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Religious experience presents a convincing argument to prove the existence of God. Analyse this claim (12 marks)

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  • Essay length: 1188 words
  • Submitted: 03/06/2005
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AS and A Level Philosophy

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Religious experience presents a convincing argument to prove the existence of God. Analyse this claim (12 marks)

The religious experience is an a posteriori argument with the philosophical proof if based on experience. The actual argument is as follows:

P1 - I have a strange experience

P2 - The explanation for the experience lies beyond me

P3 - All things which are beyond me I attribute to God

C - Therefore God exists

Religious experience can be split into three types; mysticism, conversion and prayer. A mystical experience is the name given to the experience of having apprehended an ultimate reality that is difficult to express using normal vocabulary. Conversion is the changing from one set of beliefs to another. The word prayer includes every kind of inward communion or conversation with the power recognition, thanksgiving and petition.

As the argument is based on a prior believe in God and the thought that he manifests himself occasionally and privately in some people's lives. This argument requires spiritual recognition as it cannot be proven by any form of rational justification.

The principle of credulity, set out by Swinburne, supports this

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