Philosophy of religion
Philosophy of religion is "the philosophical examination of the central themes and concepts involved in religious traditions." These sorts of philosophical discussion are ancient, can be found in the earliest known manuscripts concerning philosophy. The field is related to many other branches of philosophy, including metaphysics and ethics; the philosophy of religion differs from religious philosophy in that it seeks to discuss questions regarding the nature of religion as a whole, rather than examining the problems brought forth by a particular belief system. It is designed such that it can be carried out dispassionately by those who identify as believers or non-believers. Philosopher William L. Rowe characterized the philosophy of religion as: "the critical examination of basic religious beliefs and concepts." Philosophy of religion covers alternative beliefs about God, the varieties of religious experience, the interplay between science and religion, the nature and scope of good and evil, religious treatments of birth and death.
The field includes the ethical implications of religious commitments, the relation between faith, reason and tradition, concepts of the miraculous, the sacred revelation, mysticism and salvation. The term "Philosophy of Religion" did not come into general use in the West until the nineteenth century, most pre-modern and early modern philosophical works included a mixture of religious themes and "non-religious" philosophical questions. In Asia, examples include texts such as the Hindu Upanishads, the works of Daoism and Confucianism and Buddhist texts. Greek philosophies like Pythagoreanism and Stoicism included religious elements and theories about deities, Medieval philosophy was influenced by the big three Monotheistic Abrahamic religions. In the Western world, early modern philosophers such as Thomas Hobbes, John Locke, George Berkeley discussed religious topics alongside secular philosophical issues as well; the philosophy of religion has been distinguished from theology by pointing out that, for theology, "its critical reflections are based on religious convictions".
"theology is responsible to an authority that initiates its thinking and witnessing... philosophy bases its arguments on the ground of timeless evidence."Some aspects of philosophy of religion have classically been regarded as a part of metaphysics. In Aristotle's Metaphysics, the prior cause of eternal motion was an unmoved mover, like the object of desire, or of thought, inspires motion without itself being moved. This, according to Aristotle, is the subject of study in theology. Today, philosophers have adopted the term "philosophy of religion" for the subject, it is regarded as a separate field of specialization, although it is still treated by some Catholic philosophers, as a part of metaphysics. Different religions have different ideas about Ultimate Reality, its source or ground and about what is the "Maximal Greatness". Paul Tillich's concept of'Ultimate Concern' and Rudolf Otto's'Idea of the Holy' are concepts which point to concerns about the ultimate or highest truth which most religious philosophies deal with in some way.
One of the main differences among religions is whether the Ultimate Reality is a personal God or an impersonal reality. In Western religions, various forms of Theism are the most common conceptions of the ultimate Good, while in Eastern Religions, there are theistic and various non-theistic conceptions of the Ultimate. Theistic vs non-theistic is a common way of sorting the different types of religions. There are several philosophical positions with regard to the existence of God that one might take including various forms of Theism and different forms of Atheism. Monotheism is the belief in a single deity or God, ontologically independent. There are many forms of monotheism. Keith Yandell outlines three kinds of historical monotheisms: Greek and Hindu. Greek monotheism holds that the world has always existed and does not believe in Creationism or divine providence, while Semitic monotheism believes the world is created by a God at a particular point in time and that this God acts in the world.
Indian monotheism meanwhile teaches that the world is beginningless, but that there is God's act of creation which sustains the world. The attempt to provide proofs or arguments for the existence of God is one aspect of what is known as natural theology or the natural theistic project; this strand of natural theology attempts to justify belief in God by independent grounds. Most of philosophy of religion is predicated on natural theology's assumption that the existence of God can be justified or warranted on rational grounds. There has been considerable philosophical and theological debate about the kinds of proofs and arguments that are appropriate for this discourse. Common types of arguments for the existence of god include: Cosmological Argument Ontological Argument Teleological argument Argument from religious experience Argument from morality Wager arguments like Pascal's Wager attempts to rationally argue that one should believe in God. Skeptics and atheists have put forth various arguments against the existence of God including: The argument from inconsistent revelations The problem of evil, the question of how to reconcile the existence of evil with that of a deity who is, in either absolute or relative terms, omnipotent and omnibenevolent.
Argument from poor design Argument from nonbelief or the argument from divine hiddenness Eastern Religions have included both theistic and other alternative positions about the ultimate nature of reality. One such v
Faith, derived from Latin fides and Old French feid, is confidence or trust in a person, thing, or concept. In the context of religion, one can define faith as confidence or trust in a particular system of religious belief. Religious people think of faith as confidence based on a perceived degree of warrant, while others who are more skeptical of religion tend to think of faith as belief without evidence; the English word faith is thought to date from 1200–1250, from the Middle English feith, via Anglo-French fed, Old French feid, feit from Latin fidem, accusative of fidēs, akin to fīdere. James W. Fowler proposes a series of stages of faith-development across the human life-span, his stages relate to the work of Piaget and Kohlberg regarding aspects of psychological development in children and adults. Fowler defines faith as an activity of trusting and relating to the world based on a set of assumptions of how one is related to others and the world. Intuitive-Projective: a stage of confusion and of high impressionability through stories and rituals.
Mythic-Literal: a stage where provided information is accepted in order to conform with social norms. Synthetic-Conventional: in this stage the faith acquired is concreted in the belief system with the forgoing of personification and replacement with authority in individuals or groups that represent one's beliefs. Individuative-Reflective: in this stage the individual critically analyzes adopted and accepted faith with existing systems of faith. Disillusion or strengthening of faith happens in this stage. Based on needs and paradoxes. Conjunctive faith: in this stage people realize the limits of logic and, facing the paradoxes or transcendence of life, accept the "mystery of life" and return to the sacred stories and symbols of the pre-acquired or re-adopted faith system; this stage is called negotiated settling in life. Universalizing faith: this is the "enlightenment" stage where the individual comes out of all the existing systems of faith and lives life with universal principles of compassion and love and in service to others for upliftment, without worries and doubt (middle-late adulthood.
No hard-and-fast rule requires individuals pursuing faith to go through all six stages. There is a high probability for individuals to be content and fixed in a particular stage for a lifetime. Stage 6 is the summit of faith development; this state is considered as "not fully" attainable. In the Bahá'í Faith, faith is meant, conscious knowledge, second, the practice of good deeds the acceptance of the divine authority of the Manifestations of God. In the religion's view and knowledge are both required for spiritual growth. Faith involves more than outward obedience to this authority, but must be based on a deep personal understanding of religious teachings. Faith in Buddhism refers to a serene commitment in the practice of the Buddha's teaching and trust in enlightened or developed beings, such as Buddhas or bodhisattvas. Buddhists recognize multiple objects of faith, but many are devoted to one particular object of faith, such as one particular Buddha. In early Buddhism, faith was focused on the Triple Gem, that is, Gautama Buddha, his teaching, the community of spiritually developed followers, or the monastic community seeking enlightenment.
Although offerings to the monastic community were valued highest, early Buddhism did not morally condemn peaceful offerings to deities. A faithful devotee was called upāsika, for which no formal declaration was required. In early Buddhism, personal verification was valued highest in attaining the truth, sacred scriptures, reason or faith in a teacher were considered less valuable sources of authority; as important as faith was, it was a mere initial step to the path to wisdom and enlightenment, was obsolete or redefined at the final stage of that path. While faith in Buddhism does not imply "blind faith", Buddhist practice requires a degree of trust in the spiritual attainment of Gautama Buddha. Faith in Buddhism centers on the understanding that the Buddha is an Awakened being, on his superior role as teacher, in the truth of his Dharma, in his Sangha. Faith in Buddhism can be summarised as faith in the Three Jewels: the Buddha and Sangha, it is intended to lead to the goal of enlightenment, or bodhi, Nirvana.
Volitionally, faith implies a courageous act of will. It combines the steadfast resolution that one will do a thing with the self-confidence that one can do it. In the stratum of Buddhist history Mahāyāna Buddhism, faith was given a much more important role; the concept of the Buddha Nature was developed, as devotion to Buddhas and bodhisattvas residing in Pure Lands became commonplace. With the arising of the cult of the Lotus Sūtra, faith gained a central role in Buddhist practice, further amplified with the development of devotion to the Amitabha Buddha in Pure Land Buddhism. In the Japanese form of Pure Land Buddhism, under the teachers Hōnen and Shinran, only entrusting faith toward the Amitabha Buddha was believed to be a fruitful form of practice, as the practice of celibacy and other Buddhist disciplines were dismissed as no longer effective in this day and age, or contradicting the virtue of faith. Faith was defined as a state similar to enlightenment, with a sense of self-negation and humil
Shakespeare's sonnets are poems that William Shakespeare wrote on a variety of themes. When discussing or referring to Shakespeare’s sonnets, it is always a reference to the 154 sonnets that were first published all together in a quarto in 1609. Shakespeare’s sonnets are considered a continuation of the sonnet tradition that swept through the Renaissance, from Petrarch in 14th-century Italy and was introduced in 16th-century England by Thomas Wyatt. With few exceptions, Shakespeare’s sonnets observe the stylistic form of the English sonnet — the rhyme scheme, the 14 lines, the meter, but Shakespeare’s sonnets introduce such significant departures of content that they seem to be rebelling against well-worn 200-year-old traditions. Instead of expressing worshipful love for an goddess-like yet unobtainable female love-object, as Petrarch and Philip Sidney had done, Shakespeare introduces a young man, he introduces the Dark Lady, no goddess. Shakespeare explores themes such as lust, misogyny and acrimony in ways that may challenge, but which open new terrain for the sonnet form.
The primary source of Shakespeare’s sonnets is a quarto published in 1609 titled Shake-speare’s Sonnets. It contains 154 sonnets, which are followed by the long poem "A Lover's Complaint". Thirteen copies of the quarto have survived in good shape from the 1609 edition, the only edition. There is evidence in a note on the title page of one of the extant copies that the great Elizabethan actor Edward Alleyn bought a copy in June 1609 for one shilling; the sonnets cover such themes as the passage of time, infidelity, jealousy and mortality. The first 126 are addressed to a young man; the title of the quarto, Shakespeare’s Sonnets, is consistent with the entry in the Stationer Register. The title appears in upper case lettering on the title page, where it is followed by the phrase “Neuer before Imprinted”; the title appears every time the quarto is opened. That the author’s name in a possessive form is part of the title sets it apart from all other sonnet collections of the time, except for one — Sir Philip Sidney’s posthumous 1591 publication, titled, Syr.
P. S, his Astrophel and Stella, considered one of Shakespeare’s most important models. Sidney’s title may have inspired Shakespeare if the “W. H." of Shakespeare's dedication is heir, William Herbert. The idea that the persona referred to as the speaker of the Shakespeare’s sonnets might be Shakespeare himself, is aggressively repudiated by scholars, the title of the quarto does seem to encourage that kind of speculation; the first 17 poems, traditionally called the procreation sonnets, are addressed to the young man – urging him to marry and have children in order to immortalize his beauty by passing it to the next generation. Other sonnets express the speaker's love for the young man; the final two sonnets are allegorical treatments of Greek epigrams referring to the "little love-god" Cupid. The publisher, Thomas Thorpe, entered the book in the Stationers' Register on 20 May 1609: Tho. Thorpe. Entred for his copie under the handes of master Wilson and master Lownes Wardenes a booke called Shakespeares sonnettes vjd.
Whether Thorpe used an authorised manuscript from Shakespeare or an unauthorised copy is unknown. George Eld printed the quarto, the run was divided between the booksellers William Aspley and John Wright. Shakespeare's Sonnets include a dedication to "Mr. W. H.": TO. THE. ONLIE. BEGETTER. OF. THESE. INSUING. SONNETS. Mr. W. H. ALL. HAPPINESSE. AND. THAT. ETERNITIE. PROMISED. BY. OUR. EVER-LIVING. POET. WISHETH. THE. WELL-WISHING. ADVENTURER. IN. SETTING. FORTH. T. T; the upper case letters and the stops that follow each word of the dedication were intended to resemble an ancient Roman lapidary inscription or monumental brass accentuating the declaration in Sonnet 55 that the work would confer immortality to the subjects of the work: “Not marble, nor the gilded monuments Of princes shall outlive this pow'rful rhyme”The initials "T. T." are taken to refer to the publisher, Thomas Thorpe, though Thorpe signed prefatory matter only if the author was out of the country or dead. However, Thorpe's entire corpus of such consists of three prefaces.
It has been suggested that Thorpe signing the dedication, rather than the author, might indicate that Thorpe published the work without obtaining Shakespeare's permission. Though Thorpe's taking on the dedication may be explained by the great demands of business and travel that Shakespeare was facing at this time, which may have caused him to deal with the printing production in haste before rushing out of town. After all, May 1609 was an extraordinary time: That month saw a serious outbreak of the plague, which shut down the theatres, caused many to flee London. Plus Shakespeare’s theatre company was on tour from Ipswich to Oxford. In addition, Shakespeare had been away from Stratford and in the same month, was being called on to tend to family and business there, deal with the litigation of a lawsuit in Warwickshire that involved a substantial amount of money; the identity of Mr. W. H. “the only begetter of Shakespeare's Sonnets”, is not known for certain. His identi
Immanuel Kant was an influential German philosopher. In his doctrine of transcendental idealism, he argued that space and causation are mere sensibilities. In his view, the mind shapes and structures experience, with all human experience sharing certain structural features, he drew a parallel to the Copernican revolution in his proposition that worldly objects can be intuited a priori, that intuition is therefore independent from objective reality. Kant believed that reason is the source of morality, that aesthetics arise from a faculty of disinterested judgment. Kant's views continue to have a major influence on contemporary philosophy the fields of epistemology, political theory, post-modern aesthetics. In one of Kant's major works, the Critique of Pure Reason, he attempted to explain the relationship between reason and human experience and to move beyond the failures of traditional philosophy and metaphysics. Kant wanted to put an end to an era of futile and speculative theories of human experience, while resisting the skepticism of thinkers such as David Hume.
Kant regarded himself as showing the way past the impasse between rationalists and empiricists which philosophy had led to, is held to have synthesized both traditions in his thought. Kant was an exponent of the idea that perpetual peace could be secured through universal democracy and international cooperation, he believed that this would be the eventual outcome of universal history, although it is not rationally planned. The nature of Kant's religious ideas continues to be the subject of philosophical dispute, with viewpoints ranging from the impression that he was an initial advocate of atheism who at some point developed an ontological argument for God, to more critical treatments epitomized by Nietzsche, who claimed that Kant had "theologian blood" and was a sophisticated apologist for traditional Christian faith. Kant published other important works on ethics, law, aesthetics and history; these include the Universal Natural History, the Critique of Practical Reason, the Metaphysics of Morals, the Critique of Judgment, which looks at aesthetics and teleology.
Kant's mother, Anna Regina Reuter, was born in Königsberg to a father from Nuremberg. Her surname is sometimes erroneously given as Porter. Kant's father, Johann Georg Kant, was a German harness maker from Memel, at the time Prussia's most northeastern city. Kant believed. While scholars of Kant's life long accepted the claim, there is no evidence that Kant's paternal line was Scottish and it is more that the Kants got their name from the village of Kantwaggen and were of Curonian origin. Kant was the fourth of nine children. Kant was born on 22 April 1724 into a Prussian German family of Lutheran Protestant faith in Königsberg, East Prussia. Baptized Emanuel, he changed his name to Immanuel after learning Hebrew, he was brought up in a Pietist household that stressed religious devotion, a literal interpretation of the Bible. His education was strict and disciplinary, focused on Latin and religious instruction over mathematics and science. Kant maintained Christian ideals for some time, but struggled to reconcile the faith with his belief in science.
In his Groundwork of the Metaphysic of Morals, he reveals a belief in immortality as the necessary condition of humanity's approach to the highest morality possible. However, as Kant was skeptical about some of the arguments used prior to him in defence of theism and maintained that human understanding is limited and can never attain knowledge about God or the soul, various commentators have labelled him a philosophical agnostic. Common myths about Kant's personal mannerisms are listed and refuted in Goldthwait's introduction to his translation of Observations on the Feeling of the Beautiful and Sublime, it is held that Kant lived a strict and disciplined life, leading to an oft-repeated story that neighbors would set their clocks by his daily walks. He never married, but seemed to have a rewarding social life — he was a popular teacher and a modestly successful author before starting on his major philosophical works, he had a circle of friends with whom he met, among them Joseph Green, an English merchant in Königsberg.
A common myth is. In fact, between 1750 and 1754 he worked as a tutor in Groß-Arnsdorf. Kant showed a great aptitude for study at an early age, he first attended the Collegium Fridericianum from which he graduated at the end of the summer of 1740. In 1740, aged 16, he enrolled at the University of Königsberg, he studied the philosophy of Gottfried Leibniz and Christian Wolff under Martin Knutzen, a rationalist, familiar with developments in British philosophy and science and introduced Kant to the new mathematical physics of Isaac Newton. Knutzen dissuaded Kant from the theory of pre-established harmony, which he regarded as "the pillow for the lazy mind", he dissuaded Kant from idealism, the idea that reality is purely mental, which most philosophers in the 18th cent
Aleksandr Isayevich Solzhenitsyn was a Russian novelist and short story writer. He was an outspoken critic of the Soviet Union and communism and helped to raise global awareness of its Gulag forced labor camp system, he was allowed to publish only one work in the Soviet Union, One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich, in the periodical Novy Mir. After this he had to publish in the West, most notably Cancer Ward, August 1914, The Gulag Archipelago. Solzhenitsyn was awarded the 1970 Nobel Prize in Literature "for the ethical force with which he has pursued the indispensable traditions of Russian literature". Solzhenitsyn was afraid to go to Stockholm to receive his award for fear that he would not be allowed to reenter, he was expelled from the Soviet Union in 1974, but returned to Russia in 1994 after the state's dissolution. Solzhenitsyn was born in Kislovodsk, RSFSR, his mother, Taisiya Zakharovna, was of Ukrainian descent. Her father had risen from humble beginnings to become a wealthy landowner, acquiring a large estate in the Kuban region in the northern foothills of the Caucasus.
During World War I, Taisiya went to Moscow to study. While there she met and married Isaakiy Semyonovich Solzhenitsyn, a young officer in the Imperial Russian Army of Cossack origin and fellow native of the Caucasus region; the family background of his parents is vividly brought to life in the opening chapters of August 1914, in the Red Wheel novels. In 1918, Taisiya became pregnant with Aleksandr. On 15 June, shortly after her pregnancy was confirmed, Isaakiy was killed in a hunting accident. Aleksandr was raised by his aunt in lowly circumstances, his earliest years coincided with the Russian Civil War. By 1930 the family property had been turned into a collective farm. Solzhenitsyn recalled that his mother had fought for survival and that they had to keep his father's background in the old Imperial Army a secret, his educated mother encouraged his literary and scientific learnings and raised him in the Russian Orthodox faith. As early as 1936, Solzhenitsyn began developing the characters and concepts for a planned epic work on World War I and the Russian Revolution.
This led to the novel August 1914. Solzhenitsyn studied mathematics at Rostov State University. At the same time he took correspondence courses from the Moscow Institute of Philosophy and History, at this time ideological in scope; as he himself makes clear, he did not question the state ideology or the superiority of the Soviet Union until he spent time in the camps. During the war, Solzhenitsyn served as the commander of a sound-ranging battery in the Red Army, was involved in major action at the front, was twice decorated, he was awarded the Order of the Red Star on 8 July 1944 for sound-ranging two German artillery batteries and adjusting counterbattery fire onto them, resulting in their destruction. A series of writings published late in his life, including the early uncompleted novel Love the Revolution!, chronicles his wartime experience and his growing doubts about the moral foundations of the Soviet regime. While serving as an artillery officer in East Prussia, Solzhenitsyn witnessed war crimes against local German civilians by Soviet military personnel.
Of the atrocities, Solzhenitsyn wrote: "You know well that we've come to Germany to take our revenge" for Nazi atrocities committed in the Soviet Union. The noncombatants and the elderly were robbed of their meager possessions and women and girls were gang-raped. A few years in the forced labor camp, he memorized a poem titled "Prussian Nights" about a woman raped to death in East Prussia. In this poem, which describes the gang-rape of a Polish woman whom the Red Army soldiers mistakenly thought to be a German, the first-person narrator comments on the events with sarcasm and refers to the responsibility of official Soviet writers like Ilya Ehrenburg. In The Gulag Archipelago, Solzhenitsyn wrote, "There is nothing that so assists the awakening of omniscience within us as insistent thoughts about one's own transgressions, mistakes. After the difficult cycles of such ponderings over many years, whenever I mentioned the heartlessness of our highest-ranking bureaucrats, the cruelty of our executioners, I remember myself in my Captain's shoulder boards and the forward march of my battery through East Prussia, enshrouded in fire, I say:'So were we any better?'"
In February 1945, while serving in East Prussia, Solzhenitsyn was arrested by SMERSH for writing derogatory comments in private letters to a friend, Nikolai Vitkevich, about the conduct of the war by Joseph Stalin, whom he called "Khozyain", "Balabos". He had talks with the same friend about the need of a new organisation against the Soviet regime, he was accused of anti-Soviet propaganda under Article 58 paragraph 10 of the Soviet criminal code, of "founding a hostile organization" under paragraph 11. Solzhenitsyn was taken to the Lubyanka prison in Moscow. On 9 May 1945, it was announced that Germany had surrendered and all of Moscow broke out in celebrations with fireworks and searchlights illuminating the sky to celebrate the victory in the Great Patriotic War as Russians call the war with Germany. From his cell in the Lubyanka, Solzhenitsyn remembered: "Above the muzzle of our window, from all the other cells of the Lubyanka, from all the windows of the Moscow prisons, we too, former prisoners of war and former front-line soldiers, watched the Moscow heavens, patterned w
Augustine of Hippo
Saint Augustine of Hippo was a Roman African, early Christian theologian and philosopher from Numidia whose writings influenced the development of Western Christianity and Western philosophy. He was the bishop of Hippo Regius in north Africa and is viewed as one of the most important Church Fathers in Western Christianity for his writings in the Patristic Period. Among his most important works are The City of De doctrina Christiana and Confessions. According to his contemporary Jerome, Augustine "established anew the ancient Faith". In his youth he was drawn to Manichaeism and to neoplatonism. After his baptism and conversion to Christianity in 386, Augustine developed his own approach to philosophy and theology, accommodating a variety of methods and perspectives. Believing that the grace of Christ was indispensable to human freedom, he helped formulate the doctrine of original sin and made seminal contributions to the development of just war theory; when the Western Roman Empire began to disintegrate, Augustine imagined the Church as a spiritual City of God, distinct from the material Earthly City.
His thoughts profoundly influenced the medieval worldview. The segment of the Church that adhered to the concept of the Trinity as defined by the Council of Nicaea and the Council of Constantinople identified with Augustine's On the Trinity. Augustine is recognized as a saint in the Catholic Church, the Eastern Christian Church, the Anglican Communion and as a preeminent Doctor of the Church, he is the patron of the Augustinians. His memorial is celebrated on 28 August, the day of his death. Augustine is the patron saint of brewers, theologians, the alleviation of sore eyes, a number of cities and dioceses. Many Protestants Calvinists and Lutherans, consider him to be one of the theological fathers of the Protestant Reformation due to his teachings on salvation and divine grace. Protestant Reformers and Martin Luther in particular, held Augustine in preeminence among early Church Fathers. Luther himself was, from 1505 to 1521, a member of the Order of the Augustinian Eremites. In the East, his teachings are more disputed, were notably attacked by John Romanides.
But other theologians and figures of the Eastern Orthodox Church have shown significant approbation of his writings, chiefly Georges Florovsky. The most controversial doctrine associated with him, the filioque, was rejected by the Orthodox Church. Other disputed teachings include his views on original sin, the doctrine of grace, predestination. Though considered to be mistaken on some points, he is still considered a saint, has had influence on some Eastern Church Fathers, most notably Saint Gregory Palamas. In the Orthodox Church his feast day is celebrated on 15 June. Historian Diarmaid MacCulloch has written: " impact on Western Christian thought can hardly be overstated. Augustine of Hippo known as Saint Augustine, Saint Austin, is known by various cognomens throughout the Christian world across its many denominations including Blessed Augustine, the Doctor of Grace Hippo Regius, where Augustine was the bishop, was in modern-day Annaba, Algeria. Augustine was born in the year 354 AD in the municipium of Thagaste in the Roman province of Numidia.
His mother, Monica or Monnica, was a devout Christian. Augustine considered the father like a stranger. Scholars agree that Augustine and his family were Berbers, an ethnic group indigenous to North Africa, but that they were Romanized, speaking only Latin at home as a matter of pride and dignity. In his writings, Augustine leaves some information as to the consciousness of his African heritage. For example, he refers to Apuleius as "the most notorious of us Africans," to Ponticianus as "a country man of ours, insofar as being African," and to Faustus of Mileve as "an African Gentleman". Augustine's family name, suggests that his father's ancestors were freedmen of the gens Aurelia given full Roman citizenship by the Edict of Caracalla in 212. Augustine's family had been Roman, for at least a century when he was born, it is assumed that his mother, was of Berber origin, on the basis of her name, but as his family were honestiores, an upper class of citizens known as honorable men, Augustine's first language is to have been Latin.
At the age of 11, Augustine was sent to school at Madaurus, a small Numidian city about 19 miles south of Thagaste. There he became familiar with Latin literature, as well as pagan practices, his first insight into the nature of sin occurred when he and a number of friends stole fruit they did not want from a neighborhood garden. He tells this story in The Confessions, he remembers that he did not steal the fruit because he was hungry, but because "it was not permitted." His nature, he says, was flawed.'It was foul, I loved it. I loved my own error—not that for which I erred, but the error itself." From this incident he concluded the human person is inclined to sin, in need of the grace of Christ. At the age of 17, through the generosity of his fellow citizen Romanianus, Augustine went to Carthage to continue his education in rhetoric, though it was above the financial means of his family. In spite of the good warnings of his mother, as a youth Augustine lived a hedonistic lif
Conceptions of God
Conceptions of God in monotheist and panentheist religions – or of the supreme deity in henotheistic religions – can extend to various levels of abstraction: as a powerful, human-like, supernatural being, or as the deification of an esoteric, mystical or philosophical entity or category. The first recordings that survive of monotheistic conceptions of God, borne out of henotheism and monism, are from the Hellenistic period. Of the many objects and entities that religions and other belief systems across the ages have labeled as divine, the one criterion they share is their acknowledgment as divine by a group or groups of human beings. In his Metaphysics, Aristotle discusses meaning of "being as being". Aristotle holds that "being" refers to the Unmoved Movers, assigned one of these to each movement in the heavens; each Unmoved Mover continuously contemplates its own contemplation, everything that fits the second meaning of "being" by having its source of motion in itself, moves because the knowledge of its Mover causes it to emulate this Mover.
Aristotle's definition of God attributes perfection to this being, as a perfect being can only contemplate upon perfection and not on imperfection, otherwise perfection would not be one of his attributes. God, according to Aristotle, is in a state of "stasis" untouched by imperfection; the "unmoved mover" is unlike the conception of God that one sees in most religions. It has been likened to a person, playing dominos and pushes one of them over, so that every other domino in the set is pushed over as well, without the being having to do anything about it. Although, in the 18th century, the French educator Allan Kardec brought a similar conception of God during his work of codifying Spiritism, this differs to the interpretation of God in most religions, where he is seen to be involved in his creation. "The All" is the Hermetic version of God. It has been called "The One", "The Great One", "The Creator", "The Supreme Mind", "The Supreme Good", "The Father" and "The Universal Mother"; the All is seen by some to be a panentheistic conception of God, subsuming everything, or can be experienced.
One Hermetic maxim states that "While All is in THE ALL, it is true that THE ALL is in All." The All can be seen to be hermaphroditic, possessing both masculine and feminine qualities in equal parttext. These qualities are, however, of mental gender. According to The Kybalion, The All is more complicated than being the sum total of the universe. Rather than The All being the physical universe, it is said that everything in the universe is within the mind of The All, since The All can be looked at as Mind itself; the All's mind is thought to be infinitely more powerful and vast than humans can achieve, capable of keeping track of every particle in the Universe. The Kybalion states that nothing can be outside of The All or The All would not be The All; the All may be a metaphor alluding to the godhead potentiality of every individual. "... That invisible power which all know does exist, but understood by many different names, such as God, Supreme Being, Mind, Nature and so forth." In the Hermetic Tradition and every person has the potential to become God, this idea or concept of God is perceived as internal rather than external.
The All is an allusion to the observer created universe. We create our own reality. Another way would to be to say. Freemasonry includes concepts of God as an external entity, esoteric masonic teachings identify God as the individual himself: the perceiver. We are all as such we create our own reality. Although others believe God to be abstract. Meaning he is not seen in reality, but understood through deep contemplation, he is all around us every day, just hiding in the beauty of our Earth. The Abrahamic God in this sense is the conception of God that remains a common attribute of all three traditions. God is conceived of as eternal, omniscient and as the creator of the universe. God is further held to have the properties of holiness, justice and omnipresence. Proponents of Abrahamic faiths believe that God is transcendent, meaning that he is outside space and outside time and therefore not subject to anything within his creation, but at the same time a personal God, listening to prayer and reacting to the actions of his creatures.
In Judaism, God has been conceived in a variety of ways. Traditionally, Judaism holds that YHWH, the God of Abraham and Jacob and the national god of the Israelites, delivered the Israelites from slavery in Egypt, gave them the Law of Moses at biblical Mount Sinai as described in the Torah. According to the rationalist stream of Judaism articulated by Maimonides, which came to dominate much of official traditional Jewish thought, God is understood as the absolute one and incomparable being, the ultimate cause of all existence. Traditional interpretations of Judaism emphasize that God is personal yet transcendent, while some modern interpretations of Judaism emphasize that God is a force or ideal. Jewish monotheism is a continuation of earlier Hebrew henotheism, the exclusive worship of the God of Israel as prescribed in the Torah and practiced at the Temple of Jerusalem. Strict monotheism emerges in Rabbinical Judaism. Pron