How Do We Recognize God
Keywords:God, divine nature, cognition
AbstractThere are three main ways to acquire the knowledge of the existence of God and the knowledge of His nature. These are either the arguments taking into account the nature of the world and our thinking about the world, or it is the argumentation trying to prove the authenticity of certain historical events, or it is a reference to particular types of experiences, called mystical experiences. In the case of Christian philosophy we will have to consider, firstly, the cosmological and ontological arguments for the existence of God, and, secondly, the attempts to show the authenticity of reports of the events regarding Jesus of Nazareth and, thirdly, the arguments in favor of the objectivity of mystical experiences recorded in the history of Christian religion. In regard to all of the above-mentioned three sources of knowledge about God, I would like to ask the following questions. How do we know that all of them refer to the same object? On what basis can we say that even if these three 'ways to God' are correct, they refer us to the same being? Are they independent of each other, and if they depend on each other in some way, what are the relationships among them? If we were not able to demonstrate that the item referred to by the term 'God' in all of these three ways is the same object or being, it would represent a significant weakness in Christian theology and philosophy. I will try to outline what relationship may exist between these three sources of knowledge about God. Then I will attempt to describe the criteria connecting all these sources of knowledge.
Alston, William P. 1991. Perceiving God: The Epistemology of Religious Experience. Ithaca, N.Y.: Cornell Univ. Press.
Augustin. Confessiones. Patrologia Latina 32.
Judycki, Stanisław. 2012. “Descartes’ Ontological Proof: An Interpretation and Defense”. European Journal for Philosophy of Religion 4, no. 2: 187–95. doi:10.24204/ejpr.v4i2.304.
—. 2012. “Transfiguration of Human Consciousness and Eternal Life”. In The Right to Believe: Perspectives in Religious Epistemology, edited by Dariusz Łukasiewicz and Roger Pouivet, 225–35. Frankfurt: Ontos Verlag.
Richardson, Alan W., and Thomas E. Uebel, eds. 2007. The Cambridge Companion to Logical Empiricism. Cambridge: Cambridge Univ. Press.
Swinburne, Richard. 2005. Faith and reason. Oxford: Clarendon Press.
—. 2008. Was Jesus God? Oxford: Oxford University Press.