Naturalism

Posted on Jun 1, 2011 in Logical Fallacies

The believe that nature is all that there is. All life is the result of the laws of nature acting over time. In some cases, scientists prefer methodological naturalism rather than metaphysical naturalism. Methodological Naturalism is the belief that science should be conducted as if nature were all that there is, regardless of whether or not it is actually true. Metaphysical Naturalism is the belief that nature is all there is, and that is usually what is meant by the term “naturalism”.

A number of evolutionists accept naturalism as a presupposition, but this is certainly not a precondition for being able to understand the universe. For most evolutionists, naturalism, or at least methodological naturalism, is accepted without justification.

Any philosophy that arbitrarily dismisses possibilities that are potentially true is a bad philosophy. Naturalism arbitrarily dismisses the possibility of a supernatural origin and is thus a bad philosophy. The Bible teaches that in Christ are hidden all treasures of wisdom and knowledge (Col.2:3), and therefore we should not be robbed of such treasures by being taken in by secular philosophies like naturalism. Such philosophy is “after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ” (Col 2:8 KJV).

Example 1: Suppose an evolutionist said “I believe in naturalism. Show me logically how the earth could possibly be 6,000 years old but you can’t invoke supernatural – because I don’t believe in things that you can’t observe with your senses“. If nature is all that there is, then laws of logic cannot exist, since they are not part of nature. After all, you can’t stub your town on a law of logic, or pull a law of logic out of the refrigerator. A possible response would be: “I don’t accept your belief in naturalism, or your belief that all things must be observed by the senses. In fact, if naturalism were true, you couldn’t have laws of logic anyway since they are not part of nature. You say you only believe things observed by your senses; if that’s true, then you can’t believe in laws of logic since they cannot be observed by the senses; Logical reasoning would be impossible if your beliefs were true. So why do you ask me to be logical? Laws of logic only make sense if biblical creation is true“.

Example 2: “Evolution must be true, because it is the only naturalistic way that life could come about“.The bias here is that naturalism is true. We must expose this bias and force the evolutionist to (attempt to) defend it. We can use the “don’t answer, answer” strategy to do this: “But, sir, I do not accept naturalism. In fact, if naturalism were true it would be impossible to prove anything since there would be no basis for laws of logic“.

Consider this statement by (evolutionist) Richard Lewontin:

We take the side of science in spite of the patent absurdity of some of its constructs, in spite of its failure to fulfill many of its extravagant promises of health and life, in spite of the tolerance of the scientific community of unsubstantiated just-so stories, because we have a prior commitment, a commitment of materialism.

It is not the methods of institutions of science somehow compel us to accept a material explanation of the phenomenal word, but, on the contrary, that we are forced by our prior adherence to material causes to create an apparatus of investigation and a set of concepts that produce material explanations, no matter how counter-intuitive, no matter how mystifying to the uninitiated. Moreover, that materialism is an absolute, for we cannot allow a Divine Foot in the door

(Richard Lewontin, “Billions and Billions of Demons, The New York Review, January 9, 1997, p.31)

See “Reductio ad absurdum
See “Empiricism
See “Relativism

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