Wednesday, February 26, 2020

Religious Studies Research Paper Example | Topics and Well Written Essays - 1500 words

Religious Studies - Research Paper Example However, a problem arises when God is thought of as a physical or metaphysical being because if this were true, God must have been created by something else, which is inconsistent with the belief that God created everything including time and space. The nature of God’s being cannot be imagined and certainly not positively identified; therefore the proof must be found in observing events that could occur only as the result of a creator. This paper will not rely on theological reasoning to supply an answer because this would rightfully be perceived as biased information. Rather, it addresses the concepts of open-mindedness and critical thinking. It will also draw from some of the great thinkers in history including John Hick, Immanuel Kant, David Hume, Isaac Newton, Karl Marx, Hildegard of Bingen, Descartes, Stephen Hawking and John Milton as well as the physical sciences and philosophical disciplines to provide evidence or disprove the existence of a higher power. John Milton a rgued that a restriction on the freedoms of thought also indicated an expectation that the citizens should allow someone else to do their thinking for them. This lack of use would lead to the same decay in form and ability that could be seen physically when muscles of the body were not used, creating people who were no longer able to determine morals and ethics on their own. This creation of automatons with no capacity for thinking on their own would serve only the devil’s work as it separates them from their natural spiritual path. He uses as support for his argument the idea that even God himself opted not to have automatons serving him on earth, but instead imbued mankind with the ability to think, and choose, for himself. Pointing to human reactions as proof, Milton said no one respects, loves or honors things that give love, obedience or devotion merely as a result of force or fear of the consequences. Instead, he says it is only through effort and experience that we are able to come to realize the depth of love freely given from one to another. In the same way, he says God places tests in front of people as a way of measuring them, testing their spirit and beliefs, allowing them to further define themselves in God’s own image if they so choose or to veer off in their own direction. â€Å"God therefore left him free, set before him a provoking object, ever almost in his eyes; herein consisted his merit, herein the right of his reward, the praise of his abstinence† (Milton, 1927). According to Milton, God intentionally places temptations and risks in front of us as a means of helping us to develop spiritually. By removing these tests and obstacles, the government is forsaking the intentions of God, standing in the way of the spiritual development of the nation and leaving it ripe for moral, ethical and social decay. As God himself entrusted the care, guidance and governance of each spirit each to itself, Milton argues that it is not th e place of the state or the church to impose its will upon the choices of the individual. Thus, religious liberty is defined as being the ability to exercise the freedom of choice in relation to what a man does, reads, thinks, speaks and dreams. In his arguments regarding the nature and existence of God, Descartes said that it does not matter whether we are dreaming or not because whatever our intellect tells us is, in fact, true. One of the first things that he perceived in this line of thought was that he had a

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