Maham, age 19, explains how her Muslim faith and practice has changed as she has grown older:. When I was fifteen, I was really super-religious actually. Then I fell into this not-so-religious stage—that was between the end of junior year of high school and freshman year of college.
I started praying less and hanging out with my friends more. I still am not back praying five times a day because of my schedule I try to pray as much as I can , but I believe that true spirituality transcends ritual worship, so I try to live my life with the philosophy that Islam teaches—of compassion, peace, submission, tolerance, and things like that. I try every day to fight the jihad of personal struggle to become a better person. But as you mature, life becomes complicated and harder to categorize as just good and bad.
The rules are not laid out in black and white anymore—you find a lot of gray area since you gain more independence as you get older. After all, you start to make your own decisions—some good, some bad—but life has to teach you its lessons somehow. I do believe in rituals. Like Ramadan is coming up next week.
Do I plan on fasting all thirty days? Yes, I do. Those things help me become a better Muslim. There are a lot of things that are taught in Islam, like wearing the headscarf and praying.
Just as people eat food four or five times a day to nourish their bodies, prayers nourish the soul four or five times a day. Sara, age 18, feels differently about the rituals and worship practices of her religion than Rebecca and Maham do:. I feel really connected with my Jewish community, but a little less connected to the observance factor of my religion.
When I was little, my whole family would sit down every Friday night and light the Shabbat candles and say the blessings. Every once in a while I go to services, but I appreciate it a lot more when I do my own thing and say my own prayers. Hesed, age 14, a member of the United Methodist Church, explains how he knows the Christian religion in which he was raised is right for him:.
Religion and Identity
Are they fake? And if they are, why are there millions of Muslims around the world who pray to Allah five times a day? And why are there Buddhists who make Buddhism their faith?
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Why do I think this one faith is real? And basically, to me, I just get a feeling.
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Christianity just feels right to me. And I can honestly say that I feel the presence of God in that place. And for me, Christianity is the religion where I feel that. And this is right for me.
Reproduced by permission from Carus Publishing Company. Explore the complexity of Jewish identity with reflections from three teenagers about what being Jewish means to them. Explore the debate over banning headscarves in French schools and consider the tension between personal and group identities.
Holocaust and Human Behavior. Add or Edit Playlist. Previous Reading. Next Reading. He took from Leibniz the principle that we will always select what pleases us most, and the principle that pleasure is the apprehension of perfection, so that the amount of pleasure we feel is proportional to the amount of perfection we intuit New Essays on Human Understanding , XXI, He thought we are obligated to do what will make us and our condition, or that of others, more perfect, and this is the law of nature that would be binding on us even if per impossible God did not exist.
He saw no problem about the connection between virtue and happiness, since both of them result directly from our perfection, and no problem about the connection between virtue and duty, since a duty is simply an act in accordance with law, which prescribes the pursuit of perfection.
His views were offensive to the pietists, because he claimed that Confucius already knew by reason all that mattered about morality, even though he did not know anything about Christ. Crusius by contrast accepted Scotus's double theory of motivation, and held that there are actions that we ought to do regardless of any ends we have, even the end of our own perfection and happiness.
It is plausible to see here the origin of Kant's categorical imperative. His idea was that we have within us this separate capacity to recognize divine command and to be drawn towards it out of a sense of dependence on the God who prescribes the command to us, and will punish us if we disobey though our motive should not be to avoid punishment Ibid.
The history of empiricism in Britain from Hobbes to Hume is also the history of the attempt to re-establish human knowledge, but not from above from indubitable principles of reason but from below from experience and especially the experience of the senses. Thomas Hobbes — said that all reality is bodily including God , and all events are motions in space. Willing, then, is a motion, and is merely the last act of desire or aversion in any process of deliberation.
His view is that it is natural, and so reasonable, for each of us to aim solely at our own preservation or pleasure. The second precept is that each of us should be willing to lay down our natural rights to everything to the extent that others are also willing, and Hobbes concludes with the need to subordinate ourselves to a sovereign who alone will be able to secure peace. He argues for the authority in the interpretation of Scripture to be given to that same earthly sovereign, and not to competing ecclesiastical authorities whose competition had been seen to exacerbate the miseries of war both in Britain and on the continent Ibid.
John Locke — followed Hobbes in deriving morality from our need to live together in peace given our natural discord, but he denied that we are mechanically moved by our desires. He agreed with Hobbes in saying that moral laws are God's imposition, but disagreed by making God's power and benevolence both necessary conditions for God's authority in this respect Treatises , IV.
He also held that our reason can work out counsels or advice about moral matters; but only God's imposition makes law and hence obligation , and we only know about God's imposition from revelation The Reasonableness of Christianity , 62—5. He therefore devoted considerable attention to justifying our belief in the reliability of revelation. The deists e. Frances Hutcheson — was not a deist, but does give a reading of the sort of guidance involved here.
He distinguished between objects that are naturally good, which excite personal or selfish pleasure, and those that are morally good, which are advantageous to all persons affected. He took himself to be giving a reading of moral goodness as agape , the Greek word for the love of our neighbor that Jesus prescribes. Because these definitions of natural and moral good produce a possible gap between the two, we need some way to believe that morality and happiness are coincident.
This moral sense responds to examples of benevolence with approbation and a unique kind of pleasure, and benevolence is the only thing it responds to, as it were the only signal it picks up. It is, like Scotus's affection for justice, not confined to our perception of advantage. God shows benevolence by first making us benevolent and then giving us this moral sense that gets joy from the approbation of our benevolence. To contemporary British opponents of moral sense theory, this seemed too rosy or benign a picture; our joy in approving benevolence is not enough to make morality and happiness coincident.
We need also obligation and divine sanction.
Joseph Butler —, Bishop of Bristol and then of Durham held that God's goodness consists in benevolence, in wanting us to be happy, and that we should want the same for each other. He made the important point that something can be good for an agent because it is what he wants without this meaning that the content of what he wants has anything to do with himself Fifteen Sermons , — David Hume —76 is the first figure in this narrative who can properly be attached to the Enlightenment, though this term means very different things in Scotland, in France and in Germany.
Hume held that reason cannot command or move the human will.
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The denial of motive power to reason is part of his general skepticism. He accepted from Locke the principle that our knowledge is restricted to sense impressions from experience and logically necessary relations of ideas in advance of experience in Latin, a priori.
From this principle he derived more radical conclusions than Locke had done.
For example, we cannot know about causation or the soul. The only thing we can know about morals is that we get pleasure from the thought of some things and pain from the thought of others. Hume thought we could get conventional moral conclusions from these moral sentiments, which nature has fortunately given us. Probably he included premises about God's will or nature or action. This does not mean he was arguing against the existence of God. Some scholars take this remark like similar statements in Hobbes as purely ironic, but this goes beyond the evidence.sancjahrreahalf.tk
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The Enlightenment in France had a more anti-clerical flavor in part because of the history of Jansenism, unique to France , and for the first time in this narrative we meet genuine atheists, such as Baron d'Holbach —89 who held not only that morality did not need religion, but that religion, and especially Christianity, was its major impediment.
He accepted from the English deists the idea that what is true in Christian teachings is the core of human values that are universally true in all religions, and like the German rationalists he admired Confucius. Jean-Jacques Rousseau said, famously, that mankind is born free, but everywhere he is in chains The Social Contract , Ch. This supposes a disjunction between nature and contemporary society, and Rousseau held that the life of primitive human beings was happy inasmuch as they knew how to live in accordance with their own innate needs; now we need some kind of social contract to protect us from the corrupting effects of society upon the proper love of self.
Nature is understood as the whole realm of being created by God, who guarantees its goodness, unity, and order. Rousseau held that we do not need any intermediary between us and God, and we can attain salvation by returning to nature in this high sense and by developing all our faculties harmoniously. Our ultimate happiness is to feel ourselves at one with the system that God created.
Immanuel Kant — is the most important figure of the Enlightenment in Germany, but his project is different in many ways from those of his French contemporaries.
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