High-risk religion

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Publication Type Journal Article
School or College College of Humanities
Department Philosophy
Creator Battin, Margaret P.
Title High-risk religion
Date 1989
Description Among some of the more colorful groups on the American religious spectrum, the religious faith of believers seems to involve a willingness to take substantial physical risks"risks to health, to physical functioning, even the risk of death. These groups include several in which the risks a believer takes are indirect (as in refusing blood transfusions or in refusing all medical treatment), and a few in which the risks are immediate and direct (for instance, in handling live poisonous snakes). We may think of these practices as extraordinary tests of religious commitment, or we may think of this willingness to risk death as a demonstration of the extraordinary value religious goals can have for believers. Indeed, willingness to risk death for religious reasons is often extolled as the highest test of faith. But I also think that the willingness o f the members of religious groups to risk death reveals a set of disturbing moral issues, issues concerning the ways in which religious groups "bring it about" that their adherents are willing to take such risks. In what follows, I want to take a careful look at the influence of religious groups on their adherents' choices, focusing on high-risk decision making which can result in death. To address these issues is not to suggest that a religious believer's willingness to risk death may not be sincere and devout, but rather to cast a morally skeptical eye on the way in which these sincere, devout beliefs are engendered by the religious institutions within which they arise.
Type Text
Publisher Center for Philosophic Exchange
Volume 19-20
First Page 25
Last Page 70
Subject Religion; Physical risk; Choice; Death
Subject LCSH Religion; Risk
Language eng
Bibliographic Citation Battin, M. P. (1988-89). High-risk religion. Philosophic Exchange, 19-20, 25-70.
Format Medium application/pdf
Format Extent 18,106,317 Bytes
Identifier ir-main,2296
ARK ark:/87278/s6vm4wkc
Setname ir_uspace
Date Created 2012-06-13
Date Modified 2021-05-06
ID 704486
Reference URL https://collections.lib.utah.edu/ark:/87278/s6vm4wkc