Outlines of Good Essays for the Mid-Term
God and Nature: Quotes represented Classical, Classical-Christian, and Gnostic Traditions
a. Classical tradition maintained that God is immanent in Nature; that is, God is Nature. God-Nature is wise, rational, eternal, and good.
b. Classical-Christian tradition maintained that God transcends Nature; that is, God is supernatural. God is good, wise, and rational. Nature, His Creation, is good and rational, but is not alive. Nature is not divine. Nature is not God.
c. The Gnostics maintained that the highest god is good and wise, but that He did not create Nature. A lower, deformed, but transcendent god created Nature, which is organized on the basis of a deformed, perverted order. The high god is above the transcendent creator god. The high god is super- or ultra-transcendent. Nature is not divine, is not good, and does not reflect the high god.
Ontology: Quotes represented Classical, Classical-Christian, and Epicurean Traditions
a. Classical tradition (Aristotle) maintained that all things have a purpose or final cause as part of their being. The purpose or teleology is discoverable by reason.
b. The Classical-Christian tradition maintained that God created everything as part of his design or plan or purpose. The purpose or teleology is partially discoverable by reason, partially known only to God.
c. The Epicurean tradition maintained that the universe and all that is in it has no purposeful or teleological order. Things do not have a natural or cosmic purpose. We can only know how things work.
The Ancient, the Epicurean, and the Classical Traditions on Cosmology
a. The principal difference between the ancient and the Epicurean view is that the ancients understood the world as alive (I-thou) and full of sacred and profane realities. The Epicureans maintained that the cosmos was essentially inanimate—everything stems from inanimate atoms, even the gods—and there are no sacred or “totally different” realities.
b. The ancients and the Stoics of the Classical tradition both agreed that the cosmos was alive. The ancients did not understand the cosmos as a single, coherent being; the Stoics did. The ancients understood the world as made up of sacred and profane reality; the Stoic reality was essentially divine or sacred.