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VOLUNTARIST VIEWS OF FAITH.

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VOLUNTARIST VIEWS OF FAITH. F.R. TENNANT. THE FAITH VENTURE. He said : belief in God becomes reasonable if the idea of God be found indispensable for the ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: VOLUNTARIST VIEWS OF FAITH.


1
VOLUNTARIST VIEWS OF FAITH.
  • F.R. TENNANT.
  • THE FAITH VENTURE.

2
PRELIMINARY POINTS.
  • He said belief in God becomes reasonable if
    the idea of God be found indispensable for the
    explanation of the totality of our scientific
    knowledge about the individual mind.
  • Class discussion
  • What did he mean by this? Break it up into
    sections and jot down some notes.
  • Faith is defined as willing adventure that
    plays a part in all discoveries. It reaches the
    ideally possible.
  • Belief is defined as that which is concerned
    with fact or actuality.
  • Class discussion
  • Whats the difference between faith and belief?
  • What has this to do with a voluntarist view of
    faith?

3
FAITH IN RELIGION AND SCIENCE.
  • A hypothesis is needed in both.
  • Both need to make this hypothesis real/actual by
    acting on it.
  • Every machine of human invention has come about
    this way.
  • Both, therefore need the faith venture.
  • Without this venture nothing new would be
    discovered.
  • Columbus discovery of America is given as an
    example.
  • There is no guarantee that this faith venture
    will be guaranteed. It involves risks.
  • But, a discovery is only made if risks are taken.
  • So, Religion and Science are similar in the need
    for this faith venture.
  • QUESTIONS.
  • Suggest a hypothesis for both. (point 1.)
  • What must then be done in point 2?
  • Using adventure as a clue, write a few
    sentences on what taking the faith venture may
    mean for both. (point 4.)
  • Why do you think Tennant used Columbus as an
    example? (point 6.)
  • What risks may be involved in both? (point 7)
  • Write a paragraph to sum up why Religion and
    Science are similar in the faith venture.
    (point 9.)
  • What has this to do with the Voluntarist theory
    of faith?

4
VOLUNTARIST VIEWS OF FAITH.
  • W. JAMES.
  • THE WILL/RIGHT TO BELIEVE.

5
KEY WORDS FOR JAMES.
  • INCLUDE THESE IN AN ESSAY
  • HOMEWORK.
  • PRAGMATIC.
  • GENUINE OPTION.
  • LIVING.
  • FORCED.
  • MOMENTOUS.
  • PASSIONAL.
  • Research the words on the left in relation to
    James work.
  • Write a paragraph on each, saying what part they
    play in his Voluntarist view of faith.

6
JAMES IN CONTEXT.
  • The sceptic W.K. Clifford said that -It is
    wrong everywhere, always and for anyone to
    believe on the basis of insufficient evidence.
  • QUESTION.
  • Do you agree or disagree ? Say why.
  • James accuses Clifford of risking loss of truth
    rather than chancing error.
  • James says that no conclusive evidence will ever
    arrive, so Religious faith cannot be just a
    matter of the intellect. We simply must decide.

7
ERROR ?
  • Whatever our decision, yes, no or undecided,
    there is the chance of error.
  • We also risk loss of truth.
  • The decision cannot be made on intellectual
    grounds.
  • So, one is justified in deciding on PASSIONAL
    grounds.

8
WHAT DOES PASSIONAL MEAN ?
  • Hopefully, you did the homework and you know!
  • It is the emotional side of our nature that we
    can base our decisions on.
  • That is, decide according to what best fits with
    our hopes, fears and so on.
  • James says that this passional decision will
    then be the one which is the most
    PRAGMATIC(practical) for our own happiness and
    satisfaction.

9
AN EXAMPLE TO USE IN AN ESSAY
  • IS THERE LIFE AFTER DEATH?
  • What is the most pragmatic decision ?

10
JAMES ANSWER.
  • This is a genuine option, which is living, forced
    and momentous(see research.)
  • The decision cannot be made on intellectual
    grounds.
  • So, we lawfully may make our decision on
    passional grounds.
  • If believing in life after death is the most
    pragmatic decision for me, that is, what best
    fits with my passional nature , then this
    belief is justified.
  • This is more pragmatic for me than believing that
    there is no life after death.

11
WHAT IF I REMAIN IN DOUBT ?
  • This is still a passional decision . He says
    that being in doubt would be more pragmatic than
    not believing in life after death, but not as
    pragmatic as if there was a belief in life after
    death.
  • QUESTION.
  • Which of the 3 options do you think is the most
    pragmatic ? Say why.

12
HOW DOES JAMES DECIDE?
  • He says that a religious person still gains
    satisfactions here and now. This comes from
    believing that there is a life beyond.
  • An atheist or agnostic does not expect a life
    beyond and so does not gain satisfaction from
    that in this life.
  • A believer will die expecting a life beyond and
    will not know if s/he is wrong. So, it is more
    pragmatic for me to believe in it.
  • Therefore, I WILL TO BELIEVE that the religious
    hypothesis is true. I will also live as though it
    is true.
  • Although religious belief does not come through
    empirical means, we can get empirical
    confirmation of the religious belief.
  • How? We can see the positive effects of religion
    an a persons life.
  • To those who are not willing to make that
    decision he would say live and let live and
    go in peace.

13
JAMES CONCLUDED HIS WILL TO BELIEVE ESSAY WITH
A QUOTE FROM 19TH CENTURY AUTHOR, FITZ JAMES
STEPHEN
  • In all important transactions of life we have to
    take a leap in the dark.... If we decide to leave
    the riddles unanswered, that is a choice if we
    waver in our answer, that, too, is a choice but
    whatever choice we make, we make it at our peril.
    If a man chooses to turn his back altogether on
    God and the future, no one can prevent him no
    one can show beyond reasonable doubt that he is
    mistaken. If a man thinks otherwise and acts as
    he thinks, I do not see that any one can prove
    that he is mistaken. Each must act as he thinks
    best and if he is wrong, so much the worse for
    him.

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14
  • We stand on a mountain pass in the midst of
    whirling snow and blinding mist through which we
    get glimpses now and then of paths which may be
    deceptive. If we stand still we shall be frozen
    to death. If we take the wrong road we shall be
    dashed to pieces. We do not certainly know
    whether there is any right one. What must we do?
    ' Be strong and of a good courage.' Act for the
    best, hope for the best, and take what comes. . .
    . If death ends all, we cannot meet death better.

15
QUESTION.
  • Work through the previous quote word by word,
    sentence by sentence.
  • Explain why James chose this quote to end his
    work. How does it fit with his will to
    believe theory of faith ?
  • Pass your answer to another member of the class
    and take someone elses answer. What can you add
    to their work?
  • Have they found something you didnt ? Add it to
    yours.

16
VOLUNTARIST VIEWS OF FAITH
  • B. PASCAL.
  • HIS WAGER/BET.

17
WHERE CAN WE USE PASCAL?
  • In your A2 work, Pascal can be used in questions
    concerning theories about the nature of faith
    and also in questions that ask whether faith is
    more valid if based on reason or revelation.
  • Lets look at his Wager......

18
KEY WORD PRUDENCE.
  • A dictionary defines this as cautious,
    discretion, foresight, careful management of
    resources, consideration of your own interests
    and so on.
  • So, Pascal is saying that it is prudent to wager
    that God exists.
  • Why ?....

19
IT IS PRUDENT BECAUSE..
  • It is impossible to prove or disprove Gods
    existence(this is a clue to his views on reason.)
  • So, he suggests we make a wager that God exists,
    which he says is a far more prudent/sensible
    wager than atheism.
  • Why ?...

20
I BELIEVE THAT GOD EXISTS
  • God does exist God does not exist
  • Eternal life Nothing happens
  • Clearly, believing is the only bet that allows
    you to gain anything.

21
I DO NOT BELIEVE THAT GOD EXISTS
  • God does exist God does not exist
  • Eternal damnation Nothingness
  • Clearly, not believing does not allow you to gain
    anything. In fact, if God does exist, you
    positively lose( a lot !)

22
SO, THE BEST BET..
  • If we presume God exists and live life as if
    there is a God, there is no gain, but, there is
    no loss.
  • If life has been lived as though there is a
    God(positive life), then there is a win-win
    situation.
  • However, if we live as if there is no God, if
    there isnt, no gain but no loss.
  • Live life as if there is no God, if there is,
    look out !
  • So, the prudent wager is to live life as if there
    is a God.

23
USEFUL LINKS FOR ESSAY QUESTIONS.
  • It is interesting to note that Pascal is saying
    atheism is unreasonable as it is not a safe bet.
  • Whereas, Kierkegaard says the exact opposite it
    is because faith is risky that it gains its
    value.

24
PASCALS GOD.
  • Pascals God is the God of the Bible, the God of
    the theologians.
  • It is not the God of the philosophers.
  • Question.
  • What does this mean for his views of revelation
    and reason ?

25
GOD OF THE BIBLE.
  • This God is loving, guiding, 3 in one(trinity)
    and so on.
  • The God of the philosophers is Prime Mover, First
    Cause and so on.

26
IMPLICATIONS.
  • He rejected Natural Theology(using reason to
    discover God.)
  • Hence, his classic quote the heart has reasons
    the mind never thought of.
  • We should Hear God. This is an allusion to
    Gods revelation.
  • Question
  • What do his quotes tell you about his views on
    reason and revelation?

27
Revelation and the wager.
  • Although faith is not based on reason it is still
    reasonable.
  • This is because the results of the wager show
    that it is more prudent to believe than to not
    believe.
  • So, accepting Gods revelation is by far the best
    bet !
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