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Is Nature Enough? No

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This essay is based on a lecture delivered at the 2002 IRAS Star Island conference, the theme of which was “Is Nature Enough? The Thirst for Transcendence.” I had been asked to represent the position of those who would answer No to the question. I thought it would stimulate discussion if I presented my side of the debate in a somewhat provocative manner rather than use a more ponderous approach that would argue each point in a meticulous and protracted fashion. Here I lay out a theological position that finds naturalism wanting in three ways: in terms of human spiritual needs, in terms of the mind's need for deep explanation, and in terms of the perennial human search for truth. Again, the style of presentation, like that of the original lecture, prohibits the kind of philosophical development that an adequate answer to each of the issues requires. The purpose is that of evoking discussion on a most important question.

Keywords: evolutionary naturalism; explanatory pluralism; intelligent subjectivity; layered explanation; metaphysical naturalism; methodological naturalism; religious naturalism

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: Georgetown University, Washington, DC

Publication date: December 1, 2003

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