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Please present good reasons for philosophical naturalism
Posted: 09 July 2012 09:34 PM   [ Ignore ]
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philosophical naturalism helds, that the natural world is all there exists. Please present good reasons for this world view, and why you think it provides the best explanation for our existence. I am asking for positive arguments, not arguments like : the universe is all there is, because the bible is not compelling , because there is no evidence for God etc. I am asking for arguments, that make philosophical naturalism stand by its own.

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Posted: 10 July 2012 12:14 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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`
I don’t have an argument for you, just a general question to toss out there:

Why is there any need to commit to or ‘champion’ philosophical naturalism in the first place?  What’s wrong with just sticking with ‘this is what we have to work with until any compelling evidence comes along to suggest otherwise’?

I don’t think I know anyone (including every atheist/materialist i know) who is ‘committed’ to philosophical naturalism or feels the need to be.


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Posted: 10 July 2012 01:13 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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First, I have a problem with the question. IMO it is phrased poorly. But trying to understand your drift, I’ll pose a basic counter question.

As Thoreau said, “everything is connected to everything else ” and we do know that some of it is natural. Then by extension can we not assume that everything is natural? Why introduce a foreign agent? Ockham’s razor applies here, IMO.

[ Edited: 10 July 2012 01:18 AM by Write4U ]
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Posted: 10 July 2012 02:10 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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The argument is negative: naturalism is true because nothing non-natural has been shown to exist.

Of course, this still leaves open what we consider “natural”.

If you are looking for a positive argument, perhaps the best single argument comes from the sciences.

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Posted: 10 July 2012 03:45 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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Write4U - 10 July 2012 01:13 AM

First, I have a problem with the question. IMO it is phrased poorly. But trying to understand your drift, I’ll pose a basic counter question.

As Thoreau said, “everything is connected to everything else ” and we do know that some of it is natural. Then by extension can we not assume that everything is natural? Why introduce a foreign agent? Ockham’s razor applies here, IMO.

then the logical question arises : To what is our universe connected to ? You have either two basic possibilites : either our universe is eternal, had no beginning, and will have no end, or it had a beginning, and must have therefore a cause, since from absolutely nothing, nothing arises.

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Posted: 10 July 2012 04:52 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
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dougsmith - 10 July 2012 02:10 AM

The argument is negative: naturalism is true because nothing non-natural has been shown to exist.

Of course, this still leaves open what we consider “natural”.

If you are looking for a positive argument, perhaps the best <a class=“inlineAdmedialink” href=”#”>single</a> argument comes from the sciences.

Yes, indeed the question is, what is natural ? Maibe everything that can be percepted physically ? in that case, my question is : is our will natural ? It cannot be percepted physically: it has no smell, no sound, cannot be seen, but your will is the cause of many physical phenomenas, like for example you see a friend, you raise your arm, to say hello. That is a physical effect of a non physical cause, your will. You can say , that the will can be detected through brain activity. Fact is however, that many out of body experiences have been reported, and these cannot be neglected, but are strong evidence for dualism. So, why is it not reasonable, to imagine that a personal spiritual being decided to create the physical world ? But that is not the issue of this thread. I would like to know good reasons for naturalism. Why does everything that begins to exist, need a cause, but the universe does not ? Is it reasonable to believe, the universe had no beginning ?

[ Edited: 10 July 2012 04:56 AM by Adonai888 ]
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Posted: 10 July 2012 05:15 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]
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Adonai888 - 10 July 2012 03:45 AM
Write4U - 10 July 2012 01:13 AM

First, I have a problem with the question. IMO it is phrased poorly. But trying to understand your drift, I’ll pose a basic counter question.

As Thoreau said, “everything is connected to everything else ” and we do know that some of it is natural. Then by extension can we not assume that everything is natural? Why introduce a foreign agent? Ockham’s razor applies here, IMO.

then the logical question arises : To what is our universe connected to ? You have either two basic possibilites : either our universe is eternal, had no beginning, and will have no end, or it had a beginning, and must have therefore a cause, since from absolutely nothing, nothing arises.

Who says? I believe the current science holds that something can indeed arise from nothing.
IMO, natural cosmological constants predict that something can (and obviously did) arise from nothing, without outside help.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7ImvlS8PLIo

[ Edited: 10 July 2012 05:38 AM by Write4U ]
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Posted: 10 July 2012 06:35 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]
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Adonai888 - 10 July 2012 04:52 AM

Fact is however, that many out of body experiences have been reported, and these cannot be neglected, but are strong evidence for dualism. So, why is it not reasonable, to imagine that a personal spiritual being decided to create the physical world ?

Out of body experiences are perfectly explicable physically as a form of dream or hallucination. Indeed, they are so explained by competent psychologists. There is no evidence for dualism from any known mental phenomenon.

Adonai888 - 10 July 2012 04:52 AM

Why does everything that begins to exist, need a cause, but the universe does not ? Is it reasonable to believe, the universe had no beginning ?

Who says the universe didn’t have a cause? Not modern cosmologists. They say that they don’t know. They may have various theories (on many of which the universe did have a cause, and on some of which it was a random event, as quantum mechanical fluctuations are understood to be), but none of these theories has yet been completely confirmed, and maybe none will ever be.

And of course it’s also possible that the universe—or at least previous universes—never had a beginning, but that they go endlessly into the past.

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Posted: 10 July 2012 08:42 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]
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Write4U - 10 July 2012 05:15 AM

Who says? I believe the current science holds that something can indeed arise from nothing.

If you refere to virtual particles :

John Barrow and Frank Tipler comment, “. . . the modern picture of the quantum vacuum differs radically from the classical and everyday meaning of a vacuum—nothing. . . . The quantum vacuum (or vacuua, as there can exist many) states . . . are defined simply as local, or global, energy minima (V’(O)= O, V”(O)>O)” ([1986], p. 440). The microstructure of the quantum vacuum is a sea of continually forming and dissolving particles which borrow energy from the vacuum for their brief existence. A quantum vacuum is thus far from nothing, and vacuum fluctuations do not constitute an exception to the principle that whatever begins to exist has a cause.

IMO, natural cosmological constants predict that something can (and obviously did) arise from nothing, without outside help.

From absolutely nothing, nothing arises, since absolutely nothing is the absence of ANY thing. To believe, that from absolutely nothing something can arise, is irrational.

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Posted: 10 July 2012 08:51 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 9 ]
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dougsmith - 10 July 2012 06:35 AM

Out of body experiences are perfectly explicable physically as a form of dream or hallucination.

Evidence does not support your assertion.

from the book the case for a creator pg 163

One scientist whose opinions were reversed on the issue is Wilder Penfield, the renowned father of modern neurosurgery. He started out suspecting that consciousness somehow emanated from the neural activities in the brain, where synapses can fire an astounding ten million billion times a second. “Through my own scientific career, I, like other scientists, have struggled to prove that the brain accounts for the mind,” he said.9
But through performing surgery on more than a thousand epileptic patients, he encountered concrete evidence that the brain and mind are actually distinct from each other, although they clearly interact. Explained one expert in the field:
Penfield would stimulate electrically the proper motor cortex of conscious patients and challenge them to keep one hand from moving when the current was applied. The patient would seize this hand with the other hand and struggle to hold it still. Thus one hand under the control of the electrical current and the other hand under the control of the patient’s mind fought against each other. Penfield risked the explanation that the patient
had not only a physical brain that was stimulated to action but also a nonphysical reality that interacted with the brain.”
In other words, Penfield ended up agreeing with the Bible’s assertion that human beings are both body and spirit. “To expect the highest brain mechanism or any set of reflexes, however complicated, to carry out what the mind does, and thus perform all the functions of the mind, is quite absurd,” he said. “What a thrill it is, then, to discover that the scientist, too, can legitimately believe in the existence of the spirit.”
Similarly, Oxford University professor of physiology Sir Charles Sherrington, a Nobel Prize winner described as “a genius who laid the foundations of our knowledge of the functioning of the brain and spinal cord,“11 declared five days before his death: “For me now, the only reality is the human soul.“14
As for his one-time student John C. Eccles, himself an eminent neurophysiologist and Nobel laureate, his ultimate conclusion is the same. “I am constrained,” he said, “to believe that there is what we might call a supernatural origin of my unique self-conscious mind or my unique selfhood or soul.”’

Who says the universe didn’t have a cause? Not modern cosmologists. They say that they don’t know.

Does it make sense to declare ignorance in regard of the universe ?

http://www.gty.org/resources/sermons/90-208/creation-believe-it-or-not-part-1

when you abandon logic and logic says, “Oh, there’s a universe. Hum…somebody made it.” What else would logic say? “There’s a building, somebody made it. There’s a piano, somebody made it. There’s a universe, more complex than a building, infinitely more complex than a piano, somebody…somebody who is very, very powerful and very, very intelligent made it.”

And of course it’s also possible that the universe—or at least previous universes—never had a beginning, but that they go endlessly into the past.

I don’t think that is possible.

http://elshamah.heavenforum.org/t132-the-kalam-cosmological-argument

the existence of an actually infinite number of things is metaphysically impossible. If the universe never began to exist, then its past duration would be actually infinite. [5] Since actual infinities cannot exist, then the past duration of the universe must have been finite, implying that the universe must have begun to exist. Even if one grants that it is possible for an actual infinite to exist, it still cannot be formed by successive addition, and henceforth the past duration of the universe must be finite. From a scientific perspective, the beginning of the universe is strongly supported by modern big bang cosmology.

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Posted: 10 July 2012 09:15 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 10 ]
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The simplest answer I know is that naturalism works while super-naturalism does not work. I have tried living both ways. I prefer the one that satisfactorily explains, predicts, and allows practical application of solutions that work. The other one—which requires blind faith in temperamental and capricious entities and forces—not so much.

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Posted: 10 July 2012 09:40 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 11 ]
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FreeInKy - 10 July 2012 09:15 AM

The simplest answer I know is that naturalism works while super-naturalism does not work.

It ” works ” in what sense ?

I have tried living both ways.

What does that mean ?

 

I prefer the one that satisfactorily explains, predicts, and allows practical application of solutions

So please could you explain the existence of our universe through naturalism ?

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Posted: 10 July 2012 01:05 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 12 ]
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Adonai888 - 10 July 2012 08:51 AM

Evidence does not support your assertion.

Um, isolated quotes from fringe scientists are worthless in this kind of research. And by “fringe scientists” I mean scientists whose opinions are fringe—crank, even—like Linus Pauling’s nonsense about Vitamin C. The fact that he was a Nobel Prize winner is immaterial.

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Posted: 10 July 2012 01:12 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 13 ]
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For a more scientifically credible account of out-of-body experiences, see Skepdic on OBEs.

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Posted: 10 July 2012 02:27 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 14 ]
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I agree with responses 1-3 and 10. By way of addition, Adonai’s assumption of a dichotomy about the beginning of things (post 4) assumes that time is what it appears grossly to be. We already know that assumption is false, so the dichotomy may not be valid.

This looks like another topic started by someone trying to promote a belief in “God.” It’s endlessly fascinating how some folks require absolute proof from science yet are perfectly comfortable with their own imaginings, though they are unsupported by so much as a shred of evidence.

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Posted: 10 July 2012 02:35 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 15 ]
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dougsmith - 10 July 2012 01:12 PM

For a more scientifically credible account of out-of-body experiences, see Skepdic on OBEs.

from your cited website:

My suspicion is that the neuroscientists are on the right track and that someday we will understand the pathology of the OBE.

thats a tipical biased view. First of all : how does the author know the phenomena has to do with pathology ?

secondly : it is more than clearly evidenced, that people have out of body experiences, since they are able afterwards to report things, they could report only, if they were actually present. A good example we can see here :

http://profezie3m.altervista.org/archivio/TheLancet_NDE.htm

Near-death experience in survivors of cardiac arrest: a prospective study in the Netherlands
Pim van Lommel, Ruud van Wees, Vincent Meyers, Ingrid Elfferich

Division of Cardiology, Hospital Rijnstate, Arnhem, Netherlands (P van Lommel MD); Tilburg, Netherlands (R van Wees PhD); Nijmegen, Netherlands (V Meyers PhD); and Capelle a/d Ijssel, Netherlands (I Elfferich PhD)

“During a night shift an ambulance brings in a 44-year-old cyanotic, comatose man into the coronary care unit. He had been found about an hour before in a meadow by passers-by. After admission, he receives artificial respiration without intubation, while heart massage and defibrillation are also applied. When we want to intubate the patient, he turns out to have dentures in his mouth. I remove these upper dentures and put them onto the ‘crash car’. Meanwhile, we continue extensive CPR. After about an hour and a half the patient has sufficient heart rhythm and blood pressure, but he is still ventilated and intubated, and he is still comatose. He is transferred to the intensive care unit to continue the necessary artificial respiration. Only after more than a week do I meet again with the patient, who is by now back on the cardiac ward. I distribute his medication. The moment he sees me he says: ‘Oh, that nurse knows where my dentures are’. I am very surprised. Then he elucidates: ‘Yes, you were there when I was brought into hospital and you took my dentures out of my mouth and put them onto that car, it had all these bottles on it and there was this sliding drawer underneath and there you put my teeth.’ I was especially amazed because I remembered this happening while the man was in deep coma and in the process of CPR. When I asked further, it appeared the man had seen himself lying in bed, that he had perceived from above how nurses and doctors had been busy with CPR. He was also able to describe correctly and in detail the small room in which he had been resuscitated as well as the appearance of those present like myself. At the time that he observed the situation he had been very much afraid that we would stop CPR and that he would die. And it is true that we had been very negative about the patient’s prognosis due to his very poor medical condition when admitted. The patient tells me that he desperately and unsuccessfully tried to make it clear to us that he was still alive and that we should continue CPR. He is deeply impressed by his experience and says he is no longer afraid of death. 4 weeks later he left hospital as a healthy man.”

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