Argument from Religious Experience

Topics: God, Argument from religious experience, Religion Pages: 4 (1304 words) Published: February 20, 2009
The Argument from Religious Experience The argument from religious experience is the argument that personal religious experiences can prove God’s existence to those that have them. One can only perceive that which exists, and so God must exist because there are those that have experienced him. While religious experiences themselves can only constitute direct evidence of God’s existence for those fortunate enough to have them, the fact that there are many people who testify to having had such experiences constitutes indirect evidence of God’s existence even to those who have not had such experiences themselves. The Argument from Miracles When and where do religious experiences occur? Religious experiences can happen to anyone, anywhere and at any time. Although religious experiences are somewhat unique, it is not uncommon for them to occur in some very ordinary places. In the Bible there are many examples of people doing some very ordinary things, yet suddenly becoming aware of being in the presence of God. For example: Moses was out tending to his father-in-law's sheep, when he suddenly saw a burning bush from which God spoke to him (Exodus 3:1-4). There are also examples of people having religious experiences in the midst of ordinary satiations in other religious traditions. Muhammad (PBUH) was said to be in a cave on Jabal al-Nour, when he received his first revelation from Allah (Qur'an 96). Arjuna was in a chariot on a battlefield, when Krishna revealed his divinity to him (see The Bhagavad-Gita: An introduction). Guru Nanak, the founder of Sikhism, was bathing in a river when he was taken into the presence of God, and shown that there was one divine reality behind the cosmos (Guru Granth Sahib p.1). Some issues Although atheists deny the existence of God, religious experiences may offer proof that God does exist. People have done some rather inexplicable things because they believe God told them to, even...
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