Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Methodological Naturalism and an expanding ontological boundary

"I believe it is best to embrace methodological naturalism as more open minded and more expansive [than substantive naturalism], while using it to evaluate the controversial hypotheses of substantive naturalism. It is more consistent with the fallibilism that follows from a view of ourselves as one species among many, learning more about the world as we continue probing it, and therefore not insisting on a fixed boundary around what there is. That boundary may need to be expanded in the course of inquiry, depending on what is needed to make sense of everything that is so in the world."

(David B. Wong, Natural Moralities, p. 32)

Almost thou persuadest me to be a methodological naturalist! :)

In principle, could methodological naturalism be compatible with an interpretation of religious experience (and other experience) that locates that experience in a supernaturalistic framework of meaning and ontology? Could the methodological naturalist believe there is a transcendent Being who stands outside of the single, natural world we all seem to occupy?

That is: can the naturalist be a theist?

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