Secularists have aimed to make reason the motor of human progress to counter the supposed rigidity, absolutism, and condescending superiority of religious thought. I argue that reason cannot play this role, at least not as reason is most popularly conceived. In a world with a single dominant ideology, it is not religion but instead a certain arrogant approach to both reason and philosophy that should be the target of secularists desiring human freedom. Epistemic humility is identified as the key to genuinely free and progressive philosophical inquiry. I suggest that such humility is probably even rarer among nonreligious analytic ethicists than it is among religious ethicists.
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Research Article| May 01 2011
Susan E. Babbitt; Secularism, Ethics, Philosophy: A Case for Epistemic Humility. Comparative Studies of South Asia, Africa and the Middle East 1 May 2011; 31 (1): 4–12. doi: https://doi.org/10.1215/1089201X-2010-046
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