This Prison of Naturalism

By Guest Blogger Arthur Khachatryan

This is the age of reason, but it is also the age of prisons the self-proclaimed “reasonable” man has built for himself. This is the age of scientific enlightenment, but it is also the twilight of common sense. The modern man has for himself erected prisons for the illusions he’s intent on dancing to inside its walls.

The modern naturalistic scientist boasts of his objective, “reasonable” research, then turns around quickly and without any due consideration, to quiet, censor and discredit any opposing ideas. He boasts of his tolerance and inclusiveness, then turns around to oppress and ridicule those who hold to alternative theories. He has learned to wield his rhetoric and conceal his motives by proclaiming the death of religion, while ironically abusing his power and privilege to lord his intellect and “reason” over the “common man.” Thus, he has learned to practice the negligence to avoid the God whom he would claim to be negligent, and deified himself into hypocrisy to judge a God whom he thinks is too “bigoted” and judgemental. And at once the irony appears to be bleeding from the Bibles that have been beaten by practical layman eisegesis.

We have begun a bonfire around our misguided tolerance and jumped onto the back of science in hopes that it will carry us to Purpose mountain. Yet, the words of Aldus Huxley cut through the rigmarole with a stunning scream that silences the nonsense with its echoes,

“Science does not have the right to give to me my reason for being and my definition for existence, but I’m going to take science’s view because I want this world not to have meaning, because it frees me to my own erotic and political desires.” 1

And just before the shivers of the stone cold truth settle down, perhaps another jolt is in order, this one from evolutionary geneticist, Richard Lewontin,

“We take the side of science in spite of the patent absurdity of some of its constructs, in spite of its failure to fulfill many of its extravagant promises of health and life, in spite of the tolerance of the scientific community for unsubstantiated just-so stories, because we have a prior commitment, a commitment to materialism. It is not that the methods and institutions of science somehow compel us to accept a material explanation of the phenomenal world, but, on the contrary, that we are forced by our a priori adherence to material causes to create an apparatus of investigation and a set of concepts that produce material explanations, no matter how counter-intuitive, no matter how mystifying to the uninitiated. Moreover, that materialism is an absolute, for we cannot allow a Divine Foot in the door.” 2 (emphasis added)

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7 thoughts on “This Prison of Naturalism

  1. Geoffrey Charles July 31, 2012 / 2:56 am

    As somebody who leans toward naturalism, my reaction to this post is to say that questionable quotes from certain figures who hold to ANY worldview (naturalism, christian theism, etc.) can be shown to be ridiculous.

    However, we tend to represent our own views with the best quotes from our best allies and teachers.

    So, do you know of Dr. Steven Novella? I think he’s a darn good naturalist, one whom I admire and look up to. Check him out.

    http://doubtreligion.blogspot.com/2010/05/episode-66-creationism-vs-psychology.html

    http://theness.com/neurologicablog/

    http://www.theskepticsguide.org/

  2. chab123 July 31, 2012 / 3:37 am

    This does not make much sense:
    “As somebody who leans toward naturalism, my reaction to this post is to say that questionable quotes from certain figures who hold to ANY worldview (naturalism, christian theism, etc.) can be shown to be ridiculous. However, we tend to represent our own views with the best quotes from our best allies and teachers.”

    So we appeal to authorities or don’t appeal to authorities?

    • Geoffrey Charles July 31, 2012 / 11:55 am

      Ridiculous quotes can be found on any side of an issue, but those aren’t the ones we use to support our views. We use the best ones we can find.

  3. chab123 July 31, 2012 / 3:40 am

    Also,

    The laws of nature cannot exist without nature itself existing but the origin of nature cannot be explained scientifically without pre-existing laws. So where do the natural laws and nature come from that allow anyone to form only naturalistic explanations?

    • Geoffrey Charles July 31, 2012 / 12:07 pm

      I don’t know. Perhaps from God, but for me, this is the god of the gaps.

  4. chab123 July 31, 2012 / 1:55 pm

    Geoffrey, no, it is not God of the Gaps argument. I don’t think you understood what I was saying. Whatever you do, don’t just buy the cultural saying “God of the Gaps” saying without further investigation. Remember, naturalists just punt to what is called “chance of the gaps” or “nature of the gaps.” Remember, chance is not even a cause.

    • Geoffrey Charles July 31, 2012 / 11:39 pm

      “Geoffrey, no, it is not God of the Gaps argument. I don’t think you understood what I was saying. Whatever you do, don’t just buy the cultural saying “God of the Gaps” saying without further investigation.”

      I agree one shouldn’t label something without investigation. So, after my investigation thus far, I think “I don’t know” is the best answer.

      “Remember, naturalists just punt to what is called “chance of the gaps” or “nature of the gaps.” Remember, chance is not even a cause.”

      Well, some naturalists do. Just like some Christians use “God of the gaps” arguments.

      Other naturalists say “I don’t know.”

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