Notes about the Donovan extract paragraphs 1 and 2

a) Bits which need explaining to the examiner:

Essentially reason vs. inner conviction

  • faith
  • belief
  • instinctive /innate knowing
  • arguing from religious experience (if x has experienced God then God must exist)
  • evidence
  • distinguishes between arguments from reason and arguments from experience
  • different kinds of religious experience
  • this type: inner conviction

Richard Dawkins – BBC HARDtalk Part1 Root of all evil pts 1, 2 and 3 (video is no longer available due to copyright content)


b) implications

‘If you really experience God…’ The implications of arguing for the existence of God suggests the need to offer and defend proof and persuade the hearer of the force of the argument. This implies or suggests there may be good reasons to doubt the claim.

The implications of ‘knowing’ God is real are that religious experience provides insight for the experient but not necessarily for those outside the experience.

It becomes of no value for the philosopher and only for the believer (therefore it may be meaningless! Religious language.) This could lead to the conclusion that talk of religious experience is meaningless. Could quote from Ayer p 112 bottom!


Implications of ‘inner conviction….’ But what about David Icke (watch him on YouTube on Wogan!), Peter Sutcliffe, Paul Hill (see Army of God website), L Ron Hubbard or Benny Hinn? (look up the YouTube video and maybe view some of the links too! try this but it’s about an hour.)


Basil Mitchell 3 responses of a believer when their faith is questioned – the implication of inner conviction is that you allow nothing to count against it.


Implications of bliks – for religious believers is that their bliks can be open to criticism, they have to prove their blik is valid.


Fundamentalism – terrorism; how their blik can affect others’ lives detrimentally.


One of the bliks leading to fundamentalism is that some humans are afraid to trust inner convictions and like Dawkins see only evidence as basis for rationality.


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