Whatever Happens, Is Nature.

People talk about God, or miracle-workers, breaking the Laws of Nature. This is a foolishness that comes from a particularly ill-chosen metaphor. Nature has no laws, only habits. We would be much better advised to call regularities of phenomena by a different name, one that does not suggest cops and robbers. If someone were to have the ability to walk on water or to turn herself into a wolf, then that ability would be part of nature.

Deus sive Natura, said Spinoza; and many modern people also claim to treat God and Nature as synonyms. But how many understand the consequences? It makes a big difference whether you are using “God” as a synonym for “everything that is”, including earthquakes, the digger wasp, leprosy and so forth, or whether you are using “Nature” as a new-fangled synonym for the benevolent deity in whom you were brought up to believe as a child. In the first case, you are being tough-minded but not actually saying anything very important; in the second case, you are displaying an astonishing ignorance of the plant and animal worlds.

Posted on April 26, 2009 at 09:21 by Hugo Grinebiter · Permalink
In: THE LONGEST CON, Religion And Conceptual Muddle

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