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Thread: Getting skeptical about the concept of philosophical naturalism

  1. Top | #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Koyaanisqatsi View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by steve_bank View Post
    If you see a ghost
    Then you know it can't be a ghost, as they are supposedly "immaterial" and it wouldn't therefore be possible to see it, because sight is predicated on photons bouncing off of "material."
    Causality, it is either true or it id not. If you reject causality than anything is possible. Something to nothing and nothing to something.

    If causality is always true and you see a ghost and it is not imagination or hallucination, then there is a causal link between the phenomena whatever it may be and your brain. We may not undestand what a ghost is or the caisal link, but the assumption has to be causality.

    From that there can be no supernatural. If it interacts with our reality it by definition is natural. If someone can recite a spell and a demon appears, then there has to be a natural causdal link.

    The original ST series played with the theme. When confronted by an apparent god the trick was to doscover and counter the causal links.

    I hate to invoke ST. A line by Spock, 'nothing unreal exists'.


    A good example is electrostatics and magnetics. For centuries action at a distance was observed for electrostatic phenomena. Followed by the observation of electric current moving the needle on a compass.

    The effects were observed but no explanation of the causal link. The Aether was proposed. The concept of fields followed by QM provided a working model.


    Naturalism (philosophy)
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    This article is about the term that is used in philosophy. For other uses, see Naturalism (disambiguation).
    In philosophy, naturalism is the "idea or belief that only natural (as opposed to supernatural or spiritual) laws and forces operate in the world."[1] Adherents of naturalism (i.e., naturalists) assert that natural laws are the rules that govern the structure and behavior of the natural universe, that the changing universe at every stage is a product of these laws.[2]

    "Naturalism can intuitively be separated into an ontological and a methodological component," argues David Papineau.[3] "Ontological" refers to the philosophical study of the nature of being. Some philosophers equate naturalism with materialism. For example, philosopher Paul Kurtz argues that nature is best accounted for by reference to material principles. These principles include mass, energy, and other physical and chemical properties accepted by the scientific community. Further, this sense of naturalism holds that spirits, deities, and ghosts are not real and that there is no "purpose" in nature. Such an absolute belief in naturalism is commonly referred to as metaphysical naturalism.[4]

    Assuming naturalism in working methods as the current paradigm, without the further consideration of naturalism as an absolute truth with philosophical entailment, is called methodological naturalism.[5] The subject matter here is a philosophy of acquiring knowledge based on an assumed paradigm.

    With the exception of pantheists—who believe that Nature is identical with divinity while not recognizing a distinct personal anthropomorphic god—theists challenge the idea that nature contains all of reality. According to some theists, natural laws may be viewed as secondary causes of God(s).

    In the 20th century, Willard Van Orman Quine, George Santayana, and other philosophers argued that the success of naturalism in science meant that scientific methods should also be used in philosophy. Science and philosophy are said to form a continuum, according to this view.
    From the wiki page there are many distinct phi;odphird of msturalism.

    Despite all the -isms I believe it all boils down to causality and thow you define natural.

  2. Top | #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Speakpigeon View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Koyaanisqatsi View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by steve_bank View Post
    If you see a ghost
    Then you know it can't be a ghost, as they are supposedly "immaterial" and it wouldn't therefore be possible to see it, because sight is predicated on photons bouncing off of "material."
    Or may be not.
    There's no maybe about it. As your endless regurgitation of threads about the same topic demonstrate, we derive information about the external world from our senses. In this case we're talking about sight, which is, simplistically, the process of photons bouncing off of matter into our optic lens and then the information gets processed in the brain, etc., etc., etc. That is how we "see" in regard to anything external. Photons bouncing off of matter.

    Thus, if someone is saying that there exists a non-material entity (aka, a "ghost") and that they saw one the other night, that's a contradiction and axiomatically means they were mistaken. They could not have seen a non-material entity in the sense of how we normally use the verb "to see" (ie., in regard to photons bouncing off of material).

    Thus, just by claiming they saw a ghost disproves their claim in that regard. And if they happened to have a photograph or video, even better, since no camera has the hard problem of consciousness to contend with and can ONLY record an image if photons have bounced off of material (or if the mechanism is malfunctioning in a discoverable fashion).

    So claiming you saw a "ghost" and providing a photograph or video of the same thing you claim to have seen would be conclusive proof that you did not, in fact, see or record any such posited entity.

    So we can easily set that element aside and move on to other possible explanations for what you experienced. Such as hallucination due to any number of reasons (e.g., drugs, sleep deprivation, night terror, etc); a trick of light or shadow; brain malfunction; optical nerve malfunction; etc., etc., etc.

    Testing for any of those ancillary conditions and coming up equally empty, we could then move on to psychological explanations, such as whether or not the individual making the claim is simply a liar, or prone to exaggeration, or insecure and seeking attention, or young and impressionable, etc.

    And since there is no such thing--and can be no such thing--as an absolute degree of certainty, we likewise can remove such sophistry from the equation and factor instead for the only real measure available; for what we refer to, perhaps oxymoronically, as degrees of certainty. And that is merely a consensus; a subjective judgment call based on the nature of the evidence before us.

    Pretty straight forward and what you--all of us--do trillions of times every nano-second about literally everything all the time, up to brain malfunction and/or brain death.

  3. Top | #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Koyaanisqatsi View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Speakpigeon View Post

    Or may be not.
    There's no maybe about it.
    The world is full of maybes.

    Quote Originally Posted by Koyaanisqatsi View Post
    As your endless regurgitation of threads about the same topic demonstrate, we derive information about the external world from our senses.
    Exactly, and a maybe is just our absence of knowledge. Some state of affair p is possible if I don't know that it is not the case.

    We certainly don't know that ghosts don't exist because obviously we can't see the non-existence of a non-existent ghost. So, maybe.
    EB

  4. Top | #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Speakpigeon View Post
    The world is full of maybes.
    And water is full of water.

    Quote Originally Posted by Koyaanisqatsi View Post
    As your endless regurgitation of threads about the same topic demonstrate, we derive information about the external world from our senses.
    Exactly, and a maybe is just our absence of knowledge.
    No, it's not. It's an affirmation that there could exist evidence that something might be the case at some unspecified later date. Iow, it's an unjustified shift of the operant of the evidence to the nebulous condition of an arbitrary chronology. At best it's an irrelevant tautology.

    Some state of affair p is possible if I don't know that it is not the case.
    Oh, joy, you're once again making the same idiotic "I don't understand how logic works" thread you always make. Have fun once again eating your own tail.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Koyaanisqatsi View Post
    Oh, joy, you're once again making the same idiotic "I don't understand how logic works" thread you always make.
    Sorry to see I gave you this idiotic impression. I thought I was making threads showing again and again I'm the only one who understands how logic works.

    I guess I should blame my French English for that failure to impart superior understanding.
    EB

  6. Top | #16
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    Trump considers himself superior intelctualy to all others...

    How does 'logic work'?

  7. Top | #17
    Veteran Member Cheerful Charlie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Politesse View Post
    I definitely agree that the term "supernatural" doesn't really mean anything; I think it is very much an artifact of the peculiar quasi-Deistic halfway point the academic world found itself in during the Enlightenment years. I do not see how anything real could be reasonably termed anything other than natural. And we're not in the 18th century any more.
    It goes back much further. William of Okham stated that God (supernatural) did not work by a series of direct interventions, miracles. God created nature, secondary causes. (naturalism) God created the matter of the world, created the laws of nature and only rarely works miracles. Similar concepts go back to Plato. (Timaeus). Nature exists on it's own, God, the demiurge simply ordered matter into the world as we know it.
    Cheerful Charlie

  8. Top | #18
    Sapere aude Politesse's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cheerful Charlie View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Politesse View Post
    I definitely agree that the term "supernatural" doesn't really mean anything; I think it is very much an artifact of the peculiar quasi-Deistic halfway point the academic world found itself in during the Enlightenment years. I do not see how anything real could be reasonably termed anything other than natural. And we're not in the 18th century any more.
    It goes back much further. William of Okham stated that God (supernatural) did not work by a series of direct interventions, miracles. God created nature, secondary causes. (naturalism) God created the matter of the world, created the laws of nature and only rarely works miracles. Similar concepts go back to Plato. (Timaeus). Nature exists on it's own, God, the demiurge simply ordered matter into the world as we know it.
    The term supernatural did not exist before 1425, and it did not become commonplace until much later. It's application to anything other than Christian theology is a 19th century phenomenon.

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