Luxxxx27
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Hi, guys, I’m struggling with ocr religious studies I am unable to get more than an e in ethics and philosophy. I need to at least get a B in order to go to the uni I want but I don’t understand the concepts of ethics and philosophy nor how to write the 40 mark essay and now there’s no school I don’t want to screw my alevels up can anyone help me?
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PetitePanda
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Hi, I moved your thread to a more relevant forum hopefully, people with more knowledge will see this better
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Joe312
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Post one of the essays you've done recently here and i'll give you some feedback on what you need to do to improve. I'm an examiner for OCR.
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Luxxxx27
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Discuss critically the view that people who claim to have had a religious experience of god should be believed?

A religious experience can be difficult to define but it is seen to play an important role in a religious person's life they feel as if they have an encounter with god which gives them a sense of direction which helps to make them to feel at ease. In addition, religious experience has been split into different types the first one being mystical experience this is an experience which goes beyond everyday sense experience, the second is a conversion experience which is an experience that makes a drastic change in a person's life and finally the last is a corporate religious experience which is something that happens to a group of people. Philosophers have tried to differentiate between each of the unique characteristics of the experiences and the main thinkers are Fredrich Schleiermacher, Sigmund Freud and finally Michael Persinger who explain the main issue surrounding religious experiences and this being how authentic religious experiences really are and whether they are nothing but a hallucination.
Friedrich Schleiermacher claimed that a religious experience was based on a personal experience he believed that a religious experience was self-authenticating and believed that no testing was required he strongly believed that religious experiences should have priority and the statements should be formulated to fit them However critics argued that he made things to subjective as he reduced religion to emotion on the other hand, Sigmund Freud saw religious experiences as an illusion he suggests that the urge some people felt towards religion was no more than psychological obsession. For example, if someone claimed to have experienced the suffering of Jesus, a religious person may accept this, but Freud would say that it was the persons opinion about the suffering of Jesus overall Freud explained that In turning away from reality and putting a wishful reality in its place the person makes use of imaginative thinking as if it’s a way to make them feel better about the world they live in.
Some people have explained a religious experience in a physiological interpretation Michael Persinger is a neuroscience researcher who explained that when transmitting magnetic weak signals people had a religious experience this is when he experimented with a group of volunteers who had to wear a helmet shaped device which transmitted weak magnetic signals through the brain, and he argues that religious experiences are no more than the brain responding to external stimuli. Some critics claimed that people who are unknowingly in the presence of a magnet field might feel as if they have encountered god, but it was just the effects of magnetism which was confused for a religious experience also the study took place in a controlled environment so the credibility may not be valid as a religious experience can take place at any time . Other psychological studies that have taken place is a near death experience which is experienced by people who were in a coma or a cardiac arrest whilst being in a near death experience people have claimed that they have sensed a presence of god and some have indicated that there is a real hope of life after death in the presence of god but critics have suggested that the medication used whilst they suffered from trauma could be accountable for the patients having these religious experience so would physiology offer a plausible explanation of an religious experience than the one that directly comes from god.
Many people are more likely to believe something if it has been experienced. Our experience of God is the best evidence we have that God exists. Richard Swinburne believes that a religious experience should be taken as seriously unless there's a good reason to be suspicious about it, and it could be taken as evidence for the existence of god. An example Swinburne portrays is if someone says that they can hear someone at the door then they probably can in the same way if someone says they can hear the voices of god we should believe them. Therefore, Swinburne puts forward the principle of credulity and testimony and Swinburne's principle of credulity says that experience is normally reliable and the balance of probability says that experience can be trusted and the principle of testimony says that mostly people tell the truth so we can believe what we are told so we should go with the balance of probability when we are told something and we shouldn’t make different rules for a religious experience just because we have not experienced it ourselves .Therefore, if person believes God was present we should accept what a person experiences unless you can prove otherwise. On the other hand, critics state that only one person has a religious experience and other people cannot have a repeat of the experience so it cannot be proven and considered.
Overall, I believe that a religious experience is a personal experience and the issues surrounding this is whether a religious experience is a genuine encounter with god or just a mere overactive imagination or just a hallucination. There is no clear answer to the question of whether one can demonstrate God’s existence as a result of religious experience. As a result, one cannot determine the credibility of a religious experience.
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Luxxxx27
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(Original post by Luxxxx27)
Discuss critically the view that people who claim to have had a religious experience of god should be believed?

A religious experience can be difficult to define but it is seen to play an important role in a religious person's life they feel as if they have an encounter with god which gives them a sense of direction which helps to make them to feel at ease. In addition, religious experience has been split into different types the first one being mystical experience this is an experience which goes beyond everyday sense experience, the second is a conversion experience which is an experience that makes a drastic change in a person's life and finally the last is a corporate religious experience which is something that happens to a group of people. Philosophers have tried to differentiate between each of the unique characteristics of the experiences and the main thinkers are Fredrich Schleiermacher, Sigmund Freud and finally Michael Persinger who explain the main issue surrounding religious experiences and this being how authentic religious experiences really are and whether they are nothing but a hallucination.
Friedrich Schleiermacher claimed that a religious experience was based on a personal experience he believed that a religious experience was self-authenticating and believed that no testing was required he strongly believed that religious experiences should have priority and the statements should be formulated to fit them However critics argued that he made things to subjective as he reduced religion to emotion on the other hand, Sigmund Freud saw religious experiences as an illusion he suggests that the urge some people felt towards religion was no more than psychological obsession. For example, if someone claimed to have experienced the suffering of Jesus, a religious person may accept this, but Freud would say that it was the persons opinion about the suffering of Jesus overall Freud explained that In turning away from reality and putting a wishful reality in its place the person makes use of imaginative thinking as if it’s a way to make them feel better about the world they live in.
Some people have explained a religious experience in a physiological interpretation Michael Persinger is a neuroscience researcher who explained that when transmitting magnetic weak signals people had a religious experience this is when he experimented with a group of volunteers who had to wear a helmet shaped device which transmitted weak magnetic signals through the brain, and he argues that religious experiences are no more than the brain responding to external stimuli. Some critics claimed that people who are unknowingly in the presence of a magnet field might feel as if they have encountered god, but it was just the effects of magnetism which was confused for a religious experience also the study took place in a controlled environment so the credibility may not be valid as a religious experience can take place at any time . Other psychological studies that have taken place is a near death experience which is experienced by people who were in a coma or a cardiac arrest whilst being in a near death experience people have claimed that they have sensed a presence of god and some have indicated that there is a real hope of life after death in the presence of god but critics have suggested that the medication used whilst they suffered from trauma could be accountable for the patients having these religious experience so would physiology offer a plausible explanation of an religious experience than the one that directly comes from god.
Many people are more likely to believe something if it has been experienced. Our experience of God is the best evidence we have that God exists. Richard Swinburne believes that a religious experience should be taken as seriously unless there's a good reason to be suspicious about it, and it could be taken as evidence for the existence of god. An example Swinburne portrays is if someone says that they can hear someone at the door then they probably can in the same way if someone says they can hear the voices of god we should believe them. Therefore, Swinburne puts forward the principle of credulity and testimony and Swinburne's principle of credulity says that experience is normally reliable and the balance of probability says that experience can be trusted and the principle of testimony says that mostly people tell the truth so we can believe what we are told so we should go with the balance of probability when we are told something and we shouldn’t make different rules for a religious experience just because we have not experienced it ourselves .Therefore, if person believes God was present we should accept what a person experiences unless you can prove otherwise. On the other hand, critics state that only one person has a religious experience and other people cannot have a repeat of the experience so it cannot be proven and considered.
Overall, I believe that a religious experience is a personal experience and the issues surrounding this is whether a religious experience is a genuine encounter with god or just a mere overactive imagination or just a hallucination. There is no clear answer to the question of whether one can demonstrate God’s existence as a result of religious experience. As a result, one cannot determine the credibility of a religious experience.
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(Original post by Luxxxx27)
Discuss critically the view that people who claim to have had a religious experience of god should be believed?

A religious experience can be difficult to define but it is seen to play an important role in a religious person's life they feel as if they have an encounter with god which gives them a sense of direction which helps to make them to feel at ease. In addition, religious experience has been split into different types the first one being mystical experience this is an experience which goes beyond everyday sense experience, the second is a conversion experience which is an experience that makes a drastic change in a person's life and finally the last is a corporate religious experience which is something that happens to a group of people. Philosophers have tried to differentiate between each of the unique characteristics of the experiences and the main thinkers are Fredrich Schleiermacher, Sigmund Freud and finally Michael Persinger who explain the main issue surrounding religious experiences and this being how authentic religious experiences really are and whether they are nothing but a hallucination.
Your summary of what a religions experience is isn't great. Not all religious experiences make people feel at ease, for example. Would be better just to say that they are a personal experience of the divine. There's no need for you to mention the types of religious experience in the intro.

I recommend saying what you are going to argue and briefly why, in your intro.

Intros should contain these 4 things, and you should only need 1 sentence for each point, though maybe 2 for some of them occasionally:

1 - what is the general topic about
2 - what is this particular question asking about that topic
3 - what/who is on each side of the debate
4 - where will your conclusion fit into that debate, what is your answer to the question.

(Original post by Luxxxx27)
Friedrich Schleiermacher claimed that a religious experience was based on a personal experience he believed that a religious experience was self-authenticating and believed that no testing was required he strongly believed that religious experiences should have priority and the statements should be formulated to fit them However critics argued that he made things to subjective as he reduced religion to emotion on the other hand, Sigmund Freud saw religious experiences as an illusion he suggests that the urge some people felt towards religion was no more than psychological obsession. For example, if someone claimed to have experienced the suffering of Jesus, a religious person may accept this, but Freud would say that it was the persons opinion about the suffering of Jesus overall Freud explained that In turning away from reality and putting a wishful reality in its place the person makes use of imaginative thinking as if it’s a way to make them feel better about the world they live in.
I don't know what it means by 'the statements should be formulated to fit them'. You use the word 'believe' a lot in that first sentence, it makes the sentence a bit clunky.

You need to define what 'self-authenticating' means and its philosophical implications for the question.

You say he made things too subjective and reduced religion to emotion, but you've not made it clear how he's doing that nor why that would be a problem. Schliermacher might think it's a good thing, in fact in a way he kind of does, at least if we are referring to the spiritual/religious emotions involved in religious experience!

The Freud part is decent, though you need to make sure you are really explaining why his view makes Schliermacher wrong. At the moment you are doing something called 'juxtaposition', which is where you say - here's one view, but here's someone who thought they were wrong. Ok, but you need to then say what you think - you need to explain why you think Freud is correct! What about his theory is successful? You could reference that he's a bit more scientific for example and therefore has empirical justification on his side, or you could just point out that Schliermacher simply assumes that subjective psychological experiences could be self-authenticating but Freud shows that they are succeptible to other explanations which the experience alone provides no basis or ruling out and thus the experience cannot be said to be absolutely certain.

Also, you need to link back to the question at the end of your paragraphs. What does what you've said about Freud mean in terms of answering the question about whether we should believe religious experiences.

(Original post by Luxxxx27)
Some people have explained a religious experience in a physiological interpretation Michael Persinger is a neuroscience researcher who explained that when transmitting magnetic weak signals people had a religious experience this is when he experimented with a group of volunteers who had to wear a helmet shaped device which transmitted weak magnetic signals through the brain, and he argues that religious experiences are no more than the brain responding to external stimuli. Some critics claimed that people who are unknowingly in the presence of a magnet field might feel as if they have encountered god, but it was just the effects of magnetism which was confused for a religious experience also the study took place in a controlled environment so the credibility may not be valid as a religious experience can take place at any time . Other psychological studies that have taken place is a near death experience which is experienced by people who were in a coma or a cardiac arrest whilst being in a near death experience people have claimed that they have sensed a presence of god and some have indicated that there is a real hope of life after death in the presence of god but critics have suggested that the medication used whilst they suffered from trauma could be accountable for the patients having these religious experience so would physiology offer a plausible explanation of an religious experience than the one that directly comes from god.
This is mostly fine however you need to come to a firm mini-conclusion at the end of the paragraph which links back to the question. It's not enough to just say some critics say this, others say that, others say this, etc, you need to reach a conclusion for the paragraph about which critics are correct and what answer that gives you to the essay question.


(Original post by Luxxxx27)
Many people are more likely to believe something if it has been experienced. Our experience of God is the best evidence we have that God exists. Richard Swinburne believes that a religious experience should be taken as seriously unless there's a good reason to be suspicious about it, and it could be taken as evidence for the existence of god. An example Swinburne portrays is if someone says that they can hear someone at the door then they probably can in the same way if someone says they can hear the voices of god we should believe them. Therefore, Swinburne puts forward the principle of credulity and testimony and Swinburne's principle of credulity says that experience is normally reliable and the balance of probability says that experience can be trusted and the principle of testimony says that mostly people tell the truth so we can believe what we are told so we should go with the balance of probability when we are told something and we shouldn’t make different rules for a religious experience just because we have not experienced it ourselves .Therefore, if person believes God was present we should accept what a person experiences unless you can prove otherwise. On the other hand, critics state that only one person has a religious experience and other people cannot have a repeat of the experience so it cannot be proven and considered.
This is not bad however you spend far too long explaining Swinburne's view and not enough time on the criticism of him. 60% of the marks are for evaluation, but this paragraph is only about 10% evaluation. Also I don't understand the criticism you chose, are you trying to say that religious experiences are private within people's minds and therefore can't count as evidence which must be publicly observable?


(Original post by Luxxxx27)
Overall, I believe that a religious experience is a personal experience and the issues surrounding this is whether a religious experience is a genuine encounter with god or just a mere overactive imagination or just a hallucination. There is no clear answer to the question of whether one can demonstrate God’s existence as a result of religious experience. As a result, one cannot determine the credibility of a religious experience.
Conclusions should sum up your essay. They should say something like "because this happened in paragraph one, this view on the question was correct, and because this happened in paragraph two, this view on the question was seen to be correct, and because this happened in paragraph three, this view was seen to be correct, and therefore my overall conclusion in answer to the question is : whatever follows from that.

I hope that helps! You've got a good sense of the required structure, 3 paragraphs beginning with a theory/philosopher/view on the question with then at least one criticism and possibly then a counter-criticism. However, you have to make sure you are doing 60% of your essay as evaluations/criticisms, you have to link back to the question at the end of every paragraph and you have to make sure to avoid juxtaposition.

You would probably get a low C grade for this essay. What's good about it is that what you have done right you have done well so just work on adding these considerations and you'll do better.
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Hello, I did OCR RS and the revision guides really helped me out, made the concepts a lot easier to understand. I also had a book which had a load of example essays in, which was also really really helpful, I used it to make lots of essay plans and compile a list of key thinkers.

As for the essays, your intro should be a brief overview of what you're going to argue, some definitions maybe, and state clearly what your line of argument is going to be. Main body should be points for and against, with plenty of evidence to back up the points you make and key thinkers to support your argument. Conclusion should be a summary of your argument, don't add any new concepts to it and again clearly state your line of argument.

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Luxxxx27
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Hi what revision guides did you use?
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Luxxxx27
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Joe312

Thank you soo much
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(Original post by Luxxxx27)
Hi what revision guides did you use?
They're called MyRevisionGuide - just look up OCR RS and they should come up
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Joe312
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My revision guides are the best: https://alevelphilosophyandreligion.com/
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Luxxxx27
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Thank you soo much I really appreciate your help
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(Original post by Luxxxx27)
Thank you soo much I really appreciate your help
If you want to have a go at making the changes I suggest you could post another essay and we can see how much you improve.
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Luxxxx27
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Okay once I redo my essay I will post it on here?
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would you be able to check my ethics essay aswell?
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Well if it includes the same kind of mistakes you made in this essay there might not be much point, I'd say work on those areas for improvement first. However if you think the ethics essay is different then it could be worth looking at yes.
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Luxxxx27
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Alright I will work on my new essay and I’ll post it here
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(Original post by joe312)
my revision guides are the best: https://alevelphilosophyandreligion.com/
you are a life saverrrrr thankyouuuuuuuuu
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(Original post by Luxxxx27)
Hi, guys, I’m struggling with ocr religious studies I am unable to get more than an e in ethics and philosophy. I need to at least get a B in order to go to the uni I want but I don’t understand the concepts of ethics and philosophy nor how to write the 40 mark essay and now there’s no school I don’t want to screw my alevels up can anyone help me?
Hi I’m studying the same syllabus and so I can help tutor you with notes I’ve made from the textbook and sample essays I have. Please get in touch as I would like to help : )
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That will be great angelicasingh32
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