The Question of God in Modern Period Philosophy
Keywords: negative theology, theism, pantheism, panentheism, deism, fideism, atheism, agnosticism, theological optimism.
Despite the fact that the characteristic features of the deviation of modern philosophical thinking from the Middle Ages means turning away from the central position of theology and the question of God in reasoning, the issue of God and His knowability has remained important in the modern era. Some philosophers (e.g. F. Bacon) reckoned that God should not be the subject of philosophy, and we should instead focus our reflections on nature. In spite of the diversity of attitudes, generally it can be said that in the modern period God becomes an object of thinking in a new concept – He is an object which can be examined through the examination of nature, or possibly, our own nature.
Analyses of God’s knowability and existence, however, undergo various forms in the modern period: from unknowability, to the complete subordination ← 13 | 14 → of God to reason; from His inevitable existence, to his hypotheticality, or even denial.
Nicolaus Cusanus thematises God through his reflections on mathematical infinity. Cusanus realizes that the attributes commonly attributed to God, such as infinitely gracious, eternal, omniscient, omnipotent, are an application of the infinity attribute to God (Cusa, 1990, 7 – 10). But what is the infinite? Unlike ancient thinkers, who understood the infinite as incompleteness Cusanus perceives it positively – as a limited expression of any quality. However, the limit of the infinite (the maximum and the minimum extent) causes serious...
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