Naturalism by HC121005014843

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									Naturalism

The naturalists reduce the Bible to human testaments and fallible religious ideas of
certain period of history. Human beings are not the favoured creation of a loving God,
but are modified monkeys. Humans are the chance product of random mutations, natural
selection, and the struggle for survival. There is no life after death. In his book “The
Making of Modern Mind”, Herman Randall attacks Christianity while giving his
presuppositions: -

(1) UNIFORMITY OF NATURE AND ALL GODS OF THE RAPID CHANGING
    IN THE UNIVERSE OF SPACE AND TIME
    The assumption of uniformity of natural laws means there could be no miracles or
    supernatural occurring in the origin of the universe or the life and teachings of Jesus.
    Bible is considered not true in matters related to scientific or historical investigations.
    All uniquely revealed changeless truth of plan of redemption, and supernatural
    inspiration were ruled out.

(2) INHERENT GOODNESS OF MAN
    The Biblical doctrine of inherent sinfulness of human was replaced by the view of the
    essential goodness of man. “Good is whatever comes naturally for human nature is
    inherently good.”

(3) INADEQUABILITY OF PROGRESS
    The Biblical doctrine of creation was replaced by religious and cultural evolution and
    uncritical faith in the inadequability of evolutionary progress. Since the nature does
    not need regeneration, it would be improved by good care such as cleaning the slums
    and improving the physical settings.

To address to these three basic presupposition of naturalistic philosophy, Carl Henry first
pointed out that revelation theism is not an escape from intellectuality. He insisted that
God discloses his truth to human beings not simply through emotion or the will but
through the intellect. In fact, revelation theism answers more problems and solves more
difficulties than humanism. Inconsistently, naturalists unfittingly peddle the “infinite
values” of human personality in a universe of all infinite, all values, and all the person
uniqueness.

Henry then pointed out that only if we are created in the image of an infinite God, rather
than evolved from an amoeba, does human personality has an inherent and lasting value.
And only then, does the justice for crime like Nazi in the Second World War and
morality matters significantly.

Not only is the nature real, so also are the demands of morality lay upon us by God who
is righteous. Moral laws are not human devised customs of various cultures; they are
expressions of eternal unchanging moral order. “There is an ethic and morality which
transcend human invention.”
Carl Henry also added that the demand by God and redemption by God stand together in
any effective attack on the problem of morality. Apart from the moral guidelines of
God’s revelation in human conscience, Eastern and Western civilization will have
collapsed long ago.

Some naturalists become optimistic humanists who say life has meaning. Unfortunately,
they do not mean objective values or an objective point to life exists. Rather, they mean
that life can be subjectively satisfying if we create values and live life for them. Why
should I be moral? Because it will give me personal satisfaction to be moral. There is no
objective values but subjective satisfaction. If humans just live to choose guidelines in
keeping with their natural instincts and find satisfaction by attaching values to ends they
desire to purse, there is no objective rational objection to Nazi treatment of Jews in WW
II or the ethnic cleansing in Balkan in the past ten to fifteen years.

Other naturalists carry the idea far enough and become nihilists. The nihilists claim that
“God is dead” and life is absurd. There is no objective reason why the universe rather
than nothing exists, there is no purpose toward which the cosmos is moving, and human
history has no goal or end. By carrying this concept further, the nihilists and claim that there is
no rational justification for morality. Private egoism (I will do right if and only if it is in my own
interest to do so) is the only motivation for being moral.

This is the tragedy when humans look into temporal materialism for the meaning of life. It is false
that values do not exist. In fact, meaning and value are outside the limits of science. There are
moral values known to be more certainty than some scientific theories – torturing babies, rape,
and murder. No rational person can live as a real nihilist.

Positivism

Logical positivism is a school thought of naturalism emerged during the 1920s. They are
anti-metaphysical developed a principle of empirical verification. According to the
positivist, there are two kinds of meaningful statement: (1) those true by definition, and
(2) those true through sensory verification. A proposition of logical positivism is that you
must accept the dictum of science regardless of your personal view. “I ought to accept
science wherever it leads me.” It denies the validity of any objective significance to any
value in any culture if not verifiable by scientific observation. It not only challenges
Christian values, but all normative or objective values.

In an attempt to verify and quantify everything, a positivist’s proposition marginalizes all
the non-physical values of human. He sees the nature of values as no different from the
nature of chemical elements. If the positivists were correct, there will be no non-physical
things like love, joy, hope and peace. Yet these values are the most real things we know.
There is more to value judgment than mere expression of feelings. The value judgment
are not, as positivists maintain, matter of individual difference of taste. Feelings are
associated, maybe sometimes strongly, with such judgment. But it is not true that there
are no normative elements as well.
Logical positivism does not only attack the knowledge of ethics and values, but also on
metaphysical reality of the Christian God. And, by the same sense, it attacks all views of
ultimate reality. Alfred J. Ayers, the zealous proponent of positivism, said there is no way
to prove the existence of God. The proof of God of Christianity is even improbable. All
literacy about the nature of God is non-sensible. Ayers claimed that the arguments from
testimonies to religious experiences are all together fallacious and all philosophers who
claims to have assertions that they intuitively know this or that merely or religious truth
are merely providing materials for psychoanalyst. However, the principle of empirical
verifiability is not empirical verifiable. With its limited scope and effectiveness, logical
positivism simply cannot be employed to exclude metaphysical statements.

By ignoring the metaphysical realm, the naturalists have very limited data. The apologist
does not have to dismiss the idea of verification but to expand the data beyond the senses.
Every person has experience of non-sensory information like the demand for human
right, the demand for justice, and the need for love. Human are not mere computers with
sense data and software. We are software dealing with value and their changeless source
support.

There are quite a few significant problems with the naturalistic panaceas: -

(1) Matter is not eternal
    According to the second law of thermodynamics, material has a tendency to decay
    and the useful energy of the universe is running down.

(2) Materialist is incapable of explaining ultimate origin
    Many scientists including those claimed to be atheists accept the “Big Bang” theory
    that the physical universe has a beginning. Material has a beginning but the naturalists
    cannot adequately explain it.

(3) Materialism has philosophical insufficiency
    The naturalists cannot explain the physical laws or theories which are obviously not
    physical entities or processes. Furthermore, reason is not purely a natural physical
    process.

(4) Naturalist assumes the inner ability of progress
    With the failure of communism and the possibility of atomic destruction, few today
    believes that everything is getting better everyday in every way.

(5) All materialism makes matter more than matter is
    They presuppose the uniformity of nature and re-interpret any data indicating
    supernatural predictions or miracles to fit their theories. This is not the science
    methodology they claim to use. Instead of data fitting the theories, the theories should
    be developed to explain all data.

(6) Naturalist assumes the inherent goodness of humanity for whatever goodness
    may mean.
   But naturalist has an inadequate place for intrinsic moral values like human right and
   justice since values, they claim, are mere expression of relative taste, if not
   individuals, of society. With this relativity, a naturalist cannot explain how does
   ought derive from is? Regarding the inherent tendency to evil in nature, no
   naturalistic doctrine has ever been supported by abundance of empirical evidence
   presented in our daily news and documentation.

(7) Scientists with naturalistic assumption tend to overlook their only uniqueness as
    critical observers of nature.
    In their desire to discover things, the naturalists overlook the value of human
    knowledgeability to know anything at all that correspond to nature. Furthermore, they
    overlook the moral obligation that they all feel to report evidence they found with
    intellectual honesty. This universal and necessary value in every university and every
    intellectual endeavor is beyond the material realm being examined.

(8) Secular humanism tends to dehumanize persons by reductively explaining them
    in terms of atoms, energy, or impersonal environmental stimulate.
    Humans are responsible agents accountable to themselves, to the government, and
    ultimately to God, for their decision morally. We cannot just excuse our evil thoughts,
    words, and doings by reducing them to automatic responses to necessary stimuli.
    “Nature makes me do it.” “Society makes me do it.”

(9) For naturalists, values are man-made.
    Although naturalists observe that all people have a sense of moral values, they cannot
    and do not want to have the transcendent origin of values. Instead, they claim that
    values are mere tastes of individuals or societies. With no moral imperative or
    absolute, naturalist has no adequate base for respecting rights or others, especially the
    rights of the minority.
    They do not have the power to enable them to fulfill their goal of all humanity are
    respected, the supreme or ultimate value of the world.

(10) Naturalists claim ethics is autonomous and situational, stemming from
    human need and interest. If so, naturalists cannot justify defense of a universal and
    necessary intrinsic value of justice for individuals or nations. If value is relative taste
    there will be no ultimate justice which is the universal and necessary obligation that
    lay upon every human being in every culture.

(11) Naturalists lack of adequate base for showing mercy or love.
    Jesus says that one soul worth more than the whole world. This intrinsic value comes
    from the creation in the image of God. Conscience of right and wrong might have
    meaning and purpose. We are accountable for our conduct and will be judged
    according to our work. Furthermore, Christian theism provides more coherent and
    viable antidote to our moral predicament in Biblical disclosed incarnation, person,
    and work of Jesus Christ.

								
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