Epistemology of God

This page contains notes and quotes apart from posts published on the blog. Following are links to some important posts related to the topic:

Notes & Quotes

Empirical Theologies
St. Athanasius, The Incarnation
For what other form do they give them by sculpture but that of men and women and of creatures lower vet and of irrational nature, all manner of birds, beasts both tame and wild, and creeping things, whatsoever land and sea and the whole realm of the waters produce? For men having fallen into the unreasonableness of their passions and pleasures, and unable to see anything beyond pleasures and lusts of the flesh, inasmuch as they keep their mind in the midst of these irrational things, they imagined the divine principle to be in irrational things, and carved a number of gods to match the variety of their passions. 2. For there are with them images of beasts and creeping things and birds, as the interpreter of the divine and true religion says, “They became vain in their reasonings, and their senseless heart was darkened. Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools, and changed the glory of the incorruptible God for the likeness of an image of corruptible man, and of birds and four-footed beasts and creeping things, wherefore God gave them up unto vile passions.” For having previously infected their soul, as I said above, with the irrationalities of pleasures, they then came down to this making of gods; and, once fallen, thenceforward as though abandoned in their rejection of God, thus they wallow [7] in them, and portray God, the Father of the Word, in irrational shapes. 3. As to which those who pass for philosophers and men of knowledge s among the Greeks, while driven to admit that their visible gods are the forms and figures of men and of irrational objects, say in defence that they have such things to the end that by their means the deity may answer them and be made manifest; because otherwise they could not know the invisible God, save by such statues and rites.
Theology vs Rationalism and Empiricism
Gavin Hyman, “Atheism in Modern History”, Michael Martin (ed), The Cambridge Companion to Atheism, 2007, p. 35
“One consequence of these attempts [of Descartes (rationalism) and Locke (empiricism)] to transplant a theological concept into fundamentally atheological frameworks was a conception of theism that was susceptible to attack on two particular fronts. First, a consistent rationalism or empiricism seemed to disallow any substantive knowledge of God, and, second, if a concept of God was developed, it seemed to be little more than a hypostatization of rational concepts or empirical realities. Indeed, these vulnerabilities were brought into sharp focus by Hume and Kant in the first place and by Feuerbach and Marx in the second.”


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