Your Essays Should Include the Following Basic Points
1. The positions of the Classical-Stoics, Classical Christians, and Epicureans on the nature of reality:
· Classical-Stoics: reality is teleological or purposeful, the product of intelligent design; each part of the whole—the cosmos—has a particular purpose or function; reality is not limited to matter in motion but includes rational and irrational thought and the order of nature
· Classical-Christians: reality is teleological or purposeful, the product of God the Creator’s intelligence, and each part of the whole has a purpose; reality is not limited to matter in motion but includes God, angels, and the order of nature
· Epicureans: realty exclusively matter (atoms) in motion and is orderly in terms of natural, physical laws, but is not teleological, not purposeful; the atoms are subject to laws of motion and their shapes determine what composites they may form; the world in which we live and parallel worlds are products of random collision of atoms and are not the products of intelligent designs
2. The positions of the Classical-Stoics, Classical Christians, and Gnostics on the relationship of God/the gods to nature:
· Classical-Stoics: nature is divine, God is nature; i.e., pantheism
· Classical-Christians: nature is the creation of God; nature is not divine (it is profane); God is super-nature (transcendent) but maintains nature
· Gnostics: nature is the creation of a lesser, deformed god, Yaltabaoth; Yaltabaoth is transcendent but maintains nature; the true supreme god is beyond Yaltabaoth (super- or ultra transcendent) and has nothing to do with the cosmos
3. The position of the ancients, Epicureans, and Classical-Stoic thinkers on the following:
· Is the cosmos alive/animate? Epicureans: NO. Ancients (“Thou”) and Classical-Stoics: YES.
· Is the cosmos not alive/inanimate? Epicureans: YES. Ancients and Classical-Stoics: NO.
· Is the cosmos divine? Epicureans: NO. Ancients: PARTLY. Classical-Stoics: YES.
· Is the cosmos not divine; i.e., is it profane? Epicureans: YES. Ancients: PARTLY. Classical-Stoics: NO.
· Is the cosmos both divine and profane? Epicureans: NO. Ancients: PARTLY (Eliade). Classical-Stoics: NO.
Your essays should support each of these positions with a couple of references to the readings.