The Diversity of Theology

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The Diversity of Theology

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The Theological Law Firm Academy Presents The Diversity of Theology:

The Theological Law Firm Academy Presents The Diversity of Theology The Advocacy Foundation, Inc. Atlanta Philadelphia (878) 222-0100 Voice | Data | SMS www.TheAdvocacy.Foundation © The Advocacy Foundation, Inc. 2006-2016 (All Rights Reserved)

Biblical Authority:

Biblical Authority Matthew 28:16-20 1 Corinthians 12:12-14 1 Corinthians 12:21-26 Romans 12:3 2

Introduction:

Introduction 3

Introduction:

the·ol·o·gy [thee- ol -uh- jee ]   The study of the nature of God and religious belief. religious beliefs and theory when systematically developed. ______ 1. The field of study and analysis that treats of God and of God's attributes and relations to the universe; study of divine things or religious truth; divinity.   2. A particular form, system, branch, or course of this study. ______ The disciplined study of religious questions, such as the nature of God, sin, and salvation. Introduction 4

Introduction:

Theology is the systematic religious skepticism and rational study of concepts of God and of the nature of religious ideas, but can also mean the learned profession acquired by completing specialized training in religious studies, usually at a university, seminary, or school of divinity. Augustine of Hippo defined the Latin equivalent, theologia , as "reasoning or discussion concerning the Deity"; Richard Hooker defined "theology" in English as "the science of things divine". The term can, however, be used for a variety of different disciplines or fields of study. Theologians use various forms of analysis and argument (philosophical, ethnographic, historical, spiritual and others) to help understand, explain, test, critique, defend or promote any of myriad religious topics. Introduction 5

Introduction:

Theology might be undertaken to help the theologian: Understand more truly their own religious tradition, Understand more truly another religious tradition, Make comparisons among religious traditions, Defend or justify a religious tradition, Facilitate reform of a particular tradition, Assist in the propagation of a religious tradition, or Draw on the resources of a tradition to address some present situation or need, Draw on the resources of a tradition to explore possible ways of interpreting the world, or Explore the nature of divinity without reference to any specific tradition. Challenge (ex. biblical criticism) or oppose (ex. irreligion) a religious tradition or the religious world-view. Introduction 6

Christianity:

Christianity is an Abrahamic monotheistic religion based on the life and teachings of Jesus Christ as presented in the New Testament. Christianity is the world's largest religion, with over 2.4 billion adherents, known as Christians. Christians believe that Jesus is the Son of God and the savior of humanity [who’s] coming as Christ or the Messiah was prophesied in the Old Testament. Christianity 7

Christianity:

Christian theology is expressed in ecumenical creeds. These professions of faith state that Jesus suffered, died, was buried, and was resurrected from the dead, in order to grant eternal life to those who believe in him and trust in him for the remission of their sins. The creeds further maintain that Jesus bodily ascended into heaven, where he reigns with God the Father, and that he will return to judge the living and dead and grant eternal life to his followers. His ministry, crucifixion and resurrection are often referred to as "the gospel", meaning "good news". The term gospel also refers to written accounts of Jesus's life and teaching, four of which—Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John—are considered canonical and included in the Christian Bible. Christianity 8

Christianity:

Christianity began as a Second Temple Judaic sect in the mid-1st century. Originating in Judea, it quickly spread to Europe, Syria, Mesopotamia, Asia Minor, Egypt, Ethiopia, and India and by the end of the 4th century had become the official state church of the Roman Empire. Following the Age of Discovery, Christianity spread to the Americas, Australasia, sub-Saharan Africa, and the rest of the world through missionary work and colonization. Christianity has played a prominent role in the shaping of Western civilization. Christianity 9

Christianity:

Throughout its history, the religion has weathered schisms and theological disputes that have resulted in many distinct Churches and denominations. Worldwide, the three largest branches of Christianity are the Roman Catholic Church , the Eastern Orthodox Church and the various denominations of Protestantism . The Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox patriarchates split from one another in the schism of the 11th century; Protestantism came into existence in the Reformation of the 16th century, splitting from the Roman Catholic Church. Christianity 10

Christianity:

There are many important differences of interpretation and opinion of the Bible on which Christianity is based. Because of these irreconcilable differences in theology and a lack of consensus on the core tenets of what defines Christianity, Protestants, Catholics and Orthodox church members and theologians often deny that members of other branches are Christians. Christianity 11

Christianity:

The Apostles' Creed remains the most popular statement of the articles of Christian faith which are generally acceptable to most Christian denominations that are creedal. Its main points include: Belief in God the Father, Jesus Christ as the Son of God and the Holy Spirit The death, descent into hell, resurrection, and ascension of Christ The holiness of the Church and the communion of saints Christ's second coming, the Day of Judgement and salvation of the faithful. Christianity 12

Christianity:

The Trinity is the belief that God is one God in three persons: the Father, the Son (Jesus), and the Holy Spirit. Trinity refers to the teaching that the one God comprises three distinct, eternally co-existing persons; the Father, the Son (incarnate in Jesus Christ), and the Holy Spirit. Together, these three persons are sometimes called the Godhead. Christianity 13

Judaism:

Judaism (from Latin: Iudaismus , derived from Greek Ἰουδαϊσμός , originally from Hebrew יהודה , Yehudah , "Judah"; in Hebrew: יהדות , Yahadut , the distinctive characteristics of the Judean ethnos) encompasses the religion, philosophy, culture and way of life of the Jewish people. Judaism is an ancient monotheistic religion, with the Torah as its foundational text (part of the larger text known as the Tanakh or Hebrew Bible), and supplemental oral tradition represented by later texts such as the Midrash and the Talmud. Judaism is considered by religious Jews to be the expression of the covenantal relationship that God established with the Children of Israel. Judaism 14

Judaism:

Judaism includes a wide corpus of texts, practices, theological positions, and forms of organization. Within Judaism there are a variety of movements, most of which emerged from Rabbinic Judaism, which holds that God revealed his laws and commandments to Moses on Mount Sinai in the form of both the Written and Oral Torah. Today, the largest Jewish religious movements are Orthodox Judaism ( Haredi Judaism and Modern Orthodox Judaism), Conservative Judaism and Reform Judaism. Major sources of difference between these groups are their approaches to Jewish law, the authority of the Rabbinic tradition, and the significance of the State of Israel. Judaism 15

Judaism:

Orthodox Judaism maintains that the Torah and Jewish law are divine in origin, eternal and unalterable, and that they should be strictly followed. Conservative and Reform Judaism are more liberal, with Conservative Judaism generally promoting a more "traditional" interpretation of Judaism's requirements than Reform Judaism. A typical Reform position is that Jewish law should be viewed as a set of general guidelines rather than as a set of restrictions and obligations whose observance is required of all Jews. Judaism 16

Judaism:

Judaism claims a historical continuity spanning more than 3,000 years. Judaism has its roots as a structured religion in the Middle East during the Bronze Age. Of the major world religions, Judaism is considered one of the oldest monotheistic religions. The Hebrews / Israelites were already referred to as "Jews" in later books of the Tanakh such as the Book of Esther, with the term Jews replacing the title "Children of Israel". Judaism's texts, traditions and values strongly influenced later Abrahamic religions, including Christianity, Islam and the Baha'i Faith. Many aspects of Judaism have also directly or indirectly influenced secular Western ethics and civil law. Judaism 17

Judaism:

Jews are an ethnoreligious group and include those born Jewish and converts to Judaism. In 2012, the world Jewish population was estimated at about 14 million, or roughly 0.2% of the total world population. About 42% of all Jews reside in Israel and another 42% reside in North America, with most of the remainder living in Europe, and other minority groups spread throughout South America, Asia, Africa, and Australia. Judaism 18

Judaism:

According to the Tanakh (Hebrew Bible), God promised Abraham to make of his offspring a great nation. Many generations later, he commanded the nation of Israel to love and worship only one God; that is, the Jewish nation is to reciprocate God's concern for the world. He also commanded the Jewish people to love one another; that is, Jews are to imitate God's love for people. These commandments are but two of a large corpus of commandments and laws that constitute this covenant, which is the substance of Judaism Judaism 19

Islam:

Islam Arabic: الإسلام ‎, al- Islām  is a monotheistic and Abrahamic religion articulated by the Qur'an, a religious text considered by its adherents to be the verbatim word of God ( Allāh ), and, for the vast majority of adherents, by the teachings and normative example (called the sunnah , composed of accounts called hadith ) of Muhammad (c. 570–8 June 632 CE), considered by most of them to be the last prophet of God. An adherent of Islam is called a Muslim (sometimes spelled "Moslem"). Islam 20

Islam:

Muslims believe that God is one and incomparable and that the purpose of existence is to worship God. Muslims also believe that Islam is the complete and universal version of a primordial faith that was revealed many times before through prophets including Adam, Noah, Abraham, Moses, and Jesus. Muslims maintain that the previous messages and revelations have been partially misinterpreted over time. They are nevertheless all obliged, according to the Qur'an, to treat the older scriptures with the utmost respect. Islam 21

Islam:

As for the Qur'an, Muslims consider it to be both the unaltered and the final revelation of God. Religious concepts and practices include the Five Pillars of Islam , which are obligatory acts of worship, and following Islamic law, which touches on virtually every aspect of life and society, from topics ranging from banking and welfare, to family life and the environment. Islam 22

Islam:

Most Muslims are of two denominations: Sunni (75–90%) or Shia (10–20%). About 13% of Muslims live in Indonesia, the largest Muslim-majority country, 25% in South Asia, 20% in the Middle East, and 15% in Sub-Saharan Africa. Sizable Muslim communities are also found in Europe, China, Russia, and the Americas. Converts and immigrant communities are found in almost every part of the world. With about 1.6 billion followers or 23% of the global population, Islam is the second-largest religion by number of adherents and, according to many sources, the fastest-growing major religion in the world. Islam 23

Islam:

Islam is a verbal noun originating from the triliteral root s-l-m which forms a large class of words mostly relating to concepts of wholeness, submission, safeness and peace. In a religious context it means "voluntary submission to God". I slām is the verbal noun of Form IV of the root, and means "submission" or "surrender". Muslim , the word for an adherent of Islam, is the active participle of the same verb form, and means "one who submits" or "one who surrenders". Believers demonstrate submission to God by serving God, following his commands, and rejecting polytheism. Islam 24

Islam:

In the Hadith of Gabriel, islām is presented as one part of a triad that includes imān (faith), and ihsān (excellence), where islām is defined theologically as Tawhid , historically by asserting that Muhammad is messenger of God, and doctrinally by mandating five basic and fundamental pillars of practice. Islam's most fundamental concept is a rigorous monotheism, called tawḥīd (Arabic: توحيد ‎). God is described in chapter 112 of the Qur'an as: "Say: He is God, the One and Only; God, the Eternal, Absolute; He begetteth not, nor is He begotten; And there is none like unto Him."(112:1-4) Muslims and Jews repudiate the Christian doctrine of the Trinity and divinity of Jesus, comparing it to polytheism. Islam 25

Buddhism:

Buddhism / budɪzəm / is a nontheistic religion or philosophy (Sanskrit: dharma ; Pali : dhamma ) that encompasses a variety of traditions, beliefs and spiritual practices largely based on teachings attributed to Gautama Buddha, commonly known as the Buddha ("the awakened one"). According to Buddhist tradition, the Buddha lived and taught in the eastern part of the Indian subcontinent sometime between the 6th and 4th centuries BCE. He is recognized by Buddhists as an awakened or enlightened teacher who shared his insights to help sentient beings end their suffering through the elimination of ignorance and craving. Buddhists believe that this is accomplished through the direct understanding and perception of dependent origination and the Four Noble Truths. Buddhism 26

Buddhism:

The teachings on the Four Noble Truths are regarded as central to the teachings of Buddhism, and are said to provide a conceptual framework for Buddhist thought. These four truths explain the nature of dukkha (suffering, anxiety, unsatisfactoriness ), its causes, and how it can be overcome. The four truths are: The truth of dukkha (suffering, anxiety, unsatisfactoriness ) The truth of the origin of dukkha   The truth of the cessation of dukkha The truth of the path leading to the cessation of dukkha Buddhism 27

Buddhism:

Two major extant branches of Buddhism are generally recognized by scholars: Theravada ("The School of the Elders") and Mahayana ("The Great Vehicle"). Vajrayana , a body of teachings attributed to Indian siddhas , may be viewed as a third branch or merely a part of Mahayana. Theravada has a widespread following in Sri Lanka and Southeast Asia. Mahayana which includes the traditions of Pure Land, Zen, Nichiren Buddhism, Shingon , and Tiantai ( Tendai ) is found throughout East Asia. Tibetan Buddhism, which preserves the Vajrayana teachings of eighth century India, is practiced in regions surrounding the Himalayas, Mongolia and Kalmykia . Buddhists number between an estimated 488 million and 535 million, making it one of the world's major religions. Buddhism 28

Buddhism:

In Theravada Buddhism, the ultimate goal is the attainment of the sublime state of Nirvana, achieved by practicing the Noble Eightfold Path (also known as the Middle Way), thus escaping what is seen as a cycle of suffering and rebirth. Mahayana Buddhism instead aspires to Buddhahood via the bodhisattva path, a state wherein one remains in this cycle to help other beings reach awakening. Tibetan Buddhism aspires to Buddhahood or rainbow body. Buddhism 29

Buddhism:

Buddhism denies a creator deity and posits that mundane deities such as Mahabrahma are misperceived to be a Creator. The foundations of Buddhist tradition and practice are the Three Jewels: the Buddha , the Dharma (the teachings), and the Sangha (the community). Taking "refuge in the triple gem" has traditionally been a declaration and commitment to being on the Buddhist path, and in general distinguishes a Buddhist from a non-Buddhist. Buddhism 30

Buddhism:

Within Buddhism, Samsara is defined as the continual repetitive cycle of birth and death that arises from ordinary beings' grasping and fixating on a self and experiences. Specifically, samsara refers to the process of cycling through one rebirth after another within the six realms of existence, where each realm can be understood as physical realm or a psychological state characterized by a particular type of suffering. Samsara arises out of avidya (ignorance) and is characterized by dukkha (suffering, anxiety, dissatisfaction). In the Buddhist view, liberation from samsara is possible by following the Buddhist path. Buddhism 31

Hinduism:

Hinduism is a religion, or a way of life, found most notably in India and Nepal. Although Hinduism contains a broad range of philosophies, it is a family of linked religious cultures bound by shared concepts, recognisable rituals, cosmology, shared textual resources, pilgrimage to sacred sites and the questioning of authority. It includes various denominations each with an interwoven diversity of beliefs and practices. Hinduism 32

Hinduism:

Hinduism 33  Hinduism has been called the "oldest religion" in the world, and some practitioners and scholars refer to it as Sanātana Dharma , "the eternal law" or the "eternal way" beyond human origins. Scholars regard Hinduism as a fusion or synthesis of various Indian cultures and traditions, with diverse roots and no founder. This "Hindu synthesis" started to develop between 500 BCE and 300 CE, after the Vedic times. Hinduism prescribes the eternal duties, such as honesty, refraining from injuring living beings (ahimsa), patience, forbearance, self-restraint, compassion, among others.

Hinduism:

Hinduism 34 Prominent themes in Hindu beliefs include (but are not restricted to), the four Puruṣārthas , the proper goals or aims of human life, namely : Dharma (ethics/duties), Artha (prosperity/work), Kama (emotions/sexuality) and Moksha (liberation/freedom); karma (action, intent and consequences), samsara (cycle of rebirth), and the various Yogas (paths or practices to attain moksha ). Hindu practices include rituals such as puja (worship) and recitations, meditation, family-oriented rites of passage, annual festivals, and occasional pilgrimages. Some Hindus leave their social world and material possessions, then engage in lifelong Sannyasa (ascetic practices) to achieve moksha .

Hinduism:

Hinduism 35 Hindu texts are classified into Shruti ("heard") and Smriti ("remembered"). These texts discuss theology, philosophy, mythology, Vedic yajna , Yoga and agamic rituals and temple building, among other topics. Major scriptures include the Vedas and Upanishads, the Bhagavad Gita , and the Agamas. With approximately one billion followers, Hinduism is the world's third largest religion by population, and the majority religion in India, Nepal and Bali (Indonesia).

Hinduism:

Hinduism 36 In India the term dharma is preferred, which is broader than the western term "religion". Hindu traditionalists prefer to call it Sanatana Dharma (the eternal or ancient dharma). Hinduism includes a diversity of ideas on spirituality and traditions, but has no ecclesiastical order, no unquestionable religious authorities, no governing body, no prophet(s) nor any binding holy book; Hindus can choose to be polytheistic, pantheistic, monotheistic, monistic, agnostic, atheistic or humanist. Because of the wide range of traditions and ideas covered by the term Hinduism, arriving at a comprehensive definition is difficult. The religion "defies our desire to define and categorize it". Hinduism has been variously defined as a religion, a religious tradition, a set of religious beliefs, and "a way of life."

Hinduism:

Hinduism 37 Hinduism as it is commonly known can be subdivided into a number of major currents. Of the historical division into six darsanas (philosophies), two schools, Vedanta and Yoga, are currently the most prominent. Classified by primary deity or deities, four major Hinduism modern currents are Vaishnavism (Vishnu), Shaivism (Shiva), Shaktism (Devi) and Smartism (five deities treated as same). Hinduism also accepts numerous divine beings, with many Hindus considering the deities to be aspects or manifestations of a single impersonal absolute or ultimate reality or God, while some Hindus maintain that a specific deity represents the supreme and various deities are lower manifestations of this supreme.

Paganism:

Paganism 38 Paganism is a term that developed among the Christian community of southern Europe during late antiquity to describe religions other than their own, Judaism, or Islam–the three Abrahamic religions. Throughout Christendom, it continued to be used, typically in a derogatory sense. In the 19th century, it was re-adopted as a self-descriptor by members of various artistic groups inspired by the ancient world. In the 20th century, it came to be applied as a self-description by practitioners of contemporary pagan, or neo-pagan, religious movements.

Paganism:

Paganism 39 Once monotheistic religions, such as Christianity and Islam, started to become more prominent (in processes known as Christianization and Islamization ), names to encompass polytheistic worshipers started to develop; some of these include Hellene, pagan, and heathen, and at times these names were used as slurs. Modern knowledge of old pagan religions comes from several sources, including: anthropological field research records, the evidence of archaeological artifacts, and the historical accounts of ancient writers regarding cultures known to the classical world.

Paganism:

Paganism 40 Paganus acquired its religious connotations by the mid-4th century. As early as the 5th century, paganos was metaphorically used to denote persons outside the bounds of the Christian community. Following the sack of Rome by pagan Visigoths just over fifteen years after the Christian persecution of paganism under Theodosius I, murmurs began to spread that the old gods had taken greater care of the city than the Christian God. In response, Augustine of Hippo wrote De Civitate Dei Contra Paganos ('The City of God against the Pagans'). In it, he contrasted the fallen "city of Man" to the "city of God" of which all Christians were ultimately citizens. Hence, the foreign invaders were "not of the city" or "rural".

Paganism:

Paganism 41 Paganism came to be equated by Christians with a sense of hedonism, representing those who are sensual, materialistic, self-indulgent, unconcerned with the future, and uninterested in sophisticated religion. Pagans were usually described within this worldly stereotype, especially among those drawing attention to what they perceived as the limitations of paganism. Thus G. K. Chesterton wrote: "The pagan set out, with admirable sense, to enjoy himself. By the end of his civilization he had discovered that a man cannot enjoy himself and continue to enjoy anything else."

Paganism:

Paganism 42 Prudence Jones and Nigel Pennick in their A History of Pagan Europe (1995) classify pagan religions as characterized by the following traits: Polytheism : Pagan religions recognise a plurality of divine beings, which may or may not be considered aspects of an underlying unity (the soft and hard polytheism distinction) " Nature-Based " : Pagan religions have a concept of the divinity of Nature, which they view as a manifestation of the divine, not as the "fallen" creation found in Dualistic cosmology. " Sacred Feminine ": Pagan religions recognize "the female divine principle", identified as "the Goddess" (as opposed to individual goddesses) beside or in place of the male divine principle as expressed in the Abrahamic God.

Paganism:

Paganism 43 In modern times, "Heathen" and "Heathenry" are increasingly used to refer to those branches of neopaganism inspired by the pre-Christian religions of the Germanic, Scandinavian and Anglo-Saxon peoples. In Iceland, the members of Ásatrúarfélagið account for 0.4% of the total population, which is just over a thousand people. In Lithuania, many people practice Romuva , a revived version of the pre-Christian religion of that country.

Atheism:

Atheism 44 Atheism is, in a broad sense, the rejection of belief in the existence of deities. In a narrower sense, atheism is specifically the position that there are no deities. Most inclusively, atheism is the absence of belief that any deities exist. Atheism is contrasted with theism, which, in its most general form, is the belief that at least one deity exists. The term "atheism" originated from the Greek ἄθεος ( atheos ), meaning "without god(s)", used as a pejorative term applied to those thought to reject the gods worshiped by the larger society.

Atheism:

Atheism 45 The first individuals to identify themselves using the word "atheist" lived in the 18th century during the Age of Enlightenment. The French Revolution, noted for its "unprecedented atheism," witnessed the first major political movement in history to advocate for the supremacy of human reason. Arguments for atheism range from the philosophical to social and historical approaches. Rationales for not believing in deities include arguments that there is a lack of empirical evidence; the problem of evil; the argument from inconsistent revelations; the rejection of concepts that cannot be falsified; and the argument from nonbelief .

Atheism:

Atheism 46 There is no one ideology or set of behaviors to which all atheists adhere. Since conceptions of atheism vary, accurate estimations of current numbers of atheists are difficult. Several comprehensive global polls on the subject have been conducted by Gallup International: their 2015 poll featured over 64,000 respondents and indicated that 11% were "convinced atheists" whereas an earlier 2012 poll found that 13% of respondents were "convinced atheists." An older survey by the BBC, in 2004, recorded atheists as comprising 8% of the world's population. Other older estimates have indicated that atheists comprise 2% of the world's population, while the irreligious add a further 12%.

Atheism:

Atheism 47 In practical or pragmatic atheism, also known as apatheism , individuals live as if there are no gods and explain natural phenomena without reference to any deities. The existence of gods is not rejected, but may be designated unnecessary or useless; gods neither provide purpose to life, nor influence everyday life, according to this view.

Atheism:

Atheism 48 Practical atheism can take various forms: Absence of religious motivation—belief in gods does not motivate moral action, religious action, or any other form of action; Active exclusion of the problem of gods and religion from intellectual pursuit and practical action; Indifference—the absence of any interest in the problems of gods and religion; or Unawareness of the concept of a deity.

Atheism:

Atheism 49 Atheistic thought found recognition in a wide variety of other, broader philosophies, such as existentialism, objectivism, secular humanism, nihilism, anarchism, logical positivism, Marxism, feminism, and the general scientific and rationalist movement. In addition, state atheism emerged in Eastern Europe and Asia during that period, particularly in the Soviet Union under Vladimir Lenin and Joseph Stalin, and in Communist China under Mao Zedong. Atheist and anti-religious policies in the Soviet Union included numerous legislative acts, the outlawing of religious instruction in the schools, and the emergence of the League of Militant Atheists.

Agnosticism:

Agnosticism 50 Agnosticism is the view that, the truth values of certain claims – especially metaphysical and religious claims such as whether God, the divine or the supernatural exist – are unknown and perhaps unknowable. According to the philosopher William L. Rowe: "In the popular sense of the term, an agnostic is someone who neither believes nor disbelieves in God, whereas an atheist disbelieves in God." Agnosticism is a doctrine or set of tenets rather than a religion as such. Thomas Henry Huxley, an English biologist, coined the word "agnostic" in 1869.

Agnosticism:

Agnosticism 51 Agnostic (from Ancient Greek ἀ- (a-), meaning "without", and γνῶσις ( gnōsis ), meaning "knowledge") was used by Thomas Henry Huxley in a speech at a meeting of the Metaphysical Society in 1869 to describe his philosophy, which rejects all claims of spiritual or mystical knowledge. Early Christian church leaders used the Greek word gnosis (knowledge) to describe "spiritual knowledge". Agnosticism is not to be confused with religious views opposing the ancient religious movement of Gnosticism in particular; Huxley used the term in a broader, more abstract sense. Huxley identified agnosticism not as a creed but rather as a method of skeptical, evidence-based inquiry.

Agnosticism:

Agnosticism 52 Agnosticism has sometimes been divided into two categories in academic and philosophical treatment: Strong Agnosticism (also called "hard", "closed", "strict", or "permanent agnosticism")   The view that the question of the existence or nonexistence of a deity or deities, and the nature of ultimate reality is unknowable by reason of our natural inability to verify any experience with anything but another subjective experience. A strong agnostic would say, "I cannot know whether a deity exists or not, and neither can you." Weak Agnosticism (also called "soft", "open", "empirical", or "temporal agnosticism")   The view that the existence or nonexistence of any deities is currently unknown but is not necessarily unknowable; therefore, one will withhold judgment until evidence, if any, becomes available. A weak agnostic would say, "I don't know whether any deities exist or not, but maybe one day, if there is evidence, we can find something out."

Agnosticism:

Agnosticism 53 Aristotle, Anselm, Aquinas, and Descartes presented arguments attempting to rationally prove the existence of God. The skeptical empiricism of David Hume, the antinomies of Immanuel Kant, and the existential philosophy of Søren Kierkegaard convinced many later philosophers to abandon these attempts, regarding it impossible to construct any unassailable proof for the existence or non-existence of God.

Agnosticism:

Agnosticism 54 Agnostic views are as old as philosophical skepticism, but the terms agnostic and agnosticism were created by [Thomas Henry] Huxley to sum up his thoughts on contemporary developments of metaphysics about the "unconditioned" (William Hamilton) and the "unknowable" (Herbert Spencer). Though Huxley began to use the term "agnostic" in 1869, his opinions had taken shape some time before that date. In a letter of September 23, 1860, to Charles Kingsley, Huxley discussed his views extensively: “I neither affirm nor deny the immortality of man. I see no reason for believing it, but, on the other hand, I have no means of disproving it. I have no a priori objections to the doctrine. “

Agnosticism:

Agnosticism 55 Robert G. Ingersoll , an Illinois lawyer and politician who evolved into a well-known and sought-after orator in 19th-century America, has been referred to as the "Great Agnostic". In an 1896 lecture titled Why I Am An Agnostic, Ingersoll related why he was an agnostic: “Is there a supernatural power—an arbitrary mind—an enthroned God—a supreme will that sways the tides and currents of the world—to which all causes bow? I do not deny. I do not know—but I do not believe. I believe that the natural is supreme—that from the infinite chain no link can be lost or broken—that there is no supernatural power that can answer prayer—no power that worship can persuade or change—no power that cares for man.”

Agnosticism:

Agnosticism 56 Raised in a religious environment, Charles Darwin studied to be an Anglican clergyman. While eventually doubting parts of his faith, Darwin continued to help in church affairs, even while avoiding church attendance. Darwin stated that it would be "absurd to doubt that a man might be an ardent theist and an evolutionist".

Apostacy:

Apostacy 57 Apostasy (/ əpɒstəsi /; Greek: ἀποστασία ( apostasia ), "a defection or revolt") is the formal disaffiliation from, or abandonment or renunciation of a religion by a person. It can also be defined within the broader context of embracing an opinion contrary to one's previous beliefs. One who commits apostasy (or who apostatizes ) is known as an apostate . The term apostasy is used by sociologists to mean renunciation and criticism of, or opposition to, a person's former religion, in a technical sense and without pejorative connotation.

Apostacy:

Apostacy 58 The term is occasionally also used metaphorically to refer to renunciation of a non-religious belief or cause, such as a political party, brain trust, or a sports team. Apostasy is generally not a self-definition: very few former believers call themselves apostates because of the negative connotation of the term. Many religious groups and some states punish apostates. Apostates may be shunned by the members of their former religious group or subjected to formal or informal punishment. This may be the official policy of the religious group or may simply be the voluntary action of its members. Certain churches may in certain circumstances excommunicate the apostate, while some religious scriptures demand the death penalty for apostates.

Apostacy:

Apostacy 59 Historically, apostasy was considered a criminal offense in many societies, commonly likened with the crimes of treason, desertion, or mutiny. For instance, European converts from Christianity to Islam who sought refuge in the Barbary States or in the Ottoman Empire were termed "renegades" in the history of that region. As of 2014, only Muslim countries criminalize public apostasy, and their apostasy laws only concern apostasy from Islam, citing Islamic law as justification. Of these countries, 11 were located in the Middle East. No country in the Americas or Europe had any law forbidding the renunciation of a religious belief or restricting the freedom to choose one's religion. Furthermore, across the globe, no country with Christian, Buddhist, Hindu, Jewish, agnostic or atheist majority had any criminal or civil laws forbidding or encouraging apostasy, or had laws restricting an individual's right to convert from one religion to another.

Apostacy:

Apostacy 60 The following countries have criminal statutes that forbid apostasy or prosecute it under other laws: Afghanistan, Algeria, Brunei, Comoros, Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Malaysia, Maldives, Mauritania, Morocco, Nigeria, Oman, Pakistan, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, United Arab Emirates, and Yemen.

Apostacy:

Apostacy 61 A few Islamic majority nations, not in the above list, prosecute apostasy even though they do not have apostasy laws, and only have blasphemy laws. In these nations, there is no general agreement or legal code to define "blasphemy". The lack of definition and legal vagueness has been used to include apostasy as a form of blasphemy. For example, in Indonesia, apostasy is indirectly covered under 156(a) of the Penal Code and 1965 Presidential edict, the phrase used in the Blasphemy Law is penyalahgunaan dan / atau penodaan agama, meaning "to misuse or disgrace a religion". Persons accused of blasphemy have included murtad (apostate), kafir (non-Muslim/unbeliever), aliran sesat (deviant group), sesat (deviant), or aliran kepercayaan (mystical believers). Indonesia has invoked blasphemy laws to address crimes of riddah (apostasy); zandaqah (heresy); nifaq (hypocrisy); and kufr (unbelief).

Apostacy:

Apostacy 62 Islamic activists have demanded, and state prosecutors have proposed, punishments ranging from prison sentences to death for such crimes. From 1985 to 2006, the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom listed a total of four cases of execution for apostasy in the Muslim world: one in Sudan in 1985; two in Iran, in 1989 and 1998; and one in Saudi Arabia in 1992.

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Questions & Answers 63

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