Disembodied Communication and Religious Experience: The Online Model

Philosophy and Technology 25 (3):381-397 (2012)
Abstract   The idea of disembodied communication has received widespread discussion in the context of the various kinds of online interaction. Electronic mail is probably the purest form of text-based communication where interlocutors are present in mind rather than body. I argue that this online model provides a way of understanding and defending the possibility of a certain kind of public religious experience, contra the many critics of the very coherence of genuine religious experience. I introduce the concept of ‘telic possibility’, a specific kind of modality, applying it to e-mail. I argue that we can reasonably move from the telic possibility of disembodied communication in mundane e-mail exchanges to the epistemic possibility of communication from a divine being in cases where the content of the messages is sufficiently extraordinary. Content Type Journal Article Category Special Issue Pages 1-17 DOI 10.1007/s13347-011-0051-6 Authors David S. Oderberg, Department of Philosophy, University of Reading, Reading, RG6 6AA UK Journal Philosophy & Technology Online ISSN 2210-5441 Print ISSN 2210-5433.
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DOI 10.1007/s13347-011-0051-6
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Evan Fales (2004). Do Mystics See God? In Michael L. Peterson & Raymond J. VanArragon (eds.), Contemporary Debates in Philosophy of Religion. Blackwell. pp. 145--148.

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