Naturalistic Theism

Authors

  • Teed Rockwell Sonoma State University

DOI:

https://doi.org/10.1558/eph.34830

Keywords:

atheism, theism, agnosticism, naturalism, supernaturalism, sacred text, Shook, Dennett, Dawkins, Kuhn, Quine, Neurath, Koran, Bible, Islam, Buddhism, omniscient, omnipotent, omnibenevolent, miracles, Marxist atheism

Abstract

Many modern theological debates are built around a false dichotomy between 1) an atheism which asserts that the universe was created by purposeless mechanical processes and 2) acceptance of a religious system which requires both faith in the infallibility of sacred texts and belief in a supernatural God. I propose a form of naturalistic theism, which rejects sacred texts as unjustified, and supernaturalism as incoherent. I argue that rejecting these two elements of traditional organized religion would have a strongly positive impact on the beliefs and practices of religion, even though many religious people feel strongly attached to them. It is belief in sacred texts that is responsible for most of the evil done in the name of religion, not belief in God. Many of the strongest arguments for atheism work only against a supernatural God, and have no impact on the question of the existence of a natural God.

References

Dennett, Daniel. 2006. Breaking the Spell. New York: Viking.

———. 1995. Darwin’s Dangerous Idea. New York: Simon & Schuster.

———. 1991.Consciousness Explained. Boston, MA: Little, Brown and Company.

Hall, James. 2003. “Lecture #4.” In Philosophy of Religion. Chantilly, VA: The Teaching Company.

Kuhn, Thomas. 1977. The Essential Tension. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

Quine, W. V. O. 1969. Ontological Relativity and Other Essays. New York: Columbia University Press.

Rockwell, W. T. 2008. “No Gaps, No God: On the Differences between Scientific and Metaphysical Claims.” Philosophy and Theology 21(1/2): 129–153. https://sonoma.academia.edu/TeedRockwell

Shook, John (2010) The God Debates. Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell. https://doi.org/10.1002/9781444328042

Published

2017-11-22

How to Cite

Rockwell, T. (2017). Naturalistic Theism. Essays in the Philosophy of Humanism, 25(2), 209-220. https://doi.org/10.1558/eph.34830

Issue

Section

Articles