Philosophy of Religion: The Power of Ideas

Explain and evaluate the notions of Karma, samsara, and Nirvana.

Karma transmigratory cycle is influenced by one’s actions (Moore & Bruder, 2010). This means that every action has a specific cause and impacts. The impacts last over an extended period which may end up completing the transmigratory cycle. Hence, the joy or sorrow that one gets precedes a particular course of action. Nirvana is the repudiation of one’s desires and the total rejection of the world and its belongings that can liberate one from the cycle of birth, death and rebirth (Moore & Bruder, 2010). This would eventually lead to permanent extinction that would save one from the human cycle. Samsara also justifies the result of the human cycle (Moore & Bruder, 2010). The cycle is influenced by an individual’s choice of actions. Conclusively, all of them explain the metaphysical concept of the journey of human races.

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Explain and evaluate the Hindu ideas of Brahman, atman and reality

Brahman is that ultimate universal principle which is considered as the maintainer of everything in the world (Moore & Bruder, 2010). This concept of Brahman remains metaphysical. It shows simply that every action done by humans and its consequences are influenced by individual’s desires. Atman, on the other hand, refers to oneself and one’s life (Moore & Bruder, 2010). Reality supports Brahman to define the concept of one’s inner self (Moore & Bruder, 2010). The ideas articulated by Brahman, atman and reality, hold that anything that happens in the world are influenced not by God or the gods, but by one’s inner self and the conception of reality that he or she has (Moore & Bruder, 2010).

Explain the Buddha’s four noble truths. Is he correct in his view?

The four noble truths explain the cause and remedies of suffering. The first justifies and confirms the existence of suffering. Suffering is influenced by the shortness of the world and the uncertainties that life bears. It is, therefore, true that all the human problems exist and originate from the fear and anxiety that the world holds to all the human races. The second truth is that suffering does not come from anywhere. Any human suffering has got a particular cause that originates from the first noble truth. However, Buddha points out that human sufferings are caused by ignorance accompanied by the individual’s desires. Thirdly, suffering is not endless. This means that all the human sufferings should end. The time comes when one abandons the egocentric earthly desires and focuses on the ultimate understanding of one’s self. These four concepts about suffering are practical and remain as a fact for all humans.

Explain and evaluate the “Eight Fold Path”. Is this a reasonable philosophy for life?

These ideas, as postulated by Buddha, give the final solutions to all the human sufferings. As proposed by Buddha, right aim and views influence the mental outlook of every person. This means that when one thinks rightly of the uncertainties in the world and finally has the right opinion on the fears that exist in the world, then there is no reason for suffering. Right aim and speech justify the appropriate behavior of humans. Having the right mindset and living according to one’s principles would not lead anyone to suffer. Lastly, right contemplation and right mindful can never be ditched from a suffering of free living. These concepts are realistic philosophy of life. Having the right postulates would never lead any person to suffer since they block all the origins of any suffering.

Explain the connection or relationship between Tao, Yin, and Yang

Tao is what causes things to happen and leads to eventual fulfillment. The ideas of the Tao give rise to the Yin that eventually leads to the Yang. In this respect, there would be no expansive and contractive forces unless there is a natural and eternal cause. Tao, the natural order of thing, exhibits a contractive and expansive characteristic force that does not exist in isolation.

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Explain and evaluate Lao Tzu’s notion of effortless non-striving

Lao Tzu postulates that good leaders should not apply force of any kind in leadership. He further articulates that proper engagement with the ruled is the absolute solution to disorders that might arise from the use of force to implement issues by governments. Hence, the right way to life is characterized by patience, unselfishness and simplicity; thus allows natural world to take its course.

Explain and evaluate Confucius’s principle of Mean

The concept justifies that everything that happens is according to the nature, hence, the concept of a standard measure for everything. This principle implicates that real human cohesion and mutual relationship to nature create a fascinating human-nature relationship that would never lead to any conflict.

Explain and evaluate the views of Murasaki Shikibu and the role and status of women

The views of Shikibu are on the moral status of women as seen under the Buddhist morals in Japan. She argues that women’s existence is depended on the rebirth of men as held by the Buddhists. This means that life of Japanese woman was hopeless for any woman to think of salvation. Hence, women were held as the people who were never supposed to reach the Heaven.

Explain and evaluate the argument of St. Anselm for God’s existence.St. Anslem tried to establish the existence of God. He argued that God’s existence is a reality based on His inability to conceive the Supreme Being. This is a justification of God’s nature that no one can doubt. Therefore, God’s existence is justified by His exceptional nature of being unconceivable.

Explain and evaluate Guanilo’s objection to the ontological argument

The reasons outlined by St. Anselm were objected by Guanilo, who argued that His existence was based on materiality and a touchable nature of something. He, therefore, rejected the ideas postulated by Anselm and proposed that Anselm’s reasons could apply only to God.

Summarize and evaluate St. Thomas Aquinas’s Five Ways

Aquinas’s five ways were proofs to the existence of God. He argued that some being causes the existence of the others. Secondly, consequences occurre from actions implying that God’s existence is justified by the existence of life which could not come from a vacuum. The other justifications are based on the perfections of nature that could only result from the first mover.

Leibniz claims that this is the “best of all possible worlds”

  1. Why does he say this?
  2. Do you agree with his assertion?

His statement confirmed that evil and sufferings result from God, even though they are made by humans. His assertion was an absolute truth because God could not create humans to suffer. Instead, suffering results from human activities. Therefore, God should never be blamed for any action.

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Explain and evaluate Friedrich Nietzsche’s claim that “God is dead!”Friedrich argued “God is dead” as a representation of intelligence of an individual. He articulated that for human races to exist and believe that there is harmony, it starts from the mind rather than imagination that God would grant human beings better things.

Explain and evaluate the views the views of William James regarding religious belief.James explained that the avoidance of errors is the belief in truth obtainable from the religious teachings. In religions, truth holds humans’ perfect life rather than the non-intelligence imaginations that lead to error. Religious beliefs are right but its only insufficient evidence that draws one back. In this light, a person believes that no chance of error would ever occur in his or her life.

Is it possible to have religious knowledge? That is – is it possible to know that your views about religion and the nature/existence of God are right, and that other views are mistaken? Explain and support your answer with reasons.

It is possible to acquire religious knowledge. Having proper mindset and doing meditation can equip one with the absolute truth on God’s ways. Doing the right thing and relating to what religion teaches are a clear determination of one’s views on religion. Moore and Bruder (2010) articulate that having positive views of God with reference to any religion would enable one to understand his or her relationship with God.

Reference

Moore, B., & Bruder, K. (2003). Philosophy: The Power of Ideas. Chico: Beth Mejia.

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