Is it more reasonable for a Critical Rationalist to be non-Religious? Belief and Unbelief in a Post-secular Era

Journal of Philosophical Investigations 17 (42):332-351 (2023)
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Abstract

In modern times many militant atheist thinkers and activists have tried to promote the idea that religions, as well as religious ways of life, are one of the main, if not the main source of evil in the social arena. Some other non-believer scholars, while taking a respectful approach towards religions and religious people, maintaining that it is more rational for people and communities to adopt a non-religious outlook on life and become members of the community of non-believers. In this paper, I do not take issue with the militant non-believers. The reason is that their approach to religion is so ideologically driven that it leaves not much room for proper rational discussions; it only invites some polemical replies. My aim here is, instead, to enter into a dialogue with those non-believer scholars who view religion in a measured and rational way. My intention is to critically assess the claims of this latter group of scholars and explain why, contrary to what they suggest, certain interpretations of religion, and in particular, the Islamic faith, can provide them with better alternatives than their atheist outlooks. The arguments of this paper are mostly in reply to the views expressed by Professor Shearmur in his paper on critical rationalism and religion.

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Ali Paya
University of Westminster

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