1)Explain and evaluate the notions of Karma, samsara, and Nirvana?
a)We know karma to be a chain of causes and necessary consequences in the world of human actions. Karma is the urge we have of doing something based on our previous actions or behavior. I believe the world has negative and positive energy. For example; an individual soul consists of negative and positive energy, which for a normal person, is balanced out. Therefore, what goes around comes around. In life we choose whether to listen and act upon certain urges or ignore it. I do not believe karma predetermine our future. Karma is the reason why things occur in our lives, based on the actions we have done. Karma is not built upon a distinct action but the accumulation of our conduct and actions.
b)Samsara is the cycle of death and rebirth to which life in the material world is bound. In other words, Samsara is reincarnation. It’s understood that humans create their own limitations because of their personal motives and actions. According to the book, Philosophy The Power of Ideas, when good karma is building up bad karma is reducing which may lead a person to escape the bondage of karma altogether and surrender to God. I personally believe that humans form a purpose in an attempt to imitate the apparent demand of this world. Humans strive to a divine goal. I do not believe in reincarnation. It is an interesting idea. In my opinion we live and then we die. The world is natural. These supernatural existences and phenomenon’s only exist or occur in the minds who believe them
c)Nirvana is a permanent liberation from the cycle of birth, death, and rebirth. Metaphorically speaking Nirvana is a place. It’ give me the idea that one disappears. I understand reincarnation and nirvana are total opposites. In reincarnation, on may experience negative feelings such as pain. Hence, karma. Whereas, nirvana goes beyond that. To reach the state of nirvana, one must meditate as much as they can. Be good to others without pity. One must let go of all feelings and desire. While meditating, you remember your previous lives, and figure out what is the purpose of life. Reaching nirvana is the ultimate goal of all Buddhists and is the resolution of life.
2)Explain and evaluate the Hindu ideas of Brahman, atman and reality. Brahman is the ultimate principle or reality, whereas, atman is the inner self. Atman refers to the spirit of each individual living thing. Each living thing such as people, animals, and plants has an atman that forms an everlasting essence. The body houses the atman until the body dies. Atman is immortal and eternal. Brahman is the endless essence of the universe and the ultimate divine reality. It is the life foundation of all that has been. Brahman is not an individual being. More like the original ground or reality of all being and existence.
3)Explain the Buddha’s four noble truths. Is he correct in his view? Buddha’s four noble truths are suffering, the causes of suffering (ex. ignorance, attachment to things), the existence of salvation, which is nirvana, and the path to nirvana. The four noble truths basically state that suffering exists. The noble truths involve the way you live, speak, and act. In a sense of “practicing what you preach.” Without it there will empty theory and lies. The way you challenge and regard your suffering you will learn from it, and the way you train your mind to release it.
4)Explain and evaluate the “Eight Fold Path”. Is this a reasonable philosophy for life? The Eight fold path consist of the right to view, the right to aim, the right to speech, the right action, the right to living, the right to effort, the right to mindfulness, and the right to contemplation. The right speech, action and living create the training in morality. The right to effort, mindfulness and contemplation discusses the practice of meditation. The practices that cleans the mind through the experience of peaceful state. The right to view and right to aim are the sign of knowledge. The Eightfold Path leads to joy and liberation.
5)Explain the connection or relationship between Tao, Yin, and Yang. Yin and yang should be in balance. When I think of Yin and Yang, I think of hot and cold, day and night. Yin and Yang are never in balance with each other. The two are always changing from one to the other. The Tao runs everywhere. Which means it knows no boundaries. It jumps from one thing into another. Nothing can block it. I think these all have a relationship with each other. For example, men and women. That could be considered a possible yin and yang. However, if a man has a woman “moment” then it would be Tao. Women have those same “moments” as well. Those moment are not something that can be stop.
6)Explain and evaluate Lao Tzu’s notion of effortless non-striving. Lao Tzu believed that we live according to nature and live in harmony with it. The concept as most people would say “go with the flow,” or “letting nature take its course.” Ultimately the theory aims to be an effective way of living. I think it takes extra effort and wastes time to go against the forces of nature.
7)Explain and evaluate Confucius’s principle of Mean.
8)Explain and evaluate the views of Murasaki Shikibu and the role and status of women.
9)Explain and evaluate the argument of St. Anselm for God’s existence. St. Anselm definition for God existence is “that which no greater can be conceived.” If God is that greatest spiritual entity. The spiritual entity must have being. If the spiritual entity didn’t have being wouldn’t be the greatest thing, because there is no proof of existence. In my opinion, St. Anselm is talking in circles. I think St. Anselm is just reiterating his meaning in the proof.
10)Explain and evaluate Guanilo’s objection to the ontological argument. Guanilo had objections to the first version of the argument. Which he thought it could be used to prove ridiculous things. Guanilo consider an island which no greater can be. Therefore, this island has the perfect size, trees, weather, water, etc. If one considers this island does it make it real? No. Guanilo’s point was to prove to Anselm that implying any pattern of reasoning to reach a conclusion is defective.
11)Summarize and evaluate St. Thomas Aquinas’s Five Ways. St. Thomas Aquinas five ways includes Motion, Existence, Contingency, Degrees, and Design. Aquinas believes that motion cannot start on its own. Anything that moves were caused by some sort of action. Therefore, there had to be a first mover, he makes this connection to God. In my opinion, St. Thomas Aquinas five ways challenges the being of a God. These ways are applied to a Godly figure; the five ways can be used to verify that God doesn’t exist.
12)Leibniz claims that this is the “best of all possible worlds”. A) Why does he say this? B) Do you agree with his assertion?
13)Explain and evaluate Friedrich Nietzsche’s claim that “God is dead!” Friedrich Nietzsche states ideas and lets his listeners figure out what he means. I think his “God is dead” is an observation that science has measured a lot of the mysteries that had been previously attributed to God. Do I agree with Nietzsche that God is dead? No I do not. However, I can understand his point. There isn’t any proof that God is still alive or if he as ever existed.
14)Explain and evaluate the views the views of William James regarding religious belief. William James believed any real religious experience should bring a real change in the person. People believe they can become born again Christians. However, if one does not become a changed person, the spiritual awakening has become in vain. Individuals who examined their religious belief saw and found more meaning in life. Persons who see more significance in life tend to put more effort in being a person that he or she is proud of. I always ask religious believers “Would you rather live a non-religious life and later find out there is GOD or whatever it is one believes in, or would you rather live a religious life and find out there isn’t a Spiritual entity?’ Most people I have ask that question say they would live rather live then religious life because at least they know that have lived a life with morals. Which bring me back to William James conclusion. Religious belief is good for all individuals.
15)Explain how it is possible that your religious views are right and yet everyone else’s (expect those who believe as you) are wrong. I think it is possible that one religious views are right and yet another maybe wrong is because of what we see and what we believe. For example, Christians may believe their religious views are right because the bible says it is. However, it forms into an argument as in who wrote the bible. Anyone could have written that book. Humans have a way of telling their personal convincing experiences to make one believe that it true. Another reason could be that one religion may be older than another. Some people believe if it’s been around longer then it must be true.