Reasonism

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Reasonism (similar to rationalism) is an epistemological theory that holds that reliance on reason is the best guide for belief and action. Philosophically, it is the theory that the exercise of reason, rather than experience, authority, or spiritual revelation, provides the primary basis for knowledge.

In philosophy, rationalism is the epistemological view that "regards reason as the chief source and test of knowledge" or "any view appealing to reason as a source of knowledge or justification". More formally, rationalism is defined as a methodology or a theory "in which the criterion of the truth is not sensory but intellectual and deductive".

Epistemology A branch of philosophy concerned with the nature and scope of knowledge

Epistemology is the branch of philosophy concerned with the theory of knowledge.

A theory is a contemplative and rational type of abstract or generalizing thinking about a phenomenon, or the results of such thinking. The process of contemplative and rational thinking often is associated with such processes like observational study, research. Theories may either be scientific or other than scientific. Depending on the context, the results might, for example, include generalized explanations of how nature works. The word has its roots in ancient Greek, but in modern use it has taken on several related meanings.

The term reasonist is used interchangeably with rationalist, both terms being used to distinguish them as true reasoners and rational inquirers.

A number of writers and thinkers have used the terms reasonist or reasonism to identify themselves or their philosophy respectively, often preferentially to the labels such as atheist or atheism. During the Beyond Belief Symposium (Enlightenment 2.0) in October 2007, UCLA historian Robert Winter explains to speaker Sam Harris that he refers to themselves (non-believers) as "reasonists", and others (religionists) as "areasonists", based on the historical fact that the prefix a- is always supplied by those who have the power within a given paradigm, to describe those who don't have that paradigm.

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Faith and rationality are two ideologies that exist in varying degrees of conflict or compatibility. Rationality is based on reason or facts. Faith is belief in inspiration, revelation, or authority. The word faith sometimes refers to a belief that is held with lack of reason or evidence, a belief that is held in spite of or against reason or evidence, or it can refer to belief based upon a degree of evidential warrant.

Sociology of religion

Sociology of religion is the study of the beliefs, practices and organizational forms of religion using the tools and methods of the discipline of sociology. This objective investigation may include the use of both quantitative methods and qualitative approaches such as participant observation, interviewing, and analysis of archival, historical and documentary materials.

Secular humanism, or simply humanism, is a philosophy or life stance that embraces human reason, ethics, and philosophical naturalism while specifically rejecting religious dogma, supernaturalism, pseudoscience, and superstition as the basis of morality and decision making.

Critical rationalism is an epistemological philosophy advanced by Karl Popper. Popper wrote about critical rationalism in his works: The Logic of Scientific Discovery, The Open Society and its Enemies, Conjectures and Refutations, The Myth of the Framework, and Unended Quest. Ernest Gellner is another notable proponent of this approach.

The existence of God is a subject of debate in the philosophy of religion and popular culture.

Jewish atheism refers to the atheism of people who are ethnically and culturally Jewish. Because Jewish identity encompasses ethnic as well as religious components, the term "Jewish atheism" does not inherently entail a contradiction.

<i>An Essay Concerning Human Understanding</i> book

An Essay Concerning Human Understanding is a work by John Locke concerning the foundation of human knowledge and understanding. It first appeared in 1689 with the printed title An Essay Concerning Humane Understanding. He describes the mind at birth as a blank slate filled later through experience. The essay was one of the principal sources of empiricism in modern philosophy, and influenced many enlightenment philosophers, such as David Hume and George Berkeley.

Sam Harris American author

Samuel Benjamin Harris is an author, public intellectual, blogger, and podcast host primarily known for his criticism of religion. His academic background is in philosophy and cognitive neuroscience. His work touches on a wide range of topics, including rationality, religion, ethics, free will, neuroscience, meditation, philosophy of mind, politics, terrorism, and artificial intelligence. He is described as one of the atheistic "Four Horsemen of the Non-Apocalypse", along with Richard Dawkins, Christopher Hitchens and Daniel Dennett.

Russells teapot analogy coined by Bertrand Russell

Russell's teapot is an analogy, formulated by the philosopher Bertrand Russell (1872–1970), to illustrate that the philosophic burden of proof lies upon a person making unfalsifiable claims, rather than shifting the burden of disproof to others.

Criticism of atheism is criticism of the concepts, validity, or impact of atheism, including associated political and social implications. Criticisms include positions based on the history of science, findings in the natural sciences, theistic apologetic arguments, arguments pertaining to ethics and morality, the effects of atheism on the individual, or the assumptions that underpin atheism.

Accurate demographics of atheism are difficult to obtain since conceptions of atheism vary across different cultures and languages from being an active concept to being unimportant or not developed. In global studies, the number of people without a religion is usually higher than the number of people without a belief in a deity and the number of people who agree with statements on lacking a belief in a deity is usually higher than the number of people who self-identify as "atheists". According to sociologist Phil Zuckerman, broad estimates of those who have an absence of belief in a deity range from 50 to 75 million people worldwide. Other estimates state that there are 200 million to 240 million self-identified atheists worldwide, with China and Russia being major contributors to those figures. According to sociologists Ariela Keysar and Juhem Navarro-Rivera's review of numerous global studies on atheism, there are 450 to 500 million positive atheists and agnostics worldwide, with China having the most atheists in the world.

Implicit and explicit atheism

Implicit atheism and explicit atheism are types of atheism. In George H. Smith's Atheism: The Case Against God, "implicit atheism" is defined as "the absence of theistic belief without a conscious rejection of it", while "explicit atheism" is "the absence of theistic belief due to a conscious rejection of it". Explicit atheists have considered the idea of deities and have rejected belief that any exist. Implicit atheists, though they do not themselves maintain a belief in a god or gods, have not rejected the notion or have not considered it further.

Christian atheism is a form of cultural Christianity and ethics system drawing its beliefs and practices from Jesus' life and teachings as recorded in the New Testament Gospels and other sources, whilst rejecting supernatural claims of Christianity.

<i>The Portable Atheist</i> book by Christopher Hitchens

The Portable Atheist: Essential Readings for the Non-Believer (2007) is an anthology edited by Christopher Hitchens. Hitchens wrote introductions to each article he compiled for the book. The main introduction is centered on an unbeliever´s point of view, what he is constantly told, “and the errors incurred by religion, since the pre-history of our species, in identifying not just the wrong explanation but the wrong culprit in episodes of nightmarish ignorance and calamity”.

Atheism is, in the broadest sense, the absence of belief in the existence of deities. Less broadly, atheism is the rejection of belief that any deities exist. In an even narrower sense, atheism is specifically the position that there are no deities. Atheism is contrasted with theism, which, in its most general form, is the belief that at least one deity exists.

Surveys show that Americans without a religious affiliation range around 23.8%, 22.8%, 24.8%, 31%, 36% and 21% of the population, with 'nothing in particulars' making up the majority of this demographic. Since the early 1990s, independent polls have shown the rapid growth of those without a religious affiliation.

New Atheism is a term coined in 2006 by the journalist Gary Wolf to describe the positions promoted by some atheists of the twenty-first century. This modern-day atheism is advanced by a group of thinkers and writers who advocate the view that superstition, religion and irrationalism should not simply be tolerated but should be countered, criticized, and exposed by rational argument wherever their influence arises in government, education, and politics. According to Richard Ostling, Bertrand Russell, in his 1927 essay Why I Am Not a Christian, put forward similar positions as those espoused by the New Atheists, suggesting that there are no substantive differences between traditional atheism and New Atheism.

<i>The Range of Reason</i> book by Jacques Maritain

The Range of Reason is a 1952 book of essays by Catholic philosopher Jacques Maritain. The text presents a Thomist philosophy regarding religion and morality. It contains a study of Atheism, titled "The Meaning of Contemporary Atheism", which has had a considerable impact on Catholic views of Atheism.

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