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As far as I know, these ideas have been used mainly in theological discussions. However, it seems to me that such ideas would also have application in more general discussions of Cartesian dualism and the mind–body problem, e.g. they could be used to describe what happens to the Cartesian soul or mind when one is sleeping dreamlessly or when one is unconscious.
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Interesting. I will search for information.
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Zakat is the third pillar of Islam and it is an obligatory
payment that a free and rational Muslim who owns a certain amount of wealth has to observe. Its importance in Islam is manifested by the numerous pairings of its obligation to that of prayer (salah) in the Quran. Among the fundamentals of Islam, it has the most direct economic implications on Muslims for it involves the distribution of wealth from the affluent in society to those in need.
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عامل مهم في تعزيز العدالة الاجتماعية
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Is it reason, intelligence, superior nature, rights, or something else?
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Dear All,
We are a team of researchers working on a meta-analysis of studies that link religious belief with several emotions. The emotions that we are particularly interested are gratitude, awe, elevation, reverence (self-transcendent emotions), and also negative emotions such as guilt and shame.
We are very keen on sourcing published/unpublished articles/thesis that have explored the relation between religious belief and practices and how they influence these emotions.
Any academic who has conducted research on this topic and are willing to have their study details and results included in this meta-analysis are kindly requested to send us the article via the below e-mail. We will be very much willing to include the study in our paper if it meets the criteria. All studies will be duly referenced in the meta-analysis.
Please contact:
Thank you very much!
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Why or why not?
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Am in line with Aparna Sathya Murthy
Pim Janse brought an important 'gap' into the discussion, if we move from the micro-level or personal action to the macro-evel of political decisions.
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Why or why not?
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Is human language adequate to describe Harry Potter? :)
Of course, it is. Which other language can be used to describe the characters of fiction, written by humans for humans?
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In my opinion, there are two main obstacles in math teaching and studying:
1st MAIN OBSTACLE. From all other sciences, mathematics has the largest degree of coherence and inter-connectivity between all its branches. From the first years of studying mathematics, it is obvious that each math lesson is essential to understand all other later math lessons. In contrast, in physics for example: you can understand very well mechanics without knowing electricity; you can understand optics without knowing electricity or mechanics and so on. Because mathematics demands a marathon-like effort on many years to understand it, a maximum tenacity in daily or periodical study (which is very time consuming), the "natural" selection is harsh, because just a small percent of people are sufficiently motivated by "the science and art of counting" (which math is) to get over this first obstacle.
2nd MAIN OBSTACLE. The poverty of methods and digital resources (images, animations and software) which is used to teach math from the first grades: it's only in the last 20 years that digital resources in math exploded and were implemented recently in teaching (and that is not sufficient time for extensive and diverse implementation in math pedagogy).
MY THESIS
In the "reference frame" of exact and "almost-exact "sciences, math may appear as a very important domain and language: which is true. However, my thesis is that the human being are based on not one, but three types of logic and metalogic, which logics are not reducible one to another:
1. rational logics (all "governed" my mathematics) which may be all integrated in a rational metalogic (rML) ("governed" by meta-mathematics)
2. emotional logics (studied by arts, aesthetics, psychology, philosophy, religions etc) which may be all integrated in an "emotional metalogic" (eML);
3. "volitional" logics (also studied by psychology, neurobiology and medicine in general, sociology, philosophy, religions etc), which may be all integrated in a "volitional metalogic" (vML), which I also conjecture to not be reducible to any of the first and second types of metalogic (rML and/or eML).
I have extensively presented my aforementioned thesis in my papers:
MY "META-THESIS"
My "meta-thesis" would that mathematics and rML in general aren't sufficiently "powerful" (and would never be) in the "humanity reference frame" (which is almost infinitely larger than the "reference frame" of exact sciences) to gain more interest than eML and vML. My prediction (and conjecture) is that rML may only imitate eML and vML, but can never replace them. I also argued in my (previously mentioned) papers that eML and vML (which are conjectured to be irreducible to rML, which rML may be only an "imitator" of both eML and rML, but not their "replacer").
See also other URLs of my work:
See also general URLs:
This discussion was inspired by Prof. Patrick Dasgupta, who is full professor since 2004 in Physics and Astrophysics Faculty from University of Delhi (https://du-in.academia.edu/PatrickDasgupta), when he kindly invited me (directly or using the Academia.edu robot?) to participate to a session on his article called “On Reasonable Effectiveness of Pedagogy in Mathematical Physics”
Draft paper URL:
Session URL (on which I’ve also pasted this large discussion-comment):
Regards!
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Dear Mrs. Bays,
1a. Math teaching surely needs "momentum", but in large quantities and the teachers who share constant big enthusiasm in math teaching are rare: however, I am glad that you are one of those enthusiastic teachers.
1b. I am also "ambivalent" in your sense: passionate on both exact and humanistic sciences, in sciences, arts and religions. However, I tend to be more oriented to the scientific rigorous approach.
2a. Besides starting from the earliest grades with many math-based games (like origami for example), I think that digital animations and constant teaching and learning using a math software (like Mathcad for example, which also has the possibility to implement programming routines built on lines of code, but also to generates graphs and animations) would be an ideal way to further continue the math learning and teaching. Learning basic programming (and a basic math software) in parallel with math is essential for every child to create his own math experiments and to very himself after working on paper.
2b. I don't think that mathematicians are (statistically and significantly) more predisposed to brain cancer than the rest of the population: this is a "hard claim". Do you have any scientific proof on this claim? Knowing one or two cases of mathematician who developed brain cancer isn't a proof: I also know examples of persons passionate by literature who developed brain cancer. I hope you didn't share this false claim with your children! I am waiting for proofs on this last claim of yours: as a pediatrician specialist (with experience in adult medicine too), I assure you there is no published evidence about mathematics predisposing to brain cancer.
Regards!
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Monitor the most important books on the philosophy of religion in contemporary thought, you can suggest me to the most important books written on this subject in Islamic thought and Western thought.
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Derdar Nabil
Jasmin Omercic
Thank you so much for sharing the answer to the question about religion philosophy, and I benefited from the information you provided in the answer.
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May combine science and philosophy
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Very happy with these wonderful answers
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Why or why not?
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I think that rational thoughts are independent from language. Sometimes I have new ideas while sleeping and then have a problem to translate them into normal language and writing down after waking up.
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-Set-theoretically spoken: is philosophy of religion an element of philosophy of science? Or in Aristotelian terminology: is philosophy of religion a 'differentia specifica' of the 'genus' called philosophy of science?
-I am searching after this. Maybe you can help me. Thanks, Marc
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I've always understood them to be separate fields. I remember 50 years ago in a freshman class taught by the philosophy department being introduced to the philosophy of science, the philosophy of religion, the philosophy of language, the philosophy of social science, the philosophy of ethics, the philosophy of aesthetics, and a number of others which made it quite clear that the foundational philosophical questions must be asked by each discipline. So in terms of set theory, these two are independent except where the intersect in asking some of the same questions that are the basic questions of philosophy---however you divide it.
I suggest you do some exploring in the online Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy to see what authors there say about these domains. See https://plato.stanford.edu/
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Dear professor Graham Oppy,
-My research regards the Christian philosophy of religion (since 14 years of lectureship) that is based upon the analytical philosophy.
-The analytical philosophy is based upon (to a great extent) the mathematics and the laws of thought.
-Well, mathematics both as arithmetic and geometry is limited, whereas the Christian philosophy of religion regards a.o. God Who is unlimited.
-Consequently, can the Christian philosophy of religion or the Christian metaphysics be computationalized? Thank you for the answer! Marc
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Thank you, Karl, for the very relevant suggestions! Marc
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Why or why not?
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We are by nature contingent, and merely representative of other parts of our specie, so in order to remain vital as a specie we must die. We have no greater importance than that. The problem lies when we isolate ourselves-mind and body-and thereby insist on preferential treatment demanding heaven, souls, etc, whereby to extend the existence of our egos. If we can again visualise ourselves as tiny genes in a huge pool, contributing slightly if at all, we can free ourselves of hyperbole and expectation.
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This is a key question in epistemology.
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First some questions to the title of your question:
[1] What do you exactly mean by <what appears>?
[2] What do you exactly mean by <truth>?
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Why or why not?
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Hello,
As Oscar Wild writes in his novel, " An ideal husband", “Morality is simply the attitude we adopt towards people we personally dislike.” Being an attitude , therefore, people are free to choose between morality and immorality. However, by becoming immoral, such people choose to close the doors of joy, hope, and happiness to themselves. The reason is that moralists find beautiful meanings in beautiful things. All worldly sins and abhorred models of behavior such as stealing from others and killing others are violations of moral values. By being immoral, people pave the way for their doom and stop their ascend to kind of cultivation cherished and valued by human beings in general. Moral people are the elect to whom light sides of life inspire hope and happiness.
Best regards,
R. Biria
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I'm interested in a variety of religious perspectives.
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Philadelphia, PA
Dear MacGregor,
It is important to recall that the English word "soul" exists in a long tradition of translation. The ancient Greeks distinguished between things which moved, depending on some outer force which moved them, say rocks, or flowing water, and others which were self-moving. The principle of motion and change in what is moved by itself (or by desire, telos) was the "soul." In consequence, if you look at the text of Aristotle's book on psychology, it is sometimes titled "On the Soul" and sometimes the "De Anima," (compare, e.g., the English "animal" and "animate").
Aristotle and the following tradition (which included St. Thomas, and his Christian-Aristotelian synthesis in some degree), distinguished three levels or kinds of soul. First the soul of nutrition and growth, shared by all living things; second, the soul of locomotion, shared by all animals, and third, the highest form, the soul of intelligence, nous, in Greek. This word is customarily translated into English as "mind."
In consequence, we might want to consider the origin of mind here; and obviously human beings are born with certain capabilities for development. But proper development depends upon a social and familial setting. In this sense, the soul is a developmental product. It depends on a certain sort of cultivation: including moral education.
Others, of course simply reject the concept of soul, in a modernist and purely scientific spirit. But if we are interested in the principle within which enables our moral choices, then we do well to consult the history of the concept. It is the cultivated person who becomes capable of moral choice and moral responsibility--not the original, biologically given capability for development of mind and thought. From this perspective, or any approximating to it, moral education and the cultivation of the virtues becomes central.
H.G.Callaway
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What do you think is the best response that the hedonist can give to the problem? Is this response adequate?
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Interesting question and looking forward to read answers and I go with Ayad.
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Why or why wouldn't you find the psychological egoist's explanation plausible?
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An egoist will look and treat an altruist wrong. Egoist and altruist , if not diametrically opposite personalities, are completely in different spectrum of behaviors and therefore their value systems and truth to them are completely different.
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Why or why not?
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The fact is that society considers " immoral " if you behave contrary to the human nature.
Morality needs sanction of the society in which you live. When majority groups in the community prohibit certain acts because they are contrary to the human nature, such acts become immoral in the eyes of community and even in the eyes of law.
Morality is following ethical path in the direction of natural law. Positive or natural justice is administered by man.Natural law is also termed as divine law or Law of Reasons. If you behave contrary to the 'morality' "'good reasons"' don't exist to prove your own case. The conventional law is any rule or system of rules agreed upon by persons for the regulation of their conduct towards each other
It is always immoral to behave contrary to human nature.
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If so, give an example in which you think this is the case. If not, explain why not.
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Good day dear Dr Kirk and dear Dr Aparna
The terms of true beliefs, values, principles, and assumptions are sometimes used as if they all mean the same thing – the underlying truths on which we base our dealings with the world.  In fact, although they are all “truths” to some extent, they are different in meaning and substance. Although we realize how similar they are, we’ll try to consider each of the three.  Understanding the difference can help us sort out when we’re operating on facts or well-examined experience, when we’re applying moral or ethical rules or judgments, and when we’re responding to emotion or bias or unexamined “knowledge” that may not be accurate.
Values are our guidelines for living and behavior. Each of us has a set of deeply held beliefs about how the world should be. For some people, that set of beliefs is largely dictated by a religion, a culture, a peer group, or the society at large.  For others, it has been arrived at through careful thought and reflection on experience, and is unique. For most of us, it is probably a combination of the two. Values often concern the core issues of our lives: personal relationships, morality, gender and social roles, race, social class, and the organization of society, to name just a few.
In fact I myself strongly believe in :
having true beliefs sometimes make my life go better, even if it doesn't make me any happier!
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Why might someone believe that it is? What challenges does such a view face?
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From the very beginning of the society religion has played very important part in upholding of the morality. It is the group behavior and therefore it has remarkable influence on the society to behave morally.
The pillars on which the LAW is founded are natural justice and positive morality.
Positive morality is rules of conduct approved by public opinion of any community. They are the rules maintained and enforced in that community.
Thus there is a necessity to have Community with some principles based on morality which emerges from religious beliefs.
Aristotle has said that universal law consists of those unwritten rules which are recognized among the group of people- the society. Such groups and morality principles are all on account of religion- people are afraid of almighty God and to earn credit from him they are motivated to be moral. They have the fear that they will be otherwise driven out.
Natural law which is observed equally in all nations is established on divine prudence is changeable by the tacit consent of people.
When no law was existing, Common law was in force. What is right and what is wrong was based on the belief that if you do right God will be pleased else He will punish you. Thus the origin of morality is found in the religious communities.
I therefore feel religion is necessary in order to motivate people to behave morally.
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Why or why not?
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Hello,
Unlike consequentialist theories which maintain that the moral rightness or wrongness of an act is entirely a function of its consequences , a non-consequentialist theory of value judges the rightness or wrongness of an action based on properties intrinsic to the action, not on its consequences. Considering your question, I think I am not an act non-consequentialist. Siding with the utilitarian stance, I believe that our life experiences should guarantee human utility (i.e., happiness). I always tend to assess my moral decisions and actions based the consequences they evoke. Therefore, if the consequences are good, then I consider the action is right , and if they are bad , then the act is totally impermissible.
Best regards,
R. Bira
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Why do you think such links exist?
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Psychology is the result of close observation of many individuals at various mental states, usually those who have a disease or a condition. Hence it can be faulty, though most of the times, it is not. Since each human has some disease in him/her. True religion is close observation of the individual self itself and then progressing above by self cleansing through sadhana/meditation. Book religion is true only for those with open eyes, else it is a poison, coz 'the reading I' becomes the character of the book read
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If so, how? If not, why not?
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Zoroastrianism either began in the 1200s BCE or the 500s BCE. Although I realize that Israelite religion began in the 1800s BCE, various doctrines of Judaism, such as general resurrection, messiah, and Satan as a cosmic villain, seem to make their first appearance in Hebrew literature after Zoroastrianism began. So I'm not asking about the origin of Judaism, but about those aspects of Judaism that seemingly did not exist in the time of Abraham or Moses and which are shared by Zoroastrians and Jews.
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How is your answer compatible with the perfection of God?
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Dear Kirk,
Jesus is consubstantial with God, the Father. Jesus suffered according to the Bible. Thus, God may suffer.
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It's easy to make an argument that particular claims recorded in a scripture are factually true (one just needs to use the standard historical criteria of authenticity). But a writing containing truth, even if it is completely error-free, isn't necessarily divinely inspired. So is it possible to successfully argue for divine inspiration? If so, how?
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I notice when discussing the Bible, etc, as divinely inspired the good parts only are selected for proof and reverence. In fact do they not also contain immense violence? Massacres and genocides? Are these too divine and approved of and adherred to events?
2:23 And he went up from thence unto Bethel: and as he was going up by the way, there came forth little children out of the city, and mocked him, and said unto him, Go up, thou bald head; go up, thou bald head.2:24 And he turned back, and looked on them, and cursed them in the name of the LORD. And there came forth two she bears out of the wood, and tare forty and two children of them.
Few children torn apart in the name of YHWH-doesn't matter maybe?
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Why might someone think that moral claims don't fall into either category?
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Philadelphia,, PA
Dear MacGregor & readers,
I would say that conceptual truths are those we are most inclined to be conservative about in the process of revising (or possibly revising) theory. Empirical claims are more easily surrendered in the face of contrary evidence, and contrary empirical evidence will typically be more obviously relevant. Still, supposed conceptual truths have been overturned on empirical grounds. Consider Einstein and the concept of absolute simultaneity.
Much the same strictures can also be applied to ethical discourse. For example, we tend to be more conservative about general principles, say, "Ought implies can," --that someone is obligated to do so-and-so implies that the person is able to do so-and so. This contrasts with particular judgments more obviously relevant to matters of fact, say, "It is wrong to create great quantities of smoke and soot in manufacturing processes." Many would certainly agree with this now, though I think it might have been rejected in the early 19th-century at the start of the industrial revolution.
H.G. Callaway
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Or do they have the freedom to resist their desires and simply act as unmoved movers?
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Virtue is concerned with choice, Aristotle says. So to understand what virtue involves, we need to understand choice. But before we can do that, we need to understand the distinction between what is voluntary and what is involuntary, because we praise and blame what is voluntary, but not what is involuntary.
Aristotle discusses these issues in the first half of Bk 3 of the Nicomachean Ethics.
There are two things that render our actions involuntary – force and ignorance.
When we act voluntarily, by contrast, we know what we are doing, and we bring it about ourselves. Contrast three cases of standing on a train and stepping on
someone’s foot:
1. The train lurches, you lose your balance, and accidentally step on someone’s foot. Stepping on their foot is involuntary, caused by force.
2. You shuffle your feet to get comfortable, and put your foot down on someone’s foot without looking. Although moving your feet is voluntary, stepping on someone’s foot is involuntary, caused by ignorance (that their foot was there).
3. You deliberately and knowingly bring your foot down on top of someone else’s.
This is voluntary.
Force We can be forced to act not only by physical forces but also by psychological pressure (such as threat of pain). Where no one could withstand such pressure, we don’t blame someone for what they do. This shows it is involuntary. However, we don’t think of the prospect of something good or pleasant as ‘forcing’ us to act.
When we act involuntarily, we do so with pain and regret.
Now, some actions that we do, we don’t want to do. These might be called voluntary and involuntary. Aristotle gives the example of sailors throwing goods overboard in a storm. They want to save the boat, but they don’t want to lose the goods. Such actions should be called voluntary. First, actions which we do to avoid a greater evil or in order to secure some good end are the right actions to choose.
Second, we praise people for such actions, and we noted above that praise and blame attaches to what is voluntary.
So, the distinction between voluntary and involuntary actions relates to the
moment of action in the particular circumstances one is in, not whether the action is generally desirable.
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Do you find their explanation of such phenomena compelling?
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Such situations are bizarre. I am following to learn more though. All forms of sacrifices to save the many of the human family may not necessarily be stupid. Military persons are groomed to prioritize the lives of citizens though. To die for others, its a courageous, selfless and humanly attitude. However, this should be done when that is there is no alternative to save every life!
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Why or why not?
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In my culture animals can not be related to people. If we say we miss a dog which has died, people do not understand that very well. Especially when we are talking about the death of other people.
So, for us, animals are creatures of low importance. But I can not see an animal suffering and I can not kill any kind of life on purpose. Not even a cockroach, absolutely. I do not accept any invitation for the time I walk my dogs. This is their time, not mine anymore.
Vilemar Magalhães
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What does it mean to be a "steward"?
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Kirk, it really doesn't matter. In geological time, our existance is just one tiny flash, and then its gone. While we live, we fuss around with all manner of trivialities, including ownership of property, and all manner of other "brownian motion," that is here and gone, and then soon forgotten. Our property and ourselves soon decomposed, back to the original elements.
I think that if one must put everything in a religious context, the only sensible way to think about life on earth is as a test of character. Ownership of property is just one of the many aspects of that test.
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Why or why not?
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The counterexample being, profound religious faith can also lead to not grappling with the world's problems, on the principle that God will provide the solutions. Not pretending to make any sort of scholarly argument here, I am merely stating something that I have observed, on more than just a few occasions.
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Should nonhuman species and ecosystems be loved as neighbors, or are neighbors exclusively human beings?
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The concept “love” can refer to different types of relationships. We use it when talking about our family, friends, romantic partners, pets, god(s), pieces of art, ideas, etc. and refer to love as if it happens to us, like a feeling, or as an action or behavior that we conduct, like an emotion or special deed, or even as a type of relationship that is had between two things. No matter what manifestation that love takes on or how it is described, the phenomenon that occurs is always the same. Of course we express love in different ways with different objects, but the process for giving our mothers and fathers, kids , pets, plants and flowers and everything else a special importance is the phenomenon of love . I only and simply mention that love is a way of responding to an object through a process of appraising it for its subjective, intrinsic value and then bestowing the experience of that appraisal back onto the object as an extrinsic quality whereby the object becomes valuable and irreplaceably important.
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Why or why not?
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This happens all the time, and the problem is your definition of "correct." The most obvious example being, of course, religiously-motivated terrorism. And religiously-motivated mutilation. Or how about arranged marriages? Many people find these practices to be morally correct. That's the problem.
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Prima facie, the assertion seems self-refuting, for if none of our concepts apply to God, then even the concept of ineffability does not apply to God. However, the assertion of divine ineffability is often made by Jews, Christians, and Muslims. I'd love to hear your thoughts!
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I suppose it depends how we define ineffable. My inclination is to say that something ineffable cannot be completely described, not to preclude imperfect and incomplete attempts. And this leads to big problems, in practice.
Anything that is (said to be) beyond our comprehension cannot help but be ineffable. Any omniscient, omnipotent, eternal being is certainly not something that we can comprehend or describe completely. Isn't that why there are as many different ideas of what God is as there are humans on earth?
And this is easy enough to demonstrate. Cheap shot, no doubt, but we can see a whole spectrum of acts committed in God's name, from the sublime to the unspeakably atrocious. Common sense might suggest what makes sense and what makes no sense, but not much more than common sense. People like to make claims about what is the "true" God, or the "true" teachings of any particular religion. Don't these claims always come across sounding self-serving? We simply state that "truth" lies where we want it to lie, we use it to "justify" our thoughts and actions, but our claim is no more valid than the next person's. Not when it comes to religion.
The best we can do is to observe the results. Some are positive, leading to a more peaceful coexistence, and too many are negative, leading to atrocities. (Our perception of) God's ineffability is problematic. Clearly.
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Why or why not?
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Hi,
Another important point was the attention of the liberation theologians, who stand by the poor and the marginalized, and support every weak person who can not defend himself. But before discussing this point we must first answer a very important question: Who are the poor? The Bible includes a set of words describing poverty, derived from six major Hebrew roots that are more than 200 times, and John Stott has classified it into a tripartite division. [28]
First, from the economic point of view, there are the destitute poor who are deprived of the basic necessities of life.
Second: From a social point of view, there are the oppressed, the oppressed, the victims of human injustice.
Thirdly: From the spiritual point of view, there are the humble, the humble, who acknowledge their helplessness and look to God alone, seeking salvation.
The image of God is presented to us in every case that comes to them and to their cause, a commitment of its nature, "He lives the poor from the dust. He brings the poor from the dustbin to sit with the honorable "(1 Samuel 2: 8). But by looking at the principles of liberation theology above, his attention was focused on the poor, the first and second categories (the destitute and the oppressed), and no mention of the third category. This was due to the difficult economic and social conditions of Latin American society in particular and the marginalized In the world in general ... So the question arises here: Does the Bible speak about the category of the destitute and the oppressed ?? And what is the role of believers from them ??
Under the law, the people of God were commanded not to cut their hearts or to hold their hands from giving their poor brother or poor sister, but to spend generously on those who were unable to support themselves by taking them to their homes and feeding them free of charge. : 7, 14: 29; not 25: 35, 26: 12) [29]. And the farmers, when they were harvested, should not reap the corners of their fields, nor return to pick up fallen or forgotten beams, for the corners of the field, and the droppings, and the fallen fruit should be left to the poor, the stranger, the widow and the orphan (Exodus 23:10; 19:13; Deuteronomy 24:14). The law of Moses emphasized justice that is far from favoritism in the courts, especially for the poor and helpless. Wisdom is as clear as the books of the law in its demand for justice for the weak. Psalm 82 orders the judges: "Judge the poor and the orphan. Do justice to the poor and the miserable "(Psalm 82: 3), and in (31: 9)" Open your mouth. Judge justice and protect the poor and the needy "[31].
In the New Testament, we see that Jesus himself followed this tradition of caring for the poor and applied it in practice. He made friends with those in need and fed the hungry. He ordered his disciples to sell their possessions and offer charity to the poor, and if they made a feast they should call the poor, paralyzed, In a position that allows them to call them in return, as his disciples promised that when they feed the hungry and drink nudity, welcome homeless people and visit the sick, they offer all these services to Him (Luke 12: 33,14,12). Jesus gave up the riches of heaven (2: 7) and was born in a poor house. When Joseph and Mary came to the temple, they sacrificed a pair of yamam, the offering of the poor in the Law (Luke 2:24). In his public service as a traveling messenger, Jesus did not have a home. He once said, "Foxes have an ocher and birds of the sky have idols; but the Son of man has no place to rest his head" (Matthew 8:20).
But this does not mean that Christianity is an invitation to poverty, and that all Christians must be poor and destitute. For example, in the New Testament Joseph, who is from Ramah, who mentions when he was rich and was a disciple of Jesus (Matthew 27: 57) After Jesus' death, and buried him in his own tomb. The balanced view of the Bible teaches that he warns the rich of love of money because they are the root of all evils (1 Timothy 6:10), noting that Paul used the term "love of money" rather than "money" itself; money itself is not evil, but love at the expense of love Others are the ones who create evils. Thus, we find the book of the Acts of the Apostles, which tells us about the relations between the faithful in the First Church, especially as he describes the physical dealings he explains to us, saying, "No one said that there was anything of his own money; they had everything in common" (Acts 4:32) "There was no one in need of them, for all those who owned fields or houses were selling them, and they came at the price of sales, and put them at the feet of the Apostles, was distributed to each one as it has Yag "(Acts 4: 34-35).
The balanced view of the relationship between the poor and the rich in the Bible shows us that the origin of the Lord's call to serve the poor, the needy, and the Aryan is the testimony and proclamation of the person of Christ to these people, but at a practical level; Christ is given to people by the act of love, for love is able to transfer Christ from heart to heart. [34] The giving in Christianity is not based on moral motives or on social motives. This is a misguidance. Giving and serving the poor in Christianity is an act of faith in Christ, and they are explained only in the limits of the divine. The Church serves Christ in the people of these people, the idols and the homeless.
Christianity, in essence, believes that man, whether rich or poor, is in need of the salvation of Christ; for all human beings are sinners before God: "Everyone has sinned and lack the glory of God" (Romans 3:23). And Christ
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William Lane Craig argues that, without God, moral values would only be subjective, and there would be no ultimate moral accountability.
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This is a type 4 question. In order to underpin objective moral values and duties, god would have to exist objectively. However, gods only exist as beliefs. Hence, there is nothing objective about the moral values that are based upon the supposed wishes of a god whose existence is in principle unprovable.
To state that anything is a proven reality is incomplete: a thing can be a proven reality to a particular person, but this does not give it objective existence. Pre-Newtonian gravity was a proven reality to everyone (objects tended to move towards their natural resting place), but this did not mean that this notion of gravity had an objective existence, or even that it was proven by the fact that objects fell downwards.
And now, back to research…
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Islam and Judaism are unitarian monotheisms, holding that the one God contains a single center of self-consciousness (i.e., person). Christianity is a trinitarian monotheism, holding that the one God contains three centers of self-consciousness (i.e., persons). I'd love to hear Muslim, Jewish, and Christian views on this!
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I believe that in order to answer this question we should consider the symbolic elements that make up Christianity. The Most Holy Trinity is a clear representation of the unifications that Catholicism had to make in order to incorporate pagan religions into the "orthodox doctrine". Sun worship, for example, coincides with the birth of Jesus. The representation of the trinity is a very interesting topic to address. Particularly the version I like the most is this one
Formulation of the Trinity is attributed to the Gnostic teacher Valentinus (lived c.100 – c.160), who according to the fourth century theologian Marcellus of Ancyra, was “the first to devise the notion of three subsistent entities (hypostases), in a work that he entitled On the Three Natures.” The highly allegorical exegesis of the Valentinian school inclined it to interpret the relevant scriptural passages as affirming a Divinity that, in some manner, is threefold. The Valentinian Gospel of Philip, which dates to approximately the time of Tertullian, upholds the Trinitarian formula. Whatever his influence on the later fully formed doctrine may have been, however, Valentinus's school is rejected as heretical by orthodox Christians.
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Tillich wrote: "Adoration performed for the sake of man's self-glorification is self-defeating. It never reaches God" (Systematic Theology, 3:191).
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Tillich (1886-1965) belonged to the group of so-called Religious Socialists before he left Germany with the beginning Nazi-era; he emigrated to New York. I read in a note of a book about Tillich that he "was a human being of immense wisdom." But interesting: Wisdom didn't hinder Tillich sometimes to have a very narrow relation to the female sex, and such things which happened and are today discussed in the "me-to-debate" many women could have tell in his time about the famous man- so the theological rumor.
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I'm wondering to what extent W. D. Ross's theory provides a method for deciding what the right thing to do is in particular situations. I'm also wondering if this extent should be seen as a strength or a weakness.
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Thanks so much for your answer, Albert! I've never seen prima facie duties linked with divine command theory before the contributors to this thread :) But it raises an issue. I agree with you that divine command theory doesn't work. However, could prima facie duties be conjoined with a divine nature theory of ethics? One could posit in a philosophical vein that God is the greatest conceivable being and is therefore necessarily loving, just, fair, compassionate, and so forth by nature. These facets of God's nature could shine in our intellects in the same way as light shines from the sun, causing us to recognize them as prima facie duties. What do you or others think about this speculative conjunction?
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Why do you find that element persuasive?
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The Christian mystical experience wins my vote. Mystics from all traditions seem to share a common experience, even as we describe it differently due, at least in part, to cultural differences. I personally can both agree with and disagree with the concept of total unity. My personal choice is to describe the full mystical state as one where barriers between one's self and the rest of reality are not maintained, but rather eliminated. One continues to be an individual, but also is sharing fully and openly with the balance of creation, no secrets, nothing hidden, no fears or anything to protect, just total openness.
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One could argue that any ideological spiritual pathway is suspicious of those whose religious beliefs and practices are unlike their own, intolerant of "the other," and does not account for new ways of understanding reality. Do you agree or disagree?
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Dear Dr. Emad
His Majesty, God created man and created him in the best calendar an mind and was close to him i mean to make the mind of human and instinct, which makes him different from the angels and animals and make love in the heart of the human But evil intervened in the delusion of human where the entry of hatred between humans and thank you.
Regards
Dr. Malik
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On the one hand, it seems that Confucianism is essentially an ethical way of life and a way of ordering society. On the other hand, it seems that Confucianism is an authentic spiritual pathway.
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Confucius held Government was through the ruler's perspective with religious ceremonies to fulfill moral duties.  The Mandate of Heaven (Analects) bound dynasties in a supernatural community and was reinforced by Confucius.  For example, an angry God could impose natural disasters such as flooding or earthquakes. Confucianism is also a moral philosophy and integrated into Chinese politics.  There is a religious element to Confucianism and strong philosophical tone of good conduct, obedience, personal behaviors, elders, ancestors, etc.  
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What are the advantages of defining the divine anthropomorphically? What are the risks of defining the divine anthropomorphically?
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TEJ, yes I agree with your comment.
However, is the question as presented about only the last few thousand years in the 2 million years of evolution of religion? If so, the questioner needs to explain why only the short-chronology is being used. What's the justification for that? What about all the rest of the religions of the world? Not a few with no anthropomorphic god? Especially Nilo-Saharan Africa where the focus is on a personal and cosmic life-force rather than any personification. To get an even bigger picture of what the 'divine' might mean, see my papers on a Trans-species Definition of Religion and The Case for Chimpanzee Religion.
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On the one hand, Taoism may be too inherently passive about government intervention in preserving security, developing the economy, and meeting the needs for health and education. On the other hand, Taoism is eager to collaborate with others in ecological concerns and encourage ways of achieving justice and peace.
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Individual's generally live in communities. If you transform the nature of the parts this will affect the nature of the whole.
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work on globalization and religion. impact of globalization on Judaism, Christianity and Islam
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But we find individual practices, where we find that America is sometimes pressing in the name of human rights (which I wasted in Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo, the massacres of Afghanistan and the bombing of Fallujah) and sometimes in the name of democracy and freedom to pass what you want to the countries of the world that do not agree.
While freedom, Western democracy and constitutional law have made the West drop the results of the elections in Turkey, Algeria and Nigeria (Machuhad Abiola) because the successful Islamists !!
Unfortunately, the West is keen to impose its social and cultural values and globalization, which represents its worst while not seeking the globalization of science and progress, which must be retained.
The danger of globalization increases the weakness of the Islamic world and its defeat in the West. This is what further permeates the cultural globalization of identity. Ibn Khaldun said: "The Mu'allub is fond of following the motto most often in terms of its motto, its uniforms and all its conditions and revenues." [26]
Moreover, globalization carries the idea of the tyranny of the strong that mocks the will of weak peoples in its favor. It lies in the idea of dominating the global economy, military power and political administration over the poor people of the world, and even striving to impoverish what is not poor. It is also in the idea of dissolving, Control, information, production and flow without regard to the cultures, needs, specificities and possibilities of peoples [27].
As it increases the seriousness of globalization and the arm of the media under the control of Zionism and clinging to the strings, this force is in control with the brute military force in the imposition of globalization on others, the function of the media system is to entertain and distract and learn and consolidate values, concepts, beliefs and patterns of American behavior on others, An American expert.
To achieve this, the media budget is quite parallel to the budget of the defense in some countries. Statistics of 1986 indicate that it reached the number of the media economy in the West and the sum of approximately $ 1175 billion, of which $ 505 billion is for the United States, $ 267 billion for the European Community, (253) billion for Japan, and (150) billion only for others in the world.
These massive media budgets in the North have made it a powerful control of the flowing media, which has led to a disruption of the media system. All efforts and initiatives within the United Nations have failed to lay the foundations for a new media system that balances the North and the South.
There are many studies that show the suffering of Eastern peoples (non-Islamic) and Western astronomy such as Japan and South Korea from globalization and field studies that have been done to see the impact of American television materials on South Korean youth by Kang & Morgan. The Korean girls are more liberal than family and moral values, and believe that there is nothing wrong with sex outside marriage, and that this is sexual freedom, they wear American clothes and despise Confucianism. [29]
We also find countries such as the Philippines, a country classified as a Christian traveling in American astronomy. In a study of 255 Filipino students, exposure to American television material was positively correlated with the emphasis on "value and material" as the two most important values Their lives, while declining with authentic Filipino values such as forgiveness, tolerance, sacrifice, and wisdom. [30]
If some Western countries themselves or those close to them complain about the globalization of culture on identity, we find that France, although it is a Western Christian, but because of the difference of language, it is the most Western countries complain of the globalization of culture and the dominance of English, and fear of French identity and therefore resorted The French to put the culture in the exception, because they have been alerted that the strength of American cultural production leads to a gradual change in standards of behavior and lifestyles [31].
In fact, there is a study in Australia, a western Christian-speaking country where any participant in the United States in identity almost complains about American television on children because it leads to loss of belonging, moral crisis and cultural estrangement. [32] Canada, "It is not right for children in Canada to enjoy the tales of their grandmothers. It is unreasonable and acceptable to become 60% of Canadian TV programs, 70% of our foreign music, 95% %) Of our morals is not American [33].
These proverbs are provided by hundreds of studies around the world of the intellectuals' fear of the identity of their people from American globalization. Are we not Muslims as we hold the greatest creed and good for the tongue of the Qur'an, and the greatest history in addition to the high cultural values?
The most dangerous thing that globalization carries is its threat to the origin of the Islamic faith, because it calls for the unity of religions. It is an invitation that rejects the Islamic faith from its very foundation and destroys it from its origin, because the religion of Islam is based on the fact that it is the final message from God to mankind. Heaven, and then distorted and change, and entered the followers of the ideological deviation.
"Globalization seeks to reshape the basic concepts of the universe, man and life of Muslims, and replace them with the concepts promoted by the West culturally and intellectually. In the eyes of cultural and intellectual globalization, the universe did not create a man-made hole to be a test for people to make them better. Creates for the purpose of worshiping Allah !! These fundamental concepts of the Islamic faith, in the eyes of intellectual and cultural globalization, are nothing more than a myth. "[34]
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How can those experiences be related to that of Christians who practice speaking in tongues? Are there any examples of schools that teach and train people to come to ecstasy and then speak in tongues? What are the benefits of that experience?
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As I see it, the problem with "objective proof" for Divine phenomena is what the word "objective" implies, which is to define a subject where it does not exist, just as, in mathematics, you might wish to examine the hyperbolic behavior of 1/x at 0,0 -- it simply does not show up there.  However, those of us in psychological science must address such issues on a daily basis, as it were, so we treat the reported and observed ineffabilities somewhat as a mathematician treats imaginary numbers (n√-1) -- by graphing or analyzing them on their own axis; i.e., regarding such observations as real in their own domain and having some indirect relationship with "known" phenomena..  I just completed a dissertation on this very subject, so I am invested in where this conversation can go.
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The human person is regarded by traditional Western philosophy as a substantial unity with a core identity, the Church consists of many communities with different values, emphasizing different aspects of the faith, some of them opposing each other. Has anyone addressed the question how an individual human person can be a suitable analogy for the Church?
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I have a short formula for understanding what the Church means. It comes from H. Muehlen, a systematic theologian who died a few years ago and who taught at Paderborn in Germany in his book, Una Mystica Persona.
Muehlen understands the Church to be "One Person, (the Holy Spirit) present in billions of human persons simultaneously."  This means that no denomination has a corner on the Holy Spirit since the Spirit moves where she wills. This also implies that the mystery of the Church and the mystery of grace are synonymous. A mystery is a "truth we cannot fully understand or comprehend using reason alone."
The Church has both a 1. "charismatic element" since it is led by the Holy Spirit and 2. an institutional element since it consists of frail human beings  who are imperfect at best. Richard Penaskovic, Emeritus Professor, Auburn University, Alabama
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Followers of Vaishnava (among others) faith generally make the argument that their sacred texts were composed by a single magnificent author during his life on Earth. But this is completely disregarded by historians studying India's past, who claim that Vyas is to be regarded like Homer: actually many authors. For such an integral figure, I have found very little scholarly publications which address this figure, from either camp. Can anyone shed some light on this topic?
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I apologies upfront if the answer appears long.
The Vedas are considered to be the revealed and thus called "Shruti" Texts which means "heard" or revealed. This revelation happened to many Vedic Seers over a substantial period of time (in deep meditative states or higher levels of consciousness). The 'penning' of revealed text was done much later as the the tradition of propagating and preserving The Vedas was essentially oral.
Vedic AnukramaNIs or Indices of the Rigveda provide us with:
a. The RSi (seer/ composer) of each hymn or verse.
b. The DevatA (deity) of each hymn or verse.
c. The Chhanda (metre) of each hymn or verse.
for each of the 1028 hymns of the Rigveda. This they give us the names the composers of the Rigveda. It also tells us that they were members of ten priestly families namely :
KaNvas (Kevala-ANgirases), ANgirases, Agastyas, GRtsamadas (Kevala-BhRgus), ViSvAmitras, Atris, VasiSThas, KaSyapas, Bharatas and BhRgus. In all there are nearly 191 contributors to Rig Veda but none is named Vyasa or Vedavyasa. Interestingly Ved Vyasa did belong to lineage of one of these families.
Exact historicity of Vedas is also highly debatable and could be much older that 2200 BC to 1600 BC generally used in literature (with much evidence ascribed to it). The long tradition of Oral transmission developed into more than one branch of recitation and in spite of lot of ingenious ways of error correction in recitation, possibility of some loss in the text as well as re-organisations / redactions occurred.
Name of Vedvyasa ( There were more than one Vedvyasas), the one most prolific and writer of many Indian Scriptures including Mahabharata, All Major Puranas (and then some), is taken in connection with Vedas as someone provided guidance to Paila in collecting the Rigvedic hymns to form the Rigveda Samhita available to us presently.
Do share your sources which ascribe Srila Vedvyasa as author of Vedas.
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In the study of ancient history or theology the concept of "myths' is very important because in both of the fields and even in philosophy scholars always try to stretch the past to justify the present, in this sense myths are the carrier of perception of reality is a matter of debate among the scholars but it is very true that the mythological myths in all religions/civilisations posses a dogma of being sacred due to its longevity and moral ideas. On the basis of these two ideas can we argue that 'the construction of present reality' is under challenge because some how it has been associated with the idea of "myths" in the past.    
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Myths, by their very nature, communicate metaphorically. Perhaps I should have said, "cannot be wrapped explicitly in language." I can say explicitly, "There was a father who had two sons. The younger demanded his inheritance and left home, insulting his father in the process. The other stayed at home, grudgingly doing what he perceived to be his duty. After falling into bad circumstances, the younger son came home, and his father forgave him, but his brother never did." I have eliminated the mythic elements of Luke 15:11-32, and in so doing have lost the elements that speak to the heart. The story was explicitly stated, but the essence of the parable was lost. The original story with its mythic elements communicates elements of human values and emotion that the mere facts cannot.
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 ‘Becoming’, understood as an endlessly scroll of reality, was one of the most important and complex philosophical concept that was opposed by ontological vision of static essence and dynamic one (like Heraclitus) (Wikipedia).
The term ‘becoming’ in philosophy involves a change not only in space, as in the original meaning, but also in time.
The problematic nature of the definition of ‘becoming’ arised initially from the consideration that the primordial substance had to be conceived as unique and immutable: but if it was so, how would you explain the origin from it of the multiplicity of things? If at the beginning, the unique essence was water, as such was to remain forever and not give rise to the multiplicity of beings.
But it is clear that talk about life of the substance amounted to a contradiction ‘in terminis’, as it always defines identical with itself, and therefore immutable, something which in effect becomes living and constantly changing.
Becoming is, according to Heraclitus, the essence of Being, because everything is subject to time and change. Even what seems static to sensory perception in reality is dynamic and constantly changing.
Everything flows into the thesis that identifies in the fire the symbolic beginning of all things. This element symbolizes quintessential movement, life and destruction.
Becoming is therefore the immutable law; ‘logos’ regulates the alternation of birth and death. It is the identity of the different, i.e. the element which unifies what in all the many things is constant. Becoming is in fact made up of opposites that coexist in things: the uphill road is the same as downhill. It appears for the first time a dialectic conception of reality.
But not everyone is able to recognize ‘logos’, the law that governs the world. Only a few are "awake" and can recognize the common law of logos, the others, the "dormant," living in a dream, are prisoners of the opposition, of struggle and the conflict, unable to rise to the unity of all :
The harmony of things, for Heraclitus, lies in its constantly changing and in continuous conflict between opposites. This concept is defined as ‘polemos’, which allows the existence of all things.
The Eleatics, contrary to Heraclitus, did not rely in senses that reveal the movement. The emotion generates the opinion of mortals who live in the illusion whereby it believed true the existence of ‘becoming’ as a mixture of being and not being. But not being does not exist nor can be thought.
Thinking and being are the same thing for which being is not and cannot be ‘not being’, while ‘not being’ is not and cannot be.
Moreover, how is it possible to think of birth as a transition from ‘non-being’ to being, and death as a go from being to not be? Birth and death are only appearances of being, not generated (nothing comes from nothing), eternal (nothing ends in nothing), still, unique (because if they were two, it should be separated from ‘non-being’), compact and well-defined ( similar to a perfect sphere).
This is Parmenides' belief that contrasts sharply with that of those who supported the thesis of Heraclitus.
The end of the paradoxes is to prove that to accept the presence of motion in reality involves logical contradictions superior to those who deny ‘becoming’ and is therefore better, from a purely rational point of view, rejecting the sensible experience and say that reality is still and ‘becoming’ does not exist.
To be out of the impasse of the two mystical theories of Parmenides and Heraclitus, appearing, despite contradicting both logically founded, pluralists philosophers, materialists have a solution more rationalistic and naturalistic, treating the ‘becoming’ as ‘being’, marking the conceptual severity of the first compared to the second.
For ‘becoming’ is essential to think that there is a multiplicity of edifying beings: beings, and pluralists argue that in fact at the beginning of world history there was a great variety of primeval elements with the faculties of Parmenides’ ‘being’, that is, eternity and immobility.
In this way, birth is not a transition from ‘not being’ to ‘being’, but an aggregation of the primitive entities that, for Empedocles are the four elements of earth, water, air and fire, for Anaxagoras what he calls seeds, for Leucippus atoms as indivisible and elementary building blocks.
Each of us is born with a changing association of these multiple primary elements, which are in themselves always identical to themselves and immutable. Death will be nothing but the separation of these elements that will go back each his own part of their being primary.
This apparent conciliation of being and becoming, went to meet a difficulty: if the multiple beings presented themselves at the beginning and remained immutable and then still to safeguard the requirements of the Eleatic being, as was explained later their aggregation and disintegration?
The problem is actually placed by monists in opposition to the pluralists, but has its own explanation. In fact, the pluralists did intervene from outside forces such as Love and Hate, for Empedocles, or Nous, for Anaxagoras, had been submitted clarifying the aggregation and breakdown of the primary elements.
The first to compete with the concept of non-existence of the vacuum were the Eleatics with their philosophy based on being as the only reality. Only ‘being’ can be thought, as ‘not being’ does not exist.
The difficulty for the ancient mind, which persists in the thought of Parmenides, to conceive the void (emptiness)seems to be related to the theory on the archaic Greek thought about a "mythical" age, understood as the transition from primitive thought to that rational adult, where word was not distinguished from thing. A sort of fusion of language, reality and truth for which the Greeks had a vision of reality as a "show", therefore not distinguishing between visibility, existence and thought: only what was visible really existed and could thus be thought of and hence the difficulty of thinking the ‘not being’, the void, that is not visible and which therefore does not exist.
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There are two important philosophers that think otherwise, Democritus (460-370 b.c.) and Lucretius (99 - 55 b.c.). Both believed in the atomic structure of nature: everything is composed of a diverse number and proportion of four types of atoms: fire, water, earth and air. They proposed that it is the infinite arrangement and proportion of atoms of the four elements that explains why there are so many different objects in nature. 
Neither Greek nor Roman philosophies were monolithic in their way of understanding nature. Not everyone agreed with the idea of a single primordial substance. Lucretius' De rerum natura or On the nature of things is the first scientific book in the West. It is impeccably writen in extraordinaryly aesthetic verse and even contemporary scientists and mathematicians like Michel Serres have proved that some of the theories of Lucretius anticipated aspects of thermodynamics. It seems Democritus and Lucretius were better prepared to anticipate contemporary science. 
De rerum natura is one of the most engaging science books I have read in my life. I recommend it to you. :-)
Best regards
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I am searching for the sources used by Ibn Hazm Andalusi in his works especially in his famous book, Al-Fasl. Please suggest some books in this regard.
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Dear Abid,
You can find the book in Arabic about Ibnu Hazm that is written by Dr. Zakaria Ibrahim published by al-Dar al-Misriyyah li al-Ta'lif wa al-Tarjamah. You can also find the book written by Abu Zahrah regarding this topic.  Thanks
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Why does religion become first port of call during social and economic strife?
Within religion, why does a large chunk of the population not go deeper into orthodox religion but head instead towards these new age guys with their superficial cosmologies and simplistic solutions?
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Well, is it really the first way of reacting? The question you are posing is really good, and provoking, but we also need to be cautious and critical with the way we pose questions, since they otherwise may display, or convey, prejudice and superficial ideas. It is not superficial at all to note that religion provides a language, or a way of expression, to other problems, but I think we may question if the first answer is religion (is it not violence, radicalization? - as Olivier Roy has suggested recently), and even more serious we have to take into account that 'religion' as such is not a concept agreed upon. 
Given all these (perhaps: academic) presuppositions it is really interesting that religion can provide language and symbolic expressions to socio-political restriction and economic deprivation. To me, on a more personal note, it stress the fact that religious belief, and religious tradition as far as I know it, is closely knit with identity (existence and experience), belonging (fellowships and history) and horizon (projection/projects and hermeneutics (reading of 'my self')).
Thank you for a good question, Muhammad; it is so much more encouraging and engaging than most answers and statements.
Henrik Sonne P
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The point is: How does Judaism read the Song of Songs, a song of love? What is the place that this book finds in the Torah? Furthermore, if the theological general principle is that "God wishes to be exalted only by Israel" and "Israel alone knows God as God has made himself known, which is in the Torah", how does Israel  elicit God's love?
Means Israel "those that love and are loved by God"?
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"Judaism" does not maintain one single view on Song of Songs. The book invites allegorical interpretation, and many different readings have been proposed. In my paper, "Saving the Soul by Knowing the Soul" (which should be posted here on RG) I discuss one avenue taken by medieval Yemenite scholars.
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In general, it seems that there are two contrasting portraits of the relation between Religion and the modern men:
1) The man of Religion who "withdraws from the converse of men, exclusively preoccupied with his own salvation, which is a matter between God and himself";
2) "the modern man who, accepting the world and its laws, resolves to extract from them all the good that they contain".
Anyway the former, as well as the latter, cannot detach himself from other men: conscious of the solidarity which unites him with his fellows, which make him in a sense dependent on them, he knows that he cannot work out his salvation by himself.
If that is true we have to admit the idea of the unity of human society and that the Religion is essentially social in the deepest sense of the word. There is no space for selfish piety".
Best regards
Antonio
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The gnostics did in the second century CE; and the Jihadists/Islamists do today.  Arguably their view of the state is not really temporal, they wish to destroy it.  There is no other way to explain the actions of suicide bombers/ attackers.  Granted, in each case it is a very limited concept of solidarity.
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Perhaps Pope Francis could be enough understood as a sensible Jesuit in dialogue with up-to-date global social, economical, political and cultural happenings.
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Certainly Pope Francis is an amazing Pope and a more than refreshing change from the previous Pope.  Personally, I have read a great deal of liberation theology and Jesuit teachings; however, I know almost nothing about Argentina. I think understanding liberation theology provides depth and insight into Pope Francis's thinking but it is surely not "required" to understand the theology.  As Mary noted above, few Christians know the milieu of Christ and Muslims may not know much of the social milieu of the Prophet Muhammad and his Companions, but they can read the stories and follow the teachings. His openness to people, ideas, other cultures and faiths is remarkable and can one day lead (one hopes) to more peaceful co-existence among people of a variety of faiths.  Even his name "Francis" is impressive; were my mother alive, she would be so thrilled since she was a sincere admirer of Saint Francis.
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I am working on ethnic tourism, my sample area belong to one ethnic group. They have their own religion, but almost 60% of them converted to Islam during last century. Due to change in religion, it creates some difference among them. I was thinking that I can compare both religion in one ethnic group, Is that possible? or they will be considered as two ethnic groups? Need your kind suggestions  
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@Aon, from 50 years ago anthropologists and historians have been stressing the fact that it's impossible to define ethnic groups by any 'cultural trait' (religion, language, tradition, beliefs, taboos, material culture, customs, and so on). Research has been focusing on how people get to identify as this or that ethnic name and what exactly that means in terms of the social situation different ethnic groups are within in relation to each other. So yes, it's one ethnic group as long as they think so, and as long as others who do not identify as themselves see them as one group, regardless of their internal differences, that can be religious and otherwise. I would refer you to the introduction of a 1960s collective book called Ethnic groups and boundaries, by Fredrik Barth (you can find it easily online), and the debate that ensued.
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I'm wondering what research is out there - as I am intending to undertake a mini thesis
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Dear Kaz,
Your mini-thesis will become a maxi-thesis unless you circumscribe, define, and delimit very carefully what you mean by "minority religion."  Do you mean a minority throughout the world, or a minority in a single world region, or a minority in a single country?  I can think of abundant examples of all three. 
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Do you know any paper or book which works on applications of "epistemology of testimony" in "philosophy of religion;" for instance in transmitting knowledge from a person who has had a religious experience?
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I also have a short paper critically examining Linda Zagzebski's recent book "Epistemic Authority," here: https://www.researchgate.net/publication/262916091_Believing_on_Authority?ev=prf_pub