Relationship between metaphysics and religion

Introduction to Philosophy/What is Metaphysics - Wikibooks, open books for an open world

relationship between metaphysics and religion

Such is the relationship between metaphysics and the other sciences. Thus Paul Trejo, MA Philosophy & Religious Studies, The University of Texas at Austin. the definition of the two concepts, the relation of which is under discussion, metaphysics and Theology is not religion, but it presupposes religion. Every religion Cicero and Augustine, between Aristotle and Thomas, between. Spinoza and. Part of the science-religion-metaphysics controversy has had to do with lines between science and theology and for a way to understand religion as rational. Jay Newman uses a similar method in analysing the relation of.

Johnson, in a series of books including Whitehead's Theory of Reality rev edreflects British philosopher Alfred North Whitehead's attempt to move from the scientific world picture to a more embracing structure by showing where the scientific structure needed metaphysical support. Johnson's theories, expounded chiefly in Experiential Realismcontinue his attempt to achieve an ultimate theory of reality through an adequate understanding of experience. Containing Science A fourth group, drawing inspiration from St Thomas Aquinas, searches for demarcation lines between science and theology and for a way to understand religion as rational.

Joseph Owens, in An Interpretation of Existencedefends Aquinas's notion that being is capable of a measure of general characterization and that it is both active and intelligible. Gregory Baum's Man Becoming and Religion and Alienation represent another kind of critique of the Thomist tradition. A distinct development of the Thomistic tradition was carried out by Bernard Lonergan Insight, ; Philosophy of God and Theology, and his successors.

This work includes not only discussions of metaphysics, religion and the theory of knowledge, but the application of the results in diverse fields of endeavour. In The Intelligible Universe, a Cosmological ArgumentHugo Meynell makes use of ideas drawn from Lonergan and argues that the intelligibility of the world provides the basis for God's existence.

relationship between metaphysics and religion

In a more recent work, Is Christianity True? Questioning Metaphysics A fifth group is that of the many English-speaking philosophers who have worked within "analytic" philosophy, a tradition much influenced by the Austrian Ludwig Wittgenstein and the British Bertrand Russell, G.

Moore, Gilbert Ryle and J. Kai Nielsen uses this philosophy to question the foundations of religion and metaphysics. Macleod developed in Paul Tillich a strong negative critique of attempts to answer what Tillich called the question of being.

Macleod urges that Tillich is confused in thinking there is one central "mystery of being," but stops short of arguing that no metaphysical or religious world views can ever be justified.

relationship between metaphysics and religion

Despite the frequent hostility of the analytic tradition to metaphysics and religion, many Canadian analytic philosophers have sought to find room for religious expression. In his Survival and Disembodied ExistenceTerence Penelhum questions the meaningfulness of some religious beliefs, but his The Problem of Religious Knowledge and Reason and Religious Faith leaves possibilities for religious discourse. Donald Evans, after close association with the new analytic philosophy during which he wrote The Logic of Self-Involvementdeveloped his defence of religious experience in Struggle and FulfillmentFaith, Authenticity and Morality and in Spirituality and Human Nature There has been little work that reflects the analytic tradition of "fideistic" views that emphasize the autonomy of faith, although one finds tendencies in this direction in Wilfred Cantwell Smith eg, Faith and Belief, Pierre Lucier, in Empirisme logique et langage religieuxassesses the strengths and impact of the analytic movement.

Frequently, analytic philosophers have used language analysis to sustain essentially "humanistic" positions against claims of "determinists" in psychology and history who have believed that free human action is unintelligible or impossible eg. A branch of philosophy known as "action theory" is concerned with analysis of the language with which human actions are described. Donald Brown, in Actioncarefully analyses such language and suggests that we cannot easily convert talk about human action into talk about events figuring naturally in the sciences.

Similarly, William DRAY argues in Laws and Explanation in History that explanations of human history cannot be reduced to the form of scientific laws. Phenomenology in Canada Sixth, 20th-century European philosophy has had a substantial influence in Canada.

The teleological argument cites the remarkable order exhibited by the universe, and especially by living things, as evidence for the existence of God. Because this argument appeals to the evidence of our senses e. Unfortunately, the theory of evolution appears to undermine many versions of the teleological argument because it provides an alternate explanation for the appearance of design.

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Evolution might not undermine every version of the teleological argument, because one could maintain that the conditions for the operation of evolution are so precise that the existence of God is the best explanation for why evolution can proceed at all. An interesting distinction between the ontological argument on the one hand, and the teleological and cosmological arguments on the other hand, is that ontological argument said to be a priori whereas the teleological and cosmological arguments are said to be a posteriori.

relationship between metaphysics and religion

The cosmological argument is, I think, one of the most interesting and best arguments for the existence of God. For our purposes, theism is the belief in an all-powerful, all-knowing, and all-good God. His approach - and for me, this is the important contribution of Fuentes - suggests that a distinctively human imagination, and a uniquely human metaphysics, is a core part of being human and thus part of the explanation for human evolutionary success Fuentes With regard to the relationship, that is, between science and religion theologythe contemporary thrusts are extremely diverse and different from context to context.

Gone are the days in which any attempt to relate theology and science to one another could still be possibly - and mistakenly - seen as a rather esoteric, intellectualist exercise limited to a privilege few. It seems that this ancient and enduring dialogue has managed to successfully transform itself, in our present Western culture, into a sustained and dynamic contemporary discourse with its own identity for our times.

Let me elaborate on and substantiate my critique from a series of articles published on religion-science dialogues around the world. Zygon, the well-known America-based journal of religion and science, published a series of articles in on the science-religion dialogues around the world see Drees a; b.

I have found these articles not only to be extremely insightful but also to confirm that the Van Huyssteen and Gregersen's claim is not well founded. It also gives a broad overview of the debates within Islam and Science see Guessoum Given the very interesting diverse overviews that come from the different contexts, Drees therefore - in this long quotation - rightfully states and demands: If one looks it up in Wikipedia, it is mostly about marketing, adapting global brands and products to local preferences in order to be more successful commercially.

relationship between metaphysics and religion

That is still too close to an export model, in my opinion. The process runs deeper than that; the local dimension, the emphasis on particularity, is not merely instrumental but ought to be considered to be a genuine source of insight. We should give people from various settings an opportunity to speak for themselves, and to present on their own terms, how knowledge and values interact in their cultural and social context. For his context, Evers remarks: In Germany, the interaction between science, religious views, ultimate concerns, unconditional values, and theological reflection will presumably continue to be only a sideline of academic discourse … German academic theology is mainly related to cultural studies, and is less interested in, and hardly competent in relating to, different fields of science.

In his conclusion, Silva Until now, the focus on science and the science-religion interface was perhaps seen as an unaffordable luxury for the poor. Economic growth, increasing urbanization, and continued investment in science education will inevitably bring religious questions to the fore.

Against this background, the pioneering work in the science-religion interface may serve as a matrix for further development. What then might the science-religion dialogue in Japan contribute to the science-religion dialogue in the West? Could we expect from the Japanese approach to the science-religion dialogue a new paradigm for understanding and describing ultimate reality?

Metaphysics and the Philosophy of Religion

Or, might the Japanese approach disclose a point of view where there is neither 'religion' nor 'science' at all? Such questions urge us to observe carefully what is going on in the science-religion dialogue in Japan, a country in East Asia where conventional conceptions of 'religion', 'science', and even of 'God' are foreign and unfamiliar.

Not as polite invite as if I am in some or other 'normative position' to invite the 'others', but precisely as constitutive of the metaphysical 'event' see more on the 'event' below.

If, as Van Huyssteen and Gregersen A Third Generation that are building on the previous generations and are now taking evolutionary processes the nature and implications thereof even more seriously in a deeper holistic and interdisciplinary manner cf. The latter not only has vast implications especially for our unfolding of the 'place of metaphysics' but also to understand the current extremely diverse and messy dialogues that have not managed to 'successfully transform itself'.

Conclusion I have barely scraped the surface in trying to find a 'place' for metaphysics in science and theology, and I have come to the uncomfortable conclusion that it is really nowhere to be found.

relationship between metaphysics and religion

It has no place if understood as preferential option for 'universal content', for an a priori viewpoint. Metaphysics is nowhere to be found in science and religion as 'is'. However, it can be 'found' as 'was'. I would try to explain, in an analogical sense, the difference between the 'is' and 'was' from physics, namely from the movement of atoms. It is nowhere to be found almost like the 'non-foundability' non-localisation of atoms of which we can only theoretically say afterwards where they have been but not that they are here now.

That, however, does not imply in any way that they do not exist as physical entities.

The place of metaphysics in the science-religion debate

We can see them 'afterwards' with our theories and then work forward with those very theories. In that sense, they are very much meta-physical, that is, being 'coming and located afterwards'. What I thus think I did find is that metaphysics does not occupy place as such, but represent a dimension of an afterwards event 'it takes place'. What I do find directional for my further journey on 'metaphysics' from the aforegoing is the conviction that the sense-making activities of the beholders from their linguistic-cultural contexts are determined - the structure and nature thereof - by the biological evolutionary processes which formed them.

In other words, our understanding of metaphysics must be approached from the very evolutionary processes that made such thinking in the first place a dimension of being human. This is the best insight to work from in making sense of the varieties and immense differences that we find in the science-religion dialogues around the world.

Philosophy: Metaphysics and Philosophy of Religion

That implies that the 'was' of metaphysical thinking represents the emergent product - as inferred consequence see introductory quotation - of the concrete and specific lifeworlds in which they have 'taken place', that is, 'eventuated'. The 'cognitive ecology' Fuentes of metaphysical reflection helps us - in my opinion - to understand that within the science-religion dialogues, metaphysics has no place and is nowhere to be found as 'is', but only as an after 'was'.

It turns place into event, and in this way, metaphysical reflection becomes the 'afterwards story' on being human and personhood that has accepted the 'seen' the natural sciences and 'heard' religious reflection invitation from the realities it experiences into inferred sense-making frameworks.

The 'was' of metaphysical reflection is surely the most powerful a posteriori event of credofication for human beings in living, spelling and participating empathically in the question 'why there is something rather than nothing?

Acknowledgements Competing interests The author declares that he has no financial or personal relationships which may have inappropriately influenced him in writing this article. A critical reading of Jean-Luc Marion's contribution to the post-modern debate in phenomenology, philosophy of religion and theology', Stellenbosch Theological Journal 1 1 An overview', Zygon 50 2 Religion and science around the world', Zygon 50 1 ,