Despite development of secular ideas and concepts in the Western world, we can observe increasing interest in the study of religion. However, this popularity of the study of religion and different research approaches has caused that in some sense scholars that were studying religion came to a dead point. Here I show that the most optimal research approach in the study of religion is pluralistic, integral paradigm which connects old traditional methods with naturalistic, cognitive and sometimes experimental approach.
Biomedical moral enhancement is an idea which states that human moral intuitions and patterns may be artificially improved by biomedical means. The rationale which lies behind moral bioenhancement is rooted in the idea that humans – in a moral and behavioral sense – are not evolutionally adapted to current ecological challenges. This idea is discussed in the paper in relation to human space missions to Mars and beyond. Because the space environment is a hazardous environment, there are some reasons to consider the idea of moral bioenhancement for the purposes of mission success and the safety of astronauts/space settlers. This paper discusses that idea in the context of a broader discussion on moral enhancement, moral bioenhancement related to earthly issues, and the idea of moral progress.
Many scholars that study of religion and religious beliefs find that they affect behavioral patterns. Some of them suggest that this impact is morally wrong because religion and religious beliefs can cause aggression, conflicts, and wars. However, it seems that this topic is more complicated and complex. Here I show that religion and religious beliefs can affect mentioned above morally wrong patterns only in some particular cases. Usually they do not do it. Here I show an outline of philosophical historical approach that was critically oriented against religion and that accused it about conflicts and wars. Then I briefly discuss two current scientific research approaches to the study of religion, cognitive and evolutionary. They falsify these critically oriented philosophers because they treat connection between religious beliefs and conflicts as random and necessary. The core idea of this paper assumes that religious beliefs do not affect aggression and wars directly. They can sometimes strengthen or weaken some biological mechanisms that then can be used to compete by conflicts or by not-violent inter-group competition.
Cognitive approach towards the study of religion is a good and promising way. However, I think that this approach is too narrow and it would be better to use some basic concepts of CSR as a starting point for further, not cognitive explanation of religious. I suppose that religious beliefs should be explained also by their pragmatic functions because they were probably always associated with some pragmatic purposes at the group or at the individual levels. To develop further this last approach, the good explanatory way is the evolutionary study of religion.
The cultural policy of the Roman Catholic Church in Poland is incorporated into state-run cultural policies. The organs of public authority enforce the objectives of Church regardless of Church’s actual ability to influence the society. It should be pointed out that the secularization of religion in Poland is frequently misinterpreted and usually equated with its deprivatization. It is worth mentioning that Catholicism is the dominant religion of the country and the Roman Catholic Church has hold a special position in Poland and play a major role in the country’s social and political life. In practice, however, Polish society appears to be religiously indifferent. This paper proves that the official, state-run cultural policy in Poland is based on favoritism of the Roman Catholic Church, regardless of Church’s actual ability to wield influence on society. Thus, there is a variety of implicit and explicit cultural policies implemented by the authorities to support Church. This work also aims at addressing the question of social attitudes to women, especially the one concerning the UN and EU law embracing women’s rights, until recently still not implemented in Poland. This paper further explores some peculiarities of this topic as an example of a specific outcome of Church cultural policy and its impact on both the past and present-day society.
Yuri Gagarin has started the first time in human history the manned mission in space when his Vostok aircraft successfully achieved Earth orbit in 1961. Since his times, human space programs did not develop too much, and the biggest achievement still remain landing on the Moon. Despite this stagnation, there are serious plans to launch manned mission to Mars including human space settlement. In out paper, we are going to identify and discuss a couple of challenges that – in our opinion – will be a domain of every human deep-space program.
Although only seven percent of wars in human history were caused by explicit religious motives – as it is suggested by one estimate – religious beliefs affect human attitude to the world. Especially in the context of the rash of contemporary conflicts and terror attacks which have a stated connection to religious motives, it is important to try to understand the possible religious motivations of such antisocial and dangerous behaviors. There are several different research perspectives on this topic, but none of them by itself offers a sufficient explanation. The purpose of this essay is to show that religious components themselves can be interpreted as morally neutral, and that their supposed impact on behavioral patterns can, in fact, be attributed to non-religious factors. Religion is discussed as cultural phenomenon partially interacting with cognitive and adaptive patterns.
Cooperation is a great challenge for natural selection. Some scholars assume that cooperation could not evolve within the framework of natural selection. It is undeniable that natural selection, at least at the individual level, favors selfishness and defectors. Nonetheless, this selfish tendency does not necessarily imply that cooperation could not evolve by means of natural selection. In this paper, we specifically acknowledge certain basic challenges for the evolution of the human ability to cooperate at the level of large groups. In this paper, we discuss topics like the human ability for “supercooperation,” the importance of repetition and reputation, and Multilevel Selection Theory as the basic mechanisms of evolution of cooperation.