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101. Proceedings of the XXII World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 45
M. Haeussler Between Kant and Weber: Secular Philosophy of Religion and Secularization Hypothesis in Hegel´s Thought
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Adopting Kant´s implicitly secular standpoint, Hegel in his first major work, the Phenomenology of the Spirit, overcomes Kant´s ambivalence by formulating an explicitly secular theory of Religion. In addition to that, he elaborates a hermeneutic approach which enables him to explain the genesis of his secular position. Therefore, it has to be acknowledged that Hegel formulated a secularization theorem referring to a dynamics inherent in Christianity, and that he did so nearly one hundred years before Max Weber.
102. Proceedings of the XXII World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 45
Maughn Gregory Philosophy and Children’s Religious Experience
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Philosophy serves to determine and clarifying the meaning of experience, and to make experience more meaningful, in both of the senses that Dewey distinguished: to broaden the range and amplify the value of qualities we experience, and to multiply their relevant ties to other experiences. Children’s experience is replete with philosophical meaning, and in facilitating children’s search for meaning, we are obliged to lead them in the directions that we ourselves have found most fruitful, though we should avoid the “adultist fallacy,” of thinking that meanings experienced in childhood are merely instrumental to more mature meanings of adulthood, and the “fallacy of omniscience,” assuming that the meaning of children’s experience is completely accessible by adults. All of this applies to the realm of religious experience, which may be organized into four categories: socio-cultural, analytic, ethical and phenomenological.Learning a process of philosophical inquiry that is rigorous, public and open-ended might enable children to both inhabit their religious and spiritual experiences more fully, and to take some critical distance from them, in order to become more open to the kinds of religious experiences they deem most meaningful.
103. Proceedings of the XXII World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 45
Mohammad Hasan Soleimani Divinity of Religion, Influence of Human
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By studying history, we understand that religion in different ages is influenced by the culture of people. This reality signals the probability of that religion is made by people and it is the product of man in history. This probability indeed ignores the divinity of religion and presents it only as a human product. But is there only one probability for human influence? We should survey the relation between the human and divine in religion to clarify this question. By surveying this relation, we understand that there is a fundamental discontinuity between the divine and human realms. Different objects could cause this discontinuity, but the most fundamental object is the power that causes the excellence and mastery of divine and fundamental discontinuity. If the power only is regarded, the probability ofhumanity of religion increases. But other objects may be regarded. If wisdom has an important place in the discontinuity, there is a probability for the influence of the human. It is wise divine variation of religion that correlates the eternal variation of the human.
104. Proceedings of the XXII World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 45
Asokananda Prosad The Concept of God
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“Rethinking Philosophy Today” is very much applicable in every respect when we delve deep in philosophy to co-ordinate science and religion. Since science has a great part to set people brood over religion, we must think today over and over again about something very specific in the world of religion from the point of view of science to enlighten philosophy. In every religion, as a matter of fact, Concept of God is deeply thought of. Earlier we could think about the existence of God from different ideas and ideals of philosophy and religion. Science was not given due importance and we miserably failed to become seriously a rationalbeing. From the point of view of theoretical progress and practical application of Ma-Mahajnan’s co-ordination of worldly-cum-spiritual striving, we were aware of her ‘Conscious Trance’, wherein once it was clearly stated that ‘Mahajnan’, the Unfathomable Knowledge, is helpless before the intoxication of our desires and wishes. During catechism Mother made them all crystal clear. However, here is ‘Ma-Mahajnan’, a matchless genius, who has spoken independently at length on so many specific subjects. Would the world class philosopher assess the matter and allow me to proceed along the path of ‘Philosophy of Religion’?
105. Proceedings of the XXII World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 45
Pardeep Kumar Religious Universalism: Swami Vivekananda’s Vision
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Swami Vivekananda formulated religious universalism for solving various issues of society. Religion, for him was realization. He gave a wide definition of religion in the form of humanism. Religion does not just teach man to refrain from evils but it is doing well for others. If religion is understood in correct sense, much of our social evils in the society would be solved. It did not consist of doctrines or dogmas. For him being religious did not mean being Hindu, Christian, Muslim, Buddhist etc. and following a set of rituals of that particulars religion. On the other hand, being religious meant that a man is on his quest towards realizing God. If such a notion of religion is accepted then there is undoubtedly no difference between any two religions. Vivekanand stressed that each religion lays down the path to be followed in order to attain the ultimate. For him various religions are but different paths leading to the same goal. Swamiji’s teachings underlined unity, accepting all possible diversity. Talking of the multiplicity of religions he says, that society is richer which has greater number of occupations in it, so the world of thought also gets enriched as the number of religions increases.He proclaimed that in Vedanta lies the basis of all religions. The Vedanta applied to the various ethnic customs and creeds of India is Hinduism. He gave equal significance to physical as well as spiritual planes. Vivekananda’s Advaitic philosophy was aimed at making people religious in real sense of the term. In his manner he spread the Vedantic gospel all his life. This timely speaks of the two greatest influences on Vivekananda, that of Upanishads and his Guru Ramakrishna Paramhansa, who not only taught but ‘lived’ religion.As Vedanta could harmonise the divergent trends of various religions, Vivekananda found it to be the most suitable philosophy on which he could found the concept of universal religion. By universal religion, he did not mean any one set of myths, rituals and philosophical tenets. It only means acceptance of variety and harmony of all variations. Different religions should be looked upon as the different stages of growth.
106. Proceedings of the XXII World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 45
Peter Gan Chong Beng The Dialectic of Purgation in St. John of the Cross’ Mysticism
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This paper endeavours to unravel the dialectical structure embedded within St. John of the Cross’ delineation of the phase of purgation in the economy of mysticism. Two correlative opposites that figure prominently in some systems of theistic mysticism are infinite-finite and grace-effort. The premise of this paper is that those pairings are not dichotomous contraries but are opposites that are amenable to some form of reconciliation. With the aid of a triadic dialectical scheme it is possible to map out the dialectical relations between relevant concepts within mystical purgation, characterized as ‘night’ by St. John, and perhaps achieve some advance in the elucidation of the pairings’ constitutive elements.
107. Proceedings of the XXII World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 45
Nikolai Biryukov The Dialectic of Theological Reason Reversing the Ontological, Cosmological and Teleological Arguments
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The famous triad of ‘rational proofs’ of God’s existence may, if their underlying intuitions are taken at face value, be reversed to prove the contrary, namely the non-existence of God. The ontological argument, for example, proceeds from the notion of God as the ‘real most’ or ‘absolutely real’ being. However, the existence of an entity thus defined must be beyond doubt, for if distinguishing between ‘levels of reality’ makes any sense at all, ‘more real’ must also mean ‘more manifest’. And since a being whose existence is beyond doubt is greater than that whose existence is in doubt, God, to fit the definition provided by St. Anselm, must be a being the existence of which cannot be doubted or, more strictly, the existence of which can only come to be doubted if He did not exist to dispel all doubts. Hence it follows that God does not exist, because it is an undeniable fact that His existence is subject to doubt. This paper is not, however, about theexistence of God, it is about the inherent dialectic of theological reason that seeks non-natural or supernatural explanations for natural phenomena.
108. Proceedings of the XXII World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 45
Nirbhai Singh Rethinking Indian Philosophy: Identity and Globalization (Multiple Identities and Global Human Community)
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Today India is being crushed between two millstones of internal disintegration of man’s personality and society vis-à-vis globalization. India’s spiritual culture and multiple human cultures are being crushed. Indian culture is a lived experience of the inner self. We are to develop an integrative world-view of Indian Philosophy. We are concerned with Indian Philosophy in 2008. Philosopher analyzes ideology for restoring justice in society. He creates values, judgement and tries to translate them in praxis. His thinking is distinct from history of philosophy and exegetical explanations. Philosophy of history is recapitulating archeology ofknowledge. He critiques various types of disintegrations and reintegration. Rethinking, thus, is a hermeneutical epistemic necessity. If old techniques of epistemology are insufficient, it enjoins upon the philosopher to develop new tools of interpretation for solving current philosophical problems. Philosophical hermeneutic technique is to be used to interpret the ciphers of the scriptures for discerning real meanings in the modern context. For globalization, comparative and interdisciplinary methods are most significant. Minor multiple cultures are to be protected. My concern is with spiritual voluntarist Indian culture that steels human will for confronting existential human problems. The ideal man develops cosmic vision and asserts that the external world is the epiphany of the Numinous. He is font of nishkama karma. The Divine executes the cosmic law through the realized self (sthithyaprajana of The Gītā or sant-spahi of Guru GobindSingh) who is representative of the eternal Being (Akalapurakh) in history for restoring justice in society. The charismatic personality of the avatara (incarnate) done away with. All moral and societal responsibilities of restoring justice in society fall on man’s shoulders.
109. Proceedings of the XXII World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 45
Mehdi Najafi Afra The Relationship Between Religion and Philosophy in the Islamic Philosophy
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In spite of orientation of philosophy in the western philosophy after renaissance when the relation between religion and philosophy was weakened and broken, in the Islamic world in particular Iranian society the strong relation appeared between religion and philosophy. However this relationship alleviated diversity and audaciousness of philosophical thought, but it deepened and widened religious thoughts. In fact, entrance of philosophical discussions in the realm of religion causes the rational interpretation of religion and lessens fanaticism and dogmatism and it excludes superstition from religious thoughts. Philosophers like Averroes, Avicenna and Mulla Sadra have discussed the interaction of religion and philosophy. Islamic philosophy is completely an intellectual knowledgewhich differs from theology is based on revelatory texts. The title of Islamic philosophy displays the relationship between religion and philosophy.
110. Proceedings of the XXII World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 45
T. J. Mawson The Rational Inescapability of Value Objectivism
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I argue for the rational inescapability of value objectivism, the thesis that at least some normative appraisal is not simply a matter of how, subjectively, we feel about the world; it is a matter of how, objectively, the world ought to be. I do this via a two-stage argument, the first stage of which is based around a thought experiment, the second stage of which is based on how those who reject the argument of the first stage must present their doing so to themselves if they are to consider themselves rationally justified. I sketch a way in which this argument might lead one rationally to favour moral objectivism.
111. Proceedings of the XXII World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 45
W. Moore The Atheist Solution to the Problem of Evil
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In Rethinking the Philosophy of Religion Today, this paper would like to advance the atheist solution to the problem of evil that has occasionally in the past been suggested by philosophers, but has largely been neglected in the Philosophy of Religion. In discussing this solution, the paper focuses on the reasons upon which philosophers regard the giving up of one or more of the attributes of God in theism to be an adequate solution to the problem of evil. Concerning the more negative of these reasons, it shows that the latter revolves around the argument of the logical inconsistency of the theistic theory. Concerning the more positiveof these reasons, the focus is on the efforts of philosophers that have been following the suggestions of David Hume and that have started to experiment with solutions wherein at least one of the attributes of God is given up. The paper closes by showing that there exist an even more fundamental reason upon which it can be claimed that the problem of evil can be solved along this way without serious implications for a belief in God.
112. Proceedings of the XXII World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 45
Gary Stephen Elkins Rethinking Religious Epistemology
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Philosophers of religion propose an assortment of epistemic preferences with reference to the extent and limits of knowledge of God, ranging from moderate fideism to robust rationalism. In the past two decades, a seismic shift has occurred away from more classical strategies to movements that reflect the current Zeitgeist (e.g. postmodernism and pseudo-modernism). In my paper, I will argue for rational confidence and epistemic modesty in an attempt to find some balance between faith and reason.
113. Proceedings of the XXII World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 45
Kevin M. Brien Marx and the Living Flower
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This paper is aimed at a rethinking of the spiritual in relation to Marx. Drawing from Marx’s own formulations, it makes clear that Marx made an important distinction between religion and the spiritual, and that he did indeed speak of the spiritual in positive ways. Much of the discussion centers on Marx’s famous passage speaking about religion as “the opium of the people.” Therein Marx writes that: “Criticism has plucked the imaginary flowers from the chain, not so that man will wear the chain that is without fantasy or consolation but so that he will throw it off and pluck the living flower.” This paper attempts to make clear whatMarx means by the “imaginary flowers” and also by the “living flower”; and in so doing helps to clarify what Marx means by “the spiritual”.
114. Proceedings of the XXII World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 45
Wonbin Park Subject from Ethic? or Subject from Philosophy?
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Emmanuel Levinas (1906-1995), a French Philosopher and a Jew, became known first for his role in the introduction of Husserl’s phenomenology to France, and later for his criticisms of Husserl and Heidegger. As the Holocaust gave a significant impact on many theologians and philosophers to establish their theoretical systems, Levinas realized how ethic of responsibility was important through his personal tragic experience. What most peculiar character of his experience is that it leads him to cast a doubt a subject-oriented modern reason. I will explore the modern subjectivity through the philosophy of Emmanuel Levinas. As Nietzsche mentioned earlier in Thus Spoke Zarathustra, is subject dead? Is it no longer meaningful to discuss the modernity in the postmodern ear?Should the trend of anti-subjectivity in the postmodernity be the only alternative? Those questions are underlain this study. For him, the preeminence of the inviolability of the human being must be regarded as the initial point of departure and final destiny. According to Levinas, philosophy is open to its role of significance only insofar as it describes the ethical situation of the responsible self that precedes the metaphysical subject. A bold assertion against the modern perquisite of theory becomes a signature aphorism of Livinas’ work: “ethics is first philosophy.” For Levinas, ethics is not a question of adjusting one’s adherence to transcendent or historical laws or inner principles. Whereas philosophy traditionally gives priority to inner subjectivity and treats ethics as derivative, Levinas’ philosophy stresses that knowing occurs within and is a result of the intersubjective relation. The subject as hostage to the Other, he writes, “has been neither the experience nor the proof of the infinite, but the witnessing of the infinite.” This subjective condition of the ‘I’ is what Levinas calls the responsible self. This article explores whether Emmanuel Levinas's ethic of the Other can be regarded as a theological discourse. After publishing Totality and Infinity, there have been manyserious questions of the relationship between transcendence and immanence; infinity and the finite among many philosophers and theologians. Interestingly enough, Levinas tries to mediate these concepts by his ethic of the Other. I examine how Levinas deals with the tension and difficulty of these two areas in his ethic of the Other. As a French phenomenologist, Jean-Luc Marion already mentioned, this kind of attempt has confronted a double-bind dilemma. One is that it would be a question of phenomena that are objectively definable but lose their religious specialty; and the other is that it would be a question of phenomena that are especially religious but cannot be described objectively. In this sense, Levinas’s ethic of the Other gives us an insight that what philosophy of religion would be. A great deal of information about such great philosophers does not always guarantee sound philosophical reflection. As Levinas’ philosophy was developed in his struggle with Heidegger’s philosophy in the matrix of Husserl’s phenomenology, my philosophical reflection on Levinas’ ethics has to be examined by those who are experts in various philosophical areas. Many members of WCP from all around the world will provide me more mature philosophical thinking, and their advice and expertise will be invaluable. In addition, chances to meet great visiting scholars who will come from all over the world will be also one of the prestigious privileges to articulate my thinking. I look forward to interacting with the great scholars who will visit Seoul National University, and in these interactions, to clarify and better articulate my ideas.
115. Proceedings of the XXII World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 45
Remi Rajani Religion for Practical Affairs: A Gandhian Approach
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Unlike majority of classical and contemporary Indian philosophers, Gandhi was a practical philosopher, an experimentalist and a laboratiorian who developed practical instruments and carried out experiments for the existing life problems without bothering to build a consistent structure of philosophy. For this very reason there seems an ambiguity to call Gandhi as a philosopher. However, it seems to me that Gandhi was a practical philosopher who laid a pragmatic approach and method to his new insights for social and political action of national movement and the reconstruction of modern India without disturbing the social equilibrium.Gandhi exercised such tremendous skill in cooperative participation of our national movement and is rudely regarded as the “Father of pridely Nation”. As he is too skillfully organized his ideals in building a nation he rightfully ascertained as philosopher in the light of Homer’s (the Greek poet) definition to a philosopher. The same practical method is extended to the aspect of religion by Gandhi.
116. Proceedings of the XXII World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 45
Stanley Tweyman A Humean Criticism of the Cosmological-Ontological Proof
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In Part 9 of David Hume’s Dialogues Concerning Natural Religion, a series of five criticisms is presented against the Cosmological-Ontological Proof of God’s necessary existence. In essence, the Cosmological-Ontological Proof seeks to establish that that the chain of causes and effects that constitutes the world, despite being eternal, requires a cause, in virtue of the contingency of the chain and its members. The argument attempts to defend the position that, of the four possible causal explanations for the chain of causes and effects -a contingent being that exists outside the chain; chance; nothing (in the Aristotelian sense of thisterm); or a necessarily existent being-only the latter can be successfully defended, leading to the conclusion that the cause of the world is a necessarily existent being. Of the five criticisms directed against this argument in Part 9 of the Dialogues, the fourth of these is the one that is most neglected in the literature: it is this criticism that I have selected for discussion in my paper. This criticism holds that since the causal chain is held to be eternal, it cannot have a cause, given that causal relations require temporal priority in the cause in relation to the effect, and that the effect be a new existent. However, since the Cosmological-OntologicalProof insists on the contingency of the causal chain as a whole and of each of its members, the fourth criticism is not regarded as a relevant criticism, inasmuch as all contingent beings require a cause in order for them to exist, and this includes the eternal causal chain that constitutes the world. In my paper, I attempt to support the fourth criticism of the Cosmological-Ontological Proof, by establishing that, in the context of this argument, the contingency of the causal chain and its members is not sufficient to establish that the chain must have a cause.
117. Proceedings of the XXII World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 45
Milenko Budimir Apatheism: The New Face of Religion?
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In an essay published in the May 2003 issue of Atlantic Monthly, Jonathan Rauch describes a phenomenon he refers to as ‘apatheism’ which he defines as “… a disinclination to care all that much about one’s own religion, and an even stronger disinclination to care about other people’s [religion]…” The phenomenon thatRauch describes seems to refer not to an epistemological state but rather to a normative way of being in the world. It also appears to be linked in some important ways to the rise of secularization. In fact, many cultural observers and philosophers have noted the increasing secularization of society, particularly Western society, and the corresponding decline in religious belief. In this paper I will attempt to place apatheism in the larger context of philosophy of religion. Inaddition, I will outline the connections between apatheism as described by Rauch and the work of Slavoj Zizek as well as the analysis of truth and bullshit offered by the Princeton philosopher Harry Frankfurt.
118. Proceedings of the XXII World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 45
Stephen Palmquist Theocratic Friendship as the Key to Kantian Church Government
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In Religion within the Bounds of Bare Reason, Kant outlines a system of church government that strikes many as an unworkable ideal. The “invisible church” is to be structured according to four basic principles that correspond directly to the categories from the first Critique. Whereas ordinary political systems must involvecoercion, a church is to be a free association of persons governed by non-coercive, internally legislated moral laws. Is this a realistic blueprint for church government? Kant’s metaphor of a “household” as the best way to regard the relationship between the “People of God” provides a much-neglected key to understanding how Kant’s ideal can be implemented. A new and technically more accurate definition of “theocracy”, as a system not of humanly-headed religious despotism but of divinely protected autonomous friendship, clarifies how Kant’s plan is not only realistic but currently implemented in some religious communities today.
119. Proceedings of the XXII World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 45
Paweł Mazanka Three Philosophical Sources of Contemporary Secularism in European Culture
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The contemporary secularism is found to be a philosophy of life “as if there were no God” or a kind of ideology, which demands an absolute autonomy of human being to shape his destination. In the philosophy of Descartes at least three sources of secularism could be found: his theory of cognition which resulted in developing other than the classical concept of truth and rationality; his metaphysics; his arguments for the existence of God and in his concept of the nature of God. Karl Marx’s criticism of religion was a next powerful factor on the advance of secularism. Marx makes the charge against the religion that it acts to reinforce the break down the conscience of man living in the modern society, into a public and a private realm. The widest criticism of religion was made by Marx in: Acontribution to the Hegel’s criticism on the philosophy of law”. Especially its first seven paragraph, are particularly important in view of the advance of secularism. F. Nietzsche undermines metaphysics by showing that knowledge of a non-empirical world is cognitively superfluous. He makes clear that he has moved beyond the assumption that there might be a metaphysical world to a positing of the empirical world as the only one. Nietzsche considers that the notion of God is inimical to human nature and human life. Is this really so in reality? Is Nietzsche’s consideration about God and religion in any way applicable to our own age?
120. Proceedings of the XXII World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 45
Baichun Zhang On the Tragedy of Philosopher’s Belief
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Philosophy and religion keep close connection by the intermediary belief of philosophers. The Greek philosophers criticized the object of masses’ and themselves religion depending on their rationality, finally gave up the masses’ belief and its object (religion). The Christian thinkers defended the masses’ religion and its object based upon philosophy and rationality. Modern philosophers appeared, going on with tradition of Greek philosophers, they reflected and criticized belief and its object, finally break away from masses ’ belief and its object and found themselves system of philosophy, and defended their belief and its object.In this way, philosophy broke away from traditional religion (Christianity). After the ancient philosophy of German, the philosophy is on the way of religion criticism; this phenomenon is related to the science directly. The philosophy which is not restricted by the religion could not help itself in the scientific world view. The philosophers who are swayed in the room between religion and science have not found their fairyland concerning the belief; as a result, their belief is thespian. The philosophy which could overcome the belief tragedy could be the other kind of philosophy. The western philosophy was searching for this new kind perpetually. This new kind of philosophy will emerge and boost in culture field.