According to John Cottingham, who is an English philosopher, argues there is absolutely nothing to rationalize since religion is “all about one's feeling of absolute dependence and commitment” ("Religious Faith [...]”). In an interview, he says: “It is problematic if you think the only model for reasonable belief is a scientifically based on impartial assessment from evidence.
According to skepticism, we can never reach a final decision regarding any issue because there will always be two opposing ideas that are equally compelling, in such a way that you cannot take anyone of them as a final answer. Sextus Empiricus, who is an ancient philosopher, explained in his book the principles of skepticism and the methods applied by a skeptic that will empower him to reach his ultimate goal which is mental tranquility. In this paper, I will discuss Sextus’s argument on how skepticism can bring peace to our life by shedding light on the steps that a skeptic uses while searching for knowledge. Moreover, I will be arguing against Sextus’s argument about assertions through presenting an argument from the Republic, in which it shows that assertions can lead us to mental tranquility. According to Sextus Empiricus, seeking knowledge can be achieved in different ways according to the type of philosopher you are.
When Benjamin Franklin’s Autobiography was published in the 18th century, it reflected Franklin’s uncommon and advanced mindset at that time, considering the fact that at that time, humans could be hanged for doubting the Revelation. In his Autobiography, Franklin expresses skepticism toward religion and explains why he does not commit himself to one particular faith. However, Franklin respects the freedom of religion and highly promotes moral and virtuous behavior. Franklin discusses his reflections on religion and the distinction between organized religions and beliefs that are not bound to religious systems. He emphasizes that organized religion and sects are more focused on following specific rules and practices, than concentrating on really understanding God and His ideas of humility, moral behavior and virtue.
Voltaire certainly believed in freedom of religious expression, which he actually found pivotal to the propagation of religion and its very realm of existence. He did not believe in circumscribing the way that individuals expressed their religious conviction. More importantly, perhaps, Voltaire also held firm in the conviction that there should be a distinction between church and state. This notion has proved fairly controversial throughout the course of Westernization; one of the reasons that Voltaire maintained this conviction was because he was aware of the tendency of ecclesiastical powers to surmount reason in governing due to the unrestrained sort of influence the church could
1. Introduction A Rumor of Angels is a book written by Peter L. Berger, which is one of his most important works on the topic of the sociology of religion (“A Rumor of Angels: Modern Society and the Rediscovery of the Supernatural”, n.d.). This book analyzes whether there is any theological possibilities and if so, what they are. After reading this book, I have summarized two aspects from one chapter of this book, which is Theological Possibilities: Starting with Man. I will analyze this chapter in terms of history and anthropology.
Descartes felt the need for this “hyperbolic doubt” in order to reach an impartial truth. He then takes you through the thought process that led him to the one thing that lies beyond all doubt. He finds certainty in the statement Cogito, ergo sum or “I think, therefore I am.” FOOTNOT The first Meditation in Descartes Meditations On First Philosophy, is based on doubting almost everything he once believed as true. When Descartes found that beliefs he had were false, he realized all of his beliefs could be threatened. He embraced scepticism and refused to accept anything that it is possible to doubt.
Transcendentalism developed mainly during 1820s to 1840s and as a protest to the liberal New England Congregationalists. Transcendentalists believed in inheriting goodness of both man and nature, and its definition is “The view that the basic truths of the universe lie beyond the knowledge we obtain from our senses, reason, logic, or laws of science. We learn these truths through our intuition, our ‘Divine Intellect’” (“Transcendentalism” para 1). However, transcendentalists criticized Harvard University for emphasizing intellectualism and Unitarian church teaching at Harvard Divinity School. Transcendentalists thought that formulating religion and political parties were depraving the purity of the individual (“Thoreau and Emerson” para 3), which caused disrespect toward other races, especially African Americans.
Michael Servetus denied that Jesus Christ was the Son of God. In addition, he denied the idea of paedobaptism, which in turn, furthered him from the Catholic and Protestant churches. Before coming to this heretical belief, Michael Servetus became involved with Protestant leaders and was even a Protestant himself but that all changed. Once he began to write and publish books, it was all downhill from there. His books were analyzed by the Caltholic Church and that is when they condemned him as a heretic.
Firstly, Lloyd illustrates how Descartes adapted reason into a methodical thought that he used to attempt to form a rational basis for the belief in God (Lloyd, 1993:39). Descartes mentions in the Meditations dedicatory letter that he believes that for theists it is their faith that holds the rational basis for belief in God, whereas atheists do not have this faith and so it lies in reason to prove that God exists in order to persuade them (Descartes, 1996:3). However, REFERENCE AGAINST THIS POINT Moreover, from Descartes thoughts on reasoning he stemmed his dualistic view of the body and mind being two separate entities, which Lloyd notes includes the distinction between the rational mind, which Descartes identifies with the soul, and the irrational body (Lloyd, 1993:45). As Descartes has established his dualistic view, he highlights the cogito in his third meditation,
The Transcendentalists believed that everyone was their own person and that conforming to others ruined what it meant to be human. In “Self-Reliance”, Ralph Waldo Emerson stated that “Whoso be a man, must be a nonconformist”(Emerson 370). This quote means that the Transcendentalists believed so much in individualism, that they went so far as to say that one is not a man if they conform to society. Another example of individualism is in “Self-Reliance” when Emerson said that to be great one must not follow the societal norms, but instead go their own way. Someone may be misunderstood in life but in the future they could be looked upon as a hero(Emerson 372).