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Of The Final Happiness Of All Mankind In Some Distant Future State

It is probable from reason thai afl mankind will be made happy.ultimately. For, first, it has been observed all along in the course of this work* that all the evils that befal either body or mind in this state, have a tendency to improve one or both. If they fail of producing a peculiar, appropriated intermediate good effect, they must, however, necessarily contribute to the annihilation of that self, carnal or spiritual, gross or refined, which is an insuperable bar to our happiness in the pure love of God, and of his works. Now, if we reason at all concerning a future, state, it must be from analogies taken from this and that we are allowed to reason, that we are able to do it 13* with some justness, concerning a future state, will appear from the great coincidence of the foregoing natural arguments for a future state, and for the rewards and punishments of it, with what the scriptures* have delivered upon the same heads also because a similar kind of reasonings in respect of the...

An argument from the nature of modality

The proponents of these Platonic worlds can argue, however, that they have no need to answer this question. The relation of representation is one of the primitive terms in their theory, and it is not a primitive chosen ad hoc to explain possible worlds but a primitive needed for other explanatory purposes, such as for making sense of our practices of claiming, believing, and paraphrasing. Nonetheless, if we had some way of pointing out this relation within the Platonic universe of all relations, we would be happier as theorists.

A probabilistic version of van Inwagens argument

A defender of the PSR could, of course, deny (12), which this version of the argument presupposes, since otherwise we could have self-explanatory contingent explanations of the BCCF. A desperate, but not entirely unjustified, alternate measure would be to deny the assumption that if q is necessary, then P(p q) P(p), perhaps allowing that this is true if q is a tautology, and maybe even any narrowly logically necessary truth, but not if it is a substantive necessary truth, such as that horses are mammals, that water is H2O or that God values unity and happiness. It could, then, be the case that p1 has probability greater than 1 2 given one necessary truth q1, while a proposition p2 incompatible with p1 has probability greater than 1 2 given another necessary truth q2. For instance, perhaps that the universe consisting only of a single particle has high probability given that God values unity, and that the universe containing infinitely many happy persons has high probability given that...

William Lane Craig And J P Moreland

Moral considerations raise naturally the problem of evil in the world. In his chapter, Stewart Goetz distinguishes between the idea of a defense and that of a theodicy, and defends an instance of the latter. As a prolegomenon to his theodicy, Goetz examines the purpose or meaning of an individual's life. Although the vast majority of philosophers, including those who write on the problem of evil, have shown little or no interest in this topic for far too long, Goetz believes that an understanding of the purpose for which a person exists provides the central insight for a viable theodicy. This insight is that a person exists for the purpose of experiencing the great good of perfect happiness. Given that perfect happiness is an individual's greatest good, Goetz argues that it supplies the core idea for why God is justified in permitting evil. Main contemporary contributors to a the-istic treatment of evil include Alvin Plantinga, William Alston, Richard Swinburne, Marilyn Adams, Peter...

Heathen Ideas Of Hell

During all the time that generations following generations of Jews were entertaining the ideas taught in these sixty-four passages, the surrounding heathen believed in future, endless torment. The literature is full of it. Says Good in his Book of Nature It was believed in most countries 'that this Hell, Hadees, or invisible world, is divided into two very distinct and opposite regions, by a broad and impassable gulf that the one is a seat of happiness, a paradise or elysium, and the other a seat of misery, a Gehenna or Tartarus and that there is a supreme magistrate and an impartial tribunal belonging to the infernal shades, before which the ghosts must appear, and by which they are sentenced to the one or the other, according to the deeds done in the body. Egypt is said to have been the inventress of this important and valuable part of the tradition and undoubtedly it is to be found in the earliest records of Egyptian history.' It should be observed that Gehenna was not used before...

The Emergence of Monotheism in Egypt

Over, in a shift not seen again until the advent of Judaism or Christianity, Aton presented himself as a loving god available to all without threat or force, a purveyor of earthly beauty, joy, and happiness, as well as a heaven in the hereafter. This new Egyptian monotheism had one agent and priest, Akhenaton.

The First Authorship Kierkegaards Authorship until 1846

Religiousness A is the religion of immanence it assumes a fundamental affinity between eternity and existence and understands the existential task as being that of the self's recollection of this affinity. As Climacus puts it with regard to the God-relationship, religiousness A is an evolution within the total category of human nature. 33 That is, religiousness A assumes that the human being possesses the condition for a God-relationship. The dialectic of religiousness A is thus a dialectic of inward deepening, in which the self appropriates the truth of its affinity with the eternal and strives to restructure its existence accordingly. As Climacus puts it, religiousness A is the relation to an eternal happiness that is not conditioned by a something but is the dialectical inward deepening of the relation, consequently conditioned only by the inward deepening, which is dialectical. 34

The Origin And Principle Of

The Cynics, however, were primarily bent upon practice and not upon theory and the dialectical defence of individualism was valuable to Antisthenes mainly as a support to his ethical views, and especially to his attempt to isolate the individual and maintain his independence, his natural freedom and self-sufficiency. Indeed, to Antisthenes, the autonomy .of the individual, his independence of everything but himself, seemed of itself to constitute that supreme good which Socrates had taught him to seek. Virtue is sufficient for happiness, he declared, and all that it needs is the Socratic vigour (layus IZwKpaTuai). Antisthenes may rightfully claim to be the first of the enthusiasts for ' formal freedom,' that is, for a freedom which is nothing but the negation of bondage the assertion of the self against everything that is regarded as belonging to the not-self, the demand of the individual to be his own law and his own end. To such a temper of mind, every claim of society upon the...

Phase 3 The Ultimate End Of Rebellion

Will assemble before God's throne for the same purpose. One conclusive point must be clearly made. All, including the unsaved, will understand why Satan and sin must be destroyed. This final acknowledgement of God's justice and love will utterly vindicate God's name. All will see that sin is without excuse or reason, and that obedience is the only way of life and happiness.

The Idea Of Theology And The Conflict Of Interests

Arnulfus Provincialis explains that theology has its causa in man's fall into sin. Adam was created in the image and likeness of God, perfect in virtue and knowledge (scientiae), but he transgressed against the law of nature laid upon him, and his oculus intellectualis, the eye of understanding, was darkened and blinded and ceased to see truly. The damage was done not only to his soul, but also to his body. There is, however, a further causa in the unavoidable creaturely limitation of Adam. He was designed to strive to be more perfect, that is, to grow more like his Creator by acquiring virtue and knowledge he ought to lift up his soul in contemplation of his Creator and find there his soul's happiness. This is described, says Arnulf, by the philosophers. (He cites Algazel in the Metaphysics.)

Words Denoting Endlessness

Now these words are applied to God and the soul's happiness. They are words that in the Bible are never applied to punishment or anything perishable. They would have been affixed to punishment had the Bible intended to teach endless punishment. And certainly they show the error of those who declare that the indefinite word aionion is all the word, or the strongest one in the Bible, declarative of the endlessness of life beyond the grave.

Relation Of The Doctrine Of Creation To Other Doctrines

(a) At its first creation, the world was good in two senses first, as free from moral evil. Sin being a later addition, the work, not of God, but of created spirits. Secondly, as adapted to beneficent ends for example, the revelation of God s perfection, and the probation and happiness of intelligent and obedient creatures.

Convincing Testimonies

It was believed in most countries, that this Hell Hadees, or invisible world, is divided into two very distinct and opposite regions, by a broad and impassable gulf that the one is a seat of happiness, a paradise, or Elysium, and the other a seat of misery, a Gehenna, or Tartarus and that there is a supreme magistrate and an impartial tribunal belonging to the infernal shades, before which the ghosts must appear, and by which they are sentenced to the one or the other, according to the deeds done in the body. Egypt is said to have been the inventress of this important and valuable part of the tradition and undoubtedly it is to be found in the

Q Purpose of the Baptism

The most important truth about the baptism of the Holy Spirit is often overlooked, and it has to do with the purpose of the experience. Many have defined it in terms of personal ecstasy, joyful emotions, or inner spiritual happiness. None of these things even touches on the basic reason for the promised outpouring of the Spirit. Some of those things might be included in the subsequent fruits of the experience, but they cannot and should not be mistaken for the baptism itself. Just before His ascension Christ told His disciples to tarry at Jerusalem until the Spirit came upon them not many days hence (Acts 1 5).

Subjectivity Is Truth And Truth Is Subjectivity

If Christianity is an existence-communication rather than a doctrine, a truth to be appropriated in existence rather than comprehended by thought, then it must be regarded as being essentially subjective rather than objective in nature. Accordingly, Climacus defines Christianity in the following manner 'Christianity is spirit spirit is inwardness inwardness is subjectivity subjectivity is essentially passion, and at its maximum an infinite, personally interested passion for one's eternal happiness' (CUP i. 33). Objectively, he contends, Christianity 'does not exist at all' inasmuch as its being and truth exist only in the subjectivity of those individuals who are passionately concerned about their eternal happiness (130-1). This leads Climacus to posit the following dual theses 'subjectivity is truth' and 'truth is subjectivity' (189, 203-4, 281). Beginning with the first claim, Climacus suggests that, in relation to all knowing that is essentially related to existence, namely ethical...

Faith And Rationality After Foundationalism

Plantinga has lately argued that Christian beliefs may well have warrant, which is his term for that 'elusive quality or quantity enough of which, together with truth and belief, is sufficient for knowledge' (Plantinga 1993b vi). Warranted beliefs are those that are the product of cognitive faculties that are functioning as they should in their proper environment, and follow a design plan aimed at truth (rather than at survival or happiness). This epistemology permits us to ascribe warrant not only to the beliefs favoured by classical foundationalism, but also to sensory beliefs, beliefs based on testimony, inductively grounded beliefs, and many others. Each type, if generated appropriately, is properly basic. He plans to argue that Christian beliefs also have warrant, as they too derive from such a cognitive faculty one that disposes us to accept beliefs about God.

The Structure of Subjectivity in the Boethian Itinerarium

By the end of Book Four the consoling itinerarium has twice carried the prayerful prisoner to the Providential view by which all things are seen in the unity of the Good. First, in Book Three, having made a positive beginning from the prisoner's dream of happiness, the argument moves until all is seen in the light of the simple Good (Boethius 1973, 3.1, p. 230, lines 17-18 He will be led Ad veram felicitatem, quam tuus quoque somniat animus. ). In the penultimate Book, all is looked at from the same perspective but this time, the beginning is negative the prisoner's unforgotten grief, the apparent existence and the apparent triumph of evil.13 But this twice secured result creates a problem the vision of all things from the perspective of the Good seems to destroy the subjective freedom by which the prisoner reached his journey's end. Unless the problem is solved, the argument would deconstruct itself the ladder marked on the dress of Lady Philosophy, of which the prisoner is finally...

Franco Ferrucci The Life of God as Told by Himself 1996

In God's estimation, Moses was alienating people from their freedom. It is not true that I want to destroy the iniquitous, God said to him. I don't even know who the iniquitous are. 23 But in Moses' estimation, God hadn't a clue about what it is that human beings really need. And 1,200 years later, God still didn't, only it is Jesus who upbraids him this time. Jesus, in Ferrucci's world, is God's natural son - as God in spiritual form had made love to his mother before she married an old carpenter. Following their tryst, God disappeared, then returned 30 years later as one of a band of peripatetic Athenian philosophers to check up on this son he'd heard of through rumors. Listening to Jesus preach for the first time, God was filled with happiness, and he remarked that he had never heard anything so beautiful and so convincing before. 24 I realized that I wanted to believe in the Christ, I the atheistic God. 25 It was God in the guise of a Greek philosopher, it turns out, who rented...

Problems of evil and some responses to them

The only method of supporting divine benevolence (and it is what I willingly embrace) is to deny absolutely the misery and wickedness of man. Your representations are exaggerated Your melancholy views mostly fictitious. Your inferences contrary to fact and experience. Health is more common than sickness Pleasure than pain Happiness than misery. And for one vexation, which we meet with, we attain, upon computation, a hundred ei joyments.H Consider, for example, the notion that relief from (or absence of) pain and suffering is an intrinsically good thing, something which God would always lay on for things like human beings. Many anti-theistic writers seem to embrace this notion, but many theists do not. As we have seen, some hold that pain and suffering can perfect human beings. They argue (roughly) that austerity, sacrifice, poverty, and pain can lead to desirable results. And some suggest that what we may loosely call 'an absence of happiness' is not necessarily something which ought...

Trinity And Divine Simplicity

We should look a long way before finding an approach so original, and in some ways so independent of the stock philosophical sources, as that of Anselm. But Peter Abelard, too, tried to think the thing through from first principles. He suggests that the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit differ not in essentia (which would make them three distinct things), but in status. Richard of St Victor, a little later, made use of the concept of love between the Persons. In God, he says, there is fullness of love. Perfect love demands plurality, because it must be love of another. In God there is perfect happiness. That requires mutual love. In God there is fullness of glory. True glory is to

Caritas The Augustinian Synthesis of Biblical Agape and Hellenistic Eros

Which we get ''cupidity'' and also ''Cupid,'' the Roman god of love. Cupiditas has the sense of passionate desire, lust and wrongful appetite. Both caritas and cupiditas are terms for love. The difference between them is that caritas is directed to the sole true and real possibility for happiness, God whereas cupiditas is (mis)directed toward things assumed to provide happiness but which are only transient. Both terms refer to ''love'' but are polar opposites - caritas ascends to God, Being itself and cupiditas descends to inferior beings and then in its continual descent it reaches nothingness, nonbeing. Augustine's fundamental assumption - gained from his acquaintance with Neoplatonism - is that all love is acquisitive or an appetite. That is, persons desire what they believe will fulfill them. In short, Augustine perceives that the eudaemo-nism - the drive for self-fulfillment - of ancient philosophy has apologetic value. That is, the pagan question of how one may attain happiness...

The Power of God Exercised Upon These Wicked Wretches

And truly so it happened, that though the slayers left off at the evening, yet did the fire greatly prevail in the night and as all was burning, came that eighth day of the month Gorpieus Elul upon Jerusalem a city that had been liable to so many miseries during the siege, that, had it always enjoyed as much happiness from its first foundation, it would certainly have been the envy of the world. Nor did it on any other account so much deserve these sore misfortunes, as by producing such a generation of men as were the occasions of this its overthrow.

Why is life not fair After death what happens to the good and evil

But even those of us who can resign ourselves to the unfairness of the distribution of natural talents and, even worse, the unfairness of the distribution of health and happiness in this life are affronted by the success of those who appear to be evil. The leaders of the crime syndicates, business operators with vast financial empires put together on the fringes of the law, corrupt political leaders, manufacturers of hand guns and ammunition, producers of trashy movies and commercials all seem to be making it big while we live decent, hard-working lives and barely seem to make it at all. But Jesus was quite guarded in his comments on the afterlife. Unlike many other religious founders, he did not go into any great detail about either the joys of heaven or the pains of hell. Hence the imagination of Christians filled in the details with superabundant richness. We should distinguish carefully between the revelation in Jesus and the work of Christian imagination. From the former, about...

Resonances with Critical Theory and Marx

In his essay Philosophy and Critical Theory, Marcuse rejects a philosophy whose interest in reconciliation resides in the realm of ideas rather than in concrete reality. By recasting metaphysical philosophy as social theory with a practical, emancipatory intent, the interest in reconciliation is directed toward concrete human happiness (Marcuse 1968 142). The material conditions that render human happiness possible are themselves the object of theoretical interest. The philosophical ideals of a better world and of true Being are incorporated into the practical aim of struggling mankind, where they take on a human form (p. 142). Critical theory confronts the bad facticity of an unjust and therefore irrational world with the better potentialities inherent in history and social forms. A distinguishing feature of a rational society is one where the economy serves human needs and where freedom and happiness are pursued as ends in themselves rather than being accidental by-products of...

The Life Of Jacob Boehme

Such an illumination, indeed, took place within his mind, and for seven daj-s in succession Jacob Boehme was in an ecstatic state, during which he was surrounded by the light of the Spirit, and his consciousncss immersed in contemplation and happiness. It is not stated what he saw during those visions, nor would such a statement have the result of gratifying the curiosity of the reader for the things of the Spirit are inconceivable to the external mind, and can only be realised by those who, rising above the realm of the senses and entering a state of superior consciousness, can perceive them. Such a state does not necessarily exclude the exercise of the external faculties for while Plato says, about Socrates, that he once stood immovable for a day and a half upon one spot in a state

All Men Committed To Christs Care

It is certain that Christ will save all that the Father hath given him. All that the Father giveth me, shall come to me, and him that cometh to me I will in nowise cast out. John 6 37 These three propositions are irrefragable evidence of the final happiness of all men. 1st. God hath given all things to Christ. 2d. All that God hath given him shall come to him and 3d. him that cometh he will in nowise cast out. All are given all shall come and none shall be cast out. What is the unavoidable conclusion

Hartley Ok Oti Vers Alism

Whose strict and literal sense is contrary thereto. And in snch a case it seems, that the infinite good-ness of God, so many ways declared ih the scriptures, must soon turn the scale. For the scriptures must be made consistent with themselves and thcf veracity and goodness of God se m much rather to oblige him to perform a promise, than to execute a threatening. 1 will mention a few passages, some of which it may be observed even establish the contrary doctrine of the ultimate happiness of all mankind. Thus the most natural, as well as the most strict and literal sense of the words, As in Adam all die, 50 in Christ shall all he made alive, is the ultimate happiness of all the children of Adam, of all mankind. God's mercy is declared to endure forever and he is said not to keep his anger forever which expressions, in their first and most obvious sense, are quite inconsistent with the absolute eternity of punishment. Our Saviour says, that the person who is not reconciled to his brother...

Venturing a Relation to

The God-relation is thus a 'daring venture' in which one must be willing 'absolutely to venture everything, absolutely to stake everything, absolutely to desire the highest t os of human existence, which is eternal happiness (CUP i. 404, 423). Like the inscription on the pagan temple at Delphi, ne quid nimis (nothing too much), which according to Clima-cus Kierkegaard is the motto of all 'finite worldly wisdom' or sagacity, one may be willing to venture a relation to God 'to a certain degree' (404 JP ii. 1405). And if one could be sure that there is such a thing as eternal happiness, one might even be willing to venture all for it, but like passion and certainty, venturing and certainty do not hitch up as a team. As Climacus expresses it 'To venture is the correlative of uncertainty as soon as there is certainty, venturing stops' (CUP i. 424). Over against the secular mentality,

World Without Love The Greco Roman World and Early Christianity

The Roman dramatist, Plautus (c.254-184 bce) wrote ''A man is a wolf to a man whom he does not know.'' Aid to the poor was seen as useless because it could not elevate them to the level of the rich and thereby grant happiness. Indeed, it was said that assistance to the poor is not only a waste of effort but is no favor to the poor because it only extends their miserable lives. Plautus, again ''What is given to the poor is lost.'' And ''He deserves ill of a beggar who gives him food and drink. For that which is given is thrown away, and the life of the beggar is protracted to his misery.'' Plato's ideal state according the Republic has no room for the poor beggars are to be expelled. If a worker is ill, there is no obligation to assist him if he can no longer work, he is a drain on the state and his life has no value. While honor is an evident motivation for the ''philanthropy'' of the wealthy, there is little evidence of pity or compassion for the poor in ancient culture. In the...

Love and the Individual Abelard and Bernard

Modesty he wrote ''So distinguished was my name, and I possessed such advantages of youth and comeliness, that no matter what woman I might favour with my love, I dreaded rejection of none.'' In light of his position as Master in the Cathedral School of Notre Dame, he notes that he avoided ''the foulness of prostitutes'' and the noblewomen who attended the school. However, he soon noticed Heloise, the brilliant, young, and comely niece of Abelard's fellow canon, Fulbert, at the Cathedral of Notre Dame. Since Fulbert was her guardian, she lived in his lodgings. Heloise (c.1094-1164) was at this time about 20 years old Abelard was in his mid-thirties. In Heloise's letters, collected in the volumes by Mews and Radice, it is clear that in her Abelard met his intellectual equal. Her writings exhibit an amazing conversance with the church fathers and classical authors, including the writings of Ovid. Inflamed with passion for her, Abelard set out to seduce her. He persuaded Fulbert to rent...

The Idea Of Philosophy

The philosophical systems known to Augustine were not only intellectual but also practical and moral. They were in general designed to lead the adherent through the course of his life in virtue, towards a goal of happiness (Aristotle making the telos, or purpose, happiness, the Stoics tending to see virtue as an end in itself). Augustine had read Varro's (now lost) book of 288 possible philosophies (De Civ. Dei XIX.i.2). They all, he observes, set the beata vita or 'blessed life' before mankind as the end to be attained, in one form or another. Augustine himself did not think it inappropriate to write a book De Beata Vita in the first months after his conversion to Christianity, in which he felt free to make use of whatever in the philosophers he found PHILOSOPHY AND THEOLOGY IN THE MIDDLE AGES helpful, and consistent with his Christian belief. It was also not uncongenial to the philosophically minded Christian to go along, at least in part, with the conception of the divine which...

The Speculative Point Of View

The speculative point of view of Hegelian philosophy and theology also regards Christianity as a historical phenomenon but seeks to determine its truth through reason rather than by historical methods. As Climacus sees it, however, the question of the thinker's own eternal happiness does not even arise in this perspective, inasmuch as the speculative task requires one to move away from oneself in abstract thought, abandoning or losing oneself in objectivity, as in the natural sciences (CUP i. 50, 52, 56). The speculative thinker may or may not be a believer, but in Climacus's view it is a mistake to think that speculative thought has any significance for faith, as in its concern to comprehend the truth of Christianity objectively it is 'totally indifferent' to the individual's eternal happiness (55). Moreover, the speculative point of view assumes that everyone already is a Christian, with the result that anyone who has self-doubts on that score is frowned upon and regarded as...

Annotated Bibliography of Books on Theology and Popular Culture

That absolutely have to be done the kinds of success for which no sacrifice or effort would be too much the sports events that connect with the whole struggle of life the songs that stand for transcendent love, sadness, and joy the television shows that express exactly how life is, or should be and the foods and drinks that can yield the last happiness of old age. Domestic religion is an aquifer that traditional religions draw from, and always have. What is new is that domestic religion, which used to be a universal phenomenon with highly localized elements, is being homogenized through mass media and popular culture. Gardella's book explores the domestic religion that is congealing in the US under the influence of popular culture.

Prayer Free Pomp and Circumstance

Could not fully express who he was as a person without revealing the thing most important to him, his faith in Christ. He felt that he had been censored and denied his speech and religious rights. I felt, and still feel ' said Nick, that I was denied a right I had earned, the right to express who I am and how I came to achieve the honor of being salutatorian, based solely on my Christian viewpoint I felt, and I still feel, that the censored portions were the most important part of the speech, for they contained the central message that I felt not only explained who I was as a person, but answered the question implicitly addressed in any graduation speech how others could follow my example of success and happiness. I believed, and sought to state, that success and happiness in this life depend not on material wealth or personal fulfillment, but upon knowing who God is as our Creator and Heavenly Father

The Inestimable Value of Souls

We are all aware with what assurance the language of our text is reiterated against the faith of universal regeneration and happiness. That assurance, though unwarrantable and extravagant, appears to be, in most instances, an honest one. We doubt not that our opposers, in general, regard this, and in fact many other single passages, as alone sufficient to overturn our distinguishing hope, and compel us, if honest, to acknowledge that our doctrine is contrary to the word of God. And because, notwithstanding such passages, we still retain our hope, and steadfastly maintain our doctrine, they are ready to attribute to us exceedingly unworthy motives and feelings. One charges us with being the slave of a blind infatuation, which continually disposes us to cherish delusion, because it is most pleasing and agreeable. Another is ready to accuse us of willfully persisting in our errors of violently smothering the secret warnings of truth within our bosoms, and obstinately hardening our minds...

Contemporaneity with Christ

In his journals Kierkegaard states that 'before there can even be any question about having faith, there must be the situation. And this situation must be brought about by an existential step on the part of the individual The requirement is that you must venture out, out into water 70,000 fathoms deep. This is the situation' (JP ii. 1142). As Johannes Climacus sees it, the situation that results in either the happy passion of faith or the unhappy passion of offence is occasioned by an encounter of the understanding with the absolute paradox, which came into existence in a decisive moment of time, thereby providing a historical point of departure for the eternal happiness of both contemporary and later followers of Christ. The immediate contemporary and the follower 'at second hand' thus stand essentially in the same situation of contemporaneity with this 'absolute fact', which is different from all other historical facts in that relations to it are not apportioned by time (PF 67,...

Work In Progress Pros and cons

Imaginative goodwill, transcending tolerance, entering into other people's situations. Some of the troubles which cluster around sexual ethics arise from attempts to enforce love rather than enable it (Oppenheimer 1986 160-2). Legislation cannot work unless legislators understand the limitations of law but there is plenty of scope for providing frameworks for flourishing legal, social and educational. Timing needs attention. For example, when vows are broken and reconciliation is impossible there can be conciliation like the terminal care a hospice provides when cure is impossible. A marriage, like a human being, can make a 'good end'. If we would rather it made a good start, the foundations are best laid long before. Children learn about relationships from babyhood that is when encouragement can begin for their development into men and women who will be able to love one another (Oppenheimer 1990 109). The Christian personalist contribution is emphasis on human happiness not instant...

Theology As Related To Communal Identityconsciousness

In turn, however, 'liberation' theology is sometimes used almost interchangeably with 'political theology', while in Southern Africa the struggle for both racial and political equality has given rise to 'contextual theology' (most notably expressed in the Kairos Document of 1985). Equally, there can be particular combinations within the broader categories, as for example in black feminist theologies. What they all have in common is the negative social experience of a particular category of membership of church and society as a prior and essential ingredient in their critique of the prevailing theological tradition. This has led to the familiar accusation that such theologies are simply baptizing a fashionable sociological trend of the day with Christian terminology, and thereby seeking to justify a quest for power (in a way parallel to the attempts of earlier theologians to make a respectable marriage with a prevailing school of contemporary philosophy,...

Appendix B George Washingtons Vision

Tell them that I'm not with the church no more. Because the people give praises to themselves. The honor that's supposed to be given to Christ, the people take it on themselves. In the churches, there is divorces, there's adultery in the churches, there's homosexuality in the churches, there's abortion in the churches and every kind of sin in the churches. And they turn some of the churches for businesses for money. And all the evangelists, they only preach salvation and happiness. Whenever I put my hand on the Bible, I was learned by the Lord. Because everything, what the Angel of the Lord said it was prophesied before. With the meaning about this country. Because all the evangelists and all the American preachers they only talk about the salvation of the people. They talk about the happiness of the people. But they don't want to preach the true word of the Lord. And the American pastors they cannot speak the truth no more. Because if they speak the truth to the people, the people...

Faith Formed by Love Scholasticism

From human relationships into a theological system of virtue capped by caritas, ''charity.'' The presuppositions for this development are both theological and philosophical. The Augustinian schema of ''ordered'' love, caritas, vs. ''disordered'' love, cupiditas, provided a tradition that posited an ascent to God enabled by God's love to humankind. The philosophical logic of Aristotle that like is known only by like, encouraged medieval theologians to posit that if there is to be fellowship with God it requires elevation to God's level sinful humankind is unlike God and therefore needs to be purified by God's love in order to rise to God. Wadell provides a brief summary Thomas, like Augustine, poses the subject of love in terms of the ''pursuit of happiness,'' ''an odyssey toward happiness with God.'' ''To be happy is to be in love with the best possible good, and for Thomas that is God. A happy person is one who lives in love with God. Lovers of God are happy because love brings...

Objectivity In Subjectivity

Climacus clearly recognizes that Christianity possesses intellectual content in the form of doctrines and conceptual ideals that are to be actualized in existence rather than merely conceptually comprehended. More importantly, however, he maintains that Christianity is a historical phenomenon or fact that has transhistorical significance inasmuch as it proclaims that the eternal has come into existence at a particular moment in time in the form of an individual human being (Jesus Christ), thereby providing a historical point of departure for the eternal happiness of the single individual in every age (PF 87-8 CUP i. 369). Indeed, in Philosophical Fragments Climacus goes so far as to claim that 'Christianity is the only historical phenomenon that despite the historical indeed, precisely by means of the historical has wanted to be the single individual's point of departure for his eternal consciousness, has wanted to interest him otherwise than merely historically, has wanted to base...

Lying and Lying Together or How Do Bodies Tell the Truth

Thomas defines the natural moral law as human participation in God's eternal law by reason, and (non-human) animals, by the definition of human, do not use reason. God governs their natures by instinct, not by participation in the reasonableness of his rulerly prudence. Aquinas famously defines natural law as the human, rational participation in God's eternal law.26 It is much less often noted that, since other animals are not rational, The natural law is given to human beings, not to the other animals the most important transformation since Antiquity (Pesch 1988 294).27 That is because Aquinas develops the teaching about the natural law, like that about the eternal law, on theological grounds, so that the philosophical result of Thomas's teaching claims that there is no natural law, in any case not in the sense in which it is usually taken account of, namely as a catalogue of prescribed and obligatory directions of content that bind each human lawgiver -...

Signs of the Times

Advertising is another instrument of salvation in our culture. At least it is a pulpit from which salvation is promised, and we steadily and eagerly listen. Products are pitched to us with the assurance that they will deliver us beyond this world of travail and into the promised land of fulfilled desire. Every 30-second commercial, as Walter Davis explains it, portrays a minidrama of sin and salvation depicting evil, its source, who or what can save us, the happiness that follows deliverance, and what we must do to be saved. 7 Ads convince us of our need for salvation by fingering our anxieties and making them more raw than they already are - in fact, advertisers have a vested interest in keeping our anxieties rubbed raw. They exacerbate our fears and anxieties around nature, the judgment of others, being unloved, anomie, pain, boredom, dirt, and even our dread over disordered values. Ad writers are some of our society's most ingenious minds, and they are dedicated to tapping into our...

The Separation Of Revelation And Reason

This idea becomes a regulative ideal for thought and action. We need to think that God exists, Kant argues, as a presupposition of scientific activity, which assumes that the world is wholly intelligible. The idea of God is also, he argues, a presupposition of rational moral commitment, which must assume that rational moral activity aims at a state of happiness-in-accordance-with-virtue (the Summum Bonum), which only God can guarantee. In general, reason postulates three main ideas, those of God, freedom and immortality, on moral grounds. One must postulate that one is free, to account for moral responsibility. One must postulate that one is immortal, if the supreme purpose of our moral commitment is to be achieved. One must postulate there is a God, who can ensure this purpose can be achieved.

Imagination and Reason

Many illustrations of the first point may be found in history. The inconsistency which is an element in every great philosophy that begins with observation and ends with action bears testimony to the inadequacy of the impersonal point of view. When Plato turns seriously from philosophy to politics, as in the Laws, the forms or ideas yield their preeminent place to God and the soul. When Spinoza makes his transition from metaphysics to ethics and seeks to show men a way of salvation he does not succeed in keeping his images of man and God on the impersonal plane. The so-called scientific socialism of Marx abandons the impersonal images of the social process as soon as it moves to action. As active revolutionaries, communists do not regard the might of the proletariat as the historically relative product of economic evolution and the basis of their right rather they believe that this might has a right to be mighty because it will establish universal equality, freedom and happiness....

Philosophy and Theology

If these appear to be only scattered or incidental remarks, the reader should turn to Thomas's explicit judgments on the doctrines and the promises of the philosophers. He judges that their doctrines were severely constrained by the weakness of human reason. Before general audiences, Thomas is reported to have said that all the efforts of the philosophers were inadequate to understand the essence of a fly.10 In academic writings, whenever Thomas argues for the appropriateness of God's revealing what might have been demonstrated, he insists on the weakness and fallibility of unaided human reason.11 He notes the same failings in distinguishing philosophical and theological knowledge about God.12 He judges philosophy's promises even more harshly. Pagan philosophy presented itself as love of the best knowledge of the highest things, that is, as a way toward happiness. Yet philosophy could not provide it. The ancient philosophers multiplied views on the human good but they could not...

Heroic Politics versus an Amateur Citizenry Character Formation

The Iliad and the Odyssey, the aristocratic military ideal man of excellence (arete) was considered to have inherited certain qualities that were not wholly within his control.86 He was portrayed as competitive among equals in a disorderly, unstable world. He was aggressive and courageous as a warrior and leader of fighting men, a hero whose honour depended in large part upon the good opinion of others so that he acted to avoid being shamed and dishonoured. His notion of justice was indifferent to any intent behind an action it was the act that mattered and the more spectacular the better. This hero is presented as chafing at the restrictiveness of mortality itself, which he attempts to override by performing a monumental, immortal deed to win him undying renown.87 His heroic ambition did not, however, bring him happiness. Rather, it brought him and his kin fame. Heroic pride and self-esteem often made this type of character prepared to run risks only on his own behalf and he was...

Tradition help or hindrance

Human sexuality has been approved, sometimes grudgingly, as a divine arrangement for populating the world. The union of a man and a woman has seemed a matter of duty and obedience and delight, devotion and even companionship have looked like optional and unofficial extras. Meanwhile, realists have understood that men want pleasure as well as parenthood so marriage has been conceded the secondary role of providing harmlessly for male waywardness. When women claim the same rights to pleasure as men, longer-term human happiness still goes by default. The reduction of sexual relationship to pleasure constrained by duty is hard enough on men it is even harder on women. The conviction is growing today that women are oppressed. The straightforward charge of ubiquitous cruelty is too simple to stick. Millions of women down the centuries have been happy, fulfilled and indeed appreciated. What has been systematically wrong has not been plain unkindness so much as compulsory specialization. Men...

Universal Religious Awakenings Versus A Christian Awakening

26 'Emotion' as used here connotes the deep inward enthusiasm or feeling 'of a specific qualitative kind' within which Christian subjectivity comes into existence, while passion (Lidenskab) and pathos (Pathos), the terms associated with subjectivity in the Postscript, give expression respectively to one's underlying subjective concern for eternal happiness and the heightened negative forms of subjectivity (resignation, suffering, guilt, sin consciousness) through which one is related to and transformed by the eternal (BA 112-14 CUP i. 387-94). On religious emotion in Kierkegaard, see also Kangas (2008), Roberts (1997), and Gouwens (1996 76-80).

The Absolute Paradox As The Absurd

The second dialectical problem confronting the subjective thinker in Christianity has to do with the qualification of eternal, essential truth itself as the absolute paradox and the absurd as a result of having entered into the temporal realm at a specific moment in time. Climacus warns first of all against conceiving this coming into existence speculatively as an eternal-historical event in which 'the coming into existence of the eternal in time is supposed to be an eternal coming into existence', for in that case Christianity is changed into 'an ingenious metaphysical doctrine' and, a la Feuerbach, 'all theology is anthropology' (CUP i. 579).22 'Speculatively to transform Christianity into an eternal history, the god-in-time into an eternal becoming-of-the-deity, etc., is nothing but evasion and playing with words', Climacus contends (578). The difficulty lies in basing one's eternal happiness on a relation to something historical, which is incongruous in itself, and especially so...

From relatedness to relationship

This ethic may be mistrusted, from left or right, as 'individualist' or as 'liberal' and indeed it is both. As individualist, its enemy is totalitarianism, not community (Oppenheimer 1991c 3). As liberal, it opposes rigorism, not order. If it emphasizes human happiness more strongly than obedience, the happiness it commends is not the immediate satisfaction of a separate and selfish 'self but the long-term flourishing of real people who are aware of belonging to each other. The concept of relatedness, which belongs to theory of knowledge, cannot remain morally neutral but needs to be expanded into a concept of relationship, which belongs to ethics and even to develop into a concept of enabling grace, which belongs to theology.

The question of the eternity of the world

For Thierry of Chartres, it is necessary only to insist that God needed nothing when he created the world his supreme goodness and absolute sufficiency were enough. He made the world out of kindness and love, and for no other reason, so that there might be beings to share his happiness (TC, pp. 555-6). There is no difficulty in Thierry's mind about the status of the stuff of which the world was made. God created it at the first instant (p. 557). Thierry does not find it necessary to seek to explain how the eternal and immutable God could have brought into being a world so

The objection of the nouvelle theologie

Consequently, whatever reason may attain to by way of knowledge of God - and on this account 'reason' can know God with certainty - it can attain only in so far as reason at least implicitly presupposes something that it cannot by its own powers know, even if, at the same time, it needs to know it. For secondly, there is in all human beings a natural desire for beatitude, for a happiness so complete that the desire for it could not be satisfied by the contemplation of any God which reason alone could know, but only by the vision of God of a directness and immediacy which reason is absolutely powerless to achieve and of which it cannot even know the possibility. Therefore, what human beings naturally desire cannot be satisfied by what human beings can naturally know. It follows from this, thirdly, that even that natural desire for God, which must be frustrated by the incompleteness of the contemplation of any naturally known God, cannot be known in its full character of frustration,...

Medieval Developments

There are many fascinating theologians of the early Middle Ages, but the doctrine of God remained basically Platonic. It found a particularly clear expression in the work of Anselm (1033-1109), whose ontological argument is considered elsewhere. In the course of that argument he propounded a definition of God as 'that than which nothing greater can be conceived' (2 Anselm 1965 117). He added that God is in fact 'a greater than anything that can be conceived' (15 ibid. 137). This is an elegant definition of God's perfection. It proposes that the most adequate way for humans to think of God is to think of all the properties that it is better to have than not (such as power, knowledge, happiness and wisdom). Then think of them in their maximal possible degree (omnipotence, omniscience, supreme happiness and perfect wisdom). Think of the largest compossible set of the most valuable possible properties, enlarged to the maximal degree, united in one supreme reality. Finally, posit that God...

Socrates And The Christian Believer

And much more profound qualifications that are even more difficult to understand together with existing' (CUP i. 353). These qualifications consist in the development of a sharpened pathos or deeper expression of subjectivity by undergoing an inward development and transformation in relation to eternal happiness and by confronting certain dialectical factors that contradict one's essential understanding of oneself and the eternal, thereby requiring subjective passion and reflection to the utmost. Existential pathos first comes to expression in the development of ethical-religious subjectivity in immanent religiosity or what Climacus calls Religiousness A, in which, according to the inverse dialectic that informs this type of religious inwardness, a positive relation to the eternal is expressed in and through negative forms of existential pathos. That is, one sustains a positive relation to the eternal indirectly or inversely by progressively becoming aware of one's inability to bring...

The Gospel Story and the Hermeneutics of Mediating Theology

The chief beneficiary of this conservatism in general biblical hermeneutics was the New Testament story. Everyone who believed that the sense of the gospel narratives is the history of Jesus the Messiah believed also that the notion of historical salvation or revelation is itself meaningful. On the other hand, people who beiieved that monotheism, immortality, and the realization of man's happiness through altruism are the substance of man's religion, equally available to all men at all times without any special revelation, discerned this as the true sense of the gospel narratives, the messianic history being merely their outward trapping. Nobody said that the real sense of the narratives was religiously meaningless or anachronistic. God's design of man's nature toward the realization of perfect happiness had been vitiated by man's action. One way or another the need and hiatus created by this situation are eventually met by the coming of Jesus. The historicity of Jesus, including his...

The Good News of the Bride

From the Gnostic perspective, the establishment of an unenlightened society does rape and prostitute the soul, and it binds the sou to the perpetual sorrow and suffering of seeking its happiness and fulfillment from outside of itself. This is well reflected in our own society and culture in which gross consumerism, superficial appearances, am' vain entertainments are constantly put forth as things that will bring a sense of satisfaction and happiness or things by which we meaf .ire people and their success. Of course, what we discover is that nothing in this world brings lasting satisfaction and happiness unless we discover the source of our happiness and fulfillment inwardly. We an rightly say that it is this recognition of sorrow and suffering, and the failure to acquire happiness and satisfaction from things gathered from outside of ourselves, whici inspire us to th spiritual quest. With seme individuals, this recognition may come without a fall into the depths of darkness. Yet for...

Conclusion On Popular Culture

Primary instrument for forging personal identity and probing the cosmos for meaning. This is not to say that its consumers simply take what they are given and the ready-made meanings it contains. But the plotlines, characters, look and feel, poetry, rhythms, colors, and preoccupations of popular culture do function as a fundamental resource in our time for making meaning. It is largely out of these materials that we contrive our symbols, myths, rituals, ethics, and any notions we might have about more transcendent goods like love, truth, beauty, happiness and the divine.

Arminianism and Virtue

As a self-educated theologian, Mayhew had limited influence against the clergy from Harvard and Yale, but in i749 Harvard graduate Lemuel Briant published a provocative sermon on The Absurdity and Blasphemy of De-pretiating Moral Virtue in which he asserted that the ''pure religion of Jesus'' suspended ''our whole Happiness upon our personal good Behaviour.'' Briant would always deny that he was Arminian, since he did not attribute justification to the merit of personal righteousness, but he inserted into his sermon a long paragraph that obliquely criticized the doctrines of unconditional election, original sin, irresistible grace, and the perseverance of the saints. A council of seven churches deplored his errors. Its moderator, the aged Samuel Niles at Braintree, charged that Briant had deprecated ministers of ''Calvinistical Character and Perswasion'' and made Christianity a ''meer scheme of Morality.'' It was sometimes difficult to distinguish the ''catholick'' spirit from...

The Ethics in the Scriptum on the Sentences

(4) Citations of a fourth type are more specifically Aristotelian, but they support a peripheral point. There is a good example in the first article of Scriptum 1, within the dispute over whether human minds need instruction beyond physical bodies of learning. 78 While arguing that such a teaching is necessary, Thomas mentions that the incomplete contemplation of God attainable through creatures is said by Aristotle to be the source of contemplative happiness that is, Thomas explains, the happiness of the wayfarer.79 The doctrine is specifically (though not exclusively) Aristotelian, but it is not integral to the argument here. Important constructive uses of the Ethics are found in those sections of Scriptum 2, 3, and 4 that treat the Lombard's scattered remarks on moral matters - though not only of them. Thomas relies on Aristotle's notions of justice while discussing the adoration of the humanity of Christ.83 Aristotle's teaching on friendship appears in every discussion of charity,...

Practicality and Ethics

In trying to convince fifth-century Athenians that the political life was not the highest good, Plato had distinguished between theoretical and practical knowledge, defining theoria (contemplation) as reflection on unchanging truths, which brought the greatest possible happiness. Aristotle also contrasted theory and practice, arguing, like Plato, that theoretical knowledge came from the contemplation of unchanging realities, while practical knowledge consisted of the principles that guided choices and actions. When Christian theologians adopted the distinction in the third century, they used it at first to reflect on the way in which specific practices, or good works, might help prepare one for the highest end of the contemplation of God. By the twelfth century, they were using it to define theology itself.12

History And The Theology Of Liberation

According to Thomas Aquinas, private property is a jus gentium, not a natural right. The notion of the right of peoples or nations is discussed by a scholastic professor of Salamanca, the late Santiago Ramirez. He explains that private property is a secondary natural right. I have a natural right to those means and resources which are necessary if I am to achieve my end or goal. The end of man is happiness, and he has a right to those means which will enable him to attain that end i. e., to food, clothing, shelter, education, and so forth. But what about those means that are not necessary What about the second car, the second house, and so forth I do not have a natural right to those things, because I do not need them to attain my end. This is the clear and unmistakable doctrine of Christian tradition. My power over secondary, non-necessary means is merely a positive right it is not a natural right.

The Sacrifice of Blood Interpreted

Buddha teaches the doctrine of a new birth as plainly as Jesus does. Desiring to break with the ancient Mysteries, to which it was impossible to admit the ignorant masses, the Hindu reformer, though generally silent upon more than one secret dogma, clearly states his thought in several passages. Thus, he says Some people are born again evil-doers go to Hell righteous people go to Heaven those who are free from all worldly desires enter Nirvana (Precepts of the Dhammapada, v., 126). Elsewhere Buddha states that it is better to believe in a future life, in which happiness or misery can be felt for if the heart believes therein, it will abandon sin and act virtuously and even if there is no resurrection, such a life will bring a good name and the regard of men. But those who believe in extinction at death will not fail to commit any sin that they may choose, because of their disbelief in a future.

Moral Agents And Christian Ethics

A second aspect of the idea of Christian ethics is the construal of moral agents and activity, personal and collective, in the light of Christian beliefs and experiences. Moral philosophers provide different interpretations of the nature of moral agency some stress rationality and the capacity of reason to determine volitions, some stress basic drives or orientations of persons, e.g. towards pleasure of happiness some stress the power of traditions and the communities that embody them to shape and form persons. Moral philosophers have to account for human failure it is wrong reason, or weakness of will, or improper socialization. They also have views on how to correct moral failures. The formal structure of moral anthropologies is shared by all, or most, moral theorists. The moral anthropologies of Christian writers set these issues in a particular theological and religious context. Moral failure, for example, has historically been defined as disobedience to the will of God it is a...

The Kantian objection

If in one way freedom is thus a 'postulate of practical reason', so in another way are God and personal immortality. For practical reason can be sure of its hold on our minds and wills as categorical moral obligation only on condition that a moral order as such can be guaranteed. And that there is a moral order requires that virtue in its connection with human happiness is secured untroubled by the arbitrary vicissitudes of our secular condition (in which, de facto, they are frequently sundered). But an essential, and not merely contingent, connection between virtue and happiness can be guaranteed only by God and only if we survive beyond the arbitrary circumstances of our pre-mortem existence.6 However, none of these three, God, freedom or immortality, is given to us in any possible experience. All are postulates of practical reason and are in that sense 'faith' (Glaube) in that they are known not by any demonstrations of speculative reason from the world of appearance -'nature' -...

Real Answers to Lifes Big Questions

Today, many people live in a materialistic world of affluence and abundance. More people enjoy a higher standard of living today than at any other time in human history. Yet with more money in our pockets and more time on our hands, millions of people still find life empty and meaningless. More and more people today are finding that money, material things and searching for the ultimate experience simply do not provide lasting happiness, remove the emptiness or provide meaningful answers to the big questions of life Why was I born Why am I here Why do I exist What is the real purpose of life What happens when I die

The Christian Universalist Faith

Of the six theological schools known to exist from the second to the fourth centuries, four of them believed and taught the concepts of Christian Universalism, one taught annihilation, and only one taught eternal torment, the school of Rome. You find members of almost every Christian communion, Greek, Romish, Lutheran, Church of England, Presbyterian, Methodist, Baptist, Friends, etc., etc., differing widely in many respects, but all agreeing in this one Divine truth, that God loves all men, and will have them to be saved that Christ gave himself a ransom for all, and that all will ultimately be brought to holiness and happiness. That one distinguishing doctrine of true Christian Universalism , in its simple and proper theological sense, is the doctrine of universal reconciliation, universal salvation or in other words, of the final holiness and happiness of all mankind, to be effected by the grace of God, through the ministry of his Son, Jesus Christ. We believe there is one God,...

Walking in Beauty and Holiness

If we remember the beginning of the Commandments and the use of the word Anoki to allude to Eheieh (I am), we may gain some insight to the deeper spiritual implications of this commandment. Essentially, whether in our thoughts or our words, the phrase I am bears great power, and we will speak in detail about this power later in this book. Here, however. we may point to the play of self-affirmations and self-negations that are constantly going on in our minds, hearts, and specch. We are constantly saying I am this, or I am that. Though sometimes we are affirming who and what we truly are, oftentimes we are not affirming the truth and light in us. Instead, we are engaged in negative statements and feelings about ourselves. These, in turn, get projected on others, and we find ourselves saying to others, You are this, or You are that, in ways that negate who and what they truly are. Self-negations and the negation of others are inherently self-destructive. If we engage in this, no one,...

Lecture 7 Foundation Of Moral Obligation

The sake of beauty, or virtue for the sake of virtue, or moral order for its own sake, or the nature and relations of moral agents for their own sake nor can any such thing be implied in the command to love God and our neighbor. All these and innumerable other things are, and must be, conditions and means of the highest well-being of God and our neighbor. As such, the law may, and doubtless does, in requiring us to will the highest well-being of God and our neighbor as an ultimate end, require us to will all these as the necessary conditions and means. The end which the revealed law requires us to will is undeniably simple as opposed to complex. It requires only love to God and our neighbor. One word expresses the whole of moral obligation. Now certainly this word cannot have a complex signification in such a sense as to include several distinct and ultimate objects of love, or of choice. This love is to terminate on God and our neighbor, and not on abstractions, nor on inanimate and...

Opinions Of Scholars

Campbell well says * * In my judgment, it ought never in Scripture to be rendered Hell, at least, in the sense wherein that word is now universally understood by Christians. In the Old Testament, the corresponding word is Sheol, which signifies the state of the dead in general without regard to the goodness or badness of the persons, their happiness or misery. In translating that word, the seventy have almost invariably used Hadees. ** It is very plain, that neither in the Septuagint version of the Old Testament, nor in the New, does the word Hadees convey the meaning which the present English word Hell, in the Christian usage, alwlays conveys to our minds. Diss. vi., pp. 180-1.

The Bible As The Secure Stronghold Of Faith

If the Bible is to be regarded as 'the secure stronghold' that is supposed to establish the truth of Christianity, then from a historical point of view it is important to acquire 'the greatest possible reliability' concerning the authenticity, trustworthiness, and inspiration of the Holy Scriptures by means of philology or historical-critical scholarship (CUP i. 24). While Climacus professes to have great respect for philology, which in his view is a 'wholly legitimate' form of scholarship, he nevertheless detects a certain dubiousness in its efforts inasmuch as it assumes that faith or eternal happiness can be built on the basis of its historical findings, which are never final and always subject to revision (25-6). Climacus thus maintains that historical-critical biblical scholarship does not bring us a single step closer to faith but results instead in the loss of that which is the very condition of faith, namely an 'infinite, personal, impassioned interestedness' in one's eternal...

Lecture 3 Moral Obligation

These are and must be free. Intelligent acts of will, as has been before observed, are of three classes. First, the choice of some object for its own sake, i.e., because of its own nature, or for reasons found exclusively in itself, as, for example, the happiness of being. These are called ultimate choices, or intentions. Second, the choice of the conditions and means of securing the object of ultimate choice, or for example, holiness, as the conditions or means of happiness. Third, volitions, or executive efforts to secure the object of ultimate choice. Obligations must extend to these three classes of the actions of the will. In the most strict and proper sense it may be said, that obligation extends directly only to the ultimate intention. Obligation to choose holiness, (as the holiness of God), as the means of happiness, is indirect in the sense that is conditionated, first, upon the obligation to choose happiness as a good per se, and, second, upon the...

The Proof Of The Centuries

Paraphrasing a statement attributed to the German romantic philosopher Jean Paul (1763-1825) to the effect that 'if all demonstrations of the truth of Christianity were abandoned or disproved, one demonstration would nevertheless remain, namely, that it has survived for eighteen hundred years', Climacus also takes aim at the so-called 'proof of the centuries' advanced by orthodoxy (CUP i. 47n. cf. BA 36-50). In his estimation, attempts to demonstrate the truth of Christianity on the basis of its survival for 1,800 (now 2,000) years are likewise hypothetical and approximate, since no matter how much probability of truth may be gained through such evidence it would never amount to 'an eternal truth that can be decisive for a person's eternal happiness' (47). In making this claim Climacus relies upon a thesis put forth by the distinguished German dramatist, philosopher, and literary critic Gotthold Ephraim Lessing (1729-81). Building on Leibniz's distinction between truths of fact and...

Concluding Unscientific Postscript

''The reality is more complicated than I supposed.'' It occurs to me now that another paradigm may also serve as a clue to the relationship of need and gift to love. Perhaps we could think of the interaction of the twin sources of our culture's views on love in terms of a tale of two banquets. The two banquets are Plato's Symposium and the biblical accounts of the Messianic banquet including Jesus's last supper. The former celebrates love as the means for transcendence, for ascent from this world of illusion, disappointment, and death to the world of ideas, the ''real'' world of beauty and the good. The consequent orientation to life is eudaemonism - the drive for happiness, for well-being. The latter celebrates love as imminent relationships in this world in the midst of failure and death. In Isaiah, God's ''everlasting covenant,'' his ''steadfast, sure love for David'' is the basis for inviting the poor to a joyful banquet. ''Ho, everyone who thirsts, come to the waters and you that...

Responsibility To

Such an honour and privilege inevitably bring responsibilities. Yet these are not designed to be too heavy or onerous for us if we truly love God, we will appreciate that His offer of salvation is not an automatic reward for certain works, but a loving desire on His part to do all that He can for His children, to grant them an eternal life of happiness, through their appreciation of His marvellous character.

Lectures On Systematic Theology

Merit is a ground of obligation, then merit or desert must be the object of the intention. Desert, merit, must be willed for its own sake. But is this the thing that is deserved, merited Does a meritorious being deserve that his merit or desert should be willed for its own sake Indeed, is this what he deserves We understandingly speak of good desert, the desert of good and of evil can a being deserve that his desert shall be chosen for its own sake If not, then it is impossible that desert or merit would be a ground of obligation for be it remembered, that whatever is a ground of obligation ought to be chosen for its own sake. But if good desert deserves good, it is self-evident that the intrinsic value of the good is the ground, and merit only a condition, of obligation to will the actual and particular enjoyment of the good by the meritorious individual. Thus, merit changes merely the form of obligation. If an individual is wicked, I ought to will his good as valuable in itself, and...

How do we obtain eternal life

It is true that men sometimes become ashamed of their sinful ways, and give up some of their evil habits, before they are conscious that they are being drawn to Christ. But whenever they make an effort to reform, from a sincere desire to do right, it is the power of Christ that is drawing them. An influence of which they are unconscious works upon the soul, and the conscience is quickened, and the outward life is amended. And as Christ draws them to look upon His cross, to behold Him whom their sins have pierced, the commandment comes home to the conscience. The wickedness of their life, the deep seated sin of the soul, is revealed to them. They begin to comprehend something of the righteousness of Christ, and exclaim, What is sin, that it should require such a sacrifice for the redemption of its victim Was all this love, all this suffering, all this humiliation demanded, that we might not perish, but have everlasting life Happiness Digest, p. 30.

The Testimony Of Paul

Paul saith, As in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive. 1 Cor. 15 22. If any man be in Christ Jesus, he is a new creature. 2 Cor. 5 17. Hence, if all shall be made alive in Christ, they shall all be new creatures in the resurrection of the dead. Belsham says, The apostle's language is so clear and full with respect to the final happiness of those who are thus raised, and that their resurrection to life will be ultimately a blessing, that the generality of Christians have supposed, that he is here treating of the resurrection of the virtuous only. But that is not the fact. He evidently speaks of the restoration of the whole human race. All who die by Adam shall be raised by Christ otherwise the apostle's assertion would be untrue. The case then would have been this, as in Adam all die, so in Christ shall a select number, a small proportion, be made alive. But this is not the apostle's doctrine. His expressions are equally universal in each clause. ALL die in...

Words Teaching Endless Duration

Now these words are applied to God and the soul's happiness. They are words that in the Bible are never applied to punishment, or to anything perishable. They would have been affixed to punishment had the Bible intended to teach endless punishment. And certainly they show the error of those who declare that the indefinite word ai nion is all the word, or the strongest word in the Bible declarative of the endlessness of the life beyond the grave. A little more study of the subject would prevent such reckless statements and would show that the happy, endless life does not depend at all on the pet word of the partialist critics.

Lecture 5 Foundation Of Moral Obligation

It is right to will the highest good of God and of the universe, and to use all the necessary means, and fulfill all the necessary conditions of this highest well-being. For children to obey their parents is one of the means, and for this reason it is right, and upon no other condition can it be required. But it is said that children affirm their obligation to obey their parents, entirely irrespective of the obedience having reference, or sustaining any relation, to the good of being. This is a mistake. The child, if he is a moral agent, and does really affirm moral obligation, not only does, but must perceive the end upon which his choice or intention ought to terminate. If he really makes an intelligent affirmation, it is and must be, that he ought to will an end that this end is not, and cannot be the right, as has been shown. He knows that he ought to will his parents' happiness, and his own happiness, and the happiness of the world, and of God and he knows that obedience to his...

The Faith of the New Heaven and the New Church

THE faith of the new heaven and the new church3 is stated here in both universal and specific forms to serve as the face of the work that follows, the doorway that allows entry into the temple, and the summary that in one way or another contains all the details to follow.4 I say the faith of the new heaven and the new church because heaven, where there are angels,5 and the church, in which there are people, act together like the inner and the outer levels6 in a human being. People in the church who love what is good because they believe what is true and who believe what is true because they love what is good7 are angels of heaven with regard to the inner levels of their minds. After death they come into heaven, and enjoy happiness there according to the relationship between their love and their faith. It is important to know that the new heaven that the Lord8 is establishing today has this faith as its face, doorway, and summary.

Objection 6 How Can Hell Exist Alongside of Heaven

You have to remember that the soul is big enough to have an unperturbed sense of joy, well-being, love, and happiness, while at the same time having a sense of grief and sadness for others. Those are not inconsistent states in a person's life, and it is a mark of a person's character and maturity that they're able to have those states at the same time.

The Practical Tendency Of The Various Theories

This theory teaches that our own interest is the foundation of moral obligation. In conversing with a distinguished defender of this philosophy, I requested the theorist to define moral obligation, and this was the definition given It is the obligation of a moral agent to seek his own happiness. Upon the practical bearing of this theory I remark (1.) It tends directly and inevitably to the confirmation and despotism of sin in the soul. All sin, as we shall hereafter see, resolves itself into a spirit of self-seeking, or into a disposition to seek good to self, upon condition of its relations to self, and not impartially and disinterestedly. This philosophy represents this spirit of self-seeking as virtue, and only requires that in our efforts to secure our own happiness, we should not interfere with the rights of others in seeking theirs. But here it may be asked, when these philosophers insist that virtue consists in willing our own happiness, and that, in seeking it, we are bound to...

Education and the Constitution

Further subdivided into one-square-mile sections. Congress set aside a section of each township for education and also expressly affirmed a federal commitment to education. Article III of the Ordinance states Religion, morality, and knowledge being necessary to good government and the happiness of mankind, schools and the means of education shall forever be encouraged. This was probably an outgrowth of the gradual shift in the initial religious purpose in education to a more politically based belief that maintaining an educated citizenry was essential to the republic. (This shift came to full flower in the decades preceding the Civil War.) As states were added to the union, beginning with Ohio, Congress donated a section in each township to the state for the maintenance of schools within the township, in exchange for foregoing state taxation of the public lands.

Wellintended tyrannies

Traditionalists reasonably deny that the rigorism they commend ignores human happiness. They can quote Wordsworth 'the weight of too much liberty'. Human beings may be happiest living their lives within a firm framework. To want to be good and to have to work out for oneself all the A high view of marriage can slip into cruelty not only to sinners penitent and less penitent, but to people who through no particular fault of their own do not fit into the natural categories which make for an uneventful moral life. Sexual ethics becomes tyrannical when blessings, especially heterosexual marriage and the procreation of children, come to look like conditions for acceptability. When the norm of family life is taken for granted, single people, childless people and people whose marriages are in trouble have to bear the loneliness and indignity of being odd ones out, as well as the sadness of missing ordinary human happiness. 'Norm' ought to be a useful neutral word establishing a good firm...

If the soul is frequently turned in towards itself it witt aoc be afiectcd by the physical circumstances of the body It

Be reminded and helped to do this by acts which arc in themselves fatiguing, and outside the usual habit of the reason indeed, the reason itself is stimulated by them to undertake these tasks. They fatigue the body and the animal faculties, destroying their inclination to take things easily, to be slothful and unwilling to go to any trouble, to dull the natural zest and avoid all discipline savp for the purpose of getting advantages in the form of bestial pleasures. The soul will be constrained to attempt these motions by the very recollection of God, of the Angels and of the world of perfect happiness, whether it will or no consequently it will become firmly disposed to chafe at the influences of the body and will acquire the habit of dominating it and not to be merely passive in its control. Bodily actions as they occur will not then affect the soul so powerfully and habitually as would be the case if the soul were satisfied and content to submit to the body in everything. All this...

Family and Social Reproduction

When all is said and done, holding to the primacy of nuptial unity is considered, by liberal and conservative proponents alike, to be a counter-cultural position. The dominant cultural code of desire sets good sex apart from marriage. Good sex is judged in a variety of ways, according to standards of passion, emotional investment, personal happiness, novelty,

Occurrence Of The Adjective

The adjective aionios is (incorrectly) said by Professor Stuart to (53) occur sixty-six times in the New Testament, be we make it seventy-two times. Of these fifty-seven are used in relation to the happiness of the righteous three in relation to God or his glory four are of a miscellaneous nature and seven relate to the subject of punishment. Now these fifty-seven denote indefinite duration, everlasting life being a life that may or may not certainly does not always endure forever.

Bloody Records of Christianity

What would have been the feelings of this most noble and worthy of Christian bishops, who had surrendered family and children and happiness for the faith into which he had been attracted, had a prophetic vision disclosed to him that the only friend that had been left to him, his mother, sister, benefactor, would soon become an unrecognizable mass of flesh and blood, pounded to jelly under the blows of the club of Peter the Reader that her youthful, innocent body would be cut to pieces, the flesh scraped from the bones, by oyster-shells and the rest of her cast into the fire, by order of the same Bishop Cyril he knew so well Cyril, the Canonized Saint +

Of The Personality Of The Deity

And, after all, how, or in what sense, is it true, that animals produce their like A butterfly, with a proboscis instead of a mouth, with four wings and six legs, produces a hairy caterpillar, with jaws and teeth, and fourteen feet. A frog produces a tadpole. A black beetle, with gauze wings and a crusty covering, produces a white, smooth, soft worm an ephemeron fly, a cod-bait maggot. These, by a progress through different stages of life, and action, and enjoyment, (and, in each state, provided with implements and organs appropriated to the temporary nature which they bear,) arrive at last at the form and fashion of the parent animal. But all this is process, not principle and proves, moreover, that the property of animated bodies of producing their like, belongs to them, not as a primordial property, not by any blind necessity in the nature of things, but as the effect of economy, wisdom, and design because the property itself, assumes diversities, and submits to deviations,...

The Priestly Office Of Christ

(a) The fundamental attribute of God is holiness, and holiness is not self- communicating love, but self-affirming righteousness. Holiness limits and conditions love, for love can will happiness only as happiness results from or consists with righteousness, that is, with conformity to God.

Chariots in the Clouds viv3

Bolts fastened very deep into the firm floor, which was there made of one entire stone, was seen to be opened of its own accord about the sixth hour of the night. Now, those that kept watch in the temple came hereupon running to the captain of the temple, and told him of it who then came up thither, and not without great difficulty, was able to shut the gate again. This also appeared to the vulgar to be a very happy . prodigy, as if God did thereby open them the gate of happiness. But the men of learning understood it, that the security of their holy house was dissolved of its own accord, and that the gate was opened for the advantage of their enemies. So these publicly declared, that this signal foreshowed the desolation that was coming upon them.

Difficult Scriptures And Questions

Children should be baptized as soon as possible because baptism is necessary for salvation. Infants who die without baptism of any kind do not suffer the punishments of those who die in mortal sin. They may enjoy a certain, natural happiness, but they will not enjoy the supernatural happiness of heaven. (Father Connell's New Baltimore Catechism, pp. 189, 324). Remember, this is their church doctrine, not the Word of God

Becoming A Christian In Christendom

The theological issue of particular concern to Climacus is not the objective issue of the truth of Christianity but the subjective issue of the individual's relation to Christianity, that is, how one can come to share in the eternal happiness or blessedness promised by Christianity (CUP i. 17). Climacus had already addressed this issue in Philosophical Fragments in a poetic, hypothetical fashion without explicitly mentioning Christianity by name until the very end, where he promises a sequel that will 'clothe the issue in its historical costume' (PF 109). The intensely personal yet universally human significance of this issue for Climacus is apparent in his comment that it 'pertains to me alone, partly because, if properly presented, it will pertain to everyone in the same way' (CUP i. 17). Climacus also feels alone in raising this issue and even admits to 'a kind of lunacy' in bringing it up because presumably everyone in his age already has faith as 'something given' that is a mere...

Enlightenment And Society The Idea Of Progress

A different, more widespread element in 'enlightened' attitudes was a belief that visible progress in civilization was possible. This was progress in a limited sense, relatively uninfluenced by utopianism (which had its own marginal revival in the eighteenth century), but it involved faith in the possibility of human happiness. This attitude emerged as both a religious and a political alternative to the social theories of mainstream Christianity, Protestant as well as Catholic, in which society was still analysed in terms of the revealed doctrine of the Fall of man. The 'fourth kingdom' and man's fallen state remained as a theological backcloth but they had less and less influence on what was happening centre-stage in the eighteenth century. There was a turning away in many quarters from the ascetic Christian denial of the world as a proper form of human behaviour, and a fresh attachment to human happiness in this world. One important aspect of 'enlightenment' was a feeling that...

The View of Perfect Success

On the most basic level, we all share the same fundamental desire. We all desire prosperity, success, health, and happiness in life, in whatever form each of us might envision these things. Generally speaking, we also all desire to avoid poverty, failure, illness, and sadness, though, to one degree or another, these are part of our human experience. Nevertheless, in life we encounter both success and failure in our endeavors. Like any other pair of opposites we might name, on the surface these two appear completely distinct and separate from one another, even in direct conflict with one another. One might well say that failure seems like an adversary or obstruction to our success, which may be true from a certain perspective.

The Platonic Idealism 101

The Gorgias is the dialogue in which the reconsti-tution of ethics upon the new basis begins. In it Plato insists, not, as in the purely Socratic dialogues, upon the opposition of ignorance and knowledge, but upon the opposition, and at the same time the relation, of opinion and knowledge, or, in other words, of the apparent and the real in morals. Polus, one of the antagonists of Socrates, speaks of the tyrant in a despotic State and of the skilful rhetorician in a free State as the persons who alone have it in their power to attain the highest happiness for, more than any other men, they can do what they please, can force all other men to bend to their will, and can exile or ruin all who oppose them. And Socrates is made to ahswer with the apparent paradox that such men can indeed do c what seems to them best but that they, least of all men, can do ' what they wilL'1 For what men really will is not the means but the end, not the particular acta they do or the particular objects they...

The Ethics and Summa of Theology

Certain large similarities can easily be asserted between the second part of the Summa and the Ethics. Both begin with a hortatory or protreptic discussion of happiness, proceed then to examine the principles of human action, and consider next some particular virtues, in order to end with reflection on particular states of life. But a reader of the two texts could just as easily be struck by large differences. It is obvious that certain Christian doctrines make their appearance in Summa 2, among them the Old and New Law, grace, and the theological virtues of faith, hope, and charity. More pervasively and more subtly, Thomas changes the specificity and confidence of Aristotelian moral teaching. Where Aristotle begins by emphasizing the limitations of moral teaching and raising difficulties about happiness, Thomas offers a rapid ascent to a divine good. Where Aristotle offers a few remarks on the terms for ascribing and mitigating responsibility, Thomas gives a detailed analysis of nine...

The Winchester Profession of 1803

We believe there is one God, whose nature is love revealed in one Lord Jesus Christ, by one Holy Spirit of Grace, who will finally restore the whole family of mankind to holiness and happiness. We believe that holiness and true happiness are inseparably connected and that believers ought to maintain order, and practice good works, for these things are good and profitable unto men.

From Faith To Doubt

Slowly, a weight began to lift, a weight as heavy as I. It passed through my thighs, my torso, my arms and shoulders, and lifted off. An ineffable warmth began to suffuse my body. It seemed that a light had turned on in my chest and that it had cleansed me I hardly dared breathe, fearing that I might alter or end the moment. And I heard myself whispering softly over and over again, Thank you, Lord. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Later, in bed, I lay quietly at the center of a radiant, overwhelming, all-pervasive happiness.5