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Assess the claim that religious experiences prove that God exists.

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Introduction

Assess the claim that religious experiences prove that God exists. Many philosophers have presented different ideas to the fact of Gods existence in general let alone within religious experiences. It is not only philosophers that have presented these theories. Some such as St Teresa of Avilas theory have come from the church and people who have experienced a religious experience themselves but also believe there could be liars out in the world that try and invent them. However, other philosophers such as Russell and Freud offer other explanations for religious experiences such as psychological and physiological ones. Many philosophical thinkers have come up with theories and writings that can test the level of genuineness of a religious experience. St Teresa of Avila is a prominent example of mystical experiences within Christianity. In her writings, she argues that experiences should be subject to tests to see if they are in fact genuine. ...read more.

Middle

It is the idea that our mental states are very much affected by our physical state. For example, many people underwent periods of fasting to bring them closer to God then they saw visions, this coincides with Russells’ theory of seeing visions when you have eaten too little. Another theory could be that some of our greatest events in history are based on religious experiences, in other religions, Muhammad, the Buddha and the Guru Nanak became founders of their faith after religious experiences. Muhammad was believed to have revelations from Allah, this led him to find Islam and write the Quran in Arabic – repeating word for word what God had said to him. A Christian example would be that Bernadette of Lourdes witnessed the Virgin Marys presence and was believed to be told that she should dig for fresh spring water, Bernadette did this and found such water and it is now still a worldly attraction for humans. ...read more.

Conclusion

This is a theory against religious experiences proving that God exists. In conclusion, many different thinkers have different views on religious experiences some such as Freud and Russell believe that it is psychological or physiological and that people do not have such visions but yet they make them up themselves in their own mind. But then, others believe that religious experiences do exist but yet only some out of all the claims are true and they themselves have come up with tests to see what is real and what is not. This subject is an interesting one but yet a very controversial one. Proving that religious experiences prove the existence of God has always been and will always be complex mainly because of peoples views but also because there is no definite test or assessment to analyse the truth of Gods existence. I didn’t have time for a third paragraph – but don’t worry I do know one is missing! ð ...read more.

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