Faith in Nothing

July 4, 2010

Descartes: Arguably the founder of empiricism which has evolved into an overriding assumption of naturalism. He is also arguably the founder of the "soul patch".

The more I talk with with skeptics of religion, the more I am convinced that the assumption of naturalism is an unfalsifiable philosophy. When I say this, of course, it is always denied. They say, “show me something that is supernatural (or not natural)”. But the problem is the definition of something being ‘not natural’. There are two areas of human life that cannot be explained naturally:

1) There have been eyewitnesses to miracles (miracles by definition do not happen all the time so they can’t be reproduced on command).

2) And there are common occurrences that have no natural explanation (for example human consciousness, existence itself, or even gravity).

But none of this dissuades the naturalist. They go on with faith that the witnesses to miracles were delusional and that the common occurrences will sooner or later be explained through naturalism.

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3 Responses to “Faith in Nothing”

  1. Rob Henry Says:

    Yes, I agree.

    I remember not believing and not listening to those who spoke truth to me at least a couple of times – prior to initially believing (my heart changing to believe) beyond what I felt was a type of atheistic belief (a refusal to believe in a power higher than myself) and then after believing (when I was involved in a very carnal lifestyle, but I wasn’t convicted of my sin). I know that my mother was praying for me, and there were then circumstances (and apparently the Holy Spirit) that prepared the soil in my heart to accept what God wanted me to hear…

    I suppose it is very possible that after sharing truth only prayer will change the minds of those individuals who refuse to accept anything beyond naturalism. As I write this, I am reminded of the importance of prayer for the Holy Spirit to prepare the hearts of those who need His truth both for salvation and for growing in Him.

    Still, I believe sharing and conversing with non-believers and those who are living either very carnal lifestyles and/or those who are trusting in their own works (including proud/egotistical/legalistic Christians) is valuable.

    And I sincerely appreciate reading your posts.
    Thank you.

  2. jen smith Says:

    I agree also, and I have had very similar experiences with naturalists who refuse to even consider the existence of the supernatural.

  3. Adam Says:

    “naturalism is an unfalsifiable philosophy”

    Isn’t this the reason why it is used? Naturalism is merely the codification and interpretation (deductive and inductive logic) of repeatable experiment. I think I have asked you this before: *if you are not to base your knowledge upon reproducible observation – what should you base it upon?*.

    Miracles are to be dismissed as figments of the imagination or faulty perception (e.g. cataracts in the eyes, hallucinations) unless it can be shown repeatedly in a controlled environment. If it can, it isn’t a miracle.

    Human consciousness does have an explanation in science, see links below, as does gravity (this claim is bizarre). Science is constantly changing and increasing its body of information – a “complete understanding” is never reached.

    1. http://books.google.co.uk/books?id=-KhAi3miVDkC&printsec=frontcover&dq=cognitive+neuroscience&source=bl&ots=OSeJ_mzNN2&sig=_sC7VbfsALNV_7ua0LI08a6lqnc&hl=en&ei=m5Y0TO3EN82NjAeqqOyWBg&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=5&ved=0CDMQ6AEwBA#v=onepage&q&f=false

    2. http://www.nada.kth.se/~asa/Thesis/thesis.pdf

    My purpose in posting those links is to show that there is a science of investigating the nature of awareness, memory, visual recognition etc. The classical retort to this is “that isn’t consciousness” but if this argument is made, you have to provide evidence that consciousness is something more than the electrical patterns of the brain.

    The question of existence is one for philosophy, and the theistic solution doesn’t work since you have to account for the existence of God – saying “He always existed” is logically redundant.


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