Reason, God and Religion Term Paper

Pages: 4 (1328 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: ≈ 4  ·  File: .docx  ·  Level: College Senior  ·  Topic: Mythology - Religion

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It is indivisible and it is everything in power. It is immutable and never departs from its own nature through multiplication (1 x 1 = 1). All that is intelligible and cannot be engendered exists in it: the nature of ideas, God himself, the soul, the beautiful and the good, and every intelligible essence, such as beauty itself, justice itself, equality itself, for we conceive of each of these things as being one and as existing in itself." (Page IX)Buy full Download Microsoft Word File paper
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This helps us understand how Plato used some Pythagorean views to develop his understanding of the existence of God. He also maintained that God can only be truly discerned by philosophers beause they were in a better postion to understand what he called 'forms'. These forms were again taken from Pythagorean system and referred to divinity and its various representations. Plato mainated that everything present on this earth was created in the image of one Great soul and this is how he proved the existence of God. Another important thing that both Plato and Saint Augustine propounded was the belief that God must always be presented as someone good and pious. Augustine is considered a sort of plagiarist when it comes to his views on Christianity. He took inspiration from Plato's religious views and extended them to the realm of Christianity and many are of the view that most of his thoughts are not original at all. Descartes similarly connected his views on God with knowledge. He felt that God must be a perfect being who should possess infinite knowledge or else he couldn't possibly be expected to control the entire Universe. But there are certain flaws in his philosophy, which a modern day reader would find rather confusing. Descartes unlike Plato believed that understanding of God should begin not from numerical understanding of forms but from creation of doubt. He felt that complete doubt was the one thing that could lead man to the source of all knowledge, which is God. Now that we know what Augustine, Plato and Descartes said about God, it is important to find out just how did they solve the problem of evil. If God is infinitely good and pious, how can He be held responsible for creating something as despicable as evil? Plato probably did not essentially create evil. He created good from which evil originates because man misuses the gift of free will. Augustine presented his argument in these words, "Evil has no positive nature; but the loss of good has received the name 'evil.'"(3) This was how most philosophers resolved this conflict and came to the conclusion that God himself did not create evil. But evil took birth when man defied the natural order. I firmly believe that man must base his own religious beliefs on reasons because without reasons, he is likely to lose his faith in the times of pain and suffering. This is because we expect God to be kind and perfect and thus cannot understand why he puts people into various kinds of troubles. But if we understand the reasons why bad things happen, as much to good people as to evil ones, we would be in a better position to understand God or at least accept the fact that he knows best. I feel that reasons are needed mostly by those who follow monotheistic religions because they get more confused by the problem of evil than the ones who believe in more than one god. I do not think that meaningfulness of life has anything to do with having false or irrational beliefs.

References

Augustine. "The Problem of Evil" Classical and Contemporary Readings in Philosophy of Religion, Ed. By John Hick. New Jersey: Prentice-Hall, Inc., 1964.

Theon of Smyrna: Mathematics Useful for Understanding Plato, by Theon of Smyrna, translated by Robert and Deborah Lawlor from the 1892 Greek/French edition of J. Dupuis, Secret Doctrine Reference Series, Wizards Bookshelf, San Diego, 1979

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