Presentation on theme: "Conceptions of ultimate reality. Eastern religions including Buddhism, Taoism, and the Advaita Vedanta school of Hinduism affirm that Ultimate Reality."— Presentation transcript:
Conceptions of ultimate reality
Eastern religions including Buddhism, Taoism, and the Advaita Vedanta school of Hinduism affirm that Ultimate Reality is an absolute state of being. Western religions such as Christianity, Judaism, and Islam affirm that Ultimate Reality is a personal God, the creator of all things.
Hindu absolutism (Brahmin, “The Absolute”) Buddhist metaphysics (Sunyata, “The Void”)
Christianity, Judaism, and Islam believe in a personal God who is traditionally held to display five important attributes: Necessity Omnipotence Omniscience Eternity Immutability
Necessity: the property of existing necessarily, independent of all other things. Factual necessity: Since God does exist, God could not have come into existence and can never cease to exist. Logical necessity: It is true in every possible world that God exists, and it is logically impossible for God not to exist.
Omnipotence: the property of being perfect in power. Descartes’ view: “God can do anything whatsoever” Swinburne's view: “God can do anything that is logically possible” or “God possesses every power which is logically possible to possess” Most philosophers have disagreed with Descartes and have taken a position similar to Swinburne’s
Omniscience: the property of being perfect in knowledge. Traditional understanding: God knows everything past, present, and future. Open theism: God knows everything that can be known; God knows all things past and present, and all future events which are determinately based or can be inferred from past or present events.
Timeless: God exists outside of time and has neither temporal extension nor temporal location –– no before, during, or after. Everlasting: God has neither beginning nor end, yet God is temporally extended; God exists forever in time. Eternal and Temporal: God did exist without temporal duration, but at the creation of the universe God was drawn into temporal relations.
Immutability: the property of being intrinsically changeless; it is logically impossible for God’s intrinsic qualities to change. Although it has been traditionally affirmed by theologians, this attribute is rejected by process theologians who argue that God is not static being, but divine becoming.
Which view of Ultimate Reality depicted in this chapter do you find most compelling? Why? If you are a part of a religious tradition which includes belief in God, does your conception of God differ from traditional theism as described in the text? Explain. Can one coherently believe both that human beings have free will and that God has inexhaustible knowledge of the future? Why or why not?