‘Religious Experience Can Be Used as Evidence for the Existence of God’

Topics: God, Philosophy of religion, Religion Pages: 4 (1549 words) Published: February 13, 2013
‘Religious experience can be used as evidence for the existence of God’

A religious experience is an encounter with God when you experience transcendent reality and it you cannot will it to happen. A direct religious experience refers to events where God reveals him/herself directly to the person having the experience. The experience is not chose or willed by the person; the person experiences or observes God in some way. An indirect religious experience refers to experiences, thoughts or feelings about God that are prompted by events in everyday life. For example observing the stars in the sky and having thoughts about the greatness of God the Creator. Ineffable experiences are beyond human powers and abilities to fully describe and communicate. Religious experiences can be experienced in many forms such as visions, voices, numinous experiences, conversion experiences, or corporate religious experiences.

The inductive argument is all based upon experience. Inductive arguments suggest that if an entity is experienced, it means that it must exist. It implies that God is the sort of being that is possible to be experienced and that people can claim to have experienced God directly. One may conclude from this that God exists.

Richard Swinburne suggested that there are two different types of religious experience: Public and Private. An ordinary experience comes under public and is an experience where a person interprets a natural event as having a religious significance (for example the beauty of nature). An extraordinary experience appears to violate normal understanding of the workings of nature (e.g. Jesus turning water into wine). There are three types of private experiences which includes experiences such as dreams, non describable experiences where God is revealed. These experiences go beyond human powers of description. The last type includes things like looking at the world from a religious perspective. Swinburne’s principle of credulity maintains...
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