The Problem of Naturalism
Lately, I’ve thought a bit about the idea of what is known as “naturalism.” There have been a lot of different thoughts about why this philosophy does not have the explanatory scope or power necessary to explain much of the universe. However, I’ve been thinking about a different aspect of naturalism lately. Mostly, I’ve been thinking about how closed-minded and limited this worldview is.
Ironic that I would feel that way, considering most people would argue that it is Christianity that is closed-minded and limited. If you think about it, however, the very idea that one would only consider “natural” (translation: “material”) things as having the possibility of being existent is the more limiting view.
Honestly, how could this not be thought of as the more closed-minded view? Now, it should be noted that “naturalist” and “atheist” are not interchangeable terms. While I would feel safe saying that all naturalists are atheists, not all atheists are naturalists. And, the naturalist point of view will not even consider the idea that any supernatural entity could possibly exist. Therefore, for any occurrence, event or happening they will only look for a naturalistic answer.
The problem is, since they won’t consider the supernatural as a possible solution, they will continue to search for something that may not be there. They insist that they just haven’t found it…yet. But, eventually, the natural explanation to everything will be found and they will be gloriously vindicated. Unless the cause wasn’t natural, of course.
There is another side to this, as well. That is, they consider those of us who believe in God to simply give God the credit for things we don’t understand and commit intellectual suicide. However, that is not (always) the case. There are many Christians in the scientific community who continue to search for and better understand how the universe works. Most of us don’t just shove the natural world under the carpet and blindly give God the credit for everything.
But, since they start with the presupposition that the supernatural cannot exist, they will not consider that possibility. Ever. So, even if it’s the correct answer, they will never find it because they assume a priori that it cannot be so.
So, which view is the limited one? Which one has a better chance of discovering truth? Obviously, the view that the supernatural could exist allows us to follow the evidence where it leads…just like late, former-atheist Antony Flew did. He followed the evidence to where it led and came to the conclusion that the universe was created by an omnipotent, supernatural, conscious being.
How about you? Is your world-view limited? Are all possibilities on the table? If so, follow the evidence to where it leads. After all, we should all be searching for nothing more or less than truth.
Grace, love and peace.