The basic assumptions Schleiermacher is making are Platonic. He believes that the feeling of utter dependence is the backdrop, the pre-given, pre-cognitive notion behind the ontological argument. In other words, what Anselm tried to capture in his logical argument is felt by everyone, if they were honest, in a pre-cognitive way. In other words, before one thinks about it, it is this "feeling" of utter dependence. After one thinks it out and makes it into a logical argument it is the ontological argument.
Unity in the Life world.
"Life world," or Labeinswelt is a term used in German philosophy. It implies the world of one's culturally constructed life, the "world" we 'live in.' Life as we experience it on a daily basis. The unity one senses in the life world is intuitive and unites the experiences and aspirations of the individual in a sense of integration and belonging in the world. As Heidegger says "a being in the world." Schleiermacher is saying that there is a special intuitive sense that everyone can grasp of this whole, this unity, being bound up with a higher reality, being dependent upon a higher unity. In other words, the "feeling" can be understood as an intuitive sense of "radical contingency" (in the sense of the above ontological arguments).
He goes on to say that the feeling is based upon the ontological principle as its theoretical background, but doesn't' depend on the argument because it proceeds the argument as the pre-given pre-theoretical pre-cognitive realization of what Anslem sat down and thought about and turned into a rational argument: why has the fool said in his heart 'there is no God?' Why a fool? Because in the heart we know God. To deny this is to deny the most basic realization about reality.
All religions seek to do three things:
a) to identify the human problematic, b) to identify an ultimate transformative experience (UTE) which resolves the problematic, and c) to mediate between the two.
But not all religions are equal. All are relative to the truth but not all are equal. Some mediate the Ultimate transformative experience (UTE) better than others, or in a more accessible way than others. Given the foregoing, my criteria are that:
1) a religious tradition reflect a human problematic which is meaningful in terms of the what we find in the world.
2) the UTE be found to really resolve the problematic.
3) it mediates the UTE in such a way as to be effective and accessible.
4) its putative and crucial historical claims be historically probable given the ontological and epistemological assumptions that are required within the inner logic of that belief system.
5) it be consistent with itself and with the external world in a way that touches these factors.
These mean that I am not interested in piddling Biblical contradictions such as how many women went to the tomb, ect. but in terms of the major claims of the faith as they touch the human problematic and its resolution.
A religious tradition is like a language, and theology is a conversation. Since God is mystical reality, beyond words, to speak of our experiences of God one must encode those experiences into cultural constructs, that makes for the differences in different religions. Traditions are like languages in that they furnish a vocabulary for dealing with such experiences based upon past experiences in an inter-subjective fashion. The point of the discussion is to mediate transformation. One moves into mediation through the conversation of theology. One is then able to come terms with mediation on a personal and experiential level as is still able to relate intersubjectively with others who have similar experiences.
The question then,is not which religion is "true," but which one best mediates transformation. For the individual who answers that question, and comes to identify with a tradition, that is the conversation to take up; join that tradition. For me its Christianity. As part of the conversation one can set up criteria for understanding the conversation, criteria such as those listed above.
Religions alleviate existential dread by providing a comforting story to explain why things are the way they are. It may not be matter that they are true but it is important that they are believed to be true.
What do you perceive as the "human problematic" addressed by Christianity?
Sin is part of human nature. So it's unavoidable. It comforts us to believe 9 eternal life but in so believing we are also accursing ourselves of sin.
Here's a bigger question: Why are democrats so filled with hatred and racist?
Really? It was they who keep on rioting in our cities and pushing for policies that let criminals out of jail while simultaneously punishing those who defend themselves. Why are dems the only ones who want to tax everyone to death and why are the souther dems mostly the ones who owned slaves during the Civil War?
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