Christian Response To Philosophical Naturalism Essay


Since neither of those explanations is likely (let alone knowable), philosophical naturalists would have to doubt that the universe exists at all; yet, very clearly, it does. The most likely explanation for the existence of the universe is simply that some force or consciousness (i.e. God) caused whatever the so-called "first cause" of existence was. The second major philosophical assumption of philosophical naturalism presupposes that all philosophical postulates must, necessarily, fit the scientific model. However, that supposition clearly closes off many possible explanations simply because they may lie outside of human understanding. Again, that position is an a priori assumption that also violates the first major philosophical assumption of philosophical naturalism. In essence, it suggests that scientific concepts provide the only possible set of tools for understanding phenomena, including phenomena that obviously defy scientific explanation such as miracles and faith. Most importantly, it automatically (and in a manner that is a priori) discounts the possibility that there could ever exist a consciousness or an intelligence that is so much greater than that of human beings that certain actions or choices of that consciousness (i.e. God) simply defy the limits of human intelligence and imagination.

Implications for Christian Teachers (200-300 words)

For contemporary Christian educators, the perspective of philosophical naturalism can present a legitimate challenge to the teachings of Christianity and of other religious perspectives, at least in the minds of skeptics. On one hand, Christian teachers must focus on Christian ideals and philosophy; on the other hand,...


The first step in addressing the ideas promoted by those who adhere to philosophical naturalism would be to demonstrate a complete familiarity with and understanding of those ideas. That alone helps establish more credibility when countering those arguments than a Christian educator who is not capable of discussing those ides intelligently. The next step in addressing those ideas would be to try to demonstrate that one cannot possibly argue against the existence of any a priori beliefs by presupposing an a priori belief in the very process. The Christian educator can suggest that one cannot argue that "there are no givens…except that there are no givens" because that is, itself, a given.
The Christian educator should also be able to demonstrate familiarity with some of the more common scientific explanations of the existence of the universe, particularly since even scientists acknowledge that there is a specific point shortly after the supposed "Big Bang" before which even the laws of physics prove that no empirical calculations can possibly be drawn because the laws of physics necessarily break down as a function of Einstein's Relativity Theory.

Sources Consulted

Friedman, M. (1997). "Philosophical Naturalism." Proceedings and Addresses of the American Philosophical Association. Accessed online, October 15, 2011, from:

Hawking, S. (1990). A Brief History of Time: From the Big Bang to Black Holes. Bantam Publishing: New York.

Cite this Document:

"Christian Response To Philosophical Naturalism" (2011, October 15) Retrieved February 25, 2024, from

"Christian Response To Philosophical Naturalism" 15 October 2011. Web.25 February. 2024. <>

"Christian Response To Philosophical Naturalism", 15 October 2011, Accessed.25 February. 2024,

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