L. Feuerbach. The essence of Christianity - Reader in philosophy

L. Feuerbach. The essence of Christianity

The general essence of man. Religion is rooted in the significant difference of a person from an animal: in animals there is no religion. Although older zoologists who did not know the critical method and attributed religiosity to the elephant along with other laudable qualities, nevertheless, the elephant's religion is a fable. Cuvier, one of the greatest connoisseurs of the animal world, does not put an elephant above the dog on the basis of personal observations.

What is this significant difference between a person and an animal? The simplest, most common and yet most ordinary answer to this question: in the mind in the strict sense of the word; for consciousness in the sense of self-perception, in the sense of the ability of sensory distinction in the sense of perception and even the recognition of external things according to certain explicit signs, is also characteristic of animals. Consciousness in the strictest sense exists only where the subject is able to understand the nature of the being, its essence. The animal recognizes itself as an individual, why it has a sense of self - and not as a kind , since he lacks consciousness, derived from the word knowledge & quot ;. Consciousness is inseparable from the ability to science. Science is the consciousness of the genus. In life we ​​are dealing with individuals, in science with the genus. Only that being whose object of cognition is its genus, its essence, can know the essence and nature of other objects and beings.

Therefore, the animal lives a single, simple, and man a twofold life. The inner life of the animal coincides with the external, and the person lives an external and a special inner life. The inner life of a person is closely related to his genus, to his essence, the person thinks, that is, talks, speaks to himself. An animal can not send the functions of the genus without another individual, and the person sends the functions of thinking and words - for thinking and word are the real functions of the genus, without the help of another. A person is both I and you & quot ;; he can become the place of another precisely because the object of his consciousness is not only his individuality, but also his kind, his essence.

The essence of man in contrast to the animal is not only the basis, but also the subject of religion. But religion is the consciousness of the infinite, and therefore a person learns in it his not finite and limited, but infinite. For certain the finite being can not have about an infinite being neither the smallest representation, not to mention consciousness, because the limit of the being is at the same time the limit of consciousness. The consciousness of the caterpillar, whose life and essence is limited to a known plant, does not go beyond this limited sphere; she distinguishes this plant from other plants, and only. Such a limited and, due to this limitation, an infallible, unerring consciousness we call not instinct but instinct. Consciousness in the strict or proper sense of the word and the consciousness of the infinite coincide; the limited consciousness is not a consciousness; Consciousness is essentially all-encompassing, infinite. Consciousness of the infinite is nothing but the consciousness of the infinity of consciousness. In other words, in the consciousness of the infinite, consciousness is drawn to the infinity of its own being.

But what is the essence of a person that he recognizes? What are the hallmarks of a truly human in a person? Reason, will and heart. A perfect man has the power of thinking, will power and the power of feeling. The power of thinking is the light of knowledge, willpower is the energy of character, the power of feeling is love. Reason, love and will power are perfection. In will, thinking and feeling is the highest, absolute essence of man as such and the purpose of his existence. Man exists to know, to love and to want. But what is the purpose of the mind? Mind. Love? - Love. Will? - Free will. We learn to know, love, to love, we want to want, that is, to be free. The true being is a thinking, loving, endowed with the will. Truly absolutely, divinely only that exists for its own sake. Such are love, reason and will. Divine trinity manifests itself in man and even over an individual person in the form of unity of mind, love and will. We can not say that the mind (imagination, imagination, idea, opinion), will and love were the forces belonging to man, since he is nothing without them, and that he is, he is only thanks to them. They constitute the basic elements that substantiate its essence, which is neither its immediate property, nor product. These are the forces that revitalize, determine, prevail, this divine, absolute powers, which a person can not resist.

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