Open Theology 1 (6):296-305 (2020)

Authors
Alex R Gillham
St. Bonaventure University
Abstract
The secondary literature on religious epistemology has focused extensively on whether religious experience can provide evidence for God’s existence. In this article, I suppose that religious experience can do this, but I consider whether it can provide adequate evidence for justified belief in God. I argue that it can. This requires a couple of moves. First, I consider the threshold problem for evidentialism and explain pragmatic encroachment (PE) as a solution to it. Second, I argue that religious experience can justify belief in God if one adopts PE, but this poses a dilemma for the defender of the veridicality of religious experience. If PE is true, then whether S has a justified belief in God on the basis of religious experience depends on how high the stakes are for having an experience with God. This requires one to determine whether the stakes are high or low for experiencing God, which puts the experient of God in an awkward position. If the stakes are not high, then justified belief in God on the basis of religious experience will be easier to come by, but this requires conceding that experiencing God is not that important. If the stakes are high, then the experient can maintain the importance of experience with God but must concede that justified belief in God on the basis of experience with God is less likely to happen, perhaps impossible.
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References found in this work BETA

Compassionate Phenomenal Conservatism.Michael Huemer - 2007 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 74 (1):30–55.
Evidence, Pragmatics, and Justification.Jeremy Fantl & Matthew McGrath - 2002 - Philosophical Review 111 (1):67-94.
Knowledge, Bets, and Interests.Brian Weatherson - 2012 - In Jessica Brown & Mikkel Gerken (eds.), Knowledge Ascriptions. Oxford University Press. pp. 75--103.
Pragmatic Encroachment in Epistemology.Brian Kim - 2017 - Philosophy Compass 12 (5):e12415.

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