Argument for the Existence of God from Religious Experience

archiebw's version from 2016-06-14 21:39


Question Answer
Why might some people find religious experiences the most appealing argument for God's existence? Because, nowadays, most rely on experience as proof.
What might bring about a religious experience?Intensive training, or seemingly nothing.
Whence has the idea that one can literally, in human form, experience God come?The development of Christianity over the last hundred years.
Which sect of Islam does the idea of 'union with God' resemble?Sufism or Islamic Mysticism.


Question Answer
What was the profession and nationality of William James?Doctor and American respectively,
What is the name of the work in which he discusses religious experiences, and when was it published?'Varieties of Religious Experience' and 1902.
What would William James call a judgement of how something came to be, what it does or what it is made up of'?An 'existential judgement'.
What would William James call a judgement of something's meaning or significance?A 'value judgement'.
What did William James say 'value judgements' could be?Spiritual judgements.
What is the quotation William James uses that references “complete minds“ and who is its author?“What right have we to believe Nature […] under any obligation to do her work by complete minds only? She may find an incomplete mind a more suitable instrument for a particular purpose,” and Dr. H.M. Maudsley.
By what is William James compelled in accounts of religious experiences?The teller's certainty.
What is a quotation that William James uses which encapsulates the certainty that people often have in their religious experiences?“God surrounds me like the physical atmosphere. He is closer to me than my own breath.”
According to William James, what, “as a rule“, are religious experiences?“Much more convincing than results established by mere logic ever are.”
What is a good point against the validity of religious experiences that yours truly has made up?One could say there is more evidence for nihilism, since depersonalisation and derealisation are experienced by the majority of people in their lifetime.
What does William James say in response to people who argue religious experiences can be confused with the effects of drug-taking?“Alcohol [has the] power to stimulate the mystical faculties of human nature.“


Question Answer
Whose journal entry does William James cite as evidence of an intelligent man having an imperfect constitution, and what does it contain?George Fox, and him engaging in conversation with steeple-house spires and following God's alleged personal commandments to take off his shoes in winter and shout through the streets of Lichfield.
What two things did William James say religious experiences produced?A new enthusiasm for life, leading to profound changes, and a sense of peace, security and love for others.
What three beliefs did James conclude religious life centered upon?That the observable world is part of something bigger and more important, that union with that 'something' is the ultimate purpose, and that communication with the higher thing produces real effects.


Question Answer
Explain William James's crab metaphorCrustacean.
What, to William James, is the assumption of medical materialism AND what example does he use to convey the absurdity of it?That “spiritual value is undone if lowly origin be asserted“ and the assertion that “William's melancholy about the universe is due to bad digestion — probably his liver is torpid.“
What is James' argument against religion as inherently sexual?The fact that the religious age 'par excellence' seems to be old age.
Where did St. Paul have his vision?On the road to Damascus.
What is a really good point by William James against using medical materialism to debunk religious beliefs?Our beliefs “are equally organically founded, be they religious or of non-religious content.“
What is a crucial distinction between religious experiences and other experiences to do with laughter?Religious experiences have to be solemn.
What is an example of a religious experience mentioned in 'The Varieties of Religious Experience'?The one involving the Swiss man on a hill.


Question Answer
Which three people is it handy to mention who would doubt religious experiences?Sigmund Freud and Karl Marx, who was influenced by Ludwig Feuerbach.
In which book does Richard Swinburne argue for the existence of God based on religious experiences, and in which year was it published?'The Existence of God' and 1991.
What is Richard Swinburne's conclusion to his book? (QUOTE)‘On our total evidence, theism is more probable than not.’
What kind of approach does Swinburne favour?A cumulative approach.
What is Swinburne's definition of a religious experience?"An experience which seems […] to the subject to be an experience of God or of some other supernatural being."
What have some people experienced relevant to the second clause of Swinburne's definition?An angel, messenger, or the Virgin Mary.
What is the first principle Swinburne's argument involves, and what does this dictate?The Principle of Credulity and "If it seems that X is present, then probably X is present; what one seems to perceive probably is so."
With which logical fallacy is Swinburne's argument at odds, and why?The burden of proof, because it says 'this is my experience, you must believe me unless you can prove otherwise.'
Who summarised Swinburne's limitations to his Principle of Credulity?Caroline Frank Davis.
What is the first limitation of Swinburne's Principle of Credulity?That the circumstance typically produces unreliable results, as in drugs, or the recipient is unreliable, as in a pathological liar.
What is the second limitation of Swinburne's Principle of Credulity?The recipient does not have an ability to interpret it, because they are young or have a barrier to general understanding.
What is the third limitation of Swinburne's Principle of Credulity?It’s possible to show what or who the recipient claims was there wasn’t.
What is the fourh limitation of Swinburne's Principle of Credulity?It’s possible to show what or who the recipient claims was there was indeed there but was not involved in the experience.
Which limitations of Swinburne could William rebut, and with what?The first two, and his teleological argument.
Why are the last two limitations difficult? Because we can't just check with God or the supernatural being to see whether they were there or involved.
What is the second principle Swinburne's argument involves, and what does this dictate?The Principle of Testimony, and 'If X is said to be present, then probably X is present; what one says probably is so."


Question Answer
Into what three limitations does Caroline Frank Davis sort the limitations or challenges?Description-related, subject-related and object-related.
Why does Caroline Frank Davis take issue with Swinburne's definition?It excludes the nature-mysticism found in Buddhishm and other 'new-age' movements, which are a sizeable are of increasing testimony.


Question Answer
Why are religious experiences often resistant to objective analysis?They are subjective.
Who said there is no objective way of reaching God?Søren Kierkegaard.
What kind of problems do convictions of seeing God raise?Theological problems.
What are the two things audio-visual occurrences could be, from a skeptical type of view?Psychopathological, or a misjudgment under extreme conditions.
What do some people cite as legitimate religious experiences?Conversions.
What did Freud say conversions were?'Reactions to a hostile world'.
What is Voltaire's atheistic quote that is similar to Freud or Feuerbach's outlook?"If God did not exist it would be necessary for man to invent him."


Question Answer
What does numinous mean?Having a strong religious or spiritual quality.


Question Answer
What is the first theory of what truth is, and what does it ask?The correspondence theory, and whether or not a statement corresponds to the 'real world'.
What is the second theory of what truth is, and what does it ask?The coherence theory, and whether or not a statement is true in a particular system of thought.
What three things might happen if an inconsistency is discovered in a particular system of thought?It is deemed untrue, the system is modified, or the system has to be abandoned.
What is a weakness of the coherence theory given in the book?There could be a large amount of individual sets of cohering statements.
What is a weakness of the coherence theory with which I have come up?Anyone could say 'God did this' and lies could easily slip through.
How might a believer struggle to apply the coherence theory?It would unclear whether to dismiss an inconsistency or change the system accordingly.
What does the coherence theory ask in the context of religious experiences?'Is this like God?'
What is the third theory of what truth is, and what does it ask?The pragmatic theory, and whether the truth is practical.
To John Dewey, with what does an inquiry into the truth start, and what is a sucessful result?A 'problematic situation', and a 'determined and unified' situation, respectively.
What is a disadvantage of all the theories?Religious experiences are akin to emotion.
To Swinburne, what approach is important?The culmutative approach.
What is a criticism of the culmultative approach, and who espoused it?"If one leaky bucket will not hold water, that is no reason to think that ten can" and Antony Flew.
Who rebutted the criticism of the culmulative approach, and what was the argument?Caroline Franks Davis, and one can arrange buckets so the holes do not overlap.


Question Answer
What is a controversial quote from Christopher Hitchens?"The person who is certain, and who claims to find divine warrant for his certainity, belongs now to the infancy of our species."

Recent badges