The reach and relevance of philosophy must be studied within a theology as in a philosophy of culture. As an important element of the Western civilization, philosophy shares in the sacramental character of all Spiritualization. Indeed, if the incarnation of God implies the divinization of all human cooperation, the philosophical mode of seeking truth certainly participates in the thearchic search for ultimate union. To what extent historically developed forms of philosophy have in fact revealed God's truth %u2015 albeit in approximative and tainted forms has been amply debated in early and medieval Christianity (Ross, 1989). It remains an important question within any serious dialogue with non-Christian intellectuals.

Indeed, people are interested, of course, especially in whether there is any argument that will prove God's existence to everyone. Such an argument has apparently not yet been invented. It is known that teleological argument for God's existence belongs to mind by its own intrinsic nature, and it does not belong to mere matter by its own intrinsic nature. The belief that God exists shall be construed, as there exists a person without a body  who is eternal, is perfectly free, omnipotent, omniscient, perfectly good, and the creator of all things (Williams, 1990). Besides, teleological explanations of intentional goal-directed activities are always understood as reducible to causal explanations with intentions as causes.

Teleological arguments are typically motivated by the riddle of existence. The perennial question, why is there something rather than nothing, stands behind these arguments. What teleological arguments assume is that this question is meaningful and that there is a good answer to the question. Since the universe is a contingent existent, it must have an explanation outside of itself (Jame, 1969); its existence is dependent upon something else. The universe will not be explained simply by saying that it popped into existence uncaused or by saying that it has existed forever. Even if it has existed forever, by the principle of sufficient reason there still must be a sufficient reason for its existing forever. This can be made more understandable if one recognizes that our beliefs are logically interrelated and that our deepest commitments about the nature of reality affect many of our believes. If one is deeply committed to belief in God, then a teleological proof will be so obvious as to be redundant. One may already believe in God's necessary existence, that is, that God's nonexistence is impossible (Ross, 1989).

Concerning the philosophy of God, theology can treat it as a question about the freedom of the human intellect in its attempts to discover truth by means of its own capacities. Within the theological framework, an answer presupposes an analysis of the relations between human freedom, on the one hand, and creation, sin, redemption, resurrection, and divinization, on the other hand. As created, human freedom is called to well-being and well-doing with regard to the existing universe. Born to be concerned, all humans are primarily free to obey the unchosen demands of their innate responsibility. The initiatives and the adventures we dare to face, the conquests and discoveries we achieve, all of the procedures and products through which we prove our creatural kind of freedom are secondary to a responsibility that precedes and rules our desires for becoming "masters and owners" of nature and history.

Next, a theology of historical cultures cannot isolate creation from sin and redemption. The philosophical praxis of Christians and non-Christians participates not only in the general contamination and darkening of human intelligence, but also in the healing and elevating cooperation of the Spirit whose traces are found among all nations. We need grace to overcome the attractions of arrogance and self-invented perfection. Thanks to our faith, responding to the Spirit's inspiration replaces faith in philosophical autarchy with a more humble attitude towards the suggestions of a tradition in which we can feel at home even if we have not first deduced its truth from self-certified principles (Jame, 1969).

Then, let us consider suffering. The human word about suffering is that it is real. Pain is relative, of course. There is suffering, and then there is that descent into darkness, which few of us have faced, but which we know is there: the pain of a mother and father whose 30-year-old son is dying of AIDS; the tears of the wife and children of a man tortured by terrorists; the suffering of the college student so lonely he takes his life; the pain of the professional who has spent years preparing for a task he cannot do or cannot stand to do; the pain of theolder person who regrets the past; and the agony of the young afraid of the future. On and on we could catalogue such moments. We know the depth of human anguish. However, if this is the human word on suffering%u2015that it is real%u2015what is the divine word? It is a word of hope growing out of the picture of God as caring father. Let us be careful lest we cry “hope” superficially, lest we cry “hope” where there is no hope.

The hope does not lie in the elimination of suffering. We know better than that. Nor does it lie in the intellectual understanding of suffering. We know better than that. Rather, the hope this picture suggests is the hope in suffering shared (Williams, 1990). The religious affirmation is that we never face the valley alone, that the ultimate source of life is a shepherding father who is present in our darkest night, enabling us to walk and not faint.

 The word of hope is this picture of God as father who cares. Admittedly, because he cares, our suffering is not borne alone. Process thinkers have expressed this in a variety of ways. Whitehead: “God is the great companion%u2015the fellow-sufferer who understands”. Alan Gragg: God is the “Cosmic Sufferer” who feels “supreme sympathy for the agonies of all creatures”. Nicolas Berdyaev: “We can only reconcile ourselves to the tragedy of the world, because God suffers in it too. God shares his creatures' destiny”. Finally, the moving words of Jame himself: “I have no Christology to offer, beyond the simple suggestion that Jesus appears to be the supreme symbol [picture] furnished to us by history of... a God genuinely and literally “sympathetic” . . . receiving into his own experience the sufferings as well as the joys of the world” (Jame, 1969).

In conclusion, it should be noticed that, although, there are no proofs of God's existence, there is nonetheless evidence for the existence of God and the philosophy of God. There are no proofs, but there is evidence. Furthermore, the fact that other rational people disagree in their estimations of the evidence does not entail that the theist is irrational. If this were true, then it would also follow that the nontheist is irrational, because the theist disagrees with him. The simple fact of rational disagreement does not mean that the theist does not have good evidence for his belief.

Need more Philosophy Essay Examples?

Related essays

  1. Naturalism and Influence on Physical Programs
  2. Free Will according to Kant
  3. Philosophy Assignment
  4. Friedrich Nietzsche
Discount applied successfully