Geschrieben für Bachelor-Studenten, für gebildete Laien und für Wissenschaftler in anderen Feldern als der Philosophie –
Der Mythos der religiösen Neutralität bietet eine radikale Neuinterpretation der allgemeinen Beziehungen zwischen Religion, Wissenschaft und Philosophie.
Übersetzung von: Clouser, Roy A.,
The Myth of Religious Neutrality. An Essay on the Hidden Role of Religious Belief in Theories. Notre Dame, London: University of Notre Dame Press, 2005 (1991) erw. u. verb. Neuausgabe
Dooyeweerd’s account of abstraction is examined and found to be faulty. He holds that abstract thinking isolates aspects which must then be synthesized, whereas I argue that we cannot isolate any aspect from the others however so hard we try. But our very inability to isolate aspects is then turned into an alternative version of a transcendental critique of theory making. Instead of asking for a basis for synthesizing aspects we have isolated, the new version asks: what is the nature of the aspectual connectedness which is so strong that it cannot be interrupted even by abstraction? I argue that it is impossible for anyone to understand the meaning of a concept fully without taking a position on this issue, whether that is done implicitly or explicitly. Moreover, every answer to this question presupposes a divinity belief. Hence, this recasting of the critique yields a demonstration of the religious regulation of all concepts and every theory. In this way the goal of Dooyeweerd’s critique is achieved, even if not in the way he envisioned.
Book Reviews Jacob Klapwijk, Purpose in the living world? (R. Clouser) Bradley Monton, Seeking God in Science: An Atheist Defends Intelligent Design (J. de Ridder) Alvin Plantinga and Michael Tooley, Knowledge of God (J. de Ridder) Nicholas Wolterstorff, Justice: Rights and Wrongs (A. Soeteman)
Although Friesen’s recent article on “Clouser’s Aristotelian Interpretation of Dooyeweerd” (in this journal, volume 75(2010), 97-116) directs its criticisms mainly to me, I will not be at pains in what follows to reply to all of them. What I will concentrate upon instead is the correct understanding of Dooyeweerd. It is far more important that readers of this journal get Dooyeweerd straight than that they get me straight, and Friesen has proposed a number of misconstruals of fundamental concepts and ideas in Dooyeweerd’s philosophy. Therefore, in part one I will try to clear up only a few of the more glaring misrepresentations of my position in order to clear the way for considering the more serious mis-understandings of Dooyeweerd in part two. Part three will focus on Friesen’s panentheism.
In his article “Fides et Ratio” (Philosophia Reformata 2000, 65: 72-104), Eduardo Echeverria states he is writing out of his concern that since “”¦ the lack of unity among Christians represents the grave obstacle for the proclamation of the gospel, we should take every suitable opportunity to increase the unity of all Christians. The present essay is meant as a contribution toward this goal.” (p.72). The increased unity he has in mind is a reconciliation of the traditional scholastic interpretation of Christian doctrine (which he designates the “TSC”), and the Calvinist tradition (which I will designate the “CT”). More specifically, he seeks a unity between them concerning the relation of faith and reason, that is, the role of reason in belief in God. To this end he compares what he understands of the CT, as represented by Calvin and Dooyeweerd, with the TSC as represented by St Thomas and the encyclical, Fides et Ratio (1998) by Pope John Paul II. In all that follows I will be agreeing with Echeverria that this is, indeed, an important concern and a laudable goal, and I hope that what I offer here in reply to his essay will be taken in that same charitable spirit. So even though I find that Echeverria’s account of the differences between the TSC and the CT is seriously mistaken, I do agree that it would go a long way toward greater cooperation between our two traditions if we could at least agree on what our differences are and work toward resolving them. For that reason I will be more concerned here with clarifying those differences than with arguing for the CT. That does not mean that I will not at times offer brief accounts of why I think the CT is right to differ from the TSC on certain points; it only means that I do not regard the case I will make for these points as anywhere near complete. This brevity is made necessary because I find the misunderstandings of Calvin, and especially of Dooyeweerd, to be so many and so knotted in “Fides et Ratio” as to form a tangled skein that would require more than just one article to unravel. I have also decided that there are so many strands to this skein that for the sake of clarity I will restrict myself to only a few of them. My assumption is that it would be better to make real progress with getting a few key differences in focus, than to end up producing a tangle of my own in an attempt to cover every point raised in Echeverria’s long article. My hope is that the treatment of the points I do cover will be sufficient to indicate how a more thorough untangling would proceed.