3. APPLIED PHILOSOPHY NOTES - AppliedPhilosophy(GS...

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AppliedPhilosophy(GS F312)/dr.AnoopGeorge/BitsPilaniGoa 1 FUNDAMENTAL PHILOSOPHICAL ISSUES God, Soul, Body and World. GOD: Theistic beliefs consider the notion of God as the Ultimate concern of every discourse. For theists’ ethical theory has its grounding in the notion of God and God has to be a maximally great person who is omnipotent, omnipresent, omniscient and all good. For theists a maximally great reality must be a maximally great person or God. Paul Tillich believed that the essence of religious attitudes is “ultimate concern.” Its object is experienced as numinous or holy, distinct from all profane and ordinary realities . God as Ultimate concern may take the form of worship, and involve praise, love, gratitude, supplication, confession, petition, and the like. Theistic Ethics Most people who think about morality or ethics associate these areas of concern with religion. The reason is that an ethical system must be shown to be sound without reliance on things that cannot be rationally apprehended. Most religions are essentially supernaturalistic, or mystical. The few that are not tend to identify God with nature, with the universe as a whole. For them the discussion of ethical issues given above could suffice. Other religions base their moral codes not on arguments but on faith. Still other religions hold that even though God is supernatural or transcends reality, rational investigation can discover the moral or ethical code that God designed for human beings. Most religions (and there are hundreds) hold that the central duty of all persons is to achieve the salvation of their souls. This view, somewhat imprecise so as to allow for the numerous variations, is the crucial feature of theistic ethics. If we are to pursue our inquiry along philosophically appropriate lines, we must hold that we can know and understand what is meant by the salvation of our souls. According to theistic ethics the salvation of the soul is achieved by fulfilling the will or purpose of God. Our ethical position, then, requires that all persons be able to know the will or purpose of God, which in turn means that we must be able to know much of God. Because no ethical position can apply to only some people, theistic ethics too must be understandable by all individuals. Many religious people will find this last point somewhat unusual. We should remember, however, that few religions allow for proof of an ethical position's correctness. Many abide by various moral edicts as a matter of faith, or at least trust in the spiritual leaders. We are concerned here not with the religions themselves, which are backed by faith, but with their ethics. These can be open to philosophical scrutiny and demonstration. Still, faith-reliant views raise many philosophical issues.
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