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2013年1月27日

後現代.社會文化.基督


關啟文,宗教與哲學

              後現代與當代社會文化
簡單地說,現代在西方是指中世紀崩潰後的年代,隨著科學革命、工業革命和資本主義制度的成功,一個自由、世俗、工商業化和科技化的現代社會也產生了。總括而言,現代思潮反對傳統權威,高舉人的主體,信奉理性和經驗,歌頌批判精神和懷疑詮釋法(Hermeneutics of Suspicion),並把希望放於歷史的不斷進步。

然而現代的種種危機卻顯示啟蒙思想只是烏托邦,因此這幾十年在西方開始興起「後現代」熱潮,不少知識份子有意識地攻擊現代主義和啟蒙精神,認為這種「理性主義」、「人文主義」和「樂觀的進步主義」已經破產了,並且是現代世界種種問題的根源,較極端的後現代主義者還積極鼓吹相對主義和解構主義,並否定絕對的真理與價值。後現代思想把懷疑詮釋法發揮到極致,認為真理往往是權力的工具,而人的「主體」只不過是社會建構的概念,並沒有相應的實體。因此,它否定所有對人生與世界全面及一元的解釋(宏大敘事[grand narrative])

我們還需要護教嗎?

關啟文
先說兩則故事。
有一次在宗教與近代科學的導修課中,一位女同學介紹創世紀的故事,當念到神如何使亞當沉睡,然後取他的肋骨造夏娃時,她忍不住笑了出來。她感到這種神話簡直荒誕可笑;而進化論因為是科學,所以總比創造論可信。
另一次與兩個男同學談到信仰問題,一個直斥信仰虛無飄渺、難以置信。另一個則用很好的態度問我:「亞Sir,為何你會信宗教呢?」他解釋,他一直以為宗教是全無理據的,只是一些心靈空虛的人用來慰藉自己,但他最近發現一些有學問的思想家似乎對信仰很認真的,他實在不明白。

基督徒應如何面對李天命的挑戰?-- 回應梁科慶的回應

關啟文宗教與哲學

李天命曾用兩個問題質疑神的概念:一、無所不在的神是否在我們的耳朵、大腸之內?二、無所不能的神能否造一塊祂舉不起的石頭?(參《李天命的思考藝術》。)梁科慶君最近在《時代論壇》(631期,1999103)揣文回應這兩個問題(〈信仰不是辯論賽噢答《李天命的思考藝術》中兩個問題〉,我也同意他的一些看法,如宗教經驗的重要性、信仰是個人的親身經歷而不是辯論賽、單靠理性很難叫人信主和人們應謙卑尋求上主等。然而他的回答也有很多問題,我在下面談談我的看法。

基督教信仰有前途嗎?──由無神論者弗魯的改變談起


關啟文宗教與哲學
弗魯的改變──還不是沾沾自喜的時候
弗魯(Antony Flew) 是一位著名的英國無神論哲學家,2004年底他在多處公開承認已放棄了無神論,轉投有神論(廣義地理解) 的陣營,開始相信宇宙有一位有智慧的造物主。0410月我首次從William Lane Craig的口中聽到弗魯改轅易轍的消息時,也實在有點驚訝。(Craig是著名的有神論哲學家,曾和弗魯辯論,這對弗魯也有影響。不久這個消息已在基督徒圈子中廣為流傳,甚至被媒體報導。當然,這在無神論者當中引起一些震動,一些無神論者的反應相當歇斯底里──這不難理解,他們一生敬佩的英雄竟然投誠敵方,實在叫他們難以接受。弗魯表達了立場後,他的無神論朋友對他進行游說,所以或許對這問題的看法曾有反覆,也有謠言說這都是基督徒捏造出來的謊言。然而2007年底他出版的書把所有謠言和不確定都打破了,書名說得很清楚:《有一位神:世界上最臭名昭彰的無神論者如何改變了主意》。(Flew, Antony & Roy Abraham Varghese. 2007. There is a God: How the World’s Most Notorious Atheist Changed His Mind. New York: HarperCollins.)

The Probability of the Resurrection


Richard Swinburne


[Please also see Kai-man Kwan’s response from pp. 5-6 below.]
       
1)      Kinds of evidence for a historical hypothesis:.
a)      posterior historical evidence: the testimony of witnesses about and the physical data caused by what happened at the time and place in question.  In so far as the hypothesis is a simple one, and the posterior historical evidence is such as you would expect to find if the hypothesis at stake is true but not otherwise, that is evidence for the hypothesis.
b)      the crucial importance of simplicity: always an infinite number of possible theories to explain the evidence.  The theory that is most likely to be true is the simplest one.
c)      general background evidence of how likely the hypothesis is to be true, independently of the detailed historical evidence.  Ex.: supernova explosion. 
d)     The general background evidence may indicate that it is likely to be true only under certain conditions.  Evidence showing that those conducive conditions were or were not present: the prior historical evidence.

Mysticism, Nature and Assessment of [addendum]



Kai-man Kwan

“Mysticism, Nature and Assessment of [addendum].” In Donald Borchert, ed., Encyclopedia of Philosophy, vol.6, 2nd edition (Detroit: Macmillan Reference USA, 2006), pp. 460-62.

MYSTICISM, NATURE AND ASSESSMENT OF [ADDENDUM]
Since the 1960s, philosophical controversies concerning the nature of mysticism mainly surround the relationship between mysticism and language, and the typology of mysticism. Moreover, as standard empiricist epistemologies no longer dominate the scene, new types of epistemology which grant mystical experiences much more evidential force have been formulated. 

Mysticism and Language.
Concerning the relationship between mysticism and language, some believe that mysticism transcends language, as reflected in the claim that mysticism is essentially ineffable. Taken literally, this claim generates many paradoxes, and Keith Yandell (chs. 3-5) has made sharp criticisms of various versions of the ineffability thesis (Alston 1992; Matilal).

Moral Arguments for the Existence of God [addendum]


Kai-man Kwan

“Moral Arguments for the Existence of God [addendum].” In Donald Borchert, ed., Encyclopedia of Philosophy, vol.6, 2nd edition (Detroit: Macmillan Reference USA, 2006), pp. 358-60.

MORAL ARGUMENTS FOR THE EXISTENCE OF GOD [ADDENDUM].
The moral argument purports to show that the evidence from our moral experience supports the existence of God. From the 1970s onward, various forms of moral argument continue to be developed by many philosophers. While the defenders argue with increased sophistication, they also tend to make more modest claims about the force of the moral argument.

Moral Arguments as Abductive and Cumulative Arguments
If the moral argument is construed as a deductive argument which moves from, say, the objectivity of moral values to the existence of God, then to rebut the argument, the critic only needs to show that the objectivity of moral values and the non-existence of God are logically compatible. This is a relatively easy task. However, developments in epistemology and philosophy of science since the 1960s lead many to think that it is more realistic to look for an abductive argument in most areas of inquiry. We can also formulate the moral argument as an abductive argument, or an inference to the best explanation, i.e., to argue that among diverse worldviews, the theistic worldview is the best explanation of, say, the objectivity of morals, especially in contrast with naturalism.

傅柯的權力/真理觀—批評與回應

關啟文宗教與哲學


傅柯[(Michel Foucault)大陸學者愛譯作福柯]是當代著名哲學家,1926年生於法國 Poitiers1984年死於愛滋病。他的思想影響巨大,被視為後現代思想大師之一[雖然他自己未必接受這標簽]。他一生的研究都環繞著權力、真理和主體幾個概念,這些問題的重要性是毋庸置疑的,特別是在科技先進和科層化的現代世界中,權力的濫用是特別值得關注的。傅柯的思想很多時另闢蹊徑,他對權力的分析的確作出了獨特貢,他認為權力、真理和主體幾個概念是不可分開的,一些貌似客觀真理的論述(discourse)往往只是權力的工具;而且權力不單可從外面壓迫我們的主體性,它更可以從內在建構和塑造我們的主體性。他的思想為大一統的架構、思想體系和道德規條帶來嚴峻的挑戰,是鋒利的理論武器。西風東漸,加上傅柯的思想的研究可說是當今顯學,不少香港的知識分子和社運人士都受傅柯那類思想影響,並且愛用權力的角度去分析問題:一些人動輒便說別人的言論只是「論述」,他們也會學效傅柯把傳統道德置疑化(problematization)。例如社會學家和文化評論員梁款討論三級漫畫的問題時,便堅持色情不是道德問題,而是權力問題。[1]一同志組織「姊妺同志」用傅柯的思想攻擊一切道德,乾脆宣告不設底線。[2]一外展社工亦用傅柯的進路探討青少年問題。[3]

「我消費故我在?」──經濟危機下的信仰反省


關啟文,宗教與哲學
引言:經濟危機中的反思
        隨著國際性的經濟不景氣,再加上去年九一一事件的打擊,香港與台灣都在面對近幾十年罕有的經濟危機,今年香港政府預計財政赤字會高達幾百億,而財政司梁錦松相信這會是一種結構性問題。台灣這一年也錄得大幅度的負增長數字,而政府的各種基金和儲備也顯著減少。更使人氣餒的是,兩地的政府都好像束手無策,不知怎樣做才可使經濟復甦。我們故然希望人民困苦的日子盡早過去,但在這種情況,或許我們亦需要重新反思我們一直奉為金科玉律的資本主義制度和其中的消費主義文化。

後現代的護教學

關啟文,宗教哲學

引言
不少人認為在後現代的處境中,基督教的護教學是不再需要存在了。本文會探討這種「廢護教學論」是否成立,我會解釋為何我相信答案是否定的,然後再探討護教學在新處境中應扮演甚麼角色,和應向那一個方向發展。首先讓我們弄清楚一些重要詞語的定義,後現代主義(postmodernism)與後現代文化(postmodern culture) 是有分別的,前者是一種意識形態,全盤反對絕對真理、普遍價值和普遍理性;後者是一種含糊的取向、思想或感情模式,在其中後現代主義是有重大影響的元素,但並不是唯一的元素。後現代文化正正呈現後現代主義愛強調的多元性,裡面以複雜的方法混合著前現代、現代和後現代思想。

由現代到後現代:一個綜覽


關啟文宗教與哲學

摘要
基督教、現代主義與後現代主義三者實有複雜的關係。
作者對此作出初步探討。全文分四大段:
一、現代思潮的特徵
‧反對前現代:1.反對倚賴傳統,也不接受權威的超越性。
2.反對人生有客觀的存在目的,也不同意社會有理想的次序。
‧主體性原則:一種人本思想,認為真理與價值不用在人的主體以外找尋。
‧理性主義:從理性去獲取知識、判別真假。
‧懷疑詮釋法:例如馬克思從社會分析入手,判別無產階級的思想,認為這些思潮不過是扭曲的社會關係反射出來的虛假意識。
‧世俗主義:以上思潮使宗教式微,社會的世俗化成為必然。
二、現代的危機──後現代的衝擊
現代思潮企圖將文明建立在理性的基礎上,後現代主義則否定所有「基礎主義」,認為多元化、紛亂、不同的解釋、對立的價值都不可避免。
後現代主義的興起,很大部分歸因於現代思潮中過度樂觀之夢想的破滅。
三、我們的情況:
在台灣、香港和中國大陸,前現代、現代和後現代三種思潮相互角力。
三種思潮同時並存的紛亂現象,確是後現代的情況,而三種思想交鋒尚未定出勝負。
四、教會的回應
要慎防走向兩個極端:
第一,不可盲目抗拒現代/後現代思潮,有時我們的信仰傳統的確是出了問題。
第二,不可盲目跟從現代/後現代思潮,自由神學就是因此使信仰異化。


理性的困境與相對主義的迷思 ---- 一個基督徒在後現代的反思


關啟文
 (一)困惑的普羅米修斯 ¾ 理性的困境
  「後現代」標示著現代人對自啟蒙運動以來他一直深信不疑,並以之為確立知識、真理基礎的「理性」,所產生的根本性的疑問。「後現代」是對理性質疑,甚至反撲(revolt)的時代。英國社會學家及哲學家蓋拿(Ernest Gellner) 在他的Reason and Culture一書,即以「困惑的普羅米修斯」為其第八章的標題。普羅米修斯(Prometheus)是希臘神話中的悲劇英雄。他為了人類的幸福,敢於挑戰神權,象徵著人類的理性及自主性。蓋拿的標題正反映他自己作為理性主義者的困惑。蓋拿雖篤信理性及科學,但在書中他誠實地探討一些對理性的挑戰。他承認,其中的一些困難是不能解決的,而更重要的是,最終是理性本身打倒了自己。他說:「對理性、理性的普遍性、理性秩序真正重要而有力的攻擊,都是由理性以合理程序產生的,一些最偉大的非理性主義者或者是絕望或飽受折磨,但他們在思考方法上,仍是不折不扣的理性主義者........。理性產生了『自然』(Nature),但在『自然』內理性卻無容身之所,他們對檢視人的理性,卻揭示人不過是一些知覺經驗的組合(休謨),又或只是自然界的一部分(尼采)。兩種解說雖採很不同的路徑,但同時帶出一個結論:人所謂的『理性』(REASON),其實不過是非理性的僕役。」[1]
  蓋拿整本書其實就是探討以上的問題,可讀性甚高。我試就幾方面加以討論。

基督教與後現代自我觀的對話(二之一):自我之死?


The Dialogue between Christianity and the Postmodern View of Self (I): The Death of Self?
AUTHOR:     DR. KAI-MAN KWAN

ABSTRACT
In a series of two papers, I will pursue a dialogue with the postmodern view of self from a Christian perspective. In this paper, I first trace the development of the view of self from the pre-modern period to the modern period and then to the postmodern period. I then explain how various kinds of postmodern thought, in contrast with the modern worship of a self-sufficient and unitary self, emphasize the plurality, contingency, and fragmentation of our selves. The more extreme postmodernists (e.g. Foucault) even proclaim the death of Man or Self, and they celebrate this as the victory of untrammeled freedom and the ultimate liberation from all restraints. I further explore the social and cultural roots of the death of Self: consumerism and media culture. In the second half of this paper, I provide a critique of the death of Self thesis. I argue that this view is unsatisfactory from the perspectives of moral responsibility, interpersonal relationship, psychological consequence, and common experience. I further argue that Foucault’s later transition to an aesthetics of existence shows the dilemma inherent in a postmodernist view of self, which is linked to the loss of transcendence in postmodernism.

基督教與後現代自我觀的對話(二):「我被愛故我在」


The Dialogue between Christianity and the Postmodern View of Self (II): “I Am Loved; Therefore I Am”

AUTHOR:     DR. KAI-MAN KWAN

ABSTRACT
This is the second paper of a series on the dialogue between Christianity and the postmodern view of self. In the first paper, I delineate the postmodern view of self and point out its various shortcomings. In this paper, I first explore Kierkegaard’s view on becoming a self before God. I argue that his dialectical view of self as the synthesis of the finite and the infinite avoids both the arrogance of modernism and the despair of postmodernism. Then I explain several significant aspects of the Christian view of self in contrast with both the modern view and the postmodern view:
1)  In line with postmodernism, Christianity acknowledges the fragility of self.
2)  However, in contrast with postmodernism, the Christian doctrines of creation, redemption and incarnation provide a basis for the value and identity of the human self.
3)  Knowledge of God is inseparable from self-knowledge.
4)  Oneself ’s fidelity to the other helps create the self of the other and his own self.
5)  Jesus Christ’s self-emptying shows the dialectical relationship between losing oneself and gaining oneself. A self centered around Christ is therefore a self centered around self-giving love. It is not necessarily oppressive (pace postmodernism).
6)  A Christian self can be open, creative and forever self-transcending.

Finally, I argue that the problem of the true self is very hard to solve given the death of God. This explains the predicament of postmodernists over the issue of self.

走向後現代自我的中國新一代──神學反思


關啟文,宗教與哲學

前言:由前現代到後現代的自我觀

中國新一代的自我觀是怎樣的呢?這個如此廣闊的課題是很難有一個統一和簡單的答案的,中國有如此多的人口,我想關於自我觀,不同年紀、不同省分、不同階層和不同成長環境都會導致相當大的分歧,所以以下的文章只是筆者就著有限的觀察所作出的反省,[1]只希望這些觀察和反省能反映某些明顯和重要的發展趨勢,和能激發更多討論,那文章的目的也算達到了。我認為在眾多的趨勢中,「自我的後現代化」這個概念能統攝和解釋不少現象,我就用這概念貫穿本文的反思。

概略來說,在前現代社會(如封建社會)中,自我身分是穩定、少懷疑和衝突的,因它基本上被牢不可破的傳統、神話和社會角色系統所界定,每個人的思想與行為都嚴重地受某種社會公認的世界觀規限(可能根本就沒有其他世界觀供他選擇),而他生命的方向差不多是預先決定了的。在西方,這種界定自我的傳統就是基督教,在中國,這種界定自我的傳統就是儒家思想和傳統文化(如家族中心主義)。
       

基督教與後現代的自我觀


關啟文

       基督教與後現代的自我觀[1]

            

千古之謎--我是誰?

我們每天講得最多的是甚麼字呢?可能是「我」字。然而這每天掛在嘴邊的「我」究竟是甚麼東西?這看起來很容易的問題卻則難倒了千古的智者。如紀元前四、五世紀時希臘哲學家蘇格拉底就勸導我們去認識自我(to know thyself)。其他動物不會問這問題,只有人類這奇怪的動物,他自己對自己是一個問題,這是因為人有自我意識(self-consciousness)。「我是誰?」這問題難以回答,其中一個原因是人的複雜性:人的自我有很多層次和向度。視乎你認為那一個層次或向度重要,你的答案也層出不窮:我就是我的基因,我就是我的過去,我就是我的自我形象,我就是我的性別,我就是我的性取向,我就是我所擁有的財物,我就是我的身分証號碼,我就是神的兒女

CONSUMER CULTURE AND ECONOMIC CRISIS


CONSUMER CULTURE AND ECONOMIC CRISIS
Kai-man Kwan, “Consumer Culture and Economic Crisis.”  IFES East Asia Graduate Conference, 25-29 July 1998, Pattaya, Thailand. (Invited)
 Introduction
        It is clear that we are now living in a world where capitalism reigns supreme.  Especially since the collapse of the Communist bloc in 1989, the main contender of capitalism, socialism, has been deemed to fail miserably.  The fact is that socialism, despite decades of Herculean efforts, has not delivered consumer goods as capitalist societies have somehow managed to do.  Indeed the recognition of this fact by the people of Eastern Europe has certainly played a key role in the rebellion against the Communist regimes and contributed to their downfall.  Even in countries where the Communist regimes still survive, e.g. China, Vietnam, the socialist ideology has effectively been replaced by the market ideology.  All these have prompted some scholars (e.g. Fukuyama) to declare "the end of history" with the above triumph of democratic capitalism.  This may also ring true to the Asians (at least before the onset of the economic crisis).  The aspirations for a prosperous economy with its myriad consumer goods are just evident in most Asian countries.  The East Asian countries have especially done a great job in this area in the postwar decades- their economic growth is nothing short of a miracle in the eyes of the Westerners.  Especially in the big cities of East Asia, the efficiency and affluence of a consumer society are unmistakably displayed.  Of course, not all parts of East Asia have reached the same height of achievement.  But the capitalist dream is shared- all are looking up to those big cities as their model and are striving to emulate their success.  Now the economic crisis has occurred- does it change everything?  Not really.  People in East Asia may now be more aware of the pitfalls of the capitalist road.  They may even be willing to go with less for the moment in order to get over the economic crisis- and that's the point: the ultimate goal for many people hasn't changed a bit!  The capitalist society with a booming economy and unlimited provision of consumer goods is still the utopia in their hearts.  Is it any different with Christians?

基督教與近代哲學—基督教與分析哲學和存在主義的對話


關啟文,宗教與哲學

基督教與近代哲學基督教與分析哲學和存在主義的對話[1]

前言上帝的回歸?

基督教信仰與哲學思維應該有甚麼關係呢?這是一個基督教很早便要面對的問題,因為早期教會若要在希羅文化中生根,不能不處理信仰與希臘哲學的關係。然而有不少神學家提倡衝突論,認為信仰與哲學在本質上是衝突的,如早期教父特土良(Tertullian)的質問「耶路撒冷與雅典有甚麼相干呢?」已是眾所周知的。又如巴斯卡(Pascal)認為哲學家的神實在與亞伯拉罕、以撒、雅各的神大相逕庭,不可混為一談。但亦有不少神學家認為信仰與哲學是並行不悖,而且相輔相成的,這我稱為互補論

苦難的奧秘──評約翰.希克的造靈說

關啟文、呂宇俊

ABSTRACT 論文摘要
很多哲學家都以苦難的存在作為反對有神論者的一大理據,但基督教的神學家和哲學家亦嘗試建構多種神義論(Theodicy)來解答苦難問題,在當代宗教哲學中約翰.希克的造靈神義論 (Soul-making Theodicy) 很有代表性,因為他的神義論不但嘗試同時解答自然苦難與道德罪惡兩大問題,而且亦提倡以積極的態度去面對苦難。本文會先闡釋造靈說的綱領,接著探討四種常見的批評(如自然苦難有必要嗎?苦難會否太多呢?),看看造靈說能否夠經得起理性考驗。最後,筆者會簡略建議把造靈說吸納進一種新奧古斯丁的進路裡。

Many philosophers use the existence of evil as the major evidence against theism. However, many contemporary Christian theologians & philosophers construct different types of theodicy to solve the problem of evil. Among them, John Hick’s soul-making theodicy is representative of these efforts: it tries to explain both moral evil & natural evil, & also promote positive values in face of suffering. In this essay, I would first delineate the major themes of soul-making theodicy. Then I would evaluate four common criticisms (e.g., is suffering really necessary? Is there excessive evil?) to see whether the soul-making theodicy can withstand critical scrutiny. Finally, I would briefly suggest how we can incorporate the insights of soul-making theodicy into a neo-Augustinian approach to evil.

關鍵詞:苦難;神義論;約翰.希克;造靈說。

基督教與存在主義的人觀


關啟文,宗教與哲學
人觀:人的自我探索
「人觀」(anthropology) 也可稱「人類學」或「人學」,是一門挺有趣的學問,它可說是人類對自己的存在的探索,在探索的過程中,「人」對自己來說化成了一個大問號。這種探索也反映了人的獨特之處,就是他擁有自我意識(self-consciousness) :他覺察及可以反省自我。我們更可進一步說:人的自我意識或自我理解(self-understanding) 也是構成他的自我的成分,這即是說,一個人怎樣理解自己,會影響他成為怎樣的一個人。為甚麼呢?首先,人的自我形象(self-image)影響人對自己的感覺,眾所周知的是,假若一個人的自我形象低落,那他的內心也不會愉快。此外,人的自我理解往往構成他的行動的領域的界線(horizon of one's actions) ,除了那些條件反射的動作之外,人的行動大多是有意識的,而一個有意識的行動的先決條件,就是行動者要相信那行動對他而言是有可能的,例如我們不會經常「飛向月球」,就算企圖這樣做也不會,因為我們不相信這是可能的,換言之,「我不能夠飛向月球」是我們自我理解的一部分。一般而言,若一類行動的可能性被我們的自我理解排斥了,那我們根本不會嘗試去作那些行動,也因此人的自我理解往往成為自我實現的預言(self-fulfilling prophecy)

從近代人文主義到反人文主義

關啟文,宗教與哲學
引言
19世紀可說是人類進步的黃金時代,承接著啟蒙人文主義的巨大衝力,人文主義在19世紀也有長足的發展,在西方文化愈來愈佔主導的地位,「有尊嚴和權利的普遍人性」這概念在社會文化和政治制度裡也開始生根。在19世紀末,很多人期望著人文主義天堂的出現;然而就在這時候,一些先知的聲音已感受到「非人性化」的危機,「反人文主義」(anti-humanism)的思想的種子也開始播下。在20世紀,我們進一步見到人文主義的多元化發展,但隨著兩次大戰接連爆發,技術的加速發展對文明的威脅愈來愈明顯,反人文主義的聲音也甚囂塵上。特別在我們身所處的時代裡,人文主義信念正受到嚴重的衝擊,甚至就連人(man)這個詞也變得難以應用了──女權主義者指控這個詞只有虛假的包容性。結構主義和後結構主義則質疑「人的主體/自我」等概念只不過是神話,這種後現代思潮對人文主義的批判最後導致「人的消失」、「主體已死」等呼喊。

近幾十年關於人文主義的爭辯沒有平息,同一個概念卻可引起兩種截然不同的反應,如戴維斯(Tony Davies) 所言:「一方面,人文主義極受讚賞:它被視為人的自由和尊嚴的哲學維護者,它獨個兒站在那裡,與通常比它數目眾多的無知、專制和迷信的隊伍作戰。另一方面,人文主義備受譴責:它被視為現代社會和文化的種種壓逼的意識形態煙幕;它假裝為『普羅大眾』說話,但它卻導致他們的邊緣化和壓逼;甚至經過一種不可逃避的『啟蒙運動辯證法』,它導致法西斯主義和全面戰爭的暴行的夢魘。」(Davies, p. 5) 本文會介紹人文主義在1920世紀的發展,及分析反人文主義的興起的原因。我們會發現很多反人文主義的種子已潛藏在不同種類的人文主義之中,透過整個發展的回顧,可幫助我們思考人文主義在21世紀的去向。

世俗人文主義:當代巴別塔的傾覆?

關啟文,宗教與哲學
人文主義與基督宗教的關係是錯綜複雜的,在很多方面可以是互補互助的,這在本書多次已被提出。然而在人文主義的發展中,的確有一源流是與基督宗教有張力的,這漸漸演變成為在當代旗幟鮮明反宗教的世俗人文主義。一言以蔽之,世俗人文主義是自然主義世界觀與人文精神(如肯定人的尊嚴、理性和幸福的重要性)的結合,自然主義(naturalism) 的中心思想是,反對有神論或任何超越的存在,相信昨日、今日一直到永遠存在的就只有這個物質宇宙。世俗人文主義的歷史背景在前面已有交待,曾經有一段時間世俗人文主義並不想放棄「宗教」的標籤,雖然他們不再接受傳統宗教的信念,他們仍想與他們的宗教背景保持一點聯繫,其他宗教信徒也較容易接受。然而他們漸漸感到應把人文主義理解為宗教的對頭人和取代者,由六七十年代開始,特別是在美國,「世俗人文主義」一詞開始流行。在《自由探索》(Free Inquiry) 的第一期(1980/1981年冬季) ,「世俗人文主義宣言」(Secular Humanist Declaration)發表了,之後不久也成立了「民主與世俗人文主義議會」(Council for Democratic and Secular Humanism, CODESH) (1995改名為「世俗人文主義議會」[Council for Secular Humanism]) (Walter, 113-114)

本章會分為兩大部分:第一部分會詳細闡釋世俗人文主義的思想,第二部分則對它作出批判性的評價,我的看法是:世俗人文主義的人文精神本有很多可取之處,但把它種植在自然主義的泥土上,是難以成功的。所以世俗人文主義的理論有不少難以梳解的張力,而實踐上也會導致人文精神的扭曲。

APOLOGETICS IN THE EASTERN CONTEXT(S)


Kai-man Kwan
 A) THE MEANING AND SIGNIFICANCE OF APOLOGETICS

"Quietly trust yourself to Christ your Lord and if anybody asks why you believe as you do, be ready to tell him, and do it in a gentle and respectful way."  (1P 3:15, The Living Bible)

"We demolish sophistries and all that rears its proud head against the knowledge of God; we compel every human thought to surrender in obedience to Christ"  (2C 10:5, NEB)

現代道德的巴別塔-世俗主義能為道德提供基礎嗎?


香港浸會大學宗教及哲學系,關啟文
 「道德的基礎是甚麼?」是極富爭議性的問題,有些學者相信只有宗教的世界觀(如有神論)能為道德的客觀性提供基礎,如著名俄國作家杜斯妥也夫斯基(Dostoevsky)所言:「若上帝不存在,甚麼行為都是合法的。」但這種看法廣泛受現代倫理學者排斥,他們相信道德律的本質是自主、獨立和理性的,在現今「上帝已死」的社會,道德的基礎只能建立在世俗主義(secularism)[1]或自然主義(naturalism)之上。本文會批判地探討這種觀點,指出其問題所在,然後提出:「宗教能否為道德提供更穩固的基礎?」是很值得探討的問題,但本文只是初步的探索,不會就此問題提供答案。

道德的基礎:宗教或世俗主義?(上)

                         (Abridged Version)[1]
香港浸會大學宗教及哲學系,關啟文
 宗教與道德的關係極富爭議性,一方面有人說:「若上帝不存在,甚麼行為都是合法的。」但另一方面卻有學者相信若把道德的基礎建立在上帝的旨意上,只會產生他律(heteronomous)的系統,有違真正的道德精神。本文會探討究竟世俗主義能否為道德提供穩固的基礎,從而帶出宗教對這問題的適切性。

當代哲學神學

關啟文

前言

哲學神學(Philosophical Theology),顧名思義,是哲學與神學之間的科際學科,大致上說,與宗教哲學(Philosophy of Religion)同義。在西方,哲學與神學的互相滲透已有悠久的歷史,而近年哲學神學亦有很蓬勃的發展。然而在華人學術界,專注研究宗教哲學的學者不多,一般的中國知識分子對宗教哲學的了解多停留在五六十年代的境況,而對它的當代發展認識不多,特別是關於分析哲學與宗教哲學的對話。在台灣也有一些宗教哲學的課本,然而它們主要是依循天主教的多瑪斯主義傳統(Thomism)(如曾仰如)。大陸學者對廿世紀的宗教哲學的介紹較全面,如何光滬(1991)便總結了很多哲學家和神學家的思想,他覆蓋的時期主要是廿世紀的上一半,直至大概1970年。張志剛(1993, 1997)則有一些較新的資料,如七十年代後冒起的三大宗教哲學家,史榮本(Richard Swinburne)、彭定加(Alvin Plantinga)和奧斯頓(William Alston),他都有介紹,但篇幅和主題所限,他仍沒處理很多重要課題。本文在交待了哲學神學的基本要旨後,便會集中介紹在廿世紀(特別是下一半)的哲學神學,使更多人對那些令人振奮的發展有概略的認識。

基督教與分析哲學的對話

關啟文

  基督教與分析哲學的對話[1]

  

前言上帝的回歸?

基督教信仰與哲學思維應該有甚麼關係呢?這是一個基督教很早便要面對的問題,因為早期教會若要在希羅文化中生根,不能不處理信仰與希臘哲學的關係。然而有不少神學家提倡衝突論,認為信仰與哲學在本質上是衝突的,如早期教父特土良(Tertullian)的質問「耶路撒冷與雅典有甚麼相干呢?」已是眾所周知的。

由人的超越到神的存在—約翰.麥奎利的人類論証

關啟文, 戴《建道學刊》16期,20017月,頁57-81
 ABSTRACT
John Macquarrie is a famous existentialist theologian. In the early years, he was critical of traditional natural theology. However, later he came under the influence of Basil Mitchell, and accepted a kind of cumulative case for the existence of God. His entire book, In Search of Humanity, is devoted to the anthropological argument for the existence of God. In brief, this argument tries to show that human existence and experiences transcend nature. They can’t be adequately explained by naturalism, and naturally call for the transcendent God as the source and ground of human transcendence.

二十世紀的亞奎拿──斯溫伯溫

關啟文
哲學和信仰:水火不容?
西方哲學和信仰很多時被視為兩個互不相容的領域,在不少人的印象中,有批判精神的大哲學家(如休謨、羅素等)都是否定信仰的無神論者;而有信仰的哲學家,若論思想的清晰、深刻及豐富,都不及無神論哲學家。當然稍為認識西方哲學史的人,都知道以上的圖晝是很片面的,在西方哲學史中甚多大哲學家都是有信仰的,而兩者衝突的印象,主要是源自在三十年代後興起的分析哲學。當時分析哲學的主流是邏輯實証論,佔領導位置的分析哲學家(如羅素和艾耶)都是實證論者,他們對基督教和宗教信仰抱鮮明的敵對態度。羅素對基督教的批判不用多介紹了[1],他基本上延續啟蒙思想的進路,認為基督教與科學有矛盾、証明神的論証不堪一擊而反對神的論証則強而有力,總而言之,基督教的信念是不合理性的。艾耶對宗教的批判更徹底,他從邏輯實証論的証實原則出發,認為宗教語言根本沒認知意義,沒真假可言,即是說連假的資格也沒有。一些分析哲學家後來較仔細地應用哲學分析在基督教上,如1955年出版的《哲學神學新論文》(Flew and MacIntyre, 1955) 就收集了不少用分析哲學批判宗教的文章,似乎顯示分析哲學與宗教是不相容的,因為神和其他宗教概念在嚴謹分析下,根本就顯得矛盾百出;而且支持宗教的論証也同樣經不起邏輯分析,它們只是一堆謬誤(fallacy)
 

THE NO CRITERIA OBJECTION TO THE ARGUMENT FROM RELIGIOUS EXPERIENCE


Kai-man Kwan

        Critics of RE or TE have always emphasized the point that we have no (clear or precise) criteria to find out which TEs, if they are delusive, are really so.  I call these criteria of veridicality (sometimes abbreviated as CV).  Firstly, we note that the allegation of 'no criteria' can mean several things:
1) no criteria at all!
2) no criteria which are non-circular!
3) no criteria which are like those of SE!
        I'll only deal with the second and third claims because as it stands the first claim is false.  It is just not true that the God-experient will accept every experience of God as veridical.  Even the mystics, e.g. St Teresa, would doubt whether their mystical experiences come from the devil.
        The reason why lack of criteria is regarded as damaging is again not uniform.  In relation to my argument, the no criteria objection can conceivably cut in several ways:
1) It can be meant to show that the Type PCT or the like should not be applied to TE. 
2) It can be meant to show that either TE is unreliable or unjustifiable.  This can be due to different reasons:
a) Criteria of veridicality are intrinsically related to the reliability or justifiability of a type of experience.
b) Lack of criteria of veridicality shows an invidious disanalogy with SE.  (This would amount to a variant of the Disanalogy Objection.  I'll discuss this in the next chapter.)
       

CAN RELIGIOUS EXPERIENCE PROVIDE JUSTIFICATION FOR THE BELIEF IN GOD? - THE DEBATE IN CONTEMPORARY ANALYTIC PHILOSOPHY

ABSTRACT:
In recent analytic philosophy of religion, one hotly debated topic is the veridicality of religious experience. In this paper, I briefly trace how the argument from religious experience comes into prominence in the twentieth century. This is due to the able defense of this argument by Richard Swinburne, William Alston and Jerome Gellman among others. I explain the argument’s intuitive force and why the stock objections to religious experience are not entirely convincing. I expound Swinburne’s approach and his application of the Principle of Credulity to religious experience. Then I critically examine four major objections to Swinburne. I conclude that the argument from religious experiences is not likely to be conclusive but it should not be dismissed either.


CONTEMPORARY PHILOSOPHICAL DEBATE ON THE VALIDITY OF RELIGIOUS EXPERIENCE

Kai-man Kwan


The Experiential Roots of Religion
        Religion is characterized by the passion that it can arouse, either for or against religion.  Why is religion capable of such enormous effects on human life?  Apart from the fact that religion is about the ultimate concern of human beings, we also need to bear in mind that religion often has an experiential basis.  God is not just a hypothesis for the religiously devoted.  He is a Living Reality who permeates all their lives.  Hick has a good account here:
"To the Old Testament prophets and the New Testament apostles, for example, whose religious experience lies behind the biblical writings, God was an experienced reality.  He was known to them as a dynamic will interacting with their own wills; a sheer given reality, as inescapably to be reckoned with as destructive storm and life-giving sunshine, or the fixed contours of the land, or the hatred of their enemies and the friendship of their neighbours.  The biblical writers were (sometimes, though doubtless not at all times) as vividly conscious of being in God's presence as they were of living in a material environment.  Their pages resound and vibrate with the sense of God's presence, as a building might resound and vibrate from the tread of some great being walking through it."[1]

The Cross-checking of Religious Experience and the Critical Trust Approach


Kai-man Kwan


The Critical Trust Approach to Religious Experience
In recent years, there is a revival of the argument from religious experience among analytic philosophers of religion. Richard Swinburne gave it epistemological sophistication by propounding and defending the Principle of Credulity (PC) which says:
(PC)        If it seems (epistemically) to one that x is present, then probably x is present unless there are special considerations to the contrary.[1]

IS THE CRITICAL TRUST APPROACH TO RELIGIOUS EXPERIENCE INCOMPATIBLE WITH RELIGIOUS PARTICULARISM? A REPLY TO MICHAEL MARTIN AND JOHN HICK


(Published: Kai-man Kwan, Is the Critical Trust Approach to Religious Experience Incompatible with Religious Particularism? A Reply to Michael Martin and John Hick, Faith and Philosophy, vol. 20 no.2 (April 2003), pp. 152-169.)

Kai-man Kwan

In contemporary philosophy of religion, many philosophers, e.g., William Alston, argue that we should treat religious experiences as prima facie reliable unless we have reasons to doubt them. I call this a Critical Trust Approach to religious experience. John Hick and Michael Martin have argued that this approach is incompatible with a particularist solution to the problem of religious pluralism. I argue that this is a misunderstanding of the Critical Trust Approach. I further explore how a religious particularist who accepts this approach can deal with conflicts between presumptive data, and argue that the particularist approach to religious experience is not necessarily inferior to atheistic and pluralist approaches.


John Mackie's Naturalistic Explanation Objection to the Argument from Religious Experience


Kai-man Kwan

        John Mackie thinks that the availability of naturalistic explanations defeats the argument from religious experience.  He draws heavily on William James who seems to admit that "So far ... as this analysis goes, the experiences are only psychological phenomena" (quoted by Mackie on p.183).  James did want to assert that there is the Something More & the Beyond.  Mackie comments, "The issue is whether the hypothesis that there objectively is a something more gives a better explanation of the whole range of phenomena than can be given without it.  James himself thinks that it does; yet he gives no real argument to support this opinion.  This is, obviously, a less economical hypothesis than its naturalistic rival" (p.183).  This type of naturalistic explanation objection regards religious experiences as ordinary events to be explained & does not entertain the possibility that they may have PFEF at all.  The further assumptions are that the decisive criterion here is the Principle of Simplicity & that NEs are simpler than the theistic explanation.

NATURALISTIC EXPLANATIONS OF RELIGIOUS EXPERIENCE: DO THEY MATTER?

Kai-man Kwan

ABSTRACT
        Recently the argument from religious experience has been revived by Swinburne, Alston and others.  A common objection to it is that religious experiences can easily be explained naturalistically.  In this paper, I look more carefully into the concept of a naturalistic explanation of religious experience and try to formulate criteria for a successful naturalsitic explanation, i.e. one that actually defeats the force of religious experiences.  I suggest to do so, they have to be both evidence-canceling and true.  I divide naturalistic explanations into four major types and then argue that the general prospects of their success is not great.  I then examine in more details one example of psychological naturalistic explanations, i.e. Freudianism, and Wenegrat's sociobiologicl naturalistic explanations.  I conclude that they fail as well.


NATURALISTIC EXPLANATIONS OF RELIGIOUS EXPERIENCE:
DO THEY MATTER?