Why Do People Believe in God? 

Why Do People Believe in God? 

God is a “fiction” created by the human person, a delusion.

An Initial Conclusion about “the Soul” (IV. God’s Presence to Our Consciousness)

An Initial Conclusion about “the Soul” (IV. God’s Presence to Our Consciousness)

In previous posts, we investigated our consciousness of God.  In this post, we now we bring our third topic of “God’s Presence to Our Consciousness” to a close.

Newman and the Divine Origin of Conscience – Part 2 (III.B God’s Presence to Our Consciousness )

Newman and the Divine Origin of Conscience – Part 2 (III.B God’s Presence to Our Consciousness )

Continuing our discussion of Newman's argument from conscience, we may summarize Newman’s thought on this matter. First, he claims that he does not believe in conscience any more than he believes in his consciousness; he is directly aware of them, for consciousness is intrinsic to his awareness of everything – including his own existence, and conscience is intrinsic to his consciousness, presenting him with an awareness of interpersonal relationship and authority.

Newman and the Divine Origin of Conscience - Part 1 (III.B God’s Presence to Our Consciousness)

Newman and the Divine Origin of Conscience - Part 1 (III.B God’s Presence to Our Consciousness)

In earlier posts, we discussed other versions of the argument from conscience. John Henry Newman brought this line of thought to a new level about eighty years later. Though he borrows the general structure of “existential inference” from Kant, he shifts the emphasis from an “obligation-imposing Subject outside ourselves” to an “interpersonal, caring, fatherly authority who is the source of goodness and law.”

Kant and the Divine Origin of Conscience (III.A: God’s Presence to Our Consciousness )

Kant and the Divine Origin of Conscience (III.A: God’s Presence to Our Consciousness )

The thinkers from our last post presume the existence of God, and attempt to show that the good we know in our conscience comes from God.

Kant & Newman on the Divine Origin of Conscience (III: God’s Presence to Our Consciousness )

Kant & Newman on the Divine Origin of Conscience (III: God’s Presence to Our Consciousness )

The transcendent reality has frequently been identified as the source of the good – the good in itself and the good in human consciousness.

The Anxiety of “Non-Religious Man” Part 2 (II.C: God’s Presence to Our Consciousness )

The Anxiety of “Non-Religious Man” Part 2 (II.C: God’s Presence to Our Consciousness )

What can we expect to result from the decline of religion in the world? Resuming where we left off, the statistical verification of the positive effects of religion on the human psyche supports Eliade’s and existentialists’ predictions about the alienation of many nonreligious people.

The Anxiety of “Non-Religious Man” Part 1 (II.C: God’s Presence to Our Consciousness)

The Anxiety of “Non-Religious Man” Part 1 (II.C: God’s Presence to Our Consciousness)

Up to now, we have been summarizing Eliade’s findings about religion in what he calls “traditional man." Recall that this term signifies the mindset of people prior to the time when scientific and Enlightenment viewpoints became dominant among certain groups in Western Europe (around the 18th century). But how does the decline of religion in the modern day affect man?

Homo Religiosus ( II.B: God’s Presence to Our Consciousness)

Homo Religiosus ( II.B: God’s Presence to Our Consciousness)

Famous sociologist Mircea Eliade coined the term homo religiosus to describe a kind of person who shares particular attitudes with all people of faith.

Common Elements in Cross-Cultural Religious Expression - Part 3 (II.A: God’s Presence to Our Consciousness)

Common Elements in Cross-Cultural Religious Expression - Part 3 (II.A: God’s Presence to Our Consciousness)

Eliade made a most remarkable discovery – namely that for more than four millennia, human beings from virtually every culture around the world yearned for and sought the sacred.

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