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vendredi 22 octobre 2010

Our common ground- those presumptions for a more abundant life!

    I maintain that our common ground as naturalists and supernaturalists is the presumption of naturalism that not only are natural causes and explanations necessary and efficient but also primary and sufficient. They are that primary cause and the sufficient reason and ultimate explanation, Aquinas and Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz notwithstanding. We start our agreeing that there exists other minds and external reality and that natural causes and explanations work.This neither begs the question nor sandbags the supernaturalists but is what we all have to work with, and from this point as Aquinas recognizes, with his five failed arguments for God and is akin to the presumption of innocence as Antony Garrard Newton Flew notes [ Before his dementia into deism.].
    We only have knowledge of minds in brains, as the argument from physical mind notes, such that the very idea of  a disembodied body with a mind is just incoherent. Alvin Plantinga, notwithstanding, this argument goes to the jugular of  supernaturalism!
  Supernaturalists just cannot define, postulate or use faith to instantiate Him: they must give evidence for Him - His attributes and referents.And their obligation is also do give evidence of Heaven and Hell and contra-causal free will -no causes. Again, we naturalists go for the jugular!
   And Alister Earl McGrath notwithstanding, supernaturalists cannot use faith as trust to give them confidence in their belief in Him. Against Clinton Richard Dawkins that faith is mere blind faith, he told him in a discussion that no, faith just adds to their already established arguments. We naturalists need no faith but the workings of Nature to have confidence in the conservation- background- of knowledge: we ever test matters rather than have faith.
     They have the obligation not to use the fallacy of equivocation in equating faith with trust as the former does have that connotation of blind faith. As As Sydney Hook notes, science is acquired knowledge whilst faith begs the question of being knowledge.
   McGrath use of  faith also fails in that should  anyone - supernaturalist or naturalist expresses doubt, believers will say use faith! William James maintains that one can indeed have faith tentatively but that can become encased in concrete whilst William Kingdon Clifford maintains that one apportions ones belief to the required evidence tentatively without faith, and against Keith Ward, that does not keep us from getting started in the morning! That is the presumption of skepticism.
   We find some matters forever false like creationism and the perpetual motion machine, some probably wrong like  the steady state theory; others are established knowledge-, yet tentative in some manners, like evolution, which itself is firmly established but its components are tentative; and  some  we are still looking for evidence as with the origins of language.We skeptics proceed with open but not credulous minds.
  We naturalists are empiricists- using facts rather than revelations, traditions or unfounded intuitions. We naturalists are modern rationalists using empiricism.
   We find that reason is our method of gaining knowledge. Reason moves mountains of ignorance whilst faith rests on the argument from ignorance. It is as Hook notes above. Faith, the we just say so of credulity, begs the question of its subject! Using reason, we now can cure people whilst faith can cure no one, and indeed can maim and kill people!
  The presumption of humanism- covenant morality for humanity- means that we use reason and facts in our moral reasoning rather than the simple subjectivism of those writers of  scriptures.
 And the most important presumption is that of honest inquiry!
 Viewers, how do you respond in part or in whole yea or nay to this post? Let's have a rolling conversation!

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