Please present good reasons for philosophical naturalism

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Adonai88
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Re: Please present good reasons for philosophical naturalism

Post by Adonai88 » Tue Jul 10, 2012 8:33 pm

funkyderek wrote: Anything that does not interact with the natural world and its component atoms and particles and forces, is for all intents and purposes, nonexistent. Please note that I am not using the phrase "for all intents and purposes" as a mere cliché. I mean that anything that does not interact with the natural world does not exist.
Anything that does interact with the natural world is necessarily part of it.
That is a quest of definition. Everything that is not subject to the laws of nature, that which is said to exist above our natural, aka physical world, is called supernatural. If the supernatural is able to interact or influence the natural world, then it does not necessarly become part of the natural world.
funkyderek
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Re: Please present good reasons for philosophical naturalism

Post by funkyderek » Tue Jul 10, 2012 9:27 pm

Adonai88 wrote:That is a quest of definition. Everything that is not subject to the laws of nature, that which is said to exist above our natural, aka physical world, is called supernatural. If the supernatural is able to interact or influence the natural world, then it does not necessarly become part of the natural world.
You can, of course, define words to mean whatever you want. But it won't get you very far.
Anything that interacts with the natural world can be said to be part of it, at least at the point of interaction. The parts of it that do not interact with the natural world cannot be said to exist in any meaningful sense.
I can put every concept you can envisage into one of two boxes: "Non-existent" and "natural"
You want to use a third box: "Supernatural". Can you give me an example of a single thing that would go in that box but can't go in one of my boxes?
"Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has." - Margaret Mead

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canasta42
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Re: Please present good reasons for philosophical naturalism

Post by canasta42 » Tue Jul 10, 2012 9:51 pm

My answer to the first question would be similar to paolovf's and bipedal's answer.

To ask for proof that the natural world is all that there is, is a ridiculous question. To me, it seems analogous to someone, for example, handing me an orange and then asking for proof that they have given me only an orange and that there is not a miniature mariachi band playing silently in it's hollowed-out centre. (Without being allowed to open it to see.) (A bit of a convoluted analogy, but no less ridiculous, I think.)

Bertrand Russell's teapot springs to mind. I would refer Adonai88 to Bertrand Arthur William Russell, I'm pretty sure he dealt comprehensively with this question, and many other similar ones.

More such nonsense in the Irish Times today:

http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/opi ... 20371.html

Sometimes it is difficult to keep trying to be positive and not to despair at the plight of humanity. (I suppose it will all be the same in about four thousand million years or so, when the sun grows towards its red giant phase.)

C.
Adonai88
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Re: Please present good reasons for philosophical naturalism

Post by Adonai88 » Tue Jul 10, 2012 11:23 pm

funkyderek wrote:
You can, of course, define words to mean whatever you want. But it won't get you very far.
The definition of supernatural, which i gave, i have taken from wikipedia. So its not my invention.
Anything that interacts with the natural world can be said to be part of it, at least at the point of interaction. The parts of it that do not interact with the natural world cannot be said to exist in any meaningful sense.
Why not ? If i read in the bible about heaven, about the new jerusalem , about angels etc. i can imagine in a limited sense these realities, so they are meaningful to me. Every christian that has hope of eternal life in a reality above our physical world , put a lot of hope in this view.
I can put every concept you can envisage into one of two boxes: "Non-existent" and "natural"
We can also make a division between the non existing, the physical world, and the super-natural world........
You want to use a third box: "Supernatural". Can you give me an example of a single thing that would go in that box but can't go in one of my boxes?
[/quote]

what is not subject to the laws of nature, or that which is said to exist above and beyond nature.
Adonai88
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Re: Please present good reasons for philosophical naturalism

Post by Adonai88 » Tue Jul 10, 2012 11:28 pm

canasta42 wrote: To ask for proof that the natural world is all that there is, is a ridiculous question.
I agree, Neither is it what i asked for. Do you know the difference between evidence, and proof ?


To me, it seems analogous to someone, for example, handing me an orange and then asking for proof that they have given me only an orange and that there is not a miniature mariachi band playing silently in it's hollowed-out centre. (Without being allowed to open it to see.) (A bit of a convoluted analogy, but no less ridiculous, I think.)
I am not asking to prove a negative ( your miniature mariachi band playing silently in it's hollowed-out centre ) aka that God does not exist.
I am asking for evidence, that our universe is all there is. That it either does exist eternally, or that it had a beginning, but does not need a cause. That are the two alternatives i think you have. if you imagine other alternatives, please present them.
Puck
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Re: Please present good reasons for philosophical naturalism

Post by Puck » Wed Jul 11, 2012 7:33 am

Evidence that our universe is all that there is, is evident with virtually every aspect of our modern life. The acceleration of scientific understanding of our universe and it's application to our life, since both education and science has been de-shackled from the tight leash of the Christian Churches, has been extraordinary.

I can't think of a single part of my life that hasn't been revolutionised by scientific progress in the last 100 years. I often consider how much further down the track of understanding we would be if the 'Word of God' hadn't be used to restrict and punish those who sort to explain the universe through science, over the previous 1000 years. Would we already have a cure for cancer, saving millions of lives a year?

If you were diagnosed with cancer in today, would you:
  • a) Go to Church, start praying and let the 'Will of God' decide whether you survive the cancer.
  • b) Book yourself into hospital and start receiving modern medical treatment
  • or c) Take a bet each way.
Previously, many things were considered 'super-natural', such as the daily rising of the sun, seasons, the moon, tides, virgin births, curing the sick, raising the dead, etc. As scientific knowledge has expanded, the 'super-natural' influence and miracles on the natural world has decreased.

Our ability to understand our natural universe is only limited by the resources pour into science and our own brain's ability to comprehend the results.
bipedalhumanoid
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Re: Please present good reasons for philosophical naturalism

Post by bipedalhumanoid » Wed Jul 11, 2012 9:15 am

Adonai88 wrote:
bipedalhumanoid wrote:It's an idiotic request for three reasons.

1) You're by definition asking us to prove a negative.
Nope. I am asking to provide positive evidence that naturalism is true.
LMAO. You defined philisophical naturalism as that which "helds <sic>, that the natural world is all there exists". Asking to prove that as true is EXACTLY THE SAME asking us to prove that there is no such thing as the supernatural, given that by definition, the supernatural is everything that doesn't come under the definition of natural.
Adonai88 wrote:
3) You're assuming that anyone here would claim to know with 100% certainty that only the natural universe exists.
Nope. If that would be the case, then i would be asking for definitive proofs. I am not. I am asking for good reasons and explanations, why naturalism provides the best explanation for our existence, and the existence of the universe.
Ok, fair enough. So if good reasons and explanations are what you want, why restrict the criteria to positive arguments and dismiss the explanation I gave you out of hand...
Adonai88 wrote:
The fact is that there isn't a shread of credible evidence to support any supernatural claim to which I have ever been exposed.
that is NOT what i am asking at this thread.
Again, I will reiterate. The statement "The natural world is all that exists" implies "The supernatural world does not exist". If proofs are not what you seek, then I will again present my compelling reason for accepting naturalism.

As solopsism is a complete waste of time, I assume I don't have to bore you with evidence for the existence of the natural world. That only leaves the supernatural, which if you're not asking me to disprove, you are at least asking me to provide a good reason for not believing it exists.

That leads me to...
I don't believe supernatural phenomena exists because there is not a shread of evidence for its existence that I am aware of.
"The fact of your own existence is the most astonishing fact you will ever have to face. Don’t you ever get used to it." - Richard Dawkins... being shrill and offensive again I suppose.
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Re: Please present good reasons for philosophical naturalism

Post by funkyderek » Wed Jul 11, 2012 9:59 am

Adonai88 wrote: Why not ? If i read in the bible about heaven, about the new jerusalem , about angels etc. i can imagine in a limited sense these realities, so they are meaningful to me. Every christian that has hope of eternal life in a reality above our physical world , put a lot of hope in this view.
I have no doubt that you can imagine such things to exist, or indeed that you let your imagination get the better of you.
I can put every concept you can envisage into one of two boxes: "Non-existent" and "natural"
We can also make a division between the non existing, the physical world, and the super-natural world........
What I'm saying is that there's no need for the third category. Every concept you can name can fit in one of my two boxes and I defy you to prove otherwise.
You want to use a third box: "Supernatural". Can you give me an example of a single thing that would go in that box but can't go in one of my boxes?
what is not subject to the laws of nature, or that which is said to exist above and beyond nature.
Well done. You're repeating your definition of supernatural. That's not what I asked. Please provide an example of something that is (a)supernatural and (b)exists.
"Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has." - Margaret Mead

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paolovf
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Re: Please present good reasons for philosophical naturalism

Post by paolovf » Wed Jul 11, 2012 12:05 pm

Adonai88 wrote:
paolovf wrote: From our current standpoint, it is reasonable to assume that nothing exists beyond this physical universe .
Why is that standpoint reasonable ? Either you think its reasonable then, that our universe had no beginning, but exists eternally, or that it had a beginning, but no cause. What do you think ?
It is a reasonable standpoint because as far as this grand experiment is concerned, i.e. examining the universe around us, characterising it and hypothesising the laws which govern it, there is no reasonable or credible line of investigation that, up to this point in time, would or should suggest anything beyond the universe.

As a topical example regarding the Higgs Boson, you may ask, well why was it reasonable to predict most of the particles within the standard model before they were actually measured or detected? Simply because enough sound mathematics was carried out to predict their existence based on previous findings.
I can't think of any similar example that predicts a supernatural world to support our universe. And you may retort that it is fickle of me to try and use the laws of the natural universe to arrive at any prediction of a supernatural world, on the contrary, I think it is the most sensible thing you can do. If you are going to build a rickety bridge of an explanation between the two it will fall as soon as a few people stand on it trying to figure out what the hell it is. To be frank, your line of questioning simply smacks of desperation and lacks substance. As I said before on this forum, the day someone comes to me with something concrete I will be the first to accept it.

I don't mean to be rude here in any way but the irony of it all is that the universe has produced you with all these cognitive functions and your time is consumed trying to understand everything but the natural universe. It appears the universe is a cruel sense of humour.
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Re: Please present good reasons for philosophical naturalism

Post by Adonai88 » Wed Jul 11, 2012 1:14 pm

paolovf wrote: I can't think of any similar example that predicts a supernatural world to support our universe.
To what do you attribute the existence of our universe ? why is there something rather than nothing ?
And you may retort that it is fickle of me to try and use the laws of the natural universe to arrive at any prediction of a supernatural world, on the contrary, I think it is the most sensible thing you can do. If you are going to build a rickety bridge of an explanation between the two it will fall as soon as a few people stand on it trying to figure out what the hell it is. To be frank, your line of questioning simply smacks of desperation and lacks substance. As I said before on this forum, the day someone comes to me with something concrete I will be the first to accept it.
I don't believe you. Your modo operandi will ALWAYS be to find reasons to back up your prefered world view, for what ever reason it is. Even if these reasons are irrational. Thats because you do not search for truth, but for whatever confirms what you want to believe. To what do you attribute the fine tuning of the universe and our galaxy planet sun moon earth system to life ? the codified information in DNA ? conscience ? sex ? i could go on an on.....
I don't mean to be rude here in any way but the irony of it all is that the universe has produced you with all these cognitive functions and your time is consumed trying to understand everything but the natural universe. It appears the universe is a cruel sense of humour.
We are at the right position in our galaxy to be able to observe the universe. Maibe the creator has given us ability to explore the natural world, recognize his power, and give him glory......
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