Absolute Trust in Our Senses: How to Build a System of Principles Without Religion
What would it take to create a system of principles that guide our behavior without a religious grounding?
What would it take to create a system of principles that guide our behavior without a religious grounding? Lex Bayer, a non-profit organizer, and John Figdor, a chaplain, who both serve the Stanford University community, boldly attempt to find out in their book Atheist Mind, Humanist Heart. The two begin by establishing the assumptions such a system would require since, as they adroitly argue, overcoming philosohpical skepticism is not a realistic goal.
Bayer and Figdor take a cue from fourteenth-century philosopher and theologian William of Ockham, whose Ockham's razor holds that the explanation requiring the fewest assumptions while explaining all of the facts is most likely to be correct.
From this position they arrive at three core assumptions:
1. An external reality exists.
2. Our senses perceive this external reality.
3. Language and thought are tools for describing and understanding what our senses perceive.
After some argumentation, the authors arrive at these more developed assumptions which they hold absolutely true:
1. An external reality exists, and "truth" signifies an accurate description of that reality.
2. Our five senses are our only means for perceiving this reality.
3. Language and thought offer ways to analyze, communicate about, and contemplate the nature of reality.
Here, author and journalist Robert Wright addresses the question of whether or not humans must abandon religion to achieve true moral progress:
Read more at Salon
Photo credit: Shutterstock
Swipe right to make the connections that could change your career.
Swipe right. Match. Meet over coffee or set up a call.
No, we aren't talking about Tinder. Introducing Shapr, a free app that helps people with synergistic professional goals and skill sets easily meet and collaborate.
The Canadian professor has an extensive collection posted on his site.
- Peterson's Great Books list features classics by Orwell, Jung, Huxley, and Dostoevsky.
- Categories include literature, neuroscience, religion, and systems analysis.
- Having recently left Patreon for "freedom of speech" reasons, Peterson is taking direct donations through Paypal (and Bitcoin).
Cosmologists propose a groundbreaking model of the universe using string theory.
- A new paper uses string theory to propose a new model of the universe.
- The researchers think our universe may be riding a bubble expanded by dark energy.
- All matter in the universe may exist in strings that reach into another dimension.
Despite incredible economic growth, it is not necessarily an investor's paradise.
- China's stock market is just 27 years old. It's economy has grown 30x over that time.
- Imagine if you had invested early and gotten in on the ground floor.
- Actually, you would have lost money. Here's how that's possible.
SMARTER FASTER trademarks owned by The Big Think, Inc. All rights reserved.