Critically assess with reference to William James, the argument from religious experience. 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.
‘Religious Language is meaningless’ Discuss Religious language is the communication of ideas, words and practices used to describe god. Some deem religious language meaningless as there is simply no way we can verify it whereas others see it from different perspective. This is due to many different forms of language linked with religion; cognitive and non cognitive, synthetic and analytical, univocal, equivocal and analogy. Synthetic, equivocal and non cognitive all would enforce the concept that religious language is subjective and that we are able to gain better knowledge of god from what he is not than what he is. Those supporting these points have been 19th century philosophers A.J Ayer and Antony Flew however their argument is apposed by those who believe it is meaningful as we simply do not know how to falsify the language.
Critically assess with reference to William James the arguments from religious experience. William James, in his book ‘The Varieties of Religious Experience: a study in human nature’ concludes that religious experiences are at the heart of religions whereas religious teachings, practices and attitudes are ‘second hand’ religion, and develop later as individuals reflect on their common experience. The experiences are true religion. William James aims to show that religious experiences are telling of some kind of divine order which transcends normal reality. James analysed a range of religious experiences, though in particular mystical experiences.
In the rest of the documents, they are stating about if a war is about to happen and in these they are explaining their war. I believe that these wars are both happening because of teritory. Document 3 (The Art of War by Sun Tzu) is grouped by itself because it doesn't really state whether it's belief is for or against the war. It's using relgion to test the rulers to see who deserves it the most. In the document they are determining that by a set of questions.
People deny Christianity because of its concept of eternity: “How can a merciful, righteous god damn souls to hell?” many non-Christians ask. Religion is a complex puzzle which has little common ground amongst its pieces. It is not even feasible to say that a particular religion has flaws because the reality is that even the strongest cynics of particular religions cannot prove defects just like a religious
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.
Paul Tillich argues against the literal theologians and the social scientists as well. He says that “religion has rediscovered its true place in man’s spiritual life, namely, in its depth, out of which it gives substance, ultimate meaning, judgment and creative courage to all functions of the human spirit.” (Tillich 9) In my opinion and it may be clouded by my religion, which is Christianity, is that God does exist and one will not
Analogies are not confined to language either, pictures could be used. However I am looking into the use of religious language; in the forms of symbol and analogy. Many philosophers have analysed the use of religious language such as A.J Ayer, Wittgenstein, Karl Popper, Tillich and Aquinas. Their main concern was whether or not certain uses of language are meaningful when referring to God. To critically compare the use of symbol with the use of analogy is to assess the meaningfulness of Tillich’s and Aquinas’s methods of expressing understanding of God.
This train of thought cleverly warrants the evocation of faith, or belief without physical proof or empirical knowledge. Appropriately so, Anselm opens the chapter of Proslogion discussing Divine existence with a meditative prayer in which, he modestly supplicates such highly pertinent concepts including wisdom and faith in order to better understand the existence and character of God. With such faith and understanding, Anselm boldly asserts his beliefs about God’s nature, existence, and attributes before even finishing his central argument in an attempt to comprehend what he genuinely believes to be true about his higher power. While my own personal convictions are comparatively nowhere near as bold as that of Saint Anselm, his approach epitomizes what I believe to be an authentic and selfless demonstration of faith. Ideally, I believe that unconditional faith of this
‘Religious language is meaningless.’ Analyse and evaluate this claim with reference to the verification and falsification debates. I disagree with the statement that religious language is meaningless, but Logical positivist within the Vienna circle applied the idea of the verification principle to religious language, and saw religious language as meaningless. The verification principle is the philosophical movement which claims that language is only meaningful if it can be verified by sense-observation or if it is known as a tautology. And they saw that religious language cannot be empirically tested through the senses, and neither is it known as a tautology so then it is considered as meaningless. Philosophers like Moritz Schlick and others who were supporters of the verification principle, believed that the meaningless of a statement is shown by the way in which you verify it.