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Abstract

C. S. Lewis once stated that the decline of classical learning was a contributory cause of atheism. This article explores why he made this very unusual statement, describing how Lewis saw the Classics as a literature full of gods and goddesses, providing hints of truth, giving us things to write about, and preparing for the Christian faith. Using some remarkable quotations from Virgil and Plato, Lewis demonstrated how those writers anticipated both the birth and the death of Christ. Lewis’s concept of myth, powerfully present in the Classics, shows how the Gospel story itself is a “true myth,” one with a pattern that is similar to many of the pagan myths. The personal story of Lewis himself demonstrates how the Classics, and, more broadly, the liberal arts were a testimony to the truth of God and how the Greek plays of Euripides, the philosophy of Samuel Alexander, the imagination of writer William Morris, the poetry of George Herbert, and the historical sensibility of G. K. Chesterton combined (with many other similar influences) to convince Lewis that the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ were especially a “true myth,” one that happened in history, demonstrating him to be the Son of God.

Abstract

The scientific study of atheism and unbelief is at a pivotal turning point: past research is being evaluated, and new directions for research are being paved. Organizations are being formed with an exclusive focus on unbelief research, and large grants are funding the topic in ways that historically have never happened before. This article serves as an introduction to the state of the literature and study of evolutionary perspectives towards unbelief, which incorporates cognitive, adaptive, and biological contributors. This article serves to contextualize the subsequent articles, which all have distinct perspectives on the evolutionary factors that contribute towards unbelief.

Abstract

Religion has been intensely studied in the last years inside an evolutionary frame, trying to discern to what extent it contributes to fitness or becomes an adaptive entity in its own. A similar heuristic can be tried regarding the opposite tendency: unbelief and atheism, since these cultural phenomena could help to better adapt to some social settings or become an adaptive socio-cultural niche on its own. The present paper examines some scenarios in which that question makes sense: the tradition of sociology of religion, with its different strands, including recent studies on ‘non-religious’; the cognitive; and the philosophical-theological reflection. The proposed venues show to what extent the evolutionary model might reveal neglected aspects in the study of unbelief, and at the same time its limits or the open questions that such application raise.

Abstract

The authors present an evolutionary model for the biological emergence of religious capacity as an advanced neurocognitive trait. Using their model for the stages leading to the evolutionary emergence of religious capacity in Homo sapiens, they analyze the mechanisms that can fail, leading to unbelief (atheism or agnosticism). The analysis identifies some, but not all types of atheists and agnostics, so they turn their question around and, using the same evolutionary model, ask what keeps religion going. Why does its development not fail in one social group after another, worldwide? Their final analysis searches for reasons in important evolutionary changes in the senses of hearing, vision, and general sensitivity on the hominin line, which together interact with both intellectual and emotional brain networks to achieve, often in human groups, variously altered states of consciousness, especially a numinous state enabled in part by a brain organ, the precuneus. An inability to experience the numinous, consider it important, or believe in its supernatural nature, may cleave the human population into those with belief and those with unbelief.

Abstract

The article concerns a few soteriological threads of alienation criticism of religion whose feature is the creation of a new autonomous and transgressive subject. It focused on the presentation of this subject using Nietzsche’s philosophy perceived within Freudian perspective.

Abstract

In this study we examined the applicability of personality measures to assessing God representations, and we explored how the overlap between personality judgments of self and God relate to strength of (dis)belief and closeness to God among atheists and agnostics. Using sample of 1,088 atheists/agnostics, we applied Goldberg’s Big Five bipolar markers as a standardized measure of personality dimensions, along with measures of identity fusion with God, belief strength, and sociosexuality, as this trait has been shown to be relevant in predicting religiosity. Our study revealed that personality measures can be used for research on the personality of supernatural agents. We also found that personality self-assessments were related to the assessments of God personality. Agreeableness was positively related to the perception of emotional stability of God, while conscientiousness and surgency were negatively related to perceived intellect and surgency of god, respectively. Also, intellect of the participants was related negatively to perceptions of God’s emotional stability and intellect. Perceived distance between the assessment of one’s own personality and the personality of God predicted the strength of (dis)belief, thus opening new interpretations into possible sources of belief and disbelief. Finally, echoing previous studies, we found that conscientiousness of God had a negative effect on SOI-R score.

. [5] Bainbridge, W. S. Atheism, in P. B. Clarke (Ed.), The Oxford Handbook of the Sociology of Religion, Oxford, Oxford University Press, pp. 319-335, 2011. [6] Rountree, K., Native Faith and indigenous religion: a case study of Malta within the European context, Social Anthropology, Vol. 22, No.1, pp. 81-100, 2014. [7] Hamberg, E. M., Unchurched Spirituality, in P. B. Clarke (Ed.), The Oxford Handbook of the Sociology of Religion, Oxford, Oxford University Press, pp. 742-757, 2011. [8] Lambert, Y., New Christianity, Indifference and Diffused Spirituality, in H

Abstract

What is the source of the antipathy of Catholic intellectuals toward free markets? That is the issue addressed in the present paper. We see the antecedents of this viewpoint of theirs in terms of secular humanism, Marxism and mistaken views of morality and economics. One of the explanations for this phenomenon are the teachings of St Augustine. He greatly distrusted the City of Man, seeing it as anarchic and chaotic. In contrast, his City of God is more orderly, but far removed from the hurly burly of free enterprise. Another source of the rejection of capitalism on the part of Catholic intellectuals is liberation theology, which is Marxism minus the atheism of that doctrine. Both economic and cultural Marxism have played a role in the alienation of such intellectuals from the tenets of laissez faire capitalism. Are there any counter currents? Yes, the School of Salamanca, which has been all but forgotten in this community.

Abstract

The aim of this article is to examine the impact religion has had on the post-Soviet economic development of Georgia and Estonia. The role of religion in economic development has been neglected in the field of social sciences, in which political and economic theories dominate. Considering the difference in the religiosity of the two countries—Georgia is one of the most religious countries in Europe while Estonia is the most atheist—religion will be incorporated as a factor that could have directly or indirectly impacted the post-Soviet development of the two countries. By studying the relationship of the church and the state in the two countries and the population’s economic attitudes that may have been influenced by their religiosity, this paper will conclude that religion can be considered a contributing factor in the economic divergence between Estonia and Georgia. The article’s overall findings will suggest that the practice of Eastern Orthodoxy in Georgia impedes the development of good governance and a free market economy, whereas the opposite holds for Protestantism or atheism in Estonia.

Abstract

Augustyn Jakubisiak (1884-1945), Polish priest, philosopher and theologian, undertook polemics with Jan Łukasiewicz, whom he knew personally. A dispute concerning the so-called logistics (mathematical logic) and its relationship with philosophy developed between the two. The most important arguments were laid out, primarily in the following works: in the case of Jakubisiak, in the book From Scope to Content and in the case of Łukasiewicz, in the texts Logistics and Philosophy and In the Defense of Logistics. Jakubisiak criticized logistics for its anti-metaphysical, anti-theological and anti-religious attitude, which was based on neo-positivist philosophy, and led, in consequence to atheism. He also claimed that one should focus on what is concrete, avoiding idealization and abstraction (meaning the content of concepts, not their scope). Łukasiewicz defended logistics claiming that it possesses its own methods based on intellect, and is also an area of independent knowledge (but not completely detached) from philosophy, due to the fact it can consider the most important philosophical problems such as finiteness and infinity. This dispute, as the researchers identified, basically concerned the reduction of philosophy to the study of language (analytic philosophy) and initiated one of the most important discussions concerning the relationship between philosophy and logic. This debate was crucial because it also concerned questions related to fundamental metaphysical issues (naturalism – supranaturalism, rationalism – irrationalism) and epistemological issues (realism – idealism, boundaries and structure of cognition).