The Conflicting Claims Challenge

#21
Sep 2011
24,135
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#22
Have you ever fallen in love? (For the sake of argument I presume you're.) Is that experience caused by a person existing independently of you? If your answer is yes, then I suggest that you reconsider your words: "Why can't a religious experience be considered the same?" Indeed. So, why can't religious experience be caused by God existing independently of a person having the experience? What's the reason to think that no such experience is ever those caused by God?
But just because we fall in love with someone who is clearly seperate from us, it does not mean the person caused us to feel that way. Infact, a perfect exsample is someone who falls in love with say a celebrity. They become obssessed and genuinely feel high emotions for this specific celebrity - yet the celebrity has never met this person or spoken to this person - let alone lead the person on romantically. So, the person who is obssessed with the celebrity has concocted this 'love' feeling up all on their own, no second or thrid party involved. The person has genuinely felt the emotion - but it cannot possibly be the celeb who caused it - it was the IDEA of the who and what the celebrity was that caused the catalyst of this persons emotional ride.

Make sense?

Religion means faith and worship, and the object of faith and worship is the sacred. In order to approach the sacred, through religion, you have to be yourself sanctified, and to be sanctified means that you have to respect the religious categories of allowed (i.e. what you should do) and forbidden (i.e. what you should refrain from doing). Just in a couple of words, I have no time now for more explanations.
Ok thanks. I'm just not sure how you related this to what we were talking about?
 
Dec 2008
2,559
Finland
#23
Another reason for not believing that a "religious experience" comes from a universal god is that different people seem to hear different "gods" with conflicting messages. The only solution to this dilemna is for the individual to believe only his/her message is true or that god is a trickster. Personally, i don't find either solution satisfactory.
Swinburne's argument from religious experience is not based on the premise that any religious experience is caused by the same being or person. In his book "The Existence of God" (Oxford University Press, 2004) he writes,

"For our present purposes it will be useful to define it [a religious experience] as an experience that seems (epistemically) to the subject to be an experience of God (either of his just being there, or of his saying or bringing about something) or of some other supernatural thing. The thing may be a person, such as Mary or Poseidon; or Heaven, or a ‘timeless reality beyond oneself’, or something equally mysterious and difficult to describe." (295-6)

Given this, it seems to be an argument for spiritual reality (whatever it happen to be); the materialism is not the whole truth.

Swinburne has this to say about conflicting claims,

"The fact that sometimes descriptions of the object of a religious experience are in conflict with descriptions of the object of another religious experience means only that we have a source of challenge to a particular detailed claim, not a source of scepticism about all claims of religious experience." (317)

From Christian perspective, "religious experiences in non-Christian traditions are experiences apparently of beings who are supposed to have similar properties to those of God, or experiences apparently of lesser beings, or experiences apparently of states of affairs, but hardly experiences apparently of any person or state whose existence is incompatible with that of God. If there were vastly many experiences apparently of an omnipotent Devil, then that sort of evidence would exist; but there are not such experiences." (318)
 
Apr 2012
6,507
Romania
#24
Ok thanks. I'm just not sure how you related this to what we were talking about?
I edited my previous post, as accidentally I typed "should" instead of "may". My apologies.
It is related, because a lot of things are now indiscriminately called "religious experiences", many of which are not at all religious, and obviously don't come from God. Some less knowledgeable people may take as example such pseudo-religious experiences, argue that they have causes as profane as could be, and conclude that genuine religious experiences are also of this type.
 
Aug 2009
21,071
Minnesnowta
#25
Bri said:
But just because we fall in love with someone who is clearly seperate from us, it does not mean the person caused us to feel that way. Infact, a perfect exsample is someone who falls in love with say a celebrity. They become obssessed and genuinely feel high emotions for this specific celebrity - yet the celebrity has never met this person or spoken to this person - let alone lead the person on romantically. So, the person who is obssessed with the celebrity has concocted this 'love' feeling up all on their own, no second or thrid party involved. The person has genuinely felt the emotion - but it cannot possibly be the celeb who caused it - it was the IDEA of the who and what the celebrity was that caused the catalyst of this persons emotional ride.
Well said Bri.

"For our present purposes it will be useful to define it [a religious experience] as an experience that seems (epistemically) to the subject to be an experience of God (either of his just being there, or of his saying or bringing about something) or of some other supernatural thing. The thing may be a person, such as Mary or Poseidon; or Heaven, or a ‘timeless reality beyond oneself’, or something equally mysterious and difficult to describe." (295-6)
Very interesting that one can argue and not know what one is arguing for.

"There is something true somewhere that somehow corresponds to my imagination, but I haven't the foggiest idea what I'm talking about or why it is true, so therefore I will say the God is real."
 
#26
IOW, the personal "religious experience" of an individual is just that, personal and totally irrelevant to anyone else, since no one can say for sure that the experience of someone else really came from God or a god.

"The fact that sometimes descriptions of the object of a religious experience are in conflict with descriptions of the object of another religious experience means only that we have a source of challenge to a particular detailed claim, not a source of scepticism about all claims of religious experience."

On the contrary, i would argue that such conflicts ARE a source of scepticism abourt all such claims. If two such experiences are totally incompatible, one or both must be false. I vote for both, but i suppose the Xtian would argue that only those that are in line with his/her particular branch of Xtian are true.
 
Aug 2009
21,071
Minnesnowta
#27
IOW, the personal "religious experience" of an individual is just that, personal and totally irrelevant to anyone else, since no one can say for sure that the experience of someone else really came from God or a god.

"The fact that sometimes descriptions of the object of a religious experience are in conflict with descriptions of the object of another religious experience means only that we have a source of challenge to a particular detailed claim, not a source of scepticism about all claims of religious experience."

On the contrary, i would argue that such conflicts ARE a source of scepticism abourt all such claims. If two such experiences are totally incompatible, one or both must be false. I vote for both, but i suppose the Xtian would argue that only those that are in line with his/her particular branch of Xtian are true.
Yes, people do tend to define religious truth as it serves their personal interests, rather than even attempting the slightest amount of objectivity, it must rely exclusively on entirely subjective qualifications.

"I think it was Jesus."

"I think it was Hobbits."

One statement is just as valid as the other according to Mr. Swinburne.
 
Dec 2008
2,559
Finland
#28
But just because we fall in love with someone who is clearly seperate from us, it does not mean the person caused us to feel that way. Infact, a perfect exsample is someone who falls in love with say a celebrity. They become obssessed and genuinely feel high emotions for this specific celebrity - yet the celebrity has never met this person or spoken to this person - let alone lead the person on romantically. So, the person who is obssessed with the celebrity has concocted this 'love' feeling up all on their own, no second or thrid party involved. The person has genuinely felt the emotion - but it cannot possibly be the celeb who caused it - it was the IDEA of the who and what the celebrity was that caused the catalyst of this persons emotional ride.

Make sense?
A couple of questions. Does this person, who has fallen in love, know the celebrity even remotely? Has she or he seen any photos or posters of this celebrity?
 
Apr 2012
6,507
Romania
#30
From Christian perspective, "religious experiences in non-Christian traditions are experiences apparently of beings who are supposed to have similar properties to those of God, or experiences apparently of lesser beings, or experiences apparently of states of affairs, but hardly experiences apparently of any person or state whose existence is incompatible with that of God. If there were vastly many experiences apparently of an omnipotent Devil, then that sort of evidence would exist; but there are not such experiences." (318)
Delusional experiences having devilish causes exist, but they can be distinguished from genuine divine graces by the fruit they bear, they finally drive people to madness or to horrendous transgressions.
 

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