“Something that matters”: the Religious Dimension of Moral Experience

Michael Hauskeller


Written from a broadly atheist point of view, this paper explores the religious dimension of moral experience, that is, whether in order to be moral and/or to live a life that in our own eyes means something it is necessary to believe in something that transcends what we can verify through science or direct observation and even what we can clearly articulate. I investigate the question through an interpretation of the work of four very different writers, namely Hans Jonas, Alfred North Whitehead, Albert Camus, and Cormac McCarthy, who all contribute valuable insights that suggest the impossibility of a moral life, and indeed any decent human life at all, that is based purely on tangible reality and
the rationally justifiable.

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CAMUS, A. The Plague, The Fall, Exile and the Kingdom, and Selected Essays. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 2004.

JONAS, H.“Vergangenheit und Wahrheit. Ein später Nachtrag zu den

Gottesbeweisen”. In: JONAS, H. Philosophische Untersuchungen und metaphysische Vermutungen: Frankfurt/M.-Leipzig, 1992. p. 173-189.

MCCARTHY, C. The Road. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 2006.

METZ, T. “Happiness and Meaningfulness: Some Key Differences”. Philosophy and Happiness, ed. Lisa Bortolotti, London, 3-20, 2009.

WHITEHEAD, A. N. Modes of Thought, New York: Cambridge, 1938.

WHITEHEAD, A. N. Essays in Science and Philosophy, New York: Rider and Company, 1948.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.7213/1980-5934.29.046.AO03


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