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Showing posts from April, 2007

Notes on Ch. 11 of Rowe's Philosophy of Religion: Many Religions

Notes on Rowe’s Philosophy of Religion, Ch. 11 – “Many Religions”

1. The Problem:
1.1 There are many, many religions in the world
1.2 The teachings of these religions seem to be logically incompatible with one another
1.2.1 Ultimate reality: personal or impersonal? One god or many?
1.2.2 Human life: cycle of life, death, and rebirth, or a single, finite earthly life followed by a single, unending afterlife?
1.2.3 Ultimate human destiny: lose individual consciousness and merge with ultimate reality, or retain individual consciousness and distinctness?
1.2.4 Locus of revelation: the Bible? The Torah? The Koran? The Bhagavad-Gita?
1.2.5 Incarnation of the divine: never? Once only? Many times?
1.2.6 The diagnosis of the human condition: Sin? Ignorance? Something else?
1.2.7 The cure of the human condition: atonement and grace? Enlightenment and action? Something else?
1.2.8 And on and on it goes with the differences among religions
1.3 If so, then they can’t all …

Notes on Ch. 5 of Rowe's Philosophy of Religion: Religious Experience, Part II

3. Mystical Religious Experience as a Rational Basis for Theism
3.1 Extrovertive mystical experience:
3.1.1 Looks outward at the world experienced through the senses and sees the divine in it
3.1.2 Common features (taken virtually verbatim from p.74) Looks outward through the senses Sees the inner essence of things, an essence that appears to be alive, beautiful, and the same in all things Sense of union of one’s deeper self with this inner essence Feeling that what is experienced is divine Sense of reality, that one sees things as they really are Sense of peace and bliss Timelessness, no sense of the passage of time during the experience
3.2 Introvertive mystical experience:
3.2.1 Looks inward into the self and finds the divine reality there
3.2.2 Common features (taken virtually verbatim from p. 81) A state of consciousness devoid of its ordinary contents: sensations, images, thought…

Notes on Ch. 5 of Rowe's Philosophy of Religion: Religious Experience, Part I

Notes on Rowe’s Philosophy of Religion, Chapter 5
0. Introduction
0.1 Indirect knowledge of God: knowledge by inference
0.2 Direct knowledge of God: knowledge by acquaintance
0.3 Religious experience as direct and superior knowledge of God
1. Toward a Definition of Religious Experience
1.1 Dependence, otherness, union
1.1.1 Schleiermacher: Dependence Relative dependence Absolute dependence Religious experience as absolute dependence (“creature- feeling”) First criticism: wrongly defines religious experience in purely subjective terms – not characterized as awareness of another being, but rather one’s self as dependent. Second criticism: makes knowledge of God indirect and inferential: feel dependent, then infer that God must be the being causing my feeling of dependence.
1.1.2 Otto: Otherness
1.1 Immediate, direct awareness of another being – not inferential
1.2 Awareness of the being as holy/divine
1.3 The awa…

Notes on Rowe's Chapter 1 of his Philosophy of Religion: The Concept of God

Rowe’s Philosophy of Religion – Chapter 1

0. Preliminaries: Varieties of Views about God(s)
0.1 Polytheism: many gods
0.2 Henotheism: many gods, but one limits one’s worship/adherence to just the god of one’s tribe
0.3. Anthropomorphic Monotheism: the God “up there”
0.3.1 A physical being
0.3.2 Located in a specific region of space
0.3.3 Associated with a pre-scientific cosmology
0.4 Non-anthropomorphic Monotheism: the God “out there”
0.4.1 Our focus
0.4.2 The concept of God developed by the famous philosopher-theologians (Augustine, Boethius, Bonaventure, Avicenna, Anselm, Maimonides, Aquinas)
0.4.3 A spiritual, immaterial being
0.4.4 All-powerful, all-knowing, perfectly good, creator and sustainer of the universe (from which God is separate and independent), omnipresent, self- existent, and eternal

1. Omnipotence and Perfect Goodness
1.1 Omnipotence: being all-powerful
1.1.1 Relative vs. absolute possibility A relative possibility is something that a be…