Brandeis University, Philosophy Department
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Professor Andreas Teuber
Prof. Teuber

1. The Argument from Religious Experience

(1) There is enormous unanimity among mystics, clerics, saints, prophets and people of common faith in every country throuhgout the world and recorded history concerning the spiritual reality of the world.

(2) When there is great unanimity among observers about what they are experiencing, it is reasonable to suppose that their experiences are veridical, i.e., truthful, unless we have some immediate good reason to believe that they are deceived or are being deceptive.

(3) There are no positive, knock-down reasons for believing all mystical experience is delusive.

(4) Therefore, it is reasonable to believe that mystical (religious) experiences are veridical, i.e., truthful.

Some Questions about the the Argument from Religious Experience

(1) Religious (mystical) experience is amorphous and varied.

(2) Reasoning from religious experiences to a justification of one's belief in G-d is circular.

(3) Religious experiences cannot be confirmed in a way that typical perceptual experiences are confirmed.



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Last Modified: 03/26/08
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