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Humanity

(1,717 words)

Author(s): Zippert, Thomas | Andersen, Svend
[German Version] I. Dogmatics – II. Ethics I. Dogmatics 1. Used since the Renaissance in a number of European languages, the term humanity is derived from the Latin concept

Decision

(992 words)

Author(s): Großheim, Michael | Zehner, Joachim | Andersen, Svend
[German Version] I. Philosophy – II. Dogmatics – III. Ethics I. Philosophy The process of clarifying an uncertain, unclear situation that demands a reaction is essentially linked to decision as a choice between several possibilities of action.…

Løgstrup, Knud Ejler

(427 words)

Author(s): Andersen, Svend
[German Version] (Sep 2, 1905, Copenhagen – Nov 20, 1981, Hyllested) was probably Denmark's most important systematic theologian in the 20th century, especially in the areas of ethics and philosophy of religion. After studying with Hans Lipps and M. Heidegger and a period as pastor, Løgstrup attained the chair in his discipline at the University of Aarhus in 1943. Løgstrup was influenced theologically by Luther and S. Kierkegaard and philosophically by existential phenomenology (Existentialism [ph…

Decision Theory

(334 words)

Author(s): Andersen, Svend
[German Version] is the systematic investigation of the conditions of rational action. Here, decision means the choice between several alternative actions. The meaning of the rationality of a decision is defined in the so-called theory of rational choice. The condition is an actor whose objective is to fulfill his own preferences. Rationality consists, on the one hand, in the systematic ordering of the preferences, on the other, in the choice of the most effective means to attain the fulfillment of these preferences. Thus, a concept of rationality is assumed that largely corresponds to the so-called objective rationality of Max Weber. Decision theory involves the choice between several alternative actions. Factors relevant for the decision theory are the consequences of the various possible actions and the values assigned to these consequences. The choice between those alternatives that realize the greatest value is considered rational. Since an action need not have the expected consequences, the probable outcome of the consequences must be taken into account. The best option for acting is, thus, the one with a greater likelihood of a high positive value, or with a lesser likelihood of a high negative value. Actual decisions are often made under conditions of uncertainty. Various strategies have been suggested for such decisions. Prominent is the so-called maximum principle: with regard to the alternatives for action, one must assume the most negative (“max”) consequence and choose the alternative with the smallest negative value (“min”). In the real world, the consequences of actions are influenced by the actions of other actors. Game theory undertakes a systematic investigation of decision under these conditions. The rational decision in groups is examined in so-called social choice theory. It involves the common decision of individuals with differing preferences. The so-called impossibility theorem of Kenneth Arrow ha…

Commandment

(908 words)

Author(s): Koch, Traugott | Andersen, Svend
[German Version] I. Dogmatics – II. Ethics I. Dogmatics The renewed interest of the 19th-century – and especially of the theology of Erlangen (Erlangen School: I) – in Luther once more raised the issue of the tertius usus legis, i.e. of the relevance and consequences of God's “law” for those who are justified in faith. The problem ¶ is twofold: First, how does God's commandment, i.e. the will of God as documented in the formulated commandments, relate to the freedom afforded by the faith in God's sin-redeeming grace and expressed in the…

Decalogue

(5,698 words)

Author(s): Otto, Eckart | Reeg, Gottfried | Sänger, Dieter | Strohm, Christoph | Andersen, Svend | Et al.
[German Version] I. Old Testament – II. Judaism – III. New Testament – IV. Church History – V. Dogmatics and Ethics – VI. Practical Theology I. Old Testament The designation Decalogue (“ten words”) for the series of ten commandments derives from the Greek translation of the Hebrew ʾaśeret haddebārîm (δεκάλογος “ten words”). It is employed in late deuteronomic theory in Deut 10:4 for the Decalogue, in Deut 5:6–21 and by the post-dtr. redaction of the Pentateuch in Deut 4:13 for the Decalogue in Exod 20:2–17, and it is applied in Exod 34:28 to a series of cultic commandments in Exod 34:12–26. The Decalogue in Deut 5, however, arranged the commandments in five groups, and the number ten can only be attained in Exod 34 by arbitrary deletion so t…