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Author Topic: Church History and Logical Arguments for the Existence of God.  (Read 467 times) Average Rating: 0
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Dnarmist
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« on: April 01, 2011, 10:38:52 PM »

Correct me if I am mistaken but isn't the bulk of the Church's history theology was very much based around logic and arguments. Up until the Galileo affair and the advent of Modernism ushered in by Rene Descartes (mid-1600s), Christianity was very tightly wedded to logic and reasoning.

The current view of religion as being entirely separate from the realm of reason is actually a very recent (and very American) phenomenon that resulted from the Great Awakenings that happened from the 1700s and onward. After the Galileo Affair, Kant's mortal blow against metaphysics, and Darwinian evolution, it simply became very untenable for a rationalist view of religion to survive long.

While it's true that there are theologians that were very anti-rationalist before this (like Tertullian) to say that "it's silly to rationalize and prove the existence of God through logic and arguments" is a gross oversimplification of Christian history and theology. The way I see it, it isn't so much that "real" theology has always been outside the realm of reason. Rather, after the 1800s the species of religion that had embraced logic simply starved to death since science and reason had begun to occupy all the rational niches. What remained were the more emotive memetic lines that abandoned dependence on reason altogether, and which more or less popped up in America in social and political revivalist movements.

Thoughts?
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Justin Kissel
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« Reply #1 on: April 01, 2011, 11:55:04 PM »

I've been thinking about this on and off for two hours now, and I'm still not sure what to write. Isn't conventional thinking/popular opinion just the opposite? Of course, that wouldn't make it so. I wonder where the line is exactly in using logic and argumentation... some seemed to be totally against it, thinking that it was a mark of humility to not contradict or correct someone. Others seemed more willing to engage...  I'm not sure it's as you say, but...
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