Exploring spiritual eco-humanism

Logeion Filosofia da Informação 9 (2):6-31 (2023)
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This paper is a philosophical discussion about the link between utopianism and responsibility. It argues that our time demands a strong practice of political responsibility in both organizations and society based on what has been called ‘real utopianism’. It takes as a starting point Hans Jonas’ critique of utopianism. Keeping in mind the horrors of the Second World War this Jewish thinker disconnected the principle of responsibility from the idea of utopianism, and connected it to a ‘heuristics of fear’ – we should be careful with ‘wild’ new technologies, but also with new utopian perspectives. In a second step Jonas’ predecessors and utopian thinkers Martin Buber, Ernst Bloch and Ernest Callenbach are revisited. They show that a fully conceptualized idea of utopianism includes at least three dimensions of responsibility: subsistence, justice and spirituality. I then argue that if one digs deeper into the work of Jonas, it seems that the concept of responsibility in fact implies the courage to overcome a heuristics of fear. This paper therefore argues that there is no need to radically disjunct responsibility from utopianism and that the concept of responsibility actually opens a path to ‘real utopianism’. Such a concept of responsibility can best be supported by a confessionally neutral but nonetheless spiritual eco-humanist worldview that develops a new attitude towards nature, in which (eco)asceticism, morality and spirituality become intertwined.


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