Naturalism – what it is, and some strengths and weaknesses

I was going over some writing from when I was attending Bible College, and I thought the information would be good discussion material.  I do not recall the source material. If anyone recognizes any of this, please let me know, so I can attribute it appropriately.

The worldview of Naturalism asserts that God does not exist, the nature of the universe is such that it has always existed and is not subject to manipulation by an outside force (for there is no outside force), human beings are simply biological machines, death is personal extinction, history is a linear sequence of meaningless events, and ethics relates only to human beings.

I. Strengths

A. Science is a valid means for determining the way in which something works.

B. Skepticism is a virtue.

C. Reason is a valid means by which to function and communicate.

II. Weaknesses

A. The belief in science as a means to answer all questions about reality fails the Naturalist as it can not answer the questions brought by something that can not be observed with the 5 senses. Additionally, science, by definition, studies that which can be observed, measured, and repeated. If anything does not fit these criteria, then it can not truly be studied using the scientific method.

B. Naturalism gives no solid evidence that there is intrinsic value to a human being.

C. Despite the apparent honesty of reason, how could man, being nothing more than mere biological mechanism, trust his own ability to “know”?

When addressing the questions of a Naturalist, which would probably describe a majority of people in the western world, it is imperative to be able to present evidence in a logical manner. The Gospels, the place we can go to learn about Christ, can be proven to be reasonably accurate historical documents. Even the Naturalist can not dispute scholarly (even that of the non-Christian scholar) support lends credence to the notion that the events described in the Gospels did occur. If the validity of the Gospels can be established, you can turn your attention to the content. In the Gospels, Christ claims to be God. The proof of this, as opposed to some other God, is that Christ did in fact rise from the dead. This was witnessed by many. No other god has had such support for its claims. The resurrection is Christ’s proof of His claim to deity. Christ, having been proven as God, then must not lie. Whatever He says is true. Christ said that the Old Testament was infallible and that the New Testament would be, too. This being true, what the Bible has to say about religion, philosophy, and ethics is absolute. Truths asserted by a perfect Bible validated by the words of God, Himself, can not be disputed. This is so, even if no man were to believe it. Truth exists outside man or his ability to define it. Asking a man to prove anything absolutely can support this. Truth must exist outside of man if he can prove nothing completely by himself. Even the Naturalist has a God shaped hole in his heart and longs to fill it with something that is fully substantial. Once you prove that science can not substantially fill that hole, you can show him how Christ can.


One Response

  1. thanks! this really helped me understand a little more about Naturalism

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