Current Journal | Volume 31 (2023)
Humanism and Types of Atheism
by Charles Murn, J.D
Abstract: Humanism generally consists of a definite range of ontology, epistemology, and axiology. The tenets of atheism, in contrast, are much more limited, so that many more kinds of atheism exist than kinds of humanism. Given the increasing profile of atheism, humanists must understand which kinds of atheism are compatible with humanism and which are not. The author conducts a thought experiment to provoke more research and writing on this ever more salient issue.
A Humanist Ethical Conundrum about Colonial Genealogies: Who’s Still Not At the Table?
by Anthony Cruz Pantojas
Abstract: The positionality of the human subject and the role of place is necessary before analyzing colonialism and the structures of (religious) hegemony. Furthermore, this positioning of the human must include the awareness of the body, movement, rituals, and the use of language. All these elements are situated as part of human experience and not as a separate subject. Colonial subjectivities have touted rationality and the mind/body dualism. If Humanism presupposes a stance that inheres ethics, liberation, and critical inquiry, then the liberatory imaginary must carefully heed Indigenous knowledge and be careful not to appropriate these discursive formations for the interest of colonial domination of Christian conquest.
Is Religion a Form of Epistemic Akrasia?
by Jack David Eller
Abstract: Despite the fact there is some debate on the subject, many philosophers recognize epistemic akrasia as a concomitant of practical akrasia—believing what one ought not to believe, just as one often does what one ought not to do. This essay will argue that epistemic akrasia is real and common, although not always best understood as lack of willpower or self-control. Then it will show that religious belief is a form of such akrasia—believing religious claims when one knows (or could and should know) that one ought not to believe them.
Abstract: The commonly held premise that speculative supernaturalistic religion is critical to maximizing the socioeconomic success of societies while suppressing lethal violence has been undergoing growing historical and scientific scrutiny. The cumulative research indicates that even moderate or progressive theism is not reliably efficacious, and theism especially conservative often contributes to societal dysfunction and war over history and today. Religion cannot be part of the solution to societal ills because it is popular only when socioeconomic conditions are sufficiently defective to compel most to alleviate their chronic anxiety by petitioning supernatural forces for aid and protection. The most successful and pacific societies in history have been the most nontheistic modern democracies, in part because a high level of secure prosperity helps suppresses mass religion. So rather than being universal and integral to human psychology in the manner of language, technology and art, religious supernaturalism is comparatively superficial and elective, and it is poorly developed even in some hunter-gatherers. Deep inherent moral defects of theism including that the death of half the children born disproving the existence of a loving creator, unethical misogynist ancient scriptures that provide flawed societal guidance, and the immorality of worshipping a defective deity in search of rewards have and always will preclude the religious industry from being the foundation of successful societies. Recent claims that post reformations Christianity is more suited to lesser violence and modernity than is Islam is being challenged by the alliance of some Christian sects with autocratic regimes, most especially the Russian Orthodox church and its support for Putin and his virulent assault on Ukraine. Autocratic atheism has its own flaws. The best human option is humanistic atheosecular liberal democracy. The possibility of the last helping bring about a better world is in line with the rapid expansion of nontheism over recent decades. But reactionary authoritarian religion running on extreme conspiracy theories is mounting a major effort to return societies to retroactive, oppressive traditional values. Preventing that from happening requires greater exposure of the maladaptive beliefs and policies that afflict supernaturalistic theism by more directly confronting those who believe in the supernatural while explaining the advantages of rational democratic atheism, and especially by those on the American center-left voting at the same per capita rate as theoconservatives.
Reverential Thinking and Co-immunity in Skolimowski’s Ecohumanism
by Myron M. Jackson
Abstract: This article updates Skolimowski’s ecological humanism with the recent insights of Jonas, Sloterdijk, and Latour’s environmental ethics. The first section details Jonas’ reform of Kant’s deontology with a call not to universalize, but to ecologize. Next, I introduce Sloterdijk’s theory of general immunology as a basis for Skolimowski’s ecohumanism. Ecological humanism attempts to address the demands of the twenty-first century anthropocenic crisis. By extension, Latour’s ecological class consciousness is a response to the rise of green party movements and is treated in the third section. We cannot save the planet without working toward saving ourselves–we culprits on trial for continual mistreatment of Gaia. While eco-philosophy establishes eschatological meaning without the imperative of any messianic mission, restorative justice is at the heart of ecological humanism’s reverential thinking. The focus on spiritual and ethical development establishes a reverential ethics through projects of healing, wherein the task of philosophy is to overcome attitudes of well-entrenched blindness.