The term ‘God’ is used in a varied number of connotations. Helmuth Von Glasenapp (1970: p. 15) describes ‘God’ in three ways. Firstly, in the most general sense ‘God’ takes on the meaning of supernatural beings that are prayed to or made images of by humankind. Secondly, in a Judaeo-Christian sense, ‘God’ is the name of the one eternal and supernatural personal being who created the world and, thus, rules over it. Finally, ‘God’ in philosophy takes on the meaning of the Absolute – the impersonal ens realissimum (Latin for ‘the most real being’) – which is the ground that it does not matter whether it (or He) coexists with the world, surrounds the world, or is active within the world. Therefore, despite the various meanings relating to the term ‘God’, this essay will focus on the Judaeo-Christian concept and, in so doing, examine the grounds on which a Buddhist might reject the existence of God.
Last week, I visited Auschwitz for the second time.
I never took any photographs.
Recently I went to Kraków in Poland with uni, and it was here I met Monika Goldwasser.
I visited the Galicia Jewish Museum located in the Jewish Quarter of Kraków, a permanent photo exhibition documenting/celebrating the lives of the Jewish people in this area.
Once we finished our tour, we were directed to a room in the back of the building where we were met with a glamorous woman with long black hair pinned up in a beehive shaped bun. She was beautiful, but I noticed she never smiled. I also noticed her eyes, they were so sad.
Now, when one thinks of a Holocaust survivor, one mostly like thinks of a person who has survived a concentration camp. However, how Monika Goldwasser survived the Holocaust was miraculous.
Nietzsche was critical of the Christian religion, so it is perhaps surprising to find lengthy passages in his work placing Jesus in a positive light but this can be explained. As claimed by Nietzsche, Christianity is founded upon the ressentiment of Saint Paul, a mix of bad conscience and resentment. Christ is an invention of Saint Paul. He used Jesus of Nazareth, a historical figure, as a scapegoat for our sinful nature to avoid us from taking responsibility for our own lives. The Pauline Christ encourages people to approach life with a will to truth. Whereas, Jesus of Nazareth approached his life with a will to power. Jesus displayed virtues that Nietzsche praised. One could say that the doctrine is the enemy of Nietzsche, rather than Jesus himself, Jesus the man – Jesus the Jew (Kee 1999: p. 144).
The Ten Commandments are found twice in the Old Testament, once in Exodus 20: 1-17 and another time in Deuteronomy 5: 6-21. They are known together as the Decalogue. They differ slightly but primarily mean the same. The Ten Commandments, or the “Ten Words” in Jewish tradition, were given by Moses at Mount Sinai, they were the words of God. They were intended to tell the people of Israel on how they should live as a society, but as a result they have had a huge influential impact on the world. They play a fundamental role in Christianity and they have influenced laws and morals from the ancient world to the modern day. I am going to discuss the ethical implications of the Decalogue from a historical perspective, predominantly from the view of the ancient world such as Ancient Mesopotamia, Ancient Egypt and Ancient Israel.