Gabe Eisenstein earned a Ph.D. in Philosophy from the University of Texas in 1979. He has taught philosophy, including the philosophy of religion, at the University of Oregon, Oregon State University, Willamette University, and Portland State University. He has also had a career as a computer scientist. He is now retired from both careers.
His orientation is thoroughly naturalistic, but he remains interested in religion for its aesthetic, psychological and political dimensions. He says, "It pains me to see so much energy wasted, on both sides of the culture wars, talking about religion primarily in terms of beliefs about the supernatural. My teacher, O.K. Bouwsma, a student of Ludwig Wittgenstein, expressed my attitude toward religion in the title of one of his books: Without Proof or Evidence--because it isn't a question of believing something but of adopting, in each case, a set of attitudes toward the world, much like poetry or art in general."
"The article argues that magical thinking, and the element of the supernatural in general, is not so much a product of religion as material used by it in the process of moral education, which entails learning to take symbols metaphorically rather than literally. I am not trying to make any grand statements about whether the totality of religious phenomena is, on balance, good or bad. I'm just pointing to an aspect of SOME religious thinking that should be regarded favorably by proponents of a naturalistic worldview." - Gabe Eisenstein
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