Master of Religious Philosophy, Lesson 7 ~ ClassificationQuestion #1;
The "three great problems of life" have been espoused by several of the great philosophers before Dr Huston Smith so eloquently framed them as a classification scheme for religion. Can you think of any other great human problems? Remember, they should be problems that cannot be subsumed under the three already discussed (the natural world, human social interaction, and human spirituality-psychology).
Answer to #1;
If the thought of the question could ever be classified, it would have to be "Heaven and Hell" in and of its self because they are neither a social nor an economic order; it is a spiritual order of God-Knowing and God-Fearing individuals. Such an order in and of itself is an amazing phenomenon, with both having repercussions one being good, and the other, not so good. Neither of these places fit into the philosophy natural, human social or human spiritual. So something has to be said for human understanding before classification could be made. In other words no view by individual or religious format will have the same understanding.
Although I believe that we have shown the flaws inherent in organizing religions chronologically, in what ways might we benefit from understanding the time order of the world's various religions? Would there be more than just "bragging rights"?
Answer to #2;
Yes, there would be more than just bragging rights. By using chronological order, the world's religious orders would indicate like a graph how the world itself was broken into regions by their religious beliefs and spiritual worship practices. In the modern scheme of universal understanding we are now a montage of overlapping belief systems and spin-offs or even knock offs of older practices of religion.
All that it takes to disprove a theory is a single example where the theory is clearly wrong. Can you think of an example – any example – where it appears that the evolutionary classification model was not followed? In other words, can you think of a society that went from monotheistic to henotheistic, or monotheistic to polytheistic? What, if any, events might have prompted this "reconsideration" of religious beliefs?
Answer to #3;
This question is full of conjecture, it is troubling to me to have to compare one belief system to another or even have to validate one type of belief system over another. The bible has taught me not to be judgmental, which is Gods right to do. However, for the sake of the learning experience I'll say this, Polytheists wanted many gods that they could control themselves so as to do away with any assumptions, or give license to their lifestyles knowing that their belief would not be tolerated by God. As for comparing or stating a particular religious faith switch or turned in or even became a polytheist belief system I'd have to say I cannot think of one. To me it is not a matter of switching to but rather a matter of one individuals choice to the conversion of another faith, be it a monotheism or polytheist structure. Many religious beliefs have splintered off of other larger more dominate structures, such as the Catholic faith and the Lutheran faith, Baptist and Southern Baptist, Hinduism and the Moonies, etc,etc.--
Reverend Father Andrew R. M. Manley
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