References and Further Reading 1. Sources of Western Concepts of God Sources of western concepts of the divine have been threefold:
A rather thick, dusty hardback, I found this little gem nestled inconspicuously high up on a forgotten shelf in the philosophy section of Strands Bookstore. Like I said, just some light reading.
The chapter raised some interesting questions. What is the relationship between ancient philosophy and religion? Are they good buddies that hang out on the weekends to shoot darts and play pool? Or are they temperamental roommates who begrudgingly accept the others existence but never wash the dishes?
Well, if a distinguished professor of ancient philosophy can tackle the subject, then certainly I could do the same, albeit in a much less thorough and distinguished way.
Then again, what I lack in prestigious degrees, I make up for in terrible philosophy jokes. How many existential philosophers does it take to screw in a light bulb? Two- one to bemoan the darkness until the other redefines something else as light.
Anyway… This article is not so much an examination of theology or the philosophy of religion. Instead, I hope we can take a look back through the centuries of ancient philosophy and see what impact spirituality has had on the development of ancient thought and what type of relationship religion had with the study of philosophy.
I think we might find, perhaps to the chagrin of some, that many tenants central to modern religions were argued for over thousands of years ago by the first philosophers of the ancient world. To do this, I suppose we ought to start with Thales of Miletus and all the other Milesian philosophers.
They were primarily interested in the study of metaphysics. Put plainly, it is the study of the underlying substance of reality. As suggested by its name, metaphysics is the thing we must understand before we can understand physics. The Milesian philosophers looked around at the world they lived in and asked the profound question- what is all this stuff?
At the heart of their inquiries was the idea that the universe as we know it could be broken down into one primordial substance that acts as the foundation for all of reality. This substance, known as arche, would be the first substance, the common denominator for our universe. The Milesians put forth numerous possible answers.
Thales proposed that the first substance was water and that all things, in some way, come from water. Anaximander came up with a slightly more abstract solution when he proposed that all of existence sprang from a boundless, unknowable substance which is referred to as apeiron.
Anaximenes, another Milesian philosopher, proposed that the primary substance was air and that all of matter came to be from air. He speaks of the soul as being composed of air the breath of life and even claimed that the earth floated upon a cloud of air.
Now what is interesting about all of this is that while attempting to uncover this first substance, the philosophers would often attribute divine importance to the arche.
It was said that Anaximenes believed that there was a God within the air. Anaximander, likewise, believed that the apeiron was of almost divine importance. At the time, their use for the word was entirely secular and used as a way to contemplate metaphysical considerations.
Still, from the Milesian school we see that there is the idea of some underlying force within the universe. Whether this force is of a divine, spiritual nature is not keenly known. Unlike the Milesians, Pythagoras is believed to have traveled many of the Aegean islands as well as the Attica mainland before finally creating his religious sect in modern-day Crotone, Italy.
A central tenant of the Pythagorean philosophy was the idea of a wheel of rebirth where the souls of the departed often come to life once more in the form of animals or even plants. Unlike the Milesians, Pythagoras not only embraced spirituality, he actually demanded it.
His followers were required to adhere to a strict set of religious traditions if they wished to remain within the sect.God & Philosophy [Antony Flew] on rutadeltambor.com *FREE* shipping on qualifying offers.
In this classic primer to the philosophy of religion, Antony Flew subjects a wide range of philosophical arguments for the existence of the Christian God to intense critical rutadeltambor.coms: Western Concepts of God. () agreed with Descartes that clear and distinct ideas indeed reflect reality, but he thought that philosophy must start with God, not the self.
This is because God is first in the order of things. God's primacy is also the reason Spinoza rejected Bacon's method of beginning with observation. The existence of God is a subject of debate in the philosophy of religion and popular culture.
 A wide variety of arguments for and against the existence of God can be categorized as metaphysical, logical, empirical, or subjective. Philosophy of Religion - By Branch / Doctrine - The Basics. The existence of God is a subject of debate in the philosophy of religion and popular culture.
 A wide variety of arguments for and against the existence of God can be categorized as metaphysical, logical, empirical, or subjective. Learn how to ask and answer big questions. Pursue a verified certificate to have your work graded and commented upon by professional philosophers.