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[RD] Ask a Theologian V

Discussion in 'Off-Topic' started by Plotinus, Nov 17, 2013.

  1. Plotinus

    Plotinus Philosopher Super Moderator

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    He believed in God, or at least argued for God's existence. Kant has certainly had an influence on theology. You could see Schleiermacher's whole emphasis on religion as "feeling" as a search for a new way of doing theology after Kant removed God from the domain of what can be known intellectually. And without Kant there's no Hegel, who dominated German-speaking theology for a century. More recently, a number of English-speaking theologians (notably John Hick) have been very excited by the Kantian distinction between reality and our perception of it, though how much their ideas really resemble those of Kant himself is a matter of debate.

    No, I think it's supposed to be just a roundabout reference to the resurrection.
     
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  2. ExtraCrispy

    ExtraCrispy Warlord

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    Thanks!

    What influence did Marcus Aurelius have on later Christian theology?
     
  3. Plotinus

    Plotinus Philosopher Super Moderator

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    None that I know of. Christians generally regarded him fairly positively because of his reputation as an enlightened philosopher, despite the fact that he persecuted them, but that's it really. Stoicism was an influence on early Christianity but not via Marcus Aurelius, whose Meditations seem not to have been widely read before the Middle Ages anyway.
     
  4. ExtraCrispy

    ExtraCrispy Warlord

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    Thank you for your response. Sorry about the late reply, I rarely check these forums.
     
  5. ExtraCrispy

    ExtraCrispy Warlord

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    Did Hegel believe in "otherworldly beings of pure rationality?" Does Hegel count as theology?
     
  6. Plotinus

    Plotinus Philosopher Super Moderator

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    I don't think so - for Hegel anything "otherworldly" is Geist and that's not plural, but it's hard to tell with Hegel and I'm certainly no expert on him. What are you quoting exactly?

    Whether he counts as "theology" is also up for grabs. Certainly all those Hegelian theologians in the nineteenth century thought so, but the Hegelian atheists would presumably have disagreed. Hegel was like a big Rorschach blot over nineteenth-century Germany - everyone saw in him what they wanted to see. A bit like Wittgenstein in more recent theology, perhaps.
     
  7. ExtraCrispy

    ExtraCrispy Warlord

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    This is what I meant: https://philosophy.stackexchange.co...-think-about-non-corporeal-intelligent-beings
     
  8. Plotinus

    Plotinus Philosopher Super Moderator

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    Oh, I see. Well Hegel's position in relation to traditional Christian belief is basically impossible to pin down, as you can see given that the Old Hegelians all thought he was a staunch defender of conservative religion while the Young Hegelians read exactly the same texts and thought he was a radical underminer of conservative religion. So on the basis of that I'd guess that you can interpret him as affirming the existence of angels or not depending on your taste. But I say that without actually knowing at all!
     
  9. ExtraCrispy

    ExtraCrispy Warlord

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    Sorry for the late reply. I rarely check these forums. I hope you don't mind.

    Apparently, regarding Kant's position on angels: It is confusing. I am not sure if he meant angels as a postulate or if he genuinely and truly believed in them!
     
  10. ExtraCrispy

    ExtraCrispy Warlord

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    What does William Lane Craig think of Kant? Has he written on the topic of Kant at all?

    I realize this may be a niche question, but I am not sure where else to go with it. I would prefer to not go to Stack Exchange.
     
  11. Plotinus

    Plotinus Philosopher Super Moderator

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    Well I really don't know. Craig has written (a long time ago) on Kant's first antinomy, arguing that Kant is right when he argues that the universe had a beginning in time but wrong when he argues that it didn't ("Kant's First Antinomy and the Beginning of the Universe", Zeitschrift fur philosophische Forschung 33:4 pp. 553-67, 1979), so that's not much of a surprise. I don't know whether he's written anything about Kant more generally.
     
  12. Hrothbern

    Hrothbern Deity

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    My guess would be that Kant's rationalistic/abstract attitude did not really give grounds for a tangible belief in Angels,
    but apparently he kept the option for their existence open
    considering his stance to the mistic Swedenborg: publicly negative, but privately and to his students with reverence and fascination.

    Emmanuel Swedenborg, who wrote many theological books, did believe in Angels, up to the point that Swedenborg claimed to have learned the language of Angels..... and Immanuel Kant was very interested in Swedenborg and also expressed the opinion during lectures to students that Swedenborg should not be ridiculed for his out of the box mistic and spiritual thoughts.

    At least if I believe this article http://mysteriousuniverse.org/2017/...nborg-and-immanuel-kants-struggle-to-believe/
    that includes the story that Swedenborg while at a dinner in Stockholm said that a fire had broken out in Goteborg near his house and said two hours later that the fire had stopped close to his house. Which turned out to be true !!!

     
  13. Plotinus

    Plotinus Philosopher Super Moderator

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    Yes, Kant's faith in Swedenborg is up there in the annals of weirdly-gullible-rationalists along with Newton's obsession with alchemy and decoding Revelation, and Arthur Conan Doyle's belief in fairies.
     
  14. Arakhor

    Arakhor Dremora Courtier Super Moderator

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    As far as I know, Newton was an Anglican, but he wasn't a particularly observant one.
     
  15. Plotinus

    Plotinus Philosopher Super Moderator

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    He certainly sought to avoid Anglican sacraments - he was prepared to abandon his studies at Cambridge to avoid compulsory ordination, until this requirement was removed. And he refused the Eucharist on his deathbed. But this wasn't because he was lax or unobservant - it was because he was privately convinced of the truth of Arianism, making him unorthodox and at odds with Anglican doctrine. He was extremely devout, and he devoted what seems to most people today an absurd and wasteful amount of his time and energy to occult matters such as the interpretation of biblical prophecies, the calculation of the date of the end of the world, and the pursuit of the Elixir of Life. The fact that it seems so weird to us today that such a great scientist could have frittered away so much of his mind on such pointless matters just shows what a gulf there is in mindset between today and the seventeenth century, when Newton's science and his religious speculations would have been regarded as closely connected, not as opposites as we would tend to assume.
     
    Last edited: Mar 14, 2018
  16. timtofly

    timtofly One Day

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    Could Darwin have been the last of such rational, and after him science was fully divorced from religion?
     
  17. Hrothbern

    Hrothbern Deity

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    Einstein made the following statements:
    "The most beautiful emotion we can experience is the mystical. It is the power of all true art and science. He to whom this emotion is a stranger, who can no longer wonder and stand rapt in awe, is as good as dead. To know that what is impenetrable to us really exists, manifesting itself as the highest wisdom and the most radiant beauty, which our dull faculties can comprehend only in their most primitive forms—this knowledge, this feeling, is at the center of true religiousness. In this sense, and in this sense only, I belong to the rank of devoutly religious men"

    "I have always believed that Jesus meant by the Kingdom of God the small group scattered all through time of intellectually and ethically valuable people.
    In the last year of his life he said "If I were not a Jew I would be a Quaker."


    In this wiki link you can see how much Einstein was busy in his free time with philosophy & religion: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Religious_and_philosophical_views_of_Albert_Einstein

    Looking at the big three of physics: Newton, Einstein, Hawkins....... I think Hawkins is the first where science is really divorced from religion
     
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  18. Plotinus

    Plotinus Philosopher Super Moderator

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    Not really, partly because (as Hrothbern says) there have been plenty of religious scientists since him, and partly because Darwin was not particularly religious.

    Do you mean Hawking? And what about, say, Richard Feynman, who wasn't religious at all either?

    Where modern scientists have been religious, such as Werner Heisenberg, they've tended to take the view that science and religion are consistent with each other, or complementary. This is quite different from the seventeenth-century view typical of people like Newton that science is part of religion, and that the scientific enterprise is an intrinsically religious pursuit. Really, science and religion have been mostly distinct since the nineteenth century, and this holds even for people who believe in both (barring occasional eccentrics and amateurs such as John Templeton).
     
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  19. Hrothbern

    Hrothbern Deity

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    very much yes

    yes because the general science machinery is so good in adding insights and knowledge that find practical (engineering) applications, that it sets the stage.... a stage where "everything" we need is generated by science without any need for religion.
    An unstoppable machinery at a steady succes rate without real limits except the amount of money/scientists/resources/time thrown in.
    In a cultural sense Science is dominant since the 19th century

    But also a bit "no" regarding the science of the ultimate understanding of the fabric and origin of our Universe.... the quest for the final fundamental laws of physics.... the ultimate physical truth
    Here the feeling of "perhaps never knowing it all" starts to come in, the sheer awesomeness humbling the human existence

    Heisenberg adding to our limited science position with his uncertainty principle: we cannot fundamentally know precisely.
    Brought to the point by prof John Stewart Bell in 1964 in his "On the Einstein Podolsky Rosen Paradox" where he proved that Einstein was wrong (the determinism by fundamental laws and yet to discover hidden variables of quantum physics to get that deterministic as well) and we have fundamentally to live with a random universe.
    => Science is limited
    Heisenberg, who was as you say religious, made the quote: “The first gulp from the glass of natural sciences will turn you into an atheist, but at the bottom of the glass God is waiting for you”

    So my feel is that in the quest for our fundamental laws, the full divorce comes later than the 19th century, perhaps to the point around WW2, after Einstein, with indeed Feynman. And Hawkings is after that :)
    The need to attach the unexplainable to God, the need to have fundamental science laws replace the creation in a deterministic way, was no longer there.
     
  20. ExtraCrispy

    ExtraCrispy Warlord

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    I'm going to state something bold here, I hope you don't mind: Kant is rarely; if ever, outright and utterly; totally wrong. Perhaps his stance on homosexuality would be an example of him being wrong, but that's the product of him being born at a certain day and age.

    Adding to the confusion, is that Kant got more mystical in the Opus Postuum, though the validity of the text is disputed.
    https://www.cambridge.org/core/books/opus-postumum/07DCB07D40253E301ED161291426DE81
     

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