5 Reasons Why "Naturalism" Fails as a Worldview

Is Naturalism a self-defeating idea to hold onto? Is it possible that Naturalism is insufficient as a perspective on reality in the areas of science, philosophy, and liveability? 

As we discuss in this episode of "Intelligent Faith Radio" the worldview of Naturalism is fraught with intellectual problems and contradictions, and is a completely bankrupt and inconsistent view of reality.  Be sure to take note of the 5 ways in which Naturalism fails, and use it in your conversations and discussions about the Christian worldview.

For more evidences, be sure to download to "Intelligent Faith Radio" podcast from iTunes as well.

Fox News hosts Dr. Craig and asks "Can we be sure that God exists?"

Recently, Fox News interviewed Dr. William Lane Craig, concerning the ways in which we as believers can go about demonstrating that God exists.  In this short but interesting clip, Dr. Craig explains his mission to defend Christianity from skeptics and nonbelievers

Take not of Dr. Craig's good use of his time, quick summary of complex  concepts, and his careful emphasis on being good and loving ambassadors of Christ, as we defend the Christian worldview.

These are good pointers to remember as we enter the Christmas season, and seek to look for opportunities to engage others in conversation about their worldviews, and how Christ alone offers Truth...

A Powerful Apologetic Method: ABDUCTIVE Reasoning!

"What in the world is 'Abductive Reasoing'?" Well, abductive reasoning is employed by crime scene detectives, car mechanics, and your medical doctor.  Abductive reasoning is when you look at all the known facts, and seek to form the best explanation to explain the data.  Abductive reasoning seeks to find the "inference to the best explanation" for the known facts.   

This is a vital way of thinking and investigating that all serious Christians should be engaged in....

 - Pastor J. 

Why Does Philosophy Get A Bad Rap With Some Christians?

Dr. Norman Geisler elaborates of the importance and function that Christian Philosophy should have for believers today.  It is an outstanding tool for defending the orthodox Christian faith, and also for developing Christian theology and doctrine.

As C.S. Lewis once stated

"...Good philosophy must exist, if for no other reason, than bad philosophy must be answered."

- Pastor J.

Advice to Christian Philosophers


Professor Alvin Plantinga

Preface.

In the paper that follows I write from the perspective of a philosopher, and of course I
have detailed knowledge of (at best) only my own field. I am convinced, however, that
many other disciplines resemble philosophy with respect to things I say below. (It will be
up to the practitioners of those other disciplines to see whether or not I am right.)

First, it isn't just in philosophy that we Christians are heavily influenced by the practice
and procedures of our non-Christian peers. (Indeed, given the cantankerousness of
philosophers and the rampant disagreement in philosophy it is probably easier to be a
maverick there than in most other disciplines.) The same holds for nearly any important
contemporary intellectual discipline: history, literary and artistic criticism, musicology,
and the sciences, both social and natural. In all of these areas there are ways of
proceeding, pervasive assumptions about the nature of the discipline (for example,
assumptions about the nature of science and its place in our intellectual economy),
assumptions about how the discipline should be carried on and what a valuable or
worthwhile contribution is like and so on; we imbibe these assumptions, if not with our
mother's milk, at any rate in learning to pursue our disciplines. In all these areas we learn
how to pursue our disciplines under the direction and influence of our peers.

But in many cases these assumptions and presumptions do not easily mesh with a
Christian or theistic way of looking at the world. This is obvious in many areas: in
literary criticism and film theory, where creative anti-realism (see below) runs riot; in
sociology and psychology and the other human sciences; in history; and even in a good
deal of contemporary (liberal) theology. It is less obvious but nonetheless present in the
so-called natural sciences.
The Australian philosopher J. J. C. Smart once remarked that
an argument useful (from his naturalistic point of view) for convincing believers in
human freedom of the error of their ways is to point out that contemporary mechanistic
biology seems to leave no room for human free will: how, for example, could such a
thing have developed in the evolutionary course of things? Even in physics and
mathematics, those austere bastions of pure reason, similar questions arise. These
questions have to do with the content of these sciences and the way in which they have
developed. They also have to do with the way in which (as they are ordinarily taught and practiced) these disciplines are artificially separated from questions concerning the nature
of the objects they study-a separation determined, not by what is most natural to the
subject matter in question, but by a broadly positivist conception of the nature of
knowledge and the nature of human intellectual activity.

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Christianity needs Philosophy?!?

"Philosophy is simply this: 
thinking deeply about the things that matter most."
- Dr. Plantinga

Dr. Alvin Plantinga, one of the brightest Christian Philosophers today, comments here on the benefit and the potency of Philosophy when discussing religious ideas and concepts.

His perspective, as seen in this video, should give good motivation to any serious thinking Christian and non-Christian to engage in a decent amount of training in philosophy.  It surely is one of the best tools available to mankind to be able to distinguish between truth and error, between what is logically impossible, necessary, or simply logically possible in reality.  As you will discover, philosophy always has and always will be vitally important to the study of metaphysics, logic, and ethics, and of course, religion as well.

Enjoy Dr. Plantinga's lucid insights and light hearted comments!

- Pastor J.




The Revolution in Anglo-American Philosophy

William Lane Craig

How the field of philosophy has experienced a Christian renaissance over the last half century.

“The contemporary Western intellectual world,” declares the noted philosopher Alvin Plantinga, “is a battleground or arena in which rages a battle for men’s souls.”

1

 Three schools of thought struggle against each other in the competition to win the minds of thinking men and women: Enlightenment naturalism, post-modern anti-realism, and theism, typically Christian theism. It is in the field of philosophy that the decisive battles are taking place, and the outcome of these contests will reverberate throughout the university and ultimately Western culture. In recent decades the battlelines have dramatically shifted, and I’ve been asked to talk today about some of the changes that have transpired in Anglo-American philosophy over the last generation.

In order to understand where we are today, we need first of all to understand something of where we’ve been. In a recent retrospective, the eminent Princeton philosopher Paul Benacerraf describes what it was like in philosophy at Princeton during the 1950s and ‘60s. The overwhelmingly dominant mode of thinking was scientific naturalism. Physical science was taken to be the final, and really only, arbiter of truth. Metaphysics—that traditional branch of philosophy which deals with questions about reality which are beyond science—metaphysics had been vanquished, expelled from philosophy like an unclean leper. “The philosophy of science,” says Benacerraf, “was the queen of all the branches” of philosophy, since “it had the tools. . . to address all the problems.”

2

 Any problem that could not be addressed by science was simply dismissed as a pseudo-problem. If a question didn’t have a scientific answer, then it wasn’t a real question—just a pseudo-question masquerading as a real question. Indeed, part of the task of philosophy was to clean up the discipline from the mess that earlier generations had made of it by endlessly struggling with such pseudo-questions. There was thus a certain self-conscious, crusading zeal with which philosophers carried out their task. The reformers, says, Benacerraf, “trumpeted the militant affirmation of the new faith. . . , in which the fumbling confusions of our forerunners were to be replaced by the emerging science of philosophy. This new enlightenment would put the old metaphysical views and attitudes to rest and replace them with the new mode of doing philosophy.”

The book 

Language, Truth, and Logic

 by the British philosopher A. J. Ayer served as a sort of manifesto for this movement. As Benacerraf puts it, it was “not a great book,” but it was “a wonderful exponent of the spirit of the time.” The principal weapon employed by Ayer in his campaign against metaphysics was the vaunted Verification Principle of Meaning. According to that Principle, which went through a number of revisions, a sentence in order to be meaningful must be capable in principle of being empirically verified. Since metaphysical statements were beyond the reach of empirical science, they could not be verified and were therefore dismissed as meaningless combinations of words.

Ayer was very explicit about the theological implications of this Verificationism.

3

 Since God is a metaphysical object, Ayer says, the possibility of religious knowledge is “ruled out by our treatment of metaphysics.” Thus, there can be no knowledge of God.

Now someone might say that we can offer evidence of God’s existence. But Ayer will have none of it. If by the word “God” you mean a transcendent being, says Ayer, then the word “God” is a metaphysical term, and so “it cannot be even probable that a god exists.” He explains, “To say that ‘God exists’ is to make a metaphysical utterance which cannot be either true or false. And by the same criterion, no sentence which purports to describe the nature of a transcendent god can possess any literal significance.”

Suppose some Christian says,

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PHILOSOPHY: A Powerful Tool to Show the Universe Was Created

Is it possible to demonstrate the Universe had a beginning?

Even before modern science, could it be shown the Universe was created 

a finite time ago?

(Part 2)

 This is the next argument in our series entitled: "Good Arguments God's Existence".  In this video we will examine the second installment of the Kalam Cosmological Argument.  Here, we will be demonstrating it's quite simple to see the universe had a beginning, by using one of the most simple but fundamental tools available to mankind:  philosophy.  

Though good, clear thinking, medieval muslim theologians like Al Ghazali, demonstrated that it is impossible for the universe to be eternal, based upon the philosophical conclusions he came to when considering counting to and crossing INFINITY.

Put on your thinking caps and absorb these 2 powerful and clear ideas, that show how it is logically impossible for the universe to be eternal, and that it must therefore have had a beginning, a finite time ago in the past.

God bless you all.  Have and Intelligent Faith!

- Pastor J.