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The Major Flaw in Hard Naturalism

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posted on Feb, 27 2017 @ 10:20 AM
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I put this out there as food for thought for those of the naturalistic world view. This seems to put the nail in the coffin of naturalism and may even lead to theism. I normally would explain each premise to you all, but this seems pretty self explanatory, so I'll just leave it as is and you all can tell me what ya think!



One absolutely central inconsistency ruins [the naturalistic worldview].... The whole picture professes to depend on inferences from observed facts. Unless inference is valid, the whole picture disappears.... [U]nless Reason is an absolute--all is in ruins. Yet those who ask me to believe this world picture also ask me to believe that Reason is simply the unforeseen and unintended by-product of mindless matter at one stage of its endless and aimless becoming. Here is flat contradiction. They ask me at the same moment to accept a conclusion and to discredit the only testimony on which that conclusion can be based. — C. S. Lewis, "Is Theology Poetry?", The Weight of Glory and Other Addresses

1. No belief is rationally inferred if it can be fully explained in terms of non-rational causes.
2. If naturalism is true, then all beliefs can be fully explained in terms of non-rational causes.
3. Therefore, if naturalism is true, then no belief is rationally inferred (from 1 and 2).
4. We have good reason to accept naturalism only if it can be rationally inferred from good evidence.
5. Therefore, there is not, and cannot be, good reason to accept naturalism.(Adapted from Victor Reppert, author of C.S. Lewis's Dangerous Idea.)

1. Since everything in nature can be wholly explained in terms of non-rational causes, human reason (more precisely, the power of drawing conclusions based solely on the rational cause of logical insight) must have a source outside of nature.
2. If human reason came from non-reason it would lose all rational credentials and would cease to be reason.
3. So, human reason cannot come from non-reason (from 2).
4. So human reason must come from a source outside nature that is itself rational (from 1 and 3).
5. This supernatural source of reason may itself be dependent on some further source of reason, but a chain of such dependent sources cannot go on forever. Eventually, we must reason back to the existence of eternal, non-dependent source of human reason.
6. Therefore, there exists an eternal, self-existent, rational Being who is the ultimate source of human reason. This Being we call God (from 4-5). (Lewis, Miracles, chap. 4)




posted on Feb, 27 2017 @ 10:54 AM
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a reply to: ServantOfTheLamb

I'm no atheist, but this seems wrong: 1. No belief is rationally inferred if it can be fully explained in terms of non-rational causes. Almost everything could ne



posted on Feb, 27 2017 @ 10:59 AM
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a reply to: ServantOfTheLamb

This logic is devoid of rationality. Under what basis is this premise true?

2. If naturalism is true, then all beliefs can be fully explained in terms of non-rational causes.

Naturalism exists to explain things through rational means, not non-rational one. And if the premise is talking about religious beliefs, that ignores the idea that some of these beliefs may have a kernel of truth to them.

This logic would only work for a believer. I don't need logic to believe in naturalism. Science shows me every day that religion is wrong. Plus it keeps coming up short in the god department, which leads me to believe that god doesn't exist. THAT is rationality. I don't need complicated logical proofs to see what is being proven with science all the time.



posted on Feb, 27 2017 @ 11:03 AM
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a reply to: Cutepants




I'm no atheist, but this seems wrong: 1. No belief is rationally inferred if it can be fully explained in terms of non-rational causes. Almost everything could ne


Well you didn't finish your thought, so i don't really understand why you think it is wrong. Reasoning requires insight into logical relations. P implies Q is rational only if the person reasoning sees that Q follows from P, and accepts the truth of Q on that basis. Therefore, reasoning is trustworthy only if it involves rational insight into logical implication or evidential support.



posted on Feb, 27 2017 @ 11:25 AM
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a reply to: Krazysh0t




This logic is devoid of rationality.

Under what basis is this premise true? 2. If naturalism is true, then all beliefs can be fully explained in terms of non-rational causes.


Naturalism holds that nature is all that exists, and that all events in nature can in principle be explained without invoking supernatural or other unnatural causes. Naturalists, generally, claim that all events must have physical causes. That human thoughts can ultimately be explained in terms of material causes or physical events that are non-rational. Electro-chemical reactions do not hold insight into logical implication hence the label non-rational.




Naturalism exists to explain things through rational means, not non-rational one. And if the premise is talking about religious beliefs, that ignores the idea that some of these beliefs may have a kernel of truth to them.


Simply stomping your foot and saying naturalism is rational doesn't actually get us anywhere. How can physical events be rational in the same way humans are rational.




This logic would only work for a believer. I don't need logic to believe in naturalism. Science shows me every day that religion is wrong. Plus it keeps coming up short in the god department, which leads me to believe that god doesn't exist. THAT is rationality. I don't need complicated logical proofs to see what is being proven with science all the time.


So you are absolutely right you don't need logic to believe in naturalism, but you most definitely need logic to determine if naturalism is true. If you are telling us your belief in naturalism is not based in logic, then you are kind of telling us all your belief isn't rooted in rationality, which was kind of the point of the OP. If you would actually apply reason to your belief you might see why it is wrong.



posted on Feb, 27 2017 @ 11:28 AM
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originally posted by: ServantOfTheLamb
a reply to: Krazysh0t

Naturalism holds that nature is all that exists, and that all events in nature can in principle be explained without invoking supernatural or other unnatural causes. Naturalists, generally, claim that all events must have physical causes. That human thoughts can ultimately be explained in terms of material causes or physical events that are non-rational. Electro-chemical reactions do not hold insight into logical implication hence the label non-rational.

Just because we don't fully understand a process and how it works doesn't mean it is non-rational. That is a false equivalence.


Simply stomping your foot and saying naturalism is rational doesn't actually get us anywhere. How can physical events be rational in the same way humans are rational.

Rationality is a human invented construct. Why should the universe bend to humans' concept of rationality? Sounds a little arrogant to me.


So you are absolutely right you don't need logic to believe in naturalism, but you most definitely need logic to determine if naturalism is true. If you are telling us your belief in naturalism is not based in logic, then you are kind of telling us all your belief isn't rooted in rationality, which was kind of the point of the OP. If you would actually apply reason to your belief you might see why it is wrong.

Yeah no. I don't need to prove the rationality of naturalism to see the flaws in your logic.



posted on Feb, 27 2017 @ 11:42 AM
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originally posted by: ServantOfTheLamb
1. No belief is rationally inferred if it can be fully explained in terms of non-rational causes.


So... if I came up with a theistic argument that Bill Murray is a moon god and created all the moons in our solar system, that would make our current understanding of how natural satellites are formed... not rationally inferred?



originally posted by: ServantOfTheLamb
2. If naturalism is true, then all beliefs can be fully explained in terms of non-rational causes.


Both of those statements are true unless I'm not understanding. Naturalism is rational and all beliefs can be fully explained in non-rational terms. I'm giving you (or Lewis) the benefit of the doubt and assuming I'm not understanding this one.



originally posted by: ServantOfTheLamb
3. Therefore, if naturalism is true, then no belief is rationally inferred (from 1 and 2).


Yes. Again, not understanding how this helps your argument.



originally posted by: ServantOfTheLamb
4. We have good reason to accept naturalism only if it can be rationally inferred from good evidence.


Not necessarily. We don't need good evidence to know what dog crap tastes like. It can be rationally inferred.



originally posted by: ServantOfTheLamb
5. Therefore, there is not, and cannot be, good reason to accept naturalism.(Adapted from Victor Reppert, author of C.S. Lewis's Dangerous Idea.)


Dizzying argument. Still not sure how it differs from

Rationality + Evidence + Theism - ? = Profit!



For disclosure, I am far from an atheist. But my rationale for belief is evidence based on personal gnosis. If not for that, I would be agnostic or atheist. There are no logical arguments to convince me that naturalism is flawed.



posted on Feb, 27 2017 @ 11:48 AM
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a reply to: Krazysh0t




Just because we don't fully understand a process and how it works doesn't mean it is non-rational. That is a false equivalence.


You are totally off base here. No where did I say because we don't fully understand something it is non-rational. This is a strawman. My assertion was physical events do not hold insight into logical implication. You had to make up a completely different argument and refute that because this is an irrefutable fact. Are you saying the action of water decomposing into hydrogen and oxygen gases involves some type of reasoning? If not, then you agree with the fact that physical event are non-rational.




Rationality is a human invented construct. Why should the universe bend to humans' concept of rationality? Sounds a little arrogant to me.


So something is itself is a human construct not a truth about reality? What about the law of non-contradiction? The terms are human constructions but what they refer to is the state reality exemplifies. Something is always itself. If you throw that truth out you and I can't even begin to talk about a dog walking across the road. You are confusing the terms human's invented with the reference point of the word in reality.




Yeah no. I don't need to prove the rationality of naturalism to see the flaws in your logic.


Except you haven't shown any flaws in my logic...you simply asserted the opposite with no reasons given.



posted on Feb, 27 2017 @ 12:05 PM
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originally posted by: ServantOfTheLamb
a reply to: Krazysh0t
You are totally off base here. No where did I say because we don't fully understand something it is non-rational. This is a strawman. My assertion was physical events do not hold insight into logical implication. You had to make up a completely different argument and refute that because this is an irrefutable fact. Are you saying the action of water decomposing into hydrogen and oxygen gases involves some type of reasoning? If not, then you agree with the fact that physical event are non-rational.

You are claiming that because we don't understand where human thought comes from it is non-rational. These are your words:

That human thoughts can ultimately be explained in terms of material causes or physical events that are non-rational. Electro-chemical reactions do not hold insight into logical implication hence the label non-rational.

The only reason we don't fully understand the natural processes that guide human thoughts is because we haven't studied the brain enough to identify them. You instead are just saying it is non-rational because the things we HAVE identified so far can't explain it rationally.


So something is itself is a human construct not a truth about reality? What about the law of non-contradiction? The terms are human constructions but what they refer to is the state reality exemplifies. Something is always itself. If you throw that truth out you and I can't even begin to talk about a dog walking across the road. You are confusing the terms human's invented with the reference point of the word in reality.

Here's the thing. Humans don't know everything. Therefore it reasons that our rationality would be incomplete. The truth exists, but you are making a leap in logic to assume that humans possess enough of it to dismiss naturalism as non-rational. In fact, RATIONALLY, naturalism is true since science relies on it.


Except you haven't shown any flaws in my logic...you simply asserted the opposite with no reasons given.

I did. You just don't want to see it.



posted on Feb, 27 2017 @ 12:13 PM
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a reply to: Abysha




So... if I came up with a theistic argument that Bill Murray is a moon god and created all the moons in our solar system, that would make our current understanding of how natural satellites are formed... not rationally inferred?


Reasoning requires insight into logical relations. P implies Q is rational only if the person reasoning sees that Q follows from P, and accepts the truth of Q on that basis. Therefore, reasoning is trustworthy only if it involves rational insight into logical implication or evidential support. So you are totally off base with your analogy. If our perceived understanding of how natural satellites are formed is purely the result of physical events in your environment and body, then
it cannot be rationally inferred as it is a determined result of material events, which are inherently non-rational(i.e they don't have insight into logical relations).




Both of those statements are true unless I'm not understanding. Naturalism is rational and all beliefs can be fully explained in non-rational terms. I'm giving you (or Lewis) the benefit of the doubt and assuming I'm not understanding this one.


Well Premise 2 doesn't say Naturalism is rational, it says IF it is true, then all beliefs can be fully explained in terms of physical events(i.e. non-rational causes).

That is to say human thoughts can ultimately be explained in terms of material causes or physical events and therefore human thoughts don't actually have insight into logical relations and you are simply a naturalist because you fizz naturalism not because you have good reason to think its true.




Yes. Again, not understanding how this helps your argument.


Okay I see a bit of an inconsistency in your response first you said the above to, "if naturalism is true, then no belief is rationally inferred (from 1 and 2). So you agreed that if Naturalism is true no beliefs are rationally inferred, but then you turn around and say you can rationally infer the taste of dog crap, You are using logical implication there, namely since dog crap is dog waste, smells bad, and looks terrible, I can infer that it taste bad. So if you are using those as the basis of your belief in the conclusion it could be rationally inferred, but the basis of that inference on naturalism is physical events in your environment and your body.
edit on 27-2-2017 by ServantOfTheLamb because: typo



posted on Feb, 27 2017 @ 12:28 PM
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originally posted by: Krazysh0t

originally posted by: ServantOfTheLamb
a reply to: Krazysh0t
You are totally off base here. No where did I say because we don't fully understand something it is non-rational. This is a strawman. My assertion was physical events do not hold insight into logical implication. You had to make up a completely different argument and refute that because this is an irrefutable fact. Are you saying the action of water decomposing into hydrogen and oxygen gases involves some type of reasoning? If not, then you agree with the fact that physical event are non-rational.

You are claiming that because we don't understand where human thought comes from it is non-rational. These are your words:

That human thoughts can ultimately be explained in terms of material causes or physical events that are non-rational. Electro-chemical reactions do not hold insight into logical implication hence the label non-rational.

The only reason we don't fully understand the natural processes that guide human thoughts is because we haven't studied the brain enough to identify them. You instead are just saying it is non-rational because the things we HAVE identified so far can't explain it rationally.


So something is itself is a human construct not a truth about reality? What about the law of non-contradiction? The terms are human constructions but what they refer to is the state reality exemplifies. Something is always itself. If you throw that truth out you and I can't even begin to talk about a dog walking across the road. You are confusing the terms human's invented with the reference point of the word in reality.

Here's the thing. Humans don't know everything. Therefore it reasons that our rationality would be incomplete. The truth exists, but you are making a leap in logic to assume that humans possess enough of it to dismiss naturalism as non-rational. In fact, RATIONALLY, naturalism is true since science relies on it.


Except you haven't shown any flaws in my logic...you simply asserted the opposite with no reasons given.

I did. You just don't want to see it.


I think that Servant is referring to the process of rationality and you are referring to the results or conclusions of rationality.

Natural actions do not require a reasoning process to operate as they do. They do not reason.

Natural actions (and their results) can be inferred by reasoning.

They are reasonable but unreasoning.



posted on Feb, 27 2017 @ 12:36 PM
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a reply to: Krazysh0t




You are claiming that because we don't understand where human thought comes from it is non-rational.


No I am not. This is the third time I have corrected you, now I've got to assume you can't read or you are being dishonest. I mean just read the portion you quoted...human thoughts can ultimately be explained in terms of material causes or physical events that are non-rational. Electro-chemical reactions do not hold insight into logical implication hence the label non-rational. I mean how are you extracting because we don't understand human thought from this...the claim is arguing against naturalism..naturalism says human thought is the result of physical events...therefore they are by nature not rational as physical events have no insight into logical relations...I mean you are just attacking a strawman





The only reason we don't fully understand the natural processes that guide human thoughts is because we haven't studied the brain enough to identify them. You instead are just saying it is non-rational because the things we HAVE identified so far can't explain it rationally.



I mean you just proved my point....naturalist believe that human thoughts are ultimately effects of events that have no insight into logical implication, in other words human thoughts can ultimately be explained in terms of material causes or physical events that are non-rational





Here's the thing. Humans don't know everything. Therefore it reasons that our rationality would be incomplete. The truth exists, but you are making a leap in logic to assume that humans possess enough of it to dismiss naturalism as non-rational. In fact, RATIONALLY, naturalism is true since science relies on it.


The OP is a reductio ad absurdum. That is a form of argument where you assume a position to be true, and show that it leads to an absurd result. As Lewis said, those who ask me to believe this world picture also ask me to believe that Reason is simply the unforeseen and unintended by-product of mindless matter at one stage of its endless and aimless becoming. Here is flat contradiction. They ask me at the same moment to accept a conclusion and to discredit the only testimony on which that conclusion can be based."

It is self-refuting. So we do contain the knowledge you just seem incapable of understanding it. I mean you keep throwing out this ridiculous strawman and trying to get me to defend it. The point of this isn't that human's don't understand everything about the brain, it is that natualism states human thoughts are nothing more than the effect of physical events.....That is not a hard concept but maybe the cognitive dissonance is holding you back.



posted on Feb, 27 2017 @ 12:36 PM
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a reply to: chr0naut

Precisely. Good verbalization!

P.S. May steal that later. I wish I was better with words

edit on 27-2-2017 by ServantOfTheLamb because: (no reason given)



posted on Feb, 27 2017 @ 12:43 PM
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originally posted by: ServantOfTheLamb
a reply to: chr0naut

Precisely. Good verbalization!

P.S. May steal that later. I wish I was better with words


It's all yours.




posted on Feb, 27 2017 @ 01:35 PM
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a reply to: chr0naut

Well that logic makes even less sense as a detractor against naturalism. For instance. If god exists. That doesn't disprove naturalism. Naturalism could be a process through which god works or god could also be a product of naturalism.

This is why I don't try to use confusing logic like the OP to disprove something just because I can't argue against the evidence. Science. All of it. Proves without a doubt that naturalism is real. It is the onus of religion to prove that god exists within that naturalism at this point.



posted on Feb, 27 2017 @ 01:38 PM
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a reply to: ServantOfTheLamb

Well there is clearly flaws in your logic because you haven't disproved naturalism in the slightest. And further more, your "logic" even if it were true in no way proves your religion, or any religion for that matter, true. It is just a mental masturbation for a religious person who doesn't want to explore the evidence in support of naturalism.

This is why I said I don't need logic to believe in it. Words can be confusing. Evidence is straight forward and never lies. Disprove a major field of science. Then we'll talk about the merits of naturalism.



posted on Feb, 27 2017 @ 01:59 PM
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originally posted by: Krazysh0t
a reply to: chr0naut

Well that logic makes even less sense as a detractor against naturalism. For instance. If god exists. That doesn't disprove naturalism. Naturalism could be a process through which god works or god could also be a product of naturalism.

This is why I don't try to use confusing logic like the OP to disprove something just because I can't argue against the evidence. Science. All of it. Proves without a doubt that naturalism is real. It is the onus of religion to prove that god exists within that naturalism at this point.


No one was attempting to 'disprove' naturalism.

The OP was merely demonstrating that there is an inconsistency, a circular logic, in trying to validate naturalism philosophically, based only upon itself - an example of Gödel's Incompleteness in action!

edit on 27/2/2017 by chr0naut because: (no reason given)



posted on Feb, 27 2017 @ 02:00 PM
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a reply to: chr0naut

I'd argue that proof by contradiction is every bit trying to disprove naturalism. The OP seems to think so at least since he said, "This seems to put the nail in the coffin of naturalism and may even lead to theism." I disagree. Like I said, it's just a fun thought project for believers but it doesn't disprove anything.

Plus, why even discuss the underlying logic of naturalism? Circular logic or no. Naturalism came about to describe what is witnessed in science. Therefore, to truly attack naturalism, you attack science. But I've yet to see a religious devout disprove any field of science. Especially not the OP
edit on 27-2-2017 by Krazysh0t because: (no reason given)



posted on Feb, 27 2017 @ 02:05 PM
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originally posted by: Krazysh0t
a reply to: chr0naut

I'd argue that proof by contradiction is every bit trying to disprove naturalism. Plus, why even discuss the underlying logic of naturalism? Circular logic or no. Naturalism came about to describe what is witnessed in science.


But that is making the assumption that the situation is an either/or.

The argument is not one of negation but of an irreconcilable inconsistency.

From a historical perspective, naturalism as a philosophy, pre-dated the scientific method, by a significant time (millennia at least). There were naturalist schools well established in the 2nd Century BC. Naturalism does not 'hail from science'.

To be clear, naturalism holds that all things can be explained from natural causes (i.e: non-supernatural).

Incompleteness shows that no consistent system of axioms whose theorems can be listed by an effective procedure (i.e: mathematics or naturalism as axiomatic systems), can demonstrate their own consistency.

edit on 27/2/2017 by chr0naut because: (no reason given)



posted on Feb, 27 2017 @ 02:08 PM
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a reply to: chr0naut

And now you see why I just ignore logic and pursue evidence instead. All logic is good for is confusing people. It's a good means to supplement your reasoning if you have evidence to support it, but standing alone and by it self it is nothing but philosophy and philosophy doesn't prove anything.
edit on 27-2-2017 by Krazysh0t because: (no reason given)



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