Tuesday, May 12, 2009

libtard and naturalism continued...

"You made this statement: "All truth claims, whether "scientific" or "theological" must ultimately be grounded in facts about the world explained in a logical way."Why?

You are kidding, right? What other way is there to know what is true? Tell me that.

Early man could tell you that every day, without fail, the sun rises. But he could not say why (or made up a story to explain it). Science would call this an observation. Its also a truth, even without the capacity to understand or explain it.There are two components to this; the observation that the sun rises, and a reasoning for that behavior of the natural world. The observation is a direct result of the natural world. Reasoning is a construct of man." (my emphasis)

I agree that the observation, or the "fact," is "the sun rises." We know that is not literally true but rather it appears to rise because of the rotation of the earth in its orbit around the sun. The reasoning that mankind did to come to that conclusion is not a construct of man. It is something we do but it is not something we invented or created. Do a simple thought experiment. Assume that all human life vanishes. Assume that an alien comes by to visit. Do the laws of reason change for him or is he bound by them, too? Yes. Or can he invent or create new laws of reason? No. The laws of reason are the laws of reason just like the laws of physics are the laws of physics. We discover them but we do not construct or create them. They are part of reality just like matter and energy yet they are not part of the "natural" world. Odd then, how anyone can subscribe to "naturalism."

If all cats are mammals and Felix is a cat then Felix is a mammal. Even God can't make that not so. This is the power of reason. Reason transcends space and time. It works here and on the moon (but unfortunately not in Washington DC, not for decades) and it works yesterday, today, and in the future.

This is (one of the many places) where I part company with naturalism. Another is the existence of mind. If reason is not part of the natural world, yet it clearly exists, then how do you account for that? How does a naturalistic position account for a purely physical being (which we are not, but which a naturalist would claim we are) being able to reason? Can a neuron reason? Can a bunch of neurons reason? Well, no, but we do it somehow and it does involve neurons but neurons don't do it.

"I do not claim that reasoning is part of the natural world; it most certainly is not. However, I do claim that all reasoning *about* the natural world must be based on observations of the natural world."

We need to define our terms. I don't want us talking past each other. If we are using terms univocally that will fix that. So what do you say the "natural world" is? What do you say are the fundamental commitments of ontological naturalism? Then I'll get to the rest of your arguments.



libtard said...

I do not take the position of ontological naturalism; instead I take the position of methodological naturalism. I define ontological naturalism as "nature is all there is, and all basic truths are truths of nature". I define methodological naturalism as "the best way to understand and seek knowledge is to reference natural causes and events." I differentiate between the two by stating that methodological naturalism says nothing about the supernatural other than that it is not the best way to seek knowledge.

RkBall said...

Methodological naturalism is associated with the scientific method; it is a huge mistake to think that it is the only way of knowing things.

"I differentiate between the two by stating that methodological naturalism says nothing about the supernatural other than that it is not the best way to seek knowledge."

Depends on what kind of knowledge you are seeking.