Talk:Methodological naturalism

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This Philosophy related article has been awarded BRONZE status for quality. It's getting there, but could be better with improvement. See RationalWiki:Article rating for more information.



i haven't even read it, but this article reeks of plagarism. tmtoulouse should be blocked immediately, and for infinite duration! Bohdan 16:04, 28 August 2007 (CDT)

I live to steal the works of others and claim them of mine!!! tmtoulouse pester 16:08, 28 August 2007 (CDT)

Most scientists?[edit]

The text reads: An assumption of methodological naturalism while working in science but maintaining an active belief in some form of God or spirituality is probably the majority metaphysical position of most working scientists. I think this is a highly debatable statement. These poll results from Gallup (Admittedly a little dated) show that 55% of US scientists hold that "Man has developed over millions of years from less advanced forms of life. God had no part in this process." And this is a poll in the US.--Bob_M (talk) 04:40, 31 August 2007 (CDT)

I would still say that "methodological naturalism" is the position held by a scientist who was a deist or even embraced Spinoza's God. Is the number of scientist who believe in some sort of God really a high percentage? I will try and dig up some more numbers. The best thing to do of course is expand on this point in the article. tmtoulouse pester 13:00, 31 August 2007 (CDT)
I agree, but it would involve rewriting the thrust of the opening. This site claims 55% atheist in the US This one has between 45% and 72% atheist. --Bobbing up and down 08:15, 5 September 2007 (CDT)
I have removed the following:

Methodological naturalism can be combined with theistic or supernatural philosophical belief systems without imputing any obligations on each other. An assumption of methodological naturalism while working in science but maintaining an active belief in some form of God or spirituality is probably the majority metaphysical position of most working scientists. Since high percentages of scientists describe themselves as "theistic evolutionists" or hold other religious beliefs it is likely that fewer than 20 percent of working scientists embrace full philosophical naturalism. Naturalism is an Essential Part of Science - Steven D. Schafersman

---as the reference does not seem to support the statement made. I have replaced it with text which is supported. --Bob's your uncle 11:40, 11 October 2007 (EDT)

Psychology and religion[edit]

In studies of human psychology, methodological naturalism comes up against a brick wall. The issue of human will, motivation, desire, etc. can be viewed philosophically through the lens of determinism, or alternatively the focus can be on free will.

If the mind is nothing more than the manifestation of physical processes in the brain, then determinism may be valid. We can talk about what "causes" someone to do a good deed or commit a crime. This became the dominant view of Sociology in the 1950s.

Yet if the mind survives the death of the human body, then there is an aspect which is not material - and thus out of reach of physical science and its self-imposed methodological naturalism.

Is it truly "scientific", then, to equate science with physical science? This would seem to be hardly distinguishable from a presupposition that the material world is all that exists.

Some scientists believe that the non-physical can be studied scientifically, although there is not yet wide agreement on how to do this. --Uncle Ed bug me 09:53, 26 September 2007 (EDT)

Some of the evidence for how we are pretty damn sure that the mind is a product of the brain can be found at non-materialist neuroscience. The mind as a product of the brain is both necessary and sufficient for explaining all observed behavior. You want to argue that the mind is separate form the brain? You have to form falsifiable predictions that the scientific method can test. Sorry, the pineal gland has met its match. 11:48, 26 September 2007 (EDT)
Uncle Ed states: "Yet if the mind survives the death of the human body ..." and goes on to develop his argument from this "If". But as his "if" argument is about as useful as an arguement beginning "If fairies exist ..." then the rest of his points are pretty useless. --Bob's your uncle 05:34, 17 October 2007 (EDT)
Gee, it has not been shown to happen. It is no more than an article of "faith" humanUser talk:Human 06:34, 17 October 2007 (EDT)

I believe that "begging the question" has been covered elsewhere75.62.26.190 11:25, 17 October 2007 (EDT)

aristocracys decline[edit]

aristocracy, save in France's first Republic - and then only temporarily - did not fall in the world due to any lofty philosophy, but due to social factors, economic forces, some political necessity and military opposition. Really metal did more to diminish it than abstraction, and if you look at the fundamentals of societies that preserved or maintained those traditions with regards to royalty, they tend to frustrate predictions regarding it's merit. Hell even magic can't be said to be debunked. You have a contaminated pool, you can replicate the physical manifestation of those contaminants and symptom in a mortal being, but magic forces or spirits may well be guiding the vectors of infection. That whole quote is our tea rah-rah-rah nonsense.— Unsigned, by: / talk / contribs