By Donald A. Crosby
An eloquent case for relating to nature itself as religion-as the metaphysical final deserving spiritual dedication.
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Extra info for A Religion of Nature
Neither this characterization nor nature’s destructive side should be taken to mean, however, that nature itself is devoid of value or that whatever value it has must be conferred upon it by human or other sentient beings, a position that would hardly accord with my ascription of ultimate religious value to nature. I will address these issues in some detail in chapters 4 and 5 and return to them again in the chapters of part 3. ” can thus be summarized as follows: 1. Nature is the whole system of things and relations that continues to give rise to new particular things and types of things, maintains them in being as long as they exist, and makes possible their distinctive traits.
A philosophical definition is generally to be understood in terms of a philosophical theory, and it can most usefully be seen as a shorthand designation for, or as a summation of, such a theory. Part 2 of this book is intended to provide the outlines of a theory of nature, so what I mean by the term nature can be fully understood only when the theory itself has been laid out. Nevertheless, I now want to offer a few general comments about the concept of nature I am assuming. A second important and closely related point made there is that human beings are wholly immanent in nature.
Hence, these are not timeless but time-bound possibilities. That so-called timeless possibilities can be found in domains of language, formal systems, and conceptualization does not entail their existence as unchanging structures of nature. This is the empirical, down-to-earth view of the character and status of possibility to be found in Aristotle’s philosophy, as contrasted with Plato’s, a view that is highly persuasive. For Aristotle, of course, the basic facts of nature do not change; such change as there is occurs in the context of or is simply an instance of persistently recurring facts.
A Religion of Nature by Donald A. Crosby