Naturalism
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23-12-2015, 02:27 PM
Naturalism
Philosophical naturalism is the idea that supernatural things do not exist. Now, it's certainly possible to take an agnostic stance and say that we don't know if supernatural things exist, but we're not accepting that they do without some evidence. This is certainly a reasonable and even intellectually honest stance to take. That's not what this thread is about.

This thread is about the pejorative that theists and other woo pushers throw around to try and shield their views from scrutiny. When someone starts making wild, nonfalsifiable claims, it is quite reasonable to ask them to back those claims. It is also reasonable not to accept raw assertion or more nonfalsifiable claims as evidence. So, to protect themselves from being asked hard (reasonable) questions, they throw the label naturalism (or materialism or sciencism) around to discredit the person asking those pesky questions. The advanced apologists even have philosophical arguments proving naturalism to be self-refuting, or otherwise incorrect (in the same way that philosophy can prove that we can't really "know anything", and that induction is impossible).

Now, that's annoying (boy, is it), but what gets even more annoying is the weird, special pedestal that religion/woo gets put on when making these claims. Whether they're telling you that "God exists outside of the material world", or pushing NOMA, or smugly saying "there are plenty of things science can't explain", they're all effectively saying that they don't want science looking at what they're talking about. Yet, they never bring that up anywhere else! You never see one of them
  • telling the mechanic that they don't need to replace their brakes because they work in mysterious ways.
  • walking out in front of a car because maybe it's a ghost car.
  • remaining in a burning building because they read that some dudes survived in a furnace, once.
  • walking through a gun fight because their guardian angel will protect them from bullets.
No. They listen to their mechanics, stop for moving cars, get out of flaming buildings, and duck for cover, just like everyone else. When the rubber meets the road, they know damn well that the material universe around them behaves in predictable and understandable ways, and that these interactions have consequences. They only bust this stuff out when their woo has run up against the cold, hard wall of scrutiny.

I think anyone who uses the term naturalism (or materialism or sciencism) as a form of rhetoric needs to have this pointed out to them.
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23-12-2015, 03:48 PM
RE: Naturalism
(23-12-2015 02:27 PM)RobbyPants Wrote:  Philosophical naturalism is the idea that supernatural things do not exist. Now, it's certainly possible to take an agnostic stance and say that we don't know if supernatural things exist, but we're not accepting that they do without some evidence. This is certainly a reasonable and even intellectually honest stance to take. That's not what this thread is about.

This thread is about the pejorative that theists and other woo pushers throw around to try and shield their views from scrutiny. When someone starts making wild, nonfalsifiable claims, it is quite reasonable to ask them to back those claims. It is also reasonable not to accept raw assertion or more nonfalsifiable claims as evidence. So, to protect themselves from being asked hard (reasonable) questions, they throw the label naturalism (or materialism or sciencism) around to discredit the person asking those pesky questions. The advanced apologists even have philosophical arguments proving naturalism to be self-refuting, or otherwise incorrect (in the same way that philosophy can prove that we can't really "know anything", and that induction is impossible).

Now, that's annoying (boy, is it), but what gets even more annoying is the weird, special pedestal that religion/woo gets put on when making these claims. Whether they're telling you that "God exists outside of the material world", or pushing NOMA, or smugly saying "there are plenty of things science can't explain", they're all effectively saying that they don't want science looking at what they're talking about. Yet, they never bring that up anywhere else! You never see one of them
  • telling the mechanic that they don't need to replace their brakes because they work in mysterious ways.
  • walking out in front of a car because maybe it's a ghost car.
  • remaining in a burning building because they read that some dudes survived in a furnace, once.
  • walking through a gun fight because their guardian angel will protect them from bullets.
No. They listen to their mechanics, stop for moving cars, get out of flaming buildings, and duck for cover, just like everyone else. When the rubber meets the road, they know damn well that the material universe around them behaves in predictable and understandable ways, and that these interactions have consequences. They only bust this stuff out when their woo has run up against the cold, hard wall of scrutiny.

I think anyone who uses the term naturalism (or materialism or sciencism) as a form of rhetoric needs to have this pointed out to them.

They are struggling to validate their brand of woo because ages ago there was way more woo than science and science was shouted down by the majority woo makers. Now there's way more science than woo and we are no longer just accepting their storytelling as truth, we want verifiable facts and evidence. Since they don't have it, they're losing ground and control. You cannot deny discovery but they keep trying.

Most people aren't subjected to the singular indoctrination of their family or small community anymore. They have national education and global news. The communication of the internet is killing religion because it was manmade/science made and they can hold it in their hand and experience it. More people are finally coming to the conclusion that religion was manmade as well and they are not satisfied with lame ancient stories of ridicules miracles and vengeful gods.

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23-12-2015, 04:02 PM
RE: Naturalism
(23-12-2015 02:27 PM)RobbyPants Wrote:  walking through a gun fight because their guardian angel will protect them from bullets.

*cough*JosephKony*cough*

Personally, I don't even get the distinction between natural and supernatural.
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23-12-2015, 05:24 PM
RE: Naturalism
(23-12-2015 04:02 PM)Reltzik Wrote:  
(23-12-2015 02:27 PM)RobbyPants Wrote:  walking through a gun fight because their guardian angel will protect them from bullets.

*cough*JosephKony*cough*

Personally, I don't even get the distinction between natural and supernatural.

It's suspiciously similar to the distinction between micro and macroevolution. It exists to make a schism where there is none, to make it easier to accept one (obvious) thing while dismissing another more painful one.
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24-12-2015, 05:55 AM
RE: Naturalism
I thought that naturalism had something to do with walking naked through the woods.

Don't let those gnomes and their illusions get you down. They're just gnomes and illusions.

--Jake the Dog, Adventure Time

Alouette, je te plumerai.
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24-12-2015, 06:15 AM
RE: Naturalism
The tendency of such nutjobs to equate naturalism with religion means that they seem to think that naturalism is a religion.

Quite how they work that one out escapes me, but some quite clearly do. Of course that means that this gives them an excuse to treat the natural and supernatural as equally valid, because of course "naturalism is a belief system" and just another example of paganism that will be defeated by their one-true deity.

Such logic defying somersaults of irrationality are quite bizarre.

The invisible and the non-existent look very much alike
Excreta Tauri Sapientam Fulgeat (The excrement of the bull causes wisdom to flee)
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24-12-2015, 07:19 AM
RE: Naturalism
(24-12-2015 06:15 AM)Silly Deity Wrote:  Of course that means that this gives them an excuse to treat the natural and supernatural as equally valid, because of course "naturalism is a belief system" and just another example of paganism that will be defeated by their one-true deity.

...A belief system they happily revert right back to when talking to their mechanic about the best option for fixing their car or when crossing a street. They make no assumptions that the supernatural is going to help them in those situations, although, they will retcon their stories to say that God was looking out for them if the outcome went well.
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24-12-2015, 07:27 AM
RE: Naturalism
(23-12-2015 05:24 PM)RobbyPants Wrote:  
(23-12-2015 04:02 PM)Reltzik Wrote:  *cough*JosephKony*cough*

Personally, I don't even get the distinction between natural and supernatural.

It's suspiciously similar to the distinction between micro and macroevolution. It exists to make a schism where there is none, to make it easier to accept one (obvious) thing while dismissing another more painful one.

This is the language of the bubble they put themselves in. Whenever my former friend would do his passive-aggressive link sharing of apologism on Facebook, I would rebut it with scholarship from non-Christian sources, which he would dismiss as "secular".

You don't even have to consider it if it's "secular" and you sit inside your bubble of ignorance undisturbed.

Gods derive their power from post-hoc rationalizations. -The Inquisition

Using the supernatural to explain events in your life is a failure of the intellect to comprehend the world around you. -The Inquisition
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