Militant atheism, pragmatism, and the God-shaped hole

This paper addresses recent examples of militant atheism. It considers the theistic reply that describes atheism as deriving from a “God-shaped hole” in the human soul. The paper will argue that American pragmatism offers a middle path that avoids militant atheism without suffering from this problem. The paper describes this middle path and considers the problem that is seen in Rorty’s recent work: how the pragmatist can remain critical of religious fundamentalism without succumbing to a militant version of atheism. The solution proposed is tolerant acceptance of religion along with melioristic criticism developed within shared norms of inquiry.
Keywords Atheism  Pragmatism  William James  John Dewey  Richard Rorty  Christopher Hitchens  Richard Dawkins  Sam Harris
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DOI 10.2307/40270253
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References found in this work BETA
Blaise Pascal (2007/2003). Pensées. In Aloysius Martinich, Fritz Allhoff & Anand Vaidya (eds.), Revue Philosophique de la France Et de l'Etranger. Blackwell Pub. 111-112.
William James (1940). Pragmatism. New York [Etc.]Longmans, Green and Co..

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Andrew Johnson (2013). An Apology for the “New Atheism”. International Journal for Philosophy of Religion 73 (1):5-28.

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