Existentialism In William P. Alston's Perceiving God

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William P. Alston, a professor of philosophy at Syracuse University, discusses in his essay “Perceiving God” the sense of perception: “the experience, or… the perception, of God plays an epistemic role with respect to beliefs about the physical world” (Alston 431). Alston continues to justify his position “that the very considerable incidence of putative perception of God creates a certain initial presumption that these experiences are what they seem to be and that something can thereby be learned about God” (Alston 432). Alston’s argument is that the perception of God is enough to justify your belief that He exists because of the similarity between your senses and how you perceive God (431-432). Alston’s argument is both fideistic (relying on faith and not reason) and inductive. In his thesis, he alludes to the fact that a person must have an experience first before they can trust the perception. The experience, which would normally be a religious experience, must occur before the faith in God’s existence comes about. It is this experience that changes a person’s point of view. This is an illustration of Existentialism. It is based on experience from oneself. It is also known as a “leap of faith.” The rest of Alston’s arguments are…show more content…
It is definitely a sensitive subject to breach, and there may never be a true answer to it, but the perception of God must have a part in these manifestations. Individuals that may not find themselves having an “experience” because of their beliefs should not, in turn belittle someone else claiming to have an experience. No proof of the “experience” should be required from them. As Alston describes the double standard of not proving proof for using your normal senses to detect things, then why, when it comes to God, should people have to prove that they had an “experience?” Alston identifies that there are unrealistic requirements for people that have a religious

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