Philosophy of Religion
Things aren’t the way it should be in this world today. It’s obvious since all forms of evil, imaginable and unimaginable, are all around pestering the supposed to be beautiful planet, corrupting life for all of its inhabitants. Add to this the fact that criminality has been increasing, and along with the speed of the advances of technology, crimes get more complex and also advanced. This kind of existence when taken as is and accepted as normal will forever maintain the kind of outlook that takes for granted life as it is (i.
e. what/how it was in recorded history and what/how life is continued today). But, the pertinent question which must be asked and satisfied is whether this world and life – as it is – is how it always was before or was there a time when it wasn’t like this. The argument in the proceeding pages flows out of the premise that life today is different from what it should be (i. e. not in the ideal state which it is supposed to be).
The steps through which the whole argument would stream is: 1) the establishment of the fact that life is not always has been like what it is, 2) the presentation of how things are (present-day reality) and humanity’s various attempts of remedying the current situation, and lastly, 3) conclusion (wrapping up and extracting the substance of the whole discussion). Life: Yesterday & Today Religion is a fact of life. It is not to be argued, it is reality. Although, religions are varied and numerous in its expressions and nuances among humans, it is not to be confused the fact that humanity in general is religious.
People of whatever race, ethnicity, culture, and group, are religious essentially. And so, being naturally seekers of ultimate things (i. e. religious), man find many varied ways to express this primal instinct in him. This explains the why of the diversity of religious expressions. In spite of this reality, one can often find people who seemed to be fed up with, not only religion, but people who are vocal of their spiritual beliefs. Thus, some have chosen to be silent (to be politically correct) when it comes to their core beliefs in order to appear tolerant and therefore not be offensive.
They preferred anonymity as to this vital part of their existence. The fact of the matter though, is that man is a metaphysical being (if it is accurate to state it thus). He is never satisfied with the mere material and physical explanations of reality. Even philosophers like Socrates and Plato and those among their peers attested to this truth about humans. The researches of the famed scientists of this modern time prove exactly the same – they are at a loss when attempting to explain the composition of man (Laszlo, 1987, p. 116).
And so, that man is naturally religious is a fact. A. The World Yesterday. As has been said, the fact that many varied expressions of religious exercises are all around, they are but symptoms of underlying reality among humans, and that there should be somehow a metaphysical explanation of the way things are. And religion, in general, is the profoundest human attempt to address this ancient craving for the supernatural. Generally, religions of different persuasions, basically believe that presently, the existence of things in the world is not normal.
And so, always, religion of whatever kind, carry with them the presupposition that this world is in trouble, and that there’s remedy; the remedy being to embrace a set of beliefs and to follow them. Analyzing the whole situation, if this is true, then, man should practice and follow certain religious convictions. And because this seems to be more consistent with the established facts, it would be safe for anybody to entertain and explore the realities of spiritual things. How can anybody know the past?
And to be more accurate, how can anyone know exactly how everything began? How did the world get to be where it is now? Where did man come from, or who created him? The answers to these questions are actually the philosophy behind religion. The four questions will be dealt with one by one, but not necessarily in the same order. Also, the currents trends in applying the biblical solution will be given ample space, as there are numerous ways deemed necessary today in order to effectively appropriate the solution/remedy.
1. ) The reality of God. The first ultimate reality is God the Creator. According to theologian Thomas Aquinas, God is the uncaused Cause of all things (Aquinas, 1265-1273). The weight of facts point to the reality of a Creator; and only when this is established can a discussion like this proceed. Because when someone begins to think and tries to investigate what happened in the beginning, there would be no implement useful for the probing of the starting point of all things.
Many thanks to archaeology that it has enabled man to dig deep enough into the past civilizations and understand what has transpired several thousand years ago. Nevertheless, as helpful as archaeology is to the matter at hand, archaeology alone is insufficient to take the best of hi-tech scientists to that beginning point of everything. At this particular issue (i. e. beginning), the best of man is left guessing or theorizing, for indeed, who can ever know how the beginning transpired. And so, at this juncture of the argument, the reality of a creator is a given (Escalona, 2008).
Now, proceeding from this basic presupposition (i. e. that there is a Creator who created the universe), because man cannot know for sure what happened during that act of creating by God in the beginning, the only way that it can be known is through God’s initiative to disclose what he himself did when he created the world, all other biological orders, and the human specie. Thankfully, this disclosure was what he did when he revealed the creation account in the Holy Scriptures – the Bible (Genesis chapter 1 & 2).
In amazingly vivid and detailed account, the descriptions include how ideal and perfect man’s existence then. The world was then trouble-free. No imaginable and unimaginable sickness pestered human life (whether mental or physical); no criminalities, and therefore, no death. This is how it was before – an ideal and perfect world. If not only for the fact that it has been revealed like this, it would be alright to accept things the way they are. It can be tolerable to think that life’s existence is that it’s been like this ever since the beginning provided this is true.
But, if the case as to the actual history of this world, tells another and totally different story, then, to uphold the view of uniformity (i. e. that life in this world is always as it has always been) is unacceptable. 2. ) The reality of sin and redemption. The manifestations of evil in this world support the fact of sin. That’s why religion is always redemptive. It promises good only when sin and its effects are basically dealt with. The world will remain and continue in its deteriorating condition until redemption is realized.
Themes of worldwide holocaust have since infiltrated the literary world even in antiquity. Films (which themselves are products of story-writing) have been made that depicted doom for this planet, such as Armageddon, War of the Worlds, and Cloverfield, to name a few. All these give the impression that earth deserves judgment after all. Although religions (including Christianity) nowadays present themselves as non-threatening to masses and strategize to exude an impression that what this world and people need is improvement, biblical revelation shows a very different diagnosis.
Man cannot improve life on this planet and cannot regain for this planet its original condition – he simply cannot. This is due to the fact that man himself needs redemption; and it was him, in the first place, who subjected the whole creation to its present cursed state. And so, to be specific and clear regarding this whole issue, the church (much like a physician) is in the position and responsibility of first breaking the “bad news” to the world (i. e.
tell the world its true predicament) in order for the world to have a proper estimation of itself; and second, as the world realizes its present state of decay because of sin, it can then appreciate and value the remedy for what it is. The Solution about which the church should untiringly point the world to is God’s redemption in the person of the Messiah Jesus Christ. Therefore, the world’s current state of sinfulness is real, and God’s business of redemption is real – as the church sticks to its call of constantly highlighting these two realities to the world of humanity.
B. The World Today. So far, it has been established that the world as it is today is neither identical nor similar to what it was then at its start. There had been a radical change at that early point in human history. Theologians refer to that Event where this radical change in creation took place, the Fall. Of course, the direct effect of the Fall hit the first couple (Adam & Eve) and immediately afterwards, the entire creation. Although, many believe that things are much worse today than it was in yesteryears, then and now are basically the same.
People were as evil then as they are today. Death entered the scene of human existence the very moment Adam and Eve sinned. Probably, the full effects of decadence are more seen and felt in this day and age rather than in those early days. The fact of the matter is death took place where the corrupting nature of sin occurred, in the deep recesses of man – in his spirit. And so, man is naturally spiritually dead. Although he is very much alive physically and interacts actively in this material world, man is dead and unresponsive to everything that is of God.
He is a dead corpse in relation to God. It is foolishness then to woo and try to win this world of “dead people” (dead to God and everything about God) using the same implements of this world (to which people are naturally responsive) to lure them to God hoping they would turn to God. For sure, there would be positive responses, but definitely, not to God. If ever there were positive responses (as sure there are), they were not replies to God but to those worldly implements. In the end, they will only be found out for what they are (Piper, 2007). Conclusion The way things should be?
Well, there should be no presence of evil of any form in this world. There should be no pain, no sickness, no weakness, no agony – emotional and intellectual; there should be no sufferings, no wars, no famine, and no economic meltdown. Life ought to be happy and full of joy because there is no prospect whatsoever of pain and emotional torture and eventual death – only life and life abundant. Full of joy and eternal life, with the whole created order connected to its Creator, and finding and drawing its joy from God (Piper, 2007). References: 1. ) Laszlo, Ervin. 1987. Evolution: The Grand Synthesis.
Boston, MA: New Science Library. 2. ) Aquinas, Thomas. 1265-1273. The Summa Theologica of St. Thomas Aquinas Second and Revised Edition, 1920 Literally translated by Fathers of the English Dominican Province Online Edition Copyright © 2008 by Kevin Knight http://www. newadvent. org/summa/1. htm 3. ) Escalona, Alan. 2008. Journal of Biblical Studies. The Way Christian Church, Iligan City. Zip Code 9200. 4. ) Piper, John. 2007. Don’t Waste Your Life. Date Accessed: May 15, 2009 at http://www. desiringgod. org/media/pdf/books_dwyl/dwyl_full. pdf Published by Crossway Books publishing minisSample Essay of PapersOwl.com