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by: Jonatan Funk MD


Marketplace > James Madison University > Humanities > GHUM 102 > GOD MEANING MORALITY C2HQC
Jonatan Funk MD
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Iain Maclean

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Iain Maclean
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This 21 page Class Notes was uploaded by Jonatan Funk MD on Saturday September 26, 2015. The Class Notes belongs to GHUM 102 at James Madison University taught by Iain Maclean in Fall. Since its upload, it has received 20 views. For similar materials see /class/214181/ghum-102-james-madison-university in Humanities at James Madison University.

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Date Created: 09/26/15
Vocabulary list it 1 Epistemology Baergen and Chapter II Plato Aristotle four modern theories of perception direct realism representative realism adverbial phenomenalism Direct realism theory of perception that claims that the senses provide us with direct awareness of the external world Direct realism is the view that the immediate direct objects of perception are external objects qualities and events Representative realism states that we do not and cannot perceive the external world as it really is instead we know only our ideas and interpretations of the way the world is An indirect realist believes our ideas of the world are interpretations of sense data derived from a real external world The 17th century philosopher John Locke most prominently advocated this theory Sense Data things of which we are directly aware in perception and that have apparent properties of the objects around us are creatures of a purely mental realm Primary qualities are qualities which are 39explanatorily basic39 explanation for other qualities or phenomena without requiring explanation themselves and they are distinct in that our sensory experience of them resembles them in reality perceive it to be Secondary qualities qualities which one39s experience does not directly resemble for example when one sees an object as red the sensation of seeing redness is not produced by some quality of redness in the object characteristics Adverbial ex We don t bring back a dance in a suitcase adverbs are employed to describe Adverb word that modifies a verb Phenomenalism metaphysical theory view that physical objects do not exist as things in themselves but only as perceptual phenomena or sensory stimuli eg redness softness sweetness etc situated in time and in space Phenomenalism is the view that objects are logical constructions out of perceptual properties Immanuel Kant maintains that our understanding of the external world had its foundations not merely in experience but in both experience and a priori concepts Our brain is not a blank screen but a TV your brain reasons and then shoots back a picture on a screen modern idea of reason Platotwo world theory MetaphysicsOntology Theory of reality What kinds of things exist How many kinds of things are there How are they related to one another Eg do minds exist Numbers God Forms Epistemology Theory of knowledge What is it to know something What kinds of things can we know Plato holds that in a sense there are two separate worlds or realms or to put the point a little more tamely that there are two very different kinds of things ordinary physical objects and Forms What can justify our belief that something is true Plato imagines these two worlds the visible world and the intelligible world as existing on a line that can be divided in the middle the lower part of the line consists of the visible world and the upper part of the line makes up the intelligible world Each half of the line relates to a certain type of knowledge of the visible world we can only have opinion of the intelligible world we achieve quotknowledgequot Visible World shadows reflections Intelligible World beliefs about things in the world Allegory of the Cave The Allegory is related to Plato39s Theory of Forms In the Republic the things we ordinarily perceive in the world are characterized as shadows of the real things which we do not perceive directly That which the observer understands when he views the mimics are the archetypes of the many types and properties that is of universals of things we see all around us The allegory of the cave is an attempt to explain the philosopher39s place in society Socrates prisoner that gets out Theory of forms asserts that Forms or Ideas and not the material world of change known to us through sensation possess the highest and most fundamental kind of reality The forms that we see according to Plato are not real but literally mimic the real Forms Plato held that the world of Forms is separate from our own world the world of substances and also is the true basis of reality Because we have forms in our head we recognize the shadows we see Knowledge versus opinion The real or perfect versus the illusory or imperfect the perfect idea of a thing allows one to see the shadows imperfect objects In the world of forms things do not change they re perfect Aristotle one world Student of Plato empiricist Unlike Plato Aristotle believed in only one world Aristotle rejected Plato s idea of two worlds Plato s view could not explain change But Heraclitus is known for his doctrine of change being central to the universe and that the Logos is the fundamental order of all and in the world of shadows things do change Experience Vocabulary list 2 Epistemology Descartes Spinoza Locke Humanism The renaissance was a period when the authority of the Roman Catholic Church was called into question This took the form of the protestant reformation on the one hand and the rise of humanism a system of though that centers on human beings and their values capacities and worthon the other In the case of humanists the renaissance was largely a replacement of one ancient system with another gtThe system of Aristotle was replaced by views closer to those of Plato etc Rebirth of ancient Greek Descartes Rene 15961650 major figure of rationalism Belief that body and mind are two separate substances Attempts to arrive at a fundamental set of principles that one can know as true without any doubt had a famous quotmethod of doubt an attempt to drive skeptical doubts to their ultimate limits and discover truths that are immune from doubt Not to believe the world as exactly as it appears to the sense But anyone with a little experience learns to quotcorrectquot the way things appear ex Building from afar looks 2 V2 in tall but it s really 50 ft tall Deceivergod theory a deceivergod could cause one to believe all sorts of outrageous things Meditations ft meditation Concerning those things that can be called into doubt The first way that Descartes tries to undermine his beliefs is by considering the fact that he remembers that his senses have deceived him before If I am dreamingdeceived then my beliefs are not true Descartes39 goal is to suspend judgment about any of his beliefs which are even slightly doubtful g meditation concerning the nature of the human being that thinks One s consciousness implies one s existence We only have access to the world of our ideas ideas represent things that are separate from themselves I think therefore lam Thought cannot be separated from me therefore I exist So Descartes concludes that the only indubitable knowledge is that he is a thinking thing Thinking is his essence as it is the only thing about him that cannot be doubted Ex Descartes turns to the example of wax He determines that wax isn39t wax because of its color texture or shape as all of these things can change and the substance still will be wax Therefore he distinguishes between ordinary perception and judgment iii meditation if we can develop clear perceptions then one can know nature of things If we re going to talk about things outside of the self then how does one know they re true What you see corresponds to what is going on Yes because we re seeing things in our minds then there must be some reality to what we re seeing He uses the argument of perception to prove the existence of god gt God guarantees that the pictures we see are real Hallucination we learn from experience what is real To correct perception of reality it also depends on the context Repetition amp context Doctrine of coherence it s got to make sense whatever you perceive Cosmological argument An argument for the existence of a First Cause to the universe and by extension is often used as an argument for the existence of God gtDescartes cosmological argument for the existence of god quotI have an idea of God and therefore God must exist I exist as a thing having an idea of God as a perfect being God could be the cause for to exist as something having an idea of God Three substances only Descartes argues that there are 3 basic substances in the creative order 3 order God 1 God 2 Substances matter 3 Soul mind V Exists outside the world Exists in the world Only two substances exist in the world and God exists outside the world Spinoza Baruch Benedictus 16321677 considered one of the greatest rationalists Believed that body and mind are a single identity Ethics In addition to substance the other two fundamental concepts Spinoza presents and develops in the Ethics are attribute general property of a certain kind that which the intellect perceives as constituting the essence of substance and mode the modifications of substance or that which exists in and is conceived through something other than itself Monism one substance only He contended that everything that exists in NatureUniverse is one Reality substance and there is only one set of rules governing the whole of the reality which surrounds us and of which we are part Spinoza viewed God and Nature as two names for the same reality namely the single substance that is the basis of the universe and of which all lesser quotentitiesquot are actually modes or modifications that all things are determined by Nature to exist and cause effects and that the complex chain of cause and effect is only understood in part That humans presume themselves to have free will he argues is a result of their awareness of appetites while being unable to understand the reasons why they want and act as they do God or nature have infinitely many attributes Materialism Holds that the only thing that can be truly proven to exist is matter All things are composed of materiaand all phenomena including consciousness are the result of material interactions therefore matter is the only substance As a theory materialism belongs to the class of monism Locke John 16321704 first empiricist An empiricist is a philosopher who holds that all ideas concepts are derived from sense experience Just like Descartes Locke accepted a representative theory of perception ideas are mental states and some of them represent objects in the world Essay Concerning Human Understanding ln Locke39s philosophy tabula rasa was the theory that the human mind is at birth a quotblank slatequot without rules for processing data and that data is added and rules for processing are formed solely by one39s sensory experiences The notion is central to Lockean empiricism As understood by Locke tabula rasa meant that the mind of the individual was born quotblankquot and it also emphasized the individual39s freedom to author his or her own soul Each individual was free to define the content of his or her character but his or her basic identity as a member of the human species cannot be so altered It is from this presumption of a free selfauthored mind combined with an immutable human nature that the Lockean doctrine of quotnatu ralquot rights derives Empiricists Locke held that all knowledge of objects is based upon experience So when he talks about knowledge of kinds of ordinary objects kinds of substances he maintains this can be known only by experience Tabula rasa Individual human beings are born with no builtin mental content in a word quotblank slatequot and that their entire resource of knowledge is built up gradually from their experiences and sensory perceptions of the outside world Locke argues that when one is born one is born with no inherited ideas One learns by experience Locke makes a clear distinction btw Sensation and making judgments 2 processes Primary qualities vs secondary qualities Primary qualities of objects are those qualities in virtue of which an object is a material object The primary qualities are solidity extension figure and mobility Secondary qualities qualities which include colors heat and cold sounds flavors and so forth Ideas of secondary qualities do no resemble properties in the objects themselves rather they are caused by combinations of objects having only the primary qualities Vocabulary list 3 Truth Epistemology the theory of knowledge It addresses the questions What is knowledge How is knowledge acquired What do people know How do we know what we know Two kinds oftruth empirical and necessary It has been suggested that true statements might be divided into two separate categories 1 true because of the facts and 2 true because of reasoning Ex Of the first one would be that there is no change at all in my pocket Ex Of the second one would be true statements like 224 Truths of reason are called quotnecessary truths Emgirical Truth statement that is true because of the facts true because of experience Empirical truths can only be known to be true once we have actually looked at the world All empirical statements are only contingently true Necessary Truth a statement that is true because of reason quotNecessaryquot is here the opposite of quotcontingentquot we can always imagine what it would be for a contingent truth not to be true We can t make sense out of a necessary truth not being true Rationalism vs empiricism Rationalism knowledge is based on reason Rationalists Rene Descartes Benedict Spinoza Baruch Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz Immanuel Kant Hegel ln ancientmedieval times Aristotle Plato Human reason can provide the final answers to the most basic and essential philosophical questions These answers will all be necessary truths and are to be found within our thinking process Emgiricism knowledge is based on experience Empiricists John Locke Bishop George Berkeley David Hume Empiricists still believe in reason but only in the welldefined activities of calculations and logic They believe that fundamental questions if they can be answered at all will be answered either as trivial statements about the meaning of our words or generalizations based on extensive experience Skepticism Came from the renaissance Set of doubts that we might not actually know the world at all is generally referred to as skepticism Two of the major skeptics were Rene Descartes and David Hume Rene Descartes suspended his beliefs on everything and tried to prove everything with factsproof David Hume believed that the most basic principles of our everyday knowledge as well as the important guiding principles of our lives are without justification Kant39s solution to empiricism of Hume nsisted that we quotconstitutequot or quotset up the world according to a priori rules The world is just the world of our experience nothing quotbeyond quotor quotexternalquot to it The mind Kant suggests imposses its forms and categories on our experience and among these forms and categories are those that provide the presuppositions of our knowledge The presuppositions of our knowledge can be said to be necessarily true because they are rules according to which any experience at all is possible And since they are our rules skepticism about them is utterly pointless Using reason without applying it to experience will only lead to illusions while experience will be purely subjective without first being subsumed under pure reason Three theories oftruth I 39 39 and I a theories Corresgondence theory of truth statement is true if and only if it corresponds to the facts truth or falsity of a statement is determined only by how it relates to the world and whether it accurately describes ie corresponds with that world 9 Socrates Plato and Aristotle ex It s going to be a cold day you take a thermometer and check 2 truths empirical can go and check the truth amp necessary black does not equal white Coherence theory of truth rejects the correspondence theory insisting that the very notion of correspondence to the facts not only fails to account for truth in mathematics and logic but even fails to account for ordinary factual truth What is true is simply that statement or belief which best coheres with or fits into the overall network of our experience and beliefs Truth is within our grasp and that with experience we change our beliefs precisely to grasp it more exactly make statements amp the statements logically point to the objects Pragmatic theory of truth supplements the coherence theory among the reasons for accepting a statement or belief as true is whether it allows us to function better whether it suggest fruitful lines of inquiry to be pursued in the futurewhether it quotworksquot Rationality use of reason With the shift of attention to reasons for believing something to be true the virtue of having good reasons or what we call rationally has become increasingly important Rationality refers to our activities to our methods of finding the truth Rationality means quotthinking and acting in accordance with reason Rationality is thinking with reasons good reasons A good reason must be relevant to the case at hand Rationality depends most of all upon coherence To be rational is to think of as many reasons dig up as many facts and call up as many beliefs as are necessary to provide a comprehensive logical web in support of any given belief Rationality does not require that our beliefs be true Objective versus subjective truth We move further from objective truth truth independent of our personal opinions toward what has sometimes been called subjective truth truth dependent on the subject and his or her beliefs Ex We might say that an entire society s view of the world is subjectively true for that society Subjective truth seems to allow for a different truth a different set of facts for everyone Vocabulary list 4 The Concept of the Self Dualistic view of self Reality consists of two realms that world in which we live the world of Becoming and the realm of Forms the world of Being Pato begins with the observation that human beings tend to judge or evaluate the things they encounter and compare them He argues that in order for such a comparison to be possible there must be some idea concept or perfect pattern against which things in our experience can be compared to For Plato these Forms or ldeas actually exist apart from hat thing or event we are evaluating Argues that these forms are more real than the ordinary objects compared to them They re more real because while the objects we actually perceive are always changing the Forms do not change They remain stable and consistent and wo decay and thereby provide a fixed point or standard by which to compare all things 9Plato conceives the nature of the self in a dualistic manner body and soul Body is material while soul is spiritual 9The existence of the soul is independent from the existence of the material body The body then acts almost like a cage orjail that impedes the soul s understanding of the Forms that comprise the world of being Thus freeing the soul from the hindrance of the body is a goal for those who would be all they can be Soul The only access to knowledge of the realm of Forms for those existing in the world of Becoming is through the rational soul It is the soul which acts as a sort of bridge between these two worlds enabling the self to evaluate to what degree things in this World of Becoming actually quotparticipatequot in the Forms 9Plato believes that there are three distinct parts that make up the soul Appetite spirit and reason Ex A chariot being pulled by two Winged horses One of the horses represents the appetitive part of the soul main concern is pursuit of bodily grati cation such as sex food and drink etc The other horse represents the spirited part of the soul which is noble well bred This horse is What we might term the quotpsychologicalquot human drives such as ambition and anger Itfalls to the charioteer to properly restrain and guide the horses The horses represent the appetites and spirit the charioteer represents the rational part of the soul Aristotle39s rejection of Plato He argued that forms do indeed exist but that they are not separate from the things of this world The forms are the actual properties of things in this world Plato believed that experiences in this world should lead us to contemplate a higher truer reality Aristotle argued that such experiences should lead us to ponder the actual nature of the particular thing Aristotle argued that there is no radical distinction existing between body and soul Instead he held that human beings are unified entities whose bodies and souls are both necessary parts of one whole being 9Aristotle believed that the soul is that llessential property of the human person Aristotle s notion of the soul is that which animates or brings the person to life in the body but cannot exist apartfrom the body Reasoning Aristotle reasons that humans share functions with plants and animal All three perform essential life functions but only human have the unique capacity of the ability to reason Since reasoning is the highest function of the essential quality of the human it follows then that reasoning well is the highest purpose or highest end toward which the self can strive When a person lives a life constituted by excellence in reasoning then he or she will live a life of true happiness eudaemonia Eudaemonia quothappinessquot Aristotle finds the highest purpose of the human being in the embodied soul When a person pursues the highest aim of the soul he or she beings to lead an excellent life or a life of highest possible happiness The Greek term Aristotle used to describe this kind of life was eudaemonia which means llwell being When the soul functions properly eudaemonia results St Augustine 354430 AD nfuenced by Plato If there is evil in the world it s human free will that makes evil possible Augustine suggests that the Forms are immutable eternal ideas that exist in the mind of God As divine ideas they function as Form or patterns of all reality and are therefore the blueprints by which the entire created universe came into existence He argued that these divine eternal forms are the criteria by which all things are compared for evaluation For Augustine the soul is created in God s image therefore one may see God by contemplating his own soul Nothing else is closer to god The more Augustine looked within he believed that people have an inborn propensity to evil that can t be shaken by will power He argued that humans are dependent upon divine illumination for knowledge of the divine forms Vision Dei Augustine believes that God helps those who can t help themselves We subsist in the dark until God graciously tu rns on the lights as it were so that we can behold Him The vision of God visio Dei become for Augustine and the tradition that followed in his wake the highest good of the human soul creatio ex nihilo Augustine s reworking of his Christian Platonist heritage forged a new view of the self The first component of his mature theory of self is the assertion that humans are created beings Augustine taught the doctrine of creation ex nihilo meaning the creation of matter out of nothingness There was no preexisting matter that existed from which God made persons Instead the creation was special not only in the form it took but in the very fact that it exists at all For this reason it was possible for Augustine to affirm not only the matter of creation as valuable but more to the point he was able to affirm the value of the material nature of the human person God as final good or end Augustine believed that the human person has been endowed with a divinely created soul that includes the reason the will and the emotions The soul has two capacities a lower reason and a higher reason The higher reason s goal is not just knowledge for knowledge s sake but rather seeks to order all things under the highest endGod According to Augustine the real self is an embodied self both body and soul that comprises the reflection of the image of God in self asserted in the Biblical record The highest good of existence is god Everything is predestined Hume 17111776 Hume held skeptical views about metaphysics Hume argued that human perceptions of the nature of the universe relied solely upon sense data gathered through experiencethis is the characteristic feature of empiricism However because of the limitations of human sense ability and the inability to apprehend the llcausal links between causes and effects any assertions about reality must be held with a heavy dose of skepticism We can have no perception of a self that exists apart from fallible sense experience and therefore we can have no sure conception of self What we consider to be an actual self is really only a llfictitious second best substitute for genuine identity Look within and can t find a soul or god 9 Things you perceive are based on sensations All we are is animals w different feelingsresponses W can have no knowledge of an essential selfconscious self that remains constant over time Hume accepted two statements that there is an quotexternalquot world existing independently of us and that each of us is only in direct contact with the contents of our mind Kierkegaard He attempted to describe the self in a way that linked one s outward behavior in public life to one s inward beliefs and convictions Argument that while an individual is born a human being made up of body and soul such a description is inadequate to describe what is meant to be a self A human being only truly becomes a self through subjective and inward awareness of the intentions actions attitudes and dispositions that take place in one s life This is the process of selfrealization He argues that there is a third component to the physical and soulish aspects of the self the Spirit is a vision of a possible reality of selfdetermination present in the individual and which pushes towards true selfhood He believes that there is growth in human self He offers a nonsubstantial conception of the self that exists in a state of movement The human being is free to choose his own direction of life 9Kierkegaard distinguishes three modalities that reflect differing stages along the path to becoming a self Aesthetic ethical and religious Aesthetic focused on physical things pursues pleasure and enjoyment Feeling is the standard by which existence and the self are judged Despair is the reality of the human self that we try to mask through pursuits of happiness Ethical also called moral mode keeps rules dresses nicely self that judges life and existence in light of the value system of the society or tradition one finds oneself in Describes an individual who is increasingly becoming aware of an eternal stage of existence as well as his or her own inability to reach it It is only through the promise of forgiveness offered in Christ that one can find the solution to the despair and inability to keep the law The person will try to make a leap of faith to a religious mode of existence Religious leads to complete self realization mode of existence in which a person knows that she cannot assuage the despair on her own nor can she live in light of an eternal reality Yet the spirit drives toward fulfillment of a desire to exist in that mode When embraced through a leap of faith the self exists in a mode of being which is the true goal of human existence and provides the full realization ofsef More of an individual relationship with god Sigmund Freud Believed that there is no soul what one has is the mind He maintained llall phenomena are determined by the laws of physics and chemistry and even man himself is a product of natural evolution ultimately subject to the same laws The first element of the self is that the self is subject to cause and effect relationships Every event of the self is ultimately determined by causal influences He also believed that the mind consists of far more than that which people hold consciously in their memory or active thinking process He believed in a tripartite self in regard o the makeup of the mind A third aspect of Freud s conception is the idea that the self is instinctual and driven by mental forces energizing actions and choices The self must also be understood as a developing self The self is deterministic subconscious driven and developing id ego and superego Three major parts that Freud believes to make up the human mind are id the ego and the super ego The id most of our desires dive forces operating in our life consists of the permanently unconscious appetitive instinctual or primal passions that call out for immediate satisfaction and often conflict with one another causing internal turmoil The ego thinks about consequences is the conscious self quotoccupying a beleaguered middle ground between the disreputable demands of the id and the repressive discipline of the superego The superego is that part of the mind that sets itself over and above the rest of the self It is the part of the mind to which we ascribe the function of conscience and which quotconsists in keeping a watch over the actions and intentions of the ego and judging them in exercising a censorship It is in essence an internal authority that exerts mental pain upon the ego in an attempt to prevent the self from following a course that would lead to either a loss of love or to actual physical punishment JeanPaul Sartre Hed aesthetic assumptions adopted an existentialist foundation similar to that of Kierkegaard Argued that without god there are no limits to what is permitted Self is totally free as if quotabandonedquot to find meaning only in completely free individual choices Existence precedes essence 9 humans have no end goal purpose but instead it s the choices experiences and desires of the individual that define the self The self one becomes is the self one chooses to become throughout the span of life ndividuas are quotfuture selves The self is not a static entity but is in a constant state of becoming Existentialism Philosophical thinking begins with the human subject not merely the thinking subject but the acting feeling living human individual In existentialism the individual39s starting point is characterized by what has been called quotthe existential attitudequot or a sense of disorientation and confusion in the face of an apparently meaningless or absurd world People39s quiet struggle with the apparent meaninglessness of life and the use of diversion to escape from boredom quotbad faithII Because individuals are free and therefore responsible to transcend the facticity of life when they do not Sartre argues they act in quotbad faith Bad faith involves the deliberate creation in myself of the appearance of a belief which I in fact know to be false The reason behind this type of action is to deny at some level responsibility action and quotto avoid facing up to painful facts about ourselves Vocabulary list 5 The Self and the Question of Meaning Meaning of quotmeaningquot What is the meaning of life We should start by asking what is the meaning of quotmeaningquot in this question Sometimes the meaning of something is what it refers to something beyond itself The meaning of each of our lives is whatever our individual lives refer to Numerous answers There are many answers as to the meaning of life There are four answers worth mentioning of the meaning of life Thinking of one s children as the meaning of one s life thinking of God as the meaning of one s life thinking of an afterlife as the meaning of one s life and in despair concluding too quickly that life has no meaning quotLife is Absurdquot There are those who would say that life has no meaning at all If there is no external meaning then there can be no meaning at all Views of lifelisting of Life as a game Life as a story Life as tragedy Life as Comedy Life as a Mission Life as Art Life as an Adventure Life as Disease Life as Desire Life as Nirvana life as Altruism Life as Honor Life as Learning Life as Suffering Life as Investment Life as Relationships a quotView of Lifequot A quotview of life is not acquired as a direct and immediate result of a course of study the reading of books or a communication of results It is wholly a product of the individual s own knowledge of himself as an individual of his individual capabilities and aspirations A view of life is a principle of living a spirit and an attitude capable of maintaining its unity and identity with itself in all of life s complexities and varying vicissitudes and yet also capable of being declined to use the terminology of the grammatical sciences in all the infinite variety of cases that the language of life affords A view of life is subjective conviction The quotEthicoReligious View of Lifequot Ethical view of life The essence of life and its happiness is to be sought in the moral consciousness alone is the conviction that animates this address and gives it its reason for being The individual human self has an infinite worth that the personality has an external validity that the bringing of this validity to expression in the manifold relations and complications of life is the true task of the self that this task gives to the individual s historical development an infinite significance quotLiving without Appealquot Transcendentalism three components of There exists a transcendent ultimate of absolute supremacy which reigns over all finite things and powers and which alone is capable of providing meaning and worth to human existence Three components There exists a transcendent being or ultimate with which man can enter into some sort of relation 2 Without such a transcendent ultimate and the relation of faith to it human life lacks meaning purpose and integration 3 Without such meaning purpose or integration human life is not worthwile Vocabulary list 6 The Self and Ultimate Reality Five Ways of Thomas Aquinas look at worksheet Ontological Argument of Anselm look at worksheet Vocabulary list 6 The Self and Ultimate Reality Judaism earliest of the three monotheistic faiths found in western tradition It is the parent of Christianity 9Humans are supposed to look after the world and help fix up the earth Adam and eve are created w free will they either obey god or not God is the ultimate reality God created this world so its real World of heavenangels invisible worlds Outsider view After Persians had conquered the Babylonians and become the world rulers 0 their day descendants of those exiled earlier were allowed to return to the former region ofJudah now a Persian provide Yehud and mingle with the descendants of those who had never gone into exile Judaism is thought to have emerged either among those who went into exile or in Yehud after the intermingling of the two communities Judaism understands God to be the source of morality and sacred scripture the vehicle through which divine will has been made known to humanity Shema are the first two words of a section of the Torah that is a centerpiece of the morning and evening Jewish prayer services Monotheism espouse the unity of God quotFather of IsraelII Abraham lnsider view View of members of the faith community is that Judaism began with the patriarchal father of the nation of Israel Abraham Six branches ofJudaism Orthodox Kabbalah Hasidim Reform Conservative and Reconstructionist divided into two groups traditional and liberal how interpret Traditional Judaism orthodox kabbalah Hasidism Traditionally leaning Conservative Jews and liberals reform Reconstructionism and liberaly leaning conservative Jews 9Orthodox became prominent after the destruction of the temple in Jerusalem once the temple ceased to exist worship shifted to a study of god s revealed word in sacred Scripture or Torah They believe everything is contained within the torah It is the duty of a Jew to observe all 613 commandments found in the Torah to his or her best ability Centers on scholars called rabbis making explicit what is implicit in the 613 commandments found in the Jewish bible 9Kabbalah mystical branch kabbalah meaning quottraditionquot or quotreception of orally transmitted teaching focuses on the big unknown in life the nature of God the creation of the universe the purpose of human life and the nature of evil adding a specificallyJewish concern the ultimate meaning of the Torah 9mysticism viewed w suspicion by all other orthodox 9Hasidism does not stress Torah learning as primary way to communicate with god God is everywhere and in everything of the universe and one simply needs sincerity honest prayer joy and ability to live life totally dedicated to God to experience the divine God is the only true reality and nothing exists apart from God all things are in God 9Reform arose in Germany in response to the Enlightenment and the extension of the right of citizenship to Jews within modern states for the first time It was for Jews that wanted to get rid of the laws that set them apart from other Christian neighbors It holds the belief that the belief that Torah was not direct divine revelation but rather the attempts of humans in certain times and places to understand the divine 9Conservative accepted the Reform position that Torah is humanly produced but disagreed about the ease with which large portions of the tradition could be discharged suddenly lt advocated gradual adaptation and innovation 9Reconstructionist most recent form ofJudaism to gain recognition as an official movement with its own synagogues and seminary This movement originated in America but has spread worldwide Reconstructionism leaves it to the individual conscience and reason to decide what parts of the tradition a person finds meaningful and decides to follow and which he or she discards as no longer relevant Torah sacred scripture since Torah is viewed as the literal revealed word of God its study allows one to experience quotcommunion with God as though one were present at Sinai when God revealed himself to all of Israel Talmud oral torah Written Torah the first five books of moses JHWH or Gd Exodus 314 See quotCreedquot Shema Deuteronomy 614 Judaism refers to the limitless eternal source of life and reality as God or Lord It has inherited form earlier Yahwism the name YHWH to designate this formless being YHWH is the old name or title of the head of the pantheon Moses most important prophet in Judaism He is called quotOur Leader Moshequot quotServant of Godquot and quotFather of all the Prophetsquot In their view Moses not only received the Torah but also the revealed written and oral and the hidden the hokhmat nistar teachings He is also considered the greatest prophet Torah Law 613 Mitzvot laws Through the Hebrew bible or tanak there are 613 divine commands or mitzvoth that are placed upon Israel and its descendants Orthodox Judaism teaches that the purpose of life is to try to live in accordance with these 613 divine commandments to the best of one s abilities thereby conforming one s human will to the divine will and making humanity holy Maimonides on evil Creation is good in itself but since the created world consists of opposite in balance it carries the seeds of evil because of the ability of things to fall out of balance creating negations Moses Maimonides argued that evil is a necessary consequence of created matter which once given reality has the potential for negation or absence of certain traits which yields evil 3 KINDS OF EVIL 1 Those caused by man because he is mortal and possess a body that decays such as great deformities or paralysis of a specific organ 2 The second most numerous are evils people cause each other which originate in us although the sufferer cannot avert such sin 3 The most numerous are those we cause to ourselves by our own actions 9 All the evils that we cause in class two and three are due to nonexistence since they originate in ignorance which is the absence of wisdom Judaism on free will Judaism does not have any concept of original sin which was developed by the Christian church We are all born sinless with the potential to live a perfect life Christianity one of the two religions that stem from Judaism other one being lslam Recognizes one god the God of Abraham and the Jewish scriptures tanakh Hebrew bible old Testament Christianity differs from Judaism and Islam in claiming that Jesus was the messiah or in Greek the Christ It also claims that Jesus is the incarnation of God send to humanity to make amends for sin to overcome evil and to escort in the beginnings of the final or messianic age all in accordance with Jewish scripture Difference between jews and Christians Christians says jesus is the messiah Creed summary of what Christians belief Holy Spirit descended from father and son Monotheism Trinity Belief that the Father Son and Holy Spirit all make up one being which is God doctrine states that God is the Triune God existing as three persons but one being Each of the persons is understood as having the one identical essence or nature not merely similar natures Christ English term for the Greek word meaning quotthe anointed quot Differing branches of Christian Church Roman Orthodox Protestant CopticArmenianMar Thomas Pentecostal Jesus revered by most Christian churches as the Son of God and the incarnation of God Christian views center on the belief that Jesus is divine is the Messiah whose coming was prophesied in the Old Testament and that he was resurrected after his crucifixion He is the monk that reworked the calendar and had his baptism at age 30 by John the Baptist 9 His baptism Gospel of Matthews Matthew includes the most famous version of the Great Commission Here the resurrected Jesus appears to the apostles and commissions them to make disciples baptize and teach Jesus meditates for 40 days and by the end he is tempted Kingdom of God foundational concept in the three Abrahamic religions Judaism Christianity and Islam According to Jesus the Kingdom of God is within or among people is approached through understanding and entered through acceptance like a child spiritual rebirth and doing the will of God It is a kingdom peopled by the righteous and is not the only kingdom Jesus assumes his audience understands the Kingdom foundation that was laid in the Hebrew Scriptures When Jesus speaks of the Kingdom of God he speaks of the time of the fulfillment of the Abrahamic and Davidic covenants A time of a restored earth where the faithful will worship and serve their God forever under the rulership of a righteous leader of the Davidic line Scriptures St Augustine doctrine oforiginal sin lmago Dei as relational love St Augustine developed a theology that stressed the initiative of God the creation ex nihilo quotout of nothing the fact of the initial goodness of matter and the freedom of human will 9Augustine manechian believed in 2 realities good amp evil 9He argued that by the act of reproduction the fault of Adam and Eve is linearly transmitted to future generations Declared universality of sin This sin this imperfection in a world originally created good lay in a human will that congenitally refused to obey the divine will to love God and other 9 lmago Dei image of God every human was in the image of God it refers to the human soul to the human ability to reason or to the ability to relate to others and to God Argued that the doctrine of God as Trinity is by analogy seen in the lmago Dei in humanity 3 ANALOGIES the first 2the mind knowledge and love and memory intelligence and will describing the relation of the soul to itself the third memory of God intelligence and love describe the relation between the soul and God lmago Dei points to the eternal relations of love that bind the persons of the Trinity Stress on loveas relation is integral to the understanding the nature of humanity Christian theories of ethics imitatio Christi Love Law lmitatio Christi Human life ofJesus Christ as an example to be followed Problem with this approach is that of the extent to which the imitation is to be followed The most popular 9Love essence of Christian living and relationship to others in the quotgreatest commandment that of love Love God and your neighbor 9Law the role of the law brings us back to the imitation of Christ approach This approach in addition implies that the individual Christian should strive not only to follow the example of Christ but like Him strive to keep the Mosaic Law A problem with this approach is that is faces the ambiguity of the New Testament itself over the place of the Law in the Christian Life Two Kingdom theory The Christian by simultaneously a member of the kingdom of the Church ruled by the Spirit and grace and of the kingdom of the state and is simultaneously there ruled by the law Separation between the quotspiritualquot and quotphysicalquot or quotsocialquot and quotpoliticalquot KOC gtthe church KOW gt whatever state you re in Islam Only read text pp 155160 and pp161 167 sam is not just a religion but a way of life 9state law is not separate from religion The prophet Muhammad is looked at as the final prophet in a long line of God s messengers to humanity not the founder of Islam It has two sources of authority Qur an amp Hadith collection of saying from the prophet become the norms by which Muslims guide their practice today God wills everything predestination Monotheism only one god Muhammad is the just the prophet Allah the standard Arabic word for God used by Muslims as a reference to god the name Allah is the supreme and allcomprehensive divine name All other divine names are believed to refer back to Allah Allah is unique the only Deity creator of the universe and omnipotent Prophet Muhammad born in 570 ad born in Saudi Arabia and brought up by his uncle His uncle was Muhammad s protector The prophet Muhammad is looked at as the final prophet in a long line of God s messengers to humanity not the founder of Islam 9 Restorer of what was lost Muhammad often retreated to a mountain cave outside Mecca and one day he reported an encounter with Archangel Gabriel who told him to recite these recitations were written down in the Qur an He soon developed followers in Mecca Regarded by Muslims as a messenger and prophet of God After Muhammad s death his faithful followers wanted to elect a leadercaliph regent The way to go about selected a leader created a division sunni shi ite and sufi Mecca city in Saudi Arabia It is the holiest city in Islam lslamic tradition attributes the beginning of Mecca to lshmael39s descendants In the 7th century the Islamic prophet Muhammad proclaimed Islam in the city by then an important trading center and the city played an important role in the early history of Islam it was in a cave around Mecca that Muhammad went to meditate Qur39an an oral recitation it is the living word of God available to the human heart through the sense of hearing The Qur an is the authoritative source for legal and theological norms ln Muslim life the Qur an holds a primary place in everyday practice The major themes of the Qur an include justice and mercy of God God gives to humanity the responsibility of human beings to God and to one another Hadith The prophet s sunnah is known through the haddith report passed down from his wives and companions to the following generations Decades after Muhammad s death these quothadithquot circulated among the community orally 9The content ranges from divine words apart from the Qur anic revelation to biographical details about events in the Prophet s life or the life of the Companions Five Pillars of Islam the set of practices known as the quotfive pillars of Islam are a good example of duties prescribed in the shari ah and shared by all Muslims These duties are Shahada Confession of Faith one has merely to utter with sincerity in the presence of witnesses the shahadah the testimony Salat Prayers regular devotional duty of Muslims required five times daily of formal worship Zakat Giving of Alms required religious tax on property and wealth for all muslims of means it is considered an act of service to God not a charitable gift Sawm Fasting during Ramadan required season of reflection and increased selfdiscipline Hajj pilgrimage to Mecca during the special period of the year is obligatory only upon those Muslims whose financial and family situation permits it 6th pillar Jihad inward struggle of individual self w obedience Sunnnah The second major source of religious authority for Muslims is the sunnah of the Prophet Muhammad Sunnah was an Arabic term referring to quotcustom practice of one s elders which formed the basis of social norms in a community As the messenger of God Muhammad s sunnah his words actions and decision in community matters demonstrated how to five out the divine revelation Islam has no priesthood Muslims have recognized however the authority of educated or informed members of their communities and the role of these figures in preserving the sunnah of the Prophet among them Shari39ah translated loosely as quotIslamic law literally means quotbroad path leading to water All of Islamic life is dominated by Shari ah The shari ah thus elaborates the path of responsible action a Muslim must follow to achieve success in this world and the next both qur an and prophetic sunah are two primary source of the early shari ah the preserve of the ulama is known as shari ah ulama refers to the educated class of Muslim legal scholars engaged in the several fields of Islamic studies obligations one owes to god amp obligations one owes to his neighbor Groupings within Islam Shi39ite Sunni Sufi Sunni largest denomination of Islam majority9 best man for the job to become the next leader of islam Shi ite second largest denomination of Islam after Sunni Islam 9 Thought that they should use a quotlinear descendant system to choose the next leader wanted Ali to be the next leader Based on the teachings of Islamic holy book the Qur39an and message of the final Prophet of Islam Muhammad Persecuted by the majority Sufi inner mystical dimension of Islam Classical Sufi scholars have defined Sufism as quota science whose objective is the reparation of the heart and turning it away from all else but God will generally be a Sunni Hijra Arabic word meaning migration FLEE Is the emigration of Muhammad and his followers to the city of Medina in 622 CE marking the first year of the Islamic Muhammad had to flee Mecca because when he quotrecitedquot he reported that there s only one god and this made the merchant class very mad and therefore he had to flee Hajj pilgrimage to Mecca It is the largest annual pilgrimage in the world and is the fifth pillar of Islam an obligation that must be carried out at least once in their lifetime by every ablebodied Muslim who can afford to do so The Hajj is a demonstration of the solidarity of the Muslim people and their submission to Allah First four caliphs 1Abu 2Umar 3Uthman 4Ali After dynasties and expansion 3 empires emerged Islamic empires 1 safavids radical shi ite uranian republic 2 mughils Islamic empire east of Asia 9collapsed w pressure from India 3 ottoman survived through WWI 9Treaty of Versailles cost all of its properties Hinduism Chapter 1 Eric Katz s quotThe Rings of Tolkien and Plato The issue ofquotthe moral lifequot Q Does the use of a ring of power entail any moral or ethical limits Is there a morally right or morally wrong way to use a ring Plato was concerned with the relationship between power and morality The story of Sauron s ring is a representation of the idea that unlimited power cannot coexist with morality The ring represents the idea that absolute power is in conflict with behavior that respects the wishes and needs of others We can make the personal choice to reject unlimited power and to act by the principles of morality Plato The Republic Concerned with one central issue the justification of the morally good life The cynical response of the immoralist is the moral life is the life chosen by the weak Plato seeks to refute this cynical conclusion and justify the value of the moral life The immoral life is a worse life than a morally virtuous life because ultimately the immoral life corrupts the soul of the immoralist The immoral life leads to a fundamental unhappiness mental anguish the loss of friends and loved one and emotional bankruptcy All the power in the world cannot compensate for the psychological emptiness of an immoral life The moral person in contrast lives a life of integrity and personal fulfillment even if he or she is limited in power wealth and fame The moral person is at peace with himself 9For Plato the moral person rejects the use of a ring of power Glaucon quotThe Ring of Gygesquot Why be moral Socrates defends the importance of the moral life and Gaucon and Adimantus who play devil s advocate and defend the life of immorality can we justify choosing a moral life even when the immoral life is more rewarding Glaucon recounts the story of the shepherd Gyges and his discovery of a magical ring that makes the bearer invisible As we have seen Gyges uses the ring for evil purposes he seduces the queen of the kingdom slays the king and becomes himself the rules of the land For Glaucon this is what all en would do He imagines that there are two rings of invisibility one possessed by a just or moral man and one by an unjust or immoral man Even the just man would succumb to the power offered by the ring For Glaucon people are morally good only because they cannot act with impunitythey fear punishment for their evil actions The issue of power Would a just person be corrupted by the possibility of almost unlimited power Tolkien s ring explicitly corrupts the souls of its possessors One ring corrupts the desires interests and beliefs of those who wield it Plato argues that such corruption will occur but Tolkien shows us this corruption through the thoughts and actions of the characters The ring of power corrupts even the person who is brave strong and virtuous The uses of the Ring Frodo and Sam use the ring in a limited way and thus avoid its worst effects While Frodo succumbs to its power Sam ultimately rejects it When Frodo uses the ring he is not completely delighted and pleased This could be because a virtuous individual knows that the use of the ring is wrong so when one uses it one is filled with the conflicting emotions of power satisfaction and guilt Two things keeps Sam safe from the power of the rings his love for Frodo and his own sense of self Gollum or Smeagol utterly destroyed by his desire for the ring He is a clear example of the corruption of the soul and the loss of a meaningful life caused by the overwhelming desire of the ring of power Galadriel one of the most powerful elves of middleearth and Frodo offers to give her the One ring rejects the use of the ring altogether Through her Tolkien shows us that a strong and virtuous person can refuse the temptation of the immense power even at a great personal cost Tom Bombadil he appears to rise above the ring s power entirely A being that seems to have complete command over all the living things of the Forest Master of the woods When Bombadil puts on the ring he does not disappear gains no power from it and the ring has no power over him Tom is his own master Boromir seduced by the thought of wielding unlimited power for the good of Gondor He wants to use the ring for good purposes bewildered by the complexities of the plan to destroy the ring He fits the virtuous man corrupted by the temptation of power Boromir is depicted as a man of actionnoble goodhearted and bravewho is tempted by the ring the role of choices in forming good or virtuous or vicious character In Tolkien s characters we see vindication of this Platonic vision Power without love friendship and personal fulfillment will lead to unhappiness a fundamental unhappiness that is beyond relief of the importance and meaning of the moral life All of the characters who encounter the Ring are given a choice all are tempted to wield the Ring and some find within themselves the power to reject it Tolkien also has his characters fix their gaze on the nature of their souls For Galadriel Bombadil and Sam the characters who most clearly reject the ring who remain uncorrupted by its seduction of unlimited power their strength comes from their awareness of their own being who they are and what they can accomplish These characters know their own limits Chapter 7 Blount quotUberhobbits Tolkien Nietzsche and the Will to Powerquot Friedrich Nietzsche quotGod is deadquot Will to Power German philosopher outspoken supporter of the quest for power For life according to Nietzche is all about suppression of the weak by the strong He states that quotGod is dead and life Is meaninglessthough he assures us that ain t all bad When he announces God s death he does not mean to be taken literally Nietzche means that humans can no longer harmonize God s existence with other things they know about the world quotthat belief in the Christian God has become unbelievable Talk about God s dying does not refer to the deity s demise in fact instead it refers to the human realization that God never existed in the first place We find ourselves unable to believe in God Meaninglessness The view that God does not exist has important implications The most important conclusion to be drawn from it involves the meaninglessness of life For if God does not exist it follows that huans have not been divinely created and if they have not been divinely created they have not been designed for any specific purpose Human thus exist for no purpose One the view put forward by Nietzche history moves not in a straight line but rather in a circle History repeats itself over and over again Saurun The dark lord of Mordor forged the one ring he infused it with his own malevolent power The conflict in Middleearth is essentially religious Sauron seeks to establish his will not only over his fellow creatures in Middleearth but ultimately over lluvatargod himself The dark lord s power play represents to him the hope not merely of life but of abundant life Ubermensch or quotSupermanquot power to impose one s individual will Nietzche sees the death of God as cause for celebration rather than mourning God s demise Nietzche tells us is not debilitating it is liberating We have the opportunity to step into the void left by God s death With god dead and the established moral order undermined we resemble painters with clean white canvases Nietzche calls us to face the meaningless of life headon without blinking To embrace the meaninglessness of life and make for oneself a life magnificent according to one s own taste that is the task Nietzche lays out for us And he who achieves it is the new man the overman Again contrast with Hobbits Uberhobbits Frodo and Sam Middleearth s heroes overcome their weaknesses not with power plays aimed at dominating others but rather with humility and selfsacrifice Strength according to Tolkien manifests itself most clearly not in the exercise of power but rather in the willingness to give it up Chapter 8 Davison quotl39olkien and the Nature of Evil LOR provides us with Tolkien39s views on evil LORD is a story about the struggle between good and evil In the pivotal scene in LORD involves Frodo s finally giving in to temptation to claim the One Ring for himself In a sense evil prevails for a moment and only good luck saves Frodo for himself Not a Manichean viewdichotomy the view that there are two equal and opposite forces in the world Good and evil Good and Evil are locked in a struggle for world domination and since they are equally balanced in power it is not clear which if either will win in the end The Manicheans thought they could explain many aspects of human experience in terms of the struggle between Good and evil They concluded that the things we observe are just het visible results of the conflict between Good and Evil that takes place on a cosmic scale ln LO R sometimes those who bear the ring appear to be struggling with themselves when they are tempted to put it on and sometimes they seem to be influenced by an external force something like a principle of Evil The ring is not an example of the Manichean idea of an independent evil force in the world since it is animated by Sauron s will and power The ring doesn t corrupt people the power working through the ring corrupts people Nothing is evil in the beginning Not even Sauron was evil in the beginning LOR is not based upon a Manichean view of the nature of evil Everything that exists has some good quality or other Follows St Augustinequotprivation boniquot or privation of good parasitic Another way to look at evil is to see it as essentially parasitical on goodness Goodness is necessary for evil but evil is not necessary for goodness Goodness is primary and independent whereas evil is secondary and dependent on goodness Tokien accepts this Augustian view of evil The more evil something is the more it approaches nothingness Evil does not exist parasitic Privatio Boni evil absence of good Thus evil lacks independent reality Ultimately all evil comes from the mind of some created person or other To describe the root of evil he identifies it as the desire for something that violates the rightful order of things Any sort of love in which one has immoderate desire and wants more than is enough is the root of all evil Wicked will is the cause of all evil Evil comes from the exercise of free will Evil is corruption ofthe good The essential evil impulse the desire to impose one own preferences on the world There always exists some possibility of eliminating evil from the world Humans tempted by self pride Self love is superbia Evil comes from human superbiapride 9We think more highly of ourselves than we should excessive love of self desire to compete with god Chapter 15 White quotSam and Frodo s Excellent Adventure Journey motif at origins of Western culture Tolkien s characters can be said to humanize and clarify aspects of Western philosophy The narratives that form the history of Western thought reflect journey motifs of two general types a journey directed outwardly in the world and a journey directed inwardly into the self The outward journey is typified by a series of conflicts often initiated by the introduction of evil in the journey narrative The inward journey is typified by a series of dramatic encounters either within oneself or with another character Ex In St Augustine s Confessions gt in reading his life story we bear witness to his philosophical journey toward a vision of Truth found in the triunetrinity three in one image of the Christian god n LOR Frodo s journey out of the cave is a journey out of the Shire Tolkien s journey motif moves in two directions it is a movement outside the dark cave of illusion and into the light of knowable reality and it is a turning away from the facade of the self into the innermost psyche The journey inward into the psyche presupposes an existential freedom that is itself part of the structure of authentic human existence Homerllliad and Odyssey VirgilAeneid Latin epic poem written by Virgil in the late 1st century BC 2919 BC that tells the legendary story of Aeneas a Trojan who traveled to Italy where he became the ancestor of the Romans Journey to italy BibleAbraham StAugustine interna journey as well Confessions Descartes lCogito ergo sum For Descartes the journey towards truth the journey that Plato tethered to the Good the journey that Augustine believed culminated in a reunion with God is turned inward toward the contemplation of innate ideas As a young soldier Descartes witnesses the carnage of the 30 years war He decided that conquering himself was an easier and worthier goal than conquering the world and he resolved llto undertake studies within himself too and use all the powers of his mind in choosing the paths that should follow 9As we follow Descartes into the depths of the self we come to know the cogt0 the thinking thing the symbolic essence of the human mind Descartes creates and uses a system of methodological doubt to tear down the weak foundation of belief Cogito ergo sum The simple meaning of the phrase is that if someone is wondering whether or not he exists that is in and of itself proof that he does exist because at the very least there is an quotIquot who is doing the thinking Plato quotallegory ofthe Cavequotepistemoogica journey Chapter 4 Bassham s quotTolkien s Six Keys to Happiness 39simple things39 theme from Epictetus Thoreau nature as model Tolkien saw a connection between happiness and a capacity to delight in simple everyday pleasures Epicurus pointed out that one obvious reason for favoring simple quotnaturalquot pleasures over artificial or quotsuperfluousquot ones they tend to be more frequent and easy to obtain make light oftroubles Hobbits amazing power of recovery Making light of troubles also means finding hope and beauty in even the most dire circumstances By making light of their troubles they brighten not only their own lives but the lives of those around them lmportance of personal relationships One of the hobbits most striking traits is their remarkable capacity for friendship The importance of belonging to other people of forming lose supportive attachmentsis something many philosophers have noted as well Friendship is indispensable for a happy and fulfilled human life Aristotle s view llfriendship is the greatest of external goods for without friends no one would choose to live though he had all other goods thus role of character and character formation Tolkien wrote that one of his aims for writing LOTR was llthe encouragement of good morals He links happiness with good moral character Goodness is neither a quotnecessaryquot nor a quotsufficientquot condition for being happy Nevertheless as many philosophers have noted there is a strong causal connection between goodness and happiness Cutivation of the beautiful as meaningful Happiness and beauty are strongly linked in LOTR too We need beauty in our lives ugliness enervates and depresses while beauty inspires and refreshes God creates the world and is therefore an artist We find happiness in beauty and creativity because we have our source in beauty and creativity itself Rediscover wonder in life and world Learn from the elves Cultivate wonder delight and freshness of vision Tokien calls this regaining of freshness of vision llrecovery Recovery involves regaining a llclear view so that the things seen clearly may be freed from the drab blur of triteness and familiarity Chapter 5 Gracia quotThe Quests of Sam and Gollum for the Happy Lifequot Sam and Gollumsimilarities and contrasts Gollum represents the good gone bad He is descended from a branch of hobbitkind Sam represents the good that stays good even under temptation Only Sam succeeds at being happy He came from the Shire They both want the same thing to be happy Both work hard at it But only one succeeds They re both hobbits and have a similar culture Similar origins but now contrastedindividual vs social Gollum came from a hobbitkind llakin to the fathers of the fathers of the Stoors The stoors lived a wilder and more primitive life than the hobbits form the shire which is where Sam is form Happiness What does it comprise for Sam and for Gollum Both Sam and Gollum want to be happy Even though Sam undergoes all kinds of travails Sam is not unhappy ln Gollum s case he seems to be in a permanent state of unhappiness He suffers like Sam from all sorts of difficulties but the source of his misery is not these Gollum he wants the ring of power his precious The ring provides an escape from Him Suron who had subjected Gollum torture in Mordor and who also wants the ring 9Sam originally he just wanted adventure but more deeply he really wants to be back in the Shire the place he cares for more than any other The most important difference between their desires is that Gollum wishes for the possession of his Precious alone whereas Sam s desires involve others There is a social dimension to the happiness of Sam task duty friendship loyalty vs possession self ring unhappiness It is the love that Sam has for Frodo that makes it possible for him to resist temptation One reason perhaps why Gollum has no friends is because he has no love for himself Chapter 16 Davison quotHappy Endings and Religious Hope Mythdefinitiontells through by means of a story Tolkien s book is an epic that involves no obvious Christian allegory and few clear parallels to stories in the Jewish torah or Christian New Testament Beowulf Sir Gawain and the Green Knight a fertility story Pg 211212 Silmarillion prologue to LOR Deveopment of the last segments of his encompassing epic narrative The earlier stories making up the Silmarillion were conceived primarily as parts of an epic its main episodes all concern developments of the self in a hero s quest against what appear to be impossible odds The Silmarillion is a work of fantasy Faerie Stories Eucatastrophe the consolation provided by a unique kind of happy ending joyous salvation within apparent catastrophe Tokien proposes this term because we don t have a word expressing the opposite of tragedy He conceives tragedy as the true form and highest function of drama and eucatastrophe as the true form and highest function of fairytale


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