There were several philosophers that caught my attention. One of my favorites was Anne Conway and her philosophy on the nature of God. She was obsessed with the thought of a God who is perfect in every way, and her philosophies were an attempt to describe the consequences of this idea. Ann Conway begins her philosophy very focused on God, without attempting to prove God exists, which was what most early philosophers were trying to prove. For Conway wanted to explain what God must be like. Conway said “If God is perfect; he must possess all perfections, including infinite wisdom, goodness, justice, omniscience, and omnipotent”. She also goes on to say that God is also spirit and has neither physical body nor any shape, therefore is not male or female.
I also really liked Conway’s analogy of when a horse dies what happens to its spirit or soul. She poses that when you die if you have done good things in your life and if you had served your purpose that you would come back as a higher creature, if you had done bad things in your life and not been purposeful that you would come back as a lower creature. I have heard this theory before, and it has always put a smile on my face when thinking about these consequences for the people in my life that have not been very nice. I also liked the fact that she argued against traditional religious beliefs, that God was male and that this oppressive way of thinking held women back. Still very prevalent in these modern days as well, my daughter attends a small town Christian church and they to still teach that man is the leader and women are supposed to follow. I hope we see more women thinkers in our future like Ann Conway.
Number two on my list of favorite philosophers is Mary Daly, she also believed that traditional Christian beliefs, that “God is man” has played a major role in keeping women oppressed and dominated by men for century’s. Daly also believes that the term “God” should stop being used and replaced with “Goddess” I really like the thought of that, imagine what the world would be like if women were in charge. They say that Daly is one of the harshest and most extreme critics of traditional religious concepts. It was hard for the men around her to understand her because of her strong language and her unrelenting attacks on everything that is male. She is known for groundbreaking book, “Beyond God the Father”, she argued that this male perception of God has had a profoundly oppressive impact on women. Even though I think myself as a Christian, I agree with Daly. I am a woman from the 1970’s, and have experienced a lot of discrimination towards women in many different forms, we have come a long way since then and have a long way yet to go. But with women like these female philosophers going places, doing things and saying things that only men have the reasoning for we all become closer to an equal society.
Daly also criticizes religion in general, saying that the myths and symbols of Christianity are essentially sexist since “God” is male, and male is God. She argues that by making God male that the males of the world have been able to use God as a way to justify and maintain their power and authority over women. Daly and other feminists also believe that we cannot simply separate the word God from maleness so we have to abandon this concept all together and this is where the