Augustine Term Paper

This essay has a total of 1127 words and 6 pages.

Augustine

Midterm Exam
Approaches to God 267

1) What do Luther, Aquinas, Augustine, Decartes, and Kierkeguard hold about the relationship between faith and reason?

All of these great philosophers had varying views on the relationship between faith and
reason. Martin Luther was a key historical figure and a key historical figure of his time.
He rose to fame for his 95 thesis and is credited with bringing about the Protestant
Reformation. Luther was a feidest- everything opens to faith with no regard to reason. He
believed people were saved "by faith alone".


St Thomas Aquinas did not have the same views as Luther. He was a mitigated rationalist
who believed in both faith and reason. Aquinas argued that reason preceded faith. St
Thomas, a mendicant fryer, was a believer in the unity of truth.


St Augustine of Hippo, a well respected, top-notch philosopher was one of the greatest
thinkers of his time. The great Augustine was also a mitigated rationalist. Unlike
Aquinas, Augustine believed faith preceded reason. He took ancient thought and applied it
to the bible. He believed man was good, but not perfect. Augustine's theory that faith
precedes reason can be best summed up by citing his famous quote, "I believe in order that
I may understand". St Augustine was a giant in philosophy and continues to be studied
today.


Decartes, who invented the Cartesian Plain, wanted to make philosophy as precise as his
beloved mathematics. He often related philosophy to the principles of geometry and
fineness. Decartes operated out of the theory of doubt, he doubted everything. However he
did not doubt the fact that he could think. He felt that he could not think without
existing. Hence he came up with the notion "I think therefore I am." Decartes ultimately
pulled faith away from reason and completely separated their relationship.


Kierkeguard was the father of modern existentialism. He stresses the individual as an
existentialist he created three levels. The first level was an aesthetic level, second was
an ethical, in which one leads a good life, and the third and highest level was called the
"leap of faith", the religious level.


2) Is natural theology a science? Why or why not?

When determining whether or not natural theology is a science or not, we encounter many
different opinions. Some may argue yes, while others argue no. The definition of
Philosophy comes into play here. Philosophy- the science which studies all things in their
ultimate causes by the light of natural reason. Aristotle defines science as knowledge of
things through its causes. Based upon these two definitions along with the Scientific
Theory- observation, hypothesis, expermintation = natural law, natural theology is
considered a science.


Natural law begins with nature. Nature determines the kinds of activities a thing can
perform. It is the essence of a thing, viewed from the point of view of the source
activity. Natural theology follows an ordinary common sense understanding of reality.
Certain activities follow from the nature of a thing. For example a rock acts like a rock,
a dog like a dog. We come to know the nature of the rock or dog by the acts which each
performs; things may be good according tot here nature.


In order to object a natural law we have to realize how we interpret nature and how the
nature of the evolving thing may evolve. Yet when applying this to human nature, we see
that human nature always exists by the way nature may evolve around humans. When looking
at natural theology it is important to keep in mind principles such as morality, and other
principles that deal with human behavior.

Continues for 3 more pages >>




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