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Does Religious Experience offer a convincing argument for God

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Introduction

´╗┐Religious experience offers a convincing argument for the existence of God (i)A religious experience is a non-empirical, supernatural event in which the receiver has an apparent encounter with the divine. Even though it is usually a personal experience, corporate experiences do exist, where groups of people generally experience the same or a similar experience at the same time for example, The Toronto Blessing. These experiences are so potent that for those who experience them at least, they offer convincing evidence for the existence of God. However, even though a religious experience is the usually the ultimate proof for the existence of God for a religious believer, many people still remain sceptical over such claims and believe even though they see the logic in the claims that are made, they will remain sceptical until the possible day they have a religious experience. St. Teresa of Avila reportedly said after her religious experience that ?God establishes himself in the interior of this soul deeply that when I return to myself it is wholly impossible for me to doubt that I have been in God and God in me.? meaning that it is true for the believer, a legitimate experience. This experience convinced St Teresa of Avila that God is exist as after it, she believed she had felt a connection with him and that he really was there, something which she didn?t feel before. Religious experiences can come in various different forms, they may be very different to each other however nonetheless, and they are still classed as a religious experience. ...read more.

Middle

Carl Jung also offers an argument for the existence of God using religious experience. Jung believed that life has a spiritual purpose beyond material goals. He studied many religious such as Christianity and Buddhism and believed that this journey of transformation is at the heart of all religions. He also believed that it is a journey to meet the self and at the same time to meet the Divine. He stated that those who experienced a religious experience ?posses a great treasure, a source of life and beauty that brings meaning to the world? In conclusion, there appears to be a lot of evidence to suggest that religious experience offers a convincing argument for the existence of God. Religious experiences occur in all religions, from past to present, for example visions and apparitions being seen by St. Teresa of Avila in the 1535 and The Hindu Milk miracle which occurred in 1995, meaning that religious experience has reportedly occurred many times, in many different shapes. The fact that religious experience allows the receiver to gain knowledge, as James suggests also is a strength that the religious experience offers a convincing argument for the existence of God as many people may believe that only God has the power to offer such insight to people?s lives.. Also, the fact that religious experiences may be corporate may suggest that the validity of such claims increases, as many people may more than likely believe reports if more people claim the same thing like with the Toronto Blessing, where many ...read more.

Conclusion

His psychological explanations come into major conflict with the strengths of the argument that religious experience offers a convincing argument for the existence of God. He also suggested the idea of a repressed sexuality and seeking a father figure relating to religious experience, saying that it is all psychologically related and are not actual encounters with the divine. Finally, even though religious experiences may prove to be good for the receiver, changing their life forever, it doesn?t necessarily prove that God exists. Even though there are strengths which are mentioned above and the fact that it has apparently happened to atheists, there are also weaknesses that sceptics and others will always useagainst the statement that religious experience offers a convincing argument for the existence of God. Many people may argue against the idea of corporate experiences too. Even though the validity of a claim may be increased by the number of people who said it happened, sceptics may argue that the crowd effect could be in place ? people may get carried away with one another causing them all to apparently experience the same thing, however in reality it is actually their influences making them see what apparently everyone else is seeing, supported by Lash?s quote ?...in action and in discourse, we learn to see God?. It also depends on interpretation, people view different actions and events in different ways. Whilst a religious believer may learn to see God in everything that happens, a non-religious believer may dismiss this ?religious experiences? as just an experience in general. ...read more.

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