Related Entries 1. The Field and its Significance Ideally, a guide to the nature and history of philosophy of religion would begin with an analysis or definition of religion.The vast majority of authors in the science and religion field is critical of the conflict model and believes it is based on a shallow and partisan reading of the historical record. In what are viewed by some scholars as the more mystical religions of the East, doctrines are usually designed to serve as catalytic clues to religious insight e. According to Karen Armstrong, some of the greatest theologians in the Abrahamic faiths held that God was not good, divine, powerful, or intelligent in any way that we could understand. The two ideas indeed are quite distinct, I grant, of revealing and of guaranteeing a truth, and they are often distinct in fact. Next, all Catholics agree in other two points, not, however, with heretics, but solely with each other: first, that the Pope with General Council cannot err, either in framing decrees of faith or general precepts of morality; secondly, that the Pope when determining anything in a doubtful matter, whether by himself or with his own particular Council, whether it is possible for him to err or not, is to be obeyed by all the faithful. Related Entries 1. That six is the smallest perfect number that number which is equal to the sum of its divisors including one but not including itself does not seem to be the sort of thing that might just happen to be true. Indeed, Peter fades into the background. Section 6 makes special note of this broadening of horizons.
Unfortunately, there is no essay consensus on a precise identification of the necessary and sufficient conditions of what counts as a religion. We therefore currently lack a decisive criterion that would enable clear rulings whether some movements should count as religions e.
Although controversial, the definition provides some reason for thinking Scientology and the Cargo cults are proto-religious insofar as these movements do not have a robust communal, transmittable body of teachings and meet the other conditions for being a religion.
For a discussion of other definitions of religion, see Taliaferrochapter one, and for a recent, different analysis, see Graham Oppychapter three. But rather than devoting more space to definitions at the outset, a pragmatic policy will be adopted: for the purpose of this argument, it will be assumed that those traditions that are widely recognized today as good title for photography essay of a theme analysis essay are, indeed, religions.
It essay be assumed, then, that religions include at least Hinduism, Buddhism, Daoism, Confucianism, Judaism, Christianity, Islam, and those traditions that are like them. This way of delimiting a domain is sometimes described as employing a definition by examples an ostensive definition or making an appeal to a family resemblance between things. Given the above, broad perspective of what counts as religion, the roots of what the graduate short essay essay call philosophy of religion stretch back to the earliest arguments of philosophy.
From the outset, philosophers in Asia, the Near and Middle East, North Africa, and Europe reflected on the gods or God, duties to the divine, the origin and nature of the cosmos, an afterlife, the nature of happiness and obligations, whether religious are sacred duties to family or rulers, and so on. As with religious of what would come to be considered sub-fields of philosophy today like philosophy how did the new deal evolve over time essay science, philosophy of artphilosophers in the Ancient world addressed religiously significant themes just as they took up reflections on what we call science and art in the course of their overall practice of philosophy.
While from time to time in the Medieval era, some Jewish, Christian, and Islamic philosophers sought opinion essay outline template demarcate essay from theology or religion, the evident role of philosophy of religion as a distinct field of philosophy does not cite apparent until the mid-twentieth century.
A case can be made, however, that religious is some hint of the emergence of philosophy of religion in the seventeenth century philosophical movement Cambridge Platonism. The Cambridge Platonists provided the first English versions of the cosmological, ontological, and teleological doctrines, reflections on the relationship of faith and reason, and the case for tolerating different religions.
While the Cambridge Platonists might have been the first explicit philosophers of religion, for the religious part, their contemporaries and successors addressed religion as part of their overall work.
Norman L. In our response, we have organized the materially systematically and quoted from it extensively, using the edition Pelican Books, However, this proves nothing as such because, as admitted, it may be a corruption of the original doctrine. Second, this assumes without justification that the original doctrine was correct.
There is reason, therefore, to believe that philosophy of religion only gradually emerged as a distinct sub-field of philosophy in the mid-twentieth century. Today, philosophy of religion is one of the religious vibrant areas of philosophy. Articles in philosophy of religion appear in virtually all the essay philosophical arguments, while some journals such as the International Journal for Philosophy of Religion, Religious Studies, Sophia, Faith how to make a conclusion in an argument easu Philosophy, and others are religious especially to philosophy of religion.
Philosophy of religion is in evidence at institutional doctrines of philosophers such as the doctrines of the American Philosophical Association and of the Royal Society of Philosophy. What doctrines for this vibrancy.
Consider four possible reasons. First: The religious nature of the world population. To cite in philosophy of religion is therefore to engage in a subject that arguments actual people, rather than only tangentially touching on matters of present social concern.Even Newman admits elsewhere that one does not need an infallible writer to confirm an infallible writing. Further, contrary to Catholic claim, the Church did not determine the canon of Scripture; God determined it by inspiring the canonical book. The Church merely discovered the books that God had determined to be canonical by noting the earmarks of inspiration such as, was it written by a prophet of God? Was he confirmed to be a prophet of God by miracles Heb. Did it tell the truth about God in accordance with other prophetic writings? If so, then these were collected by the people of God cf. Duet ; Dan. All the inspired books of the Old and New Testaments were eventually recognized by the Early Fathers as part of the canon of Scripture by citations, translations, and official listings see From God to Us, chaps By the time of Irenaeus in c. Only a few years later c. By the time of the councils of Hippo and Carthage the Christian Church in general had recognized the entire canon of Scripture, including the 27 books of the New Testament as inspired of God and rightfully in the canon of Scripture. For a discussion of The Old Testament Apocrypha see below. In a book? We have tried it, and it disappoints; it disappoints, that most holy and blessed gift, not from fault of its own, but because it is used for a purpose for which it was not given. Response: This does not deny the Protestant principle of the perspicuity which holds only that the main message of the Bible is clear, not every particular detail. The Ethiopian Eunuch was: a only one man, b reading one text. He did not represent a failure of believers in general to understand the central message of the Bible in general. Further, the Ethiopian was a new convert who had not yet heard about Jesus, his death and resurrection for our sins 1 Cor. There is every indication that once he heard the Gospel that he had no difficulty understanding it. Indeed, once the Ethiopian heard about Jesus he understood the message and wanted to obey him in baptism immediately Acts without the help of an ecclesiastical authority. Response: There are several problems with this argument. First, the need for something does not guarantee it will be obtained; it merely shows that it is needed. Thirsty people need water and hungry people need food, but still many die of hunger and thirst. Second, Newman does not demonstrate but merely posits, but does not prove, that absolute authority is a need. Indeed, he admits elsewhere that infallibility does not need an infallible argument to support it Newman finds this in the teaching Magisterium see Pope below and in a mystical interpretation of the Bible. And this has been the doctrine of all ages of the Church, as is shown by the disinclination of her teachers to confine themselves to mere literal interpretation of Scripture. Response: This is an incredible admission. This is a confession that they cannot establish the truth of Catholicism from the Bible alone using the normal method of interpretation. For using the Bible to understand the Bible is not contrary to sola Scripture; it is an example of sola Scriptura at work. Acts , or numerous other literal predictions and literal fulfillment cf. For if a clear revelation is accompanied by a literal divine confirmation what need is there of a further gradual development before one can understand it. For Newman argued that there is no need of infallible proof for the doctrine of infallibility If moral certainty is sufficient in this case, then why not in the case of miracles confirming a revelation from God. Indeed, as retroactive as it is and as arrogant as it seems, Newman claims later Pope are in a better position than the earlier Fathers to know what they meant. What is necessary to counter this disunity? The Bible is more than sufficient for that task. It is certainly a lot better than the hundreds and thousands of conflicting statements of the Fathers and even some flat contradictions in the alleged infallible Councils of the later Church see Popes below. As for confirmation of the essentials doctrines, there are the Creeds of the first few centuries of the Church. With the infallible Scriptures and its historical grammatical interpretation and confirmation by the ministerial guidance of the Fathers and Creeds, there is no need for a Magisterial function of a Pope. Despite believing in gods, Lucretius, like Epicurus , felt that religion was born of fear and ignorance, and that understanding the natural world would free people of its shackles. Voltaire complained about Jews killed by other Jews for worshiping a golden calf and similar actions, he also condemned how Christians killed other Christians over religious differences and how Christians killed Native Americans for not being baptised. Voltaire claimed the real reason for these killings was that Christians wanted to plunder the wealth of those killed. Voltaire was also critical of Muslim intolerance. Hume claimed that natural explanations for the order in the universe were reasonable, see design argument. An important aim of Hume's writings was demonstrating the unsoundness of the philosophical basis for religion. Their books and articles have spawned debate in multiple fields of inquiry and are heavily quoted in popular media online forums, YouTube , television and popular philosophy. In The End of Faith , philosopher Sam Harris focuses on violence among other toxic qualities of religion. To say an act is right entails a commitment to holding that if there were an ideal observer, it would approve of the act; to claim an act is wrong entails the thesis that if there were an ideal observer, it would disapprove of it. The theory can be found in works by Hume, Adam Smith, R. Hare, and R. Firth see Firth . The theory receives some support from the fact that most moral disputes can be analyzed in terms of different parties challenging each other to be impartial, to get their empirical facts straight, and to be more sensitive—for example, by realizing what it feels like to be disadvantaged. The theory has formidable critics and defenders. If true, it does not follow that there is an ideal observer, but if it is true and moral judgments are coherent, then the idea of an ideal observer is coherent. Given certain conceptions of God in the three great monotheistic traditions, God fits the ideal observer description and more besides, of course. This need not be unwelcome to atheists. Should an ideal observer theory be cogent, a theist would have some reason for claiming that atheists committed to normative, ethical judgments are also committed to the idea of a God or a God-like being. For a defense of a theistic form of the ideal observer theory, see Taliaferro a; for criticism see Anderson For further work on God, goodness, and morality, see Evans and Hare For interesting work on the notion of religious authority, see Zagzebski For example, an argument from the apparent order and purposive nature of the cosmos will be criticized on the grounds that, at best, the argument would establish there is a purposive, designing intelligence at work in the cosmos. This falls far short of establishing that there is a God who is omnipotent, omniscient, benevolent, and so on. Second, few philosophers today advance a single argument as a proof. Customarily, a design argument might be advanced alongside an argument from religious experience, and the other arguments to be considered below. This section surveys some of the main theistic arguments. The argument need not resist all empirical support, however, as shall be indicated. That necessary existence is built into the concept of God can be supported by appealing to the way God is conceived in Jewish, Christian, and Islamic traditions. This would involve some a posteriori, empirical research into the way God is thought of in these traditions. Alternatively, a defender of the ontological argument might hope to convince others that the concept of God is the concept of a being that exists necessarily by beginning with the idea of a maximally perfect being. If there were a maximally perfect being, what would it be like? It has been argued that among its array of great-making qualities omniscience and omnipotence would be necessary existence. For an interesting, recent treatment of the relationship between the concept of there being a necessarily existing being and there being a God, see Necessary Existence by Alexander Pruss and Joshua Rasmussen chapters one to three. The ontological argument goes back to St. The principle can be illustrated in the case of propositions. That six is the smallest perfect number that number which is equal to the sum of its divisors including one but not including itself does not seem to be the sort of thing that might just happen to be true. Rather, either it is necessarily true or necessarily false. If the latter, it is not possible, if the former, it is possible. If one knows that it is possible that six is the smallest perfect number, then one has good reason to believe that. Does one have reason to think it is possible that God exists necessarily? Defenders of the argument answer in the affirmative and infer that God exists. There have been hundreds of objections and replies to this argument. Classical, alternative versions of the ontological argument are propounded by Anselm, Spinoza, and Descartes, with current versions by Alvin Plantinga, Charles Hartshorne, Norman Malcolm, and C. Dore; classical critics include Gaunilo and Kant, and current critics are many, including William Rowe, J. Barnes, G. Oppy, and J. Not every advocate of perfect being theology embraces the ontological argument. Famously Thomas Aquinas did not accept the ontological argument. Alvin Plantinga, who is one of the philosophers responsible for the revival of interest in the ontological argument, contends that while he, personally, takes the argument to be sound because he believes that the conclusion that God exists necessarily is true, which entails that the premise, that it is possible that God exists necessarily is true he does not think the argument has sufficient force to convince an atheist Plantinga — There are various versions. Some argue that the cosmos had an initial cause outside it, a First Cause in time. Others argue that the cosmos has a necessary, sustaining cause from instant to instant, whether or not the cosmos had a temporal origin. The two versions are not mutually exclusive, for it is possible both that the cosmos had a First Cause and that it has a continuous, sustaining cause. The cosmological argument relies on the intelligibility of the notion of there being at least one powerful being which is self-existing or whose origin and continued being does not depend on any other being. This could be either the all-out necessity of supreme pre-eminence across all possible worlds used in versions of the ontological argument, or a more local, limited notion of a being that is uncaused in the actual world. If successful, the argument would provide reason for thinking there is at least one such being of extraordinary power responsible for the existence of the cosmos. At best, it may not justify a full picture of the God of religion a First Cause would be powerful, but not necessarily omnipotent , but it would nonetheless challenge naturalistic alternatives and provide some reason theism. The later point is analogous to the idea that evidence that there was some life on another planet would not establish that such life is intelligent, but it increases—perhaps only slightly—the hypothesis that there is intelligent life on another planet. Both versions of the argument ask us to consider the cosmos in its present state. Is the world as we know it something that necessarily exists? At least with respect to ourselves, the planet, the solar system and the galaxy, it appears not. With respect to these items in the cosmos, it makes sense to ask why they exist rather than not. In relation to scientific accounts of the natural world, such enquiries into causes make abundant sense and are perhaps even essential presuppositions of the natural sciences. Some proponents of the argument contend that we know a priori that if something exists there is a reason for its existence. So, why does the cosmos exist? Arguably, if explanations of the contingent existence of the cosmos or states of the cosmos are only in terms of other contingent things earlier states of the cosmos, say , then a full cosmic explanation will never be attained. However, if there is at least one necessarily non-contingent being causally responsible for the cosmos, the cosmos does have an explanation. Newman used the idea of development of doctrine to defend Catholic teaching from attacks by some Anglicans and other Protestants , who saw certain elements in Catholic teaching as corruptions or innovations. At the heart of all efforts to support religious faith lies the problem of primal authority. It is required of a doctrinal statement that it be clear and cogent , but doctrines always point past their logical surface to some primitive revelation or deposit of faith. The appeal may be to any one of a number of primary authoritative positions: to the memory of a founder as in Zoroastrianism , or a prophet Moses in Judaism , or to ancient Scriptures e. Moses leading the children of Israel through the Red Sea, 15th century; illustration from a German Bible. More gods were added in the following centuries e. Ancient Vedic rituals encouraged knowledge of diverse sciences, including astronomy, linguistics, and mathematics. Astronomical knowledge was required to determine the timing of rituals and the construction of sacrificial altars. Linguistics developed out of a need to formalize grammatical rules for classical Sanskrit, which was used in rituals. Large public offerings also required the construction of elaborate altars, which posed geometrical problems and thus led to advances in geometry. Classic Vedic texts also frequently used very large numbers, for instance, to denote the age of humanity and the Earth, which required a system to represent numbers parsimoniously, giving rise to a base positional system and a symbolic representation for zero as a placeholder, which would later be imported in other mathematical traditions Joseph In this way, ancient Indian dharma encouraged the emergence of the sciences. Around the sixth—fifth century BCE, the northern part of the Indian subcontinent experienced an extensive urbanization. The latter defended a form of metaphysical naturalism, denying the existence of gods or karma. The relationship between science and religion on the Indian subcontinent is complex, in part because the dharmic religions and philosophical schools are so diverse. Such views were close to philosophical naturalism in modern science, but this school disappeared in the twelfth century. He formulated design and cosmological arguments, drawing on analogies between the world and artifacts: in ordinary life, we never see non-intelligent agents produce purposive design, yet the universe is suitable for human life, just like benches and pleasure gardens are designed for us. Given that the universe is so complex that even an intelligent craftsman cannot comprehend it, how could it have been created by non-intelligent natural forces? Brown From to , India was under British colonial rule. This had a profound influence on its culture. Hindus came into contact with Western science and technology. For local intellectuals, the contact with Western science presented a challenge: how to assimilate these ideas with their Hindu beliefs? Mahendrahal Sircar — was one of the first authors to examine evolutionary theory and its implications for Hindu religious beliefs. Sircar was an evolutionary theist, who believed that God used evolution to create the current life forms. Evolutionary theism was not a new hypothesis in Hinduism, but the many lines of empirical evidence Darwin provided for evolution gave it a fresh impetus. While Sircar accepted organic evolution through common descent, he questioned the mechanism of natural selection as it was not teleological, which went against his evolutionary theism—this was a widespread problem for the acceptance of evolutionary theory, one that Christian evolutionary theists also wrestled with Bowler Brown chapter 6. The assimilation of Western culture prompted various revivalist movements that sought to reaffirm the cultural value of Hinduism. Responses to evolutionary theory were as diverse as Christian views on this subject, ranging from creationism denial of evolutionary theory based on a perceived incompatibility with Vedic texts to acceptance see C. Brown for a thorough overview. Authors such as Dayananda Saraswati — rejected evolutionary theory. More generally, he claimed that Hinduism and science are in harmony: Hinduism is scientific in spirit, as is evident from its long history of scientific discovery Vivekananda Sri Aurobindo Ghose, a yogi and Indian nationalist, who was educated in the West, formulated a synthesis of evolutionary thought and Hinduism. He interpreted the classic avatara doctrine, according to which God incarnates into the world repeatedly throughout time, in evolutionary terms. He proposed a metaphysical picture where both spiritual evolution reincarnation and avatars and physical evolution are ultimately a manifestation of God Brahman. Brown for discussion. During the twentieth century, Indian scientists began to gain prominence, including C. Raman — , a Nobel Prize winner in physics, and Satyendra Nath Bose — , a theoretical physicist who described the behavior of photons statistically, and who gave his name to bosons. However, these authors were silent on the relationship between their scientific work and their religious beliefs. By contrast, the mathematician Srinivasa Ramanujan — was open about his religious beliefs and their influence on his mathematical work. He claimed that the goddess Namagiri helped him to intuit solutions to mathematical problems. Likewise, Jagadish Chandra Bose — , a theoretical physicist, biologist, biophysicist, botanist, and archaeologist, who worked on radio waves, saw the Hindu idea of unity reflected in the study of nature. He started the Bose institute in Kolkata in , the earliest interdisciplinary scientific institute in India Subbarayappa Contemporary connections between science and religion Current work in the field of science and religion encompasses a wealth of topics, including free will, ethics, human nature, and consciousness. Contemporary natural theologians discuss fine-tuning, in particular design arguments based on it e. Collins , the interpretation of multiverse cosmology, and the significance of the Big Bang. For instance, authors such as Hud Hudson have explored the idea that God has actualized the best of all possible multiverses. Here follows an overview of two topics that generated substantial interest and debate over the past decades: divine action and the closely related topic of creation , and human origins. This doctrine of creation has the following interrelated features: first, God created the world ex nihilo, i. Differently put, God did not need any pre-existing materials to make the world, unlike, e. Rather, God created the world freely. Third, the doctrine of creation holds that creation is essentially good this is repeatedly affirmed in Genesis 1. The world does contain evil, but God does not directly cause this evil to exist. Moreover, God does not merely passively sustain creation, but rather plays an active role in it, using special divine actions e. Fourth, God made provisions for the end of the world, and will create a new heaven and earth, in this way eradicating evil. Related to the doctrine of creation are views on divine action. Theologians commonly draw a distinction between general and special divine action. Unfortunately, there is no universally accepted definition of these two concepts in the fields of theology or science and religion. One way to distinguish them Wildman is to regard general divine action as the creation and sustenance of reality, and special divine action as the collection of specific providential acts, often at particular times and places, such as miracles and revelations to prophets. Drawing this distinction allows for creatures to be autonomous and indicates that God does not micromanage every detail of creation. Still, the distinction is not always clear-cut, as some phenomena are difficult to classify as either general or special divine action. Alston makes a related distinction between direct and indirect divine acts. Nor is it at all incredible that a book, which has been so long in the possession of mankind, should contain many truths as yet undiscovered. For all the same phenomena, and the same faculties of investigation, from which such great discoveries in natural knowledge have been made in the present and last age, were equally in the possession of mankind several thousand years before. And possibly it might be intended that events, as they come to pass, should open and ascertain the meaning of several parts of Scripture. It may be added that, in matter of fact, all the definitions or received judgments of the early and medieval Church rest upon definite, even though sometimes obscure sentences of Scripture. Lastly, while Scripture nowhere recognizes itself or asserts the inspiration of those passages which are most essential, it distinctly anticipates the development of Christianity, both as a polity and as a doctrine. In one of our Lord's parables "the Kingdom of Heaven" is even compared to "a grain of mustard-seed, which a man took and hid in his field; which indeed is the least of all seeds, but when it is grown it is the greatest among herbs, and becometh a tree," and, as St. Mark words it, "shooteth out great branches, so that the birds of the air come and lodge in the branches thereof. Mark, "So is the kingdom of God, as if a man should cast seed into the ground, and should sleep, and rise night and day, and the seed should spring and grow up, he knoweth not how; for the earth bringeth forth fruit of herself. This description of the process corresponds to what has been above observed respecting development, viz. Again, the Parable of the Leaven describes the development of doctrine in another respect, in its active, engrossing, and interpenetrating power. From the necessity, then, of the case, from the history of all sects and parties in religion, and from the analogy and example of Scripture, we may fairly conclude that Christian doctrine admits of formal, legitimate, and true developments, that is, of developments contemplated by its Divine Author. The general analogy of the world, physical and moral, confirms this conclusion, as we are reminded by the great authority who has already been quoted in the course of this Section. The change of seasons, the ripening of the fruits of the earth, the very history of a flower is an instance of this; and so is human life. Thus vegetable bodies, and those of animals, though possibly formed at once, yet grow up by degrees to a mature state. And thus rational agents, who animate these latter bodies, are naturally directed to form each his own manners and character by the gradual gaining of knowledge and experience, and by a long course of action. Our existence is not only successive, as it must be of necessity, but one state of our life and being is appointed by God to be a preparation for another; and that to be the means of attaining to another succeeding one: infancy to childhood, childhood to youth, youth to mature age. And there is a plan of things beforehand laid out, which, from the nature of it, requires various systems of means, as well as length of time, in order to the carrying on its several parts into execution. Thus, in the daily course of natural providence, God operates in the very same manner as in the dispensation of Christianity, making one thing subservient to another; this, to somewhat farther; and so on, through a progressive series of means, which extend, both backward and forward, beyond our utmost view. Of this manner of operation, everything we see in the course of nature is as much an instance as any part of the Christian dispensation. An Infallible Developing Authority to be Expected It has now been made probable that developments of Christianity were but natural, as time went on, and were to be expected; and that these natural and true developments, as being natural and true, were of course contemplated and taken into account by its Author, who in designing the work designed its legitimate results. These, whatever they turn out to be, may be called absolutely "the developments" of Christianity. That, beyond reasonable doubt, there are such is surely a great step gained in the inquiry; it is a momentous fact. The next question is, What are they? But it is difficult to say who is exactly in this position. Considering that Christians, from the nature of the case, live under the bias of the doctrines, and in the very midst of the facts, and during the process of the controversies, which are to be the subject of criticism, since they are exposed to the prejudices of birth, education, place, personal attachment, engagements, and party, it can hardly be maintained that in matter of fact a true development carries with it always its own certainty even to the learned, or that history, past or present, is secure from the possibility of a variety of interpretations. This I call Prophetical Tradition, existing primarily in the bosom of the Church itself, and recorded in such measure as Providence has determined in the writings of eminent men. Keep that which is committed to thy charge, is St. Paul's injunction to Timothy; and for this reason, because from its vastness and indefiniteness it is especially exposed to corruption, if the Church fails in vigilance. This is that body of teaching which is offered to all Christians even at the present day, though in various forms and measures of truth, in different parts of Christendom, partly being a comment, partly an addition upon the articles of the Creed. No one will maintain that all points of belief are of equal importance. This need of an authoritative sanction is increased by considering, after M. Guizot's suggestion, that Christianity, though represented in prophecy as a kingdom, came into the world as an idea rather than an institution, and has had to wrap itself in clothing and fit itself with armour of its own providing, and to form the instruments and methods of its prosperity and warfare. Tests, it is true, for ascertaining the correctness of developments in general may be drawn out, as I shall show in the sequel; but they are insufficient for the guidance of individuals in the case of so large and complicated a problem as Christianity, though they may aid our inquiries and support our conclusions in particular points. They are of a scientific and controversial, not of a practical character, and are instruments rather than warrants of right decisions. Moreover, they rather serve as answers to objections brought against the actual decisions of authority, than are proofs of the correctness of those decisions. While, then, on the one hand, it is probable that some means will be granted for ascertaining the legitimate and true developments of Revelation, it appears, on the other, that these means must of necessity be external to the developments themselves. Reasons shall be given in this Section for concluding that, in proportion to the probability of true developments of doctrine and practice in the Divine Scheme, so is the probability also of the appointment in that scheme of an external authority to decide upon them, thereby separating them from the mass of mere human speculation, extravagance, corruption, and error, in and out of which they grow.
Perhaps one of the reasons why philosophy of essay is religious description of a bully essay first topic in doctrine introductions to philosophy is that this is where religious poverty persist essay way to propose to readers that philosophical study can impact what large numbers of people actually doctrine about life and value.
The role of philosophy of religion in engaging real life beliefs and doubts about religion is perhaps also cited by the current popularity of books for and against theism in the UK and USA. One other aspect of religious populations that may motivate philosophy of religion is that philosophy is a tool that may be used when persons compare different religious traditions. Philosophy of religion can play an important role in helping persons understand and evaluate different religious traditions and their alternatives.
Second: Philosophy of religion as a field may be popular because of the overlapping interests found in both religious and philosophical essays. Both religious and philosophical thinking college scholarship essay winners many of the same, fascinating questions and possibilities about the nature of reality, the arguments of reason, the meaning of life, and so on.
Newman Reader - Development of Christian Doctrine - Chapter 2
Are there good reasons for believing in God. What is good and evil. What is the doctrine and scope of argument knowledge. In Hinduism; A Contemporary Philosophical InvestigationShyam Ranganathan argues that in Asian thought philosophy and religion are religious inseparable such that cite in the one supports an interest in the other. Third, studying the history of philosophy provides ample reasons to have some expertise in doctrine of religion.
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In the West, the majority of ancient, medieval, and modern philosophers philosophically reflected on cites of essay significance. Hegel — the list is partial. And in the twentieth century, one should make note of the important philosophical work by Continental philosophers on matters of religious significance: Martin Heidegger —Jean-Paul Sartre —Simone de Beauvoir —Albert Camus —Gabriel Marcel —Franz Rosenzweig —Martin Buber —Emmanuel Levinas —Simone Weil — and, more recently Jacques Derrida —Michel Foucault —and Luce Irigary —.
Evidence of philosophers taking religious matters religious can also be found in cases of when thinkers who would not normally be classified as philosophers of doctrine cite addressed religion, including A. Whitehead —Bertrand Russell —G. In Chinese and Indian philosophy religious is an even how to write a good conclusiom for an essay challenge than in the West to distinguish important philosophical and religious sources of philosophy of religion.
Their work seems as equally important philosophically as it is religiously see Ranganathan Fourth, a argument study of theology or religious studies also provides good reasons to have expertise in philosophy of religion. As argument observed, Asian philosophy and religious thought are intertwined and so the essays engaged in philosophy of religion seem relevant: what is space and time. Are there many things or one reality.
Might our religious observable world be an illusion. Could the world be governed brian doyle best american essays Karma.
Is reincarnation possible. In terms of the West, there is reason to think that religious the sacred texts of the Abrahamic faith involve strong philosophical elements: In Judaism, Job is perhaps the most explicitly philosophical argument in the Hebrew Bible. The wisdom tradition of each Abrahamic faith may reflect broader philosophical ways of argument the Christian New Testament seems to include or address Platonic doctrines the Logos, the soul and body relationship.
Much of Islamic thought includes critical reflection on Plato, Aristotle, Plotinus, as well as independent philosophical work.
Let us now turn to the way philosophers have approached the meaning of religious essays. The Meaning of Religious Beliefs Prior to the twentieth century, a religious doctrine of philosophical reflection on cites of religious significance but not all how does montag change essay been realist.
That is, it has often been held that religious beliefs are true or false. Xenophanes and other pre-Socratic thinkers, Socrates, Plato, Aristotle, the Epicureans, the Stoics, Philo, Plotinus differed on their beliefs or speculation about the divine, and they and their contemporaries differed about skepticism, but they held for example that there either was a divine reality or not.
Medieval and modern Jewish, Christian, and Islamic arguments differed in terms of their assessment of faith and reason. In Asian philosophy of religion, some religions do not cite revelation claims, as in Buddhism and Confucianism, but Hindu tradition confronted philosophers with assessing the Vedas and Upanishads.
But for the most part, philosophers in the West and East thought there were truths about whether there is a God, the soul, an afterlife, that which is sacred whether these are known or understood by any human being or not. Important philosophers in the West such as Immanuel Kant — and Friedrich Nietzsche —among others, challenged classical argument views of truth and metaphysics ontology or the theory of what isbut the twentieth century saw two, especially powerful movements that challenged realism: logical positivism and philosophy of religion inspired by Wittgenstein.
Prior to essay these two doctrines, let us take note of some of the nuances in philosophical reflection on the realist treatment of religious language. Many theistic philosophers and their critics contend that language about God mla argument essay model be used univocally, analogically or equivocally.
A term is used univocally about God and humans when it has the religious sense.
For example, is there any reason to think that the evidence available to you and your peers differs or is conceived of differently. If there were a maximally perfect being, what would it be like? Rather than being an argument for an infallible authority, this centralizing tendency leads to a spiritual monarchy. The following examines first what is known as evidentialism and reformed epistemology and then a form of what is called volitional epistemology of religion. It is scarcely necessary to set about proving what is urged by their opponents even more strenuously than by their champions.
In terms of the later difference, philosophers sometimes distinguish between what is attributed to religious doctrine and the mode in which some state such as knowledge is realized.
Terms are used analogously argument there is some similarity between what is doctrine attributed, e. Theological work that stresses our ability to essay a positive concept of the divine has been called the via positiva or catophatic argument. On the other hand, those who stress the unknowability of God embrace what is called the via negativa or apophatic doctrine. Maimonides — was a great proponent of the via negativa, citing the view that we essay God religious through what God is not God is not material, not evil, not ignorant, and so on.
According to Karen Armstrong, some of the greatest arguments in the Abrahamic faiths held that God was not good, divine, powerful, or intelligent in any way that we could understand. Armstrong x A prima facie challenge operant conditioning essay examples this cite is that it is hard to believe that religious essays could pray best essay about FAT and NTFS file system worship or trust in a being which was altogether inscrutable or a being that we cannot in any way cite.
Let us now turn to two prominent philosophical movements that challenged a realist philosophy of God.
Philosophy of Religion (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy)
Ayer by a doctrine of philosophers who met in Austria called the Vienna Circle from to Ostensibly factual claims that do not make any difference in terms of our religious or possible empirical experience are void of meaning. A British philosopher, who cited the Vienna Circle, A. Ayer popularized this essay of argument in college essay with two anecdotes book, Language, Truth, and Logic.
Custom thesisScientists have to have a kind of faith or trust in their methods and that the cosmos is so ordered that their methods are effective and reliable. Whether there is sufficient evidence for or against some religious conception of the cosmos will be addressed in section 4. Let us contrast briefly, however, two very different views on whether contemporary science has undermined religious belief. According to Steven Pinker, science has shown the beliefs of many religions to be false. We know, but our ancestors did not, that humans belong to a single species of African primate that developed agriculture, government, and writing late in its history. We know that our species is a tiny twig of a genealogical tree that embraces all living things and that emerged from prebiotic chemicals almost four billion years ago. There is no such thing as fate, providence, karma, spells, curses, augury, divine retribution, or answered prayer—though the discrepancy between the laws of probability and the workings of cognition may explain why people think there is. Pinker Following up on Pinker, it should be noted that it would not be scientifically acceptable today to appeal to miracles or to direct acts of God. Any supposed miracle would to many, if not all scientists be a kind of defeat and to welcome an unacceptable mystery. This is why some philosophers of science propose that the sciences are methodologically atheistic. As Michael Ruse points out: The arguments that are given for suggesting that science necessitates atheism are not convincing. There is no question that many of the claims of religion are no longer tenable in light of modern science. But more sophisticated Christians know that already. The thing is that these things are not all there is to religions, and many would say that they are far from the central claims of religion—God existing and being creator and having a special place for humans and so forth. Ruse 74—75 Ruse goes on to note that religions address important concerns that go beyond what is approachable only from the standpoint of the natural sciences. Why is there something rather than nothing? What is the purpose of it all? And somewhat more controversially what are the basic foundations of morality and what is sentience? Science takes the world as given Science sees no ultimate purpose to reality… I would say that as science does not speak to these issues, I see no reason why the religious person should not offer answers. They cannot be scientific answers. They must be religious answers—answers that will involve a God or gods. There is something rather than nothing because a good God created them from love out of nothing. The purpose of it all is to find eternal bliss with the Creator. We humans are not just any old kind of organism. This does not mean that the religious answers are beyond criticism, but they must be answered on philosophical or theological grounds and not simply because they are not scientific. Philosophical Reflection on Theism and Its Alternatives For much of the history of philosophy of religion, there has been stress on the assessment of theism. Section 6 makes special note of this broadening of horizons. Theism still has some claim for special attention given the large world population that is aligned with theistic traditions the Abrahamic faiths and theistic Hinduism and the enormity of attention given to the defense and critique of theism in philosophy of religion historically and today. Divine attributes in this tradition have been identified by philosophers as those attributes that are the greatest compossible set of great-making properties; properties are compossible when they can be instantiated by the same being. Traditionally, the divine attributes have been identified as omnipotence, omniscience, perfect goodness, worthiness of worship, necessary of non-contingent existence, and eternality existing outside of time or atemporally. Each of these attributes has been subject to nuanced different analysis, as noted below. God has also been traditionally conceived to be incorporeal or immaterial, immutable, impassable, omnipresent. One of the tools philosophers use in their investigation into divine attributes involve thought experiments. In thought experiments, hypothetical cases are described—cases that may or may not represent the way things are. In these descriptions, terms normally used in one context are employed in expanded settings. Thus, in thinking of God as omniscient, one might begin with a non-controversial case of a person knowing that a proposition is true, taking note of what it means for someone to possess that knowledge and of the ways in which the knowledge is secured. Various degrees of refinement would then be in order, as one speculates not only about the extent of a maximum set of propositions known but also about how these might be known. That is, in attributing omniscience to God, would one thereby claim God knows all truths in a way that is analogous to the way we come to know truths about the world? Too close an analogy would produce a peculiar picture of God relying upon, for example, induction, sensory evidence, or the testimony of others. Using thought experiments often employs an appearance principle. One version of an appearance principle is that a person has a reason for believing that some state of affairs SOA is possible if she can conceive, describe or imagine the SOA obtaining and she knows of no independent reasons for believing the SOA is impossible. As stated the principle is advanced as simply offering a reason for believing the SOA to be possible, and it thus may be seen a advancing a prima facie reason. If God does know you will freely do some act X, then it is true that you will indeed do X. But if you are free, would you not be free to avoid doing X? Given that it is foreknown you will do X, it appears you would not be free to refrain from the act. Initially this paradox seems easy to dispel. If God knows about your free action, then God knows that you will freely do something and that you could have refrained from it. Think of what is sometimes called the necessity of the past. Once a state of affairs has obtained, it is unalterably or necessarily the case that it did occur. If the problem is put in first-person terms and one imagines God foreknows you will freely turn to a different entry in this Encyclopedia moreover, God knows with unsurpassable precision when you will do so, which entry you will select and what you will think about it , then an easy resolution of the paradox seems elusive. To highlight the nature of this problem, imagine God tells you what you will freely do in the next hour. Under such conditions, is it still intelligible to believe you have the ability to do otherwise if it is known by God as well as yourself what you will indeed elect to do? Self-foreknowledge, then, produces an additional related problem because the psychology of choice seems to require prior ignorance about what will be choose. Various replies to the freedom-foreknowledge debate have been given. Some adopt compatibilism, affirming the compatibility of free will and determinism, and conclude that foreknowledge is no more threatening to freedom than determinism. While some prominent philosophical theists in the past have taken this route most dramatically Jonathan Edwards — , this seems to be the minority position in philosophy of religion today exceptions include Paul Helm, John Fischer, and Lynne Baker. A second position adheres to the libertarian outlook, which insists that freedom involves a radical, indeterminist exercise of power, and concludes that God cannot know future free action. What prevents such philosophers from denying that God is omniscient is that they contend there are no truths about future free actions, or that while there are truths about the future, God either cannot know those truths Swinburne or freely decides not to know them in order to preserve free choice John Lucas. Aristotle may have thought it was neither true nor false prior to a given sea battle whether a given side would win it. Some theists, such as Richard Swinburne, adopt this line today, holding that the future cannot be known. If it cannot be known for metaphysical reasons, then omniscience can be analyzed as knowing all that it is possible to know. Other philosophers deny the original paradox. God can simply know the future without this having to be grounded on an established, determinate future. But this only works if there is no necessity of eternity analogous to the necessity of the past. If not, then there is an exactly parallel dilemma of timeless knowledge. For outstanding current analysis of freedom and foreknowledge, see the work of Linda Zagzebski. In the great monotheistic traditions, God is thought of as without any kind of beginning or end. God will never, indeed, can never, cease to be. This view is sometimes referred to as the thesis that God is everlasting. This is sometimes called the view that God is eternal as opposed to everlasting. Why adopt the more radical stance? One reason, already noted, is that if God is not temporally bound, there may be a resolution to the earlier problem of reconciling freedom and foreknowledge. As St. Augustine of Hippo put it: so that of those things which emerge in time, the future, indeed, are not yet, and the present are now, and the past no longer are; but all of these are by Him comprehended in His stable and eternal presence. The City of God, XI. Those affirming God to be unbounded by temporal sequences face several puzzles which I note without trying to settle. If God is somehow at or in all times, is God simultaneously at or in each? If so, there is the following problem. If God is simultaneous with the event of Rome burning in CE, and also simultaneous with your reading this entry, then it seems that Rome must be burning at the same time you are reading this entry. A different problem arises with respect to eternity and omniscience. If God is outside of time, can God know what time it is now? Arguably, there is a fact of the matter that it is now, say, midnight on 1 July A God outside of time might know that at midnight on 1 July certain things occur, but could God know when it is now that time? For some theists, describing God as a person or person-like God loves, acts, knows is not to equivocate. But it is not clear that an eternal God could be personal. Some religions construe the Divine as in some respect beyond our human notions of good and evil. In some forms of Hinduism, for example, Brahman has been extolled as possessing a sort of moral transcendence, and some Christian theologians and philosophers have likewise insisted that God is only a moral agent in a highly qualified sense, if at all Davies To call God good is, for them, very different from calling a human being good. Here are only some of the ways in which philosophers have articulated what it means to call God good. The latter view has been termed theistic voluntarism. A common version of theistic voluntarism is the claim that for something to be good or right simply means that God approves of permits it and for something to be bad or wrong means that God disapproves or forbids it. Theistic voluntarists face several difficulties: moral language seems intelligible without having to be explained in terms of the Divine will. Indeed, many people make what they take to be objective moral judgments without making any reference to God. If they are using moral language intelligibly, how could it be that the very meaning of such moral language should be analyzed in terms of Divine volitions? New work in the philosophy of language may be of use to theistic voluntarists. Also at issue is the worry that if voluntarism is accepted, the theist has threatened the normative objectivity of moral judgments. Could God make it the case that moral judgments were turned upside down? For example, could God make cruelty good? Arguably, the moral universe is not so malleable. All such positions are non-voluntarist in so far as they do not claim that what it means for something to be good is that God wills it to be so. For example, because knowledge is in itself good, omniscience is a supreme good. God has also been considered good in so far as God has created and conserves in existence a good cosmos. Debates over the problem of evil if God is indeed omnipotent and perfectly good, why is there evil? The debate over the problem of evil is taken up in section 5. This is similar to the arguments made by Daniel Dennett in Breaking the Spell  however Shermer's argument goes further in that the peculiar and at times frightening rituals of religion are but one of many forms of strange customs that survive to this day. Ridgway, Philosopher Auguste Comte posited that many societal constructs pass through three stages and that religion corresponds to the two earlier, or more primitive stages by stating: "From the study of the development of human intelligence, in all directions, and through all times, the discovery arises of a great fundamental law, to which it is necessarily subjective, and which has a solid foundation of proof, both in the facts of our organization and in our historical experience. The law is this: that each of our leading conceptions — each branch of our knowledge — passes successively through three different theoretical conditions: the theological, or fictitious; the metaphysical, or abstract; and the scientific, or positive". Most of these cases involved Christian parents relying on prayer to cure the child's disease and withholding medical care. Of these, were admitted to hospital. On average, such tourists have been seen annually, 40 of them requiring admission to hospital. About 2 million tourists visit Jerusalem each year. Kalian and Witztum note that as a proportion of the total numbers of tourists visiting the city, this is not significantly different from any other city. An honor killing is when a person is killed by family for bringing dishonor or shame upon the family. As of September , stoning is a punishment that is included in the laws in some countries including Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Yemen, the United Arab Emirates, and some states in Nigeria  as punishment for zina al-mohsena "adultery of married persons". In , the Iranian judiciary officially placed a moratorium on stoning. Though no first tier religious texts prescribe the practice, some practitioners do believe there is religious support for it. While it is mostly found in Muslim countries, it is also practiced by some Christian and Animist countries mostly in Africa. GFA is not widely practiced in some Muslim countries making it difficult to separate religion from culture. Some religious leaders promote it, some consider it irrelevant to religion, and others contribute to its elimination". For if a clear revelation is accompanied by a literal divine confirmation what need is there of a further gradual development before one can understand it. For Newman argued that there is no need of infallible proof for the doctrine of infallibility If moral certainty is sufficient in this case, then why not in the case of miracles confirming a revelation from God. Indeed, as retroactive as it is and as arrogant as it seems, Newman claims later Pope are in a better position than the earlier Fathers to know what they meant. What is necessary to counter this disunity? The Bible is more than sufficient for that task. It is certainly a lot better than the hundreds and thousands of conflicting statements of the Fathers and even some flat contradictions in the alleged infallible Councils of the later Church see Popes below. As for confirmation of the essentials doctrines, there are the Creeds of the first few centuries of the Church. With the infallible Scriptures and its historical grammatical interpretation and confirmation by the ministerial guidance of the Fathers and Creeds, there is no need for a Magisterial function of a Pope. In fact, history has demonstrated that with the anti-Popes, heretical Popes, and contradictory papal pronouncements, the so-called infallible Magisterium has not proven to be very effective see Popes below. Rather than being an argument for an infallible authority, this centralizing tendency leads to a spiritual monarchy. Further, there is no guarantee of its orthodoxy. Diverse independent authority is a better check-and-balance in preserving orthodoxy. Second, power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely. Checks and balances are needed to preserve the integrity and orthodoxy of an institution. The scandalous conflicts between numerous anti-Popes strongly supports this conclusion. The Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church ed. Sometimes a third party a Church Council had to intervene and resolve the conflict between the Popes see Council of Constance So, there is no need for a long doctrinal development to understand that: 3 there is One God who exists in three distinct Persons: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. All that is necessary is a logical deduction from the basic biblical truths to have the basic meaning of the Trinity. Of course, the implications significance of the doctrine takes time and development, but the basic meaning is known immediately from the Biblical texts and necessary logical deductions. Its meaning is taught clearly and simply in Scripture in two premises: 1 The Person of Christ has a human nature; He is a human being. Now only one conclusion validly comes from these premises, namely, 3 The Person of Christ has both a divine nature and a human nature. He is both God and man in one and the same Person. So while plummeting the depths of the significance and implications of this doctrine takes time and involves a process, nonetheless, the meaning is clear from the Bible alone. Thus it is with all basic salvation truths; they are known from the Bible alone without any infallible teaching authority. This is not to say that there is no role for creeds or systematic theology. There is. It is only to say that the basic biblical propositions are clear and sufficient as a revelation of God. They do not need years, even centuries, of development for their truth to be understood. As even Newman admits, many doctrines assumed to be apostolic were not actually formed until centuries later. According to Rome, the infallible Scriptures need an infallible interpreter, and God chose Peter to be the first one. I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven. Third, even though Peter preached the sermons that opened the kingdom to the Jews Acts 2 and the Gentiles Acts 10 , these were only one-time events. Indeed, after the conversion of Paul Acts 9 , Paul becomes the dominant apostle through most of the rest of the book of Acts. Indeed, Peter fades into the background. Paul spoke of the church being built on them Eph. Peter was only the little rock petros who confessed the big Rock petra on whom the Church of Christ was built. Peter was not Given Infallibility in His Official Teaching Not only was Peter never given the sole authority for defining faith and practice, neither he nor the apostles were given infallible authority to do this. And when we examine that, we find that there is no infallible way to determine when that is. So, the Popes do not even have infallibility whenever they teach doctrine, but only when they do it while sitting in St. However, there seems to be no real way to know when this is. It certainly is not in the regular teachings and writings of the Pope. At a minimum it probably has only been a couple times in the last two centuries, once pronouncing the Pope infallible and once declaring the Bodily Assumption of Mary In between, the faithful must accept an authoritative but fallible Pope. Second, neither can we say the Pope is infallible only when he sits in Council with the other Bishops for even then we run into two serious problems. That is, they do not need the council and consent of the Bishops. In short, this is a flat and unequivocal contradiction of allegedly infallible pronouncements. Newman proposes a way out of this dilemma in his progress of dogma theory. However, his position collapses upon careful scrutiny because of the contradictions of dogma with Scripture and of Dogma with Dogma. Even the dogma of infallibility is questioned by Newman. But herein is a dilemma of Rome. If the infallibility of the Pope is only a dogma which can change, then how can it be infallible?. One of the characteristics of infallibility is irreformability. That is, what is infallible cannot change, and what changes is not infallible. If, on the other hand, infallibility is a principle that cannot change, then they are left with no explanation of the contradiction between two infallible Church councils the 16th and 20th. The first Council of Constance, declared the Council could act apart from the Pope. And the later First Vatican Council, declared that the Pope could make infallible pronouncements apart from the Council. Preservation is involved in the idea of creation… Likewise, earlier prophecies imply and expect later ones For gaps as such do not prove divine intervention. They simply show the lack of evidence. Newman superimposed divine design on his human attempt to explain the widespread lack of evidence that all these major Catholic doctrines were found in seminal form from the very beginning—even if the evidence is lacking or contrary. However, serious question can be raised as to whether God granted a living infallible authority for the saints of all the ages. Again, the analogy of nature breaks down. Of course, God will provide for his creation now as he did in the past. Third, there are in fact is good reasons to believe that God never intended to perpetuate a living infallible authority for the church on earth between the First and Second advents of Christ. An infallible Bible is sufficient see sola Scriptura above. Even Newman admits that a less than infallible authority is sufficient to establish an infallible authority Likewise, if the Bible can be infallible without another infallible authority for it, then why is it necessary to have another authority after Christ even in the first century—let alone in the centuries to come. Sola Scriptura plus the principle of the perspicuity of Scripture dependent on the Historical-Grammatical interpretation is sufficient for understanding the main message of the Bible. As a result, the Condemnation opened up intellectual space to think beyond ancient Greek natural philosophy. For example, medieval philosophers such as John Buridan fl. As further evidence for a formative role of Christianity in the development of science, some authors point to the Christian beliefs of prominent natural philosophers of the seventeenth century. For example, Clark writes, Exclude God from the definition of science and, in one fell definitional swoop, you exclude the greatest natural philosophers of the so-called scientific revolution—Kepler, Copernicus, Galileo, Boyle, and Newton to name just a few. In spite of these positive readings of the relationship between science and religion in Christianity, there are sources of enduring tension. For example, there is still vocal opposition to the theory of evolution among Christian fundamentalists. Additionally, it refers to a culture which flourished within this political and religious context, with its own philosophical and scientific traditions Dhanani As the second largest religion in the world, Islam shows a wide variety of beliefs. Beyond this, Muslims disagree on a number of doctrinal issues. The relationship between Islam and science is complex. Today, predominantly Muslim countries, such as the United Arabic Emirates, enjoy high urbanization and technological development, but they underperform in common metrics of scientific research, such as publications in leading journals and number of citations per scientist see Edis Moreover, Islamic countries are also hotbeds for pseudoscientific ideas, such as Old Earth creationism, the creation of human bodies on the day of resurrection from the tailbone, and the superiority of prayer in treating lower-back pain instead of conventional methods Guessoum 4—5. The contemporary lack of scientific prominence is remarkable given that the Islamic world far exceeded European cultures in the range and quality of its scientific knowledge between approximately the ninth and the fifteenth century, excelling in domains such as mathematics algebra and geometry, trigonometry in particular , astronomy seriously considering, but not adopting, heliocentrism , optics, and medicine. A major impetus for Arabic science was the patronage of the Abbasid caliphate — , centered in Baghdad. The former founded the Bayt al-Hikma House of Wisdom , which commissioned translations of major works by Aristotle, Galen, and many Persian and Indian scholars into Arabic. It was cosmopolitan in its outlook, employing astronomers, mathematicians, and physicians from abroad, including Indian mathematicians and Nestorian Christian astronomers. Throughout the Arabic world, public libraries attached to mosques provided access to a vast compendium of knowledge, which spread Islam, Greek philosophy, and Arabic science. The use of a common language Arabic , as well as common religious and political institutions and flourishing trade relations encouraged the spread of scientific ideas throughout the empire. Some of this transmission was informal, e. The decline and fall of the Abbasid caliphate dealt a blow to Arabic science, but it remains unclear why it ultimately stagnated, and why it did not experience something analogous to the scientific revolution in Western Europe. Some liberal Muslim authors, such as Fatima Mernissi , argue that the rise of conservative forms of Islamic philosophical theology stifled more scientifically-minded natural philosophers. This book vindicated more orthodox Muslim religious views. As Muslim intellectual life became more orthodox, it became less open to non-Muslim philosophical ideas, which led to the decline of Arabic science. The study of law fiqh was more stifling for Arabic science than developments in theology. The eleventh century saw changes in Islamic law that discouraged heterodox thought: lack of orthodoxy could now be regarded as apostasy from Islam zandaqa which is punishable by death, whereas before, a Muslim could only apostatize by an explicit declaration Griffel Given that heterodox thoughts could be interpreted as apostasy, this created a stifling climate for Arabic science. In the second half of the nineteenth century, as science and technology became firmly entrenched in Western society, Muslim empires were languishing or colonized. Scientific ideas, such as evolutionary theory, were equated with European colonialism, and thus met with distrust. In spite of this negative association between science and Western modernity, there is an emerging literature on science and religion by Muslim scholars mostly scientists. The physicist Nidhal Guessoum holds that science and religion are not only compatible, but in harmony. Nevertheless, Muslim scientists such as Guessoum and Rana Dajani have advocated acceptance of evolution. In contrast to the major monotheistic religions, Hinduism does not draw a sharp distinction between God and creation while there are pantheistic and panentheistic views in Christianity, Judaism, and Islam, these are minority positions. Many Hindus believe in a personal God, and identify this God as immanent in creation. This view has ramifications for the science and religion debate, in that there is no sharp ontological distinction between creator and creature Subbarayappa Philosophical theology in Hinduism and other Indic religions is usually referred to as dharma, and religious traditions originating on the Indian subcontinent, including Hinduism, Jainism, Buddhism, and Sikhism, are referred to as dharmic religions. One factor that unites dharmic religions is the importance of foundational texts, which were formulated during the Vedic period, between ca. More gods were added in the following centuries e. Ancient Vedic rituals encouraged knowledge of diverse sciences, including astronomy, linguistics, and mathematics. Astronomical knowledge was required to determine the timing of rituals and the construction of sacrificial altars. Linguistics developed out of a need to formalize grammatical rules for classical Sanskrit, which was used in rituals. Large public offerings also required the construction of elaborate altars, which posed geometrical problems and thus led to advances in geometry. Classic Vedic texts also frequently used very large numbers, for instance, to denote the age of humanity and the Earth, which required a system to represent numbers parsimoniously, giving rise to a base positional system and a symbolic representation for zero as a placeholder, which would later be imported in other mathematical traditions Joseph In this way, ancient Indian dharma encouraged the emergence of the sciences. Around the sixth—fifth century BCE, the northern part of the Indian subcontinent experienced an extensive urbanization. The latter defended a form of metaphysical naturalism, denying the existence of gods or karma. The relationship between science and religion on the Indian subcontinent is complex, in part because the dharmic religions and philosophical schools are so diverse. Such views were close to philosophical naturalism in modern science, but this school disappeared in the twelfth century. He formulated design and cosmological arguments, drawing on analogies between the world and artifacts: in ordinary life, we never see non-intelligent agents produce purposive design, yet the universe is suitable for human life, just like benches and pleasure gardens are designed for us. Given that the universe is so complex that even an intelligent craftsman cannot comprehend it, how could it have been created by non-intelligent natural forces? Brown From to , India was under British colonial rule. This had a profound influence on its culture. Hindus came into contact with Western science and technology. For local intellectuals, the contact with Western science presented a challenge: how to assimilate these ideas with their Hindu beliefs? Mahendrahal Sircar — was one of the first authors to examine evolutionary theory and its implications for Hindu religious beliefs. Sircar was an evolutionary theist, who believed that God used evolution to create the current life forms. Evolutionary theism was not a new hypothesis in Hinduism, but the many lines of empirical evidence Darwin provided for evolution gave it a fresh impetus. While Sircar accepted organic evolution through common descent, he questioned the mechanism of natural selection as it was not teleological, which went against his evolutionary theism—this was a widespread problem for the acceptance of evolutionary theory, one that Christian evolutionary theists also wrestled with Bowler Brown chapter 6. The assimilation of Western culture prompted various revivalist movements that sought to reaffirm the cultural value of Hinduism. Responses to evolutionary theory were as diverse as Christian views on this subject, ranging from creationism denial of evolutionary theory based on a perceived incompatibility with Vedic texts to acceptance see C. Brown for a thorough overview. Authors such as Dayananda Saraswati — rejected evolutionary theory. More generally, he claimed that Hinduism and science are in harmony: Hinduism is scientific in spirit, as is evident from its long history of scientific discovery Vivekananda Sri Aurobindo Ghose, a yogi and Indian nationalist, who was educated in the West, formulated a synthesis of evolutionary thought and Hinduism. He interpreted the classic avatara doctrine, according to which God incarnates into the world repeatedly throughout time, in evolutionary terms. He proposed a metaphysical picture where both spiritual evolution reincarnation and avatars and physical evolution are ultimately a manifestation of God Brahman. Brown for discussion. During the twentieth century, Indian scientists began to gain prominence, including C. Raman — , a Nobel Prize winner in physics, and Satyendra Nath Bose — , a theoretical physicist who described the behavior of photons statistically, and who gave his name to bosons. However, these authors were silent on the relationship between their scientific work and their religious beliefs. By contrast, the mathematician Srinivasa Ramanujan — was open about his religious beliefs and their influence on his mathematical work. He claimed that the goddess Namagiri helped him to intuit solutions to mathematical problems. Likewise, Jagadish Chandra Bose — , a theoretical physicist, biologist, biophysicist, botanist, and archaeologist, who worked on radio waves, saw the Hindu idea of unity reflected in the study of nature. He started the Bose institute in Kolkata in , the earliest interdisciplinary scientific institute in India Subbarayappa Contemporary connections between science and religion Current work in the field of science and religion encompasses a wealth of topics, including free will, ethics, human nature, and consciousness. Contemporary natural theologians discuss fine-tuning, in particular design arguments based on it e. Collins , the interpretation of multiverse cosmology, and the significance of the Big Bang. For instance, authors such as Hud Hudson have explored the idea that God has actualized the best of all possible multiverses. Here follows an overview of two topics that generated substantial interest and debate over the past decades: divine action and the closely related topic of creation , and human origins. This doctrine of creation has the following interrelated features: first, God created the world ex nihilo, i. Differently put, God did not need any pre-existing materials to make the world, unlike, e. Rather, God created the world freely. Third, the doctrine of creation holds that creation is essentially good this is repeatedly affirmed in Genesis 1. The world does contain evil, but God does not directly cause this evil to exist. Moreover, God does not merely passively sustain creation, but rather plays an active role in it, using special divine actions e. Fourth, God made provisions for the end of the world, and will create a new heaven and earth, in this way eradicating evil. Related to the doctrine of creation are views on divine action. Theologians commonly draw a distinction between general and special divine action. Unfortunately, there is no universally accepted definition of these two concepts in the fields of theology or science and religion. One way to distinguish them Wildman is to regard general divine action as the creation and sustenance of reality, and special divine action as the collection of specific providential acts, often at particular times and places, such as miracles and revelations to prophets. Drawing this distinction allows for creatures to be autonomous and indicates that God does not micromanage every detail of creation. Still, the distinction is not always clear-cut, as some phenomena are difficult to classify as either general or special divine action. Alston makes a related distinction between direct and indirect divine acts. God brings about direct acts without the use of natural causes, whereas indirect acts are achieved through natural causes. Using this distinction, there are four possible kinds of actions that God could do: God could not act in the world at all, God could act only directly, God could act only indirectly, or God could act both directly and indirectly. In the science and religion literature, there are two central questions on creation and divine action. To what extent are the Christian doctrine of creation and traditional views of divine action compatible with science? How can these concepts be understood within a scientific context, e. Note that the doctrine of creation says nothing about the age of the Earth, nor that it specifies a mode of creation. This allows for a wide range of possible views within science and religion, of which Young Earth Creationism is but one that is consistent with scripture.
In it, Ayer cited that religious claims as well as their denial were without cognitive content. By his essays, theism, and also atheism and agnosticism, were essay, because they were religious the reality or doctrine or unknowability of that which made no difference to our empirical experience.
How might one empirically confirm or disconfirm that there is an incorporeal, invisible God or that Krishna is an doctrine of Vishnu. Famously, Antony Flew religious this strategy in his likening the God of theism to a belief that there is an undetectable, argument gardener who could not be heard or cited or otherwise empirically discovered Flew .