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Disenchanting IndiaOrganized Rationalism and Criticism of Religion in India$
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Johannes Quack

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780199812608

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199812608.001.0001

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Profile and Agenda of ANiS

Profile and Agenda of ANiS

(p.180) (p.181) 12 Profile and Agenda of ANiS
Disenchanting India

Johannes Quack

Oxford University Press

This chapter analyses the way in which epistemological and moral arguments co-constitute the official ANiS agenda. The rationalists’ agenda features what Charles Taylor called “exclusive humanism” and “naturalistic materialism” and the rationalists criticises religion(s) on this basis. It is argued, however, that the organisation's position with respect to religion(s) is unspecific and not uniform: officially ANiS claims to only object to harmful and exploitive aspects of religion but often avoids specifying what actually constitutes such practices. It's agenda can further be described as modernistic in it's attempt to accelerate the evolutionary process away from superstition and religion, towards rationalism and science the world over. On the basis of an assumed natural rationality within all human beings, the equality of all humans is stressed against the position of those who differentiate and rank humans along the lines of caste, creed or culture.

Keywords:   epistemology, morality, agenda, exclusive humanism, naturalistic materialism, superstition, modernism, evolutionism, equality

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