Jump to content


Photo

Belief In Methodological Naturalism


  • Please log in to reply
73 replies to this topic

#1 Adam Nagy

Adam Nagy

    Honorable Member

  • Veteran Member
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 7,053 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Age: 37
  • Christian
  • Young Earth Creationist
  • Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Posted 16 February 2014 - 07:54 AM

Vegan says...

I choose to believe in evolution as an extension of my belief in methodological naturalism. 
 
By asking us to admit that evolution is an extension of philosophical naturalism is setting up a false dichotomy. My disbelief in God is not based on naturalism. It's based on a lack of evidence. 
 
Would you agree that there can be evidence of the supernatural? If so, can you provide any? 
 
Let me know if I need to start another thread. 



#2 Adam Nagy

Adam Nagy

    Honorable Member

  • Veteran Member
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 7,053 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Age: 37
  • Christian
  • Young Earth Creationist
  • Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Posted 16 February 2014 - 08:38 AM

I would like to direct this conversation with an inquiry as to what is meant by a belief in methodological naturalism.

Next: is Darwinian Evolution subject to this methodological naturalism that you speak of?

Vegan, what... if any... difference do you perceive between philosophical naturalism and methodological naturalism?

#3 Mike Summers

Mike Summers

    Veteran Member

  • Veteran Member
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 3,510 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Interests:Information theory, electronics, videography, writing, human psychology, psychotherapy
  • Age: 61
  • Christian
  • Creationist
  • Detroit Michigan area

Posted 16 February 2014 - 08:41 AM

I disagree that your conclusion that there is no evidence for the existence of God. The universe is   evidence of God. However you have the ability to bias that evidence and view it as evidence for a negative. I contend that the no evience argument does not hold water leaving us with an honest question is our reasoning sacrosanct?.



#4 Adam Nagy

Adam Nagy

    Honorable Member

  • Veteran Member
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 7,053 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Age: 37
  • Christian
  • Young Earth Creationist
  • Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Posted 16 February 2014 - 08:51 AM

I disagree that your conclusion that there is no evidence for the existence of God. The universe is   evidence of God. However you have the ability to bias that evidence and view it as evidence for a negative. I contend that the no evience argument does not hold water leaving us with an honest question is our reasoning sacrosanct?.

This is worth it's own thread too.

I was hoping, before we get tied up in what evidence is there for God, that we give Vegan a chance to help us understand how he looks at the world in the first place.

Hoping not to step on your toes, Mike. I'm just trying to give Vegan room to help us understand things from his own perspective.

#5 Mike Summers

Mike Summers

    Veteran Member

  • Veteran Member
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 3,510 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Interests:Information theory, electronics, videography, writing, human psychology, psychotherapy
  • Age: 61
  • Christian
  • Creationist
  • Detroit Michigan area

Posted 16 February 2014 - 09:08 AM

Bro you have never stepped on my toes and there is no need to apologize to me. I have your back side front etc. Thanks for letting me know where you want the thread togo. I am curious also?

#6 piasan

piasan

    Veteran Member

  • Veteran Member
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 2,810 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Oklahoma
  • Age: 71
  • Christian
  • Theistic Evolutionist
  • Oklahoma

Posted 16 February 2014 - 07:13 PM

I would like to direct this conversation with an inquiry as to what is meant by a belief in methodological naturalism.

Next: is Darwinian Evolution subject to this methodological naturalism that you speak of?

Isn't science, by its very nature, restricted to methodological naturalism because there are no non-natural methods available to it?



#7 gilbo12345

gilbo12345

    Veteran Member

  • Veteran Member
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 7,006 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Interests:Completed BBiotech (Honours)

    Currently studying Masters of Teaching.

    Enjoys games of tactics and strategy.
  • Age: 25
  • (private)
  • Creationist
  • Australia

Posted 16 February 2014 - 07:25 PM

Isn't science, by its very nature, restricted to methodological naturalism because there are no non-natural methods available to it?

 

It is in terms of experimentation, however the conclusions made can be either naturalistic or not so.

 

Take the BB, we know that the BB was the origin of the universe, as per naturalistic science.

We also know that from nothing nothing comes since that is a foundation of science

Therefore the BB must have come from somewhere

Therefore it points to a supernatural explanation / cause as the first cause for the BB.

 

Supernatural conclusion from naturalistic science acigar.gif



#8 Adam Nagy

Adam Nagy

    Honorable Member

  • Veteran Member
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 7,053 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Age: 37
  • Christian
  • Young Earth Creationist
  • Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Posted 16 February 2014 - 07:34 PM

Isn't science, by its very nature, restricted to methodological naturalism because there are no non-natural methods available to it?

I think you're missing the question. However, since you are willing to engage I'll see what power of explanation you think methodological naturalism affords and if there are any aspects of reality that we can know truly yet be out of reach for being empirically demonstrated?

Pi, do you believe there are any components of 'doing science' that are outside of methodological naturalism?

I'll give you a philosophical puzzle to solve: How do you scientifically demonstrate methodological naturalism without assuming methodological naturalism? Or put another way; How could you falsify methodological naturalism?

#9 Adam Nagy

Adam Nagy

    Honorable Member

  • Veteran Member
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 7,053 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Age: 37
  • Christian
  • Young Earth Creationist
  • Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Posted 16 February 2014 - 07:43 PM


Supernatural conclusion from naturalistic science acigar.gif

Good example. When engaging those of us that get this, evolutionists will distance themselves from the Big Bang but it doesn't erase the fact that the 'scientific community' that they love to bandy about also believe the Big Bang is the best 'scientific' explanation (or at least the closest they can get to pretending they have a purely materialistic explanation) and it concludes that in the distant past there was a violation of the laws of physics as we know them. Hmmmm. Sounds like code for Supernatural.

#10 gilbo12345

gilbo12345

    Veteran Member

  • Veteran Member
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 7,006 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Interests:Completed BBiotech (Honours)

    Currently studying Masters of Teaching.

    Enjoys games of tactics and strategy.
  • Age: 25
  • (private)
  • Creationist
  • Australia

Posted 16 February 2014 - 07:51 PM

Good example. When engaging those of us that get this, evolutionists will distance themselves from the Big Bang but it doesn't erase the fact that the 'scientific community' that they love to bandy about also believe the Big Bang is the best 'scientific' explanation (or at least the closest they can get to pretending they have a purely materialistic explanation) and it concludes that in the distant past there was a violation of the laws of physics as we know them. Hmmmm. Sounds like code for Supernatural.

 

I agree. Supernatural by definition means 'above natural law' so any time there is an exception from natural laws then that is a supernatural event.

 

Yet many people allow naturalist's to claim something which is except from natural law, but will deny it is supernatural.

 

su·per·nat·u·ral  (so̅o̅′pər-năch′ər-əl)

adj.
1. Of or relating to existence outside the natural world.
2. Attributed to a power that seems to violate or go beyond natural forces.
3. Of or relating to a deity.
4. Of or relating to the immediate exercise of divine power; miraculous.
5. Of or relating to the miraculous.


#11 cheeseburger

cheeseburger

    Member

  • Veteran Member
  • PipPipPip
  • 328 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Age: 31
  • (private)
  • Atheist
  • Western Canada

Posted 16 February 2014 - 09:02 PM

Big Bang models the early expansion of the Universe as we know it.  Given that physics as we currently understand it breaks down before we can extrapolate back to t=0 there's a limit to what the model can describe although there must have been some energy potential (even latent in space) to have gone bang so the characterization of literally nothing turning to something seems a dubious foundation for inferring the supernatural.



#12 Calminian

Calminian

    Member

  • Veteran Member
  • PipPipPip
  • 621 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Age: 45
  • Christian
  • Young Earth Creationist
  • CA

Posted 16 February 2014 - 09:25 PM

Methodological naturalism is merely an assumption of naturalism which admittedly cannot be proven.  The reason it's made is because science can't function without it.  

 

But there is still the problem of it possibly not being true all the time.  If there are times when it is not true, then the science based on it at that time will come to wrong conclusions.  The best example would be during a miracle, or investigating a past miracle.  If the origins of our universe, for instance, was the result of a miracle rather than a natural process, then we would expect scientific extrapolations about origins to be wrong.  



#13 greg

greg

    Member

  • Veteran Member
  • PipPipPip
  • 858 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Age: 34
  • no affiliation
  • Agnostic
  • America

Posted 16 February 2014 - 09:38 PM

Methodological naturalism is merely an assumption of naturalism which admittedly cannot be proven.  The reason it's made is because science can't function without it.  
 
But there is still the problem of it possibly not being true all the time.  If there are times when it is not true, then the science based on it at that time will come to wrong conclusions.  The best example would be during a miracle, or investigating a past miracle.  If the origins of our universe, for instance, was the result of a miracle rather than a natural process, then we would expect scientific extrapolations about origins to be wrong.  


This is precisely why I don't need natah for the startlight problem, or flood geology. Of course some people don't like omphalisms. I'm not particularly bothered by them.

#14 piasan

piasan

    Veteran Member

  • Veteran Member
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 2,810 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Oklahoma
  • Age: 71
  • Christian
  • Theistic Evolutionist
  • Oklahoma

Posted 17 February 2014 - 03:19 AM

It is in terms of experimentation, however the conclusions made can be either naturalistic or not so.

Wrong.  We call them "natural" and "physical" sciences for a reason.  The natural and physical sciences are totally inadequate to provide supernatural answers or proofs.

 

Take the BB, we know that the BB was the origin of the universe, as per naturalistic science.

We also know that from nothing nothing comes since that is a foundation of science

Therefore the BB must have come from somewhere

Therefore it points to a supernatural explanation / cause as the first cause for the BB.

God of the Gaps explanation noted.

 

Leaving aside that, according to science, time itself begins with the BB so there is no "before" the BB. Science has no knowledge of what may have existed "before" the BB.  Further, any evidence science would need to make a determination of what existed "before" the BB as well as the cause of the event was destroyed in the process.

 

(Note:  My own personal "proof" of God isn't that different from the one Gilbo provides.  The key difference is that I don't pretend that explanation is scientific.)

 

I think you're missing the question. However, since you are willing to engage I'll see what power of explanation you think methodological naturalism affords and if there are any aspects of reality that we can know truly yet be out of reach for being empirically demonstrated?

Methodological naturalism certainly has its limits.  As Cal points out, it would fail in the case of a miracle.  However, when natuaral explanations fail, the correct SCIENTIFIC explanation is "Wedonno."  not "Goddidit."

 

Pi, do you believe there are any components of 'doing science' that are outside of methodological naturalism?

In a word..... no.  As I pointed out (above), we call them "physical" and "natural" sciences for a reason.

 

I'll give you a philosophical puzzle to solve: How do you scientifically demonstrate methodological naturalism without assuming methodological naturalism? Or put another way; How could you falsify methodological naturalism?

I guess you would need to come up with a methodological supernaturalism that could be used.  The problem is that once you invoke the supernatural, you are stepping outside the limitations of scientific testability.



#15 gilbo12345

gilbo12345

    Veteran Member

  • Veteran Member
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 7,006 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Interests:Completed BBiotech (Honours)

    Currently studying Masters of Teaching.

    Enjoys games of tactics and strategy.
  • Age: 25
  • (private)
  • Creationist
  • Australia

Posted 17 February 2014 - 03:43 AM

Wrong.  We call them "natural" and "physical" sciences for a reason.  The natural and physical sciences are totally inadequate to provide supernatural answers or proofs.

 

So your argument is simply.. "because I say so"... the naming of the science is relative to its experimental status on what it tests, which as I stated science is naturalistic in its experimentation, however this doesn't stop it from supporting supernatural explanations which logically follow from what is determined.

 

God of the Gaps explanation noted.

 

Strawman... How is this a "God of the Gaps" explanation? When its based on what we do know?....

 

Leaving aside that, according to science, time itself begins with the BB so there is no "before" the BB. Science has no knowledge of what may have existed "before" the BB.  Further, any evidence science would need to make a determination of what existed "before" the BB as well as the cause of the event was destroyed in the process.

 

 

 

 

Science has no knowledge of what may have existed "before" the BB.

 

Personification of science, science cannot know things, its merely a process of investigation.

 

 

time itself begins with the BB so there is no "before" the BB. Science has no knowledge of what may have existed "before" the BB. 

 

Now who is using a "God of the Gaps" argument?... You are claiming that because we do not know what existed before time then it is unknown...

 

We know that as the cause of space and time it must be timeless and immaterial

We know that being able to create a cause whilst being timeless it must also be sentient

We know that as the cause of the universe it must be powerful

 

 Further, any evidence science would need to make a determination of what existed "before"

 

Personification science doesn't make determinations

 

 

Further, any evidence science would need to make a determination of what existed "before" the BB as well as the cause of the event was destroyed in the process.

 

Pure speculation..... The fact remains that whatever caused the BB defies natural law, (entropy for one), which means it by definition is supernatural.

 

(Note:  My own personal "proof" of God isn't that different from the one Gilbo provides.  The key difference is that I don't pretend that explanation is scientific.)

 

I never said the explanation was scientific so you've created another strawman. I said that the explanation follows from scientific investigation.



#16 Vegan

Vegan

    Member

  • Banned
  • PipPipPip
  • 164 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Age: 42
  • no affiliation
  • Agnostic
  • Chesterfield, Virginia

Posted 17 February 2014 - 04:55 AM

You are claiming that because we do not know what existed before time then it is unknown...

That is the definition of unknown, Gilbo.

 

We know that as the cause of space and time it must be timeless and immaterial

No we don't. There are models which explain how this universe could have been "created" that do not require a timeless and immaterial cause.

 

We know that being able to create a cause whilst being timeless it must also be sentient

You're assuming it was created based on your incorrect statement above. 

 

We know that as the cause of the universe it must be powerful

You'll have to clarify this. It sounds as if you're just attributing aspects of your god to the cause of the BB. 

 

Pure speculation..... The fact remains that whatever caused the BB defies natural law, (entropy for one), which means it by definition is supernatural.

How do you know that it defies natural law when we don't know what caused it? 



#17 gilbo12345

gilbo12345

    Veteran Member

  • Veteran Member
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 7,006 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Interests:Completed BBiotech (Honours)

    Currently studying Masters of Teaching.

    Enjoys games of tactics and strategy.
  • Age: 25
  • (private)
  • Creationist
  • Australia

Posted 17 February 2014 - 08:15 AM

No we don't. There are models which explain how this universe could have been "created" that do not require a timeless and immaterial cause.

 

For something to create time and space... it itself MUST be timeless and immaterial... You cannot deny this since it is inherent in being able to create time and space..

 

You're assuming it was created based on your incorrect statement above. 

 

What kind of response is this?... Facepalm...

 

The fact that the universe started means it was created, since that is what it means... The argument rests on a timeless cause being able to cause a temporal effect, in order to do so it must be sentient since a mechanistic timeless cause would always cause a timeless effect, and as we know the universe is not timeless... Hence the argument...

 

You'll have to clarify this. It sounds as if you're just attributing aspects of your god to the cause of the BB. 

 

Or perhaps you can't think of an argument so you post some silly little contrivance... Do you deny that having the power to create the universe would make the cause powerful?.. I thought this would be self evident.

 

How do you know that it defies natural law when we don't know what caused it? 

 

READ my post... I mentioned entropy as one of the many laws that it breaks...



#18 Calminian

Calminian

    Member

  • Veteran Member
  • PipPipPip
  • 621 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Age: 45
  • Christian
  • Young Earth Creationist
  • CA

Posted 17 February 2014 - 09:41 AM

Vegan, I'm still trying to figure out what you mean when you say you believe in methodological naturalism.  I think you're trying to say that you believe in methodological naturalism, because you believe that naturalism is always true, and thus methodological naturalism (as a methodology) will always work.  

 

If so, do you have any proof naturalism is always true?  

 

As a theist, I believe that God created the universe and intervenes from time to time.  As a result of this world view, I believe it's possible naturalism may not be true at any given time.  Theist generally believe that things act naturalistically the vast majority of the time, but that supernatural events occasionally occur.  When this happens, investigations that rely on methodological naturalism won't yield accurate results.  

 

But it really comes down to world views, and these can't be verified nor falsified by science.  Another line of evidence and reasoning would have to be employed to support them.  What evidence have convinced you naturalism is always true?  



#19 gilbo12345

gilbo12345

    Veteran Member

  • Veteran Member
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 7,006 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Interests:Completed BBiotech (Honours)

    Currently studying Masters of Teaching.

    Enjoys games of tactics and strategy.
  • Age: 25
  • (private)
  • Creationist
  • Australia

Posted 17 February 2014 - 09:46 AM

Vegan, I'm still trying to figure out what you mean when you say you believe in methodological naturalism.  I think you're trying to say that you believe in methodological naturalism, because you believe that naturalism is always true, and thus methodological naturalism (as a methodology) will always work.  

 

If so, do you have any proof naturalism is always true?  

 

As a theist, I believe that God created the universe and intervenes from time to time.  As a result of this world view, I believe it's possible naturalism may not be true at any given time.  Theist generally believe that things act naturalistically the vast majority of the time, but that supernatural events occasionally occur.  When this happens, investigations that rely on methodological naturalism won't yield accurate results.  

 

But it really comes down to world views, and these can't be verified nor falsified by science.  Another line of evidence and reasoning would have to be employed to support them.  What evidence have convinced you naturalism is always true?  

 

Very true :)

 

Naturalism cannot be confirmed by science because it cannot test the supernatural ergo it cannot falsify the supernatural meaning they cannot be sure that there is no supernatural



#20 Vegan

Vegan

    Member

  • Banned
  • PipPipPip
  • 164 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Age: 42
  • no affiliation
  • Agnostic
  • Chesterfield, Virginia

Posted 17 February 2014 - 02:14 PM

For something to create time and space... it itself MUST be timeless and immaterial... You cannot deny this since it is inherent in being able to create time and space..

You're assuming it was created. I'm not. 

 

The fact that the universe started means it was created

No, it means it was caused. This isn't the same as being created. 

 

The argument rests on a timeless cause being able to cause a temporal effect, in order to do so it must be sentient since a mechanistic timeless cause would always cause a timeless effect, and as we know the universe is not timeless... Hence the argument...

Huh?

 

Do you deny that having the power to create the universe would make the cause powerful?.. I thought this would be self evident.

This sounds like the begging the question fallacy to me. cry.gif

 

It requires a powerful being to create the universe therefore the being that created it is powerful?


You'll need to prove that it requires a powerful being before you conclude that a powerful being created it. 

 

I mentioned entropy as one of the many laws that it breaks...

You didn't explain how.






0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users