Naturalisme en theïsme : de integratie van wetenschap en religie

Research output: ThesisDoctoral thesis 1 (Research UU / Graduation UU)

Abstract

In my thesis ‘Naturalisme en Theïsme’ (Naturalism & Theism) I defend the view that a supernatural reality does exist. We can argue for the existence of such a supernatural reality with the help of evolutionary theory. The argument revolves around the intuitive idea that human beings need to keep their meanings and beliefs regarding the world logically structured in order to act adequate. This raises an interesting question: why has evolution chosen to turn us into logical thinking animals? A possible answer is that we have become logical thinkers because reality itself has a fundamental, universal logical order. This metaphysical hypothesis is, however, not very plausible. There is no proof for the existence of such a fundamental universal logical order: we do not know of any physical force or particle that manages to frame reality logically; and it is not possible to argue for the hypothesis that reality has a logical order without thereby using the laws of logic. And all that the so-called ‘success of science-argument’ establishes to show is that we, like most other beings, are able to modify our environment. There is a better evolutionary explanation, an explanation that has no need of any metaphysical hypothesis. The explanation is simple. We do not have to think logically because the world has a fundamental logical order, but we believe that the world has a fundamental logical order because we have to think logically. We somehow have come to believe that our way of thinking is the measure of reality. However, why do we have to think logically? The answer is that, in order to generate adequate and intelligent behaviour, we need to make all our body-parts cohere with each other. Our bodily movements are constrained by our motor-programs. Muscles do or do not contract. They can however not simultaneously contract and not contract. Such bodily constraints may explain why brains need to organize the brain/body logically. If thinking logically has been brought about by internal constraints, one may come to doubt that the world itself has a logical order. We do of course manage to create a view of the world that is logically ordered, but we do so because only a coherent view of the world makes it possible for us to act adequate. Therefore we may conclude that: (1) given that we cannot prove that reality is logically structured, and (2) knowing that logical thinking is caused by some accidental bodily constraints, reality itself most probably is not logically structured. Well, if reality is not logically structured this means that reality must have features that cannot be comprehended by us. These illogical features of reality appear to be so strange to us, that they fully transcend our coherent view of reality. It is therefore appropriate, regarding its illogical features, to speak of reality as a supernatural world. The most amazing feat is that universal possibillism holds within this illogical supernatural world. And if universal possibilism is true, it must also be true that God exists.
Original languageDutch
QualificationDoctor of Philosophy
Awarding Institution
  • Utrecht University
Supervisors/Advisors
  • Sarot, M., Primary supervisor
  • van den Brom, L., Supervisor, External person
Award date19 Dec 2011
Publisher
Print ISBNs978-94-6103-017-7
Publication statusPublished - 19 Dec 2011

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