What are the Subjects of Christian Philosophy? What is the Subject of Christian Philosophy?June 28, 2021
Christian philosophy is a nomenclature used for Western philosophy in the process that began with the emergence of Christianity and continued until the 15th century.
Subjects of Christian Philosophy
– The Problem of Proof of God’s Existence
The basis of this problem, which is shaped by showing evidence for the existence of God in Christian philosophy, is based on the proofs of God in the philosophy of the 6th century BC – 2nd century AD. These ontological and cosmological proofs have also been used in Islamic philosophy.
ontological proof; It derives from the concept of God and is logically aimed at proving its existence. This way of proof, put forward by Anselmus in Christian philosophy, states that God’s presence in the human mind, in a sense that cannot be thought and conceived more fully, is proof that God exists. From this point of view, he concludes that God exists absolutely.
Cosmological argument; Based on the idea that everything has a cause, he says that all beings in the universe exist because of a being before it. Going back, it logically argues that there must be a first being and that that being is God. This way of proof was put forward by Thomas of Aquinas under the influence of Aristotle’s first cause view.
– Evil Problem
When considering the problem of evil, good and bad or sin and goodness in general need to be explained. The main problem is “If God exists, is omnipotent and wants the good of man, why does he not prevent or remove evil in the world?” It is shaped around questions such as:
The problem of evil is associated with many problems in Christian philosophy. Evil is presented as proof that God does not exist in the problem of proof for the existence of God. If God does not remove evil and evil exists, then there have been those who have concluded that God does not exist. This inference is; When he first accepted the existence of God and finally reached the conclusion that there is no God, he was criticized as being weak.
According to Christianity, God; He is the only being who commands people to do good, wants them to stay away from evil, and creates everything. In this respect, various explanations have been given to the problem of evil in Christian philosophy. Among these, the statements of Augustinus and Thomas of Aquinas come to the fore.
Augustine states that God always commands the good, but also allows man the freedom to choose good or evil by giving will. Evil comes from a weakness of will. Hz. He points out that even Adam was expelled from heaven as a result of reaching out to something forbidden, and states that God did not create man as a puppet. In this respect, the problem of evil is also closely related to the problem of fate and free will. The fact that destiny is known by God and not known by man raises the problem of free will. Augustine considers the fact that man does not know his destiny as the realization of free will.
According to Thomas of Aquinas, evil is the result of weakness of will, resulting from the lack or lack of good. He was influenced by Ibn Sînâ in his views and synthesized Avicenna’s views with Augustine’s teaching. According to Ibn Sînâ, the Creator created the universe perfectly. Evil arises from the imperfect man’s lack of virtue. Also, the bad is necessary for the understanding of the good.
– Immortality of Soul Problem
“Is man made of only body or body and soul?” The question was also posed to Christian philosophy. In Christian philosophy, the dualist perspective on the soul and body has been generally accepted. In the philosophy and theology of this period, the understanding of “changing and mortal body” and “unchanging and immortal soul” is the basic acceptance. The soul was created independent of the body and before the body. The soul, which is not a material structure; immutable, eternal and immortal. The soul has departed from God and will return to him. The opposition of body and soul is also proof of the immortality of the soul. According to Augustine, man, who consists of soul and body, leaves only his body in this world and goes to the next world with his soul. According to him, the soul is immortal.
– The Problem of Universals
In the sense of the term, universal is used to denote general concepts that include all individuals of a particular class. There have been deep discussions in philosophy about what universals are and where they are found.
The discussion of universals generally occurs in Plato and Aristotle’s understanding of being. According to Plato, universals, that is, ideas, are not in individual objects, but in the nature of a separate existence. In Aristotle, on the other hand, universals considered as essences are within the scope of objects themselves. The discussion of universals based on these ideas was reinterpreted by considering the existence of God in the 2nd – 15th century AD. Three views emerged in the discussion of universals (Figure 2.1).
Prepared by: Sociologist Ömer YILDIRIM
Source: Omer YILDIRIM’s Personal Lecture Notes. Atatürk University Sociology Department 1st Year “Introduction to Philosophy” and 2nd, 3rd, 4th Grade “History of Philosophy” Lecture Notes (Ömer YILDIRIM); Open