behavior. The topic I found most interesting and valuable was motivating individuals and groups in organizations. Throughout the information in this paper it is important to remember that a manager must first motivate himself or herself in order to effectively motivate others and it is critical that managers know what they want from their employees. Enthusiasm is

"Have" and "Have Not's", The Development of Social Groups.

1112 words - 4 pages "have-nots" yet all portray one thing, a person can only fit into one category.Since the 1950's literature has changed, as well as ideas and feelings toward the future, the have/have not groups are no exception. Today "have" groups are classified as having political power. This group is made up of the rich, and the upper middle class. The group is where the politicians, the lawyers, the doctors, and the very well educated come from. The "have-not

Human Resource Management : How Groups Behave Differently From Individuals

3684 words - 15 pages formation of formal groups, was the fundamental reason for the increase in work habits and hence the rise in sales. In this example we can see a clear indication that when a group is formed it can behave very differentially than it's separate individuals. In many cases a student's own individual traits; ability, personality, values and ethics and culture, the elements which would normally govern their work behaviour have been cancelled out by the

How Important is Racism in the Educational Experience of Pupils in Britain from Minority Ethnic Groups?

1219 words - 5 pages How Important is Racism in the Educational Experience of Pupils in Britain from Minority Ethnic Groups What is racism? The Cambridge International dictionary of English describes it as "the belief that people's qualities are influenced by their race and that the members of other races are not as good as the members of your own, which results in the other races being treated unfairly" From the reader (block 5 unit

How the religious right and special interest groups are eroding American democracy.

2261 words - 9 pages with certain stereotypes. These stereotypes, such as the seemingly-rabid opposition to issues such as abortion rights, stem from its strong association with fundamental religious (Christian) groups. The Founding Fathers of the US Constitution set out to explicitly separate the church and the state, as exemplified by the free-exercise clause of the First Amendment. But the relationship between church and state is hardly non-secular. The phrase

The Argument From Design

1035 words - 4 pages no means accidental. Everything exists for a reason and was created by a higher intelligence, a supreme designer, one of great power "“ God.However, this argument is by no means full proof. There are many ambiguities in this Argument from Design. One such ambiguity is that the world is not truly perfect or harmonious at all. Why do people suffer? Why isn't everyone equal in terms of physical appearance or mental capacity? Any one person could

Religious scepticism about the 'teleological argument'.

1920 words - 8 pages religious belief in the existence of God. As most theistic religions (Christianity, Mohammedanism and Judaism) have the presupposition that a God exists, we have to ask the question: ?Does God exist?? Many different philosophers have responded to this question in various ways. There are various arguments that try to deal with the existence of God a few of these are 1) the ontological argument, 2) the cosmological argument, and 3) the teleological

Religious Life and Its Dependence on Experience

1421 words - 6 pages religion as a sociological phenomenon. Religious experience may therefore be defined as a situation or feeling that affects or has affected you, in some spiritual, emotional way that you may have perceived to be received from a greater, ‘divine’ being or force. Religious experience can take many forms and be triggered by things such as depression, prayer, creative arts, or even sex, however different people

How Have Your Novels Explored The Relationship Between The Individuals And Their Societies?

1997 words - 8 pages . Another example is Nurse Ratched. Their evil is supported and made good by the argument that what they do they do for the good of the society.This idea tends to show that true individuals have a lot of strength and faith in themselves, are very set in what they believe in and refuse to be hypocritical or act in any such way that might shatter their idea of what a person should be. This is the case for Himmelfarb, who knows it is in his best interests

Similar Essays

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

1574 words - 6 pages 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

Examining The Strengths And Weaknesses Of The Argument For The Existence Of God Based On Religious Experience

634 words - 3 pages inference drawn from the first premise, x now equals God. The third premise is that people have reported experiences of God. It then concludes that therefore, God has real existence. To question how reliable the argument is, premise one is a generalisation that verifies itself often enough for us to trust as reliable. However, it isn’t if we adopt Descartes hermeneutic of suspicion which is the idea that the physical world and our experience of it

Analyse The Key Strengths Of The Argument For The Existence Of God Based On Religious Experience. Evaluate The View The Weaknesses Of This Argument Lead To Its Rejection.

1627 words - 7 pages , there is an experience of God, or some kind of Absolute force or being.Swinburne attempts to go from religious experience, to an argument for the existence of God; taking empirical evidence from those who experience 'God', and saying that God therefore exists. Swinburne backs up this statement with two principles, that of credulity and that of testimony. The principle of credulity maintains that in the absence of opposing evidence, a person's

The Analysis Of The Intelligence Of Individuals And Groups

1415 words - 6 pages The Analysis of the Intelligence of Individuals and Groups Much controversy surrounds the subject of intelligence. Intelligence tests were developed in the late nineteenth and early twentieth century to assess the intelligence of individuals and groups. However, criticisms quickly arose regarding tests due to results being used to justify discrimination between different groups and cultures. Theorists argued that the