In our world today, religion seems to have become a topic of multiple public contestation, along several lines whose patterns of coherence are not always obvious.
This is in sharp contrast to the situation that prevailed from 1945 up until 1979 , the year of the Iranian revolution - though not often, save in fantasised retrospect, earlier than the first date.
The hierarchy of human needs, as proposed by Abraham Maslow. An essay donated by Laura E. Shulman
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If confirmed by the Senate to serve as the next U.S. ambassador-at-large for international religious freedom, Kansas Governor Sam Brownback will face a daunting trifecta of challenges: Recent data from Pew Research Center reveals that religious persecution is on the rise , America’s image is in decline , and global majorities view President Donald Trump as “arrogant,” “dangerous,” and “intolerant.”
Unsurprisingly, at the release of the State Department’s annual report on religion freedom last week, journalists peppered a senior State Department official with questions about how high-minded rhetoric on the importance of religious freedom abroad squares with Trump’s promise to prioritize Christian refugees, his efforts to enact a so-called “Muslim ban,” silence in response to increased attacks against American Muslims, conflicting views on Russia, and enhanced security cooperation with religiously repressive Saudi Arabia.
An early 20th-century philosopher spoke of the impending decline of the West. What he failed to predict was that the West would export its culture to the rest of the world and thus grip the entire world in its death throes.
Today we are witnessing that decline and since we are involved in it, it is of utmost importance to us. At stake are whether the ideals we cherish will survive or some new abhorrent set of values win the day.
W on’t you join FFRF in our critical work to promote nontheism and defend the constitutional separation between religion and government? With more than 29,500 members, the nonprofit FFRF works as an effective state/church watchdog and voice for freethought (atheism, agnosticism, skepticism).
The Supreme Court’s redefinition of marriage has left many concerned about protecting freedom for everyone who believes that marriage is the union of a man and a woman.
In a characteristically thoughtful essay at Christianity Today , they argue that post-Obergefell, all Americans—regardless of their views about marriage—should see to it that we protect pluralism and tolerance on this issue.
It was one of the quieter and more reflective moments in an otherwise noisy and contentious vice-presidential debate back in early October. But the difference between Virginia Senator Tim Kaine and Indiana Governor Mike Pence could not have been clearer.
Asked about his struggle to reconcile his faith with his political responsibilities, Kaine spoke of his duty as a public servant to uphold the law even when it conflicts with his Catholic beliefs. On the other hand, Pence, who calls himself an “Evangelical Catholic,” gave no signs of any struggle whatsoever. “My faith informs my life,” he said.
There are no values in Nature. Nothing is intrinsically good or bad, nor does Nature or anything in Nature exist for the sake of some purpose. Whatever is, just is. Early in the Ethics , Spinoza says that ‘all the prejudices I here undertake to expose depend on this one: that men commonly suppose that all natural things act, as men do, on account of an end; indeed, they maintain as certain that God himself directs all things to some certain end; for they say that God has made all things for man, and man that he might worship God’.
Spinoza is often labelled a ‘pantheist’, but ‘atheist’ is a more appropriate term. Spinoza does not divinise Nature. Nature is not the object of worshipful awe or religious reverence. ‘The wise man,’ he says, ‘seeks to understand Nature, not gape at it like a fool’. The only appropriate attitude to take toward God or Nature is a desire to know it through the intellect.