Steven Pinker, <em>Enlightenment Now: The Case for Reason, Science, Humanism, and Progress</em>

Steven Pinker, Enlightenment Now: The Case for Reason, Science, Humanism, and Progress

The follow-up to Pinker’s groundbreaking The Better Angels of Our Nature presents the big picture of human progress: people are living longer, healthier, freer, and happier lives, and while our problems are formidable, the solutions lie in the Enlightenment ideal of using reason and science. Is the world really falling apart? Is the ideal of progress obsolete? In this elegant assessment of the human condition in the third millennium, cognitive scientist and public intellectual Steven Pinker urges us to step back from the gory headlines and prophecies of doom, which play to our psychological biases. Instead, follow the data: In…

Chen Weigang: Confucian Humanism and Theodicy

Chen Weigang: Confucian Humanism and Theodicy

Confucian Humanism and Theodicy Weigang Chen, Philosophy and Religious Studies Program, Faculty of Social Sciences and Humanities, The University of Macau, Av. Padre Tomás Pereira Taipa, Macau. E-mail: Abstract This article explores the puzzle of Confucian “divine humanism” in light of the Weberian scheme of religious rationalization. Relating the Confucian humanistic orientation to current discussions of the phenomenon of “amoral familism,” I argue that the Confucian puzzle calls into question the cornerstone of Max Weber’s comparative religion, namely his influential contrast between religious legitimation and theodicy. In particular, the puzzle suggests that in pre-Confucian China, there was no legitimate…