More Questions From Answers: Belief And Reason

1015 words - 4 pages

Surname 1NameProfessorCourseDateMore Questions from Answers: Belief and ReasonThe concept of God or gods presents a question of loaded terms, because this same word represents a global variety of belief systems regarding the existence of one or more gods- if any. Once a system of belief takes hold within a group of people, the believers usually start by explaining their beliefs, their reasoning, the source of their system, and how their religion differs from others. Usually this means that believers explain why only their ways of belief can be 'right'. There are exceptions, of course, such as the Hindu doctrine of ishdaveda, which postulates that Jesus might have indeed been a representative of a greater divine presence. (Rambachan xv-xvii) Despite the arguing about whose god is the 'right one', most believers follow similar rules based on their faith. Are these gods really so different?Keeping the gods separate proves its own challenge when many of the rules of believers are the same. Also, most faiths say that a god or god has certain roles, duties, or special symbols that belong to them. In Christianity, Jesus is called a fisher of men, a shepherd, a king, lord of hosts, etc. and represents only the semi-human form of a single god with three separate divisions. Similar to this three-part, one god belief, Krishna's character divided into father, lover, and child types during his journeys, which are very similar to the ancient parts of the Bible. (Muhammad 9-10) Robert Stade wrote an entire book on the different religious roles and names in Islamic faith. Allah also is the creator, the protector, the king, the provider, etc. Both gods speak of non-believers. In Islam, they receive bad luck and trials, but in Christianity these trials test faithfulness and may be considered a mixed blessing. (25-38) Believers relate to this idea that the good actions done in this life will be rewarded in an afterlife and that, like people, God shows different sides. Paul Tillich wrote that God is the ultimate concern of man, the one thing that becomes more important than anything else. This concern fills each of the different roles and functions of people. He also claims that the concrete cares of life cannot become this ultimate concern because they are not ultimate in their nature. (Rowe 274-276) In other words, Tillich supports the normal belief that God has power over everything, knows everything, and can be everything and everywhere. Our God must be ultimate over understanding.True obedience to God causes the person to give their separate personality up. Jews inherit some of this power through their blood as part of the ancient nation of Israel. They have a concrete reminder of their part with God, which would make them the ultimate nation in Tillich's writings. (Ariel 26-27) Johnson poses another theory-that the Jews who were born of the Israelites became part of a living religious tradition affected by their time and knowledge of God. Even the people under...

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