From The Alpha and the Omega - Volume III
by Jim A. Cornwell, Copyright © 12/18/1998, all rights reserved

    Since my work is classified under the category of "religious/philosophy," I provided the following information as a quide to those who are unfamiliar with those things.    As American philosopher William James defined philosophy as "an unusually stubborn attempt to think clearly."    The word itself comes from the Greek and means 'love of wisdom.'    Its purpose is to give foundations or sets of beliefs with a framework to achieve certain goals.

A Stoic tries to master his emotions;
an Epicurean seeks happiness through pleasure:
a Rationalist gains knowledge through reason;
a Christian strives for salvation through the grace and teachings of Jesus Christ.

    Philosophy and science has always been related in some way.    Until about the 1700's, people made no distinction between the two fields.    Science tries to gain knowledge about a specific subject, and philosophy concerns itself with the laws and structure of all reality.    One requires a laboratory and the other has no laboratory.
    Philosophy and religion are separated.    Religion assumes that God can be known, and develops a ritual, a creed, and a moral code based on such assumptions.    Philosophy makes no such assumptions.    It examines the logic behind religious proofs, and tests the methods of investigation that religion uses.

    The nature of the universe has challenged philosophers since ancient times.    What is the universe made of?    How does it operate?
   As one can see in the Holy Bible: Job’s conversation with God and His reply are found in Job 22 and Job 38, regarding the foundations of the universe and ignorance of man.

    Many early peoples believed that the universe was composed of only one element.    Some ancient Greek philosophers claimed it was all water, all air, or all fire.    Others said it was made up of four elements--earth, air, fire, and water--and the principles of love and hate that caused the elements to combine and separate.

    Later philosophers believed in the Mechanist Philosophy which states that the universe behaves like a giant machine, according to physical laws of cause and effect.    But this had no particular purpose for its operation.    Although under this concept if one knows the past and present then they can control the future.    Since no human knows the present state of all the matter in the universe it is impossible for mankind to predict the future accurately.

    This can be seen in Isaiah 55:8 For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD.
    55:9 For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.
    55:11 So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it.

    Also in Ephesians 3:17 That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love,     3:18 May be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height;

    Then others called Teleologists, believed that there is purpose in the universe.    They argued that the material aspects of the universe run in a law-abiding, mechanical way, which was the process that God had in view.    Teleology is the study of design or purpose in natural phenomena.    The use of ultimate purpose or design as a means of explaining natural phenomena.    Purposeful development, as in nature or history, toward a final end.

    Determinists tried to show that events cause other events according to definite laws.    But many contended that God's will, or some other non material element or being, is the source that originally determines these events.    Determinism the philosophical doctrine that every event, act, and decision is the inevitable consequence of antecedents that are independent of the human will.    This is the Free Will group, promoted by Auguste Comte 1798-1857, a French philosopher known as the founder of positivism.    He also established sociology as a systematic study.    Positivism was a doctrine contending that sense perceptions are the only admissible basis of human knowledge and precise thought.    The application of this doctrine in logic, epistemology, and ethics.    The system of Auguste Comte designed to supersede theology and metaphysics and depending on a hierarchy of the sciences, beginning with mathematics and culminating in sociology.    Another leading exponent of positivism was the French philosopher and historian Hippolyte Adolphe Taine (1828-1893).

    Scientific findings of the 1900's have caused philosophers to modify many of their views.    Science has found such a close relationship between matter and space that philosophers can no longer speak in terms of strict materialism.    They must include space or energy in their theories.    The change from using classical mathematics to using statistical mathematics makes scientists say not that things are a certain way, but that they probably are that way.    As a result, some philosophers speak of probability rather than determinism.

History of Philosophy:
    The following subjects can be found on the following links, each can be opened up in a new window and closed when you are finished.    Please choose the ones that you would like to view.
Ancient Times, sixth to the third century B.C.
Early Christian Philosophers, A.D. first century to the 1300's
During the Renaissance, 1400's to the early 1600's
The Appeal to Reason, 1600's
The Appeal to Experience, 1700's
The Appeal to Humanism, 1800's
The Appeal to Adjustment, 1900's
The Appeal to the New Age of the Analytical Mind, 20th century
The Appeal to the Technocrat, 21st century

Return to the Table of Contents - Introduction or
go back to Dark Matter, Evolution, Creationism, etc. etc. or
go to the next subject Ancient Times, sixth to the third century B.C.