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Philosophy of Transcendence: Selected Problems

Series:

Jana Trajtelová

Does God exist? Is it meaningful to speak of the Infinite or the Absolute? What is to be understood by concepts such as soul, spirit, or love? Are religious truths philosophically relevant and philosophically tenable? The reflective critical thinking of philosophy tries to embrace each side of human reality, even the matters and themes which arise out of the religious experience. This auxiliary textbook intends to present several selected topics of the philosophy of religion and it is primarily intended for bachelor students of philosophy.

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1. God in Philosophical Thinking

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  God – rationality – atheism – philosophical proof – mysticism   The refl ective thinking of philosophy tries to critically grasp every aspect of human reality, as well as mat- ters and themes of religious belief. The motives and approaches of individual schools or thinkers can be dif- ferent, ranging from apologetics and the setting out of one’s  own belief and attitudes, to a  criticism or an accusation of religion. Positivists, for example, are con- vinced that the word God does not have any positive meaning as it does not relate to anything real, and thus it is pointless to indulge any discussions on it (similarly with regard to other concepts – spirit, soul, and the like). The fact is however, philosophy deals with all of dimen- sions of human reality – it thematizes, problematizes, critically judges, constantly asks, formulates theories and meaningful hypotheses – also in relation to a “sub- ject”, which normally represents the domain of personal 14 belief. J. Schmidt is even convinced that the theme of “God” forms an entirely fundamental and separate fi eld of philosophy as it relates to asking the most important existential questions (Schmidt, 2008, p. 19). The philosophy of religion today does not only refl ect specifi c religious conceptions or theology, but also scien- tifi c research on religion (e.g. religionistics, the sociology and psychology of religion, and cultural-anthropological research) and its various specifi c issues (e.g. cosmological hypotheses concerning the arguments for or against the existence of God), whereby it critically judges and inte- grates this research while...

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