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Christinity and Culture - Essay Example

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Religious views always claim, and try, to be unchangeable, while cultures are always subject to slow change throughout the generations. The problem arises when the tension between these two important factors in defining our ethical beliefs. The importance of culture is undisputable in determining one's view of the world, while religious beliefs claim to be the best possible way from an all-wise being to see the world, and so if one is to be true to oneself, one must believe that the religious view is the perfect and wisest view if he or she is to believe in it at all.
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Download file to see previous pages Kierkegaard, in his book 'The Sickness unto Death' likens the fears of the Christian to those of a non-believer in the Christian religion to the fears of an adult and those of a child; children fear things that might not be harmful to them like darkness and some creations of their minds, while the adult fears what is really terrifying. It is evident from this that Kierkegaard believes that the world view of Christianity is different from that of other religions, cultures and philosophies, and - according to Kierkegaard - is superior. Kierkegaard is a Christian who is not willing to compromise any aspect of his religious belief. Some Christians however, either for making their religions more popular and applicable or for a conflict within them between their cultures and their religions, have sought to bring Christianity's view of the world closer to their cultural one. There has been many tries to do this while maintaining harmony with the Christian view, such as arguing that culture is the creation of God and so it is not against his will to follow it. All these views however fail to maintain logical consistency for a simple reason; Christianity claims to be from an all-wise God and thus claims perfection, it also claims that every human has free will but is required to follow the path set by God. To argue that man is imperfect and should follow his imperfect path is at bottom saying that Christianity is a perfect law that has no use to us humans, that for some reason God asked us to follow this law and rewards and punishes based on the following of this law, and in the same breath saying; God wants us to ignore this law.
Nietzsche's famous quote 'Only something which does not have a history can be defined' means that something that has evolved over time and will probably continue to evolve cannot be limited to a certain definition since it is in constant change. Morality is one such thing, and so, for Nietzsche, the Christian - or any religious - attempt to define the morality of all time fails. This can be contrasted with Kierkegaard's view that Christianity is superior to any other philosophy, morality or culture. There is no middle ground, and trying to seek in holy books a hint for going against them is like asking God to give us orders and ask us not to follow them. What if these tries do succeed, and so one of the orders given to us by God would be 'don't follow my orders', what then should we do
Back to the problem that initiated this ethical religious problem, if Catholicism is to be taught in Catholic schools, then a kid with lesbian parents will definitely suffer in that school from hearing that his own parents are going against the very teachings of his religion. If, however, Catholicism must be changed to suite the needs of people who both want to claim to follow a religion and go against it then we are left with something that is not Catholicism but that has the same name. Some people act as if one should be given the right to be Christian and have a belief system that goes against Christianity, but I believe that if someone has a belief system that goes against a religion then he is, by that fact alone, not belonging to ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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