Religious belief and values

Faith and Philosophy 18 (1):36-49 (2001)
Receptivity to Christian or other religious proclamations is powerfully influenced by one’s value orientations. I distinguish five contrasts in such orientations that illustrate this point. 1. Finding “worldly” values most deeply satisfying vs. a sense that something that transcends those would be most fulfilling. 2. Extreme stress on human autonomy vs. a positive evaluation of deference to God, if such there be. 3. A sense of thorough sinfulness vs. a thoroughly positive self image. 4. A willingness to accept outside help to transform oneself vs. a sense of the unworthiness of such dependence. 5. A readiness to treat others’ well being as important as one’s own vs. an exclusive focus on looking out for number one. The above reflects the deeper fact that value commihnents are an essential part of Christian belief, treatments of which must take account of this
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