What is interesting and what is not

Another thought from Tom Clark on supernaturalism.

If one takes the “ontological features” of consciousness, free agency, rationality, and moral knowledge to be fundamental to reality – as resident in an all powerful God – then of course it’s no surprise that God’s favored creations should also possess such features. But absent independent evidence-based reasons to believe in God, and given competing naturalistic explanations that meet high standards of coherence, verifiability, transparency and simplicity, Moreland’s supernatural hypothesis has little appeal for those wanting to know how things really work. It’s their evidential and methodological constraints that make naturalistic explanations worth pursuing, and it’s the lack of such constraints that makes the supernatural hypothesis facile, uninteresting and ultimately empty.

That’s just it. A hypothesis that is not tethered to anything – a hypothesis that does not, to use Tom’s metaphor, have to pay any attention to a net – is fundamentally uninteresting because it doesn’t come to grips with anything. It is the coming to grips with something that is interesting, and it is the refusal to do so that makes supernaturalism uninteresting. You get this from reading about Ardipithecus, or scientific discussions of the evidence for human dispersal, or any other in-progress scientific or otherwise empirical investigation. If there is no net, if anything goes – then what’s there to think about?

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