Society and Atheism - Abstracts
Existentialism, Sociology of Religion
The Psychology of Atheism - Paul C Vitz
- Abstract: There seems to be a widespread assumption throughout much of the Western
intellectual community that belief in God is based on all kinds of irrational immature
needs and wishes, but atheism or skepticism is derived from a rational, no-nonsense
appraisal of the way things really are. What holds for belief in God holds as much if not
more for atheism. Sauce for the believer is equally sauce for the unbeliever.
Atheism and the Courts - David Burnett,
University of Virginia - School of Law - May 2006 - Abstract: Very little has been written
about the treatment of atheists and atheism by American courts, but this note fills that
gap by examining a range of judicial opinions on this topic. The Supreme Court now holds
that atheists deserve the same constitutional protection as theists, although only two
Court opinions have specifically dealt with atheistic plaintiffs.
As I explain, most lawsuits in the lower courts involving
atheists have failed. I group these atheism-related lawsuits into two categories,
meritorious and meritless claims. Meritorious claims engage the courts in seriously
considering the scope of First Amendment rights and thereby help to define atheists'
Even though many of these claims fail, they nonetheless
present legitimate arguments. On the other hand, many cases involving atheists or alleged
atheists fail to raise serious issues at all, and often fail on the facts, even before
reaching the legal issues. These meritless cases frequently involve allegations of
discrimination or personal harm for which the plaintiff lacks any evidence.
This distinction between meritorious and meritless
atheism claims illuminates the treatment of atheists by American courts and society.
Common wisdom holds that atheists are a large, persecuted minority, so therefore we might
expect to find many serious and successful lawsuits brought by atheists, and perhaps some
indication of mistreatment by the courts. Instead, the scarcity of meritorious lawsuits on
this topic and atheists' apparently fair treatment by the courts suggests that atheists
may not be as persecuted as we think. Nevertheless, the important goal underlying these
suits - enforcing and extending the separation between church and state - should encourage
future lawsuits brought by atheists.
Rationalism, Humanism and Atheism in Twentieth
Century Indian Thought by Dr. Ramendra in collaboration with Dr. Kawaljeet.
Buddhiwadi Foundation - a free ebook.
Book Review by: ramendra - Authors : Dr. Ramendra; Dr. Kawaljeet
The book contains biography and ideas of eight thinkers of twentieth century India:
Periyar, M. N. Roy, Ambedkar, Gora, Kovoor, A. B. Shah, Narsingh Narain and Ramswaroop
Verma. In addition to a brief life sketch of each of them, the author has particularly
concentrated on their views on issues of relevance to rationalism-humanism.He has compared
and contrasted these thinkers with one another, and other related thinkers, wherever
possible, before making some critical comments on them in the concluding
chapter,"Some Critical Comments". These critical comments have been made from a
rationalist-humanist point of view. Dr. Ramendra has tried to evolve a more refined
rational humanist philosophy for twenty-first century India by making a philosophical
criticism of his distinguished predecessors. In the first introductory chapter titled
"Rationalism, Humanism and Atheism", the approach is totally conceptual. The
author has discussed the concepts of rationalism, humanism and
atheism in a general way.
Along with being a work of interest for academicians and scholars, particularly in the
sphere of philosophy, this book will be of interest to any general reader interested in
rationalism, humanism and atheism, particularly in the Indian context.
Marx's Atheism and the Ideal of Self-Realization - William O'Meara,
This essay begins with a brief review of Marx's evaluation of Hegel and Feuerbach's
understanding of God, focusing upon the human as a self-creator, not as created by God.
The essay then turns to Peter Ehlen's evaluation in which he argues that Marx's concept of
the human being as a self creator who transforms both the world and the self through labor
has overemphasized the role of labor in creating objects for human usage and that Marx has
neglected the self's relationship with others.
'Mystic Atheism': Julia Kristeva's Negative Theology - Arthur Bradley
This article examines Julia Kristeva's paradoxical concept of a 'mystic atheism'. It falls
into three parts. First, it briefly surveys Kristeva's psychoanalytic account of Christian
theology in Au commencement était l'amour (1985). Secondly, it assesses Kristeva's
analysis of the Christian mystical tradition from Teresa of Avila to Angela of Foligno in
such works as Le féminin et le sacré (1999) and the three volumes on Le génie féminin
(1999 2002). For Kristeva, Christian mysticism represents a key moment in the
transition from theology to psychoanalysis: what she locates within the work of the female
mystics is a so-called 'mystic atheism', that is to say, an affirmation of an other within
the subject as opposed to the divine other that supposedly lies outside it. Finally, the
article offers some critical comments upon Kristeva's own 'mystic atheism': I argue
thatlike much negative theologyKristeva's psychoanalysis remains
ontotheological in form and that this dimension expresses itself in a problematic tendency
to anthropomorphize the other within. In conclusion, I will suggest that Kristeva's
'mystic atheism' ultimately remains within the theological tradition it seeks to call into
Generations and Atheism: Patterns of Response to
Communist Rule among Different Generations and Countries - Sinisa Zrinak -
Department of Social Work, Nazorova, Croatia
The communist systems in Central and Eastern European countries had some common features,
with atheism as the cornerstone of the political order, but they varied in many different
aspects. Both political pressure and social change brought about not only the rise of
secularism but also the rise of religiosity, particularly in the 1980s. However, the
course of change and the impact of atheism on generations were quite different in each
country. This is shown in the empirical analysis, which is presented in two parts. First,
four countries are examined (Croatia, Hungary, Poland and Slovenia) showing three
distinctive responses to communist rule. Second, on the basis of the EVS 1999 data for 14
post-communist countries, three groups of countries are differentiated according to
religious and non-religious legacies and the different generational impacts of the
Research Note: Sociology and the Study of Atheism - Bullivant, Stephen
Source: Journal of Contemporary Religion, Volume 23, Number 3, October 2008 , pp.
363-368(6), Publisher: Routledge, part of the Taylor & Francis Group
Abstract: Historically, atheism has been neglected by the social sciences. This fact, in
the light of the recent upsurge of popular and media interest in the subject, is
particularly unfortunate. Rectifying this is, however, not a straightforward task: studies
devised for exploring religion cannot, for example, reliably be used to investigate its
lack. This research note presents findings from a preliminary survey, administered to
Oxford University students in November 2007; it was specifically designed with the study
of atheism and related issues in mind. In addition to revealing the religious attitudes
and beliefs of students at a modern British university, the survey yields a number of
significant results regarding contemporary atheism and unbelief.
Atheism, Free Will, And Material Determinism
- Wayland Dong - an interesting debate through letters.
Atheism, faith, and the social scientific study
of religion - R. Stark (S. W. University of Washington, USA) - Journal of
The social "scientific" study of religion originated in atheism, and the basic
theses pursued today, especially by psychologists and anthropologists, are little changed
since they were first proposed by militant opponents of religion in the seventeenth and
early eighteenth century. In this essay I trace these links from major scholar to major
scholar across the centuries. I then examine the remarkable irony that the recent
emergence of a truly scientific approach to religion was accomplished mainly by an influx
of "believers". I sketch why and how this happened before turning to an
assessment of the persistence of atheistic biases. I conclude with suggestions about how a
truly scientific study of religion can be pursued by both believers and unbelievers, if
not by fanatics of either stripe.