Pluralistic Humanism

Democracy and the Religious


  • Tibor Solymosi Mercyhurst University



Humanism, Atheism, Theism, Pragmatism, Democracy, Scientific atheism


I propose we discuss pluralistic humanism as an alternative to both atheism and traditional theism in an effort to establish a democratic faith to which we, despite our differences, can bind ourselves. I draw on the thought of American pragmatists (James, Dewey, Rorty, and Kitcher) to articulate a constructive criticism of new atheists (Dawkins, Dennett, Harris, and Hitchens). This criticism primarily focuses on the unacknowledged affinities between religion and scientific atheism – namely, a naive realism and a conversion experience – with the hope of using such common ground as a starting point for not only shared experience but for self-examination. I conclude with the proposal that we take up a Deweyan conception of democracy as a common faith aimed at effecting religious or spiritual experiences despite the traditional oppression of institutional religion.

Author Biography

Tibor Solymosi, Mercyhurst University

Tibor Solymosi is Assistant Professor of Philosophy at Mercyhurst University, USA.


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How to Cite

Solymosi, T. (2015). Pluralistic Humanism: Democracy and the Religious. Essays in the Philosophy of Humanism, 23(1), 25–43.