The notion of religion is about as old as humanity itself, and because of this, it is not unusual to study how the different historical periods have affected religion. For the purposes of this paper, we will be looking specifically at how modernity has affected religion, and how religion has affected modernity. Before we go any deeper into this topic, it is important that we define our terms so that we know how they relate to the topic at hand. Religion generally encompasses any practice or belief which refers to a superempiracle reality, for example, a reality that radically exceeds the objective limits of nature and man, as long as there is a symbolic relationship between man and this reality.
[...] When we say we are “skeptical,” we mean that we must see compelling evidence before we believe. Skepticism has a long historical tradition dating back to ancient Greece, when Socrates observed: I know is that I know nothing.” But this pure position is sterile and unproductive and held by virtually no one. If you were skeptical about everything, you would have to be skeptical of your own skepticism. Like the decaying subatomic particle, pure skepticism uncoils and spins off the viewing screen of our intellectual cloud chamber. [...]
[...] This was an example of how skepticism was challenging modernity. Skepticism challenged all aspects of life, even popular culture areas like books. As in all societies, books play a large part in creating any particular identity. With the advances of skepticism though, books that had come to be thought of as universal standards started to become challenged by a whole new sect of people that had not really existed before in the way they did with the skepticism movement. The first prominent book to be challenged was the Book of Nature. [...]
[...] One thing is for sure, the skepticism movement was an inevitable consequence of modernity and it changed the face of religion forever. Bibliography Adler, Mortimer J. Sense Cognition: Aristotle vs. Aquinas. The New Scholasticism, Autumn 1968. Class Notes, Foundations of the Modern Critique of Religion: Materialists, Mechanists, Deism, Empiricism and Rationalists. Lambert, Yves. Religion in Modernity as a New Axial Age: Secularization or New Religious Forms? Accessed on 30-Apr-07 at http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m0SOR/is_3_60/ai_57533384. Sardar, Ziauddin. A Believers Guide to Scepticism. New Statesman. [...]
[...] The skepticism movement did take a lot from the work of Descartes, however many skeptics would say that his reference to God was weak, and many were not convinced that his argument needed God in it, thus raising the question of whether there can be a non-theological ground for certainty. To this the skeptics looked to English materialism for guidance. Here the skeptics were looking for an account of reality that did not require God. This was found in the work of Thomas Hobbes , and very much influenced by the work of Dutch Jurist Hugo Grotius. [...]
[...] However, the world began to become increasingly complex for many to believe that God was everything. Skeptics began looking to science to shape their beliefs, and this had a large effect on the religious world as skepticism was dismantling religion's backbone. Many prominent writers helped in proliferating the skepticism movement, including Michel de Montaigne and Francis Bacon. Writers like these ad many others made people second guess religion and made many people believe that atheism was the only sure faith. This was all happening as modernity was setting in and the empirical sciences were becoming more and more practiced. [...]
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