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Author Topic:   Methodological Naturalism is fallacious
PaulK
Member
Posts: 14959
Joined: 01-10-2003
Member Rating: 3.1


Message 9 of 50 (514437)
07-07-2009 2:18 PM
Reply to: Message 1 by mike the wiz
07-07-2009 6:40 AM


I don't like to "pile on" but there are important points that need to be said.

quote:

The problem with the natural assumption is that it is the very same thing as the God of the gaps fallacy. That is - it is also fallacious. Think with me for a moment.

This reveals a major misunderstanding. Methodological Naturalism is - as it's name should tell you - about method. It is not an argument - all it states is that science restricts itself to natural explanations. It does not claim that supernatural explanations are false - it only excludes them from science.

quote:

If you say that you can't include God in science - I agree.

Well there's an example of Methodological Naturalism. It's pretty clear that you don't think that it's fallacious after all.

Anyway you say some other things that are wrong, too:

quote:

If you say you can continue to assess "truth" about nature - without God, I don't agree, because logically, you can now only come to a false conclusion, based on premisses which do not involve a Creator.

Of course, that is not true. Excluding a true premise does not guarantee a false conclusion. Indeed, even if the missing premise is strongly relevant, an alternative false premise might be adequate - and if it is not relevant, excluding it will make no difference. Do not forget also, that there are believers in a Creator who also accept evolution.

But even worse, NOT assuming a Creator would not even be Methodological Naturalism. A purely neutral, agnostic position would not make that assumption. Is even neutrality fallacious ? How ?

quote:

If I insist that a ferrari is designed, and have a theory that it is designed by itself, somehow, and I don't include a designer, strictly - then I must come to a conclusion that is natural - yes.

Of course Ferrari's CAN be explained naturalistically through human design - and more importantly - manufacture. And there should be no need to assume a designer. Simply tracking back the evidence will show that. So neither Methodological Naturalism, nor failing to assume a creator will come to the wrong conclusion.

So, for your "example" to be analogous to evolutionary science, you must be assuming not Methodological Naturalism, but dogmatic Philosophical Naturalism. However, that is a long way from the real situation. In fact when Darwin wrote his Origin... belief in a Creator was the dominant view - evolution succeeded by offering an explanation that was not only natural, but better explained the evidence than assuming a Creator.

So in reality you agree with Methodological Naturalism - and your "fallacy" is a strawman dogmatic Philosophical Naturalism. And even your arguments against that rely on assuming that it is false.

So much for thinking it all through.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 1 by mike the wiz, posted 07-07-2009 6:40 AM mike the wiz has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 11 by mike the wiz, posted 08-02-2009 4:34 PM PaulK has responded

    
PaulK
Member
Posts: 14959
Joined: 01-10-2003
Member Rating: 3.1


Message 22 of 50 (517803)
08-02-2009 5:11 PM
Reply to: Message 11 by mike the wiz
08-02-2009 4:34 PM


quote:

I have thought it all through, indeed, beyond your weak response.

Then you know that you were wrong ?

quote:

The original point remains. It is still fallacious to proceed, " all it states is that science restricts itself to natural explanations ".

So pointing out the correct definition of Methodological Naturalism is "fallacious" now ?

quote:

Logically this leads to ALL claims now being fallacious, so you make a moot point about it not being fallacious because one is still not allowed to conclude or include God. Try again.

No, it doesn't make any claims fallacious. You simply haven't thought it through at all.

quote:

I believe in parsimony, it is not the same thing. You should have not assumed I did not know what I was saying.

I know that parsimony is not the same thing. But what you state was not parsimony. You recognised that God has no place in scientific explanations - and that is methodological naturalism. And no, I did not assume that you did not know what you were talking about - I observed it

quote:

The point is that you can not know that the conclusion is true, if you ommit a potential truth.

That may have been what you meant but it is certainly not what you said.

quote:

If we have a murder, and we disregard a murderer, we guarantee a false conclusion that the knife-did-it, which is analogous to the truism of design requiring a designer, where design is obvious.

Except, of course, that we are not talking about cases where design is truly obvious. And design requiring a designer works two ways. In the absence of any other evidence of a potential designer we should be wary of concluding design (and that IS parsimony).

quote:

Your bit about the ferrari is vacuous because the point is that there is obviously a designer, where there is a design. You are bound to come to a false conclusion if you dismiss the possibility of a designer.

Clearly you failed to understand it. Neither Methodological Naturalism nor failing to assume the existence of a designer will lead us to the wrong conclusion in the case of the Ferrarri. Why then would these things cause us to come to the wrong conclusion when dealing with life ?

quote:

Now, with organisms, the "design" is much more sophisticated, therefore we can safely conclude that the problem is much, much greater because if you are going to assume the necessity of a designer is not there, and go for a natural approach, then you have a very weak syllogism, because of the pressure from designs.

You are being very unclear. There is no need to "assume that the necessity of a designer is not there" - because that necessity must be shown (it cannot itself be assumed). And it has not been shown. Moreover, science is not a competition in jumping to conclusions. Evolution is a vastly successful framework for investigating biology. Any competitor needs to show that it can do as well.

quote:

I am unrefuted because it is fallacious to rule out a possible conclusion whether you state it or not.

You are refuted because MN does not rule out any conclusions. MN is Methodological Naturalism and it is a limit of the scientific method. It is philosophical or ontological Naturalism that rule out God.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 11 by mike the wiz, posted 08-02-2009 4:34 PM mike the wiz has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 25 by mike the wiz, posted 08-02-2009 5:19 PM PaulK has responded

    
PaulK
Member
Posts: 14959
Joined: 01-10-2003
Member Rating: 3.1


Message 28 of 50 (517811)
08-02-2009 5:24 PM
Reply to: Message 15 by mike the wiz
08-02-2009 4:48 PM


quote:

ok guys - WHY, given how brilliant organisms are, should I assume the very great assumption of methodological naturalism?

As I have pointed out methodological naturalism is not an assumption, it is a method.

quote:

With theories on origins, the fallacy is relevant BECAUSE you have to assume a great many things that are not repeatable, because of history not being repeatable.

The exact events cannot be repeated (or rather we cannot know that we are repeating them) but this is not the issue. We can work out explanations for how things might have occurred. We can certainly try to make those explanations testable - and then test them.

It is parsimony, not methodological naturalism that stops the jump to the design conclusion.

quote:

The fallacy is that if God's existence cannot be ascertained, you cannot logically conclude that a special creator is OUT.

Think about the underlined part properly.


I have thought about it and the correct answer is "so what?". Nobody insists that they have a logical disproof of a creator. And Methodological Naturalism says that science CANNOT disprove the existence of God. I suggest you go back to my initial response and consider it properly.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 15 by mike the wiz, posted 08-02-2009 4:48 PM mike the wiz has not yet responded

    
PaulK
Member
Posts: 14959
Joined: 01-10-2003
Member Rating: 3.1


Message 36 of 50 (517821)
08-02-2009 5:38 PM
Reply to: Message 25 by mike the wiz
08-02-2009 5:19 PM


quote:

No - the burden of proof is not upon me when design is a truism even evolutionary scientists know of!! The burden is to prove that a designer does not follow.

That has already been shown. By finding a better explanation Darwin showed that a designer did NOT follow.

quote:

Can't you see that the fallacious goes underneathe, and comes out on top. You can't hide it from wisdom. It is there - the conclusion of a none-designer based on naturalist-bias.

Evolution did not win because of bias - it won because it explained the data better than creationism. That it was a natural explanation maybe helped its success within science but it would have been rejected quickly if it did not work.

quote:

Sorry i provoked you - but you say things like, "you clearly haven't thought it htrough", and it annoys me. Why do you feel the need to provoke me to anger, when I know I have thought it through, and that YOU know that I am thoughtful?

Because I don't know any such thing. What I see is that your initial post was based on a serious misunderstanding of what Methodological Naturalism is. What I see is that you responded to correction by declaring it to be "fallacious" for no reason at all. Those aren't signs of thoughtfulness on your part.

I am not trying to anger, you Mike. If I were I would express my opinions with far less restraint.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 25 by mike the wiz, posted 08-02-2009 5:19 PM mike the wiz has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 40 by mike the wiz, posted 08-02-2009 5:50 PM PaulK has responded

    
PaulK
Member
Posts: 14959
Joined: 01-10-2003
Member Rating: 3.1


Message 42 of 50 (517828)
08-02-2009 6:05 PM
Reply to: Message 40 by mike the wiz
08-02-2009 5:50 PM


quote:

Darwin infact shown the reduction of information and was humble to do so, I do not believe he would have believed in neo-Darwinism, if he had the knowledge that mutations do not show new designs in part or in full.

This simply makes no sense.

quote:

Paul, I understand MN, and I enjoy your posts, because on a logical level they are challenging and intelligent, this is why your personal comments are not understandable to me.

The fact is that you DID misunderstand MN in your initial post. The fact is that you DID dismiss my correction on grounds that didn't even make sense. How can correctly pointing out what MN is be fallacious ?

quote:

You are right - evolution "won", but what is the truth? Do you really believe that animated matter can come about by itself?

Evolution doesn't even cover the origin of life.

quote:

Your answer is that incredulity is logically irrelevant. This is true, BUT I know that you know that design is a truism. Exactly why would this not favour a designer? I urge you to re-think it again.

That life IS designed is jumping to conclusions. I have to ask why, if life is designed, evolution should be so successful at explaining what we see.

quote:

Evolution has won, because sin has won. Even as this world grows worse and worse, because people choose to reject God, when the whole creation clearly shows Him. If it were not so, I would not have told you, but as much as I can know - I do know.

You can trust me because I was the one who was willing to reject God for truth, but I have been shown that mutation, chance, selection, it's all so very weak!


But I can't trust you because I know that much of what you say is false.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 40 by mike the wiz, posted 08-02-2009 5:50 PM mike the wiz has not yet responded

    
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