Religion, Language, Narrative and the Search for Meaning

Religion, Language, Narrative and the Search for Meaning

by Anthony Campbell

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Overview

This is a book about religion from a secular angle, but it isn't uncompromisingly hostile to it. Many critics of religion put the emphasis on belief and seek to show that these beliefs are incompatible with science. Richard Dawkins speaks of the "God hypothesis", and says that it is highly improbable and lacking in evidence. But it's a mistake to think of the existence of God as a scientific hypothesis that can be disproved by contrary evidence.

There have been many attempts to explain why religions exist and the question is still unresolved. One problem, it seems to me, is that explanations are often based on what may have happened thousands of years ago, perhaps as long ago as the Upper Palaeolithic. But these ideas, even if they are plausible, don't necessarily tell us why religion still exists today. That, I believe, is because it provides a sense of meaning in an apparently meaningless universe. Many people find it intolerable to live without this. As Taner Edis has said, "For most people, learning to do without a God is a costly undertaking for no clear benefit".

In a sense this book is a sequel to my earlier book, 'Totality Beliefs and the Religious Imagination', in which I described my experience of leaving two different belief systems to arrive at a naturalistic view. This book takes the story further.

Why is it free? In short, because I want it to be read. There are many motives for writing, but one is the wish to find out more exactly what one thinks about a topic. This book is of that kind. Writing it has been useful to me, and I hope that reading it will be so to at least some people.



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Product Details

BN ID: 2940000723616
Publisher: Anthony Campbell
Publication date: 10/29/2009
Sold by: Smashwords
Format: NOOK Book
Sales rank: 642,046
File size: 284 KB

About the Author

Professionally, I am a conventionally qualified medical doctor who has experience of some kinds of alternative medicine, but I am a self-confessed generalist and have written on subjects unrelated to medicine. In so far as there is a unifying theme in these books, it is sceptical and describes the progressive questioning and ultimate abandonment of belief systems. This emerges in my two books on religion and also in my critical account of the origin and development of homeopathy. My historical study of the sect of the Assassins is an examination of a fascinating set of religious ideas in mediaeval Islam, with relevance to modern religion-inspired terrorism. Although I am now retired from clinical practice I continue to teach modern medical acupuncture to health professionals. My textbook for the courses I teach is available here. I'm interested in computers and used Linux as my operating system for many years. I've now switched almost completely to OpenBSD. My book Making Word.doc Files on Linux covers how to do this for both Linux and *BSD.

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