The Possibility of Religion in a Scientific and Secular Culture

  • Augustine Shutte Research Institute for Theology and Religion University of South Africa PO Box 392 UNISA 0003

Abstract

In this article religion is defined in terms of our concern for the fulfilment of our most fundamental natural desires, especially those that seem beyond all human power to fulfil, such as the achievement of death-transcending life or a complete and enduring community between free beings such as human persons are. A god is always seen as the source of power sufficient to achieve this in us. Our conceptions of our god and of human nature are therefore always linked. The arguments for the existence of a god in the history of European philosophy show this. From the cosmological arguments of pre-modern times, through arguments from design and anthropological arguments in the modern period, to a contemporary argument from interpersonal relationships, a deepening insight into human nature produces an evermore comprehensive conception of a god, one that is not incompatible with a scientific worldview, or the secular rejection of the supernatural in the name of human freedom. S. Afr. J. Philos. Vol.24(4) 2005: 289-307
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