The argument from religious experience seems to state that we can experience God and therefore God must exist, for surely what we experience must be real. William James, American psychologist and philosopher, worked to expand on and validate this topic. James defined religious experience as ‘The feelings, acts and experiences of individual men in their solitude, so far as they apprehend themselves to stand in relation to whatsoever they may consider divine.’ He then identified the four types of mystical experiences: ineffable, noetic, transient, passive. An ineffable experience is one that cannot easily be articulated. It is too big a thing for words and therefore not necessarily understood by those who have not experienced it.
Both types of utilitarianism wanted a secular theory to which everyone could use. This is the main reason as to why utilitarianism is not compatible with religion. Another reason as to why act utilitarianism is not compatible with a religious approach to decision making is that it has the potential to justify any act as long as it generates the most happiness for the greatest number even if the act is very wrong. It reduces morality to simple maths when using the hedonic calculus. It doesn’t value human life as highly as religions, such as Christianity does.
The argument from religious experience states that if we can experience God, then surely God must exist because what we experience must be real. There are many philosophers that try to explain this but the one I am going to focus on in this essay is William James. James defines religious experience as though it should be the primary topic in the study if religion rather than religious institutions, since institutions are merely the social descendent of genius. He also defines a religious experience as, 'The feelings, acts and experiences of individual men in their solitude, so far as they apprehend themselves to stand in relation to whatsoever they may consider divine.’ To James a prominent feature of religious experience is mysticism. He says, '...propose to you four marks which, when an experience has them, may justify us in calling it mystical...' The marks to which he is referring to are inefficiently, notices quality, transiency and passivity.
Human wisdom is limited, because its bases off of prior knowledge and instinct, the wisdom of the world from philosophers, scholars, Greeks, Jews, and Gentiles is foolish to God. The only way to have true wisdom is by the Spirit which is the Holy Ghost through Jesus Christ. “No one can know a person’s thoughts except that person’s own spirit, and no one can know God’s thoughts except God’s own Spirit. And we have received God’s Spirit (not the world’s spirit), so we can know the wonderful things God has freely giving us. (1 Corinthians 2:11-12 NLT).
There is said to be no compelling rational argument to be found either against or for the existence of God, but James believed there to be some sort of God for everyone because he studied the effects of people involved in religion and people who were not. He referred to them as “healthy minded” and “morbid minded,” these are people who are either positive about life or negative about their life. James claimed that we judge the truth of religious ideas by what he referred to as, “immediate luminousness,” or philosophical reasonableness and moral helpfulness as the only available criteria. He said that religious faith is important and meaningful on pragmatic grounds: Its presence or absence makes a clearly observable, practical, and concrete difference in our lives
Faith is what truly kills doubt. To have faith is a great thing because it helps us believe in a religion, without it people would not have religions. The foundation for religion is faith, if everything was proven then we would not need religion, but science cannot answer everything. Anyone who is mentally stable and can think for themselves knows that science cannot answer all of life’s questions and it is based on theories that cannot be proven. Bill Maher had the audacity to say “religion is a neurological disorder”.
Therefore, Wiles comes to the conclusion that God's goodness and the concept of miracles are two incompatible ideas. When discussing God's omnibenevolemce, Wiles introduces the nature of God and its impact on miracles. However, this also anthropomorphises him. As humans, with a limited knowledge of what the word 'good' means, Maimonedes states that it would be disrespectful to attribute this equivocal concept to an unlimited God. We cannot judge God, nor his actions because he is a non cognitive being.
The philosopher Søren Kierkegaard (1813-1855) was one of the early founders of existentialism. Although Kierkegaard was a devout Christian, he rejected the Christian Church due to its legalistic nature and the false relationship that people were receiving with God as a result. Kierkegaard believed that the key relationship of an individual was with God. He argued that God has given people freedom to make their own decisions and therefore our decisions are not determined. He thought that our existence is not something determined rationally or part of an on-going process but that it is something specific which is created through the choices we make.
C. Stoic Philosophers - A stoic is one who tries to avoid any show of emotion, whether anger or joy. II. Pure Christianity Seems Strange & Different To Many Religious People A. (Acts 17:18-20) B. (Acts 16:20-21; Acts 17:6) C. Error, if practiced long enough, makes the truth sound strange.
He came up with the idea that religious experiences are nothing but wishful thinking that cause the illusion of the oldest and most profound idea one has. He would use Nicky Cruz as a contemporary example here and say his conversion was due to his tough childhood; however this is a mere speculation. Freud did not present any evidence Another idea of what Freud believed is that as humans we are completely material, he denied the