Sunday, August 3, 2008

Academy's Strong Definition of Naturalism

Amended 11.16.08

Given the divided nature of the many categories of "Naturalism," which include "strong" to "weak" definitions, it is necessary to state the position of this Academy as "strong;" and just as necessary to add the caveats at the end in order to distinguish this Academy of Metaphysical Naturalism from other metaphysical schools and schools of naturalism. But I would add that the terms "strong" and "weak" are unnecessarily vague, and that the categorical names are better, names such as metaphysical; teleonatural; ontological; Christian; humanist; deterministic; non-deterministic; reductive; non-reductive; etc.

"Naturalism, challenging the cogency of the cosmological,i mechanical,ii and moral argumentsiii, holds that the universe requires no supernatural cause and government, but is self-existent, self-explanatory, self-operating, and self-directing, that the world-process is neither mechanistic nor anthropocentric, but purposeless, deterministic (except for possible tychistic* events, and), except in the affairs of mind; and is only accidentally productive of man; that human life as physical, mental, moral and spiritual phenomena, are ordinary natural events attributable in all respects to the ordinary operations of the laws of nature; and that man's ethical values, compulsions, activities, and restraints can be justified by non-reductive monism, without recourse to supernatural sanctions, and his highest good pursued and attained under natural conditions, without expectation of a supernatural destiny"--
(amended from B.A.G.Fuller see Naturalism)

* (Tychism: any theory which regards chance as an objective reality, operative in the cosmos; [ibid])


--AND that
this description neither explicitly nor implicitly exlcudes the existence of the human soul, nor of free will, when:"'soul' is a "veridical perception"** of consciousness;" and "'free will' is the mind’s freedom "to think or not;" (Ayn Rand)

AND that
"consciousness" is "the faculty of awareness—the faculty of [veridically] perceiving that which exists;" (AR)

AND that
"that which exists" is "an 'existent' be it a thing, an attribute or an action;" (AR)

that"an existent" is "veridical perception and memory, or abstract and ideal e.g. in conception and valuation;" (Runes)

"veridical perception" is a direct relation of awareness between a conscious subject and an object of empirical or abstract content. (CEC) (Dict. of the Academy of Metaphysical Naturalism; unpublished)

iWhere cosmology is taken to mean that which treats of the origin and structure of the universe. Cosmology also refers to the structural view where it is the world view of physics. However, as to cosmological origin, let me be clear: There is no origin. If existence itself had an origin, then the pre-existing condition of existence would be non-existence, which by definition can have no existence and therefore cannot have been a state of being prior to existence.

iiWhere mechanical is taken to mean the explanation of the present and the future in terms of the past. The opposite of mechanical is teleology, i.e., the explanation of the past and the present in terms of the future. [see above for comparison]

iiiWhere the moral argument is taken to mean an argument for God based on man's moral nature, an objective nature that gives him cause to make moral assertions about existence but has no basis for conclusions of the supernatural. The only moral argument acceptable is teleological, meaning it must be the answer to the question of whether, not why, Man needs ethics; and what those ethics must be in terms of the objective nature of Man himself as "all there is" in terms of deducing the natural, not the super-natural, existence of existence.
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