Author Topic: Naturalism as a means of establishing reality  (Read 4028 times)

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Offline wheels5894

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Re: Naturalism as a means of establishing reality
« Reply #203 on: January 13, 2014, 04:36:32 PM »
That works for me. I was asked why I disapprove of naturalism, and I feel that I have explained why.

Well it seems a shame but we are going to have to just disagree with you, Mooby. The thing is that there does not appear to have been anything happen in the world - or outwith the world for that matter - for which we do not have a materialist explanation. Despite all the suggestions of ghosts and, of course, gods, there is no sign of any of them.  Indeed to us, it seems impossible that a non-material entity could do anything. After all, Lane Craig keeps insisting that everything that exists has a cause - whoops, not quite everything, god isn't included. He proposes that a non-material god could bring the material universe into existence - how? Unless we class god as the nothing that Krauss describes - that consists of particles coming in and out of existence.

So - despite and philosophical qualms where one wonders if one can think (which is thinking, incidentally) or the gnawing doubt that our senses may not be reliable, when we wake up in the morning and go about our normal day to day things we suddenly put away all those worries and realise that the senses we use do indicate a world we can walk about in and use the objects we an see. So, despite the worries, as soon as we have things to do we all become naturalists because there is nothing else to do. Sure, they may be explanations out there for things we don't know about and, one day, maybe we will get to them but for now, we have what there is and we don't evidence of  anything that is non-material.

No testimony is sufficient to establish a miracle, unless the testimony be of such that its falshood would be more miraculous than the facts it endeavours to establish. (David Hume)

Offline Mooby

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Re: Naturalism as a means of establishing reality
« Reply #204 on: January 14, 2014, 07:11:28 PM »
Too bad your explanations consist of: "dictionary!"  "Solipsism!" and "Reasons!"
You brought up definitions in our conversation:
If the natural is defined as everything that exists

I'm not solipsist, which I have mentioned many times in this thread.  And yes, I do enjoy using reasons for my positions.



The thing is that there does not appear to have been anything happen in the world - or outwith the world for that matter - for which we do not have a materialist explanation.
It appears that we can also concoct magical, solipsistic, nihilistic, or idealistic explanations for the same phenomena, often with equal or lesser difficulty.  How are we to say that one type of explanation is more correct than all the rest?

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So - despite and philosophical qualms where one wonders if one can think (which is thinking, incidentally) or the gnawing doubt that our senses may not be reliable, when we wake up in the morning and go about our normal day to day things we suddenly put away all those worries and realise that the senses we use do indicate a world we can walk about in and use the objects we an see. So, despite the worries, as soon as we have things to do we all become naturalists because there is nothing else to do.
Again, it is entirely possible to use one's senses and not be a naturalist.  As evidenced by the fact that there are loads of philosophies and world views where senses are regarded as valid, but only two types of naturalism, with only one of those types really qualifying as a world view.
"I'm doing science and I'm still alive."--J.C.

Offline SevenPatch

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Re: Naturalism as a means of establishing reality
« Reply #205 on: January 14, 2014, 07:19:59 PM »
Which was refuted in Reply #85.
All I see in Reply 85 is you asking what the definition of "crap" is.

Philosophical naturalism is a inevitable conclusion based on methodological naturalism which is based on observation which is valid or true.  All those other things relied on observation which was valid or true.
I disagree with the red, but let's focus on the green for now.  How do you know your green claim is correct?

You have been provided evidence by means of scientific method which you yourself can attempt to show to be valid or not valid.
You simply described the scientific method.  You did not establish its validity.

What evidence do you have that there is a lack of evidence?

What evidence is there that we have failed to find such evidence?
Res ipsa loquitur.  You're free to prove me wrong by presenting the evidence.

It would appear that actually the evidence shows that you would refuse any and all evidence.
This is incorrect.  I would accept any coherent, non-fallacious argument or evidence.

Yes, observation by scientific method can show that observation is valid or true before becoming invalid or not true, or is currently valid or true. 
I am not getting what you are trying to say here.  How does the scientific method show that observation is valid or true?

Saying that observation may not be valid or not true does not show that it is not valid or not true.
Correct.

Current evidence shows that observation is valid or true.
Which evidence is that?

You have said that there is no evidence that observation by scientific method has produced a model of reality that is organized crap.  It would seem though that your evidence that naturalism is self defeating is a premise with which no evidence currently exists.  This means that you may or may not be correct.
Yes, I may or may not be correct about naturalism being self-defeating.  It currently appears to me that it is.  I personally won't consider accepting naturalism until I am confident that it is not.

Scientific method.  Observation can be tested, falsified and validated.  Predictions based on observation can be made. Hypotheses can be made, tested, falsified and validated.  Theories can be made, tested falsified and validated.  This has been addressed in reply #’s 34, 35, 37, 38, 44, 45, 46, 47 and 58.

How do we know that observation is valid?  Test it.  Keep testing forever (or until you die) if you want.  If Homo sapiens have actually been around for 200,000 years, then that is 200,000 years of observation and testing observation.  2.5 million years if you count the genus Homo.  These days we even have artificial means to enhance our limited natural senses.

I guess if you choose to not be satisfied with this, that is your choice.

I’m tired of your question “How do we know observation is valid”.  The problem with continually asking this question is it could allow you to sub in whatever belief you want and if anyone tries to show how your belief is incorrect you can simply respond “how do you know your observation is valid”.  “(insert here) of the gaps” argument.

If I were delusional and stated I don’t believe I’m human, and someone said “no, no, no, you are a human, here is the evidence”, I could keep asking “how do you know” over and over in order to keep believing I’m (insert here). 

So you are questioning if naturalism is self defeating.  So far your argument to show that naturalism is self defeating is that observation may not be valid or true.  Well if observation is indeed not valid or not true then all of the things that fared just fine in the centuries where naturalism was a major philosophy will no longer fare well since observation is not valid.
My argument is that observation may not be valid or true under naturalism.  Someone using a system other than naturalism may conclude observation is valid or true on entirely different grounds.

Two more instances of the use of the word “may”.  (insert here) may have been the answer all along.

Okay, I see.  Your entire argument is based on “may”.  Your argument then fails to persuade me as “may” proves nothing other than implication that humans are capable of imagining that which is not valid or not true.
You're shifting the burden of proof.  The naturalists in this thread are advocating that I adopt naturalism.  In order to do that, they need to show that naturalism isn't self-defeating, and to do that they need to show that accepting naturalism as true does not lead me to conclude that naturalism may be false.  So if the may remains, then I cannot accept naturalism.

If “may” is all it takes to show that (insert here) is self defeating, then everything is self defeating.  If you do happen to find that (insert here) can show that there is no “may”, please let me know, I would be interested.

Do you have evidence other than a premise with which no evidence currently exists to show that naturalism is self defeating?
Yes.  I've given you part of it already:

Hurdle The First - Naturalism's methodology does not allow for the acceptance of propositions without evidence.  If we accept that observation is valid without evidence, and then use this to synthesize naturalism, then we must reach the conclusion to abandon the proposition that observation is valid since it is held without evidence.  Once we do this, we can no longer synthesize naturalism.

Hurdle The Second is the other part of it, which happens after we tentatively establish the validity of observation.  I don't really see the point in bringing it up before then, though.

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The premise that observation may be not valid in my eyes only proves that naturalism may be self defeating, not that it is self defeating.
Oh, I see.  The issue is in how we go about accepting something that may or may not be true.  If we accept observation is true without evidence, and then we develop a philosophy that says we can't accept things as true without evidence, then we have a contradiction.  Of course, you may know of some way where we wouldn't know whether observation is true but somehow still accept it without violating the rules of naturalism, but I currently do not know of any way to do that.

All well and good for (insert here), except there is one problem: we haven’t accepted that observation is valid without evidence.


I did not completely ignore the entire paragraphs.  “The problem with all three is they make claims or assumptions which haven’t been or can’t be verified” is a response to your accurate view that all three groups would probably reject the implication that they’re doing something that’s externally verifiable as observation.  This is not a red hearing.  I did however ignore that you dodged my question and instead I made a statement we both could agree with.
The question about whether it's possible to have a thought independent of observation?  I did address that: in 1 example, observation is limited to just a single observation of a thought, in the second observation is irrelevant, and in the third observation isn't valid.  So yes, someone adopting one of those philosophies could very well claim that they are thinking without experiencing observation.

Currently it hasn’t been (and perhaps can’t be) verified that it is possible to think without ever experiencing observation.  People make claims all the time which haven’t been (and perhaps can’t be) verified.  You continue to dodge the question, you’re not answering the question, you’re letting someone or something else answer the question.

You could answer “I don’t know”, which would be an acceptable answer.  I’ll revise my answer to say “currently no but the possibility of yes exists”.



Whether you identify how something is true or valid won't make it not true or invalid.  You are using an appeal to ignorance.
I never claimed the bold.  The bold is a straw man of my position.  Thus, your charge of me using the bold as an appeal to ignorance is invalid.

See following quote:

Ok.  I think you have done a good job of showing what you consider the correct method of observation, but I have yet to identify the how it is valid or true.
The blue quote is not equivalent to the bold.  The bold is a straw man of the blue.  In particular, the blue does not contain the bold red.

Again, you are claiming your straw man is an argument from incredulity.

I agree that you have not established that observation is invalid and you have not provided evidence or proof to establish your claim.
I have not claimed the bold.  The bold is a straw man of my position.

See the following quote:

[Removed for space]
Using your sharp observation skills, you may be able to clearly see that I define crap as not valid.
If you go back to the start of the conversation about "crap," you will see that it is prefaced by "even if."  At no point did I ever claim the bold.  The bold is still a straw man of my position.

How exactly is the word "invalid" different from the phrase "not valid"?
It's not.  I'm using them interchangeably.

At this point I’m not even convinced you have a position.

I’m not really interested in continuing this discussion as it doesn’t appear we’ll get anywhere.

So ….

Then this thread is pretty much finished then, is it not?  For our part, we are satisfied with naturalism.  There may be flaws with it, but it is the best we have got, since no other model is being presented to us.

For your part, you have a model that you prefer over naturalism, that you do not wish to share.  I really can't see much point in this thread any more, can you?
That works for me. I was asked why I disapprove of naturalism, and I feel that I have explained why.

I would like to thank you for taking the time to discuss.
"Shut him up! We have a lot invested in this ride - SHUT HIM UP! Look at my furrows of worry! Look at my big bank account, and my family! This just HAS to be real!" - Bill Hicks