Friday, March 30, 2007

A Question for the Regulars (and everyone else)

I like my regular readers quite a bit. So, this one is for you to comment on. However, the anonymous masses can chime in as well. Anyway, I hadn't heard of "religious naturalism" before. But, this is the description that I found here:

"ENCOUNTERING NATURALISM
A Worldview and Its Uses

Most of us have a worldview, an
overarching context for life that
helps to shape our beliefs, goals and
actions. This book explores the
science-based worldview known as
naturalism: a comprehensive and
fulfilling alternative to faith-based
religion and other varieties of dualism.

Taking empirical science as the route
to reliable knowledge, naturalism holds
that we inhabit a single, natural world;
there is no separate supernatural realm.
We are fully physical beings whose
origins lie in cosmic and biological evolution.
We are therefore entirely at home in the universe.

By understanding and accepting
our complete connection to the
natural world, naturalism provides
a secure foundation for human
flourishing, an effective basis for
achieving our purposes and
addressing our deepest concerns.
We don't need belief in the
supernatural to sustain us.

Nature, it turns out, is enough."

My question, then would be: Is nature enough to sustain us? What does everyone think?

4 comments:

The Pagan Temple said...

Reads like a pretty good description of what I believe, with the caveat that there are some things in the universe that might be considered "supernatural" for the simple reason we just don't understand them.

Electricity going by this would have at one time been considered "supernatural", and actually was. Well, lightning was. Now of course we know what it is and pretty much what causes it, how it works, etc.

Anything that exists is by the nature of that existence "natural". It's just a matter of figuring out what it is and exactly how it works . If it can't be explained or defined in natural terms, then it's either because it hasn't been figured out yet, or it just doesn't exist outide the imagination.

Rufus said...

It's odd because I agree with all of this, but it's a bit unsettling to me. There's this line in Dostoevsky about there being something inhumane about a world in which 2+2=4. As odd as that idea is, it made perfect sense to me. It feels at odds with the human will somehow. That said, I still end up believing it.

Hiromi said...

The first two paragraphs pretty much describe how I see things. But I don't get this part:

By understanding and accepting
our complete connection to the
natural world, naturalism provides
a secure foundation for human
flourishing, an effective basis for
achieving our purposes and
addressing our deepest concerns.
We don't need belief in the
supernatural to sustain us.

Nature, it turns out, is enough.


Is "naturalism" supposed to be some variant of Daoism or Buddhism? 'cause I really don't see how empirical science can be anything other than, well, empirical science. It tells us how the world works, but not how we fit in it.

Rufus said...

I'm not sure. I thought it might be a philosophy akin to existentialism, which starts from the assumption that there are no metaphysics, but also attempts to deal with being-in-the-world.

I would agree that empirical science isn't good for explaining how we fit into the world. I'm not entirely sure how it could be the basis of a philosophy either, although many have tried.