Re: [asa] natural laws and God

From: Gregory Arago <>
Date: Mon Dec 11 2006 - 19:45:45 EST

Those three concepts/percepts that I raised give an opportunity to escape from dependence on 'naturalism.' Different, yes they are - irrelevant they are not. For a natural scientist it is of course especially difficult during one's professional life not to be a naturalist, at least methodologically. But here I don't mean to raise the MN/PN topic.
  'Conceptions of terms' (by this I assume you mean 'human conceptions') *always* have 'social dimensions' - that's not the issue. You and I are coming at this from opposite or alternative directions (I as a social scientist, you as a historian of natural science). Hopefully this is what can be better understood - that philosophy and history 'of natural science' (and the natural laws that are discussed in the philosophy and history of natural science) are not the exclusive domain of God's creation. God 'interacts' in society, culture and politixs also. Can this be agreed upon?
  As for 'supernature' - for example, K. Marx used the term 'super'-structure for the cultural and religious structure which was (supposedly) built upon the economic base-structure. In this way, he posited a(n) historically materialistic worldview through which economics was the driving force of history. First a person must accept their everyday economic-material existence before they can engage in philosophizing or historicizing about that material existence. Likewise, religion is knowledge from the past, far from reality - it is outdated, 'proven' wrong by science. This pov was said to be a discovery of the 'social laws of history,' following in the (three-stage evolutionary) line of A. Comte.
  If you were to engage dialogue with David O. he would likely contrast 'natural law' (title of the thread) with 'positive law.' But with me, you would need to engage the difference between natural (or nature) and social, cultural and politixal law. That's what the diversification of views in the contemporary academy reifies - sovereign fields of study examining the issues in each their own ways. (Though doesn't anyone seek a sense of holism amidst this fragmentation anymore?)

Ted Davis <> wrote:
  Well, my comments were about something quite different--how best to
understand "natural laws" and/or "nature"/"supernature"--and I would agree that various conceptions of those terms can have social dimensions. Is that what you mean? If not, I am not understanding you very well.


>>> Gregory Arago 12/11/06 6:50 PM >>>
Arago admits to switching the word 'natural' for 'nature.' Would Ted then consider the words 'society,' 'culture' or 'politixs' in addition to the
word 'nature' (which does not occur in the Hebrew Bible)? Philosophy of natural science (HP[N]S) seems to leave 'society,' 'culture' and 'politixs' untried, though Christians believe (the) Creation occurs in those areas just as much as in 'nature,' don't they?


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Received on Mon Dec 11 19:46:24 2006

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