Saturday, July 24, 2010

Atheism and Experience

My argument with atheism is the argument I have with theism, where the latter is a term for proving God's existence. Immanuel Kant successfully demolished the classical proofs for God's existence, only to reinvent one of his own--the so-called moral proof.

I find William James' account of religious experience compelling on this point. In some ways, James is distantly Kantian, but his view of God is not a matter of argument but observation. His was a program of radical empiricism. By observing the actual experiences of people, James concluded that life is irreducibly plural. In religion, as in shoe size, one size does not fit all.

Join me at Creedible for a discussion of atheism. Also check out Chuck Redfern's comment in which he refers to religious experience.


  1. Non-Theists vs. Atheists

    Confucianism (unlike Taoism), much of Buddhism and most of the Samkhya of Hinduism are non-theistic: they simply omit the concept of God. Many atheists, however, seem intent on attacking the idea of God.

    Ultimate reality is what is is, whether we would rather desire, think or believe otherwise. If there is a God, not believing does not change that. If there is no God, then believing will not make it so. Mystics seek what Meister Eckhart called “God beyond God,” i.e. the universal reality which underlies our conceptualizing and imagining. I was personally introduced to mysticism by a Nobel physicist who said “God is man’s greatest creation." In my e-book on comparative mysticism is a chapter "To the non-religious." You do not have to be religious or believe in God to be a mystic.

  2. Thanks, Ron. I agree with your comments. Paul Tillich, the 20th century Christian theologian, was affected by the mystical tradition of Eckhart and Boehme. Much of the new atheism is quite shallow for the reason that it fails to engage in motifs that you mention.



Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...