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Christian Philosopy

One: Describe the reasoning behind Augustine's moral theory, particularly as it relates to the concepts of 'ordered' and 'disordered' love. For Augustine, what constitutes 'ordered' love, and why is it so important?
Two: Recount Anselm's ontological argument for the existence of God. Why is it that Anselm believes it impossible for us to imagine that God not exist?
Three: As thoroughly as possible, recount at least two of Aquinas' 'Five Ways' to demonstrate the existence of God. Bonus points may be awarded for for complete descriptions in addition to the required two!
Four: Describe the reasoning behind Aquinas' moral theory, particularly as it relates to the concepts of virtue and law. For Aquinas, what constitutes human bliss or happiness, and how can it be achieved?
Five: How successful do you think Augustine is in his effort to reconcile the best of the philosophical tradition with the best of the Christian tradition? By Augustine, philosophy (and its ratio-centric bias) can truly be reconciled with Christianity (and its declarative authority bias). And, further, such a reconciliation must happen across the bridge of a true and proper understanding of the nature of love.
Needless to say, this is a monumental task. In your considered opinion, how successful is Augustine in his task? And, as ever and always, WHY do you think so?
In your answer, be sure to consider objections that might be raised! If you think reconciliation impossible, please detail WHY (in philosophic, i.e. ratio-centric, terms) you think so! If you think reconciliation possible, please detail WHY (in philosophic, i.e. ratio-centric, terms) you think so!
Since this is a philosophy course, rather than one of religion or spirituality, only philosophic

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Dear Student,
Hi and thank you for using Brainmass. The solution below should get you started. I have answered each of your questions as specific as possible but you will have some ideas in your current class materials that need to be added just to make your that your final answer will include ideas discussed in your class - this is something your professor will expect. Good luck with your studies.

OTA 105878/Xenia Jones

1. St. Augustine's Ordered and Disordered Love

St. Augustine of Hippo was a North African Christian scholar born to Christian mother and a Pagan father in the 4th century AD. It was his studies of philosophy that led him to Christianity but his further studies had led him somewhat frustrated with the concept of evil and its existence in the world. If God was everywhere and in everything, how come evil exists? He resolved this by looking at the resolution offered by other philosophies - ancient Manicheanism and Zoroastrianism where the notion of dualism existed. Good and evil equated to light and darkness. This became a basis for the furthering of views. Preceding Descartes on the notion of dualism and innate knowledge, he added that wisdom and knowledge results from the combination of faith and reason. Intellectual ability and knowledge for Augustine is the emanation of God in our minds; with God's light, we learn, we see all the essential truths. Knowledge, for him, is a gift of faith. This plays into his moral theory. Happiness and contentment can be found, he proposed, by dedicating one's life to knowing and loving god. Life in the material world on its own cannot bring about true happiness, only love of the Divine. The world that we see and feel is created by God, therefore it is all good. These are 4 things/beings that we can love - physical objects, people other than ourselves, ourselves, and God. Thus, if we love them, they can give us a sense of satisfaction. But not all that we can love can give us a sense of satisfaction. This results unhappiness and suffering. This is what he calls disordered love. But when we love God, that act of doing can result to true satisfaction and happiness. A lot of us, he proposed, do not recognize that only the infinite love of God can give us true happiness. When we fail to understand and recognize this, we become unhappy, we harm ourselves and others. It is our dissatisfaction that leads us to evil. Love for God is ordered love - its value is the gift of turning away from evil because the act of loving God brings order, a life free of dissatisfaction, unhappiness and wickedness. By loving God, we do what is right always. Those who love God belong to the City of God and those who don't and love physical objects, themselves and others above God belong to the City of the World. Life for him, is a struggle of one's membership between the 2 cities.


2. St. Anselm of Canterbury

In his work Proslogium, an Italian-born Christian Scholar of the 11th AD proposed an ontological argument about the existence of God at his turn as a reformist Archbishop of Canterbury. Even came into conflict due to his faith and principles with the succeeding kings of England, his belief and his theological work remained of great importance. He is said to be the first scholastic philosopher of Christianity. His focus was to tie reason to faith for the purpose of putting together a rational Christian belief system. His proof relies on the notion of God being a perfect in every ...

Solution Summary

The solution provides information, advise and assistance in putting together the tasks set in the original problem (see above) on the topic of St. Augustine's moral theory,St. Anselm's God argument,and St. Thomas Aquinas' moral theory.Each question is provided a short essay-answer and lists resources/references that can be used for further exploration of the topic. A word version is also attached.