While the Christians believed in God
The prevalent view among Christians today has remained unchanged over the centuries. Christians still regard God as the sovereign and humankind as the subordinate. The prime example that this belief still prevails in Christian doctrine today lies in the current practices of Christians. While there are those who criticize the belief of the Christians in an afterlife with God, such as scientologists, this still has not affected the teachings of Christians nor shaken their firm belief in the afterlife. Even with the formation of new sects within Christianity, the foundation still remains the same, there is still the belief in the afterlife and God is still the Supreme Being. Kant, in his doctrine on the categorical imperative, spoke of duty as the prime factor in life but still acknowledged in the end that there was a link to God, a reason for the categorical imperative.
While the Christians believed in God, the Romans and the Greeks celebrated humankind as the essence of all things. In understanding how this still plays a role in present day society, it must be understood that the context within which these teachings were drawn from were from days were man was beginning to discover himself. The golden age of philosophy and existentialism was beginning to take off. It does not discount the existence of a Supreme Being but merely celebrates the existence of man and the superiority over lower life forms. This is properly shown in the acts of man in trying to learn more about himself and his nature by acquiring more information, by gaining more knowledge of the world. Early philosophers subscribed to this idea of being able to unlock the mysteries of human nature by relating everything around to them (existentialism).
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There are no inconsistencies that can be drawn from having these two schools of thought prevail in present day times. The position of the Romans and Greeks of man as the essence of all things can be argued as merely a statement that places man atop all of God’s creations. From an existentialist point of view, it can also be argued that this statement and belief did not negate the existence of god but merely focused on man himself and the realization of his existence. This is consistent with Christian doctrines which place man at the pinnacle of God’s creations while still maintaining the idea that God is the Supreme Being and that man will be united with his creator in the afterlife.
Albright (1957). From the Stone Age to Christianity: Monotheism and the Historical Process, 2nd edition.
Kelly, J.N.D. (1960, reprint Aug. 2004). Early Christian Doctrines. Peabody, Massachusetts: Prince Press.
William, K. and Chambers G. (1962) A History of Greek Philosophy: Volume 1, The Earlier Presocratics and the Pythagoreans