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Thread: A Refutation of Naturalists

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    Thumbs up A Refutation of Naturalists


    by Imam Ibn ul Qayyim al Jawziyyah
    Men & The Universe - Reflections of Ibn Al-Qayyem

    Who was it who managed all that, perfected it, directed it and controlled it in the best way?

    Someone might, if he were one of the depraved, say: "it is the work of nature; there are wonderful things in nature." To such a debater we say: if Allah had let your heart, you would yourself have refuted such a statement by replying: "Tell me about this nature, is it self-sustained, having knowledge, and having the ability to contrive those wonders? Or is it not? Is it not rather just an abstract quality and a display of the visible things around?" If the answer occurs to you: It is an independent entity with full knowledge, ability, will and wisdom," say: What you describe is the Creator, the Author and Shaper, so why do you call Him nature? Forget about what he naturalists dictate and turn to what Allah has taught humans to call Him in the words of His messengers, and if you do you will be one of the happy and wise folk. Why attribute to nature the attributes that belong to Allah?

    If, on the other hand, the adversary says: "Nature is an abstract quality, a display in need of an agent, and all that we witness of its accomplishments s brought about without nature having knowledge, will, ability, or even the mere consciousness of what it is producing. All that we see is evidence of nature's achievements;" then the reply should be that no sane person would accept this reasoning. Do you really believe that the amazing actions and subtle contrivances that we see in this world, that no mind can fathom o fully appreciate, are made by an agent that itself has no thinking, ability, wisdom or feeling? Would anyone believe such reasoning but a madman or an animal?

    You may further add: "If what you claim were true, I would be clear that such an abstract quality cannot have created itself or originated itself, so who is its Lord, Maker and Originator? Who enabled it to do all that? This logic is a most decisive piece of evidence in favor of believing in the Originator and Maker of nature, in the infinity of His ability, knowledge and wisdom. Indeed, this group has gained nothing by denying the Lord and His Attributes and Actions. They merely abolish the intellect and innate intuition. Nature itself would discredit such logic: it in fact contradicts mind, innate intuition, nature and even humanity, and it has caused the most ignorant and deluded attitudes that one can cause. If one does concede what the mind dictates and admits that it is not possible to have wise effects without the agency of a wise, able and knowing entity; that it is not possible to have well-controlled effects without here being a maker who is able, autonomous, in control of things, aware of what he is doing, not frustrated or overwhelmed by what he is doing - if one concedes that much then the right answer to such a person would be: What is the matter with you? When you accept the necessity of a great Creator beside whom no other god exists, and no other lord, stop calling Him nature or the 'self-active mind' or such appellations. Say instead: What I describe is Allah, the Creator, the Originator, the Shaper, Lord of the Worlds, Sustainer of the heavens and the earth, Lord of the east and the west, He who made excellent all that He created, and perfected what He crafted. Do not deny His Names and Attributes and Self and attribute His making to another and His creation to someone else. You have to concede His existence, and attribute to Him authorship, creation, lordship and control. There is no other way, praised is Allah, Lord of the Worlds.
    The Meaning of Nature

    By reconsidering the word 'nature' in this context, you will be led directly to the Creator, the Originator, as the common mind understands the word. That is because this word 'nature' (Arabic: tabee`ah) means that something was made by someone to behave according to a preset plan, and there is no other meaning at all. He word 'nature' is of the same class of words as 'instinct', 'disposition', 'temperament', 'an animal's or a human's nature', and the like. An animal has been made to react to stimuli, a reaction which is ingrained in it. It is self-evident that a 'nature' without a 'nature-maker' is impossibility: The very word, then, points to the Maker, the Almighty, just as its meaning indicates. Muslims believe that nature is one of Allah's creations, that it is under control, tamed and that this is part of His law operative among His creations; that He manages it the way He wills, and when He wills, so that He may deny it any aspect of its power when He wills, and reverse any of its effects when He wills, so that His servants may see that He alone is the Creator, the Originator, the Shaper, and that He creates whatever He wills, and in the way He wills. This is the meaning of the following verse from the Qur'an:

    "But His command, when He intends a thing, is only that He says unto it: Be! and it is." (36:82)

    Nature, which his the utmost that those short-sighted lot can perceive, is no more than a creature of the Lord, equal in that to any of His creations. Considering this, how would a human, with the least bit of humanity or thinking, be blind to its being made to behave as it behaves, and how would he attribute to it making and originating! Time and again Allah halts its power, alters it and reverses it, so that it does the opposite of what it originally did, all to illustrate to His servants that it is His creation and making, that it is controlled by Him. That much can be supported by this verse from the Qur'an:

    "His verily is all creation and commandment; blessed is Allah, Lord of the worlds" (7:54)

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    Limited Member Array waldolicous's Avatar
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    Default Re: A Refutation of Naturalists


    Yea, I have seen various "naturalist" arguments, and those are of the weakest I see. People probably shouldn't have such a strong hold on to naturalism if they justify it using the lowest form of its justification. That, or they probably just don't care.

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    bump.. this is relevant alot in todays times masha Allah.




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    Human Agent Array czgibson's Avatar
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    Default Re: A Refutation of Naturalists


    Greetings,

    What is this junk masquerading as reasoned argument?

    It's pretty amazing to see an article like this - after all, it's refuting a position that nobody holds.

    Quote Originally Posted by mujahida3001 View Post
    Who was it who managed all that, perfected it, directed it and controlled it in the best way?
    This question is loaded - it assumes that someone or something did do those things.

    Someone might, if he were one of the depraved, say: "it is the work of nature; there are wonderful things in nature."
    Lovely irrelevant ad hominem there, but never mind.

    Do you really believe that the amazing actions and subtle contrivances that we see in this world, that no mind can fathom o fully appreciate, are made by an agent that itself has no thinking, ability, wisdom or feeling? Would anyone believe such reasoning but a madman or an animal?
    Many people would accept that it is at least possible, although not in the confused terms the writer uses here.

    You may further add: "If what you claim were true, I would be clear that such an abstract quality cannot have created itself or originated itself, so who is its Lord, Maker and Originator? Who enabled it to do all that? This logic is a most decisive piece of evidence in favor of believing in the Originator and Maker of nature, in the infinity of His ability, knowledge and wisdom.
    Actually, it's the classic riposte to the argument from design - "who designed the designer?" No satisfactory response to it has yet been devised.

    Indeed, this group has gained nothing by denying the Lord and His Attributes and Actions. They merely abolish the intellect and innate intuition. Nature itself would discredit such logic: it in fact contradicts mind, innate intuition, nature and even humanity, and it has caused the most ignorant and deluded attitudes that one can cause.
    This is senselsss gibberish. The writer is ascribing arbitrary qualities to a concept, 'nature', that he hasn't even satisfactorily defined yet.

    By reconsidering the word 'nature' in this context, you will be led directly to the Creator, the Originator, as the common mind understands the word. That is because this word 'nature' (Arabic: tabee`ah) means that something was made by someone to behave according to a preset plan, and there is no other meaning at all.
    OK, here we go. Does anyone recognise this definition as being anything like the meaning of the word 'nature'?

    If we can arbitrarily make up the meanings of the words we use, then communication and debate become impossible.

    I'm sorry to be so hostile, but this really is cod-intellectual rubbish of the worst order. I am absolutely amazed that anyone has taken this article at all seriously.

    Peace

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    Default Re: A Refutation of Naturalists


    The basic explanation he's saying is that if you label all these qualities of order and the earth sustaining itself, then give these attributes to a Creator and it makes perfect sense. That's what he's stating in the article. And if we think that things can happen and be controlled for such a long time by chance in this world - then that is illogical, similarly the earth sustaining itself and all within it is totally illogical also.


    In regard to defining the word nature, if you understand the concept of root words in arabic - you'll come to realise that he never made the word meaning up himself, its part of the arabic language to know what a word means by its root.



    Anyway, that's all i gota say. I probably won't be able to respond if you do.



    Regards.
    Last edited by - Qatada -; 11-26-2007 at 03:53 PM.




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    Human Agent Array czgibson's Avatar
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    Default Re: A Refutation of Naturalists


    Greetings,
    Quote Originally Posted by - Qatada - View Post
    The basic explanation he's saying is that if you label all these qualities of order and the earth sustaining itself, then give these attributes to a Creator and it makes perfect sense. That's what he's stating in the article. And if we think that things can happen and be controlled for such a long time by chance in this world - then that is illogical, similarly the earth sustaining itself and all within it is totally illogical also.
    I'm not sure whether you could say it's 'illogical' or not, but the key point is that this is a position that nobody holds.

    In regard to defining the word nature, if you understand the concept of root words in arabic - you'll come to realise that he never made the word meaning up himself, its part of the arabic language to know what a word means by its root.
    This has nothing to do with Arabic. Philosophical naturalism is not defined according to what a particular word means in Arabic.

    Peace

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    Default Re: A Refutation of Naturalists


    Quote Originally Posted by czgibson View Post
    Greetings,


    I'm not sure whether you could say it's 'illogical' or not, but the key point is that this is a position that nobody holds.

    We as muslims can hold that position. However we refer to the sacred texts for our religion more specifically. (I'm referring to the attributes of Allah, and Him having attributes which confirm with what we see occurring in the universe and all that is around us.)



    This has nothing to do with Arabic. Philosophical naturalism is not defined according to what a particular word means in Arabic.

    Alright, safe. get ya.



    Peace

    you too.
    Last edited by - Qatada -; 11-26-2007 at 04:29 PM. Reason: just so there isn't any confusion.




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    Default Re: A Refutation of Naturalists


    Quote Originally Posted by - Qatada - View Post
    We as muslims can hold that position.
    You are missing his point. He is not saying that nobody considers the belief illogical, he is saying that nobody holds the belief itself and hence it doesn't matter in the slightest whether it is 'logical' or not.

    And if we think that things can happen and be controlled for such a long time by chance in this world - then that is illogical, similarly the earth sustaining itself and all within it is totally illogical also.
    As has already been pointed out the dichotomy (God or 'chance') assumed is false. It is not even necessary to refer to 'science' (which I will leave to others if anyone is still following the thread); the Buddhist view of things, for example, involves neither 'chance' nor God.

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    Default Re: A Refutation of Naturalists


    Naturalism is one of those philosophical disciplines that, in my opinion, latches on to one aspect of a larger whole. Nature itself is a system, which should be studied and respected as one of, if not THE, most fundamental truths in the human experience. One cannot argue against nature...it just is. An atheist would say nature is everything, meaning the beginning and the end. A theist would say nature is a product of divine creation, or "intelligent design". In any event, one can't go wrong in an attempt to understand and explore nature.


    "Imagination was given to man to compensate him for what he is not, and a sense of humor was provided to console him for what he is."

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    Default Re: A Refutation of Naturalists


    Quote Originally Posted by czgibson View Post
    It's pretty amazing to see an article like this - after all, it's refuting a position that nobody holds.
    Firstly, how do you know that nobody holds this position?

    Secondly, the man who wrote this article lived, what was it, 700 years ago? Something like that. So even if no one believes that today, doesn't mean no one ever believed that!
    Last edited by Malaikah; 11-28-2007 at 05:23 AM.



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    Default Re: A Refutation of Naturalists


    I iz confuzid (have not read the article)
    refuting a position that nobody holds
    Definitions of Naturalist on the Web:
    an advocate of the doctrine that the world can be understood in scientific terms


    wordnet.princeton.edu/perl/webwn

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    Default Re: A Refutation of Naturalists


    Quote Originally Posted by czgibson View Post

    Actually, it's the classic riposte to the argument from design - "who designed the designer?" No satisfactory response to it has yet been devised.
    Satisfactory to who? The answer is that the Allah has always existed. The classic return thrust has always been that it is logically impossible to have an infinite regression of causes extending backwards in time. You must have a starting point, and you either have the omniscient being that always was and that designed everything (hence the design), or that random chance (at extremely low probabilities) brought everything into existence.

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    Default Re: A Refutation of Naturalists


    Greetings,
    Quote Originally Posted by Malaikah View Post
    Firstly, how do you know that nobody holds this position?
    You're right to point out that I was making an assumption there, because the position described is utterly incoherent. However, people believe all sorts of crazy nonsense, so it's possible that some people do actually believe that nature "is an independent entity with full knowledge, ability, will and wisdom." It's a position that nobody who is rational would hold, though, surely?

    Secondly, the man who wrote this article lived, what was it, 700 years ago? Something like that. So even if no one believes that today, doesn't mean no one ever believed that!
    Again, a good point. I had no idea when this writer lived, so I assumed he was trying to argue in today's intellectual climate.

    Quote Originally Posted by NoName55
    I iz confuzid (have not read the article)

    Definitions of Naturalist on the Web:
    an advocate of the doctrine that the world can be understood in scientific terms
    Reading the article would help to alleviate your confusion, as you would see that the 'naturalism' that the writer is arguing against is very different from the definition you've given, which describes a position that many people do in fact hold.

    Quote Originally Posted by tigersabre
    Satisfactory to who?
    Satisfactory to philosophers and other intellectuals who care about arguments.

    The answer is that the Allah has always existed. The classic return thrust has always been that it is logically impossible to have an infinite regression of causes extending backwards in time. You must have a starting point, and you either have the omniscient being that always was and that designed everything (hence the design), or that random chance (at extremely low probabilities) brought everything into existence.
    A couple of points:

    An infinite regress is not necessarily impossible, but it does seem very unlikely from a common-sense point of view. The point is, though, that there's nothing to suggest the existence of a designer, let alone one that has always existed. That particular attribute was, in my view, invented by religious apologists in an attempt to evade the problem.

    Your point about "random chance" sounds very like an error that is often repeated by people who do not believe in (or really understand) evolution by natural selection. I'm not sure if that's the point you're making, though.

    As for what brought everything into existence, the only reasonable answer is "we don't know".

    Peace

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    Default Re: A Refutation of Naturalists


    Quote Originally Posted by czgibson View Post
    A couple of points:

    An infinite regress is not necessarily impossible, but it does seem very unlikely from a common-sense point of view. The point is, though, that there's nothing to suggest the existence of a designer, let alone one that has always existed. That particular attribute was, in my view, invented by religious apologists in an attempt to evade the problem.

    Your point about "random chance" sounds very like an error that is often repeated by people who do not believe in (or really understand) evolution by natural selection. I'm not sure if that's the point you're making, though.

    As for what brought everything into existence, the only reasonable answer is "we don't know".

    Peace
    No, it's clearly impossible. If it was infinite, by definition it could not end, and as each effect is dependent upon a cause, and you would have an infinite amount of causes extending backwards in time, no effect could ever have been caused.

    This is not the same as, say, a number system which moves infinitely forwards and backwards along, say, the x-axis because point x's existence is not dependent upon point x - 1's existence. It simply exists as a point of reference, so I hope you'll not try to conflate one with the other (as I've seen at least one atheist attempt to do).

    Now, there necessarily has to be some initial cause that brought everything from out of nothing. In your case, you claim you do not know how it happened, but something happened, until natural selection took place and we are where we are today.

    In order to deal with mathematical (lack of) probability of this whole process, those who hold the same opinion as yourself have written that perhaps the reason it all works out is because everything that needed to be formed didn't just happen once - the right bang of everything, starting with the big bang down to the first cell kept randomly trying to happen over and over again billions upon billions upon billions of times until finally from nothing came something sustainable Now, that is what I call a leap of faith.

    For myself, as reductionist as this may sound, I see that very simple systems created by man ALWAYS requires design. The poorer the design, the more likely the failure of such a system. And necessarily, the more complex the system, the more intricate, the more delicate it is, then the more the need for a design and then implementation. In other words, the more the need for a designer who places everything just so according to well-thought out plans.

    So in the end, either you believe in that the designer always existed, or you don't. If you don't, then you believe either that matter always existed (and that is essentially what is being said is an impossible property for the Creator), or you believe that from nothingness, which has no conscious thought or care, came something painstakingly complex. The chances of such are statistically impossible, and so for myself, the choice is obvious.

    I leave the Stephen Hawking's of the world to live in their denial :okay:

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    Default Re: A Refutation of Naturalists


    Quote Originally Posted by tigersabre View Post
    Now, there necessarily has to be some initial cause that brought everything from out of nothing. In your case, you claim you do not know how it happened, but something happened, until natural selection took place and we are where we are today.

    ...

    For myself, as reductionist as this may sound, I see that very simple systems created by man ALWAYS requires design. The poorer the design, the more likely the failure of such a system. And necessarily, the more complex the system, the more intricate, the more delicate it is, then the more the need for a design and then implementation. In other words, the more the need for a designer who places everything just so according to well-thought out plans.

    ...

    I leave the Stephen Hawking's of the world to live in their denial :okay:
    But do you see by saying allah is the starting point you contradict your statement that everything "complex" and "intricate" needs a designer. I would call an omniscient/omnipotent being highly complex and intricate. Unless your saying Allah is not intricate or complex.

    Plus, I don't think you can say the current setup is perfect and isn't a failure. Maybe it just hasn't had time to fail.

    As far as worldview, I'm fine with saying "I don't know". You can't always have an answer. I can have guesses but none of us knows for sure.

    Since this arguement has gone around a few times (as it always does) I'm going to give you a little skit as to how I feel when hearing it. This isn't to say who's right and who's wrong, its just maybe to give you a little insight into how I see things.

    It’s the dawn of human history (not assuming YEC). Two cavemen are standing outside their caves. One believes that only natural forces control the universe and the other believes a deity does. Unfortunately both were named Thag, so I’m going call one Atheist Thag (Athag) and one Theist Thag (Tthag). As they stand there, a lightening bolt cracks through the sky, striking the tallest tree in the forest.

    Athag: Whoa! Did you see that!
    Tthag: Wow! God is amazing!
    Athag: Here we go. Why do you think god caused that?
    Tthag: Well, I believe God causes lightening. It is so complex and unlike anything else and we have no clear scientific explanation so it has to be from a God.
    Athag: Why does it have to be a god? Couldn’t it come from some natural phenomenon?
    Tthag: Do you have an explanation for it?
    Athag: Well, it could be some shifting of energy when some unknown power source becomes unbalanced.
    Tthag: Puh-lease, that is just a lame theory. Do you have a solid explanation or not.
    Athag: A one hundred percent sure fire complete explanation…..no.
    Tthag: Ah ha! You admit it.
    Athag: But do you remember what our grandfathers used to tell us about fire. They used to say it only came from God.
    Tthag: Yeah, I do. They used to believe it was delivered by only lightening. And when they needed it there was only one way to get it. Sacrifice a virgin to produce lightening, which would strike a tree and bring fire.
    Athag: Well, my Mom discovered you could make fire by rubbing sticks a certain way.
    Tthag: Yeah, my grandfather says he had never seen a woman try to break out of the wooden sacrificial pen as hard as she did. Wasn’t that nine months before you were born?
    Athag: Yes, moving on. But don’t you see that what people once thought was only from God because it was so complex and unknowable was actually something they could do because it was a natural phenomenon?
    Tthag: Nice try, heretic, but that was then, this is now. What tree did it hit?
    Athag: That tree there. The tallest one.
    Tthag: That’s right smart guy, the tallest one. There must be thousands of trees in the forest and the lightening just happen to hit the tallest tree. Do you know the odds of that happening!? In fact, have you ever noticed that it almost always hits the tallest tree. The odds are incalculable! Can you explain that!
    Athag: Well no not in exceedingly technical detail.
    Tthag: Well thank you for proving my point. Don’t you think that in our advanced age we would know this stuff by now. Think of it. In the last two generations we’ve discovered how to make fire and the wheel! And even with all our amazing and complex advances, no one understands where lightening comes from. Ergo God. Lightening is just one example, all you have to do is look around to see evidence of God. Its right their in front of your eyes.
    Athag: uhg.
    Last edited by Gator; 11-29-2007 at 02:54 AM.

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    Default Re: A Refutation of Naturalists


    Quote Originally Posted by Gator View Post
    But do you see by saying allah is the starting point you contradict your statement that everything "complex" and "intricate" needs a designer. I would call an omniscient/omnipotent being highly complex and intricate. Unless your saying Allah is not intricate or complex.

    Plus, I don't think you can say the current setup is perfect and isn't a failure. Maybe it just hasn't had time to fail.

    As far as worldview, I'm fine with saying "I don't know". You can't always have an answer. I can have guesses but none of us knows for sure.

    Since this arguement has gone around a few times (as it always does) I'm going to give you a little skit as to how I feel when hearing it. This isn't to say who's right and who's wrong, its just maybe to give you a little insight into how I see things.

    Itís the dawn of human history (not assuming YEC). Two cavemen are standing outside their caves. One believes that only natural forces control the universe and the other believes a deity does. Unfortunately both were named Thag, so Iím going call one Atheist Thag (Athag) and one Theist Thag (Tthag). As they stand there, a lightening bolt cracks through the sky, striking the tallest tree in the forest.

    Athag: Whoa! Did you see that!
    Tthag: Wow! God is amazing!
    Athag: Here we go. Why do you think god caused that?
    Tthag: Well, I believe God causes lightening. It is so complex and unlike anything else and we have no clear scientific explanation so it has to be from a God.
    Athag: Why does it have to be a god? Couldnít it come from some natural phenomenon?
    Tthag: Do you have an explanation for it?
    Athag: Well, it could be some shifting of energy when some unknown power source becomes unbalanced.
    Tthag: Puh-lease, that is just a lame theory. Do you have a solid explanation or not.
    Athag: A one hundred percent sure fire complete explanationÖ..no.
    Tthag: Ah ha! You admit it.
    Athag: But do you remember what our grandfathers used to tell us about fire. They used to say it only came from God.
    Tthag: Yeah, I do. They used to believe it was delivered by only lightening. And when they needed it there was only one way to get it. Sacrifice a virgin to produce lightening, which would strike a tree and bring fire.
    Athag: Well, my Mom discovered you could make fire by rubbing sticks a certain way.
    Tthag: Yeah, my grandfather says he had never seen a woman try to break out of the wooden sacrificial pen as hard as she did. Wasnít that nine months before you were born?
    Athag: Yes, moving on. But donít you see that what people once thought was only from God because it was so complex and unknowable was actually something they could do because it was a natural phenomenon?
    Tthag: Nice try, heretic, but that was then, this is now. What tree did it hit?
    Athag: That tree there. The tallest one.
    Tthag: Thatís right smart guy, the tallest one. There must be thousands of trees in the forest and the lightening just happen to hit the tallest tree. Do you know the odds of that happening!? In fact, have you ever noticed that it almost always hits the tallest tree. The odds are incalculable! Can you explain that!
    Athag: Well no not in exceedingly technical detail.
    Tthag: Well thank you for proving my point. Donít you think that in our advanced age we would know this stuff by now. Think of it. In the last two generations weíve discovered how to make fire and the wheel! And even with all our amazing and complex advances, no one understands where lightening comes from. Ergo God. Lightening is just one example, all you have to do is look around to see evidence of God. Its right their in front of your eyes.
    Athag: uhg.
    LOL, that was an interesting departure from the usual atheist arguments, thanks for taking the time to compose it

    As for the first point you brought up, this essentially goes back to asking, "Who created God?" and that point has been answered by the fallacy of assuming an infinite set of negative causes regressing backwards in time.

    The simple question is, when nothing is happening, at t=0, how was the first effect caused? The only rational choice is that it was consciously determined by something else, and that something else necessarily existed outside of and before this nothingness. It has always existed, and just as it designed this universe, this being also designed the properties of lightening and fire that we utilize as we discover their nature.

    And that's all we can do - discover, and then use what is available, when it exists. Can't we do that going all the way back to the beginning through the use of science, you ask? No, you cannot, because science can only deal with what exists (and its limited faculties can comprehend with augmentations of the five senses) - how does it deal with the properties of nothingness, with things that cannot be perceived? It can't.

    But hey, I enjoyed the skit, please do write up some more =D

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    Soldier Through It! Array جوري's Avatar
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    Default Re: A Refutation of Naturalists


    czgibson Greetings,

    What is this junk masquerading as reasoned argument?
    in which way is it junk?
    It's pretty amazing to see an article like this - after all, it's refuting a position that nobody holds.
    who are the nonentity that you are freely speaking for?


    Quote:
    Originally Posted by mujahida3001
    Who was it who managed all that, perfected it, directed it and controlled it in the best way?

    This question is loaded - it assumes that someone or something did do those things.
    as opposed to?


    Quote:
    Someone might, if he were one of the depraved, say: "it is the work of nature; there are wonderful things in nature."

    Lovely irrelevant ad hominem there, but never mind.
    I think it is quite relevant, and I agree that someone depraved indeed wouldn't give heed!

    Quote:
    Do you really believe that the amazing actions and subtle contrivances that we see in this world, that no mind can fathom o fully appreciate, are made by an agent that itself has no thinking, ability, wisdom or feeling? Would anyone believe such reasoning but a madman or an animal?

    Many people would accept that it is at least possible, although not in the confused terms the writer uses here.
    perhaps you can reconcile this point in more eloquent terms for us?


    Quote:
    You may further add: "If what you claim were true, I would be clear that such an abstract quality cannot have created itself or originated itself, so who is its Lord, Maker and Originator? Who enabled it to do all that? This logic is a most decisive piece of evidence in favor of believing in the Originator and Maker of nature, in the infinity of His ability, knowledge and wisdom.

    Actually, it's the classic riposte to the argument from design - "who designed the designer?" No satisfactory response to it has yet been devised.
    yet, there is no satisfactory response from the opposition to explain how such elaborate design indeed came to be!


    Quote:
    Indeed, this group has gained nothing by denying the Lord and His Attributes and Actions. They merely abolish the intellect and innate intuition. Nature itself would discredit such logic: it in fact contradicts mind, innate intuition, nature and even humanity, and it has caused the most ignorant and deluded attitudes that one can cause.

    This is senselsss gibberish. The writer is ascribing arbitrary qualities to a concept, 'nature', that he hasn't even satisfactorily defined yet.
    I don't believe anyone that uses the term 'mother nature' or 'nature' has defined the term for us to denote anything beyond ascribing it to various phenomenon from humming birds to buzzing bees . Seems obscene to have the term used around so loosely and accept it for what it is, and yet ask another who wishes to challenge the naiveté behind it for a more abstract meaning?

    Quote:
    By reconsidering the word 'nature' in this context, you will be led directly to the Creator, the Originator, as the common mind understands the word. That is because this word 'nature' (Arabic: tabee`ah) means that something was made by someone to behave according to a preset plan, and there is no other meaning at all.

    OK, here we go. Does anyone recognise this definition as being anything like the meaning of the word 'nature'?
    indeed the word 'tabee'ah' is as he describes in his definition. I thought you were a lingual expert specializing in poetic text?

    If we can arbitrarily make up the meanings of the words we use, then communication and debate become impossible.

    I'm sorry to be so hostile, but this really is cod-intellectual rubbish of the worst order. I am absolutely amazed that anyone has taken this article at all seriously.

    Peace
    You are right about one thing.. you were indeed hostile.. and I found less substance in what you had to impart than the lovely composition above.. Sometimes scientists will go through a very complicated circle to arrive to the very simple conclusion shared by common folks ...Amazing how a simple composition can elicit such a gore like reaction from you a ' progressive thinking man'?!


    cheers
    Last edited by جوري; 11-29-2007 at 03:39 AM. Reason: quote problems




    If your opponent is of choleric temperament, seek to irritate him.اتبع طرق الهدى ولا يضرك قلة السالكين
    وإياك وطرق الضلالة ولا تغتر بكثرة الهالكين





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    Default Re: A Refutation of Naturalists


    Quote Originally Posted by tigersabre View Post
    As for the first point you brought up, this essentially goes back to asking, "Who created God?" and that point has been answered by the fallacy of assuming an infinite set of negative causes regressing backwards in time.
    That is not an answer. I'm not creating the fallacy. You are by the conditions you set.
    Quote Originally Posted by tigersabre View Post
    The simple question is, when nothing is happening, at t=0, how was the first effect caused? The only rational choice is that it was consciously determined by something else, and that something else necessarily existed outside of and before this nothingness. It has always existed, and just as it designed this universe, this being also designed the properties of lightening and fire that we utilize as we discover their nature..
    Maybe, but where you an I part company is with the words "consciously" and "designed". I think its just that the "It" for you is god and for me its a natural phenomenon (whatever that may be).

    I just find it interesting how we can both look at something and come to different conclusions. We're not going to find a common solution, but it gives insight into how each other work.

    Quote Originally Posted by tigersabre View Post
    But hey, I enjoyed the skit, please do write up some more =D
    I'll try!

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    Human Agent Array czgibson's Avatar
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    Default Re: A Refutation of Naturalists


    Greetings,
    Quote Originally Posted by tigersabre View Post
    No, it's clearly impossible. If it was infinite, by definition it could not end, and as each effect is dependent upon a cause, and you would have an infinite amount of causes extending backwards in time, no effect could ever have been caused.
    I think the point you're missing is that none of us know. I agree, it does seem more likely, from a common-sense point of view, that the universe had a beginning. However, it's perfectly possible to argue that the universe is eternal, and many have done so.

    Your argument from causality is fine if you have a rigidly deterministic view of things, but try to apply it to some of the findings of quantum mechanics and it breaks down.

    Another response would be to say, once again: 'if what you say is true, and every effect needs a cause, what caused god?'

    Greetings PA,

    What a pleasure it is to talk with you again.

    in which way is it junk?
    I've tried to explain that. If I'm not being clear enough, that's my fault, sorry.

    who are the nonentity that you are freely speaking for?
    All the people who don't hold the straw man version of naturalism that the author is arguing against.

    as opposed to?
    As opposed to 'we don't know if those things were created, controlled etc.'
    Quote Originally Posted by czgibson
    Lovely irrelevant ad hominem there, but never mind.
    Quote Originally Posted by PurestAmbrosia
    I think it is quite relevant, and I agree that someone depraved indeed wouldn't give heed!
    Of course you think it's relevant - it's by far your most characteristic debating tactic.

    perhaps you can reconcile this point in more eloquent terms for us?
    This piece does a far better job of it than I could.

    yet, there is no satisfactory response from the opposition to explain how such elaborate design indeed came to be!
    Well, that's a matter of opinion. The mainstream scientific community would obviously point to evolution by natural selection. How life originated is a mystery, though. What's wrong with admitting that we don't know? It's a better position than accepting the argument from design, even though its fatal flaw has been on show for well over two hundred years now.

    I don't believe anyone that uses the term 'mother nature' or 'nature' has defined the term for us to denote anything beyond ascribing it to various phenomenon from humming birds to buzzing bees .
    And that's not a clear definition, either. I know it's not easy, but you have to start somewhere.

    Seems obscene to have the term used around so loosely and accept it for what it is, and yet ask another who wishes to challenge the naivetť behind it for a more abstract meaning?
    Where did I ask for an 'abstract meaning', whatever you may mean by that phrase? My point was that the writer was talking about some hypothetical 'nature' that consciously controlled things. The existence of such an entity is dubious at best, and it's far from clear that this is what most people mean when they use the word 'nature'. The writer then imagines a response from his sceptical opponent to the effect that nature is 'an abstract quality', which the writer then refers to again as 'an agent', when his interlocutor has made it clear that in his understanding, it is no such thing.

    This is all so confused that the author's arguments become totally incoherent.

    indeed the word 'tabee'ah' is as he describes in his definition. I thought you were a lingual expert specializing in poetic text?
    A lingual expert? I've never been described that way before on a public forum...

    The meaning of the Arabic word is clearly conditioned by a prior belief, and as I've said, whatever the word means in Arabic, it has nothing to do with philosophical naturalism.
    You are right about one thing.. you were indeed hostile.. and I found less substance in what you had to impart than the lovely composition above.. Sometimes scientists will go through a very complicated circle to arrive to the very simple conclusion shared by common folks ...Amazing how a simple composition can elicit such a gore like reaction from you a ' progressive thinking man'?!
    If I see nonsense on display, I'll call it as I see it. Taking junk like that seriously actually reduces intelligence, I'm convinced of it.

    Peace

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    Soldier Through It! Array جوري's Avatar
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    Default Re: A Refutation of Naturalists


    Quote Originally Posted by czgibson View Post

    Greetings PA,
    Miss me?

    What a pleasure it is to talk with you again.
    Why I thank you... me thinkus!



    I've tried to explain that. If I'm not being clear enough, that's my fault, sorry.
    No need for apologies!


    All the people who don't hold the straw man version of naturalism that the author is arguing against.
    Maybe you can list all 7% of them, so I can retract my opinion in the face of such heavy weights?


    As opposed to 'we don't know if those things were created, controlled etc.'
    Send me a ticket to your town of mutants.. I'd love to see how things run under no control!


    Of course you think it's relevant - it's by far your most characteristic debating tactic.
    Eh old habits die hard.. I believe the same condition afflicts you?


    This piece does a far better job of it than I could.
    Why is it that most atheists can't discuss the contents therein with any dexterity? do tell?a piece that I think knocks yours on its A**
    here although I can still articulate its content..


    Well, that's a matter of opinion. The mainstream scientific community would obviously point to evolution by natural selection. How life originated is a mystery, though. What's wrong with admitting that we don't know? It's a better position than accepting the argument from design, even though its fatal flaw has been on show for well over two hundred years now.
    Pls discuss its fatal flaws from the article presented above, given to us indeed by the 'scientific community' instead of just being redundant ey?



    And that's not a clear definition, either. I know it's not easy, but you have to start somewhere.
    indeed not clear! and doesn't reconcile well with trinucleotide repeat expansion disorders, in which 'natural selection' isn't only laughable but in fact the opposite of all it stands for actually happens. Bad genes get passed down and get progressively worst with each generation, no favoring better qualities here.. when I come up with a theory, I'd like to cover all my grounds so that people won't be poking holes in it every day ey?


    Where did I ask for an 'abstract meaning', whatever you may mean by that phrase? My point was that the writer was talking about some hypothetical 'nature' that consciously controlled things. The existence of such an entity is dubious at best, and it's far from clear that this is what most people mean when they use the word 'nature'. The writer then imagines a response from his sceptical opponent to the effect that nature is 'an abstract quality', which the writer then refers to again as 'an agent', when his interlocutor has made it clear that in his understanding, it is no such thing.

    This is all so confused that the author's arguments become totally incoherent.
    When people speak of 'mother nature' they usually mean it as a force that controls things. It is only fair he starts from a certain agreed upon point. Otherwise in your mind what do you think people take 'mother nature' to denote?


    A lingual expert? I've never been described that way before on a public forum...
    Sure you have... I have a photographic memory.. we were discussing the bees and Henry the IV etc etc and you bragged well I shouldn't say bragged, humbly pointed out that you are a lingual expert!

    The meaning of the Arabic word is clearly conditioned by a prior belief, and as I've said, whatever the word means in Arabic, it has nothing to do with philosophical naturalism.
    Perhaps it is an insufficiency in the English language that renders words so sterile?


    If I see nonsense on display, I'll call it as I see it. Taking junk like that seriously actually reduces intelligence, I'm convinced of it.

    Peace
    And I am here merely to point out that your counter argument didn't hold itself to higher grounds...I too am convinced of it..


    cheers!




    If your opponent is of choleric temperament, seek to irritate him.اتبع طرق الهدى ولا يضرك قلة السالكين
    وإياك وطرق الضلالة ولا تغتر بكثرة الهالكين





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