Tuesday, May 26, 2009
Scientific Naturalism: The natural world is all there is and one should only believe what can be scientifically proven.
Think about the claim that the natural world is all there is. This is a form of atheism, but I cannot imagine how one could scientifically prove atheism. Since science only studies the natural world, how could science possibly prove that there is nothing beyond the natural world. The only way the naturalist could hold this would be by faith, but that would contradict his position that one should only believe what can be scientifically proven.
Consider the second claim that one should only believe what can be scientifically proven. This claim is demonstrably false. It is too restrictive. There are all sorts of truths that we all rationally accept but cannot be scientifically proven. For example, logical and mathematical truths, metaphysical truths like "the external world is real", ethical truths, aesthetic truths, and finally...scientific truths. Science is permeated with unprovable assumptions. For example, the theory of relativity is based on the assumption that the speed of light is constant between any two points in a one way direction. This is unprovable, yet one has to hold to it in order to believe in general relativity.
Worse than that, the naturalist claim "one should only believe what can be scientifically proven" itself cannot be scientifically proven. Therefore, this view is self-refuting.
Posted by Drew at 10:00 PM