Presentation Title

The Sublimity of Existence: Explanations Regarding Religious Rejection of Scientific Reality

Faculty Mentor

Brian Clack

Start Date

18-11-2017 10:45 AM

End Date

18-11-2017 11:00 AM

Location

15-1823

Session

Humanities 1

Type of Presentation

Oral Talk

Subject Area

humanities_letters

Abstract

Abstract

This paper serves as a refutation of the belief that science will someday serve as a remedy to religious belief. James Frazer’s The Golden Bough presents the argument which vaunts science as intellectual progress out of religious belief. In contradistinction to Frazer, Ludwig Wittgenstein and Sigmund Freud explain religion’s role as a form of wish fulfillment, not as rational attempts to understand nature. Using assertions of the unpropitious pervasiveness ‘sublime’ and the ‘uncanny,’ it will be imparted that human beings are inclined to attach themselves to ‘illusions’ which ameliorate human existential anxiety. Human beings yearn to feel ‘at home in the unhomely.’ In finality, the paper concludes with the assertion that advances in science will fail to dethrone religion because scientific discovery amplifies our anxiety with respect to the unhomeliness of the infinite.

Summary of research results to be presented

Because of its ability to draw effective conclusions for exercising control over the natural world, science is thought to replace religiosity. As scientific utility and reliability grows, it is believed that science will be humanity's new "faith." This viewpoint is best described by Sigmund Freud in 'Totem and Taboo' and in James Frazer's 'The Golden Bough.' However, my paper uses Edmund Burke's investigation of the sublime, as well as Ludwig Wittgenstein's association of religious practice with emotional satisfaction to argue that, because of humanity's emotional attachment to beliefs that cater to their emotional desires, science not only will fail to dethrone religion, but it will exacerbate humanity's attachment to religious belief. This is because human insignificance is amplified by scientific explanations of nature.

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Nov 18th, 10:45 AM Nov 18th, 11:00 AM

The Sublimity of Existence: Explanations Regarding Religious Rejection of Scientific Reality

15-1823

Abstract

This paper serves as a refutation of the belief that science will someday serve as a remedy to religious belief. James Frazer’s The Golden Bough presents the argument which vaunts science as intellectual progress out of religious belief. In contradistinction to Frazer, Ludwig Wittgenstein and Sigmund Freud explain religion’s role as a form of wish fulfillment, not as rational attempts to understand nature. Using assertions of the unpropitious pervasiveness ‘sublime’ and the ‘uncanny,’ it will be imparted that human beings are inclined to attach themselves to ‘illusions’ which ameliorate human existential anxiety. Human beings yearn to feel ‘at home in the unhomely.’ In finality, the paper concludes with the assertion that advances in science will fail to dethrone religion because scientific discovery amplifies our anxiety with respect to the unhomeliness of the infinite.