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Nature is Enough: Religious Naturalism and the Meaning of Life Paperback – 2 Jul 2012

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4.6 out of 5 stars 8 reviews from Amazon.com us-flag |

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Review

Loyal Rue manages the difficult task of being both profound and accessible, and I am grateful. Now when people ask me their most difficult questions concerning the meaning of life I can point them in the direction of this wonderful book. Rebecca Newberger Goldstein, author of 36 Arguments for the Existence of God: A Work of Fiction

Religious naturalism is an approach to experiencing and appreciating nature with the awe, reverence, and respect that are usually associated with religion, but without the metaphysical paraphernalia of the latter. In this book, Loyal Rue insightfully sees the meaning in reality, examines the emergence of meaning, and incorporates the dimension of meaning into naturalized religion. He concludes the book with thoughtful personal responses to topics that provoke us all: God, creation, sin, grace, faith, and such, and the meaning of life itself. This is a persuasive and powerful call to religious naturalism, and will become one of the classics in the literature on the subject. Varadaraja V. Raman, author of Truth and Tension in Science and Religion"

one can find insightful discussions of, among other things, faith, hope, and love in a godless universe and how one should face death and suffering if one rejects the reality of both God and an afterlife. Philosophy, Theology and the Sciences
Loyal Rue manages the difficult task of being both profound and accessible, and I am grateful. Now when people ask me their most difficult questions concerning the meaning of life I can point them in the direction of this wonderful book. Rebecca Newberger Goldstein, author of 36 Arguments for the Existence of God: A Work of Fiction
Religious naturalism is an approach to experiencing and appreciating nature with the awe, reverence, and respect that are usually associated with religion, but without the metaphysical paraphernalia of the latter. In this book, Loyal Rue insightfully sees the meaning in reality, examines the emergence of meaning, and incorporates the dimension of meaning into naturalized religion. He concludes the book with thoughtful personal responses to topics that provoke us all: God, creation, sin, grace, faith, and such, and the meaning of life itself. This is a persuasive and powerful call to religious naturalism, and will become one of the classics in the literature on the subject. Varadaraja V. Raman, author of Truth and Tension in Science and Religion"

About the Author

Loyal Rue is Professor of Religion and Philosophy at Luther College. He is the author of Everybody's Story: Wising Up to the Epic of Evolution, also published by SUNY Press, and Religion Is Not about God: How Spiritual Traditions Nurture Our Biological Nature and What to Expect When They Fail.


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Amazon.com: 4.6 out of 5 stars 8 reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars 5 Mar. 2015
By Janou - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Very illuminating book; methodologically clear and conceptually interesting!
0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great Book 22 Feb. 2015
By Randal J Broussard - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Very good book. Very deep insight and it's resfreshing to know I am not the only one who feels like this and/or trying to dig deeper. Just a little tough if you are a novist at philosophy.
0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A foothold for the Naturalist. 5 Jun. 2014
By george steele - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
The book was really detailed in explaining an atheist viewpoint. A must read for naturalist and all persons seeking to extend their knowledge on religion.
12 of 16 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars This book is a work of philosophy. 3 July 2014
By CRISTI A CAVE - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I do wish that I had not spent my time on this book. I wish that I had known that Loyal Rue is a philosophy professor and that the reason for the book was to answer, with philosophical argument, a theist named John Haught. I wish I had known that the entire book would be a case in philosophical argumentation--which I really do dislike. I had the hope that the book would help bring me closer to nature in new, meaningful ways. Instead, it forced me to consider that nature might actually *not* be enough. Which is depressing, yes?

I don't have time to cover my disappointments here, so I'll just touch on one. I'm an atheist and a devoted "naturalist." But I'm also a biologist. He says, "...the working definition of function in biology is explicitly teleological: a function is what a trait...is *supposed to do*. (Italics are the author's). " And, "...the teleological language remains: functional traits are there because in the past they served the *goal* of reproductive fitness. Natural selection provides powerful tools for explaining specific modifications in living systems, but it doesn't offer a complete explanation for the origin of life. Evolutionary theory *assumes* the teleological nature of living systems."

Evolutionary theory does no such thing. Living things are here today because their ancestors managed to reproduce. There is no "goal" of fitness. Neither is a heart "supposed" to function as a heart--it just does. There is no "teleological nature of living systems." We have the ability to feel discomfort and comfort, acquired through evolution. We flee discomfort and seek comfort. Not because there is some "goal" or "tele" but because that's how we evolved. Hunger hurts and eating feels good, so you know we're going to eat when we're hungry. We don't walk in lava. Not because we have a "tele" to survive, reproduce and so on, but because all the people who have walked in lava because they were too stupid, couldn't feel heat, had poor reflexes or lacked appropriate caution and/or fear have died.

His claim that naturalism will fill our social needs is unsatisfying as well. In today's world it is just not realistic.

Most of his thoughts about nature and "God" are ones I have already had. The difference is that by reading this book I was treated to the thought processes of a philosopher. Which frankly I didn't have time for.
0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Nature is Enough is Enough 28 April 2014
By barbarakinsey - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Amazing and well crafted! Rue's grasp of the discourse about reality over the past 2500 years is beautiful and compelling.
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