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Paul Nelson on poetic naturalism as a religion


From Paul Nelson at Evolution News & Views:

Seriously: Carroll himself announces this “poetic naturalism as religion” Facebook option on his webpage, without a trace of irony. If we think of religion as the sphere of one’s deepest values – i.e., those bedrock truths and commitments for which we would willingly offer ourselves, and by which we try to order our daily lives – then it is clear that “poetic naturalism” means far more to Carroll than a clever atheistic philosophy with debating tricks to throw naïve theists off-balance. He intends for poetic naturalism to provide a trustworthy guide for living, and his most recent book, The Big Picture: On the Origins of Life, Meaning, and the Universe Itself,…is a six-part, 467-page treatise to that end, complete with “Ten Considerations” to replace the traditional Ten Commandments.

From one critical perspective, we could say that “poetic” is thus pastel-colored bubble wrap surrounding the icy and brutal truth of naturalism. Eventually the bubble wrap must come off, as it did for Matthew Arnold in the last stanza of his heartbreaking poem “Dover Beach” (1867)… More.

The religious outlines of naturalism have been apparent for some time. It teaches that consciousness and free will are user illusions that we evolved to believe in. In the absence of any idea what consciousness is or how it arises, those are religious claims like any others.

In the case of naturalism, those claims will not support the kinds of representative democracies that prevailed in the Western world in the last few centuries because there is no basis for respecting the minds of others. Given the history of naturalist political movements like communism and fascism, it is not a religion that provides good soil for responsible and representative government.  For one thing, there is no truth; there is deception that is adaptive as opposed to deception that isn’t.

Note: Some talking points from Sean Carroll’s The Big Picture (2016)

See also: Claim: It makes sense to pretend to believe in free will

Considering how many Maybes Carroll uses to explain something as science, his religion should be called Sean Carroll's Maybenism... lol https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TGs4C60FR68 What a world we live in! Carroll makes a fool of himself by trying to avoid what is obvious, such as the implications of the universe having the beginning, the fine-tuning of the physical laws and the acceleration of the expansion of the universe/space and all he says to counterargument is Maybe...this...maybe that... No wonder my kids gave him a nickname Dr. Maybe... lolJ-Mac
September 24, 2017
08:06 PM

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