Religion and Philosophy
RELIGION AND PHILOSOPHY 8
Behaviors of a religious person
Ininstances where an individual is said to be religious, there arevaried characteristics or beliefs that he or she is supposed toespouse. The term “religious”, in my understanding, underlines anindividual who follows the teachings of the bible and seeksperfection in accordance with the will of God. It underlines theelement of manifesting ore relating to faithful devotion to aparticular acknowledged ultimate reality or rather a deity. First,such an individual is supposed to be prayerful. Given that thesupernatural is usually personalized in a wide range of religions, itgoes without saying that religious people would want to interact andcommunicate with the same. Prayer comes as a considerably common wayof trying to communicate and could take place quietly with oneperson, publicly and loudly, or even in the context of a group ofreligious people. In addition, such people would believe insupernatural beings. Indeed, every religion revolves around believingin a Supernatural Being, in which case theism should never bemistaken to be a religion. Further, such individuals would havebeliefs that distinguish between profane and sacred times, places andobjects. Creating this distinction would be helpful in directing thereligious individuals to concentrate on transcendental values, aswell as supernatural but hidden elements pertaining to the worldaround them.
Difference between religious belief and theology
Moreoften than not, theology and religious belief are seen as similar oras if they have similar implications. However, these two terms havevarying meanings and implications. Theology underlines the engagementwith values and meanings with regard to the things that a particularindividual considers Devine. Religious belief, on the other hand,revolves around the belief of the spiritual, supernatural andmythological elements pertaining to a religion. It is differentiatedfrom religious behaviors and religious practice, given that somebelievers would practice religion. It may also be seen as a strongbelief in supernatural powers or power that would control the humandestiny. Religious beliefs play a social function in groups ofpeople, offering shared identities regarding to where individualsemanated from them and where they would be heading to after they die.
Tillich’s objection to theological or traditional theism.
PaulTillich is considered one of the most significant contributors toontological arguments. However, he has drawn immense criticismparticularly as a result of the seemingly improper nature ofarguments pertaining to the critiquing “existence of God” as theybelie a link with arguments that try to prove the existence of God.Tillich opposes the natural theology on the basis of theology andaims at eliminating the term the “existence of God” fromtheology, terming it atheistic or as indicating that the questionerwould be supposing that God is a being among people, whose existencebenefits from demonstration. Indeed, Tillich states that God does notexist rather He is beyond existence and essence, in which casearguing that God exists would be tantamount to denying Him. However,I find Tillich’s ideas particularly problematic and unfounded.Indeed, the notion of a necessary being would affirm the aseity ofGod. Indeed, a necessary being would be conceived as being. Such anobject would be a component of the entire reality and for which thesubject incorporates a corresponding concept.
How evolution challenges Design Argument for God’s Existence
CharlesDarwin’s theory of evolution has always been seen as being atloggerheads with the creationist theory. The theory of evolutionseems to insinuate that human beings evolved from other animalsparticularly monkeys or apes. This implies that the existence ofhuman beings would still have occurred whether or not God existed asit is not a product of ordered process rather it occurred by thesimple act of fate (Masih,1998).This is a contradiction or contrary to the biblical theory ofcreation that insinuates that human beings were deliberately createdby God. This means that the universe and everything that is in itwould not have existed without the existence of God. Essentially,Darwin`s theory of evolution seems to challenge the creation theoryimplying that there is nothing special about human beings compared toother animals.
Experience-based, faith-based or reason-based religion
Inmy opinion, it is religion should be based on faith rather than beingreason or experience-based. Faith-based religion allows an individualto explore the teachings and believe even in instances where he orshe cannot see proof. This comes in handy considering the fact thatthere is a limit to the experiences and reason or knowledge ofindividuals.
Religionand reason have usually been seen as mutually exclusive, with a largenumber of individuals from the world of logic seeing religion as somemental defect that would undermine the principles of logic andscience. Nevertheless, there religion offers more than fictionaldoctrine rather it comes with community and offers moral compass soas to determine the things that are wrong and right (Masih,1998).More often than not, reason allows for the interpretation of theteachings of a particular religion and enables a deeper comprehensionof the same. Experience would revolve around something that is knownand not that which is believed and comes with proofs. The inefficacyof this is that the person that is claiming experience may be usingproofs that could be inconsistent, incomplete and not appropriatelycomprehended. This means that using such basis would be limiting tothe person.
Reason or Faith as a Basis for belief in God
Asnoted, it is widely believed that reason and faith are in constantconflict and are mutually exclusive where one would be eliminatedimmediately the other takes over. Of course, this is often the casein a large number of elements pertaining to religion. Nevertheless,belief in God should be based on faith rather than the human being’scomprehension of the things that are taught in the bible. The mainobjection to basing belief in God on faith is the notion that itwould essentially be irrational or amount to unwarranted “blindfaith”. Nevertheless, human beings are always comprehending theworld in which they are living in different ways, with theories andprevious knowledge being disproved (Masih,1998).This underlines the fact that there is bound to be misconceptions andeven a limit on the knowledge of people. Faith comes as the linkageor connection between what is known or rational to what is not known.Faith would not necessitate knowledge or proof regarding a particularelement rather it would necessitate that an individual believes inthings even when there is no proof for the same. This would open hisor her views and perspectives to the deeper meanings andpossibilities that cannot be explained by logic.
AreSenses the only Source of Knowledge?
Questionsregarding the manner in which human beings know about a particularelement of their lives have been quite contentious in thecontemporary human society. Nevertheless, perhaps the mostcontroversial theory pertaining to acquisition of knowledge is DavidHume’s “Theoryof Perception”.In this theory, Hume states any mental activity or content of themind can be reduced to two forms of perceptions including an idea andan impression. An impression underlines the actual sensation such ashearing, tasting, feeling and seeing, while an idea revolves around amental perception that emanates from thinking about something insteadof experiencing it. Hume states that every thought or idea emanatesfrom things that have already been sense, in which case an individualwould only perceive something only if he had had an impression of thesame.
Inmy understanding, knowledge revolves around the comprehension,awareness and familiarity with something including skills,information, facts and descriptions, which may be acquired viaeducation or experience through learning, discovering and perceiving.Essentially, this underlines the fact that the only real source ofknowledge is through sense perception. As Hume notes, not even theripe imagination of individuals would reach the vivacity or forcepertaining to the original sentiment as the faculties often copy ormimic the perception pertaining to the senses (Masih,1998).A case in point would be the perception of a unicorn. A large numberor proportion of people has never set their sight on a unicorn.However, they do know how a horse looks like, as well as how hornsare, in which case they can imagine how a unicorn looks like. Thisimagination would be based on what they already know to create imageson a unicorn.
Perhapsone of the contentious issues regarding knowledge is the possibilitythat an individual can have knowledge beyond his or her experience.However, it is impossible to have such knowledge. Indeed, Hume notedthat it would be meaningless to even think of using the term“external world”. First, such a world would be existing beyondthe experiences that human beings have of the same. However, humanbeings are incapable of experiencing something that they are yet toexperience as that would amount to a blatant contradiction. On thesame note, the external world amounts to something that would stillbe in existent even in instances where it is yet to be perceived.However, human beings are incapable of perceiving something asexisting in instances where it is not perceived. This would be amisconception or rather a contradiction of the highest degree (Masih,1998).Of course, there is the rationalist theory that underlines the notionthat some knowledge may emanate from reason and that reason plays acrucial role in acquiring all human knowledge. This theory statesthat there is a limit to the things that individuals can learn viaabstract thought but the claim of rationalists is that reason wouldplay a crucial role in observation, in which case the mind is morefundamental compared to the senses in acquiring knowledge. While thismay be the case, even reason would have to move from what has beenperceived to what is yet to be known.
Masih,Y. (1998). Introductionto religious philosophy.Dehli [u.a.: Motilal Banarsidass.
Pojman,L. P., & Rea, M. C. (2008). Philosophyof religion: An anthology.Australia: Thomson/Wadsworth.
Yandell,K. E. (1999). Philosophyof religion: A contemporary introduction.London: Routledge.