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  • Created on: 28-04-16 23:52


·Attempts to show the shift in philosophical thinking – form philosophising and God to philosophising about religion.

·Focus now on social and psychological phenomenon of religion, rather than the existence of God (as in classical arguments).

·Follows the shift from Kant and Hume to Marx, Kierkegaard and Nietzsche.

·Ultimately leads to the philosophy of religion talking about God once again. 

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·Movement towards emergence of modern philosophy of religion came from scholastics and deists.

·Scholastics – reason works harmoniously alongside faith, revelation and authority to help us know God (Aquinas and his five ways + Anselm’s ontological argument).

·DeIists – separates faith from reason, pure reason alone can be used to know God.

·Enlightenment era made people turn to deism – sought freedom of choice (through human reason), religious tolerance (due to religious warfare) and anti-clericalism (to remove the political power of the church).

·Deists aimed to foster moral unity rather than immoral hostility, leading to the shift. 

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·Demonstrates the different ideas of scholastics and deists.

·Kernel: rational element, seeing God as the creator and enforcer of moral law, using pure reason (vital part of religion for desists and scholastics).

·Husk: faith and revelation, considered the miraculous and supernatural elements (rejected by desists, but important to scholastics). 

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·Deplores scholastics and deists as they set up the basis for Kant and Hume, who argue we can’t know God by criticising the classical arguments.

·Hegel held the belief that we can know God but that he is not an object.

To think of God as a being would limit him, rendering him finite

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·Regarded by Westphal as the ‘first post-Kantian’ – undermined the metaphysical foundations of deism and then reformulated it using his moral argument.

·Ontological argument: Kant states existence is not a predicate, only adds reality to the concept (e.g. 10 Thalers).

·Cosmological argument: Kant states a necessary being is beyond our experience, as we are limited to experience of the phenomenal world.

·Produced own argument – categorical imperative would work within the age of reason.

·Religion isn’t necessary for morality (comes from duty), morality leads to region and religion is the recognition of all duties as divine commands.

·Only sees meaning in the morality of religion (kernel), all other elements are fetish-faith e.g. church attendance – unnecessary aid to morality. 

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·Influenced by Kant’s belief in God as a means to an end – Schleiermacher disagreed, stating unity is found in being and living through God.

·Believed the kernel of religion to be ‘feeling’, whereas metaphysics and morality belong to the husk.

·Religion is personal and subjective, concerned with a person’s inner awareness of God (pietist).

·True religions is a sense and taste for the infinite – links to Otto’s numinous experience.

·Numinous experiences are moments of clarity when the world becomes transparent – allows us to see the underlying unity in God.

·Feeling of absolute dependence point to a non-objective ‘whence’. 

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·‘A fork in the road’; while Kant attempted to replace basis of religion, Hume became suspicious of it.

·Cosmological argument: fallacy of hasty generalisation states illogical leaps are made with insufficient evidence.

·Cosmological argument: fallacy of composition states we can’t assume things we have experience apply to the universe as a whole, we have a tendency to look for cause and effect.

·Design argument: world is more like a vegetable than a watch, more likely to be a team of Gods.

·Westphal sets out difference between sceptics (question truth of belief) and suspicions (question whether the belief is genuine).

·People should be suspicious of religious texts and dogmas – Hume suspicious of political, power and eschatological motives behind religion (selfish reasons). 

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·Hume lead on to other suspicious philosophers rejecting both scholastics and deists.

·Marx states religion is used to enforce the bourgeoisie’s power over the proletariat.

·Religion acts as comfort to the working class, which they seek due to their oppression.

·Structure by which inequalities in society are exaggerated – links to desists’ aim to remove authority of church. 

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 Religious people are slaves to morality as they follow rules set out by authority of the church.

·Can be seen in Euthyphro dilemma – if things are good because God commands them, he could decide anything is moral.

·Dawkins – religion indoctrinates people into believing teachings of the Bible, preventing them from forming a rational judgement.

·Slave morality is incongruent with our power-to-will which comes naturally and produces a desire for revenge on our oppressors.

·Rejects kernel and husk of religion as suspicious of motives behind it. 

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·A person’s personal connection with God is most important – like Schleiermacher’s feeling.

·Must take a ‘leap of faith’ in belief past rational thinking to accept ideas above human reasoning.

·Kernel of religion should be compromised for individual’s inner sense of faith – rejects deism. 

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·Westphal is correct in stating that there has been a shift from philosophising about God to religion, and we can therefore no longer talk about God.

·Scholastic and deist movements played a significant role in this progression, causing discussion about the kernel and the husk.

·Leads to implications for both religion and human experience. 

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·Westphal states Hume and Kant have the final word on classical arguments – provide no weight for the existence of God.

·Ayer – verification principle states we can’t verify God and so religious language is meaningless.

·Flew – falsification principle states that ‘God dies the death of a thousand qualifications’ and parable of the gardener shows that believers don’t allow God to be falsified, God is meaningless.

·Aquinas – univocal and equivocal language can’t be used to talk about God as is unrelated / God is on a different level. 

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·Should continue to live without referring to God for an ultimate purpose or meaning, as agreed by Marx, Nietzsche and Dawkins.

·Marx – if taken to be correct, would reject religion leaving the church with a lack of influence over lower class, would provide more equal society without construct of religion.

·Nietzsche- religion should be abandoned; instead embrace life of the Ubermensch, meaning our power-to-will should guide our decisions rather than morality according to God.

·Nietzsche states ‘God is dead’ so morality should focus on human will, consistent with Westphal’s idea of the shift.

·Dawkins – religion is main cause of evil so removing it would take away warfare and indoctrination, leading to a more peaceful existence with humans functioning in society.

·Hume – irrational to expect a divine reward from acting morally, but it is important to act well towards others.

·Moral sense comes from contractual obligation (Hobbes), like the government setting out law for citizens to abide. 

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·Must strive towards the summum bonum, as moral argument replaces classical arguments.

·Humans try to achieve their virtue by acting morally to be rewarded with an afterlife – may lead to people seeking to prove existence of the soul, like Descartes (Cotigo ergo sum).

·Lead to a focus on moral duty, which would be the same everywhere since rational ethics are universal.

·Society should become more just and moral, since consideration of moral law would replace self-interest.

·Would appeal to Freud – religion is a neurosis form infantile need, so by focusing on morality we can avoid religious practices (husk of religion), compared to compulsive actions.

·Duty would only be successful if followed by everyone, but would lead to reduced poverty and injustice. 

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·Westphal – shift only concerns a small number of philosophers.

·Westphal gives more weight to Kant due to his own belief in God, while Hume’s atheist views are given less consideration.

·Evident there is a shift in the subjects philosophers discuss to talking about strength of human morality or ulterior motives behind religion rather that influence of God – supports Westphal. 

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