Re: [asa] Natural Agents - Cause and Effect, Non-Natural Agents

From: wjp <>
Date: Wed Apr 15 2009 - 15:49:00 EDT


With regard to science and human knowledge,
completeness of regularity and rationality constrain the universe as much if
not more than theism.
Metaphysical naturalism surely says less than such completeness requirements.
Indeed, it is possible that rationality of the universe (i.e.,
comprehensiveness to humans) may be incompatible with metaphysical naturalism.

In any case, it is far from clear that such metaphysical constraints are "minimal"
or less than metaphysical naturalism and Theism. And surely it is as encompassing.


On Wed, 15 Apr 2009 10:59:34 -0700, "D. F. Siemens, Jr." <> wrote:
> Greg,
> Fact is that I don't read your posts. I made an exception on this one
> because I saw my name. As to a philosophical foundation of science, yes,
> there is one, but it is not looked at in the doing. That the universe is
> regular and rational, that it matches human reason, are metaphysical and
> epistemological, but are obviously minimal. Metaphysical naturalism and
> theism are, in contrast, all encompassing.
> Dave (ASA)
> On Wed, 15 Apr 2009 00:04:51 -0700 (PDT) Gregory Arago
> <> writes:
> Hi Dave,
> You suggest that philosophy can be 'added to scientific understanding.'
> What I'm looking for from you, as perhaps the lone philosopher active
> here, is more of the opposite; showing how science is added to
> philosophical understanding. That would help to balance some of the 'oh,
> that's just philosophy' sentiments. Didn't you enjoy the Grant quotes
> from my previous post?
> You add: "ID and metaphysical naturalism (philosophical naturalism,
> scientism) belong to philosophy, not science."
> Actually, Keith Miller himself called MN a philosophical assumption.
> Are you suggesting there is no philosophical assumption in your
> 'interpretation' of MN?
> Instead of MN one could call it methods of studying nature, and only
> nature (MSN-ON). This would distinguish two things: 1) the discussion
> belongs *only* in natural sciences, i.e. the sciences that (among other
> things use methods to) study nature, and 2) it would remove the
> ideological connontation of the -ism implied in 'naturalism,' which is
> sometimes (but not always) inconsistent with theology and transcendence
> or immanence of non-natural or divine action. Oh, yes, and I guess 3) it
> would pluralize the word 'methods,' thus indicating what HPS has
> 'discovered' - there is no single 'scientific method,' but multiple
> methods use in various places and situtations.
> Such a move, done intentionally with an aim to improve one's grammar,
> would satisfy all of the parties who have spoken in this thread. And,
> thank goodness, it would exclude me, because you would just be speaking
> about natural sciences and not all sciences. It would then allow people
> space to discuss the non-natural agents that have so obviously been
> mainly avoided, but you'd have no human-social scholars to entertain you.
> : - (
> Gregory
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Received on Wed Apr 15 15:50:07 2009

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