Rationalism and the Enlightenment

“The Age of Enlightenment: Rationalism, Revolution, and Irreligion” Irreligion: indifferent or hostility to religion “an irreligious world”, synonyms: an apatheist, ignostic, atheistic, antitheist, unbelieving, nonbelieving, agnostic, rationalist, skeptic, heretical, faithless, godless, ungodly. Skepticism and or Rationalism Leads to Humanism and Atheism? Rationalism, Freethinker, Humanism & Secular humanism? Info gathered from From Wikipedia The Enlightenment has long been hailed as the foundation of modern Western political and intellectual culture. The Enlightenment brought political modernization to the West, in terms of introducing democratic values and institutions and the creation of modern, liberal democracies. This thesis has been widely accepted by Anglophone scholars and has been reinforced by the large-scale studies by Robert Darnton, Roy Porter and most recently by Jonathan Israel. The Enlightenment has always been contested territory. According to Keith Thomas, its supporters “hail it as the source of everything that is progressive about the modern world. For them, it stands for freedom of thought, rational inquiry, critical thinking, religious tolerance, political liberty, scientific achievement, the pursuit of happiness, and hope for the future”. Areas of study such as literature, philosophy, science and the fine arts increasingly explored subject matter that the general public in addition to the previously more segregated professionals and patrons could relate to. Thomas adds that its detractors accuse it of shallow rationalism, naïve optimism, unrealistic universalism and moral darkness. From the start, conservative and clerical defenders of traditional religion attacked materialism and skepticism as evil forces that encouraged immorality. By 1794, they pointed to the Terror during the French Revolution as confirmation of their predictions. As the Enlightenment was ending, Romantic philosophers argued that excessive dependence on reason was a mistake perpetuated by the Enlightenment because...

Extreme Skepticism: Solipsism?

Solipsism? Solipsism (from Latin solus, meaning “alone”, and ipse, meaning “self”) is the philosophical idea that only one’s own mind is sure to exist. To me, solipsism is trying to limit itself to rationalism only to, of, or by itself. Everyone, including a Solipsist must appeal to rationalism or use irrationally, as it is the mind to which all possible knowledge flows; consider this, if you think you can reject rational thinking as the base of everything, what other standard can you champion that does not at its core return to the process of mind as we do classify people by intelligence. If you cannot use rationalism what does this mean, irrationalism? A Solipsist, is appealing to rationalism as we only have our mind or the minds of others to help navigate the world accurately as possible. Philosophical Skepticism, Solipsism and the Denial of Reality or Certainty I want to clarify that I am an an Ignostic, Axiological Atheist and Rationalist who uses methodological skepticism. I hold that there is valid and reliable reason and evidence to warrant justified true belief in the knowledge of the reality of external world and even if some think we don’t we do have axiological and ethical reasons to believe or act as if so. Thinking is occurring and it is both accessible as well as guided by what feels like me; thus, it is rational to assume I have a thinking mind, so, I exist. But, some skeptics challenge reality or certainty (although are themselves appealing to reason or rationality that it self they seem to accept almost a priori themselves to...

Negative-weak-soft atheism and Positive-strong-hard atheism

Some people seem to think that because all it takes for the most limited expression of Atheism, is to lack a Belief in gods (weak or negative atheism) and that somehow that is all atheism is, when there can be so much more (strong or positive atheism). Atheism is, in the broadest sense, the absence of belief in the existence of deities. Less broadly, atheism is the rejection of belief that any deities exist. In an even narrower sense, atheism is specifically the position that there are no deities. – Wikipedia Negative atheism, also called weak atheism and soft atheism, is any type of atheism where a person does not believe in the existence of any deities but does not explicitly assert that there are none. Positive atheism, also called strong atheism and hard atheism, is the form of atheism that additionally asserts that no deities exist. The terms “negative atheism” and “positive atheism” were used by Antony Flew in 1976 and have appeared in George H. Smith’s and Michael Martin’s writings since 1990. In addition, positive and negative atheism are frequently used by the philosopher George H. Smith as synonyms of the less-well-known categories of implicit and explicit atheism, also relating to whether an individual holds a specific view that gods do not exist. “Positive explicit” atheists assert that it is false that any deities exist. “Negative explicit” atheists assert they do not believe any deities exist, but do not assert it is true that no deity exists. Those who do not believe any deities exist, but do not assert such non-belief, are included among implicit atheists. Among...

Oppose the Force of Hereditary religion!

All lovers of TRUE “Thinking Freedom” should oppose the force of hereditary religion! If religion is about what is true, why do so many feel the need to force it? Freedom of Religion, not Coercive Hereditary Religion   I am for letting kids decide their stance on religions for themselves. And as children can’t think without magical explanations until around 7 years old, it must be after then but I would like 18 years old before they feel they actually are choosing to freely decide or at least after reaching a teenage as is the standard in the Twenty-sixth Amendment to the United States Constitution which prohibits states and the federal government from denying the right to vote once a citizen reaches 18 years old. I think that both the issue of age of intellectual consent ability and the self-directed right of a child to make this choice freely is also an important child rights issue in both freedoms of speech and a citizen’s self-chosen right to religious liberty choices in the freedom of religion issue. Moreover, in the United States, freedom of religion is a constitutionally protected right provided in the religion clauses of the First Amendment. So too religious civil liberties are guaranteed by the First Amendment is being violated when a parent is using force indoctrination on a child. removing the child’s right to freely choose or choose not to have a religion at all, as should be guaranteed them as an American citizen of the United States and generally speaking by being born in the United States or one of its territories the “acquisition” of...

Challenging Agnosticism Assumptions

Damien Marie AtHope’s Scale of Theistic and Nontheistic Assumptions   1. Weakest implicit Nontheistic/Atheism: “negative” / “weak” / “soft” nonbelief includes infants or babies who do not believe or do not know that a deity or deities exist and agnostics who have not explicitly rejected or eschewed such a belief (absence of religious motivation).   2. Strong implicit Atheism: “negative” / “weak” / “soft” nonbelief include apatheist atheists who are not interested in gods exist claims agnostics who explicitly rejected that one can make a choice in god beliefs.   3. Weak Explicit Atheism: “negative” / “weak” / “soft” atheists but unsure they can fully reject a belief that any deities exist, some call this agnostic atheism.   4. Strong Explicit Atheism: “negative” / “weak” / “soft” atheists either reject the god concept or week conscious rejection of belief any deities some could call this ignostic atheism.   5. Strongest Explicit Atheism: “positive” / “strong” / “hard” atheists assert that it is false that any deities exist or at least one, many deities don’t exist or a strong conscious rejection of belief, one or any deities some could call this antitheist atheism.   6. Weakest implicit Theistic thinking/Theism: “negative” / “weak” / “soft” belief includes small children who are indoctrinated and don’t know or understand what and why they believe, only believe as told to believe or those who believe in deism, pantheism, vague theism, or somethingism as possibilities of god beliefs (absence of full religious motivation).   7. Weak implicit Theism: “negative” / “weak” / “soft” belief includes apatheist theists who kind of believe but are not that...

Understanding how children use magical thinking

Ages & Stages: How Children Use Magical Thinking By Susan A. Miller Ed.D., Ellen Booth Church, and Carla Poole Understanding how children use magical thinking to learn about and explore their world. DEVELOPMENT 0 to 2 “NO! IT GET ME!” by Caria Poole A young baby’s world revolves around her own experiences. Those experiences are dominated by physical sensations, such as a gas bubble or a soft blanket, with blurred distinctions between herself and the rest of the world. She lives in the moment. For example, 4-month-old Jessica is fascinated by a toy her teacher is holding. She stares at it intently. Yet, when the toy is dropped out of view, Jessica doesn’t look down to find it. She simply looks at another object that is in her direct line of sight. Her behavior implies, “I see the toy, therefore it exists. I don’t see the toy and it doesn’t.” Her worldview is a series of images based on her own experiences rather than a sequence of logical events. Moments of Magical Thinking By 12 months, an infant’s thinking becomes more rooted in the reality that objects and people remain the same even when out of sight. This concept of object permanence, along with an expanding memory, makes the baby’s life a bit more predictable. But, she still often misinterprets reality. For instance, 1-year-old Jemima voices displeasure and is frightened when a toy unexpectedly rolls just a few inches toward her. The world is a mystical place, and babies have a fragile understanding of the difference between animate and inanimate objects. Seeing is Believing When working with toddlers, it’s important to...