Thursday, January 03, 2008

Physicalism & Pluralism

The concept of "nature" embraced by contemporary metaphysical naturalists excludes by definition gods, spirits, and any other supernatural beings, objects, or forces. This particular definition rests in an ambiguity caused by the use of the term "supernatural" by Richard Carrier and other apologists for naturalism whereby this word indicates non-materially reducible entities (spiritual substances) rather than the traditional meaning (where a spiritual substance, if created, is encompassed within the natural world, though being a spiritual or immaterial substance). There are many different varieties of metaphysical naturalism, but all can be separated into two general categories, physicalism and pluralism. Physicalism entails the claim that everything everyone has observed or claimed to observe is in actual fact the product of fundamentally mindless arrangements or interactions of matter-energy in space-time, and therefore it is unreasonable to believe anything else exists.


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