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Religious Experiences Prove There’s a God

Essay by   •  February 21, 2017  •  Essay  •  950 Words (4 Pages)  •  1,022 Views

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Religious experiences prove there’s a God

I disagree with this statement because I do not believe that religious experiences, to feel the divine, actually exist in reality and any perceived feeling of the divine are purely psychological or physiological. As a result religious experience cannot prove God.

I think that-religious experiences are purely Psychological because of I believe in Richard Dawkins placebo effect. This states that we go to church expecting to feel the divine therefore we trick our mind and body into having a religious experience. However, this doesn’t answer the question why we feel the divine outside of the church. I think people who feel the divine outside of a religious institutions is down to physiological reasons. For example they may have a mental condition like Schizophrenia. This is why for example Michael Abrams killed George Harrison because he thought he heard the voice of God telling him to kill him during a Beatles concert. This is an example where are perceived religious experience turned out to be a case of Schizophrenia not the voice of God.

On the converse Alston may say that it is logical to believe that religious experiences have occurred as a religious experience is the same as any other type of experience. And that is not down to an unusual explanation like schizophrenia. Furthermore According to William James any changes to the brain that mirror conditions like schizophrenia could be due to the fact God works though us triggering areas in the brain that causes religious experiences. However, I disagree with Alton as I think it is illogical to believe in religious experiences, as I believe in occams razors, the fact the simplest explanation is often the best, as a result I think that since there are so many assumptions that are need to made like firstly there is a God and he causes a change in the brain just makes it incredibly unlikely that religious experiences actually occur.

William James may disagree with me as he believes that although religious experiences may not prove a God it proves a form of divine in his opinion. This is because he believes that religious experiences are Passive, Ineffable, Noetic, Transient, and create a marked effect on a person, changes them for the better. He believes that even if there is a natural cause to things experiences like changes in the brain, they could be caused by God. He thinks that religious experiences lie in the heart of the church and is a main proof for the existence of the divine. However, I disagree with this as for example Saul’s conversion meets all the criteria of a religious experience yet there is strong evidence that it was caused by an epileptic fit. Although James would say this is God working though Saul, Hume would say that we need to be rational and ultimately a more naturalistic explanation is likely. As a result we again cannot trust the validity of religious experiences therefor ether cannot be used to prove God.

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