Essays moral political and literary pdf

An essential feature of religious experience across many cultures is the intuitive feeling of God's presence. More than any rituals or doctrines, it is this experience that anchors religious faith, yet it has been largely ignored in the scientific literature on religion.

"... [Dr. Wathey's] book delves into the biological origins of this compelling feeling, attributing it to innate neural circuitry that evolved to promote the mother-child bond...[He] argues that evolution has programmed the infant brain to expect the presence of a loving being who responds to the child's needs. As the infant grows into adulthood, this innate feeling is eventually transferred to the realm of religion, where it is reactivated through the symbols, imagery, and rituals of worship. The author interprets our various conceptions of God in biological terms as illusory supernormal stimuli that fill an emotional and cognitive vacuum left over from infancy. 

These insights shed new light on some of the most vexing puzzles of religion, like:

An important consequence of giving highest priority to the metaphor of Moral Strength is that it rules out any explanations in terms of social forces or social class. If it is always possible to muster the discipline to just say no to drugs or sex and to support yourself in this land of opportunity, then failure to do so is laziness and social class and social forces cannot explain your poverty or your drug habit or your illegitimate children. And if you lack such disciple, then by the metaphor of Moral Strength, you are immoral and deserve any punishment you get.

The attempt to rectify the perceived deficiencies of the Philosophic Radicals through engagement with other styles of thought began with Mill’s editing of a new journal, the London Review , founded by the two Mills and Charles Molesworth. Molesworth quickly bought out the old Westminster Review in 1834, to leave the new London and Westminster Review as the unopposed voice of the radicals. With James Mill’s death in 1836 and Bentham’s 1832 demise, Mill had more intellectual freedom. He used that freedom to forge a new “philosophic radicalism” that incorporated the insights of thinkers like Coleridge and Thomas Carlyle. ( Collected Works [ CW ], ). One of his principal goals was “to shew that there was a Radical philosophy, better and more complete than Bentham’s, while recognizing and incorporating all of Bentham’s which is permanently valuable.” ( CW , ).

When possible, a prince should strive to rise to power on his own merits and with his own arms. Relying on friends, good luck, or other people’s arms may make the rise easier, but holding onto his newfound power will prove a difficult task. Machiavelli devotes almost an entire chapter to Cesare Borgia , who rose to prominence largely through connections and his father’s help, but was crafty enough to carve out his own niche – though he wound up failing in the end. Princes who rise to the throne through crime are another matter altogether: Machiavelli condemns them as wicked, and yet his words betray his admiration for their cleverness. Cruelty, when well-used, can be justified.

Essays moral political and literary pdf

essays moral political and literary pdf

When possible, a prince should strive to rise to power on his own merits and with his own arms. Relying on friends, good luck, or other people’s arms may make the rise easier, but holding onto his newfound power will prove a difficult task. Machiavelli devotes almost an entire chapter to Cesare Borgia , who rose to prominence largely through connections and his father’s help, but was crafty enough to carve out his own niche – though he wound up failing in the end. Princes who rise to the throne through crime are another matter altogether: Machiavelli condemns them as wicked, and yet his words betray his admiration for their cleverness. Cruelty, when well-used, can be justified.

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