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Introduction to Judaeo-Christianity

THE NEW TESTAMENT AND GREEK PHILOSOPHY

Having emerged from the Roman Empire which adopted much of the Ancient Greek tradition, the New
Testament is written in a Hellenistic context ­ it brings Greek philosophy into a Judaeo-Christian
understanding of God. However, whilst this has lead to many…

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THE ANCIENT GREEK AND JUDAEO-CHRISTIAN CONEPT OF GOD

This has lead to very different understandings of God and of the divine. The monotheistic God of
Judaeo-Christianity is concerned with the actions of man and makes demands; he intervenes in the world
and is responsive to human behavior. This is very…

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THE WILL OF GOD
The will of God is required to make physical matter exist, he creates the components of the universe on his
word, according to his whim: `Let there be...' and there is.

GOD AS AN EXPERT BUILDER
Poetic descriptions of God's skill as craftsman of the universe…

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· The soul is released form the body when you die (Dualism)
· The concept of good has helped Christians perceive God as perfect and the source of all goodness
(goodness as an ideal form)

Aristotle's influence on Judaeo-Christian thought

· God is unchanging, eternal, and beyond time and space…

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COMPASSIONATE RESPONSES TO PRAYER
God can also be moved to pity. For example at the beginning of 1 Samuel, Hannah was distraught because
she had no children and asked God for a child in prayer. She conceived a baby boy soon after.

HOSEA
God is affected by the ways in…

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2/ We can all conceive of a perfect being in our minds, however we can also conceive of an even greater
being that exists both in our minds (in intellectu) and in reality (in re)
3/ Beings that exist in both the mind (in intellectu) and reality (in re) are…

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Cosmological Argument

The word `cosmos' refers to the universe as an ordered, harmonious and holistic entity. The Cosmological
argument therefore argues for the existence of God a posteriori based on the apparent order in the universe.

THOMAS AQUINAS
Central to Thomism ­ the life work of St. Thomas Aquinas (1225…

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Russell however refused to accept the notion of a necessary being as one that cannot be thought of not
existing, and concluded that the regress of causal events could not be held responsible for the existence of
everything in the universe:

"what I am saying is that the concept of…

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1. Design qua Purpose ­ the universe was designed to fulfil a purpose
2. Design qua Regularity ­ the universe behaves according to some order

DESIGN QUA PURPOSE
Analogy of the watch:
A man walks across a heath and finds a rock. He attributes the existence of the rock to…

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"Nearly all the things which men are hanged or imprisoned for doing to one another are nature's everyday
performances."

For Mill, there is no intelligent design apparent in the universe and if there is a designer he is either an
incompetent or cruel designer:

"Either there is no God or…

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