Author Topic: Evidence for philosophical naturalism, please present it  (Read 5489 times)

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Offline Astreja

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Re: Evidence for philosophical naturalism, please present it
« Reply #29 on: July 03, 2012, 12:26:28 PM »
You misunderstood it, as you second sentence proves. This thread is not about God, but about positive evidence for naturalism. God is not needed in the equation to make a case for naturalism.

(Springy G sighs heavily and starts to type on Her physical, naturalistic keyboard...)

The physical universe, all by itself, is sufficient evidence for naturalism.  It presents a consistent picture that can be used to make accurate and useful predictions about the behaviour of matter and energy.

Thus, for both the scientist and the average person in the street, the physical universe is adequate for our needs.  Anything more than that is, until otherwise demonstrated, a subjective, internal and objectively useless embellishment of the outer reality.

I do think it is rather telling that alternate worldviews, including but not limited to theistic and/or supernaturalistic worldviews, are currently incapable of making testable predictions, or indeed in behaving with any useful consistency whatsoever.  As such, I see no value in such things except as shiny idea-baubles for the human imagination to bat about the kitchen floor until they roll under the fridge of reality.

And as an aside, the current lack of evidence for extrauniversal or supernatural beings in the physical universe does correlate with the consistent inconsistency of claims made for such entities.  It's possible that Godexists, and others who shun naturalism in favour of alternate systems, have something to offer.  However, until they can demonstrate the ability to use those systems in stable and predictable ways, I see no reason to entertain their hypotheses.
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Offline Grimm

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Re: Evidence for philosophical naturalism, please present it
« Reply #30 on: July 03, 2012, 10:51:54 PM »
GE .. you kinda skipped my questions, leaping straight to your proofs.  I"d appreciate an answer: they're not facetious, and not an attack.  They are the counter-questions to the objections you raise; if you're going to target 'philosophical naturalism', then you need to explain how the holes you're going to attempt to plug with 'god' deserve 'god'.  Do you understand?

No God so far in the equation. If you stick not philosophical naturalism, it must be self evident, and not with " Gods existence cannot be proven, or " there is no evidence " therefore naturalism is true ". Read my introductory post again. I am asking for positive evidence for naturalism.

As others have pointed out - exhaustively - pick any branch of science.  That is positive evidence for naturalism.

Without additional evidence that would offer a competing scientific construct, there's no reason to have anything else.

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Please explain how you compute these odds?  What is the likelihood of life in the universe?

the odds are too big, to make naturalistic explanations plausible.

Lee Smolin Wrote (Three Roads, p202)

One can estimate the probablilty that the constants in our standard theories of the elementary particles and cosmology would, were they chosen randomly, lead to a world with carbon chemistry. That probability is less than one part in 10220.


WHat is the likelihood that a lawn dart, thrown at your back yard, would hit a particular blade of grass?  What would the odds be that it would hit a blade of grass at all?

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How many other planets have life (understanding that we discovered the first extrasolar 'rocky planet' in December of 2010)?  Does life exist only in the 'habitable zone', or is that limited to earth-like life?  By what presupposition do we assume that we are special?

http://www.reasons.org/philosophyreligion/worldviews/anthropic-principle-precise-plan-humanity

In the 1960s the odds that any given planet in the universe would possess the necessary conditions to support intelligent physical life were shown to be less than one in ten thousand.5 In 2001 those odds shrank to less than one in a number so large it might as well be infinity (10^173).

Incorrect.  The drake equation (to which you refer) is essentially a series of guesses.  The truth is we do not know what these odds actually are.

If you would like to assert 10^173, please offer a source.  Most creationist sources are notorious for picking numbers that have no basis in fact. 

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The sum of human knowledge to-date.

So do we have enough data on hand, or don't we ? above you stated the contrary. It seems that when the wind blows against the atheist world view, that card is used : " we don't have enough data on hand ". But in other instances, the oposit is claimed....... not very coherent, in my view.

You're missing the point:  we do not have to have all data to make a judgement about the validity of a concept; you do it all the time in small things in your daily life.  We have a vast pile of data, but not enough to answer every question.

Unfortunately for your assertions - the absence of answers for certain specific concepts does not override the vast number of answers we do have.

Allow me to use an illustration:

Gravity exists, you would agree with me, I hope?  We understand that gravity is a fundamental force, and we understand how mass and  proximity affect its pull.  We have even begun to understand how gravity relates to time (thanks to Einstein!).  It is quite safe to say that we have a fairly good understanding of the effects of gravity in the natural world.

However, we don't understand at all what gravity actually is.  We can say it's the force matter exerts on other matter, sure, but  - well, if electricity can be defined (fundamentally) as a flow of electrons, and light can be defined as quanta of protons making the rounds... we don't have a fundamental definition for gravity in any way, shape or form.  We .. just don't know what causes it.

That doesn't invalidate what we do no about gravity - just because there's a gap, there's no reason to a) throw the theory of gravity out as being incorrect or b) say 'god did it'.

Similarly, 'philosophical naturalism' - or 'science' - exists.  Though we may have a few holes in our understanding of underlying causes, we have yet to encounter any phenomenon that implies a cause outside of the natural world.  When we do, we'll have to rethink it - until then, it stands on the shoulders of every branch of science and every invention on your desk, every convenience of our modern world, and every leap in comprehension made since the harnessing of fire.

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The Big Bang theory points to a beginning of the universe. Therefore it needs a cause. From absolutely nothing, nothing derives. Before you mention virtual particles : they do NOT arise from absolutely nothing.

I am inclined to agree with you.  In what way does this invalidate philosophical naturalism?  Why do you posit the cause is supernatural simply because we do not know what it is, yet?

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Not knowing everything is not a bad thing; defining what we do not know is how we know where to look for answers.  Putting 'god' into the holes is unnecessary.

So far, you have not shown, why it is unnecessary. Just baseless assertions will not convince me.

You have not shown why it is /necessary/.  The fruit of 'philosophical naturalism' is all around you - let's pick on just one object:  the computer you're using to type these replies.  That is the end result of millions of man hours devoted to physics, chemistry, biology, and - believe it or not - genetics, all to allow you to say the very core of the disciplines that produced it are invalid, and something you don't have to believe in because it is inconvenient for you.

In your own way, you are the caveman denying fire while waving a torch.

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As far as we know, the universe that exists is as a result of natural processes - if we discover evidence that this is not the case, we'll have to sort that out.  So far, that has not happened, and based on the history of human discovery, it is unlikely to happen.

again, thats just a baseless assertion. where is your evidence to back up your claim ?

Have you picked up a science textbook in the last decade?

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We do more experiments.  We learn more.  We close more gaps.  So far, there is no need for God.

As said: when the data does not fit the pre established world view, " we do need more experiments " is the answer. That way, God can be always excluded.
The fact that you do not aknowledge the inherent and very clear problems with abiogenesis, which do lead any honest thinker to the conclusion , that naturalism has not the answers today, and will never have, speaks for itself. In the same way as you would never believe, my words written here cannot be result of " natural " processes, in the same way the codified information in DNA cannot have random natural processes as origin.

The fact that you insert God means that we should simply stop looking when we don't have an immediate answer.  Of course, historically, we know that's a terribly bad idea:  before Copernicus, the church insisted the Earth was the center of the universe and we didn't need to look for any answers.  This wasn't true, but it was still asserted.

Why should man simply accept 'god' and stop?  Copernicus and Galileo are both examples of philosophical naturalism coming up with answers that are both at odds with the bible and declared by the church to be incorrect; given just these two precedents among many, why should we believe the notion of 'god' when it is constantly disproved?
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Nope.  We have quite a solid base - your narrow sphere of abiogenesis (for instance) isn't enough to preclude the truth of the theories that have led us to researching it.  That's just one small piece of the puzzle; given that every other aspect of biology has a natural explanation, why do I need God to fill in the spot we don't know yet, but are learning?

Please explain the flagellum in natural means. How did it evolve ?

*sighs*  I'm no biologist.  But you're quoting Behe, and Irreducible Complexity, which has been debunked on numerous occasions.  You could begin your journey of understanding the origin of the flagellum by starting with http://pandasthumb.org/archives/evolution/irreducible-complexity/flagellum-evolution/ - but, hey, there's lots of other places you could begin as well.

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You have, in others.

But that is not the issue of this topic. The issue is evidence that leads logically to naturalism. Have any ?

Copernicus, Galilelo, Burnulli (sp), Einstein, Tesla, Edison, Hawking, Curie, Pasteur, Hawke, Babbage, ... shall I go on?

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You ask this entire question because you want to insert a supernatural cause into a gap in knowledge.

I am not searching the God of the gaps. I am searching for wellfounded reasons to conclude naturalism. Hard time to answer that question ?

Nope.  But you do tend to (rather frustratingly) ignore the answers. 

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I freely admit the gap, but my question remains:  why should we insert god (or the supernatural) into it?

that is the wrong question. my question is : why does it convince you, philosophical naturalism is true ? you need a answer, that stands by its own.

Because you can type on a computer, not get polio (as you were likely vaccinated against it) and discuss the nature of the core of stars - all fruit of the philosophical concept you are trying to ignore.

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All scientists are agnostic toward science - we know it works, but we also know it can be disproven by additional knowledge at any time.  This concept of "philosophical naturalism" - which you have not yet defined

http://rationalwiki.org/wiki/Philosophical_naturalism

Philosophical naturalism is essentially the logical result of methodological naturalism, the doctrine which assumes that there is no way to contact, detect, or otherwise empirically observe the supernatural. Methodological naturalists believe the scientific method to be the only way to determine the truth. Because supernatural, intelligent forces, if they exist, are claimed to be unpredictable and hence unrepeatable, these naturalists must ignore the possibility of supernatural or magical intervention in the physical world.
Philosophical naturalists take these beliefs one step further and reject the existence of the supernatural altogether, citing the utter lack of empirical evidence. Due to the absence of scientific evidence backing up religion, most philosophical naturalists are also atheists.


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- if it exists by evidence, has validity.  The idea that the universe is all there is (if that's your definition) is backed up by empirical evidence that is simple:  we have yet to find anything that isn't part of the universe.

Why does your epistemology be based only on empirical evidence ?

Why does yours exist without it?  Empirical evidence is all we have - 'feeling good' about something does not have the precision necessary to take a man to the moon and back.  Philosophical naturalism enables that kind of endeavor.
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that's precisely what I said above:  there is no reason to insert God into the current understanding of the universe.

you still miss to present the evidence to back up this claim.


And you, frustratingly, miss that you yourself - and your ability to make this post - are evidence.
"But to us, there is but one god, plus or minus one."  - 1 Corinthians 8:6+/-2

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Offline Grimm

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Re: Evidence for philosophical naturalism, please present it
« Reply #31 on: July 03, 2012, 11:13:35 PM »
Hangon.  Let me try this a /different/ way.

'Philosophical naturalism' can be said to be the assertion that only the natural world exists, that there is no 'supernatural' (in part).  We can all agree, I think, that the natural world does, in fact, exist - brain-in-a-jar philosophy notwithstanding.  Either the natural world exists, or there is some trick being played on all of our senses that is indistinguishable from the existence of a real world, and it's a moot point.

So.  The natural universe exists.

The OP wants evidence that philosophical naturalism is true - that there is nothing beyond the natural world.  In attempting to address that argument, I leaped straight for the refutation of the notion of 'god of the gaps', the idea that things we do not understand must be attributed to some sort of supernatural agency.  Essentially, my logical argument, poorly presented, can be essentially broken down as follows:

- The natural world exists.
- Thus far, every phenomenon humanity has encountered in the natural world has been shown to have a purely natural cause, and, where a religion has asserted otherwise, the religion has been shown to be wrong.
- There are questions that remain unanswered.
- Given the historical record of scientific discovery and faith-assertion, and how assertions of faith have invariably fallen before the march of understanding, it is reasonable to believe that there are natural answers for the questions for which we do not have answers.

Simple enough.

With that in mind, my evidence for the truth of philosophical naturalism is this:  historical precedent.  Thus far, every assertion of supernatural agency in the past has been shown to be false.

The stories of these early scientists, faith assertions, and the subsequent failure of the faith-position should be enough evidence to establish precedent:

- The greeks established that the earth was round; the early Christian church insisted it was not.
- St. Augustine asserted that no men lived west of Gibraltar (on the other side of the earth).  Columbus (among others) proved him wrong.
- The Galileo affair.
- The Copernicus affair.
- Darwin
- Tycho and Kepler --- Cassini, Hevel, Doerfel, Bernouilli, Newton, Halley, and Clairaut established that celestial objects were not agents of Heaven, nor harbingers of omens.
- the utter falsification of Astrology.
- Archaeological discoveries that predate Noah, representing cultures that didn't notice the Flood.
- Archaeological discoveries that predate Usher's dating of Creation, showing that man existed far before church fathers had stated.


The list goes on, of course - these are just a few, easily researchable items.

My counterquestion remains:   given all of this precedent, why should anyone accept 'god' as an answer to as-yet-unanswered questions, rather than continue to look for those answers?  Just because we do not know, we cannot say 'therefore supernatural'.
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Offline Astreja

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Re: Evidence for philosophical naturalism, please present it
« Reply #32 on: July 04, 2012, 12:03:34 AM »
Godexists, kindly provide us with your view as to what a non-naturalistic worldview would actually look like in practical terms, and how we should test for it.  You see, it seems that every time humanity tries to investigate a mystery that appears non-naturalistic, we end up with one of these:

  • Phenomenon cannot be duplicated and is never satisfactorily explained;
  • Phenomenon revealed as fraudulent;
  • Phenomenon points to previously unknown scientific principle and expands human knowledge of physical universe.
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Offline stuffin

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Re: Evidence for philosophical naturalism, please present it
« Reply #33 on: July 04, 2012, 08:38:43 AM »
The evidence for philosophical naturalism is: every single thing we have ever discovered and validated about how Universe works, including the history of how it has worked in the past.

What's your evidence in favor of your god of choice?
@GE

You seem to have missed this one. I was looking forward to what your thoughts are regarding it.
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Online jaimehlers

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Re: Evidence for philosophical naturalism, please present it
« Reply #34 on: July 04, 2012, 08:58:42 AM »
Why is philosophical naturalism valid?  Because nobody had to pray to, beseech, sing hosannas to, exhort, or whatever to any deity in order to make the computer that Godexists types his replies from.

Basically, every time someone has actually been able to answer the question of "do we need a god to explain this?", the answer has invariably proven to be "no".  Certainly, there are lots of things we don't yet know, but there is no reason for us to conclude that we need a god for any of them until we are actually in the position to evaluate them.

Offline Graybeard

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Re: Evidence for philosophical naturalism, please present it
« Reply #35 on: July 04, 2012, 09:08:36 AM »
I hope you will forgive my frankness but your post
Philosophical naturalism helds, that the natural universe is all there is. If you believe this to be true, please back up this claim with positive evidence,
aka why does the universe not need a cause, or why does it exist in one form or the other eternally. Please present evidence of how the universe could have been  finely tuned to create life through natural forces ,  chemical evolution, and  abiogenesis. Please do NOT present negative evidence, aka : God most probably does not exist, because the bible is wrong, no evidence for Gods existence etc.
Demonstrates that you do not have the knowledge or experience to grasp the answer even if we were willing to give it.

It is clear that the size of the task you present us is huge. First, it would require your achieving doctorates in Chemistry, Physics, Biology, Geology and Psychology, all of those doctorates would have to be geared towards the origins of the Earth and the history of Mankind and the animals and plants that share this planet with us.

The fact that you think it is a reasonable question is quite strange. It is equally strange that you feel that there is an invisible but all powerful being out there that can simply create matter from nothing – how would that being do that?

We, on the other hand do know that something can be produced from nothing without the aid of a god.

You believe that whatever this being is, he does not inhabit this universe or, if he does, quite inexplicably he does not obey its laws.

Neither the universe nor the earth has been “fine tuned”. What has happened is that certain circumstances have arisen and certain chemical and physical reactions have taken place because of those circumstances.

Consider this by Douglas Adams:
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Puddle thinking is a satirical illustration of the "life is fine-tuned to the Universe" argument above coined by Douglas Adams to satirize the Fine-tuned Universe argument for supernatural creationism. As quoted in Richard Dawkins' eulogy for Douglas Adams:

... imagine a puddle waking up one morning and thinking, 'This is an interesting world I find myself in, an interesting hole I find myself in, fits me rather neatly, doesn't it? In fact, it fits me staggeringly well, must have been made to have me in it!' This is such a powerful idea that as the Sun rises in the sky and the air heats up and as, gradually, the puddle gets smaller and smaller, it's still frantically hanging on to the notion that everything's going to be all right, because this World was meant to have him in it, was built to have him in it; so the moment he disappears catches him rather by surprise. I think this may be something we need to be on the watch out for.

Please do not disappoint me. Please accept it when Prof. Stephen Hawkings says that we have reached a point at which we can explain everything from the Big Bang without involving any gods.

This leaves the "time before the Big Bang." We do not know about this. It is likely that it is similar to asking. "Two hundred years before you were born, what did you look like?"

What we can, however, say is that it is vanishingly unlikely that a god who had nothing to do with this universe would and/or could have created it.
« Last Edit: July 04, 2012, 09:38:42 AM by Graybeard »
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Offline Energized

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Re: Evidence for philosophical naturalism, please present it
« Reply #36 on: July 04, 2012, 11:08:52 AM »
This kind of thread is so dishonest from the get go that I am surprised so many people have chimed in.

What the original poster fails to grasp is that though science has revealed many of these "secrets" and will continue to do so as we move forward, it doesn't present a final conclusive answer on everything at this present time.

Considering religion has stifled scientific endeavours over the years, it is encouraging to note that as we leave fairy tales behind, we have allowed science to continue to reveal the reality of the world we live in.

Theists, as I have found, seem to think they're special and unless something has a cause that shines the light on them, it is meaningless and of no value. Like an atheist donating to a charity - this donation is somehow viewed with lower value than that of a christian donation.

This talk of remote chances, things lining up perfectly, etc. As though odds somehow dictate reality! Considering the vastness of the universe, I think the odds, no matter how remote, are in science's favour.

Godexists - you demand answers to questions that science has yet to answer. Again - religion (specifically christianity) wasn't too kind to truth that put your holy book in a negative light, and scientific advancement couldn't move forward.

But rest assured, in time, those answers will be there. Give it time. And how wonderful that time will be! Finally, to be able to conclusively state what's real and what isn't!

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Offline jedweber

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Re: Evidence for philosophical naturalism, please present it
« Reply #37 on: July 04, 2012, 11:23:41 AM »
Graybeard, I think the puddle analogy works well for one type of "fine-tuning" argument, i.e. the idea that Earth, or the solar system, was somehow fine-tuned for humans, rather than vice-versa. But there's another aspect which is harder to dismiss as easily - the apparent fact that the universe itself is contingent upon an array of fundamental physical constants which must all lie within very narrow ranges.

How and why this might be so is indeed a matter of serious discussion among physicists and cosmologists:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fine-tuned_Universe

I was a bit surprised when Stephen Hawking, in his last book, flatly referred to universal physical constants as "fine-tuned," and acknowledged it as a very difficult problem which must be accounted for. There's a relevant excerpt here:

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704206804575467921609024244.html

Of course, it doesn't follow that there is any supernatural "fine tuner;" a number of naturalistic
explanations have been proposed, of which Hawking is inclined toward a multiverse theory. But we shouldn't let sillier versions of the fine-tuning argument lead us to dismiss the more serious aspects, which any theory of cosmology does in fact have to address.

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Re: Evidence for philosophical naturalism, please present it
« Reply #38 on: July 04, 2012, 11:28:12 AM »
If the physical constants (gravity, et cetera) were different, the universe wouldn't exist. That's true. Have you ever considered that the reason as to why they're what they are is that previous universes collapsed almost immediately after forming or didn't form in the first place, giving way for chance to do its thing?
The truth is absolute. Life forms are specks of specks (...) of specks of dust in the universe.
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Offline Grimm

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Re: Evidence for philosophical naturalism, please present it
« Reply #39 on: July 04, 2012, 12:29:44 PM »
This kind of thread is so dishonest from the get go that I am surprised so many people have chimed in.

It represents common, flawed thinking - we have to do our best to address it.  Even if GE doesn't understand, maybe someone else reading will.

This /is/ the reason I went straight for god-of-the-gaps.  It's where the argument is going anyway.

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What the original poster fails to grasp is that though science has revealed many of these "secrets" and will continue to do so as we move forward, it doesn't present a final conclusive answer on everything at this present time.

Considering religion has stifled scientific endeavours over the years, it is encouraging to note that as we leave fairy tales behind, we have allowed science to continue to reveal the reality of the world we live in.

Theists, as I have found, seem to think they're special and unless something has a cause that shines the light on them, it is meaningless and of no value. Like an atheist donating to a charity - this donation is somehow viewed with lower value than that of a christian donation.

that's true, and I really don't get it either.

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This talk of remote chances, things lining up perfectly, etc. As though odds somehow dictate reality! Considering the vastness of the universe, I think the odds, no matter how remote, are in science's favour.

My favorite statement on this - and I don't remember who said it - is:  "We may or may not know the odds, but we do know the outcome - whether it's a billion to one or a ten to one longshot, all we can really say is that the dice landed in our favor.  No matter how remote the possibility, the fact is, we're here - and whether we hit the jackpot or a 50/50 roll?  We hit it."

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Godexists - you demand answers to questions that science has yet to answer. Again - religion (specifically christianity) wasn't too kind to truth that put your holy book in a negative light, and scientific advancement couldn't move forward.

But rest assured, in time, those answers will be there. Give it time. And how wonderful that time will be! Finally, to be able to conclusively state what's real and what isn't!

E.

And what he doesn't do is admit that "I don't know" is a valid placeholder; he requires God.
"But to us, there is but one god, plus or minus one."  - 1 Corinthians 8:6+/-2

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Offline Graybeard

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Re: Evidence for philosophical naturalism, please present it
« Reply #40 on: July 04, 2012, 03:30:05 PM »
There’s another aspect which is harder to dismiss as easily - the apparent fact that the universe itself is contingent upon an array of fundamental physical constants which must all lie within very narrow ranges.

I was a bit surprised when Stephen Hawking, in his last book, flatly referred to universal physical constants as "fine-tuned," and acknowledged it as a very difficult problem which must be accounted for. There's a relevant excerpt here:

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704206804575467921609024244.html
I was getting worried until I read, “Yet the latest advances in cosmology explain why the laws of the universe seem tailor-made for humans, without the need for a benevolent creator.”

The adjectival phrases, “fine-tuned” can be seen  two ways: either (i) someone sat down and worked it out or (ii) The physical laws of matter and matter itself were such that this is the way it has turned out.

Can you remember? – I’ve forgotten. What’s the name of the argument that goes, “The universe must be like this, otherwise we wouldn’t be here discussing why it is this way.”?

We are not surprised that CaCO3  + 2HCl --> CaCl2 + H2 O(l) + CO2  but just because similar reactions have taken place over billions of years, suddenly there is a mystery.

For any object (including a universe) to exist, all its components must be governed by some sort of definable pattern of laws such that they do not prohibit the structure of objects necessary to the greater object’s existence. We happen to be experiencing such synergy.

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Of course, it doesn't follow that there is any supernatural "fine tuner;" a number of naturalistic explanations have been proposed, of which Hawking is inclined toward a multiverse theory.
You can see the simplicity of the explanation of ever appearing universes, some of which fail, separated by dimensions. I am agnostic here – I don’t have the data and it sounds (to me) suspiciously like “Well if this did happen, it would explain it” rather than “We can show this to be the case to a high degree of certainty.”

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But we shouldn't let sillier versions of the fine-tuning argument lead us to dismiss the more serious aspects, which any theory of cosmology does in fact have to address.
Agreed.
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Offline JohnKurwa

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Re: Evidence for philosophical naturalism, please present it
« Reply #41 on: July 04, 2012, 05:03:52 PM »
Philosophical naturalism helds, that the natural universe is all there is. If you believe this to be true, please back up this claim with positive evidence,
aka why does the universe not need a cause, or why does it exist in one form or the other eternally. Please present evidence of how the universe could have been  finely tuned to create life through natural forces ,  chemical evolution, and  abiogenesis. Please do NOT present negative evidence, aka : God most probably does not exist, because the bible is wrong, no evidence for Gods existence etc.

I think you are going the way: Hey, atheists can't prove their point either!

Even if there are some good points for philosophical naturalism here, in my opinion we must admit that we cannot prove it with irrefutable evidence, yet. We have some good theories and 'attempted explanations' but we do not have, as I stated before, an irrefutable evidence.

Nevertheless, we have some theories that look very plausible and we are coming nearer and nearer, for example the discovery of the Higgs-Boson is a big step in the right direction.

I also think that what personally convinces me is that we do not have any indication or rather any influence of anything supernatural on our earth.

Apart from your post:

Why do you think anything outside the natural universe matters? Why would you, for example, fear to burn in hell forever after you do not have any awareness of anything withour your brain working?
practice what you preach!

Offline Godexists

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Re: Evidence for philosophical naturalism, please present it
« Reply #42 on: July 04, 2012, 05:15:38 PM »
I also think that what personally convinces me is that we do not have any indication or rather any influence of anything supernatural on our earth.

why is it the right direction ? do you not expose your bias here ? Why should a world without God be better than one with God ?

Offline Godexists

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Re: Evidence for philosophical naturalism, please present it
« Reply #43 on: July 04, 2012, 05:18:35 PM »
If the physical constants (gravity, et cetera) were different, the universe wouldn't exist. That's true. Have you ever considered that the reason as to why they're what they are is that previous universes collapsed almost immediately after forming or didn't form in the first place, giving way for chance to do its thing?

So what triggered the whole thing ?  Why is there something, rather than nothing ?

Offline Azdgari

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Re: Evidence for philosophical naturalism, please present it
« Reply #44 on: July 04, 2012, 05:22:38 PM »
What does "nothing" look like?  Have you ever observed it to exist?
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Offline Godexists

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Re: Evidence for philosophical naturalism, please present it
« Reply #45 on: July 04, 2012, 05:50:39 PM »
I was a bit surprised when Stephen Hawking, in his last book, flatly referred to universal physical constants as "fine-tuned," and acknowledged it as a very difficult problem which must be accounted for.

It is indeed a very difficult problem for the naturalistic -  atheistic world view, since its a rather puzzling fact, that the universe is finely tuned to life. However for us, its one more reason to have our theistic world view justified.

Quote
Of course, it doesn't follow that there is any supernatural "fine tuner;" a number of naturalistic
explanations have been proposed, of which Hawking is inclined toward a multiverse theory. But we shouldn't let sillier versions of the fine-tuning argument lead us to dismiss the more serious aspects, which any theory of cosmology does in fact have to address.

So how should these answers and proposals be compelling. Lets just see the multiverse proposal. First of all, it has no empirical data to be backed up. It seems to be just a silly idea, to avoid a fine-tuner, God.

http://www.scienceandreligiontoday.com/2010/05/13/does-a-fine-tuned-universe-lead-to-god/

“It could be that universes evolve—that as some universes die, baby universes are created by advanced civilizations, and the DNA of these new universes is precisely the physical constants of our universe. Of course, they would have to be unimaginably advanced, but this controlled evolution of universes is consistent with the laws of physics. It would then be no accident that our universe has these conditions because it was a spin-off of another universe. In some sense, we would then not be winners of a cosmic jackpot, but simply winners of survival of the fittest.”
But even if super-advanced civilizations were creating universes, there had to have been a first universe—and there the fine-tuning problem would reassemble itself and re-emerge, stronger than ever.

In the case of the fine-tuning, we already know that minds often produce fine-tuned devices, such as Swiss watches. Postulating God--a supermind--as the explanation of the fine-tuning, therefore, is a natural extrapolation from of what we already observe minds to do. In contrast, it is difficult to see how the atheistic many-universes hypothesis could be considered a natural extrapolation from what we observe. Moreover, unlike the atheistic many-universes hypothesis, we have some experiential evidence for the existence of God, namely religious experience. Thus, by the above principle, we should prefer the theistic explanation of the fine-tuning over the atheistic many-universes explanation, everything else being equal.

Offline Aaron123

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Re: Evidence for philosophical naturalism, please present it
« Reply #46 on: July 04, 2012, 05:51:12 PM »
So what triggered the whole thing ?  Why is there something, rather than nothing ?

Why should there be nothing, instead of something?
Being a Christian, I've made my decision. That decision offers no compromise; therefore, I'm closed to anything else.

Offline Godexists

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Re: Evidence for philosophical naturalism, please present it
« Reply #47 on: July 04, 2012, 05:53:57 PM »
Godexists - you demand answers to questions that science has yet to answer.

So , are you then a agnostic, or do you support philosophical naturalism ? if so, based on what ?

Offline Godexists

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Re: Evidence for philosophical naturalism, please present it
« Reply #48 on: July 04, 2012, 05:55:31 PM »
Why is philosophical naturalism valid?  Because nobody had to pray to, beseech, sing hosannas to, exhort, or whatever to any deity in order to make the computer that Godexists types his replies from.

Basically, every time someone has actually been able to answer the question of "do we need a god to explain this?", the answer has invariably proven to be "no".  Certainly, there are lots of things we don't yet know, but there is no reason for us to conclude that we need a god for any of them until we are actually in the position to evaluate them.

Since when ir philosophcial naturalism required to have advancement in science ? the very foundation of modern science has a christian background. The big scientists of the past centuries were christians. Many today are as well.

Offline Godexists

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Re: Evidence for philosophical naturalism, please present it
« Reply #49 on: July 04, 2012, 05:56:36 PM »
So what triggered the whole thing ?  Why is there something, rather than nothing ?

Why should there be nothing, instead of something?

I have not said there should be nothing. But if there where never a absolute nothing, then the question arises : what was it , that exists without beginning ?

Offline Godexists

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Re: Evidence for philosophical naturalism, please present it
« Reply #50 on: July 04, 2012, 05:57:43 PM »
Godexists, kindly provide us with your view as to what a non-naturalistic worldview would actually look like

A non naturalistic world view simply states, that the super natural most probably exists.

Offline Aaron123

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Re: Evidence for philosophical naturalism, please present it
« Reply #51 on: July 04, 2012, 06:11:45 PM »
I have not said there should be nothing.

The question implies (whenever you intended it or not) that the 'default' state of being is "nothingness".  So, why is it more reasonable to assume nothingness instead of something?


Quote
But if there where never a absolute nothing, then the question arises : what was it , that exists without beginning ?

Why assume that something out there "exists without beginning"?
Being a Christian, I've made my decision. That decision offers no compromise; therefore, I'm closed to anything else.

Offline Godexists

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Re: Evidence for philosophical naturalism, please present it
« Reply #52 on: July 04, 2012, 06:12:23 PM »
Hangon.  Let me try this a /different/ way.

'Philosophical naturalism' can be said to be the assertion that only the natural world exists, that there is no 'supernatural' (in part).  We can all agree, I think, that the natural world does, in fact, exist - brain-in-a-jar philosophy notwithstanding.  Either the natural world exists, or there is some trick being played on all of our senses that is indistinguishable from the existence of a real world, and it's a moot point.

So.  The natural universe exists.

The OP wants evidence that philosophical naturalism is true - that there is nothing beyond the natural world.

No, what i want to see are good positive reasons that our natural world is self-existent. 




 
Quote
In attempting to address that argument, I leaped straight for the refutation of the notion of 'god of the gaps', the idea that things we do not understand must be attributed to some sort of supernatural agency.

with positive arguments, as asked in my introductory post, i wanted to avoid exactly this kind of answer. What you need to present, are arguments based on what you DO understand, that make you deduce philosophical naturalism to be true, not based on lack of understanding. 


Quote
- Thus far, every phenomenon humanity has encountered in the natural world has been shown to have a purely natural cause

Once again : that is a baseless assertion. Where is the evidence to back it up ???!!

 
Quote
Thus far, every assertion of supernatural agency in the past has been shown to be false.

the universe has a beginning, therefore a cause - God.
the universe is finely tuned to life - therefore a fine tuner.
origin of life points to a intelligent creator - all naturalistic answers have failed, and science has exposed the impossibility of pure naturalistic mechanisms.
irreducible complexity in the cell is evidence of a creator.

i could go on and on.....

please do NOT answer to these arguments in this thread ( you can open however another, and i will present good reasons for theism ) , that is not the topic of this thread. Ive just shown that your assertion is baseless. Theists have good reasons based on observation of the natural world to deduce theism.


Offline Godexists

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Re: Evidence for philosophical naturalism, please present it
« Reply #53 on: July 04, 2012, 06:14:49 PM »

The question implies (whenever you intended it or not) that the 'default' state of being is "nothingness".  So, why is it more reasonable to assume nothingness instead of something?

I have not said that.


Quote
Why assume that something out there "exists without beginning"?

because from absolutely nothing, nothing arises, since absolutely nothing is the absence of anything.

Offline Aaron123

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Re: Evidence for philosophical naturalism, please present it
« Reply #54 on: July 04, 2012, 06:30:04 PM »

No, what i want to see are good positive reasons that our natural world is self-existent. 

Exactly what is meant by "self-existent"?



Quote
with positive arguments, as asked in my introductory post, i wanted to avoid exactly this kind of answer. What you need to present, are arguments based on what you DO understand, that make you deduce philosophical naturalism to be true, not based on lack of understanding. 

(snipping)

Once again : that is a baseless assertion. Where is the evidence to back it up ???!!

There is a total lack of evidence for the supernatural.  Thus far, there is nothing that requires a supernatural explaination.


Quote
because from absolutely nothing, nothing arises, since absolutely nothing is the absence of anything.

So, what is "absolutely nothing", and how do we know it when we see it?
« Last Edit: July 04, 2012, 06:32:42 PM by Aaron123 »
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Offline Azdgari

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Re: Evidence for philosophical naturalism, please present it
« Reply #55 on: July 04, 2012, 06:31:33 PM »
What does "nothing" look like?  Have you ever observed it to exist?

Has anyone?
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Offline Astreja

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Re: Evidence for philosophical naturalism, please present it
« Reply #56 on: July 04, 2012, 07:26:53 PM »
A non naturalistic world view simply states, that the super natural most probably exists.

But that's a useless worldview!  It's a bald assertion, an appeal-to-belief fallacy that imagines something, says that it "most probably exists," and stops right there.

From a logical point-of-view, claiming that the supernatural "most probably exists" is not appreciably different than Me asserting that My guardian dragon Glori is probably sitting in a donut shop somewhere, wearing his Humphrey Bogart fedora and trench coat, drinking a medium coffee (1 cream, 1 sugar) and munching on a raspberry jambuster.

And although I can clearly "see" Glori in My mind's eye, and taste the coffee and donut, and hear Glori's gravelly voice as he waxes poetic about Casablanca, I'm fairly sure you wouldn't believe Me unless you, yourself could see and speak to a shiny teal-blue dragon with icing sugar all over his moustache.

The essential difference between naturalism and supernaturalism is that in naturalism we can find common ground and actually do useful things with it.  Supernaturalism appears to be custom-made for subjective belief but not much use in the physical world, and if it ever ceases to be so we can just scratch out the "super" part and add it to humanity's growing body of knowledge.
« Last Edit: July 04, 2012, 07:28:37 PM by Astreja »
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Re: Evidence for philosophical naturalism, please present it
« Reply #57 on: July 04, 2012, 07:29:41 PM »
I was a bit surprised when Stephen Hawking, in his last book, flatly referred to universal physical constants as "fine-tuned," and acknowledged it as a very difficult problem which must be accounted for.

It is indeed a very difficult problem for the naturalistic -  atheistic world view, since its a rather puzzling fact, that the universe is finely tuned to life. However for us, its one more reason to have our theistic world view justified.

So, although you deny that the universe could have always been there in some shape or form, or that before the Big Bang there was nothing, or that there might be many universes springing into existence, nevertheless, you find it perfectly logical that an invisible being, shaped like a man has lived for ever and ever without ever having eaten breakfast or having a beginning and can magic people, plants and animals (as well as bacteria and viruses, etc.) into existence?

And you think that's fine? That sounds normal to you?

(If you like folk stories and did a little research into The Bible, you would see that, in all probability Yahweh is the son of an older god called El. Yahweh was a son amongst other sons and daughters - these are the "other gods" that you should not serve.)
RELIGION, n. A daughter of Hope and Fear, explaining to Ignorance the nature of the Unknowable. Ambrose Bierce