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Sci Naturalism's Unintended Link to Original Sin

Sci Naturalism's Unintended Link to Original Sin

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Published by Curtis Edward Clark

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Published by: Curtis Edward Clark on Dec 29, 2008
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05/09/2014

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Scientific Naturalism and Christian TheologyCome from the Same Roots of CausalityIFree will and the will that is not contra-causal are the subject of themetaphysics of naturalism. Metaphysical Naturalism (MN) accepts free will,denying--where scientific naturalism (SN) asserts--that free will needs to be"contra-causal" to be called free.It is not, nor can it ever be, contra-causal. To wish it so, to want it so, topropose that it must be so before it can be called free is to contradict the verynature of naturalism's epistemic roots.What is "contra causality"? To have contra-causal will, you would have to have thepower to move the wind and the stars; the power to control your genetic pool--before you are conceived; the power to manipulate your environment by supernaturalmeans (since we are obviously able to manipulate it by natural means, yet thisisn't good enough for SN, which denies anything supernatural); and to manipulatethe behavior and activities of every minute detail of reality that touches yourown existence.Because you do not and cannot have this power, SN says free will is not freebecause it is always influenced by something; the wind, the stars, your geneticpool, your environment, your prior actions, and the behavior and actions of allother people who have ever lived and who are living now, and whether or not youhave a sore toe, a headache, have had too much caffein, alcohol, or milk--or arein need of some, and whether you are depressed, or manic, etc.Even normality as measured by the strictest determinations of medicine andpsychiatry effects us, according to SN, in such manner as to prevent our will frombeing free will. Normality no matter how it is determined is still the effect ofall the previous causes of the being of any human.In short SN asserts that the butterfly effect prevents what would otherwise beindependent and free will, i.e., the freedom to think or not, and what to concludefrom thought, and how to conclude it. The phrase "butterfly effect" is a"reference to the [ ] theory that a change in something seemingly innocuous, suchas a flap of a butterfly's wings, may have unexpected larger consequences in thefuture, such as the path a tornado will travel."We are caused by the flapping of all the butterflys' wings, whether those wingsare literal, or metaphorical.So while you may believe you are exercising free will, SN says the "you" thatexists at the moment of exercising your will shows proof that "we are fully causedcreatures" by all things that have gone before. "Naturalism holds that everythingwe are and do is connected to the rest of the world and derived from conditionsthat precede us and surround us," it says. [see same link as above]The most notorious concept of our being "fully caused" is called, in Christianity,by the name "Original Sin." Christianity has always believed in "full causation"of the human being through Original Sin, but gives it an "out" through"redemption." For this reason Christianity believes in free will.SN states its aim as being the obliteration of anything but scientism in itsmetaphysical description of the state of being human, yet it supports the mostillogical of all epistemologic arguments of Christian theology, proving that evenSN cannot escape epistemological mistakes that put it on par with the worst logicof supernaturalism. What SN does it takes away the ability to be "redeemed" from
 
our "full causation" by removing the concept of freedom from the concept of willpower.SN does not disprove the Christian epistemology of Original Sin, it upholds it byusing the same logic of "full causality"!But in its defence, it must be explicitly stated that SN denies anythingsupernatural. It cannot therefor uphold the idea of Original Sin as a religiousconcept, but by using the very logic of Christian theology it gives Christianityvery good reason to support the epistemology of SN while denying its metaphysics,in the very same way SN denies the metaphysics of religion.Scientific Naturalism is Not Scientifically, But Epistemologically, WrongIIWhile it is entirely true that humans are shaped by such things as their gene pooland their environment, and by all the other things that science is beginning toteach us about our biology, this does not constitute what SN calls "fullcausation." It is not necessary for the will to be able to change these things forthe will to exist as free will. Free will does not mean independence fromexistence.Yet it is the independent, libertarian will that SN says is not free because it isnot free from the reality of reality. "Naturalism," it say explicitly, "is theunderstanding that there is a single, natural world as shown by science, and thatwe are completely included in it."Of course we are "completely included in it." While religion argues that we arealso included in a supernatural world, it does not deny being "included" in thephysical world. As a matter of fact, being released from this "complete inclusion"in the natural world is the goal of religion. SN seeks to bind us to it with nopower to "fully cause" our own metaphysical existence.SN does not state that the will is impotent. To the contrary, it states that sincewe know, or can know, the elements of reality that "fully cause" us to be who weare, that we can somehow control our lives better through of will power that itdescribes as "not free."SN is a humanist movement. It supports "compassion" for criminals in theirtreatment and sentencing: compassion, not justice. Criminals are still human, havethe capacity to learn from their wrongs and from their time incarcerated. Mostwill get out of prison. Ignoring "compassion" for justice does not mean going backto bread and water, chains and leg irons, beds of straw, lack of proper medicine,or anything that is not proper in the treatment of humans who have the free willto become better for the justice of their sentence. Proper treatment is justice,not compassion.What SN means by "compassion" is stated this way: " Seeing that we are fullycaused creatures - not self-caused - we can no longer take or assign ultimatecredit or blame for what we do. This leads to an ethics of compassion andunderstanding, both toward ourselves and others. We see that there but forcircumstances go I. We would have been the homeless person in front of us, theconvict, or the addict, had we been given their genetic and environmental lot inlife." [emphasis added]This is all true, except for the "credit and blame" part. If the credit and blameare moral attributes of action, it is never true that they do not belong to us. Ifthey are attributes of the chaos of reality over which we have no control, it is

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