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From Wikipedia:

Methodological naturalism is concerned not with claims about what exists but with methods of learning what is nature. It is strictly the idea that all scientific endeavours—all hypotheses and events—are to be explained and tested by reference to natural causes and events. The genesis of nature, e.g., by an act of God, is not addressed. This second sense of naturalism seeks only to provide a framework within which to conduct the scientific study of the laws of nature. Methodological naturalism is a way of acquiring knowledge. It is a distinct system of thought concerned with a cognitive approach to reality, and is thus a philosophy of knowledge.

According to objectivism Nature is

What is nature? Nature is existence—the sum of that which is. It is usually called “nature” when we think of it as a system of interconnected, interacting entities governed by law. So “nature” really means the universe of entities acting and interacting in accordance with their identities.

And I must say I totally agree since one has to define Nature before one can provide a objective scientific method to test it.

The Supernatural

What is meant by “the supernatural”? Supposedly, a realm that transcends nature. What is nature? Nature is existence—the sum of that which is. It is usually called “nature” when we think of it as a system of interconnected, interacting entities governed by law. So “nature” really means the universe of entities acting and interacting in accordance with their identities. What, then, is “super-nature”? Something beyond the universe, beyond entities, beyond identity. It would have to be: a form of existence beyond existence—a kind of entity beyond anything man knows about entities—a something which contradicts everything man knows about the identity of that which is. In short, a contradiction of every metaphysical essential.

So Methodological Naturalism states that scientists must look for causes that exist for events that happened and that they should not look for causes that don't exist for events that happened or that they should not look for causes of events that did not happen even though causes that don't exist and events that did not happen may exist.

Doe that make sense? I think that's simple nonsense. Methodological naturalism gives credibility to supernatural arguments by asserting that the supernatural exists despite it not being part of scientific research. It is not simply stating the obvious since it does in fact imply the existence of non-existence, which is a contradiction in terms.

Am I right?

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The problem with "nature" is that it is terribly uninformative. Nature is what exists, what exists is nature. This rules out nothing except for that which is admitted not to exist, which is not where any of the most interesting problems in science come from.

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Daniel said:

"Doe that make sense? I think that's simple nonsense. Methodological naturalism gives credibility to supernatural arguments by asserting that the supernatural exists despite it not being part of scientific research. It is not simply stating the obvious since it does in fact imply the existence of non-existence, which is a contradiction in terms."

The description of MN does smuggle supernaturalism into its position by assuming it as a possible alternative to "nature". You are right that this problem starts with ones theory of definition.(and ones position on the arbitrary) I am currently very interested in this type of assertion by some that "scientism" is religious and dogmatic because it assumes there is nothing science can't explain, such as the "human" elements of existence etc.

Edited by Plasmatic

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The description of MN does smuggle supernaturalism into its position by assuming it as a possible alternative to "nature". You are right that this problem starts with ones theory of definition.(and ones position on the arbitrary) I am currently very interested in this type of assertion by some that "scientism" is religious and dogmatic because it assumes there is nothing science can't explain, such as the "human" elements of existence etc.

There have been many scientists who claimed that only scientifically proven theories can be true, and that philosophy is simply a relic of the past. See Brief History of Time for example.

The problem is that if only scientifically verified facts can be true than what could possibly verify the scientific method? Science? That's a circular argument at best.

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Dániel said:

"There have been many scientists who claimed that only scientifically proven theories can be true, and that philosophy is simply a relic of the past. See Brief History of Time for example.

The problem is that if only scientifically verified facts can be true than what could possibly verify the scientific method? Science? That's a circular argument at best."

The way it is stated creates the appearance of circular argument.

An analysis of what gives rise to the scientific method should provide the verification, but not if philosophy is tossed out as an unnecessary relic of the past. Such an analysis should break the steps down, identify what they are comprised of, ascertain if the comprised elements can be broken down further verifying each aspect either along the way, or until all the essential elements are verified providing the basis for the verifying the 'sub-assembled' aspects in turn.

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So I take that for an objectivist methodological naturalism is supernaturalism.

Or am I wrong?

Methodological naturalism is what a theist needs in order to get on with the serious business of investigating this world while neglecting the supernatural. It is a rationalization for being rational. (rationalization in the derogatory sense)

Edited by Grames

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From "The DIM Hypothesis", Peikoff observes "The method by which he made his discoveries, Newton writes, is induction, . . . Induction for Newton is essentially generalization validated by two processes: experimentation and then the mathematical interpretation of its results.. Although each of these had been necessary to Galileo's work, and implicit in that of a few others, it was Newton who first identified the combination explicitly, and who first declared the two processes, if used together properly, to be necessary and sufficient to define the method of science. Newton thereby banished from physics any attempt to reach truth by deduction from a priori ideas, which in his view were arbitrary, subjective, and non-scientific. It was Newton who committed science exclusively to the study of fact: empirically based, precisely quantified, and therefore objectively demonstrated."

Contrast this with what he wrote earlier leading into Descartes' approach, "The error of science like Galileo's, the Cartesians said, was its reliance on induction. To generalize from observation, they argued, is merely to describe what we perceive without explaining it, whereas the latter is the true purpose of science."

The key objection is not the validity of Newton's work in "Optiks" or "Principia of Mathematica" showing that white light was comprised of color and that the celestial bodies moved according to their mass, velocity and distance from other celestial bodies, rather he did not "explain the nature of light or gravity, per se."

Edited by dream_weaver

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