Emergentism as an option in the philosophy of religion: between materialist atheism and pantheism


Authors
James Franklin
University of New South Wales
Abstract
Among worldviews, in addition to the options of materialist atheism, pantheism and personal theism, there exists a fourth, “local emergentism”. It holds that there are no gods, nor does the universe overall have divine aspects or any purpose. But locally, in our region of space and time, the properties of matter have given rise to entities which are completely different from matter in kind and to a degree god-like: consciousnesses with rational powers and intrinsic worth. The emergentist option is compared with the standard alternatives and the arguments for and against it are laid out. It is argued that, among options in the philosophy of religion, it involves the minimal reworking of the manifest image of common sense. Hence it deserves a place at the table in arguments as to the overall nature of the universe.
Keywords Emergence  Materialist atheism  Naturalism  Pantheism  Consciousness
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