Project #40814 - Philosophy of Religion

Hicks and Tillich require higher order thinking. What that means is that you are looking for things that are not either or (dichotomous thinking) but rather both and (synergistic thinking). So, in the discussion area, you can talk about how you saw so many similarities of religion that were differentiated by culture, language and history. In Tillich, you can look at how his exi

 

stential concepts of faith are actually similar to a Church concept of faith, only made different by language. So, discuss the concepts harmony that Hicks raises in your discussion question, and then write an essay about Tillich for the assignment. The goal here is not to make you think that all religions are the same, rather to explore the diversity and similarity of faith perspectives while you strengthen your own belief system. Hick’s discussion of 2.1 Salvation Hick notes, as we have observed in Unit 1 assignment that salvation means different things in different religions–salvation for a Christian is not the salvation for a Buddhist. Hick provides Christian and Buddhist definitions for salvation. Christian salvation is “...being forgiven by God because of Jesus’ aton- ing death, and becoming part of God’s redeemed community, the church . . . ”(293). 1 Buddhist salvation is , “ the attainment of satori or awakening, and becom- ing an ego-free manifestation of Dharmakaya . . . ”, Now, According to a Christian, a Buddhist will not be saved, and to a Buddhist, a Christian will not be saved. Now this looks like The Buddhist and Christian are contradicting each other. But, they are not because they are using different definitions of the word “salvation”. Hick, argues that although there are contradictory definitions of salvation used in the competing religions, there is something common to all: we can, I think, very naturally and properly see them [(the different conceptions of salvation)] as different forms of the more fundamen- tal conception of a radical change from a profoundly unsatisfactory state to one that is limitlessly better because rightly related to the real.(293) The different conceptions of salvation stem from differences in belief as to why we are in that “profoundly unsatisfactory state”. Christians say it is be- cause we are sinners. Buddhists think it is because of our egos and our attach- ment to worldly things. Note, that although these two views at first seem to be totally different, they do both involve pre-salvation selfishness: for the spiritual change in salvation is a shifting from “self-centeredness to Reality-centeredness” (294). To sum up: The essence of any path to salvation assumes a spiritual change from being centered on the self to Ultimate Reality. 3 Evidence Hick argues, it is not really important which path to salvation is taken: What is required is the change in attitude. Now, we cannot look inside a person’s heart to determine if the change has occurred. Rather we need to look at their works after they have professed allegiance to the faith. There are common threads as to what is required. If indeed a person changed from being self-centered, then we should see evidence that she cares about her fellow being. The moral element common to all religions is the “golden rule” (Hick provides quotes from the several world religions on page 295) Hick concludes If we identify the central claim of each of the great religious traditions as the claim to provide, or to be an effective context of salvation; and if we see as an actual change in human beings from self-centeredness to a new orientation centered in the ultimate divine Reality; and if this new orientation has both a more elusive “spiritual” character and a more readily observable moral aspect–then we arrive at the modest and largely negative conclusion that, so far as we can tell, no one of the great religions is salvically superior to the rest. 2 Hick does realize that at different times and places that followers of the faiths do hurt their neighbors–but in the long run, the golden rule still applies. 3.1 Why Contradictory doctrines? In arguing his point, he distinguishes different levels of doctrinal conflict: 3.2 Culture At the first level contradictory doctrines arise out of different situations in- volved in different cultural situations. An important part of these differences can be traced back to different conceptual schemes that color how people see and interpret the world. To take a trivial example of a difference in conceptual schemes–it is said that Eskimos distinguish among different kinds of snow. Moreover, they have different names for these different snows. It would appear that such distinctions have important survival value for the Eskimo. Here in the Mid-south, it is not as important for us to know much about different kinds of snow. So, we have only one word for the stuff. Hick includes among the cultural differences the different concepts of divin- ity. He echos the Christian sentiment that God cannot be either described or experienced in the same way that we can describe or experience things in the physical world. Hence, the underlying reality of that we call God is functionally identical to the corresponding versions of that reality in other religions. 3.3 Philosophical The second level concerns philosophical (metaphysical) beliefs that are not really about God or the ultimate. These beliefs are answers to the following sorts of questions: • Was the world created or has it always existed? • Did we get here by Creation or evolution??• Is reincarnation true? Hick wants to say that salvation (in the general sense introduced above) does not really depend upon answers to these questions. (300) Of course, answers to these questions are provided in the Bible. But this is really beside the point: Christians refer to the Bible because it is part of Christian doctrine that the Bible is sacred scripture. The Hindus have other sacred scriptures. So, a scripture is viewed as an sacred only in the context of a particular religion. What is central to the issue of salvation is that our concern is not directed primarily with ourselves but to the ultimate Reality–whether it is the God of Christianity something else. 3 3.4 Historical Level The third level consists of historical (and scientific issues) issues. For example, it seems that many will want to say that the truth of Christianity depends upon certain historical events being true; e.g.: Moses and Jesus existed. Hick does not consider this to be important to the concept of salvation: . . . I suggest that difference of historical judgment, although having their own proper importance, do not prevent the different traditions from being effective, and so far as we can tell, equally effective. (301-302) Hick adds, that the historical element in the account of salvation is not a problems as long as some account of that variety of salvation can be given. Now, if Jesus did not exist (there are few records of him that are not in the New Testament) we would need to provide an alternative explanation of how Christians can be saved: One way of doing this is to claim that the life and death of Jesus is a metaphor–by this I mean, the whole point of the Gospel as written was to show that we cannot save ourselves, but are saved only by turning to God. 3.5 Divine Reality Unknowable Hick summarizes: . . . our human religious experience, variously shaped as it is by our sets of religious concepts, is a cognitive response to the universal presence of the ultimate divine Reality that, in itself, exceeds hu- man conceptuality. This Reality is however manifested to us in ways formed by a variety of human concepts, as the range of divine per- sonae and metaphysical impersonae witnessed to in the history of re- ligions. Each major tradition, built around its own distinctive way of thinking-and-experiencing the Real, has developed its own answers to the perennial questions of our origin and destiny . . . These are hu- man creations which have by their association with living streams of religious experience, become invested with a sacred authority. (302) Hick admits that all these religions cannot be completely true, he claims to have shown that we do not have any grounds for saying that any one is completely true–or even more true that the others. 4 Allowable responses to Hick A philosophical, rather than a theological, response will not rely on the truth of sacred scripture, but reason alone. Questions to be addressed include those like: 4 Is his general definition of salvation is true and complete? Is it conceptually possible to characterize God as something beyond “ul- timate divine reality”? Is Hick’s claim that the truth of, say Christianity does not depend upon the truth of the historical record in the Bible. (Note, that the issue is not actual historical accuracy of the Biblical records, but whether salvation depends on that accuracy.) For the Unit Five discussion, explain how you have gained an appreciation for other religious expressions while maintaining faith in your own religious tradition. This concept is the concept of pluralism. How do we live in a pluralistic environment and learn to appreciate other expressions of faith while maintaining integrity to our own?
 

 
Back  Reply   

Subject Philosophy
Due By (Pacific Time) 09/23/2014 12:00 am
Report DMCA
TutorRating
pallavi

Chat Now!

out of 1971 reviews
More..
amosmm

Chat Now!

out of 766 reviews
More..
PhyzKyd

Chat Now!

out of 1164 reviews
More..
rajdeep77

Chat Now!

out of 721 reviews
More..
sctys

Chat Now!

out of 1600 reviews
More..
sharadgreen

Chat Now!

out of 770 reviews
More..
topnotcher

Chat Now!

out of 766 reviews
More..
XXXIAO

Chat Now!

out of 680 reviews
More..
All Rights Reserved. Copyright by AceMyHW.com - Copyright Policy