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On Purpose$
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Michael Ruse

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9780691195957

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: May 2020

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691195957.001.0001

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(p.195) Chapter Eleven Religion
On Purpose

Michael Ruse

Princeton University Press

This chapter analyzes how Charles Darwin has had huge influences on religion, particularly the Christian religion, as well as the attitude of the Darwinian. One temptation, in the tradition of Lucretius, is to dismiss it all as a dreadful mistake and move on. The chapter also explains how religion plays out with respect to questions about purpose. God created humans to have what are essentially his children, to love and to cherish and in return to have them thank and adore and worship. The idea is that people should spend eternity in blissful joy with God. In many versions—the Augustinian version particularly—humans rather spoiled things through our disobedience, but God in his boundless love sacrificed his son on the cross, and once again salvation is made possible.

Keywords:   Charles Darwin, Christian religion, Darwinian, Lucretius, eternity, God, salvation

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