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by Roger Browning
I had an agenda when I started writing this post. I’m coming off a post that was significantly viewed and shared and a great confidence booster. So, as I was deciding what I’d like to cover for my next topic, I started hashing out ideas. “Dear Naturalists, supernatural events DO occur” was the first title of my paper. As I penned my outline I was excited—this is going to blow the hinges right off of the naturalistic worldview. Epic!
But there was a problem.
For my post to hold any merit, naturalist must stop being naturalists. That is to say, the naturalistic worldview presupposes that super-natural events do not occur. Therefore, no amount of “proof” would come without some degree of skepticism. I put proof in quotes because not all proof is accepted (more on this later). Let’s look at this slightly different to make the point.
A common atheist argument against God is the Flying Spaghetti Monster. The argument, generally speaking, states there is just as much evidence for FSM as God. The atheist then compares the ideas: if you don’t believe in one you must not believe in the other (or vice-versa) because the evidences are the same. Christians will rebut, “We have the Bible; there is no FSM holy text”. This is problematic because it creates a circular argument; God is true because it says so in the Bible, and the Bible is true because God says so. Therefore, it is not (always) beneficial to argue for Christianity by saying, “The Bible says…” because, to an atheist, the Bible carries no more spiritual weight than a piece of toast with Jesus burnt on it.
The same idea carries over to naturalism. Naturalism presupposes that nothing exists outside of natural laws and elements. As I scribbled out my first rough draft, it became increasingly clear I was presenting a circular argument to make my case: The supernatural does exist because miraculous events have happened. It is easy to think this is evidentiary, but in reality it’s a matter of perspective. Most supernatural events can be explained naturally, others can be dismissed as a hoax, fabrication, or mysterious; anything is possible as long as it’s not supernatural. For example…
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