The Existence Of God Essay

2245 words - 9 pages

The Existence of God

What we call religious experience can differ greatly. Some reports
exist of supernatural happenings that it would be difficult to explain
from a rational, scientific point of view. On the other hand, there
also exist the sorts of testimonies that simply seem to convey a
feeling or a peace of oneness- something which most of us, religious
or not, may possibly relate to.

Firstly, I will consider the nature of an experience. Experience
involves encounters which are empirical (testable via senses). We draw
non- empirical conclusions about many things and people- that they
have orange hair and are 5 feet tall, that they are lonely and
confused. These conclusions are mainly although not entirely based on
empirical evidence. If most our encounters with other people and
objects are empirical it is therefore reasonable to suggest that we
can experience God and draw conclusions about there nature from this
experience. If we can find meaning in things that cannot be verified
by empirical evidence then it may well be possible to experience God
and use these experiences to prove gods nature and existence.

Experiences of god are not regular and universal like ordinary
experiences. Religious experiences often accompanies existing belief
i.e. takes place with those who are already believers. God is believed
first via faith which means that by having a basic framework it'll
make you accept religious experiences. It is possible to conclude that
it is a learned belief.

Could one go as to suggest that religious experiences are proof for
the existence of God? For a religious believer the involvement of God
in human affairs is to be expected. The argument for the existence of
God based on religious experience is based upon the idea that God
manifests Himself occasionally and privately in some people's lives.
This is known through testimonies of the recipients of these
experiences.

In categorising religious experiences is helpful to look at them as
explicable through one of two theories: the objectivist thesis or the
subjectivist thesis.

The objectivist view supposes that there is some object or actual
entity- such as god- which exists independently of the experience,
interaction which causes the experience itself. God is described as
numinous. This is a term often used to describe the experience in
which God's separateness is highlighted. This was put forward by
Rudolf Otto in his book The Idea of the Holy. Otto religion sprang
from experience of the holly. Because the word numinous has many
associations he used numen, something which is wholly other than the
natural world

An objectivist would argue that the religious experience is a proof of
God's existence. However, others have criticised the reliability of
religious experiences. The English...

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