MARX AND EASTERN RELIGIONS
Professor Pals expresses the suspicion that Marx''s account of religion might better be understood as an account of "the essence of Christianity." You may recall that he reported a similar standard criticism of Freud to the effect that Freud's theory of religion seems drawn from reflection on the religions of the West. To what extent might Marx's account of religion be open to that same critique as Freud's?
MONOTHEISM VS POLYTHEISM -- FOR THE THEORETICALLY MINDED
All of the religions in the Abrahamic tradition profess monotheism strongly. Indeed, monotheism is such a familiar and foundational aspect of that tradition that it is easy to forget how relatively recent and unusual it is. Even more important, it is hard for people to appreciate the very familiar. What is supposed to be so special about monotheism, anyway? Why would it matter, if it would, that there is one god, rather than two, or two million? (This is a question about "significance" and can't be answered by saying "its significance is that its' true.)
THE PROBLEM OF EVIL
Sam Harris argues that the problem of accounting for the existence and apparent random distribution of pain, and suffering - and evil more generally - is intractable for a religion which proposes a God who is omniscient, omnipotent, and perfectly beneficent. On the other hand, that is supposed to be perfectly intelligible within a scientific framework. How is that supposed to work?