Religious Studies 52 (2):145-165 (2016)

Authors
Michael Lacewing
University College London
Abstract
Does it make sense for non-theists to feel gratitude for their existence? The question arises because gratitude is typically thought to be directed towards a person to whom one is grateful. Hence the theist may be grateful to God for their existence, experienced as a gift. But can the non-believer feel something similar without being irrational? Can there be gratitude for existence but not to anyone? After analysing gratitude and how we can best understand the idea of non-directed gratitude, I discuss the conditions that need to apply for non-directed gratitude to be appropriate. I end by discussing whether theism provides a psychologically richer and more satisfying framework for understanding existential gratitude.
Keywords Gratitude  Psychoanalysis  Non-theism
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DOI 10.1017/S0034412515000037
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References found in this work BETA

Why Do Humans Reason? Arguments for an Argumentative Theory.Dan Sperber - 2011 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 34 (2):57.
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