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Experience and Epistemology.

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4/21/2015 7:50:55 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
I recently debated the topic "Atheism is a more reasonable position than Theism".

I used a line of argument that appealed to our experience as a means for justification.

The actual argument went like so:

P1. For all propositions p, unless there are plausible defeaters for p presented* to S, if a subject S" personal perceptions and experiences entail p, it is prima facie reasonable for S to believe (assent to) p.

P2. There are no plausible defeaters for the belief that [God exists] presented to S.

P3. S" personal experiences and perceptions include [spiritual experiences of God].

P4. A necessary condition for S" spiritual experiences is that God exists.

P5. S" spiritual experiences entail [God exists].

C.. Hence, it is reasonable for S to believe that [God exists].

Now, I know P2 and P4 are highly objectionable. P1 is objectionable as well.

However, I'm more interested in ways to defend or object to P1 than anything else. I used pain as an example. If I experience pain, it would be reasonable to believe that I am in pain. Likewise, if I see a shirt, and the shirt appears blue, it would reasonable to believe that That is a blue shirt. I'm not trying to create an epistemology here, or anything (this is basically empiricism), I'm just wondering where one could object to the argument, without considering skeptical scenarios.

Additionally, does P1 seem like a reasonable requirement for justification of belief. I think it might be somewhat too loose.