Wednesday, October 13, 2010

The Two Cultures, Ctd


Stuart Kauffman advocates a science and art based "sacred" that doesn't invoke supernaturalism in any way. He also wants to use the 'God' word to mean reality, or everything (the universe) that just 'is.'

If Kauffman defines (or rather redefines) God in that way, then of course such a God can be said, tautologically, to exist, though I don't see where the tactic gets him. To billions, the word already has a concretized meaning. Kauffman may see that as an advantage, a structure upon which a naturalistic cosmicview could be more easily built, but it seems to me the word is irreversibly infected with supernaturalism - even if in some deistic or teleological sort of way.

Update:  Here is a Kauffman talk in which he fully accepts the above criticism, and says it's entirely possible that it is a mistake to use a religious vocabulary in furtherance of naturalism - he has left the question open. The CFI talk is a rigorous exercise in thought from a brilliant man.

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