The Nature of “human”.

What does it mean to be human? What is man?

  1. Hindu view – Humans are God. Identity of atman and Brahman.

  2. Greek view – Humans are reasoning animal. Humans can think, reason, do logic

  3. Jewish-Christian-Muslim-Bahai view – Humans have value because of a gift from God. Human worth is derivative.

D. Confucian, Tao, Shinto. Humans have value as part of nature or as part of a society.


What is knowledge? How do we know? What is truth?

A. Authoritarianism (Authority)

B. Intuitionalism (Mysticism) (Direct Insight - Mystical Experience)

C. Rationalism (Coherence)

D. Empiricism (Sense Data) (Correspondence)

E. Pragmatism (What works.)

F. Existentialism (Leap of Faith - “Truth is the subjective appropriation of objective uncertainty with passionate inwardness” Soren Kierkegaard)

G. Language Analysis (How do the words function in a particular culture?)

H. “Fide-ism” (The burden of proof is on any new knowledge claim or denial of a previous claim.)

I. Scepticism (Skepticism) (The burden of proof is on any knowledge claim.)


A. Theism - The belief that god or gods exist.

B. Pantheism - The belief that God exists and that God and the Universe are identical.

C. Panentheism - The belief that God exists and that the Universe is a proper part of God, but God is more than the Universe.

D. Humanism or a Type of Theism,. God exists as a proper part of the universe, but the universe is more than God. If God is the produce of the human part of the universe the position is humanism. If not, it is division of theism, usually identified by the name of the theologian involved in its formulation.

Note: John Dewey, “ God is the sum total of man’s melior ideas”

E. Atheism. The belief that God does not exist.

F. Agnosticism The belief of a person (the proclaimed agnostic) that he/she does not know if God exists.

G. Scepticism (Skepticism) The belief that no one can know if God exists

H. Deism. The belief that God exists but God after creating the universe and its (scientific and/or moral) laws withdrew from interaction with the universe.