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Philosophy and Religion
Can an atheist be religious?
Can a theist be unreligious?
Is humanism a religion?
Theology Defined
 The study of gods and their attributes.
 Study of religious theory and practice.
Faith and Reason Incompatible
 God is the Holy (and Wholly) Other.
– His being is an inaccessible reality
 He is the “mysterium tremendum”
– Knowledge of God is impossible.
– Knowledge of God is a free choice.
Religion Defined
 Patterns of belief and practice.
 Devotion to moral codes and cosmological
 Recognition of an ultimate reality worthy of
 Sense of relation to the laws of the universe.
 An institution of rites and rituals based upon
established doctrines.
Religious Language
 Does “God exists” make sense?
– Unintelligible?
– Noncognitively meaningful?
– A fair language game?
 What is my relation to the ultimates?
 Does Being have intrinsic value?
Religious Knowledge Continuum
Faith and Reason Complementary
Faith and Reason Incompatible
Faith and Reason Converge
Ways of Religious Knowing
 Faith
– A total commitment contrary to reason.
 Reason
– A rational commitment consistent with belief.
 Revelation
– Symbolic truth transmitted by insight or scripture
Faith and Reason Converge
“All truth is God’s truth.”
Divine truth is logical, therefore true.
God is the First Cause of all effects.
Theology is therefore the study of all reality.
Faith and Reason Complementary
 Arguments for God’s existence possible:
– Cosmological Argument
 God is the First Cause, the Unmoved Mover
– Design Argument
 There must be a cause of the orderly universe.
God is the Great Watchmaker
– Ontological Argument
 The idea of perfection proves God’s existence.
– Moral Argument
 Morality proves God exists.
– Common Sense Argument
 Universal belief in God proves His existence.
Metaphysical Issues: Continuum
Finite Deity
Traditional Theism
God is super-natural being.
God is moral perfection.
Omniscient (all-knowing)
Omnipresent (everywhere)
Omnipotent (all-powerful)
 All is One, a Divine Unity.
 The full reality of God is the only truth.
 This Unity is in everything.
 All is in God.
 God is the Supreme Being who includes all
the world.
– Being & Becoming
– One and Many
– Relative and Absolute
– Immanent and Transcendent
Finite Deity: God is Limited
 Imperfection suggests God’s limits.
– Evil
– Suffering
– Accident
 Polytheism suggests gods of varying
– Gods with limited power compete as humans.
Transcendental Anthropology
 Radical Theology
– God is a dimension of human existence.
– Death of God Theology
– Religionless Christianity
– Process Theology
 Secular Religion
– Humans are the center of value.
– The supernature is not real (or irrelevant).
– Humans are free to invent their meaning.
– Human reason can solve all human problems.
– Humans naturally care about humans.
Continuum: Axiological Issues
Contextual Ethics
Social Gospel
Rule Morality
Liberation Theology
New Religious Morality
Traditional Religious Morality
Siddhartha: Life in India