Beyond Naturalism? 


The question to be put to our erstwhile naturalists is where does nature end and the supernatural begin?  Why are they not being spooked by these immaterial, emergent entities? 

The response is limited.  They may side with Aristotle, contra Plato, and declare these emergent forms to be inseparable from their material substrate.  They may also cite the comparable and notorious spookiness of quantum 'mechanics' and exclaim, 'c'est la physics.' What more can an underpaid, secular philosopher be expected to say or do? 

But you and I must keep on trucking, or maybe it's just me, anymore. 

With all these emergent properties shifting about, why not imagine an emergent intelligence beyond our own individual emergent selves?  Now we're getting down to the nitty and the gritty. 

If my intelligence is more than the sum of my atoms' intelligences (and what is the IQ of a carbon atom?), then why not suppose there is something more than the sum of all our individual intelligences?  Fine, but then do I have to turn my collar around?  No, but it may be advisable to fasten one's seat belt.

If there is nothing to prevent the emergence of a global intelligence, then it is just as likely to happen as not.  But when, and where is the evidence?  Who knows?  But it might be foolhardy to ignore the possibility that the emerging Internet is more than an accidental concomitant of it. 

But why must we limit our horizons just to the Earth?  Almost by definition, these emergent entities are non-local, rather like their quantum mechanical cousins.  If there can be a global intelligence then why not a cosmic intelligence, with all the appropriate interplanetary linkages?  And so we have an evolving cosmic intelligence that is more or less accessible to all of us.  But are not most scientists well into supposing that ours is not the only universe?  Other universes that exist well outside of our own parochial space-time manifold would surely be wanting to belly up to this same table.   

Are you beginning to see why the secular philosophers have already jumped through virtually every hoop in order to avoid having to own up to even one actually emerging entity?  Do you really suppose they are anxious to give up their ivory towers for the wooden sandals of the novitiate? 


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