'Emergence' in religion

Discussion in 'Philosophy' started by A Cup Of Tea, Feb 3, 2019.

  1. A Cup Of Tea

    A Cup Of Tea An ordinary cup of tea

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    @Thomas I came across this concept [wiki] and was curious about your take on the concept, specifically in the context of religion. Have you read anything from these books?

    The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism by Max Weber, 1904-05
    The Sacred Emergence of Nature by Ursula Goodenough & Terrence Deacon, 2006
    Beyond Reductionism: Reinventing the Sacred by Stuart Kauffman, 2006
    Syntheism – Creating God in The Internet Age by Alexander Bard & Jan Söderqvist, 2014
     
  2. Thomas

    Thomas Well-Known Member

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    Hi ACOT —
    This is relatively new to me.

    I haven't read any books; I'm looking around now.

    At first glance I thought it might fall somewhere between a kind of New Agey Gaia hypothesis, and a reappearance of myth-making in the face of nature that is always persistent, from earliest man through to today, which is largely the product of ignorance, romance and superstition.

    As I see it now, emergence is a response to the radical (dare one say fundamental) reductionism that has emerged through, I believe, the 'Anglo-American' analytical model of philosophy that has ruled the roost recently?

    I'd be interested to discuss. I always saw the 18th century Romance Movement as particularly a rejection of the dehumanising aspects of the Industrial Revolution, and more lately also the white male aristocratic assumptions of the Age of Enlightenment, and the rationalising of the mystical generally — all contributors to the foundations of contemporary modernity.

    Seems to me a scholarly approach to the kind of thing Wil tends towards naturally — hopefully he'll have seen your post and had a shuffle round the web.

    I looked at an abstract on the Wiley Online Library: A Guide to Thinking about Emergence, by Loyal Rue, and saw this:

    I could still argue that points 1 and 3 do not necessarily exclude the idea of a Creator ... but that's by-the-by

    That makes sense. So many nonsense notions, about Gaia theory, Quantum Mechanics, Neuroscience for example, have sprung up on the fringes of bad science and bad theology, and there's always a broad and ready market to lap up the latest fad instant karma message.

    +++

    Afterthought:

    I was reading somewhere, someone speaking about 'Natural Law' — the author was making the point that NL is a construct, a way we explain the workings of nature. OK, but the laws are reliable ...

    ... the question I'd ask from emergence is that it's (presumably) a given that the Natural Laws were in place from the moment of the Big Bang. So those Laws are not themselves emergent, but steer emergence ... which is an immediate pseudo-proof of a law maker ... but that's an unscientific assumption and probably as water-tight as a paper bag?

    +++

    Interesting stuff, buddy. Are you into it/working on it?
     
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  3. Thomas

    Thomas Well-Known Member

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    A comment on JSOR caught my eye:

    In an article entitled "Emergence and Religious Naturalism: The Promise and Peril" by Scot D. Yoder in The American Journal of Theology & Philosophy, there is the comment:
    "... The concept of emergence, more than any other concept we have encountered, puts Humpty-Dumpty back together again in ways that are wonderfully resonant with our existential and religious yearnings."

    I must admit a tendency to view it that way — so it's really necessary to discern what science/scholars are saying about emergence, and what the 'bandwagoners' of boutique religion are saying about it.

    The appeal cannot be denied, for reasons we've discussed to exhaustion here ...

    ... but I might actually buy the article.
     
  4. RJM Corbet

    RJM Corbet God Feeds the Ravens

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    It's a point I tend to labour. Energy and the forces that govern it came into being at the same instant.

    There's new work now by Roger Penrose on a recurrent universe. His ideas are quite difficult to understand.

    I like the idea that we need to bracket things to analyse them.

    An example is music. In western music 'middle c' is bracketed and from there a scale of seven whole and five half notes moves outward in a pattern which is unique and forms the basis of our concepts about what music is.

    But of course other people have their own brackets and scales and musical forms: Indian music, aboriginal music, etc.

    So it's the original 'bracketing' that dictates the analysis. It may be possible to move the brackets and that will change the whole way of analysing the universe.

    The universe may be more about our perception of it, than about what the universe really is?

    What we can perceive with our human senses and instruments, may just be the shadow on the wall of Plato's cave.

    Sorry, I know this is really off topic.
     
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  5. Thomas

    Thomas Well-Known Member

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    Is it ... I thought it was on topic, with regard to 'emergence' and ACOT's question...
     
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  6. RJM Corbet

    RJM Corbet God Feeds the Ravens

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    Is the OP asking how does the concept of the divine emerge? That seems far too simplistic? What is the sense of 'emergence' as used here?
     
    Last edited: Feb 6, 2019
  7. A Cup Of Tea

    A Cup Of Tea An ordinary cup of tea

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    The OP just came across it and thought it interesting, is still processing it, noticed that the concept was at once contrary to Thomas views while still using a scholarly language that Thomas uses. So I just wanted to run it by him, just for fun! Still, all discussion is very welcome, I still haven't formed any opinions or observations yet. But @wil usually have opinions on things that could get my brain bouncing.

    Emergence is defined in the wiki link in the top, I don't know much about this specific concept than what's in that link and the things Thomas added.
     
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  8. RJM Corbet

    RJM Corbet God Feeds the Ravens

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    Ha! OK. Because the word 'emergence' as used in the article seems to include fractals, symbiosis, chemical bonding, wave patterns under the term 'emergence'.

    Is it telling us that because complexity exists, it has developed or emerged from combination of simpler parts? That doesnt seem to be rocket science, as they say, lol? :)
     
    Last edited: Feb 10, 2019
  9. wil

    wil UNeyeR1

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    OK, ya got me. https://books.google.com/books/abou...BAJ&printsec=frontcover&source=kp_read_button

    Idk which intrigues me more... the dance of rationalists and logicians using science to explain the natural Order of Things and what they deem to be irrational are the side step to that of religionists to clean to the supernatural explanations of yesterday. I have previously posited that science will eventually explain God As Natural. I suppose it is sort of strange to say that I still see this as coming to fruition prior to the second coming.
     

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