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 Deist Glossary

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Aaron
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PostSubject: Deist Glossary   Sat Mar 01, 2008 7:07 pm

I thought I'd transfer this glossary over here. Feel free to add to it.

Deist Glossary

A

* Agnosticism- Belief that human beings do not have sufficient evidence to warrant either the affirmation or the denial of a proposition. The term is used especially in reference to our lack of knowledge of the existence of god.
* Aquinas, Thomas- 1225–1274: Italian Dominican friar, theologian, and philosopher. The most influential thinker of the medieval period, his philosophy combined Aristotelianism and elements of Neo-Platonism within a context of Christian thought. His works include the Summa contra gentiles (1259–1264) and the Summa theologiae or theologica (1266–1273).
* Aristotle- 384–322 b.c.: Greek philosopher. A pupil of Plato, the tutor of Alexander the Great, and the author of works on logic, metaphysics, ethics, natural sciences, politics, and poetics, he profoundly influenced Western thought. In his philosophical system, which led him to criticize what he saw as Plato's metaphysical excesses, theory follows empirical observation and logic, based on the syllogism, is the essential method of rational inquiry.
* Atheism- the belief that god does not exist.

B

* belief- conviction regarding, the truth of a proposition, whether or not one is in possession of evidence adequate to justify a claim that the proposition is known with certainty.
* body- the organized physical composition or substance of an animal or man, whether living or dead.

C

* Closed System- a complete and seemingly unchangeable set of doctrines, ideas, or things; a self-contained system that is unaffected by outside influences; In thermodynamics, a closed system, is permeable to energy but not to matter.
* Cosmological argument- The cosmological argument is an argument for the existence of God. It is also known as the first cause argument for the existence of God, or the prime mover argument. There are three versions of this argument: the argument from causation in esse, the argument from causation in fieri, and the argument from contingency.

D

* Deism- belief in God based on reason, experience, and observation of nature.
* Descartes, René- 1596-1650: French mathematician, philosopher, and scientist who is considered the father of analytic geometry and the founder of modern rationalism. His main works, Meditations on First Philosophy (1641) and Principles of Philosophy (1644), include the famous dictum “I think, therefore I am.”
* divine- 1.) Of or belonging to God. 2.) Godlike; heavenly; excellent in the highest degree; supremely admirable; apparently above what is human.
* dogma- is belief or doctrine held by a religion or any kind of organization to be authoritative and not to be disputed or doubted.
* Dualism- Belief that mental things and physical things are fundamentally distinct kinds of entities.

E

* Enlightenment- an eighteenth-century movement that placed great emphasis on the use of reason in the development of philosophical, social, political, and scientific knowledge.
* Epistemology- one of the major branches of philosophy, also known as philosophy of knowledge. It concerns the forms, nature, preconditions, sources, types and limits of knowledge.
* experience- knowledge acquired through the senses, and not through abstract reasoning.

F

* faith- belief in something that has not been proved or is not capable of being proved.
* fideism- Belief that religious doctrines rest exclusively on faith, instead of on reason.
* Freethought- is the practice of forming one's beliefs independently of the perceived factual/logical falsehoods and intellectually limiting effects of conventional wisdom, urban legends, popular culture, cognitive bias, prejudice, tradition, and authority. Free thinkers base their beliefs on what they perceive to be facts and logic.

G

* Galilei, Galileo- 1564-1642: Italian mathematician and scientist who developed modern scientific method and applied it to the study of astronomy and terrestrial motion.
* God- 1 the supreme or ultimate reality: as a : the Being perfect in power, wisdom, and goodness who is worshiped as creator and ruler of the universe b Christian Science : the incorporeal divine Principle ruling over all as eternal Spirit : infinite Mind; a being or object believed to have more than natural attributes; 2 a person or thing of supreme value

H

* Henotheism- term used to describe a belief in one god that at the same time does not deny the existence of other gods.
* Herbert, Edward (of Cherbury)- 1583-1648: English philosopher, poet, and diplomat. He was ambassador to France (1619–24) and was created Baron Herbert of Cherbury in 1629. A precursor of deism, Lord Herbert laid down his principles of natural religion in De veritate (1624), De religione laici (1645), and De religione gentilium (1663). His secular metaphysical poetry also shows the influence of his philosophy, for even his love poems in Poems (1665) reflect the serious, analytic approach of the rationalist.
* Hume, David- 1711–1776: Scottish philosopher and historian whose skeptical arguments concerning induction, causation and religion, including the thesis that human knowledge arises only from sense experience, shaped 19th- and 20th-century empiricist philosophy. His works include A Treatise of Human Nature (1739–1740) and History of England (1754–1762).

I

* idea- The content of conscious thought. For representationalists like Descartes and Locke, ideas are the immediate objects of every mental activity. Ideas in this sense are supposed to represent things—present or absent—before the mind.
* Idealism- Belief that only mental entities are real, so that physical things exist only in the sense that they are perceived.
* intuition- Direct, non-inferential awareness of abstract objects or concrete truths.

J

* James, William- 1842–1910: American psychologist and philosopher. A founder of pragmatism and functionalism, he developed an approach to intellectual issues that greatly influenced American thought. His works include The Principles of Psychology (1890) and The Varieties of Religious Experience (1902).
* Jefferson, Thomas- 1743-1826: American political leader. Jefferson's draft for the Declaration of Independence (1776) and his Autobiography (1821) reflect thorough absorption of the philosophical and political views of John Locke, many of which he shared with other American founders.

K

* Kant, Immanuel- 1724–1804: German philosopher whose synthesis of rationalism and empiricism, in which he argued that reason is the means by which the phenomena of experience are translated into understanding, marks the beginning of idealism. His classic works include Critique of Pure Reason (1781) and Critique of Practical Reason (1788), in which he put forward a system of ethics based on the categorical imperative.
* knowledge- Justified true belief. Since Plato, nearly all Western philosophers have accepted this deceptively simple statement of the three necessary (and jointly sufficient) conditions for knowledge. That is, I know a proposition if and only if: 1. I sincerely affirm the proposition, 2. the proposition is true, and 3. my affirmation is genuinely based upon its truth.

L

* Locke, John- 1632–1704: English philosopher. In An Essay Concerning Human Understanding (1690) he set out the principles of empiricism, and his Two Treatises on Government (1690) influenced the Declaration of Independence.
* logic- Branch of philosophy concerned with the distinction between correct and incorrect reasoning. It commonly comprises both deductive and inductive arguments.

M

* manifest- capable of being readily and instantly perceived by the senses; not hidden or concealed; being the part or aspect of reality that is directly observable
* Materialism- Belief that only physical things truly exist. Materialists claim (or promise) to explain every apparent instance of a mental phenomenon as a feature of some physical object.
* meditation- 1. The act or process of meditating; A devotional exercise of or leading to contemplation. 2. A contemplative discourse, usually on a religious or philosophical subject.
* mind- that which thinks, reasons, perceives, wills, and feels.
* Monism- Belief that only things of a single kind exist. Materialism and Idealism are two examples of Monist belief.
* Monotheism- the belief there is only one god, or that the gods of different religions are really just different manifestations of the one true god. Monotheism is opposed to both henotheism and polytheism.
* Moral argument- An attempt to prove the existence of god by appeal to presence of moral value in the universe. Kant argued that postulation of god's existence is a necessary condition for our capacity to apply the moral law.
* moral / non-moral- Distinction between types of value, judgments, or propositions. Although a precise line is difficult to draw, there seems to be a genuine difference between universalizable moral concerns that impinge upon other people and merely personal matters of taste. For example: "Murder is wrong." is a moral assertion, but "This coffee is good." is a non-moral assertion.
* Mysticism- Belief in direct apprehension of divine or eternal reality by means of spiritual contemplation distinct from more ordinary avenues of human knowledge.

N

* Nature- the physical world including all natural phenomena and living things.
* Naturalism- Belief that all objects, events, and and values can be wholly explained in terms of factual and/or causal claims about the world, without reference to supernatural powers or authority.

O

* Ontology- A systematic account of what there is, an inventory of what exists.
* Ontological argument- the ontological argument begins with a notion of "that than which nothing greater can be conceived." Anything that satisfies this concept must exist in reality as well as in thought (since otherwise it would be possible to conceive something greater—one that really exists); hence, god exists.
* Open System- a changeable and alterable set of doctrines, ideas, or things; In thermodynamics, an open system is one whose border is permeable to both energy and mass.

P

* Paine, Thomas- 1737–1809: British-born American writer and Revolutionary leader who wrote the pamphlet Common Sense (1776) arguing for American independence from Britain. In England he published The Rights of Man (1791–1792), a defense of the French Revolution. While The Age of Reason (Part I, 1794 and Part II, 1796), written in a French revolutionary prison, is a devastating attack on religious belief.
* Palmer, Elihu- 1764-1806: was an ex-Baptist minister who made an effort to organize Deism by forming the "Deistical Society of New York." Palmer wrote Principles of Nature (1801).
* Panentheism- a view which combines the insights of Pantheism and Deism by arguing that the world is included in God's being or the analogy of cells in a larger organism. This view was systematically elaborated philosophically by Alfred North Whitehead and applied to Theology by Charles Hartshorne (1897-).
* Pantheism- Belief that god is present in all of nature, rather than transcending it.
* Plato- 427?–347? b.c.: Greek philosopher. A follower of Socrates, he presented his ideas through dramatic dialogues, in the most celebrated of which The Republic the interlocutors advocate a utopian society ruled by philosophers trained in Platonic metaphysics. He taught and wrote for much of his life at the Academy, which he founded near Athens in 386.
* Polytheism- a kind of theism which holds that there is more than one god.
* prayer- a spoken or unspoken address to God, a deity, or a saint. It may express praise, thanksgiving, confession, or a request for something such as help or somebody's well-being.

Q

R

* Reason- the intellectual ability to apprehend the truth cognitively, either immediately in intuition, or by means of a process of inference.

S

* soul- 1 the spiritual element of a person, regarded as immortal. 2 a person’s moral or emotional nature. 3 emotional or intellectual energy or integrity.
* Spinoza, Baruch- 1632–1677: Dutch philosopher and theologian whose controversial pantheistic doctrine advocated an intellectual love of God. His best-known work is Ethics (1677).
* spirit- a person’s non-physical being, composed of their character and emotions.
* spiritual- 1. Of, relating to, consisting of, or having the nature of spirit; not tangible or material. 2. Of, concerned with, or affecting the soul. 3. Of, from, or relating to God; deific. 4. Of or belonging to a church or religion; sacred. 5. Relating to or having the nature of spirits or a spirit; supernatural.

T

* Teleological argument- An attempt to prove the existence of god based upon an observation of the regularity or beauty of the universe. The argument maintains that many aspects of the natural world exhibit an orderly and purposive character that would be most naturally explained by reference to the intentional design of an intelligent creator.
* temporal- of or relating to time, an object associated with manifestation that has a beginning and ending point
* Theism- Belief in the existence of god as a perfect being deserving of worship.
* Tindal, Matthew- 1657?-1733: was an Anglican lawyer and writer who wrote Christianity As Old as Creation (1730). Tindal believed that God's revelation came through nature as understood through human reasoning. Tindal rejected the doctrine of "original sin." Tindal believed that God's truth cannot be limited to a particular place or time, as it is as old as creation.
* Transcendentalism- a system of philosophy that emphasizes intuition as a means of knowing a spiritual reality and believes that divinity pervades nature and humanity. It is especially associated with Ralph Waldo Emerson and other New England writers.
* Tzu, Lao- Chinese philosopher who is traditionally regarded as the founder of Taoism. The Tao Te Ching is attributed to him.

U

* unmanifest- incapable of being readily and instantly perceived by the senses; hidden or concealed; being that part of reality that isn’t directly observable; accessible only by methods of contemplation or meditation

V

W

* Whitehead, Alfred North- 1861–1947: British mathematician and philosopher. A founder of mathematical logic, he wrote Principia Mathematica (1910–1913) with Bertrand Russell. In Process and Reality (1929) he developed a methodology through which to propose a comprehensive metaphysical view according to which events and processes, rather than independent substances constitute reality. This view points toward the progressive development of conscious organic beings mutually involved in prehensive relations to each other.

X

Y

Z

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