Donovan paragraphs 55,61 and 66-67

(iii) ‘Experience of’ is not in itself knowledge
Suppose it were indisputable that God is genuinely experienced in some form of first-hand awareness. It does not follow that such first-hand experience or encounter, on its own, would count as knowledge at all. The point can be put this way. We generally think that someone who has experienced something for themselves is in a better position to know the truth about it than someone who has not. Yet why should that be so? What does first-hand experience add, that all available second-hand knowledge cannot supply?

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Ayer, Donovan and Westphal summary questions with key concepts


  1. Why does Ayer claim that assertions made about a transcendent God are not intelligible notions?
  2. Why does Ayer reject the notion of God with a capital ‘G’?
  3. Why does Ayer suggest that the atheist and agnostic positions are as untenable as the theist’s?
  4. What does Ayer mean by asserting the existence of a transcendent god shows nothing but the ‘state of mind’ of the theist?
  5. Why are claims made by primitive religions given some credit where those of sophisticated religions are not? Continue reading “Ayer, Donovan and Westphal summary questions with key concepts”