it to the world. ARTHUR JAMES BALFOUR, P.C., F.R.S., O.M.. I have carefully examined every volume of the. Encyclopaedia of Religion and Ethics as it has. Encyclopaedia of religion and ethics by James Hastings, , Charles Scribner's Sons edition, in English. Articles on all the religions of the world and the great systems of ethics; on every religious belief or custom and ethical movement; on every philosophical.
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Encyclopaedia of religion and ethics. byHastings, James, ; Selbie, John Alexander, ; Gray, Louis H. (Louis Herbert). Hastings Encyclopedia of Religion and Ethics covers many fields, and presents the latest Perhaps this note will bring forward a pdf. File:Encyclopedia of Religion and Ethics Volume echecs16.info From Wikimedia Commons Size of this JPG preview of this PDF file: × pixels.
Reddit Abstract Religion can be a destructive as well as a positive force in the world. Religious disagreements often breed distrust, hatred, and violence. However, the religions also promote peace, advocate for human rights, and offer relief to those in need. The effects of religion are nowhere more apparent that in the global arena see Globalization. We need to understand, and ultimately shape, the actions of religious adherents in order to ensure that religious convictions are more positive than negative in our global times. The contribution of religion to global ethics and, conversely, the importance of global ethics for religious practice is the topic of this essay.
Thus, in thinking of God as omniscient, one might begin with a non-controversial case of a person knowing that a proposition is true, taking note of what it means for someone to possess that knowledge and of the ways in which the knowledge is secured.
Various degrees of refinement would then be in order, as one speculates not only about the extent of a maximum set of propositions known but also about how these might be known. That is, in attributing omniscience to God, would one thereby claim God knows all truths in a way that is analogous to the way we come to know truths about the world? Too close an analogy would produce a peculiar picture of God relying upon, for example, induction, sensory evidence, or the testimony of others.
Using thought experiments often employs an appearance principle. One version of an appearance principle is that a person has a reason for believing that some state of affairs SOA is possible if she can conceive, describe or imagine the SOA obtaining and she knows of no independent reasons for believing the SOA is impossible. As stated the principle is advanced as simply offering a reason for believing the SOA to be possible, and it thus may be seen a advancing a prima facie reason.
If God does know you will freely do some act X, then it is true that you will indeed do X. But if you are free, would you not be free to avoid doing X? Given that it is foreknown you will do X, it appears you would not be free to refrain from the act.
Initially this paradox seems easy to dispel.
If God knows about your free action, then God knows that you will freely do something and that you could have refrained from it. Think of what is sometimes called the necessity of the past.
Once a state of affairs has obtained, it is unalterably or necessarily the case that it did occur. If the problem is put in first-person terms and one imagines God foreknows you will freely turn to a different entry in this Encyclopedia moreover, God knows with unsurpassable precision when you will do so, which entry you will select and what you will think about it , then an easy resolution of the paradox seems elusive.
To highlight the nature of this problem, imagine God tells you what you will freely do in the next hour. Under such conditions, is it still intelligible to believe you have the ability to do otherwise if it is known by God as well as yourself what you will indeed elect to do?
Self-foreknowledge, then, produces an additional related problem because the psychology of choice seems to require prior ignorance about what will be choose. Various replies to the freedom-foreknowledge debate have been given.
Some adopt compatibilism, affirming the compatibility of free will and determinism, and conclude that foreknowledge is no more threatening to freedom than determinism. While some prominent philosophical theists in the past have taken this route most dramatically Jonathan Edwards — , this seems to be the minority position in philosophy of religion today exceptions include Paul Helm, John Fischer, and Lynne Baker.
A second position adheres to the libertarian outlook, which insists that freedom involves a radical, indeterminist exercise of power, and concludes that God cannot know future free action.
What prevents such philosophers from denying that God is omniscient is that they contend there are no truths about future free actions, or that while there are truths about the future, God either cannot know those truths Swinburne or freely decides not to know them in order to preserve free choice John Lucas.
Aristotle may have thought it was neither true nor false prior to a given sea battle whether a given side would win it. Some theists, such as Richard Swinburne, adopt this line today, holding that the future cannot be known. If it cannot be known for metaphysical reasons, then omniscience can be analyzed as knowing all that it is possible to know. Other philosophers deny the original paradox. God can simply know the future without this having to be grounded on an established, determinate future.
But this only works if there is no necessity of eternity analogous to the necessity of the past. If not, then there is an exactly parallel dilemma of timeless knowledge. For outstanding current analysis of freedom and foreknowledge, see the work of Linda Zagzebski. In the great monotheistic traditions, God is thought of as without any kind of beginning or end. God will never, indeed, can never, cease to be.
This view is sometimes referred to as the thesis that God is everlasting. This is sometimes called the view that God is eternal as opposed to everlasting. Why adopt the more radical stance? One reason, already noted, is that if God is not temporally bound, there may be a resolution to the earlier problem of reconciling freedom and foreknowledge. As St. Augustine of Hippo put it: so that of those things which emerge in time, the future, indeed, are not yet, and the present are now, and the past no longer are; but all of these are by Him comprehended in His stable and eternal presence.
The City of God, XI. Those affirming God to be unbounded by temporal sequences face several puzzles which I note without trying to settle. If God is somehow at or in all times, is God simultaneously at or in each? If so, there is the following problem. If God is simultaneous with the event of Rome burning in CE, and also simultaneous with your reading this entry, then it seems that Rome must be burning at the same time you are reading this entry.
A different problem arises with respect to eternity and omniscience. If God is outside of time, can God know what time it is now? Arguably, there is a fact of the matter that it is now, say, midnight on 1 July A God outside of time might know that at midnight on 1 July certain things occur, but could God know when it is now that time?
For some theists, describing God as a person or person-like God loves, acts, knows is not to equivocate. But it is not clear that an eternal God could be personal. Some religions construe the Divine as in some respect beyond our human notions of good and evil.
In some forms of Hinduism, for example, Brahman has been extolled as possessing a sort of moral transcendence, and some Christian theologians and philosophers have likewise insisted that God is only a moral agent in a highly qualified sense, if at all Davies To call God good is, for them, very different from calling a human being good. Here are only some of the ways in which philosophers have articulated what it means to call God good.
The latter view has been termed theistic voluntarism. A common version of theistic voluntarism is the claim that for something to be good or right simply means that God approves of permits it and for something to be bad or wrong means that God disapproves or forbids it. Theistic voluntarists face several difficulties: moral language seems intelligible without having to be explained in terms of the Divine will. Indeed, many people make what they take to be objective moral judgments without making any reference to God.
If they are using moral language intelligibly, how could it be that the very meaning of such moral language should be analyzed in terms of Divine volitions? New work in the philosophy of language may be of use to theistic voluntarists.
Also at issue is the worry that if voluntarism is accepted, the theist has threatened the normative objectivity of moral judgments.
Could God make it the case that moral judgments were turned upside down? For example, could God make cruelty good?
Arguably, the moral universe is not so malleable. All such positions are non-voluntarist in so far as they do not claim that what it means for something to be good is that God wills it to be so. For example, because knowledge is in itself good, omniscience is a supreme good. God has also been considered good in so far as God has created and conserves in existence a good cosmos. Debates over the problem of evil if God is indeed omnipotent and perfectly good, why is there evil? The debate over the problem of evil is taken up in section 5.
Some theists who oppose a full-scale voluntarism allow for partial voluntarist elements. According to one such moderate stance, while God cannot make cruelty good, God can make some actions morally required or morally forbidden which otherwise would be morally neutral.
According to some theories of property, an agent making something good gains entitlements over the property. Theories spelling out why and how the cosmos belongs to God have been prominent in all three monotheistic traditions. Plato defended the notion, as did Aquinas and Locke see Brody for a defense. Zagzebski contends that being an exemplary virtuous person consists in having good motives.
Motives have an internal, affective or emotive structure. The ultimate grounding of what makes human motives good is that they are in accord with the motives of God. Not all theists resonate with her bold claim that God is a person who has emotions, but many allow that at least in some analogical sense God may be see as personal and having affective states. One other effort worth noting to link judgments of good and evil with judgments about God relies upon the ideal observer theory of ethics.
According to this theory, moral judgments can be analyzed in terms of how an ideal observer would judge matters. To say an act is right entails a commitment to holding that if there were an ideal observer, it would approve of the act; to claim an act is wrong entails the thesis that if there were an ideal observer, it would disapprove of it.
The theory can be found in works by Hume, Adam Smith, R. Hare, and R. Firth see Firth . The theory receives some support from the fact that most moral disputes can be analyzed in terms of different parties challenging each other to be impartial, to get their empirical facts straight, and to be more sensitive—for example, by realizing what it feels like to be disadvantaged.
The theory has formidable critics and defenders. If true, it does not follow that there is an ideal observer, but if it is true and moral judgments are coherent, then the idea of an ideal observer is coherent. Given certain conceptions of God in the three great monotheistic traditions, God fits the ideal observer description and more besides, of course.
This need not be unwelcome to atheists.
Should an ideal observer theory be cogent, a theist would have some reason for claiming that atheists committed to normative, ethical judgments are also committed to the idea of a God or a God-like being.
For a defense of a theistic form of the ideal observer theory, see Taliaferro a; for criticism see Anderson For further work on God, goodness, and morality, see Evans and Hare For interesting work on the notion of religious authority, see Zagzebski For example, an argument from the apparent order and purposive nature of the cosmos will be criticized on the grounds that, at best, the argument would establish there is a purposive, designing intelligence at work in the cosmos.
This falls far short of establishing that there is a God who is omnipotent, omniscient, benevolent, and so on. Second, few philosophers today advance a single argument as a proof. Customarily, a design argument might be advanced alongside an argument from religious experience, and the other arguments to be considered below. This section surveys some of the main theistic arguments.
The argument need not resist all empirical support, however, as shall be indicated. That necessary existence is built into the concept of God can be supported by appealing to the way God is conceived in Jewish, Christian, and Islamic traditions. This would involve some a posteriori, empirical research into the way God is thought of in these traditions.
Alternatively, a defender of the ontological argument might hope to convince others that the concept of God is the concept of a being that exists necessarily by beginning with the idea of a maximally perfect being. If there were a maximally perfect being, what would it be like? It has been argued that among its array of great-making qualities omniscience and omnipotence would be necessary existence.
For an interesting, recent treatment of the relationship between the concept of there being a necessarily existing being and there being a God, see Necessary Existence by Alexander Pruss and Joshua Rasmussen chapters one to three. The ontological argument goes back to St. The principle can be illustrated in the case of propositions.
That six is the smallest perfect number that number which is equal to the sum of its divisors including one but not including itself does not seem to be the sort of thing that might just happen to be true. Rather, either it is necessarily true or necessarily false.
If the latter, it is not possible, if the former, it is possible. If one knows that it is possible that six is the smallest perfect number, then one has good reason to believe that. Does one have reason to think it is possible that God exists necessarily? Defenders of the argument answer in the affirmative and infer that God exists.
There have been hundreds of objections and replies to this argument. Classical, alternative versions of the ontological argument are propounded by Anselm, Spinoza, and Descartes, with current versions by Alvin Plantinga, Charles Hartshorne, Norman Malcolm, and C.
Dore; classical critics include Gaunilo and Kant, and current critics are many, including William Rowe, J. Barnes, G. Oppy, and J.
Not every advocate of perfect being theology embraces the ontological argument. Famously Thomas Aquinas did not accept the ontological argument. Alvin Plantinga, who is one of the philosophers responsible for the revival of interest in the ontological argument, contends that while he, personally, takes the argument to be sound because he believes that the conclusion that God exists necessarily is true, which entails that the premise, that it is possible that God exists necessarily is true he does not think the argument has sufficient force to convince an atheist Plantinga — There are various versions.
Some argue that the cosmos had an initial cause outside it, a First Cause in time. Others argue that the cosmos has a necessary, sustaining cause from instant to instant, whether or not the cosmos had a temporal origin. The two versions are not mutually exclusive, for it is possible both that the cosmos had a First Cause and that it has a continuous, sustaining cause.
The cosmological argument relies on the intelligibility of the notion of there being at least one powerful being which is self-existing or whose origin and continued being does not depend on any other being.
This could be either the all-out necessity of supreme pre-eminence across all possible worlds used in versions of the ontological argument, or a more local, limited notion of a being that is uncaused in the actual world. If successful, the argument would provide reason for thinking there is at least one such being of extraordinary power responsible for the existence of the cosmos. At best, it may not justify a full picture of the God of religion a First Cause would be powerful, but not necessarily omnipotent , but it would nonetheless challenge naturalistic alternatives and provide some reason theism.
The later point is analogous to the idea that evidence that there was some life on another planet would not establish that such life is intelligent, but it increases—perhaps only slightly—the hypothesis that there is intelligent life on another planet. Both versions of the argument ask us to consider the cosmos in its present state. Is the world as we know it something that necessarily exists? At least with respect to ourselves, the planet, the solar system and the galaxy, it appears not.
With respect to these items in the cosmos, it makes sense to ask why they exist rather than not. In relation to scientific accounts of the natural world, such enquiries into causes make abundant sense and are perhaps even essential presuppositions of the natural sciences. Some proponents of the argument contend that we know a priori that if something exists there is a reason for its existence. So, why does the cosmos exist?
Arguably, if explanations of the contingent existence of the cosmos or states of the cosmos are only in terms of other contingent things earlier states of the cosmos, say , then a full cosmic explanation will never be attained. From Wikimedia Commons, the free media repository.
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