• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Analyse the key concepts of Religious experience as an argument for the existence of God.

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Analyse the key concepts of Religious experience as an argument for the existence of God. Firstly the argument is of an 'a posterioi' nature, therefore it is inductive. This means the argument uses data and evidence from which conclusions are drawn. The argument of experience must involve a sense of encounter, the experience of the encounter therefore has been seen, felt and sensed and therefore making the experience exist to us (Hume). These experiences seem to be widespread throughout society and therefore can be claimed to be a normal occurrence. David Hay in his book "The Spiritual Experience of the British" in 1979 his findings are counter-intuitive, his findings show that roughly 50% of the sample reported having had a religious experience of some form. It also showed that more woman had had an experience than men, better educated people had more religious experiences than lesser educated. There are a range of different types of religious experiences, for instance, there are subjective experiences (the meaning and value of the experience is personal), ...read more.

Middle

We could argue that some people are justified in interpreting their experiences religiously whilst others are justified in presenting alternative explanations for the same phenomenon. Another problem is that we know our senses can be deceived, for example Optical Illusions, this implies that perhaps religious experiences are just illusions. There are 2 possible outcomes, one is that the interpretation is of Reality "I think therefore I am" (Descartes) or it is of an opposite nature "When a man tells me God has spoken to him in a dream.....it is no more than to say he dreamed God spoke to him". Richard Swinburne's principle of Credulity and Testimony, help to support peoples' interpretations of experiences by stating that people who make such claims have a right to be taken seriously. If a recipient of such an experience is normally a person who is sincere and trustworthy, the likelihood is that their testimony has strong credibility. ...read more.

Conclusion

The numinous is the mysterious presence of the holy, which is perceived as being both attractive and repellent, both fascinating and awe-inspiring. Ninain Smart describes the Numinous differently, as an everyday devotional experience of believers during prayer, worship or the reading of the bible, but this is open to doubt as it is considered that the experience is of sufficient intensity. William James 1842-910, points out that Religious experience must involve a sense of high order and that Religious experiences have 4 main concepts which are, 1) The experience leaves the person with an awareness of something beyond the trivial material world, 2) Elation, the person is left feeling 'high', 3) Experience leaves the person with the feeling of having come into contact with a benevolent and high order and 4) Experiences have an impact on life and result in change, e.g. a move towards a more spiritual, charitable and morally-aware life style. Shaun Lock Religious Studies Analyse the key concepts of Religious experience as an argument for the existence of God. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Existence of God section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related GCSE Existence of God essays

  1. Outline the key features of the Cosmological Argument for the existence of God

    The ideas is also supported by science and the big bang theory; the big bang theory states that at one time there was nothing and then the big bang caused the world to come into existence, so this clearly points towards a finite world as science states there was a beginning.

  2. How far does Swinburne's argument for the existence of God based on religious experience ...

    However Swinburne responds to this objection by arguing that this negative principle of credulity is false. Swinburne carefully states his positive principle of credulity states if it seems to a subject that x is present, then probably x is present therefore it does not apply to experiences of absences.So if

  1. "A religious experince is a sponatnious or induced,mental event over which the recepient has ...

    The final type is spiritual marriage, often described as the ultimate state of contemplation prayer involving a condition of 'complete wedding bliss' with God. St Teresa of Avila, experienced this state of prayer and described the feeling as "....a sweetness impossible to describe for which reason it is better to

  2. Logical Positivism and the Meaninglessness of Religious Language.

    * Imperative statements: purely grammatically, a command is not a factual statement that can be verified empirically (e.g. 'open your books at page 13'). * Historical statements: 'Christopher Columbus arrived in the Americas in 1492' is a meaningful statement and yet strictly cannot be directly verified.

  1. Religion and society - The Cosmology argument.

    The word Science means fact, not belief. Scientific cosmology is scientific theories as to how the world was created. Scientists put forward a theory called the 'Big bang theory'. This was a theory, stating that the world was formed millions of years ago by a big bang, the matter of the universe became so compressed that it produced a huge explosion.

  2. Explain the Ontological argument.

    compels people to act in a certain way, regardless of the consequences. Kant argued that there are certain, rationally discoverable laws called the categorical imperative. Kant moved on to wonder if any conclusion could be drawn about whether morality is a matter of applying rational thought to discover categorical imperatives.

  1. Shared Traits of the Christian, Islamic and Jewish Interpretations of Their Common God, and ...

    In reading the above breakdown of what constitutes God, three easily testable statements about him are that he is perfect; that he created the Universe and that he is all-powerful. Perfection It is said that God is perfect. If this is the case, he cannot have flaws.

  2. Individual religious experience means individual religious fantasy; corporate religious experience means corporate religious fantasy; ...

    But the sighted of this race would be able to tell their friends about the things which the blind could verify themselves. This would not prove that the unintelligible statements about colour are true, but it would show that sighted people had a source of additional information that the blind people do not have.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work