The soul, in many religious and mythological traditions, is the incorporeal essence of a living being. Soul or psyche are the mental abilities of a living being: reason, feeling, memory, thinking, etc. Depending on the philosophical system, a soul can either be immortal. In Judeo-Christianity, only human beings have immortal souls. For example, the Catholic theologian Thomas Aquinas attributed "soul" to all organisms but argued that only human souls are immortal. Other religions hold that all living things from the smallest bacterium to the largest of mammals are the souls themselves and have their physical representative in the world; the actual self is the soul, while the body is only a mechanism to experience the karma of that life. Thus if we see a tiger there is a self-conscious identity residing in it, a physical representative in the world; some teach that non-biological entities possess souls. This belief is called animism. Greek philosophers, such as Socrates and Aristotle, understood that the soul must have a logical faculty, the exercise of, the most divine of human actions.
At his defense trial, Socrates summarized his teaching as nothing other than an exhortation for his fellow Athenians to excel in matters of the psyche since all bodily goods are dependent on such excellence. The current consensus of modern science is that there is no evidence to support the existence of the soul when traditionally defined as the spiritual breath of the body. In metaphysics, the concept of "Soul" may be equated with that of "Mind" in order to refer to the consciousness and intellect of the individual; the Modern English word "soul", derived from Old English sáwol, sáwel, was first attested in the 8th century poem Beowulf v. 2820 and in the Vespasian Psalter 77.50. It is cognate with other German and Baltic terms for the same idea, including Gothic saiwala, Old High German sêula, sêla, Old Saxon sêola, Old Low Franconian sêla, sîla, Old Norse sála and Lithuanian siela. Deeper etymology of the Germanic word is unclear; the original concept behind the Germanic root is thought to mean “coming from or belonging to the sea ”, because of the Germanic and pre-Celtic belief in souls emerging from and returning to sacred lakes, Old Saxon sêola compared to Old Saxon sêo.
The Koine Greek Septuagint uses ψυχή to translate Hebrew נפש, meaning "life, vital breath", refers to a mortal, physical life, but in English it is variously translated as "soul, life, person, mind, living being, emotion, passion". Vulgate – Creavitque Deus cete grandia, et omnem animam viventem atque motabilem. Authorized King James Version – "And God created great whales, every living creature that moveth."The Koine Greek word ψυχή, "life, consciousness", is derived from a verb meaning "to cool, to blow", hence refers to the breath, as opposed to σῶμα, meaning "body". Psychē occurs juxtaposed to σῶμα, as seen in Matthew 10:28: Greek – καὶ μὴ φοβεῖσθε ἀπὸ τῶν ἀποκτεννόντων τὸ σῶμα, τὴν δὲ ψυχὴν μὴ δυναμένων ἀποκτεῖναι· φοβεῖσθε δὲ μᾶλλον τὸν δυνάμενον καὶ ψυχὴν καὶ σῶμα ἀπολέσαι ἐν γεέννῃ. Vulgate – et nolite timere eos qui occidunt corpus animam autem non possunt occidere sed potius eum timete qui potest et animam et corpus perdere in gehennam. Authorized King James Version – "And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him, able to destroy both soul and body in hell."Paul the Apostle used ψυχή and πνεῦμα to distinguish between the Jewish notions of נפש and רוח ruah.
In the ancient Egyptian religion, an individual was believed to be made up of various elements, some physical and some spiritual. Similar ideas are found in ancient Babylonian religion. Kuttamuwa, an 8th-century BCE royal official from Sam'al, ordered an inscribed stele erected upon his death; the inscription requested that his mourners commemorate his life and his afterlife with feasts "for my soul, in this stele". It is one of the earliest references to a soul as a separate entity from the body; the 800-pound basalt stele is 2 ft wide. It was uncovered in the third season of excavations by the Neubauer Expedition of the Oriental Institute in Chicago, Illinois; the Bahá'í Faith affirms that "the soul is a sign of God, a heavenly gem whose reality the most learned of men hath failed to grasp, whose mystery no mind, however acute, can hope to unravel". Bahá'u'lláh stated that the soul not only continues to live after the physical death of the human body, but is, in fact, immortal. Heaven can be seen as the soul's state of nearness to God.
Each state follows as a natural consequence of individual efforts, or the lack thereof, to develop spiritually. Bahá'u'lláh taught that individuals have no existence prior to their life here on earth and the soul's evolution is always towards God and away from the material world. Buddhism teaches that all things are in a constant
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
Existence of God
The existence of God is a subject of debate in the philosophy of religion and popular culture. A wide variety of arguments for and against the existence of God can be categorized as metaphysical, empirical, or subjective. In philosophical terms, the question of the existence of God involves the disciplines of epistemology and ontology and the theory of value; the Western tradition of philosophical discussion of the existence of God began with Plato and Aristotle, who made arguments that would now be categorized as cosmological. Other arguments for the existence of God have been proposed by St. Anselm, who formulated the first ontological argument. John Calvin argued for a sensus divinitatis. Philosophers who have provided arguments against the existence of God include Immanuel Kant, David Hume, Friedrich Nietzsche and Bertrand Russell. In modern culture, the question of God's existence has been discussed by scientists such as Stephen Hawking, Francis Collins, Lawrence M. Krauss, Richard Dawkins, Carl Sagan, Neil deGrasse Tyson, John Lennox and Sam Harris, as well as philosophers including Richard Swinburne, Alvin Plantinga, William Lane Craig, Rebecca Goldstein, A. C.
Grayling, Daniel Dennett, Edward Feser and David Bentley Hart. Scientists follow the scientific method, within which theories must be verifiable by physical experiment; the majority of prominent conceptions of God explicitly or posit a being, not testable either by proof or disproof. On these bases, the question regarding the existence of God, one for which evidence cannot be tested, may lie outside the purview of modern science by definition; the Catholic Church maintains that knowledge of the existence of God is the "natural light of human reason". Fideists maintain that belief in the existence of God may not be amenable to demonstration or refutation, but rests on faith alone. Atheists view arguments for the existence of God as insufficient, mistaken or weighing less in comparison to arguments against whereas some religions, such as Buddhism, are not concerned with the existence of gods at all and yet other religions, such as Jainism, reject the possibility of a creator deity. Positions on the existence of God can be divided along numerous axes, producing a variety of orthogonal classifications.
Theism and atheism are positions of belief, while gnosticism and agnosticism are positions of knowledge. Ignosticism concerns belief regarding God's conceptual coherence. Apatheism concerns belief regarding the practical importance of. For the purposes of discussion, Richard Dawkins described seven "milestones" on his spectrum of theistic probability: Strong theist. 100% probability of God. In the words of C. G. Jung: "I do not believe, I know." De facto theist. High probability but short of 100%. "I don't know for certain, but I believe in God and live my life on the assumption that he is there." Leaning towards theism. Higher than 50% but not high. "I am uncertain, but I am inclined to believe in God." Impartial. 50%. "God's existence and non-existence are equiprobable." Leaning towards atheism. Lower than 50% but not low. "I do not know whether God exists but I'm inclined to be skeptical." De facto atheist. Low probability, but short of zero. "I don't know for certain but I think God is improbable, I live my life on the assumption that he is not there."
Strong atheist. "I know there is no God, with the same conviction as Jung knows there is one." The Catholic Church, following the teachings of Paul the Apostle, Thomas Aquinas, the First Vatican Council, affirms that God's existence "can be known with certainty from the created world by the natural light of human reason". In classical theism, God is characterized as the metaphysically ultimate being, in distinction to other conceptions such as theistic personalism, open theism, process theism. Classical theists do not believe that God can be defined, they believe. Robert Barron explains by analogy that it seems impossible for a two-dimensional object to conceive of three-dimensional humans. In modern Western societies, the concepts of God entail a monotheistic, supreme and personal being, as found in the Christian and Jewish traditions. In monotheistic religions outside the Abrahamic traditions, the existence of God is discussed in similar terms. In these traditions, God is identified as the author of certain texts, or that certain texts describe specific historical events caused by the God in question or communications from God.
Some traditions believe that God is the entity, answering prayers for intervention or information or opinions. Many Islamic scholars have used rational arguments to prove the existence of God. For example, Ibn Rushd, a 12th-century Islamic scholar and physician, states there are only two arguments worthy of adherence, both of which are found in what he calls the "Precious Book". Rushd cites “providence” and “invention” in using th
In monotheistic thought, God is conceived of as the supreme being, creator deity, principal object of faith. The conceptions of God, as described by theologians include the attributes of omniscience, omnipresence, as having an eternal and necessary existence. Depending on one's kind of theism, these attributes are used either in way of analogy, or in a literal sense as distinct properties. God is most held to be incorporeal. Incorporeality and corporeality of God are related to conceptions of transcendence and immanence of God, with positions of synthesis such as the "immanent transcendence". Psychoanalyst Carl Jung equated religious ideas of God with transcendental aspects of consciousness in his interpretation; some religions describe God without reference to gender, while others or their translations use sex-specific terminology. Judaism attributes only a grammatical gender to God, using terms such as "Him" or "Father" for convenience. God has been conceived as either impersonal. In theism, God is the creator and sustainer of the universe, while in deism, God is the creator, but not the sustainer, of the universe.
In pantheism, God is the universe itself. In atheism, there is an absence of belief in God. In agnosticism, the existence of God is deemed unknowable. God has been conceived as the source of all moral obligation, the "greatest conceivable existent". Many notable philosophers have developed arguments against the existence of God. Monotheists refer to their gods using names prescribed by their respective religions, with some of these names referring to certain cultural ideas about their god's identity and attributes. In the ancient Egyptian era of Atenism the earliest recorded monotheistic religion, this deity was called Aten, premised on being the one "true" Supreme Being and creator of the universe. In the Hebrew Bible and Judaism, Adonai, YHWH and other names are used as the names of God. Yahweh and Jehovah, possible vocalizations of YHWH, are used in Christianity. In the Christian doctrine of the Trinity, coexisting in three "persons", is called the Father, the Son, the Holy Spirit. In Islam, the name Allah is used, while Muslims have a multitude of titular names for God.
In Hinduism, Brahman is considered a monistic concept of God. In Chinese religion, Shangdi is conceived as the progenitor of the universe, intrinsic to it and bringing order to it. Other religions have names for the concept, for instance, Baha in the Bahá'í Faith, Waheguru in Sikhism, Sang Hyang Widhi Wasa in Balinese Hinduism, Ahura Mazda in Zoroastrianism; the many different conceptions of God, competing claims as to God's characteristics and actions, have led to the development of ideas of omnitheism, pandeism, or a perennial philosophy, which postulates that there is one underlying theological truth, of which all religions express a partial understanding, as to which "the devout in the various great world religions are in fact worshipping that one God, but through different, overlapping concepts". The earliest written form of the Germanic word God comes from the 6th-century Christian Codex Argenteus; the English word itself is derived from the Proto-Germanic * ǥuđan. The reconstructed Proto-Indo-European form * ǵhu-tó-m was based on the root * ǵhau-, which meant either "to call" or "to invoke".
The Germanic words for God were neuter—applying to both genders—but during the process of the Christianization of the Germanic peoples from their indigenous Germanic paganism, the words became a masculine syntactic form. In the English language, capitalization is used for names by which a god is known, including'God'; the capitalized form of god is not used for multiple gods or when used to refer to the generic idea of a deity. The English word God and its counterparts in other languages are used for any and all conceptions and, in spite of significant differences between religions, the term remains an English translation common to all; the same holds for Hebrew El, but in Judaism, God is given a proper name, the tetragrammaton YHWH, in origin the name of an Edomite or Midianite deity, Yahweh. In many translations of the Bible, when the word LORD is in all capitals, it signifies that the word represents the tetragrammaton. Allāh is the Arabic term with no plural used by Muslims and Arabic speaking Christians and Jews meaning "The God", while "ʾilāh" is the term used for a deity or a god in general.
God may be given a proper name in monotheistic currents of Hinduism which emphasize the personal nature of God, with early references to his name as Krishna-Vasudeva in Bhagavata or Vishnu and Hari. Ahura Mazda is the name for God used in Zoroastrianism. "Mazda", or rather the Avestan stem-form Mazdā-, nominative Mazdå, reflects Proto-Iranian *Mazdāh. It is taken to be the proper name of the spirit, like its Sanskrit cognate medhā, means "intelligence" or "wisdom". Both the Avestan and Sanskrit words reflect Proto-Indo-Iranian *mazdhā-, from Proto-Indo-European mn̩sdʰeh1 meaning "placing one's mind", hence "wise". Waheguru is a term most used in Sikhism to refer to God, it means "Wonderful Teacher" in the Punjabi language. Vāhi means "wonderful" and guru is a term denoting "teacher". Waheguru is described by some as an experience of ecstasy, beyond all descriptions; the most common usage of the word "Waheguru" is in the greeting Sikhs use with each other: Baha, the "greates
Nyayakusumanjali is a treatise in Sanskrit composed by 10th century CE Indian logician and philosopher Udayana. The work has been described as codification of the Hindu proof for the existence of God, it has been noted that this treatise is the most elaborate and the most fundamental work of the Nyaya-Vaiseshika school on the Isvara doctrine. In Indian philosophical writings a prakarana refers to a genre of work that may be considered as equivalent to the Western concept of a monograph. Nyayakusumanjali is a treatise belonging to this genre. Since the work consists of verses interspersed with prose, it can be considered as a work of the genre Misra-prakarana. There are seventy-three verses in Nyayakusumanjali; these verses are distributed unevenly in five chapters. These chapters contain twenty, twenty-three and twenty verses; these verses form the core of the work, the prose passage that accompanies each being an elaborate explanation of it. After a few introductory lines, Udayana enumerates five principal arguments which are said to invalidate the existence of Isvara: "With regard to this there are five erroneous opinions on the ground that: there is no other-worldly means a world beyond.
The various chapters of the Nyayakusumanjali deal with and refute these five erroneous opinions in the order in which they have been enunciated. However, some scholars are of the opinion that the first Stabaka refutes the view of the Carvakas, the second the view of the Mimamsakas, the third that of the Buddhists, the fourth that of the Jains and the fifth the view of the Samkhyins. Of the five chapters, the first four chapters have a negative tone in the sense that their main intention is to refute the objections of the different schools against the existence of Isvara; the last chapter has a positive tone in the sense that it tries to produce arguments and proofs for the existence of Isvara. The first Stabaka begins with a dedicatory verse and it is followed with a statement regarding the theme dealt with in the book, namely the Supreme Soul; the author summarises the reason for the logical discussion on Isvara: Despite the fact that Isvara is acknowledged by all philosophical schools and religious sects under some name or other, this study, to be designated as reflection is made as an act of worship that comes after the listening to the scriptures.
The five objections against the existence of Isvara are listed. Udayana lists five arguments for the existence of a supra-mundane means for attaining the other world. There is a supra-mundane cause because of the following reasons: This world is dependent on causes; the stream of causes is beginning-less. There is diversity of effects. There is universal practice of sacrificial rites etc; the experience is confined to each individual soul. The discussion of these five arguments forms the subject matter of the first Stabaka. In this Stabaka, Udayana tries to refute the argument that the transmission of Dharma or religious duties is possible without an Isvara. Udayana argues that the transmission of Dharma or religious duties is possible, because of the following reasons: Validity of cognition is not intrinsic, but extrinsic. There are dissolutions of the universe. There can be no confidence in the transmission of Dharma by a person other than Isvara. There is no other way of explaining the transmission of Dharma except through Isvara.
The explanation of these four themes forms the content of the second Stabaka. Taking one by one the different means of valid cognition admitted by the opponents, Udayana shows in this Stabaka that none of them can disprove the existence of Isvara. Direct perception cannot disprove the existence of Isvara. Inference cannot disprove the existence of Isvara. Comparison cannot disprove the existence of Isvara. Verbal testimony cannot disprove the existence of Isvara. Implication cannot disprove the existence of Isvara. Non-perception can not disprove Isvara; the major portion of this Stabaka is devoted to the refutation of the Mimamsaka theory that valid cognition must be of an object not cognised. Udayana shows that the cognition of Isvara cannot be said to be invalid according to the definition of valid cognition given by the opponents. Udayana brings forward in this Stabaka a number of proofs to establish the existence of Isvara; the various proofs can be summarized. Isvara's existence is established from: käryatvät: the fact that the earth etc. being effects, presuppose a cause that produces them.
Ayojanat: the necessity of a conscious agent to impel the atoms to combine themselves and form the universe. Dhrteh: the necessity of a supporting agent of the universe preventing it from falling down. Samharanat: the necessity of a being endowed with the quality of effort in order to cause the dissolution of the universe into its ultimate components. Padat: the fact that at the time of the new creation an instructor is required to teach the living beings the different usages. Pratyaydt: the authoritativeness of the Vedic tradition. Sruteh: the fact that the Vedic nature of the Veda requires an omniscient author. Anvayatah: the fact that the Vedic sentences require a person as author. Samkhyävisesat: the necessity of a relating cognition, at the time of the orig
A miracle is an event not explicable by natural or scientific laws. Such an event may be attributed to a supernatural being, magic, a miracle worker, a saint, or a religious leader. Informally, the word miracle is used to characterise any beneficial event, statistically unlikely but not contrary to the laws of nature, such as surviving a natural disaster, or a "wonderful" occurrence, regardless of likelihood, such as a birth, a human conclusion reached after an actual, or supposed event, has occurred. Other such miracles might be: survival of an illness diagnosed as terminal, escaping a life-threatening situation or'beating the odds'; some coincidences may be seen as miracles. A true miracle would, by definition, be a non-natural phenomenon, leading many thinkers to dismiss them as physically impossible or impossible to confirm by their nature; the former position is expressed for instance by the latter by David Hume. Theologians say that, with divine providence, God works through nature yet, as a creator, is free to work without, above, or against it as well.
The word "miracle" is used to describe any beneficial event, physically impossible or impossible to confirm by nature. Wayne Grudem defines miracle as "a less common kind of God's activity in which he arouses people's awe and wonder and bears witness to himself." Deistic perspective of God's relation to the world defines miracle as a direct intervention of God into the world. A miracle is a phenomenon not explained by known laws of nature. Criteria for classifying an event as a miracle vary. A religious text, such as the Bible or Quran, states that a miracle occurred, believers may accept this as a fact. Statistically "impossible" events are called miracles. For instance, when three classmates accidentally meet in a different country decades after having left school, they may consider this as "miraculous". However, a colossal number of events happen every moment on earth. Events that are considered "impossible" are therefore not impossible at all — they are just rare and dependent on the number of individual events.
British mathematician J. E. Littlewood suggested that individuals should statistically expect one-in-a-million events to happen to them at the rate of about one per month. By Littlewood's definition miraculous events are commonplace; the Aristotelian view of God has God as pure actuality and considers him as the prime mover doing only what a perfect being can do, think. Jewish neo-Aristotelian philosophers, who are still influential today, include Maimonides, Samuel ben Judah ibn Tibbon, Gersonides. Directly or indirectly, their views are still prevalent in much of the religious Jewish community. In his Tractatus Theologico-Politicus Spinoza claims that miracles are lawlike events whose causes we are ignorant of. We should not treat them as having no cause or of having a cause available. Rather the miracle is like a political project. According to the philosopher David Hume, a miracle is "a transgression of a law of nature by a particular volition of the Deity, or by the interposition of some invisible agent".
The crux of his argument is this: "No testimony is sufficient to establish a miracle, unless the testimony be of such a kind, that its falsehood would be more miraculous, than the fact which it endeavours to establish." Hume defines a miracles as "a violation of the laws of nature", or more "a transgression of a law of nature by a particular volition of the Deity, or by the interposition of some invisible agent." By this definition, a miracle goes against our regular experience of. As miracles are single events, the evidence for them is always limited and we experience them rarely. On the basis of experience and evidence, the probability that miracle occurred is always less than the probability that it did not occur; as it is rational to believe what is more probable, we are not supposed to have a good reason to believe that a miracle occurred. According to the Christian theologian Friedrich Schleiermacher "every event the most natural and usual, becomes a miracle as soon as the religious view of it can be the dominant".
The philosopher Søren Kierkegaard, following Hume and Johann Georg Hamann, a Humean scholar, agrees with Hume's definition of a miracle as a transgression of a law of nature, but Kierkegaard, writing as his pseudonym Johannes Climacus, regards any historical reports to be less than certain, including historical reports of miracles, as all historical knowledge is always doubtful and open to approximation. James Keller states that "The claim that God has worked a miracle implies that God has singled out certain persons for some benefit which many others do not receive implies that God is unfair." According to a 2011 poll by the Pew Research Center, more than 90 percent of evangelical Christians believe miracles still take place. While Christians see God as sometimes intervening in human activities, Muslims see Allah as a direct cause of all events. "God’s overwhelming closeness makes it easy for Muslims to admit the miraculous in the world." The Haedong Kosung-jon of Korea records that King Beopheung of Silla had desired to promulgate Buddhism as the state religion.
However, officials in his court opposed him. In the fourteenth year of his reign, Beopheung's "Grand Secretary", devised a strategy to overcome court opposition. Ichadon schemed with the king, convincing him to make a procla
Aristotelian theology and the scholastic view of God have been influential in Western intellectual history. In his first philosophy called the Metaphysics, Aristotle discusses the meaning of being as being, he refers to the unmoved movers, assigns one to each movement in the heavens and tasks future astronomers with correlating the estimated 47 to 55 motions of the Eudoxan planetary model with the most current and accurate observations. According to Aristotle, each unmoved mover continuously contemplates its own contemplation, thus captivated, their tireless performance is the result of their own desire. This is one way, they must have no sensory perception whatsoever on account of Aristotle's theory of cognition: were any form of sense perception to intrude upon their thoughts, in that instant they would cease to be themselves, because actual self-reflection is their singular essence, their whole being. Like the heavenly bodies in their unadorned pursuit, so the wise look, with affection, toward the star.
In the Metaphysics, Aristotle discusses potentiality. The former is perfection, fullness of being; the former is the latter the determinable principle. The unmoved movers are actual, Actus Purus, because they are unchanging, immaterial substance. All material beings have some potentiality; the Physics introduces matter and form and the four causes—material, formal and final. For example, to explain a statue, one can offer: The material cause, that out of which the statue is made, is the marble or bronze; the formal cause, that according to which the statue is made, is the shape that the sculptor has learned to sculpt. The efficient cause, or agent, is the sculptor; the final cause, is that for the statue. Contrary to the so-called "traditional" view of prime matter, Aristotle asserts that there can be no pure potentiality without any actuality whatsoever. All material substances have unactualized potentials. Aristotle argues that, although motion is eternal, there cannot be an infinite series of movers and of things moved.
Therefore, there must be some, who are not the first in such a series, that inspire the eternal motion without themselves being moved "as the soul is moved by beauty". Because the planetary spheres each move unfalteringly for all eternity in uniform circular motion with a given rotational period relative to the supreme diurnal motion of the sphere of fixed stars, they must each love and desire to mimic different unmoved movers corresponding to the given periods; because they eternally inspire uniform motion in the celestial spheres, the unmoved movers must themselves be eternal and unchanging. Because they are eternal, they have had an infinite amount of time in which to actualize any potentialities and therefore cannot be a composition of matter and form, or potentiality and actuality, they must always be actual, thus immaterial, because at all times in history they have existed an infinite amount of time, things that do not come to fruition given unlimited opportunities to do so cannot do so.
The life of the unmoved mover is self-contemplative thought. According to Aristotle, the gods cannot be distracted from this eternal self-contemplation because, in that instant, they would cease to exist. John Burnet noted The Neoplatonists were quite justified in regarding themselves as the spiritual heirs of Pythagoras, and this tendency was at work all along. Aristotle might seem to be an exception. In days, Apollonios of Tyana showed in practice what this sort of thing must lead to; the theurgy and thaumaturgy of the late Greek schools were only the fruit of the seed sown by the generation which preceded the Persian War. Aristotle's principles of being influenced Anselm's view of God, whom he called "that than which nothing greater can be conceived." Anselm thought that God did not feel emotions such as anger or love, but appeared to do so through our imperfect understanding. The incongruity of judging "being" against something that might not exist, may have led Anselm to his famous ontological argument for God's existence.
Many medieval philosophers made use of the idea of approaching a knowledge of God through negative attributes. For example, we should not say that God exists in the usual sense of the term, all we can safely say is that God is not nonexistent. We should not say that God is wise. We should not say that God is One, but we can stat