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Saturday, June 27, 2015

Philosophy Takes A Holiday

Philosophy, Disguised As Prince Popoff, Toasts Miss Take (left) and Mr. Clap-Trap (right)

Asia Times
The problem with Pope Francis’ encyclical is that nature is nasty
By David P. Goldman on June 24, 2015

The trouble with natural theology (the notion that nature itself points us to an understanding of the divine) is that nature herself is a nasty piece of work. When St. Francis of Assisi and his namesake, the reigning Pope, laud nature as “mother” and “sister,” they open a can of theological worms. Nature is no sister of mine. Christians like to view things in terms of teleology–their ultimate goal–and the teleology of the world we know is to be destroyed in a fireball.


I wrote in a 2012 essay:...

We are not the passive victims of nature. We strive to establish human dignity by mastering nature. We are neither gods who can grasp the infinite mind of the God of Creation, nor mere animals for whom evolution is destiny. We do not need to worry whether there is an Intelligent Design, nor whether we might grasp such a design if it indeed exists: As creative beings, we are part of the design. We do not know the full scope of the design, because we do not know what we have yet to accomplish. God does not need us to justify his position as creator; our task is nobler, and incomparably more challenging, namely, actually to advance his work of creation.

And while Phil is on holiday at the Maldives, we could feel the freedom to recast the last paragraph above:

We are not passive victims. We strive for dignity. We are not gods nor animals. We do not need to worry if there is an intell..., intelly..., in-telly-jint ! Deeee-sssine.... (whew!) nor something else.

There's a lot we don't know, but we try harder!




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