torsdag, juni 21, 2012

The end of "religious diversity" as a problem

"Most of us take for granted some variation of the following: religion involves heart-felt convictions and deep commitments, and therefore invokes impassioned disagreement, "exclusivist" and "intolerant" behaviour, and even violence. It is thus in dire need - given today's social "problem" of "religious diversity" - of being (take your pick):
  • eradicated by means of education;
  • ignored until it withers away on its own; or
  • "updated" in order to become a good ally to the "progress" of the modern world.
The questions posed by philosophers of religion suggest that they believe that religion needs philosophy's help in order to come to rational, peaceful resolutions to social conflicts inflamed or caused by religion. 
I would suggest that it is imperative for us to see that the questions posed in this way (and therefore the answers that they imply) are a relic of a past. Recall for a moment that the central task to which the Enlightenment "project" self-consciously set itself - glorious and youthful, if also utterly naive - was to discern and possess the rational conditions by which the truth of things could be accessed, and thereby to dictate to every field of human inquiry the rational scope of its enterprise, the conditions by which it could properly proceed to secure knowledge of its particular object."
" Philosophy could hardly hope to make a contribution to the problem of religious diversity unless it were to gain from religious faith the paths of reasoning that overcome the "end of metaphysics" and transcend the utterly un-compelling flattening out of reason reduced to some artificial thought-out-in-advance conditions for what is possibly true."

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