By Robin Le Poidevin
What's agnosticism? Is it a trust, or only the absence of trust? Is it the results of too little considered an issue--or an excessive amount of? Who have been the 1st to name themselves "agnostics"? Does agnosticism deserve critical attention this day? Can an agnostic dwell a non secular existence?
What position should still agnosticism have in schooling? those are only the various questions that Robin Le Poidevin considers during this Very brief creation, as he units the philosophical case for agnosticism and explores it as a ancient and cultural phenomenon.
Agnosticism emerges right here as a way more refined, and masses extra attention-grabbing, angle than an easy failure to both decide to, or reject, spiritual trust. Le Poidevin demanding situations the typical knowledge approximately agnosticism between either believers and atheists, and invitations the reader to reconsider their very own place at the matters. certainly, in arguing in desire of agnosticism as a good place to take, this stimulating and provocative consultant takes factor on many issues with the assertions of popular atheists reminiscent of Richard Dawkins.
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Extra info for Agnosticism: A Very Short Introduction (Very Short Introductions)
The atomic age was opened with a prayer," Paul Boyer writes in By the Bomb s Early Light, his history of America's cultural ascent to its role as the world's first nuclear power (211). Although specifically referring to the chaplain blessing the crew of the Enola Gay as it embarked on the mission that would terminate in the sky over Hiroshima, Boyer is alluding more generally to the narrative that has in Western discourse mandated the fusing of divine power with secular: warfare, particularly as situated in the assumption that God always sides with the winners.
S. Dept. of State, Policy, v). The truth is that nuclear fuel has no nature at all; it is no more natural than it is naturally dual. For the energy in the atom to become fuel, "unnatural" acts must be performed; nature must be violated and its power spent in some exterior way. The duality comes not from the fuel but from those who tap and spend its energies. " Surveillance is necessary, but it is also inadequate, because global safety requires scrutiny not only of actions but also of motives. That invisible common denominator, something akin to the "soul" of the Other, thus intrudes, making observable actions the inadequate clues to secret orientations.
As the introduction to that issue explains, the field of nuclear criticism targets a variety of goals and areas out of a felt necessity to alter the discourse surrounding nuclear arms, through the application of contemporary critical theories, including deconstructionist, rhetorical, psychoanalytic, Marxist, and semiotic. At stake is an attempt to construct alternative ways of knowing the atom, its power, and the human or social relation to that power. The most recent addition to the genre of nuclear criticism is Peter Schwenger's 36 Straight Story and Dual Nature Letter Bomb: Nuclear Holocaust and the Exploding Word; Schwenger tries to find a way to "speak" nuclear power, atomic holocaust, by imagining it in terms of the Derridan postcard, the Lacanian unconscious, Girard's understanding of sacrifice and mimetic desire, and several fictions that thematize these approaches.
Agnosticism: A Very Short Introduction (Very Short Introductions) by Robin Le Poidevin