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An alternate look at Naturalism
#1
I was thinking about the word "natural", and then I thought about the philosophy of Naturalism...

Wikipedia states that the philosophy is the "idea or belief that only natural laws and forces operate in the world."

Okay... well, for most, this is synonymous with reductive physicalism and materialism. But why does it have to be? Depends wholly on what is within your scope of "natural", doesn't it?

Well, if my and others' experiences have allowed us to know the reality of psychic phenomena and an "afterlife", that realm beyond physical bodily death, and we consider that to be wholly within the realms of being "natural", Naturalism doesn't have to be narrowed to the scope of reductionist physicalist or materialist dogma.

Consciousness, Aldous Huxley's Mind at Large, is the definer and creator, if you will, of the physical "laws" and forces that the little mind, the ego, experiences. Without there being Consciousness to have first defined these "laws", we wouldn't be able to experience them.

According to reductive physicalism, everything came from pure nothingness and emptiness, which makes little sense, when you think about the implication and problems surrounding the idea.

And no, an infinite set of finite universes doesn't get one anywhere, either, just like a infinite number of monkeys bashing randomly on an infinite set of keyboards cannot magically produce irreducibly complex living beings.
“Everything that irritates us about others can lead us to an understanding of ourselves.”
~ Carl Jung


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#2
(01-21-2018, 09:49 PM)Valmar Wrote: I was thinking about the word "natural", and then I thought about the philosophy of Naturalism...

Wikipedia states that the philosophy is the "idea or belief that only natural laws and forces operate in the world."

Okay... well, for most, this is synonymous with reductive physicalism and materialism. But why does it have to be? Depends wholly on what is within your scope of "natural", doesn't it?

Well, if my and others' experiences have allowed us to know the reality of psychic phenomena and an "afterlife", that realm beyond physical bodily death, and we consider that to be wholly within the realms of being "natural", Naturalism doesn't have to be narrowed to the scope reductionist physicalist or materialist dogma.

Consciousness, Aldous Huxley's Mind at Large, is the definer and creator, if you will, of the physical "laws" and forces that the little mind, the ego, experiences. Without there being Consciousness to have first defined these "laws", we wouldn't be able to experience them.

According to reductive physicalism, everything came from pure nothingness and emptiness, which makes little sense, when you think about the implication and problems surrounding the idea.

And no, an infinite set of finite universes doesn't get one anywhere, either, just like a infinite number of monkeys bashing randomly on keyboards does produce irreducibly living beings.

As time goes by humans learn that what was once attributable to supernatural forces have natural explanations. That seems likely to continue. 

The Universe is not obligated to comply with what makes sense to humans. Quantum Mechanics should make that abundantly clear.

Why should anyone care about Huxley's opinion?

You have not grasped what infinite means. Vsauce on YouTube has one video describing infinity. Comprehending infinity intellectually can be relatively easy compared to grasping what it is intuitively as it is far beyond the experience of all of us.
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#3
(01-21-2018, 10:17 PM)Steve001 Wrote: As time goes by humans learn that what was once attributable to supernatural forces have natural explanations. That seems likely to continue. 

lol, this is the problem I have with the word "supernatural" ~ it relegates natural phenomena like OBEs, NDEs and psychic experiences to some distant beyond where said phenomena have no effect of the natural.

Really, what you and your fellow physicalists and materialists claim as "natural" is really just matter and physics.

The word "natural" can be far more expansive ~ physicalism and materialism don't have a monopoly on the word's interpretation, you know.

(01-21-2018, 10:17 PM)Steve001 Wrote: The Universe is not obligated to comply with what makes sense to humans. Quantum Mechanics should make that abundantly clear.

Sure thing... just remember that this also equally applies to the claims of materialists and physicalists who make bold claims... the Universe isn't obligated to comply with what makes sense to your theories and assumptions. QM, NDE, OBE and psychic experience reports should make that abundantly clear, lol.

(01-21-2018, 10:17 PM)Steve001 Wrote: Why should anyone care about Huxley's opinion?

Because he was a well-regarded philosopher of his time.

Seems to me like your dismissal is merely nothing more than because his experiences don't match with the beliefs of materialism and physicalism.

Such arrogance.

(01-21-2018, 10:17 PM)Steve001 Wrote: You have not grasped what infinite means. Vsauce on YouTube has one video describing infinity. Comprehending infinity intellectually can be relatively easy compared to grasping what it is intuitively as it is far beyond the experience of all of us.

You and Vsauce haven't, either, apparently. Comprehending infinity intellectually is far and away different than directly experiencing it in full, because intellectually, we can only comprehend the limits of what we understand, which is always finite in some manner. Infinity is therefore truly beyond any limited being's understanding. We just cannot comprehend what we do not know or cannot know, from this limited mode of consciousness.
“Everything that irritates us about others can lead us to an understanding of ourselves.”
~ Carl Jung


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#4
I don't think the term naturalism is particularly useful.

~~ Paul
If the existence of a thing is indistinguishable from its nonexistence, we say that thing does not exist. ---Yahzi
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#5
(01-21-2018, 11:35 PM)Paul C. Anagnostopoulos Wrote: I don't think the term naturalism is particularly useful.

~~ Paul

"Natural laws", "natural explanations", "natural" this, "natural" that ~ meaningless. "Paranormal" and "supernatural" are both equally useless as "natural", because the words "natural" and "normal" are so vague and arbitrary.

Just like in the manner food manufacturers like to use the term "natural" ~ utterly meaningless in context.
“Everything that irritates us about others can lead us to an understanding of ourselves.”
~ Carl Jung


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#6
(01-21-2018, 11:35 PM)Paul C. Anagnostopoulos Wrote: I don't think the term naturalism is particularly useful.

~~ Paul

Nevertheless, it is used to define the boundaries of reality and science. http://humanists4science.blogspot.co.nz/...alism.html

Quote:Wikipedia describes the distinction between metaphysical & methodological naturalism:-
 
 
Metaphysical naturalism holds that there is nothing but natural elements, principles, and relations of the kind studied by the natural sciences, i.e., those required to understand our physical environment by mathematical modeling. Methodological naturalism, on the other hand, refers exclusively to the methodology of science, for which metaphysical naturalism provides only one possible ontological foundation (Ontology is a part of metaphysics asking questions concerning what entities exist or can be said to exist). Metaphysical naturalism holds that all properties related to consciousness and the mind are reducible to nature. The corresponding theological perspective is religious naturalism or spiritual naturalism. Metaphysical naturalism rejects the supernatural concepts and explanations that are part of many religions.
 
 
Methodological naturalism, the ground rule of science, & nature:-
 
 
Methodological naturalism is concerned not with claims about what exists (= metaphysical naturalism) but with methods of learning what is nature. It is strictly the idea that all scientific endeavors—all hypotheses and events—are to be explained and tested by reference to natural causes and events. The genesis of nature, e.g., by an act of God, is not addressed. Methodological naturalism (cf. metaphysical naturalism) seeks only to provide a framework within which to conduct the scientific study of the laws of nature. Methodological naturalism is a way of acquiring knowledge. "since the scientific revolution of the 16th and 17th centuries, science has been limited to the search for natural causes to explain natural phenomena.... While supernatural explanations may be important and have merit, they are not part of science." Methodological naturalism is thus "a self-imposed convention of science." It is a "ground rule" that "requires scientists to seek explanations in the world around us based upon what we can observe, test, replicate, and verify."[12] 
"I shall not commit the fashionable stupidity of regarding everything I cannot explain as a fraud.” ― C.G. Jung
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#7
(01-22-2018, 12:04 AM)Kamarling Wrote: Nevertheless, it is used to define the boundaries of reality and science. http://humanists4science.blogspot.co.nz/...alism.html

The term "methodological naturalism" is probably useful. But the philosophical terms are so vague.

At least methodological naturalism doesn't allow us simply to claim that "an invisible supernatural agent did it." It requires that we find some objective evidence.

~~ Paul
If the existence of a thing is indistinguishable from its nonexistence, we say that thing does not exist. ---Yahzi
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#8
(01-22-2018, 07:37 PM)Paul C. Anagnostopoulos Wrote: At list methodological naturalism doesn't allow us simply to claim that "an invisible supernatural agent did it." It requires that we find some objective evidence.

~~ Paul

But that is the point. You cannot rule out what you call "an invisible supernatural agent" a priori, simply because you are ideologically opposed to the idea. 

I don't want to turn this into yet another ID thread but this is thrown at the ID people all the time: that what they do isn't science because science doesn't allow for a supernatural agent. The ID guys say that the evidence does point towards intelligence but, to parrot the title of that ever so controversial documentary: no intelligence allowed.

I do see the point that, by its nature, science has to work with the evidence it can test and replicate but it is arrogant and unjustifiable to take a philosophical position that the so-called natural is all there is. Firstly, the ID arguments should be considered respectfully rather than summarily dismissed as religious creationism as so often happens. Secondly, this reliance on promissory materialism is not scientific either. Saying that you are sure that the naturalistic explanation for consciousness or the origin of life will be found because other natural causes have been found is mere conjecture based, again, on ideology.
"I shall not commit the fashionable stupidity of regarding everything I cannot explain as a fraud.” ― C.G. Jung
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#9
(01-22-2018, 09:03 PM)Kamarling Wrote: Secondly, this reliance on promissory materialism is not scientific either. Saying that you are sure that the naturalistic explanation for consciousness or the origin of life will be found because other natural causes have been found is mere conjecture based, again, on ideology.

It is conjecture based upon historical provenance. If you say this what can one say about immaterialism? It has no provenance; it can't even promise. The only thing it has is an endless faith by its proponents.
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#10
(01-22-2018, 09:03 PM)Kamarling Wrote: Secondly, this reliance on promissory materialism is not scientific either. Saying that you are sure that the naturalistic explanation for consciousness or the origin of life will be found because other natural causes have been found is mere conjecture based, again, on ideology.

It is conjecture based upon historical provenance. If you say this of materialism what can one say about immaterialism? It has no provenance; it can't even rise to the level of a promise. The only thing it has is an endless faith by its adherents.
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