There are many different types of worldviews today which include but are not in any way limited to the scientific worldview, the philosophical; worldview as well as the religious worldviews. Others include naturalism, pantheism, theism as well as post modernism. A look at each worldview brings a bout a distinct set of values relating to reality, truth as well as man and his nature or purpose. In this text, I concern myself with the Naturalistic worldview.
A basic summary of the worldview
Naturalism as a worldview postulates that nothing exists out of the natural universe. According to the Naturalism.org (2009) naturalism holds a view that the world largely functions as a closed system where it cannot be affected by anything that is not natural. Hence in a sense, naturalism disregards any existence of causes that are largely supernatural and with that in mind, Moreland (2002) argues that naturalism is supernaturalismâ€™s antithesis. Goetz & Taliaferro (2009) in an attempt to shed more light into the naturalism worldview noted that the primary principle of naturalism holds that the only forces that operate in the world are essentially natural forces and hence with that in mind, northing can possibly claim to be in existence outside what we know as natural.
To bring out a brief distinction between what is taken to be natural and what is taken to be supernatural, it is important to note that natural laws include all those things or occurrences which can be explained by way of scientific investigation, observation or otherwise. These are things that have a definite cause in the natural context and they could include the black holes in space as well as other modern science laws and observations. On the other hand, supernatural laws include events and occurrences that cannot be largely explained using modern science tools of investigation as well as observation. This includes but is not limited to acts of god as well as the existence of supernatural beings or forces. It is important top note that naturalism comes in different forms including methodological naturalism, metaphysical naturalism, and philosophical naturalism amongst others.
The flaws of naturalism
According to Goetz & Taliaferro (2009), naturalism has been critiqued by a number of individuals including but no limited to Karl Popper as a result of a number of flaws. Moreland (2002) is of the opinion that according to naturalism, life does not have a distinct value or meaning. The naturalistic view of man is as an animal devoid of free will and inherent value. Hence in that regard, the bottom-line is that when it comes to the distinction between what is right and what is wrong; the transcendent being does not have a role play. Hence in a sense, it is the mankind who makes a distinction between what is right and what is not. It therefore follows that some undertakings such as abortion genocide as well as cloning cannot be sanctioned on the basis of their inherent inappropriateness if they receive human approval.
One of the major flaws in naturalism is the postulation that the universe had an absolute natural origin. However, commonsense and our knowledge of the universe clearly indicates that this could not have been the case. To support this strange submission, naturalists advance a number of explanations which in a way are fundamentally baseless. One of their arguments is that the material universe emerged out of nothing. The contradiction here is clear as naturalists do not believe in nothing which in a sense is taken to be the supernatural.
The other argument in this regard is that matter could be eternal. Here, the idea is that though matter may not have existed as we know it now, it is highly probable that the building blocks of matter as we know it today could have been in existence eternally. The flaw here is the lack o evidence to support the postulation. This is yet another contradiction of sorts as naturalists rely on scientific observation and observation yet in this case, the submission has no explanation; scientific or otherwise.
Next, another significant flaw of naturalism is on the existence of life. Naturalism largely hinges its ideas about life on the theory of evolution by Darwin. The assumption here is that life will always emerge given the right conditions, time as well as materials. This according to Moreland (2002) is largely a presumption of faith and again, there is no evidence, scientific or otherwise to show that this is indeed the case. What is more, there is no fundamental and flawless theory that explains or even attempts to scientifically demonstrate how life can naturally emerge given the right conditions, time as well as materials. Hence in a way, this postulation seems to be more of a philosophical assumption rather than a fact supported by science as well as observation naturalists so vehemently support.
Last but not least, another major flaw of naturalism is on the evolution of one species from another. Now, from a detailed observation of the world, it is clear that a vast species of animals as well as plants are in existence. When it comes to naturalists their main reference points when it comes to life and its development is Darwins theory. If this is the indeed the case, how do we account for millions of other species that are in existence? How do we account for their origin and development?
Sharing the gospel of Jesus Christ with a believer in the naturalism worldview: a proposed plan
Though it seems difficult to reconcile a believer in the naturalism world with Christianity due to the gaping inconsistencies, it is important to note that there still exists a window of opportunity if only the right plan or approach is adopted. In this regard, I come up with a number of steps which in my own opinion would enhance the sharing of the gospel of Jesus Christ with a believer in the naturalism worldview.
The first step when it comes to sharing the gospel of Jesus Christ with naturalists begins by embracing them as our fellow brothers and sisters who need guidance as well as a lot of understanding. In my view, we err by simply engaging naturalists in debated of this is our position and that is yours. What this does in the long run is increase the acrimony between Christians and naturalists. It is clear that with such an environment of heated debate and hardliner positions, minimal only minimal gains (if any) can be made as far as sharing the gospel of Jesus Christ is concerned. Hence the place to begin this undertaking is to embrace our brethren in the naturalist worldview as they would soften their stance which would go a long way towards informing a more meaningful debate. It is however important to note at this stage that embracing naturalists does not necessarily mean subscribing to their naturalist beliefs.
Evidence the flaws and inconsistencies
The next step as far as sharing the gospel of Jesus Christ with naturalists would be to evidence the gaping inconsistencies as well as flaws in their worldview. This does not have to be executed in an acrimonious environment. However, for every inconsistency unveiled, the gap should be filled with the teachings from the bible. For instance, when it comes to the origin of life, naturalists generally rely on Darwinâ€™s theory of evolution. This could constitute a perfect scenario from which to jump start the discussion. The inconsistency in this lies n the fact that he theory of evolution restraints itself to only a number a single species. Given that there are probably different forms of life in the world today (both plants and animals), the Darwin theory of evolution no longer makes sense and in that regard, there must be an intelligent being somewhere who designed life as well know it. This intelligent being according to the teachings of Jesus Christ is called God.
As noted in the introductory paragraph, there are quite a number of worldviews with each worldview having its own belief system in regard to truth, life as well as reality. However, hardliner stands from the various worldviews has made reconciliation with other worldviews almost improbable. Though some aspects of naturalism are in themselves outrageous and inconsistent with reality, it is important to note that other aspects of the worldview can indeed be reconciled with Christianity if the correct approach is undertaken.
Moreland, Lane Craig. Naturalism: A Critical Analysis. Routledge, 2002
Lane Craig Moreland
Goetz, Stewart. & Taliaferro, Charles. Naturalism. Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing, 2008
Naturalism.org. Applied Naturalism, 2009.
http://www.naturalism.org/ (Accessed 26th Feb. 2011)
Author is an academic writer and an editor and she offers college essay writing service. Thus, people that doubt their own writing abilities can use the best custom paper writing service and forget about their fears and lack of confidence by visiting MeldaResearch.com.