Friday, September 10, 2004

Expanded Naturalism

We need an improved worldview to close the gap in our culture between science and religion. The worldview associated with science is impoverished and inadequate. The phenomenon of our first-person experience cannot be reduced to inanimate matter and mechanism. At the same time, religious worldviews which feature supernatural phenomena are simply untenable. Science has uncovered a compelling pattern of facts revealing our world’s true nature which is not to be ignored.

It has been suggested that science and religion, even as traditionally practiced, can somehow simultaneously be accepted. The idea is that perhaps they are both true but reside in separate spheres or realms of truth. I reject this notion: it is a cop-out. Traditional science and traditional religions are not compatible – they are in real conflict.

Expanded naturalism is my term for an improved worldview which is fully compatible with science, but looks for additional insights which improve our understanding of the world in ways which also serve to narrow the cultural gap. My starting point is to argue that science’s description of the world must begin to formally incorporate the phenomenon of first person experience itself, without which there is no world.

No comments: