Class Notes For:
Bible Worldviews (12) (ELCA)

Christian PhilosophyEdit

Important TermsEdit

God ExistsEdit

Stephen Schwarz cites four particular scientific discoveries that support the conclusion that God exists:

  1. The Second Law of Thermodynamics (Stating that the universe is running out of usable energy and cannot be infinitely old).
  2. The impossibility of spontaneous generation of life from non-life.
  3. The genetic information theory (DNA).
  4. The Anthropic Principle (that the universe, as well as, earth is fine tuned to accommodate life).

“In science we have only been reading the notes of a poem. In Christianity we are reading the poem itself.”
- C.S. Lewis
“I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may


The Christian view of metaphysics is clearly spelled out in scripture,

”In the beginning [of the cosmos] was the Word [Logos – mind, reason, wisdom, intelligence, law, order, purpose, and design] and the Word was with God and the Word was God”
- John 1:1

Mind/Body Problem and the Mental ProofEdit

  • Mind/Body Problem — the study of the relationship of the mind.
  • Mind/Body Dualism — contends that the body is material in substance and the mind immaterial.
  • Mind/Body Monism — contend that the mind and body are both material substances.
  • Realism — the belief that what one encounters in the world exists independently of human thought.
  • Supernaturalism — the belief that reality is more than nature; that a transcendent agent intervenes in the course of natural law.

Islamic PhilosophyEdit

Kalam Cosmological ArgumentEdit

  • Kalam Cosmological Argument - A rational reflection of three exhaustive dilemmas regarding the origin of the universe.
  1. Did the universe have a beginning or has it always existed?
  2. Was the beginning caused or uncaused?
  3. Is the agent of the cause personal or impersonal?

Supernaturalism and IslamEdit

Islam affirms supernaturalism and life after death!!
It is ironic that Islam clings to the supernatural, but there holy prophet never did any miracles. In turn, Islam believes that Jesus performed many miracles.

"(112)Recall that the disciples said, 'O Jesus, son of Mary, can your Lord send down to us a feast from the sky?' He said, "You should reverence GOD, if you are believers.' (113) They said, 'We wish to eat from it, and to reassure our hearts, and to know for sure that you have told us the truth. We will serve as witnesses thereof.'"
Sura 5:112-113
"Any man can do what Mahomet has done; for he performed no miracles... No man can do what Christ has done."
Blaise Pascal

Muhammad and Biblical ProphecyEdit

  • Deut. 18:15-18 - Is this prophecy about Jesus or Muhammad?
    • (15) "'The LORD your God will raise up for you a prophet like me from among you, from your brothers—it is to him you shall listen— (16) just as you desired of the LORD your God at Horeb on the day of the assembly, when you said, 'Let me not hear again the voice of the LORD my God or see this great fire any more, lest I die.' (17) And the LORD said to me, 'They are right in what they have spoken. (18) I will raise up for them a prophet like you from among their brothers. And I will put my words in his mouth, and he shall speak to them all that I command him.'"
  • John 14:16 - Is this prophecy about the Holy Spirit or Muhammad?
    • (16)"And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Helper, to be with you forever,"
    • (26) "But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you."

Secular Humanist PhilosophyEdit

  • Naturalism - the philosophical belief that reality is composed solely of matter and that all phenomena can be explained in terms of natural causes.
  • Denial of the Supernatural - Naturalist deny everything that is not made up of matter or that does not exist in nature.

"Humanism is naturalistic and rejecuts the supernaturalistic stance with its postulated Creator - God and Cosmic Ruler"
- Roy Wood Sellars

Epistemology of Secular HumanismEdit

The epistemology of the naturalist is inseparable from science. Secular Humanist naturalism requires that we apply science to every aspect of life, including the social and moral.

Implication of the Monistic View of the Mind/Body ProblemEdit

  1. The body and personality (soul) live together, grow together and die together.
  2. That the mind arose through the evolutionary process and still evolving.

Marxist-Leninist PhilosophyEdit

Many of the attributes that we as Christians ascribe to God - eternalness, infinitude, an uncreated Being, the Law Giver, the Life and the Mid - Marxist-Leninist ascribe matter. Matter is eternal.

Marxist believe that practice - testing knowlege throughout history - is a valuable tool for gaining knowledge history, we can determine which beliefs are true and which are not.

Dialectical MaterialismEdit

The interactions are always in a process of thesis/antithesis/synthesis. This constant development or process of evolution implies that the world (universe) is always in motion - always moving - always changing.

"Nature is the proof of dialectics"
-Friedrich Engels

Mind/Body ProblemEdit

To avoid calling consciousness supernatural, Marxist rely on the notion that consciousness is just a subjective reflection of objective reality.

Cosmic Humanist PhilosophyEdit

The contemporary Cosmic Humanist movement has its roots in the romantic poets of the 1800's, such as Ralph Waldo Emerson, Walt Whitman, and Henry David Thoreau.

  • Zen — A branch of Mahayana Buddhism that believes enlightenment can be obtained through meditation, and self-contemplation.
  • Gaia Hypothesis — views the planet Earth, and indeed, the whole universe as a living organism.
  • Non-naturalism — the belief that everything is a part of God and in essence, spiritual. The things we see and feel are only a manifestation of spirit, and all matter will melt away when universal consciousness is achieved.

Cosmic Humanist EpistemologyEdit

"If it feels life truth to you, it is."
All truth exists in the God-force within us, and if we cannot with that power, we tap into knowledge.

Cosmic Humanist OntologyEdit

Ultimate reality is spiritual rather than material.

Post-Modern PhilosophyEdit

"That may be true for you, but no for me."
–Postmodern Proverb
According to Post-Modernism, everything is subjective!!!

  • Deconstructionism – a means of textual criticism that considers a text open to the readers interpretation and laden with hidden bias, assumptions and prejudices.
  • Anti-Realism– the belief that reality is subjectively constructed by human thought.
  • Correspondence Theory of Truth – the belief that truth corresponds to reality.

Reality is not what objectively exists; reality is produced by our agreement of what it is. We do not discover true facts about the real world - we create them!

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