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The Secular Outlook: In Defense of Moral and Political Secularism / Edition 1

The Secular Outlook: In Defense of Moral and Political Secularism / Edition 1

by Paul Cliteur


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The Secular Outlook: In Defense of Moral and Political Secularism / Edition 1

The Secular Outlook: In Defense of Moral and PoliticalSecularism shows how people can live together and overcome thechallenge of religious terrorism by adopting a "secular outlook" onlife and politics.

  • Shows how secularism can answer the problem of religiousterrorism
  • Provides new perspectives on how religious minorities can beintegrated into liberal democracies
  • Reveals how secularism has gained a new political and moralsignificance.
  • Also examines such topics as atheism, religious criticism andfree speech

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781444335200
Publisher: Wiley
Publication date: 09/07/2010
Series: Blackwell Public Philosophy Series , #21
Pages: 328
Product dimensions: 6.30(w) x 9.10(h) x 1.00(d)

About the Author

Paul Cliteur is Professor of Jurisprudence at the University of Leiden, the Netherlands. He is also a lawyer, a former Professor of Philosophy at the University of Delft, and a widely published author.

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Table of Contents

Introduction: The Secular Outlook.

1. Atheism, Agnosticism, and Theism.

The Alpha Privative.

Atheism and Liberal Concepts of God.

Atheism as an Unpopular Position.

A Definition of Atheism.

Motives for Atheism.

Atheist Values.

Spiritual Excellences and the Liberal Decalogue.


The History of Agnosticism.

Huxley and Russell.

Pascal’s Wager.

Pascal’s Insight.

Atheism or Non-Theism?

2. Freethought I: Criticism of Religion.

“Écrasez l’Infâme”.

Religion and Evil.

Religious Violence.

Father and Daughter.

How to Discover a Relationship between Religion andViolence.

Ramadan v. Hirsi Ali.

Religion “per se”.

Textual Relativism.

Can Translation Mitigate All Immoral Passages in Scripture?

Can Interpretation Mitigate All Immoral Passages inScripture?

Why Are “Moderates” so Reluctant to CriticizeReligion?

The Bible on Apostasy.

Biblical Terrorism: The Story of Phinehas.

Biblical Violence and Modern Legal Practice.

The Book of History.

Some Objections.

3. Freethought II: Freedom of Expression.

Mill on Liberty.

Khomeini v. Rushdie.

Fukuyama Giving Up on the Arab World.

The Limits of Free Speech.

The Deontological and Utilitarian Justifications for FreeSpeech.

Clifford on the Duty to Critique.

Freedom of Speech and Philosophers on the Index.

Intolerance not Restricted to Islam.

Giniewski v. France.

Freethought under Fire.

People Are not Being Insulted for Having a Religion.

Racism without Race.

Social Criticism not Identical with the Urge to Provoke.

Flemming Rose on Why He Published the Danish Cartoons.

The Theory of Evolution: Too Controversial to Defend?

Is There Another Way to Discover the Truth than by FreeDiscussion?

4. Moral and Political Secularism.

Pope Benedict XVI on the Apostles’ Creed.

“Who Are You to Tell Believers What to Believe?”

What Judaism, Christendom, and Islam Have in Common: Theism.

Divine Command Theories.

Abraham and Isaac.

The Story of Abraham in the Qur’an.

The Story of Jephtha.

Adherents of Divine Command Theory.

Command Ethics or Divine Command Ethics?

An Assessment of Divine Command Ethics.

Kierkegaard and Mill.

Kohlberg and Moral Education.

Religious and Secular Ethics.


Kant’s Struggle with Moral Autonomy and Free Speech.

Kant’s Legacy in Nineteenth-Century German Theology.

Schleiermacher as the Father of Modern Hermeneutics.

Armstrong’s Plea for Liberal Interpretation.

A New Way to Look at the “Sacredness” ofScripture?

Classic Books and Sacred Books.

Violating the Integrity of the Text.

Is Hermeneutics the Only Way to Modernize Traditions?

Is Islam “Secularization-Resistant”?

Two Kinds of Reformers: Liberal Islam and Secular Islam.

Selected Reading.


What People are Saying About This

From the Publisher

"This is a brave and timely book, a light in the gatheringEndarkenment. Cliteur responds lucidly to the West's many failuresof political nerve, to the new climate of rationalizing theirrational and appeasing authoritarians. He advances a powerfulcase for the values of freedom and reason."
Russell Blackford, Co-editor for 50 Voices ofDisbelief: Why We Are Atheists

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