Posts Tagged ‘Paul Kurtz’

RELIGION AND THE PARANORMALS IN PAUL KURTZ’S EUPRAXOPHY: A CRITICAL APPRAISAL

April 10, 2017

Author: Ejikemeuwa Ndubisi J. O
Department: Philosophy
Affiliation: Nnamdi Azikiwe University Awka

Human life is full of puzzles and wonder. Certain things in the world appear to be mysterious. More so, the human person is a being that desires to know. In a bid to understand the puzzles of life, some people make certain claims to knowledge. While religion makes claim to knowledge with reference to a supernatural being or a deity, the paranormals try to interpret the puzzles of life beyond the range of normal experience or scientific explanation. Religion and the paranormals tend to go beyond nature in their quest to understand nature. This study, therefore, concerned itself with a critical appraisal of Paul Kurtz’s Eupraxophy. Eupraxophy is the humanist philosophy of Paul Kurtz. It is concerned with the good and wellbeing of the human person from the point of view of the natural light of reason. Kurtzian Eupraxophy is based on the proper use of reason, critical intelligence and wisdom. It therefore rejects any supernatural interpretation of the world and sees the human person as the measure of all things. For Kurtz, every claim to knowledge must be empirically justified for it to be accepted as a true knowledge. Against the understanding of Paul Kurtz’s Eupraxophy, some fundamental questions quickly come to mind: How reliable are the claims of religion and the paranormals? Can the claims of religion and the paranormals be rationally and objectively demonstrated? Is there any basis for religious and paranormal beliefs? To what extent can we say that the claims of religion and the paranormals are meaningful or meaningless? Do religion and the paranormals have anything to add to human knowledge? So, employing the method of philosophical analysis, this onerous research work attempted to provide answers to the above and the related questions. This study observed that most of the claims of religion and the paranormals cannot withstand thorough rational justification. More so, the way and manners religious and paranormal believers practice their beliefs have some social, economic, political and health implications. It is the submission of this study that it is only the proper application of human reason that will help the human person to understand the puzzles of life and be able to solve human problems. The work, among other things, calls for a total transformation from the culture of believing-without-inquiry into critical inquiry- before-believing, especially among contemporary Nigerians. This, in the view of this study, is one of the ways to minimize the excesses or the irrationalities of religious and paranormal beliefs.

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