David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Religious Studies 40 (1):1-22 (2004)
I argue that people do not and cannot have religious experiences that are perceptual experiences with theological content and that provide some justification for the belief in God. I discuss William Alston's resourceful defence of this idea. My strategy is to say that religious perception would either have to be by means of one of the ordinary five senses or else by means of some special sixth religious sense. In either case insoluble epistemological problems arise. The problem is with perceiving God as God, which we need to do if reasons to believe in God are to be generated. To do so, we would have to perceive the instantiation of His essential properties – being all-knowing, all-powerful, and all-good. But perceiving the instantiation of these properties of God, even by some special sixth religious sense, is impossible. Hence, God cannot be perceived either by the ordinary five senses or by a sixth religious sense. Religious perceptual experiences are a myth. (Published Online February 17 2004).
|Keywords||No keywords specified (fix it)|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
|Through your library|
References found in this work BETA
No references found.
Citations of this work BETA
No citations found.
Similar books and articles
Robert Oakes (1981). Religious Experience, Sense-Perception and God's Essential Unobservability. Religious Studies 17 (3):357 - 367.
Bruce Reichenbach (2012). Religious Experience as an Observational Epistemic Practice. Sophia 51 (1):1-16.
Ulf Zackariasson (2006). A Problem with Alston's Indirect Analogy-Argument From Religious Experience. Religious Studies 42 (3):329-341.
Michael J. Shaffer (2004). A Defeater of the Claim That Belief in God’s Existence is Properly Basic. Philo 7 (1):57-70.
William J. Wainwright (2003). Gale on Religious Experience. Philo 6 (1):114-131.
Peter Losin (1987). Experience of God and the Principle of Credulity. Faith and Philosophy 4 (1):59-70.
William P. Alston (1991). Perceiving God: The Epistemology of Religious Experience. Cornell University Press.
Clement Dore (1986). A Reply to Professor Rowe. Faith and Philosophy 3 (3):314-318.
Added to index2009-01-28
Total downloads50 ( #32,486 of 1,101,595 )
Recent downloads (6 months)6 ( #44,913 of 1,101,595 )
How can I increase my downloads?