Religious studies

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Religious Studies
I. Chapter 4
In the section, four of his book The Universe Next Door James W. Sire seeks to
demystify the theory of Naturalism (Sire, 2009). According to this theory, Sire postulates that
Universes exits in a physical state and all that exists in it matter, there is no soul or afterlife based
on Naturalism. Further, the theory maintains that no superior power dominates over the universe;
human beings are only subjects to themselves. It is imperative to note that purpose in life
exclusively develops where superior authority motivates or propels human beings towards it,
seeing there is no higher authority based on naturalism, the theory then holds that life has no
measurable purpose.
Naturalism view human values as products of human interaction and acculturation
through evolution besides it is a system of agreed upon virtues by a people defined to restrict
their actions. Ethics is an authority by itself, which the theory detests as a consequence personal
choice, are the only rules that govern human beings. Naturalism has grown and led to the birth of
Marxism, an economical and sociological view that explains the conflict between the rich rulers
and the common subjects. Deriving its principles from naturalism, Marxism holds that the
solution to the conflict is the equality.
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II. Chapter 5
James W. Sire in section five furthers builds on the theory of naturalism and explains the
philosophy of nihilism. Nihilism is a non-Christian belief because God does not exist and thus
life is meaningless. Nihilism is also a non-philosophical belief that denies the existence of truth
and knowledge it is based on an attitude of indifference that postulates everything just exists with
o real meaning. Besides nihilism according to Sire does not question the existence of things
including the acquired knowledge, i.e., Nihilists do not examine the source of their knowledge.
Sire, however, points out philosophical gaps that prove that Nihilism cannot be viable.
Firstly, he points out Nihilists view that life has no purpose or real meaning. However, human
beings have free will and choice which they pursue, it then follows that when human beings are
working on a choice or activity, they are seeking a goal which is a purpose. Similarly, Sire
observes that Nihilists uses art as a way of expressing themselves; however, the art has a
structure and meaning that is used to identify with Nihilism, it, therefore, follows that art cannot
be Nihilism. Sire that believing in Nihilism could culminate in culminates in insanity or suicide.
Nihilism believers lack fulfillment in life as they deny the existence of God who has given them
everything they possess physically and philosophically. Nihilism therefore
III. Chapter 6
Chapter 6 of Sire’s The Universe Next Door demystifies the theory of existentialism.
Existentialism includes the view of the world in a rational full-fledged manner and can be
explained based on its two forms atheistic existentialism and theistic existentialism. Atheistic
existentialism seeks to find value in an irrelevant/ meaningless world (Dauntingbooks, 2009).
Atheistic existentialism builds on the theory of nihilism by stating the universe is insignificant,
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human beings have the free will to make it as they wish it to be and by this fact, they are superior
since they can exert influence over matter. Atheist existentialism according to sire maintains that
an authentic world is one who lives under the reality that the world has no value and the only
value it gets is one that human beings assigns to it at a personal level.
Theistic existentialism, on the other hand, differs with the atheistic existentialism by the
fact that God exists despite the existence of absurdities that human beings can find no
explanation. Consequently, theistic existentialism holds that truth is not absolute but subjective
for this reason, while they derive moral examples from the bible, they remain skeptical about its
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Dauntingbooks. (2009). The Universe Next Door. Retrieved March 9th, 2018, from
Sire, J. W. (2009). The Universe Next Door(fifth edition). InterVarsity Press: USA.

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