Is nature all we have?

by Matt Slick

This is a short dialogue with a naturalist (someone who believes nature is all there is and that there is no supernatural).  I tried to get him to validate his naturalism.  He couldn't.  Actually, naturalism is a philosophical position that naturalists assume to be true.

Matt: So, you're a naturalist.
Naturalist: Yes sir!
Naturalist: I've called your radio show before.
Matt: How do you know naturalism is true?
Naturalist: Matt--I suppose I don't. But nature is all we have, so I will assume it is all there is!
Matt: How do you know nature is all we have?
Naturalist: No evidence for anything else.
Matt: There isn't?
Matt: You're sure there is NO evidence for anything else?
Naturalist: Could you provide some?
Naturalist: Love to see it.
Matt: YOU said there isn't any evidence for anything else. Why do you say that?
Naturalist: Matt--Because I have not seen any, and no human being in the history of human beings has been able to show any.
Matt: Nat, more assumptions.
Naturalist: You may be the exception.
Matt: So NO one in ALL of history has shown any? Quite a claim you make.
Naturalist: Matt--Yeah . . . That's me. The claim maker.
Matt: Nat, you hold to naturalism by faith.
Naturalist: I hold to naturalism by faith as I hold to disbelief in hob goblins by faith.
Matt: You hold to a disbelief? How do you do that?
Matt: I affirm or deny things . . .
Matt: You hold to a disbelief . . . interesting . . . explain how you hold to that.
Naturalist: I thought you meant naturalism in the sense that I only accept nature and natural phenomena . . . There is plenty of evidence for nature.
Matt: Why don't' you answer my question?
Naturalist: Faith cannot apply to that. Seeing as there is evidence.
Naturalist: I am answering your question as best I can.
Matt: Sorry, not a very good answer.
Naturalist: So I assume you imply that I have faith there is no supernatural.
Matt: You HOLD to disbelief about something. Explain that
Matt: You ACTUALLY believe there is no supernatural.
Naturalist: If you imply that I have FAITH there is no supernatural, which I would say is a gross misuse of the word FAITH, then I would say I use the same FAITH that there are no hob-goblins.
Matt: Define a hobgoblin.
Naturalist: Nice. I would say off the top of my head . . . An evil mythical creature.
Matt: "The Hobgoblin was created by writer Roger Stern when he was writing the Amazing Spider-Man in the early 1980s. Like other writers Stern found himself under pressure to have Spider-Man fight the Green Goblin again but did not wish to bring Norman Osborn or Bart Hamilton back from the dead, have Harry Osborn become the Green Goblin again or create yet another Green Goblin. Instead he decided to create a new character as heir to the Goblin's legacy and developed the Hobgoblin." From wikipedia.
Matt: So you don't know what it is, yet you reject it and compare it to the supernatural?
Naturalist: Well, I feel my point stands there there is zero evidence for any hobgoblin, and there is equal evidence for the supernatural.
Matt: Uh . . . a hobgoblin is purposefully invented.
Matt: Show that the supernatural is also purposefully invented . . . so your comparison is valid.
Naturalist: Nice . . .
Matt: I'm not the one with faith in naturalism. You are. Just examining you.
Naturalist: I give! You win my good man!
FRB: Naturalist--you gave up all ready, what gives?
FRB: Naturalist--How is it that you hold a position that you can't defend?




CARM ison