Re: [asa] Because of us - Steve Fuller's anthropic principle - Darwin's original sin

From: John Burgeson (ASA member) <hossradbourne@gmail.com>
Date: Wed May 13 2009 - 14:21:04 EDT

Ted wrote, in part: "I very much like Schwarzwald's suggestion, namely
that "methodological agnosticism" is a better term for the particular
attitude previously called "methodological naturalism." ... But I'll
stick with MN."

I'm not comfortable with "Methodological Agnosticism." Perhaps that
is because I once thought of myself as an agnostic towards the claims
of Christ, one who did not know but was willing to "listen." The term
"agnostic" seems to me to denote a person who is still "on the fence."

I have a book on MN called "Methodological Atheism," by Otto Strunk
(it dates back to 1968). My notes on this book are on the ASA archives
at http://www.asa3.org/archive/ASA/200204/0790.html. The book is still
good reading. However, Peter Berger recently used that term to
describe theologians and historians who study religion as only a human
creation. It seems to "fit" better there. I think Berger applies it to
any social science which assumes no supernatural. This is the concept
Gregory appears to be arguing against (rightfully so, IMHO).

A Google search on "Methodological Agnosticism" turns up some
interesting sources and use of the term. After looking at some of
these, I agree with you that using "Methodological Naturalism" the way
we have been using it here is clearly the better course of action.

Burgy

-- 
Burgy
www.burgy.50megs.com
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Received on Wed May 13 14:21:49 2009

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