Posted by: JLLH | April 23, 2009

Is Nature Enough?


The view off my lanai in Hawaii =)

In my paper, I examine theologian John Haught’s attempts to show the inadequacies and ultimate absurdity of New Atheism by subjecting naturalism’s claims to rigorous analysis. To do so, Haught uses process philosophy and invokes his own version of process theology. After a thorough examination of naturalism’s claims, Haught’s critiques and the metaphysics that shape them as well as a brief look at non-reductive physicalism, I’ve discovered that the answer to the question “Is nature all there is?” must be left without a decisive answer. Indeed, the humble response to such an enigmatic question must necessarily be “I cannot be absolutely certain.”  But if there is a God to be found, it will not be through the reductive and objectifying methodology that both science and New Atheists use as a means of illuminating information about the realm of the physical. Theology’s approach to understanding the world and the divine requires the inclusion of subjective experience as a legitimate avenue of arriving at authentic truths. It requires that we embrace not only to the rational, objective way of knowing but also the more personal fields of meaning such as our feelings, how we experience others, how we come to know beauty and the stories that describe our experiences. Spiritual life is based on an intersubjective experience with the divine. So it makes sense that the New Atheists cannot find grounds for God by using a worldview that eliminates the ways of knowing that are at the very core of the spiritual experience.

I think I’m finally getting it. Well, better late than never.


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