Christian vs Naturalist
I had the pleasure of debating my new friend Shane in regard to which Worldview is the best.
Feel free to watch the whole video or you can just read my opening statement.
What is a Christian?… According to me:
Christians are being transformed by obedience to Jesus of Nazareth, the Messiah and Creator who is revealed in the true and God-breathed words of the Bible. The Bible is absolute and objectively true to a Christian, because the teachings of Jesus of Nazareth show that the Bible is absolute and objectively true to Him.
Oxford English Dictionary:
“In philosophy, naturalism is the idea or belief that only natural laws and forces (as opposed to supernatural or spiritual ones) operate in the universe.”
The most Famous Naturalist speaks about Naturalists of the future…
“A few naturalists, endowed with much flexibility of mind, and who have already begun to doubt on the immutability of species, may be influenced by this volume; but I look with confidence to the future, to young and rising naturalists, who will be able to view both sides of the question with impartiality.” – Charles Darwin in the Origin of Species
Christians are able to view both sides of the Natural vs Supernatural question with impartiality. For example, many Christians work in various fields of science and use the process of producing empirical data through what can be observed, tested, replicated, and verified about the natural world. Christians do not discriminate against natural laws and processes, we fully embrace them.
Obviously, the scientific process is extremely valuable and can help our species discover many truths about the Universe, yet there are many other aspects of the Universe that cannot be studied through what we can observe, test, replicate, and verify; like morality, justice, philosophy, love, and so on.
A Christian is impartial in regard to discovering truth, because we believe there is value in both natural and supernatural truth. This is why a Biblical Worldview is the most consistent and non-contradictory way of answering the deep questions of life.
Yet, when a Naturalist attempts to answer the deep questions of life while claiming that “only natural laws and forces operate in the universe,” they will do so in the absence of reason, logic, and empirical data.
For example, the basic claim of naturalism, that “only” natural laws operate in the Universe, cannot be supported by even one piece of empirical data. Think about these two questions.
1 – Is it possible to observe, test, replicate, and verify that “only” natural laws operate in the Universe?
2 – Inversely, is it possible to observe, test, replicate, and verify that “nothing” supernatural operates in the Universe?
The worldview of a Naturalist is unable to be supported and/or represented by empirical data. In fact, a Naturalist heavily relies upon supernatural laws when attempting to do science naturally.
Valid empirical data is unable to be produced without the supernatural conviction of one’s own ethical/truthful recording of their findings. Empirical science is impossible without replying upon our moral compass, or Jiminy Cricket-like conscience. Every scientist must ask themselves why they would record a true measurement when an exaggerated measurement would better support their hypothesis.
The human moral compass is a supernatural phenomenon that makes methodological naturalism possible. There is no natural way to observe conviction of one’s heart. There is no way to observe the essence of objective morality, yet without a moral adherence in regard to the truthful recording of data; science would be impossible.
Ironically, methodological naturalism heavily relies upon the supernatural law of objective morality, yet adamantly blocks out and denies supernatural methods of discovering truth. There is no logical way to affirm this inconsistency of thought; it is, in fact, unreasonable.
However, Christians who empirically study the Universe also heavily rely upon the supernatural law of objective morality, yet are acceptant of both natural and supernatural methods of discovering truth. A Biblical Worldview is the most logical way to affirm consistency of thought: it is, in fact, quite reasonable.
Perhaps a Naturalist would disagree with the claim that morality is objective.
Well, if morality were subjective, empirical data would be impossible to produce. Scientists must believe that lying is objectively wrong in regard to the recording of data, because science is the quest for object truth. Of which, Christians who uphold a Biblical understanding of morality and truth affirm that morality and truth are both objective.
It is illogical to claim that morality can be subjective while being on the scientific quest for objective truth.
It is equally illogical to claim that truth is subjective, because that is an objective claim in regard to truth. Claiming that truth is objectively subjective is self-refuting.
Either morality is subjective and therefore truth is subjective, rendering the scientific quest for empirical data objectively pointless. Or…
The Bible is true in claiming morality to be objective and therefore truth to be objective, which supports the fruitful scientific quest of empirical data.
Granted, a Naturalist does not have to subscribe to a Biblical Worldview in order to adhere to the universal fact of objective morality and truth; they just do not have a basis for it without the Bible.
Perhaps a Naturalist would disagree with the other claim of morality being supernatural.
Well, given the fact that Webster defines SUPERNATURAL as “relating to an order of existence beyond the visible observable universe,” morality is supernatural.
We cannot relate to a visible, observable morality that is capable of producing empirical data. So, by definition it is supernatural. Yet, one could argue that the best moral code ever written is observable. Although, it is true that the Ten Commandments is the best moral code ever written and they are quite observable, they were written by God and thus of supernatural origin.
Perhaps one might say that morality is objective because humans instinctively know what is right or wrong. So, if this is true, why then do we lie and break the moral code we instinctively know?
Why would a scientist exaggerate their findings? To hide the truth in order to get what they want. Maybe it’s more funding, or accolades, or beating a rival.
Someone with a Biblical Worldview would look at this reality of the condition of humankind and give a logical source and reason for this lowly moral behavior.
“I will put my law in their minds and write it on their hearts. I will be their God, and they will be my people.”
“21 For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened. 22 Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools”
“28 Furthermore, just as they did not think it worthwhile to retain the knowledge of God, so God gave them over to a depraved mind, so that they do what ought not to be done. 29 They have become filled with every kind of wickedness, evil, greed and depravity.”
It is correct that we instinctively know there is an object and supernatural moral law, but we suppress the truth in order to fulfill our own desires.
A Naturalist would agree that much of the order we see in the Universe has been produced by the Law of Gravity, and if one goes against that order or attempts to break that law in the absence of a mitigation strategy, a judgment will be given. For example, trying to fly off a cliff without wings or a parachute will result in a painful judgment for breaking the law and order of gravity.
Wherever there is law and order, judgment will be brought to whatever or whomever that goes against it. This is why Naturalists say only natural laws operate in the Universe. Yet, they are doing the exact same thing a dishonest scientist does. Denying that supernatural laws operate in the Universe is suppressing the truth in order to fulfill evil desires.
For most people who chose the unreasonable, illogical, unscientific path of rejecting the Biblical Worldview of Christianity has to do with the reality of objective and supernatural morality.
Even though methodological naturalism is impossible without objective and supernatural morality, and the fact that humankind instinctively knows what is right or wrong, some folks still reject it.
The reason for this is a different and even stronger instinct and I quote C.S. Lewis.
“Chastity is the most unpopular of the Christian virtues. There is no getting away from it; the old Christian rule is, ‘Either marriage, with complete faithfulness to your partner, or else total abstinence.’ Now this is so difficult and contrary to our instincts, that obviously either Christianity is wrong or our sexual instinct, as it now is, has gone wrong. One or the other. Of course, being a Christian, I think it is the instinct which has gone wrong.”
“Everyone knows that the sexual appetite, like our other appetites, grows by indulgence.”