Experience and Commitment
One of the main characteristics of the view which I have been attacking is the supposition that religious experiences constitute evidence for the activity of a ‘non-material’ or ‘supernatural’ reality, namely God. If this were correct, then the justification for religious commitment would rest fairly and squarely on evidence. Thus if the evidence showed that it was genuinely this ‘non-material’ Being who speaks to people in their religious experiences, then for such people commitment is justified and indeed mandatory; if, on the other hand, there is really ‘no one there’, then the case for commitment breaks down.
KeywordsReligious Experience Religious Commitment Scientific Generalisation Religious Claim Musical Phrase
Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.
Notes and References
- 1.In a characteristically entertaining paper, H. H. Price cites the example of nineteenth-century ladies who thought it their duty to believe that their husbands or fiancés were impeccably virtuous. See H. H. Price, ‘Belief and Will’, Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society, suppl. vol. xxviii (1954) p. 13.Google Scholar
- 3.The passage is taken from the aria ‘I remember’. See p. 247 of The Marriage of Figaro, ed. Boosey and Hawkes (1947).Google Scholar
- 4.H. D. Lewis, ‘On Poetic Truth’, Philosophy, xxi 79 (1946) 155. This article has been reprinted as chap. 10 of Professor Lewis’s book, Morals and Revelation (Allen & Unwin, London, 1951); the passage quoted appears on p. 242.Google Scholar
- 5.Cf. L. Wittgenstein, Lectures and Conversations on Aesthetics, Psychology, and Religious Belief, ed. Cyril Barrett (Blackwell, Oxford, 1966) p. 58.Google Scholar
- 8.R. M. Hare, ‘Theology and Falsification’, published in New Essays in Philosophical Theology, ed. A. G. N. Flew and A. C. Maclntyre (S.C.M. Press, London, 1955) pp. 99–103.Google Scholar