Naturalism

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NATURALISM
When I first was introduced to Naturalism, I didn’t had a clear idea of what it meant, and what was useful for, but studying this word the first thing I noticed was that the word came from nature, and generally “nature refers to the physical word in its normal condition” (Class notes). When something is natural, it means that has not been modified by the actions and intelligence ofman. In fact I can relate Naturalism with a very common word used in our present time, I’m sure that many of us have heard the phrase “this is organic”, and when someone says this is organic it basically telling us that nature has been its designer and its maker, and that man in any way has not participated directly in its production. Many of us love the nature, the environment; forests, rivers,mountains and meadows. Nature in itself is good, but when we add “ism” to Natural we wet naturalism, a very similar word but with a very different meaning. Naturalism is “the worldview that holds that there is but a single order of reality, that of matter in motion” (Mulvaney 574). Naturalism believes that in the final analysis, "nature is all there is, and essentially cannot be changed by anyoneexcept by itself, in other words, it is believed that nature itself is the ultimate reality” (Pojman 426). Therefore we can conclude that “Naturalism is not so much a special system as a point of view or tendency common to a number of philosophical and religious systems; not so much a well defined set of positive and negative doctrines as an attitude or spirit pervading and influencing manydoctrines. As the name implies, this tendency consists essentially in looking upon nature as the one original and fundamental source of all that exists, and in attempting to explain everything in terms of nature. Either the limits of nature are also the limits of existing reality, or at least the first cause, if its existence is found necessary, has nothing to do with the working of natural agencies. Allevents, therefore, find their adequate explanation within nature itself. But, as the terms nature and natural are themselves used in more than one sense, the term naturalism is also far from having one fixed meaning” (Knight 206). The main point that I do want to emphasize and that is very relevant to our discussion is that Naturalism will argue that “all the reality can be explained” (ClassNotes) therefore the idea of God doesn’t exist here. Naturalist will argue that God doesn’t exist or that if there is a God, this God will not have any sort of influence or effect over nature. Some might even suggest or may consider nature as a creative being.
The concept of Naturalism is very important, it has influenced many philosophers; in fact, many American philosophers are naturalists, “ishard to think of an American Philosopher who is not a naturalist” (class notes). John Due for example is a Naturalist, “paradigm cases of naturalism would be the views of Daniel Dennett in ‘Darwin’s Dangerous Idea’ or Bertrand Russell in ‘A Free Man’s worship’ (Pojman 492). Many other non American philosophers like David Hume were also Naturalist. In fact David Hume was a key figure in laying aphilosophical basis for naturalism. We must recall that he refuted the idea of miracles claiming that testimonies of miracles were most likely false reports “there must, therefore, be a uniform experience against every miraculous event; otherwise the event would not merit the appellation” (Pojman 279). Hume also “tended to Naturalism, the idea that what reason cannot do, nature will do for us anyway.If reason cannot guarantee us knowledge, nature nevertheless provides us with the good sense to make our way in the world. If reason cannot guarantee morals, our human natures nevertheless supply us with adequate sentiments to behave rightly toward one another. But if reason cannot justify the belief in God and the religious prejudices that go along with it, then so much the worse for religion”...
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