I thought the woman who discounted theistic models of the universe in order to promote an overtly "scientific" but pregnantly pantheistic vision of "Life" as cosmic organizing principle provided a good example of this confusion at work. While her biotic cosmology is undoubtedly rich and deeply rewarding as a way to explain and appreciate childbirth, natural selection, and other awe-inspiring biological systems, this very sublime character drives it to converge -- despite her vocabulary-driven assertions to the contrary -- with at least a quasi-religious point-of-view. Change "God's" name to "Nature" and you are still worshipping a transcendental force, only according to a somewhat different rite. Likewise, replace the "Big Bang" with "the Prime Mover," and where are you?
Given the topic of the show, it's not surprising that the callers seemed so entirely concerned with the question of God, but I found it striking that there were so few allusions…… [Read More]
He goes further to support this by comparing an existent God and a non-existent God, and since humans cannot imagine any being greater than God then God is existent which is logically true and understandable. When this argument is compared to that of Aquinas which is based on necessary existence is stronger since it does not recognize that God is a greater being and compares God's qualities to that of human beings. A philosopher named Hume also argued that all things may be contingent with no need for necessary existence, and a further argument has also been brought about by the Aquinas' philosophy giving more indications that it is not a conclusive argument.
According to Aquinas' argument the existence of God is dependent on the existence of the universe thus if the universe ceases to exist then God also ceases to exist but according to Anselm the existence of God…… [Read More]
e., God). Marx and Engel saw it as something that is fantastical -- a fantastical reflection of the minds of men (Marx & Engel p 161).
Buddhadasa writes that the Buddha believed in the reality of a spiritual existence, yet he refused to interpret it as something -- a revelation -- beyond itself (p 146).
Feuerbach thought that religion saw the main difference between man and brute was the fact that brutes did not have any sort of religion (p 9). However, Feuerbach himself sees that the main difference between man and brute is consciousness -- "but consciousness in the strict sense in the perception and even judgment of outward things according to definite sensible signs, cannot be denied to brutes" (p 9). This is to say that man is able to talk with himself and the brute is not able to do this. Man is something, in a sense,…… [Read More]
Nevertheless, personal experience is a powerful method of argument, especially when the credibility of the individual is not called into question. The moral argument in favor of the existence of God is weak because the existence of human morality does not in itself mean that God is the origin of morals. Rather, God has often been used as a motive to prompt people to act a certain way, according to religious scripture or doctrine. Miracles pose a significant problem for the philosopher of religion, because if an act is deemed miraculous, it supercedes the laws of nature. However, the laws of nature are always subject to God; therefore, a miracle cannot theoretically exist.
Pascal's "wager" is yet another theistic philosophy of religion, one that is based primarily on self-interest. Pascal suggested that believing in God is a "better bet" than not believing in God. The individual who believes has nothing…… [Read More]
human beings have attempted to make sense of their world. Being creative creatures, this attempt often takes the form of stories and myths on the basis of religion and mythology. For the more rational mind, philosophy has played an important role to think about and explain the world to oneself, one's students, and one's children. For me personally, philosophy has played the most important part to make sense of the world, the people, and the things that share my life. This is not to say, however, that mythology and religion do not also play a role in such attempts.
I believe that today, philosophy is the most important of the humanities that can be used to impose a sense of structure and sense on the world, history, and current events. Philosophy has arisen not based upon an existing system of story telling or myth, but rather as a result of…… [Read More]
Philosophies of Life:
Personal and Traditional
hen one considers the many aspects of one's "inner life," it becomes clear that most, if not all of them are based upon some philosophical conception. Psychologists have long known that individuals, who have a strong sense of their life's purpose, as well as a spiritual, religious, or ethical viewpoint, tend to live longer, healthier lives. Further, they are less likely to suffer from depressive episodes (Hassad, 2000). Although each person's individual "philosophy of life" is different, there are some well-known philosophical interpretations that can shed some light upon common attitudes concerning personal identity. Six famous life philosophies are attributed to Socrates, Freud, Albert Camus, Thomas Hobbes, John Locke, and Muhammad.
Although there are several ways in which one can interpret the meaning of life and personal identity, perhaps one of the most useful steps one can take in the process is to recognize…… [Read More]
" (Leviathan, Chapter 12).
This passage speaks directly to man's relationship with God in Hobbes' eyes. The idea that God exists pre-logic erupts into an understanding that faith and fate play such an integral role in Man's life. Whatever we may do to secure our happiness we may do, but fate and faith play a larger role than we would generally care to admit to be the case.
In general, Hobbes philosophy on religion does satisfy a lot of philosophic ends. It points at one true course (Christianity) and also obviates the need to justify religion in the face of logic and philosophy. As in, we do not need to logically defend Christ's birth, the stories of his life and the prophets, and subsequently the parable of his cruxifiction. In fact, we do not even need to defend logically the basic premises of religion or specifically Christianity.
Instead, we can…… [Read More]
"(32) Through faith, a man or a woman entrusts his or herself to another, and thus a human bond is formed.
Therefore, it can be concluded that philosophical reasoning is as vital as faith for diaconal ministry. The unity of truth, that is, the importance of realizing that both philosophy and religion lead to the same ultimate truths, shows that reason and faith are more related than they are usually considered to be: "The unity of truth is a fundamental premise of human reasoning, as the principle of non-contradiction makes clear. Revelation renders this unity certain, showing that the God of creation is also the God of salvation history."(35) as Fides et Ratio emphasizes Christian philosophy points to this unity of truth by showing that the God of creation is also the God of history and that God is at the same time the transcendental truth and the historical, immediate…… [Read More]
Philosophy and Psychology of the Mind and Body
Throughout human history, philosophers, doctors, and most recently, psychologists, have attempted to understand the relationship between the mind and body and how it results in human beings' awareness and perception of reality. At least since the golden age of Greek philosophy, thinkers have been aware of an ostensible distinction between the mind and body, a distinction that nonetheless allows for some intermingling such that physical issues affect the mental state just as mental issues may result in physical symptoms. Thus, if one desires to truly understand how contemporary estern psychologists and philosophers consider the nature of consciousness via the interaction between mind and body, one must trace the history of these concepts starting with the Greek philosophers, moving through the Middle Ages and the Renaissance and on to the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, when psychology first began to develop as a formal…… [Read More]
Smith's view seems to play out in the comparison of a state such as Iran, which imposes Muslim religious beliefs on its citizens, and that is extremely rigid and zealous in those beliefs, which impose strict religious control over households and especially women. Compare that with a country like the United States, which is more moderate and reasonable, and open to new religious beliefs.
Some experts believe that diversity is another reason religion plays a role in moderate, reasonable societies. Author Barro continues, "A greater diversity of religions available in a country or region is thought to promote greater competition, hence a better quality religion product, and therefore higher religious participation and beliefs" (Barro). In a country with only one supported religion, tolerance and quality are not part of the equation, adherence and rules are the most important, and that does not give any tolerance for any diversity or competition…… [Read More]
The role of evil is generally misunderstood in the human approach to life. The fear of committing evil lies paramount within all facets of society. The purpose of this essay is to argue that to solve the problem of evil, humanity must begin to embrace the benefits and solutions to problems that evil provides. This essay will first define the concept of evil and discuss the problem in a philosophic manner that can help transmute evil ideas into more productive energies that can be used for growth and evolution
The power of words carry emotional value that create energetic fields that permeate in the environment. Some words carry great power and instantly polarize the conditioned mind into an immediate and often irrational emotional reaction. "Evil" carries with it spiritual, moral and ethical values and energy that suggest the word's meaning has super power on and over…… [Read More]
Philosophy is a one of the most perplexing, interesting and intriguing branch of study that seeks to understand the world from a viewpoint not commonly used. Three are many different branches of philosophy and three important ones include metaphysics, epistemology and axiology.
Epistemology refers to the branch of study that tries to go deeper into the meaning and scope of knowledge. The field is concerned with important and pertinent questions concerning knowledge such as what is knowledge, how is it acquired and how do we know some of things that we know. For example we understand that adding 2 and 2 would give us 4. Epistemology is simply concerned with the origin of this knowledge and not with how we add etc. Moser (2002) writes: "Epistemology characterized broadly, is an account of knowledge. Within the discipline of philosophy, epistemology is the study of the nature of knowledge and justification: in…… [Read More]
Philosophy and Morality
INSTRUCTIONS The exam consists essays. Please essays document. Please plagiarize. Be paraphrase verbatim language authors putting quotation marks. You document sources, -text citation ( footnotes) a reference page.
John Arthur's "Morality, Religion, and Conscience,"
A concern on the relationship between morality and religion is an ancient argument that continues in philosophy in the present times. The argument is mainly on whether morality emanates from an institution or religious background. Theologians in their numbers provide unwavering support the argument that a unifying absolute force or God provides universal moral guidance. The importance of observing morality and religion as independent on one another but related in some way has been argued by other philosophers (Lyons 479). John Arthur argues that morality and religion are not interlocking in relevant manners. Arthur argues that morality in independent from religion and religion does not influence moral action. It is his contention…… [Read More]
Qualifications of the divine and the nature of supreme reality are core concepts of any religious tradition. Hinduism and Buddhism conceptualize the divine and the nature of reality in complementary yet distinct ways. Buddhism emerged from Hinduism, in a manner not wholly unlike the way Christianity emerged from Judaism. Therefore, there are several core similarities in the cosmologies and the conceptualizations of divine reality between these two faiths. Moreover, the religious practices and philosophies of Buddhism and Hinduism tend to be more similar than they are different. These similarities should not obscure the real and practical differences in the ways Hindus and Buddhists conceptualize and communicate matters related to the nature of the divine, and the nature of supreme reality. In particular, Buddhism avoids distinctions between a divine and a profane realm; there are no actual Buddhist deities or gods. Hinduism boasts a plethora of gods and goddesses, although…… [Read More]
eligions of ome
Throughout history, religion has been having a major impact on the societies around the world. In the case of the omans, they had numerous religions that were practiced throughout the reign of the empire. To fully understand these ideas requires looking at the chapter titled Sol the Sun in the Art and eligions of ome. This will be accomplished by summarizing the various points and discussing a broad theme from the chapter. Together, these different elements will provide the greatest insights as to how specific practices from other cultures affected various oman religions.
In Sol the Sun in the Art and eligions of ome, it is talking about the worship of the sun god name Sol. He was a mythological figure that was considered to have the most power among the various oman pagan gods. This is because the omans believed that the sun was a vital…… [Read More]
Thus, Sam argues that although the world often seems unjust (and is filled with innumerable instances of evil), yet P. is solved through the belief that every condition (good, in this case) necessitates an equal and opposite condition (evil, as it were.) However, Gretchen counters by asking whether those who behave in an evil way are ever punished for their transgressions, and whether there is any motivation for people to not simply act in their own best interests, whether or not this involves behaving in an immoral manner. Sam's rejoinder appeals to the afterlife as the site in which the importance of morality becomes manifest: "But the doctrine of an afterlife, in whatever form, says that this isn't the whole story" (47). However, Sam disregards the fact that God is purported to pardon many sinners, which would ostensibly mean that he regularly pardons instances of injustice.
The dialogue between Sam…… [Read More]
. The Dao is the source of all power which embodies all beings and encompasses both the yin and the yang. Remarkable quiet and serene, the Dao is rarely detected by humans, but provides invulnerability to those who posses it. Dao philosophy calls for its followers to refrain from certain foods and sexual activity, and also separates the role of the state from the lives of its citizens.
The great philosopher Confucius, also known as Kong Fu-Xi, evolved his teachings out of Dao philosophies. Confucius, like estern philosopher Socrates, is known to modern man through the others attempting to preserve his teachings. He took Dao teachings and evolved them into an entirely different sect. Unlike Daoism and later the Shinto religion, he believed that men were the source of the secret life, rather than the cosmos. The Analects of Confucius are dialogues between his followers and he which best embodies…… [Read More]
How is it possible, then, that we can come to know anything?
Methodological doubt is best represented in the first of the Meditations, "hat can be called into doubt."
In this meditation, the meditator is forced to think about everything that he has believed throughout the course of his life. He must then make a conscious decision to do away with all of these lies and begin again so that the basis of his knowledge is free of any lies.
4. hat is the difference between atheism and agnosticism?
Atheism means that there is a denial of theism (i.e., the existence of God) while agnosticism means that there is a question concerning the existence of God, a heaven, or any type of spiritual being. An atheist would believe that God does not exist and therefore does not have any control over his or her life while an agnostic would believe…… [Read More]
The question should also be specific enough that there would not be a large number of sub-questions that would have to be answered first or that might alter the value of the central question. At the same time, if the question were too narrow, then the researcher might find that it ruled out other possibilities that might emerge. The question also must generate data that tests the hypothesis, and a simple yes or no answer would be too simple for a good research question. The question cannot be such that it raises a question that cannot be quantified, for then the data would not lead to a useful answer or one that would be testable by others. The question must also be formulated so that it is clear to other researchers who may want to test the hypothesis as well or replicate the original research, and the question must be…… [Read More]
Essentially, science utilizes the power of reason and logic in its search for the truth while religion depends almost wholly upon faith, being a belief in something without any evidence whatsoever to support it. In the realms of science, investigators seek to understand natural phenomena through direct observation and experimentation which makes it mandatory that all interpretations of the facts be provisional and testable. Statements made by any authority, revelation or appeal to the supernatural are not part of this process, due to the absence of supporting evidence.
Thus, in the eyes of religious scholars and authorities, all opposition to what science has uncovered is based on faith and mythological revelation which takes precedence over evidence. Also, the tenets of religion have not, for the most part, changed much over time and cannot be validated when subjected to the scientific method.
Like many others that study the natural world, scientists…… [Read More]
The question arising from this claim is whether evidence exists to prove that there exists an infinitely good, powerful, and wise God where morality naturally emerges. Humes argues that is hard to imagine that an all-good, powerful God exists in this world full of pain and misery. From these claims, one can argue that this insight, or God, has both evil and good, as is present in man if man is in God's image and likeliness.
Immanuel Kant: from the Critique of Pure Reason, the Good Will and the Categorical Imperative, the Postulates of Practical Reason
Kant believes that the vigorous application of same methods of reasoning can yield to an equal development in dealing with the issues of moral philosophy. Kant proposes a list of categories of Freedom in Relation to the concept of good vs. evil. Kant uses logical distinction as the basis for the catalog. Even though…… [Read More]
eligion has the ability to give people hope especially the hopeless. Despite the harsh situations and challenges that people face, religion plays a fundamental role of giving them hope and optimism from which they draw strength. eligion is also an agent for socialization. It is no doubt meeting with other believers for religious events is more than just practicing faith (eeve 2006).
People use the opportunity to meet old friends and make new ones, sing together and above all socialize. Interactions can be a powerful source of happiness to individuals. eligion provides more than just individual hedonism to guide behavior. In essence, religion provides guidelines for faithful to follow and in the end live an orderly and moral life (Furness & Gilligan 2010). Even though people appear to be happier within the spheres of religion, many researchers show that people in relatively nonreligious nation are the happiest lot. Scandinavian societies…… [Read More]
Religion of the Spirits
In responding to adherents of the Religion of the Spirits, one might expect very different statements by St. Thomas Aquinas and the philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche. Indeed, these two personalities are opposite ends of the religious scale, with the former believing without any doubt that God exists and Catholicism is the true religion, and the latter being a believer in nihilism, physical life as the only existence that can reasonably be expected, and the non-existence of God. One similarity between Aquinas and Nietzsche is that they both believe unshakably in their respective viewpoints. There is therefore not much likelihood that the Religion of the Spirits will be able to convince either of their "truth."
If believers in the Religion of the Spirits were therefore to try and convince Thomas Aquinas of the truth of their religion, I believe he would in turn explain to them that there…… [Read More]
eligion or Science?
Since the enaissance, there has been a vocal debate between religion and science. Galileo was imprisoned and sanctioned because of his views of the universe, the sun, and the way planets moved. As science progressed, this debate became even more heated. However, in the late 20th century, there has also been a mitigating discussion about the way that religion and science can actual coexist as explanations of the universe. In fact, as physicists look into the wondrous world of smaller and smaller particles, they find that the laws we through governed the universe do not really fit in with the abstract dimensions of time, space, quarks, and the study of the basic attributes of matter and the universe (Schroeder, 2010, p.xi ). On some level, the debate between science and religion is based on the notion of reason (the scientific method) versus faith. eason implies what can…… [Read More]
According to Bass, "Hinduism is the only major religion lacking an adequate explanation as to its origin," as no definitive Hindu text exist that that date before 1000 B.C. Indeed, because Hinduism is one of the religions that views time as cyclical rather than linear, what information is available about Hinduism does not give a very accurate picture of its history (Bass 5). hat can be gleaned from this history is the fact that Hinduism is one of the oldest religions with one of the oldest societies in the world. Just as their origins are difficult to define, the beliefs of Hinduism are varied depending on one's personal interpretation of the religion. However, one of the more important aspects of Hinduism is its social caste system. This belief states that there are four casts, and each "has its rules and obligation for living." The three castes are Brahman, priests, hatriyas,…… [Read More]
Religions and Development
It is popularly believed that countries, where religion has major influence in governance, tend to develop slower than those where religious beliefs are not a main influence or consideration. This statement uses the cases of poor and traditionally colonized Christian countries in Southeast Asia, like the Philippines; Russia; and the African countries to support the claim.
The four major monotheistic religions in the world all tend to bar changes in one's life. Their faith or lifestyle does not involve material acquisition and is even hostile to it. They are bound to the wiles and stated will and preferences of an unseen Deity. Their happiness consists precisely in denying their own progress and contentment, the furthering of their blessings and potential. India is a supreme example of this. ut this blind adherence to brutal fate and faith is also taken advantage by some opportunists, such as in the…… [Read More]
Religion & Life Cycle
Different religious visions, different life cycles: The religious experience according to Rosenstock-Huessey and the Medicine Rite
Religion has always been the binding force that enabled humanity to create meaning in their lives and maintain unity among them. As a way of expressing spiritual reality, religion is instrumental in providing humanity a way of converting into concrete form (i.e., rituals and religious symbols) the different emotions associated to one's belief in a religion. Perhaps one of the most important functions that religion has for humanity is that it is able to depict humanity as the most important creature that the Supreme Being (or God) had created in the universe. That in our attempt to give meaning and purpose in life, we humans subsist to religion in order to validate that we, indeed, matter the most to God above anything else. This spiritual reality, despite its selfish nature,…… [Read More]
Kuhn's ationale on the Irrationality of Scientific evolutions
"Communities in this sense exist, of course, at numerous levels. The most global is the community of all natural scientists."
~Thomas S. Kuhn, from The Structure of Scientific evolutions
To understand Thomas Kuhn's ideas regarding scientific revolutions, one must have a grasp on Kuhn's ideas relating to the history of science in general. Kuhn's perspective on the history of science is that scientific knowledge is not accumulative. He did not perceive the accumulation of knowledge as linear. Thus, before Kuhn explains the irrationality of scientific revolutions, he explains the irrationality of the historical picture of science in general. The paper will contend that scientific revolutions are irrational because science is irrational. As will be demonstrated by Kuhn and other authors, there is no specific logic as to why some theories and paradigms become popular and other do not. To paraphrase Kuhn,…… [Read More]
While there is plenty to criticize in the work of Descartes, Locke, and Hume, one cannot justifiably claim that Jose Vasconcelos criticisms of traditional Western views on the nature of knowledge apply to these theorists if only because Vasconcelos' criticisms do not really apply to anything, as his criticisms are largely based on straw men. This is not to say that traditional Western views on the nature of knowledge should be free from criticism, but rather that the problems with these traditional views are more fundamental than Vasconcelos realizes, to the point that Vasconcelos suffers from many of these same issues. Essentially, both Vasconcelos and the previously mentioned authors suffer from a simply ignorance regarding the functioning of the human brain, the nature of consciousness and memory, and the evolutionary processes by which organisms and ideas evolve, with this ignorance born out of an implicit or explicit maintenance of…… [Read More]
This book, written from a scholarly viewpoint by professors of religion, looks at the dynamics of seven major religious traditions and how those traditions are adapting to the world of globalization.
Rifkin, I. Spiritual Perspectives on Globalization: Making Sense of Economic and Cultural Upheaval. Woodstock, VT: Skylight Paths Publishing. Print.
For author, speaker and journalist Ira Rifkin, globalization is changing how humans live at a very rapid, and sometimes unpredictable, rate. Some of this change revolves around the shift in values from individual cultures and the anger and uncomfortability humans are left with when faced with change. The book, written in lay terms without undue citations, examines Catholicism, Islam, Hinduism, Judaism, Buddhism, Baha'i, tribal religions and Protestantism to explain how each view the economic, social and religious aspects of globalism. The major point focuses on how the social constructs that tend to arise out of spirituality can not only enhance…… [Read More]
Is Jesus the Only Savoir? Is onald H. Nash's opportunity to develop a passionate and well-developed argument answering yes: yes, Jesus is the only Savoir. However, Nash does not rest on the reader's understanding or experience of faith to make his case. The author takes a different approach, using logic and reason to explain that at least to a believer in Christ, there can be no other paradigm other than Christian absolutism. According to Nash, pluralism by its very definition violates the tenets inherent in the New Testament. It is therefore impossible for a theologian, especially a Christian one, to be a pluralist.
Nash's scapegoat, for better or worse, is John Hick. Hick is a theologian who has succumbed to the temptation of thinking pluralistically and who attempts to show that Jesus is in fact not the only savior. Nash picks apart Hick's argument by revealing the logical fallacies…… [Read More]
In his discourse, The Republic, Plato describes the "ideal state" as composed of three social classes: the merchant class, military class, and philosopher-kings. The merchant class maintains and provides service to the society by safeguarding the people's economic activities, while the military class provides the society's security needs. However, in order to establish a stable society, the class of philosopher-kings must govern, having the knowledge, skills, and talent to govern and lead over the society politically. Moreover, the philosopher-king is appropriate for the role of a political leader because he (Plato assigns the role to men) possesses virtues of temperance, courage, wisdom, and justice. These three classes provide balance in the society in terms of the security, prosperity, and leadership, thereby establishing what Plato calls the "ideal state."
Aristotle's philosophy on happiness and the good life is illustrated in his discourse, the Nicomachean Ethics, wherein he posits that in…… [Read More]
In Chapter 5, the great churchman informs us that Water is in fact an apt designation for the Divinity, better than any of the other elements.
Water possess the unique properties of being more moveable than earth (though less movable than air) while at the same time being essential to the creation and sustaining of life, as in the way water must be added to the soil in order for plants to grow.
This signification of matter first conveys its end, that is, that for the sake of which it was made; secondly, its formlessness; thirdly, its service and subjection to the Maker. Therefore, it is first called heaven and earth; for its sake matter was made. Secondly, the earth invisible and without form and darkness over the abyss, that is, the formlessness itself without the light, as a result of which the earth is said to be invisible. Thirdly,…… [Read More]
Monotheism means the worship of one god.
Judaism, Christianity, and Islam are all monotheistic religions: God demands an exclusive relationship with His followers and an acknowledgement of His unique power.
All major monotheistic faiths have a concept of the 'end of days' or final judgment
God as the divine watchmaker.
God sent into motion the universe with His power but we are now able to use our own reason to govern our lives.
Enlightened reason and science is the best way to understand the future.
The natural world is the source of meaning.
Ethics can be found 'in nature.'
ather than formal religion, we must look to nature for guidance.
Life has no inherent meaning.
There is no system of morality inherent to the human condition beyond that which we construct.
We are adrift and not heading to a purposeful future.
Existentialism…… [Read More]
ased on the gospels of the New Testament, Jews acted as the murderers of Jesus Christ who in Jewish history is claiming to be the Son of God. Criticizing today's Christian practices such as idolatry which is purely against time old philosophy of the scripture continually arouses negative notion on the true authority of Jesus on his teachings.
Most of the parables of Jesus written in the gospels of the New Testament have survived and prospered in the heart and mind of all Christians. The parable of the Prodigal Son and the parable of the lost sheep are some of the parables that depict the importance given by God towards mankind.
The growth of the early Christian Catholic Church have sporadically developed worldwide since its founding after the death of Jesus Christ with Apostle Peter as the first Pope. The church traces its origin from the 12 Apostles in their…… [Read More]
Socrates has been accused of not recognizing the gods of the state, and also of inventing gods of his own. In fact, this is a two-part accusation. Socrates is first being accused for not believing in the state-sanctioned religion. Of course, it is impossible to know what Socrates does or does not believe. Based on his words, though, it would seem Socrates does actually believe in the gods although may not pay them the kind of respect that the Athenian courts would prefer.
The second part of the accusation is different. Here, the state accuses Socrates of inventing new divinities of his own. Socrates is in fact not starting a new religion and he does not tout the divine authority of any deity. If the accusation is taken collectively, that is, if declaration of guilt or innocence is made on the fulfillment of both these two parts, then Socrates…… [Read More]
The value of discipleship stresses the cohesion between the events of the past and the present, a fundamental tenant of psychotherapy. Discipleship also implies a mediation between God and his agents on earth, and the therapist always functions as a mediator between God's grace and earth. Community is also an important tenant of modern therapy, namely that no psychologically healthy human being is a spiritual and social island. Everyone needs social resources to fall back on, such as the church and the family. In particular for Christian counselors, the family often comes to the forefront as part of the patient's community as well as the church community. And apocalypticism focuses on the future and the patient's hopes and plans, over the course of the inner and outer changes weathered during the counseling relationship.
These four important challenges or concepts offered by the book for effective Christian counseling thus form a…… [Read More]
Religions of the Far East are often clumped into a monolithic entity, perceived as essentially alike by those not familiar with the complexity and individuality of these traditions. Closer examination, however, shows that the major religions with roots in the Far East demonstrate a wide variety of beliefs. The tendency to group them under the heading of "Eastern religion" alone does not allow for the different histories, beliefs, and practices of these traditions. This tendency, however, has some validity in that Eastern belief systems do share many characteristics. In this essay, I will explain the basic precepts, including similarities of, differences in, and the relationship between three major Eastern traditions: Buddhism, Confucianism, and Taoism.
First, I will give a basic overview of the three belief systems, exploring their histories and general precepts . Then, I will explore the specific beliefs which these faiths share, as well as the beliefs which…… [Read More]
Part Two of onald Nash's book Is Jesus the Only Savior? deals with the topic of religious inclusivism. Inclusivists "insist that all people must have a chance to be saved," regardless of their belief in Christ.[footnoteef:1] Not quite the opposite of exclusivism, inclusivism does allow for the potential ability of non-believers to be saved, but just emphasizes the unlikeliness of that actually occurring.[footnoteef:2] Kanno presents inclusivism as a view that tacitly approves religions other than one's own but " as a preparatory stage to one's own religion."[footnoteef:3] Hick's stance on inclusivism is that it is just a "soft form of exclusivism."[footnoteef:4] Because Nash is a hard exclusivist, the author finds certain problems with the inclusivism stance. [1: Nash, onald H, 1994. Is Jesus the Only Savior? p. 104.] [2: obinson, B.A, 2011. "How People View the Status of eligions Other than Their Own." etrieved: http://www.religioustolerance.org/rel_plur.htm] [3: Kanno, Hiroshi, n.d.…… [Read More]
Divine Command Theory is the ethical theory that says that what God wills or command determines the moral status of various actions, or in other words, "an act is right if and only if God wills or commands it...an act is wrong if and only if God forbids it" (Religion pp). Yet, this simply states what people are supposed to do, and does not take into account free will and individual accountability (Religion pp). This is also a version of absolutism, for it claims that certain acts are right or wrong universally, whether or not one believes in God (Religion pp).
Divine Command Theory presents two problems:
There are many different interpretations of God's commands (and one would think that if God were God he would make the truth explicit so that it could be known).
DCT presupposes God's existence.
hen faced with a situation, I generally seek…… [Read More]
" (ohlf) These maxims may be as simple as gratifying a desire or something complex like becoming a lawyer. Kant then distinguishes between two basic kinds of maxims: material and formal principles. If I am acting in order to satisfy some desire, such as going to a Starbucks to get a coffee, that is acting on a material principle. According to Kant, maxims are rules that describe how one does act and imperatives prescribe how one should act. A categorical imperative commands that I should act in some way unconditionally. Kant regards these categorical imperatives as moral laws and they apply to everyone in the same way. In other words, if stealing is morally wrong, we cannot say that stealing is okay., because we are hungry and lack the money to buy food for ourselves or our families.
Kant's Categorical Imperative commands that we should act in some…… [Read More]
Further, warfare and poverty have all but been eliminated. But in order to have happiness, the people are dependent on government produced stimulation, including Soma and promiscuous sex. The reason for this is because this society lacks the staples of human identity and individuality, such as family, culture, art, literature, science, religion and philosophy.
n this sense, Huxley's utopia is an ironic, or false utopia as without individuality and happiness, society is not really a utopia. Thus, Socrates would agree with Huxley's underlying philosophy that true happiness is only possible through an expression of individuality. Without individuality, society is in fact a distopia.
This is a sentiment that Thoreau would agree with as the premise of his Walden Pond was to create a personal utopia through an expression of complete individuality. Thoreau's premise was that by depending on pure individuality one would experience true happiness. n order to accomplish this,…… [Read More]
Given that experience is argued to be the foundation of knowledge (according to Locke) how - if at all - does Locke make room for what Leibniz would call 'necessary truths'?
Gottfried Leibniz made many criticisms of the work of John Locke, while acknowledging its sophistication and importance, observing that 'although the author of the Essays says hundreds of fine things which I applaud, our systems are very different' (Leibniz, 1982, p. 47). There is indeed a philosophical gulf between the two thinkers. Locke does not believe human beings can have any access to accurate knowledge of the actually existing reality of things, their 'real essence.' Only through the words we use to stand for things do we have any relationship to those things:
Nor indeed can we rank and sort things, and consequently (which is the end of sorting) denominate them, by their real essences; because we…… [Read More]
Saint Anselm, the Duke of Canturbury, was "one of the most important Christian thinkers of the eleventh century," (Sadler). This is because Anselm used a reasoned philosophical argument to address theological questions. In Cur Deus Homo, or hy God Became Man, the author addresses the Incarnation of Christ and the theme of Atonement for sin from this philosophical perspective. Anselm distinguishes between "different ways in which an action or state can be just or unjust, specifically just and unjust at the same time," (Sadler).
hy God Became Man is divided into two sections. The first part addresses sin and redemption in a general fashion. Anselm outlines the concept of sin as fulfilling the satisfaction of God, which is related the concept of being indebted to God. This is outlined best in Chapter 11 of Book 1. The author states, "To sin is nothing else than not to render to…… [Read More]
Socrates was a proud citizen of Athens. He loved his native state so much that when he was condemned before her courts, he prefered to be sentences to death instead of exile, because to be away from Athens would have been unbearable to him. He had fought bravely in her wars and won great acclaim, and laid his life on the line for her protection. Considering the degree of patriotism with which Socrates was endowed, it is strange and ironic that he was brought up on charges of corrupting the youth and challenging the laws of his state. It may in fact have been Socrates' passion for the egalitarian values of Athens that led to his prosection and death.
As the first democracy, ancient Athens was a society where lawsuits ran rampant. In that day many people seemed to scorn the constant suing, and it was a matter of…… [Read More]
Buddhists, who similarly believe in the concept of Karma, also have a strong commitment to the belief that their actions have consequences. hile Buddhists have a much different value system than Hindus or especially estern religions that tend to see good and bad as black and white, while Buddhists see it as wholesome or unwholesome (Sach 80), they still have a code of morality, such as valuing peace over harm. Karma represents this moral dichotomy. Thus, both the Eastern religions of Hinduism and Buddhism support the theory that one creates one's own destiny. If they did not, they could not have their system of moral rights and wrongs. ithout the chance to make positive or negative decisions, a belief system cannot coherently state that one cannot make one's own decisions, creating one's own destiny. How could a belief system maintain that one would be punished for his or her actions…… [Read More]
Science and religion have historically possessed a tumultuous relationship based upon the fact that the latter claims to hold the ultimate answers to the most fundamental questions of existence, while the former claims to hold the means to discovering many of these answers. Consequently, for much of human history they have been viewed as being analogous avenues to gaining knowledge of the world, merely attacked from different directions; science must eventually prove with reason what is already accepted upon faith. However, a number of scientific observations and interpretations have come into direct conflict with established doctrines of the Western, Christian Church. These scientific theories have caused many to question the validity of their faith, and many others to question the validity of science. Usually, the conflicts originate from formalized interpretations of Christianity rather than upon the fundamental basis of faith. In other words, science can neither prove nor disprove the…… [Read More]
In fact the aims of theosophy when it was founded was to "form the nucleus of a Universal Brotherhood of Humanity without distinction of race, creed, or color," and also "to promote the study of Aryan and other Eastern literature, religions, and sciences," and also "to investigate the hidden mysteries of nature." (Prothero 197). New Human Potential Movement members have written books but none have penned a book that is recognized as a sacred text or as a key piece of religious dogma.
As an eclectic faith, the New Human Potential Movement has a less rigid code of ethics than most other religions do. Like ceremonial magickal traditions, moral relativism and ambiguity is tolerated. However, there are a few beliefs that are cohesive enough for scholars to define the New Human Potential Movement as a religion rather than as a cult or a simple offshoot of New Ageism. One of…… [Read More]
As the roles and functions of religions and their leaders changed according to the changing needs of the communities they served, they provided both stability in times of change as well as the leadership to effect changes as necessary.
Of the three theorists, Marx appears to include the most negative elements in his considerations of religion. It must also be noted however that Marx places more focus on elements other than religion, whereas the other two theorists study religion in itself as it connects with society and its needs. Marx instead viewed religion as one of the elements that could be detrimental in effecting social change when necessary. Durkheim in turn places greater emphasis on the spiritual and esoteric quality of religion than the others, but nevertheless also places it within the context of a society that creates their gods as reflections of themselves. Weber is the most practical of…… [Read More]
Even though the lines may be quite bold between democrats and republicans, the BBC found that 65% of Americans believe "churches should not endorse candidates," and 51% agree that "churches should express views on political matters" (Greene 2002-2008, graphics box).
The question of whether or not a candidate's personal religious beliefs should be used on the campaign trail is a problematic one, with two equally valid points-of-view. Those who say it should state that this is information that they need to know as voters, since religion is important to them. Those who say it should note state that this information increases fraudulent activities among campaigners and casts a frightening forecast for what the candidate may do in office. The data seems to support both sides, suggesting that voters think the candidate's religious ideas and the church should be involved in his or her bid for office. However, the…… [Read More]
But this Love, too (or satisfaction) has its highest ideal in the metaphysical realm of Knowledge that can grant a man a far more satisfying and blissful existence.
In short, Socrates' hierarchy of Love is the following: Love is a beautiful body that is the beauty of all bodies that is the beauty of all souls. Following from which, Love is also the laws, activities, and customs leading onto the beauty of knowledge, ideas, and theories resulting in Beauty itself. Beauty, therefore, is synonymous with Knowledge and Right Action (Hecht, 25).
Socrates discusses Love, too, in another essay (Hecht, 95) where he talks about the pleasure that gods receive by observing the right actions of man. Here, too, Socrates employs the term 'love' in reference to being pleased by something that is morally right. The gods appreciate someone who is a just person and obtain a sort of pleasure from…… [Read More]
The cosmological disagreement can take many forms, but it works with the basis since the cosmos (universe) exists, there must be a God. How can the information that the universe exist point to any other conclusion than that the universe exists? The first argues that God must exist because He is "The Temporal First Cause" of the universe. The second argues that God must exist because He is "The Ontological First Cause" of the universe.
It is by no means clear that the logical relations between sense experiences and physical objects are significantly different from the logical relations between mystical or numinous experiences and an object like God. It is thus not clear that some sort of special justification is needed in the one case, which is not needed in the other. If a special justification is not needed in the case of sense experience, and it…… [Read More]
eligion and Politics
Uses and Abuses of the Concept of Orientalism
There have been many uses and abuses in regard to the cultural and social concept called Orientalism. "Unlike the Americans, the French and British -- less so the Germans, ussians, Spanish, Portuguese, Italians, and Swiss -- have had a long tradition of what I shall be calling Orientalism, a way of coming to terms with the Orient that is based on the Orient's special place in European Western Experience. The Orient is not only adjacent to Europe; it is also the place of Europe's greatest and richest and oldest colonies, the source of its civilizations and languages, its cultural contestant, and one of its deepest and most recurring images of the other. In addition, the Orient has helped to define Europe (or the West) as its contrasting image, idea, personality, and experience. Yet none of this Orient is merely…… [Read More]
They study the book of Jafaar al-Saadaq. They also believe Ali is the purpose of life and the divine knowledge of the prophet Mohammed, which actually rises him above the Prophet in their eyes. The religion is also very secretive, and they do not publish their texts or share them with other sects.
The Alawites recognize the Five Pillars of Islam, but do not believe that anyone can practice them because no soul is pure enough to practice them. They also do not believe in a back door entrance to heaven.
The evolution of political Islam actually began during the age of Imperialism, when there was widespread corruption and oppression in the Muslim world. The politicization of Islam was a result of Muslim fundamentalists and Islamic revolutionary movements rising up in protest over this treatment, along with protests against corrupt Muslim regimes in the region. These revolutionaries hoped to create…… [Read More]
Glynn concludes that fundamentalists exist not only in the Creationism Camp, but in the Evolutionism camp as well, regretting the unfortunate irony that Evolutionism Fundamentalists are attempting to suffocate constructive dialogue in much the same way Catholic Priests did in the past.
e. Thomas Demere and Steve Walsh -- Creationism Should Not Be Taught In Public Schools
Demere and Walsh argue that teaching a non-disprovable theory like Creationism would further weaken the already lagging Scientific literacy of American students. Demere and Walsh state that for something to be considered Science, it must depend on rational evidence and observation of natural events. Demere and Walsh conclude that the theory of Creationism does not meet this standard because it is supported only by religious texts and cannot be disproved on its own terms.
Most Personally Appealing Position
Regarding the broader relationship between Science and Religion, I agree most with Ruse, who…… [Read More]
eligion and Education
eligious development in children and adults alike have been research areas that have historically been of interest to those involved in the developmental psychology arenas such as theorists of religious development, religious educators, and designers of religious education curricula in various settings. However, religious development did not receive a great deal of consideration during the early phases of growth in the psychology or the schools of human behavior and development. Even though the work of Sigmund Freud has been extremely influential in education and psychoanalysis, there are many other eminent psychologists who have made greater strides for humankind by trying to understand the planning and teaching aspects of religious education. This paper, therefore, aims to discuss three such prominent individuals: Jean Piaget, Erik Erikson and Jerome Bruner.
Ironically, behaviorism and psychoanalysis entail some aspects of atheistic presuppositions and therefore create many psychologists who are leaning more towards…… [Read More]
Life is a collection of feelings, and everything that gives us a good feeling will certainly give us happiness. For every person there is a different definition of happiness. Some people associate happiness with spiritual satisfaction which people achieve by practicing their religious activities. The gist of the discussion lies in the point that happiness is relative. One thing might make one person happy and the other sad. There are two sides to every slice therefore you cannot just consider one factor and declare one theory of happiness or school of thought right or wrong.
The battle of objectivity vs. subjectivity is different for every situation. For situations where objectivity is needed narrow hedonism theory of happiness will be considered more plausible as compare to the need for relativity from situation to situation and feeling to feeling will lead to the victory of preference hedonism theory of happiness.
Factor Two:…… [Read More]
In fact, we see that the ruling minority calls upon the ruled majority even for the power to defend itself against the ruled majority, since the ruled majority constitutes the armies of the ruling minority.
Mosca writes: "But the man who is at the head of the state would certainly not be able to govern without the support of a numerous class to enforce respect for his orders and have them carried out; and granting that he can make one individual, or indeed many individuals, in the ruling class feel the weight of his power, he certainly cannot be at odds with the class as a whole or do away with it. Even if that were possible, he would at once be forced to create another class, without the support of which action on his part would be completely paralyzed."
Here, Mosca establishes that the ruler has no love for…… [Read More]
By placing these lessons within the context of the battlefield, Sun Tzu provided thousands of years of audiences with a Taoist approach to conflict and to warfare.
Taoism is traditionally thought of as a peaceful, natural philosophy that avoids fighting much like Buddhism. But this is untrue. Taoism recognizes that life involves conflict, but that the wise man can mediate this conflict and control it so that it is least destructive and most productive. Thus, war is not an anathema to Taoists, merely a last resort. Sun Tzu concludes, "The art of war is of vital importance to the state. It is a matter of life and death, a road either to safety or to ruin. Hence under no circumstances can it be neglected" (Sun Tzu 9). Taoists would agree: conflict is an inescapable part of life, thus a deeper understanding of it such as Sun Tzu provides is the…… [Read More]
Unlike Plato, Machiavelli had a much less idealistic view of leadership in mind. or, rather, his view of leadership was not wrapped up in a personal view of ethics and virtue. Plato obviously believed, after all, that the best leader would be the wisest and the most moral. It was these qualities that should be encouraged and these qualities that would make said individual a superior leader. Machiavelli argued implicitly that this was an erroneous understanding of human nature and the characteristics that constitute excellent leaders. At the heart of Machiavelli's description of the perfect leader, his idealized prince, is the argument that personal virtue and ethics are completely unrelated to public success (Kemerling). Hence, from this we see that the good leader will not necessarily be the same as the virtuous individual. This assertion stands in stark contrast to Plato's argument about the nature of leadership and highlights the…… [Read More]