Natural theology?

This book review by Graham Oppy at Monash University is probably only for the seriously philosophically inclined (don’t let that stop you!) But it does contain a nice definition of naturalism and the questions that arise for philosophers of religion. “According to naturalism, causal reality is exhausted by natural reality: there are none but natural causes, involving none but natural entities. In particular, according to naturalists, there are no supernatural causes: no gods, no grounds of being, no causes beyond being and non-being, etc. If natural reality contains nothing that is not spatiotemporally connected to us, then all causal beings trace spatiotemporally continuous trajectories through space-time, and are constituted entirely from parts that trace spatiotemporally continuous trajectories through space-time. // Given an acceptable characterisation of naturalism, we can then ask: are there reasons for being dissatisfied with naturalism as a global worldview? Is it the case, for example, that naturalism is self-defeating? Is it the case that naturalism is defeated by ‘recalcitrant data’: fine-tuning, consciousness, cosmic injustice, global causal topology, ‘religious’ experience, human reason, scripture, or the like? Is it the case that there are formulations of, say, theism that are more theoretically virtuous than naturalism, i.e. that score better on a properly weighted trade-off between simplicity, fit with data, explanatory scope, predictive accuracy, and the like?”

|Difficulty: Philosophy |Tag: Science & Faith | Time: 15 min |

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