Argument from Religious Experience
This continues the series of weekly posts dealing with some basic theistic arguments. The purpose here is to introduce the reader to the idea behind each argument. Strengths and weaknesses will be presented after each summary. These are only summaries and springboards for further study in the theistic arguments. See Reason for the Hope Within for more.
An Argument from Religious Experience
A great many people both throughout history and throughout the world have had religious experiences. These have typically included not only an awareness of a divine presence but also a qualitative change in the behavior of the one having the experience. The existence of God explains this data much more easily than conjectures about psychological disorders, mass deceptions, or fraudulent reporting.
Greatest Strength: The pervasiveness of religious experience is well documented and accompanied by credible reports of lives being changed for the better.
Greatest Weakness: Although religious experience in general is widespread, specific experiences vary considerably.1
1 William C. Davis, Reason for the Hope Within (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdman’s Publishing Co., 1999), p. 38.