Natural freedom

Metaphilosophy 36 (4):449-459 (2005)
Dearly beloved, I want to thank Brother Tim O’Connor for his candid reactions to my published sermons this Sunday morning, and I welcome you all, in the spirit of ecumenicism, to the Church of Fundamentalist Naturalism. Before the collection plate is passed, let me tell you a bit more about the Church. Our symbol is of course the Darwin-fish, the four-legged evolver that echoes the ancient fish symbol of Christianity. I was wearing my Darwin-fish lapel pin at an evolutionary theory conference a few years ago, and the physicist Murray Gell-Mann came up to me and after reminding me of what he said was the first known acronym-- I?1??, the Greek word for fish-- I??”?? ??4??”? 1,”< ?4”? ???0?, Jesus Christ, God the son and savior–he asked me what D-A-R-W-I-N stood for. I said I’d get back to him and went off to have a cup of coffee while dredging up what I could of my high school Latin. I came up with something I’m quite happy with: Delere Auctorem Rerum Ut Universum Infinitum Noscere: Destroy the Author of things in order to understand the infinite universe! That, it seems to me, is our key insight about Darwin’s dangerous idea: in a single non-miraculous stroke, it unites the world of meaning and purpose and design with the world of meaningless matter and mechanism, cause and effect.
Keywords causation  determinism  freedom  naturalism.  autonomy
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DOI 10.1111/j.1467-9973.2005.00383.x
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