On the Varieties of Religious Rationality: Plato (and the Buddha) Versus the New Atheists

Hdl Handle:
http://hdl.handle.net/10756/577323
Title:
On the Varieties of Religious Rationality: Plato (and the Buddha) Versus the New Atheists
Authors:
Kirby, Joseph Morrill
Abstract:
Holocaust survivor Victor Frankl claims that human beings are spiritually and mentally free, and that it is possible to maintain one's dignity even in a concentration camp. If this tremendous claim is true, it is true regardless of who says it. However, it is only when the claim is made by someone like Frankl that it functions rhetorically, actually prompting the listener to reflect on what it might mean. In the Georgias, Socrates argues for an even more extreme version of this same idea: that it would be better to be tortured to death than to torture someone else, because it is impossible for a torturer to be happy. This paper shows why, if what Frankl and Socrates say is true, both tradition and myth are perfectly rational modes of discourse, and why a culture that rejects the capacity of tradition and myth to disclose truth will almost inevitably reject these claims as irrational. This discussion is framed in terms of an interesting disjunct in the meaning of the term "atheist," as it is used by the New Atheists and as it is used by Plato, and is set in dialogue with the claims of as Vipassana meditation teacher S. N. Goenka, whose teachings bear remarkable similarity to Plato's.
Affiliation:
Institute for Christian Studies
Citation:
Kirby, Joseph Morrill. "On the Varieties of Religious Rationality: Plato (and the Buddha) Versus the New Atheists." Cosmos and History: the Journal of Natural and Social Philosophy 11, no. 1 (2015): 69-102, accessed September 14, 2015, http://cosmosandhistory.org/index.php/journal/article/view/364/790
Publisher:
Cosmos Publishing Cooperative
Journal:
Cosmos and History: the Journal of Natural and Social Philosophy
Issue Date:
2015
URI:
http://hdl.handle.net/10756/577323
Additional Links:
http://cosmosandhistory.org/index.php/journal/article/view/364/790; https://www.academia.edu/15152144/On_the_Varieties_of_Religious_Rationality_Plato_and_the_Buddha_versus_the_New_Atheists
Type:
Article
Language:
en
Keywords:
Plato; Atheism; Dennett, Daniel; Buddhism; Goenka, S. N.; Ontology; Religion; Torture; Rhetoric; Aristotle; Vipassana
ISSN:
1832-9101
Rights:
http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/
Rights holder:
In short, copyright for articles published in this journal is retained by the authors, with first publication rights granted to the journal. By virtue of their appearance in this open access journal, articles are free to use, with proper attribution, in educational and other non-commercial settings [http://cosmosandhistory.org/index.php/journal/about/submissions#copyrightNotice]
Appears in Collections:
Publications

Full metadata record

DC FieldValue Language
dc.contributor.authorKirby, Joseph Morrillen
dc.date.accessioned2015-09-15T14:08:05Zen
dc.date.available2015-09-15T14:08:05Zen
dc.date.issued2015en
dc.identifier.citationKirby, Joseph Morrill. "On the Varieties of Religious Rationality: Plato (and the Buddha) Versus the New Atheists." Cosmos and History: the Journal of Natural and Social Philosophy 11, no. 1 (2015): 69-102, accessed September 14, 2015, http://cosmosandhistory.org/index.php/journal/article/view/364/790en
dc.identifier.issn1832-9101en
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/10756/577323en
dc.description.abstractHolocaust survivor Victor Frankl claims that human beings are spiritually and mentally free, and that it is possible to maintain one's dignity even in a concentration camp. If this tremendous claim is true, it is true regardless of who says it. However, it is only when the claim is made by someone like Frankl that it functions rhetorically, actually prompting the listener to reflect on what it might mean. In the Georgias, Socrates argues for an even more extreme version of this same idea: that it would be better to be tortured to death than to torture someone else, because it is impossible for a torturer to be happy. This paper shows why, if what Frankl and Socrates say is true, both tradition and myth are perfectly rational modes of discourse, and why a culture that rejects the capacity of tradition and myth to disclose truth will almost inevitably reject these claims as irrational. This discussion is framed in terms of an interesting disjunct in the meaning of the term "atheist," as it is used by the New Atheists and as it is used by Plato, and is set in dialogue with the claims of as Vipassana meditation teacher S. N. Goenka, whose teachings bear remarkable similarity to Plato's.en
dc.format.mimetypeapplication/pdfen
dc.language.isoenen
dc.publisherCosmos Publishing Cooperativeen
dc.relation.urlhttp://cosmosandhistory.org/index.php/journal/article/view/364/790en
dc.relation.urlhttps://www.academia.edu/15152144/On_the_Varieties_of_Religious_Rationality_Plato_and_the_Buddha_versus_the_New_Atheistsen
dc.rightsAttribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.en_GB
dc.rights.urihttp://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/en_GB
dc.subjectPlatoen
dc.subjectAtheismen
dc.subjectDennett, Danielen
dc.subjectBuddhismen
dc.subjectGoenka, S. N.en
dc.subjectOntologyen
dc.subjectReligionen
dc.subjectTortureen
dc.subjectRhetoricen
dc.subjectAristotleen
dc.subjectVipassanaen
dc.titleOn the Varieties of Religious Rationality: Plato (and the Buddha) Versus the New Atheistsen
dc.typeArticleen
dc.contributor.departmentInstitute for Christian Studiesen
dc.identifier.journalCosmos and History: the Journal of Natural and Social Philosophyen
dc.rights.holderIn short, copyright for articles published in this journal is retained by the authors, with first publication rights granted to the journal. By virtue of their appearance in this open access journal, articles are free to use, with proper attribution, in educational and other non-commercial settings [http://cosmosandhistory.org/index.php/journal/about/submissions#copyrightNotice]en_GB
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