God and Philosophers, or the writer choice.
God and Philosophers
Despite the fact that people have tried to be righteous it has proved to be difficult for the believers to be intellectually healthy Christians. Some people still continue to question themselves on the origin of religion and Christianity. Believing in invisible powers is another question that has continued to puzzle several people. Although there are several questions that remain unanswered as far as religion is concerned several people still believe in God and other supernatural powers. In this excerpt, I will examine why it is difficult, but ultimately not impossible to be an intellectually healthy Christian.
Hume’s Natural History of Religion
According to Hume, the improvement of people and the whole society from their bad actions such as idolatry marked the beginning of religion. In around 1,700 years ago human beings used to be a polytheist. Since there are no symbols of any true religion several people, have remained to be a polytheist. In most places those who believe in religion have continued to give confusing testimonies to the same facts. And this is clear evidence of polytheism in human beings (Hume 4). Despite the fact that people discovered the truth they still fell into errors the moment they acquired their ability to learn and politeness.
The other reason it is difficult for people to be intellectually healthy Christians is because the number of ignorant people has increased and some of these just follow some superior powers even investigating them. It is difficult also to be an intellectually healthy Christian due to the human passions and their appetites that lead them to commit sins (Hume 15). The powerful natural thought is another hindrance; this is because human beings are not able to control their thoughts and this thought has led others into atheism. The few who have not joined atheism are confused about the true religion.
Another reason it is difficult for human beings to be intellectually healthy Christians is because mankind learns in the same way and in learning they at times learn wrongly and whatever they believe that they have adopted they transfer them to their young ones. Also, mankind’s course of life is mostly governed by several accidents, and this has made man to increase in superstitions (Hume 25). Therefore, several of these people have ended up committing sins without knowing what they are doing.
Thomas Aquinas’ Summa Theologica
According to Thomas, it is impossible to determine what is good. Therefore, people end up doing what they perceive to be good but in the real sense it is not good but it is wrong. The other reason as to why people cannot be able to have a healthy Christian life is despite the fact that the absence of goodness in an individual is evil sometimes goodness can end up causing evil through material cause since goodness happens to be the subject of evil (Aquinas 95). Also, evil has an agent that does not affect human beings directly but by accident, therefore, these makes the possibility of one living a healthy Christian life difficult.
According to Thomas God can cause evil this is because in the book of Isaiah 45:5, 7 we are told that God is Lord, and there is no existence of another God, God is the one who created darkness and the light and the one which makes both peace and evil and in Amos 3:6 we are told that there shall be no in any city that Lord has not created (Aquinas 200). Therefore, if God is the one who creates evil, it is impossible for human beings to avoid it since God made it for themselves.
As Thomas continues, he further argues that since good is the cause of evil, therefore since God is the cause of every goodness it directly follows that good is also the cause of evil that human beings cannot escape since it was designed for them. Also, since God is the cause of evil by accident it implies that there is another power that leads people into evil intentionally therefore at times it becomes difficult for people to avoid evil (Aquinas 356). Thomas further argues that it is impossible for one to be perfect since there are no perfect creatures that are perfect except God Himself who created both the just and the evil and had the power of controlling both of them.
The other reason it is difficult to live a healthy Christian is because of privation and habit that belong to the same subject naturally. Also, every human being has his limitation within his nature, and these limitations are the ones that cause an individual to commit evil. People have also failed in distinguishing intellect from sense and people still continue to imagine (Aquinas 400). As result people have committed evil due to their imaginations and their bodies, have ended up falling due to their imaginations.
According to Anselm God exists and to those who think that God does not exist is because God is too powerful to an existent that people cannot think of His existence. Anyone who knows what God is can end up thinking that God does not exist. Anselm further says that since God is the most powerful than anything else he lets evil happen to human since God has the ability to avoid the occurrence of evil (Saint 100). Another reason that people cannot be able to live a healthy Christian life is because God does well to all even to the evil therefore people keep on falling to evil from time to time.
According to Anselm, it is not possible to have only just people, this is because God chooses some people from the evil and makes them be just while others are left to be in evil therefore not all people can be healthy Christians due to the existence of differences among men. Another challenge is the tribulations that human beings undergo that end up causing evil (Saint 89). Also, God is just whether he punishes the evil doers or he forgives them.
Despite the fact that people have tried to be healthy Christians it has proved to be difficult for many of them. This is due to several factors that include the occurrence of things by accidents, it is difficult for some people to determine what is good and what is bad, God is the one who controls evil and times He can allow evil to happen and, as a result, human beings cannot be able to control evil. Therefore, evil can happen against the will of man that makes living a healthy Christian life difficult.
Aquinas, Thomas. Summa Theologica: Translated by Fathers of the English Dominican Province. MobileReference, 2010.
Hume, David. The natural history of religion. Stanford University Press, 1957.
Saint Anselm (Archbishop of Canterbury). Complete Philosophical and Theological Treatises of Anselm of Canterbury. AJ Banning Press, 2000.