Naturalism Is Not Atheism.

Another comment I gave that I wanted to repost:


Naturalism, for a theist, simply means that god acts through the laws of nature rather than (or in addition to) miracles, which are supposed instances of the properties of the universe being suspended in order to let impossible things happen.  I see no reason why a god would need to reverse elements of it’s own creation.  For instance a supernaturalist would look at a waterfall and say “look at this beautiful thing god created, he put all of these rocks and this dirt and this water just so!”.  A naturalist christian would say “Actually, god created the universe with the property of gravity which allowed meteors to draw each other together to form a sphere of super-heated liquid rock, which after hundreds of millions of years of cooling formed a solid crust which formed cracks due to changes in the liquid and moving conditions inside the sphere.  These moving conditions sometimes then pushed matter up or down, forming mountains which, when evaporated rain fell down onto them (again due to gravity) it followed the path of least resistance and moved down the mountains forming rivers, some of which came to similarly disjointed and uneven land, which produced a waterfall.  

The first view has a god that makes every little detail of the universe individually (and brings up problems like “why did god make the waterfall there knowing that guy in the canoe would plummet to his death?).  The second view is of a creator which does not just make a waterfall, but makes every kind of waterfall imaginable, and makes new waterfalls on billions of worlds of every imaginable configuration, and will keep making waterfalls until the end of time.

If you ask me the naturalist has a much more profound view of creation.  And it is made even more profound by the fact that the atheist, who does not assume a creator, can still share in the awe of the creative powers of nature.

About agnophilo

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4 Responses to Naturalism Is Not Atheism.

  1. For myself, theists view God as the most essential element for an accurate interpretation of reality and as the source for the universe. Naturalists do not see science as interpreting reality, but only describing reality. I have come to therefore greatly value science — for this very reason. Science cannot deny that God may be the creator. Responsibly, science cannot claim that there is or is not a creator. As to miracles, I believe that there are many feats that a few people can perform that most cannot. I happen to think that the feats do all follow with natural laws of the universe that may not already ne scientifically advanced and that it is possible that science will prove that these feats are actually natural.

    • agnophilo says:

      I think whenever we don’t know the answer to something or don’t understand an event people have a tendency to leap to fill in the blank with whatever idea they can come up with long before that idea is testable or even coherent. God explaining the universe is, to me, like a blorg explaining how a car goes. What is a blorg and how does it make a car go you might ask – to which I would reply – what is a god and how does it create universes?

  2. Wonderful, as always. I enjoy every single thing you post, it really gets me to thinking.

    • agnophilo says:

      That is very kind of you to say : ) I always love to make people think. The sad part is I usually only succeed in making people think or question who already enjoy thinking and questioning things. But still, thanks : )

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