Naturalism WikiNotes

NATURALISM

theory that relates scientific method to philosophy by affirming that all beings and events in the universe (whatever their inherent character may be) are natural.

-Aims at a detached, scientific objectivity in the treatment of natural man -More inclusive and less selective than realism -Holds to the philosophy of determinism–the doctrine that everything, especially one’s choice of action, is determined by a sequence of causes independent of one’s will -Conceives of man as controlled by his instincts or his passions or by his social and economic environment and circumstances -Believes that man has no free will -all knowledge of the universe falls within the pale of scientific investigation -denies the existence of truly supernatural realities -makes allowance for the supernatural, provided that knowledge of it can be had indirectly—that is, that natural objects be influenced by the so-called supernatural entities in a detectable way. (Mikaela Lien)

Swing figures in the shift from theism to naturalism:
– Rene Descartes (1596-1650)
Theist that set the stage by conceiving of the universe as a giant mechanism of “matter” which people comprehend by “mind.” Naturalists took this idea by making the mind a subcategory of mechanistic matter. (Austin J.)
– John Locke (1632-1714)
Theist that thought our God-given reason is the judge of what can be taken as true from the revelation in the Bible. The naturalists removed the “God-given from from this conception and made “reason” the sole criterion for truth. (Austin J.)

First proposition: matter exists eternally and is all there is. God does not exist. In theism and deism, god is a key factor of the religion. When deism progressed to naturalism, God was eliminated all together. “the cosmos is all that is or ever was or ever will be.”(Carl Sagan) Nothing comes from nothing, something is. Therefore something always was (Katelyn Strauss)

A naturalistic methodology (sometimes called an “inductive theory of science”) has its value, no doubt…. I reject the naturalistic view: It is uncritical. Its upholders fail to notice that whenever they believe to have discovered a fact, they have only proposed a convention. Hence the convention is liable to turn into a dogma. This criticism of the naturalistic view applies not only to its criterion of meaning, but also to its idea of science, and consequently to its idea of empirical method.— Karl R. Popper (Jacob Bergstedt)

Basics of Naturalism:
1. Matter exists eternally and is all there is. God does not exist.

The cosmos itself becomes eternal compared to deism, and theism where God is the key factor. (Mikayla Danielson)

The cosmos exists as a uniformity of cause and effect in a closed system.
Different from deism is that the universe my or may not be conceived as a machine or clockwork. (Mikayla Danielson)

Human beings are complex “machines”; personality is an interrelation of chemical and physical properties we do not yet fully understand.
A great majority of naturalist however see mind as a function of machine (Mikayla Danielson)

Death is extinction of personality and individuality
One of the hardest propositions of naturalism for people to accept, yet it is absolutely demanded by the naturalists’’ conception of the universe. (Mikayla Danielson)

History is a linear stream of events linked by cause and effect but without an overarching purpose.
Naturalism began when the universe began (Mikayla Danielson)

(Steven Gibbel the five propositions of naturalism

we are the same thing as machines, we may think, but so do they in a weird sort of Mr. A’s way Nathan
death just brings us to where we were before Nathan
Humans are just complex machines and personality is just a mixture of chemical and physical properties. (Molly Dreblow)

In Theism God is the infinite personal creator and sustainer of the cosmos. In deism God is reduced; he begins to lose his personality, though he remains creator and sustainer of the cosmos. In naturalism God is further reduced; he loses his very existence.(Gracie Tripp)

Not based on faith like other reasons. Solely based off of science and reason. Also incorporates cause and effect like that of deism. (Mark f.)

Bible 12- Naturalism Questions 1 (p. 59-64)

Explain the process for how theism transitioned into naturalism.

In theism, God is the infinite-personal Creator of the universe; in deism, God is reduced and begins to lose his personality; and in naturalism, God loses his very existence.

What theist philosopher set the stage for naturalism by defining the universe as being a mechanism of matter comprehended by the mind?

Rene Descartes

What effect has this had on the Western world and thought since then?

The Western world has found it hard to see itself as an integrated whole.

What other famous philosopher (and great influence on our founding fathers) believed that God-given reason was the best way to deduce truth from the scriptures?

John Locke

What is the first proposition that defines naturalism?

Matter exists eternally and is all there is. God does not exist.

What one idea in the summary that follows the first proposition is the most interesting, odd, or intriguing to you? Why?

Instead of having an eternal Creator, naturalists believe that the cosmos is all there ever was; the cosmos is eternal.

What is the second basic proposition that defines naturalism?

The cosmos exists as a uniformity of cause and effect in a closed system.

How is it similar and different to the proposition 2 in deism?

Same idea, but in deism they believed that God set the universe up in that manner.

Is it possible to understand Christianity within the naturalistic worldview? What would one who held to naturalistic view have to believe about Jesus?

No, it excludes the possibility of God, and there is no resurrection; they would have to believe that Jesus is the product of the same evolutionary process as the rest of us.

How would a naturalist most likely be a determinist?

The universe is an unbreakable chain of cause and effect. Humans can’t change the universe. (Ben Suits)

humanism: is the overallattitude that human beings are of special value; their aspirations, their thoughts, their yearnings, are significant. humanism is a practice of naturalism Nathan

Naturalism in practice: Marxism

Marxism: the political, economic, and social theories of Karl Marx including the belief that the struggle between social classes is a major force in history and that there should eventually be a society in which there are no classes

Karl Marx (one of the creators of Marxism) was a naturalists. Marxism and materialists are often linked together. (Katherine Robbins)

Humanist manifesto
http://americanhumanist.org/Humanism/Humanist_Manifesto_II (Ryan Ylitalo)

Metaphysical naturalism, also called “ontological naturalism” and “philosophical naturalism”, is a philosophical worldview and belief system that holds that there is nothing but natural elements, principles, and relations of the kind studied by the Natural Sciences. While Methodological naturalism concerns itself not with claims about what exists but with methods of learning what nature is. So essentially there are those who belief and those who attempt to try to solve things based on science and reason. (Nick Erlien)

Explain the process for how theism transitioned into naturalism. Deism Pg. 59
What theist philosopher set the stage for naturalism by defining the universe as being a mechanism of matter comprehended by the mind? Rene Descartes Pg. 60
What effect has this had on the Western world and thought since then? Hard to see itself as an integrated whole
What other famous philosopher (and great influence on our founding fathers) believed that God-given reason was the best way to deduce truth from the scriptures? John Locke
What is the first proposition that defines naturalism? Matter exists eternally and is all there is, God does not exist Pg. 61 Carl Sagan
What one idea in the summary that follows the first proposition is the most interesting, odd, or intriguing to you? Why? That without God the cosmos take his place. How can the cosmos take the place of a creator?
What is the second basic proposition that defines naturalism? The cosmos exists as a uniformity of cause and effect in a closed system Pg. 62
How is it similar and different to the proposition 2 in deism? Both closed systems in uniformity except in Deism God created the system
Is it possible to understand Christianity within the naturalistic worldview? What would one who held to naturalistic view have to believe about Jesus? I do not think so. He is the same product of evolution as the rest of us.
How would a naturalist most likely be a determinist? They affirm space, time, matter, held together from within.
(Bryce Nelson)

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