RE: Any strong challenges to Naturalistic Sufficiency?

From: John E. Rylander (
Date: Tue Jan 18 2000 - 17:09:53 EST

  • Next message: Stephen E. Jones: "Re: What is the evidence that atheism is *true*?"

    Outlooks similar to yours wrt epistemology were fairly commong in the 40s
    and 50s, the zenith of logical positivism and its kin, but has been in
    serious decline since then. (You may be an objectivist: I don't claim to be
    any expert on that, though I've listened to a number of Ayn Rand tapes, and
    they made very little sense to me.)

    In a nutshell, it just begs the question in favor of naturalism. Now, to
    those who take atheism as properly basic (as I think you do, though you may
    not know it), that will seem just fine.

    But to those who aren't atheists (and actually, many today who are), the
    idea that one must assume atheism unless it can be proven false or at least
    unlikely will properly seem preposterous, and the epistemology that produced
    this conclusion na•ve in the extreme. -Obviously- this approach appeals to
    some atheists (I think Antony Flew had an article along these lines: "The
    Presumption of Atheism"); so what?

    Scientism and positivism aren't nearly as popular as they used to be amongst
    philosophers; their fads have long since died, and if you search, you will
    find out why. But given your at once intelligent yet perversely reckless
    rants against theism and Christianity (Hitler and Stalin were men of faith
    in earlier posts of yours -- truly bizarre stuff. And now your big
    question about the resurrection is: did Jesus even exist? ....), I think
    you have some burr buried somewhere that's keeping you from a serious
    exploration of these issues. Until that burr and it's associated postulates
    in your mind are dealt with I think it'd be a waste of enormous amounts of
    time trying to argue you out of "naturalistic sufficiency."

    > -----Original Message-----
    > From:
    > []On Behalf Of Chris Cogan
    > Sent: Tuesday, January 18, 2000 3:14 PM
    > To: Evolution
    > Subject: Any strong challenges to Naturalistic Sufficiency?
    > Before I start creating naturalistic theories out of SJ's non-naturalistic
    > theories, I'm wondering whether there is any strong arguments or
    > attempts at
    > arguments against the Principle of Naturalistic Sufficiency. This is the
    > principle that there is, for any fact or facts capable of explanation, at
    > least one prospective naturalistic explanation that is better, in
    > scientific
    > and Occam's Razor terms, than any equivalent *non*-naturalistic theory for
    > the same facts. I've argued for this principle briefly in an earlier post,
    > though I have by no means given my entire argument for it (i.e., one that
    > covers prospective objections, etc.).
    > The principle applies not only to the development of life on
    > Earth, but also
    > to the *claims* of people that Jesus rose from the dead (I mention this
    > because I see from a glance at another Jones post that he is claiming the
    > rising of Jesus from the dead as an established fact, whereas I
    > have serious
    > doubts that he existed *at all* -- I would *love* to see the epistemology
    > that can make the claim of his existence truly acceptable *and* that can
    > also *strongly* support the claim that he rose from the dead,
    > because there
    > a number of fantasies that *I'd* like to prove).
    > --Chris C
    > Now is the time for all good people to come to.

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