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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