Reply to Weekend Fisher
I'm an occasional reader finding my way here through CADRE Comments, with an interest in the "Dangerous Idea" to a greater degree and the Lewis/Anscombe debate to a lesser degree, only as it relates to the larger question.
I have to say that, on review of the argument, I disagree with Lewis about whether a naturalistic universe necessarily leads to a distrust of mind.
I'm not what you would call a naturalist, more what you would call a Christian with a high view of material creation.
I was wondering if I could ask you one thing: if you had to state succintly the strongest version of that argument that you knew, if you were trying to show me logically that logic itself or reason itself falls apart in a naturalistic world, what would you say? What would be your opening move?
Are you interested in exchanging posts to explore a little more? I'm interested in hammering out the argument to see where it goes.
Take care & God bless
There is a first step in the argument, which is getting a definition of a naturalistic world-view, the proper target for the argument. I have a definition for a naturalistic world-view: A naturalistic world-view has there characteristic:
1) At the level of the most fundamental particles, the universe is free of purpose, free of normativity, free of intentionality (aboutness) and fully describable from a third-person perspective. In short, there is a "physical" level which is complete mechanistic, not in the sense of being deterministic, but in the sense of being purposeless.
2) That level is causally closed. There is nothing at any other level of analysis the provides an independent cause of events over and above the physical level.
3) Whatever else exists supervenes on the physical. Given the state of they physical, every other level (chemical, biological, psychological, sociological), must be the way that it is.
Now the first thing I want to ask is that if the "naturalism" you have in mind to defend meets this description, or not?
I'm not sure I want to talk about distrusting reason. I vastly prefer Best Explanation versions of the Argument from Reason as opposed to Skeptical Threat arguments. There is reason, the question is whether the kind of universe I just described can explain it. (No skyhooks allowed, just cranes).
Labels: Defining naturalism