Why a naturalistic worldview?
Posted: 04 November 2006 07:06 AM   [ Ignore ]
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Hej!

What are the reasons for adopting a naturalistic worldview?

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"A wise man proportions his belief to the evidence." David Hume (1711-1776)
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Posted: 04 November 2006 09:14 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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What alternates would you suggest?

:wink:

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Posted: 04 November 2006 09:37 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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[quote author=“dougsmith”]What alternates would you suggest? :wink:

I guess this is a stupid question, but when I talk to theists they claim that “logical laws disprove naturalism” or that “I can’t trust my senses” etc.

My philosophical atheism/naturalism is based on the methodological naturalism of science (every phenomena that can be explained in a naturalistic frame makes God more and more reduntant…)

I need some good arguments for naturalism…

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"A wise man proportions his belief to the evidence." David Hume (1711-1776)
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Posted: 04 November 2006 09:56 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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[quote author=“l_johan_k”]I guess this is a stupid question, but when I talk to theists they claim that “logical laws disprove naturalism” or that “I can’t trust my senses” etc.

The best thing to do when someone claims something silly like “logical laws disprove naturalism” is to get them to actually give you the argument. There isn’t any such argument, so whatever they tell you can be dealt with pretty quickly. (Usually such ‘arguments’ depend on a very silly definition of ‘naturalism’, or a misunderstanding of what a logical law is).

As for not trusting your senses ... that is clearly true; we can’t trust them 100%. But the question is where we have better knowledge of the world than through our senses. Put another way, the senses aren’t perfect, but nothing else is any better. So we’re stuck with them.

[quote author=“l_johan_k”]My philosophical atheism/naturalism is based on the methodological naturalism of science (every phenomena that can be explained in a naturalistic frame makes God more and more reduntant…)

I need some good arguments for naturalism…

Well, you’re asking for a whole book here. Actually, you’re asking for at least two books, one on arguments for naturalism, another on arguments against the existence of god. In my view these questions can be separated. For a general approach to arguments against god see JL Mackie’s Miracle of Theism. Put roughly, the problem with belief in god is:

(1) It is unparsimonious in that it posits the existence of at least one object in addition to the (natural) objects of the universe.

(2) None of the standard arguments for god’s existence are valid or convincing.

(3) The argument from evil gives us prima facie reason to doubt that god was responsible for our creation, and ipso facto reason to doubt that god exists.

Naturalism is rather a different matter; it is an issue of ontology. When we do a careful ontology we want to create a theory which is the best possible explanation for the phenomena we see before us. By “best” we mean simplest, for one thing. Then we look at what’s in our ontology, and if it’s the ‘natural’ things, you’re a naturalist.

Now, some may take ‘naturalism’ to mean that there aren’t any abstracta like numbers or mathematical objects. I don’t actually go that route. But one could.

The other question one should ask as a naturalist is what is the alternative? Presumably some form of “supernaturalism”; at least, that is the classic alternative in the popular press. Naturalism would be false if there were such things as ghosts, ESP, magic, the Evil Eye, fairies, dowsing, etc. But careful experimentation has shown these to be bankrupt notions.

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Posted: 04 November 2006 10:18 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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Thanks for your answer, doughsmith!

[quote author=“dougsmith”]Usually such ‘arguments’ depend on a very silly definition of ‘naturalism’, or a misunderstanding of what a logical law is

Could you elaborate what you mean with the above…

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Posted: 04 November 2006 10:38 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
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Not really; I’ve just seen similar sorts of strategies in other areas. Usually they depend on coming up with the wrong definition of the word in question.

I recall once a fellow student claiming that Zeno’s Paradoxes had refuted logic! rolleyes  Clearly, one can’t say such a thing if one understands what logic is, what refutation is, and what Zeno’s Paradoxes said.

Put simply, logical laws can only refute naturalism if naturalism is self-contradictory. That’s a very strong claim.

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Posted: 20 November 2006 03:24 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]
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Kai Nielsen’s ” Naturalism and Religion” is the book to read on such.Jordan Howard Sobel’s ” Logic and Theism’ shows the absurdity of theism as does JonathaN Harrisson’s ” God, Freedom and Immortality.’ Michae Martin has several books on atheism ,including three antholigies. Now these books are not light reading! :D :wink: Maybe Doug is familiar with them.

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Fr. Griggs rests in his Socratic ignorance and humble naturalism.He might be wrong!His cognitive defects might impact his posting. Logic is the bane of theists.‘Religion is mythinformation.“Reason saves, not that fanatic Galilean!
  ’ Life is its own validation and reward and ultimate purpose.”

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Posted: 13 March 2007 09:06 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]
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Re: Why a naturalistic worldview?

[quote author=“l_johan_k”]Hej!

What are the reasons for adopting a naturalistic worldview?

Its’ the de facto presupposition for all of us all really, so when a theist seeks to defend a supernatural worldview they have to beg materialism anyway. Once they do, the material universe declaws them of any argument for the justification for belief in the supernatural or extra-natural worldview because those claims are refuted by physical laws or explained for some alleged mystery. Supernaturalists are only left only with arguments from ignorance at this point or some red-herring about how athiests are the ally of satan or some such nonesense.

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Posted: 13 March 2007 12:34 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]
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[quote author=“l_johan_k”]  . . . when I talk to theists they claim that “logical laws disprove naturalism”

You can’t argue against a conclusion like that without knowing how the theist derived it and exactly what he means by it.  Ask him to show precisely what logical “laws” he’s talking about, what he means by naturalism, and how they disprove it.  Once you get these answers the refutation will probably be obvious to you.

Occam

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Posted: 14 March 2007 03:40 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 9 ]
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Re: Why a naturalistic worldview?

[quote author=“l_johan_k”]Hej!

What are the reasons for adopting a naturalistic worldview?

What are the reasons for not?

(besides, i dig Hume and evidence)

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