Anti Christian Essays

Anti Christian Essays-32
These data can be accepted on the basis of the reliability of our natural faculties with respect to the natural world.Theology, on the other hand takes as its starting point the divine revelations contained in the Bible.For most of the twentieth century, the vast majority of English language philosophy—including philosophy of religion—went on without much interaction with theology at all.

These data can be accepted on the basis of the reliability of our natural faculties with respect to the natural world.Theology, on the other hand takes as its starting point the divine revelations contained in the Bible.

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The latter belief, inspired by Wittgenstein, holds that language itself only has meaning in specific practical contexts, and thus that religious language was not aiming to express truths about the world which could be subjected to objective philosophical scrutiny.

A third reason is that a great many academic theologians also became skeptical of our ability to think and speak meaningfully about God; but, rather than simply abandon traditional doctrines of Christianity, many of them turned away from more “metaphysical” and quasi-scientific ways of doing theology, embracing instead a variety of alternative construals and developments of these doctrines—including, but not limited to, metaphorical, existentialist, and postmodern construals.

The first reason is that atheism was the predominant opinion among English language philosophers throughout much of that century.

A second, quite related reason is that philosophers in the twentieth century regarded theological language as either meaningless, or, at best, subject to scrutiny only insofar as that language had a bearing on religious practice.

Thus, an atheist who is unwilling to accept the authority of religious texts might come to believe that God exists on the basis of purely philosophical arguments.

Second, distinctively philosophical techniques might be brought to bear in helping the theologian clear up imprecise or ambiguous theological claims.In what follows, we provide a brief survey of work on the three topics in contemporary philosophical theology that—aside from general issues concerning the nature, attributes, and providence of God—have received the most attention from philosophers of religion over the past quarter century.We thus leave aside such staple topics in philosophy of religion as traditional arguments for the existence of God, the problem of evil, the epistemology of religious belief, the nature and function of religious language.We also leave aside a variety of important but less-discussed topics in philosophical theology, such as the nature of divine revelation and scripture, original sin, the authority of tradition, and the like.(For discussions of work falling under some of these topics, see the Related Entries section below, as well as the works under the “General” heading in the bibliography.) From the beginning, Christians have affirmed the claim that there is one God, and three persons—Father, Son, and Holy Spirit—each of whom is God. E., the Council of Toledo framed this doctrine as follows: and three persons …The former belief (i.e., that theological language was meaningless) was inspired by a tenet of logical positivism, according to which any statement that lacks empirical content is meaningless.Since much theological language, for example, language describing the doctrine of the Trinity, lacks empirical content, such language must be meaningless.Many of the doctrines central to Christianity have important philosophical implications or presuppositions.In this article, we begin with a brief general discussion of the relationship between philosophy and Christian dogma, and then we turn our attention to three of the most philosophically challenging Christian doctrines: the trinity, the incarnation, and the atonement.Since this way of thinking about philosophy and theology sharply demarcates the disciplines, it is possible in principle that the conclusions reached by one might be contradicted by the other.According to advocates of this model, however, any such conflict must be merely apparent.


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