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Essay Before and After Christianity

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Before and after the rise of Christianity, philosophers depended largely on developing axioms and using them to draw conclusions about the world. Before Christianity, the axioms were typically based on what was apparent to human reason. After Christianity became widespread, thinkers had to contend with a new source of knowledge- one based on faith rather than on what appeared self-evident to the human mind. Early Christians justified their dependence on faith in different ways. Some embraced fideism and favored faith even without or over reason. Others engaged and melded their new traditions with older ones. Thomas Aquinas describes and responds to several challenges of Christianity. Aquinas asserts that the study of God as revealed in…show more content…
Christianity and philosophical tradition found themselves freshly and mutually challenged during the scientific revolution. Human reason was rapidly leading to new discovers and conclusions about the natural world. Some of these new conclusions contradicted the views and teachings of Christianity. These conflicts led some to conclude that science and religion were not completely compatible. Descartes, a scientist during this time, set out to show that the two subjects were not only compatible, but were closely linked to each other. Descartes argument was that the only thing he could know beyond all doubt was that he existed. Since he could doubt, he was imperfect. Yet he could imagine a being that would not doubt, a perfect being, so at least the idea of it must exist. He determines that this being is God and that all perfect parts of a human must come from God, so clearly perceived ideas that are arrived at logically by the human mind must come from God. Like Aquinas, Descartes does not dismiss the possibility of a meaningful interchange of ideas between Christianity and philosophical tradition. While Aquinas started by accepting divine revelation and then logically reasoning his way through a justification of Sacred Doctrine as a science, Descartes reasoned the other way. He started by taking the one fact that was indubitable to human reason—his own existence. From there he inductively determined that the idea of perfection he had within himself must come
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