MEDPHILOS09 - The promise of immortality is central to...

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Unformatted text preview: The promise of immortality is central to Christianity. Why do we as human beings need to believe in redemption and a! a"erlife? Most religions address the idea of an a"erlife. !Judaism: the true Messiah will bring peace; the righteous dead will be resurrected Medieval Philosophy !Islam: day of judgment will divide all people between Paradise and Hell 2 Why is the promise of an afterlife especially important to people in the Middle Ages? The only sense of protection or security in these harsh conditions comes from belief in God and the saints. • • • • • • Medieval people believed !God can protect or destroy, so develop a good relationsip Average life span: 30 years!why? housing sanitation agriculture/diet disease violence Medieval Christians saw the church as the shepherd, guiding its "ock through dangerous territor y to safety. 3 !Saints can help believers !Human beings OWE God How do believers communicate with God? through the Church 4 The Christian Church gave its followers a system for saving their souls Pope Innocent III wrote his sermon On the Misery of the Human Condition around 1200. 1. Your conduct determines your #nal destination$Heaven, He%, Purgatory 2. But in order to gain God &s grace and be saved, you must take part in th' sacraments. 1. Baptism 2. Holy Communion 3. Penance $Confession% 4. Con&rmation 5. Marriage 6. Holy Orders $Ordination for priesthood% 7. Anointing of the Sick/Last Rites 'Man was formed of dust, slime and ashes...(and) the stain of sin. He was born to toil, dread, and trouble; and more wretched still, was born only to die. He commits depraved acts by which he o#ends God, his neighbor, and himself... He will become fuel for those &res which are forever for the worm... a mass of rottenness which will forever stink and reek...* (God+s judgement is severe!) Payment will be exacted to the last penny. they that do evil (will be) cast into the furnace of the &re. There shall be weeping... darkness...anguish...(and) utter wretchedness....and &re burning, forever and ever world without end.* 5 6 Man is sinful by nature. Flesh is a burden. You must su#er through life to $hopefully% achieve salvation. The only hope for salvation is through the Church. Therefore, Your whole life is based on faith! Faith in God and Church Before the 12th centur y, both ordinar y people and scholars considered the Bible and the writings of church fathers like Augustine to be the!source of knowledge Faith! not science or rational inquir y, etc. 7 8 Faith precedes reason. Augustin' We can+t discover truth through our senses. Understanding is the reward of faith. In other words, you can+t understand until you believe. But where does that leave human reason? 9 Oxford University$ instruction began around 1096; o(ca%y established around 1167 Translations of Aristotle!s work comes from Islamic scholars to the West about 700 years after his death Aristotle $ The Development of Universities in Europe • late 8th c. !Charlemagne creates • realistic • practical • emphasized the role of human senses in understanding the world • nearly 80 universities formed in schools!education centers mostly on Bible Middle Ages, including Bologna $1088%, Oxford $1096%, Paris $1150%, and Cambridge $1209% • 12th c.!Islamic learning and translation of ancient Greek texts spreads to the West. • Nature could be understood empirica%y! i.e. through obser vation and comparison • created to study theology, law, • Demand for education increases • 12th,13th c.!One of the most • emphasis on liberal arts signals move signi&cant medieval contributions to modern western society is the university. 10 Aristotle $384 , 322 BC % medicine, and liberal arts away from intellectual world dominated by the Church 11 • The greatest human endeavor to Aristotle was the use of reason. Aristotle wrote on many subjects, including physics, metaphysics, poetry, music, theater, logic, rhetoric, politics, ethics, biolog y and zoolog y. 12 • The Church bans the works of • Aristotle in 1210, but the cat was already out of the bag. For the &rst time, Christian theologians were confronted with rationalism!an approach to truth which emphasized the superiority of reason $not faith.% • By 1255, all of Aristotle+s works were being studied at major universities Aristotle+s ideas contradicted Christian teaching: Aristotle Christians Understanding comes from reason Understanding comes from faith Universe always existed God created the universe Goal of human beings: happiness $excellence!be the best you can be% Goal of human beings: obedience to God+s commands 13 14 Thomas Aquinas "1225#1274$ "Thomas of Aquino$ From this point, scholars tr y to make ancient Greek and Christian thought work together. • • • 15 Went to the university center of the Dominicans in Paris studied and lectured on the works the newly discovered works of Aristotle • Aristotle Preferred the more radical Dominican friars • Augustine as a child, sent to a traditional monaster y as a prospective monk • Scholasticism The system of teaching that attempted to reconcile theology and Greek philosophy $faith and reason%. Italian theologian completed his masterpiece the Summa Theologica in 1268 16 How do we reconcile reason and faith? In other words, how do we harmonize what we have learned as human beings with what God has revealed in the Bible and Church teachings? • • Thomas Aquinas takes the via media $middle path% between the ideas of church authorities and those of scholars who followed Aristotle Summa Theologica • summarizes and provides reasoning for almost all points of Christian theology •.demonstrates that Greek philosophy and Christian theology are $mostly% compatible He viewed theology as a science; faith and reason both necessar y to obtain truth/knowledge of God •.in other words, reason and faith can work together to obtain truth...for instance.... 17 Aristotle Thomas also attempted to prove the existence of God through reason. Christians Universe always existed 18 God created the universe The 5 proofs: Note that each proof begins with an empirical fact. Thomas uses reason to arrive at a conclusion that also accepts faith: 1. Some things in the universe are in motion. It follows that whatever is moved is moved by something else, which in turn, is moved by something else. Since this can+t go on into in&nity, there must be a %rst mover, which hasn+t been moved by anything else: God. 1. Aristotle never proved the universe always existed 2. It+s impossible for human reason to establish whether it did or did not always exist 2. In the world, causes are found to be ordered in a series. Things do not cause themselves. No cause, no e#ect. Again, since this can+t go on into in&nity, there must be a &rst cause: God. Then let+s rephrase the question: Is it conceivable that something caused by God could always have existed? 3. In nature, some things are possible, but not necessar y. Ever ything can+t be unnecessar y, because then we would have to conclude that once there was nothing. If that was the case, there would still be nothing, since something that does not exist can only be brought into existence by something that already exists. Therefore, we have to admit the existence of something necessar y, and not caused by another: God. Either way, it+s reasonable to say that: 3. Whatever begins to exist has a cause. 4. The universe began to exist. - 5.- Therefore, the universe had a cause. $For Thomas, that cause was God.% 19 20 4. Among beings, there are var ying degrees of goodness, beauty, etc. Some people are good, some less good, etc. This assumes, however, a comparison to a perfect standard.There must be something, then, that causes goodness, etc. in all other beings. 'And this we call God.* Results of Thomas! work 5. Things in nature "like plants, which do not have knowledge$ act toward a goal. They generally act in the same way to reach the goal rather then reaching it by accident. Therefore, ever ything in nature is directed to its goal by something with intelligence: God. • considered a radical in his time !but helps the church!because the discover y of Greek thought created DOUBT in the idea of faith • notes that since all truths are valid, there should be no con"ict between those arrived at through faith or reason $or both% • his work also made clear that the church needed to combine faith in mysteries with rational explanations in order to grow as an institution 21 Conclusion • The scholastics aimed to create a synthesis of Christian and Classical learning $faith and reason% but their motivation was still largely religious. • But thinking had shifted& scholastics were humanists. • Humanism& system of thought which emphasizes human reason and dignity • They believed that the human being as the noblest and most rational of God!s creatures and that he was the link between the world and divine intelligence. 23 22 ...
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This note was uploaded on 06/01/2011 for the course HUM 101 taught by Professor Neubeck-connor during the Spring '11 term at Moraine Valley Community College.

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