The Sciences

Coyne Replies; I Reply; I Think We're Getting Somewhere

The IntersectionBy Chris MooneyJun 10, 2009 8:30 PM


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Coyne has another post. He defends his view on methodological and philosophical naturalism, and basically says that there are supernatural things that science can address. Ah, but then are they supernatural any longer? This gets to the heart of my problem with Coyne's approach.... But we'll get there. For now, Coyne posed a direct question to me at the end of the post, and I replied on his blog, so I'll repost the back and forth:

Coyne: Let me pose this question to Mr. Mooney. The “truth” claims of many faiths are flatly incompatible. Christians, for example, believe that Jesus was the Messiah, the son of God. Muslims claim that this is not only untrue, but that anyone who believes it will burn in hell. At most. only one of these claims can be true. Who is right? How do you decide? And whatever method you use (whether you were born in Kansas or Kabul; whether you get a personal revelation), doesn’t it differ from the way that science finds out things? Me: I will write more but in response to your last question, I am in agreement with you. Religions make incompatible truth claims and there is no intersubjective way for us to decide which, if any, of them are true. That’s why I reject all of them. That’s why I’m an atheist, a philosophical naturalist, etc. But I still disagree with you on compatibilism and much else above….

Read Coyne's whole post here. More when I can muster it--by tomorrow I expect. The point is that I think we may actually be getting somewhere....

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