Swinburne does, himself, suggest examples of when we should doubt our experiences, for example when we experience something that we do not already believe, or if we have been consuming hallucinogens. This compares to Mackie’s challenge that those who accept the psychological origin of experiences while still accepting their authenticity are themselves “insufficiently critical”. James argues that the psyche is the origin of religious experiences as Schleiermacher argues that we all have the capacity for the divine, but he means this in the sense that we are all capable of receiving them, as our eyes receive images of the real world but are not the origins of those visions. Therefore, Freud’s challenge that Teresa of Avila’s ecstasy was sexual and psychological need not be seen as the only reading, as her experience, while perhaps linked to sexual iconography and psychology does not mean that her religious sexual repression was the cause of it, but rather an effect.
In this last quotation, James tackles a philosophical problem from apsychological perspective. Although he refrains from answeringthe question of whether these “responses” are in fact deep organs ofcommunication with the nature of things—reporting only that theyseem to us to be so—in his later writings, such as Varietiesof Religious Experience and A Pluralistic Universe, heconfesses, and to some degree defends, his belief that the questionshould be answered affirmatively.
Even with justfive events to mention, you would have had less than 1% chance of gettingthe order exactly right!I have come up with a more personal example for you to try!
Rational theism is a necessary logical basis for revealed religion; and that the natural knowledge of God and natural religion, which Catholic teaching holds to be possible, are not necessarily the result of grace, i.e.
Paul insists (1 Corinthians 13:12), between our earthly knowledge of God ("through a glass in a dark manner") and the vision of Him which the blessed in heaven enjoy ("face to face") and seems irreconcilable with the Catholic doctrine, defined by the Council of Vienne, that, to be capable of the face to face or intuitive vision of God, the human intellect needs to be endowed with a special supernatural light, the lumen gloriae and finally that, in so far as it is clearly intelligible, the theory goes dangerously near to Pantheism.In the decree "Lamentabili" (3 July, 1907) and the Encyclical "Pascendi" (7 September, 1907), issued by Pope Pius X, the Catholic position is once more reaffirmed and theological Agnosticism condemned.
This argument assumes the validity of the principle of causality or sufficient reason and, stated in its most comprehensive form, amounts to this: that it is impossible according to the laws of human thought to give any ultimate rational explanation of the phenomena of external experience and of internal consciousness -- in other words to synthesize the data which the actual universe as a whole supplies (and this is the recognized aim of philosophy) -- unless by admitting the existence of a self-sufficient and self-explanatory cause or ground of being and activity, to which all these phenomena may be ultimately referred.
"Of all [Richard Swinburne's] many important contributions to philosophy, the one for which he is most likely to achieve lasting fame is his empirical argument for the existence of God in , a book that will become a CLASSic in my opinion. As a result of this work, a return visit from Hume's Philo is needed, but he had better come loaded for bear, because the weapons that he used so effectively to stop poor Cleanthes in his tracks will be of no avail."
xiii, 1-9; Rom., i, 18,20 -- the argument is presented in a philosophical way, and men who reason rightly are held to be inexcusable for failing to recognize and worship the one true God, the Author and Ruler of the universe.
Richard Carrier describes his own spiritual journey, how he came from a background as a Taoist in a Christian country to become a fighter for secular humanism and metaphysical naturalism. The role of religious experience in his Taoism is relevant evidence against arguments from religious experience.
Text of a paper published in the Fall (1996) issue of , addressing why and how religious experience is to be approached critically, using Buddhist meditation as the central example.
Martin contends not only that there are serious problems with the Christian concept of Heaven, but also that although belief in Heaven may sometimes be liberating, it has more often been politically and socially repressive, hindering social change and making people complacent about poverty, political oppression, and injustice. Wanchick's assertion that everyone has had an experience of some God or other has no empirical support, and "conflicts with the apparently sincere claim of many atheists that they have had no religious experience.... Given conflicting religious experiences there is no reason to suppose that they have any validity at all."
Wanchick evaluates a sampling of Michael Martin's Internet publications, particularly his "Problems with Heaven" and "Craig's Holy Spirit Epistemology." On the former, Wanchick contends that Martin's arguments "are aimed largely at conceptions of Heaven that the vast majority of the Christian community would reject" and that his relevant arguments are "less than impressive." In his analysis of the latter, Wanchick critiques five objections Martin offers to the sort of Holy Spirit epistemology offered by William Lane Craig, concluding that "Dr. Martin's objections to this kind of Christian epistemology are largely mistaken."
"In , William Lane Craig makes a sharp distinction between knowing that God exists and being able to show this. He maintains that one knows that Christianity is true 'by the self-authenticating witness of God's Holy Spirit.' ... I will argue that Craig fails to make clear what an experience of the Holy Spirit is and does not justify his thesis that this experience is universal, veridical, and unmistakable. I will further maintain that, even if one grants his position, his claim that nonbelievers are without excuse for nonbelieving must be rejected unless one assumes that all beliefs are actions, and that he gives no reason to accept this assumption."