Back in the summer of 2020, we brought Issue 138 of Philosophy Now to HumanistFreedoms.com readers’ attention as we thought that the issue’s Table of Contents offers a number of great articles, including a feature section on religion and secularism. The periodical’s website appears to allow complimentary viewing of up to four articles per month.
This month, Issue 152 God and the Philosophers appears to be similarly thought-provoking:
by Rick Lewis
“Is there a God?” has been a central philosophical question since the earliest times. Don’t roll your eyes! These arguments should interest you too, and I’ll try to explain why.
The Philosophy Now editorial team includes both humanists and religious believers, but we agree that questions about God are tied up with a whole series of philosophical concerns of the deepest and most personal kind – questions which keep honest folk awake at night. How should we live our lives? How should we treat one another? What’s the point of it all? What happens when we die? Where did this world come from? Some say that the idea of God arises from our need to answer such questions. Others retort that without God we’d never have had the wit to ask such questions in the first place. The questions are difficult and the question of whether God exists – and what we mean by God – particularly so, which is why Benedict O’Connell’s agnostic article on ‘God and Humility’ is well worth a read.
Peter Mullen explores the argument that by definition, God exists.
Benedict O’Connell argues we must recognise our limitations about knowing God.
Robert Griffiths looks into an anti-religion, pro-God way of thinking.
Tony McKenna relates how theology beat philosophy to fundamental metaphysics.
Stuart Hannabuss journeys into the human condition with Søren Kierkegaard.
Patrick Wilson argues that it’s irrational to trust an untrustworthy God.
Kate Taylor recalls a ‘humanist’ classic by Jean-Paul Sartre.
Sartre makes two basic claims – firstly that God is dead and this has consequences for the way we live; and secondly that all claims about humanity and the world must begin with human experience. Given these two claims, Sartre concludes that ‘existence precedes essence’. What he means by this is that human beings are without any pre-existing purpose or ‘essence’ which is not of their own making….In a post-God world, only human beings can choose what to make of their existence. Sartre in fact says that we are ‘condemned to be free’. Our freedom is a condemnation because we cannot escape having to choose, nor escape the responsibility that comes from having that capacity. We cannot deny the weighty responsibility that accompanies our freedom to will as we choose.
Citations, References And Other Reading
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