“Philosopher, Jay Richards, defines materialism, discusses how it has impacted us, explains why it shouldn’t be confused with science, and analyzes why it ultimately fails as an explanation…” (SOURCE: From the blub on the associated YouTube channel)
Jay Richards, PhD, is an Analyic philosopher and the Assistant Professor at The Catholic University of America.
This video talks about the New Atheists, but what was most interesting in it was when Professor Blankinship talked about the radical historical doubt that even queries the historicity of the nineteenth century, let alone the ancient and medieval periods (and the implicit absurdity in the line of reasoning that its adherents go through to try and ‘prove’ their point of view).
On Facebook, Jesse Smith said:
“…Moral “truth” changes with time, else slavery and executions of adultery, among others, would continue. We dont need an ancient book or vague ideas of a celestial overmind to know what is moral, especially when the ancient books morals are selected for by humans as we go. The 4th surah is good evidence of this, as is the punishment for unbelief, as are much of the laws of the Old Testament- for every beautiful verse like u quoted there are others that are shockingly cruel. These books can be a guide, thrown aside when needed and adapted when needed.
Our civilisation has depended on this ability to discern its value, and as we rely on it less and less we have greater freedom and happiness than ever before.
The answer to preventing nuclear war is not faith however, which has a history of fermenting war and rarely preventing it, but more and better science to safeguard that which we have, and limiting the causes for war in general which tends to be poverty and ideological divison- two things religion tends to encourage. So the answer is not less science and more ancient faith based guidance, I would argue.”
“‘Christianity is about love.’
“How many times do we hear Christians say Christianity is all about love?
“But, what happens when somebody Bob mistakenly thinks is a Christian, when in fact he’s a Muslim… What was Bob’s response? When a Christian comes and says, ‘Look, this is not Christianity, you know it should be about love.’:
“‘Oh you’re a weak Christian.’
“What did he mean?”
Early Man was Religious
We have very little facts about prehistoric beliefs. This is a problem.
“The first semblance of religious practices began in the Paleolithic period, which occurred roughly from 2.6 million years ago and lasted until 10,000 years ago… it was during this expansive time period that the first ancestors and relatives of modern humans began to bury their dead. Specifically, around 300,000 years ago. The practice of burying the dead indicates a belief in or fascination with the concept of an afterlife.”
So it seems that with the advent of humanity, there is certainly evidence of a belief in an afterlife. However, there are massive problems with trying to make further assertions one way or another during this time period.
This is a great overview of a failed hypothesis.
Hamza Tzortzis first distinguishes a difference between academic and popular discourse on this topic. Though there are arguments on the popular front as to why and how science has killed religion and that atheism is inevitable, Hamza explains that on the academic front the answer is very different: No – science does not necessarily lead to Atheism.
Hi there again,
I’m enjoying this conversation by the way. I think through civilised discourse you can get to understand and appreciate different perspectives.
“O mankind, indeed We have… made you into peoples and tribes that you may know one another. Indeed, the most noble of you in the sight of ALLAH is the most righteous of you. Indeed, ALLAH is Knowing and Acquainted.” (Qur’an 49:13)
1. The Mission: A Very Important Choice
I fully agree with you that “one must first establish the validity of the text as a source of knowledge.” (See point 6, below.) Firstly, what I like about Islam is that our mission is to spread the word about Islam but not to compel anyone to it.
“There shall be no compulsion in [acceptance of] the deen (way of life, religion). The right course has become clear from the wrong. So whoever disbelieves in Taghut (corruption, evil) and believes in ALLAH has grasped the most trustworthy handhold with no break in it. And ALLAH is Hearing and Knowing.” (Qur’an 2:256)
“So if they argue with you [O Muhammad] , say, “I have submitted myself to ALLAH [in Islam], and [so have] those who follow me.”… “Have you submitted yourselves?”… but if they turn away – *then upon you is only the [duty of] notification*. And ALLAH is Seeing of [His] servants.” (Qur’an 3:20)
This is because the rapport each one of us has (or the lack thereof) with The Creator is something between us (individually) and Him, at the end of the day (i.e. the Last Day – i.e. the Day of Judgement).
In which case, consider the adage: ‘Don’t shoot the Messenger.’