Too often, Holt argues, "we focus narrowly on the rules governing the administration of justice in the courts or the complexity of legal problems" we face "within the transactional context and lose sight of the flesh-and-blood persons engaged in the judicial process or grappling with the transactional problem.”
Noonan examines in turn the thought of Roger Williams and the Founders' experience of religious persecution in shaping their vision of religious liberty for America.
"The Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith has been approached by various Episcopal Conferences or individual Bishops, by theologians, doctors and scientists, concerning biomedical techniques which make it possible to intervene in the initial phase of the life of a human being and in the very processes of procreation and their conformity with the principles of Catholic morality.
They examine a wide range of issues, including economic justice, global human rights, religious freedom, pluralism, war and peace, and the importance of these justice issues in the ongoing pastoral life of the Catholic Church.
Morrissey believes that the corporation is in essence a human and moral being with a relationship to greater society, and should therefore be required by the ALI to support philanthropic causes.
Plantinga offers a different kind of argument. According toCartesian-style foundationalism, in order to count as justified, abelief must either be grounded in other justified beliefs, or derive its justification from some special status, likeinfallibility, incorrigibility, or indubitability. There is a parallelview about knowledge. Plantinga (1981) argued that such afoundationalism is inconsistent with holding one's ownordinary beliefs about the world to be justified (or knowledge),because our ordinary beliefs derived from sense-experience aren'tderived from anything infallible, indubitable, or incorrigible. Infact, we typically treat them as foundational, in need of no furtherjustification. If we hold sensory beliefs to be properly basic, then wehave to hold similarly formed religious beliefs, formed on experiencesof God manifesting himself to a believer (Plantinga calls them‘M-beliefs’), as properly basic. He proposed that humanbeings have a faculty—what John Calvin called the‘sensus divinitatis’—that allows them to beaware of God's actions or dispositions with respect to them. Ifbeliefs formed by sense-experience can be properly basic, then beliefsformed by this faculty cannot, in any principled way, be denied thatsame status. His developed theory of warrant (2000) implies that, ifthe beliefs are true, then they are warranted. One cannot attack claimsof religious experience without first addressing the question as towhether the religious claims are true. He admits that, since there arepeople in other religious traditions who have based beliefs aboutreligious matters on similar purported manifestations,they may be able to make the same argument about their own religiousexperiences.
Both Plantinga's and Alston's defense of the epistemicvalue of religious experiences turn crucially on some degree ofsimilarity with sense-experience. But they are not simplearguments from analogy; not just any similarities will do to make thepositive argument, and not just any dissimilarities will do to defeatthe argument. The similarities or dissimilarities need to beepistemologically relevant. It is not enough, for example, toshow that religious experiences do not typically allow for independentpublic verification, unless one wants to give up on other perfectlyrespectable practices, like rational intuition, that also lackthat feature.
Naturalistic explanations for religious experiences are thought toundermine their epistemic value because, if the naturalisticexplanation is sufficient to explain the experience, we have no grounds forpositing anything beyond that naturalistic cause. Freud (1927)and Marx (1876/1977) are frequently held up as offering suchexplanations. Freud claims that religious experiences can beadequately explained by psychological mechanisms having their root inearly childhood experience and psychodynamic tensions. Marxsimilarly attributes religious belief in general to materialisticeconomic forces. Both claim that, since the hidden psychologicalor economic explanations are sufficient to explain the origins ofreligious belief, there is no need to suppose, in addition, that thebeliefs are true. Freud's theory of religion has few adherents,even among the psychoanalytically inclined, and Marx's viewlikewise has all but been abandoned, but that is not to say thatsomething in the neighborhood might not be true. More recently,neurological explanations of religious experience have been put forwardas reasons to deny the veridicality of the experiences. Events in thebrain that occur during meditative states and other religiousexperiences are very similar to events that happen during certain kindsof seizures, or with certain kinds of mental disorders, and can also beinduced with drugs. Therefore, it is argued, there is nothing more toreligious experiences than what happens in seizures, mental disorders,or drug experiences. Some who are studying the neurological basis ofreligious experience do not infer that they are not veridical (see,e.g., d'Aquili and Newberg 1999), but many do. Boyer(2001), for example, titles his book Religion Explained: theEvolutionary Origins of Religious Thought, at least implying thatno other explanation is needed.
Through the invention and expansion of new ideas, popular trends and fashions through time, Sociology adapts to responsibly to service the very subjects of interest it studies; for, even the slightest change of a person’s daily experience can have an insurmountable...
The Jewish scriptures admirably illustrate the development from thereligion of fear to moral religion, a development continued in the NewTestament. The religions of all civilized peoples, especially the peoplesof the Orient, are primarily moral religions. The development from a religionof fear to moral religion is a great step in peoples' lives. And yet, thatprimitive religions are based entirely on fear and the religions of civilizedpeoples purely on morality is a prejudice against which we must be on ourguard. The truth is that all religions are a varying blend of both types,with this differentiation: that on the higher levels of social life thereligion of morality predominates.
Whether our parents are religious, our own religious views, or others who try and convert you to a religion, we have all come in contact with a religion.