Class Note for PHIL 383 at UMass(2)
Class Note for PHIL 383 at UMass(2)
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This 2 page Class Notes was uploaded by an elite notetaker on Friday February 6, 2015. The Class Notes belongs to a course at University of Massachusetts taught by a professor in Fall. Since its upload, it has received 18 views.
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Date Created: 02/06/15
Generally we don t trust hallucinations because they tell no coherent story about the world Our dreams do not tell a coherent story in the same way that waking life does Is there a common core to mystical experiences Unity Oneness etc But compare perceptions of a loving caring God who created the world from perceptions of a pantheistic holistic God who in some sense is the world Even if this is true why do we favor the veridical religious experience hypothesis over the psychological hypothesis Principle of Credulity PC If it seems to a subject that X is present then probably X is present If it seems to me that there s a chair here there s probably a chair here Negative Principle of Credulity NPC If it seems to a subject that X is absent the probably X is absent If it seems to me that there s no chair here there s probably no chair here Mackie Miracles and Testimony A miracle is a divinely caused violation of a natural law Miracles are possible since both supernatural intervention and violations of natural law are possible Someone who purports to see a miracle must hold that a Some event E occurred b E is a violation of some natural law Note that making one of these plausible makes the other one less plausible Since agnostics and atheists find these kinds of violations to be antecedently implausible miracles will not provide arguments for the existence of God This argument applies in the first person as well as third person how can we trust that we have actually witnessed some miracle How can we trust someone s account when they describe something so implausible Religious Experience amp Miracles Alston Religious Experience as Perception of God Considers direct supposed experiences of God By direct Alston doesn t mean sensory God is after all spiritual and not the kind of thing that one could see How can we possibly have an experience that isn t sensory in character Generalize from perception my perceiving X consists in X appearing to me in some way To perceive X 1 X must exist 2 I must be causally related to X for example light from X must hit my eye 3 Perceiving X gives rise to further beliefs about X Religious experiences are like normal kinds of experience except that they are not perceptual and are thus conceptualized differently If God exists these conditions could be satisfied in cases of religious experiences An Alstoninspired argument 1 Religious experiences are akin to perceptual experiences of God 2 Perceptual experiences of X give us evidence that X exists 3 If 1 and 2 then religious experiences give us evidence that God exists 4 Therefore religious experiences give us evidence that God exists What would the causal relation to God look like Martin Critique of Religious Experience What reasons can we have for supposing that religious experiences generate true beliefs Psychological hypothesis Religious experience is caused not by something external eg God but by something internal eg the person s own mind Religious experience is hallucination The more plausible the psychological hypothesis is the weaker the evidence from religious experience
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