Donovan concepts and implications

Donovan concepts

  • Feeling certain and being right – inner conviction / psychological certainty vs. rational certainty
  • Intuition
  • I-You / I-It
  • Religious experience /How God can be known
  • Bliks
  • Experience of / knowledge of / knowledge about — there are different kinds of knowledge and knowledge gained through intuition is just one kind but how valid.
  • Deception / being wrong!
  • Rational arguments / verification


Ideas which come from Donovan’s passage and can be used to clarify his meaning

  • Swinburne’s Principles of Credulity and Testimony
  • Bliks / memes
  • Ayer – no I / you relationship – no knowledge
  • ‘God would seek to interact with his creatures’
  • Hume’s objections to miracles equally appropriate to religious experience
  • Cultural predisposition to have religious experience of the culture brought up in.
  • Design argument – if god designed us it would logical to assume he would build in some way of recognising or experiencing him?
  • St Teresa –
  • Nicky Cruz
  • Abraham / God’s command to sacrifice his son seems immoral
  • The world being flat! WRONG! Peter Sutcliffe! WRONG!
  • LP’s verification principle
  • Examples of intuition


b) implications? What are the implications if Donovan is correct and intuitive knowledge is not valid?

  • Standard philosophical arguments for the existence of god would fail…. And image of God of classical theism would be incorrect…
  • Human development relies on intuitive moments so would they still happen?
  • Worship irrelevant; culture? Paintings literature (examples) with a religious basis would be lost? Patriarchal society? Laws and morality?
  • Conscience is intuitive isn’t it?
  • Higher traits would not be encouraged…
  • Love, emotions, etc. not logical but do exist? Only cognitive valid / no affective very much an LP stance!
  • Basil Mitchell and his 3 responses – acceptance, rejection, accommodation.
  • Flew and his Death by a thousand qualifications! Believer is going to believe regardless!
  • Bring back to Donovan ‘The fact that some supposed encounter with God could possibly be mistaken wont much worry believers if they are convinced that they are right in fact.’ End of paragraph 40.


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