“is Religious Commitment Important?” with Robert Audi


Episode 92:

Originally recorded: June 3, 2016

Originally broadcast: June 19, 2016



Religious debate in the United States focuses on fanaticism and politics. But, do we really know what religion is and the difference between a good reason for believing something and a bad one? And what about religious commitment? What justifies it and what takes it over the top? On today’s episode of Why? Radio we are going to look at religion and ask the hard questions: Is it a good in itself? Should it remain private and what is its relationship to reason and rationality?

Robert Audi is the John A. O’Brien Professor of Philosophy at the University of Notre Dame. He is the author of 16 books and hundreds of articles on ethics, political philosophy, epistemology, philosophy of mind, and philosophy of religion.

The text of this episode’s monologue can be found here at our blog, PQED.

Robert mentioned a list of important feature any religion is likely to have. The list is as follows:

I. Belief in one or more supernatural beings.
2. A distinction between sacred and profane objects.
3. Ritual acts focused on those objects.
4. A moral code believed to be sanctioned by the god(s). 5. Religious feelings (awe, mystery, etc.) that tend to be aroused by the sacred objects and during rituals.
6. Prayer and other communicative forms of conduct concerning the god(s).
7. A world view according adherents a significant place in the universe.
8. A more or less comprehensive organization of one’s life based on the world view.
9. A social organization bound together by (1)-(8).

The list of from his book Religious Commitment and Secular Reason, p. 35.

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