There is a little discussion going on in the comments of this post, The illogic of naturalism. Since the comments are getting so long, and are bringing in so many points which were never introduced in the original post, I thought it best to address some of the points raised in a new post.
First, the nature of truth: I have blogged about this before, Ibut a refresher is in order. Discovering what is true is the business of several different disciplines. Philosophy is considered the mother discipline, under which all other disciplines subsist (but one). Mathematics, Logic, Science, and Theology are all disciplines under the umbrella of Philosophy, which seek to determine what is true for their areas of expertise. Mathematics concerns itself with axioms expressed numerically or algebraically, Logic with axioms expressed grammatically, Science with the natural world, and theology with the supernatural world.
There is another branch of truth- finding: historical- legal, or the kind of truth- finding which is employed in police investigations and court rooms. It determines what is true (what happened at a certain point in time) by utilising other avenues, primarily, than the philosophy branches of truth- finding. That is not to say that the philosophy branches are not used in court cases. Forensics is an ever expanding branch of specialized science, and scientists are called all the time to testify in court cases. But why do lawyers call witnesses other than scientists, if what science says is the end of the matter? The testimony of science is included with the testimony of the other witnesses, so that a more complete picture can be drawn.
Now science is not the only avenue of truth- finding that exists with authority, although I find many naturalists believe that it is. It is not. In fact, a hierarchy exists, and science is not at the apex of the hierarchy. Many naturalists have not studied philosophy, and are often unaware of the limitations of science and the authority which the other branches of truth- finding bring to bear on the question at hand. “What exists?” is an ancient question, and much discussion, debate, and proofs are advanced to answer it in each generation. There is a vast library which has already been written on the topic.
But many naturalists ignore all that, and often do not realize that “naturalism” itself is a school of philosophy, which shares the tent with many other schools. Naturalists believe that their school of philosophy is true and that all others are false, but that has never been proven. Thus, they must take their philosophy, their “religion,” if you will, on faith, just like the rest of us.
Unfortunately, naturalism is one of the least tolerant of the schools, as we can see by Dr. Dawkins’ statements in his book, in which he seeks to destroy all gods or God but his own. Many naturalists are not only ignorant of the limitations of their own school, but have an exaggerated view of the authority of their school, and a contempt for every philosophy which is not naturalism. The Nazis were naturalists. Their advancement of the “superior white race” policy was an outgrowth of Darwin’s On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection, or the Preservation of Favoured Races in the Struggle for Life.
It was mentioned that “supernaturalists have no authority to tell those of us living in the here and now natural world how to deal with the world’s problems.” Here is an example of naturalism dismissing the authority of the other philosophies which are not naturalism. Among all the philosophies, naturalism is the most likely to impose its views by force on those who do not share them. Protestant Christianity gave the world freedom of religion (which could be translated as freedom of philosophy) and so is responsible for a culture in which naturalism can thrive. But naturalism, as a philosophy with a long history, much more ancient than Darwin, cannot say the same.
To be continued …