Ancient humans seemed to see themselves as deeply embedded in nature and this was reflected later in widespread Paganism. But humanity subsequently lost its humility. In their human origin myths, monotheistic religions (Judaism, Christianity and Islam) granted a divine spark to our lowly formation from dust, supposedly giving us ‘dominion’ over the rest of creation.
Our exalted status carried over into the early Renaissance. But the growth of modern science, especially medicine, while reinforcing that control over nature, also demanded a much more down-to-Earth physical view of ourselves. Darwin’s demonstration of our true genealogical origins decidedly pulled us off our spiritual pedestal.
Professor Çiğdem Balim takes us through this historical arc of human hubris from Earth via Heaven and back down to Earth again. How do we see ourselves today? Are we just animals crawling over the Earth? Or are we still special in some way?
Good to know: We take pride in putting the fun back into serious philosophy through our friendly and respectful discussions involving different levels of experience of philosophy. The Lit & Phil Philosophy Forum is all about collectively exploring interesting and exciting ideas from different viewpoints … not winning arguments!
The focus paper, written by Çiğdem and for reading in advance of the session, will be shared soon.
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