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The Traditional Western Religious View of Human Nature
Transcript of The Traditional Western Religious View of Human Nature
The first (and oldest) monotheistic religion Honours Man's Covenant with God Sacred text = the Torah
Judaism is an orthopraxy Maimonides/ Rambam Jewish law aims at the improvement of both the soul and body
Knowledge will lead to an improvement of the soul; ignorance will lead to idolatry Historical Context Becomes the dominant western religion in ~300 A.D.
Christian help during the plagues
Roman emperor Constantine the Great (306 - 337) The Original Sin Man must find his way back to God Saint Augustine (354 - 430) Believed that humans are not self-interested Arguments: With the help of God, our reason can rule over our passions
We can achieve union with God by emulating Jesus
We commit evil when we refuse to serve God
We are often tempted to commit evil - we must use free will to move towards God "Our real pleasure was simply in doing something that was forbidden... I loved the sin, not the thing for which I had committed the sin, but the sin itself."
(The Confessions of St. Augustine') Thomas Aquinas (1225 - 1274) God must exist because there needs to be a "primary mover"
God must exist because there needs to be a "primary causer"
Humans naturally desire to know the first cause of things
Therefore, our purpose is to know God Arguments: “The simplest elements exist for the sake of compound minerals; these latter exist for the sake of living bodies, among which plants exist for animals, and animals for humans. So humans hare the purpose of the whole order of generation.”
(Summa Contra Gentiles) Historical Context ~610 A.D.
Mohammad the prophet has a vision from God through angel Gabriel
He pronounces Allah as the one true God Follows the Qu'ran
Mohammed's revelations from Gabriel
Governed by theology and jurisprudence
Shari'a - laws of Islam Al Farabi (872 - 950) Humans are self-interested
Human beings must strive to achieve the "perfect state" Arguments: "[Man] is called the social and political animal" (Book of Agreement Between the Ideas of the Two Philosophers, the Divine Plato and Aristotle) Salvation Objections Humans labour to perfection by exploiting others until rendering them useful
Political philosophy highly influenced by Plato (the Republic)
Established Islamic Political philosophy with his idea of The Ideal Society
Identified four types of imperfect cities The dissolute city
The turncoat city
The ignorant city
The straying city
(1135 - 1204) To achieve salvation:
Judaism - Keep the Covenant with God
Christianity- Believe and accept Jesus Christ as our saviour and lord
Islam- The Five Pillars Arguments: Co-exists with Neo-Platonism Roman
Rationalist The purpose of humans is to achieve happiness by using reason to know God Rationalist God does not exist Free will does not exist Implications of cultural superiority Implications of sexism Thank you for watching Any questions?