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Back to Unedited Philosophy Quotes and Ramblings about Intequinism.

FILM 881 – Philosophy of religion - 2013


Quotations and paraphrases from prescribed reading material and comments.


Student: Mr. M.D. Pienaar (23990163)




1ST CLASS – Introduction to philosophy of religion and traditional proofs of God's existence.



LW: Hierdie werkopdrag moet die week na die eerste kontakgeleentheid per epos ingehandig word.


OPDRAG: Begrippe en rasionaal

Skryf ʼn opstel van ongeveer 1200 woorde waarin die volgende vrae beantwoord word:

  1. Wat is godsdiens/religie?
  2. Wat is godsdiensfilosofie?
  3. Watter waarde en beperkinge het argumente oor god se bestaan? Verduidelik dit aan die hand van die argumente wat in die klas bespreek is.


Maak seker jou opdrag word in ʼn akademiese formaat, waarin jy duidelike bronverwysings aantoon, geskryf.


Name of essay: Religion, philosophy of religion and the existence of God






Write an essay of approximately 1 200 words, which answers the following questions.


1.             What is religion?

2.             What is philosophy of religion?

3.             What value and limitations do arguments about god's existence have? Explain with reference to the arguments discussed during the class.




The prescribed reading materials were read and quotations and paraphrases were typed from the reading materials with own comments. A discussion class, lead by dr. Mark Rathbone was attended on 20 July 2013. The quotations, paraphrases and comments were edited into this document after the class. The assignment consists only of two conclusions. The rest of the document after the conclusions is for referencing purposes. Clouser's non-reductionist theory of reality explains why it is difficult, maybe impossible, to reduce the opinions and facts, to 1 200 words, with accurate references between read works and own writings, due to heuristics and hermeneutics, which are interrelated.

Conclusion about religion and philosophy of religion


Eshleman distinguishes Philosophy of religion, Religious philosophy, Religious studies and Theology. Philosophy of religion has 'belief' as the 'fundamental aspect'.[1] Religious philosophy refers to beliefs due to abstracts of specific religious scripts. Theology is a type of Religious philosophy.[2] Religious studies refer to the study of deterministic effects of specific religions, for example as part of psychology.[3] Religious studies and Philosophy of religion can support one another because both refer to "public reason".[4] Religious studies however does not have 'truth' as objective and Philosophy of religion has realization of 'truth' as objective.[5] Eshleman defines in words, religion, as the object of Philosophy of religion. 'Ultimate Sacred Reality' is part of his definition of religion. He states Aristotle argued against definitions in his Nicomachean ethics. [6]


Pojman and Rea's Philosophy of religion investigates what parts of religion are true and what parts are false. Even if God does not exist, the effects of the idea are substantial enough to investigate the different aspects of religious belief.[7] Determinism is thus an aspect of truths, to them. Fallacies can be objects of reality due to lies' deterministic effects.


Griffiths explains religion as an account[8] with 'formal' and 'phenomenal' 'properties'. Formal objects relate to abstractions of the account and phenomena relates to what is in the mind of the giver of the account.[9] Phenomena are conscious, and subconscious, for example, some humans, like 'bats', think they are Ones, something Griffiths claims he can establish with "reasonable" certainty.[10] Truths are not important to accounts of religion because truths relate to non-phenomenal issues. The Christian account possesses truths as non-phenomenal issue. He does not focus on the substance of religions but rather on the practices, which are taught to adherents of religious beliefs.[11] Religious accounts have three phenomenal properties[12]: comprehensiveness[13], unsurpassability[14], and centrality[15]. A Christian account includes a "creator"[16] (creators), "God"[17] and a divine agent who is other than those offering the account.[18]


Hudson identifies the "concept of god" as constitutive of "religious belief".[19] He uses two examples, namely "objects"[20] on which physical science is dependent and "moral obligations"[21] on which morality is dependent, to explain his view. The dependencies are relevant, because the subjects cannot be practiced without reference to the subject matters.[22] Secondly, the existence of the subject matters cannot be doubted, they are presupposed as existing.[23] Thirdly the concepts "object" and "moral obligation" are dependent on definitions.[24] Fourthly the concepts of "objects" and "moral obligation" cannot be further reduced to other concepts. An object cannot be reduced to something in the mind, because the images of hallucinations cannot be argued to be objects of physical science. Moral obligation cannot be reduced to utility because when you say moral obligation, is to do that, which enhances utility, the statement leads to a tautology.[25] There is a distinct difference[26] between a believer and "god" because god is what is believed-in by a believer even if the belief is to become part of God. "Transcendence" can happen in two ways: (a) empirical transcendence, which postulate God as other than human, and (b) logical transcendence, which use metaphors of worldliness. Hudson states that empirical transcendence is the dominant mode of transcendence currently.[27]


To summarize; Philosophy of religion, a subject of (module for) study, is part[28] of Philosophy. Philosophies of religion have religions as objects. Religions are movements, which imply "religious belief". Reliances on greater powers than selves are essential part of religions, which can include reliance on Others-than-only-selves and/or Metaphysical truths. Theology is a type of religion. Religious studies happen when the deterministic[29] effects of religions, are objects of scientific investigation, for example by psychologists.

Conclusion about God's existence and arguments thereof


Van Niekerk rejects the Sociological, Freudian and Genetic theories for the existence of God. These theories relate to the study of deterministic factors on humans as part of religious studies. According to Van Niekerk, God is explained by mystical experiences, which are parts of persons' lives. Metaphysical effects due to metaphors like "Father; Son and Holy Spirit" and "Mother of God" and "Son of God", on own thoughts[30] in him and i and most other fellow humans are relevant.


The cosmological argument is unacceptable because it presupposes the whole of the universe.[31] We cannot postulate the whole of the universe because our intellect and senses cannot fathom all of it. The cosmological argument is thus false because it claims to do what cannot be done, i believe. The arguments however have a purpose, but too much capital should not be used for it.


The teleological argument is usable because it acknowledges the responsibility of humans as part of God, to create "utopias" for Others-than-only-selves on Earth. Human reason is thus postulated as important via teleological arguments, to improve our conditions. The value of truths in the design argument is important because like Aristotle stated, fallaciousness is recognized by the inability for being used in a process of assembly.[32] The fallacious postulates, which religions sometimes use, which cause false phenomena in minds can only have as purpose, the transfer of wealth and not creating new wealth. Aristotle (1986: 140, 406b) stated in De Anima that what is good for one group cannot be good for another group. Creators (gods and goddesses), who are subjects of theodicies, are not really part of religious groups because religious groups are dependent on the creativities of creators and wealth of other groups. War and extortion are therefore integral parts of some religions because the primary method of survival is not creating but rather the appropriation of things already created. Creators and creativities are postulated as evil and therefore creators should be sacrificed. Theodicies have a double purpose. First creativities are appropriated from creators, whilst murdering them slowly and secondly, populations, which are watching the mimetic shows of sacrificing gods and goddesses, are being controlled, due to fear, of the devils, who put theodicies in practice. Despotisms, which happen when gods and goddesses crack due to victimizations, are also relevant. Non-pathological criminal incapacity (NPCI) is legal term, which means that a person who cracks due to victimizations of theodicies for example cannot be found guilty of misdeeds due to criminal incapacity. Such people then enter the Calvinist economic system in their despotic forms and the system depends on the fear they instill after having been changed into despots by society. Societies thus then still depend on them. Where the dependence was previously on their creativities the dependence, after cracking is on their despotic forms. I know this because i have been the subject of a societal "theodicy", i became aware of since 1999. I did not crack but i had to give a warning to victimizers, due to suicidal and violent thoughts. The victimizers then dismissed me from employment with a false accusation of assault. They claimed the verbal warning was a threatening. It could not have been a threatening because threatening raises risks, whereas warning decreases risks, which my actions did. The victimizers' actions continuously increased risks until my warning of possible NPCI was made.


The ontological argument can be important if it postulates humans as part of God, because then it could have similar effects as teleological arguments. It is however subjective[33] importance, because people do not agree about their definitions of God. Ontological arguments start with definitions[34] of God. Everybody do not define God the same.[35] Studies of metaphysical truths (mett), can only be studies and presentations of deterministic effects on selves (heuristic experience). Studies of mett can also be hermeneutic-heuristic but that would be anthropological intrusive action.


Although Hudson postulates that current common empiricisms[36], view "god" as incorporeal, i do not agree with him because most of the authors refer to God with small letters, which implies anthropomorphism. As part of the word God, "God" and "god" are used by authors. Other authors use "goddesses", "gods" and "goddess". When the writers' opinions, under investigation, are portrayed with pronouns for God, small letters are the norm. The mix of small letters and capital letters implies that God is anthropomorphic and incorporeal, which is much easier to accept when plurality of God is accepted. Stating that only one human is part of God is irrational, because no empirical evidences for such a postulate exist. Stating that many humans are part of God is feasible, if the idea about perfection of the anthropomorphic Part of God is not accepted. Enoch was taken into heaven alive, which seams greater than that, which happened with Jesus.


The analysis of capital letters and use of singular and plural references to God show partly what authors think. All the authors used singular references to God. Clouser who is another religious writer we studied, used capital letters and small letters in his singular references when he used the words "transcendent Creator", "transcendent creator" and "himself" and "His".[37] Small letters are probably references to human parts of God although they did not write it explicitly, because of empiricist dogma (deceit as necessity), which can hamper careers, if references to God are not in the singular. Psychological barriers of selves being the only "One" and fears of being sacrificed are relevant. Capital letters refer to the metaphysical part of God. It could be argued that when writers use only capital letters they postulate God as totally metaphysical with utmost empirical dogma. Coherencies exist between the real definitions of words and language structures in minds of language users. It makes not sense in my mind to use the word "god" or "goddess" without putting an "a" in front of "god" or "goddess". The words "God", "gods" and "goddesses" can however be used without an "a". God is a neutral[38] word without sexuality because God has as parts, gods, goddesses and metaphysical parts. An "a" in front of "God" does not make sense. This difference of language structures, i assume, relates to real meanings of words.


Languages differ and Bible versions differ, which influenced generations with regard to singularity, plurality and corporeality of God. Singular references in English to the "Lord" (singular) of the Bible and "I" (capital letter), influenced English language users differently than Afrikaans's references to "dames" and "Here" (plural) and "ek" (small letter). Before the fall into sin for example in Gen. 1:26 of the Bible, references to God are in the plural (Elohim) and sometimes in the singular with singular pronouns. Whether pronouns are spelled with a capital H or small h for "Him", "His", "him" and "his", differ from Bible to Bible. The incident where Isaac needed a lamb to take his place when Abraham wanted to sacrifice him relates. In the English New International version of the Bible, reference is made to God "himself" who will supply the lamb and in the 1933 Afrikaans version reference is made to God "Homself" who will supply the lamb. In the 1983 Afrikaans version the words "sy eie" was used.[39]


Philosophy of religion



Eshleman - What is Philosophy of religion?




Religion is the object of thought, which is philosophized about. Some religions do not have God as the object of religious concern for example Hinduism, Buddhism, Daoism and Shinto. Belief is the 'fundamental aspect', which is scrutinized by philosophy of religion.




Religions have various forms and religion needs to be defined to include all the variations to be able to see how religious practices relate to religious belief.




Some say the main purpose of religion is to identify something to rely on during difficult times and others say religion has a social function. Some say religion should not be defined following Aristotle who said that theories should not ascribe characteristics, which are not justifiable.[40]


Eshleman constructed a definition for religion to be wide enough to include all religions, to exclude what is clearly not religion and to allow for ambiguous cases. His definition is: "By means of an interwoven set of symbols, narratives, doctrines, rituals, ethical prescriptions, and social institutions, a religion aims to provide an appropriate way of being related cognitively, emotionally, and behaviorally (both individually and collectively) to that which is conceived of as Ultimate Sacred Reality."


"The functional aspect stresses that religion aims to bring human beings into proper alignment with that which is conceived of as Ultimate Sacred Reality."



Philosophy of religion focuses on the ' "cognitive" component' of religion, that which purports to "belief".


Philosophy of religion can be distinguished from religious philosophy. Philosophy of religion is practiced parallel to philosophy of science, philosophy of law etc. Religious philosophy is viewpoints as a result of abstractions from specific religious texts or the whole of the specific texts. Theology is religious philosophy.




Philosophy of religion can represent an opposing attitude to religious philosophy of a culture. Although the term 'philosophy of religion' became regularly used during the 20th century it existed before when philosophers like Socrates opposed the mainstream religions of their time.




Philosophy of religion is done with "public reason" in mind and religious philosophy with specific scripture in mind.




"Public reason" is also relevant at other ' "religious studies" ' for example when religions are viewed from another subject field for example psychology or sociology. The emphasis is then not on religious belief but such studies can enhance understanding by philosophy of religion. In these other religious studies truths of religions are not important but rather the deterministic effects of the religions.


Thus philosophy of religion is a part of philosophy as a whole, which has as central importance "religious belief". Where religious studies do not emphasize truths philosophers of religion do emphasize truths.




Eshleman's philosophy of religion incorporates religions from the East (China, Japan) and the West (Germanic-Latin areas).



Pojman & Rea – Introduction of Philosophy of Religion. An Anthology.




Their philosophy of religion investigates what parts of religion are true and what parts are false. Even if God does not exist the effects of the idea were substantial enough to investigate the different aspects of religious belief.


Religion and God


Religion - Griffiths


"Religion as an Account"[41]


"A religion is, for those who have it (or, better, are had by it), principally an account. To be religious is to give an account, where giving an account of something means to make it the object of some intentional activity – to tell a story about it, have some beliefs about it, direct some actions toward it, or the like."[42] "Accounts that people offer may be distinguished one from another by their scope, their object, and the kinds of intentional activity they use."[43] Intentional activity relates to interests.[44]


Defining properties of religious accounts are both formal and phenomenal. "They are formal because they are abstracted from the particularities of any particular religious account, and as a result address little if any of the substance of such an account. And they are phenomenal because they are not properties intrinsic to the account itself, but rather properties that explain how the account seems or might seem to those who offer it."[45] He expands phenomenal later to include properties, which believers cannot identify due to their intimate knowledge of their beliefs when he compares some humans with bats thinking they are ones. He thus expands phenomenal properties to properties he can postulate with "reasonable" certainty.[46] Truths are not important to accounts of religion because truths relate to non-phenomenal issues. The Christian account of religion possesses truths as non-phenomenal issue. The benefit of his method according to him is that he does not have to focus on whether a religious account is true or not. He does not focus on the substance of religions but rather on the practices, which are taught to adherents of religious beliefs.[47] Religious accounts have thus three phenomenal properties: comprehensiveness, unsurpassability, and centrality. An account, which lacks one of these three properties, is not a religious account. Religious people therefore give an account of these three properties.[48]




An account is religious when it includes all other accounts. Griffiths has more than one comprehensive account. His Christian religion is a comprehensive account and his belief in prime numbers as representative of all things is another comprehensive account. The two accounts support each other.[49] A comprehensive account about numbers has however not always unsurpassability and centrality and is therefore not religious.[50]




Unsurpassability means that the essential parts of the account do not change. His account about prime numbers representing everything is unsurpassable and comprehensive but centrality is another property needed for a religious account.[51]




"For an account to seem central to you it must seem to be directly relevant to what you take to be the central questions of your life, the questions around which your life is oriented." It should include how you treat others. Centrality relates to what selves should do and not do.[52]


"That religious accounts must be central as well as unsurpassable and comprehensive is among the things that make it possible to be a person and yet not offer one."[53] He then implicitly claims the "one" he refers to being offered is the account he offers and not a person. Persons cannot have more than one account central to their religion.[54]


Skill and information


Offering a religious account requires a lot of skill and information.[55] Offering accounts can therefore improve or become worse.[56]


A Christian account


It includes a divine agent who is other than those offering the account.[57] The account is a response to the "creator" who became incarnate.[58] He spells God with a capital letter.[59] We should direct our actions away from ourselves towards God and fellow humans.[60] Jesus of Nazareth is our example we should follow.[61] Actions of a Christian account include worshipping, praying and using the Bible.[62]


What makes religious beliefs religious? - Hudson




"I want to put forward a certain view of the logical foundation of religious belief. It is, in a sentence, the view that religious belief is constituted by the concept of god."[63]


Hudson uses two examples namely objects on which physical science is dependent and moral obligations on which morality is dependent to explain his view. The dependencies are relevant because the subjects cannot be practiced without reference to the subject matters.[64] Secondly the existence of the subject matters cannot be doubted, they are presupposed as existing. It can be argued about what specifically are valid objects and what specifically is a valid moral obligation, but objects per se and moral obligations per se are presupposed as existing.[65] Thirdly the concepts "object" and "moral obligation" are dependent on definitions for physical science and ethical studies to proceed. Wittgenstein called these definitions ' "grammatical propositions" '. [66] Fourthly the concepts of objects and moral obligation cannot be further reduced to other concepts. An object cannot be reduced to something in the mind because the images of hallucinations cannot be argued to be objects of physical science. Moral obligation cannot be reduced to utility because when you say moral obligation is to do what enhances utility the statement leads to a tautology.[67]


"The concept of god"[68]


"The concept of god constitutes religious belief.."[69] There is a distinct difference[70] between a believer and "god" because god is what is believed-in by a believer even if the belief is to become part of god. There are three characteristics of god, which are common to all kinds of religious belief:[71] (1) First, god is "aware" of the believer (2) second, god is "agency". Agency means that god causes things to change or be affected in a way, which is part of the belief. (3) third "transcendence" , which can happen in two ways: (a) empirical transcendence, which postulate god as other than human, (b) logical transcendence, which use metaphors of worldliness.


Hudson states that empirical transcendence is the dominant mode of transcendence currently.[72]


God - Swinburne


The topic he raises is the claim of the existence of "God"[73], which he calls theism. He does not claim there is a God he merely states what theism claims.[74]


"Theism claims that God is a personal being—that is, in some sense a person. By a person I mean an individual with basic powers (to act intentionally), purposes, and beliefs."[75] Swinburne acknowledges truths as knowledge.[76] God according to theism is neither male nor female therefore using "he" to refer to God is problematic but English has not another better pronoun.[77] Theists claim that God ("he") a person creates ex nihilo, is omniscient and perfectly free.[78] God cannot however cause contradictions for example, make a circle a square whilst being a circle, or make the universe exist and not exist at the same time.[79] God cannot know what humans will do in the future freely because he created humans who are free agents.[80] According to theism he is eternal[81], which means he is outside of time, which Swinburne states is nonsensical to his understanding. Swinburne thus prefers "eternal" to mean everlasting instead of outside of time. God is supposed to be a bodiless person and can therefore be omnipresent and "he is the creator of the universe, and .. the sustainer of the universe"[82]


God brings things to be in a non-basic way and sometimes in a basic way with miracles.[83] God is supposed to be perfectly good.[84] "Now, if there are moral truths—truths about what is morally good and bad—an omniscient person will know what they are. If, for example, lying is always morally wrong, God will know that."[85] God cannot make bad good, for example he cannot require to torture children for fun.[86] Theists have different opinions about whether morality exists independent of God.[87]


Lastly God cannot be human because having eternity is an essential property of God.[88]



Arguments about God's existence



Van Niekerk - Geloof sonder sekerhede. Besinning vir eietydse gelowiges.




Van Niekerk distinguishes between a personal "god" and the "God" who created the universe. The God who created the universe is also Jesus of Nazareth as the ruler of a vast kingdom with no end. This God is the focus of Christians. Van Niekerk searches for reasons of religious belief in God, the One who as transcendent being is referred to as Him. Transcendent means He is outside of experience.




Religions are explained with naturalistic motivations we as humans always had. The inclination to believe in God/gods relate to methods of survival and ancient ("oer") tendencies. Van Niekerk does not agree with these explanations. They are:


The sociological theory


Emile Durkheim and other French sociologists propagated that religious motivations are ways that reality is explained to influence populations to act in a specific way. <p.56> Society is thus an entity, which is more than the individual parts. Society is transcendent because it is not visible as an object. Societies generate belief systems, which are not controlled by an individual. Such a belief system may blind a whole group of people to not realize that their actions take place to benefit the whole of society. <Self: Saying actions benefit society could be contradicting because he first said the purpose is to influence. The influencing could thus be for society as a whole or for that part of society who does the influencing.> Society is the transcendent entity and not God. This theory explains times of nationalism during war and is also the functioning of primitive societies. Religion according to this view originates in the Latin word ligare, which means to bind together. <p.57> This theory practiced, implies that people are accepted into society through rituals and also excommunicated from society with rituals.




The Freudian theory


     Freud devised a psychological theory. We are subject to natures forces, which we personify into a Super-person. We can thus react to these influences in a way to protect ourselves against the influence of nature. <p.58> Christianity did this by creating the Father figure who we are subjects to. Religion will end when humans subject nature to human reason with scientific inventions.  <p.59> Freud explained human religious instinct with his Oedipus complex. After Oedipus's sons killed him they had no father figure who could give security and therefore God is mythologized to give security. According to Freud it is also why incest is not allowed.




The genetic theory


     According to this naturalistic theory religion is encoded in our genes to survive optimally. The need for God thus preceded God, the idea. The idea was then entrenched in our genes to overcome cheating methodologies.




Van Niekerk motivates the sociological theory false because in times of societal crisis society is clearly separated from God when society is blamed for problems and God is used to motivate a change of direction.




Freud's theory is not true because many children did not have a stable father figure, which they can project towards a Father in heaven.


The genetic theory is also unacceptable because it refers to spirituality in general and not specifically to God.




Van Niekerk's theory is that mystery is the reason for a belief in God. We orientate ourselves to reality but we realize that we do not know everything about reality. God thus represents that part of reality we do not know but has an influence in our lives. It thus relates to our deepest fears and most exulted joys. Rudolf Otto influenced him in constructing his theory.




Modern science has as purpose to remove the wonder of religion whereas ancient Greek philosophy wanted to expose the wonder of the myth.




Mysteries can be distinguished from problems. Mysteries are not objective and available outside of us to investigate in order to solve problems. We are part of mysteries and it can only be investigated in a transcending way that surpasses the subject-object dichotomy.




Knowledge about mysteries is not complete, but knowledge becomes deeper without reaching the essence of mysteries.




Knowledge of mysteries touches our own existence because we become part of mysteries. There is thus an existential importance in studying mysteries.




Making sense of mysteries encompass knowledge of wholes.




Making sense of mysteries implies to make peace with uncertainties, whilst trying to remove uncertainties.




God is the ultimate mystery of our existence and of language. The mystery of the One God who is pronounced with references to "Him" and "Father" is the furthest limit and mystery of language, which can be reached without being incomprehensible to others.


The cosmological Argument


Mackie - Cosmological Arguments.




The many cosmological arguments have in common that the argument starts from the world or something general about the world for example change, motion or causation. Cosmological arguments are par excellence philosophers' arguments for theism. Other arguments for example the design argument starts from something in the world. <self: It seems thus the cosmological argument entails a view of the whole of the world as presupposition.>


Lebniz's version of the argument includes an assumption, the "principle of sufficient reason". Nothing occurs without sufficient reason. The argument states that everything of the whole is contingent on something else, which caused what is. The causes can be traced back rationally to a first cause, which itself was its own cause.




Arguments against this proof ask how can we be sure everything has a reason and also how can anything be the cause of itself. Kant's critique was based on the 2nd objection. Kant states that the cosmological argument is dependent on the ontological argument, which postulates existence as proof. The ontological argument was refuted therefore the cosmological argument as well. Mackie says Kant's reasoning is misleading because if essence and existence are equated then first cause can be postulated without relying on existence. <self: the most effective argument i remember against the ontological argument is that it is based on a definition. Everybody do not define God the same.[89] I stopped reading Mackies arguments on p. 243 because it seems to me a waste of time to try and reason about things i know not about. Kant confirmed my feeling and his authority is enough to substantiate the feeling.>


The Teleological Argument ("Design Argument")


Hambourger - The Argument from Design.




David Hume was the most critical against the design argument. The design argument states that the world looks like an ordered and good whole and only an intelligent being could have created such a state. <self: The value of truth in the design argument is important because like Aristotle stated fallaciousness is recognized by the inability being used in a process of assembly.[90]> Hambourger reasons about a single being who is designer.




Hambourger argues that natural phenomena can be explained as ultimate design by analogy. An eye for example can make persons think of a perfect machine. Human artifacts are designed and therefore a conclusion can be made that natural things were designed. The argument fails because principles of induction prescribe that nothing should be induced by analogy.


The Ontological Argument



Martin - The Ontological Argument.


Anselm's ontological argument relates to God as perfection.[91] His argument relates to metaphysical truths (mett), which we cannot fathom except for the inspirational physical effects. Anselm's rational argument relates to Plato's perfect forms, which inspire humans. Aquinas's critique of Anselm was influenced by Aristotle's empiricism. The argument explicitly excludes humans as part of God because humans cannot be perfect, but that is not how Anselm intended it. 'Perfect' is a transcendental concept to inspire. In reference to Anselm's argument, Aquinas decided to not quote Anselm.[92] With reference to Anselm's argument Anselm refers to Psalm 14:1[93] and Aquinas refers to Psalm 13:1[94]. Aquinas thus refers to David as a fool and Anselm refers to David postulating others as fools. Existence as predicate is an integral part of the ontological argument. When something is existing, ontological arguments claim it has greater[95] importance than when not existing but "is existing" is argued by for example Kant as not being a property and some people love to call such arguments "queer"[96]. Why "is existing" as greater than metaphysical, is postulated as "queer" could be related to psychological issues. If for example two metaphysical concepts exist; honesties and deceits, but not one on Earth has the ability to talk, the concepts would get greater importance when groups of talkers put the concepts in practice. If two groups; the-honest and deceivers, compete by putting the concepts in practice, the result will show which group is greater and the result will put higher value to the winning concept than when the concept exists just as idea. This argument holds even if none of the groups are perfect but the one group teaches the other group something of value.


2ND CLASS – Contemporary proofs for and against the existence of God and other contemporary problems about philosophy of religion.




Maak ʼn opsomming van al sewe bogenoemde temas. Dit moet in ʼn opstel van ongeveer 1200 woorde gedoen word. Dui ook aan in jou opstel watter een (of meer) van hierdie argumente is vir jou meer oortuigend as die ander, en hoekom."




An assignment, as stated below, about the topics in the Table of contents above for FILM 881 (Sistematiek II), also titled Philosophy of religion relates. The module is prescribed by North-West University as part of work to complete an M.Phil (Philosophy) degree. The educators are Dr. Mark Rathbone and Dr. Anné Verhoef.


Make a summary of the seven topics in the Contents. Choose the most convincing argument from the seven topics to prove the existence of God and write an essay of 1200 words in which you scrutinize the argument.


The first problem is that God is not ontologically defined. God must be defined before God's existence can be logically proved. The following problem is to identify the proofs, that fit the definition of God.

Statement to solve problem

God are all honest men (gods) and women (godesses), who therefor can assemble their truths and knowledge with integrated thoughts for good use. Metaphysical truth (mett), gives us the courage to be honest and to create, whilst devils go about their sacrificing methodology of survival. This definition of God is best explained by Van Niekerk's problem of the evils, which relates to Paul Copan's moral argument and Christianity's sacrificed (step)sons of a matriarchal pantheistic system of an earlier time and Freud's revengeful sacrifice of fathers of a patriarchal pagan system of a following time. The focus is on Van Niekerk's argument.


The prescribed works in the List of references were studied. Quotes, paraphrases and comments were typed in a summary. The assignment consists of "Proving God's existence with Van Niekerk's problem of the evils".

Proving God's existence with Van Niekerk's problem of the evils.

Practical issues are relevant with regard to the evils of the world.[97] If we want to live honestly, Jesus of Nazareth is a good example of the practical issues which are relevant to honest lives.[98] This statement by Van Niekerk confirms that the Christian definition of God is not correct because of the weakness of singularity. The Christian definition thus supports a methodology of imparting of creative ideas whilst 'sacrificing' creators whilst motivating sacrifices of children who 'should' "grow up". This argument supports my definition of God, because in effect, creativities are sacrificed by Christianity, which eventually will lead to stagnant societies. After that happened territories will be colonized by more creative sacrificers and the previous sacrificers will move away after being colonized, because they will be despised and they will have the financial means to move away, due to their sacrificing of others.

The problem of God and suffering

Van Niekerk identifies evil as that what causes suffering. He asks how existence of almighty good God can be true together with the existing evils of the world.[99] This almighty good God, which Van Niekerk questions, is the incorporeal God of Christianity, which, because of its immateriality, singularity and weakness, cannot oppose evils currently. God is not responsible for the evils, "We" ("Ons") are.[100] "We" are the devils of my definition of God. Van Niekerk refers to God as "He". A question is why doesn't "He" stop the evils because Christians claim "He" can if "He" wants to.[101] "He" cannot stop the evils because "He" relates to superstitious beliefs, which are not true. There is not enough empirical evidence of a supernatural incorporeal force, which protect creative individuals, when isolated. That force should be realized in other gods and goddesses, who help to uphold laws of survival by being creative. "Moral" evils are those evils "We" are responsible for and "amoral" evils are the results of natural disasters for example earthquakes and tsunamis, which were not directly caused by humans.[102] Negative effects of "moral" evils are the results of dishonesties, which remove abilities to be creative due to un-integrated thoughts, which cannot be assembled due to its fallaciousness. People then become dependent on sacrificing others for survival. "Amoral" evils can only be overcome by creativities, for example in Japan where some found ways to build constructions that are not affected by earthquakes. Real creativities could annul "amoral" evils if Paul was right in Romans 8 [103], when he wrote "amoral" evils are caused by immoral behavior of some.

Suffering and evil after the holocaust

The word holocaust was derived from two Greek words. Holo, which means whole ("algeheel"), and caustos, which means the burning ("verbranding"). Originally it referred to burnings of sacrificial animals.[104] Modern technology, which was used during the holocaust, makes it an obscene event. Obscene partly because modern technology was for example stated by Francis Bacon as tools to be used for the good of humans.[105] Early Christianity defended evils with the word theodicy. The word was derived from theos (god) and dike (justice).[106]


Sacrificing of humans, whether by murder or imparting of ideas, or revenge for murder, or imparting of ideas, result from own lack of creativities and non-acceptance of difficulties, for example lack of luxury. The seven deadly sins were identified as sources of evil.

Augustine's theodicies

Augustine explained theodicies originated as a result of Lucifer, who was excommunicated by God.[107] Lucifer thus became more evil because of his isolation and as part of his consequential evilness he tempted Eve. Inherited sin after the fall into sin, of Adam and Eve, is the result of people not honoring God with their lives. The fall into sin caused immoral lifestyles whereby people make other people suffer. [108] Immorality and the fall into sin, according to Paul in Romans 8 caused the instable "amoral" events, which are not under control of humans. Theodicies result from the disciplining actions of God. The hell was postulated as infinite punishment to people who do not share in Christ's redeeming action.[109]


The argument about Lucifer supports the argument further that God cannot be singular because singularity of Lucifer made him more evil after plural God isolated him. Isolation is not good for anyone and therefore isolation is evil. Persons do not isolate themselves. Humility is an individual attribute after humiliation by groups, but there is not a word—isolity—after isolation by groups. Isolity does not exist. Due to the weakness of singularity, definitions of God must return to logical definitions for example the plural definition of God, before the fall into sin. The isolation of Lucifer by God was a mistake that God made, before the fall into sin. It could be argued that the isolation of Lucifer caused the fall into sin of Adam and Eve. My definition of, God that exists, is therefore similar to the definition before the fall into sin, a group of creators, however, who do not isolate members, for the sake of imparting of ideas, nor without trials in courts.

Irenaeus's and John Hick's theodicies

Older than Augustine's theory is Irenaeus's, a church "father" of 130-202 CE.[110] According to Irenaeus's theory, which has been given much attention by John Hick, God made the world and everything in it, but it was not a perfect creation. This supports the argument that God made a mistake when Lucifer was excommunicated because God is not perfect according to Hick. Evils are tests, which improve human nature. This argument is not accepted because it relates to sacrificing sons and, history according to Freud's argument, shows, that it causes a backlash of fathers being sacrificed. The book of Revelation predicts such backlashes, which support the argument against excommunication of sons. Humans, who are intelligent "animals", are on a journey of improvement after tests, during which mistakes are naturally made, according to Irenaeus. The end of the journey is Humans being God that do not create perfect worlds.[111] Part of Irenaeus's theory is that the law limits improvement of human nature. Also, temptations are for our own good because its improve us.[112] Irenaeus's theory implies that without necessary evils, human nature cannot improve, because evils inspire us to overcome.[113] Irenaeus's argument motivates devilry and forming of fallacious groups, who impart ideas, they sell to other territories, and, who eventually have to leave territories they betrayed. There are enough ex-amen-ations at academic and other institutions we can voluntarily subscribe to. Unasked for tests, which cause, unnecessary stress, might even cause gargoyles and early death and other stress related diseases. The tests that Irenaeus promoted can only be overcome by becoming self a devil and part of adultery of "adulthood" of pantheism. It is a system of vegetarianism for more hooves and horns. If hoofed and horned animals are not eaten they will overpopulate Earth with consequential negative effects for humans. Paul of the Bible also implied this. Plato's exposition of immoral evils in the Republic relates to Irenaeus's argument. It is clear that the devils, exposed in the Republic, are not aware of the disadvantages caused to society, by devils' sacrificing of creativities, probably because of devils' methodologies to attain financial security, which means, being out of touch with wider societies' problems.[114]

Moral evils and suffering as risk of human freedom

A correlation (verband) between evil and suffering on one side and human freedom on the other can be identified in theodicies of Augustine and Irenaeus. The correlation implies human freedom to decide as agents self between good and evil.[115] Van Niekerk discusses the human conditions with reference to all humans, being (becoming) part of the same group. He for example writes that "we" are responsible for all [own insert] evils.[116] Van Niekerk's opinion is not true because all people can be divided between honest and dishonest people. Gods and goddesses are on one side and devils on the other side.


What about evils not caused by humans?

Van Niekerk opines that "amoral"[117] evils and suffering is a mystery. He states that "He" who is "One" is God.[118]


The argument for a plural definition of God, similar to the definition before the fall into sin, but with slight changes, is thus supported by problems mentioned by Van Niekerk. The argument that God is singularity, which is honest logos of one, made a contribution, by showing the causal effects between truths, honesties and creativities. The argument is however based on imparting of ideas and sacrificing creators and creatresses so that they cannot claim remuneration for their ideas, which are used by groups for survival. The financial insecurity we are placed in, motivates initially to create, but eventually destroys creativities because we can see creating does not benefit selves. Singularity of God is an argument, which cannot sustain current large populations, because it does not motivate creativities by all, which are needed for survival of large populations. It will lead to being colonized because other territories realized they need more than the creativities of "One" to survive.



God as Psigologiese Verskynsel


Grünbaum – " Psychoanalysis and Theism"


Grünbaum, A. 2003. Psychoanalysis and Theism. In: Taliaferro, C. & Griffiths, P.J. (eds.) 2003. Philosophy of Religion. An Anthology. Malden: Blackwell, 111-122.




The mere fact that a philosophy is subjective and psychologically based does not mean that it is not scientific.


Freud claimed to be an atheist since he was a student.




Freud argued that theism had a substantial superstitious character but he also acknowledged the psychoanalytical effects of theism.




Freud said that belief is illusions when belief includes hoping and wishing for something. He also wrote that unwarrannted paranoia is the result of homesexual tendencies.




Illusions can turn out to be true, but Freud claimed that theism is mass delusion. According to the Oxford Psychiatric Dictionary delusion can only be idiosyncratic and not ascribed to masses. <self: It seems the Oxford Psychiatric Dictionary ascribe truth values to delusions by masses.>




Freud claimed that childrens' beliefs in fathers' caring, change into beliefs about providence and that "the protector, creator and law-giver" are in some adults' lives God.




Freud studied philosophy with Franz Brentano when he was 18 years old and was introduced to Feuerbach's postulate that it was "man who created God in his own image".


Marx said religion is the opium of the people during a time when opium was bought freely. Marx meant it not pejoritavely. <self: I assume opium was expensive and that the proletariate could not afford opium.>




Theistic religion is a threatening belief and therefore Marx's opinion that it relates to anodynical purposes does not make sense.




Freud ascribes the superstitious nature of religion further to ontogenetic and phylogenetic factors. Ontogenetic relates to the person self and phylogenetic relates to the culture the person is part of.




Superstition according to Freud is projection of unconscious repressed ontogenies and phylogenies.




According to Freud the Son of God thought relates to the Oedipal complex, which is especially relevant between ages 3 and 6 when children start to challenge their fathers. The father becomes the Father of the Son in adulthood, though childish. The thoughts are then made widely acceptable by theism.




A "true" father-child relationship is recognized when polytheism is replaced by monotheism and the children replace their fathers as sole providers and thereby overcome the phylogenetic inclination to trust multiple fathers to provide for them.


According to Grünbaum Freud's hypothesis about Oedipus was not empirically proved.


Freud claimed that long ago bands of brothers committed parricide because of limits their father placed on incest. At the time our ancestors were cannibals and they ate their fathers. The murders and takings of the harems caused ontogenetic guilt about incest and parricide. The guilts lead to incest taboos and praying to a Father figure.




The Eucharist according to Freud is a recollection of primitive cannibalistic deeds by bands of brothers who ate their fathers.




Theism existed one millennium before Christ as part of Jewish religion.




<self: Freud's postulate is partly false because sacrificial practices of Christianity relates to actual "sacrifices" of past and current creators as a means of survival due to religious hatred and appropriation of creators' ideas. It is not fathers who are being sacrificed in Christianity, as postulated with Freud's Oedipus complex, it is childless daughters and sons who are being sacrificed, as a matter of fact.

Phenomena are conscious, and subconscious, for example, some humans, like 'bats', think they are Ones, something Griffiths claims he can establish with "reasonable" certainty.[119] A Christian account includes a "creator"[120] (creators), "God"[121] and a divine agent who is other than those offering the account.[122]

       "It is now commonplace to say that money is information. With the exception of Krugerrands, crumpled cab fare, and the contents of those suitcases that drug lords are refuted to carry, most of the money in the informatized world is in ones and zeros. The global money supply sloshes around the Net, as fluid as weather...However, as we increasingly buy information with money, we begin to see that buying information with other information is simple economic     exchange      without the necessity of converting the product into and out of currency. This is somewhat challenging for those who like clean accounting, since, information theory aside, informational exchange rates are too squishy to quantify to the decimal point."[123] >


Godsdienstige Ervaringe en die Bestaan van God


Davis – "Religious Experience"


Davis, C.F. 2003. Religious Experience. In: Taliaferro, C. & Griffiths, P.J. (eds.) 2003. Philosophy of Religion. An Anthology. Malden: Blackwell Publishing, 162-181.




Davis uses "religious experience" widely. She for example includes parts of the Baghavad Gita in her passages. It suffice to not try and define "religious experience" but to just stick to the two words as definition in itself.




She categorizes religious experience with six headings. They are "interpretive, quasi-sensory, revelatory, regenerative, numinous and mystical."






Interpretive experiences result from being religious. Experiences, although its could be perceived by atheists in an atheist manner are perceived by persons as of divine origin. There is no scientific correlation between a divine being and experiences but the experiences cannot be completely ignored as to evidence of God.






These experiences relate to sense experience, which are not objectively " 'veridical' ". The experiences are usually either very real or hallucinatory, extremes thus. The experiences cannot be proven scientifically and usually relates to religious content, for example Catholics and Hindus usually see images and Protestants hear voices, yet they cannot be discounted totally.


Revelatory experiences




These experiences are explained as "out of the blue", "enlightenment" and "mystical". Its relate to instant realizations in minds for example eureka moments, rather than to sensory experience. Religious authorities usually distrust these experiences as unreal unless persons experiencing have religious authority. Davis does not opine about the veridical value of these experiences.


Regenerative experiences




These experiences relate to conviction for example reassuring feelings of redemption. Its are less intense than revelatory experiences and occur on a more regular basis.


Numinous experiences




Numinous experiences relates to the "wrath of God". Materialist, empiricist views have predominant influences on realizations of noumena and numen. Its are the we-are-who-we-are, who and which numb sensations. Especially theisms postulate numinous experiences.


Mystical experiences




Mystical experiences imply realizations of union with the Outside. These experiences are the ultimate religious experiences or in Davis's words, "a human being's summum bonum".



Die Morele Argument vir die Bestaan van God


Copan Paul – "The Moral Argument"


Copan, P. 2007. The Moral Argument. In: Meister, C. & Copan, P. (Eds.) 2007. The Routledge Companion to Philosophy of Religion. London: Routledge, 362-372.




Copan explains the circumstances with regard to the sacking of Melos during the Peloponnesian war (431-404 BCE). The Melians requested that the Athenians not attack them because Melians never harmed Athens. Athens replied that during war only power is relevant and justice and fairness are not applicable. The Athenians attacked and killed the men who could have fought and sold the women and children into slavery. Athens argued it is a "general and necessary law of nature" that they should besiege Melos. Athens's arguments were the same as Thrasymachus's in Plato's The Republic and Melos's was the same as Socrates's in The Republic.




If "objective moral values" exist then it would vouch the existence of God.


<self: Part of the problem of accounting of ideas is that creators do not have control over their creativities. The people who control the creativities do not have the moral affinities to control themselves and the creativities responsibly. There were not enough truths on Melos to assemble a defense. Aristotle wrote:

"Used of a false thing. On the one hand, either because it has not been assembled or because it would be impossible for it to be assembled."[124]>


Copan argues there are simply moral values, which are known to exist, before any social contract comes into existence. It is something we believe.




According to G.E. Moore there is something not natural to goodness.


<self: I argue that goodness is natural but deceiving minds cannot comprehend the reality because they cannot assemble the truth.>


Naturalists who are normally materialists cannot bridge the gap between immanence and transcendence because pragmatism is a presupposition of their arguments. <self: Pragmatism has however not developed well enough to show the effects of honesties and deceits in the long term.>


Copan writes "good God, in whose image or likeness humans have been made" is central to understanding moral values.




Bertrand Russell's naturalistic philosophy cannot embed moral values. Copan states that moral realisms of naturalists are not convincing because its are not explained how natural facts ontologically motivate morals. Naturalists apparently appeal to epistemological methodology to prove their arguments. The approach causes confusion of "knowing and being"




"If [own bold], on the other hand, a personal God exists who has made humans – theists and non-theists alike – in his [own bold] image, then we should not be surprised that atheists can recognize the same objective moral values theists can. We function properly, according to our design, when we think and act morally.

Though naturalistic moral realists claim that the necessity of moral truths renders God's existence irrelevant, their necessity would still require grounding in the character of a good, personal God: he [own bold] necessarily exists in all possible worlds, is the source of all necessary moral truths, and is explanatorily prior to these moral values, which stand in asymmetrical relation to his [own bold] necessity."


<self: "his necessity" is possibly not true because single good persons are overpowered by evil groups, which cause chaos and eventual colonization. Intequinism can however prove that—our necessity—is closer to realities. A question is how many should be included in "our".>


He quotes Carson (2000) and Audi (1993) in writing that to date no moralist-realist theory shows predictive coherence.


Copan argues for objective moral values but he writes that naturalistic moral realism does not convince him that objective moral values exist therefore he argues for theism's "good Creator".




"supremely aware Being … supremely good personal Being .." Copan supports his theism argument by writing naturalists wrote that objective moral values could be proof that God exists. He quotes J.L. Mackie (1982), an atheist who wrote that " 'a god' " could be proven by objective moral values. Mackie wrote objective morality in naturalism is a ' "queer" ' premise.




His main argument is that if good God is postulated as beginning then good will follow and the world will be a moral place. <self: His argument however does not regard belief in redemption, which in some arguments actually promote, for example deceit. I was told about the pastor who told his assembly they have to lie to show they believe in the mercy of God.>


He puts a lot of value on the word "person", <self: which makes sense if it is derived from the belief that goodness begets sons. In the beginning of the Bible somewhere it was written how a group stopped to have sons when they became evil.>


He quotes David Brink (1989), a naturalist, who investigated Plato's dialogue, Euthyphro. In the dialogue (10a) God is postulated to conform to objective morals and God is postulated to subjectively lay down the law. Which is reality? Brink referred to God as ' "herself" ' and Copan wrote '[sic]' next the feminine references. Brink opined that morals are independent of God and not dependent on the ' "will" ' of God. <self: It seems empiricists, naturalists and atheists often raise a sex card in defense of their arguments, or rather as an attacking stance. See p.368 where Mackie referred to objective moral values as a ' "queer" ' concept.> Copan resolves the question by stating that good moral values can be found in the "character" of God who made us in "his" image.




Theism assumes a plan and a teleological objective. Copan paraphrases himself (2003, 2004, 2007) and repeats in 2007 that without the humans in, which moral values reside, there will not be moral values. He also writes about the "good personal God" that created us.


<self: Copan visibly struggles with himself as part of God or not in his references to "personal God" with male singular pronouns, which could be partly himself in the third person. Copan has not reached a phase where he realizes the fallacy of singular God, probably because his circumstances did not inform him of the weakness of singularity. When i refer to the plural nature of God with—us—i mean that the singular nature as promoted after the fall into sin should be pluralized in order for a better world to exist. Truth in the singular pronouns should be expanded to plural pronouns. My argument is not an argument against truths and moral values it is an expansion of truths and moral values. If my arguments are against the singular conception of God it would imply that someone could accuse me of being anti-christian (or "the antichrist"). My stance is not anti-christian because Christianity did well to identify the correlation between truths and "the Creator". Christianity was an improvement because innovation in Christian areas showed that truths were assembled more often than before. The correlation between truths and creativities should however be expanded to truths and creators without sacrificing "the creator", which the Eucharist, by implication, promotes as a way of survival. My belief is a more reliable and easier way, than what i knew before, of being truer to Others-than-only-selves? Being honest is not easy in the current environment, knowing that deceits cause colonization of a territory. Deceiving powers improve only their own living standards and once the area they live in gets colonized they ally themselves with the new leadership. They do not lead society because they mislead society (including leadership) for their own group benefits.>


Pascal se Weddenskap / Waagkans (“Wager”) oor God se Bestaan


Golding Joshua – The Wager Argument


Golding, J.L. 2007. The Wager Argument. In: Meister, C. & Copan, P. (Eds.) 2007. The Routledge Companion to Philosophy of Religion. London: Routledge, 385-393.




" 'Pascal's Wager' " argues that belief in God is beneficial and it is thus a pragmatist argument for belief in God. We cannot with our finite thinking rationally determine whether God exists and therefore we should base our decisions on whether it would be beneficial or not to believe in God.


"For if God exists and we believe in him .." <self: Golding also refers to singular male, with his pronouns.>




Pascal also included the afterlife in his presuppositions. Pascal's statistical argument sums the probable outcomes of all events, including infinite afterlife, when people believe in God. The sum of believing is then compared to the sum of the values of all probable events, excluding infinite afterlife, when not believing. Pascal claims the total positive value, when believing is higher and therefore it is rational to belief.




Golding criticizes Pascal's Wager because Pascal gave existence of God and non-existence each a probability of 50% which is not scientific. Another critique is that Pascal say we cannot fathom infiniteness but we clearly do because otherwise the idea of the infinite would not have existed.




Golding criticizes the wager because Pascal allows only an either/or scenario, either belief or atheism. Golding says there is an in-between state, which is neither belief nor atheism. Golding also mentions that sometimes attaining something requires presupposing it, for example an invention of a new cure for a disease can be the direct result of the presupposition that a cure exists.




A problem with Pascal's argument is that the decision is taken on existence of predicted values and in reality predicted values can be wrong and/or be not realized. An event can be unrealized in the sense of not existing in the future. His postulate depends on the existence of the afterlife. If the afterlife turns out to be a fallacy, Pascal's argument fails. The afterlife is either a winning or a losing idea. The probabilities of an afterlife are irrelevant, because the probability is either 0% or 100%. The in-between probabilities of the afterlife do not matter because they do not change the outcome. 0.1%-100% = 0% for decision making purposes. Pascal's wager cannot include all the possibilities of other beliefs and outcomes.




Another critique against Pascal's Wager is that the wager implies selfishness because it does not consider other people sufficiently.




Golding suggests that Pascal's Wager can be improved by excluding the infinite value of the afterlife and instead of postulating belief, to postulate a pragmatic defined God, which can be reasoned about.


Die probleem van die kwade (evil)


Van Niekerk – "Geloof sonder sekerhede. Besinning vir eietydse gelowiges"


Van Niekerk, A.A. 2005. Geloof sonder sekerhede. Besinning vir eietydse gelowiges. Wellington: LuxVerbi.BM, 113-139




Practical issues are relevant with regards to the evils of the world.




If we want to live honestly Jesus of Nazareth is a good example of the practical issues which are relevant of honest lives.


The problem of God and suffering


Van Niekerk identifies evil as that what causes suffering. He asks how existence of almighty good God can be true together with the existing evils of the world.




God is not responsible for the evils "We" ("Ons") are.


Van Niekerk refers to God as "He". A question is why doesn't "He" stop the evils because Christians claim "He" can if "He" wants to.




"Moral" evils are those evils we are responsible for and "amoral" evils are the results of natural disasters for example earthquakes and tsunamis, which were not caused by humans.


Suffering and evil after the holocaust




The word holocaust was derived from two Greek words. Holo, which means whole ("algeheel") and caustos, which means the or a burning ("verbranding"). Originally it referred to the or a total burning of a sacrificial animal.




Modern technology, which was used during the holocaust makes it an obscene event. Obscene partly because modern technology was for example stated by Francis Bacon as tools to be used for the good of humans.




Early Christianity defended evils with the word theodicy. The word was derived from theos (god) and dike (justice).


Augustine's theodicies




Augustine explained theodicies originated as a result of Lucifer, who was excommunicated by God. <self: Lucifer thus became more evil because of his isolation and as part of his consequential evilness he tempted Eve.> Inherited sin after the fall into sin, of Adam and Eve, is the result of people not honoring God with their lives. The fall into sin caused immoral lifestyles whereby people make other people suffer.




Immorality and the fall into sin, according to Paul in Romans 8 caused the instable "amoral" events, which are not under control of humans. Theodicies result from the disciplining actions of God. The hell was postulated as infinite punishment to people who do not share in Christ's redeeming action.


Irenaeus's and John Hick's theodicies




Older than Augustine's theory is Irenaeus's a church "father" of 130-202 CE.




According to Irenaeus's theory, which has been given much attention by John Hick, God made the world and everything in it but it was not a perfect creation. Evils are tests, which improve human nature. Humans, who are intelligent animals, are therefore on a journey of improvement, during which mistakes are naturally made. The end of the journey is Humans being God that do not create perfect worlds.




Part of Irenaeus's theory is that the law limits improvement of human nature. Also, temptations are for our own good because its improve us.




Irenaeus's theory implies that without necessary evils, human nature cannot improve because evils inspire us to overcome.



Moral evils and suffering as risk of human freedom




A correlation (verband) between evil and suffering on one side and human freedom on the other can be identified in theodicies of Augustine and Irenaeus. The correlation implies human freedom to decide as agents self between good and evil.




Van Niekerk discusses the human conditions with reference to all humans being part of the same group. He for example writes that "we" are responsible for all [own insert] evils. <self: Van Niekerk's opinion is not true according to me because of my postulate that all people can be divided between an honest and dishonest group.


What about evils not caused by humans?




Van Niekerk opines that the evils and suffering is a mystery. He states like a 'true believer' that "He" who is "One" is God.


Post-teïsme, nihilisme en “god is dood”


Melchert – "The Great Conversation. Vol II. Descartes through Derrida and Quine"


Melchert, N. 2011. The Great Conversation. Vol II. Descartes through Derrida and Quine. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 540-547




Nietzsche wrote that philosophies reflect the moral character of philosophers themselves but not necessarily truths per se.




Nietzsche wrote that philosophizing is the will to power whereby philosophers try to recreate the world in their images.


<self: In a sense Nietzsche contradicted him then because whilst criticizing other philosophers for not being truthful he also praised them for their wills to power. The contradiction can probably be explained by Nietzsche's honesty. Although he acclaimed a Dionysian drive, which according to my current understanding includes deceiving, he did not actually deceive to accomplish his ideals. It could be false that he acclaimed Dionysius's deceit, because maybe he just acclaimed the despotic part as long as it was done honestly. Despotism however cannot be combined with honesty because of revolutions, which overthrow despotism. Nietzsche's problem was that he did not rationalize "dogmatic" honesties like most other pragmatists. Distinguishing Nietzsche from other pragmatists are his honesties, except for his postulate of the "Superman", which i currently without having read Zarathustra, understand to be a singular concept similar to "Messias". I lost interest in Nietzsche whilst reading Human, All Too Human because of his arguments against "dogmatic" honesties, if i remember correctly.>




Nietzsche wrote that applying truths are not the strongest methodology because we do not know what realities really are. He for example wrote that Kant's categories do not reflect realities as its are.




Nietzsche questioned cause and effect because he stated we do not see things continuously. There is much we do not perceive therefore our understanding of cause and effect is not correct. We are however dependent on our understandings, even its not being truths.


<self: Nietzsche's truths was thus something we cannot attain, similar to Jaspers's in-perceivable or incommunicable reality.>


It seems Nietzsche was also against innovation because he wrote innovation was one of the four errors of human kind.


Nietzsche was a naturalist because he said humans are animals and the most dependent animal in existence. <self: It is not true that Nietzsche was a naturalist or in other words a materialist.>




Nietsche said honesties are the cause of our problems because of our belief in truths. <self: This view of Nietzsche is false. I understand Nietzsche to have meant—not realizing—we cannot reflect reality, even whilst being honest, is a problem of "truth", although maybe he did not say it explicitly but only lived it, like Jesus did. It is this—not realizing—that causes sacrifice of other human beings with accusations that they think they are the "One" when they say they are honest and they acclaim truths. A reason of the—not realizing—is psychological barriers, which the idea of the "One" only causes. The idea of the "One" blinds believers in "One" and they do not realize that definitions for words of definitions for words ad infinitum[125], differs in minds and therefore honest descriptions cannot reflect realities. I am currently not certain about the methodology for life, Nietzsche promoted after realizing the fact about endlessness of words. Did he promote methodologies, which take us further away from realities by promoting conscious lying or did he promote enhanced honesties? My current understanding is that he did not promote conscious deceit (a necessary "truth", which most Christians say implicitly) as acceptable and that is partly why he was sacrificed and accused of thinking he is "One". Nietzsche's life supports my opinion because he did not live like a naturalist or a materialist as far as i know.>




Nietzsche annulled the material world in search of a higher truth. <self: Melchert contradicts himself here because on p. 542 he said Nietzsche was a naturalist, which is similar to a materialist but here he says Nietzsche annulled the material world in favor of a higher truth. There are thus incoherencies in Melchert's critique, probably because he wants to discredit Nietzsche as person. Melchert however does not realize the contradictions of Nietzsche. If everything Nietzsche wrote is opposed the oppositions will be contradicting because Nietzsche contradicted himself. Melchert's critique fails because he uses argumentum ad hominem tactics, without realizing the contradictions in the corpus he critiques.>




Melchert shows with all the questions he asks about Nietzsche's dead god that he does not understand the parable. <self: Nietzsche's parable of the madman probably relates to the slaying of people like Caesar, Socrates, Jesus and many other honest people. There are striking similarities between the story about Diogenes of Sinope who searched for an honest man, with his lantern, during the day and Nietzsche's parable.




Nietzsche wrote honesty, an attribute of Christianity will make the Christian God null and void, but Melchert does not understand Nietzsche. <self: Nietsche meant that when all Christians will be honest then the singular "God Himself Who cannot lie" does not exist any more because then many people are honest and God then are a plural concept.




Nietzsche chose to oppose Christianity as a severe nihilism, because Christianity sacrificed God. Nietzsche wrote the death of God makes it possible for philosophers to live again in search of new truths and he asked what happens to human kind when there is no God to give laws. <self: There is contradiction here because Nietzsche said on the one hand that Christianity sacrificed God and he opposes the sacrifices but on the other hand he praised the sacrifices because after all honest people have been sacrificed God will be exterminated and it will be possible to be honest without being sacrificed.>


Postmodernisme, pragmatisme en geloof:


Westphal Merold – Postmodernism and Religious Reflection


Westphal, M. 2008. Postmodernism and Religious Reflection. In: Eshleman, A. (Ed). 2008. Readings in Philosophy of Religion. East meets West. Malden: Blackwell Publishing, 426-433.




Postmodernism is essentially an explanation of the metaphysical subjectivity of the definitions for words of definitions for words ad infinitum[126], which implicitly form parts of our dialogues; and how these subjectivities can be absolute truths to individual believers, without forced interference from an outside influence, for example organized religion, which monopolizes meaning.



"As the denial of Hegelian totality postmodernism is a critique of onto-theo-logy. This is Heidegger's term for a feature of Aristotle's metaphysics.." <self: This means to me a denial of the metaphysical power of "One", which is connected to only one person or maximally three persons, being the Father, the Mother of God and the Son. Aristotle ascribed the "doctrine of the One"[127] to Anaxagoras. "The infinite cannot be a single and simple body. Reason: it cannot be, as acclaimed by some, a thing over and above the elements (from which they produce these), nor can it have being simpliciter. There is no such body over and above the elements. Every-thing can be dissolved back into that of which it is composed, and there is no evidence of any such ultimate component beyond the simple bodies. [1067a] Nor can the infinite be fire or any other of the elements. For leaving aside any one of them's (sic) being infinite, it is not possible for the entire universe, even if it were to be limited, either to be or to become some one of them all (recall Heraclitus' claim that from time to time everything becomes fire). In fact, the same reasoning applies to the infinite as to the One introduced over and above the elements by the philosophers of nature. After all, everything changes from one contrary to another, from hot, say, to cold."[128] Aristotle referred to "philosophers of nature" and Anaxagoras as creators of the idea of 'One'. Tarnas mentioned Aristotle to be an ancient empiricist[129]. "Empiricist" can be understood as "natural philosopher". It seems that Aristotle did not consider himself to be a "natural philosopher" because of his metaphysical claims, maybe by implicitly referring together with Plato to a 'noumenon' respected metaphysical character in immanent things. Aristotle's categories are similar to Kant's categories but Kant praised Plato more than he praised Aristotle. Could it be that Aristotle opposing the idea of "One" in connection with a singular human implies that Plato and Platonists believed in a power of "One" connected metaphysically to one human being. (He quotes David Brink (1989), a naturalist, who investigated Plato's dialogue, Euthyphro. In the dialogue (10a) God is postulated to conform to objective morals and God is postulated to subjectively lay down the law.)[130] Maybe the matter do not actually relate to singularity because no rational human believes in singularity. In the one sense Aristotle's premises against the idea of "One" could have been an attempt to convince himself he is not God. Plato's postulate in Euthyphro seems to be an argument in favor of Kings in the Egyptian fashion where laws are given on Obelisks. Were those laws on obelisks written during the lives or after the lives of "Kings"? Plato postulated laws during the lives of Kings by Kings selves (Statesman) and did not postulate interpretations of Kings' wishes. The Egyptian system could be interpretations on obelisks by priests and hermeneutic investigators. Aristotle seems to have argued in favor of democrats but he taught Alexander the Great. Aristotle was probably one of the bourgeoisie kingmakers because his father was physician to the Macedonian king.>


' "To those who can read, this means: metaphysics is onto-theo-logy." '[131]




Philosophy is theology because "the deity" and the whole are studied by philosophy rather than studying parts of the whole.




The deeper meaning of postmodernism is Hegelian fallacy that we are not God, the deeper meaning of postmodernism is not that God does not exist. <self: He then contradicted the above statement.>




Westphal's Postmodernism and Religious Reflection is a difficult paper to follow. My understanding is that he wrote postmodernism as a whole opposes ethics by removing the function of humans to give positive laws in order to have a stable world. He wrote the God of philosophy is false and that the God of theology is reality. He referred several times to God as "Truth" but also used capital letters with other words.


Geloof, rasionaliteit (rede), en waarheidsaansprake


Plantinga Alvin – 'Religious Belief as "Properly Basic" '


Plantinga, A. 2003. Religious Belief as “Properly Basic”. In: Taliaferro, C. & Griffiths, P.J. (Eds) 2003. Philosophy of Religion. An Anthology. Malden: Blackwell Publishing, 200-225.


"For present purposes, perhaps the main epistemological question is this: what is the source of rationality, or warrant, or positive epistemic status, if any, enjoyed by religious belief? Is it of the same sort as that enjoyed by belief in the teachings of current science? Is the evidence, if any, for religious belief of the same sort as that for scientific beliefs?" [132]




Bertrand Russel said there is not enough evidence to believe in God.


Plantinga investigates the belief that God is an "immaterial" "person" that "exists a se", a "him", on which the whole world depends.




He referred to god as a "she" as well in the context of having it to easy. If it is presupposed that God exists then "she" will have it to easy.




According to atheists it is irrational to believe in the possibility of God, which has not been proven to exist. Atheism only beliefs what their senses affirm but do not believe in possibilities of God, not experienced but only realized in thought.




Telling lies after consequentialist predicting requires lying is a "truth" of "situation ethics", which was ' ill-named "new morality." '




Plantinga asks why atheists need evidence to believe in God in the current circumstances in which we cannot afford to believe only what we evidently experience.




Evidentialist atheism roots arguments in foundationalism. Foundationalism states that basic things can be regarded true but non-basic things need to "trace back" to basics before it should be believed. God is not a basic truth and therefore evidence is needed to believe in God.




Basic belief means something you "know"[133] for example that i ate eggs and toast this morning for breakfast. It relates to noetic knowledge, which are not doubted. Foundationalism is grounded in normative noetic structures of belief. Normative refers to requirements of society.




Foundationalism is problematic because "basic self-evident" believes cannot be proved true.




Plantinga asks why Reformed and Calvinist thinkers do not accept attempts to prove the existence of God.


Herman Bavinck a Dutch theologian argued faith in God should be the starting point of any reasoning. God should not be a conclusion (natural theology)  after other observations.




Kant also referred to "him" as God.




The 20th century theologian Karl Barth wrote reason should never be used with regards to arguments about God's existence because it is a sign of self-sufficient hubris.




Plantinga argues belief in God is basic because it is "circumstantial" and not "groundless" and he analogize the belief with other basic knowledge for example when i know i had eggs and toast for breakfast it is because i am aware my memory has not failed before with regards to remembering what i had for breakfast. The circumstances thus warrant basic knowledge and it is not groundless knowledge, similar to belief in God. The circumstances, which warrant belief in God is "guilt, gratitude, danger, a sense of God's presence, a sense that he speaks, perception of various parts of the universe."[134] God's existence is not the basic belief but rather that "God" forgives, "God" disapproves, "God" speaks, "God" creates and "God is to be thanked and praised." Existence of a "person" who is God is then inferred from these basic beliefs.

3rd CLASS - Die verhouding tussen transendensie en immanensie in ons hedendaagse kultuur



Otherness or alterity is a continental concept[135], which was significantly first developed by Immanuel Levinas during the 20th century.[136] 'The poet Arthur Rimbaud may be the earliest to express the idea: "Je est un autre" (I is another).'[137] Karl Jaspers wrote much about the transcending effect of consciously thinking about the subject-object dichotomy when transcending the concept of The-other. Karl Jaspers was a Christian Existentialist[138].

The word "alterity" in English is not an old word. It has no synonyms in the New Oxford American Thesaurus and was defined as "alterity |ôlˈteritē| - noun formal - the state of being other or different; otherness. ORIGIN mid 17th cent.: from late Latin alteritas, from alter ‘other.’ "[139] Other relevant words are "alter" with an e, which means to change and "altar" with an a which relates to religious sacrifice and informally to marriage and "alterability"[140], which is also a noun like "alterity". Alter with an e and altar with an a are pronounced the same according to dictionaries[141] ("|ˈôltər|"[142]).

The Oxford dictionary of philosophy[143] lists "otherness", "alienation", "authenticity", relevant.


What is meant by " 'transcendence as alterity' " in philosophical discourse?[144]

Statement to solve the problem

"Alterity" refers to the conditions under which creators are sacrificed with religious justification and "transcendence as alterity" refers to creators who manage to transcend social sacrifice, especially with reference to existentialism and the capitalist entrepreneurial system.


Stoker's and Van der Merwe's book, "CULTURE AND TRANSCENDENCE.." was read once and Verhoef's paper, "How to do philosophy of religion.." was read once. I was influenced much by reading works of Karl Jaspers and i was influenced by comments on Karl Jaspers's writings by Samay and Kane, with regards to transcendence.



Stoker's and Van der Merwe's book refers to the topic with " 'transcendence as alterity' ", which is also the topic of Annemie Halsema's paper "LUCE IRIGARAY'S TRANSCENDENCE AS ALTERITY"[145]. "Alterity" can be compared with "otherness" because the two words are adjectival nouns. Adjectival nouns do not normally identify the important difference between singularity and plurality, which is a significant part of the discourse with regards to alterity. When The-other is postulated without identifying the reality of plural Others-than-only-selves, problems with regard to alterities are emphasized through religious superstition.

Some gods and goddesses of mythology are represented with radical alterabilities of animal and anthropomorphic character. Eventually the images of gods and goddesses changed into an incorporeal metaphysical entity currently.

In current discourse however the anthropomorphic character of God has not disappeared completely because of metaphors like Mother, Father and Son of God, which are equated with humans, being honest according to the Bible and Thomas Aquinas.


How do the circumstances mentioned above affect "transcendence as alterity"?

First, "transcendence as alterity" does not normally affect group members directly because they do not possess alterability in their normativity. Alterity relates to trauma[146] of individuals and notions about the "gift of death"[147]. Alterity escapes nihilism.[148]

Second, "transcendence as alterity" affects honest individuals because of the subject-object dichotomy[149]. Stoker explains this as rejection of the "opposition between transcendence and immanence." [150] When subjects are honest and their object of study or belief is postulated with authentic characteristics for example honest God, then naturally, authentic subjects will have difficulty to distinguish between themselves as subjects and their object of thought, being God. The source of "transcendence as alterity" thus relates to identifying an object of thought, we have attributes of, separate from us, whilst the object is thought of. Phenomena for example are accepted and written about as objects in our minds only. Kant identified realities of objects, being noumena outside of our minds, in the objects themselves, in opposition to his phenomena.[151] Nietzsche's book, Beyond good and evil, shows part of society does not rationalize the necessity of "dogmatic" truths.[152] Honest people are accused of thinking they are ones, like "bats". Creators or in Griffiths mind bats, and agents plus God complete Christian accounts.[153] No wonder "transcendence as alterity" exists.

Third then, "transcendence as alterity" has its origins in difficulties due to marginalization. A metaphor about old God (devilish elders) and Lucifers (the marginalized) are relevant. The Socrates who criticized music and the musical Socrates is an example.[154] ' "Hence since the musical Socrates is another determination from the wise Socrates, Socrates was separated from himself." '[155] There are other types of alterabilities, which could cause transcendence to a higher power because of difficulties experienced for example, enhanced authenticities in traditions of creators[156]. When "tracing transcendence"[157] and "messianism"[158] "God’s transcending towards us resembles the structure of transcendence as alterity in the thought of philosophers such as Levinas and even Irigaray."[159] "Radical transcendence as alterity"[160] is a countercultural movement relating to authenticities due to notions attached to "ulterior" motives, identified in authenticities and The-authentic, according to Charles Taylor, who is studied as part of our work. "Gratitude springs from enjoying and finding beneficial the creatures and creations around you."[161] The weakness of singularity is often disregarded because of superstitions about supernatural alterabilities when creators are sacrificed with utilitarian motivations.

Transcendence can be divided between transcendence from a weak position and transcendence from a strong position. Transcendence from a weak position can be equated with "alterity" and "otherness" because usually, the powerful in the form of numbers of people or technology, identifies alterities. Identifying alterities and marginalizing alterabilities identified, is an opposite type of transcendence and survival than "transcendence as alterity".

Cynocephali[162] refers to beings with dog heads. It occurred in Egyptian mythology and Saint Christopher[163] was also depicted with a dog head. Socrates swore in the name of the dog[164] and not in Zeus's name and was partly because of that, sentenced to suicide. Identifying causes of reverse evolution, for example stress, is therefor and important task, which relates to "transcendence as alterity".



Alterity or otherness is identified when individuals are different from the majority and also when groups differ culturally or differ in some other manner.          Weak positions, partly then, causes outreach to something metaphysical outside of selves, as help, to deal with the difficulties of marginalization. "Transcendence as alterity" then happens.

Creators sometimes enter careers for example music and writing, which benefit themselves and the powerful with performance and publication rights. Ideas, gathered during 'tracing of transcendence' are used in the entrepreneurial system, whilst creators are subjected to reverse and forward evolution.


List of references

ARISTOTLE.  384-322 BC.  The metaphysics.  (Translated by Lawson-Tancred, H.  London, England: Penguin.  2004)

BLACKBURN, S.  Oxford dictionary of philosophy.  (Oxford, United Kingdom: Oxford University Press, ©2008, 2nd edition.)

Collins English Dictionary. Glasgow: HarperCollins, 1994 3rd edition.

Frankenberry, N. "Feminist Philosophy of Religion", (In: Edward N. Zalta (ed.),The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, summer 2013 edition, URL =

GRIFFITHS, Paul J. Religion. (In: Philosophy of Religion: An Anthology, journal edited by Charles Taliaferro and Paul J. Griffiths, published by Blackwell Philosophy, edition of journal not available, pp. 31-43. Received from North-West University by post on CD during July 2013. CD name: FILH680 FILM881. Location on CD: \Leereenheid 1\2. Religie en god\GRIFFITHS – TELIAFERRO GRIFFITHS PHILOSOPHY OF RELIGION 31-43.pdf)

HALSEMA, A.  Luce Irigaray's transcendence as alterity. (In: Stoker, W. & Van der Merwe, W.L. (eds.).  Culture and transcendence: a typology of transcendence. Digital file name: STOKER VAN DER MERWE - CULTURE AND TRANCENDENCE.pdf, pp. 101-114, 2012.)

KANE, J.F.  1981. Pluralism and truth in religion: Karl Jaspers on existential truth. (Ann Arbor, Michigan, United States of America: American Academy of Religion, Edward Brothers, Scholars Press, McMaster University.)

PLATO.  The republic.  (Translated by Desmond Lee. London: Penguin, 2007)

SAMAY, S.  ©1971. Reason Revisited:    The philosophy of Karl Jaspers. (Dublin, Ireland: Gill and Macmillan.)

STOKER, W. Culture and transcendence: a typology (In: Stoker, W. & Van der Merwe, W.L. (eds.).  Culture and transcendence: a typology of transcendence. Digital file name: STOKER VAN DER MERWE - CULTURE AND TRANCENDENCE.pdf, pp. 3-23, 2012.)

Stoker, W. & Van der Merwe, W.L. (eds.). Culture and transcendence: a typology of transcendence. (Digital file name: STOKER VAN DER MERWE - CULTURE AND TRANCENDENCE.pdf, 198 pages. 2012.)

NIETZSCHE, F. 1886.  Beyond good and evil: prelude to a philosophy of the future. (Translated by R.J. Holllingdale. London, England: Penguin, 3rd Penguin edition, 2003)

New Oxford American Dictionary, Version 2.1 (80), © 2005–2009 Apple Inc. All rights reserved.

North-West University.  2012. Leesbundel. (In: Geskiedenis van die filosofie, studiegids vir PHIL 221 PAC)

Van der KOOI, Struck by an arrow from beyond an impassable river: transcendence in Karl Barth's "The epistle to the Romans". (In: Stoker, W. & Van der Merwe, W.L. (eds.).  Culture and transcendence: a typology of transcendence. Digital file name: STOKER VAN DER MERWE - CULTURE AND TRANCENDENCE.pdf, pp. 54-63. 2012.)

Van der MERWE, W.  Conclusion: tracing transcendence. (In: Stoker, W. & Van der Merwe, W.L. (eds.).  Culture and transcendence: a typology of transcendence. Digital file name: STOKER VAN DER MERWE - CULTURE AND TRANCENDENCE.pdf, pp. 187-198. 2012.)

Van TONGEREN, P.  Nihilism and transcendence.  (In: Stoker, W. & Van der Merwe, W.L. (eds.).  Culture and transcendence: a typology of transcendence. Digital file name: STOKER VAN DER MERWE - CULTURE AND TRANCENDENCE.pdf, pp. 152-163. 2012.)

VERHOEF, A.H. 2012. How to do philosophy of religion: a possible speaking about the impossible (South African Journal of Philosophy, Vol. 31 Issue 2, pp. 419-432.)

VERSTEEG, W.  Trauma as transcendence: Beyond the limits of experience? (In: Stoker, W. & Van der Merwe, W.L. (eds.).  Culture and transcendence: a typology of transcendence. Digital file name: STOKER VAN DER MERWE - CULTURE AND TRANCENDENCE.pdf, pp. 115-125. 2012.)

WESTPHAL, M.  Dimensions of divine transcendence: from abstract to concrete. (In: Stoker, W. & Van der Merwe, W.L. (eds.).  Culture and transcendence: a typology of transcendence. Digital file name: STOKER VAN DER MERWE - CULTURE AND TRANCENDENCE.pdf, pp. 126-137. 2012.)

WOLTERSTORFF, N. 1995. Points of unease with the creation order tradition. (In Walsh, B.J., Hart, H., VanderVennen, R.E. eds. An ethos of compassion and the integrity of creation. Lanham: University Press of America, pp. 62-66).




Stoker, W. & Van der Merwe, W.L. (eds.), 2012. Culture and Transcendence: A Typology of Transcendence, Leuven: Peeters.

Stoker and Van der Merwe - "INTRODUCTION"

Religion is again becoming more prominent in contemporary society, especially with regard to transcendence. Transcendence has several meanings and does not only refer to the beyond for example in Husserl's phenomenology, which relates to consciousness.[165]


Stoker divides transcendence into four types to give a "heuristic" model in which transcendence can be better understood. The heuristic was given form by authors and artists since the Romantic era, which originated[166] in the late 18th century.[167] Two of the types have their origin in Christianity and two in "humanist-spiritual" culture.[168]

Four types of transcendence

The first type is " 'immanent transcendence' ". Humans were "alienated" from God or the "absolute", which is similar to humans, but humans are aware of the other absolute reality through everyday experience. Schleiermacher, Hegel and Tillich are examples.[169]

The second type is " 'radical transcendence' ". God is radically different from the believer and whereas the first type is recognized by a transparent approach to God this second type relates more to a jealous God. Kierkegaard, Barth and Marion are examples. At radical transcendence "being" is understood more as a noun than a present participle verb.[170] Creation from nothing is a prominent concept in this tradition.[171]

The third type is " 'radical immanence' ", where the beyond is reduced to immanence in for example Nietzsche, Heidegger and Altizer.[172] Kenosis, the 2nd coming and a "Kingdom" is prominent here.[173] In Altizer, Spirit is antithesis of Jesus of Nazareth due to a dialectical development of Spirit from being peaceful to having wills to immanent power. The "death of God" implies death of God of the beyond to become ones again, immanent in this world.[174]

The fourth type, " 'transcendence as alterity' " builds on the 2nd, radical transcendence but the beyond becomes more immanent. The "opposition" relevant at radical transcendence is not emphasized. Derrida, Levinas, Irigaray and Taylor (part of) are examples.[175]

"The importance of the types"

The types are important because normativity in own cultures and critique towards own cultures are differently identified in each of the types.[176]

"Types of transcendence as form or open concept"

Each of the 4 types is a form of religious experience, which needs to be further specified with content.[177] Authors or artists add the content and the form is added by the culture they are part of.[178]

"Transcendence as alterity (Derrida)"

Derrida acknowledges differences, which can be abstracted from a text. By abstracting the differences, contradictions can be identified in a text, being studied. Language cannot precisely reflect realities. By abstracting the differences movements can be "traced". The development, which can be traced, signifies becomings of human beings. All of us have responsibilities to live ethically and we have to consider that utilities used could have been available for use by someone else if we did not use its.[179]

Derrida and apophatic God

Derrida's view of the wholly other can be compared with apophatic language because negative theology does not define God ontologically. By saying what God is not, the wholly others are indescribable.[180]

Immanent transcendence


Without going into detail of Tillich's theology i undertood Schüßler explanation of Tillich's view to show that the tradition of immanent transcendence explains a God of "depth". The oneness of this God, which is referred to with singular pronouns "Him" and "him" causes the subject-object dichotomy, which Karl Jaspers wrote about. Plato's metaphysics was also emphasized, which i thought was a mentioning of only part of Plato's philosophy.[181] In The statesman Plato made a clear distinction between good and bad leaders, which should be understood in conjunction with Plato's metaphysics. Plato can then be interpreted to mean today that God has a metaphysical part, which gives humans the courage to be parts of God in immanence. Tillich is a good example of someone who has been blinded by singular explanations of God.


Vosloo identifies a renewed interest in religion. The "death of God" of Nietzsche and Freud happened in conjunction with the death of secularism, which caused the ' "death of the death of God" '[182].[183]

"It is Bonhoeffer’s reasoning that nineteen hundred years of preaching and theology have been built on the ‘religious a priori’ in human beings."[184]

Bonhoeffer emphasized the question about the post-metaphysical conception of God.[185] Tillich focused on a transcendent nature of God, which can be metaphorically talked about. Bonhoeffer wants to leave Tillich's kind of discussion out of his own because he wants to discuss God being present in the world doing the good, which is necessary.[186] Bonhoeffer does not distance himself from the anthropomorphic nature of God. [187] Tillich distanced him from the anthropomorphic side of God. The unresolved subject-object dichotomy, which is present in their (Tillich's and Bonhoeffer) writings place them with immanent transcendence.

First conclusion about immanent transcendence

It seems Tillich's and Bonhoeffer's language about God mentioned immanence and transcendence. With Tillich's emphasis on the beyond he distances himself from the anthropomorphic nature of God. The uses of pronounce "him" and "Him" to refer to God are because the beyond cannot be written about without using metaphors. Bonhoeffer although he mentions the beyond refers more to "Jesus Christ" and thus the anthropomorphic nature of God. The singularity of God with no parts, they belief in, makes it impossible to use language, which signifies the beyond and the immanent in identifiable ways. The singular male connotations they have with God blinded them to realize the reality of what God are in fact.

Radical transcendence

Van der KOOI - Cornelis 'Struck by an arrow from beyond an impassable river: transcendence in Karl Barth's "The epistle to the Romans".'

Barth views the presence of Jesus Christ of Nazareth as an historical event, which shows the utter weakness of humanity. God transcends from the beyond and when people are touched by the transcendence it leads to disaster. Humans have no influence on God and we live totally at the mercy of God. God is thus the totally other, which brings alterity into the picture. His conceives of alterity in the sense of what is in the beyond, totally apart from us, and can therefore not be fathomed at all.[188]


"It is well-known how Max Weber links the rise of capitalism to the Calvinistic work-ethic (Weber 2002)[189] and Hans Blumenberg has argued that modernity cannot be understood except in relation to developments in later medieval theology, more specifically, the rise of nominalism and voluntarism (Blumenberg 1966)[190]. It becomes increasingly clear that certain aspects of modernity are linked to aspects or forms of thought of Christianity."[191] "Voluntarism – Generally a position seeing reason and intellect as subservient to the will: any position sympathizing with Hume's dictum that reason is and ought to be the slave of the passions. … The theological position that all values are traits that become elevated through being chosen by God is also known by the name."[192] ".. theological moral voluntarism: that God's arbitrary will determines what is morally good and bad. This view is also known as the Divine Command Theory; another name for it is theological moral positivism. … The theory that the law of the state is the will of the sovereign legislator and derives whatever binding force it has from this fact. This view is also known as the will-theory; another name for it is legal positivism."[193]

Gauchet built on these views of Weber and Blumenberg when he wrote that modernity was a result of Christianity and that the current irreligious time resulted from Christianity's logic.[194] <self: Whether Gauchet referred to the voluntary (deceiving) side or the reasoning (honest) side of Christianity is not clear currently. Can the two sides be separated?> 'Thence, Gauchet’s provocative expression that Christianity is “the religion for departing from religion” (1997: 101).[195]

The notion of ‘departing from religion’ (Gauchet’s sortie de la religion) is indeed central to Gauchet’s thinking and in his understanding of modern and post-modern ways of thinking.'[196] Gauchet's departure from religion refers to a societal departure because he said that on a personal level religion does not depart.[197] <self: It seems thus Gauchet was writing from the "voluntary" societal viewpoint of Rousseau and Calvinism, which according to my current understanding excommunicate creators and accept them back into society after they have gone crazy and been imprisoned. These writers did not realize that the truth that modernity was built on existed because of courage from faiths to be honest. The departure from religion causes societal nihilism. The necessity of honesty is then not realized by society and the courage to be honest does not exist and evil then overtakes the world because the resistance against evil by society, which religion does not encourage, do not exist any more. The courage to be honest is only promoted by religion in individual creators, who eventually snaps and then become lawgivers or are imprisoned.>

"This is also to say that the sortie de la religion is not “proclaiming yet again the death of the gods and the disappearance of their devotees” (Gauchet 1997: 4)[198]."[199] <self: The issue mentioned here about the "devotees" of "gods" is a sensitive issue, which like the singularity of God causes blindness (irrationality). The devotion that is ascribed to God is too much for a human and even for humans in the plural. Reality also implies that praising in religion is not healthy for humans being praised in religious manner. Sayings like "power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely" resulted from the praise of people and powers given to them. It can however happen that an artist or artists have a mesmerizing effect on devotees but the abilities of an artist is not necessarily equated with religious creativities. In Bentley's study he showed there is an inverse relation between memory and logic. Singing for example requires a very good memory because the words have to be remembered and the notes. Creating (doing/developing) art is not the same as creating through logos of religion. Was Jesus not an artist nor a writer? There is a difference between a music writer and a singer. They are dependent on one another but their abilities are varied. The creativities of creators in religion are social political type of creativities, which benefit other people in a social way. The relationship between a singer and a songwriter proves the interdependence between equity and intequity. Singers have equity and songwriters have intequity. I do not mean authors who steal their ideas (John Perry Barlow?). In a sense singers develop ideas of songwriters by implementing songwriters' ideas. There are individuals who have long memories and good logic but they are very rare.[200] Socrates had intequity when he philosophized and it seems he had to near death, before he became musical Socrates with equity.>

"In order to understand modernity – indeed, in order to understand Christianity – one has to go back, far back: way before modernity and even before Christianity; back into the origins of religion and of mankind as such."[201]

Gauchet removes God in the Jewish tradition to the beyond and therefore radical transcendence is required to keep God in the world. The Messiah could incarnate God in this world as the 2nd coming of Christ. Jesus of Nazareth was the opposite of the Messiah because Jesus of Nazareth's message referred not to an Earthly Kingdom but rather a kingdom in each Christian and in heaven.[202]

Radical immanence


'Deleuze rejects any form of transcendence, connecting it with the poisonous “logic of representation” (Deleuze 2004: 155)[203], a way of thinking in which thought and language represent being(s).'[204] Representationalism is compared to syntactic understanding of a computer, in contrast to semantic understanding by humans.[205] Representationism opposes metaphoric use of words. Deleuze acknowledges the necessity of transcendence to be honest whilst altering the status quo by being honest, but he opposes changes and creativities caused by honesty and correspondence to reality. Justaert asks, "What does the logic of representation have to do with transcendence?"[206] The question does not realize the danger, which is implied by representation. The dualism[207] in representation she identifies does not imply danger to the question and therefore the question's answer shows the correlation between representation and "transcendence as alterity". Justaert wrote for Deleuze[208] creativities do not exist in the logic of representation. Seems Deleuze is like Rousseau, Charles Taylor and some other Calvinists and some Jewish believers against creativities because only their utilitarian God may create and all other creators should be sacrificed.

"Throughout the history of philosophy, there have always been thinkers who tried to install a plane of immanence (Deleuze and Guattari 1991)[209], realizing that thinking within a transcendent scheme only leads to death, thus leaving no room for creativity at all."[210] "After that, the battle for an immanence-in-itself was irrevocably lost against Christian philosophy, which could only bear immanence in homeopathic doses. The plane of immanence was thus sharply controlled by the transcendent Creator. And this wasn’t just a theoretical problem. The lives of thinkers such as Meister Eckhart or Giordano Bruno were seriously endangered when they tried to defend immanence too passionately."[211] Deleuze like Spinoza promoted an immanence-in-itself, which discards the reference of immanence to objects, which implies transcendence. They were thus searching for the noumena of immanence as immanence-in-itself and this noumena of immanence was called "plane of immanence". Sartre re-affirmed the rights of transcendence and therefore the meaning of immanence to refer to a concept called immanent, which is inherent in objects.[212]

"Immanence: a life…"[213] "Firstly, it is striking that Deleuze explicitly writes ‘a’ life and not ‘the’ life. Life, for Deleuze, is impersonal. Life is Being itself; it is a power that runs through every being. In a being, life is temporarily expressed and crystallized. To personalize life would mean to try to stop its dynamics and its creativity. Secondly, this life is the absolute immanent because it is not divided into categories or hierarchies: a life of a human being is literally equal to a life of a rock (Pearson 2001)[214]. Finally, ‘beatitude’ is the state of mind of an immanent life: the mind is filled with joy when the realization dawns that it is not we who think, but God (Being) who thinks through us. Again, this is a movement of depersonalisation."[215] "In fact, both a spiritual and a political ‘programme’ are discernable in this plea for radical immanence, showing how practically oriented Deleuze’s philosophy really is."[216]


"For Deleuze and Guattari, the creative is inextricably interconnected with the social and the political, even to the extent that they state that “politics precedes Being” (Deleuze and Guattari 1987: 225)[217]."[218] " On the level of the collective, the social implications of an immanent ethics are translated into the vision of the ‘people to come’, the formation of assemblages, collective bodies that fight ‘the State’ (a concept that symbolizes any organization of hierarchies and repression)."[219] " The radically immanent can be understood as transcending our lives, because the whole interpretation of the plane of immanence as a goal to strive for, away from the world of representation, pictures this form of immanence as quasi unattainable. To reach it, we have to transcend our own ego, give up our personality. With his plane of immanence, Deleuze creates a place where all egos are left behind, thus stressing the contingency of Being. So transcendence does have a meaning in Deleuze’s philosophy, but it is the dynamic meaning of transcending as an act of human beings or of beings in general. Their static form transcends towards a more dynamic constellation in which they can be creative, in which they can produce again. … The act of transcending has nothing to do with verticality: on the contrary, it is meant to annul any kind of hierarchical position."[220]


"In a letter to a friend, Deleuze writes:


I believe that a worthwhile book can be represented in three quick ways. A worthy book is written only if (1) you think that the books on the same or a related subject fall into a sort of general error (polemical function of a book); (2) you think that something essential about the subject has been forgotten (inventive function); (3) you consider that you are capable of creating a new concept (creative function) (Dosse 2010: 112)[221]."[222]

Justaert concludes by writing that Deleuze's writing is "spiritual" because it promotes i.e. creativities. Deleuze opposed transcendence because it represents i.e. dualism.[223] <self: I do not understand how Deleuze can promote creativities and oppose dualism because some people oppose creativities. People who oppose creativities oppose thus Deleuze's promotion of creativities. This implies that Deleuze had complete peace in mind about the group who opposes creativities, probably because they did not oppose development of his creativities by himself, which could imply he was in the same group of people who opposes creativities. He maybe had a license to create, ones could say. Another possibility is that Deleuze's "transcendence as alterity" made him, in a way, independent from utilitarians, because his creativities was of such nature that he could create without entering a downward spiral of self-destruction. When reading this file on 29 October 2013 it seemed that Deleuze identified a danger in honesties, which he equated with cannibals who use people as homeopathic medicine. The identification was also done elsewhere by another author. Deleuze's creativity is thus not immanent at all although he is classified under radical immanence. The radical immanence of Deleuze seems to be totally in concepts through words, which is not related to reality, or maybe only related to reality through some sort of metaphoric meaning, which he thinks removes him from the dangers he identified with regard to honesties.>


Du Preez understands radical immanence in the sense of putting oneself in dangerous positions for example with extreme sports. She opines it is not acceptable behavior for her.[224]

Transcendence as alterity


"In the context of her interest in spirituality and religion, Irigaray often refers to the notion of ‘horizontal transcendence’, her alternative to the transcendence of God as an object entity. It includes a relationship to the alterity of the other. It is an ethical notion that refers to the possibilities for self and other to develop fully in themselves and to relate to each other in respect of difference. I will claim that it is a central notion in Irigaray’s humanism. As a notion of transcendence, it is close to Stoker’s “transcendence as alterity” in which transcendence and immanence are no longer considered as opposition."[225] <It seems there are relations between immanent transcendence and transcendence as alterity because immanent transcendence viewed immanence and transcendence as a whole.>

"She especially finds a connection between immanence and transcendence in the practice of yoga, between what “emanates from the here and now (immanent) and what is situated in the beyond (transcendent)” (1996a, p. 216, my transl.)[226]."[227] <self: This explanation of Irigaray, kind of explains Kant's noumena in a Neo-Platonist tradition of emmanation. Because noumena cannot be explained it is relates to metaphysical truth (mett) and emmanating.>

"She [Irigaray] strongly disapproves of the teleological direction that is characteristic of Plato’s thought and of religious tradition – namely, the orientation towards the One presented as the sun, Ideas or God."[228] "Plato tends to use 'gods' (plural) or 'god' (singular) indifferently. When he speaks of 'god' we must not interpret him in terms of simple monotheism. He thought that the myths of Greek polytheism were crude and misleading, .. He does seem to have believed (like most Greeks) in a supreme god, but he would not have regarded that belief as precluding the existence of a multiplicity of spiritual powers of whom many could rank as (subordinate) gods. This is the sort of theology we meet in the Timaeus and Laws."[229]

"Women in a masculine tradition are deprived of opportunities to develop identities as women, because the dominant representations of the feminine are masculine and women have not developed representations of the feminine themselves."[230]

"The masculinity of the God-figure (God as father) is also related to his transcendence by Ricoeur in the last chapter of his essay on Freud, De l’interprétation (1965)[231]. Ricoeur reflects upon why, when imagining God, the figure of the father is more privileged than that of the mother. Without doubt, he writes, it has to do with the richer, symbolic virtuality of the father-figure. The father does not appear as generator, as does the mother, but as giver of the name, of the law. As such, he himself escapes from name giving. As institution of the name, he cannot be named, he is irreal: as the Hebrews have already understood, because he gives the name, he is the problem of the name (Ricoeur 1965) [232]."[233] <self: The name and the law, which Halsema equates do not make sense to me because according to my understanding of reality, Hebrews do not give the law. In the West currently, and Middle East around the time of Jesus of Nazareth, Westerners (currently Christians) gave the law and the Hebrews and Jewish people lived under and above the law, except maybe currently in Israel.>

"Irigaray’s aim is to secure a religion that is continuous with the body, the mother, nature, and that functions as an ideal for the spiritual becoming of women. Such a God is radically immanent or intermingles transcendence and immanence."[234] Irigaray opposes the ' "Wholly Other" ' of Christianity and promotes horizontal transcendence between humans.[235] 'It is “communion in pleasure”. Transcendence of the other becomes “extase instante in me and with him – or her” (Irigaray 1991a: 180).[236] ' [237]

"Irigaray’s humanism

In the philosophical and religious tradition, transcendence generally signifies a reality that is beyond, ‘on the other side’ of humanity. Irigaray, however, rejects a notion of transcendence that is not embodied and does not support human becoming."[238]


'The trauma discourse tends to define the wholly other in terms of pain extreme enough to annihilate both language and the self, with the paradoxical result that the boundary between self and other collapses and pain itself becomes sanctified. … As I hope to show in my analysis, the trauma could be understood as a secular metaphor for transcendence – “a massive transposition of transcendence into a naturalistic key” (Weiskel 1976: 4)[239]. '[240] <self: Trauma is not a metaphor because being ostracized as alterity is traumatic.>

"The wholly Other/other can become visible by a reading of the signs or the symptoms indicating his or her presence. But this might require a series of deconstructions in morality, politics, religion or literature, an undoing of the texts that we tend to take for granted and a search for irresolvable contradiction or aporia, (literally, the point that cannot be passed). As the traumatic experience is, by definition, inaccessible to reason, language is used here in a contradictory way: the attempt to transcend towards an Other, to a ‘place’ or mystery beyond the linguistic, involves the discarding of content, the erasing of words, in search of a more authentic tongue. In the following, I will show how this applies to the notion of psychological trauma."[241] <self: Other/other can be divided between Others who/which help and others who cause marginalization as start of events. Another part of Other/other is the phenomena, the traumatic experiences, in the minds of each person. Intimidation is identified; the first cause because intimidation is the first illegal act in a series of possible asocial events. Others, with a capital "O" is the Metaphysical part, plus Others-than-only-selves, plus the phenomena in minds, which/who is transcended to or from. The world can be better understood by identifying parts, which have different roles. Conflating parts, which could have opposing roles, negates understanding.> "Culbertson emphasizes that what we call memories are social fabrications, subject to conventions that define what can (not) be believed: there is a divide between what is bodily known and what can be told. The most famous description of this is Delbo’s distinction between deep sense memory on the one hand, and external or intellectual memory on the other hand: … (Delbo 1990: 3-4)[242]."[243] "Rendering the experience in words helps to re-establish the boundaries of a self that is able to speak in socially appropriate terms and thus to function in a community." [244]

"Acknowledging trauma thus helps us all to embrace alterity. The trauma discourse could then be seen as an example of agape, as “acting intentionally, in response to God and others, to promote overall well-being in response to that which produces ill-being” (Oord 2010: 56)[245]." [246] <self: Love would be enhanced if marginalizations, which cause alterities are ended. This however would be a total change for some because such a change implies a new way of surviving. Such changes are doubtful and maybe different evolutionary tracts are an unchangeable reality.>

"A complicating factor is that the trauma is assumed to be inaccessible, as it has never been stored in linguistic memory. In this sense, trauma discourse is an example of transcendence as alterity, by emphasizing the inaccessible, inexpressible Other in every other. On the other hand, the notion of trauma seems itself to have become a symbol within a particular kind of secular transcendence.

… When the trauma is aestheticized by discussing it in terms of the transcendent, the metaphor runs the risk of effacing the difference between victims, perpetrators and bystanders. Rather than allowing the wholly other to appear, this process threatens to annihilate alterity and to erase moral responsibility. Discussing trauma in terms of the transcendent means at least to run the risk of revering a pathology." [247] <self: Jesus of Nazareth is an example of a symbol with regard to transcendence as alterity.>


' " singularly exposed in our absolute and absolutely naked uniqueness, that is to say disarmed, delivered to the other, incapable even of sheltering ourselves behind what could still protect the interiority of a secret (Derrida 1993: 12)[248].' "[249] <This quote of Derrida makes me wonder whether Derrida maybe also did not distinguish between God (gods and goddesses) and devils.>

Discussion of typology of transcendence

30 August 2013

Westphal Merold - Dimensions of divine transcendence: from abstract to concrete

<self: The hierarchy of transcendence refers to the 'cannibals' [250] at the top and their dependents below them. Below and in the group of cannibals are the people who make a living out of alterities. Psychologists, psychiatrists, doctors, judges, prison officials, givers of laws, music producers and managers i.e. Almost all except creators are dependent on alterities. Creators are dependent on creating. What would the world be like if all people were creators (honest)? Boring according to some. An approaching of a perfect world according to me.>

Westphal prefers to distinguish between two types, transcendence and immanence instead of the four types identified by Stoker. "I see deep similarities between Tillich and Altizer on the one hand and Kierkegaard and Derrida on the other." [251]

Theism acknowledges "God as creator". God can exist without the world but the world cannot exist without God. Pantheism and atheism, which are basically the same, postulate interdependence. God cannot exist without the world and vice versa. Atheism and pantheism do not recognize "God, as personal, purposive creator".[252]

"A second dimension of theistic transcendence is epistemic. If God is the Alpha and Omega ontologically, by virtue of creation and providence, we are never able to occupy such positions epistemically. Our knowledge (not only of God, but of other things as well) will not be able to possess a pure, presuppositionless, tradition-free, absolute foundation. Nor will it be able to achieve a holistic, totalizing synthesis in which everything, including God, fits into the niche assigned by our system. In other words, the Cartesian and Hegelian forms of modernity are precluded, since we would have to become God to realize these aspirations, promises and claims."[253] <self: This quotation supports Vollenhofen's thesis that any discourse about God should state as presupposition, definitions of God.>

"Sin, the opposite of trusting obedience, is the desire for autonomy, not merely as being responsible for my own actions, but also as being the one who defines my identity and sets my own agenda. The same is true when the ‘I’ is expanded to the ‘We’, the self to society." [254] <self: I agree partly with Westphal because without Metaphysical truth (Mett) present, the words "gods" and "goddesses" cannot be combined in the word God with a capital G. The same applies to "we" and "i", which could not be capitalized because "we" and "i" can never include Mett; "we" and "i" can only refer, at most, to gods and goddesses or to a god or a goddess. When Westphal capitalizes his i to form an I, i believe he is making a mistake because even if he was a god, he could not capitalize i because only the word "God" includes Mett, gods (honest men) and goddesses (honest women). The words "God", "gods" and "goddesses" can logically not be separated because of the similar structures of the words. If someone claims that "God" is totally incorporeal, it does not make sense because of the existence and common awareness of the words "gods" and "goddesses". The definitions of the words "gods" and "goddesses" are a point of contention because my definitions are honest men and women whereas another understanding could be men and women of supernatural abilities or very beautiful women and very strong men. The reference however to beauty and strength relates to "theos", which were falsely translated to "gods" and "goddesses". The words "gods" and "goddesses" can be seen, just by looking at the letters in the words, to have a different origin than the word "theos". The only letter out of 5 letters that are the same is "o", which places the words in my understanding in different categories. I previously capitalized "we" to "We" and "WE" by mistake before i realized that "i" and "we" should not be capitalized and that only "God" can include the capital first letter, meaning Mett, gods and goddesses together, probably not as one entity.>

"But I like the interpretation of the 23rd Psalm, according to which the goodness and mercy that will follow me all the days of my life are the Good Shepherd’s sheep dogs. They nip at my heels, with a ‘No’ I do not always welcome, but which serves to keep me safe from what is really dangerous. So I do not find compelling the portrait of Prince Myshkin who “does not live with a distant God whose judgment he fears; rather, for him the transcendent God is immanent in the world, lovingly present in the form of Jesus Christ . . .” (Stoker’s essay, Culture and transcendence: A typology, in this volume)." [255]

"It is fairly clear that the religion of radical transcendence as alterity will be a countercultural religion. Neither the ‘I’ nor the ‘We’ can be the highest norm for me, my society or my culture. There will always be a voice, neither my nor our own, that calls me and us to responsibility and to judgment. Where any culture, even a professedly religious culture, claims autonomy, finality and self-sufficiency for itself, transcendence will call for a prophetic protest against the idolatry involved. Religion will have the form of “Christ against culture” (Niebuhr 1951)[256]." [257] <self: The singularity of Westphal's "creator" blinded him and probably is singular form, because Westphal and his group, being plural, claim power over the singular form. Why does he presuppose that "the 'We'" and "the 'I'" exclude an external "voice", and implies a position against him? Gods and goddesses who are honest are honest because of an outside "voice", because honesties work as limitations in favor of societies. Using the words gods and goddesses is necessary because of the linguistic similarity between "God", "god", "gods", "goddess" and "goddesses". The forms of these words cannot be changed and have natural coherence. The "theos" of ancient Greece are not the same as "gods and goddesses" and should therefore not be equated with meanings about "gods" and "goddesses" because the people who were "theos" are not necessarily the same as the people who were part of God. "God" and "theos" have different characteristics in time and space and are different concepts.>

"For the secularism that can be called ‘modern’ (pantheistic or naturalistic, if there is any difference), immanence is real and transcendence illusory. For the postmodern atheisms of Derrida and Levinas (neither is a theist), transcendence is real and full immanence illusory, a futile and self-defeating project. That is why both speak often of ‘God’ and present themselves as religious." [258]

According to Westphal, Derrida and Levinas are irreligious because they postulate God as totally other. According to Westphal they wrote immanence is impossible and put emphasis on transcendence.[259] What did i mean here by "totally other"? Westphal regards God as totally non-anthropomorphic it seems, but here it seems he judges Derrida and Levinas for postulating themselves not part of God. Westphal it seems thus contradict himself because if he judges Derrida and Levinas for not taking responsibility of being good, then it implies he must himself postulate himself as anthropomorphic part of God, but earlier he wrote societies should not be seen as part of God not singularity. The only conclusion i can make now is that Westphal regard only his own society as possibly part of God.

"We should stop thinking about God as someone, over there, way up there, transcendent . . . It is perhaps necessary . . . to think of God and the name of God without such idolatrous stereotyping or representation. Then we might say: God is the name of the possibility I have of keeping a secret that is visible from the interior but not the exterior (Derrida 1995: 108)[260]." [261] <self: Although Westphal writes Derrida is not a theist, the above quote of Derrida implies for me a more honest theism than Westphal's theism.>

<self: Westphal, i feel today (28 Aug 2013) should be ignored because his writing contains too many contradictions. "God, as personal, purposive creator"[262] and the above paragraph can only be reconciled according to me today, if deceit is accepted and thus false reconciliations are applicable. His words for meanings cannot be recognized in my framework and understanding. Why, i don't know, possibly because of different frameworks of reference. His references to and capitalization of his I's are immanent to his writing, which has implications for translations from languages in which i is not capitalized to English where i is capitalized. His identification of Derrida as alterity shows the different frameworks they operate in. According to my understanding of Derrida, Westphal's writing can be deconstructed. It seems Westphal has inner conflictions between the "personal, purposive creator" he refers to, and his emphasis on initial cosmology. Cosmological wholes cannot be perceived, at least by me, i realized, and it seams Westphal realized it as well, because he writes "The initial, most abstract mode of divine transcendence, I call cosmological" [263]. Westphal's "creator" could be his least lucid realization, which could, in reality, primarily, mean to him ' “Christ against culture” (Niebuhr 1951)[264].' [265] My metaphysical truth (mett), which gives courages to be honest, approaches a conception of cosmological nature, but i cannot call it cosmological because the cosmos (whole) cannot be perceived by me.>

" The initial, most abstract mode of divine transcendence, I call cosmological. It is what distinguishes theism (the Abrahamic monotheisms) from pantheism and, a fortiori, from atheism. Here, God and the world stand in an asymmetrical relationship. The world could not exist without God, but there could be God without the world. For the theist, creation is a free choice on the part of God, not an ontological necessity." [266] <self: This means to me today that creativities are not seen as necessity of survival, which could be the major difference between Westphal and i because according to my current understanding, lacks of creativities lead to colonization. When Westphal writes "creation is a free choice on the part of God, not an ontological necessity"[267] he removes the choice to make a living by creating from creators. He thus appropriates creativities to common property (singular) and do not motivate creativities, although he could motivate utilitarian development. His conception relates to his realism, similarly to realists who think they can fathom totality. I now think he definitely suffers from Caiaphas syndrome and regard himself like Rousseau as possibly the "king of the human race", whilst lying about "I" and "We".>

Conclusion about Westphal's opinion

Westphal's perception of just two concepts, immanence and transcendence, initially made sense, because it removes the conflated (two words for one concept) descriptions of types, which introduced new ideas, which requires new understanding, which requires effort. Westphal's inclusion of alterity in his framework of understanding was included in the sense of altarity and sacrifices of ' “Christ against culture” (Niebuhr 1951)[268] ' [269] (singular), and excluded the concept of creators (plural) in favor of societies. Both realities exist. It could be argued that immanence and transcendence should not be conflated because each word on its own is complicated and we could get closer to understanding realities by understanding each word as separate concept. That would now be my preferred, because the two concepts are not well understood on their own. I can identify something immanent in an object, which would be similar to Clouser's "centrality". I could transcend dichotomous subject and object by forming a new synthesis in my understanding. Something can be immanent to/of transcendence because "immanent's" meaning is similar to "inherent's" meaning. Naming of concepts use names and meanings are found in discourses, rather than names. The initial names make contributions to understanding by being important introductions to concepts and remembering of concepts. Maybe the naming of the concepts should not have conflated immanence and transcendence.

Chaplin Adrienne Dengerink - Transcendence re-mixed: on the complex role of religion in contemporary art

Chaplin also, like others stated that religion is experiencing a heightened importance during postmodern times. Parts of motivations for the return of religions are "suffocating" relations between dogmatism, industrial development and "bourgeois" morality. "Non-objective" abstract art was used as a means of transcendence during modern times. Religious influences were usually described spiritually during modernity but not religiously, but parts of the mystical phenomena have during postmodern times become material with regard to religious rites, festivals and religious group activities.[270] The materiality of the mystical was for example depicted by Warhol's paintings, when he represented Jesus and his disciples as a group of artists in his "The Last Supper".[271] <self: Warhols representations might not be far of the mark because apparently Luce was a doctor and a painter.>

Before anything can be postulated to have been transcended that, which is transcended should be identified. That, which is transcended is " 'immanence' ".[272] However when "immanence" is identified we also realize that immanence can be immanent in one respect and transcendent in another respect.[273]

"In other words, it is important to distinguish between different kinds of transcendence – ontological, cosmological, epistemological, ethical, temporal, spatial, experiential and so on."[274]

"Contemporary art’s fascination with religious symbols and observances might thus well suggest a longing for enduring, recognisable points of orientation for the meaningful ordering of lives – liturgical punctuations in an otherwise fluid existence. Story-based rites and rituals, as non-identical repetitions, can give contemporary life a meaningful narrative amidst the incessant flow of ever new information and visual stimulation. Religious symbols can be felt to provide a eucharistic rhythm and structure to otherwise rootless lives. This quest for a meaningful narrative does not imply a search for a religious transcendence in terms of an ‘absolute’ or ‘beyond’. Religion in these works is less about religious convictions and spiritual beliefs, and more about visible practices and tangible phenomena."[275] <self: Pieter Vermaak, an Afrikaans artist told me that abstract art is a depiction of the hardships of reality. Making abstract art, for an artist, thus sometimes, happen because ugly reality is not depicted. That implies the objective character of current art could be a result of material success, which artists experience in current times. Hardship experienced by artists during modernity is not as evident during postmodernity because investors buy much art because of loss of trust in other investments.>

James Romain, an art historian wrote: " ' Works like Last Supper (Dove) bring together brand name products from the supermarket and the sacramental imagery of the church, asserting that modern life and faith are neither separate nor contradictory.' " [276] <self: Could this be a reference to "accounting of ideas" in its current occurrence i.e. the explanations of Barlow and Griffiths. It could imply that Luce of the Bible for example was not a creator in the sense of originating ideas but that he copied ideas, which were conceived by Jesus. Barlow, I somewhere read composed lyrics for the band The Grateful Dead in the USA. The information he wrote about, which are being traded could be the sources of his lyrics and The Grateful Dead could be a reference to the people who originate the ideas, being used in his lyrics. In this instance also a distinction can be made between artists being creators and artists being copiers of ideas.>

Van Tongeren Paul - Nihilism and transcendence

Transcendence can be seen as nihilistic or in opposition to nihilism. Several traditional conceptions of transcendence were equated with nihilism. Nietzsche's writings make us more aware of matters with regard to transcendence and nihilism.[277]

"Nihilism is commonly associated with the teaching that Nietzsche ascribes to ‘the madman’: that is, his message of the death of God."[278] <self: This statement by Van Tongeren can be argued against on first impressions because "the madman" ascribed nihilism to the people at the market. Although the madman referred to "us" his rhetorical questions imply he was preaching to the people at the market that nihilism is a problem, which could lead to disaster.>

"Human culture tries to understand the world, needs orientation and is compelled to value. Therefore, we need God; we need transcendence in order to understand the world, to value what we do and what we see others do.

This concept of ‘transcendence’ presupposes a distinction between two kinds or two realms of reality, one of which (the transcendent) is prior to the other, with the second being dependent on the first. This priority is ontological and epistemological, as well as ethical, if not also chronological. Nihilism is the negation of this transcendent reality. This death, decline or disappearance of transcendent reality, ‘the death of God’, is therefore terrifying, because it inevitably leads to perdition, annihilation."[279] <self: Note the difference between Chaplin[280] who emphasizes Aristotelian "immanence" first and Van Tongeren who emphasizes Platonic transcendence first. According to Plato true realizations of the immanent was dependent on the transcendental courage to be honest and according to Aristotle immanent deceits were to be used for realization of the transcendental truth.>

Nietzsche identified four phases of nihilism. The first phase is "fundamental" nihilism; pessimism and the thought that living in this world is the worst that can happen to a person. To be born means you will be sacrificed. Philosophy and religion sometimes conceal this first phase and when we become aware of it in our own lives we are faced with a huge problem. It seems then that, according to Nietzsche this first phase, which van Tongeren calls a second phase, causes misrepresentations of realities. The second according to my current understanding or first phase according to van Tongeren was the construction of God of Christianity. This God is dependent on nihilistic opposition, which does not value identifications of realities.[281]

The third phase according to van Tongeren is represented by utilitarianism, materialism and positivism, which replaces dead God. The third phase is also represented by destruction (terrorism) and apathy, which van Tongeren calls "complete nihilism". The fourth stage of nihilism is an overcoming of the problems of nihilism.[282]

Van Tongeren wrote that Nietzsche postulated two realities, with the transcendent reality prior to immanent reality. The duality apparently causes nihilism.[283] According to Van Tongeren the four types of transcendence of Stoker presuppose the duality even at radical immanence because the transcendent is part of the radical. If Nietzsche was right, Van Tongeren claims Stoker's conception of four types implies four types of nihilism.[284] Apparently Nietzsche claimed to have moved to a position beyond, what Van Tongeren calls complete nihilism (terrorism), because through acceptance of the evil world, without attempting to change it by destructive means, he (Nietzsche), reached a point of nihilism in itself, according to Nietzsche. That is being in an inescapable reality of nihilism, and accepting nihilism because nihilism was an inescapable reality for Nietzsche.[285]

Van Tongeren discussed under a heading, "tragic transcendence"[286] the conceptions of Stoker and other contemporary authors, with reference to Nietzsche's, Levinas's and Derridas's transcendence as alterity. References were made to the ideal "messiah", who Derrida wrote could be a "monster", perhaps in a Hobbesian, Machiavellian despotic type of understanding. I did not follow the discussion of Van Tongeren well because my knowledge of the authors' work was not good enough, a thought i previously had however reoccurred whilst reading. The thought related to the alterity of Jesus of Nazareth and Socrates and the way they died. Socrates was sentenced to suicide and took his own life. Jesus of Nazareth was crucified logically by the "other"/"others". A question could be asked about the transcendences, which would have been relevant on the side of Socrates and his judges, if Socrates refused to commit suicide. These transcendences could have been relevant at Jesus of Nazareth's crucifixion.

Stoker Wessel - Short response to Westphal, Dengerink Chaplin and Van Tongeren

According to Stoker, Westphal postulates the existence of transcendence before transcendence is defined but he (Stoker) postulates the definition of transcendence and existence of transcendence "entertwined".[287] <self: I do not agree with one of them. Maybe i would agree with them if i knew their work better. Transcendence and immanence existed before the discourse about transcendence and immanence started. The discourse has a purpose to fix our understandings of what these concepts are. Whilst the definitions and discourse make the concepts clearer to understand it also fixes the phenomena through a dialogical process.>

Stoker, like Dengerink Chaplin's[288], according to Stoker, makes transcendence dependent on what is transcended, namely, "immanence".[289] <self: Stoker is thus Aristotelian in his reasoning and not Platonic, or it could be argued Stoker realizes that to know immanence, courage to be honest through faiths are necessity. Following realizations due to honesties people transcend further in the spirit of Kant's philosophy.> Stoker identifies differences between Tillich and Altizer and differences between Kierkegaard and Altizer, which are more prominent, according to Stoker than the similarities, which Westphal identifies and therefore four types are identified as result of difference.[290]

Stoker writes his model is a descriptive heuristic and not a normative heuristic, which can be used to understand divinity better whilst evaluating art. Dengerink, according to Stoker, does not evaluate art according to the relationship between immanence and transcendence but more on the mood the evaluated art invokes.[291]

Stoker finds Van Tongeren's postulate of dualistic transcendence interesting and also Van Tongeren's concept of non-nihilistic transcendence, which Stoker equates with transcendence as alterity or an undefined 5th type.[292] <This could imply that Stoker does realize transcendence in faiths cause realizations of immanence, like Van Tongeren does.>

Other approaches


Burms uses the word transcendence to refer to the "evocative" power of language and not to refer to a "metaphysical reality". He presents a similarity to transcendence as alterity.[293] Transcendence becomes relevant when we feel and see "nature or reality" as not sensitive to our "eminently" experienced problems.[294] On the other hand we are told of metaphysical events, which console and occur parallel to eminently experienced problems.[295] Presentations of these metaphysical events are poetic and therefore beliefs relate to the power of words.[296]

Cosmologies that reflect fairness are not based on reality, but rather on poetry, which consoles.[297] "It is true that an involuntary rhyme is a disturbance in ordinary speech. If two successive sentences of a public lecture produce an involuntary rhyme, it is experienced by lecturer and audience as an infelicity – the audience will smile or politely ignore the little accident."[298] <self: Aristotelian deceit as methodology must have convinced Burms. Rhyming significance, for example, between "altar" and "alter" should not be ignored. If rhyming of the two words appears in a lecture a truth is emphasized because the words have historical relations, which are helpful to understand reality. Why can Burms not realize this or am i unaware of something or does he realize it but he does not want to acknowledge it because of fearing academic despots? It seems the Aristotelian methodology is not widely accepted as being in existence but this statement of Burms, which he contradicts later, proves that Aristotelian deceit exists in academic research.>

"But what happens in poetry is that the isolated disturbances (for example, the isolated instances of unintentional rhyme) form a pattern: linguistic matter is reflected in poetic form. This makes the reader aware of two things at the same time: it is as if language has moved closer to the infinite chaos of what is not said, while, at the same time, it is protected from being swallowed by such chaos. That is also what happens when the meaningful connections discussed in the first part of this essay provide consolation: these connections are indirect, poetic approaches to that which is beyond meaning."[299]


Van der Braak investigated the transcendence/immanence Western dualism with reference of work by Japanese Keiji Nishitani (1900-1990) because in the East, according to Van der Braak the dualism does not exist. The transcendent is there acknowledged as immanent. He described Nishitani's realization as " 'ecstatic trans-descendence' " and compared it to transcendence as alterity.[300]

Van der Braak regards Stoker's four types of transcendence to include the first two types, which enhance transcendence and the last two types, which ignore transcendence in favor of immanence.[301] <self: I disagree with Van der Braak because i experienced that transcendence as alterity, implies a high level of transcendence because the courage to face the ugly realities of the world can according to me only be realized by transcending immanence.>

"We could say that the four types of transcendence that Stoker describes in his heuristic model are four ways of working out the possibilities projected in the fundamental understanding of transcendence as the relationship between ‘here’ and ‘beyond’:

(1)       the ‘beyond’ is also ‘here’

(2)       the ‘beyond’ is radically remote from ‘here’

(3)       there is no ‘beyond’, but only ‘here’

(4)       ‘beyond’ and ‘here’ are not opposites."[302]

<self: The above interpretation of Van der Braak can place (1) and (4) in the same category and (3) and (4) in the same category where he previously placed (1) and (2) together and (3) and (4) together. Religious progression can be from (1) to (4).>

            The Chinese prefer to not speak about the duality because they argue the word "immanence" implies "transcendence" and vice versa. According to them it is one reality.[303]

Cooperative thought between Nishitani of the Kyoto School's Buddhist background and post-Kantian European philosophy, especially Heidegger's thought, exist as acknowledged by Altizer. The purpose is religious convergence between Buddhist philosophy and Christian philosophy, with emphasis on kenosis. Where Western philosophy sometimes emphasizes Being, the Kyoto School focuses on Nothingness.[304] <self: Christianity questions 'notions' of kenosis (nothingness), which according to apocalyptic beliefs, precedes immanence. These ideas could be a sign of the best society in the sense that other societies actually murder creators but the Germans and Japanese just destroy the creative spirit but not the person the spirit inhabits. The process of kenosis is in the psyche of the German and Japanese applicable, seen as a prerequisite for immanence. Why first sacrifice and then lift up? Why not allow all people to be creators in order to reach the best human condition?> Nothingness is emphasized by Eastern philosophy through the realization of weakness of singularity. That individuals can only be part of process and part of a bigger picture and that an individual can never be The-god/-dess, at least during his/her own lifetime.[305]

Nishitani wrote that Nietzsche's nihilism is overcome by experiencing transcendence, an eminent part of reality. The process follows "aboriginal" disregard of influence and wealth to "absolute nothingness of the field of śūnyatā (Davis, 2004, p. 106)[306]."[307]

"Masao Abe, for example, has put forward an interpretation of śūnyatā as kenosis."[308] " 'Whoever loses his life for my sake, will find it' (Mt 10:39)"[309]


The typology given in the book should not stop readers from identifying different "kinds" (ethics, politics, economics) of analysanda (plural of "analysandum"), used to explain the "concepts" 'transcendence' and 'immanence', which may appear at each type. Also important are the different senses (ontological, epistemological, cultural etc.). [310]  "The reference to transcendence is first and foremost ethical."[311]

4th Class (Leereenheid 4) - Transendensie en die vraag oor die einde van godsdiensfilosofie


Hierdie leereenheid sal deels gebruik word (in die kontakgeleentheid) om die vraag oor transendensie verder te bespreek. Transendensie as term binne die godsdiensfilosofie is natuurlik baie ruimer as net die term “god”. Tog bly die vraag of daar (veral na aanleiding van die probleme soos uitgelig in leereenheid 2) ʼn toekoms is (of kan wees) vir godsdiensfilosofie.

            Hierdie vraag word aan die hand van Trakakis se boek The end of philosophy of religion bespreek. Die vraag is dus in hierdie laaste leereenheid oor of en hoe daar dan godsdiensfilosofie nog gedoen kan word. Hierdie soort vraag laat die kompleksiteit van die godsvraag (die argumente oor god se bestaan) duidelik na vore kom.


Trakakis, N. 2008. The end of philosophy of religion. London: Continuum, 1-124.


Maak ʼn opsomming van die argument van Trakakis oor die toekoms van godsdiensfilosofie. Lewer kritiek daarop en verduidelik hoe jy dink godsdiensfilosofie steeds gedoen kan word.

Die opdrag in ʼn opstel van ongeveer 1200 woorde en in akademiese formaat gedoen word.

Trakakis, N. - The end of the philosophy of religion

NB: This pdf read, did not have the notes attached, therefore the references, which Trakakis made could not be copied. A reference to Trakakis may include another reference not visible.


"gruesome shadow of God" implies that Trakakis has a negative view of God and that he does not equate God with goodness. His "God" can actually be devils. [312]

" 'analytic tradition' ... personal and political dangers involved" implies that theodicies are more relevant at analytical philosophy than continental philosophy. This does not make sense because it contradicts my current understanding of the gods of continental philosophy, who were subjects of theodicies. [313]

Trakakis made it clear that he thinks that "Continental philosophy" is the future of Philosophy of religion.[314]

This quote is again a negative view of God, in the sense that the most powerful is in fact evil.[315]

It seems the negative view of who is the most powerful, stems from theodicycal philosophy and that is why Trakakis does not agree with the tradition of analytical philosophy, which includes theodicies. His reason is that theodicies cannot divulge the truths about evil.[316]



Trakakis identifies the emphasis on realism by analytical philosophy as presupposition.[319] <self: False postulates of the cosmos as datum are a presupposition of analytical philosophy. False, because the cosmos cannot be perceived, especially not, together with the unreal phenomena in minds of analytical philosophers because of their Aristotelian tradition. Aristotle promoted deceit as a methodology and sign of a "knowledgeable man". Tarnas called Aristotle the first empiricist.>

The main critique by analytical philosophers against continental philosophy is against continental philosophy's perspectivism and anti-realism.[320] <self: It seems the analytical approach is again to deceive the naive with words like "anti-realism" because the continental philosophers' presuppositions namely nominalism and perspectivism is closer to reality than realism because the starting point is observations different people can agree on, without postulating much theoretical knowledge, not based in true observations.>





<self: Maybe only theodicies can make people realize that they should be part of God, otherwise they will not go forward in the long run. This statement cannot be made with the knowledge i have gained so far from theodicies because the sacrificed never won, except if winning is envisaged as Job's riches and life after his problems changed. Job is however the only example i can think of now and i cannot now think of a direct reason for the change of his circumstances.>

The utilitarian nature of theodicies is identified with - "this is usually understood in quantitative terms, so that the positive value of the good state of affairs must outweigh the disvalue of the evil state of affairs". Trakakis however goes on to explain usually the goods should be ascribed to the sufferer.[323]


It seems the "freedoms" in theodicycal thinking is more applicable to the theodicists than the victims. The statement supports my thoughts that theodicies are constructed to benefit the people who cause the suffering or allow the suffering.[325]

This statement accords with the belief that God is incorporeal and humans are evil.[326]


It seems Trakakis doubts here the truth of the definition of the analytical God, but he does not want to revert to reductionist thought or pre-scientific thought.[328]

Theology and Continental philosophy took stances against theodicies but analytical Philosophy of religion is in favor of theodicies.[329]


The incorporeal God of analytical philosophy is normally perfect and here Trakakis highlights a contradiction because if theodicies are ascribed to "God himself", who allows theodicies, then perfection of God is nullified and therefore God is not incorporeal.[331]


"The teleology of suffering"[333]


Seeking truth is obviously not the same as being honest because being honest means putting true knowledge into the world. Swinburne equated a non-corrupt mind with seeking of truth.[335]

The above quote of Kenneth Surin identifies the difference between seeking truths and telling truths.[336]

Utilitarianism softened.[337]

The contrast between Kantian philosophy and theodicies are mentioned. Kantian philosophy states people should not be used as means to ends.[338]

Sometimes theodicies are regarded as bureaucratic necessity.[339] Theodicists are complicit in the evils they explain, according to Surin.[340] O'Connor defends theodicists; he writes they would be complicit only if they give advice about how to overcome evil, in other words if they earn a living by giving advice about methods to overcome evil.[341] O'Connor argues that theodicies motivate transcendental theories of religion and therefore religion cannot do without theodicycal justifications.[342] Surin argues the activities through which theologians' and philosophers' theoretical explanations of theodicies take place, have social dimensions, which justifies, in effect, evil.[343] Levinas explains that viewing someone else's pain is useless as aid with regard to belief.[344] <self: With regard to the earlier statement about bureaucratic necessity and viewing and being aware of evil as part of religion, obviously keep populations in a state of nihilistic fear. The Eucharist enforces the idea of sacrificing creators, who are the most likely victims of the evils explained by theodicies and further, the people who accept theodicies are probably aware of the benefits they acquire through the imparting of creators' ideas.>

Kant and theodicies

Trakakis refers to the character Ivan's thought in "Dostoyesvsky's" (sic) book The Brothers Karamazov:

'There is a strong contrast in Ivan's thinking between deserved and undeserved suffering: children do not usually deserve the suffering they experience, whereas adults who "have eaten the apple" may well deserve to suffer.'[345] 'It is not worth one single small tear of even one tortured little child that beat its breast with its little fist and prayed in its foul-smelling dog-hole with its unredeemed tears addressed to "dear Father God"!'[346] <self: I think this reference is not to actual children but to adult creators in their "foul-smelling dog-holes". It refers for example to Diogenes the most notable cynic philosopher of Greece who lived in a wine jar in Athens.> Gen. 4:6-7 states: 'Then the LORD said to Cain, "Why are you angry? Why is your face downcast? If you do what is right, sin is crouching at your door; it desires to have you, but you must master it." ' In verse 8 Cain kills his brother Abel. The incident where Isaac needed a lamb to take his place when Abraham wanted to sacrifice him relates. In the English New International version of the Bible, reference is made to God "himself" who will supply the lamb and in the 1933 Afrikaans version reference is made to God "Homself" who will supply the lamb. In the 1983 Afrikaans version the words "sy eie" was used.[347]

In a lecture about Kant and his work, La Religión it was stated that important factors with regard to theodicies, are miracles and suffering.[348] There was a practice in the Old Testament whereby creators were offered to "God" and belief exists that if "God" through a miracle or something else does not save such a person then the person did not have "God's" blessing. The Mother of God and Father of God thoughts are relevant in certain cases. I postulate however that the practice was and is a way of motivating religious sacrifice and getting rid of creators who are not children of the perpetrators. The creators ("children") change the status quo with their creativities and therefore are sacrificed by the powerful according to Toynbee[349]. The main problem is the idea of sacrifice of the "Other/other", which is inherent to the Eucharist. According to the idea of religious sacrifice other humans can be sacrificed if it benefits the group. This idea of sacrifice is against the idea that we as humans can create together, to benefit different groups at once, according to Kantian philosophy. Aristotle's philosophy conjoins with that of the Old Testament. The belief is that what is good for one group cannot be good for another group.

"There is a parallel with the way that what is good in itself cannot be so because of anything else and what is good for its own sake cannot be so for the sake of anything else."[350]

Religious sacrifice of creators relates to belief that only incorporeal God creates and that creativities are a sign of childishness and homosexuality. The Caiaphas syndrome has been relevant from the fall into sin to current. What does it say about men when they call another man a woman? The "dog-hole" previously mentioned is relevant because possibly together with the sacrifice of creators, poisoning takes place, which causes a stink and isolation. Rumors are then spread about homosexuality in conjunction with poisoning and flowers of sulphur. Another relevant evil, which drives sacrifices, is the false belief in a "Messiah" in conjunction with the "2nd coming" of "Christ", because these beliefs justify miracles, which could save creators from the grips of sacrifice. Human vanity is prone to falsely believing the possibility of such miracles as positive outcome, which relates to the Father of God and Mother of God thoughts. The said thoughts are however not most relevant at the fathers and mothers of the creators being sacrificed, but are most relevant at the people initiating the sacrifices of creators who are not their own children. Their "Father" and "Mother" of God thoughts are directly related to societal Caiaphas syndrome, which took hold of them. How do i know these things? They are logical conclusions because i have been sacrificed by a hegemony since 1999 when i offered sufficient competition to their trading interests.

"The 'entry ticket' to the heavenly afterlife where an eternal harmony will reign is too expensive; it is not worth the sufferings - particularly the sufferings of children - that it demands." Ivan then becomes not an atheist but a reformed Christian who opposes the "God" of the Old Testament. [351] This is probably in reference to the stoning and sacrifice of Francis of Assisi by the hegemony, which Ivan would not have taken part in.


Trakakis mentions there could be something serious wrong with analytical Philosophy of religion and he wants to investigate the possibility.[352] The problem, which he does not identify according to my memory of the first reading is the anti-creating implications of analytical philosophy, which postulates the "One Creator" who has a monopoly on creativities. This idea benefits only part of humanity, only in the short term, because the believers in "God himself" who is the only "Creator" will not find rest in a homeland in the long term.

The reference to a discussion between Continental philosophers and analytic philosophers and the primary existence of the sun[353] might refer to the sociology of knowledge truth, which states that new things originate in individuals and spread from them to society. The good things spread thus naturally from creators to the rest of society. It is a truth accepted by Continental philosophers according to my understanding but not by analytic philosophers. Maybe they all belief in the sacrifice of the "Son" and the nihilism Nietzsche alluded on in his "death of God" statement.

Trakakis refers to the divide[354] between analytic and Continental philosophers in reference to a complaint, analytic philosophers made during 1992 in a letter to the London Times, against an honorary degree awarded to Derrida because his work was not clear enough for an academic degree. It seems analytic philosophers has a subconscious block due to the Caiaphas syndrome, which prohibits them from understanding Derrida, because even i, who is not a qualified philosopher, feel i understand the value of Derrida's work as having made one of the biggest contributions to philosophy by contemporary philosophers. The divide, which Trakakis identified, is not due to territories according to me, because scientists were put in exile between the European continent and the USA if i am not mistaken, as recent as the 2nd World War. Was Einstein not in exile to the USA? The difference is between individuals on the European continent, which have the courage to oppose analytic philosophy on the continent, to their own disadvantage. I think the fact that Derrida was only given an honorary degree is proof of this, or is it not? The question is where do analytic and Continental philosophers get their finance from because Trakakis states they do not attend each others' conferences nor read each others' papers.[355]

Analytic philosophers have not interest in questioning their metaphysical presuppositions and Continental philosophers have not interest in metaphysics.[356] During the years after the Enlightenment, metaphysical chairs at Continental universities were abolished. The question of courage by philosophers is an important issue. Currently it takes courage to question the metaphysics about realism in the analytic tradition, which Trakakis showed he has. After the Enlightenment it must have taken courage by a philosopher to postulate realism on the European continent when metaphysics chairs were abolished. Benjamin is perhaps a good example of a Jewish philosopher who was sacrificed due to his realism? (nominalism?) on the European continent when realism? was out of fashion. In the Penguin dictionary of philosophy Benjamin was mentioned as one of the Frankfurt School's first group; Habermas was one of the 2nd group of the Frankfurt School. Trakakis mentions that all of the analytic[357] school did not appreciate his questioning of their traditions.

Analytic philosophy has different schools for example philosophy of mind, language and religion. Continental philosophy follows a more unified "systematic" approach, whereby they do not limit themselves to a specific field. They do not have a specific field for philosophy of religion but they do philosophize about religion in conjunction with their perspectivist approach.[358]

Alvin Plantinga (analytical) and John Caputo (Continental) are used by Trakakis to show the different in styles of philosophy.[359] In a publication by Plantinga, The Nature of Necessity, Plantinga used Anselm's ontological argument to prove the existence of God.[360] Trakakis gives an example of writing by Plantinga where frequent reference is made to "God" as "his" and "him".[361] The subject-object dichotomy is thus highly relevant in the words of analytical philosophy. Analytical philosophers, due to their presupposition about realism postulates a God's eye view of the cosmos as datum. God being "him" and "his" in the quoted piece can therefore not be removed from Plantinga himself in the singular because Plantinga himself is the philosopher who presuppose realism. The subject-object dichotomy is therefore heavily at work in the writing and probably causes transcendental thinking. Does it however put Plantinga in a position to be sufficiently aware of realities or does it blind him with Caiaphas syndrome and "Father" or "Son" of God thoughts. If Plantinga referred to God as "them" or "us" he would have realized that it is impossible to view the cosmos as a datum and he would be more in line with a perspectivist approach. His transcendence would then be less based on the subject-object dichotomy (self [subject thinking] being God [object of thought]) and more on trust in other human beings as part of "us" or "them". Honesties then become more important because of trust in other humans.

The next example[362] about Plantinga is where Plantinga reasons about the nature of the world God created. Plantinga starts with two paradoxes because he wrote:

' "To show this latter [that it is possible that 'God is omnipotent and it was not within his power to create a world containing moral good but no moral evil'], we must demonstrate the possibility that among the worlds that God could not have actualized are all the worlds containing moral good but no moral evil." '

The first paradox is an omnipotent God, which cannot do anything ("it was not within his power"). The second paradox is "moral evil" because evil is not moral. The paradox or contradiction that Plantinga tries to prove is false in a similar way that the presupposition of observing the cosmos as datum is not possible. The example shows that analytic philosophers have lost touch with reality and analytic metaphysical work is illogical to some extent. The argument does not make sense further because Plantinga takes one example about bribery and want to infer from there something about the cosmos as a whole. In the Afrikaans Bible of 1933 God stated that no "gelykenisse" should be made, which implies, nothing can be compared because nothing is equal. The equal sign of mathematics is just a theory, which do not exist in reality. Plantinga nevertheless compares an incident (part of the world) with the world as a whole and want to come to a conclusion about a whole, based on a part, which is illogical. Plantinga concludes:

' "It therefore follows that it was not within God's power to actualize a world in which Curley produces moral good but no moral evil. Every world God could have actualized is such that if Curley is significantly free in it, he takes at least one wrong action." '[363]

Something else that is illogical about analytical philosophers is that they attack Kant and other rationalists about their rationalistic arguments but the arguments they use, like the argument above, use logical argumentation and rationalism.

Trakakis then gives examples of John Caputo's writing.[364] The first example he calls: "Exhibit B1: Caputo on the love of [own bold] God". The example ends where Caputo asks, " 'But what do they love? What do I love when I love my God? That is their question. That is my question.' " This example can be argued about logically because it asks what is God. I can give a definition for God, someone else can give a definition for God and we can determine if we love what is described by the definitions. Without expanding about the following[365] two examples by Caputo my observation is that Caputo is honest and rational because he gives an honest representation of reality, his doings and thoughts. Caputo realizes that rationality is dependent on the honesties of others and his own honesties. He acts in favor of us all because we know what he thinks and he does not include paradoxical illogical postulations like those of Plantinga in his discourse. (Somewhere else in this document Platinga was quoted where he motivated honesties. Was his motivation pretence?)

Trakakis writes that analytical philosophy of religion is based on "clarity and rigour", which i dispute because of the contradictions included in the examples by Plantinga. Plantinga's writing is not clear at all to me, probably because my brain works honest and rational like the brains of Continental philosophers who also say they do not follow analytical philosophy of religion. Why? Contradictions cannot be understood and contradictions are not rational processing. Trakakis further writes that objectivity is an attribute of analytical philosophy of religion.[366] I do not agree with Trakakis about the objective nature he identifies because of the subjective nature of the presuppositions of analytic philosophy. The subjective experience of realism by each analytic philosopher and the frequent use of "God himself" (subject-object dichotomy) who miraculously perceives the "cosmos as cosmos"[367] are not objective. Although Continental philosophy is more literary[368] than analytical philosophy it is more objective because it is more logical. Objectivity and logic goes hand in hand. Continental philosophy's directness and objectivity can sometimes come across as disrespectful though, for example of female sexuality. I am thinking here of a lecture by the European philosopher, Slavoj Źiźek.


What did Jesus mean when he said we should love our enemies? Complying with written laws has become my definition of Jesus's love, which includes loving enemies, in conjunction with Clouser's philosophy of law. Today i however thought that maybe Jesus meant "loving enemies" implied more than complying with written laws; also with non-written laws of devils. In the time of St. Francis of Assisi the hegemony stoned him. In the time of Jesus of Nazareth they crucified him. Today's actions of the hegemony, if compared to the past, show that states of continuous improvement take place. Kant's postulate of human improvement could be true. Maybe the word "God" has lost its worth and maybe devils should be loved and "God", the word, should be replaced with a new word, which clearly distinguish gods and goddesses from devils, who are loved, on the other side, in conjunction with John's prediction in Revelation, which mentioned a new name for a new status quo. Maybe the word "God" should be developed to its full potential to refer only to gods, goddesses and mett, excluding devils from "God", which is currently not the case.


27 September 2013

"In line with their rejection of an 'objective' or scientific style, Continental philosophers frequently adopt a very personal and intimate tone."[369] This personal tone Trakakis identifies is objectivity (logic) because of honesties in Continental philosophy. Perspective views are more objective than "realist" views.

Continental philosophy has a distinct interdisciplinary nature.[370] The difference in style between analytic and Continental philosophy is very deep and relates to metaphysics.[371] According to me the difference is due to Kant's greatest good, honesties, which are part of Continental philosophy but not analytic philosophy. It relates to the Caiaphas syndrome, which were partly overcome by Continental philosophy. Partly because they still refer to God in the singular but not as much as analytic philosophers with all their singular references to "God himself", "God Himself", etc.

"Entering deeper into Meta-philosophy: Analytical and Continental Approaches"

Analytic meta-philosophy of religion took on the form of scientific enquiry.[372] A conclusion can therefore be made that the phenomena of theodicies are partly a result of analytic anthropological studies in which subjects are used as objects, whilst interfering in the privacy of gods and goddesses, in a perverse manner.

Continental philosophy emphasizes not scientific objective data, but rather interpretations of the "arts" and humanities" "especially literature and literary criticism".[373] Although referring to the "humanities" can include humans as objects it seems in Continental philosophy it could be more in reference to historical figures and existing literature than living humans during anthropological studies, unless the European continent is deeply divided between analytic and humane philosophy and the analytic meta-philosophy is practiced in secret on the European continent.

The difference in the meta-philosophical approaches causes varying methodologies especially with regard to Philosophy of religion.[374]

"Analytical philosophy"

Analytic philosophy started during the early 1900s as a movement against British idealism. The nature of analytic philosophy is descriptive.[375] Analytic philosophy is similar to Aristotle's philosophy, which could be used as a tool for deceiving against idealistic honesties (truths).

"Creative tension" is part of analytic philosophy. "A thousand philosophical flowers have bloomed." [376] These words are descriptive of the Caiaphas syndrome and flowers of sulphur, which could until recently be bought without a prescription on the Continent. The republic Plato promoted in The Laws is called Magnesia and magnesium counters sulphur poisoning.

Analytic philosophy tends to be ahistorical but the tension between determinism and will is one of the main topics.[377] A requirement of analytic philosophy is whether the doctrine can be "demonstrated to be true"[378]. It seems this "truth" of analytic philosophy is mainly coherence within the previous findings of a specific school. Specific school truths contradict realism because realism presupposes not only a school's system. This is another contradiction of analytic philosophy because realism is a presupposition of them. I have not seen a theory of realism, which all analytic philosophers ascribe to. The combining theory (methodology) of analytic philosophers could be deceit in line with Aristotle. North-West University uses Clouser's non-reductionist theory of reality but then a reductionist approach is used for assignments; concluded thus that within schools of analytic philosophy a universal view of realism does not exist, unless i am mistaken with my view that North-West University's School of philosophy is an analytical school. There are philosophers there who focus more on Continental approaches. The Calvinistic approach of NWU does not subscribe to either rationalism (Continental) or empiricism (analytic), everything is ascribed to "God himself" and "God Himself". The NWU approach is dominantly, looking towards centers, which is empirical strategy, the approach is not looking from centers. The Continental foci at NWU are probably on the fringes of the school.

The hypothesis, which is usually under investigation in analytical philosophy of religion is: 'the world is created and governed by God, where 'God' is standardly defined as a maximally great or absolutely perfect being, that is, a being perfect in power (omnipotent), perfect in knowledge (omniscient) and perfect in goodness, but also possessing a suite of other essential properties, including omnipresence, incorporeality, eternity, worship-worthiness, and (on some accounts) simplicity, immutability, impassibility and necessary existence. The overall aim is to determine whether "the theistic hypothesis", as it is called is worthy of acceptance. Typically this project begins with a test for conceptual adequacy: Is the concept of God presupposed in the theistic concept coherent [own bold]?'[379]

This hypothesis cannot show God because God is "incorporeal". The hypothesis can therefore only show what God do on Earth and according to that can a person decide if he/she wants to pray to God. I have nowhere read with certainty what God does, unless Jesus's corporeality (contradicting incorporeality) is the example. If this definition of God (Jesus) is true and unchangeable, i will have to find another way of describing the Entity i rely on to justify my actions. The Entity i rely on cause the dignified survival and procreation of honest individuals, and the Entity prohibits the Caiaphas syndrome to cause havoc in the lives of honest individuals. My opposition to the above definition of God includes a hypothesis within analytic philosophy of religion because analytic philosophy of religion includes "non-theistic"[380] thoughts, which i have.

"Continental philosophy"

Continental philosophy has a "plethora" of schools for example, existentialism, phenomenology, hermeneutics, structuralism, postmodernism etc. and "there is a distinct 'flavour' to this kind of philosophy." According to Neil Levy modernist art and not modern science underlies Continental philosophy.[381] "Continuous revolution" is the motto "to see the world anew." "Hermeneutics, the interpretation or reinterpretation of the world" and therefore history as well is important.[382] Kant interpreted this by postulating that "miracles" is a word for moral and natural laws we do not understand. According to Karl Ameriks Kant wrote the last classic theodicy.[383] Continental philosophers are inventive not analytic. They act as cultural critics and comment on issues they see as subversive and damaging to society.[384]'Liberation' " is an important concept.[385] According to the lecture at note 382 Kant figured freedom to be a concept similar to a miracle, therefore the concept freedom has a definite religious undertone. Obviously Kant's "freedom" was different than the freedom postulated in breaking laws. Kant's freedom was rather being free of people who are free to break laws. His philosophy was thus Christ like.

Trakakis labels Continental philosophy as " 'anti-scientism' " and he refers to Continental philosophers with feminine "she" and then Trakakis quotes David Cooper who quoted Kant, describing scientism as " 'man's emergence from his self-incurred immaturity ... the courage to use your own understanding' ".[386] Trakakis opines thus that Continental philosophy is anti-Kant, which means he focuses on Continental philosophy, which is similar to analytic philosophy anti-Kantian. All Continental philosophy is not anti-Kantian, therefore Trakakis's implied generalization is false. Trakakis for example write: "Continental philosophers uniformly and vehemently reject the elevation of science that is encapsulated in scientism."[387] He then quotes Heidegger who used phenomenal philosophy, which originated as far as i know in the "phenomena" and "noumena" of Kant. It seems thus that Trakakis did not escape analytical methodology of deceit to promote their opinions.

"The Enlightenment equation of reason, emancipation and progress is thereby undone."[388] Habermas and Goudzwaard for example prolonged some ideas of the Enlightenment with the word "modernization". Trakakis's view is contradicting because he stated that Continental philosophy joined modernist art[389] but is anti-scientistic. Scientism and modern art were joined in time being both based on truths. Trakakis's statement does not make sense. Trakakis mentioned revolutionary[390] artists of the 1940s and 50s like Pollock who suffered for their art; a similar phenomenon than that of artists like Van Gogh on the Continent during the late 1800s. The wills to power Trakakis identifies in Continental philosophy as dominant, is a result of wills to power, similar to the Machiavellian and Protestant wills to power during the Enlightenment. Wills to power was a result of being aware of corresponding truths to corrupt realities in the Roman Catholic system.


According to Westphal Continental Philosophy of religion has a prophetic nature, which is based on perpectivism, similar to the ways of the prophets' of the Bible.[391] Continental "perspectivism", similar to Nietzsche's "anti-realist" view is not objective.[392] I disagree with this view about objectivity because perspectivism can be more objective than analytic philosophy. Perspectivism acknowledges the reality that any view is a perspectivist view of objects and therefore a view, which states that interpretations are subjective, is as a matter of fact a more realistic objectivism. Realizing ones' own subjectivities is more objective than not realizing that ones are subjective. Objections should be based on the direction of the word subjectivity. If persons are labeled as subjective it could mean they are objective or not objective. If they realize they are subjective then their objectivities could be more objective than the accusers', because maybe accusers have not looked into themselves to be aware of their subjectivities. Analytic philosophers who believe they are objective because of realism maybe are not aware of their subjective views just because they have not realized the fact that everyone due to being human are subjective. Being subjective themselves, as everyone are, and being aware of being subjective themselves, can be more objective than, being subjective oneself, as everyone are, and being unaware of being subjective, due to beliefs in realism's methodologies. Realism's methodologies can work both ways depending on whether people are honest or deceiving. If they are honest realism will make them more objective. If they are deceiving, realism will make them less objective because then the modalities (aspects) could be used to make up a more convincing deceit with their own subjective interests emphasized away from an important issue.

"Objections from the Analytic Camp"

Trakakis divides the objections into "matters of form" relating to language and style and "matters of content" relating to motivating assumptions.[393]


Continental philosophy lacks "clarity and rigour". "But how can the goals of truth and rationality, goals to which we all should aspire, be furthered by means of poor standards of reasoning and language that is vague and unclear, if not utterly incomprehensible?"[394] "The language of Continental philosophers often gives the impression that this group of philosophers has renounced the sincere pursuit of truth in favour of rhetoric, groundless assertion, exegesis or commentary, or some form of purely literary writing." Continental philosophers say "tu quoque". The different styles are viewed by both as incomprehensible.[395] Trakakis states that although Continental philosophers are caricatured as philosophers who do not espouse truths, the actuality is they do espouse truths but their definition of truths are different than the definitions of truth for analytic philosophers. Some Continental philosophers show aversion to rationality. [396]

"Lack of content: the underlying commitments of Continental philosophy"

Continental philosophers reject the criteria of objectivity through their acceptance of perspectivism and anti-realism.[397] Arguments say that perspectivism or relativism is self-refuting because when Nietzsche for example states that only interpretations exist he says there is not truth.[398] Trakakis compare relativism with absolutism. Relativism states all interpretations are perspectivist. Absolutism states there are hypotheses, which are true in all perspectives.[399] It seems the problem relates to "all". A statement, which includes "all" could be doubted because all cannot be empirically tested because it is impossible. To prove thus that "all" is valid implies it will have to be a rational exercise, using only reason, but good reason, according to me, is realizing that all perspectives cannot be fathomed. This was also probably the argument by Nietzsche, similar to Socrates's argument that knowing is to know you don't know everything. It seems the analytical absolutists then do not agree that it is impossible for us to know or see all perspectives. Nietzsche could have meant that if we try to add our different perspectives together into a coherent whole we will come closer to truths. Looking at the "melkpot" from different perspectives cause different images but adding the different images together causes a 3 dimensional image, which can be turned so that every viewer view from another perspective at another time (a few seconds later or earlier).

Absolutism postulates - "There exist a proposition p such that p is true in perspective Q and in every other perspective". Relativism has a "weaker" postulate - "From the standpoint of perspective Q, proposition p is true in all perspectives."[400] Trakakis ascribes the 2nd postulate to relativism, which is maybe not true because the 2nd postulate is self-referentially incoherent. "From" and "all" are mutually exclusive.

Jack W. Meiland contends that it is not true that relativism is ' "self- refuting" '.[401] Another argument against relativism is that it is "dialectically impotent" because it removes the image of philosophers being most knowledgeable due to their realist view.[402]

"But since all of the perspectives in question accept coherence as a minimum standard for the acceptibility of a theory"[403] it is implied that predictive and historical correspondence is prior to coherence, although everybody do not acknowledge correspondence (honesties) according to my current understanding of realities.

Trakakis claims Nietzscheans claim that " 'The notion of the thing-in-itself is incoherent' " and that "within" some perspectives it is true and "within" some perspectives not true according to Nietscheans. "Whether the claim in question is true within the realist and Kantian perspectives is a moot point"[404]

Trakakis ends this section by writing that there are according to him no non-question begging conclusions and no God's eye view.[405] Assuming he means no God's eye view by humans, his opinion places him in the analytic school because incorporeal perfection of God is implied due to imperfections of humans. It could also be argued that he claims that no realist view exist and no God's eye view, which means he is an atheist. It seems to claim realism is true and God is incorporeal is incoherent, which is my main current critique against analytical philosophers, because realism implies a God's eye view through the mind of a human they write about as "God himself" and "God Himself". The notions of "God himself" and "God Himself" are not coherent with analytical beliefs in an incorporeal God.


Analytical philosophers are "generally loathe to accept a non-realist account of religious language", similar to accounts of science. The "central thesis" about the "God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob" is that "God-talk is not fact stating." "God is wholly other, God is not an existent or a being".[406] Although Continental philosophers don't use fact stating language explicitly when writing about God they tend to use perspectivist language, which analytical philosophers hold against them.[407]

When language games become self-contained belief systems, " 'Wittgensteinian fideism' " according to Kai Nielsen is relevant.[408] Wittgenstein was an Austrian/British philosopher of logic, mathematics, mind and language.[409]

The analytical realist view can be broken down into metaphysical and epistemic theses: Metaphysically, God and physical things exist "objectively - i.e.", no matter what we think and say about its. Epistemically, "we human knowers are capable of acquiring objective knowledge of both God and physical objects, that is, we can come to know them as they are in themselves", without being hindered by language and "conceptual schemes."[410]

"John Hick, for example, writes: 'Religious realism is the view that the existence or non-existence of God is a fact independent of whether you or I or anyone else believes that God exists. If God exists, God is not simply an idea or ideal in our minds, but an ontological reality, the ultimate creative power of the universe.'[411]

Trakakis defends a non-realist view of God, which rejects either the metaphysical or epistemic thesis above but not necessarily both. Many religious non-realists reject only the epistemic thesis above, which states that God can be known from "evidence and arguments, as is typically done in natural theology."[412]

Trakakis writes that Phillips stated that references to facts means we are not sure. Fact stating language thus refers to immanent things, which are temporary.[413] It implies that Trakakis means Phillips assumes most people are dishonest when they say "It is a fact" in order to support a claim of their's.

Phillips argues that God is comprehended only through belief and nothing more. Not existence of anything nor knowledge of anything pertains to belief in God. Phillips's " 'Hebrew-Christian conception of God is not a conception of a being among beings' ".[414] Phillips says God more than exists, but do not exists.[415] Phillips is a non-realist.[416]

The probability of combining the metaphysical stances of non-realism and realism are "dim".[417] A synthesis between the two approaches is not feasible because the divide is to great, especially with reference to differences between "realist" and nominalist ("non-realist") comprehensions of God.[418]


I did not read this chapter a 2nd time because it was a description according to my understanding of St. Francis who was excommunicated by the hegemony. He eventually joined the Roman Catholic Church against his will, because he did not want to be dependent on the financial help of the church. The result was an extreme austere lifestyle as priest of the Roman Catholic Church. (Read between the lines). This chapter of St. Francis had much meaning in conjunction with the theodicy chapter because of the dehumanizing effects on St. Francis, which theodicists could interpret as an enhancement. He was after all made a Saint, which implies the Roman Catholic Church is espousing theodicies, which implies conspiring between the hegemony and the church, similarly to communication between God and Satan in the book of Job.


Analytic philosophy has forgotten about wisdom and focuses on knowledge. Albert Camus stated in his The myth of Sisyphus: ' "There is but one truly serious philosophical problem, and that is suicide. Judging whether life is or is not worth living amounts to answering the fundamental question of philosophy." ' Analytical philosophy cannot comprehend such wisdom. On the other hand philosophy is not literature and some Continental philosophy comes to close to poetry. [419]

The end of Philosophy of religion can be motivated by the cold approach followed by analytic philosophy and the dominant role analytic philosophy has in academic funded philosophy.[420] If Philosophy of religion is to be enhanced the values of myths need to be considered in more detail.[421] A new immanent vision of transcending God should be propagated through new ways of using language according to Tacey.[422]

Caputo explains how the institutionalization of reason took place. " 'Debates about reason are debates conducted by university professors in journals and books, at symposia and public lectures, by men and women who aspire to tenure, promotion, and support for more research.' " According to Caputo reasoning in academia is a function of power structures, cliques and selfish interests of the people involved. Universities are unduly influenced by the corporate world. 70% - 80% of academics feel this way, which makes sense in the light of power structures. [423] <self: Power structures implies fear.> Too much emphasis is placed on quantity of publications to the detriment of quality.[424] Young academics subscribe to these "values" in conjunction with corporate and government structures. [425]

Trakakis promotes philosophers with courage like Nietzsche, Kant, Seneca, Cicero and Socrates.[426] They must help to reinstitute truths instead of profits to the elite, as priority of universities.[427]



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[1]           Eshleman, 3.

[2]           Eshleman, 5.

[3]           Eshleman, 8.

[4]           Eshleman, 7-8.

[5]           Eshleman, 8.

[6]           Eshleman, 4.

[7]           Pojman & Rea, xiii-xvi.

[8]           Griffiths, 31.

[9]           Griffiths, 31.

[10]         Griffiths, 32.

[11]         Griffiths, 31.

[12]         Griffiths, 33.

[13]         Griffiths, 34-35.

[14]         Griffiths, 35.

[15]         Griffiths, 36-37.

[16]         Griffiths, 40.

[17]         Griffiths, 41.

[18]         Griffiths, 40.

[19]         Hudson, 7.

[20]         Hudson, 8.

[21]         Hudson, 8.

[22]         Hudson, 7.

[23]         Hudson, 8.

[24]         Hudson, 8.

[25]         Hudson, 8.

[26]         Hudson, 9.

[27]         Hudson, 11.

[28]         Eshleman, 8.

[29]         Eshleman, 8.

[30]         Van Niekerk, 57-59, 62, 71-75.

[31]         Mackie, 242.

[32]         "Used of a false thing. On the one hand, either because it has not been assembled or because it would be impossible for it to be assembled." (Aristotle, p. 148, 1024b-1025a.)

[33]         Aquinas, 231. Aquinas stated here that God has different definitions. Because definitions about God are not objective, definitions cannot be used to prove the existence of God, according to Aquinas.

[34]         Aquinas, 230-233.

[35]         Aquinas, 231.

[36]         Hudson, 9.

[37]         Clouser, pp. 239, 241, 249.

[38]         Swinburne, 52.

[39]         Gen. 22:8.

[40]         "Nicomachean Ethics, Book I, section 3."

[41]         Griffiths, 31.

[42]         Griffiths, 31.

[43]         Griffiths, 31.

[44]         Griffiths, 31.

[45]         Griffiths, 31.

[46]         Griffiths, 32.

[47]         Griffiths, 31.

[48]         Griffiths, 33.

[49]         Griffiths, 34.

[50]         Griffiths, 35.

[51]         Griffiths, 35.

[52]         Griffiths, 36.

[53]         Griffiths, 36.

[54]         Griffiths, 37.

[55]         Griffiths, 39.

[56]         Griffiths, 40.

[57]         Griffiths, 40.

[58]         Griffiths, 40.

[59]         Griffiths, 41.

[60]         Griffiths, 41.

[61]         Griffiths, 41.

[62]         Griffiths, 41-42.

[63]         Hudson, 7.

[64]         Hudson, 7.

[65]         Hudson, 8.

[66]         Hudson, 8.

[67]         Hudson, 8.

[68]         Hudson, 9.

[69]         Hudson, 9.

[70]         Hudson, 9.

[71]         Hudson, 9.

[72]         Hudson, 11.

[73]         Swinburne, 51.

[74]         Swinburne, 51.

[75]         Swinburne, 51.

[76]         Swinburne, 52.

[77]         Swinburne, 52.

[78]         Swinburne, 52.

[79]         Swinburne, 52.

[80]         Swinburne, 53.

[81]         Swinburne, 53.

[82]         Swinburne, 53-54.

[83]         Swinburne, 54.

[84]         Swinburne, 54.

[85]         Swinburne, 55.

[86]         Swinburne, 55.

[87]         Swinburne, 55.

[88]         Swinburne, 57.

[89]         See PHIL221 (History of philosophy studyguide), p. 231 where Aquinas's Summa Theologiae was quoted.

[90]         "Used of a false thing. On the one hand, either because it has not been assembled or because it would be impossible for it to be assembled." (Aristotle, p. 148, 1024b-1025a.)

[91]         Martin, 282-283.

[92]         Aquinas, 231. Maybe because he did not want to quote a fellow Catholic priest's name, if he believed he proved him wrong.

[93]         I wrote this comment on p. 230 of my PHIL221 study guide but did not find the proof when i looked for it, when writing this document.

[94]         Aquinas, 230.

[95]         Martin, 283-284.

[96]         Martin, 283.

[97]         Van Niekerk, p. 115.

[98]         Van Niekerk, p. 116.

[99]         Van Niekerk, p. 116.

[100]        Van Niekerk, p. 118.

[101]        Van Niekerk, p. 118.

[102]        Van Niekerk, pp. 118-119.

[103]        Van Niekerk, p. 123.

[104]        Van Niekerk, p. 119.

[105]        Van Niekerk, p. 120.

[106]        Van Niekerk, p. 122.

[107]        Van Niekerk, p. 122.

[108]        Van Niekerk, p. 122.

[109]        Van Niekerk, p. 123.

[110]        Van Niekerk, p. 124.

[111]        Van Niekerk, pp. 124-125.

[112]        Van Niekerk, pp. 127-128.

[113]        Van Niekerk, p. 130.

[114]          Book II. '4. Adeimantus and Glaucon Restate the Case for Injustice'

            'Beside our picture of the unjust man let us set one of the just man, the man of true simplicity of character who, as Aeschylus says, wants "to be and not to seem good". We must, indeed, not allow him to seem good, for if he does he will have all the rewards and honours paid to the man who has a reputation for justice, and we shall not be able to tell whether his motive is love of justice or love of the rewards and honours. No, we must strip him of everything except his justice, and our picture of him must be drawn in a way diametrically opposite to that of the unjust man. Our just man must have the worst of reputations for wrongdoing even though he has done no wrong, so that we can test his justice and see if it weakens in the face of unpopularity and all that goes with it; we shall give him an undeserved and life-long reputation for wickedness, and make him stick to his chosen course until death. In this way, when we have pushed the life of justice and of injustice each to its extreme, we shall [own emphasis on shall] be able to judge which of the two is the happier...And if the description is somewhat brutal, remember that it's not I that am responsible for it, Socrates, but those who praise injustice more highly than justice. It is their account that I must now repeat.' (Plato, p. 45, 360a)


[115]        Van Niekerk, pp. 130-131.

[116]        Van Niekerk, p. 131.

[117]        Van Niekerk, pp. 118-119.

[118]        Van Niekerk, p. 133-139.

[119]        Griffiths, 32.

[120]        Griffiths, 40.

[121]        Griffiths, 41.

[122]        Griffiths, 40.

[123]        Barlow, 1997: 364

[124]        Aristotle. Metaphysics, p. 148, 1024b.

[125]        Pienaar, p. 105.

[126]        Pienaar, p. 105.

[127]        Aristotle, The Metaphysics, p. 358, 1069b-1070a.

[128]        Aristotle, The Metaphysics, p. 343-344, 1066b-1067b.

[129]        Tarnas. The pas, pp. 291-292.

[130]        COPAN, P. 2007. The Moral Argument, 369.

[131]        "Heidegger, OTL, 54; cf. 59 and 61. […]"(Westphal. 2008, p. 429.)

[132]        Plantinga, Alvin, "Religion and Science", The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (Summer 2010 Edition), Edward N. Zalta (ed.), URL = <>.

[133]        p. 219.

[134]  P. 222

[135]From: on 23 August 2013.

[136]From: on 22 August 2013 and Westphal, p.133.

[137]From: on 23 August 2013.

[138] 'From Jean-Paul Sartre, Existentialism' (Leesbundel, p. 175)

[139] New Oxford American Dictionary.

[140] Collins English Dictionary – definition of "alter".

[141] Collins English Dictionary and New Oxford American Dictionary.

[142] New Oxford American Dictionary.

[143] Blackburn, pp. 11,12.

[144] Stoker and Van der Merwe, p. 5.

[145] Halsema, A. Luce Irigaray's Transcendence as alterity, p, 101.

[146] Versteeg, pp. 115,123.

[147] Stoker, pp. 18. Westphal, p.133.

[148] Van Tongeren, p.159.

[149] Karl Jaspers.

[150] p. 5

[151] Aristotle, Kant, Husserl, Heidegger etc.

[152] Pp. 9,13,15,71.

[153] Griffiths, pp. 32,40,41.

[154] From: on 26 August 2013.

[155] From: on 26 August 2013.

[156] Van der Kooi, p. 61.

[157] Van der Merwe, p.187.

[158] Derrida in Stoker, p. 20.

[159] Van der Merwe, p.191.

[160] Westphal, p. 135.

[161] Wolterstorff, p. 64.

[162] From: on 23 August 2013.

[163] From: on 23 August 2013.

[164]        [Socrates]: " 'In the dog's name!' " (Plato. The rep, p. 306: 567d; p. 95: 399a).

"Glaucon swears 'By Zeus', the chief Olympian god; Socrates, who always avoided such oaths, swears the oath traditionally ascribed to him, 'By the dog'." (Plato. The rep, p. 390: Part III, note 69)

The word 'cynocephaly' does not appear in the Collins English dictionary or the New Oxford American Dictionary in which i looked.


[165] Stoker and Van der Merwe, p. 1.

[166] New American Oxford Dictionary, definition of "romanticism".

[167] Stoker, p. 3.

[168] Stoker, pp. 3-4.

[169] Stoker, p. 4.

[170] Stoker, p. 4.

[171] Stoker, pp. 10-12.

[172] Stoker, p. 5.

[173] Stoker, p. 13.

[174] Stoker, p. 13-14.

[175] Stoker, p. 5.

[176] Stoker, pp. 6-7.

[177] Stoker, pp. 7-8.

[178] Stoker, p. 8.

[179] Stoker, pp. 15-18.

[180] Stoker, pp. 19-20.

[181] Schüßler, pp. 24-37

[182] "Caputo, J.D., 2001. On religion. London, UK: Routledge, p.59" (Vosloo, p.52)

[183] Vosloo, p. 38.

[184] Vosloo, p. 40.

[185] Vosloo, pp. 38-41.

[186] Vosloo, p. 42.

[187] Vosloo, p. 49

[188] Van der Kooi, pp. 54-63

[189] "Weber, M., 2002. The Protestant ethic and the spirit of capitalism. Translated from German by S. Kalberg. Los Angeles, CA: Roxbury." (Cloots, p. 75)

[190] "Blumenberg, H., 1983. The legitimacy of the modern age. Translated from German by R.M. Wallace. London, UK: MIT Press." (Cloots, p. 75)

[191] Cloots, p. 64-65.

[192] Blackburn, p. 382 – definition of voluntarism.

[193] Mautner, p. 649 – definition of voluntarism.

[194] Cloots, p. 65.

[195] "Gauchet, M., 1997. The disenchantment of the world: a political history of religion. Translated from French by Oscar Burge. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press." (Cloots, p. 75) "This is the only work of Gauchet translated into English hitherto and the translation has a foreword by Charles Taylor. I will always refer to the translation." (Cloots, p. 65)

[196] Cloots, p. 65.

[197] Cloots, p. 72.

[198] "Gauchet, M., 1997. The disenchantment of the world: a political history of religion. Translated from French by Oscar Burge. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press." (Cloots, p. 75)

[199] Cloots, p. 65.

[200] I think i read this in the Time magazine where i read also about the inverse relation between logic and memory. I could not find the reference.

[201] Cloots, p. 66.

[202] Cloots, p. 64-75.

[203] "Deleuze, G., 2004. Difference and repetition. Translated from French by P. Patton. New York, NY: Continuum." (Justaert, p. 86)

[204] Justaert, p. 76.

[205] Blackburn, p. 316.

[206] Justaert, p. 76.

[207] Justaert, p. 76.

[208] Justaert, p. 76.

[209] "Deleuze, G. and Guattari, F., 1991. Qu’est-ce que la philosophie? Paris, France: Les Éditions de Minuit." (Justaert, p. 86)

[210] Justaert, p. 78.

[211] Justaert, p. 78.

[212] Justaert, p. 78.

[213] Justaert, p. 77.

[214] Pearson, K.A., 2001. Pure reserve: Deleuze, philosophy, and immanence. In: M. Bryden ed., Gilles Deleuze and religion. London, UK: Routledge, pp. 141-155. (Justaert, p. 87)

[215] Justaert, p. 80.

[216] Justaert, p. 81.

[217] Deleuze, G. and Guattari, F., 1987. A thousand plateaus: capitalism and schizophrenia. (Justaert, p. 86)

London, UK: Continuum.

[218] Justaert, p. 82.

[219] Justaert, p. 83.

[220] Justaert, p. 84.

[221] "Dosse, F., 2010. Gilles Deleuze and Felix Guattari: intersecting lives. Translated from French by D. Glassman. New York, NY: Columbia University Press." (Justaert, p. 86)

[222] Justaert, p. 85.

[223] Justaert, pp. 85-86.

[224] Du Preez, pp. 88-100.

[225] Halsema, p. 101.

[226] "Irigaray, L., 1996a. Le souffle des femmes: Luce Irigaray présente des crédos au feminine. Spiritualité au féminin. Paris, France: L'Action Catholique Générale Féminine (ACGF) [Women’s Catholic Action]." (Halsema, p. 113)

[227] Halsema, p. 101.

[228] Halsema, p. 104.

[229] Plato, pp. 387-388. Comment by Desmond Lee in his translation of The republic.