Liberalism and Kitsch

by Daniel A. Kaufman ____ On a number of occasions, I have defended what I’ve been calling “procedural liberalism” on the grounds that in large pluralistic societies (a) one cannot expect one’s fellow citizens to share a common, substantive conception of the good, and (b) one cannot expect that one’s “community,” in the sense of the word that implies a […]

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The Metaphysics of Liberalism

by Mark English I have long felt that there was something problematic about the modern concept of religion, but have only recently started to articulate these concerns and to draw out their potential implications for understanding the rise and decline of Western liberalism. My focus here is a particular tradition of 20th-century liberal thought. As a label for sets of […]

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Inventing Religion

by Mark English Nouns and adjectives like ‘religion’ and ‘religious’ can be seen as more or less useful classificatory terms. More – or less – useful, as I say. The standard view is that there are various sets of practices (customs and rituals) and grand narratives and beliefs (concerning spiritual or magical beings and powers) to which different human groups […]

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Science, Fantasy and Religion

by Mark English Maybe I have read just one too many articles promoting the so-called simulation hypothesis. Maybe I have seen just one too many populist videos purportedly dealing with scientific topics but which, in order to maximize audience numbers, manage to leave all the hard and interesting stuff out and focus instead on presentational style (including colorful and virtually […]

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Nationalism and Mythical Thinking

by Mark English A lot of nonsense is talked about “destiny.” I’m referring here to the idea that individuals or groups can be seen to have some kind of pre-existing or pre-ordained path to fulfillment that they may discover and embrace. Certainly, given an individual, say, at a particular stage of life, there are choices he or she may make – […]

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Let’s Cease the Santa Charade

By: David Kyle Johnson The notion that we should lie to our children about Santa Claus enjoys a kind of sacred protection that modern religious beliefs can only dream of in the Western world. Don’t believe me? This very year, a mother in California was threatened with a lawsuit because her son spilled the beans about Santa at school. [1] […]

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The God Non-Hypothesis

by David Ottlinger “The problem of evil, in the sense in which I am using this phrase, is essentially a logical problem: it sets the theist the task of clarifying and if possible reconciling the several beliefs which he holds. It is not a scientific problem that might be solved by further discoveries…” [1]                                                                                          -JL Mackie, The Miracle of […]

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