Posts tagged ‘God’

The prophet Isaiah said to the Jewish people, “Be a light unto the nations.”

This is one of the responsibilities of being a Jew. To do this, Jews are directed to study and live by the laws of Moses. These laws are the very will of God.

What do you think it means to be a “light” to other nations? Describe someone or something that is a “light” to you.

from Philosophy for Dummies

  1. The existence of something is intelligible only if it has an explanation.
  2. The existence of the universe is thus either:
    1. unintelligible or
    2. has an explanation
  3. No rational person should accept premise (2.1) by definition of rationality
  4. A rational person should accept (2.2), that the universe has some explanation for its being.
  5. There are only three kinds of explanations:
    1. Scientific: physical conditions plus relevant laws yield the Event explained.
    2. Personal: Explanations that cite desires, beliefs, powers and intentions of some personal agent.
    3. Essential: The essence of the thing to be explained necessitates its existence or qualities (for example, if you ask why a triangle has 3 sides, I would respond that it is the essence and necessity for a triangle to have 3 sides by its definition.
  6. The explanation for the existence of the whole universe can’t be scientific because there can’t be initial physical conditions and laws independent of what is to be explained. Even the Big Bang theory fails to explain the existence of the universe because modern science cannot explain where the original Big Bang singularity came from. The universe as a sum total of all natural conditions and laws cannot be explained unless we have an Archimidean reference point outside the system.
  7. The explanation for the existence of the universe can’t be essential because the universe cannot exist necessarily. This is because, it could have been possible for the universe not to have existed (if the Big Bang had been slightly different it is possible for large-scale structures to not have existed). Thus the universe is not something the must necessarily or essentially exists.
  8. Thus a rational person should believe that the universe has a personal explanation.
  9. No personal agent but God could create the entire universe.
  10. A rational person should believe that there is a God.

According to Christianity, temptation is an obstacle we all face in life. Jesus himself had to deal with temptation from a devil, a spirit that seeks to convince someone to disobey God’s will. The devil asked Jesus to turn a stone into bread and prove his miraculous powers. He offered Jesus all the riches of the world if he would follow him. Jesus said no to these offers.

Do you think temptation is a part of everyone’s life? What kinds of temptation do you face? How do you deal with temptation?

The word Islam means “surrender to the will of God.”

The word Muslim means “one who has surrendered.”

How do you think a deep sense of religious conviction can be seen as surrender?

After his enlightenment, the Buddha passed a man on the road.

This man saw that the Buddha was different from other men.
He asked the Buddha “Are you a god?”
The Buddha replied “No.”
The man continued, “Then are you a magician or a wizard?”
“Are you a man?”
“Then what are you?” said the man.
The Buddha answered, “I am awake.”
Thus he was given his name. Buddha means “The awakened One.”

What do you think the Buddha meant by this answer?

The Buddha was a person and not a god. The lesson of his life is that people can live without suffering in a state of happiness. What can a person do to stop his or her suffering?

Like the Buddha, each person has to experiment to find a way to enlightenment. The first step is to identify habits that interfere with happiness and habits that can help lead to enlightenment.

List your own bothersome bad habits. Also list some good habits of yours that might lead to profound happiness.

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