Monday, 30 May 2016

Are religious experiences real?

Should we believe in such a divine intervention?
Religious experiences are one of the key things within religion itself. It is how they combat their belief of what they believe as their chosen god, intervening in the laws of nature.

Some of the religious experiences are actually famous and are used for teaching. Whereas on the other hand, there are also experiences which are claimed everyday by normal people.

 So what is the truth? Is it all a fact? Or is it something that we haven't discovered and understood at this moment in time?
So, some famous examples for people who have experienced such interventions include people such as: St Bernadette and St Teresa of Avila. If you are wondering what they experienced, here is their examples...
St Bernadette envisioned the Virgin Mary in a place called Lourdes in France. Lourdes is a very infamous place for Christianity and is visited by many pilgrims.  The shrine itself is said to heal people who have once had cancer and those unable to walk. This makes a very troubling question. What if it is true? Or is it something which we have not discovered enough information about at this moment in time?

On the contrary, with St Teresa of Avila, a prominent Spanish mystic, had experienced some kind of divine intervention. But this was looked over with scrutiny. How she was able to experience the presence of Jesus.

No matter what sort of experience that a person may go through, there is also reasons which may be completely against the idea of what is known as a 'religious experience'. This includes that someone may actually be hallucinating, mental illnesses such as schizophrenia and the times and how much experience of knowledge and education that the person experiencing may  have had.

There are many different types which are said to be religious experiences, which include revelation, miracles and so on. It identifies that there could be the possibility that even though a person may not believe in a certain faith or culture, they may still have the same sort of experience which could also have been the same for a believer.

No matter how much scientific evidence and knowledge that we are to gain, there will always be the possibility that humans will never know the ultimate truth. So to fill in the gaps and take away their insanity, they are plagued to have religious experiences to uncover truths about our world.

Tuesday, 23 December 2014

Can we define Miracles?

A miracle can be subjective but what if they could be the opposite?
Some of you may already know that there is an upcoming film called Exodus: Gods and Kings coming out in cinemas soon. Which if you do not already know, it is about Moses and if you look above, created miracles such as the parting of the Red Sea to let the Israelites escape. This made me have a little think, what do we class as miracles?
Miracles have always been present in many religions. Jesus can be a very good example, when he walked on water, turned water into wine and heals a blind man. But how did we know that we knew that this could only be considered as a miracle? These stories could just be symbolic and for instance Jesus himself could only be a teacher. But the question which i am wanting to answer is that why does the bible express in such a literal way? Is it because at the time, there wasn't anyone who believed it as a truth, or it is a way to get more people to understand how to make a better life through an analogy.

A Scottish Philosopher called David Hume was very much against the idea of miracles. During his time the science was very underdeveloped, he lived in the time when Isaac Newton an English physicist and mathematician who devised the idea of universal gravitation - which is completely fixed. What is the law of universal gravitation? Well it is simply the state where any two (in)animate objects would attract to each other in the universe through some sort of force. Although we also have to understand that when Hume was looking at how the laws of nature are fixed, it is through how the universe works. But it has now shown that through recent science, like for instance we have discovered that there is no "fixed" laws in how the universe is to be run.

So what do you think? Is the real answer to miracles similar to what Hume has said, with him idenifying that those who have claimed such things are ignorant and barbarous? This could be criticised that what could we class people with such characteristics. Or on the the other hand are you a complete believer to what has actually happened - claiming it is an action that came from God. No matter what you say, it is all an answer of subjective truth as we will never know the true answer.

Sunday, 16 November 2014

Can we say murder is good?

Is it possible to cateorgorise murder?

Murder is a fear which most people are afraid of. The idea of someone purposely deciding to end your life in sometimes horrific ways, to benefit them and to spite you. But we all know most of the time it doesn't always work out in their favour! Society and the law are against such actions as this, which is very understandable. The point that I am trying to get across even though we don't like the prospect of these things happening, it is that some of us have actually killed a being without their consent concerning issues such as abortion (which the catholic church looks down upon). But of course there are much more clearer ways on how 'evil' kill their victims from the eye of the court of law.
Sometimes with issues considering abortion, it can be the best option. This of course depends on how and why the child needs to be aborted. As human beings we are very good at blaming things for something that we have done wrong. But sometimes we create bad situations from our faults- but this is not always the case. Look at how many teenagers seem to get pregnant these days through sheer ignorance, then not realising that they are carrying a life decide to abort. Yes sometimes having an abortion can be the best way forward, but may be children should be better educated to what every action they make comes at a cost. But it has shown that this year there has been a drop in teenage pregnancies in the UK so they must be getting the information across now, which is very good.
But that is not the only reason why we have to abort. It is not because we always want to, but sometimes because we have to. Look at a mother who really wants her child, but cannot without risking her own life. These cannot be defined by saying that it is bad as they have no other option but to act in this fashion, otherwise there would be a loss of two lives instead of one. Which some say that life is sacred, so therefore they are not commiting such an act on purpose but they are still trying to save lives at the most that is possible.

We could also give the example of Classical Conditioning by the psychologist, John Watson. He said that if you look children away, you could make them anything you want them to be as their minds are malleable and the best time to influence them is in their childhood, as it would affect in how their adult life would be influenced. Moreover if they do become violent it wouldn't be of the child's fault that they have made that action, but those who have influenced their childhood. Therefore there would be no moral responsibility on when they have the committed murder. Suggesting that there is no room for saying that the act can be good or bad as it is all defined through the influences in earlier life.

Therefore murder can be defined in so many ways. There is the purposeful kind, where many people understand that, through crime scene. But there is also types that people don't actually class as murder as it is a grey area. At the end of the day, there is no such thing as a "good" murder, it is the fact in which you are taking away someone else's life at your hands. It is just the degrees that there are, but murder is murder and life is precious life.

Sunday, 2 November 2014

Is our life determined from the start?

I'm sure that many of us wonder whether our lives are mapped out for us like a road. But is it all true?

The other day i wondering through looking at the recent news, there seems to be so many deaths. I'm sure you have heard about the Ebola outbreak (where there is now 10,000 cases) and other tragedies such as deaths in the sea in Cornwall . These things will always happen. Throughout your lives and the generations that follow afterwards. It is just one of those unforunate depressing parts of all our lives. But my thoughts are, well why does this always have to happen? Do we have no choice on how we end up in our final chapter? Are we just a marytr?

The point that i am trying to emphasise is the question of whether do we have the option for crossroads or is it a fantatical illusion. For example when looking at the 17th century English philosopher Locke, his analogy was where a man wakes up in a room, which is locked without him knowing. He chooses to stay in the room without really realising the fact that he has no choice but to stay, which in reality free will according to Locke is just an illusion.

This suggests that if free will is just an illusion, does this just answer the fact of which therefore reflect on whether we have the choice for our own destiny? This goes to the idea on how Christians believe in predestination. What is predestination? Well it is the theology on God and how he has already  willed the events that will happen. This also asks the question on whether having God given us free will is true (going back to Locke's analogy) but also the fact that if we look at other issues, if He has already determined for it to be set out this way, is he the one who created evil on purpose, even if He is meant to omnibenevolent? Also why has He chosen specific people for certain destinies?

If we also go in the path of evil and good, just like light and dark, we would never know the difference between either if they didn't coexist. You can't have the ying without the yang! Therefore if we were to say that we have that choice, how would we actually know on whether that is true or not, without the concept of being determined throughout our lives. It is only a thought with no empirical evidence to withstand it, as otherwise we wouldn't think in the way on how we do now because we don't have the choice to choose between the two.

So for example have you ever wondered on why you have been placed into a specific family? Could this be God's workings of predestination? Like if we have been given a photographic memory compared to another, if we weren't destined in some sort of way would we all have the same abilities? This sort of answers in some sense about whether our have actually been mapped out. Every single person can be good at one thing but bad at the other, and this happens with people in so many different combinations. Therefore, this already shows that every individual person has a prechosen destiny because we are all good at different things.

Although we could also say is that if we were given differed specific abilities to one another, that means all of the actions that we make, towards our future and the present in some ways we cannot be  morally responsible as it has already been mapped out through previous events. But if we already acknowledge what we have doesn't that mean we do have some moral blame as we know how much we can go. And ultimately this could mean that determinism may not always be the correct term to use for who controls our lives. As it may naturally be us, rather than artificially.